Friday, November 7, 2014

Mississippi River Basin Water Resource Weekly News

~Most of the Water News - None of the Spin~
Nitrate in the Mississippi River Basin Surface Waters Now Tracked and Accessible in Real Time 
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) now makes nitrate water concentration information available from select Mississippi River Basin stations, and from a total of 86 sites nationwide.  Within the Mississippi River Basin, nitrate remote monitoring stations have been set up at several main stem and large tributary locations, and at other locations throughout the River Basin.  USGS recently used the remote monitoring data from the Mississippi River at Baton Rouge, Louisiana to evaluate nitrate loading model performance compared to loads actually measured in the lower River.  They summarized those results in this article, appearing in the November 4 issue of Environmental Science and Technology.  You can read more detail about this technology advancement here.

December 3 Deadline to Submit Proposed WRRDA Flood Protection, Navigation and Ecosystem Restoration Projects
Among other things, the 2014 Water Resources Reform and Development Act ("WRRDA") authorized a process for approving and potentially funding flood protection, navigation and ecosystem restoration projects related to the nation’s aging waterways' system. Title V subtitle C of WRRDA, the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (or "WIFIA") provides financial support for infrastructure and related costs, public-private funding initiatives and other innovative credit arrangements, and authorized federal grants to help fund pilot projects.  The Army Corps of Engineers is currently accepting proposals from non-federal entities for feasibility studies and modifications to authorized water resources development projects.  Proposals will be accepted through December 3. In February 2015, the Corps will publish an Annual Report to Congress listing proposed projects, which then may advance to be authorized and funded by Congress.  To find out more, see this blog post and this Federal Register notice.

How the U.S. Mid-Term Elections Turned Out in the Mississippi River Basin
The nation's long electoral marathon is over, a minority of the voting population having spoken. Those voting gave control of the U.S. Senate to Republicans, while the Republican majority in the House grew (presently, a handful of House races, two Senate races and one Governor's race are too close to call).  Here is a link to our overview of the Congressional and gubernatorial election results in the Mississippi River states, and a snapshot of key races elsewhere in the River Basin.  There you will note there that some senior GOP Senators from the Mississippi River Basin now poised to chair several key, water-related Committees in the next Congress.

Noteworthy @UpperMiss Twitter Postings for the Week  

Water Quality -
  • USGS Environmental Science and Technology article on tracking nitrate loading downriver to the Gulf of Mexico (also see summary, above)
  • USGS now makes available nitrate levels at select Mississippi River Basin stations and 86 sites nationwide
  • Six years after a Tennessee coal ash spill, and following a lawsuit and court order, federal coal ash regulations are closer to reality
  • DTN's "Web of Water" series looks at some of the concerns farmers have about Waters of the U.S. rule (article #1); (article #2); (article #3) and (article #4)
  • Nutrient Pollution: A Persistent Threat to Waterways; Environ Health Perspect; DOI:10.1289/ ehp.122-A304
  • Montana Department of Environmental Quality report: Majority of Montana’s waters impaired
  • West Virginia DEP: September drilling accident contaminated groundwater in Doddridge County
  • Company settles with EPA; will pay penalty, restore streams damaged by dredged or fill material in West Virginia
Water Resource Management (Floodplains, Dams, Navigation, Wetlands, Flooding, Supplies, etc.) -
  • December 3 Deadline for Parties to Submit Proposed Flood Protection, Navigation and Ecosystem Restoration Projects
  • U.S. Geological Survey: Water use across the U.S. drops to the lowest level in 45 years
  • Battle lines drawn in what likely will be a West vs. East fight over using Missouri River water in Kansas
  • Dakota County, Minnesota intends to update old dam
  • Will influence the future of Mississippi River navigation: Uncertainties Surround Nicaragua's New Waterway Project
Agriculture -
  • Special Annals of Applied Biology issue: Crop Nitrogen Use Efficiency Virtual Issue - September 2014
  • USDA announces proposed changes to its Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), seeks public comments  Also see: (E and E article and related NSAC blog post)
  • Agriculture shapes the Mississippi River Basin, and these micro and macro trend shifts will shape agriculture
  • USDA's Conservation Reserve Program enrollment plunges to 7-year low as corn acreage expands
  • Worst rail delays in more than a decade are impeding crop shipments in the Midwest, sending grain prices up sharply
  • With over 12,500 acres growing the squash cultivar, Illinois growers account for over 75% of all U.S. pumpkins harvested for processing
  • Organizations and universities announce creation of the Task Force on Antibiotic Resistance in Production Agriculture
  • Opponents of proposed Callaway Co., MO confined animal feeding operation cite possible health, environmental effects
Climate and Weather -
  • US drought update: dryness continues across Minnesota, Arkansas and northwest Louisiana; recent rains ameliorate Missouri dryness
  • NOAA Climate Prediction Center drought outlook for November: south-central Plains and Ohio Valley should see ample rains
  • UN's IPCC: rapid carbon emission cuts vital to stop severe impact of climate change
  • Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.): IPCC climate change report is ‘extreme’ and would ‘cripple’ global economy
  • Climate change an opportunity for Iowa farmers
In the Cities -
  • Memphis leadership is standing their ground in face of opposition to improved biking and walking infrastructure
  • New Brookings Institution interactives show trade flows of goods among 75 largest U.S. markets and 25 largest global markets, Including Mississippi River port cities
In the States-
  • North Dakota voters soundly defeated a measure Tuesday that would have set aside oil and gas tax revenue for land conservation efforts
  • Across the country, Republicans will control 68 of 98 partisan state legislatures next year
Gulf Coastal Region-
  • U. S. EPA’s Gulf of Mexico Program partnership accepting nominations for the 2015 Gulf Guardian award
  • Levee authority, two oil companies release copy of $50,000 wetland damage lawsuit settlement agreement
Forestry -
  • 88-foot, 13,000-pound, 2014 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree cut from Chippewa National Forest in north central Minnesota
Resource Development -
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison scientists discover new way to break down woody waste left after plant-based fuel manufacture
  • Republicans will have the Senate votes in 2015 to green-light construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline
  • Falling oil prices make fracking for oil less lucrative
  • Louisiana added 225 jobs in the biofuels industry during the third quarter
Federal Budget -
  • Work is already underway on an omnibus government funding bill for the lame duck session of Congress beginning November 12
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)
  • EPA and USDA Public Listening Sessions on Pollinator Strategy; November 12 and 17, Washington, D.C. area
  • 2014 National Clean Water Law Seminar: conference focused on municipal clean water legal, regulatory challenges, Nov. 19-21, St. Petersburg, FL
  • Save the date: December 11 December 9 (date change) Great Waters Webinar: "Time to End the Slime – Addressing Nutrient Pollution" 3 PM EST
  • Society for Ecological Restoration Midwest-Great Lakes Annual Chapter Meeting, March 27-29, 2015, Chicago, Illinois
  • 4th Biennial Symposium of the International Society for River Science, La Crosse, Wisconsin, August 23–28, 2015
e-Newsletters, Publications, Journals, Multimedia  -
  • Green Lands Blue Waters update highlighting Mississippi River Basin continuous living cover on agricultural land
  • Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's Feedlot Update - Nov. 5, 2014
  • Water Environment Federation November Stormwater Report -
  • Ohio Wetlands Association's November newsletter
  • Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's Waterfront Bulletin for November 2014
  • NW PAssages E-Zine ~ November 2014; Exploring Greenways and Recreational activities in Northwest Pennsylvania
  • Montana Watershed Coordination Council's Watershed News, November 6
  • Tulane Institute on Water Resources Law and Policy November 5 TUWaterWays e-newsletter
Other news-
  • U.S. House plans votes on 2 bills to increase transparency in scientific process behind environmental rules
  • Position Announcement: University of Minnesota Extension - Aquatic Invasive Species Extension Educator
  • Geological anomolies in landscape may have been caused by meteorites at Jeptha Knob in Kentucky and in the middle of Tennessee
Politics and People-
  • Earl Emmitt Everett, Democrat in race for U.S. House seat in eastern Oklahoma, dies from car accident injuries
  • President chooses Kentucky's Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson as liaison to state and local governments
  • Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) won't be announcing any plans to leave Congress soon, despite a flurry of speculation
  • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: no matter who wins Pennsylvania gubernatorial election, Pennsylvania's prognosis is bleak
Mid-term Elections
Women in Congress over time
(click to enlarge)
Your Moment of Zen -
Gray Fox

No comments:

Post a Comment