The week that was, 12/12-18/2010

Posted on | December 19, 2010 | No Comments

Pineapple Express rains hit Southern California. Map: National Weather Service. Click on the image for your forecast.

“I call La Niña the diva of drought for Southern California. But the rainfall looks like El Niño.” — Jet Propulsion Laboratory oceanographer Bill Patzert, Rainstorms to keep drenching Southern California, Los Angeles Times, December 19, 2010

The Pineapple Express’ arrival not only signals the start of [Southern California’s] annual rainy season, but also threatens to unleash huge low-elevation downpours, which by Christmas Eve (next Friday) could amount to 8 to 12 inches adjacent to southern California’s mountains outside Los Angeles and San Diego–enough rain to provoke flooding and mudslides, particularly along westward facing slopes. — Pineapple Express to bring flooding rains, Chicago Weather Center, December 17, 2010

As rain fell outside City Hall on Friday morning, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved the proposed Low Impact Development ordinance. . . on consent.  — Heal the Bay president Mark Gold, Let it rain!, Spouting Off, December 18, 2010

December storms featured by NASA. Click on the image to see them full resolution.

“After years of drought, growing stress on water supplies, and with the Bay-Delta in full environmental collapse, it has become clear to everyone that the status quo for California’s water infrastructure is no longer an option.” — Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Obama Administration Announces Support for Essential Elements of the California Bay-Delta Conservation Plan, December 15, 2010

The Bay-Delta Conservation Plan process has been open, collaborative, and active in soliciting public participation and comment from a broad and balanced variety of public and private interests. — Highlights of the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan, California Department of Water Resources, December 15, 2010

The Department of Water Resources today increased its projected deliveries of State Water Project water in 2011 to 50 percent of contractors’ requests. — Press release, California Department of Water Resources, December 17, 2010

A federal judge yesterday threw out a federal scientific study that forms the basis for protecting the delta smelt in California’s sprawling Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. — Judge Discards ‘Sloppy Science’ by FWS on Delta Smelt, December 15, 2010

Oh hah hah hah ha ha ha hah hah ha hah hah!!  HAH HAH hah hah ha hah ha ha HAhaha ha! — Commentary on jubilation about Judge Wanger’s decision by The Pacific Legal Foundation, a self-styled think tank opposed to Bay-Delta fish preservation under the Endangered Species Act, On the public record, December 18, 2010

The federal government identified 13 scams in which water department contracts worth tens of millions of dollars were steered to a friend of former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. — Indictment puts Detroit water dept. future in question, Michigan Radio, December 17, 2010

“Typically, gum after you’ve actually chewed it has very oil-like properties. We’ve put a polymer in so now water will actually stick to the outside of the chewing gum, so when you’re trying to remove it you’re breaking oil and water rather than oil and oil.” — Terence Cosgrove, professor of physical chemistry at Bristol University, The wad squad: Enterprising experts are on a quest to combat chewing gum on our pavements, The Independent, December 17, 2010

“Just a few months ago, [the Central Utah Project] was a really good idea for this administration.” — Rep Jim Matheson, D-Utah, Utah reps press for Central Utah Project money, Salt Lake Tribune, December 16, 2010

It’s about the rich versus the poor. — Mario Cruz of Uvalde, District 14 representative on the Edwards Aquifer Authority board, on a pipeline proposed to tap the Edwards Aquifer for San Antonio, SA covets Western Aquifer’s water, San Antonio Express News, December 14, 2010

The Beneficial Use Reconnaissance Program – more familiar as BURP – was first conducted in 1993 as a pilot program to track the health of some 96,000 miles of Idaho streams, plus the state’s beloved lakes. — Editorial, Idaho should restore funds for water monitoring, The [Spokane] Spokesman-Review, December 17, 2010

NASA animation peels back cloud cover to show vapor in this 2005 article on the workings of a "Pineapple Express." Click on the image to be taken to NASA.

“We’re trying to show our neighbors to the south, namely Florida and Alabama, as well as the judge [Paul Magnuson] that we’re doing a pretty good job with water conservation.” — Jim Scarborough, Gwinnett County delegate to the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District, Water panel passes new conservation measures, Atlanta Journal Constitution, December 15, 2010

“At a time when our nation needs jobs and domestic investment more than ever, the Haynesville Shale has been a flu shot for northern Louisiana and East Texas.” — Oklahoma City gas company executive Kevin McCotter, Gas drilling tactic fuels a boom and health concerns; in Louisiana, a windfall is clouded by tainted water and dead cattle, USA Today, December 14, 2010 (for more stories on the impact of gas mining on water, click here)

As much as half of Louisiana’s oyster crop was wiped out this summer not by oil but by freshwater diversions opened by the state in an effort to flush oil out of wetlands east of the Mississippi River and in Barataria Bay. — Oystermen debate oil spill recovery, The [Houma, Louisianna] Courier, December 16, 2010

… the oil industry might need more water per year than is used by metro Denver each year … Oil shale’s thirst is a threat to West, Denver Post, December 17, 2010

“Yesterday afternoon I saw him give one of the worst received talks that I have ever seen.” — Environment and energy reporter Alex Chadwick interviewed on public radio from Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, where Colorado University’s Douglas Kenney gave a presentation at the The Colorado River Water Users 2010 convention telling the assembled water managers that they were going to run out of water, Stop using so much water, The Madeleine Brand Show, KPCC, December 17, 2010

If confirmed by the City Council, Ron Nichols, managing director of the energy practice of Navigant Consulting Inc., would become the sixth general manager to lead the nation’s largest municipally owned utility since Villaraigosa took office in 2005. He also would be the first in three years to lack previous political ties to the mayor. — Villaraigosa’s DWP pick an outsider, Los Angeles Times, December 15, 2010

“We started asking, ‘Who uses large amounts of water in our city government that we could talk to first?’ ” — Governor-elect John Hickenlooper on the strategy used when he was mayor of Denver to reduce water consumption, Hickenlooper may adopt state water standards, Pueblo Chieftain, December 14, 2010

“Conservation is a beneficial use of water.” — Ag chief offers strong comments to farmers on health care, water, Hutchinson [Kansas] News, December 11, 2010

The researchers looked for 11 contaminants and found 10. Many were found in a high percentage of samples, though all were at trace concentrations. A flame retardant known as TCEP, for example, was found in 93 percent of the samples. The insecticide, DEET, was found in 89 percent; the anti-convulsion Carbamazepine in 85 percent; caffeine in 48 percent. — In OC’s water, traces of drugs, chemicals, Orange County Register, December 10, 2010*

… that half-a-loaf strategy is worthless. — The Washington Post on a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study showing that utilities replacing old pipe doesn’t protect children from lead poisoning unless private citizens complete the change-out within their homes, DC water study sharpens view of lead threat, Washington Post, December 12, 2010

This compilation is derived from searches on ProQuest, whose news database is accessible through most public libraries. For superbly edited California water news, go to Aquafornia, the newsfeed of the Water Education Foundation. For San Diego stories, try Groksurf’s San Diego. Or, for all things fresh water, do check in with WaterWired. For Bay-Delta debate, try On the public record.

This post includes several items from week before last and this week and was lightly edited shortly after posting.


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