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In Recognition of World Water Day, A Year of News

March 24, 2014Patrick NunnallyProgram & AnnouncementsComments Off on In Recognition of World Water Day, A Year of News

World Water Day was Saturday, March 22.  In recognition of the day, Circle of Blue, the online water news source, posted a series of tweets highlighting significant water news from the year just passed.  A sampling of this sample:

Water infrastructure rates a “D” according to the American Society of Civil Engineers.  Those of us who are old enough may remember the old commercial tagline, “You can pay me now, …or you can pay me later.”  Investment in infrastructure seems a given, right?  But we aren’t, and we can hope the bill won’t be too high when it comes due.

Floods in Central Europe reached levels not seen in 500 years.  Questions are raised about disaster management and response, whether the floods and their scale could have been anticipated, and what should be done to try to avoid repeats of these disasters.

Oil pipelines connected to Canada’s tar sands boom raise concerns about groundwater in the Great Lakes region.  Twin pipelines under the Straits of Mackinac between Michigan and Ontario raise questions about a rupture that could contaminate the Great Lakes themselves.

Under the terms of a 2007 agreement, the US Bureau of Reclamation makes biennial estimates of flow in the Colorado River.  The 2013 study points to continued decline, which is likely to affect 40 million people.

California’s drought may have been the most visible water story in the United States, although the full impact, including food price hikes, may not be known for some time.

The Great Lakes made the news again, this time with reference to a toxic algae problem that caused at least one public water utility to have to close and flush its system.

Closing on a good note, Circle of Blue reports that its data dashboard has been featured as part of the White House climate change initiative.

None of these stories is about the Mississippi River or the Mississippi River basin, which, as these things go, is probably ok.  But all of these stories speak to issues that are quite readily possible somewhere in the basin or along the main stem in the easily foreseeable future.




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