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

Upper Colorado River Basin month to date precipitation through August 7, 2017.

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

Interview: How Water Became the New Focus of Corporate Sustainability — Water Deeply

Graphic credit: International Facility Management Association.

Here’s an interview with Kellen Klein from Matt Weiser that’s running in Water Deeply. Click through and read the whole thing. Here’s an excerpt:

Water crises in the West have pushed some companies to apply sustainability labels to their beverages, clothes and other water-dependent products. Kellen Klein, a senior manager at Future 500, helps sort through the claims.

CAN A WATER-DEPENDENT PRODUCT – beer, for example – achieve sustainability in its water use? And how should we evaluate such a claim?

Chronic water scarcity in the West has prompted a surge in examples of this kind of marketing. Companies that rely heavily on water have begun to test various “green” marketing strategies, just as companies have long attached sustainability goals to the air pollution they cause or the habitat they impact.

Beverage companies are claiming they’ve reduced their water consumption, neutralized it somehow, or even achieved some kind of net benefit in water supply through various kinds of watershed enhancement projects. Some are experimenting with using recycled wastewater in their products.

What is the right path for companies interested in these efforts? How should consumers react to these claims? Is it even possible to achieve sustainability in a water-dependent product?

To explore these questions, Water Deeply recently spoke with Kellen Klein, a senior manager at Future 500, a nonprofit consultancy that works to find common ground between corporations and environmental groups to solve global problems. Klein, based in Portland, Oregon, focuses on water sustainability issues, among other specialties…

Water Deeply: Can you share some early examples of this in the corporate world?

Klein: One that initially comes to mind is Coca-Cola [disclosure: Klein has worked on projects with Coca-Cola]. They made this pretty dramatic goal to replenish the water that goes into their bottles. They reached that goal three or four years ahead of time. And that has become a prominent communications point for them when marketing their products at a broader level.

Another going on for a while now is Levi’s, the maker of jeans and other clothing.Levi’s looked at the life cycle of their jeans; the most prominent use of water comes from producing cotton, but also a ton of water is used in the washing of their clothes. So they said, hey, this is a great opportunity for consumer engagement, and we need to take some action and do some education here. So they started an education program (Water-Less) to encourage consumers to wash their jeans on a cold setting, and to not wash them as often as a way of conserving water and energy.

One example of a company struggling with these types of positive commitments is Fiji Water. They claimed they were carbon negative, because their investment in carbon reductions were so significant. It turns out a lot of those projects were actually carbon futures that would not pull carbon out of the atmosphere for years down the road, and they ended up being sued over that.

@LREwater: Advancements in ASR well construction and operations

From Leonard Rice Engineering:

A Three-Part Blog Series

To paraphrase Brad Pitt, the first rule of Water Club is that “there is never enough water”. OK, maybe not everywhere, but in the Western United States, there isn’t a truer statement to be had. The states in this region constantly struggle to find balance between an ever-growing population and an ever-dwindling water supply for that population. Municipalities are continually seeking ways to maximize the usage of accessible supplies, which has spawned alternative water resource management solutions like Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR). ASR can be achieved through recharge basins, vadose zone wells, or dual purpose wells (Figures 1-3). One of the benefits in storing directly into aquifers is the ability to preserve supplies from evaporating, which typically occurs behind surface reservoirs. ASR is still an evolving science, and there are currently several ASR methods being utilized within the industry, each with benefits and drawbacks.

In this three-part series, we will review ASR as a viable water resources management strategy and how new technologies are improving well efficiencies in recharge and pumping performance. These newer recharge well systems have also become manager/operator friendly, which results in efficient reporting to State Agencies, reducing the labor force, reducing operational and maintenance costs, and provide quick performance data.

Part One: Reverse Siphon Method

Before we dive into the different kinds of recharge methods, let’s take a look at some pitfalls that are common to all ASR wells. We start with the number one issue – clogging. Reading the term clogging and the first word you think of might be an artery, like your heart. Actually, well clogging is a lot like artery clogging and the end result is the same – the equipment stops working, which is not good in either case!

Figure 1: Vadose zone well with down-gradient recovery well, Credit Leonard Rice Engineering.

Well clogging typically occurs in three locations: proximal to the well, intermediate (interface between filter pack and aquifer) and distal (exceeding 100 feet beyond the well). Depending on where the well clogs, it can take different forms. Abrasion between grains, air binding, biofilm, cementation and dissolution are all types of clogs found in ASR wells, and all require slightly different solutions to resolve the issue.

The conventional method in reducing air binding/air entrainment clogging in ASR wells is by the installation of a down-hole flow control valve. This valve is attached to the pump assembly and prevents air from the column pipe from binding onto the filter pack and unconsolidated sediments in the aquifer.

An alternative recharge method was developed at the City of Phoenix to reduce air entrainment into the aquifer, ensure easy maintenance, lower operations and maintenance costs, provide an easy operator interface, have the ability to unclog the well with the permanent pump, and increase recharge utilization. This alternative method is called “reverse siphon”. Instead of a valve connected at the bottom of the pump assembly, the controlling valves are positioned at the wellhead infrastructure for system hydraulic balancing, removing air from the column pipe, and for easy maintenance for the operator. This method requires an understanding system hydraulics, programming, and reverse flow testing through line-shaft turbine impellors.

Figure 2: Recharge basin with down-gradient recovery well.

The reverse siphon method entails the following steps:

  • Pump the well to waste (e.g., sanitary sewer) to expel out particulates accumulated in the well and to remove air from the column pipe.
  • Slowly transition and open the recharge globe valve to deliver the source water to the well and pump to waste system. All purged particulates in the recharge source will go to the pump to waste line.
  • Once the programmed flow rate is achieved on the recharge line, the pump to waste valve will slowly close and the line-shaft turbine pump will shut off and lock into place with the use of a non-reverse ratchet.
  • The recharge source line will flow resources down the well (via system pressure and gravity) and to the pump to waste line.
  • Once the pump to waste line is fully closed, the well is transitioned into recharge mode. This reverse siphon method typically takes 5 to 7 minutes to transition from pump to waste to recharge mode and all valves are automated to open and close with programming developed at the Operator Interface Terminal.
  • Figure 3: Dual purpose well that can recharge and recovery supplies within the same well.

    In Part Two: we will continue examining new technologies linked to the “reverse siphon” method. These technologies/advancements build upon better and sustainable well injection performance.

    Fort Collins councillors approve sending staff NISP wildlife mitigation comments to state

    Poudre River Bike Path bridge over the river at Legacy Park photo via Fort Collins Photo Works.

    From The Fort Collins Coloradoan (Kevin Duggan):

    The City Council on Tuesday approved sending staff-generated comments on a Wildlife and Fish Mitigation Enhancement Plan proposed by Northern Water for NISP to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission.

    The council voted 4-3 in favor of sending on the comments, with members Bob Overbeck, Ross Cunniff and Ken Summers opposed, although for different reasons.

    For Overbeck and Cunniff, the comments by staff do not go far enough in criticizing the project and insisting on more mitigation. Cunniff said he did not like the process used by the state for addressing mitigation and the controversial water-storage project…

    Summers, who supports NISP, said the comments should not be sent.

    Staff’s comments touched on numerous areas of concern, including water quality and the amount of funding designated for wildlife mitigation. It includes recommendations for improving the plan, such as guaranteeing three days of peak flows on the river for critical “flushing” to support the river’s health.

    John Stokes, director of the city’s Natural Areas Program, said the comments do not imply support for NISP. But they were generated with the thinking that if the project is built, then steps should be taken to mitigate its impacts…

    The commission will weigh the plan in upcoming meetings and potentially forward it to the Colorado Water Conservation Board and the governor for approval. If approved, the plan would likely be included in the federal permitting process for NISP.