The week that was, 12/26/2010-1/1/2011

Posted on | January 2, 2011 | 1 Comment

Tropical Storm Tasha caused flooding that affected an estimated 200,000 people in Queensland, Australia. Image: NASA. Click on the image to be taken to the Earth Observatory.

“This is without a doubt a tragedy on an unprecedented scale.” — Queensland Premier Anna Bligh on Australian floods covering an area larger than France and Germany combined, Floods in northeast Australia strand 200,000, AP / Los Angeles Times, December 31, 2010

… parts of the South had their first white Christmas since records have been kept. — East Coast blizzard strands travelers, frustrates drivers, Los Angeles Times, December 27, 2010

Around 32,000 properties are still without water in Belfast and surrounding towns after pipes burst during the freezing weather and subsequent thaw before Christmas, Water torture: Tankers on standby with supplies for Ulster as families tell of misery, Daily Mail, December 31, 2010

A key piece in diverting and holding floodwaters was the $336 million Army Corps of Engineers’ Tropicana and Flamingo Washes Project. Federal money paid much of the price tag, $239 million. The project removed 18.8 square miles of flood zone by constructing eight basins and 28 miles of channel. Flood control a success, Las Vegas Review Journal, December 28, 2010

A weakened department rolled into another agency could remove powerful voices in opposition to the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s plans for the water pipeline. — I-Team: Changes in the making for Nevada agriculture, CBS affiliate Channel 8, Las Vegas, December 31, 2010

The New York Times' Ken Johnson writes of the paintings of 18th century Zen master Master Hakui, "His mostly brush-drawn imagery depicts older masters, landscapes, scenes of daily life and mythological visions with a relaxed yet exacting line and wonderful sensitivity of touch." Click on the image to be taken to the website of the New York Japan Society, where the exhibit "The Sound of One Hand: Paintings and Calligraphy by Zen Master Hakui" is in its last week.

“Initially, we want to extend existing cities into the water, but my dream is to realise an entire floating city. The Maldives is slowly being submerged and with this technology we could make new islands and combine them with artificial coral reefs.” — Delft architect Bart Roeffen, Beat the floods, build a house on the water, Sunday Times, December 26, 2010, available via ProQuest without pay wall

“It’s largely ocean, but I remind people it’s not all ocean. There are two parts to the story.” — National Fisheries Service oceanographer Bill Peterson, Good news, bad news for fish in Delta, Contra Costa Times, December 30, 2010

“As ranking member he fought to restore abundance as the principal objective of federal water and power policy and to protect jobs by factoring people back into the water supply equation.” — Rep Doc Hstings (R-WA) on record of anti-ESA, anti-federal government California Republican congressman Tom McClintock, McClintock appointed chairman House Water and Power Subcommittee, Mountain Democrat, January 2, 2011*

Brown’s office said the incoming administration has notified [Lester] Snow, a Democrat who was the state’s water chief before being named head of the resources agency by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, that he will not be asked to stay on for the Brown administration… — Brown to shake up environmental posts, Los Angeles Times, December 27, 2010

Brain freeze is creeping in, a dull hammer at the back of my neck, and my chin is blue-purple and anaesthetised – I may be dribbling, I have no idea. — Cold swimming: Come on in, the water’s icy, The Independent, December 28, 2010

Now, the state and its neighbors on the river just want to get by one year at a time, hoping next year is the one when the drought ends, the river swells and the lake level begins to recover. — Arizona drought prompts unusual water proposal, The Arizona Republic, December 26, 2010

“If anyone in this country thinks the cities are not going to try and buy the whole thing, they haven’t been paying attention.” — Arkansas Valley “Super Ditch” president and Rocky Ford, Colorado farmer John Schweizer, Sharing the water: An idea takes root, Pueblo Chieftain, December 31, 2010

“It seems like it’s unusual because we’ve had a fairly long dry spell. In reality, you would expect this to happen several times each winter, and it’s not a problem. We’re just trending back toward normalcy.” — Rob Hartman, California-Nevada River Forecast Center hydrologist, Winter releases from Folsom Dam, change rivers’ character, Sacramento Bee, December 30, 2010

“When our customers save water, it helps us save water and have reliability for other customers.” — Darlene Pharris, Suburban Water Systems conservation manager, ‘Smart’ irrigation project to save city thousands of dollars in water use, Whittier Daily News, December 28, 2010

Aquifer illustration. Source: US Geological Survey. Click on the image to be taken to the USGS for Schools primer on groundwater.

“We are facing the fact that large populations and limited water resources are unevenly located.” — Minister of water resources Chen Lei, Disasters challenge China’s water supply, China Daily, December 30, 2010

It’s an unfortunate fact that we are pulling water out of major American aquifers at a faster rate than Mother Nature recharges them. — Recharging the battery made of water, Roc Doc column, Washington State University Today, December 21, 2010*

*An asterisk indicates that a story comes from a week outside the review’s framework.

I am sad to report that I will be on assignment in the New Year and  The Week that Was will be suspended until further noticeFor 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 site has a compilation of stories on hydraulic fracturing that may be of use to those weighing up arguments about its environmental impact. – Emily Green, January 2, 2011

This post has been updated. The I-Team item was added on January 3, 2011 at 9.22am.


One Response to “The week that was, 12/26/2010-1/1/2011”

  1. Cynthia Barnett
    January 4th, 2011 @ 8:23 pm

    The last paragraph in this post is the only thing I’ve ever read in The Week That Was that I didn’t relish. Thank you so much for the liveliest water news anywhere. Wish I had said so before now. And, can’t wait to read said assignment.

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