Tag Archive for 'groundwater'

Texas agency: Gas driller didn’t contaminate water

Photo retrieved from: i.ehow.co.uk

“Texas regulators determined Tuesday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was wrong when it concluded a gas driller had contaminated domestic water wells in North Texas.

“The unanimous decision by the Railroad Commission of Texas marked the latest battle between state agencies and the EPA in a long, drawn out war that has evolved from disputes over environmental issues into a fierce debate about states’ rights. The Railroad Commission blasted the EPA, accusing it of shoddy testing methods and jumping to conclusions.

“”I see this as sort of a cavalier attempt by the federal government to reach its arms into our state’s jurisdictions,” said Commissioner Michael Williams, who is resigning his post on April 2 to run for U.S. Senate as a Republican.

“The government, he told the Associated Press, wants to “adversely affect the domestic energy industry.”

“The commission’s decision means Range Resources can continue its natural gas operations in Parker County, just west of Dallas, and is not obligated by the state to provide the impacted families with clean water.”

Read more: SF Chronicle

Smart water meters, dumb meters, no meters

“How is it possible that a place like California, with such a long and painful history of water problems, remains so far behind the curve of smart water management? How is it really possible that things considered basic, fundamental, taken-for-granted in other places are still missing here? And are water managers and users so insular that they really think they’re doing a good job with water?

“That’s a rhetorical question: California is not ahead of the curve in anything “water.” It is dealing with 21st century water problems with 20th century (or is it 19th century) water policy and politics. Some remarkable, innovative efforts are underway, but they remain the exception, not the rule.

“Water Numbers: To date, Sacramento still has meters in only 25 percent of its houses and has no intention to meter everyone in a reasonable time period. And they’ve made ridiculous arguments that it would cost too much to put meters in. The Sacramento City Council has authorized a first phase to put in 1,735 meters for $20 million. Explain, then, how come the City of Ottawa will spend $25 million to install 190,000 smart meters? In the arid San Joaquin Valley, south of Sacramento, more than half of all residents are not metered. Fresno, the region’s largest city, charges single-family households a flat rate, regardless of how much water they use. And what do you know? Fresno’s water rates are among the lowest, and their water use among the highest, of anyone’s in California. Average Fresno residential use is 290 gallons per person per day. The state average is 135. For the same amount of water (22,440 gallons, more than enough for a family of four for a month) City of Fresno customers pay, on average, a monthly water rate of only $28.33, compared with San Francisco’s $89.57 and San Diego’s $95.48 (see the figure below). At least Fresno is beginning to slowly add meters.”

read more: SFgate

Coca-Cola’s response disappoints Plachimada activists

Accused of exploiting groundwater resources, the Coca Cola factory at Plachimada in Palakkad, Kerala, has been shut since 2004. Photo: C. Ratheesh kumar

“Activists who raised the issues of unethical groundwater use and pollution by Coca-Cola plants in India during the soft drinks giant’s annual shareholders’ meeting in Atlanta this week have expressed disappointment with the response of Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent, accusing him of misleading investors about the problems the company had run into with regulators.

“Speaking to The Hindu, Amit Srivastava of the India Resource Centre — which campaigns for the rights of communities in the affected areas — said that he had brought up the recommendations made on March 22 by an High Power Committee (HPC) set up by the Kerala government, according to which Coca-Cola should be held liable for $48 million (Rs.216.26 crore) in “damages to the community and the environment around its bottling plant in Plachimada”.

“The company has also been involved in a controversy in Kala Dera in Rajasthan, where groundwater resources had been declared as “over-exploited” by the government in 1998. Yet, Coca-Cola built a new plant there in 2000, leading to severe water shortages in at least 40 villages in the vicinity of the plant, according to reports.”

read more: The Hindu

State Decision Blocks Drilling for Gas in Catskills

“New York State environmental officials announced on Friday that they would impose far stricter regulations on a controversial type of natural gas drilling in the upstate area that supplies New York City’s drinking water, making it highly unlikely that any drilling would be done there.

“Although they did not impose an outright ban on drilling, state officials said that any natural gas company would have to conduct a separate environmental impact review for each well it proposed to drill in the Catskills watershed, which supplies the city.”

read more: New York Times

What’s the Single Biggest Misuse of Water in the US?

“Go to your tap and turn it on. Most likely, the second you turn the faucet handle, water gushes out. That alone might make you think there’s not a water crisis happening right now in America. Or at least that if there is, it’s not that bad. But you’d be wrong. In fact, from our infrastructure that wastes water supplies and doesn’t allow rainwater to soak back into the ground table, to our lack of measurement and management of our water use, we’re on a fast track to having very little drinkable water in the very near future. Author Robert Glennon addresses this very issue in his new book Unquenchable: America’s Water Crisis and What To Do About It. We asked Glennon his thoughts on some of the most pertinent issues facing us right now, and he provided some insight into what has to change, and how we can do it, so that we can ensure supplies of water for everything from human consumption to agriculture to manufacturing in the decades to come.

“We Americans are spoiled. Turn on the tap and out comes as much water as we want, for less than we pay for cell phone service or cable television. We must change this situation.

“We must recognize a human right to water for life’s necessities. The richest country in the history of the world can surely make that commitment to its citizens. Honoring that right does not involve a large quantity of water–only about 1% of the water that is used each day in the United States. For the other 99%, we need to encourage conservation and stewardship by pricing it appropriately: in general, the more you use the more you pay. Under this system, Americans, whether homeowners, farmers or industry would vote with their pocketbooks as to how they use water.”

read more: AlterNet

Watering a Lawn Could Lead to Water Pollution, EPA

storm runoff

“Without first traveling through a natural filtration system, like a wetland, or artificial filtration system, pollutants end up in waterways and damage ecosystems and water quality, according to the EPA. Cars, lawns, pets and other parts of everyday life lead to a major source of pollution for waterways, while impermeable surfaces like streets, buildings and sidewalks lead to increased runoff into storm sewers.”

read more: Circle of Blue

Arab Company Agrobics Cleans Industrial Wastewater, Inspired By Olive Waste

“Sabbah explains the problems of the agriculture business: Even with good intentions, the most “organic” of farms produces waste – of the organic variety. Whether it’s a citrus fruit facility, olive press, or meat packing plant, any producer in the agro-industry must be mindful of plant and animal waste that’s flushed down the drain.

“If agricultural wastewater went straight to the wastewater treatment plant, the facility would just collapse.” In his search for ways to increase the effectiveness of biological reactors that digest organic materials in wastewater, Sabbah developed an idea for a system that could be a standalone or add-on to treat agricultural wastewater.”

read more: Green Prophet

16 Cities Sue Manufacturer Of Atrazine Weed-Killer For Contaminating Drinking Water

“The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois by 16 cities in Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, and Iowa.  The communities allege that Swiss corporation Syngenta AG and its Delaware counterpart Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc. reaped billions of dollars from the sale of atrazine while local taxpayers were left with the financial burden of filtering the chemical from drinking water.”

read more: Huffington Post

RXDisposal Solutions, LLC of Springfield Township, reduces pill pollution

“The company offers a disposal kit, soon to be released, which turns nearly all medications into an insoluble, bitter and gritty mass that remains solid so it can safely be transported to the landfill.

“No more flushing, no more lose pills in the trash and no more wastewater contamination.”

read more: Suburbanite

Halalt blockade about well-water rights gains citizen support during rally

“Citizens rallied support behind Halalt First Nation’s well-water blockade during Saturday’s protest.”

“This (blockade) is precedent-setting move to show government water is priceless.”

“We’re being over-developed and our water is being overused.”

read more:  bc local news