The Pure Water Occasional for October 20, 2014
In this mid-October Occasional, you’ll hear about the dramatic re-curving of the Kissimmee River, the worst drought ever, the prestigious Water Tank of the Year award, the political wrangling over the Passaic River, and the arsenic problem in Bangladesh. Then there’s Pratt & Whitney pollution in Florida, leaky oil tankers in Seattle, acid draining rock, Boyan Stat’s war on plastic, the environmental perils of deep sea gold mining, the forfeiture of maritime zones by drowning islands, and Dr. Bronner’s ads that were turned down by scientific publications. Learn how BPA pollutes the air as well as water, how smog adds water to rivers, how birth control pills kill minnows, how aluminum does (or doesn’t) cause Alzheimers, and why the privatization of water resources seldom works. You’ll read Pure Water Annie’s thoughts on dissolved oxygen, Bee Sharper on the current water news numbers, the amazing win streak of the Lodi Flames, the perils of soda guzzling, the addition of “environmental labels” to beef to save water, and, as always, there is much, much more.
The Pure Water Occasional is a project of Pure Water Products and the Pure Water Gazette.
To read this issue on the Pure Water Gazette’s website, please go here. (Recommended! When you read online you get the added advantage of the Gazette’s sidebar feed of the very latest world water news.)
You’ll sing better.
The Kissimmee: A River Recurved
by Amy Green
Kissimmee Straightened by the Army Corps of Engineers
Click image for larger view.
It sounds almost superhuman to try straighten a river and then recarve the curves.
That’s what federal and state officials did to the Kissimmee River in central Florida. They straightened the river in the 1960s into a canal to drain swampland and make way for the state’s explosive growth. It worked — and it created an ecological disaster. So officials decided to restore the river’s slow-flowing, meandering path.
That billion-dollar restoration — the world’s largest — is a few years from completion. And so far, it’s bringing signs of new life, especially on a man-made canal that was dug through the heart of the river.
“Birds are back, both wading birds and ducks. They’re all over the place,” says Paul Gray of Audubon Florida. “The oxygen levels in the river are better. There’s a lot more game fish in the river like bass and bluegill and stuff. Most of the biological perimeters, the goals of the restoration we’ve already met.”
The man-made canal begins near Walt Disney World in Central Florida and flows 50 miles south. “It messed up our water management infrastructure,” Gray says. “Now we drain so much water that when it’s dry we don’t have enough water for our human needs. We over drained, and so now we’re trying to rebuild the system where we’re going to catch water instead of wasting it when it’s wet.”
For decades, piles of dirt dug for the canal have remained heaped on its banks. Now bulldozers are pushing the dirt back into the waterway, filling it and making way for the river’s old meanders to recarve their historic path. Five dams controlling the waterway’s flow are being blown up, allowing the water to flow naturally.
The 20-year restoration effort is expected to be complete by 2017. (more…)