June 17, 2016 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
Our persistent USA drought has now spread its arid tentacles across our northern border. Many Canadians have been forced into water smuggling to quench our thirst and make ends meet.
You can hear and see the story of Cindy McNeil a Canadian water smuggler. Every other day she makes the trip from BC into Washington state with a trunk load of fresh Canadian water to sell for profit to an American water buyer. The CBC followed McNeil as she made one of her water smuggling trips. See the video here.
Stay tuned; this issue is bound to arise during our presidential campaign.
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June 16, 2016 | Posted by cmccrehin
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This interview is the first of a six part series, written/conducted by AWRA President Martha Narvaez, celebrating the role of AWRA Women in Water Resources.
Length of Time in the Water Resources Field
I began work in the water resources field in 1968 and continue today as a volunteer, all totaling about 48 years.
Retired from the USACE and currently the Manager/Owner of Rice Farms LLC where I grow 300 acres of hazelnuts in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Since retiring and returning to Oregon in 2005 I have served on Connect Oregon’s Advisory Group to recommend projects connecting marine/intermodal systems to the rest of the transportation system in Oregon. I currently serve as the farm representative on the executive board of McKenzie Watershed Council and on the Policy Advisory Group for the State of Oregon’s Integrated Water Resource Management Plan.
- University of Wisconsin Kenosha and Waukesha (taught Economics)
- US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE): North Central Division
- Chief of Economics, USACE Chicago District
- Institute for Water Resources (IWR) (managed many studies including the National Waterways Study which set the framework for many water policy decisions for Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) ‘86 and subsequent laws)
- Director of Navigation Data Center (NDC)(consolidated most all water data information programs in the Corps plus oversaw the historic Waterborne Commerce of the U.S. and Port Series)
- Acting Chief, Western Division of Planning, HQ; and Acting Director, IWR
BA and MA in Economics with minors in Russian language and Geography.
Honors and Appointments
- Selected as Congressional Fellow by the America Political Science Association and worked for the Chairman of the Senate’s Water Resources Sub-Committee. He oversaw preparation of WRDA’86.
- Designated a National Associate of the National Academy of Science (NAS), National Research Council.
- Selected Fellow of American Water Resources Association.
- Elected to Emeritus membership on two NAS Transportation Research Board (TRB) committees.
- Recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus of Willamette University.
How did you get involved in the water resources field? I worked for the USACE Division, District, HQ, IWR and NDC. I served in most offices of AWRA’s National Capital Section and on the national AWRA board, including chairman. I also chaired the NAS-TRB’s Marine Group and the Policy, Planning and Administration Group, and several marine committees.
How did you get involved in with AWRA? My involvement with AWRA first began through writing a technical paper, which was in Chicago in the 1970s. When I moved to the Washington, D.C., area in 1977 a colleague at the Institute for Water Resources, Howard Olson, invited me to the local National Capital Section (NCS) meetings. The monthly luncheon meetings included a speaker addressing a timely topic. Annually, the chapter hosted a field trip as well. This section had a great mix of talented individuals from many agencies, many of whom I came to call my friends. I became active on the NCS board and was elected president. When the section undertook sponsorship of a national meeting in D.C., I chaired that meeting. This national meeting began my involvement with national AWRA.
How has the water resources field changed since you started your career? The field changed from being Engineer-centric to Bio-centric. It also changed from having just a few women in the field in the early 1980s to many today. Working to develop a true multidisciplinary focus 35 years ago, it appears to have moved though multi-disciplinary into today’s Bio-centric focus.
How will the water resources field change in the next few years? It will continue to engage the grass-roots local level and the well-financed national NGOs. The government level will continue to be tied up in legal constraints. Hopefully, the professional water organization’s focus on science, not emotion, will make inroads in decision making at all levels. Witnessing the bullying approaches, the guilt approaches, the shunning approaches and the “my way or the highway approaches” adopted by the “true” believers is frightening and is dangerous. Questioning science-based decisions places the scientist, government leaders, community leaders as well as public questioners in the cross-hairs, and that is from both sides of an issue!
Biggest career success? My success encompasses the numerous opportunities given to me at the local, regional and national levels of decision making. I have been blessed with working with truly enlightened water resources greats and dedicated professionals. I have enjoyed each new challenge whether it was establishing the first Economics’ Branch in a district office to the great mix of Washington D.C., opportunities: the National Waterways Study; the U.S. Senate work on WRDAs; HQ leadership; establishing and guiding USACE’s Navigation Data Center; contributing to AWRA leadership; or working with the remarkable scholars at NAS-TRB and IWR.
Biggest lesson learned in your career? My career’s biggest lesson is that a share of personal humility has to be present along with the insistence on quality data, analysis and planning in order to reach a desired end, such as equitable and effective public policy (in my case both water and transportation policies).
Biggest regret? Probably not participating more actively in the international realm. I was pleased with the success of helping to integrate three nation’s marine statistics when I served as Marine Chair of the North American Transportation Initiative.
Share a leadership story? When I was vice president of AWRA and Director at the Navigation Data Center, I seized on an idea championed by Rich Herbert, the educational water poster program. I was able to have the USACE help sponsor two posters with AWRA, plus support a USGS employee to work on associated teacher materials. As chair of Ports and Channel Committee and later the Marine Group at NAS-TRB I observed the lack of research initiatives on the marine environment; military transportation; marine human factors; and ferries and was able to create sub-committees which evolved into full committees. Locally on our watershed council I have proposed and had adopted the initiation of rules of conduct to facilitate productive meetings.
Biggest challenge as a woman in the business? Little did I know in the 1960s that one will occasionally need a champion. In my career I have had several such individuals: supporters and mentors who offered me unprecedented opportunities, guidance, and later I found out, their personal support. Howard Olson, then chief economist at USACE North Central Division hired me in 1968. He worked hard to ensure I had opportunities to learn about water resources and transportation economics. He introduced me to professional involvement in AWRA. General Drake Wilson and his successor, General Hugh Robinson at USACE HQ pushed and supported me into a contentious Washington, D.C., leadership role: manager of the National Waterways Study. Robinson defended my appointment against the all-male USACE leadership who wanted control of that $6 million congressional study.
One piece of advice you wish someone had shared early on in your career? Can’t think of any…I had remarkable support and was ironically not influenced by the “women don’t do that” attitude. Family, educators, mentors and numerous professionals all offered their continuing support to me.
True inspiration? “True” is a powerful word. I have always known through my parents, my educational guides, my mentors, my husband and children, and my followers, that honesty and finding the best in each individual brings out the “great” in everyone, and in doing so offers continual inspiration. Inspiration comes from those who surround you; therefore one must choose people of good character when there is a choice.
As mentioned, this is a six-part series on AWRA’s Women in Water. Watch for next month’s interview with AWRA Board member Brenda Bateman.
Author Martha Narvaez is AWRA’s President, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A six interview blog series by AWRA President Martha Narvaez.
As I watched the 2016 White House Water Summit (video) this past March (2016) I was pleasantly surprised to see the number of women in leadership roles at the summit, and I was especially struck when one of the presenters noted the strong leadership roles women have played in water throughout the Obama administration. This comment made me extremely proud and led me to think more deeply about the leadership roles AWRA women have played in the water resources field.
In the 16 years that I have been a member of AWRA, I have had an abundance of female role models. AWRA is full of women, from all over the world, doing great things in the water resources field and I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to build relationships and reap the benefits of their expertise and advice.
As I thought about the summit and my AWRA experiences this blog idea came to mind. I wanted to share with the AWRA membership the stories of a few of our organization’s leading women in water resources. These women are decision-makers, researchers, scientists, engineers, teachers and communicators, as well as active leaders in the AWRA community.
As I started the journey to create this blog, it was quite simple for me to rattle off a list of women that I wanted to interview. I was fortunate that the women I chose quickly and enthusiastically responded to my request. Then I learned that was the easy part.
The next step I wanted to take was to collect data on women working in the water resources field and to quantify the gender composition of AWRA. Unfortunately, this was not as straight-forward. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the water resources field, obtaining a meaningful number of women working in the field is a complex undertaking. So, I then set off to quantify women with membership in AWRA. Finding this number was also difficult since we do not currently collect demographic data on our membership applications (we hope to change this in the near future).
Even with two big fails I wasn’t quite ready to quit, so AWRA Director of Membership and Marketing Christine McCrehin and I started exploring AWRA records from the past 50 years to find evidence that women are, indeed, an important part of our organization. It didn’t take long to prove this theory. This is what we found:
- Although we were unable to find out the percent of women who are members of AWRA (due to a lack of demographic data) we did find that of the 69,000 unique visitors to the AWRA homepage in the last year (members and nonmembers) 38% were women and 62% were men. The majority of those women (52%) were 25-44 and only 16% were 55+. Of the 62% of men that visited the site in the last year, 49% were 25-44 and 24% were 55+.
- In the past 50 years, 16% of AWRA presidents have been women, the first in 1987. Since 2000, six presidents in the past 16 years (or 37%) have been women.
- In reviewing the Honorary and Fellow members there is work that needs to be done to decrease the gender gap, but in my review of the AWRA awards that have been established in the past 25 years (Mary H. Marsh, A. Ivan Johnson, David R. Maidment) there is a much higher percentage of women award winners, ie. 86%, 38% and 50% respectively.
- Women are well-represented as scholarship awardees. The Richard A. Herbert scholarship is awarded to the most qualified undergraduate and graduate for academic performance and/or research performance related to water resources. Since 1996, 62% of the Richard A. Herbert Memorial Scholarship award winners have been women. In the past 2 years (2014-2015), 75% of the award winners have been women.
Gathering this information was an enlightening exercise and it became clear to me that in the water resources field, and in AWRA, women’s roles and contributions are significant and most importantly, their impact is increasing.
Following this data search I concluded that I would interview six women who are accomplished leaders in the water resources field and have been actively involved in AWRA. Each one of the women in this group has proven to be a strong and successful leader in the water resources field internationally, nationally and at the state and local levels. Each one of these women is extremely busy, yet took the time to contribute to this blog and I would like to sincerely thank each one of them.
In the interviews each woman provides a brief background on her education and professional experience and insight into her work and career. I hope you find these interviews as interesting and inspiring as I do. With this blog I hope to give a voice to women who have led and continue to lead so that women and men in our community can learn from their successes, hurdles cleared, accomplishments and motivation to keep moving forward.
And without further ado I’d like to get started with the first interview and the most obvious choice, AWRA’s first woman president, Arlene Dietz.
If you have any questions, please comment below or send me an email: email@example.com.
June 10, 2016 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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Read Todd Jarvis’ review of water games. Excellent overview!
Two cartoons grace today’s page. The first one, ‘How We Get Water In Our Homes’, is by Dave Walker, and I came across it by accident (serendipity again). I Tweeted it, and it went viral (insofar as my Tweets go ‘viral’).
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“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.” - E. F. Schumacher
June 3, 2016 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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Great to be back in the USA after my brief stay in Myanmar. But I still have not escaped the heat and humidity: I’m in Orlando for 48 hours to help plan the AWRA Annual Conference that will be here this November.
Nothing like Myanmar, though.
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“When the fox preaches, turn to the geese.” - Old German proverb
HIGHLIGHTS – JAWRA JUNE 2016
[access full table of contents here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jawr.2016.52.issue-3/issuetoc ]
Mogollon et al. examined trends in flooding and stream flashiness in North Carolina and Virginia streams and assessed the influence of land cover and flow-regulated features on these endpoints.
Christensen et al. evaluated flow-nutrient relationships between lakes in Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota.
Rahm et al. investigated nitrate in-stream processing in headwater stream reaches downstream of wastewater treatment plant outfalls during low flow periods.
Milman and Polsky identified the mechanisms by which state-level policies influence local-level outdoor watering restriction implementation.
Zhang et al. investigated vertical stratification water temperature, dissolved oxygen, and pH in recycling irrigation reservoirs.
Salo et al. used well-established accuracy metrics to evaluate eight methods commonly used to map riparian zones in a semi-arid, mountainous watershed.
Daggupati et al. used a SWAT model for the entire Missouri River Basin to simulate crop and water yields at a fine-scale resolution.
Ator and Garcia developed an approach to take advantage of previously calibrated SPARROW models to improve understanding of contaminant fate and transport from uplands to streams and applied the approach to examine nitrogen in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Lane and D’Amico used geospatial analysis to estimate geographically isolated wetlands across the conterminous United States.
Yarnell et al. defined a methodology by which spring flow regimes in California regulated rivers can be modeled from quantifiable characteristics of spring snowmelt recessions in unregulated rivers.
Steel et al. used a spatially and temporally dense temperature dataset to generate temperature metrics representing popular summary measures (e.g., minimum, mean, or maximum temperature) and wavelet variances in the Snoqualmie River network.
May 27, 2016 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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I’m headed home after six days in Yangon, Myanmar, for the Global Water Partnership Steering Committee meeting and a one-day ‘High-Level Round Table on Water Security and Sustainable Development Goals ‘ event (click here) that had a significant positive effect in a country recovering from over 50 years of rule by the generals and anxious to ‘make its democratic debut’ to the rest of the world. It worked like a charm.
Today we took a field trip down the Irrawaddy River delta to see some agricultural and water projects, topped off by a lunch while cruising Yangon’s harbor. Some photos.
Storm’s coming in…
Trying to clean up some water plants gumming up the works…
More of the same…
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“Bone in chicken, relatives in man.” - Myanmar proverb
May 20, 2016 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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his version of the ‘hydro-illogical cycle’ is from Dave Murray, President of the Canadian Water Resources Association (CWRA). He talks about a 2 to 4 year ‘PRP’ or ‘Political Return Period’ as the amount of time we have after a flood (or fire, or whatever disaster) to do something before we slide back into into apathy. Read more here.
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“Old cows like young grass.” – Myanmar proverb
May 13, 2016 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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Triskaidekaphobia is not my bane.
Have a great weekend!
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“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you was?” - Satchel Paige
May 12, 2016 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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G. Tracy Mehan III, whose prose simultaneously annoys and pleases me because it’s so much better than mine, is back with a review written for The Environmental Forum. The following message accompanied his article:
Attached is my review of several titles related to the life of David Brower who joined the Sierra Club with 7,000 members, left it with 70,000, and started up countless other groups. For good and ill, he was the model of the modern environmental advocate. I hope you find it of interest.
I confess to woeful ignorance about Brower’s life. Perhaps the review will prompt me to finally read Encounters with the Archdruid, John McPhee’s chronicle of Brower’s battles with those he felt were out to despoil nature. I’ve only procrastinated 40 or so years, and time is running out.
When Tracy says ‘I hope you find it of interest’ it is an understatement. Of course I will, and I suspect WaterWired’s readers will as well. Here’s the first paragraph to whet your appetite:
David Brower, the subject of John McPhee’s famous New Yorker essays, later published as Encounters with the Archdruid (1971), was the driving force in the creation and growth of the Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, and Earth Island Institute. He was an inspira- tion to environmentalists across the country, and a master of hardball and sophisticated advocacy in opposition to dams, nuclear power plants, and economic development. He pioneered many new techniques or tactics of agitprop: field trips for the media,films, newspaper ads in the major national and other outlets, and, most prominently, Exhibit Format books — “coffee table books,” a term he hated. These were glorious, over-sized publications of stunning photographs and poetic texts describing a place of beauty and magnificence for which Brower was seeking protection. He was “nature’s publicist,” according to Tom Turner, in his new biography David Brower: The Making of the Environmental Movement.
“I call anyone a druid who prefers trees to people. A conservationist is too often a preservationist and a preservationist is a druid.” - Charles Fraser, developer of Hilton Island (from the review)