The week that was, Jan 31-Feb 6, 2016

Posted on | February 7, 2016 | No Comments

Charles Hatfield, rainmaker and sham.

Charles Hatfield, drought doctor. Photo: Wikipedia.

“I do not make it rain,” Hatfield would demur. “That would be an absurd claim. I simply attract clouds, and they do the rest.” — The Magic of Squeezing Water Out of the SkyA Hundred Years Ago, Charles Hatfield Cashed in on America’s Weakness for Quick Fixes—Even if They Seem Too Good to Be True by Cynthia Barnett, author of “Rain: A Natural and Cultural History,” Zocalo Public Square, 2/2/16

Cloudspotters across the UK and Ireland have witnessed fantastic displays of rare ‘nacreous’ clouds over the first few days of February. The formations are also known as ‘mother of pearl clouds’ due to their beautiful bands of colour, which appear as the cloud’s ice crystals diffract the sunlight, separating it into its different wavelengths. — Nacreous clouds over Britain, The Cloud Appreciation Society, 2/2/15 

Aqualilies perform in the new Coen brothers film "Hail, Caesar!." Image: Universal Pictures

Aqualilies perform in the new Coen brothers film “Hail, Caesar!” Image: Universal Pictures

In case you missed it, the Aqualillies are having a Moment. — Swimming troupe Aqualillies is making a splash in Hollywood with Coen brothers’ ‘Hail, Caesar!’, Los Angeles Times, 2/4/16  

… ocean activist Charles Moore estimates that to clean all five garbage patches, 1,000 boats would need to filter the water 24 hours a day for 79 years, and that’s only if the technology existed. — What will it take to get plastics out of the ocean? Medium, 2/5/16

Pennsylvania has already acknowledged that it will fail to meet the 2017 goal. — EPA posts draft 2016-17 [TMDL pollutant] milestones, Bay Journal, 1/31/16

Canopy water loss in California's forests in graphic by Carnegie Airborne Observatory researcher Greg Asner. Click on the image to be taken to a Phys.Org account of the research described in the

Critical California forest drought stress mapped in graphic by Carnegie Airborne Observatory researcher Greg Asner. Click on the image to be taken to a Phys.Org account of Asner’s research.

The lowest modeled Canopy Water Content values were observed in Southern California and in low elevation forests surrounding the Central Valley. — New Methods to Track Canopy Water Content, Mountain News, 2/4/16

“There are no monitoring wells, no baseline data. This is disheartening.” — Alan Bacock, Big Pine Tribe of Owens Valley, Inyo, DWP at standoff over gravel pit wellsSierra Wave, 2/2/16

“It is a critical year. Either a decision gets made this year, or there won’t be a [Delta twin tunnel water export] project.” — Jeffrey Kightlinger, general manager, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Dan Morain editorial, Sacramento Bee, 2/5/16

Why is the County Water Authority trying to turn away cheaper water while buying desalinated water? Because it has to buy water from the plant, whether it needs it or not. That’s the deal the authority struck with Poseidon Resources. — San Diego’s Oversupply of Water Reaches Absurd Level, Voice of San Diego, 2/2/16

More than oranges, oil or movies, California's greatness once rested in its salmon. Click on the NOAA image to learn more from the federal Department of Commerce about winter-run Chinook salmon.

More than oranges, almonds, oil or movies, salmon were the backbone of California’s greatness. Click on the NOAA image to learn more about winter-run Chinook salmon from the federal Department of Commerce.

Jerry Brown is a little like a salmon … The mighty fish spend years in the ocean and then swim hundreds of miles upstream, avoiding anglers and navigating fish ladders, only to beat themselves silly against rocks, a little like politicians who aspire to get water stuff done. — Dan Morain editorial: Gov Brown gets ready to swim upstream, Sacramento Bee, 2/5/16

… only 3 percent of the juvenile salmon survived last year — Folsom Lake levels rise, salmon numbers falling, Sacramento Bee/Water Deeply, 2/3/16

“The removal of the lower four Klamath Dams is probably the biggest action of salmon restoration in history.” — Craig Tucker, Karuk Tribe in northern California, Could the new Klamath Dam removal plan kick-start the stalled water deals? Jefferson Public Radio, 2/5/16

So PacifiCorp decided to pay the $200 million federal share itself. California will pay its part. The tribes get to keep their senior water rights and see the dams removed. Only the farmers, most of whom share Bishop’s opposition to removal, are left with nothing. — Dam lessons for Snake River, Northwest from Klamath River situation, Idaho Statesman, 2/4/16

… hotter scenarios end the century with lake levels that are 20 to 30 feet lower than their warmer scenario counterparts. — Truckee Basin Study, US Bureau of Reclamation, 2/2/16

I think they’re cleverer than the average fish.” — Marine ecologist Jim Roberts, New Zealand National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, NIWA goes fishing in octopus’s garden, NZ City, 2/5/16

Williamson Creek Flood Mitigation Buyout Project

Austin, Texas is far from the only city that allowed development of flood-prone land and came to regret it. However, it is now moving to buy homes to restore a flood plain. Click on the map to learn more about the Williamson Creek project.

Her realtor and the seller’s agent told her the house was in a flood plain but said it was not a dangerous purchase. — Austin City Council approves more Williamson Creek flood plain buyouts, 2/4/16

The industry-funded organization currently is promoting lobster tails for Super Bowl “tailgating” parties, part of an effort to move frozen lobster tails from last year’s catch. — Maine lobster industry as warm water suggests repeat of disastrous 2012 season, Portland Press Herald, 2/4/16

“Marco Rubio is a defeatist. He has not helped us. He is a waste of time to us.” — Miami Mayor Philip Levine, South Florida is sinking. Where is Marco Rubio? Newsweek, 1/28/16

“Sure, but I can tell you right now that I’m not going to destroy our economy. The climate’s never been the same. It’s always changed.” — Presidential candidate and junior US Senator from Florida Marco Rubio responding to request by Pinecrest Mayor Cindy Lerner  for him to meet with 15 South Florida mayors to discuss their concerns about climate change, YouTube/ClimateTruth.Org, 2/4/16

“The sea will rise. Annapolis will not escape this.”  — Former mayor Ellen Moyer, City wasted head start on sea-level rise, Capital Gazette, 2/5/16

Twitter Mace clip“ … it’s not a lead issue; it’s an iron issue, which is not a health issue. But it’s obviously not the water people want to see coming out of their faucets.” — Jimmy Guidry, Louisiana health officer, State says St. Joseph’s brown drinking water is safe, Baton Rouge Advocate, 2/2/16

If you can’t get a goddamn latte, make do with Cîroc’s limited- edition tribute Blue Steel vodka and drink every time there’s a celebrity cameo or someone does the Magnum look. Mix with water because as the Z-man says: “Moisture is the essence of wetness, and wetness is the essence of beauty.” —  Who’s who in Zoolander 2: The really, really, really ridiculously good-looking people are back in a new film– and this time even Justin Bieber is doing a Blue Steel, London Evening Standard, 2/5/16

“I came up with the name because my astrological chart had no water in it.” — Maurice White, Earth, Wind & Fire founder Maurice White dead at 74, Chicago Tribune,  2/5/16

Click on the map to be taken to the US Drought Monitor for Puerto Rico as of 2/2/16

Click on the map to be taken to the US Drought Monitor for Puerto Rico as of 2/2/16

“…how much did we hear about the California drought? How many people heard about the Puerto Rican drought here?” — Gretchen Sierra-Zorita, National Puerto Rican Agenda, The White House And Congress Debate Efforts To Address Puerto Rico’s Growing Economic Crisis, WAMU,  2/3/16

“Imagine how much it costs to have an ice-skating rink in the tropics.” — non-partisan San Juan policy analyst Sergio Marxuach, How free electricity helped dig $9 billion hole in Puerto Rico, New York Times, 2/1/16

“The integrators [such as Perdue] control every aspect of poultry production — they own the feed, the own the birds — but the only aspect they don’t take responsibility for is the manure.”–  A Proposed Maryland Law wants to Make Big Chicken Producers Responsible for their Poop, Climate Progress, 2/3/16

“There’s no way the fine will ever be paid.” — US District Judge Thomas Johnston at sentence hearing for Freedom Industries for the 2014 West Virginia chemical spill impacting an estimated 300,000 across nine counties, Freedom fined $900K for Elk spill, Charleston Gazette-Mail, 2/5/16

“Nobody bothers you.” — 17-year-old Josh Feld, The chill’s a thrill for New England’s winter surfers, Boston Globe, 2/5/16

Hat tips to hydrogeologist Tom Myers for the Cloud Appreciation Society link, the Great Basin Water Network for the Sierra Wave item about Los Angeles Department of Water & Power well proposals and Michael Campana for the top Tweet from Texas.

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