Michigan company using algae to reduce use of livestock antibiotics

Read/listen to the full story at Great Lakes Echo.

Algae doesn’t have the best reputation. It’s the green scum on your local golf course’s ponds or the toxic bloom that shut down Toledo’s water system last summer. Algae isn’t all bad, though, and one Michigan start-up is using it in some innovative and beneficial ways.

While most people think of algae as a water problem, Algal Scientific actually first got its start designing technology that uses algae to filter wastewater.  Current State talks to CEO Geoff Horst, who was was a PhD student in the Fisheries and Wildlife Department at Michigan State University when he started the biotech company.

Water Used for Hydraulic Fracturing Varies Widely Across United States

Read the full story from the USGS.

The amount of water required to hydraulically fracture oil and gas wells varies widely across the country, according to the first national-scale analysis and map of hydraulic fracturing water usage detailed in a new USGS study accepted for publication in Water Resources Research, a journal of the American Geophysical Union. The research found that water volumes for hydraulic fracturing averaged within watersheds across the United States range from as little as 2,600 gallons to as much as 9.7 million gallons per well…

This research was carried out as part of a larger effort by the USGS to understand the resource requirements and potential environmental impacts of unconventional oil and gas development. Prior publications include historical trends in the use of hydraulic fracturing from 1947-2010, as well as the chemistry of produced waters from hydraulically fractured wells.

The report is entitled “Hydraulic fracturing water use variability in the United States and potential environmental implications,” and has been accepted for publication in Water Resources Research. More information about this study and other USGS energy research can be found at the USGS Energy Resources Program.

MGM Resorts tells drought panel it’s saved 2 billion gallons

Read the full story in the Houston Chronicle.

Sin City may look like a lush water-waster as the state endures its fourth year of a severe drought, but casino-resorts say their fountains and greenery are well-crafted illusions.

The vice president of sustainability for MGM Resorts International, Chris Brophy, told a panel of the Nevada Drought Forum on Friday that through a variety of conservation efforts since 2008 the company has saved 2 billion gallons of water, equal to the amount of water that spills over Niagara Falls in four hours.

How Big Water is trying to stop the National Park Service from cleaning up plastic bottles that are fouling the parks

Read the full story from the Washington Post.

The National Park Service thought it had a good strategy for reining in the discarded water bottles that clog the trash cans and waste stream of the national parks: stop selling disposable bottles and let visitors refill reusable ones with public drinking water.

But Big Water has stepped in to block the parks from banning the plastic pollutants — and the industry found an ally on Capitol Hill to add a little-noticed amendment to a House spending bill that would kill the policy.

The tech industry is threatening to drink California dry

Read the full story in The Guardian.

We hear a lot about what the tech giants are doing with our data, but what are they doing with our water?

Water keeps our internet-based economy afloat by ensuring equipment in data centres stays cool enough to funtion. Yet in California, the drought-ravaged epicenter of the technology industry, water is in ever-shorter supply. Nasa scientist Jay Famiglietti predicts the state has only one year of water left. This raises serious questions about the environmental impact of our burgeoning data demands.

7 drought lessons from the West: ‘It’s all about the data’

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

The drought was front and center as leaders of the parched Western U.S. states came together to discuss how to mobilize their resources to combat water scarcity.

That was the pressing question at the opening panel at the Western Governor’s Association annual meeting in June, in which I participated alongside 10 western governors. We explored the following seven recommendations from the WGA Drought Forum Report (PDF):

EPA hosts 2015 Small Systems Webinar Series

Challenges and Treatment Solutions for Small Drinking Water and Wastewater Systems

Free webinars held each month from 2:00-3:00 PM EST

EPA’s Office of Research and Development and Office of Water are hosting this monthly webinar series to communicate EPA’s current small systems research along with Agency priorities. The series is providing a forum for EPA to communicate directly with state personnel and other drinking water and wastewater small systems professionals, which allows EPA to provide training and foster collaboration and dissemination of information. The site also includes an archive of past webinars.

Attendees have the option of receiving a certificate for one continuing education contact hour for each webinar. (Acceptance of certificate is contingent on state and/or organization requirements. EPA cannot guarantee acceptance.)

2015 Schedule and Registration for Upcoming Webinars