Thursday, August 20, 2015

Mississippi River Basin Water Resource Weekly News

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

Noteworthy @UpperMiss Twitter Postings for the Week  
Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Water Quality -
  • A federal judge in North Dakota has granted a Friday hearing on states' request to block Waters of the U.S. rule
  • Toxic algae closing Iowa beaches at record numbers
  • North Dakota Departments of Health and Agriculture urge avoidance of blue-green algae
  • U.S. Geological Survey researchers find neonicotinoid pesticides in over half of U.S. urban and agricultural streams; abstract: and story:
  • New University of Nebraska-Lincoln study suggests that nitrates may play a key role in increasing uranium contamination in groundwater
  • Abandoned coal mines throughout Ohio still taint state rivers and streams with polluted water
  • Wood County (Wisconsin) Board poised to pass groundwater protection ordinance; op-ed: it's the "right thing to do" in fight against nutrient pollution
  • Environmentalists and coal operators at odds over proposed Department of Interior mining stream protection rules
  • Investigators from several Minnesota agencies seek answers to cause of substantial Whitewater River fish kill three weeks ago
  • EPA settles with Iowa Fertilizer Company and Orascom E&C USA for Clean Water Act (stormwater) violations
  • One of last executives charged in West Virginia spill that left 300,000 without tap water pleads guilty to federal violations
  • Army Corps confirms radioactive contamination in yards by Coldwater Creek (St. Louis County, Missouri)
Source: Wisconsin DNR
Water Resource Management (Floodplains, Dams, Navigation, Wetlands, Flooding, Supplies, etc.) -
  • A decade after Katrina, are America's flood frequency estimates dangerously wrong?
  • Groundwater: Diminishing Resource, Increasing Conflict - As high-capacity wells proliferate in Wisconsin, water in groundwater-fed streams and lakes is being diverted
  • Voters to decide whether Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District needs more borrowing power to finance flood-control projects
  • Canal proposed for Arkansas River through south Tulsa; called less costly than more dams and lakes
Agriculture -
  • Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program funding now available nationwide; proposals and pre-proposals due in October and November (grant- and region-dependent) (also see this from NSAC:
  • Federal Reserve: Farmland values dip in Midwest
Source: CNN (click to enlarge)
Climate and Weather -
  • Weekly drought update: dryness introduced in upper Ohio Basin, Oklahoma, elsewhere in the River Basin: status quo or drought relief
  • Op-ed: "El Niño: Why now is the time to act"
Biodiversity, Wildlife and Invasives -
  • There's some good news and bad regarding aquatic invasive species in Minnesota lakes and rivers contains
  • MPR News: Upper Mississippi River mussels making a comeback
  • Wildlife officials grapple with Yellowstone park's surging bison population 
  • Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies: sage grouse numbers rebound from 2007-2013 free fall
Photograph: Alec Soth
In the Cities -
  • The New Yorker photo essay: "City of Water" - the spirit of New Orleans is rooted in the city’s below-sea-level precariousness
  • Rebuilt confidence in New Orleans flood controls fuels rebuilding, but the new flood controls never addressed the wild card of climate change
In the States-
  • Illinois commits to pay out nearly 90 percent of the cash it normally spends even though there’s no budget in place
  • Six weeks into the current state budget cycle, Louisiana is forced to cut $4.6 million from state services; more cuts likely as oil revenues fall
  • Proposed Colorado constitutional amendment would allow local governments more power over oil and gas regulations
Gulf Coastal Region-
  • The Great Boot Debate: Why do all Louisiana maps look essentially the same as they did in the
    Photo: NOAA
    1930s? Is it time for a change?
  • FEMA press release: "Mississippi Hurricane Katrina: A Decade of Progress through Partnerships"
  • The Acadiana Advocate editorial: "Threat to Louisiana’s people, heritage due to coastal erosion, rising seas is real"
  • New NOAA National Habitat Policy affirms that healthy habitat is “vital to resilient coastal and ocean ecosystems and communities”
Resource Development -
  • Arkansas officials consider expanding hydropower to make up for lost coal capacity, contending that "the rivers are not producing as much as they can"
  • Environmentalist seeks to take over mines from bankrupt Patriot Coal Corp. in effort to turn coal green, revive Appalachia
  • Kentucky town wants Republican politicians to stop blocking federal efforts to help local economies adapt to coal's decline
  • Dane County leaders consider ways to work around Wisconsin budget provision blocking a local requirement that Enbridge Energy pipeline company purchase oil spill insurance
  • Public comment sought on application for Wisconsin's Green Tier program by Badger Mining Corporation's industrial sand operation
  • Advocates in Houston County (southeastern Minnesota) seek to ban large-scale frac sand mining
  • Landowners new lawsuit contends that the Iowa Utilities Board has no authority to allow company access to private property to build pipeline
Federal Budget (You can follow the status of all of the fiscal year 2016 appropriation bills on this web page) -
  • When Congress returns from its August recess, it faces a tangle of fiscal deadlines and contentious partisan battles
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)
  • Minnesota Landscape Arboretum 2015 Clean Water Summit: "Reconnecting Rainwater and Groundwater" September 15, 8:30 AM-4:30 PM; MN State Hwy. 5
  • Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council public meeting on draft Initial Funded Priorities List; September 15, 5:30 PM CT, Homer L. Hitt Alumni Center, New Orleans
  • Ohio State University-sponsored Farm Science Review, September 22-24, Molly Caren Agricultural Center, London, Ohio (background:
  • Minnesota Water Resources Conference; October 13-14, St. Paul RiverCentre
e-Newsletters, Publications, Journals, Multimedia  -
  • St. Croix River Association e-newsletter with upcoming events
  • Montana Watershed Coordination Council's August 14 Watershed News
  • Lower Mississippi River Dispatch No. 301; August 17: 80 years in 80 Days
  • Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's Waterfront Bulletin for August
  • Green Lands Blue Waters e-newsletter; re: Continuous Living Cover on agricultural land in the Mississippi River Basin
Illustration: Brian Stauffer
Other news-
  • Chippewa group's plan to gather wild rice on Hole-in-the-Day Lake in Nisswa runs afoul of Minnesota DNR
  • You can now rate the quality of federal government services (such as the US EPA and US Forest Service) on Yelp
  • Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announces $42 million in funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund to states
  • Corn wars: The farm-by-farm fight between China and the United States to dominate the global food supply
  • USDA to invest $20 million to help 15 states increase recreational public access on private farm, ranch, and forest lands
  • Supreme Court raisin ruling may have breathed new life into the public trust of ownership doctrine for wildlife
Politics and People-
  • Iowa Democrat Jim Mowrer will challenge freshman GOP Rep. David Young for the U.S. House 4th District seat; Kim Weaver (D) looks to face off against Steve King (R) in Iowa 3rd District
  • Democratic state Sen. Karen Tallian drops out of Indiana's gubernatorial race, leaving John Gregg as the sole Democratic contender
  • Kentucky Coal Association plans second closed-door meeting with state’s leading gubernatorial candidates: Matt Bevin (R) and Jack Conway (D)
  • At the Iowa State Fair, Presidential contenders spoke with voters, played festival games, and ate an array of food on a stick
Your Moment of Zen - 
Photograph: Greg Morgan/Barcroft Media

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