As we celebrate the bounty of the season, pitchforks and storm clouds are gathering throughout the country and the nation’s capital over agriculture and water policy and the potential collisions between the two. On the water quantity side, some of the fresh wrangling is over subsidies that distort the real cost of water, ground water [...]
The topic is water softeners, not baked pretzels, although both share some similarities. Hard water isn’t a new challenge. It’s as old as dirt and rocks. Some areas of the country, particularly the arid Southwest, have been confronting the problem for many years given the realities of the land and climate. Hard water, loaded with [...]
Not to mix religion and politics, but the fantastic fixtures on cathedrals and other buildings are speaking a lot to me these days (so far only figuratively), as green infrastructure cheerleaders and EPA critics gear up for a politically-bruising battle over stormwater regulations. We should all look up from time to time in our search for progress and common ground–from the curb and the fence line to the gutters and rooftops, to the forest canopies and landscapes beyond the big box.
What’s the proper balance of power between federal and state water agencies? It seems to ebb and flow over time. The U.S. Water Alliance hasn’t taken a position on recent House-passed legislation amending the federal Clean Water Act (CWA), but here’s my personal take on the controversy, as well as suggestions for meaningful progress on [...]
Seekers of regulatory certainty are still singing the blues after the Supreme Court muddied the waters of jurisdiction under the federal Clean Water Act in 2001 and 2006 but don’t blame the Supremes and don’t expect a harmonious solution any time soon. Sometimes we forget but wetlands are at the heart of our country’s natural [...]
The friction over “fracking” (specifically hydraulic fracturing for natural gas) underscores the growing need for energy security and environmental sustainability to be in balance rather than in battle and to keep water in mind through it all. Most agree natural gas has a bright future as a “bridge” fuel to cleaner, renewable energy. It makes [...]
Water is embedded in just about every product and practice on the blue planet. Professor John Anthony Allan, winner of the 2008 Stockholm Water Prize, and pioneer in “virtual water,” boosted global efforts to see, or at least appreciate, the invisible water running through every day goods and services–from hamburgers to power lines. Two of [...]
March 22 marks another World Water Day, the special day designated by the United Nations General Assembly in 1992 as a time to underscore the value and vulnerability of clean and safe water locally and globally. The heart-wrenching disaster in Japan is a painful reminder of the power of water to flatten neighborhoods. The collapse [...]