Friday, January 24, 2014

Mississippi River Basin Water Resource Weekly News

~Virtual Newspaper for an Aquatic World~

New USGS Internet Portal Provides Access to More Than a Century of Sediment Data
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program has
Suspended sediment sampling locations
(click to enlarge)
announced the availability of a new online, interactive, sediment data portal that was developed by NAWQA to improve the utility and accessibility of USGS suspended-sediment data collected from more than 4,900 stream sites across the Nation. The portal is intended to provide easy access to high quality, suspended sediment data, along with ancillary information on streamflow condition, sediment grain size, sampling method, and landscape conditions.

Noteworthy @UpperMiss Twitter Postings for the Week

Water Quality -
  • Concerns continue over transporting fracking waste on the Ohio River in wake of West Virginia chemical spill
  • USGS working closely with Tribes around the country to address water availability and water quality issues on Tribal lands
Water Resource Management (Floodplains, Dams, Navigation, Wetlands, Flooding, Supplies, etc.) -
  • Big drop in Missouri River water levels over the decades becoming critical problem for water utilities, bridges, levees
  • Flood insurance costs rising in North Dakota
  • Wisconsin River Power Company will begin drawing down flowages on the Wisconsin River in February
  • Residents who live near the Missouri River in Bismarck have rejected a proposal to fund a flood protection levee
  • Arkansas River barge traffic in Crawford County at standstill because of overhead railroad bridge damage
  • State Department of Natural Resources plans for a major study on groundwater in central Wisconsin
Farm Bill-
  • Best shot for farm bill passage: filing bill on Monday night; setting up quick Wednesday House vote
  • Farm bill negotiators are struggling with two final issues: dairy and payment limits
  • Agreement on a five-year farm bill may be announced soon, according to Sen. Joe Donnelly (D., Ind.)
Agriculture -
  • American Farmland Trust report: Increased state farmland preservation funding fails to stem development (report here:
  • Semi-annual farmland values study suggests the market for farmland could be leveling off, or in some cases, softening
January 21 Drought Monitor Map
(click to enlarge)
Climate and Weather -
    • NOAA weekly national drought monitor update: slight drought expansion in Louisiana and adjacent Mississippi
    • NOAA reports that 2013 was globally the 4th-warmest year ever recorded
    Biodiversity, Wildlife and Invasives -
    • Minnesota hopeful for more time to battle Asian carp in Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers
    • American White Pelicans spending winter along Arkansas River in Tulsa's warmer climate
    • Bowhunters invited to shoot as many Asian carp as possible in July Illinois River competition, central Illinois
    In the Cities -
    • Memphis to install wastewater treatment improvements aimed at reducing pollution in the Mississippi River
    • Groups say Baton Rouge, LA Mayor Holden and his administration are not making enough changes to protect environment
    Federal Budget -
    • President Obama will deliver his fiscal 2015 budget a month late on March 4
    • Federal officials can't spend money on Missouri River environmental study for 3rd straight year under spending bill
    • Treasury Secretary suggests that Congress needs to raise the debt limit in the next 16 days
    Resource Development -
    • Public hears from environmental and health experts on the potential impact of frac sand mining in Winona, MN
    e-Newsletters, Publications, Journals, Multimedia  -
    • Bi-weekly Green Lands Blue Waters update, highlighting Mississippi River Basin Continuous Living Cover on agricultural land
    • Tulane Institute on Water Resources Law and Policy's January 22 "TUWaterWays" edition (PDF file)
    • Interesting 42-minute, 1930s video of the Upper Mississippi River lock and dam system (video embedded below)
    Other news-
    • EPA Announces Nearly $5 Million in Grants to Support Research to Protect Urban Watersheds with Green Infrastructure
    • Op-ed: Missouri River floodway is the worst location to dump coal ash
    • Less than a week remains to comment on the EPA's proposed cuts to the Renewable Fuels Standard
    • Job announcement: Executive Director - Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana - Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    • Summer job position: Aquatic Field Technician, Illinois River Biological Station
    Politics and People-
    • Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) announced Tuesday he will run for Louisiana governor in 2015
    • Oklahoma Rep. James Lankford announces that he will seek to fill Sen. Tom Coburn’s (R) U.S. Senate seat
    • Omaha attorney David Domina gives Democrats their first candidate by entering race for Nebraska's open Senate seat:
    • Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV-3) to get primary challenge from Major Richard Ojeda:
    • Former state Sen. Kelly Kultala (D) announces she'll run against incumbent GOP Rep. Kevin Yoder (KS-3)
    Last Word -
    "The air of ideas is the only air worth breathing." - Pulitzer prize-winning American novelist, short story writer and designer, Edith Wharton, who was born on this date in 1862.

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