DOI: Another stunning photo from America's public lands. Sandhill cranes sit under a cottonwood – Bosque del Apache NWR

John Fleck: The new political economics of moving water

Kansas Aqueduct route via Circle of Blue
Kansas Aqueduct route via Circle of Blue

From inkstain (John Fleck):

…it seems clear that the days of federal funding for big projects like this are long over. There are examples of non-federal projects of this scale. Los Angeles has done it. But that’s for municipal water supplies, for which one can charge a lot more.

More Ogallala Aquifer coverage here and here.

Colorado budget proposal takes into account recent floods, fires #COflood

EPA: New map shows percentage dependence on surface water for supply

Map of surface source water for supply via the EPA
Map of surface source water for supply via the EPA

Click here to visit the webpage. From the introduction:

The health of our nation’s rivers, lakes, bays and coastal waters depends on the vast network of streams and wetlands where they begin. These streams feed downstream waters, trap floodwaters, recharge groundwater supplies, remove pollution, and provide fish and wildlife habitat. Streams and wetlands are also economic drivers because of their key role in providing water and habitat to support fishing, hunting, agriculture and recreation. Approximately 117 million people – one-third of the U.S. population – get some or all of their drinking water from public drinking water systems that rely in part on headwater, seasonal, or rain-dependent streams.

New Methods Improve Quagga and Zebra Mussel Identification

Zebra and Quagga Mussels
Zebra and Quagga Mussels

Here’s the release from Reclamation (Peter Soeth):

The earliest possible detection of quagga and zebra mussels has long been a goal of biologists seeking to discover their presence in water bodies. The Bureau of Reclamation’s Detection Laboratory has released two reports identifying a new sampling method to improve the accuracy of quagga and zebra mussel detection while still at the microscopic larval stage. The reports also outline the processes and procedures used to identify invasive mussels through DNA testing.

“Improving the accuracy of testing provides Reclamation and its partners better information about the presence of quagga and zebra mussels in water bodies where our facilities are located,” laboratory manager Denise Hosler said. “These sampling procedures allow for the improved detection when the mussels are in their larval stage.”

For early detection, Reclamation searches samples from reservoirs, lakes, canals and other water bodies for the microscopic larval form of quagga and zebra mussels. Because they are so small, multiple testing methods are used, including cross-polarized light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and PCR testing of the DNA of larvae in the water sample.

“Early detection of mussel larvae does not mean that the water body will necessarily become infested,” Reclamation’s Director of Research and Development Curt Brown said. “Early detection provides a warning for managers that a water body is being exposed to mussels through some pathway, so they can consider additional means to prevent further introduction.”

Reclamation’s Detection Laboratory is located in the Technical Service Center in Denver. It specializes in invasive mussels and also identifies species through taxonomic and genetic testing. It was awarded the Colorado Governor’s Award for High Impact Research in 2012 for its work advancing the early detection of invasive quagga and zebra mussels.

To download the reports or learn more about Reclamation’s Invasive Mussel Program, please visit http://www.usbr.gov/mussels.

Please remember to clean, drain and dry your watercraft when you are moving it between bodies of water.

More invasive species coverage here and here.

Climate: 4th-driest year on record at Lake Powell

Summit County Citizens Voice

High flow experiment planned for early November to restore aquatic and riparian Colorado River ecosystems downstream of Glen Canyon Dam

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Even with some bonus inflow in September, the past water year Oct 1, 2012 – Sept. 30, 2013) ended up as the fourth-driest on record for the Colorado River Basin as measured at Lake Powell — the key reservoir on the river that helps balance supply and demand between the upper and lower basins.

Overall water storage in the Colorado River Basin in the last 14 years has ranged from a high of 94 percent of capacity in 2000 to the present low of 50 percent at the start of the 2014 water year.

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