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  • Aguanomics
    The economics of water (and some other stuff), courtesy of economist David Zetland.
  • Alltop Water
    An aggregation of the top water blogs and their five most recent posts - all in one place!
  • Aquafornia
    The California water news blog by the Water Education Foundation.
  • Authentically Wired
    Water and a lot more from Paul F. Miller.
  • AWRA
    The water resources blog of the American Water Resources Association.
  • Blue Marble Earth
    A wandering, articulate Earth scientist just a few years from Vanderbilt University, Courtney van Stolk explores the 'whys' of this fantastic planet.
  • Building Bridges
    Anna Warwick Sears, Executive Director of the Okanagan Basin Water Board in British Columbia, provides an insider's view of water management.
  • California Water Blog
    A biologist, economist, engineer and geologist walk onto a bar…From the Center for Watershed Sciences at UC-Davis.
  • Campanastan
    That's 'Campana-stan', or 'Place of Campana', formerly 'Aquablog'. Michael Campana's personal blog, promulgating his Weltanschauung.
  • Chance of Rain
    Journalist Emily Green's take on water issues.
  • Chronicles of the Hydraulic Brotherhood
    The personal blog of Lloyd G. Carter, former UPI and Fresno Bee reporter, attorney, and California water observer for many years.
  • ClimateChangeWaterBlog
    Global travels in freshwater climate adaptation from John H. Matthews.
  • Cool Green Science
    The conservation blog of The Nature Conservancy. More than a dozen science and policy experts blogging away!
  • Dr. Anne Jefferson's Watershed Hydrology Lab
    Anne blogs from Kent State University on a variety of earth science topics.
  • Ecocentric
    A blog about food, water and energy.
  • Great Lakes Law
    Noah Hall's blog about - what else - all things wet and legal in the Great Lakes region!
  • GrokSurf
    George J. Janczyn opines on water, environment, technology, law and politics in the San Diego area.
  • Hydro-Logic
    Matthew Garcia reports on hydrology and water resources in the news and science media.
  • International Water Law Project
    Gabriel Eckstein, Director of the IWLP at Texas Tech University, comments on international and transboundary water law and policy.
    From Parker J. (Jim) Wigington, the editor of the Journal of the American Water Resources Association.
  • John Fleck
    Former science writer at the Albuquerque Journal. Great stuff on climate, water, and more.
  • Legal Planet: Environmental Law and Policy
    From the UC-Berkeley and UCLA law schools, it highlights the latest legal and policy initiatives and examines their implications.
  • Living in Actively Moving Water
    Chris Corbin blogs about water rights and water markets.
  • Maven's Notebook
    A water, science, and environmental policy blog by Chris Austin, aka 'Maven'. Focus is on California.
  • On The Public Record
    A 'low level civil servant who reads a lot of government reports writes about California water and related topics.
  • Random Groundwater Notes
    From Thomas Harter at UC-Davis:"Grundwasser" [groondvusr], German, n. groundwater, water below the surface of the earth
  • Wettit - the water reddit
    Water blog with tons of news items, other blogs, etc.
  • Riparian Rap
    Steve Gough on river geomorphology and the business, politics, and science of river ecosystem conservation.
  • Significant Figures by Peter Gleick
    Peter Gleick, WaterWonk extraordinaire, tells it like it is and should be with respect to water.
  • Texas Agriculture Law Blog
    Don't let the name fool you - there are lots of water issues in agriculture and Tiffany Dowell of Texas A&M University does a fabulous job with this important Internet resource. Give it a read - I do every day!
  • The Water Blog
    From the Portland, OR, Water Bureau.
  • The Way of Water
    Oregon State University Geography PhD Student, Jennifer Veilleux, records her fieldwork, research, and thoughts about transboundary water resources development in the Nile River and Mekong River basins. Particular attention is given to Ethiopia's Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and Laos' Xayaburi Dam projects.
  • Thirsty in Suburbia
    Gayle Leonard documents things from the world of water that make us smile: particularly funny, amusing and weird items on bottled water, water towers, water marketing, recycling, the art-water nexus and working.
  • This Day in Water History
    Michael J. 'Mike' McGuire, engineer extraordinaire, NAE member, and author of 'The Chlorine Revolution', blogs about historical happenings in the fields of drinking water and wastewater keyed to calendar dates.
  • WaSH Resources
    New publications, web sites and multi-media on water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH).
  • Waste, Water, Whatever
    Elizabeth Royte's ('Bottlemania', 'Garbage Land') notes on waste, water, whatever.
  • Water 50/50
    From Jay Famiglietti at UC-Irvine. Fifty lectures in fifty weeks: The 2012 Birdsall-Dreiss Distinguished Lectureship. A global lecture tour delivering the message about our changing water cycle, groundwater depletion, and the future of freshwater availability.
  • Water Matters
    News from the Columbia University Water Center.
  • Water SISWEB
    From UC-Davis water students. More than just a blog, it's a water resources community social bookmarking site. The users run the show, and all can participate.
  • Watercrunch
    The sound when people and water collide. A curious blend of water, infrastructure, history, and science. Broadcasting from Clemson, SC.
  • WaterCulture
    David Groenfeldt adds value to water policies.
  • Watershed Moments: Thoughts from the Hydrosphere
    From Sarah Boon - rediscovering her writing and editing roots after 13 years, primarily as an environmental scientist. Her writing centres around creative non-fiction, specifically memoir and nature writing. The landscapes of western Canada are her main inspiration.
  • WaterWired
    All things fresh water: news, comment, and analysis from hydrogeologist Michael E. Campana, Professor at Oregon State University.
  • Western Water Blog
    The 'mystery blog' about Western USA water issues. What more can I say?
  • xAnalytical
    Doug Walker's xAnalytical blog:Turning Data and Information into Knowledge

« Texas A&M Journal of Real Property Law: Special Issue on 'Water Law' | Main | TGIF! Weekly Water News Summary, 9 - 15 November 2013 »

Thursday, 14 November 2013


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Will Anderson

That lawn could look a lot better with 1/4 the water if they just spread some compost on it. Or hired a consultant. Irrigating nonstop just leaches all the nutrients away. . .


Hi, David and Matthew.

Thanks for the comments.

Some info about the Portland Water Bureau and the rate issue. IMHO I think the PWB is pretty well run. They just finished a $1B 'Big Pipe' project to deal with CSOs. The EPA has ordered them to cover their reservoirs. They have a filtration waiver from EPA for the Bull Run watershed but I am unsure how long that will last. So they are under some 'price pressure'. And then there are the usual other infrastructure issues (old pipes, emerging contaminants, etc.) that will cost $$$.

@David: you raise a good issue about the 'moral hazard' or 'moral sin' involved. Water is currently plentiful in the area. So if the folks can afford it, shouldn't they be able to use as much as they want? My class generally felt this way.

@Matthew: you raise an equally valid issue about environmental flows. There are other uses besides human ones and in the PNW watershed restoration is almost a religion. So we have an obligation to the environment as well. I would come down on the side of cutting back on your water use for environmental conservation.

1M gallons per year?? C'mon man!

Matthew Heberger

@David, I'm not an expert on the situation in Portland, but I think there are two things happening here.

First, re: "abundance." Sure, the Pacific Northwest is wet and rainy, so it's easy to call their water supply abundant. But their water comes from the Bull Run River, a tributary of the Columbia which supported salmon and other anadramous fish species that are now endangered. In brief, diversions are killing federally-listed species, so that's one reason to use less water.

Regarding the need to raise prices, Portland's water utility rates are going up a lot faster than inflation. You know well that this is the case for a lot of US utilities these days, since they are dealing with costly infrastructure maintenance and upgrades, more stringent water quality laws, and greater demand for environmental protection.

Where should all the money they need come from? I think we agree that it should be the water users themselves. Simple volumetric rates are simpler and more economically efficient, but I think utilities should also worry about fairness and social equity, and I think that's why our opinions differ on "tiered rates." It seems fair to charge a small amount for water for basic needs, and much higher unit costs for water use that is "discretionary," like irrigating the acres of grapes behind your Italianate villa!

David Zetland

@Matthew -- you sound reasonable, but why raise prices if water's abundant? Is there some "moral sin" involved? I'm happy to concede a high level of environmental flows but what if it's STILL abundant?

I'm seeing a little too much "oh, my, they don't recycle" in this article, which is kinda silly compared to real issues.

Matthew Heberger

I kind of love these stories, just because they attract a lot of attention. A couple observations: almost every entry mentioned leaks. Plus, there is a lot of large landscape irrigation happening with potable water. So a couple of ideas for the water utility managers in Portland:

1. Install smart meters so people can get timely notification of leaks. Failure to repair a large leak in a few days should be grounds to cut off someone's service.

2. Institute steeply tiered rates. These big water users apparently don't respond to price signals and pay their bills without batting an eye. Then the big users cross-subsidize, and no rate increase is necessary for average water users.

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