September 19, 2013 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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Janny Choy, Research Analyst at the Program on Water in the West, a joint project between the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University, sent me the following email extolling the virtues of a blog post by Stanford grad Emily Bookstein:
A former student, Emily Bookstein (Stanford ’11), has just produced a fresh, compelling, and very timely story – in the form of an illustrated report or comic – about water transfers and agricultural fallowing based on her experience along the Colorado River in southern California. A short blog and link to the comic, released today, can be found here.
Your blog readers would be the perfect audience for this piece. Could you help us spread the word? This topic is timely given recent implementation of the drought contingency plan for the Colorado River basin. Let me know if I can provide you with any additional information.
I took a look at it – it’s in the form of a 21-panel cartoon – and liked it.
Here is a blurb that sets the stage for her ‘graphic novel’ (emboldening is not mine):
Since the mid-1990s, farmers in the Palo Verde valley in Southern California have embraced a new way to supplement their livelihood: temporarily transfering their water rights to urban utilities in exchange for cash. By not farming, farmers free up to 111,000 acre-feet of agricultural water per year for the cities — enough for 220,000 homes. In this illustrated report, the Bill Lane Center for the American West’s research assistant Emily Bookstein (Stanford ’11) looks at the largest and longest water transfer of its kind in California history.
Here is the first panel, explaining what Emily’s doing:
Go here to see the entire sequence.
One issue – on the last panel, Emily states that Los Angeles County, current population 10 million, is expected to grow to 11.5 million in 2050. That seemed low, but I checked here and it’s on target.
Take a look; it does make a complicated issue seem a lot less daunting.
Glad to spread the word, Janny.
“Talking to the Met is like talking to a 700-pound gorilla – they’ve got lots of political power, okay.” – Character in panel 17
September 13, 2013 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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Hope there are not too many paraskevidekatriaphobes out there – people who fear Friday the 13th. We had three in 2012 and will have two in 2013. December 2013 is up next.
Mary Frances and I are relaxing at the Fairmont Empress in
Victoria, BC, celebrating our 20th anniversary. High tea here is something else!
Click here for the summary link. Enjoy!
“Life’s an awfully lonesome affair. You can live close against other people yet your lives never touch. You come into the world alone and you go out of the world alone yet it seems to me you are more alone while living than even coming and going.” – Emily Carr, famous writer and artist, native of Victoria, BC (1871-1945)
September 6, 2013 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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Another World Water Week in Stockholm is now history. I have included a category with a few Tweets that just barely scratches the surface. If you really want to indulge in displacement behavior, check out Twitter hashtag #wwweek.
I attended the Transformational Solutions for Water in the West workshop yesterday in Albuquerque. I’ll have a brief report in a few days.
Click here for the summary.
“A man never stands taller than when he is down on all fours kissing somebody’s ass.” - Rahm Emanuel, quoted in This Town (p. 69)
by Carol Collier, AWRA President
Happy September. Hopefully the extreme heat waves and other summer weather spikes are behind us. I hope you’ve had a chance to attend the AWRA Summer Conferences and/or state sections events. I look forward to seeing you at the AWRA Annual Conference in Portland, OR – November 4-7, 2013. Check out the preliminary program. There is an impressive line-up of technical, research, management, and policy tracks. Portland is a great city in a beautiful part of the country so plan an extra day or two to enjoy the region.
This column was originally written for the September issue of Water Resources IMPACT (in the mail now, so watch your mailboxes), which is dedicated solely to the Colorado River. However, I wish to broaden my comments to the needs of all big rivers that cross political boundaries.
There is an anonymous quote pinned on my office bulletin board: “It is with rivers as it is with people; the greatest are not always the most agreeable nor the easiest to live with.”
I bet anyone who has a role in managing a large river system can relate to that quote! In my job with the Delaware River Basin Commission, some days my head just aches as my staff and I try to figure out how to get all the puzzle pieces to fit together.
There are many federal, interstate and state agencies, as well as research institutions, NGOs and private sector firms performing the technical studies and assessments needed to make management decisions. The hardest part of river basin management is getting to the point of making these difficult decisions. Especially in large river systems, stakeholders may be isolated from other water users due to the size of the river basin and differences in needs, such as urban – rural, groundwater – surface water, etc. They may be unaware of the “one water concept for the basin.” The point has to be made that all aspects of the water system are interconnected and, in many parts of the county, the water supply is being negatively affected by climate change factors and increasing demand. The underlying assumptions are changing.
No one entity can “win the game.” An integrated water management strategy consists of many compromises, adaptive management loops, and, hopefully, creative solutions. Much more attention needs to be given to collaborative modeling for decision support (highlighted in the June, 2013 issue of JAWRA) and other processes that bring interested parties together to develop common ground and provide a basis upon which decision makers can act. This is being used in river basins including the Rio Grande, Potomac, Lake Ontario / St. Lawrence and many others. The University of Maryland with Hydrologics developed an interdisciplinary role-play course to demonstrate the process.
I believe that the analysis and management needed for big river systems is one of AWRA’s “sweet spots.” As I’ve mentioned before, IWRM – Integrated Water Resources Management – is one of AWRA’s strengths (see our Case Studies Report and IWRM Webinar series). We are going further to ensure that in addition to the science of IWRM, the societal and governance aspects receive greater attention. The process takes longer when the interested public is engaged up-front, but it is worth it. There will be a higher level of trust throughout the process and, in the end, a better set of alternatives and greater buy-in to the selected management strategy.
What are your thoughts on this? Please respond in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you. Also, don’t forget to add our 2014 Summer Conference on IWRM – From Theory to Application, Reno, Nevada, June 30 – July 2, 2014, to your calendar. This topic is only getting hotter and AWRA is at the forefront. Join us in Reno for the latest in all things IWRM.
Carol Collier is AWRA president and executive director of the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC). Email: email@example.com.
The following officers and directors will begin their terms of service on January 1, 2014:
President – C. Mark Dunning, CDM Smith, Fairfax, VA
President-Elect – John C. Tracy, University of Idaho, Boise, ID
Director –Brenda O. Bateman, Oregon Water Resources Department, Salem, OR
Director – L. Donald Duke, Florida Gulf Coast University, Ft. Myers, FL
Continuing their remaining terms as AWRA Board members for 2014 are:
Past-President – Carol R. Collier, Delaware River Basin Commission, West Trenton, NJ
Secretary-Treasurer – David R. Watt, St. Johns River Water Management District, Palatka, FL
Director – Rafael E. Frias III, Black & Veatch, Sunrise, FL
Director – Noel Gollehon, USDA-NRCS, Beltsville, MD
Director – John R. Wells, Wells & Associates, Saint Paul, MN
For more information on AWRA’s Officers and Board of Directors, including bios., visit the AWRA website.
August 30, 2013 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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This weekend is Labor Day weekend in the USA and Canada, an event signifying the ‘unofficial’ end of summer. The first Monday in September is Labor Day, an official US federal holiday, after which many children head back to school after summer vacation.
Note: Effective 12 August 2013 I have archived all my ‘Positions Open’ Tweets (including grad student TAs & RAs, paying internships) at #JobWaWi
Have a great Labor Day Weekend!
Click here for the summary.
“To find a form that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now.” - Samuel Beckett
August 29, 2013 | Posted by cmccrehin
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- Spencer Schnier, 2013-2014 recipient of the AWRA Richard A. Herbert Memorial Scholarship – Graduate (Ph.D.) Student Award ($2,000)
- Gabrielle Ostermayer, 2013-2014 recipient of the AWRA Richard A. Herbert Memorial Scholarship – Graduate (M.S.) Student Award ($2,000)
- Matt Ellison, 2013-2014 recipient of the AWRA Richard A. Herbert Memorial Scholarship – Undergraduate Student Award ($2,000)
You can read their biography statements here (pdf).
Again, due to the overwhelming generosity of AWRA members, the Board of Directors and Scholarship Committee are also pleased to announce three additional scholarships awarded for 2013-2014. Recipients are:
- Abigail Charest ($1,000), Ph.D. Student, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
- Karen Jackson ($375), M.S. Student, Colorado State University
- Samuel Woolford ($375), M.S. Student, University of Georgia
In 1980, AWRA established the Endowment-Memorial Fund to be used for the enhancement of education in water resources. The fund has since been renamed the Richard A. Herbert Memorial Educational Fund to honor Richard A. Herbert — a champion for water resources education — who passed away in 1994. In order to carry out his vision, AWRA is proud to announce the availability of $4,000 in scholarships derived from the proceeds of this fund.
To date, the scholarship has helped more than 35 students (pdf) continue with their studies in water resources management. This scholarship program is considered by AWRA and our members to be one of our greatest accomplishments. If you would like to show your support for our next generation of water resources managers, please consider making a donation to our scholarship program. You need not be a member of AWRA to donate.
For more information on AWRA or our scholarship program, contact Membership Services Manager Christine McCrehin, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The American Water Resources Association is soliciting applications for the Editor-in-Chief (EIC) of the Water Resources IMPACT Magazine. IMPACT is a magazine style publication that is wholly owned and published by the American Water Resources Association. (AWRA) IMPACT is a magazine of ideas that looks at the biggest issues facing the water resources community from a trans-disciplinary perspective. IMPACT is published six times a year, with each issue addressing a timely water resource topic from a broad range of perspectives. The Editor-in-Chief works together with the authors, the Associate Editors, and any Guest Editors to create a publication that is accessible to a broad readership, and provokes conversation amongst the water resources profession.
Overview of Position:
The Editor-in-Chief is a volunteer position with AWRA and is the principal architect of the content of AWRA Water Resources IMPACT. The Editor-in-Chief should be a practicing water resource professional, well known and respected in his/her areas of practice. Working with a team of associate editors and the AWRA staff, the Editor-in-Chief has the final say on the content of IMPACT. AWRA is the publisher and the AWRA staff is responsible for the administrative publishing decisions, such as the pricing, marketing, and production of IMPACT. It is estimated that this position will require a time commitment of approximately 10 hours per month on average.
Primary Job Responsibilities:
Act as an ambassador to the author/editor/reviewer/scientist community
The Editor-in-Chief will be the public voice of the magazine and will exercise that voice through appearances on behalf of IMPACT, through editorials in IMPACT, and through interactions with the water resources community as appropriate.
Set the Strategy for IMPACT
The Editor-in-Chief is responsible for assuring that IMPACT is addressing topical issues of importance to the water resources community. In addition, the Editor-in-Chief will work in collaboration with his/her editorial team, AWRA staff and the AWRA Board to set short- and long-term goals, objectives, and strategies for the magazine. The Editor-in-Chief will present major proposed changes to the AWRA Board for discussion and approval.
Lead the Associate and Guest Editor Selection Process
The Editor-in-Chief is responsible for recruiting and managing a group of Associate Editors for IMPACT. The Editor-in-Chief will obtain advice where needed to create a sufficient pool of candidates for open positions and may choose to include AWRA Board members and Chairs of AWRA Task Committees as consultants in creating the pool of candidates. Once selections are made, AWRA staff will aid the Editor-in-Chief to help validate credentials, and educate the candidates on AWRA policies. In addition, the Editor-in-Chief should work towards identifying persons that can serve as future Editors-in-Chief, and work towards recruiting and mentoring these persons to prepare them to lead IMPACT.
Provide periodic status reports to the AWRA Board
The Editor-in-Chief is appointed by the AWRA Board of Directors and as such will prepare a status report on the state of IMPACT and present it to the AWRA Board. The report will include such metrics as usage, articles published, and other quantitative and qualitative measures as the Editor-in-Chief deems appropriate. AWRA staff will supply information regarding revenue from all sources and marketing and selling efforts. The status report will be delivered to the AWRA Board during the Board’s annual meeting.
Conduct and attend meetings
The Editor-in-Chief will conduct an annual meeting of the IMPACT Associate Editors. Appropriate AWRA staff will participate in the meeting and provide information necessary to develop the status report. The Associate Editors will discuss the direction of IMPACT, ideas for improvement, technology and other innovations, and make recommendations for improving the quality, readership and overall usefulness of IMPACT.
Qualifications for Position:
- Excellent writing and organizational skills
- Experience as an Associate Editor/Editor for a professional publication
- Recognized leader within the water resources community
- Experience with both print and electronic publication processes
- Ability to work in a multi-disciplinary collaborative environment
- Ability to create and communicate a vision
- Effective interpersonal communication skills
Term of Appointment:
The term of appointment for the IMPACT Editor-in-Chief is for three years. It will begin on January 1, 2014 and may be renewed upon mutual agreement of the Editor-in-Chief and the AWRA Board of Directors.
An honorarium will be provided to the Editor-in-Chief, as well as complimentary registration to AWRA conferences.
Applications should contain:
- A letter of application that addresses the qualifications for the position
- A one-page summary of your vision for the future of IMPACT
- A professional CV
Deadline Extended: Applications must be received at the AWRA Headquarters by October 18, 2013.
Email Applications: email@example.com (must be 10M or less)
Mail Applications: IMPACT EIC Search, c/o American Water Resources Assoc., 4 West Federal St., Po Box 1626, Middleburg, VA 20118
The final selection process for the Editor-in-Chief of Water Resources IMPACT will occur during the annual AWRA meeting in Portland, OR, November 4-7, 2013.
Please direct any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: IMPACT EIC Search
August 27, 2013 | Posted by LHooper
A Western City Collaborates for Meaningful Water Education, Part 3
by Lydia Hooper
When the Clean Water Act (CWA) came into being in 1972, it was thanks in no small part to the voices of active citizens who scanned the water quality in their neighborhood and took issue with what they saw. Today, some of the CWA’s enforcement involves continuing education and outreach about water quality. While this requirement often isn’t viewed as important as infrastructure, for example, education and outreach have demonstrated potential to be the most sustainable and long-lasting of the efforts to keep America’s waters clean.
The CWA seeks to prevent pollutants from entering U.S. waterways, and the EPA is tasked with setting standards and implementing programs in this regard. This can be a challenge in industrial and urban corridors, particularly in the West, where often pollutants are transported through Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s) directly into local waterbodies – without any sort of treatment. Denver is one of many cities that must develop stormwater management programs to prevent harmful pollutants from entering the MS4. The program for public outreach and education primarily addresses pollution that is not traceable to a single origin (also known as non-point source pollution).
When Denver’s wastewater division began implementing its MS4 programs in 1998, outreach components were limited to brochures inserted into stormwater bills and booths at a few community events. By 2006, the city had created a media campaign to foster general awareness. They decided to use the “Keep It Clean” (KIC) slogan developed for statewide use, but modified it to also include “from drain to stream” based on surveys that revealed that Denver residents were mostly unaware that stormwater does not get treated like household water does.
The KIC campaign also incorporated more targeted grassroots efforts. Denver began to evaluate and use social marketing as a tool for public behavior change. In their efforts to reach out to schools, they partnered with the non-profit Earth Force, using the educational resources they provided and served as occasional classroom speakers for Earth Force educators.
In 2008, this partnership expanded and Earth Force began implementing programming in schools that centered on the campaign’s goals. The Earth Force Process leads students to investigate and complete civic action projects that address issues of concern, in this case, those related to water quality. For example, last school year a group of fourth-graders at Logan School for Creative Learning invited Denver City Council president Mary Beth Susman to come to their class to discuss their concerns about the local Westerly Creek. Susman vowed that she’d use letters that they wrote as comments for forthcoming funding decisions.
In the past five years, both partners have found that by investing in highly meaningful, long-term programming, rather than merely executing one-time events, educational efforts have been more effective and impactful. By establishing relationships with an increasing number of schools, government agencies, and other non-profits, this partnership has greatly expanded the reach of the KIC campaign.
In 2012, KIC reached 682 students through projects at their schools, and 5,040 students through afterschool programs, including almost 4,000 via partner Greenway Foundation’s South Platte River Environmental Education. We also helped 298 young people participate in the World Water Monitoring Challenge.
Read my post next month to find out more about how developing these partnerships and building consensus has helped with the execution of the MS4 outreach outlined above. This blog is the third of a monthly series that offers ideas other cities can consider on addressing water issues through collaboration and creation of exciting educational opportunities.
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.
August 21, 2013 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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Thanks to Wayne Wright for sending this my way.
“I’ve searched all the parks in all the cities and found no statues of committees.” – G.K. Chesterton