Excerpt: Wichita Falls water users should have recycled waste water coming to their homes and businesses in May.
Excerpt: Today was the last of 40 days of testing required by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to ensure the water is safe to drink.
All preliminary tests show the recycled water is safe to drink. Officials at the Cypress Treatment Plant say so far the project has had very few glitches.
Excerpt: If they say the water is safe, then officials will take 7 and a half million gallons of the water that gets flushed down toilets and washed down drains to the River Road Waste Water Plant, then pump it back to the Cypress Water Treatment Plant. That water will go through 4 treatment process, turning it into 5 million gallons of recycled water, blending it with 5 million gallons of water from Lake Arrowhead and Kickapoo for a total of ten million gallons coming from the treatment plant to faucets.
Excerpt: Meeting the drinking-water needs of Arizona’s future population will force residents to live with trade-offs. But as more people move here and are born here, they may not have a choice, state officials say.
Excerpt: Instead of pushing big water projects, the state should look at reducing water demand and seriously consider whether the growth envisioned in the report is achievable, desirable or sustainable, the Sierra Club said.
Excerpt: The water study was not an academic exercise — it was designed to spur action, said Lacey, the state water director. The agency hopes for broader public participation in water issues than anytime since Arizona’s landmark Groundwater Management Act passed in 1980, he said.
Excerpt: When it comes to water in America, this truth is self-evident: We are guzzlers from sea to shining sea. Nowhere, though, are the effects of our thirst as visible and self-destructive as they are in the Southwest, the fastest-growing and driest region of the country, where just one long and lonely river, the Colorado, must slake the needs of seven states.
Excerpt: It's not seriously disputed that the region's water shortfall is large and will become worse, even in the absence of drought. Likewise, it is widely acknowledged that increasingly strict conservation measures will soon become the norm in the region. What is striking, however, is the reluctance of state officials, builders, and others to acknowledge two more truths that the weight of evidence points to: first, that the relentless growth the Southwest has become accustomed to over the last half-century is unsustainable; second, that either in a planned way executed over time to cushion shock or disruptively after more years of whistling past the graveyard, growth of population and industry will slow and stop.
Excerpt: "The Western dream," he says, "is going to come with an asterisk that says 'P.S. Bring your own water.'"
Excerpt: The drought that has been afflicting most of the Western states for 13 years may be a “megadrought,” and the likelihood is high that this century could see a multidecade dry spell like nothing else seen for 1,000 years, according to research presented at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting last week.
Excerpt: He said that the chances of a widespread multidecade megadrought are high in the worst-case scenario, but he quoted University of Arizona geosciences professor Jonathan Overpeck to characterize the chances of megadrought in less severe scenarios: “It’s extremely non-negligible, the risk of prolonged multidecadal megadrought.”
The bottom line: “The picture looks like we’re going to have to take this seriously,” Ault said.
Excerpt: The challenges in the Colorado River basin are large, but the good news is that cost effective solutions are available and already being tested in different parts of the basin. Implementing these solutions now will be good not only for the region’s iconic Colorado River, but also for the region’s economy.
The reality is this economic engine and lifeline of the West is running out of fuel. The Colorado River literally dries to a trickle before it even reaches the sea. Increasing populations, extended drought and uncertain future weather patterns undermine a secure water future for the region.
Excerpt: A more efficient water future will not only create a more secure water supply, but will also provide a boost to the economy. Farmers can increase productivity and use less water by upgrading aging irrigation systems. And they can reap financial rewards from voluntarily sharing some of their saved water with cities and rivers.
Excerpt: During presentations this week at the annual fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union, researchers at the University of California, Irvine, announced that the region’s most visible signs of drought – shrinking reservoirs – are dwarfed by groundwater losses.
Excerpt: From March 2005 to June 2013, the Colorado River Basin lost 5.7 cubic kilometers (4.6 million acre-feet) of water per year, or more than 47 cubic kilometers (38 million acre-feet) over the 100-month study period. The cumulative losses are equal to 1.3 times the storage capacity of Lake Mead, the nation’s largest reservoir. Most of the water losses are attributed to groundwater pumping, mainly for irrigated agriculture.
Excerpt: If the federal government’s river-flow forecast holds true, the lower release from Powell will set up the Lower Basin for a shortage that could be declared as early as 2015 or 2016. Such a declaration is based on how much water is in Lake Mead. Arizona and Nevada would be the only states to endure water restrictions at this first shortage tier. Moreover, water managers in Arizona told Circle of Blue in August that they would weather cuts in water deliveries from the river by pumping more groundwater.
Excerpt: There's a better than 50 percent chance of an official water shortage being declared in 2016 for the Lower Colorado River Basin as a result of the drought that has gripped the river's watershed for the last 14 years.
Excerpt: That's if the current trend continues, Daniel Bunk, a hydrologist for the Lower Colorado Region with the the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, told the Colorado River Citizens Forum Wednesday during an update on the status of the Colorado River Basin.
He noted that 2000 to 2013 was the driest 14-year period in more than 100 years of historical record. And based on tree ring studies, it is the fourth or fifth driest period in the past 1,200 years.
Excerpt: If a shortage is declared by the Secretary of the Interior, Arizona would bear by far the biggest impact, according to an agreement in 2007 that established shortage sharing guidelines. Under the guidelines, Arizona, which is allocated 2.8 million acre-feet of Colorado River water a year, would receive 320,000 acre-feet less water. Nevada would receive 13,000 acre-feet less water and Mexico 50,000 acre-feet less. California would not be impacted.
Excerpt: Population growth, drought and increasing demand are challenging the Colorado River and threatening Western economies and outdoor lifestyles.
"In order to meet those challenges, we have to acknowledge that the current management and current use of the river is unsustainable. We've got to start from that point," said Udall, addressing the first Business of Water Corporate Leaders Summit in Denver, hosted by Protect the Flows, a network of almost 1,000 businesses advocating for protection of the 1,450-mile river.
Excerpt: Every speaker offered concrete strategies for not just protecting water but educating consumers on its value. George Wendt urges the 3,000 people a year who float his OARS rafts down the Colorado River to support conservation. Broomfield's WhiteWave Foods makes sure consumers know its plant-based drinks require 77 percent less water per half gallon than cow milk. MGM Resorts International is fighting to include water conservation in energy-saving metrics that often focus only on reducing carbon impact.
Excerpt: "Conserving the great outdoors is a long-term investment in jobs that can't be outsourced," said Udall, who suggested that a balance between increased conservation and wastewater treatment, expanding storage and recharging groundwater supplies would alleviate pressure on the Colorado River.
Excerpt: Step 1 – Admit there is a problem
According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Water use has been growing at more than the rate twice of population increase in the last century
By 2025, 1 800 million people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity, and two-thirds of the world population could be under stress conditions
Excerpt: Step 2 – Educate yourself
One of our favorite regular guests on the Green Divas Radio Show is Jessica Arinella from the What You Can Do video series. She is also a water hero. She has produced several very educational short videos that help us understand not only why, but how to help conserve and create healthier water supplies. Here’s a link to a Green Divas Radio Show featuringJessica Arinella talking about water conservation.
I would also recommend the UN page on water statistics.
Excerpt: By participating in the Conserve to Enhance pilot program, Mier says she found an easy and fun way to restore the environment.
Excerpt: The program helped her and her housemates get their daily water use down to 30 gallons per person. The average Tucsonan uses between 90 and 100 gallons a day.
She saved $5 a month, which she donated to Conserve to Enhance projects.
The pilot program, which ends this year, kept track of her water savings, sent a monthly newsletter on water-saving tips and offered educational events and workshops.
Excerpt: Sewage systems around the world are plagued by the problem of odour and corrosion due to hydrogen sulfide gas from the anaerobic decomposition of human waste and waste water.
The traditional sewage system relies on masses of water to flush through waste and avoid such problems, but this doesn't always happen.
Excerpt: If everyone installed rainwater tanks, thereby reducing their use of potable water by 40 per cent, Marleni's model found the odour level would increase just a little to 5.1 parts per million, and the associated hydrogen sulfide would knock 6 years off the life of the pipes due to corrosion.
But if everyone shifted to greywater reuse this would give the "worst scenario", says Marleni.
The reuse of waste water from the bathroom and laundry to water the garden and flush toilets would reduce potable water consumption by 70 per cent, resulting in a much greater impact on odour and corrosion.
Excerpt: "There are many problems with sewers and low flows are one of them," says White.
"These are long-standing problems despite water efficiency and it's true that water efficiency could make it worse; but then if it rains you get the opposite problem."
White says decentralised treatment of sewage, using pumped smaller-diameter systems that are well sealed and have storage and better controls on flows and loads will help the problems we face with sewers.
As will reducing the biological and nutrient loads on sewers through what we put in them.
Excerpt: When you think about Thanksgiving, you might envision a turkey dinner, or spending time with your family. However, do you ever think about water conservation?
1) Thaw frozen food in your refrigerator or microwave and not under running water.
2) Rinse vegetables in a sink or basin filled with water. A running faucet uses three to five gallons of water per minute.
3) Do not dump fats, oils or grease from cooking turkey down the drain. It can clog your plumbing system and harm the environment. Weld County’s Household Hazardous Waste program collects cooking oil on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., except on holidays like Thanksgiving. (The Weld County Household Hazardous Waste Facility is located at 1311 N. 17th Avenue in Greeley.)
4) Use your garbage disposal sparingly. A better option is to compost kitchen waste. (The City of Greeley and Weld County have developed a handbook to help people get started composting.)
5) Presoak utensils and dishes in a sink filled with water rather than in running water.
6) Only run full loads in the dishwasher. This shouldn't be too difficult with large family meals, although you may have to run your dishwasher more than once.
7) If you wash your dishes by hand, do not leave the water running for rinsing. If you have two sinks, fill one with soapy water and one with rinse water. If you only have one sink, gather the washed dishes in a dish rack and rinse them with a spray device or a pan full of hot water.
Excerpt: Upon closer examination, right there on the outside of the bag were 15 ways we all can use water more wisely.
One might think these are all common-sense suggestions — and you would be correct. But with San Angelo having less than two years of water remaining, anything and everything each of us can do will make a difference. They include:
Sweep it away. Use a broom, not the water hose, to clean sidewalks and driveways.
Slow the flow. Install a water-saving showerhead.
Excerpt: Nothing earth-shattering in the above recommendations, but collectively they add up to saving not only our water, but also our money.
We all know about the little boy throwing back into the ocean one of several starfish he found on the beach, and telling the inquisitive stranger that it makes a difference at least for that one starfish. Imagine what each of us can do, as individuals and as a caring community, by becoming better stewards of our precious water here in the Concho Valley.
Excerpt: First, San Antonio has the most effective water conservation program in the nation. We have become so efficient with water use that representatives from cities around the globe have traveled here to learn how we manage customer demand.
Distinct from drought restrictions, which help us manage pumping during a drought, water conservation is a year-round effort that has become a valuable part of our city's culture.
Excerpt: Finally, we take seriously the ramifications of imposing every-other-week watering restrictions on the community. We will always ensure that Stage 3 is imposed only when other alternatives do not exist.
This kind of analysis is continually conducted at SAWS, accounting even for infrastructure maintenance or emergency pump failures when they may arise. So I couldn't object more to assertions in recent headlines that we are gambling on the prospect of rainfall.
Excerpt: A continued commitment to water conservation and investment in new supplies must remain a priority for San Antonio. Thoughtful decisions and successful management will continue to yield benefits in the future.
Excerpt: La Plata County saw those same images up close as the Animas River shrunk to near-record lows and crops shriveled in parched fields. Many farmers in the western part of the county faced a summer without irrigation water.
But because of water rights that date back to 1882, Durango’s water kept flowing as usual, pumping an average of 128.5 million gallons per month to our thirsty city. That water keeps taps flowing, washing machines running and lawn sprinklers sputtering.
Excerpt: While water conservation can reduce consumption to a point, a large chunk of the city’s water isn’t reaching paying customers. About 20 percent of the city’s treated water is unaccounted for, stemming from meter inaccuracies, unmetered water and leaking pumps.
Excerpt: “In order to meet the coming infrastructure challenge nationwide we’re going to have recover the appropriate value we place on our water systems,” Kail said. “When we truly understand that value, we’ll be in a much better place to invest in the systems in a way that’s necessary to maintain them at levels we have come to expect.”
Excerpt: A recent article by a UC Irvine researcher argues that more of the water that normally runs off into storm drains should be repurposed and used to water plants and flush toilets.
Lead author Stanley Grant said so-called graywater and wastewater from washing dishes or showering, and rainwater that normally runs into storm drains, can be used at times when using water of drinkable quality is not required.
Reusing graywater can reduce a household's water consumption — and its bill — by 50% or more, he said.
Excerpt: Locally, the Mesa Consolidated Water District, which serves Costa Mesa, parts of Newport Beach, John Wayne Airport and the Orange County Fairgrounds, provides rebates for smart irrigation and makes house calls for those interested in saving water around their home, according to Communications Manager Stacy Taylor.
It also boasts one of the highest rates of consumer water conservation in the county, she said.
"As part of the district's mission, [Mesa Water] supports developing local and reliable sources of water, including groundwater treatment, recycled water and conservation," Taylor said. "Becoming more efficient with how we use water today is a key component to maintaining a reliable water supply for tomorrow."
Excerpt: Saving water is particularly important during the summer, when the days are hot and the rainfall sporadic at best. It's even more so this year as much of the country faces an unrelenting drought. If you want to cut your water bills or just do your part to conserve a precious resource, here are a few smart tips to reduce water usage around the house.