Thursday, September 2, 2010

Mississippi River Water Resource News for the Week

Water Tools and Initiatives
A 41-page guide to global and regional initiatives on water and business has been prepared by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the International Union for Conservation of Nature, grouping those initiatives under one or more of these categories:
    -identify and assess water-related risks.
    -measure water use and assess water-related impacts
    -develop response options and/or risk mitigation strategies. 
Each initiative is summarized on one page that contains a synopsis of initiative information in a consistent format. For example, the WBCSD Global Water Tool©) provides a web site, contact, objectives such as "Enable effective communication with internal and external stakeholders," key features such as "an Excel workbook, an online mapping system that plots site locations with external water datasets and spatial viewing via Google Earth."  The report also includes information regarding who can access the initiative tool, the target audience, available materials, geographic and sectoral focuses and other details. A water glossary and other links are also provided.  Download or read the PDF file report here.

G8 Report on Water and Biodiversity: Business Risks and Opportunities
The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) is a global study funded by the G8 nations and five major developing economies. A TEEB report on biodiversity and business was released July 13 by the UNEP, the European Commission and supporting countries.  The report provides insight into how businesses face risks and opportunities associated with biodiversity-related issues, including water supply and water quality. Biodiversity provides both water services and requires water. For example, ecosystem water services include riparian vegetation, which filters waters and reduces erosion, flood protection, catchment services (such as receiving wastewater), microbiological purification of wastewater, carbon sequestration, recreational and cultural services. Many businesses both require reliable sources of water and influence water quality through wastewater discharge. Water supply is dependent on well functioning ecosystems and subsystems, including lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands, as well as  on land use practices.
The report suggests that water represents both risk and opportunity from a business perspective. Water quality is harmed by overuse of fertilizer, poor sanitation facilities and stormwater runoff. Businesses may face risks of increased water costs, shortage of water (including restrictions and rationing), and damage to reputation due to excess use of water or poor water treatment. Business opportunities include water trading, new technologies for wastewater treatment, desalinization and closed loop systems, new products and processes using less water, improved reputation through water management initiatives and partnerships with local communities. Water quality trading using water footprint methodologies are emerging as a form of water accounting . For example, SAB Miller collects data for sites and regions to produce a footprint for a particular product (for example, a unit of beer). Climate change exacerbates local stresses due to water quality, affecting runoff, flooding and coral reefs and other biological resources.  Visit here for more information.

Notable @UpperMiss Twitter Postings for the Week
St Louis Post-Dispatch editorial: Corps of Engineers Mississippi River project needs independent review
Army Corps of Engineers modifies Mississippi River pool 6 drawdown at request of local business
River otter are returning to Upper Mississippi River basin
EPA Denies Petition Calling for Lead Ammunition Ban (PDF file of denial letter:
Federal & IL EPA seeking public comment at upcoming meetings on Illinois River Total Maximum Daily Load study
Huge losses put federal flood insurance plan in the red
Des Moines Register guest opinion: "Stop planting corn river bank to river bank"
Comment deadline Sept. 17 for EPA final draft of new national Clean Water Strategy
Minnesota DNR Holding Open House on Zebra Mussel Infestations
Southern Minnesota Cattail Catastrophe
Water Sustainability in the 21st Century: the Minnesota Approach
RT @MinnesotaNews: Two area cities receive funding for clean water
IA DNR director says pollution from Lake Delhi is 'atrocious'
Horinko Group Mtg this PM on Networks, Coalitions, and the Role of Social Capital in Water Resources Management
Can Minnesota's Coon Rapids dam stop Asian Carp movement up the Mississippi?

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