Friday, October 24, 2014

Mississippi River Basin Water Resource Weekly News

~Most of the Water News - None of the Spin~

Midterm Elections
The nationwide midterm elections are just eleven days away, and for the political junkies among us (or simply the gluttons for
2014 U.S. Senate Elections
punishment), the National Journal's handy interactive map summarizes each of the midterm gubernatorial and congressional races by state.  It also includes links to candidate biographical, polling, financial and social media information.  Here, for example, are the electoral data for Iowa:

Noteworthy @UpperMiss Twitter Postings for the Week  

Water Quality -
Proposed Federal Clean Water Act Regulations
  • EPA scientific review board backs underpinnings of Clean Water Act jurisdictional proposed rule; letter: (story here:
  • Republican senators and EPA spar over agency’s proposed Waters of the United States rule
  • GOP Senate Agriculture Committee members ask Obama Administration to immediately withdraw agriculture Clean Water Act Interpretive Rule

Other Water Quality News

  • EPA Region 7 issues decision letter on Missouri’s proposed new and revised Water Quality Standards, approving most; release: and letter:
  • Announced at Hypoxia Task Force meeting: Agriculture, Interior Departments partnering to measure conservation impacts on water quality
  • Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance seeks partners to help in its nutrient runoff reduction efforts
  • Summit to address ways of keeping harmful algae blooms out of the Cincinnati water supply
  • Report: phosphorus causing harmful algal blooms in Sauk River Chain of Lakes should be cut by up to 54 percent
  • EPA preliminarily determines that strontium should be regulated in drinking water
  • University of Kentucky study: salamander populations lower, less diverse in streams impacted by mountaintop-removal coal mining
  • USDA to provide over $352 million in loans and grants to upgrade rural water and wastewater systems nationwide
Water Resource Management (Floodplains, Dams, Navigation, Wetlands, Flooding, Supplies, etc.) -
  • EPA invites communities to apply for technical assistance to implement smart growth development approaches, including flood resilience
  • Brookings Institution: In Times of Drought: Nine Economic Facts about Water in the United States
  • In general, the drier the U.S. state, the higher the household water use, and the driest states are now growing the quickest
  • Iowa Flood Center expands sensor network in Iowa River watershed
  • Mississippi tries to renew water-rights battle with Memphis, Tennessee; Supreme Court asks solicitor general to weigh in
  • Lawsuit against Army Corps of Engineers for Missouri River flooding grows to six states; adds 230 new plaintiffs
Agriculture -
  • Diverse coalition releases vision statement for cover crops and soil health
  • Report: Global agricultural productivity isn’t increasing fast enough to meet the growing
    demand in the coming decades
  • U.S. farmers are cutting back on spreading fertilizer this autumn in response to a drop in crop prices
  • Well-timed drought relief for farmers could benefit corn and wheat growers in Kansas, Colorado, and Iowa
  • Land Sale of the Week: $10,900/acre for 157-acre southeastern Iowa corn field
  • US EPA finds little to no benefit to using neonicotinoid pesticides (linked to bee declines) to keep soybeans free of insects
  • Agricultural companies race to diversify beyond synthetic chemical pesticides, amid growing regulatory, consumer scrutiny
  • Farmer, environmental coalition files lawsuit seeking to overturn USEPA approval granted for Dow herbicide
  • To ease transportation crunch, Missouri to allow 10% heavier than normal truckloads of grains on non-Interstate highways for next 60 days
Climate and Weather -
  • Report: green infrastructure is better response to more frequent storms, sea-level rise, other
    National drought update
    (click to enlarge)
    effects of climate change
  • USDA launches web site to provide climate information to stakeholders
  • NOAA: world on course for 2014 to be hottest year ever, after September temperatures were highest ever recorded
  • US weekly drought update: areas of north, central Minnesota abnormally dry; other Midwest areas status quo; slight changes in Plains
  • NASA: North American drought of 1934 was the driest and most widespread of the last millennium
Redbelly snake
Biodiversity, Wildlife and Invasives -
  • Two years after the last Asian carp removal effort, it appears the carp may be eradicated from Hennepin and Hopper Lakes
  • Redbelly snake - an animal that has drawn the ire of developers - will be taken off Kansas' threatened species list
  • Emerald ash borer may be moving on to other tree species beside ash
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration begins $20 million initiative to bring massive numbers of wild pigs under control (a problem in the South and Midwest)
In the Cities -
  • New Orleans is starting to find its footing almost a decade after Hurricane Katrina, but it's a different identity
  • City of Wichita to hold public forum on water plan to upgrade system; protect against a severe drought (Arkansas River)
In the States-
  • Pennsylvania lawmakers approve bill to remove regulatory requirement for forest buffer between development, streams
Gulf Coastal Region-
  • Gulf Restoration Network files lawsuit over project receiving restoration funding related to 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill
  • Supreme Court declines appeal from Louisiana parishes over BP 2010 Deepwater Horizon environmental damage suits
  • BP senior vice president op-ed: "No, BP Didn't Ruin the Gulf"
  • Turtle Island Restoration Network asks Gov. Jindal to protect endangered sea turtles in Louisiana waters
Resource Development -
  • Chemical maker objects to fracking after “near-catastrophic” incident possibly linked to geologic conditions beneath Ohio River
  • Researchers have identified a new method to trace leaks and spills of fracking fluids in the environment
  • Ohio Environmental Council: state Supreme Court ruling on strip mining in state lands is a" bad ruling, for state lands"
Events - Information on all past and future events listed here each week can be viewed in the on-line calendar, located above and to the right (and here as a stand-alone calendar) 
  • USEPA Watershed Academy Webcast on Climate Resilience; Oct. 29 from 1-3 pm EDT and
  • US EPA webcast on new research about cyanobacteria, nutrients and lakes, Oct 30, 1 PM ET
  • Next Upper Mississippi River quarterly meetings of UMRBA and UMRR-EMP CC November 17-19, St. Paul, Minnesota; details:
  • St. Croix River Association Aquatic Invasive Species Workshop, Grantsburg, WI, December 5
  • Mark your calendars: U.S. Water Alliance's 2015 One Water Leadership Summit in San Francisco August 25 - 28
e-Newsletters, Publications, Journals, Multimedia  -
  • U.S. Global Change Research Program October e-newsletter
  • Tulane Institute on Water Resources Law and Policy's October 22 TUWaterWays e-newsletter (PDF file)
  • Montana Watershed Coordination Council's Watershed News for October 23 -  including news of a novel channel migration easement program being offered to landowners
Other news-
  • White House CEQ acting chief: Landscape-level conservation is a priority
  • Interior Secretary Jewell pushes for "strategic vision" landscape-level conservation at Large Landscape Conservation event
  • Winners of  the Mississippi Minute Film Festival - "One River, One Minute, Your Vision" - announced
  • Winners of the St. Croix River Association's 2014 Photo Contest announced
  • Scientists and voodoo practitioners partner at New Orleans Anba Dlo festival to address challenges of dealing with water
  • Wayne County Soil and Water Conservation District (Indiana) seeks Watershed Coordinator for Whitewater River Initiative
  • Cleanup continues one year after crude oil pipeline rupture in northwestern North Dakota wheat field
Politics and People-
  • With Rep. Lucas (R-OK) ending a six-year term as Agriculture Committee chair, Rep. Conaway (Texas) expected to be replacement
  • The Hill ranked all 50 states on a red to blue political scale - Kansas and Mississippi are among the top five "reddest" and Minnesota is second-most blue
  • Republicans would target EPA power plant, ozone, water rules if Senate changes hands
  • House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has sent out a preview of the House agenda for next year
  • New York Times: With farms fading and urban might rising, political power shifts in Iowa
  • Valerie Naylor, longtime superintendent of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, will retire at the end of the month
  • US EPA deputy chief of staff Arvin Ganesan is leaving the agency
  • Senate Republican Leader wants to get must-pass legislation completed during lame-duck session, so GOP can start fresh in 2015 in the majority
  • Poll: Democratic voters are tuning out the U.S. midterms
  • Flood control, recreation are hot topics in campaigns for five Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District board seats
Your Moment of Zen - 

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