Category Archives: Non-Virginia

Cellulosic Ethanol Plant Considered World’s Largest Opened in Iowa in October 2015

On October 30, 2015, DuPont officially opened with is believed to be the world’s largest plant producing cellulosic ethanol.   The plant produces ethanol from corn stover–that is, corncobs, stalks, and other materials remaining from harvest of corn grain.  The plant, in Nevada, Iowa, is expected ultimately to produce 30 million gallons of ethanol per year, using an estimated 375,000 tons of stover from about 500 farms in the area.  DuPont has said it plans to sell most of the plant’s product in California, which has a low-carbon fuel standard.

Source: World’s largest cellulosic ethanol plant opens, Des Moines Register, 11/1/15.

For more information from DuPont on the Nevada, Ia., plant:
DuPont Web site at

For more information on cellulosic ethanol:
U.S. Department of Energy/Alternative Fuels Data Center, “Ethanol Feedstocks,” online at

P. C. Badger, “Ethanol from Cellolose: A General Review,” pp. 17–21 in J. Janick and A. Whipkey (eds.), Trends in new crops and new uses, ASHS Press, Alexandria, Va; available online at

Large Desalination Project in California Discussed in 10/31/15 PBS NewsHour Report

Is desalination the future of drought relief in California?” is a 9 min./46 second report aired on October 31, 2015, on the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) NewsHour.  The video and transcript are available online at

The report reviews the current drought in California—in its fourth year as of 2015—and discusses how San Diego County is responding to the drought by building a $1 billion desalination facility—called in the report “the largest in the Western Hemisphere”—to supplement its water supplies.   The report provides an introduction to the process of desalination and examines the water-supply, energy-use, and environmental issues of San Diego County’s project.

Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Horizon Restoration Projects Database and Map

As of October 2015, over five years had passed since the April 20, 2010, Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico oil rig explosion, fire, and sinking that led to a three-month release of millions of barrels of oil that contaminated some 1000 miles of coastlines of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.  Billions of dollars have been committed to current and future efforts to try to restore the Gulf Coast areas and organisms that were affected by the spill. The Environmental Law Institute (ELI) provides an online database and map of Gulf restoration projects related to the 2010 spill. The map and database are available online at; an overview of Gulf recovery processes and funding sources is available at For more information, contact ELI at 1730 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20036; (202) 939-3800; or

A Water Conference Sampler from around the United States – 9/22/15 Edition, Updated 11/16/15

Here are some water  and water-related meetings in the United States in coming months, along with notes for events that recur annually, listed by the month the event typically occurs.

This list is updated as the Virginia Water Resources Research Center learns of new events and a new version is re-posted quarterly.  If you would like an event added, please send basic information (date, location, event title, event organizer, Web site, and contact information) to with subject line: For Water Central Editor.

This post is for non-Virginia events; for water meetings and other events in the Old Dominion, please see the Virginia Water Resources Research Center’s online Quick Guide to Virginia Water Events.

Some of this information was provided by the Virginia Water Monitoring Council (VWMC).  For more information on the VWMC, please visit

Nat Cons TR CTR Shepherdstown Main Building Sep25 2014

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, W. Va. (shown here in Sep. 2014) annually hosts many water-related meetings, including the annual Chesapeake Watershed Forum each September.

Feb. 25-26, 2016, Toronto, Canada: 49th International Conference on Water Management Modeling.  More information:; or contact, Meghan Korman, Computational Hydraulics Int. (CHI),

Mar. 24-25, 2016, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Okla.: Student Water Conference.  Organized by the Oklahoma Water Resources Center.  More information:; or contact Dr. Garey Fox via e-mail to

Apr. 25-27, 2016, Anchorage, Alaska: American Water Resources Association (AWRA) Spring Specialty Conference – “Water-Energy-Environment.”  More information:; (540) 687-8390;

May 2-6, 2016, Tampa, Fla.:  10th National Monitoring Conference.  Organized by the National Water Quality Monitoring Council.  The conference’s theme will be “Working Together for Clean Water .”  More information:

Annual Events
(Shown is the month each year when the event is normally held; specific dates change each year, and locations may change.)

March, Raleigh, N.C.: Annual Conference of the Water Resources Research Institute of the University of North Carolina.  More information:

March, Lincoln, Neb.:  Annual symposium of the Nebraska Water Center.  More information:; (402) 472-3305;

March, in Lincoln, Neb.: Annual Nebraska Water Law Conference.  Organized by the Nebraska Water Center and the University of Nebraska  College of Law.  More information:; (402) 472-3305;

March or April, in different locations –  National Hurricane Conference.  More information:

April, in Washington, D.C.: National Environmental Policy Forum.  Organized by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, Water Environment Federation, and Water Environment Research Foundation.  More information:

April, in Rapid City, S.D.: Western South Dakota Hydrology Meeting. Organized by the U.S. Geological Survey’s South Dakota Water Science Center and several partners.  More information:; Janet Carter, (605) 394-3215 or

May: Symposium on Fire and Forest Meteorology. Organized by the American Meteorological Society. More information (from 2015 symposium):

May, State College, Penn.:  Pennsylvania Groundwater Symposium.   Organized by Penn State Extension and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.  More information (from 2015 symposium):

May: World Environmental and Water Resources Congress.  Organized by the American Society of Civil Engineers.  More information:; (800) 548-2723.

May: Annual conference of the Choose Clean Water Coalition (a group of some 200 organizations in the Chesapeake Bay watershed; based in Annapolis, Md.).  More information (from 2015 conference):; (443) 759-3407;

May-Jun.: annual Congress of the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society.  More information:

June: Conference on Broadcast Meteorology. Organized by the American Meteorological Society. More information (from 2015 conference):

June: Annual conference of the Universities Council on Water Resources (UCOWR), the National Institutes for Water Resources (NIWR), and the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. (CUAHSI).  More information:; or contact UCOWR at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, (618) 536-7571 or

June or July: National Marine Educators Association annual conference.  More information:; phone (844) 687-6632; e-mail:

July: Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference.  Organized by the American Chemical Society.  More information:

April through September: Workshops by North Carolina State University Stream Restoration Program.  For more information click on the individual links below or go to; or contact Cathy Smith at (919) 515-6780 or

July, different locations: Soil and Water Conservation Society’s Annual Conference.  More information:

August, different locations: American Fisheries Society Annual Conference.  More information:

September, National Conservation Training Center, Shepherdstown, W. Va.: Chesapeake Watershed Forum.  Organized by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay.  More information:; (804) 775-0951 (Virginia office) or

September, different locations: Water Environment Federation’s Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC).  More information:

October, different locations: WaterSmart Innovations Conference.  Organized by the Southern Nevada Water Authority and several partners.  More information:; (702) 862-3400.

October, St. Paul, Minn.  Annual conference of the University of Minnesota Water Resources Center.  More information:

November, different locations: American Water Resources Association (AWRA) Annual Conference.  More information:

Water As A Crop® Initiative Aims to Add Market Value to Water Stewardship

The Sand County Foundation of Madison, Wisconsin, sponsors the Water As A Crop® initiative, which seeks to increase collaboration among water users, funders, and owners of private lands who can implement practices to conserve water or improve water quality.  In Texas, for example, the program worked with the MillerCoors company to help fund agricultural land-management practices that reduce pollution and as a result can reduce water-treatment costs for the company.

The program’s Web site is

An introduction to the program is also available in “Can We Start Thinking of Water as a Crop?” in the Winter 2014 issue of txH20, the newsletter of the Texas Water Resources Institute at Texas A&M University, available online at

Tropical Storm Bill Over the Gulf Coast of Texas on June 16, 2015; Predicted to Bring Heavy Rain as far East as Indiana

As of the afternoon of June 16, 2015, Tropical Storm Bill was centered over Matagorda Island on the Gulf of Mexico coast of Texas.  The storm was predicted to bring very heavy rainfall to eastern Texas and Oklahoma, further complicating recent wet-weather problems in two states that, prior to May 2015, had experienced serious drought over large areas since 2010.  (For more on flooding in Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas in May-June 2015, please see this Grouper link.)  Between June 16 and June 19, Bill was expected to turn towards the northeast and bring substantial rainfall to parts of Nebraska, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana.

You can find predictions, advisories, photos, and other information on Tropical Storm Bill–and all other U.S. tropical storms–at the National Hurricane Center’s Web site,

Bill photo

Tropical Storm Bill over Matagorda Island, Tex., 6/16/15, 1:45 p.m. EDT. Photo taken from the National Hurricane Center’s “Latest Satellite Imagery” Web site at, on 6/16/15, 2:45 p.m. EDT.

Bill graph

72-hour rainfall potential graph for Bill, valid for 8 a.m. EDT on 6/16/15 to 8 a.m. EDT on 6/19/15. Graph taken from the National Hurricane Center’s main Web site,, on 6/16/15, 3 p.m. EDT.

Multi-year Drought Impacts on Hydropower in Western U.S. Described in Winter 2015 Issue of Arizona Water Resource

Drought Diminshes Hydropower Capacity in Western U.S., by Mary Ann Capehart, Arizona Water Resource, Winter 2015, from the Arizona Water Resources Research Center in Tucson.

This two-page article gives an introduction to the role of hydroelectric power in the western United States–particularly along the Colorado River—and describes some of the impacts of the current multi-year drought on hydropower production in several western states.

The article is online at, or contact the Arizona center at (520) 621-9591, or e-mail:

Hoover Dam from BLM Web site

Hoover Dam and Lake Mead along the Colorado River between Arizona and Nevada. Lake Mead is highest-volume reservoir in the United States. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, accessed online at, 6/10/15.