The week that was 2/14-20/2010

Posted on | February 21, 2010 | No Comments

“The form works with the function,” Amale Andros, a principal with the architectural design firm WORKac, told the New York Times last week when explaining a whimsical schematic envisioning the Guggenheim Museum as a water park. The drawing is part of "Contemplating the Void: Interventions in the Guggenheim Museum," a publicity stunt celebrating the 50th anniversary of the museum. Click on the water tower to read the short interview with Andros and her WORKac partner Dan Wood.

“America’s biggest drinking problem isn’t alcohol: It’s lawn watering.” — Amy Vickers quoted in “Turf Wars,” Peter Gleick’s City Brights, San Francisco Chronicle, February 20, 2010

“I don’t believe the economic recovery of the state of Washington relies on cigarettes, candy, gum, bottled water and pop.” — Washington Governor Chris Gregoire on suggested tax increases that, among other things, would levy a penny an ounce on bottled water, “Gregoire proposes new taxes,” Seattle Times, February 17, 2010

Caracas and its surrounding areas have a reserve cushion of 370 days … — Alejandro Hitcher, Venezuelan environment minister and head of the state-run water utility Hidrocapital, “Venezuela to punish profligate water consumption,” EFE News Service, Madrid, February 17, 2010, link from the Latin American Herald Tribune

Newly hatched Chinook salmon. Source: US Fish and Wildlife Service. Click on the hatchling to be taken to the service's page giving the life cycle of the Oncorhynchus tshawytscha.

Salmon in our Columbia River leave, turn right at the Pacific Ocean and get caught off Canada and Alaska, mainly. Sacramento River salmon leave a crazy hydraulic machine known as the California Bay Delta, also turn right at the ocean and swim up into Oregon territory. That’s where we catch them, in ever dwindling numbers. — Oregonian editorial board, “Wrong turn for Oregon-bound salmon,” February 19, 2010

If cuts in water deliveries make it expensive to farm in such unsustainable places — well, maybe that’s as it should be. — Los Angeles Times editorial on government succumbing to pressure from corporate farm interests on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley to pump Bay-Delta water regardless on the long term effect on the Pacific salmon fishery, “Feinstein’s water meddling,” February 17, 2010

It would tell regulators that they “shall” operate the pumps at the upper end of the capacity allowed under two biological opinions protecting the smelt and salmon, he explained. It wouldn’t overturn the opinions. — The Bakersfield Californian on Central Valley congressman Jim Costa’s rear-guard politicking for Senator Dianne Feinstein’s proposed jobs bill rider to take water from fish to give it to agricultural interests on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, “Costa fighting to get more water pumped south,” February 19, 2010

Then there’s the Klamath-ized version of the “Field of Dreams” adage: If they tear down the dams, will the salmon come? — “A dam deal,” San Francisco Chronicle editorial on the pact to remove Klamath dams, February 20, 2010

The [NOAA Colorado Basin River Forecast center] predicts 5.8 million acre-feet of water will flow into Lake Powell from April through July, about 73 percent of the long-term average. A month ago, the center was forecasting an April-July runoff of 6.2 million acre-feet, or 78 percent of the long-term average. — Still little drought relief on the Colorado,” Waterblogged, Arizona Republic, February 17, 2010

“I received very few favorable comments.” — Rena Brand, Army Corps of Engineers regulatory specialist on the corps report summarizing public reaction to Aaron Million’s proposed pipeline from Wyoming to Colorado, called the “Regional Watershed Supply Project” by its private developers, the Million Conservation Resource Group, “Feds inspect water plan,” Denver Post, February 17, 2010

Although the water would be pumped out of the Green River and the Flaming Gorge Reservoir in Wyoming, the water would be generated from Colorado’s share under the Upper Colorado River Basin compact, which allocates the river’s water among seven western states. — Pipeline comments pour in,” Casper Star-Tribune report on the Million pipeline, February 17, 2010

“I’ve often wondered why somebody never made a science fiction movie about phytoplanktons.” — Lucy Cook-Hildreth, golden algae coordinator for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, “Golden algae’s spread a problem with no solution,” Austin American Statesman, February 17, 2010

… dyes introduced in northern Bexar County move through the [Edwards] aquifer as rapidly as two miles per day. This runs counter to claims that natural barriers limit such movement. —The language of water is often murky,” San Antonio Express-News, February 17, 2010

“They have regulated us out of our ownership of the groundwater …” — Attorney Tom Joseph, a plaintiff in Edwards Aquifer Authority and the State of Texas v Burrell Day and Joel McDaniel, which challenges  of the constitutionality of the authority and this week went to the Supreme Court of Texas, “Who owns groundwater in the aquifer?” San Antonio Express-News, February 18, 2010

One of the tragic ironies of living in a desert is the floods. — Water resources critical factor in Saudi progress,” Arab News, February 14, 2010

The Ichetucknee River is a natural wonder; a clear-flowing, spring-fed marvel. But it’s not what it used to be. A new study by the U.S. Geological Survey shows that the river has lost a quarter of its flow in the last century, with the largest decrease occurring in just the past 45 years. Moreover, there is a strong indication that much of the underground water that once fed the Ichetucknee is instead being siphoned off to provide water for populous Duval and Nassau counties. — From the Gainesville Sun editorial “Vanishing water,” February 16, 2010

More than a million devout Hindus bathed in the Ganges River Friday, braving the risk of terrorist attack, stampede and petty crime for the chance to wash away the sins of a lifetime and open the gateway to heaven after death. But perhaps the greatest threat to the devotees who flocked to Haridwar, India, on one of the most auspicious days of the triennial Kumbh Mela festival, was the water itself. — India’s holy Ganges to get a clean up,” Wall Street Journal, February 13, 2010, Brussels edition 2/15.


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