Watersheds

The United States of Watersheds, Courtesy of the Washington Post

John Wesley, the 19th century geologist and explorer, who navigated the Colorado River in 1869 and 1872, realized that the limited water in the arid West would eventually lead to conflict between the states. Therefore, he suggested the boundaries of Western states be determined by watersheds—the topographical basins that funnel surface water to a single exit point. John Lavey thought that was a pretty good idea. So Lavey, a land use planner at the Sonoran Institute in Bozeman, Montana, set about to recreate Powell’s vision—but this time, instead of stopping in the West, he crossed the Rocky Mountains. Sticking with a maximum of 50 states, here are the boundaries Lavey drew, dictated by North American watersheds:

December 22, 2014--Making water conservation pay (Eco Business)

Call it a sign of the times. Rarely a month passes in which a water crisis does not make headlines somewhere in the world. In early August, an algal bloom in Lake Erie, the result of agricultural runoff, contaminated drinking water in Toledo, Ohio.


November 26, 2014--Five cities where ‘natural infrastructure’ improved the water supply (Next City)

Where does your city’s water come from? The question is simple but, as with food or energy, many of us don’t know the answer. Beyond faucets, pipes and municipal treatment facilities, the average H2O consumer probably isn’t aware of all the rivers and lakes that form her vast watershed.


November 18, 2014--Cities should look to nature to bridge investment gap in water sector (The Guardian)

The water sector has always struggled for investment, and each year the gap between dollars being spent and dollars that need to be spent on critical water infrastructure grows. The US, for example, is facing an $84bn funding gap by 2020, and it is estimated to grow to more than $140bn by 2040.


September 5, 2014--Forests dying as Rocky Mountains heat up (Beacon)

Nobody paid much attention at first when pine beetles started multiplying in the montane forests of Colorado in the late 1990s. Old-timers had seen it all before; a few years of beetle kill, then a long, hard early winter freeze that killed most of the bugs during their winter larval phase, suppressing numbers back down to an endemic background level.


August 28, 2014--New report covers wildfire impacts on water supplies, potentials for mitigation (Water World)

Throughout the last several years, there has been an increase in the frequency of severe wildfires across North America, ultimately raising concerns about the impacts on local natural resources such as water.


October 18, 2013--We need water markets if we're to solve the global water crisis (Forest Trends)

Four years ago, Kenyan farmer Chege Mwangi was a desperate man. Climate change had thrown off the timing of his harvests, and torrential rains were washing his topsoil into Lake Naivasha -- where flower-growers were suffering, too. Sediment from thousands of farms like Mwangi's was choking off their supply of fresh water.


October 14, 2013--New guidance to protect America's water and reduce costs with natural infrastructure (Water Online)

A group of water experts has released new guidance for U.S. resource managers to expand the availability of clean water through the conservation and restoration of forests and other natural infrastructure.


September 14, 2013--USDA, Coca-Cola sign 5-year partnership to help restore watersheds on national forest land (Washington Post)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and Coca-Cola signed a five-year agreement Friday to restore watersheds that have been damaged or altered by development, wildfires and agriculture as part of an initiative to slow runoff and replenish groundwater on federal lands.


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