The week that was, 9/19-25/2010

Posted on | September 26, 2010 | 1 Comment

Dust-covered snow in the San Juan Mountains of the Upper Colorado River basin, May 2009. Source: NASA/JPL-Snow Optics Laboratory. Click on the image to be taken to the report summary.

In the semi-arid regions of the Colorado Plateau and Great Basin, winds blow desert dust east, triggering dust-on-snow events. When dark dust particles fall on snow, they reduce its ability to reflect sunlight. The snow also absorbs more of the sun’s energy. This darker snow cover melts earlier, with some water evaporating into the atmosphere. — NASA study shows desert dust cuts Colorado River flow, NASA press release, September 20, 2010

… the “first-in first-served” system of allocating water rights has not worked in areas of high demand and must be overhauled. — Reference to a New Zealand study by the Land and Water Forum of proposed water management overhauls, Tougher controls on water likely, Dominion Post, September 23, 2010

“… getting enough water to the right places at the right time and attaining water quality goals throughout the entire ecosystem is proving to be more difficult and expensive than originally anticipated.” — Environmental scientist Frank Davis, Everglades restoration effort moving at sluggish pace, report says, Gannett News Service, September  23, 2010

“The South-North project is as significant as the Grand Canal or the Great Wall. On this hinges the long-term survival of China, the survival of future generations. We must build this for the people of Beijing … it will be a success.” — Wang Shushan, manager of the Middle Route of the South-North Water Diversion Project intended to divert water from the Yangtze River to Beijing, “Taking the flood to the drought; how a huge pipe could rebalance country; Chairman Mao’s musing on borrowing water from the South to aid the dry North is finally becoming a reality,” The Times of London, via Proquest

South-to-North Water Diversion Project Map. Source: Xinhua online. Click on the map to be taken to the English language page from the Chinese news agency. Those looking for the Times of London report should use their library cards to log into ProQuest because of a paywall to the website.

Whenever the talk in Georgia turns to the availability of water in the state, it seems that the Tennessee River is automatically included in the discussion. — Editorial, Target: The Tennessee River, Chattanooga Times Free Press, September 17, 2010

“I don’t think anyone has the right to sell the water off the land.” — Rocky Ford farmer Wes Herman, A strong future in farming, Pueblo Chieftain, September 20, 2010

“MWD is setting itself up for a perfect storm of skyrocketing water rates and plummeting water sales. This course of action amounts to a fiscal death-spiral for MWD and it’s financially unsustainable.”Maureen Stapleton, general manager, San Diego County Water Authority, which in June sued the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the largest water wholesaler in the US outside of Reclamation, alleging that San Diegans were forced to subsidize water for the district’s other member agencies, San Diego Union-Tribune, Water officials fear rising tide of rates, San Diego Union-Tribune, September 18, 2010

Marc Cloutier, seen here in a 1950s photo, was last week inducted into the Canadian Water Ski and Wakeboard Association Hall of fame, reports the Montreal Gazette. According to the report, Cloutier, who appeared on the Ed Sullivan and Tonight Show, was "a specialist at barefoot skiing, which was never totally accepted as a competitive sport, but became immensely popular during the many ski shows in which he appeared and would later direct." Photo source: J'ai la memoire qui tourne.

There is no reason that in one large city department, virtually all fairly paid public employees with lavish pensions should get extra pay for doing a good job. — Editorial, Yes, water rate hike, bonuses are linked, San Diego Union Tribune, September 20, 2010

… exempt wells account for about a quarter of the water that never makes it to the Yakima River. — Major study shows major impact of water on Valley, Yakima Herald-Republic, September 21, 2010

“In the short and medium term we need a structural plan to guarantee water. And in the long term, we need to raise the water table.” — Carlos Ruiz de la Hermosa, director of the Tablas de Daimiel national park in central Spain where drought led to peat fires in 2009, Spanish water wars put wetland at risk, Financial Times, September 17, 2010

“Agroexporters came with new government policies and tax exemptions. They bought water rights and started buying wells very far away. They have created jobs and that’s important, but the reality is they are depleting the water resources and when the water is gone they will leave. But what future is there for us? We will never leave.” — Peruvian farmer Juan Alvarez, How Peru’s wells are being sucked dry by British love of asparagus, The Guardian, September 15, 2010

NAWQA assessments of nutrients—including total nitrogen, nitrate, ammonia, total phosphorus, and orthophosphate—followed a nationally consistent approach in 51 of the Nation's major river basins and aquifer systems during 1992–2001 (shown in green). Source: USGS. Click on the map to be taken to the USGS.

Despite major Federal, State, and local efforts to control point and non-point sources and transport of nutrients, concentrations of nutrients have remained the same or increased in many streams and aquifers across the Nation since the early 1990s. — Synopsis of Circular 1350, Nutrients in the Nation’s Streams and Groundwater, US Geological Survey, September 23, 2010

“If you read the bill, it says nothing about clean water. It has everything to do with about jurisdiction and who’s going to own your property.” — Minnesota Tea Party Republican and congressional candidate Chip Cravaack on a bill amending the reach of the Clean Water Act proposed by his opponent, incumbent Democrat Jim Obserstar, Landowners oppose Oberstar, Clean Water Act, The Bemidji Pioneer, September 25, 2010

One of the biggest and most threatening problems associated with low water conditions is that it doesn’t help pollutants dissipate. — The drought continues, Lebanon (PA) Daily News, September 25, 2010

“We chill the water between 6 and 8 degrees Celsius, then we inject carbon dioxide into regular tap water to make the bubbles thin and tasty.” — ” Eau de Paris spokesman Philippe Burguiere, Paris offers water with bubbles, but no bottles, New York Times, September 21, 2010






“… this plan … will serve as a template for the removal of other obsolete dams across the country.” — California American Water president Rob MacLean, California American Water files application for removal of San Clemente Dam, Business Wire, September 23, 2010

“You’re not going to see a horror movie in Johannesburg in the next 18 months.” — Ntokozo Ngcwabe, South African Department of Mineral Resources policy chief, South Africa faces 30bn ran liability on abandoned mines, Business Week, September 15, 2010

“… the Department of Water Affairs and the Department of Mineral Resources are unwilling to do their job. It’s exactly like Angola, where the state exists to promote and protect the president’s family. It’s amazing to think this is what the left fought for.” — Khehla Shubane, researcher, Center for Policy Studies (South Africa), on groundwater contamination from South Africa’s thousands of derelict mines, “Like acid water off the government’s back,” Business Day, September 15, 2010, no link, via ProQuest

“If the price was so high, then why did Regional pay so much? They did it because they all made money. They all made money off of this. Yes, I believe there was insider trading going on.” — Connecticut alderman Stephen Blume on a petition asking the state attorney general to investigate the 2008 water sale of Birmingham Utilities Co. to the South Central Regional Water Authority, Ansonia targets ‘insiders’ in water sale, The New Haven Register, September 16, 2010

The Land and Water Legacy Amendment would create a constitutionally protected trust fund to boost water quality, reduce soil erosion, protect wildlife habitat and fund parks and trails. The constitutional amendment does not provide any funding for the measure. — Iowa measure would create environmental trust fund, Dubuque Telegraph-Herald, September 20, 2010

“Warmer summers could extend the UK tourist season and make tourist resorts more attractive.” — Adaptation subcommittee report on climate change, Householders to face extra charges for high water use, The Daily Telegraph, September 16, 2010

For a full round-up of California water news, go to Aquafornia, the newsfeed of the Water Education Foundation, or to UC Berkeley’s On Water.  For San Diego water news, try Groksurf’s San Diego. Or, for all things fresh water, do check in with WaterWired.


One Response to “The week that was, 9/19-25/2010”

  1. David Zetland
    September 28th, 2010 @ 10:06 pm

    Brilliant! Thanks!

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