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Weekly Water Stories | May 23, 2014

Blue Legacy International

Don't miss these water news stories:

"Wherever it goes water brings life,” says AMHQ's Sam Champion reporting on the reconnection of the Colorado River. This is an incredible victory for the environment!

New Technology Tools Aim to Reduce Water Use: Can technology help ease the U.S. water crisis?  

Got pure water? Study explores link between cows’ water quality, milk production: “Water carries a lot of different things and is a huge part of a cow’s diet,” Rodman dairy farmer Michael A. Northrop said. “No one really pays too much attention to what’s in the water."

2016 Olympic Games - Water pollution targets abandoned: By the 2016 Olympic Games Brazil will not make good on its commitment to clean up Rio de Janeiro's sewage-filled Guanabara Bay

Note to Olympic Sailors: Don’t Fall in Rio’s Water: Nico Delle Karth, an Austrian sailor preparing for the 2016 Summer Olympics, said it was the foulest place he had ever trained.

Water Wheel Is Cleaning Up Baltimore's Harbor: In an effort to battle the polluted water of Baltimore's Inner Harbor, a solar-paneled, water-powered water wheel is devouring trash in an aim to make the harbor swimmable by 2020.

Weekly Water Stories | May 16, 2014

Blue Legacy International

Don't miss these water news stories from this week:

The Colorado River Flows to the Sea: It’s not easy to follow the water flowing through this terrain, even with hundreds of eyes trained on it during this unprecedented event.  
Pulse Flow Release:

Half of US is Experience Drought: Half of the United States was experiencing some level of drought, and nearly 15 percent of the nation was gripped by extreme to exceptional drought.

Volunteers to collect data on streams’ water quality:  “Recent studies by the Finger Lakes Institute indicate that phosphate and nitrogen levels are increasing in the lake,” noted Becky Sims, CSI’s Director of Outreach.

Weekly Water Stories | May 9, 2014

Blue Legacy International

Don't miss these water news stories:

The Risks to U.S. Water Resources From Climate Change: These are some of the most important conclusions from the U.S. National Climate Assessment related to U.S. water resources.

Water Quality Project Launched at Gainesway Pond: Several floating wetland islands will be released onto the surface of the pond. While these wetland islands will be fascinating and pleasant additions to the pond, their main purpose is not aesthetic but functional.

Startups Aim to Solve California's Water Woes: Startups are offering solutions such as drones, aerial imagery and data analytics to help deliver water to only the parts of farmers' fields that need it.

Drones striking a high-tech blow for conservation and the environment: The use of drones has generally been synonymous with controversial globalised warfare, but falling costs and higher performance are now making them increasingly useful for conservation and environmental organizations.

Can Long Island Be Saved?: If the day comes soon when our rivers, ponds and bays are rendered lifeless, why would people want to live here at all?

Weekly Water Stories | May 2, 2014

Blue Legacy International

Don't miss these water news stories from this week:

What's in your water? The list ranks the drinking water quality in 100 U.S. cities.

EPA Awards $860,000 to Communities to Reduce Water Pollution, Build Resilience to Climate Change: “Investing in green infrastructure pays off for our environment and our economy. It reduces water pollution and energy consumption while creating jobs,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.

California Drought Is So Bad The State Is Rolling Back Some Environmental Protections: "The dry season is upon us," Governor Jerry Brown declared.

Extent of Marine Litter Documented in Major Seafloor Survey: Litter was located at each of the 600 sites surveyed, with plastic accounting for 41 percent and derelict fishing gear 34 percent.


Weekly Water Stories | April 25, 2014

Blue Legacy International

Don't miss these water news stories from this week:

6 Reasons to Think About Clean Water On Earth Day: Water and environmental sustainability go hand-in-hand

Cuomo task force to focus on Long Island water quality:  "We need innovative solutions for protecting and improving Long Island's water resources that will last for generations," Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo

Duke: Moving Coal Ash Would Cost Up To $10 Billion: Environmental groups are calling for new legislation requiring Duke to move all of its coal ash to lined landfills away from waterways

When It Comes to California's Water Crisis, We Are All in This Together: "Far too often, many don't see or understand the consequences of an unsustainable lifestyle because they don't live near a reactor, coal plant or landfill." Sandra Fluke Become, Candidate for CA State Senate SD-26

California’s Thirsting Farmland:  Anywhere between one-third and one-half of the nation’s fruits and vegetables are grown in California, meaning Americans are facing higher prices on melons, broccoli, baby greens, almonds and other popular crops.


Weekly Water Stories | April 18, 2014

Blue Legacy International

Don't miss these water news stories from this week: 

EPA Proposes Plan to Remove Toxic Sediment from the Passaic River; Largest Cleanup in EPA History Will Protect People’s Health and Create Jobs: Like many rivers and streams across the United States, contaminants including heavy metals, PCB toxins and pesticides saturate the riverbed of the Passaic River in New Jersey. Based on extensive study, the proposal to clean the river's sediment will lead to improved environmental health and human health

Iowa Water Quality Effort Paying Off What happens to river health when over 1,000 farmers coordinate agricultural practices for more eco-friendly outcomes?

Mississippi Basin Water Quality Declining in spite of Conservation Efforts "Even when policymakers and environmental advocates try to clean up the waterways, their efforts are not always successful."

Fieldprint Calculator Uses a USDA Tool to Help Farmers Track Water Quality Improvement “Water quality is complex,” McKinney said. “Experts have usually focused on one aspect of water quality – such as temperature, nutrients or pesticide content – instead of thinking about a more complete picture.”

Beautiful Water Photos from Blue Legacy's Backyard

Weekly Water Stories | April 11, 2014

Blue Legacy International

Don't miss these water news stories from this week:

Are You Drinking Drugs? A study released by the EPA earlier this year found trace elements of at least 25 kinds of prescription and over-the-counter drugs in water tested at 50 waste water treatment plants. But switching from tap to bottled water is not necessarily the best course of action.

Tune In - The West Virginia Chemical Leak and the Washington Mudslide: Politics, Regulations and Public Safety Can regulation prevent water catastrophes such as the Washington mudslide and the West Virginia chemical leak?

Update From Colorado River Delta: A Community Gets its River Back Just two weeks ago, the Colorado River was released at the Morelos Dam to course along what has become a dry river bed and reconnect to the sea. Since breaking free, the river has wound through Mexico toward the Sea of Cortez, and communities along the way have welcomed its renewed presence, with hope for brighter, and wetter, future.

Coping With California's Water Future Will Require a Sea Change in Perspective "If we align our thinking, our policies and our vast technological expertise accordingly, we may not be able to squeeze water from a stone. But with the right shift in perspective, lifestyle changes and management strategies, we can still live comfortably with what we have.

California Drought Gives Boost to Anti-Fracking Movement "California faces two interlinked crises, a water crisis and climate change, and fracking makes both of these problems worse," said Kassie Siegel, senior counsel for the Center of Biological Diversity, a nonprofit conservation group.

via WaterWire

Return to the Sea: The Colorado River

Blue Legacy International

The waters of the Colorado River once flowed freely across more than 1,400 miles of North America, tumbling over waterfalls in the snow-covered Rocky Mountains and sweeping through canyons in Arizona, coursing along high plains and deserts before rushing to the Gulf of California in Mexico, where it would nourish the rich wetland ecosystem of the Colorado River Delta.

Over the last decade, our overuse of this mighty river has seen its waters dammed and over-allocated, creating a mudflat rather than a punctuation mark of aquatic biodiversity in the Colorado delta. 

“They call the Colorado the ‘mother of rivers,’ because all these rivers flow out of it and none flow into it,” says Kara Lamb, a public information officer with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the federal agency that manages water resources across the western states. “The truth is, she’s a working mother. Almost all of her rivers are dammed and utilized."

The first water ‘pulse flow’ to the delta on March 23, 2014 was the first intentional release of water into the parched delta. This water event marked an enormous achievement for the environment, and begins a process of regrowth and restoration for the ecosystems, economies, and communities in the region.

From March 17 to March 21, 2014, Blue Legacy’s Founder and President Alexandra Cousteau – water advocate, explorer, and the granddaughter of legendary storyteller Jacques-Yves Cousteau – joined Sam Champion on his new Weather Channel program America's Morning Headquarters, to retrace the flow of the Colorado River, and explore the intricate ties between sustainable water management, conservation, economic growth, and the weather that shapes this watershed and our future.

Watch the clips below to learn more about the demands and innovative approaches that define the availability and sustainable management of this precious resource.    

Dams and Lakes


Interview: Cindy Ortega,
Chief Sustainability Officer,
MGM Resorts


Sustainable Urban Water


Agricultural Innovation


Full Story: The Big Dry


Colorado River Pulse Flow: Restoring Life in the Delta

Blue Legacy

All photos copyright Blue Legacy/Oscar Durand

Blue Legacy International congratulates the U.S. and Mexican policymakers, water agencies, and conservation organizations in taking a historical step this month to restore, rejuvenate, and sustain the Colorado River delta.

This month, water will be released in a ‘pulse flow’ to the delta, the malnourished and depleted southern region of the Lower Colorado River that stretches across the national border. Stemming from Minute 319 in the 2012 bi-national agreement, the pulse-flow is an enormous achievement for the environment, and will mark the beginning of regrowth for ecosystems, economies, and communities in this region.

Today, the Colorado River no longer naturally and regularly flows to the Sea of Cortez as it did 50 years ago, where its waters once nourished a rich delta ecosystem and fishing communities in the Gulf of California. In our 2010 film Death of a River: the Colorado River Delta, Blue Legacy explored and documented the importance of this iconic river reaching the Sea of Cortez, and why the survival of our communities is intricately tied to the health of this delta.

From March 17 through March 21, 2014 leading up to a World Water Day event in Mexicali, Mexico, Blue Legacy’s Founder and President Alexandra Cousteau – water advocate, explorer, and the granddaughter of legendary storyteller Jacques-Yves Cousteau – will join the iconic Sam Champion on his new Weather Channel program America's Morning Headquarters airing from 7am to 10am ET, to retrace the flow of the Colorado River, and explore the intricate ties between sustainable water management, conservation, economic growth, and the weather that shapes this watershed and our future.

Join the expedition each morning at 7:40am and 9:10am ET on The Weather Channel and at as we trace the Colorado River from its headwaters high in the Rocky Mountains, through the mighty Grand Canyon, to the Sea of Cortez in Mexico, to explore how we have come to depend on this awesome river, and what we’ll lose if we don't do our part to #ChangetheCourse.

Want to learn more and support the future of our water? For every individual that makes a quick and free pledge to conserve water at Change the Course, corporate sponsors return 1,000 gallons of water back to the Colorado River. 

Voice of the Water

Stewardship Starts with One Person Taking Action

"So this is the Appleton wetland," Mike O'Malley says to me as we kayak along Drummond Creek, a side channel of the Mississippi River in Eastern Ontario. Haggard maple trees, fallen and floating tell us something is deeply wrong with this wetland. "What we're looking at are the dead and dying relics of the soft maple tree canopy that's been decimated by a very small rise in water levels of about 10 cm during their critical summer growing season," explains Mike, who heads up the local Mississippi RiverWatchers. 

The destruction of his backyard spurred Mike to become one of the loudest voices speaking out for the restoration and protection of the Appleton wetland. Where government, science and industry have failed to notice the devastating impact the rise in water level has had on the Appleton wetland, Mike has mobilized his community to become its champion. 

My expeditions always remind me that we all live connected to one another. In the case of the Appleton wetland, the dam downstream is operating with little regard for its impact upstream. This is where individual citizens, each of us, have an opportunity and responsibility to ensure the oversight and accountability needed to protect the water resources in our communities. 

Mike has rallied his community and works to find a financially feasible operating model for the dam. "If we manage the water levels so that we have a healthy ecosystem and don't be greedy about how much power we get, we could have a financially viable hydro operation downstream," he tells me. "We could have a healthy wetland that's accessible to both animals and humans for recreation. It could be very harmonious." 

Back on the water, Mike gestures to the landscape, which he has seen transformed from a lush and green canopy to a leafless skeleton of a forest in the span of nine years. Our kayaks float on the river and the duck grass that floats at the surface of the water sounds like sand beneath my kayak. " This is accessible wilderness and it's worth fighting for," Mike says.