Friday, October 1, 2010

Mississippi River Basin Water Resource News for the Week

"Water Stress" is Highest in the Mid-US and Chronic Worldwide for Nature; Pattern Shifts for People
Researchers presenting their findings on September 30 in the journal Nature have compiled a composite index of worldwide "water threats" that includes issues such as scarcity and pollution.  They report that the most severe threat category encompasses 3.4 billion people worldwide.  The authors' "natural water stress" index is particularly high in developed countries like the United States, where the index peaks in the middle of the nation and in the upper Midwest.  The authors' find that in western countries, while conserving water for human use through reservoirs and dams works for people, that approach does not work for the rest of nature, to the eventual detriment of humanity.  They urge developing countries not to follow the same model, but rather invest in water management strategies that combine infrastructure with "natural" options such as safeguarding watersheds, wetlands and flood plains.

An in-depth BBC article on the research findings is located here.  The Nature journal article abstract and links to the article figures can be found here.

NRC Report: Missouri River Planning: Recognizing and Incorporating Sediment Management
A new report released on Tuesday (September 28) from the National Research Council (NRC) reports that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' projects to restore river habitats are not significantly changing the size of the oxygen-depleted "dead zone" off the mouth of the Mississippi River in the Gulf of Mexico.  However, the report also streeses that improved procedures for gathering and evaluating data on Missouri River sediment are needed to "better inform decisions and manage the river's ecosystem, including protecting endangered species and developing water quality standards."  A related press release; report summary (pdf file) and full report are posted on the NRC web site (see links to related press coverage below).

Integrated Water Resource Management Meeting Report
The Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) recently published the summary report for the "Integration: A New Framework and Strategy for Water Management in Towns and Cities" briefing, held this past June in Washington, DC.  The report highlights the roles that integrated water and other resource infrastructure can play in revitalizing cities and towns in the 21st Century.   The report, meeting presentations and video highlights are available on the WERF website.

Notable @UpperMiss Twitter Postings for the Week

In the States -
Floodplains, Dams and Navigation -
  • National Research Council report: improved procedures for gathering & evaluating data on Missouri River sediment needed
  • Scientists: Army Corps' Missouri River plan would pollute River and Gulf Dead Zone, but minimally
  • Science panel gives boost to Army Corps Missouri River restoration plan
  • NRC report: Missouri River helped build Louisiana coast, but won't help restore it
  • WI DNR eyes buyout for Portage flood plain
Agriculture -
  • Ag Secretary Vilsack: world is not on the brink of a rerun of the recent food supply crisis (top article)
  • Iowa Policy Project report: Policymakers should clean Midwestern waterways by focusing on ag pollution
  • Cause of Dead Zone in Gulf: Tile Drainage Directly Related to Nitrate Loss
Events -
Wildlife and Invasives -
  • New invasive mussel in US waters: Chinese pond mussel found for first time in U.S.
  • Environmental groups largely ignored Gulf of Mexico before BP disaster; NY Times:
  • Understanding Missouri River's sediment dynamics key to protecting endangered species
Mississippi River Basin politics -
  • RT @ChrisClaytonDTN: Congressional redistricting to come: IL, IA, LA, MA, MI, MO, NJ, NY & PA expected to lose a district
  • State population #s likely to result in Congressional seat losses in upper Midwest (IL IA MI OH & perhaps MN & MO)
  • Mississippi River Basin politics - From Politico: Democrats fear Midwestern meltdown
  • Mississippi River Basin politics: new KY Poll has Jack Conway (D) & Rand Paul (R) practically even in US Senate race
  • Mississippi River Basin politics: new poll has Giannoulias (D) up in IL Senate race over a slipping Kirk (R) 43- 42%
International Perspective -
  • New study: ~ 80% of the world's population lives in areas where fresh water supply not secure
  • Sept. 30 Journal Nature article: Global threats to human water security & river biodiversity (abstract)
Other News -

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