Wednesday , 25 April 2018

November 15, 2017 E-News

DANE COUNTY LEADS SWITCH TO SELLING GAS MADE BY MANURE AND GARBAGE– Dane County plans to stop making electricity with natural gas extracted from heaps of garbage and manure so that it can sell the gas through an interstate pipeline for use as environmentally-friendly automobile fuel. The $23.5 million project at the county landfill would be the first of its kind in the state. The effort is a response to utility company plans for sharply cutting back on the money they have paid for nearly a decade to dozens of landfills and waste digesters for gas-generated electricity. Multi-year contracts with utilities provided more short-term certainty about revenue levels than the county and others will have selling the gas at market prices. But Dane County officials say current natural gas prices and government subsidies are very likely to mean more income as soon as new equipment is up and running early in 2019. And without the limits imposed by the utility contacts, the door will open to greater production of renewable energy that does far less environmental damage than fossil fuel. http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/dane-county-leads-switch-to-selling-gas-made-by-manure/article_f235b17c-1477-5269-9446-ffa173df4d80.html

OPENING A WISCONSIN SPIGOT?– There is no way the twin oil pipelines running along the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac would be built today. Even Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, a Republican candidate for governor, has said so. That’s why so many put so little stock in a recent study funded by the Canadian owner of the 64-year-old pipes, Enbridge, Inc. The study essentially concludes that the steel tubes lying exposed on the bottom of the Great Lakes make a lot of sense — at least compared to alternative ways of moving tens of millions of gallons of oil per day through the world’s largest freshwater system. The study, overseen by the state of Michigan, was ordered in response to intense public pressure to shut down Enbridge’s line before it ruptures. A younger Enbridge pipeline burst on land in 2010, pumping oil into a Lake Michigan tributary and causing more than $1 billion in damage. https://projects.jsonline.com/news/2017/11/9/opening-a-wisconsin-spigot.html

$300 BILLION WAR BENEATH THE STREET: FIGHTING TO REPLACE AMERICA’S WATER PIPES– Bursting pipes. Leaks. Public health scares. America is facing a crisis over its crumbling water infrastructure, and fixing it will be a monumental and expensive task. Two powerful industries, plastic and iron, are locked in a lobbying war over the estimated $300 billion that local governments will spend on water and sewer pipes over the next decade. It is a battle of titans, raging just inches beneath our feet.  How the pipe wars play out — in city and town councils, in state capitals, in Washington — will determine how drinking water is delivered to homes across America for generations to come. Traditional materials like iron or steel currently make up almost two-thirds of existing municipal water pipe infrastructure. But over the next decade, as much as 80 percent of new municipal investment in water pipes could be spent on plastic pipes, Bluefield predicts. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/10/climate/water-pipes-plastic-lead.html

UTILITIES SHOULD HAVE A “LASER FOCUS” ON REDUCING WATER SYSTEM LOSSES– Utilities needs to invest into the next generation of smart water technologies in order to reduce non-revenue water (NRW). That’s one of the key takeaways from the Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) Spotlight 2017 event, which brought together more than 220 water utility leaders in the summer. In an outcome document released this week, one of the major Spotlight discussions covered was on ‘Cutting losses – improving network performance’. While water utilities should strive towards achieving an NRW target of below 10 percent, the “optimum level of NRW would depend on several factors, such as water resource stress, financial considerations and economic level of leakage”, the document said. The report also warned that “over-investment in driving down NRW, which could involve more costly methods, could result in diminishing economic returns”. http://www.waterworld.com/articles/wwi/2017/11/utilities-should-have-a-laser-focus-on-reducing-water-system-losses.html

CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE SECURITY AND RESILIENCE MONTH- WEEK 2– This week we’re highlighting three EPA tools that can help you when responding to a water contamination emergency. The first is the Water Quality Surveillance and Response System Public Health Surveillance Resources. It can be found at https://www.epa.gov/waterqualitysurveillance/water-quality-surveillance-and-response-system-public-health-surveillance . The next is the Water Contaminant Information Tool (WCIT) which is a database with information on over 800 drinking water and wastewater contaminants, including pathogens, pesticides, and toxic industrial chemicals- https://www.epa.gov/waterlabnetwork/access-water-contaminant-information-tool . The third is the Water Laboratory Alliance Tool Kit. This tool kit is an introduction to EPA resources that can benefit your laboratory or organization. It can be found at https://www.epa.gov/waterlabnetwork/water-laboratory-alliance-tool-kit

WATER FLUORIDATION PRACTICE & OPERATION TIPS & TRICKS WEBINAR– Water Fluoridation Practice & Operation Tips and Tricks is a thirty minute course covering the topic of community water fluoridation. Learn from Christopher Linskens, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), about the evidence and science behind this important public health benefit. During this session you will gain knowledge on the basic principles of fluoridation engineering and be provided information on community water fluoridation administrative guidance. The webinar  is available on TrainingFinder Real-time Affiliated Integrated Network (TRAIN), the nation’s premier learning network for professionals who protect the public’s health. The TRAIN course ID for Water Fluoridation Practice & Operation Tips and Tricks is 1065197. If this is your first visit to TRAIN you will need to create an account. Please follow the instructions on www.train.org to create an account and log in. Link to webinar on TRAIN: https://wi.train.org/DesktopModules/eLearning/CourseDetails/CourseDetailsForm.aspx?courseId=1065197

‘BLUE MIND’: WHY BEING NEAR THE WATER MAKES YOU HAPPY– A day at the beach brings joy to visitors of all ages. Those who love to vacation by oceans, lakes and even swimming pools can attest to the water’s power to inspire relaxation and promote personal rejuvenation. And it’s no wonder that so many hotels and resorts are situated on the water, as travelers often pay a premium for shimmering views. The bestselling book, Blue Mind: The surprising science that shows how being near, in, on, or under water can make you happier, healthier, more connected, and better at what you do, by marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols, focuses on the proven scientific evidence that being close to bodies of water promotes mental health and happiness. https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/destinations/2017/11/13/blue-mind/857903001/

QUOTE– “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.”-  P. J. O’Rourke

“This week’s issue of the Rural Water E-News is sponsored by the following WRWA Corporate Gold Members and Businesses:”

                      

 “For information on WRWA Corporate Gold member benefits and other advertising opportunities, contact Renee at rkoback@wrwa.org.”

 

 

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