April 18, 2014 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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The Portland (OR) Water Bureau will drain one of its reservoirs of 38M gallons (almost 117 acre-feet) of water because a man was videotaped urinating in it. Hardly cause for concern, but it’s for PR.
“Politics had no impact on our decision in this case. But this is Mt. Tabor and the reservoirs, and everything that happens up there is evaluated through a political prism. I know people are going to second guess. That’s their right.”
Imagine how many animals urinate, defecate and die in the same reservoir? You don’t want to know. But they are not caught on tape.
The water isn’t ‘wasted’ – it’ll ultimately go back into the river. But it is ‘lost’ to the PWB and is a needless expense.
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“In politics stupidity is not a handicap.” - Napoleon Bonaparte
Sandra Zellmer & Christine Klein Guest Post: Missouri River Floodplain Owners Seeking a “Double-Take” from Taxpayers
April 17, 2014 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
A few days ago I posted my review of Mississippi River Tragedies: A Century of Unnatural Disaster, by Christine A. Klein, the Chesterfield Smith Professor of Law at the University of Florida and Sandra B. Zellmer, the Robert B. Daugherty Professor of Law at the University of Nebraska. Below is a piece they have written about an issue on the Missouri River. Here is a PDF: Download Missouri_River_Takings_Blog_Final
Landowners flooded by the Missouri River in 2011 have sued the Corps of Engineers for a Fifth Amendment “taking” under the U.S. Constitution. Their attorneys hope to rake in over $250 million in claims for their clients and at least $1 million in expenses and fees for themselves. They’re likely to be disappointed.
Lawsuits seeking recovery of flood damages from the federal government almost always fail. First, the United States is immune from suit for negligent construction or handling of flood control structures under the sovereign immunity shield of the 1928 Flood Control Act, as plaintiffs whose lives were destroyed when levees failed during Hurricane Katrina quickly discovered. My co-author Christine Klein and I have called for a repeal of this provision in our article and book on Unnatural Disasters, but it hasn’t happened.
In hopes of avoiding the immunity problem, the Missouri River plaintiffs have brought a claim under the Fifth Amendment, which is not barred by the Flood Control Act. However, this claim is just as unlikely to stick, for good reason. As we document in our previous work, courts find that floodplain management constitutes a regulatory taking in only the rarest of cases, whether the impact to private property occurs through land use restrictions on construction or through flood control structures like dams and levees. This is because the impact is neither a “permanent physical occupation” of the property by the government, nor is it an excessive regulation that deprives property of “all economically beneficial use” or has otherwise gone “too far” in adversely affecting reasonable investment-backed expectations of the floodplain owners (in the words of the U.S. Supreme Court). It is simply not reasonable to settle in the floodplain and expect that the property will never flood.
These plaintiffs are attempting to bring their claims within the purview of a 2012 Supreme Court case, Arkansas FGC v. U.S, where a landowner (the State Fish & Game Commission) prevailed on its claim that the Corps had physically taken a flowage easement over its land. The case raised a unique set of facts and the decision is a remarkably narrow one, and it is completely inapposite to what happened on the Missouri River. Here’s why.
In Arkansas, the Corps opted to depart from its Water Control Plan for the dam in question by releasing water over longer periods each year during a seven-year period, not because of any physical imperative (e.g., unusual amounts of rain or snow) but because farmers urged it to do so to keep their croplands dry for longer periods during harvests. The deviation caused a dramatic increase in flooding in a wildlife management area owned by the State, causing widespread and permanent damage to its trees. The flooding was significant enough, for long enough periods, to change the character of the area and to substantially interfere with the State’s ability to use its land. The Corps had effectively taken title to the land without going through the appropriate processes for exercising the government’s power of eminent domain.
In stark contrast to the 2011 Missouri River flood, the Corps’ intentional flooding of Arkansas’s land was the direct and proximate cause of the foreseeable destruction of the State’s property. The Corps deviated from its Arkansas Plan in order to benefit the farmers, when it knew (or should have known) that the deviation would inevitably destroy the State’s land. The Corps created winners and losers, and the Supreme Court forced it to pay the loser.
On the Missouri, the 2011 flood made losers out of just about everyone. The Corps’ flood control structures were taxed to their limits by unprecedented amounts of snowmelt and rain over a long period of time in the spring and summer of 2011. In April, Rocky Mountain snowpack was 140% of normal; later in the summer, rainfall was three to six times normal in the upper Missouri River Basin. At Sioux City, Iowa (the demarcation between the upper and lower river), runoff measured 13.8 million acre feet (MAF), smashing the old 1952 record of 13.2 MAF. The third wettest month ever documented on the Missouri River happened to be May 2011 (10.5 MAF) and the fifth wettest was July 2011 (10 MAF). See National Weather Service, The Historic Missouri River Flood of 2011; Senate Report 112-075 - Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill, 2012. That water had to go somewhere, and once the dams were filled to capacity, it went downstream and into the floodplain, as rivers naturally do (especially the Missouri, which is widely known for its flood-prone tendencies).
The plaintiffs argue that the Corps has abandoned its flood control mission in favor of other priorities on the Missouri River. Specifically, they claim that the Corps kept the reservoirs full in the spring to benefit recreation and endangered species, and that fuller reservoirs means less storage for flood waters. The factual record doesn’t back them up, and the law is more nuanced than they allege. In truth, Congress directed the Corps to build the dams and manage the system for seven purposes in addition to flood control: navigation; hydropower; water quality; water supply; irrigation; recreation; and fish and wildlife. Flood control and navigation may be toward the top of the list, but they are far from the only concerns that drive river management. More to the point, none of the other purposes were prioritized at the expense of flood control in 2011. The Missouri River system was operated in accordance with the Master River Manual in response to abnormal snowmelt and rainfall that just kept coming for months on end. The operations were dictated by conditions, not by other priorities. Sometimes, the river simply reclaims its floodplain, despite human efforts to hold it back.
The tired refrain that the government elevated the concerns of fish over people is a red herring. The real problem is that people wanted to settle in the floodplain, so the federal government undertook flood control, which prompted more people to move into harm’s way. It’s ironic that the landowners who cry “foul” today have received a bounty of flood control-related benefits from the government through the years. No doubt the flood damage to their properties in 2011 would have been worse if the federal government hadn’t built dams and other structures on the Missouri River. Consider the 1993 flood, which set the record for the highest water level in Kansas City, but resulted in much lower discharges (flooding) than pre-dam floods in the 1800s and early to mid-1900s.
Meanwhile, individuals and communities who chose to reside in the floodplain demanded additional protection through the construction of levees, dikes, and revetments on the river and its tributaries, along with subsidized flood and crop insurance. Once they put themselves in harm’s way (aided and abetted by government), it’s only natural for sympathetic officials to provide federally funded disaster relief when the inevitable happens. These are policy choices that the government and floodplain communities have made throughout the many years of floodplain occupation, and we can argue the pros and cons of these choices until we’re out of breath without ever reaching a consensus. Don’t get us wrong—no one wants to see human suffering in the wake of a flood. But adding a constitutional takings claim to the list of government payouts demanded by property owners is a wholly unwarranted sort of “double take” from the government (and the taxpayers) (see Unnatural Disasters Chapter 10). Instead, we should be talking about how to make people safer, how to make buildings more flood resilient, and about cases where it is more prudent to retreat from the floodplain and out of harm’s way.
CPR Scholars Sandra Zellmer, Professor of Law at the University of Nebraska, and Christine Klein, Professor of Law at the University of Florida, are the authors of Mississippi River Tragedies: A Century of Unnatural Disaster (NYU 2014).
April 15, 2014 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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Cutting to the chase: Read the book! Well-written and researched with a strong message: no more floodless floodplains – let rivers flood!
Disclosure notice: I received a free, unsolicited copy of this book from the publisher. I know the first author, Christine A. Klein, from our time on the NRC Bay-Delta Committee and I consider her a friend. She’s the Chesterfield Smith Professor of Law at the University of Florida. I know Sandra B. Zellmer by reputation but have never met her. She is the Robert B. Daugherty Professor of Law at the University of Nebraska. And you’ll once again have to tolerate my semi-rambling, stream-of-consciousness ‘review’ style.
So what’s my connection to the Mississippi River? Other than being a 24/7 WaterWonk, the best I can do is this: at the end of summer 1964, my mother presented me with a bottle (a corked RC Cola bottle, no less) of Mississippi River water, taken from the river at Memphis, TN. My parents and my late younger sister Ann had embarked on a westward auto trip – NY to CA. I was working on Cape Cod and could not go. They made it only as far as Memphis. Seems Ann, on the verge of teenagerhood, and my father were not seeing eye-to-eye so the trip was aborted. I was quite glad to get my water. I have no idea where it is today.
Fast forward 50 (!!) years and I am renewing my love for the mighty Mississippi, thanks to two ‘Mississippi River basin girls’ who have penned a remarkable book, Mississippi River Tragedies: A Century of Unnatural Disaster. No, it is not a 21st century version of Life on the Mississippi, although I might have to rethink that perception. Life on the ‘Father of Waters’ is quite different from that depicted by Mark Twain.
Both authors grew up in the Mississippi River Basin: Klein (left) in the St. Louis, MO, area and Zellmer on a farm in the Sioux City, IA, area. They know the river. Klein actually spent time as a river guide on the Arkansas River while in law school. Their knowledge shines right from the start: the book begins with the authors’ delightful recollections of growing up in the basin. “The Headwaters’ is by Zellmer and ‘Downstream in St. Louis’ is Klein’s work. Nice touch!
I classify this book in Marc Reisner’s Cadillac Desert genre – a Cadillac Heartland, if you will (Cynthia Barnett’s Mirage was Cadillac Swampland). Major differences: It’s not about the Colorado River, but the Mississippi River. The focus is not water supply, but flood management/control. And the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, not the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, is the agency most scrutinized.
It’s instructive to note the book’s full title:Mississippi River Tragedies: A Century of Unnatural Disaster. Wait a minute – isn’t the book primarily about flooding? So what’s the deal with ‘unnatural disaster’? Everyone knows floods are natural disasters, right? Well, maybe not. Sarcasm alert: Klein and Zellmer want to set us on the path to truth, justice, and the American (read: USACE) way. Do they ever!
First things first. The book is extremely well-written. What would you expect from law school professors? You don’t need to be a WaterWonk or a lawyer to understand what’s going on. I found myself very disappointed when the text ended at page 203. I wanted more. There is more – 54 pages of notes, bibliography, and an index. Again – think ‘law school professors’.
We quickly learn of our ambivalence towards nature. We glorify it, name things after it, but we are also quick to point the finger at it when nature ‘misbehaves’. Think of the terms ‘natural disaster’ or ‘act of Gods’. How often do we think that perhaps disasters are unnatural. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Mississippi River Basin, which drains 40% of the Lower 48. And when you think Mississippi River Basin, the agency that comes to mind is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).
So here are the things that struck me:
1) The disastrous effects of the ‘levees only’ approach to flood control. Who would have imagined this? Levees = good, right? Despite critics of this approach (see quote at bottom) the USACE would not be diverted. Nor would the local and state agencies who built levees with or without the Corps’ acquiescence. Then the great flood of 1927 intervened. That was a game-changer, in many ways. The Flood Control Act (FCA) of 1928 was passed. Floodways and other engineered facilities were added to the levee system. The Act also protected the USACE from responsibility ‘for any damage for or by floods or flood waters at any place’. Safe, right?
2) The racism. Nothing like using prostrate or supine African-American men (slaves, then freemen) as levees or upright as human dikes. Yep, just stack ‘em up right on top there. Or maybe we’ll just conscript them at gunpoint and force them to sandbag. Evacuations, or lack thereof. Native Americans being forced from their land to make room for reservoirs, especially in the Missouri River Basin. Environmental (in)justice. And let’s not forget Katrina.
3) The legal evolution. Floods were deemed to be natural disasters; no one could be held responsible. Tough luck! Well, that started to change in the early 20th century. Some flood damage was an unnatural disaster, for which someone or some organization could be held liable.
4) The FCA of 1928 gave the USACE relief from responsibility for floods. But what if a USACE facility, not related to flood control or management, caused/exacerbated a flood and caused damage. Could the Corps be held liable? Think of MRGO, The Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet, a navigation structure, and Hurricane Katrina.
5) Flood insurance and moral hazards. Building and rebuilding in floodplains. Risk takers and risky business. Taxpayer subsidies. The Galloway Report after the 1993 floods. Coastal wetlands. MRGO.
6) More legal stuff – eminent domain and its bastard child, regulatory takings. I really liked this chapter – ‘Law 101′ for people like me. Made sense.
7) Great ‘Conclusion’ – How the law can hurt, how it can help. Excellent recommendations.
Klein and Zellmer correctly state that we have spent more than one hundred years trying and failing to hold back the water from the people, when we should have been holding back the people from the water. We have employed a dumb concept: a floodless floodplain. Let’s give rivers room to flood. What a novel concept!
A river disconnected form its floodplain. Wow. The stream ecologists and ecogydrologists have been telling us that for years. Now we have two more articulate voices to heed.
An excellent book. Whether you are a Missippi River groupie or not, you need to read this book. Its influence and relevance extend beyond the Mississippi. I am going to use it in my US Water Management class.
To Ms. Klein and Ms. Zellmer: thank you!
“The problem of the Mississippi is a fascinating one, but more a problem of your national psychology than of your river. You treat the Mississippi as if it were a river apart, differing utterly from all other streams. It is nothing of the sort.” - Sir William Willcocks, British engineering expert, 1914, interview in the New York Times, 1914 (see page 57 of the text)
April 11, 2014 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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This photo, from Justin Quinn, is titled, ‘Uncle Sam’s Bad Habit’. I like it.
It’s almost as funny as someone from The Nature Conservancy using a bottled water promotional video to advance the idea that groundwater is inaccessible. The following words of wisdom accompanied the Tweet:
checkout this cool site that helps show why
@nature_org doesn’t count groundwater as easily accessible…
What the person failed to recognize is that the groundwater flows at the surface as a spring, so the water isn’t actually pumped from a depth of 8000 meters. If the water flows at the surface, it’s hard to use it as an example of an ‘inaccessible’ resource.
Spent a few days in Rapid City, SD. I recalled the horrible 1972 floodthere; 238 were killed.
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“…be it miles & miles underground, or simply soil moisture, groundwater for the most part is not easily accessible.” - spokesperson, The Nature Conservancy
April 6, 2014 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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More good stuff! Another great report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS): EPA and the Army Corps’ Proposed Rule to Define “Waters of the United States”. Claudia Copeland is the author.
On March 25, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) jointly proposed a rule defining the scope of waters protected under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The proposed rule would revise regulations that have been in place for more than 25 years. Revisions are proposed in light of Supreme Court rulings in 2001 and 2006 that interpreted the regulatory scope of the CWA more narrowly than previously, but created uncertainty about the precise effect of the Court?’s decisions.
In April 2011, EPA and the Corps proposed guidance on policies for determining CWA jurisdiction to replace guidance previously issued in 2003 and 2008; all were intended to lessen confusion over the Court?’s rulings. The 2011 proposed guidance was extremely controversial, with some groups contending that it represented a massive federal overreach beyond the agencies?’ statutory authority. Most environmental advocacy groups welcomed the proposed guidance, although some would have preferred a stronger document. The 2014 proposed rule would replace the existing 2003 and 2008 guidance, which remains in effect because the 2011 proposed guidance was not finalized.
According to the agencies, the proposed rule would revise the existing regulatory definition of ?“waters of the United States?” consistent with legal rulings?—especially the Supreme Court cases?—and science concerning the interconnectedness of tributaries, wetlands, and other waters to downstream waters and effects of these connections on the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of downstream waters. Waters that are ?“jurisdictional?” are subject to the multiple regulatory requirements of the CWA: standards, discharge limitations, permits, and enforcement. Non-jurisdictional waters, in contrast, do not have the federal legal protection of those requirements.
This report describes the March 25 proposed rule and includes a table comparing the existing regulatory language that defines ?“waters of the United States?” with that in the proposal. The proposed rule is particularly focused on clarifying the regulatory status of waters located in isolated places in a landscape, the types of waters with ambiguous jurisdictional status following the Supreme Court?’s ruling. The proposal does not modify some categories of waters that currently are jurisdictional by rule (traditional navigable waters, interstate waters and wetlands, the territorial seas, and impoundments). Changes proposed in the proposed rule would increase the asserted geographic scope of CWA jurisdiction, in part as a result of the agencies?’ expressly declaring some types of waters categorically jurisdictional (such as all waters adjacent to a jurisdictional water), and also by application of new definitions, which give larger regulatory context to some types of waters, such as tributaries. The proposal does not identify specific waters?—particular streams or ponds?—that would be jurisdictional as a result of the rule.
Beyond the categories of waters that would be categorically jurisdictional under the proposed rule is a category sometimes referred to as ?“other waters.?” The regulatory term ?“other waters?” applies to wetlands and non-wetland waters such as prairie potholes that are not considered traditionally navigable or meet other of the proposed rule?’s jurisdictional definitions. Much of the controversy since the Supreme Court rulings has focused on the degree to which ?“other waters?” are jurisdictional. According to the agencies?’ analyses, 17% of these ?“other waters?” would be determined to be jurisdictional under changes in the proposal. The proposed rule also lists waters and features that would not be jurisdictional, such as prior converted cropland and certain ditches.
It makes no change to and does not affect existing statutory and regulatory permit exclusions, such as exemptions for normal farming and ranching activities.
The agencies believe that the proposed rule does not exceed the CWA?’s coverage or protect any new types of waters that have not been protected historically. That is, while it would enlarge jurisdiction beyond that under the 2003 and 2008 EPA-Corps guidance, which the agencies believe was narrower than is justified by science and the law, they believe that it would not enlarge jurisdiction beyond what is consistent with the Supreme Court?’s narrow reading of jurisdiction. Others may disagree. Overall, the agencies estimate that approximately 3% of U.S. waters will additionally be subject to CWA jurisdiction as a result of the proposed rule (including additional ?“other waters?”), compared with current field practice. EPA and the Corps estimate that costs of the proposed rule, resulting from additional permit application expenses, for example, range from $162 million to $279 million annually. Benefits from the rule, including the value of ecosystem services provided by waters and wetlands protected as a result of CWA requirements, such as flood protection, are estimated to range from $318 million to $514 million per year. They acknowledge uncertainties and limitations in the estimate of costs and benefits.
by C. Mark Dunning, AWRA President
Floods continue to be the most destructive and costly natural disasters in the United States (U.S.). Coping with these disasters is a vast and complex topic that a short article can’t do justice to. Rather, I want to focus on a single point: the way that our response to flooding has been framed (i.e., our coping strategies, provides a window into the evolution of our thinking about flooding as well as the basic assumptions we employ about appropriate ways of addressing flooding challenges).
Possibly the most common coping strategy for dealing with flooding has been to seek to control floods. For example, after several devastating floods in the early years of the 20th Century, Congress authorized flood control works to be planned and constructed (1917, 1928, 1936).
To me, the operative word in these authorizations was control, as if through engineering works the devastation of floods could be tamed. In fact, control of floods has been partially achieved, and the record of the large levees, floodwalls, and upstream reservoirs that have been constructed is noteworthy, returning, so the Corps of Engineers tells us, more than seven dollars in flood damage prevention benefits for every dollar invested. Many of the reservoir projects authorized in flood control legislation had multiple purposes, such as hydropower, recreation and water supply, that provided valuable social and economic benefits to regions.
But, even with flood control structures in place, flood damages on a national scale continued to rise. Development was occurring in more flood-prone areas that did not have flood protection, and even in protected areas increased upstream development changed downstream hydrographs such that runoff from storms that once would have been contained resulted in flooding. With this reality, flood control as a term regarding the coping strategy being employed probably seemed overreaching, and a new term began to be widely employed: flood damage reduction. This more accurate term described what was happening with the application of structural flood prevention measures within a specified range of protection (e.g., 100-year, Standard Project Flood, etc.).
As these changes in thinking about coping with floods were occurring, a new concept was also being promoted: floodplain management. This new term was based on the simple observation: floodplains flood. This coping strategy focuses on keeping damageable property and infrastructure out of floodplains as much as possible through floodplain regulation, relocation of flood-prone structures, and raising structures out of the floodplain.
Today, two additional concepts have joined the array of coping strategies: flood risk management and integrated water resources management.
Flood Risk Management
As Don Riley noted in last month’s IMPACT (pdf) (Vol. 16, No. 1, pp. 15-16), a risk management coping strategy for floods involves focusing on public safety through promoting an informed and educated public that is aware of flood risks and shares in the responsibility for managing risks through many different means, and is aware that some level of residual risk from flooding always remains.
A significant institutional innovation in supporting sound floodplain management and flood risk management has been the creation of the Silver Jackets, inter-agency partnerships of federal and state agencies. Their mission is to facilitate the planning and implementation of measures to reduce risks associated with flooding by leveraging resources, enhancing collaboration across agencies, and facilitating a life-cycle approach to flood risk reduction strategies.
Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM)
Integrated water resources management (IWRM), meanwhile, embraces concepts of balanced, sustainable development and achieving multiple objectives at watershed scales. In this coping strategy, flooding problems are addressed as part of a multi-objective resource management strategy developed through a collaborative process involving multiple stakeholders and multiple agencies.
For example such a coping strategy might approach flooding within the context of a multi-objective plan that includes:
- structural flood protection such as setback levees and floodwalls providing a specified level of protection;
- various nonstructural measures such as flood-proofing and enhanced emergency management and evacuation procedures;
- creation of green space, natural river corridors, and recreational areas and trails to enhance environ- mental quality and quality of life;
- integration of transportation planning and infrastructure revitalization to work with flood protection measures and support environmental quality improvements; and
- creation of inter-agency partnerships and extensive stakeholder participation to create the vision and plan, and to carry it out.
So, coping strategies for responding to flooding challenges have evolved over the years from primarily single-purpose, structurally-based approaches seeking to control floods, to the current more integrated resource management strategies that emphasize managing risk and achieving multiple purposes in a sustainable fashion.
AWRA and IWRM
AWRA is actively supporting the application of IWRM as a primary coping strategy for addressing flood problems, through the following:
- Policy statements supporting the application of IWRM.
- IWRM conferences: Summer Specialty Conference on IWRM, June 30-July 2, 2014, in Reno, NV, as well as our first conference on IWRM held in 2011 (proceedings available to members on AWRA website)
- IWRM Webinar Series – practitioner presentations and discussion of real-world applications
- IWRM Case Studies (pdf)
- Proactive Flood and Drought Management Strategies Case Studies (pdf)
- AWRA Technical Committees. Technical Committees provide a vehicle for exploring key concepts and working on their application in water resources management contexts through performing such activities as planning special sessions at conferences, putting on specialty conferences, performing research for policy statements, participating in the development of webinars, providing help desk services on questions pertaining to IWRM applications, etc. Membership in AWRA technical committees is open to AWRA members only.
AWRA members also receive webinars free and get substantial discounts on attendance at AWRA conferences. If you are not a member, join! It’s easy: go to the AWRA website and follow the instructions.
C. Mark Dunning is AWRA President and a senior planner and project manager for CDM Smith, Fairfax, VA. Email: email@example.com
April 4, 2014 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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Featured Collection: Contaminants of Emerging Concern II
William A. Battaglin and Alan Kolok are Guest Associate Editors for this collection of 13 papers originating from the AWRA 2012 Specialty Conference, “Contaminants of Emerging Concern in Water Resources II: Research, engineering and community action.” This follows an earlier collection published in February 2009.
- The environmental occurrence and/or fate of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) in a wide range of environments;
- How treatment or degradation processes affect the fate of CECs; and
- Laboratory and/or environmental effects of CECs on various aquatic organisms.
Other Technical Papers:
Zhang and Shuster compare the performance of two hydrologic models, SWMM and GSSHA, in simulating warm-season runoff for two upland, low-yield micro-catchments.
Ouyang et al. take a multi-scale view of residential water use in Phoenix, Arizona.
Cockerill and Anderson use pre- and post-monitoring data from restoration projects on an urban stream to assess how well stream conditions, publicly stated project goals, and project implementation align.
Ouapo et al. use an agronomic water mass balance approach to estimate how much water has been used for irrigation compared to amounts estimated by well data, and find some surprising results for the Texas Panhandle.
March 28, 2014 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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Not much of a summary this week since I was in Honduras and did not do much Tweeting. But there are many new ‘Positions Open’ so be sure to take a look at those.
Speaking of Honduras, take a look at this photo I took of material (precipitate) taken from a completely clogged 4-inch ID PVC water supply pipe. It took 40 days to become this clogged. Yes, the water is supplied by the utility in Villanueva, Honduras, a city of 150,000 south of San Pedro Sula. The residents don’t drink the water – bottled water is the drink of choice. No wonder.
The fascinating thing is that the utility has no records (so they said) of water chemistry, although a team of Spanish consultants has taken water and precipitate samples back to Spain for analysis. I suspect that the precipitate is a carbonate of some sort.
Give thanks for the SDWA!
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“Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large
groups.” – John Kenneth Galbraith
March 21, 2014 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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World Water Day is tomorrow. I am in Honduras ‘doing water stuff’ for
the Ann Campana Judge Foundation: dedicating one water project in Las Palmas and checking out some prospective projects. Because of my travels, this week’s list will be a bit shorter than usual.
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“We have a lot of really smart folks in the room, some of the most sophisticated water managers in the West. But I also want to say I’m generally disappointed in all of us, that we find ourselves in this place again.” - Scott Verhines, NM State Engineer, at a meeting of NM, CO and TX water managers (see story)
“All calculations, based on our experiences elsewhere, fail in New Mexico.” - Gen. Lew Wallace, Territorial Governor, 1878