DROUGHT MEASURES:  And related water matters.
 

As recommended in 2003 CT Plan - http://www.ct.gov/opm/lib/opm/igp/org/adopteddroughtplan.pdf
"A drought is not a distinct event that has a clearly defined beginning and end; nor does it affect all water users equally."

Table of Contents:

Other research done previously...

Elsewhere





The State of Connecticut is on top of the water status issue. 

Index page:  http://www.ct.gov/waterstatus/site/default.asp

Direct links here:  http://www.ct.gov/waterstatus/cwp/view.asp?a=3233&q=397052&waterstatusNav=|

Background:

   
WITT ASSOCIATES' REPORT HERE - WE WENT TO WESTPORT INN FOR THIS STORM!
Always at the center of a story, "About Town" was in Milford during this "Nemo" event - cameraphone pics.


Dumping plowed snow into bodies of water raises a few environmental issues

Jan Ellen Spiegel, CT MIRROR
February 11, 2013

With huge quantities of snow lining Connecticut roads, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is giving cities and towns an option for getting rid of it -- dump it in the water.

"We're going to have to put the snow someplace," said Guilford Director of Public Works Jim Portley, who figured they wouldn't start dumping until next week, "and it's a great opportunity to get rid of the snow."

Environmentalists aren't up in arms. "This is an emergency," said Roger Reynolds of the Connecticut Fund for the Environment. "We understand that the snow has to go somewhere."

But Reynolds said there are concerns. "It's similar to dumping municipal solid waste in the waterway," he said. "When plows pick snow up, there's inevitably some debris."

DEEP is aware of this and has established a fairly strict protocol for dumping snow: It should be considered a last resort. All upland dumping locations must be fully exhausted. The snow cannot contain anything other than the road treatments used for melting snow. DEEP must be notified first. And the snow must be kept away from drinking water and sensitive areas such as wetlands.

"We have to strike a balance of protecting the environment with public safety and emergency needs," said Oswald Inglese, director of DEEP's water permitting and enforcement division...

But there is also concern about its replacement.

"Chloride -- that's the environmental concern," Inglese said. Long-term use can have toxic impacts, he said. "We see impairments in the health of aquatic ecosystems."

But the biggest problem is if chlorides are dumped into inland fresh water. Inglese said for large fast-flowing rivers or Long Island Sound itself: "We're not as concerned."

While many municipalities are thought to have switched to mixtures similar to DOT's, a few of those contacted by the CT Mirror have not.

* Guilford, which said it intended to dump its snow in the water, though it had not yet notified DEEP, uses a 4:1 sand-salt mixture.
*  New Haven told DEEP it might dump snow in the water but later said, "We have no intention of dumping in the Sound," said Public Works Director Doug Arndt. The city has been using sand and salt to treat roads during this storm.
*  Milford, one of the hardest hit towns with nearly 40 inches of snow, also uses a sand-salt mixture that is mostly sand. "We don't believe it's going to get to that point," said Mayor Blake Benjamin of the possibility of dumping snow in the water. "I think that's the last resort. "You've got to be worried about if there's any kind of oil in it."
*  Branford switched to pure salt this year, which First Selectman Anthony "Unk" DaRos said is working better than the old mixture on the nearly 3 feet of snow the town received...

Please search the CT MIRROR archives for the remainder of this story.



UConn Picks Connecticut Water To Solve Its Water Woes
Board Of Trustees To Vote On Proposal Wednesday
The Hartford Courant
By PETER MARTEKA, pmarteka@courant.com
7:20 PM EDT, August 5, 2013

The University of Connecticut has chosen Connecticut Water Co.'s proposal to bring 2 million gallons of water a day to the Storrs campus to solve its water woes, sources said Monday.

The selection eliminates a controversial $51 million plan by the Metropolitan District Commission to build a 20-mile pipeline from East Hartford that would have drawn water from the Barkhamsted and Nepaug reservoirs. Opponents assailed the plan, saying it would draw down the watershed of the Farmington River, a popular recreation spot...

Please search the Hartford Courant archives for the remainder of this story.


Water shortages come home to Connecticut
Neena Satija, CT MIRROR
February 12, 2013

The controversy over the University of Connecticut's proposals to quench its thirst shows that water isn't just the Southwestern states’ problem anymore.

The Northeast has often been seen as a water-rich part of the country and, in fact, the amount of rainfall in Connecticut has actually increased slightly in the last century. But weather patterns have become more erratic: In recent years, for instance, we've seen wetter winters, but drier summers. The historic blizzard that Connecticut is still digging out from this week is a perfect example.

"It's kind of like the difference between having a steady job where you get a paycheck every week ... and being a consultant where you may have feast or famine in your cash flow," said Pat Bresnahan, former associate director of the University of Connecticut's Water Resources Institute. "With climate change it might be something very similar..."

Please search the CT MIRROR archives for the remainder of this story.



From the Federal level:



Seven-day average streamflow compared to historical streamflow for the day of the year (CT):http://waterwatch.usgs.gov/index.php?id=pa07d&sid=w__map|m__pa07d_nwc&r=ct

Map of real-time stream compared to historical streamflow for the day of the year (CT):  http://waterwatch.usgs.gov/index.php?m=real&r=ct&w=map



HOW DOES CT DECIDE WHEN TO SAY WE ARE IN A DROUGHT?





U.S.G.S.  Connecticut Real-Time Network
REAL-TIME GROUNDWATER LEVEL NETWORK: 
http://groundwaterwatch.usgs.gov/NetMapT1L2.asp?sc=09&ncd=rtn

U.S.G.S.  Connecticut Active Water Level Network
GROUNDWATER WATCH: http://groundwaterwatch.usgs.gov/statemap.asp?sc=09&sa=CT




Western drought starting to squeeze Connecticut farmers
CT POST
Charlotte Adinolfi
Published 12:30 a.m., Tuesday, August 21, 2012

For Ben Freund, owner of Freund's Farm, Inc. in East Canaan, is anticipating the worst for his farm and his ability to produce his annual products in the coming months.

The cows on Freund's farm are fed by feed and supplements shipped in from other parts of the country...

Please search the CT POST archives for the remainder of this story.



SAUGATUCK RESERVOIR IN AUGUST IMMEDIATELY BELOW.



BELOW - Saugatuck Reservoir from same spot in Redding (pulloff with view of island) in decending order (June, May, April 2012)






State In Minor Drought, But Local Crop Prices Unlikely To Rise
The Hartford Courant
By KRISTIN STOLLER, kstoller@courant.com
5:45 PM EDT, July 21, 2012

Connecticut's dry summer has left many lawns brown but farmers say it will have no effect on the state's crop prices. Despite Friday's rain, greater Hartford has received only 28 percent of the normal rainfall through July 20, said Andy Mussoline, a meteorologist at AccuWeather.com.

Typically, the area gets about 2.47 inches of rain at this time of year, but has only received .68 inches so far, he said. For Tony Botticello of Botticello Farms, the dry spell has meant more work for him and his farmers. At his farm in Manchester, farmers must continue to irrigate and pump water from the nearby Connecticut River — resulting in some farmers working as late as midnight.

"It's a lot more work," Botticello said. "If we didn't do that, we wouldn't be able to harvest anything..."

Please search the Hartford Courant archives for the remainder of this story.



STILL WATERS RUN DEEP - BUT HOW DEEP IS THE QUESTION - CONNECTICUT LINKUSGS NATIONAL
After no snow this winter, are we due for another drought?  Lack of infrastructure such as water and sewer lines is a hallmark in Weston.  Past history here.






ELSEWHERE...IN CT, U.S.A. AND THE GLOBE

http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/

AND NOW FLOODING TREND...?  How about Stormwater runoff regs?



WATER QUALITY IN WESTON




HAZARD MITIGATION WORKSHOP (l)




Avoiding Bioenergy Competition for Food Crops and Land, Creating a Sustainable Food Future, Installment Nine
WORLD RESOURCES INSTITUTE
by Tim Searchinger and Ralph Heimlich - January 2015     

Installment 9 of Creating a Sustainable Food Future shows that any dedicated use of land for growing bioenergy inherently comes at the cost of not using that land for growing food or animal feed, or for storing carbon.


Working paper on biofuels...





Making Sense of Water
NYTIMES
Mark Bittman
APRIL 14, 2015

BERKELEY, Calif. — Almost every number used to analyze California’s drought can be debated, but this can be safely said: No level of restrictions on residential use can solve the problem. The solution lies with agriculture, which consumes more than its fair share.

That doesn’t mean homeowners can’t and shouldn’t cut back.

But according to estimates by the Public Policy Institute of California, more water was used to grow almonds in 2013 than was used by all homes and businesses in San Francisco and Los Angeles put together. Even worse, most of those almonds are then exported — which means, effectively, that we are exporting water. Unless you’re the person or company making money off this deal, that’s just nuts.

California produces more than 400 commodities in many different climates, so it’s difficult to generalize about agriculture. Many farmers are cutting back on water use, planting geographically appropriate crops and shifting to techniques that make sense, like “dry” farming. Others, however, are mining water as they would copper: When it runs out, they’ll find new ways to make money.

So the big question is not, “How do we survive the drought?” — which could well be the new normal — but, “How do we allocate water sensibly?” California grows fruits and vegetables for everyone; that’s a good thing. It would be an even better thing, however, if some of that production shifted to places like Iowa, once a leading grower of produce. That could happen again, if federal policy subsidized such crops, rather than corn, on some of that ultra-fertile land...story in full:  http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/14/opinion/making-sense-of-water.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=c-column-top-span-region&region=c-column-top-span-region&WT.nav=c-column-top-span-region&_r=0





Amid drought, water-use penalties hit Bay Area

Kurtis Alexander, SFGATE
Updated 10:45 pm, Saturday, May 17, 2014

Here comes the chapter of California's drought story where things get testy.

Asking people to conserve water? No problem. Ordering them to cut back or else pay up? Those are fighting words...for full story click above.



Holiday storms do little to help US drought, although rains ease conditions some in Southeast
Washington Post
By Associated Press, Updated: Thursday, January 3, 10:58 AM


ST. LOUIS — Holiday storms that pounded much of the nation with snow and rain did little to ease the overall grip of the worst U.S. drought in decades.

The weekly U.S. Drought Monitor report released Thursday shows that about 61 percent of the continental U.S. remained in some form of drought as of Tuesday, down less than a percentage point from the previous week. That number has been above 60 percent largely since July.

More than 21 percent of the lower 48 states are in extreme or exceptional drought, the two worst categories. That’s down slightly from the previous week.

All of Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and South Dakota are in drought.

But some areas in the Southeast are emerging from drought after heavy rains since Christmas Day.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.





A Record Worth Wilting For: Death Valley Is Hotter Than ...
By ADAM NAGOURNEY, NYTIMES
December 28, 2012


FURNACE CREEK, Calif. — For Death Valley, a place that embraces its extremes, this has long been an affront: As furnace-hot as it gets here, it could not lay claim to being the hottest place on earth. That honor, as it were, has gone since 1922 to a city on the northwestern tip of Libya.

Until now. After a yearlong investigation by a team of climate scientists, the World Meteorological Organization, the climate agency of the United Nations, announced this fall that it was throwing out a reading of 136.4 degrees claimed by the city of Al Aziziyah on Sept. 13, 1922. It made official what anyone who has soldiered through a Death Valley summer afternoon here could attest to. There is no place hotter in the world. A 134-degree reading registered on July 10, 1913, at Greenland Ranch here is now the official world record...

Please search the NYTIMES archives for the remainder of this story.



Drought’s impact on food prices could worsen hunger in America
YAHOO
By Jason Sickles
21 August 2012

More than 18 percent of Americans say there have been times this year when they couldn't afford the food they needed, according to a Gallup poll released on Tuesday.

That plight could grow because of the country's worst drought in half a century. The U.S. Department of Agriculture warned last month that Americans should expect to pay 3 to 5 percent more for groceries next year because of the drought.

"While Americans are no more likely to struggle to afford food thus far in 2012 than in the past, more residents may face problems as the drought-related crop damage results in a shortage of inputs in the food supply and begins to affect retail prices," the Gallup report stated.
ulture and Rural Development Department. "The world has enough food, but of course we cannot predict the weather and if something extraordinary happens we might find ourselves in a difficult situation again..."


Please search the YAHOO archives for the remainder of this story.




In Midst of a Drought, Keeping Traffic Moving on the Mississippi
By JOHN SCHWARTZ, NYTIMES
August 19, 2012

ABOARD THE DREDGE POTTER, on the Mississippi River — This ship is making sure that the Big River, shrinking under one of the worst droughts in modern history, stays deep enough.

The Potter is scooping this stretch of the Mississippi River’s navigation channel just south of St. Louis, the ship’s 32-foot-wide head sucking up about 60,000 cubic yards of sediment each day and depositing it via a long discharge pipe a thousand feet to the side in a violent, muddy plume that smells like muck and summer...http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/
.






Connecticut shown as "abnomally dry" this week...

Report: Drought Intensifies in Kansas, Nebraska

NYTIMES
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
August 16, 2012

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A new report suggests that while recent rains stabilized the devastating drought gripping Iowa and other key farming states, the dry conditions intensified in Kansas and Nebraska.

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map released Thursday shows the overall expanse of land across the contiguous U.S. states weathering some form of drought dropped less than 1 percent to 61.8 percent as of Tuesday.

In Iowa, the nation's leader in corn production, the amount of land mired in extreme or exceptional drought — the two worst classifications — dropped 7 percentage points to 62.05 percent over the past week.

But the amount of Nebraska in exceptional drought spiked 19 percentage points to 22.5 percent, while that number in Kansas rose from 38.6 percent last week to 63.3 percent now.



Half of US counties now considered disaster areas
YAHOO
By JIM SUHR | Associated Press
2 August 2012

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Nearly 220 counties in a dozen drought-stricken states were added Wednesday to the U.S. government's list of natural disaster areas as the nation's agriculture chief unveiled new help for frustrated, cash-strapped farmers and ranchers grappling with extreme dryness and heat.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture's addition of the 218 counties means that more than half of all U.S. counties — 1,584 in 32 states — have been designated primary disaster areas this growing season, the vast majority of them mired in a drought that's considered the worst in decades.

Counties in Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee and Wyoming were included in Wednesday's announcement. The USDA uses the weekly U.S. Drought Monitor to help decide which counties to deem disaster areas, which makes farmers and ranchers eligible for federal aid, including low-interest emergency loans.

To help ease the burden on the nation's farms, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Thursday opened up 3.8 million acres of conservation land for ranchers to use for haying and grazing. Under that conservation program, farmers have been paid to take land out of production to ward against erosion and create wildlife habitat...

Please search the YAHOO archives for the remainder of this story.



NEW YORK TIMES SERIES ON TOXIC WATERS
Toxic Waters: Clean Water Laws Are Neglected, at a Cost to Health

NYTIMES
By CHARLES DUHIGG
September 13, 2009

Jennifer Hall-Massey knows not to drink the tap water in her home near Charleston, W.Va.

In fact, her entire family tries to avoid any contact with the water. Her youngest son has scabs on his arms, legs and chest where the bathwater — polluted with lead, nickel and other heavy metals — caused painful rashes. Many of his brother’s teeth were capped to replace enamel that was eaten away.

Neighbors apply special lotions after showering because their skin burns. Tests show that their tap water contains arsenic, barium, lead, manganese and other chemicals at concentrations federal regulators say could contribute to cancer and damage the kidneys and nervous system.

“How can we get digital cable and Internet in our homes, but not clean water?” said Mrs. Hall-Massey, a senior accountant at one of the state’s largest banks.

She and her husband, Charles, do not live in some remote corner of Appalachia. Charleston, the state capital, is less than 17 miles from her home.

“How is this still happening today?” she asked.

When Mrs. Hall-Massey and 264 neighbors sued nine nearby coal companies, accusing them of putting dangerous waste into local water supplies, their lawyer did not have to look far for evidence. As required by state law, some of the companies had disclosed in reports to regulators that they were pumping into the ground illegal concentrations of chemicals — the same pollutants that flowed from residents’ taps.

But state regulators never fined or punished those companies for breaking those pollution laws.

This pattern is not limited to West Virginia. Almost four decades ago, Congress passed the Clean Water Act to force polluters to disclose the toxins they dump into waterways and to give regulators the power to fine or jail offenders. States have passed pollution statutes of their own. But in recent years, violations of the Clean Water Act have risen steadily across the nation, an extensive review of water pollution records by The New York Times found...see link for full story.






Crops in India Wilt in a Weak Monsoon Season
By VIKAS BAJAJ, NYTIMES
September 3, 2012

MURUMA, India — Vilas Dinkar Mukane lives halfway around the world from the corn farmers of Iowa, but the Indian sharecropper is at risk of losing his livelihood for the same reason: not enough rain.

With the nourishing downpours of the annual monsoon season down an average of 12 percent across India and much more in some regions, farmers in this village about 250 miles east of Mumbai are on the brink of disaster. “If this situation continues, I’ll lose everything,” said Mr. Mukane, whose soybean, sugarcane and cotton crops were visibly stunted and wilting in his fields recently. “Nothing can happen without water.”

Drought has devastated crops around the world this year, including corn and soybeans in the United States, wheat in Russia and Australia and soybeans in Brazil and Argentina. This has contributed to a 6 percent rise in global food prices from June to July, according to United Nations data.

India is experiencing its fourth drought in a dozen years, raising concerns about the reliability of the country’s primary source of fresh water, the monsoon rains that typically fall from June to October...

Please search the NYTIMES archives for the remainder of this story.