All things freshwater: news, analysis, humor, reviews, and commentary from Michael E. 'Aquadoc' Campana, hydrogeologist, hydrophilanthropist, Professor of Hydrogeology and Water Resources Management in the Geography Program of the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences (CEOAS) at Oregon State University, Emeritus Professor of Hydrogeology at the University of New Mexico, Past President of the American Water Resources Association (AWRA) and Past Chair of the Scientists & Engineers Division of the National Ground Water Association (NGWA). He is President of the nonprofit NGWA Foundation and the nonprofit Ann Campana Judge Foundation, an organization involved with WaSH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) in Central America. He serves on the Steering Committee of the Global Water Partnership (GWP). CYA statement: with the exception of guest posts, the opinions expressed herein are solely those of Michael E. Campana and not those of CEOAS, Oregon State University, ACJF, AWRA, NGWA, GWP, my spouse Mary Frances, or any other person or organization.
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 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).
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.
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
The chapter I most want to read? The Sacramento - San Joaquin River Delta: Resolving California's Water Conundrum. The author? Pat Mulroy. Several years ago I semi-facetiously suggested that she be appointed Water Czar (Czarina?) for the Bay-Delta. Call me an optimist or a moron, but I believe she could have effected positive change in that wicked water problem.
Yeah, I just ordered it. The book, that is.
************************************************************************ User's Guide - if you are new to this summary: each of the items here is a Tweet from my WaterWired Twitter account for the week ending today, arranged by category. It is not a comprehensive summary of the week's water news; it is my summary.
To access a story, click on the link beginning with 'http://', 'is.gd', or 'bit.ly' (usually). Clicking on a link beginning with '@' will take you to that person's Twitter account; clicking on a link beginning with '#' (hashtag) will take you to a Twitter list containing Tweets about a particular topic. Some items may not have a hot link to a story, which is fine - it may have been just an informational item or a personal message to someone. Or, I may have screwed up and forgotten the link!
Scroll down to 'Positions Open' and 'Previous Weeks' Positions Open' to see the jobs. All my individual job Tweets are archived at #JobWaWi. Previous weekly summaries are archived at: #WaWiNews or click here.
Top 25 (More or Less) Enough Groundwater for the Tourists? Paper: 'When Wells Run Dry: Water and Tourism in Nicaragua' http://bit.ly/2nN31YL
This article uses a political ecology approach to examine the relationship between tourism and groundwater in southwest Nicaragua. Tourism remains a growing industry; however, adequate provisions of freshwater are necessary to sustain the production and reproduction of tourism and it remains uncertain if groundwater supplies can keep pace with demand. Integrating the findings of groundwater monitoring, geological mapping, and ethnographic and survey research from a representative stretch of Pacific coastline, this paper shows that diminishing recharge and increased groundwater consumption is creating a conflict between stakeholders with various levels of knowledge, power, and access. It concludes that marginalization is attributable to the nexus of a political promotion of tourism, poorly enforced state water policies, insufficient water research, and climatic variability.
This paper traced the global growth of tourism to the local context of Gigante, where all users are reliant on groundwater. Although southwest Nicaragua receives more precipitation than other global high-density tourist destinations, its complex geology quite often limits the full usage of precipitation as recharge. Declining water tables over the past four years consti- tute an important signal that water abstraction is exceeding aquifer(s) capacity. The ensuing struggles over water and their unequal outcomes are the result of unsustainable tourism development, recent drought, and unsupported water laws and policy. These struggles were captured through a political ecology lens that scrutinized linkages between politics, economics, and ecology. Following in the steps of Stonich (1998), Gössling (2001), and Cole (2012,2014), the paper makes a valuable contribution to the gap in research on the tourism-water nexus. Further, it contributes to general political ecology literature by offering rigorous ecological knowledge in its assessment and counters assertions from Bassett and Zimmerer that the field of political ecology is essentially ‘‘politics with ecology” (2004, p. 103).
Several conclusions for tourism developers and policy makers can be drawn from the details of this research. First, tour- ism is expected to grow at a global level and in emerging destinations such as Nicaragua. Economic challenges facing Nicar- agua has led to a prioritizing of tourism to generate jobs and economic growth. This puts Nicaragua into the political economy of tourism, thereby subjecting itself to the demands of global capitalistic markets and normative expectations of tourism. The tourism literature shows that arrivals from ‘developed’ countries use a much larger percentage of water than local users, resulting in a strain on local populations and environments in water scarce settings. It is evident that tourism is already impacting water resources in the Gigante area. This pressure on groundwater is anticipated to increase given recent advertising for this area of Nicaragua’s Pacific Coast in prominent international surf, outdoor, golfing, inflight magazines, and travel sections of newspapers like the New York Times. Its appeal as an ‘‘undiscovered luxury beach destination for billion- aires and celebrities” (Dobson, 2015) is further enhanced by the opening of a new regional airport able to accommodate Gulf- stream jets. This increased visibility and accessibility will likely translate to increased tourism visits and an array of interest in growing tourism development.
Second, this study provides physical evidence of a water crisis as local consumption has outpaced supply. Tourism driven groundwater abstraction and diminished rainfall in four of the past six years has resulted in lowered groundwater tables and in some cases seawater contamination. Although the national water law requires a water budget for each water basin, none have been completed to date and virtually no technical information exists to inform sustainable abstraction rates.
Finally, this study concludes that the gap between national water policy and implementation has opened the door for water ‘grabbing’ by those with power, whereby the poor are marginalized through lack of access, or control of the benefits of water. When wells run dry, or become contaminated, local populations must walk further to wells with sufficient water supply. This compounding of work for daily water needs inevitably leads to greater cost, or diminished use of water and sub- sequent potential health risks. Further, accessing reliable sources of groundwater adds considerable stress and expenses for tourism enterprises using deeper and often distant wells to meet their ever-growing demands. The success of these businesses, reliant upon steady water supply, has direct implications on jobs and livelihoods for local populations. Until water budgets are proposed for water basins, poor water management by tourism operators may result in the failure of their oper-ations and simultaneously the creation of a class of losers—the original and less powerful members of this coastal community.
Very thoughtful. Enjoy!
"There's nobody can prevent you getting into heaven, but there are many always ready to give you a shove into hell." -Nicaraguan proverb
As more jobs come in I will post them at the bottom (Additional Positions) and date when I post them. I start the additional positions with the ones I posted the week before that are still open. I am also posting some general job sites.
Some General Employment Resources:
1) Check out @AidJobs - Vacancies in aid, development, humanitarian & nonprofit sector (volunteers, consultants or F-T employment) http://aidjobs.org
1) Chief of Staff – water.org (Kansas City, MO, USA): Until filled (This is a more senior-level position, but it’s a rare moment that a chief of staff position comes open in the water community, especially with such a well-reputed organization).
Imagine my surprise when I learned that a paper I wrote almost seven years ago finally was published, without my knowledge.
I gave a presentation on the Mississippi v. Tennessee groundwater case at a UNESCO-IHP meeting in Paris in December 2010. All speakers were asked to provide a brief paper before the meeting - early Fall 2010, I believe. I expected UNESCO-IHP to publish a proceedings volume within a few years. Dream on, right? Never happened.
UNESCO-IHP dropped the ball, likely for money reasons. So I am glad that editors Jean Fried and Jacques Ganoulis finally took matters into their own hands and published the papers.
Okay, let's just say that my paper is dated. But I am glad it's seeing the light of day.
Conflicts between USA political jurisdictions over transboundary aquifers are rarer than conflicts over surface water bodies. The recent case involving the Memphis Sand aquifer in the south-central USA, a seeming anomaly, could indicate that more such cases are on the horizon. This presentation will discuss the case and its implications for transboundary groundwater management within the USA.
The Memphis Sand aquifer underlies about 26,000 km2 in the south-central USA, primarily in the states of Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky. The aquifer is renowned for its good quality water, making it an ideal source of drinking water. The aquifer provides water to the residents of Memphis, Tennessee, and many of the residents of Shelby County, Tennessee—a total of over 1.1 million people. The city-owned water utility, Memphis Light, Gas, and Water (MLGW), daily pumps anywhere from 600,000 to 760,000 m3/day from the aquifer, which is up to 200 meters thick beneath Memphis.
The state of Mississippi, which lies just south of Memphis, claimed that MLGW’s pumping from the Memphis Sand was capturing water from beneath the state of Mississippi—up to 30% of the total pumping—and that the state was entitled to damages. Memphis claimed its groundwater pumping was ‘reasonable’ and did not reduce the availability of water in Mississippi. In 2005, the state sued the City of Memphis and MLGW for over USD $1 billion in U.S. Federal District Court. For Memphis, losing the case would not only mean potentially paying a large penalty but also dictating that MLGW would have to tap the Mississippi River for some of its water, necessitating construction of an expensive treatment plant.
The district court dismissed the lawsuit; Mississippi appealed the case, but the original decision was upheld. The appellate court also required that the State of Tennessee be designated a defendant in the case as it was a “necessary and indispensable party” to the lawsuit. It further ruled that since the lawsuit was now between two states, it must be decided before the U.S. Supreme Court, which declined to hear the case. Mississippi’s claim was thus rejected, although the Supreme Court left the door open for another lawsuit if Mississippi thinks it can prove that damage has occurred.
In summary, Mississippi v. Memphis will have a profound influence on water management in the US. It has elucidated a number of issues that will no doubt appear again in the future, some of which are: (1) groundwater ownership versus use; (2) the resolution of transboundary groundwater disputes that do not involve state versus state; (3) the value of groundwater and possible groundwater marketing; (4) the public trust doctrine as applied to groundwater; and (5) the need for compacts designed specifically for groundwater.
"Truth is confirmed by inspection and delay; falsehood by haste and uncertainty." - Tacitus
Circle of Blue Circle of Blue uses journalism, scientific research, and conversations from around the world to bring the story of the global freshwater crisis to life. Here you’ll find new water reports, news headlines, and hear from leading scientists.
Drink Water For Life The idea is simple. Drink water or other cheap beverages instead of expensive lattes, sodas, and bottled water for a set period of time. A day, a week, a month, Lent, Ramadan, Passover, or some other holiday period.
eFlowNet Newsletter From the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) this newsletter has lots of information about environmental flows and related issues.
Sustainable Water Resources Roundtable Since 2002, the Sustainable Water Resources Roundtable (SWRR) has brought together federal, state, corporate, non-profit and academic sectors to advance our understanding of the nation’s water resources and to develop tools for their sustainable management.