You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Water’ category.
Or rather Cookie Jill, who rounds up today’s environmental news stories
violence hits brazil tribes in scramble for land.- the expansion of huge cattle ranches and industrial-scale farms in remote regions of brazil has produced a land scramble that is leaving the ancestors of brazil’s original inhabitants desperate to recover tribal terrains, in some cases squatting on contested properties – nytimes
strawberry farms suck spain dry. - for decades, local fruit farmers around doñana have used wells, legal or not, on the perimeter of the vast wetland on spain’s south-western coast. “If the doñana park were a patient, it would be on the point of entering the intensive care unit,” said eva hernandez of the world wildlife fund – the independent
fire retardants in food. - fire retardant chemicals are commonly found in household items like furniture and electronics. But a new study found them in a place you probably wouldn’t expect: food – living on earth
record heat marches on: texas and contiguous US had warmest spring on record. - much of texas has been getting something of a break from the history-making, headline-grabbing drought of 2011 in recent months, but the state’s excessive heat marches on. In 2012, texas had its warmest spring on record and its third warmest january-through-may period. – texas climate news
north texas water needs could cost billions in coming years. - meeting the water needs of north texas 50 years from now will require significant conservation, at least several new reservoirs, an unbending political will and a whole lot of money – dallas morning news
water war reignites as l.a. resists fixing some owens lake dust. -los angeles and the owens valley are at war over water again, with the city trying to rework a historic agreement aimed at stopping massive dust storms that have besieged the eastern sierra nevada since l.a. opened an aqueduct 99 years ago that drained owens lake. – latte times
the deadly legacy of america’s fields of gold. - richard nixon is remembered for his infamous part in the watergate scandal, but his lasting legacy may be a burgeoning army of people in the west who are too fat- the independent
virginia lawmakers avoid climate buzzwords. - state lawmakers discovered that they could not use the phrases “sea level rise” or “climate change” in requesting a study because of objections from republican colleagues. so they did away with all mention of sea level rise, substituting a more politically neutral phrase: “recurrent flooding.” – hampton roads virginian-pilot
groups fight back after conservatives try to dilute environmental laws. - discord between the tories and environmentalists began when the federal natural resources minister maligned environmental groups as radicals. it escalated with the introduction of a package of new laws, some directly targeting charities and environmental protections. – vancouver sun
longtime Hinkley residents haven’t looked back from community plagued with contaminated water. - now living near apple valley, california, the kearney family left behind their dream house in hinkley, which had turned into a nightmare due to a plume of carcinogenic chromium 6. Since then, they haven’t looked back. – san bernardino county sun
potomac named most endangered river. A conservation group says the potomac river is the most endangered river this year in the united states – that pollution in the potomac is decreasing water quality, threatening marine life and will become worse if congress rolls back national clean-water protections – voice of america
shell oil injunction forces greenpeace to get creative. - with a judge ordering greenpeace’s boats to stay away from shell’s arctic rigs, the anti-drilling organization turns to social media and other means of getting its message out – latimes
oil’s dirty price in north dakota. -oil and gas fracking operators in north dakota have dumped at least 1.7 million gallons of brine and 716,000 gallons of oil on the western plains between 2009 and 2011. and that’s just what they’ve reported – minneapolis star tribune
state allows industrial-scale exploration without hearings. - for the last 24 years, mining companies have been exploring for copper and gold on state lands in the headwaters of bristol bay.and they’ve done all that – with the state’s permission – without public notice, without inviting public comment, and without public hearings – anchorage daily news
house committee adopts bill banning epa, corps from issuing water act guidance. - the house transportation committee adopts bill to prohibit epa and army corps from finalizing guidance clarifying clean water act jurisdiction and from using that document to issue rules or decisions – bloomberg bna
nebraska cattlemen, politicians protest ‘weird’ epa flyovers. - epa’s use of aerial surveillance to nab clean water act violators on great plains farms isn’t sitting well with Nebraska farmers and lawmakers. the state’s congressional delegation criticized the practice in a letter last week to epa administrator lisa jackson. – greenwire
new wyoming supercomputer expected to boost atmospheric science. - this month, on a barren wyoming landscape dotted with gopher holes and hay bales, the federal government is assembling a supercomputer 10 years in the making, one of the fastest computers ever built and the largest ever devoted to the study of atmospheric science. – latte times
new orleans barge gate crack is likely to delay lake borgne project. - contractors have discovered a 15-foot-long, horseshoe-shaped crack in the bottom of a concrete barge gate designed to block hurricane storm surge from moving from the gulf Intracoastal waterway into the Industrial canal – new orleans times picayune (remember…this is the paper that is on the verge of extinction…imagine this important news not being told.
assessing consumer concerns about the meat industry. - tom philpott, who covers food and the agricultural industry for mother jones, raises concerns about bovine spongiform encephalopathy – mad cow disease – infiltrating the food chain. – npr
Out here on the Oregon High Desert local businesses and environmental conservation groups are partnering to conserve water, improve the fish and wildlife habitat and make the heart of the region’s Deschutes River more attractive to recreation and tourism.
The Deschutes River Conservancy’s (DRC) popular ten year old effort to provide incentives to landowners to conserve Deschutes River irrigation water by “leasing” their paid for but otherwise wasted water in order to leave that water in the river received a major boost this past month when Central Oregon’s largest brewery, The Deschutes Brewery, announced its partnership with the DRC and local irrigation districts to return an estimated one billion gallons of water to the Middle Deschutes River each year. Water that otherwise would be diverted to the irrigation system to be used to irrigate will instead remain in the river, with noticible improvement on fish and wildlife habitat as well as recreational opportunities along the river between Bend and Lake Billy Chinook.
DRC Director Tod Heisler announced the brewery has agreed to contribute $25,000 a year to lease water rights from landowners who otherwise have no use for water they are entitled to by their water rights. Oregon water law stands on a “use it or lose it” principle, meaning landowners with water rights must either use that water even if they have no wish to raise crops or livestock, or forfeit those water rights. As McMansions continue to sprawl across The High Desert many landowners find themselves holding water rights they have no use for, but are never-the-less unwilling to sell or forfeit. “This is not an insignificant investment,” said Heisler, it is “in fact something very big.”
The contribution will return nine cubic feet per second (cf/s) of water back into the Middle Deschutes, which now flows at about 160 cf/s, and the conservancy hopes that through conservation and rights acquisition to increase flows to 200 cf/s. Raising the flow will produce “measurable and visible conditions for fish and other wildlife,” said conservancy spokesperson Bea Armstrong, as well as making “it possible to float the river in sections where now even a kayak couldn’t go, boosting recreation and tourism by making the river more attractive to anglers, rafters and other users.”
The Deschutes Brewery had originally set its sights somewhat lower when considering the contribution, originally considering a donation equal to the amount of water used in the brewing and supply process – it takes about four gallons of water to produce one gallon of beer – but found that to be not all that much relative to how much has been removed from the Deschutes over the years. Deschutes produces around 250,000 thirty-one gallon barrels a year, leading their community involvement team to settle on a “nice round number that would make a noticible difference in the Middle Deschutes,” says brewery Chief Operating Officer Michael LaLonde: “one billion gallons,” or roughly fourteen times the amount of water used by the brewer’s facilities, suppliers and supply chain.
One billion gallons of water is equal to sixteen hundred olympic swimming pools, twenty-seven hundred football fields under a foot of water, eighteen million 55 gallon rain barrels, twenty-four million barrels of crude oil, seventy-five million kegs and almost two billion six packs of beer.
I interviewed Deschutes Brewery founder and CEO Gary Fish on my show Breakfast in Bend at KPOV, High Desert Community Radio. He considers the deal a permanent investment in the health and future of the river. “At this point we see no end to our commitment,” says Fish, “the future is always uncertain, but this is a long-term commitment on our part. These are issues important to our time, issues we can impact, can do something about, and our group within the company that is responsible for making these decisions thought this would fit perfectly with who we are and what we do. The fact that we can look out the window and see the results is for us extremely cool. Water is what defines us in the West, to a large extent, to say nothing of the fact it’s the most significant ingredient we use.”
“It’s a measure of who we are as a community.”
PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — New research shows that fluoride chemicals added to U.S. public water supplies are not reducing tooth decay as promoted and promised by government agencies, reports the New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, Inc. (NYSCOF).
Using federal statistics, the West Virginia University Rural Health Research Center reports that urban U.S. children, with more exposure to fluoridated water and dental care, have just as many cavities as less fluoridation-exposed rural children. (1)
The researchers write: “For children’s dental health measures, it was found that fluoridation rates were not significantly related to the measures of either caries or overall condition of the teeth for urban or rural areas.”
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says fluoridation reduces tooth decay. But, this study and others shows it hasn’t. Tooth decay crises are occurring in all fluoridated cities, states and countries. And, the CDC reports the incidence and severity of children’s primary tooth decay recently increased.
“Fortunes are wasted on fluoridation schemes that fail to prevent cavities while unnecessarily exposing children to fluoride’s adverse drug effects,” says attorney Paul Beeber, NYSCOF President.
Right there where it goes from white to yellow, that’s us in Bend, a notable change over the thirty years or so I’ve monitored this monitor. Back in the day we were in hard yellow right up into the low cascades, even into the tan here. Welcome to the New High Desert, moister, milder, more Willamette Valley, more Eugene like.
When Portland (Oregon) recently dumped eight million gallons of drinking water into the sewer because a man was caught on camera urinating in the city’s reservoir, the Associated Press picked up the story and National Public Radio’s “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!” couldn’t resist poking fun at it. After the laughs, a closer look at Portland’s public health hypocrisy gets deadly serious.
City officials won’t let its residents drink a cup of pee diluted by millions of gallons of water, but they’ll let them drink “A vast array of pharmaceuticals – including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones – have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans.” Every year, the EPA does a survey of “emerging contaminants” in drinking water. The 2009 report notes several toxins: sucralose, antimony, siloxanes, musks, nanomaterials, per-fluorinated compounds (PFCs), pharmaceuticals, hormones, drinking water disinfection byproducts, brominated flame retardants, perchlorate, dioxane, and pesticide degradation products.” It’s not raining sucralose (an endocrine disruptor).
You just keep telling yourself that, rube, it’s all just a hoax – as the
Western states flood while monster snowpacks melt
This has been caused by a winter marked by blizzard and an unusually cold and wet spring
Now there is a very real fear of localised flooding at those sites as the snowpacks melt under hotter, sunnier conditions in June.
A sudden thaw could mean millions of gallons of water rushing through river channels and narrow canyons.
Bob Struble, the director of emergency management for Routt County in north central Colorado, said: ‘This could be a year to remember.
‘All we can do is watch and wait.’
You just keep telling yourself, rube, that it’s all a hoax, while climate change is likely to diminish already scarce water supplies in the Western United States, exacerbating problems for millions of water users in the West, according to a new government report.
A report released Monday by the Interior Department said annual flows in three prominent river basins — the Colorado, Rio Grande and San Joaquin — could decline by as much 8 percent to 14 percent over the next four decades. The three rivers provide water to eight states, from Wyoming to Texas and California, as well as to parts of Mexico.
The declining water supply comes as the West and Southwest, already among the fastest-growing parts of the country, continue to gain population.
Nearly a billion people don’t have good access to safe fresh water. In a single generation, that number could double as growing demands for water will exceed the available and sustainable supply by 40 percent, according a recent study. “Peak water” has already come and gone. Humanity uses more water than can be sustained, drawing on non-renewable reserves of water accumulated over thousands of years in deep aquifers.
As the world population and economy grows, the water challenge becomes all the greater. By 2030 the global water demand will be 40 percent greater than today’s “accessible, reliable, environmentally sustainable supply” according to the U.S.-led study “Charting Our Water Future” by consultants McKinsey and Company.
About one-third of the population, concentrated in developing countries, will live in basins where this water deficit is larger than 50 percent, the report found.
Cookie Jill has the stuff lost in the Great (but day-late) Gulf Gusher coverage:
30 years after mount st. helens blew, the volcano reveals its secrets. – at 8:32 a.m. may 18, 1980, a magnitude 5.1 earthquake triggered an enormous landslide. the world changed. fifty-seven people died in the eruption. devastation stretched for 230 square miles. ash circled the earth in 15 days, lowering global temperatures – portland oregonian
scientists forecast decades of ash clouds. – the icelandic eruption that has caused misery for air travellers could be part of a surge in volcanic activity that will affect europe for decades, scientists have warned. – london times
Go. Read the rest… my outrage meter is pegged.