The week that was, 7/27/2009 – 8/02/2009

Posted on | August 2, 2009 | No Comments


“This is the evening for a renewed call to focus on water …”  – Timothy Brick, chairman of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California  (pictured far right), moderating “A National Water Policy Event,” sponsored by the Chronicles Group, Tuesday July 28, 2009 in the US Capitol Visitor Center

“…we estimate that almost 19,000 bottles were not sold and used.” – Stephen Winman in the Santa Fe New Mexican on an art festival serving local tap water instead of bottled

“The ads suggest viewers go to to find out ‘the truth’ about bottled water, or to to spread an untruth.” – New York Times, An Environmental Group’s Campaign of Wry Lies Against Bottled Water”

“Let’s consider the very real possibility that Los Angeles residents saved water because they take the drought seriously.”- Los Angeles Times editorial on a 32-year low for June water use

“These measures alone will not solve California’s water crisis, but they are a good first step…” – Senator Barbara Boxer on the Boxer-Feinstein amendment to an energy and water bill to allow water transfers to the worst-stricken Central Valley farmers

“In three years, Atlanta will go back to 1975 permit levels.” – The self-described “sewer mayor” of Atlanta, Shirley Franklin, on a recent court decision giving Atlanta three years to get Congressional approval to use water from Lake Lanier for city municipal supplies, or to stop using it, “National Water Policy Event”

“Efficiency on the power and on the water side is an end objective. It’s an objective that this country has to embrace. We have to stop telling the American public that they can save money by conserving. You’re not going to eke out enough savings to prevent you from making the next rate increase … We have to stop lying to the Amercan public. It’s not going to save money. That doesn’t make it wrong. Let’s stop sugar coating it.” – Patricia Mulroy (second from the right, above), General Manager, Southern Nevada Water Authority at an USC meeting on energy and power

“The emerging boom in hydroelectric power pits two competing ecological perils against each other: widespread fish extinctions and a warming planet.” – Los Angeles Times on Pacific Northwest dams whose turbines are “blender blades to young salmon”

Bristol Bay, Alaska. Photo: Luis Cinco, Los Angeles Times

Bristol Bay, Alaska. Photo: Los Angeles Times

“This kind of activity is being treated . . . as if there’s some guy out there with a mule, a pick ax and a shovel turning over a little bit of rock and looking for a nugget” – Steve Cotton, executive director Trustees for Alaska in the Los Angeles Times on a proposal to build one of the biggest copper and gold mines in the world above Bristol Bay, Alaska

“If you don’t plan ahead, you get blindsided in the future. Why not have city residents start thinking about water rationing now?”  – VB Price, The New Mexico Independent via the Albuquerque Journal

“Every day, when you wake up, you’ve got to figure out if there’s water for the day.” – Lena Fowler (fourth from the right above at the “National Water Policy Event”), Arizona Coconino County Board of Supervisors District 5 on the Navajo water supply

“I have been representing Pat for almost 10 years and representing a host of other water utilities.” – Marcus G. Faust, lawyer and Washington DC natural resources lobbyist, during introductions at an USC-sponsored energy and water meeting in Washington DC

“The 2007 accord made fundamental differences in the way we view water … It’s not there to put lawyers’ children through school.” Patricia Mulroy, General Manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, eight hours after leaving the energy meeting with her lawyer and lobbyist, Marcus G. Faust

“They’re busy divvying up the water before they know whether any can be removed without causing irreparable harm to ranches, wildlife, vegetation and the Great Basin National Park.” Salt Lake Tribune editorial on news that Nevada and Utah may have reached an agreement on water releases for Patricia Mulroy’s Las Vegas pipeline project

“We have to make people get over the yuck factor.” – David Nahai, General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (fifth from the left in the top photo), speaking about recycled water at the “National Water Policy Event”

“It used to be that people in water quantity never talked to people in water quality.” – Peter Silva, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Water, US Environmental Protection Agency at the “National Water Policy Event”

“Fecal pollution at 227 California beaches rose 4% from 2007 to 2008, according to a Natural Resources Defense Council study released Wednesday. Los Angeles County had the worst beach water quality in the state, with 20% of its water samples violating state daily maximum standards.” – Los Angeles Times

“The planet is running a fever, but there are no emergency rooms.” Michael Connor, Commissioner of the US Bureau of Reclamation, on the emerging global fresh water crisis, “National Water Policy Event”

“We have built [water supply] systems around the notion that there are winners and losers. Some of us will have water and some of us won’t. Some of us will enjoy economic prosperity and some of us won’t.”  – Patricia Mulroy, General Manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, which gets the smallest allocation of water from the Colorado River of all seven states served by it, 300,000 acre feet per year in contrast to California’s 4.4 million, speaking at the “National Water Policy Event”

A new species of worm discovered in a comprehensive marine census. Via Los Angeles Times

A new species of worm discovered in a comprehensive marine census. Via Los Angeles Times

“Some turtles circumnavigate the Pacific, paddling from Baja to Borneo. And a gray-headed albatross — a member of the world’s most threatened family of birds — stunned researchers when it raced around the globe in 46 days flat.” Los Angeles Times on a marine census nearing completion, via Aquafornia

“I want my children and grandchildren to live in Las Vegas. I don’t want to have to send them somewhere else.” – Patricia Mulroy when asked by Oregon professor Michael Campana, publisher of WaterWired, about the wisdom of “putting people where we don’t have the water” at the “National Water Policy Event”

“… holes in the state’s water bucket that are spreading as fast as the holes in the ground.” – Arizona Republic on the losing battle to prevent groundwater mining, via Aquafornia

“That’s the trick, I guess. Soak your doughnut in water.” – Seattle Times critic Andrew Matson reporting on a doughnut-eating contest

Photo: Yakima Herald-Republic

Photo: Yakima Herald-Republic

“Could you imagine what kind of world of hurt that we’d be in if we had a drought in this kind of year?” – Tom Carpenter, Yakima Valley apple grower on the need to constantly water the fruit to keep it from burning up in a heat wave, Seattle Post-Intelligencer via Yakima Herald-Republic

Editor’s note: Earlier this week I promised a report on the “National Water Policy Event.” The incorporation of quotes from it here is the closest that I can come to that, other than to add that the hosts were generous, there was a quartet playing at the reception, the screened film “Running Dry” was quite strong about the crisis overtaking the Southwest and important people made worthy speeches.

The organizers clearly hoped that this event would underscore the need for a comprehensive water policy and, presumably, the appointment of a water czar of some sort to orchestrate it. That’s not a bad idea, if that was the idea. -Emily Green, 8/02/2009

This post has been updated.


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