Recent News About Water


Here are a few recent news items about drinking water, the midwestern floods of Spring 2019, and a legislative proposal (in Wisconsin) to promote hydrological restoration.

The Water Access Gap Across the United States

From the group Digdeep.org comes a report that at least 2 million Americans still don’t have running water or a toilet. This is an astounding fact that reveals a great inequality in access to basic services such as: safe drinking water; a tap, toilet, and shower in the home, and a system for removing and treating waste water.

Together with the U.S. Water Alliance , DigDeep has taken on the task of Closing the Water Access Gap in the U.S. You can read their report and national action plant here.

Too Much Water is Just as Bad as Not Enough

The Spring 2019 floods in Madison, WI

Such is the case with the Midwestern floods of Spring 2019 in which more than one million acres flooded in five Midwestern states. Many of the flooded acres were cropland which went unplanted, resulting in many billions of dollars in lost crops and damage. Some crop fields are either full of weeds or still under water and with the already high water table, the prospects for spring 2020 don’t look good.

Read more about the Spring 2019 floods here in a story from Our Daily Planet.

Hydrological Restoration

A natural spring in Wisconsin. “Council Spring” below the Kenneth Jensen Wheeler Council Ring on the north side of Lake Wingra. Photo by Stephen B. Glass.

The hydrological regime of an area refers to the amount, duration, and timing of water availability and how it flows and moves over, under, or around a piece of land. Basically, hydrology is the land’s “natural capacity to manage water.”

When there is discussion of an ecological restoration project, it usually has to do with restoring the plants and animals to a prairie, savanna, or woodland. Even when wetland restoration–especially of the wetland mitigation type– is planned, rarely is much thought given to the water itself or the project site’s hydrological regime.

A bill (LRB 4892/1) recently introduced into the Wisconsin State Assembly and Senate aims to change that practice and to open up restoration possibilities by encouraging hydrological restoration. The Wisconsin Wetlands Association, which helped craft and strongly supports the bill, says that the bill, if enacted into legislation, would ” . . . reduce flood risks and damages, improve water quality, and benefit fish & wildlife habitat.”

For more information on the bill click here.

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About Steve Glass

The blogger is a restoration ecologist, Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner (#0093 SER) and writer living in the Midwestern United States.
This entry was posted in Council Spring, Ecological restoration, Freshwater resources, Groundwater, Restoration ecology, Springs, Stream restoration, Wetlands Alert!, Wisconsin Wetlands Association and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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