TGIF! Weekly Water News Summary, 1 – 7 November 2014

November 7, 2014 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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Fewer Tweets this week because of the AWRA Annual Conference I attended in the DC area. You can see all the conference Tweets at #AWRA2014

The graphic is from Lenny Konikow’s presentation and shows the recent contribution of groundwater depletion to sea level rise. This contribution has apparently been neglected by the IPCC crowd.


A good number of jobs came in this week – be sure to check the ‘Positions Open’.

So what are you waiting for? Click here for the weekly water news summary!

“Sandra Bullock played me in ‘Gravity.’” - NOAA Administrator Kathryn D. Sullivan #AWRA2014

Read This Commentary: ‘The Global Groundwater Crisis’

November 4, 2014 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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Jay Famiglietti just published this commentary in Nature Climate Change. It’s a chilling message, and he says so right below the title:

Groundwater depletion the world over poses a far greater threat to global water security than is currently acknowledged.


Anyone even remotely interested in the world’s water predicament has to read this paper. It’s not long. Jay lays it out, pure and simple, and it ain’t very pretty. He makes the important point that estimates of the stocks (amount in storage) of groundwater are not well-known in many aquifers. So we don’t know how much recoverable water is left. It’s like withdrawing money from a checking account in excess of the deposits, but not knowing the total amount of money actually in the account. So you can withdraw more than you deposit, but you won’t know when the money will run out until is actually does. Not good!

Read my piece, written a few months ago, about stocks and flows and estimates of the the amount of groundwater in storage.

Download JFam_Global_GW_Crisis

I will refer to Jay’s work this afternoon in Session 25 at the AWRA Annual ConferenceSee you there!

Download Session_25_Campana_AWRA_2014

Enjoy – or not!

“The irony of groundwater is that despite its critical importance to global water supplies, it attracts insufficient management attention relative to more visible surface water supplies in rivers and reservoirs. In many regions around the world, groundwater is often poorly monitored and managed. In the developing world, oversight is often non-existent.” - Jay Famiglietti, The Global Groundwater Crisis, p. 946

TGIF! Weekly Water News Summary, 25 – 31 October 2014

November 1, 2014 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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I am a day late posting this – hope you had a Happy Halloween! A scary picture of me from Gayle Leonard.

Today I’m off to the AWRA Annual Conference in the DC area. It’s AWRA’s Halloween50th anniversary. Great organization made possible by great, engaged people. Talk about WaterWonks!

Click here for the weekly water news summary. Enjoy!

“Keep calm and have a cupcake.” - Sign on the stove, Funny Dolphin Hostel, Sevastopol, Crimea, Russia

JAWRA, Wigington

Jim Wigington will become JAWRA Editor-in-Chief on January 1, 2015.

Jim Wigington was recently chosen by a selection committee and the AWRA Board of Directors to be the new Editor-in-Chief (EIC) of JAWRA, effective January 1, 2015. He will follow Ken Lanfear, JAWRA EIC for the past nine years, who will retire in late December 2014.

Wigington has an extensive publication record dealing with the influence on human activities and natural processes on watersheds and associated aquatic ecosystems. During his 28 year career with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Research and Development, Wigington led a wide range of interdisciplinary research efforts ranging from the effects of acidic deposition on aquatic ecosystems to connectivity within stream and river systems. He is currently a research and consulting hydrologist residing in Redding, CA. He is also a courtesy faculty member in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University.

Recently, Wigington took some time to participate in an interview for this blog.

How does it feel to be selected as EIC of JAWRA? Remarkable. JAWRA has been a very important part of my water resources career. I published my first paper and one of my most recent papers in JAWRA. I am honored to be entrusted with the responsibility of leading JAWRA into the future.

What are the issues or goals that you plan to address during your tenure as JAWRA EIC? As I assume the role of editor-in-chief, JAWRA is very healthy. The articles published are highly relevant to the water resources community, and JAWRA’s impact factor has been steadily rising. My goal for JAWRA is for it to be the preeminent scholarly publication on multidisciplinary water resources issues, and as such, to have a major influence on water-related science, management, and decision-making. This will require myself and the entire editorial team to keep JAWRA on its current trajectory improving the rigor and relevancy of the journal articles published.

What will you do over the next few years to ensure your goals can be achieved? Journal article authors are the life blood of any journal. To be the preeminent multidisciplinary water resources journal, JAWRA must proactively attract top authors who are conducting important research in a wide range of water resources disciplines. A key role of the editor-in-chief and associate editors (AEs) is to recruit authors and high profile journal articles in a wide range of venues. AWRA annual and speciality conferences are excellent opportunities for this strategic recruitment. I envision special collections of journal articles arising from JAWRA conferences to remain a strong feature of JAWRA. In addition, the EIC and AEs must be connected to organizations, agencies, and conferences outside of AWRA where they can identify the most relevant topics and recruit potential authors for JAWRA. In addition, I plan to institute a regularly scheduled series of invited critical reviews and commentaries. These would deal with cutting-edge issues in a way that is not possible in traditional journal articles. Finally, the overall stature of JAWRA cannot be overlooked as a factor in attracting prominent authors. Impact factor is important to authors because they want to see their work cited in future publications and because organizations for whom authors work use publication in journals with high impact factors as an evaluation criterion for advancement. I will continually strive to improve JAWRA’s impact factor as a means to make JAWRA increasingly attractive to top authors.

Where would you like to see JAWRA in three years? I would like for the scope and depth of JAWRA’s influence within the water resources community to be greater, and I would like JAWRA to be the first choice for authors seeking to publish journal articles that can reach a multidisciplinary audience.

Anything you would like to add? Publication of JAWRA is the result of an editorial team effort that includes the EIC, AEs, and managing editor. We are blessed to have a very strong team with whom I am looking forward to working.

See official AWRA Press Release: Wigington to Head Journal of the American Water Resources Association

TGIF! Weekly Water News Summary, 18 – 24 October 2014

October 24, 2014 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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I love this photo, Tweeted by zenrainman, with the ominous caption, ‘Peering into the Wellfuture?’ We’ll see.

New category this week – ‘Featured Five’ – just five Tweets that piqued my curiosity or were otherwise noteworthy/bizarre.

Featured Five
#cawater Bond! New @PacificInstitut Report Provides Insights on California’s Proposition 1 

From @Alliance4Water: Great Pub: ‘Beyond Downscaling’ Available as PDF & Apple iBook. 

MT @KUOW Between dam & hard place,US in no hurry to open negotiations w/ Canada on Columbia River Treaty  @KimOgren

Catch up on the week’s geoscience & environmental science news (including Ebola!) with Elaine Hanford’s BBs!  #EJHBB

MT @glennonUAlaw@nytimes Op-Ed: Room for Debate: We Need A Water Market In the West & Southwest 

Click here to see the entire weekly water news summary.


“It is more rewarding to watch money chnge the world than to watch it accumulate.” - Gloria Steinem 

TGIF! Weekly Water News Summary, 11 – 17 October 2014

October 17, 2014 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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I will be heading to Vancouver, BC, tomorrow for the Geological Society of America’s 2014Annual Meeting. I’ll be returning on Wednesday, 22 October.

You can download the program and other information here.Vancouver

Dr. Peter Wampler (Oregon State MS & PhD) of Grand Valley State UniversityDr. Peter Knappett (University of Waterloo and University of Tennessee) of Texas A&M and I will be convening an oral Topical Session (T116) titled, Water Contamination and Treatment in Developing Countries.It will be Tuesday, 1 – 5 PM, Room 204 in the Vancouver Convention Centre. I speak at 4:25 PM.  Drop by!

Ready for the Weekly Water News? Click here, and enjoy!

“I’d rather be upstream with a shovel and a ditch than downstream with a decree.” – Western USA water saying (‘wet’ v. ‘paper’ water)

‘It’s like déjà vu all over again.’ That’s what the renowned English scholar Yogi Berra might say had he read the following story in the 6 October 2014 edition of the Jackson (MS) Clarion-Ledger: 

 Is Memphis Stealing Water from Mississippi?

Mississippi officials are renewing allegations that Memphis is stealing water from the state.

The U.S. Supreme Court refused in 2010 to consider a similar claim.

The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal reports that Mississippi is seeking at least $615 million in damages. That’s less than half the previous claim of $1.3 billion.

Mississippi alleges that Memphis’ wells have created “cones of depression” in the water table that suck water from Mississippi into Tennessee. It estimates that Memphis has “forcibly” taken 252 billion gallons of water since 1985.

Memphis, its city-owned utility system and the state of Tennessee filed responses last month. They say Mississippi’s claims contradict science and legal precedent. They also say the aquifer is an interstate resource to which no state can claim ownership without formal apportionment.

The aforementioned story was taken from the one written by Tom Charlier, the Commercial-Appeal reporter who’s been covering this story from the beginning. It was he who called me a number of years ago and told me of this story. He wanted some professional input since many of the local hydrogeologists were reluctant to comment. My interest was whetted. Why? It was a:

1) Transboundary groundwater dispute between two US states;

2) Water quantity fight, something more akin to the Western US (apologies to the ACF Basin);

3) Dispute involving groundwater occurring in an area with plenty of surface water (c. 50 inches of annual precipitation, bordering one of the largest rivers in the world);

4) Situation I expect to see more of in the future (fighting over groundwater); and

5) Remarkable opportunity to be proactive by devising a compact (first groundwater-only compact in the US!) and establishing an interstate regional commission to govern, manage, and protect an exceptional groundwater resource.

In fairness, the three riparians (Arkansas is the third party) were in talks to allocate water in the Memphis Sand aquifer, but then Mississippi withdrew and decided to sue. Disputes between US states involving groundwater have occurred but have revolved around groundwater – surface water interactions, such as ‘stealing’ streamflow.

I’ve posted about this story a number of times on my WaterWired blog, the last one being 6 November 2013. Here are a few other recent posts: 26 April 2012 and 17 April 2012 and a post from 26 January 2010 that contains the Supreme Court action and links to previous posts.

By the way, my water lawyer friends tell me that the lack of a Supreme Court decision was disappointing, as many (in the USA and elsewhere) were awaiting a landmark ruling on groundwater.

MS aquiferIn a nutshell: the water from the Memphis Sand aquifer (the water surce in question) had never been allocated among the states of Mississippi, Tennessee, and Arkansas so how could Mississippi claim that its groundwater had been stolen by Memphis? And how did they come up with the value of the water lost?

In an intereesting development, University of Memphis faculty members Brian Waldron and Daniel Larsen, claimed that the situation could be reversed – that pumping in Mississippi could have reduced the flow of groundwater into Tennessee. Here is Tom Charlier’s story about their work.

I met Brian last November at the AWRA Annual meeting in Portland and he told me that their paper was to be published soon in JAWRA. Well, it’s here!

Download MS_Memphis_GW

‘Pre-Development Groundwater Conditions Surrounding Memphis, Tennessee: Controversy and Unexpected Outcomes’, by Brian Waldron and Daniel Larsen, Journal of the American Water Resources Association(JAWRA) 1-21. DOI: 10.1111/jawr.12240 (2014)


Reliance on groundwater resources by differing governing bodies can create transboundary disputes raising questions of ownership and apportionment as the resource becomes strained through overuse or threatened by contamination. Transboundary disputes exist at varying scales, from conflicts between countries to smaller disputes between intrastate jurisdictions. In 2005 within the United States, the State of Mississippi filed a lawsuit against its political neighbor and their utility, the City of Memphis and Memphis Light, Gas, and Water, for groundwater deemed owned by the State of Mississippi to be wrongfully diverted across the state line and into Tennessee by the defendants. The basis of the lawsuit was potentiometric maps of groundwater levels for the Memphis aquifer that showed under suggested pre-development conditions no flow occurring across the Mississippi-Tennessee state line, but subsequent historic potentiometric maps show a cone of depression under the City of Memphis with a clear northwesterly gradient from Mississippi into Tennessee. The suggested pre-development conditions were derived from limited groundwater level observations between 41 and 74 years post-development. A new pre-development map is constructed using historic records that range 0-17 years post-development that shows the natural flow is northwesterly from Mississippi into Tennessee and transboundary groundwater quantities have actually decreased since pre-development conditions.

Below are maps that Waldron provided me a few years ago. The first one shows pre-development conditions and the second shows 2007 (development) conditions. Flow to the northwest from Misssissippi into the Memphis area and Tennessee occurred prior to development.


The flow into the Memphis area and Tennessee appears to have been reduced by the development.


Waldron and Larsen concluded that the flow in the Memphis area had been reduced by about 40,000 cubic meters per day or 12,000 acre-feet per year. See the paper for more information.

Maybe we will get that desired Supreme Court decision, and/or see something along the lines of (5) above.

Perhaps it’s time to call Tom Charlier.

“It’s like déjà vu all over again.” - attributed to Yogi Berra 

TGIF! Weekly Water News Summary, 4 – 10 October 2014

October 10, 2014 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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Great news about the Nobel Peace Prize – nothing like good news on a Friday! It was awarded to (from The Verge):

Kailash Satyarthi and 17-year-old Malala Yousafzay have won this year’s Nobel Peace Prize “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.” The Norwegian Nobel Committee announced the decision at a press conference today in Oslo. Satyarthi, an Indian, and Yousafzay, from Pakistan, will share an award of 8 million Swedish kronor ($1.1 million). With today’s award, Yousafzay — widely referred to simply as Malala — becomes the youngest to ever win the Peace Prize.

And now here is the weekly water news!


“He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.” – Winston Churchill

TGIF! Weekly Water News Summary, 27 September – 3 October 2014

October 3, 2014 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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bottleThis week’s featured visual is Ogallala Water, a bottled water from the mind of Gayle Leonard. The business model is unusual: with each passing year, the amount of water in the bottle declines. It’s already hitting the shelves with 30% less! Wait’ll 2030!

I bet it goes well with Circle of Blue journalist Brett Walton’s last pie of the summer, a blueberry-pecan-buttermilk concoction that had those of us on his Twitter salivating. Wonder if hepie has tried marionberry?

Click here for the weekly news summary.


“It’s not true that you never learn from history. You do, but then you forget.” – Martin Wolf on The Diane Rehm Show


October 1, 2014 | Posted by admin
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Technical Papers:

Caruso analyzes stream characteristics in a mountain watershed in southwestern Colorado and develops a three-level hierarchical classification scheme using national datasets to demonstrate jurisdictional evaluation as “waters of the United States” under U.S. Clean Water Act Section 404 at the watershed scale.

Daraio et al., in two companion papers, use available downscaled climate projections and land use change simulations to simulate the potential effects on average daily stream temperature. They then develop a stochastic hourly stream temperature model to estimate probability of exceeding given threshold temperature to assess potential impacts on freshwater mussels in the upper Tar River, North Carolina.

Zegre et al. present a multiscale evaluation to establish the nature of hydrologic impacts associated with mountaintop removal mining.

Wolaver et al. estimate potential economic impacts of environmental flows for five freshwater unionid mussels in three Central Texas basins (Brazos, Colorado, and Guadalupe-San Antonio Rivers) that encompass 36% of Texas.

Sarlak presents nonparametric to reconstruct streamflow ensembles from tree-ring data in Filyos River region, Turkey.

Sood and Smakhtin show how, globally, desalination with renewable energy can become a viable option to replace domestic and industrial water demand in the 100-km coastal belt by 2050.

Kenner et al. present data showing the atmosphere is a potential consistent source of acetone, benzene, and MTBE to urban streams.

Li et al. develop a recourse-based interval fuzzy programming (RIFP) model for tackling uncertainties in an effluent trading program.

Salman et al. address an ongoing challenge in water governance by examining how profitability at both the farm and basin levels is affected by various water appropriation systems in the Tigris-Euphrates Basin.

Dile and Srinivasan assess the applicability of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction’s Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR) climate data in modeling the hydrology of the Upper Blue Nile basin.


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