Gila River Indian Community, State Of Arizona, City Of Phoenix, Walton Family Foundation Announce Cooperative Water Conservation Partnership

Arizona Water News

Agreement to work together on groundwater storage, water conservation efforts will help Lake Mead water level, drought relief strategies statewide

IMG_2649SACATON, AZ. – To continue drought relief efforts to address falling elevation in Lake Mead, the Gila River Indian Community, the Arizona Department of Water Resources, the City of Phoenix and the Walton Family Foundation today announced the signing of a cooperative agreement to continue efforts to conserve water that will serve as a foundation to secure water supplies for Arizona’s more than 6 million residents and businesses.

“This agreement is an important step to continue cooperative efforts to help slow the falling elevations at Lake Mead,” said Gila River Governor Stephen R. Lewis.  “Having the largest entitlement of Colorado River water delivered through the CAP system, the Community recognizes that it can make its supply available in times of need, and we consider this agreement a continuation of our…

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Governor Ducey Appoints Attorney, Gila River Indian Community Member Rodney Lewis To CAWCD Board

Arizona Water News

C6_hKH-U0AAdtK-PHOENIX – Governor Doug Ducey today announced the appointment of longtime water rights attorney and Gila River Indian Community member Rodney B. Lewis to the 15-member Central Arizona Water Conservation District Board of Directors. Lewis, the first member of an Arizona Indian Tribe to gain admission to the Arizona State Bar, will fill the open Maricopa County seat created by the resignation of Guy Carpenter.

“Given Rod’s long and respectable experience in water law, I am pleased that a person of his caliber is available to fill this important position on the CAWCD board,” said Governor Ducey. “At a time when Arizona and its Colorado River system partners are working hard to find solutions to the complex issues facing us, it is good to have CAWCD board member of Rod’s experience working with us.”

Lewis’s board term will expire in 2018.

“The chance to serve on the CAWCD board is, for me, the culmination of a career-long interest and passion for…

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Report: High and Dry, #ClimateChange, water, and the economy — The World Bank

Click here to read the executive summary.

From The World Bank:

Key Findings

  • Water scarcity, exacerbated by climate change, could cost some regions up to 6% of their GDP, spur migration, and spark conflict.
  • The combined effects of growing populations, rising incomes, and expanding cities will see demand for water rising exponentially, while supply becomes more erratic and uncertain.
    Unless action is taken soon, water will become scarce in regions where it is currently abundant – such as Central Africa and East Asia – and scarcity will greatly worsen in regions where water is already in short supply – such as the Middle East and the Sahel in Africa. These regions could see their growth rates decline by as much as 6% of GDP by 2050 due to water-related impacts on agriculture, health, and incomes.
  • Water insecurity could multiply the risk of conflict. Food price spikes caused by droughts can inflame latent conflicts and drive migration. Where economic growth is impacted by rainfall, episodes of droughts and floods have generated waves of migration and spikes in violence within countries.
  • The negative impacts of climate change on water could be neutralized with better policy decisions, with some regions standing to improve their growth rates by up to 6% with better water resource management.
  • Improved water stewardship pays high economic dividends. When governments respond to water shortages by boosting efficiency and allocating even 25% of water to more highly-valued uses, such as more efficient agricultural practices, losses decline dramatically and for some regions may even vanish.
  • In the world’s extremely dry regions, more far-reaching policies are needed to avoid inefficient water use. Stronger policies and reforms are needed to cope with deepening climate stresses.
  • Policies and investments that can help lead countries to more water secure and climate-resilient economies include:

  • Better planning for water resource allocation
  • Adoption of incentives to increase water efficiency, and
  • Investments in infrastructure for more secure water supplies and availability.
  • The first climate model (now 50 years old) predicted #ClimateChange pretty well

    The earth’s atmosphere and the setting sun, viewed from the Space Shuttle (Source: NASA)

    From Forbes.com (Ethan Siegel). Click through and read the whole article. Here’s an excerpt:

    Modeling the Earth’s climate is one of the most daunting, complicated tasks out there. If only we were more like the Moon, things would be easy. The Moon has no atmosphere, no oceans, no icecaps, no seasons, and no complicated flora and fauna to get in the way of simple radiative physics. No wonder it’s so challenging to model! In fact, if you google “climate models wrong”, eight of the first ten results showcase failure. But headlines are never as reliable as going to the scientific source itself, and the ultimate source, in this case, is the first accurate climate model ever: by Syukuro Manabe and Richard T. Wetherald. 50 years after their groundbreaking 1967 paper, the science can be robustly evaluated, and they got almost everything exactly right.

    If there were no atmosphere on Earth, calculating the climate would be easy. The Sun emits radiation, the Earth absorbs some of the incident radiation and reflects the rest, then the Earth re-radiates away that energy. Temperatures would be easily calculable based on albedo (i.e., reflectivity), the angle of the surface to the Sun, the length/duration of the day, and the efficiency of how it re-radiates that energy. If we were to strip the atmosphere away entirely, our planet’s typical temperature would be 255 Kelvin (-18 °C / 0 °F), which is most definitely colder than what we observe. In fact, it’s about 33 °C (59 °F) colder than what we see, and what we need to account for that difference is an accurate climate model.

    The number one contributor, by far, to this difference? The atmosphere. This “blanket-like” effect of the gases in our atmosphere was first discovered nearly two centuries ago by Joseph Fourier and worked out in detail by Svante Arrhenius in 1896. Each of the gases present has some amount of absorptive effects in the infrared portion of the spectrum, which is the portion where Earth re-radiates most of its energy. Nitrogen and oxygen are terrible absorbers, but good ones include water vapor, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone and carbon dioxide. When we add (or take away) more of those gases from our planet’s atmosphere, it’s like thickening (or thinning) the blanket that the planet wears. This, too, was worked out by Arrhenius over 100 years ago.

    But a true climate model is more complex, because there’s more at play than just the atmosphere. The oceans ensure that the amount of water vapor (and cloud cover, which impacts temperature significantly) change dependent on conditions, and if you tinker with one component of the atmosphere — like carbon dioxide, for instance — it impacts the concentrations of other components. Scientists refer to this general process as feedback, and it’s one of the largest uncertainties in climate modeling.

    The big advance of Manabe and Wetherald’s work was to model not just the feedbacks but the interrelationships between the different components that contribute to the Earth’s temperature. As the atmospheric contents change, so do both the absolute and relative humidity, which impacts cloud cover, water vapor content and cycling/convection of the atmosphere. What they found is that if you start with a stable initial state — roughly what Earth experienced for thousands of years prior to the start of the industrial revolution — you can tinker with one component (like CO2) and model how everything else evolves.

    @ColoradoClimate: Weekly Climate, Water and #Drought Assessment of the Intermountain West #ColoradoRiver #COriver

    Click here to read the current assessment. Click here to go to the NIDIS website hosted by the Colorado Climate Center.

    Non-motorized boats will be allowed on Narraguinnep Reservoir

    Narraguinnep Reservoir. Photo credit Andreas Hitzig.

    From The Cortez Journal (Jim Mimiaga):

    The Montezuma Valley Irrigation Co. on Tuesday retreated from its boating ban at Narraguinnep Reservoir and agreed to allow some hand-launched, non-motorized watercraft.

    The revised ban still includes motorized and trailered boats, including jet skis. Such watercraft can carry water from infected lakes in the engines, bilges and ballasts, according to the MVIC.

    The specific list of nine non-motorized boats that are allowed on the lake include kayaks, canoes, rafts, belly boats, windsurfer boards, sailboards, float tubes, inner tubes and paddle boards.

    “The board is in agreement on allowing those crafts,” Gerald Koppenhafer, president of the MVIC board, said on Tuesday.

    Totten Lake, which is owned by the Dolores Water Conservancy District, also recently banned boating, but is also expected to allow the specific list of non-motorized boats, general manager Mike Preston said on Tuesday.

    “The intention of our board is to be consistent with MVI and allow the exempted watercraft,” he said…

    The boating ban triggered an outcry from the boating community, and generated complaints to the Montezuma county commission. Dozens of comments for and against the policy were posted on The Journal’s Facebook page.

    McPhee Reservoir allows all types of boating, but trailered and motorized watercraft can only enter the lake through two boat inspection stations at the McPhee boat ramp and the House Creek boat ramp. The list of nine, hand-launched boats can launch from anywhere. Funding is available for boat inspection stations at McPhee but not other area lakes.

    Irrigation companies and lake managers are trying to prevent the invasive mussel from entering Colorado waterways. Once a lake becomes contaminated with the mussels, they cannot be eliminated and cause damage to irrigation infrastructure, including dams, municipal systems and power plants. Mitigating a mussel contamination year-to-year also dramatically increases operation costs.

    A decision is pending on how to prevent a mussel contamination at Groundhog Reservoir, which also is owned by MVIC.

    Rangely: Oil spill clean up by Chevron

    White River via Wikimedia

    From The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (Dennis Webb):

    Cleanup is continuing and Chevron and authorities are looking into the cause of a pipeline leak outside the Rangely area in which more than 4,800 gallons of oil spilled into a dry drainage.

    The leak was discovered March 5 by Chevron personnel in a drainage leading to Stinking Water Creek, and the line was shut off following the discovery.

    Two ducks, two other birds and three mice died as a result of the spill.

    The incident occurred on Bureau of Land Management land. BLM spokesman David Boyd said the spill initially was estimated at 1,200 barrels, or more than 50,000 gallons. But Erika Conner, spokeperson for Chevron Pipe Line Co., says early reports included recovered barrels of oil combined with snowmelt.

    Boyd said the spill involved a 6-inch-diameter oil gathering pipeline.

    Todd Hartman, a spokesman for the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, said the oil traveled about 30 feet to an unnamed drainage, then flowed to another drainage, covering about two miles altogether in heavily vegetated terrain.

    It stopped at a stormwater siphon about 1.5 miles west of Stinking Water Creek, he said.

    He said the failed section of pipe has been sent off for analysis.

    Richard Mylott, a spokesman for the Environmental Protection Agency, said that Chevron “had previously installed berms and siphon dams in the unnamed draw as a prevention/preparedness measure for any spills.”

    “… Cleanup is ongoing. Crews have vacuumed oil from behind the siphon dam and are currently removing contaminated soils, flushing oil from pockets and steep ditches,” he said.

    Both Mylott and Conner said no water was impacted by the spill.

    Conner also said there were no public health concerns.</blockquote