The week that was, 2/21-27/2010

Posted on | February 27, 2010 | No Comments

Click on the image to be taken to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Center for Tsunami Research to see how models calculate earthquake reverberations in the ocean. The models allow time for evacuation alerts. NBC reported that "tsunami waves began hitting the Hawaiian islands at "exactly the time scientists predicted."

The tsunami raced across the Pacific Ocean at the speed of a jetliner after the quake hit Chile hours earlier. — Quake-triggered tsunami rushes ashore in Hawaii,”  AP / Seattle Times, February 27, 2010*

… the sea level rose almost three feet at Hilo, surging and receding numerous times at intervals of about 20 minutes. — Tsunami waves crossing the Hawaiian Islands,” NBC Hawaii News Now, February 27, 2010. Click here for time-lapse video.

… if one plate dives under the other, which is probably what occurred early Saturday off the coast of Chile, it will displace “a huge column of water.” — Solomon Yin, director of the Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory, Oregon State University, “Tsunami magnitude difficult to predict,” Los Angeles Times, February 28, 2010**

“All you have to do is think of someone who enjoys showing off and there’s a good chance they’ve got a tank. The trouble is, most of them don’t know the first thing about fish.” Andrew Whiston, managing director of London aquarium supplier Ultimate Aquatics, “Multi-million pound aquariums might be the latest status symbol, but would you want one in your living room?” Daily Mail, February 27, 2010

“12,300 pounds of sheer rage” — PETA captive wildlife director Debbie Leahy’s description of the killer whale Tilikum, “Captive killer whale kills one more SeaWorld Trainer,” The PETA Files, February 24, 2010

“There was a small problem, a simple crack, and the water leaked.” — Unnamed police official, “Dubai Mall partly evacuated after aquarium leak,” Reuters, February 25, 2010. Click here for You Tube recording of the small problem.

“It gave it a pretty big nudge.’’ — Australian Antarctic Division glaciologist Neal Young on the impact on the Mertz Glacier of an iceberg the size of Luxembourg, “Two massive icebergs floating off Antarctica,” AP / Boston Globe, February 27, 2010

Getting into the lucrative horror genre isn’t just high-minded in this case. It’s good business. — The New York Times on the producers of “An Inconvenient Truth” turning to a remake of George Romero’s “The Crazies,” “Homicidally unhinged, but for a cause,” February 21, 2010

“As of now our treated water is A-plus. With the government money and a few more steps it will need to go to A-plus-plus before people can actually drink it.” — Wide Bay Water Corporation’s David Wiskar on a new $36 million wastewater treatment plant in Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia, “From your toilet to your tap,” Fraser Coast News, February 27, 2010

"The ideal city." Leonardo da Vinci 1488. Source: Universal Leonardo. Click on the image to learn how da Vinci envisioned buildings as "hydraulic machines." Or click on the Wall Street Journal link to be taken to a review of an interpretative da Vinci show now in its last weeks in New York.

Around 1482, Leonardo wrote a letter to Lodovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, stating that “in time of peace” he could channel water, build public and private buildings, paint and sculpt as well as anyone. —Plain-spoken pictures,” Wall Street Journal, February 27, 2010

“For this particular project, we are going to have to build a dam and construct a reservoir.” — Jeff Littrell, water director for Okaloosa County, Florida, “Okaloosa will use Shoal’s water — eventually,” Crestview Bulletin, February 23, 2010

By bullying and burning bridges, Westlands risks becoming a pariah in the water world. — Westlands wins, but at what cost?” Sacramento Bee editorial, February 27, 2010

To me, it says that they don’t think they have allies, and that they think that being adversarial in court is their best remaining option. — On the Public Record on why Westlands Water District flounced out of the Association of California Water Agencies after pressuring Senator Dianne Feinstein to take a ruinous, temporarily aborted run at the Endangered Species Act in order to increase water deliveries to their district, “No one likes large, unpredictable actors,” February 25, 2010

“I reserve the right to bring it back should it become necessary.” — Senator Dianne Feinstein on withdrawing a widely decried rider to a jobs bill that aimed to weaken Chinook salmon protections under the Endangered Species Act, from her press staff, “Senator Feinstein welcomes news of more water for Central Valley farmers,” February 26, 2010

“Senator Feinstein seems to think that species extinction is a reasonable water management strategy.” — Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute, quoted in Feinstein water transfer bill would hurt salmon, destroy wetlands, critics say,” Sacramento Bee, February 21, 2010

The law spells out rigorous requirements for water conservation, including things like runoff limits and strict irrigation-system rules. Council members said the law is well-intentioned, but it is bureaucracy run amok. — Fresno City Council cool to water law,” Fresno Bee, February 25, 2010

“We are not yet out of the woods, but the light at the end of the tunnel is getting very bright.” — Contra Costa Water District Assistant General Manager Kurt Ladensack, “State water announcement a mixed bag,” San Jose Mercury News, February 26, 2010

“Any cloud that comes my way, I’ll hurl a lightning bolt at it.” — Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, “Venezuela on verge of collapse, thanks to Hugo Chavez,” McClatchy News Service opinion piece by Joel Brinkley, February 26, 2010

“Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to store another seven to fourteen days worth of moisture in the soil?” — University of Minnesota soil scientist Jeff Strock when presenting results showing that a controlled drainage experiment significantly reduced nitrogen run-off, however it didn’t produce higher crop yields, “Drainage project produces less than stellar results,” Worthington Daily Globe, February 26, 2010

Indus River Delta. Photo: Michael Foley, Flickr.The mismanagement by Pakistan coupled with the fact that Indus waters carry more silt — giving rise to real and ever-worsening problem of siltation — has resulted in Indus waters not reaching the whole length of the canals in Pakistan. To compound matters, deforestation and rising temperatures mean a huge depletion in flow of water to Pakistan. Islamabad recognises the problem is going to deepen with analysts projecting a water deficit of 30% by 2025. Like in the case of many of its other problems, it has decided to deflect the attention towards India. —Water Pakistan’s diversionary tactic?” The Times of India, February 23, 2010

“There’s mistrust and a lack of confidence.” — Syed Jamaat Ali Shah, Indus Water commissioner of Pakistan, “Distrust complicates India-Pakistan river disputes,” Reuters, February 24, 2010

Update 2/28/2010. *AP’s tsunami story is changing as its Pacific region reporters constantly update it. ** The Los Angeles Times story outlining the difficulty in predicting tsunami magnitude was added on the grounds of sheer relevance, although it appeared in The week that is, ie today. The OtPR quote was added along with a link to the Center for Tsunami Research.

For a full round-up of California water news, go to Aquafornia, the news feed of the Water Education Foundation.


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