Terrifying Worldwide Water Privatization Strategy

Back in 2011, we were made aware of this article which links the World Bank with several transnational corporate entities, including Nestle, to private water worldwide, but especially targeting countries with a lower socioeconomic status.  I was then informed by an expert source that it was not being spearheaded by the World Bank, but rather the World Economic Forum.

Then the other day, Nickie Seckera of Community Water Justice, who has been resisting Nestle’s expanding empire over the water in Fryeburg, sent along this information:

The Alliance for Water Stewardship offers a partnership with founding members as Nestlé, Unilever, Veolia and many more to help secure the multinational corporate agenda of controlling groundwater resources.

Beware of organizations as this who claim to protect global water resources. For whom are they protecting it? Corporate-backed organizations as this are out for protection of their future profits in securing water sources all over the world for their dominance over local people. The prospects of commodification and control could change how we access drinking water for all future generations. As we know, they are not out for the common good but for profit – and the highest bidder will win access to life.

“The Alliance for Water Stewardship is a partnership of global leaders in sustainable water management who are dedicated to promoting responsible use of freshwater that is socially, economically and environmentally beneficial. AWS drives collective responses to shared water challenges through its stakeholder-endorsed international Water Stewardship Standard. AWS’s Founding Partners are American Standard, CDP, Centre for Responsible Business, Centro del Agua para America Latina y el Caribe, Ecolab, European Water Partnership, Fundacion Chile, Fundacion FEMSA, Future500, General Mills, The Gold Standard Foundation, Hindustan Unilever Foundation, Inghams, Marks & Spencer, Murray Darling Basin Authority, Nestle, Pacific Institute, Sealed Air, United Nations Environment Programme, the UN Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate, The Nature Conservancy, The Water Council, Veolia, Water Environment Foundation, Water Footprint Network, Water Stewardship Australia, Water Witness International, WaterAid and WWF.”


Thank you Nickie for your outstanding work.

Water compact: Klamath shows value of negotiation

Guest Editorial in Missoula, Montana

Michael Gale (Missoulian, Sept. 17) seems to think that events in Oregon’s Klamath Basin illustrate the danger of entering into a Flathead Reservation compact. Actually, the reverse is true.

Part of the problem is that Gale doesn’t really appear to know what happened on the Klamath. What actually happened is that the state of Oregon determined that the Klamath Tribes have a “time immemorial” right to in-stream flows on Klamath tributaries, which entitles them to make a call on irrigators using water from those streams. And in this very low water year, that’s what they did. When a senior water user shuts down a junior, there is no implication that the senior’s use of water is “more important” than the junior’s. All it means is the senior was there first. It may not lead to the best use of water, but that’s the way Western water law works.

It’s also important to note that the Klamath irrigators who were cut off this summer were not protected by any “paper agreements.” In fact, they declined to participate in the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, which seeks to assure that there is enough water, equitably shared, for both fish and agriculture. Other irrigators with rights junior to those of the tribes, who did enter into the agreement, have not had their water cut off.

Like the Klamath Tribes, the Salish and Kootenai tribes almost certainly have a valid claim to extensive time immemorial in-stream water rights. These rights are a matter of law and not a creation of the compact. On the contrary, under the compact, the tribes have agreed to exercise their rights in a way that protects existing junior users, including irrigators. The Klamath experience demonstrates the value of this kind of negotiated settlement, and the perils of rejecting it.

Sen. Dick Barrett,

Senate District 47,


Source: http://missoulian.com/news/opinion/mailbag/water-compact-klamath-shows-value-of-negotiation/article_ebfb9f6e-2460-11e3-94c5-0019bb2963f4.html

Fate of Northern California at Stake in Trinity River War

September 16, 2013


The Hoopa Valley Tribe applauds a recent decision by a federal judge to allow the federal Bureau of Reclamation to open the Lewiston dam and release Trinity River water needed to avoid a replay of the 2002 fish kill in the Klamath River.

The lifting of the restraining order holding back these flows, which was requested as part of a lawsuit by the Westlands Water District and San Lois & Delta-Mendota Water Authority, is good news for this year’s record run of salmon.

The fact that a last minute lawsuit could have caused a catastrophic fish kill in the Klamath River demonstrates the need for long-term solutions to water issues in the Klamath, and it’s largest tributary, the Trinity River.

It is regrettable that this latest lawsuit has reignited the war for the Trinity River, one of the fiercest in the history of California water. At stake are Northern Californian’s way of life, including thousands of years of tribal existence, and commercial and sport fishing economies.

In this suit, irrigators located hundreds of miles from the Trinity River revived arguments that water for salmon, environmental conservation and cultural preservation should more profitably be used to grow crops. These crops are grown with subsidized water on marginal lands.

This latest attempt to use environmental laws to block water for environmental protection is especially hypocritical and deplorable if we look at the history of the Trinity water struggle.

The last battle for the Trinity was twelve years ago. Then, a federal appeals court rejected similar efforts by these same water users that would have blocked salmon restoration in the Trinity River.

The laws, permits and contracts that established the nearly 60-year old priorities for Trinity water are clear. Westlands and the San Luis & Delta-Medota Water Authority have always known that federal law gives Trinity needs priority over their use of Trinity River water, yet they continue to use obstructionist tactics to hold up water releases when the fish need it most.

Moreover, the broad scope of the crisis affecting our fishery involves irrigation and hydropower generation in Oregon and the controversial Bay Delta Conservation planning process in California.

Central Valley farmers are not the only party to blame for this crisis. If Upper Klamath Lake in Oregon was not overdrawn last year, and more water had been released from Iron Gate Dam, the Klamath River would not be in as dire a situation. If Warren Buffett’s PacifiCorp would stick to its promise to remove the Klamath Dams instead of stalling dam removal through the manipulation of California’s water quality laws, water would be cleaner and cooler in the Klamath.

We cannot let wasteful corporate farming continue to diminish and pollute our rivers and groundwater to the point they cannot sustain fisheries or communities. The 2002 Klamath River fish kill was devastating not only the Tribes of the Klamath and Trinity Rivers, but also to coastal fishing communities.

It was also a wake up call for the stakeholders of the Klamath watershed, including California and Oregon. However eleven years, and millions of dollars in hearings and meetings, later very few solutions to the problem have been implemented.

There is a path forward. We have prepared long-term, comprehensive and science based solutions to the Klamath and Trinity crisis. We invite California and Oregon water managers to discuss them with us.

Danielle Vigil-Masten is the chairwoman of the Hoopa Valley Tribe.

Source: http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/09/16/fate-northern-california-stake-trinity-river-war


Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/09/16/fate-northern-california-stake-trinity-river-war

Drought Driving New Water Deals in the West, Part One

Tony Barboza | 9/9/13
On a June morning, Scott White and a colleague from his agency, the state Water Resources Department, park their pickup near a green pasture and barn outside Bly, Ore. A rancher, his wife and son meet the government men at the gate, their faces tight with barely suppressed anger. Low snowpack and stream flows prompted Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber to declare a drought emergency in the Klamath Basin in April, and the watermasters are here to shut off the irrigation water the family needs to sustain their fields through temperatures pushing 100 degrees.

This is just one of the hundreds of personal visits that watermasters are paying to ranchers and hay farmers who draw from the headwaters of the Klamath River, which runs 250 miles from southern Oregon’s high desert to the fog-shrouded redwoods of the California Coast. The crews, working in pairs, offer a sympathetic ear to frustrated ranchers, but carry radios and file itineraries with state police for their own safety as they step through wire fences and straddle ditches to measure stream flows, close headgates and turn off pumps.

Anywhere else in Oregon, officials would simply phone people to tell them to turn off their own irrigation systems, says White, a 35-year-old who wears waterproof hiking boots and covers his bald head with a baseball cap on parched summer days.

“But this is a first in this basin.”

After a 38-year process, this March the state of Oregon recognized the 3,700-member Klamath Tribes — the Klamath, Modoc and Yahooskin people — as the most senior water-rights holders in the Upper Klamath Basin. In June, fearing the drought would decimate their traditional fishery of endangered Lost River and shortnose suckers, the tribes exercised their rights to keep water in the lake and upper tributaries that feed into the Klamath River.

The federal government joined the tribes, using its senior rights to ensure the flow of water to 1,400 other farms on the Klamath Project on the California-Oregon border. Hundreds of Upper Basin ranchers and other junior water users, including federal wildlife refuges, were cut off; even Crater Lake National Park has had to truck in drinking water for campers.

“People are hurt, they are angry, and I think there’s grieving,” says Roger Nicholson, who raises cattle in the Wood River Valley near Fort Klamath. He received a card ordering him to shut off in July. “To lose the productive ability of our land is almost like the loss of a family member. It’s deep down.”

The tribes agonized over the decision, says Tribal Council Member Jeff Mitchell, knowing it would fan the flames of one of the West’s most intractable resource conflicts. People here have fought for generations over water and the fish, farms and hydroelectric dams it supplies, and the consequences have been widespread, including massive fish die-offs, toxic algae blooms in reservoirs and salmon declines that have closed 700 miles of coastline to fishing, from the Columbia River to Monterey, Calif.

Some have worried that this summer’s drought might also kill the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, which was supposed to resolve those water-distribution conflicts while restoring habitat throughout the 15,000-square-mile Basin. Partly because many Upper Basin irrigators and others never signed on, the settlement has languished in Congress for over three years. But the latest crisis may actually provide the push needed to finally move the complex and fragile détente.

The shut-offs have brought Nicholson and other holdouts to the table to join tribes and government officials for an urgent round of talks aimed at finding a swift resolution. “This is our one chance to fix the Klamath system,” says Mitchell. “And it’s fixable.”

Struggles over water in the Klamath famously boiled over in 2001, when the federal government halted water deliveries to Klamath Project farmers to protect endangered suckers and salmon. U.S. marshals were called in to protect irrigation headgates from angry demonstrators, who formed a “bucket brigade” to manually divert water to irrigation canals in an act of civil disobedience. The Bush administration resumed water deliveries the following year, but that left river flows so low during the fall chinook salmon run that thousands of fish died, devastating downstream fisheries.

Three years ago, a coalition of dozens of onetime adversaries — including farmers, fishermen, tribes and environmentalists — signed a widely lauded truce. Under the agreement, the Klamath Tribes would not use their water rights to cut off the farmers who are part of the Klamath Project, a 1905 federal irrigation project that transformed an arid stretch of the California-Oregon border into productive farmland. The farmers agreed to accept less water during dry periods in exchange for greater certainty of deliveries from year to year.

The tribes, meanwhile, would benefit from restoration projects and receive 92,000 acres of forest, a small portion of the 1.8 million acres they lost when the U.S. government dissolved their reservation in 1954. In a companion deal, the electric utility PacifiCorp agreed to remove four hydroelectric dams on the river, allowing salmon to return to parts of the Klamath and its tributaries that have been blocked for nearly a century.

Source: http://www.pagosadailypost.com/news/23950/Drought_Driving_New_Water_Deals_in_the_West,_Part_One/

Clean Water or Clearcuts for Oregon?




Big decisions are looming for management of 2.8 million acres of Oregon’s public forestlands – an area covering the size of more than eight Crater Lake National Parks. Because legislation concerning management of the so-called O&C lands could end up undermining some of our nation’s bedrock environmental laws like the Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, and National Environmental Policy Act, Oregonians aren’t the only ones with a stake in the issue.


Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) is proposing legislation that would increase clearcut logging closer to streams, on steep slopes and unstable soils, and would allow the use of toxic herbicides, which would compromise clean drinking water for 1.8 million Oregonians.


The proposal also threatens several thousand miles of habitat for endangered salmon and steelhead in iconic river systems like the North Umpqua, Illinois, Rogue, McKenzie, and Nestucca.


Conservation groups including American Rivers, Pacific Rivers Council, and the Wild Salmon Center are urging Oregon Senator Ron Wyden to craft an O&C lands bill with stronger protections for clean water and salmon.


This short video, Forests to Faucets: Clean Water or Clearcuts? provides a great overview of what’s at stake for Oregon’s clean water. I was happy to participate in the creation of the video (I’m the mom at the end) because clean drinking water is so fundamental to our well-being, and I want my kids to be able to swim, float, catch fish, and experience the wild beauty of places like the North Umpqua and the Rogue.


Watch the video and learn more about the need to protect clean drinking water on Oregon’s O&C forest lands.

Video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=SiUOO3fPF3I

Helping Fish Find Their Way Up The Clackamas

Rob Manning / OPB


“And it worked pretty close to 100 years. By those standards, it was a premiere fish ladder back in the day,” Shibahara says.


When PGE relicensed its Clackamas dams recently, it agreed to abandon the ladder, and build a new fish staircase.


“It’s a whole lot easier to go up something with lower steps, instead of a ladder that’s near vertical,” Shibahara explains.


PGE aims to help fish get past the dam’s turbines while maximizing power production. Those turbines can kill fish.


River Mill now has a fish collector — picture a huge horizontal funnel — on the upriver side of the dam. Like a fish ladder — it helps fish avoid the turbines, only for fish going downriver.


“We don’t lose water as a resource for making energy. However, there’s a lot of resources that goes into maintaining these mechanical features,” Shibahara says.



Shibahara’s colleague, John Esler, says the funnel kept PGE from having to screen off all the turbines.


“If you had to do them all, let’s say you had to build one big one out here in the open area, to screen all the water that came in — it’d be huge, it’d be five times bigger than this,” Esler says.


And could’ve been prohibitively expensive.


Biologists say wild salmon and steelhead that get above the dam mostly avoid the collector, and just keep swimming upriver. The big funnel corrals hatchery fish, who tend to get lost, once they’re past the hatchery.


Keeping wild and hatchery fish separate is a persistent dilemma for biologists. The common practice of using handnets can hurt the fish.


Nine miles upriver at PGE’s North Fork Dam there’s an experimental contraption aimed at separating hatchery and wild fish. It’s the brainchild of Garth Wyatt, a fish biologist with PGE.



In Wyatt’s system, human hands never touch the fish. The fish first go to a holding pen.


Wyatt is inside a room a few feet away facing two, three-foot long tanks.


He kicks a pedal. A tanks fill with water and a fish swims in from the pen. A second later, Wyatt identifies it and pushes one of several buttons on a control pad. He’s a gatekeeper, sending wild fish to habitat upriver, and hatchery fish into a pen, to be trucked back down.


“You get pretty good at it. Luckily for us, the majority of fish we’re getting are wild, so you kind of hedge your bets – you always have your hand on the wild fish button, first until you make the determination it’s hatchery,” Wyatt says.


Hatchery fish get their adipose fins clipped. On wild fish, those are intact.


“As soon as I see anything that’s sticking up beyond where a clipped fin would be – I just hit him out.” Wyatt says identifying fish is the easy part.


“You know, I wish I’d played more video games when I was younger. I would’ve been better at actually hitting the buttons. My hand-eye coordination is probably not as good as the next generation of biologists.”


All of these changes — Wyatt’s fish separator, the giant funnel, the fish staircase — are to help federally-protected fish. Helping fish can mean diverting water away from producing power. But PGE’s John Esler says sometimes it means new flows. And where there are no fish, there can be turbines.


“So there’s no new dams, it’s just taking advantage of the water going back into the river, below our facilities.”  Esler says PGE is adding four new turbines capable of producing enough energy to light more than 2000 homes.

Source: http://www.opb.org/news/article/helping-fish-find-their-way-up-the-clackamas/?google_editors_picks=true

Clackamas Watershed Collects Pollutants And Drinking Water

Cassandra Profita / OPB

Water intake for Lake Oswego


Studies by the U.S. Geological Survey have found 63 different pesticides and herbicides in the Clackamas River Basin. And testing shows some of those chemicals are winding up in the drinking water communities take from the river.


Sam Doane sits on the Clackamas River Basin Council, which looks out for water quality. So he knows about potential sources of pollution in the water. He’s also a horticulturist with Frank J. Schmidt & Son Nursery, so he’s working to reduce the potential for pesticide runoff on his land.


“We live in an environment where there are a number of streams and rivers adjacent to the property, and we need to be cognizant of what’s happening in those streams and rivers,” he said.


The city of Lake Oswego plans to double the amount of water it takes from the river and is building a larger intake system.


Doane spent two years testing the smart sprayer at his nursery in the Upper Clackamas River basin. The result was a 65 percent reduction in pesticide use.


“That’s 65 percent less material that has the potential to be an environmental concern,” said Doane.


Many miles downstream from Doane’s nursery, Kim Swan is one of the people concerned about pesticides on the Clackamas.


She works for the Clackamas River Water Providers – a group that represents nearly 400,000 people who rely on the river for drinking water. The group includes the cities of Lake Oswego, West Linn, Oregon City, Estacada, Gladstone, Happy Valley, Damascus and a lot of the surrounding rural communities.


Swan says a lot of her customers think their water is coming from the protected watershed of Portland’s Bull Run.


“The Bull Run is unique because it’s a much smaller watershed and it’s protected. The public doesn’t have access. There’s no agriculture, no logging,” Swan says.


But the Clackamas watershed is different.


“Our watershed, on the other hand, is very large. It’s approximately 940 square miles.”


Swan points out that on the many miles upstream from drinking water intakes on the Clackamas, there are nurseries, timberland, wastewater treatment plants, houses with septic systems, golf courses and state and county roads.



Water testing in the river reveals numerous pollutants that could be coming from any of those places. Those pollutants include pesticides, gasoline components and flame retardants. But it’s hard to trace the chemicals to any one source.


For Doane, reduction of pesticide use is one answer. In recent years his nursery has reduced its pesticide use by 50 percent even without the smart sprayer. But the new technology could further reduce the potential for runoff.


“I’m really excited about it. I think it provides a great opportunity for growers and landowners and the community at large to reduce environmental impact from pesticide use,” Doane says.


Of the 63 different pesticides and herbicides detected in the Clackamas River Basin, 15 of them were still present in treated drinking water samples.


The levels were really low, and they didn’t exceed any of the limits set by the Environmental Protection Agency for what is safe to drink. In some cases, the amount of pesticide was less than 1 part per trillion, which is the equivalent of one drop in 20 Olympic-size swimming pools.


Growers at the Hans Nelson Nursery in Boring spray water on rows of trees to compare the coverage offered by conventional pesticide sprayers with a new “smart” pesticide sprayer.


Kurt Carpenter is a researcher for the U.S. Geological Survey. He did the drinking water studies of Clackamas River water and says the results still raise concerns. Many of the chemicals detected in Clackamas drinking water aren’t regulated at all by safe drinking water laws. So their potential health effects haven’t been studied – especially when you mix them together.


“So, when you find a contaminant at these exceedingly low levels, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not going to have an effect – especially when you have two or three different chemicals that might be acting together in an additive or synergistic fashion,” Carpenter says. “It just raises a lot of questions about what does it mean when these things are detected at all.”


In response to the findings, the communities that take their drinking water from the Clackamas are working on ways to prevent pollution before it gets into the river. Swan, who heads the water provider organization, has commissioned detailed maps of aging septic systems upstream that might be at risk of leaking. She’s organized pesticide and pharmaceutical drug collection events. And she’s looked at offering financial incentives for farmers upstream to get organically certified.


“When studies like this come out we’ll often get calls from our customers saying ‘What’s this? What are you doing about it?’ We tell them that we’re aware of it. That we’re trying to be proactive. That our treatment plants have the ability to treat for most of this stuff. Our goal is to not let them get worse,” Swan says.


Despite the potential threats to drinking water on the Clackamas, communities still see the river as a great drinking water source for the future. So great, in fact that they’re asking to take more water from the river.


On the riverbank near Gladstone, workers drive piles for a new water intake facility. The city of Lake Oswego has plans to double the amount of water it takes from the river. And to do that, it will need a bigger intake system.


“Our water system was built in the 1960s,” says Jane Heisler, spokeswoman for the Lake Oswego Tigard Water Partnership,  “and we have had a few summers in the last five years or so where we’re bumping up against the max we can deliver with our current system.”


Lake Oswego currently has access to 16 million gallons a day of Clackamas River water. But in the future it plans to tap its full 38 million gallons a day in water rights and sell some of that water to the city of Tigard to pay for the new intake and an advanced water treatment plant.


“We don’t expect that we’ll need that water for many, many years, but at some point in the future we will,” Heisler says.


Other communities are looking to the Clackamas for more water as well. Some are preparing for growth in response to Metro’s expansion of the urban growth boundary into the Happy Valley and Damascus area.


Three other municipalities have applied to further develop their water rights on the river. Altogether, the requests add up to a water demand of 150 cubic feet per second.


That volume has environmentalists worried.


“We’ve already got a critical problem out there.”


John DeVore is the executive director of the environmental group Water Watch.


He’s worried about the impact of additional water withdrawals to three threatened species of salmon and steelhead on the river.


“If we take more water out of the river, scientists have said we’re going to reach flow levels that are too low for fish. So we’re trying to prevent flow levels from getting that low.”


DeVore’s group has gone to court to prevent Lake Oswego, Tigard and three other municipalities from removing water from the river when it’s needed for fish.


The case has made it to the state court of appeals. Oral arguments are expected sometime this fall.

Source: http://www.opb.org/news/article/clackamas-watershed-collects-pollutants-and-drinking-water/

DeFazio Bill Bad For Clean Water?

Clean drinking water is a logging issue in Oregon, where so many of our watersheds are on forest lands. In the furor over the DeFazio forest bill — or more properly the O&C Trust, Conservation and Jobs Act — river advocates say that the need to protect water for fish, wildlife and humans gets lost as people argue over county payments, timber jobs and board feet.

John Kober of the Pacific Rivers Council says, “We haven’t seen a real brass tacks look into what does this mean for water, clean drinking water in particular, if our lands are harvested at the level at which [Congressman Peter] DeFazio is proposing.”

DeFazio and Reps. Greg Walden and Kurt Schrader’s bill, which would split Oregon’s 2.4 million acres of federal O&C forests into a conservation trust and a timber trust, has generated controversy since its inception. Logging the O&C lands has historically been a source of county funding, but the lands are also the source of drinking water and a haven for wildlife. The bill passed out of the House Natural Resources Committee July 31. It is part of a larger piece of forest legislation offered by Resources Chairman Doc Hastings, but is under a separate title.

Chandra LeGue of Oregon Wild calls the Hastings bill “the worst environmental bill we’ve seen in a generation.” She adds, “Peter didn’t like the Hastings bill, but that didn’t stop him from voting for it.”

LeGue shares Kober’s concerns about the lack of protection for streams under the proposal, which calls for using weaker state rather than federal environmental laws on the federal lands. “It’s still public land but federal laws not applying just seems wrong,” she says.

Under the House version of the bill, federal laws and protections under the Northwest Forest Plan would not be used; instead the lands would be logged under the Oregon Forest Practices Act (OFPA) that allows for pesticide use and has no stream buffers for nonfish-bearing streams — which still produce drinking water. Protection for fish-bearing streams would be cut in half.

The protection for streams has actually increased since an earlier draft of the bill. DeFazio said in a July 30 press release that in response to comments and recommendations from Gov. Kitzhaber’s task force, “several changes have been made to better protect Oregonians’ drinking water and fish-bearing streams.”

But clean water advocates say that’s not enough. David Moryc of American Rivers says that Eugene and Springfield residents are among the “1.8 million people who derive their drinking water from O&C lands.” He says that 81 drinking water providers get their water from these forests. Those providers face dealing with water that would be more turbid (full of sediments), warmer and possibly full of pesticides, he says.

DEQ maps showing sensitive lands also show some of the logging would be on steep slopes, Moryc says, and landslides on those slopes would affect water quality and increase costs for downstream users.

Add turbidity from road building and the fact the private lands logging “has virtually no protections for clean water,” and Kober says the O&C bill would add to the harm done to Oregon water, rather than benefit it the way federal forests should.

Sen. Ron Wyden is expected to introduce a Senate version of the bill “at the end of the summer,” his spokesperson Tom Towslee says, which according to Towslee is around Sept. 21. He says, “Of course people are always concerned about clean water and fish buffer zones,” and adds that the bill is still in process.

Source:  http://www.eugeneweekly.com/20130808/news-briefs/defazio-bill-bad-clean-water

Water From A Trinity Reservoir Will Be Released Into The Klamath River

The Bureau of Reclamation announced that it will release water from the Trinity River reservoirs to supplement flows in the Klamath River.

The additional water is meant to help prevent a fish kill and support salmon runs. 

Pete Lucero is with the Bureau of Reclamation. He says water from the Trinity River reservoirs has gone to help the Klamath River before.

We’re looking at perhaps making releases from the Trinity system as early as August 13 because it takes about two days for water to travel from the Trinity Reservoir through the rivers system to the point at which we measure flows,” Lucero says.

The reservoir is in California, west of Redding.  It feeds into the Klamath River, which crosses the Oregon-California border.

Source:  http://www.opb.org/news/article/water-from-a-trinity-river-reservoir-will-be-released-into-the-klamath-river-/?google_editors_picks=true

Blue Heron Paper Mill cleanup uses compost, gardens to treat contaminated water

Three floors under the closed Blue Heron paper mill, just above the Willamette’s summer waterline, ground and storm water trickle out of the darkness toward the river. The stream, carrying metals and other pollutants absorbed from the mill’s galvanized roofs and old piping, needs to be treated before it returns to the ecosystem.
Jeffrey Pettey and his company, Gullywasher, are building a 6-foot wall of compost to do just that.
The Blue Heron mill shut down in 2011 after more than 100 years of continual operation, putting 175 people out of work. NRI Global Inc., a Canadian private-investment firm, acquired the mill’s equipment for $5.7 million plus about $1.6 million for site clean-up and maintenance.
Mo Darwish, NRI’s project manager for the site, expects their work and Pettey’s to be completed within the month. In total, they’ve shipped out about 7,000 tons of scrap and machinery.
The compost Pettey uses looks like playground tanbark — he found a chewed up Lego in one batch. But this bark has cooked in compost for six months, picking up microbes and fraying the wood to better catch larger waste particles. At the mill, the Gullywasher crew packs it into green mesh composting “socks” designed to absorb heavy metals. These are stacked, layer by layer, into metal cages so that the dirty water hits the compost first, then washes through a second layer of drainage rocks. Stripped of zinc, copper and any other contaminants, the water runs straight down the bank and into the Willamette.
In excess, zinc and copper are toxic to salmon, with effects ranging from stunting growth to damaging the neural system.
Pettey said this system is a first for industrial wastewater cleanup. A main advantage is that it requires far less electricity and manpower than the current process, which pumps the affected water — with some stops in between — to a lagoon in West Linn. Darwish said the compost system will save money for the land’s trustees and make the clean-up more environmentally friendly.
The compost walls will last about five years, with cleaning required only after major floods. And Pettey is redesigning the compost cages to make them easier to maintain.
“I love doing this stuff. This is adventure,” he said. “Problems like this, it really does improve the quality of life.”
Frank Shields, the lab director for the organics division of Watsonville, Calif. Control Laboratories Inc., helped test the compost socks, made by Filtrexx International, LLC, an Ohio company.
“It’s excellent at removing particulate matter, probably some of the best media for doing that,” he said.
Shields expressed some doubt about the efficacy of the system in removing enough of the dissolved metals, but said the assessment is highly dependent on individual sites and the make-up of the compost.
Aboveground, Pettey is installing 30 industrial rainwater gardens to clean water that collects zinc from the roofs, walls and tire dust, and copper from piping and brakes. The white boxes are stacked filtration system, with sedges and rushes on top, followed by about two feet of compost and sand, down to a layer of drainage rocks and ending with a PVC piping system.
In a report released in February, Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality showed that stormwater systems reduced copper and zinc concentrations by 65 and 83 percent respectively.
The mill’s buildings and land are still being auctioned off. In April, Clackamas County’s Water Environment Services purchased Blue Heron’s West Linn property for $1.75 million. A California company, Eclipse Development Group, made a $4.1 million offer for the 23-acre Oregon City property in June, and the state legislature approved $5 million in lottery-backed bonds to aid development in July.