GR: In a new report, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency says that 40% of American lakes are polluted, and the situation is getting worse. The EPA blames “nutrient pollution,” but I’ll be more clear: The principal cause of American freshwater pollution is farming and the excess fertilizer that washes off the fields or soaks into the ground water. The photo below is from one of my ponds that has excess nitrogen that is probably from the nearby farm.
People can avoid harmful effects of polluted water by staying out of the water, by not eating fish from the water, and by not drinking unfiltered water. Wildlife does not have these options. Animal species that spend all or part of their time in water are leading the way down to extinction. Yay humans!
“Lakes and reservoirs provide many environmental, economic, and public health benefits. We use lakes for drinking water, energy production, food and recreation. Fish, birds and other wildlife rely on them for habitat and survival. In the National Lakes Assessment (NLA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its partners surveyed a wide array of lakes representative of those found in the U.S., from small ponds and prairie potholes to large lakes and reservoirs. The NLA is part of the National Aquatic Resource Surveys, a series of statistically-based assessments designed to provide the public and decision-makers with nationally consistent and representative information on the condition of the nation’s waters.” (Continue reading: National Lakes Assessment 2012 Key Findings | National Aquatic Resource Surveys | US EPA
GR: Many places will have to begin pumping groundwater. That’s a temporary solution, however. Here in the arid western United States, we’ve seen what happens as the depth to water falls and the cost of pumping rises. We’ve also seen how toxic metals concentrate in shrinking groundwater aquifers.
One glacier on Chacaltaya mountain… has already completely disappeared.
“Bolivia’s government was recently forced to declare a state of national emergency — a terrible drought, said to be the worst in at least the past 25 years, plus increasing demand in the form of population growth have left the country high and dry.
“As of now, the country is trying to drill their way out the predicament with “emergency wells.” In the city of La Paz, the three main reservoirs that provide the city’s water are almost dry. It is reported that five other major cities also face severe water shortages. Hospitals are working at half capacity and suspending non-emergency surgeries and dialysis. In some poor neighborhoods taps have run dry for three weeks. The Guardian has posted a photo-essay of the situation here.
“One key aspect of the trouble is that Bolivia’s glaciers have dramatically shrank, and so the dams that rely on continuously capturing glacial run-off are rendered somewhat worthless at this point. Bolivia’s population is expected to increase by 50% (to 15 million) by the early 2040’s.” —Joe Bish, Population Media Center (Read mre here: Bolivian Water Crisis as Glaciers Vanish, Population Grows)
GR: I recommend that you follow the continue reading link. The figures for the country and lots of specific cities are included.
“Drought has erupted in the Southeast United States in recent months, and emerged in the central plains in recent weeks. Forest fires have dotted the Southern Appalachians. Areas not directly threatened by the fires have dealt with the downstream consequences. Many places—including here in Asheville—have seen an almost uninterrupted run of air quality alerts. My part of the country now faces some of the same challenges many Californians have been battling for several years.
How we got there
“The short version of how we got there, and this isn’t meant to sound flippant, is that it’s been dry and warm.
“Take a look at October’s “percent of normal” precipitation map. The darkest brown color painted over much of the south—and nearly all of Alabama—and parts of the central and southern high plains represents less than 5% of normal rainfall. In other words, less than one part out of twenty of October’s average rainfall. In the south, October was an exclamation point at the end of a dry stretch dating to summer.” –Deke Arndt (continue reading: Drought breaks out this fall | NOAA Climate.gov)
We now find that under the current amount of warming, the probability of a severe drought year has approximately doubled. — Park Williams, assistant research professor at Columbia University’…
Source: Dishonest Donald Denies The Ongoing California Drought as Lake Mead Hits New All-Time Record Low | robertscribbler
GR: We have known about this for at least 20 years, but nothing has been done because of the high cost of filtering urban waste water. Large corporations and stock holders avoid taxes, and what the rest of us pay is insufficient for more than a tot-lot or two and more roads to support further develpment and “progress.”
Bob Berwin: “Traces of pain-relieving substances, diabetes drugs and allergy medicines are widespread in small streams across the Southeast, especially in urban zones like Raleigh, North Carolina, the U.S. Geological Survey found in a new study.
“The USGS in 2014 sampled 59 small streams in portions of Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia for 108 different pharmaceutical compounds and detected one or more pharmaceuticals in all 59 streams. The average number of pharmaceuticals detected in the streams was six.
“The EPA is currently developing rules for regulating pharmaceutical pollution, but government watchdogs say the agency’s proposal is much to weak. Other studies have shown that the toxic cocktail of pharmaceutical remnants is already affecting basic stream health. From there, the chemicals are making their way up the food chain and have even turned up in remote Mexican cenotes. Source: Pharmaceutical pollution widespread in Southeast U.S. streams | Summit County Citizens Voice
Dams, mining, land-cover changes, and climate change are degrading the streams, rivers, lakes, and forests of the world’s largest river basin at unprecedented rates, according to scientists. From: phys.org
GR: The problems were recognized by Alexander von Humboldt over 200 years ago. What does that say about professional land management and planning agencies?
Recommendations from the Arizona Town Hall include more use of reclaimed wastewater and stormwater runoff. From: azdailysun.com
GR: It is interesting that Arizona’s “Water Experts” advocate water reclamation at public expense, but say nothing about slowing growth at developer expense. Oh, BTW, Are you kids still wasting all that water rinsing your toothbrushes? Don’t you know that you are killing off the bunnies and deer?
“Researchers link seasonal fluctuations in toxin with elephant seal fur
“FRISCO — So much mercury has accumulated in the ocean food chain that, when northern California sea lions molt their fur, the toxic substance can traced in the water.
“Mercury is one of those toxins that just keeps building up. It never really goes away, but just changes form. That’s a real problem in the marine environment, because the most toxic variation, methyl mercury, is readily absorbed and accumulates in the bodies of marine organisms.
“In a process known as “biomagnification,” the toxin becomes more and more concentrated as it passes up the food chain. Thus, mercury concentrations in top predators can be 1 million to 10 million times higher than the levels found in seawater.” Sourced through Scoop.it from: summitcountyvoice.com
GR: Mercury is increasing in freshwater and seawater across most of the planet.
BOWIE — Farmers from California and Arizona are pushing to drill wells and pump unregulated water in Cochise County, triggering intense rivalries and calls for a crackdown.
Some farmers from the drought-parched, increasingly regulated Central Valley of California want to plant pistachios and other crops here, largely to feed China’s growing demand for tree nuts. But others who are already here and pumping water want the state to limit new irrigation. Sourced through Scoop.it from: azdailysun.com
GR: Everyone acknowledges that groundwater is a limited resource that will all be gone one day, but no one acknowledges that the riparian habitats along streams and springs fed by groundwater have either already disappeared or will disappear over the next few years. Such blind ambition is destroying our wildlife. Arizona farmers, “Wealth isn’t just bank balances, it’s also the beauty of our surroundings.”