Category Archives: Non-Virginia

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 http://waterasacrop.org/.

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 http://twri.tamu.edu/publications/txh2o/winter-2014/.

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, http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/.

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 http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/satellite.php, 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, http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/, on 6/16/15, 3 p.m. EDT.

A Water Conference Sampler from around the United States and Canada – 6/15/15 Edition; Updated 7/6/15

Here are some water  and water-related meetings in the United States and Canada in coming months.  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 water@vt.edu 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 http://www.vwmc.vwrrc.vt.edu/.

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 2015 Chesapeake Watershed Forum on Sept. 24-26 (listed below).

April through September 2015: Workshops by North Carolina State University Stream Restoration Program.  For more information click on the individual links below or go to http://www.ncsu.edu/srp/rivercourse.html; or contact Cathy Smith at (919) 515-6780 or cathy_smith@ncsu.edu.
Apr. 1-3, Asheville: RC 101: Stream Morphology & Assessment.
May 6-8, Asheville: RC 201: Natural Channel Design Principles.
May 12-14, Raleigh, Goldsboro, and Beaufort: RC 522: Coastal Plain Tour & Evaluation.
Jun. 1-2, Banner Elk: RC 131: Assessment & Identification of Riparian Vegetation.
Jul. 8-10, Raleigh: RC 302: Hydraulic Modeling for Stream Restoration.
Sep. 15-17, Asheville: RC 161: Taxonomy & Pollution Ecology of Aquatic Insects.

Jul. 26-28, 2015, San Jose, Calif.: Nutrient Symposium 2015.  Organized by the Water Environment Federation, the Water Environment Research Foundation, and the California Water Environment Association.  More information: http://www.wef.org/nutrient/.

Jul. 26-29, 2015, Greensboro, N.C.: Soil and Water Conservation Society’s Annual Conference.  More information: http://www.swcs.org/en/conferences/2015_annual_conference/.

Aug. 5-7, 2015, Wenatachee, Wash.: Watershed Management Conference.  Organized by the American Society of Civil Engineers.  More information: http://watershedmanagementconference.org; (800) 548-2723.

Aug. 16-20, 2015, Portland, Ore.: American Fisheries Society Annual Conference.  More information: http://2015.fisheries.org/.

Sep. 9-11, 2015, Boston, Mass.: Coastal Structures and Solutions to Coastal Disasters Joint Conference.  Organized by the Coasts, Oceans, Rivers, and Ports Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers.  More information: http://www.copricoastalconference.org; phone (800) 548-2723.

Sep. 20-22, 2015, Little Rock, Ark: National Conference on Energy Efficiency as a Resource.  Organized by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.  More information: http://www.aceee.org/conferences/2015/eer.

Sep. 24-26, 2015, National Conservation Training Center, Shepherdstown, W. Va.: Chesapeake Watershed Forum.  Organized by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay.  More information: https://allianceforthebay.org/our-work/engaging-local-communities/chesapeake-watershed-forum/; (804) 775-0951 (Virginia office) or contact@allianceforthebay.org.

Sep. 26-30, 2015, Chicago, Ill.: Water Environment Federation’s Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC).  More information: http://www.weftec.org/.

Oct. 5-6, 2015, Roanoke, West Va.: Water, Energy, and Agriculture–2015 Water Resources Conference of the Virginias.  The TheOrganized by the West Virginia Water Research Institute and the Virginia Water Resources Research Center.  More information: http://wrcvirginias.org/;   or contact Andrew Stacy, Conference Coordinator, at (304) 293-7085 or wvwaterconference@mail.wvu.edu.

Oct. 7-9, 2015, Las Vegas, Nev.: 8th WaterSmart Innovations Conference.  Organized by the Southern Nevada Water Authority and several partners.  More information: https://www.watersmartinnovations.com/; (702) 862-3400.

Oct. 13-14, 2015, St. Paul, Minn.  Annual conference of the University of Minnesota Water Resources Center.  More information: http://www.wrc.umn.edu/waterconf/; Nicole Freese, (612) 624-3708.

Oct. 13-16, 2015, New Orleans, La.: Broadening Coastal Perspectives.  Organized by the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association.  More information: http://asbpa.org/; phone 239-489-2616; e-mail: managing@aspba.org.

Nov. 1-4, 2015, Baltimore, Md.: Chesapeake Session at Geological Society of America (GSA) Meeting.  The session’s theme is “Restoring the Nation’s Largest Estuary: Lessons Learned from Efforts to Address Changes in Water Quality and Ecosystem Structure and Function within the Context of Landscape Change and Climate Variability in the Chesapeake Bay and Its Watershed.”  More information: http://community.geosociety.org/gsa2015/home.

Nov. 1-5, 2015, Salt Lake City, Utah: Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry North America Annual Meeting.   More information: http://slc.setac.org/.

Nov. 16-19, 2015, Denver, Colorado: 2015 American Water Resources Association (AWRA) Annual Conference.  More information: http://www.awra.org/index.html.

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: http://acwi.gov/monitoring/conference/2016/.

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: http://www.ncsu.edu/wrri/code/events/annualconference.htm.

March, Lincoln, Neb.:  Annual symposium of the Nebraska Water Center.  More information: http://watercenter.unl.edu/Symposium2015/index.asp; (402) 472-3305; pliedle@nebraska.edu.

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: http://watercenter.unl.edu/WaterLawConf2015/index.asp; (402) 472-3305; waterinfo@unl.edu.

March or April, in different locations –  National Hurricane Conference.  More information: http://hurricanemeeting.com/.

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: http://www.nacwa.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7&Itemid=4.

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: http://sd.water.usgs.gov/WSDconf/; Janet Carter, (605) 394-3215 or jmcarter@usgs.gov.

May: Symposium on Fire and Forest Meteorology. Organized by the American Meteorological Society. More information (from 2015 symposium): http://www.ametsoc.org/Meet/fainst/201511fireforest.html.

May, State College, Penn.:  Pennsylvania Groundwater Symposium.   Organized by Penn State Extension and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.  More information (from 2015 symposium): http://www.cvent.com/events/pennsylvania-groundwater-symposium/event-summary-7f0179d905604e529c082002cc0f4522.aspx.

May: World Environmental and Water Resources Congress.  Organized by the American Society of Civil Engineers.  More information: http://www.ewricongress.org; (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): http://choosecleanwater.org/our-conference/may-19-20-2015/; (443) 759-3407; info@choosecleanwater.org.

May-Jun.: annual Congress of the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society.  More information: http://congress.cmos.ca/.

June: Conference on Broadcast Meteorology. Organized by the American Meteorological Society. More information (from 2015 conference): http://www.ametsoc.org/Meet/fainst/201543broadcast.html.

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: http://ucowr.org/conferences; or contact UCOWR at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, (618) 536-7571 or ucowr@siu.edu.

June or July: National Marine Educators Association annual conference.  More information: http://www.marine-ed.org/general/custom.asp?page=NMEA_2015; phone (844) 687-6632; e-mail: nmea@marine-ed.org.

July: Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference.  Organized by the American Chemical Society.  More information: http://www.gcande.org/.

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 https://wrrc.arizona.edu/drought-diminishes-hydropower, or contact the Arizona center at (520) 621-9591, or e-mail: wrrc@cals.arizona.edu.

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 http://www.usbr.gov/lc/hooverdam/gallery/picindex.html, 6/10/15.

Louisiana/Oklahoma/Texas Severe Weather and Flooding, May-June 2015

Beginning the first week of May 2015, severe storms and heavy rain in Oklahoma and Texas caused tornadoes and flooding that resulted in significant loss of life and property damage.  As of May 26, the respective governors had issued disaster declarations for all of Oklahoma’s 77 counties and over 40 of Texas’ 254 counties.

On May 29, the governor of Louisiana issued a State of Emergency proclamation regarding flooding on the Red River and other Louisiana water bodies.  By June 10, the River was well above flood stage at several locations, including Shreveport.

You can get a quick overview of May 2015 rainfall and river rises in Oklahoma and Texas from the following comment from U.S. Drought Monitor for May 26, 2015 (the weekly Drought Monitor, produced by the University of Lincoln-Nebraska, is available online at http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/).

“…By May 26, month-to-date rainfall totals climbed to 18.97 inches in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and 14.53 inches in Wichita Falls, Texas.  In both locations, those values represent the highest monthly totals on record.  Previously, Oklahoma City’s wettest month had been June 1989, with 14.66 inches, while Wichita Falls’ had been May 1982, with 13.22 inches.  Oklahoma City’s total was boosted by a daily-record total (3.73 inches) on May 23, part of a broad heavy rain event that led to catastrophic flash flooding in portions of the south-central U.S.  In Texas, for example, preliminary [U.S. Geological Survey] data indicated that the Blanco River at Wimberly rose more than 35 feet in less than 8 hours, cresting on May 24 at 27.21 feet above flood stage.  he preliminary high-water mark at Wimberly was 6.91 feet above the previous record set on May 28, 1929. The San Marcos River near Martinsdale, Texas, surged more than 51 feet in less than 24 hours on May 23-24, based on initial data.

Following are several government and news media sources of information about these ongoing situations.

Government Sources
National Weather Service “River Observations” Web page, at http://water.weather.gov/ahps/#.  At this page, you can view a color-coded map of the current and expected flood status at river gages across the United States, and you can click on each location for more detailed information.  Similar information is available from the NWS/Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Center’s “River Forecast Centers” page, at http://water.weather.gov/ahps/rfc/rfc.php.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Disaster Declarations Web page, https://www.fema.gov/disasters#.  A federal major-disaster declaration was issued for Oklahoma on May 26 and for Texas on May 29.

Louisiana’s emergency-management Web site, at http://emergency.louisiana.gov/.

Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, situation reports for “Severe Weather Event—May 6 and Continuing,” online at http://www.ok.gov/OEM/Emergencies_&_Disasters/2015/20150506_Severe_Weather_Event/;

Texas Department of Public Safety, Situation Reports for “8 May 2015 Severe Weather Event,” online at http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/dem/sitrepindex.htm.

Louisiana State of Emergency Proclamation, 5/29/15, online at http://gohsep.la.gov/agencyrelated/85_BJ_2015_Imminent_Threat_of_Flooding.pdf.

Governor Mary Fallin Announces Federal Assistance Granted for Oklahomans Devastated by Storms, Floods; All 77 Counties Now Under a State of Emergency, Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management News Release, 5/26/15.

Governor Abbott Adds 24 Counties To Disaster Declaration, Texas Governor’s Office News Release, 5/25/15.

National Weather Service/Storm Prediction Center, daily storm reports, online at http://www.spc.noaa.gov/exper/archive/event.php?date=20150527.

News Media Sources
Shreveport Times – ongoing coverage, online at http://www.shreveporttimes.com/.

The Oklahoman – ongoing coverage, online at http://www.oklahoman.com/live.

Houston Chronicle – ongoing coverage at http://www.chron.com/news/houston-weather/.

Dallas Morning NewsFlood-control effort in Dallas area a daunting task, 5/27/15 (with links to related articles).

PBS NewsHour – More rain adds to Texas flooding, disrupts river rescue search (2 min/14 sec), 5/27/15; and Could more have been done to prepare for Texas floods? (5 min./43 sec.), 5/27/15.

Oil Pipeline Break and Spill in Santa Barbara County, California, on May 19, 2015; Summary and Information Sources

On May 19, 2015, an underground pipeline carrying crude oil along the coastline of Santa Barbara County, California, ruptured and spilled an estimated 101,000 gallons, of which an estimated 21,000 gallons reached the ocean water via a stormwater culvert (estimates reported in news accounts as of May 25).  The Plains All American Pipeline is a 24.6-inch diameter, 10.6 mile long pipeline between Las Flores Canyon and Gaviota, Calif.  The federal Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has regulatory authority over the pipeline, which is operated by Plains All American Pipeline LP (https://www.plainsallamerican.com/).

Following are several ongoing sources of information, as of 5/26/15.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife, “Cal Spill Watch,” online at https://calspillwatch.dfg.ca.gov/.

CBS News, California Oil Spill Photo Gallery, online at http://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/california-coastline-oil-spill/.

Los Angeles Times, “Full Coverage – Santa Barbara Oil Spill,” online at http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-santa-barbara-oil-spill-20150520-storygallery.html.

U.S. Coast Guard, District 11 (includes California), online at http://www.uscg.mil/D11/.

U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, “Briefing Room,” online at http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/media-congress.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Emergency Management, “Oil Spills,” online at http://www.epa.gov/oilspill/.

Preliminary Severe Weather Reports for May 9-10, 2015, from NWS/Storm Prediction Center

Below are the National Weather Service/Storm Prediction Center’s maps of preliminary (not yet verified) reports of high winds, hail, and tornadoes in the continental United States on May 9 and May 10, 2015, including fatal tornadoes on May 10 in Arkansas and Texas.  (For a news account, see At Least Five Dead After Storms Rip Through Southern US, French Press Agency [AFP], as published on Yahoo.com, 5/11/15).

May 9 storm reports May 10 storm reports

The daily storm-report maps and notes are available online at http://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/online/.  From that link, you can also access the Center’s archive of maps and reports going back several years.