Tag Archives: drought

June 9, 1934: Drought Cartoon; 2013: Celebration of Activated Sludge; 1846: Birth of Frederic W. Stevens

June 9, 1934: Drought Cartoon. The Los Angeles Times has published cartoons over more than 100 years that depict the many droughts that California has suffered and the reactions to them. Here is one that I think you will enjoy.

Activated Sludge Process

June 9, 2013: Celebration of Centennial of Activated Sludge Process. “On June 9-11, the Water Environment Federation convened the forum, “Activated Sludge on its 100th Birthday: Challenges and Opportunities.” The event was held at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the first patent of the activated sludge process near Boston. The Activated Sludge process is still the heart of modern wastewater treatment systems around the globe and was a sea-change in the burgeoning field of wastewater treatment, permitting wastewater treatment to occur in a much smaller footprint, saving space and treatment time while protecting public and environmental health. In the past 100 years, the process has been updated, modified, and augmented, to improve treatment, remove nutrients, and do so more efficiently. However, more stringent demands and resources challenges are necessitating another look at the process that has been the backbone of modern sanitation infrastructure.”

Three copies of Jersey City lawsuit against the Jersey City Water Supply Company

June 9, 1846: Birth of Frederic W. Stevens, Vice Chancellor of the New Jersey Court of Chancery. Stevens officiated at the first trial of the lawsuit brought by Jersey City, New Jersey against the Jersey City Water Supply Company. The basis of the lawsuit was a contract dispute over whether a water supply from the Rockaway River was “pure and wholesome.”

Vice Chancellor Frederick W. Stevens was a highly regarded jurist in his day. “The career of Vice-Chancellor Stevens, marked as it has been by public service of the highest type, and by an undeviating devotion to duty, places him among the foremost men of the State in his generation…As a judge, the fairness, clearness and acuteness of his mind, with the high qualifications he has shown in that capacity, have won him universal admiration and respect, and given him a prominent position among the important men of the State.”   Stevens was born on June 9, 1846. His father was an engineer and his great-grandfather was a rival of Robert J. Fulton in the field of steam power development. Vice-Chancellor Stevens was comfortable with the kinds of technical language and facts that he would have to rule on in the first trial.

Stevens graduated from Columbia College in 1864. He read law in the offices of Edward T. Green and was admitted to the New Jersey bar in 1868. Most of his legal practice was conducted in Newark, New Jersey. “His professional record has been one of the most unusual success, and he has taken a conspicuous part in some of the most important legal fights ever made.”   Stevens was appointed as Vice-Chancellor of the Chancery Court in 1896. At the time of the first trial, Vice-Chancellor Stevens was 61 years old.

May 26, 1977: Drought Cartoon; 1928: Birth of Marion Stoddart

May 26, 1977: Drought Cartoon. The Los Angeles Times has published cartoons over more than 100 years that depict the many droughts that California has suffered and the reactions to them. Here is one that I think you will enjoy.

May 26, 1928: Birth of Marion Stoddart.
Environmental Pioneer and Activist
in Massachusetts.
”During the 1960s, the Nashua River made the top 10 list of most polluted rivers in the U.S. Then Marion Stoddart got involved, building a citizen coalition that changed laws, attitudes, and restored the river. In the process, Marion won the United Nations Global 500 Award, was profiled in National Geographic, and had a widely-read children’s book written about her.” Go to this website for more information:
http://www.workof1000.com/

November 8, 2007: Turf Removal Leadership in Las Vegas (and Santa Monica)

Turf Removal

Turf Removal

November 8, 2007:  New York Times headline—A ‘Hidden Oasis’ in Las Vegas’s Water Waste. “There’s a back to the land movement of sorts around Las Vegas these days, driven by the desert city’s growing realization that the only reason it can exist — the sapphire, but shrinking, expanse of Lake Mead 30 miles away — is not as durable as the Hoover Dam that created the reservoir 70 years ago.

The lake is below half its capacity after years of drought in the Colorado River basin.

So under turf removal programs initiated by the city and regional water agencies, homeowners and businesses have been paid up to $2 a square foot to roll up and cart away lawns and replace them with “xeriscapes,” desert-friendly plantings.

The Web site of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, which manages water in the region, has links to a variety of demonstration “xeric” gardens, including one at the local campus of the University of Nevada.”

CommentaryThe article goes on to quote critics who said that the Southern Nevada Water Authority should be doing more. Well, sure. Everyone should always be doing “more.” However, in my humble opinion, we will look back on the turf removal effort by SNWA as a historic turning point in the war against municipal water over-use in the arid West. Pat Mulroy and her leadership team at the SNWA have great reason to be proud of this innovation.

Further Commentary: In 2014, in the middle of California’s worst recorded drought, many utilities are emulating the Las Vegas leadership and offering up to $3 per square foot of turf removal. 2015: Turf removal has become so popular during the mega-drought in California that budgeted amounts for the programs are quickly oversubscribed.

Dirt Where Lawn Used To Be

Dirt Where Lawn Used To Be

And Even Further Commentary: As I sit here posting this item in late 2016, my front yard is completely dug up and we are awaiting the delivery of drought tolerant plants and a drip irrigation system to complete our drought landscaping project. It looks like we could get as much as $6,000 in rebates from the City of Santa Monica at $3.50 per square foot of turf replaced. However, that amount, which is quite generous, will not come close to the full cost of this expensive project. Don’t let anyone tell you that drought landscaping is simple or cheap.

1108-lawn-replace2

November 2, 2004: Lake Powell Shrinks

Glen Canyon Dam

Glen Canyon Dam

November 2, 2004New York Times headline– Drought Unearths a Buried Treasure. “Escalante, Utah – In the early 1960′s, the nation’s environmental movement cut its baby teeth on a fierce battle to stop construction of dams along the Colorado River. Two proposed dams were never built, but Glen Canyon dam, located in an unprotected area, was completed in 1963. Over the next 17 years, water backed up for 186 miles, forming Lake Powell and inundating Glen Canyon and hundreds of miles of side canyons.

The defeat was deeply felt. David Brower, who was executive director of the Sierra Club, called the death of Glen Canyon the greatest disappointment of his life. Edward Abbey, the mischievous author and defender of the natural world, called Glen Canyon the “living heart” of the Colorado River and Lake Powell a “blue death.” He often spoke of floating a houseboat filled with explosives to the base of the dam to get rid of “Lake Foul.”

What Mr. Abbey and the Sierra Club couldn’t or didn’t do nature has now accomplished. A severe Western drought – some say the worst in 500 years – is shrinking Lake Powell at the rate of up to a foot every four days. Since 1999, the vast reservoir has lost more than 60 percent of its water.

Glen Canyon is returning. It is open and viewable in much of its former glory. At the confluence of Coyote Creek and Escalante River, where boaters once motored by to see famous rock formations, backpackers now pick their way up a shallow river channel. Fifteen-foot high cottonwoods grow amid thickets of willow, gamble oak and tamarisk. Where fish thrived, mountain lions prowl.”

September 21, 1995: New Jersey Drought Hotline

0921 Dry birdbathSeptember 21, 1995New York Times headline–May Birdbath Be Filled? “Water Curbs Raise Queries. Can a birdbath be refilled from a bucket of water? Can dusty high school football and soccer fields be sprayed from private wells? Can a car be washed during a rainstorm? The answers given callers to New Jersey’s new drought-emergency telephone line: yes, no and yes, but only with the rainwater.

So goes life — and the dos and don’ts of outdoor water use — after government intervenes in a prolonged dry spell and orders people to start conserving. For now, the mandatory water restrictions imposed Sept. 13 apply to about three million people in 119 communities in northeastern New Jersey.

But, officials warn, millions more in New York City and much of the rest of New Jersey will face mandatory rules — and questions — unless far heavier rains than last Sunday morning’s arrive to revive the region’s reservoirs. Yesterday, Gov. Tom Ridge decreed similar mandatory restrictions over much of Pennsylvania, in an area affecting about 6.5 million people.”

September 20, 1981: Hackensack Water Expansion

Hackensack Weehawken Water Tower-Built in 1883

Hackensack Weehawken Water Tower-Built in 1883

September 20, 1981:  New York Times headline–Hackensack Water Plans Its Largest Expansion. “The future bills of the Hackensack Water Company will present, in stark dollars and cents, the financial legacy of the 1980-81 water shortage: A 47 percent increase for tens of thousands of homes and industries that were forced by state law to save water from last September to May.

The higher rates will generate $21 million in new income for the company. Both it and the state’s Board of Public Utilities, which approved the increase on Sept. 3, emphasize that it is in the best interests of Hackesack Water’s 800,000 customers to pay the money.

They say that new supplies can be developed with it, ending the company’s chronic water shortage and freeing customers from future threats of mandated conservation. The new rates, so the argument goes, are the best and only way to end the ”drought” and prevent future ones.”

June 9, 1934: Drought Cartoon; 2013: Celebration of Activated Sludge; 1846: Birth of Frederic W. Stevens

0609 Drought CartoonJune 9, 1934: Drought Cartoon. The Los Angeles Times has published cartoons over more than 100 years that depict the many droughts that California has suffered and the reactions to them. Here is one that I think you will enjoy.

Activated Sludge Plant, Cleveland, OH

Activated Sludge Plant, Cleveland, OH

June 9, 2013: Celebration of Centennial of Activated Sludge Process. “On June 9-11, the Water Environment Federation convened the forum, “Activated Sludge on its 100th Birthday: Challenges and Opportunities.” The event was held at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the first patent of the activated sludge process near Boston. The Activated Sludge process is still the heart of modern wastewater treatment systems around the globe and was a sea-change in the burgeoning field of wastewater treatment, permitting wastewater treatment to occur in a much smaller footprint, saving space and treatment time while protecting public and environmental health. In the past 100 years, the process has been updated, modified, and augmented, to improve treatment, remove nutrients, and do so more efficiently. However, more stringent demands and resources challenges are necessitating another look at the process that has been the backbone of modern sanitation infrastructure.”

Three copies of Jersey City lawsuit against the Jersey City Water Supply Company

Three copies of Jersey City lawsuit against the Jersey City Water Supply Company

June 9, 1846: Birth of Frederic W. Stevens, Vice Chancellor of the New Jersey Court of Chancery.

Stevens officiated at the first trial of the lawsuit brought by Jersey City, New Jersey against the Jersey City Water Supply Company. The basis of the lawsuit was a contract dispute over whether a water supply from the Rockaway River was “pure and wholesome.”

Vice Chancellor Frederick W. Stevens was a highly regarded jurist in his day. “The career of Vice-Chancellor Stevens, marked as it has been by public service of the highest type, and by an undeviating devotion to duty, places him among the foremost men of the State in his generation…As a judge, the fairness, clearness and acuteness of his mind, with the high qualifications he has shown in that capacity, have won him universal admiration and respect, and given him a prominent position among the important men of the State.”   Stevens was born on June 9, 1846. His father was an engineer and his great-grandfather was a rival of Robert J. Fulton in the field of steam power development. Vice-Chancellor Stevens was comfortable with the kinds of technical language and facts that he would have to rule on in the first trial.

Stevens graduated from Columbia College in 1864. He read law in the offices of Edward T. Green and was admitted to the New Jersey bar in 1868. Most of his legal practice was conducted in Newark, New Jersey. “His professional record has been one of the most unusual success, and he has taken a conspicuous part in some of the most important legal fights ever made.”   Stevens was appointed as Vice-Chancellor of the Chancery Court in 1896. At the time of the first trial, Vice-Chancellor Stevens was 61 years old.