The week that was, 7/20-26/2009

Posted on | July 26, 2009 | No Comments

259328main_MSwatershed_HI“Dump more stuff into rivers up north, would you?” Harry Shearer, Le Show, July 26, on an AP report that pollutants flushed through the Mississippi river system into the Gulf of Mexico give rise to “Jubilee” days when normally deep water shrimp and crabs flee de-oxygenated water to shallower reaches, where they are more easily caught

“…city officials are considering tampering with the water that helped turn Portland into the craft brewers’ paradise it is today.” Portland Oregonian “End of Beervana” editorial on proposals to treat local water for the parasite cryptosporidium

“The manufacturers have got it down now, they’ve technologically got the tank and bowl working really well together.” Judi Ranton, Portland Water Bureau conservation manager on the 1.28 gallon single-flush efficiency toilet

“The water table’s fallin’ and fallin’ and fallin,’ like a whole lot of other people around here.” Wendell McLeod, general manager of Liberty Hill Water Supply Corp. and a 60-year resident of the town northwest of Austin, Texas, via AP / Denver Post

“Under state law, groundwater, unlike surface water, can be pumped virtually at will, unless limited by local governments or the courts. This legal delusion dates to California’s early days, when water resources seemed inexhaustible, and salmon were abundant in our rivers and streams. It remains in effect today despite what science and common sense tell us: Water moves constantly from the surface of the land, pulled by gravity out of our rivers and streams to fill the dry space created below ground when water is pumped out.” Sacramento Bee commentary by Mike Eaton, executive director of the Resources Legacy Fund, via Aquafornia

fissures5“These fissures could be in anyone’s backyard,” Iron County, Utah water manager Scott Wilson in the Salt Lake Tribune on a 2 1/2 mile long crack in the ground caused by over-pumping of the aquifer. For more information from the Utah Geological Survey, click on the fissure

“We’re just making sure there’s water for fish…” Matt Lindon, Utah’s assistant state engineer, on releases to protect endangered species in the Green River

“I no longer want to export California’s environmental quality, its water, sun and salmon, bundled into almonds and apricots.  I don’t want to do that even if a market supports it, even if people on the East Coast would like to eat what we grow.” On the Public Record blogging in brief on the Pacific Institute report claiming that Central Valley farmers could solve the water crisis by converting to drip irrigation

“This dry spell will end some day, but the front lawn might never recover.” Las Vegas Review-Journal on conservation measures in Southern Nevada, via the Great Basin Water Network and Aquafornia

People in California, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico “are going to tend to migrate to places where they have water.” David Little, Director of Planning, Denver Water, quoted by the Denver Post in response to an University of Colorado predicting that if global warming cuts the Colorado River’s flow by 20%,  the  system’s major storage reservoirs could be depleted by mid-century. These reservoirs serve an estimated 30 million people in seven states and Mexico.

dead_zone_noaa_web“Put the champagne on ice, but don’t open it.” Harry Shearer on the news that the Gulf of Mexico’s anticipated seven to eight-thousand square mile dead zone may only be 3,000 square miles this year, but that it is considerably deeper than previously thought

“The plant will be supplied with piped water from the city of Sacramento …” Sacramento Bee on one planned source of Nestle Pure Life and Arrowhead Mountain Spring water, via Aquafornia

“Reflecting pools are filled with green, smelly water.” AP story on the state of the National Mall outside of the Lincoln Memorial

“It wasn’t getting any use and had become the proverbial money pit to keep up.” Southern Californian home-owner who estimated that he was spending $200 a month for water, electricity and maintenance on his backyard pool before deciding to remove it, San Diego Union Tribune via Aquaforniapool-demo-224x300

“Lt. Gov. Gary Herbert evidently has no interest in ordering someone, anyone, to take a look at the canal that failed, burying a home so deeply and dangerously that it took four days to find the mother and her children who died there.” Peg McEntee, Salt Lake Tribune on the aftermath of the Logan canal tragedy

“Surviving Crooked Lake could have been Antigone cast in the wilds, were the acting and writing stronger.” Denver Post film critic

“There’s not one drop of water in the Arvada Center’s staging of Big River. Yet director Stephen Bourneuf still manages to water down one of the few Broadway musicals that can be as powerful in message as it is in music.” Denver Post theater critic

“… an assumption that uranium mining will have minimal impact on springs, people and ecosystems in the Grand Canyon is unreasonable …” University of Nevada hydrogeologist David Kreamer testifying for a bill that would bar new mining claims on 1.1 million acres of federal lands north and south of the Grand Canyon, AP / Salt Lake Tribune

“Fish need flowing water. Holding water behind dams when there’s plenty of wind power reduces that flow and harms fish. But sending enough water around the dam – not through the turbines – for fish reduces the ability to generate power that will be needed when the wind dies off.” Yakima Herald-Republic via Seattle Times on the delicate balance between water and power

“Among eight grocery stores the water division looked at, Smith’s on Cerrillos had the lowest water use, Albertsons on Zafarano Drive had the biggest decline in use, and Whole Foods had the highest water use per 10,000 square feet.” Santa Fe New Mexican on study tracking water use*


Provo photographer Mark Hedegren in a Washington County, UT reservoir. Photo: Salt Lake Tribune

“Hedengren is reshooting a controversial Life magazine photo essay originally compiled by world-famous photographers Ansel Adams and Dorothea Lange.” Salt Lake Tribune on a Provo photographers updating of “Three Mormon Towns”

“As Mayor, I will tell citizens the truth…” Albuquerque mayoral candidate Richard Romero in The New Mexico Independent on the need for water conservation

*Staci Matlock’s report on water savings in Santa Fe appeared week before last on July 15. I revive it because I missed it and it’s good.

This post has been updated.


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