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Report Shows Unanimous Support for Colorado River Conservation

“Mapping the River Ahead,” a new report by Carpe Diem West, provides an insightful discussion of solutions for the Colorado River Basin.  The authors conducted anonymous interviews with more than 30 “water leaders” (disclosure, I was among them) representing a broad range of sectors and locations.  The anonymous process was a useful strategy to get…

The Urban Water Cycle: Sustaining Our Modern Cities

By Robert B. Sowby Most of us understand the basics of the hydrologic cycle—condensation, precipitation, transportation, and evaporation. These processes operate on global scales and in natural environments. But on local scales and in engineered environments like cities, a different cycle dominates: the urban water cycle. For the first time in history, slightly more than…

Robert Redford and Will Ferrell “Fight” Over the Colorado River

Stars Robert Redford and Will Ferrell have a bone to pick with each other when it comes to water. Well, not really, but they do make some good points in this funny video calling for restoration of the embattled, and thirsty, Colorado River Basin. The celebrities are working to support Raise the River, a campaign building…

Volunteers Needed to Study American Eels

This week, a trio of organizations have asked the public to help gather data on one of New York City’s more slippery residents: the American eel (Anguilla rostrata). (We previously profiled the American eel as a Freshwater Species of the Week in August 2012.) Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York Aquarium, the New York State Department…

Short on Water? Don’t Blame it on the Rain

The common refrain in media stories about water shortages is that they are caused by droughts.  Don’t believe them. Droughts don’t cause water shortages.  People do. The water shortages appearing with increasing frequency and intensity around the globe are, regretfully, poignant signs of our society’s woeful inability to govern itself within limits, or to plan…

Jobs Go First, Then Recreation? Duke Energy’s N.C. Coal Ash Spill Spoils the Garden in Eden

Rockingham County promotes its rivers as economic revitalization; a massive, toxic spill threatens that effort EDEN, N.C. — Mark Bishopric doesn’t want to sound alarmist. However churned up he might feel inside about the coal ash spill in the Dan River, one of the worst in U.S. history and  just a few miles from his…

Guidelines Issued for Diesel Fuel Used in Hydraulic Fracturing

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued guidelines on the use of diesel fuel in oil and gas hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a method that involves pumping water containing chemicals into shale formations to unlock trapped energy resources. The EPA defines five substances as diesel variations and outlines guidelines and “technical recommendations” for their use.…

New Big-Head Fish: Freshwater Species of the Week

This week, scientists identified a new species of freshwater fish in the U.S., the cedar sculpin (Cottus schitsuumsh). Forest Service fisheries biologist Michael Young said in a statement, “It’s really exciting to find a new species of fish. It’s something you might expect in more remote parts of the world, but not in the U.S.” Scientists…

Fulbright-National Geographic Fellows Will Shine Spotlight on Critical World Issues

The Department of State and National Geographic share a common interest in ensuring that individuals throughout the world have access to information that serves to break down barriers between people, said Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Evan Ryan in her remarks at the official signing event of the new Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship. The inaugural fellows will “will shine a spotlight on critical world issues that serve as the themes of this year’s Digital Storytelling program: Biodiversity, Cities, Cultures, Disasters, Energy, Food, Oceans, and Water.”

Watch Salmon Stranded in Pool Thanks to California Drought

“Time to pray for rain!” writes Thomas B. Dunklin, a self-described “fisheries geo-videologist.” Dunklin “combines his training in geology and fisheries biology to produce documentary videos on topics surrounding salmon, salmon restoration, and salmon culture.” Dunklin writes on Vimeo that the lower Mattole River on California’s north coast hasn’t seen any significant rainfall since late September,…

January 26, 2014: Riding Rio Roosevelt’s Rapids, Sliding Headfirst at 90 MPH and More

Join radio host Boyd Matson and his guests as they paddle Class V rapids on the River of Doubt, hand cycle the length of the Americas, investigate deaths from common drugs, preserve lions’ disappearing prides, slide headfirst down an icy track at 90 miles per hour, and reconcile the future and the past in the Amazon Rainforest.

Ice Cover Affects Lake Levels in Surprising Ways

The announcement last week that $300 million was included in the 2014 federal spending bill for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative was followed this week with more good news about water levels. The recent Arctic blast that gripped much of the nation will likely contribute to a healthy rise in Great Lakes water levels in 2014,…

Chill Out on Ice Cubes to Save Water

Saving water is cool. No ice necessary.                   California 2013-2014 drought. It’s epic. The worst in the state’s recorded history. Everything you can think of is at a record low for this time of year: rainfall, snowpack, streamflow, reservoir storage…It’s so bad that Governor Jerry Brown has…

Aspen and Other Ski Areas Support a Bill That Could Dry Up Rivers

It’s ski season, and ski areas like Aspen (currently home to the Winter X Games) are good at getting PR touting their commitment to environmental sustainability – like this recent Men’s Journal story. But what many people don’t know is that Aspen Skiing Company and the National Ski Areas Association are currently supporting a bill…

Bird-Snatching Tigerfish: Freshwater Species of the Week

Earlier this week we reported on the first confirmed video that shows what many people had long feared: that some fish can leap out of the water and snatch birds in midair. That fish is the tigerfish, a “megafish” that dwells in lakes in Africa, and which has large, razor-sharp teeth. Widely distributed across much…