December 6, 2013 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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I woke up this morning to the ‘white stuff’ – unusual for Corvallis. Looks like maybe 4-6 inches. And it’s pretty light – not the typical ‘Cascades Cement’. Oregon State University decided to close at noon, after it stopped snowing.
That’s Mary Frances preparing to do battle with the elements in Demasiado II.
At least I got to wear my Sorels.
Rest in peace, President Mandela! You will be missed, but celebrated, too.
Click here for the summary.
“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” ? Nelson Mandela
New Database on International River Basin Organizations Now on OSU’s Transboundary Freshwater Dispute Database
December 5, 2013 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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I just received a request from Jennifer Veilleux, soon-to-be PhD, blogger and database manager extraordinaire, to post this official announcement:
As the 2013 International Year of Water Cooperation is wrapping up, theTransboundary Freshwater Dispute Database (TFDD) team at Oregon State University is pleased to announce the launch of the International River Basins Organization Database. This large source of information on river basin organizations (RBOs) was collected and organized by Dr. Susanne Schmeier, and will be included alongside our existing datasets on international river basins, international freshwater agreements and treaties, and international water events.
Many innovative approaches developed during the 2013 Year of Water Cooperation are designed to ensure the long-term sustainability of water resources development. RBOs have been assigned crucial roles in this development. RBOs are asked to provide forums for addressing disagreements over shared waters as well as platforms for joint decision-making and to acquire, analyze, and share data among riparian states, as well as other stakeholders. This gives the basis for successful water resources management to develop river basin management plans and implement related programs or projects. Through this, RBOs also provide an interface for scientists to interact with policy makers in developing the best solutions to water-related challenges, especially in times of global change.
Within this searchable RBO database, detailed information is provided for over 120 international RBOs around the world, including information on each functional scope, decision making and information sharing mechanisms, dispute resolution mechanisms, funding and cost sharing mechanisms, as well as public participation mechanisms and many other parameters. The dataset is complemented by a paper summarizing key findings across all of the world’s RBOs as well as a comprehensive reference list on primary RBO documents describing each RBO’s organizational set-up.
You can access the database here
A more detailed analysis of RBOs and their institutional design as well as their contributions to effective river basin governance can be found in a related publication: Schmeier, Susanne (2013): Governing International Watercourses. River Basin Organizations and the Sustainable Governance of Internationally Shared Rivers and Lakes,London: Routledge
The TFDD Team
“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” – Nelson Mandela, 18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013
JAWRA HIGHLIGHTS – DECEMBER 2013
Pandey and Soupir demonstrate the impacts of streambed sediment on coliform loads.
Ramsey et al. evaluate satellites for coastal flood inundation mapping.
Seo et al. evaluate National Weather Service flash flood guidance.
Dosskey et al. use DEM-based indices to address the placement of agricultural buffers.
Pradhanang et al. examine the effects of climate change on the New York City watershed.
Hoekema and Sridhar use a system dynamics model to explore a conflict between groundwater users and surface water users.
Carrier et al. extend streamflow records based on tree ring reconstructions.
Nichols and Ketcheson explore log jam design for stream restoration.
Patterson et al. look at hydrologic droughts in the South Atlantic, US.
Doubleday et al. use a distributed hydrologic model to examine low impact development.
DeBusk et al. look at rainwater harvesting in humid regions.
Greene et al., in a decade-long study, examine what happens after a dam is removed.
November 29, 2013 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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The graphic? Some thoughts of one of my students – thinking about village-scale water and sanitation projects in Honduras.
Here is the link to this week’s summary.
“Why do countries not care enough to provide their citizens with safe water and sanitation?” – Question from one of my undergraduate students
November 26, 2013 | Posted by LHooper
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A Western City Collaborates for Meaningful Water Education, Part 5
by Lydia Hooper
For the past several years, Denver Public Works has been building partnerships with Denver Public Schools to improve both water quality and science education in the city.
Last year, they began partnering with Denver Parks and Recreation as well, expanding their core goals to also include improvement of park stewardship. Denver is able to more effectively promote sustainable behaviors through a pioneering educational program known as “Keep It Clean Neighborhood Environmental Trios”, or KIC-NET, which incorporates all of these outcomes.
KIC-NET’s hyperlocal outdoor education model connects a school to its neighboring waterway and park. The two-year pilot is reaching 750 youth at ten of these sites. By connecting students to waterways in their own neighborhood, KIC-NET inspires youth to take ownership of their immediate environment and its natural values.
For individuals to become stewards of community assets like parks, they first must be supported in changing their perceptions, values, and competencies. Therefore, KIC-NET educators are trained in the Earth Force Process, which integrates STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) principles and service learning.
As part of this process, youth take action to improve their local park and waterway, and thus begin to see that their actions matter. Evaluation results show that over 80% of students in Keep It Clean Denver programs last year thought that their civic action project had made a difference. This self-confidence will keep these students acting as stewards of their parks and waterways, not just now but into the future.
The KIC-NET partnership model creates sustainable relationships between water quality, community assets and public education. The transferrable KIC-NET program has been partially funded by the EPA’s Urban Waters grant, so last week Earth Force presented a webinar to potential future grantees about how this model can be utilized in other watersheds across the nation. They are already beginning discussions with MS4 stakeholders in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Wilmington, Delaware to better understand how this model can be successfully replicated.
This blog is the fifth in a monthly series offering ideas on how cities can address water issues through collaboration and creation of exciting educational opportunities. Read my final post next month to hear about some of the inspiring actions that students have taken to keep their waterways clean!
Lydia Hooper is the “Keep It Clean” Communications Liaison for Denver Public Works’ Wastewater Management-Water Quality Division and Earth Force, a non-profit that fosters community partnerships to support youth engagement in environmental civic action projects nationwide.
November 22, 2013 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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Fifty years ago today I was barely two months into my sophomore year at Chaminade High School in Mineola, NY. I was sitting in Mr. Brady’s American history class when the PA system awoke from its slumber: ‘President Kennedy has been shot in Dallas.’
Clear as a bell in my memory.
Enjoy this week’s summary - click here.
“Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.” – John F. Kennedy
November 15, 2013 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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Below is a comparison of Haiyan and Katrina, superimposed on the same map and at the same scale. Read the story behind the comparison.
Here is the link to the weekly water news.
“I am a very environmentally conscious person—I drive a hybrid car, and think constantly about the careful use of water.” – Betsy Cramer, whose Portland home used 770,000 gallons last year, the sixth biggest Hydro-Hog
November 8, 2013 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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The 2013 AWRA Annual Conference is now history and it was one of the most successful ever, both in terms of content and attendance – 520 paid and over 550 attendees including exhibitors, etc. Over 100 students attended.
That’s the main reason this TGIF may seem ‘slimmer’ than usual; I did not have much time to Tweet this past week.
You can check out #2013AWRA to see conference Tweets.
Consider the Red Lion Hotel on the River for a conference. The staff, facilites and food are all excellent. It’s not downtown – actually on an island in the Columbia River – but that has its advantages.
The conference will be in the DC area (NoVa) next year: Fifty Years of Water Resources Management: Where Have We Been, Where are We Going?
Here is the water summary.
Thanks to Jools_Orca for the photo.
“In mathematics you don’t understand things. You just get used to them. ” – Johann von Neumann
November 3, 2013 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
Most of us Western WaterWonks are aware of John Wesley Powell’s idea to organize Western states according to watershed boundaries:
Powell felt such a configuration in the arid West would minimize water conflicts. Powerful interests, primarily rail companies, thwarted Powell’s vision.
But what would the USA look like if Powell’s vision had been realized at the national scale? Well, John Lavey, a Montana land-use planner in the Sonoran Institute’s Bozeman office, decided to take that approach, given the following constraints:
- Keep 50 states
- Keep larger watersheds intact;
- Try to locate watershed states in roughly the same geography as present-day states;
- Maintain national borders; and
- Try to keep state capitals in each state
Here is Lavey’s map, from the Mountain West News:
Here is a high-resolution image.
Lavey and others speculate upon what things might be like had Powell’s vision had been realized. Would Los Angeles be the size it is today? How about other Western cities? Would Phoenix exist? Read the entire article here.
One issue not addressed in Lavey’s map: groundwater, which does not necessaily follow watershed boundaries and can influence water levels far away from the point off use. Conflict might still arise over groundwater use, and that could offset the amity via-a-vis surface water use.
Too bad it is an experiment we cannot conduct.
Or can we?
“You are piling up a heritage of conflict and litigation over water rights for there is not sufficient water to supply the land”. — John Wesley Powell
November 1, 2013 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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We’re at the Red Lion Hotel on the Columbia River – Jantzen Beach, Portland. We’ll be doing onsite registration on Sunday 4 – 6 PM then starting again on Monday morning starting at 7:30 AM. Hope to see you there!
Remember: The USA goes off Daylight Saving Time at 2 AM, Sunday, 3 November 2013. Turn your clocks back an hour if you are now on DST.
Here is the link to the summary.
“Big data is like teenage sex: everybody talks about it, nobody really knows how to do it, everyone thinks everyone else is doing it, so everyone claims they are doing it.” - Dan Ariely