TGIF! Weekly Water News Summary, 22 – 28 November 2014

November 28, 2014 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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AliceRunning late today – jet-lagged from yesterday’s trip from Budapest to Corvallis, Oregon. Had a great first meeting as a Steering Committee member of the Global Water Partnership. 

Here is a picture of my Dutch GWP Sterring Committee colleague Alice Bouman-Dentener enjoying a glass of water from the Budapest Waterworks, which we toured on 26 November. Alice is an Honorary Founding President of the Water for Women Partnership. 

Now it’s time to enjoy the weekly water news – click here.


“So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
And we never even know we have the key.”
– Already Gone, by The Eagleswritten by Jack Tempchin and Robb Strandlund

50 Years of AWRA: OWAGs Galore, History & Other Great Stuff!

November 23, 2014 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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AWRA is celebrating its 50th aniversary this year and a gaggle (17) of past presidents gathered for a photo at its recent annual conference. Three more -  Richard Tucker (1980), Gerry Galloway (2007), and David DeWalle (2006) were present but are not in the photo.

AWRA Presidents

The ones in the photo are:

Front row: Bob Moresi (2004), Yours Truly (2011), Jerry Sehlke (2009), and Ken Lanfear (2002)

Back row: Ari Michelsen (2010), Stephan Nix (1997), David Moody (1992), Janet Bowers (2000), C. Mark Dunning (2014), Arlene Dietz (1987), Jane Rowan (2008), Carol Collier (2013), Bill Battaglin (2012), Donald Potts (1996), Nancy Lopez (1994), Jerry Rogers (1989), and Chuck Mosher (1993)

BTW, ‘OWAG’ is my cutesy acronym for ‘Old White American Guy’ (and its politically incorrect sibling, ‘Gal’), and there are a number of male OWAGs above. It should be noted that with a few exceptions (yours truly in red) the OWAGs were not OWAGs when they were  president. I actually think most of those above have aged very well.

AWRA has had just seven women presidents in its 50 years – not that good. Its first was not until 1987, when economist Arlene Dietz (behind my right shoulder) took the helm. Five of the seven are in this photo. From left to right in the back row: Janet Bowers, Arlene Dietz, Jane Rowan, Carol Collier,and Nancy Lopez. Missing are Melinda Lalor (2005) and Jane Valentine (2003). Things have obviously picked up since the start of this century. We will have another one in 2016 when Martha Corrozi Narvaez assumes the top leadership position. I suspect several more will follow in quick succession after Martha. Just sayin’….

Here is our founder, Dr. Sandor Csallany, cutting the cake:


It is fitting that I am posting this from Csallany’s native country, Hungary, whence he and his wife Agnes escaped in 1957.

Past Presidents Jerry Rogers and David DeWalle did us all a great service by assembling a history of AWRA:

Download AWRA_history


I would love to be able to make it to the 75th anniversary, but that’s a long shot (age: 91), especially if sentience is a requirement.

Suffice it to say that AWRA is a fabulous organization, and I am honored and humbled to be in such a select group of water leaders.

I am hard-pressed to come up with a better quote than this, the same one Rogers and DeWalle used in their AWRA history publication:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead

TGIF! Weekly Water News Summary, 15 – 21 November 2014

November 21, 2014 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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Love this picture of a ‘band’ of lake effect snow descending upon the Buffalo area. See more photos here.

Let’s hope that the area does not experience a spell of warm weather or worse, a warm rain-on-snow event. Could be ugly…

Lake Effect

Two stars - Jay Famiglietti and Lesley Stahl, both of whom ‘GRACED’ 60 Minutes on 16 November 2014.

Jay and Lesley

There will probably be fewer Tweets next week. I will be at the Global Water Partnership meeting in Budapest through 26 November.

Click here to access the weekly water news summary.

“It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end.” - Ursula K. LeGuin

TGIF! Weekly Water News Summary, 8 – 14 November 2014

November 14, 2014 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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Seemed to have dodged snowy and freezing rainy weather here in the Willamette Valley. But it’ll be back.

Gwp-logoGetting psyched for my upcoming Global Water Partnership meeting in Budapest 24-26 November. I’ve been getting lots of e-documents to peruse. Lucky I’ve got some long flights ahead of me. I leave on 21 November, return on Thanksgiving Day.

I have been appointed to the Human Resources Subcommittee, one of the three standing subcommittees of the Steering Committee.

Enough about me – click here to read the weekly water news.

“Necessity is the mother of taking chances.” - Mark Twain

Remembering Reisner Redux….And Then Some

November 13, 2014 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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Yesterday we at Oregon State University were treated to a great seminar by Sarah Bates, who spoke on ‘Addressing Water Issues in Private Land Conservation Planning’. It was based on her excellent publication, Land Trusts & Water – Strategies & Resources for Addressing Water in Western Land Conservation. I hope to get her PPT for posting, since it provided a succinct summary of her report. I urge you to read the report; it is very readable.

Sarah-bates-faces_125x148Prior to her talk we had the opportunity to chat for about 45 minutes, and most of our conversation revolved around the late Marc Reisner, who left us far too early at 51 in 2000. We both agreed that we need to keep his memory and thoughts alive, and try to ‘do’ Western water differently from the way it’s been done lo these many years. Reisner certainly told it like it was, but in a way that few had heard.

I mentioned to Sarah that I used to require my students to read Reisner’s Cadillac Desert, regardless of the particular water topic addressed by the class: groundwater hydrology, groundwater hydraulics, contaminant transport, etc.

I told Sarah I could clearly recall the day he came over to Reno to speak to Reisner1us about Western water. Cadillac Desert had just been published. I had invited him to address our Hydrology/Hydrogeology seminar at the University of Nevada, and he was more than happy to drive over from the San Francisco area.  I told him we could not afford an honorarium but could pay his travel. He agreed, asking if we could put him up an extra night or two so he could go fly fishing. I happily consented to his request.

17737921Over 100 people filled the small lecture hall for the noon – 12:50 PM event. I had asked Marc if he needed any A-V aids and he replied no. He then proceeded to speak from memory – no notes, no hesitation, no stumbling, no nothing – mesmerizing the crowd as he spun his tale of Western water. At 12:50 PM I interrupted him and explained that some people might have to leave for 1 PM classes but that we had the room for another hour and could continue if he would like to. He nodded apporvingly and I then asked if anyone had to leave. Not one soul stirrred. He went on for about another 40 minutes, then took questions. It was one of the most amazing performances I had ever heard. He knoew it all, and it was filed upstairs.

After our chat I decided I would post about Reisner and his legacy. I realized I had done this in March 2011.  Wy not just repeat that post? I have done so below.


The more I ruminate on Western USA water issues, the more I find myself returning to Marc  Reisner’s  Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing WaterThat seminal book, one of the 100 best English-language nonfiction books of the 20th century according to the Modern Library (it’s #61), turns 25 this year. It’s still worth your time; the writing alone is superb. As I’ve said for years, it reads like a novel.

One of ther most intriguing aspects of the book is its title. It’s catchy: Cadillac Desert.  But I suspect that most people who just call it Cadillac Desert  (or CD) are oblivious to its complete title: Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water [emboldening mine]. Disappearing -that’s important, and prescient as well.Overtapped Oasis

Far fewer people realize that he (and Sarah Bates) followed up CD with Overtapped Oasis: Reform Or Revolution For Western Water in which he posited some solutions. That’s fodder for another post.

Reisner was not the first to portend the West’s water problems but he was the first one to describe them so eloquently, painstakingly documenting their history and the personalities involved.  He died far too young in 2000 at the age of 51.

Here’s a scientific assessment of some of CD’s predictions.


Thanks, Sarah.

I’ll close this post with the same quote I used in 2011:

“If surface water can be compared with interest income, and non-renewable groundwater with capital, then much of the West was living mainly on interest income. California was milking interest and capital in about equal proportion. The plains states, however, were devouring capital as a gang of spendthrift heirs might squander a great capitalist’s fortune.” – Marc Reisner, Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water, Chapter 12, p. 457 (in the original hardcover edition)  [Note: by 'devouring capital' Reisner was referring to the pumping of the Ogallala aquifer.]

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 


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