Thursday, July 30, 2009

Robert Glennon on The Daily Show

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I know this has been well aired on the water blogs, but I can't pass up the chance give props to John Stewart. Micheal Campana gives a thorough review of Glennon's book.

Daylighting large urban stream channels.

Andrew Revkin, in the New York Times Dot Earth blog, writes about a collection of large urban streams being "daylighted," i.e. unearthed from massive underground pipes they were routed into.

The article is very link-rich, go take a look. Here's another take on a $384 million project in Seoul mentioned in Revkin's article.

Near here, the River des Peres in St. Louis was routed underground in a huge project beginning in the 1930's. Another article here. You could drive eighteen wheelers abreast through some of the conduits.

The flickr user "cicadashell" has some nice photos of the River des Peres here, the one above (used with permission) shows a section that was converted into a concrete trapezoid.

And, finally, "Misfit Stream" an interesting eco-blog about efforts to restore environmental values to the City of St. Louis.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Dow hits 9,000.

The Times reports the Dow above 9,000 for the first time since January 2009. Last fall's crash was not good for us--we've seen grants and institutional budgets slashed, and promising projects were lost or canceled. Our expansion in late 2007 was a big move, and we were just getting off the ground when the economy slumped.

We made a bold move for stimulus funding through NSF in January, but were turned down. Frustrating, because our proposal was first rate, and I can't think of a more appropriate use of the money, though of course NSF's review didn't (and wasn't supposed to) consider that.

Friends who know the stress of running a business say things like "in the end it'll make your business stronger," and perhaps that's true, but I'm more than ready for a break from this--we are focusing far too much on cash flow and not enough on the reason I'm doing this--innovative and effective river conservation science and education.

This market climb is good news. It won't return to last year's high for a long time, if ever, but at least it's going up.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Fluid mechanics time lapse video.

Morningstar Mill Timelapse from Matthew Wartman on Vimeo.

Really swamped with grantwriting, designing new things for our Em4, and relentless grind of running a business in a bad economy lately, so not much blogging.

Here's a nice time lapse movie with some hidden treasures. Notice the regular oscillation in the flows. I had the great fortune of co-teaching a restoration workshop with Marie Morisawa many years ago and remember her talking about regular fluctuations in streamflow velocity, on the order of several minutes I think, that nobody could explain. I think you can see them in this video.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Lawsuit over Memphis pumping of the Sparta Aquaifer.

Via Michael Campana's WaterWired, news of a billion dollar lawsuit by the State of Mississippi against the City of Memphis over pumping of the vast Sparta Aquifer.

This problem has been brewing for a long time. The aquifer is being mined for water, and drawdowns over the past century have caused depressions of nearly 100 feet in some areas. Growing up in southern Arkansas, I drank this water (its quality is excellent) for many years. A big problem is use for irrigation, something I've talked about here before. Note on the aerial here you can see much of the Grand Prairie in Eastern Arkansas has been greatly modified to get rid of surface water even as they pump (note circles from center pivot units) from the aquifer for irrigation of rice, soybeans, and cotton.

The USGS has group of studies going, USGS Mississippi Embayment Regional Aquifer Study (MERAS), index here. The illustration comes one of these publications from McKee and Clark, PDF here.