“Ahead of Tuesday’s election, hundreds of thousands of Texans
have already cast ballots on Proposition 6, which would amend
the State Constitution so that $2 billion could be taken from
the state’s savings account to help finance water
infrastructure projects. …
“But whether or not the measure passes, Texas has a long way to
go before solving its water deficit. The drought has shown
little sign of letting up soon, and the state’s population
explosion has not abated, either.
“Installation artist Christo (KRIS’-toh) has said opposition to
his planned ‘Over the River’ project on the Arkansas River in
Colorado is part of the art, and he welcomes debate over what is
appropriate for his displays.”
“Lake Tahoe’s famously blue waters – which make it the clearest
lake of its size in the United States – attract three million
visitors to California and Nevada each year. But decades of
development, and now climate change, threaten this national
“A record fall run of chinook salmon is heading up the Columbia
River — more than any year since the Bonneville Lock and Dam
was built in 1938, impeding natural access to the prized fish’s
traditional spawning grounds and stirring a controversy that
has yet to abate.
“On Tuesday, the millionth adult chinook salmon so far this
year migrated upstream through the massive dam, a milestone
that had never before been reached.”
“A U.S.-Canada treaty that governs operations of the
fourth-largest river in North America — affecting everything from
power prices and water supplies to grain shipments and recreation
in the Pacific Northwest — should be renegotiated to make the
system more flexible amid climate change and to aid threatened
and endangered species that weren’t considered when the treaty
was created decades ago, federal regulators recommended in a
draft document released to The Associated Press.”
“Like communities up and down the Front Range, Boulder has long
been known to be at high risk for flooding because it sits at the
mouth of a canyon and is threaded with creeks. And officials here
prepared for the inevitable.
From EPA Connect, The Official Blog of EPA’s Leadership, in a
post by Nancy Stoner and Lek Kadeli:
“One of the great environmental success stories of our time is
the Clean Water Act. …
“This week, EPA’s Science Advisory Board released for public
comment a draft scientific report, ‘Connectivity of Streams and
Wetlands to Downstream Waters: A Review and Synthesis of the
“Today [Sept. 13] the U.S. Geological Survey led a congressional
briefing featuring state and regional water stakeholders who
spoke about vital uses of comprehensive water information that
would be met by the National Water Census called for by the
SECURE Water Act of 2009.
“The Santa Cruz River watershed, located on the Arizona-Sonora
portion of the U.S.-Mexico border, depends for its perennial flow
on an international treatment plant that treats wastewater on
both sides of the border before discharging it into the river in
Arizona. This treated wastewater has great value for nearby
wildlife and ecosystem managers, property owners and communities.
Now, USGS science has helped to quantify this value for the
benefit of binational water policy makers and other stakeholders.
“There is a bend in the Penobscot River [Maine] here, embanked by
an Indian burial ground, through which millions of fish used to
make a strenuous journey upstream to spawn before returning to
the sea. … But over the centuries, dams on the river
and pollution from paper mills have helped wither the sea runs.
“The idea that glaciers change at a glacial speed is increasingly
false. They are melting and retreating rapidly all over the
world. But the unpredictable flood surges at the Mendenhall
Glacier, about 14 miles from downtown Juneau, Alaska’s capital,
are turning a jog into a sprint as global temperatures and
climate variability increase.”
From the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National
Climatic Data Center (NCDC):
“The average temperature for the contiguous U.S. during June
was 70.4°F, 2.0°F above the 20th century average. The Lower-48
had its 15th warmest and 13th wettest June on record. The
western United States and the East Coast were warmer than
average, while much of the central and southeastern United
States had near-average temperatures.
“The June nationally averaged precipitation total of 3.43
inches was 0.54 inch above the 20th century average.
“Severe drought parched the Southwest from Texas to California
and heat waves set record-high temperatures. A New Mexico
firestorm nearly killed 24 firefighters.
“Sound familiar? Those were actually the events of 1950 in
America, not 2013. In that year, natural cycles in Pacific and
Atlantic oceans’ sea-surface temperatures combined to create
extreme heat and drought across the United States.
“The [U.S. Geological Survey] USGS operates some 7,000 stream
gauges across the country, used by 850 other organizations for
everything from watershed research to bridge design to water
supply predictions. Each gauge costs around $14,000 to $18,000 to
operate annually, and the budget cuts have jeopardized about
From the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA):
“According to the July 9, 2013, U.S. Drought Monitor, moderate to
exceptional drought covers 44.9% of the contiguous United States,
an increase from last week’s 44.1%.The worst drought categories
(extreme to exceptional drought) also increased slightly from
13.6% last week to 13.8%.