The week that was, 8/23-29/2009

Posted on | August 29, 2009 | No Comments

MWD 3.8 mile tunnel through San Bernardino Mountains. Photo: Reuters/Jill Serjeant

A massive mechanical mole surfaced on Wednesday from a nearly 5-year journey under [the San Bernardino] mountains in the final stages of a $1.2 billion tunnel project that will supply extra water to drought-hit Southern California. August 20th Reuters report via August 27th comment in Aguanomics

“Every jock thinks he can run a restaurant.” — Chris Matthews on MSNBC commenting during a cutaway to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger mingling among more seasoned politicians at Ted Kennedy’s funeral

“We have studied the Delta literally to death.” — Arnold Schwarzenegger in a letter to California Senate Speaker pro tem Darrell Steinberg and Assembly Speaker Karen Bass in which the governor demands new dams and groundwater storage as part of any bill he would be willing to sign, Aquafornia

We’ve never seen an entire package [of bills] like this that advances water policy and makes the responsible plumbing changes. We’re at the brink of a sustainable water future for California — if we seize the moment. — Timothy Brick, Chairman of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, op-ed in the Los Angeles Times

… the state’s budget problems have made it impossible to plan for the future. — San Francisco Chronicle editorial on the estimated  $23-$54 billion price tag for a comprehensive Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta restoration and water plan

Assemblywoman Anna Caballero is coauthoring an $11.7 billion water bond to fund a range of projects …. They include allocating money to “every single watershed” in the state  … – Hollister Free Lance

The document says climactic when it means climatic. — From a detailed parsing of a draft version of the Sustainable Watershed Planning Act by WaterWired

Normal work flow in the kitchen was once interrupted by water streaming from above. After mopping up, the crew removed the ceiling panels to find the leak’s source … they found no water pipes, nothing there containing any water. Strangest of all, the removed panels were not even damp, even though a flood had passed through them not long before. — “Unexplainable events bring paranormal investigators to the Venetian [Theater],” Hillsboro Argus

It should have been a perfect day for Vincent Petit, finishing an afternoon gallop on a wide expanse of beach along a pastel-colored bay. Instead, he and his mount were sucked into a hole of noxious black sludge. — AP/Seattle Times

Click here for an USGS photo tour through Powell country

Click here for an USGS photo tour through Powell country

It’s ironic that Powell’s name is on a body of water created from one of the most environmentally controversial dams ever — Powell once was involved in a series of reports to Congress on the unsuitability of the West for agriculture based on the lack of water. — Denver Post travel piece on boating on the Colorado River reservoir, Lake Powell, named after explorer John Wesley Powell

..  far easier than debating the project on its merits is to dig up — sometimes literally — a “species” hardly anyone has ever heard of … — Las Vegas Review Journal on obstacles posed by the Endangered Species Act to a proposed 300-mile pipeline from Las Vegas to the foot of the Great Basin National Park

In the minds of some, any water that flows to the sea (or delta or wetland) in a river is wasted.  — Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute, in the San Francisco Chronicle

Unlike the $3 billion clunkers program, which required an old car to be traded in, consumers do not have to turn in an old appliance to get a rebate on a new one. — San Francisco Chronicle on a pending appliance version of the Cash for Clunkers program

August present, August past with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa:

August 26, 2009: He [the mayor] said an error in the system when it was installed two years ago caused sprinklers to run on nights other than Mondays or Thursdays … Villaraigosa said he sleeps heavily and couldn’t hear the sprinklers.” — Associated Press

August 10, 2007: Villaraigosa blamed his comparatively high water use at Mount Washington on gophers that chewed holes through a rubberized drip-irrigation system. — Los Angeles Times

T. Boone Pickens’ Mesa Water L.P., the Canadian River Municipal Water Authority and the city of Amarillo have spent tens of millions of dollars to buy water rights for more than 700,000 acres. They believe water can be sold separately from land deals under the state’s rule of capture. — AP / Denver Post

Letting your faucet run for five minutes uses about as much energy as letting a 60-watt light bulb run for 14 hours. — EPA tip sheet via the Oregonian

NY Times graphic on history of "weather modification"

Click on the clouds being seeded to be taken to the New York Times story on the history of "weather modification."


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