The Draanjik River region extends from the Yukon Territory into an undisturbed wildland that includes 2.4 million acres of public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The vast, pristine region includes watershed tributaries of the Yukon River and encompasses the traditional territories of the Draanjik and Gwichyaa Zhee Gwich'in. In a world where nature is increasingly diminished and threatened by human activities, the Draanjik is that rare place with room to breathe. It looks today much like it did at the end of the last ice age about 12,000 years ago.
The Hydrologic and Water Quality System (HAWQS) is a web-based interactive water quantity and quality modeling system that employs as its core modeling engine the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), an internationally-recognized public domain model. HAWQS provides users with interactive web interfaces and maps; pre-loaded input data; outputs that include tables, charts, and raw output data; a user guide, and online development, execution, and storage of a user's modeling projects. https://epahawqs.tamu.edu/
Global costs reach $5.4 billion US annually
WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY
A new global study has found that one in three large cities spend 50 percent more on water treatment costs as a result of damage to the ecological quality of their watersheds.
This study found that urban source watershed degradation is widespread globally, with 9 in 10 cities losing significant amounts of natural land cover to agriculture and development in the watersheds that supply their drinking water. This has led to polluted water and an increase in water treatment costs that represent a liability in excess of $100 billion US (net present value).
"This increase in cost matters because increases in water-treatment costs are paid for by those living in cities, so watershed degradation has had a real cost for hundreds of millions of urbanites," said Rob McDonald, lead scientist for The Nature Conservancy's Global Cities program.
Urban water treatment costs rise when the water quality at the source of a city's drinking water is affected by how the land in the watershed is used. Intact forests and other natural ecosystems protect water quality in a way that farms and residential neighborhoods cannot.
"Estimating watershed degradation over the last century and its impact on water-treatment costs for the world's large cities," was published July 25 in the peer-reviewed journalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), and coauthored by McDonald, his fellow scientists Tim Boucher and Daniel Shemie from The Nature Conservancy and colleagues from Yale and Washington State universities.
As the world grows more urban - with more two-thirds of the world's population expected to live in cities by 2050 - and climate change drives droughts and water shortages, protecting drinking water for city residents will be an increasing challenge for municipal leaders.
This study demonstrates the critical role that nature can play in ensuring clean, safe drinking water with an analysis of new global data about the sources of cities' drinking water and information about population growth and land use change over the period of 1900-2005.
"City leaders can use our findings to advocate for protecting their drinking water from contamination, rather than spending billions of dollars to clean it up" McDonald said. "Cities can protect their watersheds and avoid treatment cost increases by planning for sustainable development that considers impacts on natural systems."
The Nature Conservancy works with cities and companies globally to protect and restore drinking watersheds via a sustainable strategy known as "water funds." Water funds connect urban residents with the protection of the sources of their drinking water upstream and create the conditions for cities to invest in urban source watersheds.
"For city leaders looking to secure their water supply, water funds offer a mechanism to partner with upstream communities and invest in the rivers, forests and other ecosystems we all depend on for clean water," said Shemie, Strategy Director for The Nature Conservancy Global Water Funds program.
As water becomes more of valuable commodity in the United States, competition between public and private uses for this resource is heating up. This has caused a disturbing trend in governmental sector which seems to be succumbing to political pressure to side more often with corporate interest wishing to privatize water use.
The U.S. Department of Justice has conceded and U.S. District Judge Sharon Gleason today signed an order confirming that the State of Alaska owns the submerged lands of the Fortymile River’s Mosquito Fork. This is a successful outcome for the State of Alaska, which filed a lawsuit in 2012 seeking to confirm state ownership of these lands.
The Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resource Science has submitted a report to the Secretary of the Interior on the operations and partnerships of the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center and Climate Science Centers. In this report, the Committee offers nine recommendations regarding the co-production of actionable science, encouraging coordination and collaboration within DOI and with partners, engaging tribal and indigenous peoples, and program evaluation.There may be something in this report that would be useful in commenting on the BSWI and CY RMPs: