Which is dirty: The water or the study?

One of the recurrent themes in today’s round-up of the news highlights of the week carries troubling contradictions. Two reporters who do exemplary jobs covering their local water beats, Staci Matlock of the Santa Fe New Mexican and Janet Zimmerman of the Riverside Press-Enterprise, quote local water managers saying that their water quality tests do not jibe with the ratings reported on December 12th by the Environmental Working Group, which were then later widely broadcast by the news media.

In the case of Riverside, the water authority contends that the group ranked the city based on tests of untreated groundwater. Santa Fe is still investigating what its water department sees as a discrepancy. Once shot out of a cannon into the press, even subjects as important as municipal water quality rarely get the follow-up that they deserve. This post-script to The week that was, 12/13-19/2009 is to urge

The week that was, 7/20-26/2009

“Dump more stuff into rivers up north, would you?” Harry Shearer, Le Show, July 26, on an AP report that pollutants flushed through the Mississippi river system into the Gulf of Mexico give rise to “Jubilee” days when normally deep water shrimp and crabs flee de-oxygenated water to shallower reaches, where they are more easily caught

“…city officials are considering tampering with the water that helped turn Portland into the craft brewers’ paradise it is today.” Portland Oregonian “End of Beervana” editorial on proposals to treat local water for the parasite cryptosporidium

“The manufacturers have got it down now, they’ve technologically got the tank and bowl working really well together.” Judi Ranton, Portland Water Bureau conservation manager on the 1.28 gallon single-flush efficiency toilet

The week that was, 7/13-19/2009

Click on the Pacific for link to the Sacramento Bee

“We have been too concerned in this country I think with dying of a lot of other things. I don’t think anyone realized that we were also running out of water.” Jon Stewart interviewing Robert Glennon on The Daily Show

“… despite the surge of interest in this region, the crisis did not materialize suddenly. Rather, the people of Mendota and their neighbors — in Kerman, Firebaugh, San Joaquin and a handful of smaller burgs — are the victims of a long and painful slide. This is California’s Detroit.” Los Angeles Times op-ed by Rick Wartzman, co-author of the book on JG Boswell, “The King of California”

“Not all El Ninos are created equal.” Steve Goldstein, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Sacramento, Sacramento Bee

There’s little doubt that the No. 1 issue in the 2010 gubernatorial campaign

The week that was, 7/6-12/2009

El Nino arrives.”  Click on the map of sea surface temperature anomalies to be taken to the July 9 announcement from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

”If I was a water manager in southern Utah, I’d be paying attention.” Larry Dunn, meteorologist-in-charge at the National Weather Service’s Salt Lake City office on the prospect of an El Nino. Salt Lake Tribune

“A Christmas gift in July?”  The Redding Record Searchlight on the prospect of an El Nino, via Aquafornia

“If next year is average or below average in water, we’ll have very serious problems.” Lester Snow, director of the California Department of Water Resources, Wall Street Journal via Aquafornia

The week (and a day) that was 6/28-7/5/2009

  • “…people are looking for responsible luxury.” From a July 4 Los Angeles Times roundup of fashionable private swimming pools
  • “Many of us think the situation is even more dire.” Jet Propulsion Laboratory climatologist William Patzert on the White House Climate Change report
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