a very understandable position as according to Pat Mulroy “cooperation” is like beauty … defined in the eyes of the beholder

…a very understandable position as according to Pat Mulroy “cooperation” is like beauty … defined in the eyes of the beholder…


Memo to Mulroy: Transboundary Cooperation Begins at Home

Imagine my surprise when I saw this Twitter feed from the Singapore International Water Week last week:

‘Conversation with Water Leaders: Pat Mulroy on urban water conservation and transboundary cooperation’

I had to drop everything and read it, since ‘cooperation’ and ‘Pat Mulroy’ in the same sentence struck me as contradictory, although she has become more conciliatory in recent years. In fact, my initial reaction was ‘WTF’? So I found what she meant by ‘transboundary cooperation’ – US-Mexico.

What are some examples of stakeholders who can be obstructive?

There are [US] states where the culture is much more combative and whose leadership wants to pontificate more than they want to find answers. The same holds true in the environmental community.  You have environmental groups that have a business model of going to court.  That’s how they pay their people, because judges will award legal fees every single time. That’s not the environmental group you can put at the table to find common solutions. [Note: I didn’t know you ‘put’ groups at the table. I guess that is how they do it in Las Vegas.]


The world has changed.  It’s changed economically; it’s tied together climatically.  What the US recognized [was] that Mexico has no ability to prepare for cutbacks on the Colorado River delivery level.  And so the exchange was – Mexico, we know that you need a place to store water.  If you will conserve water early, through on-farm improvements, through lining canals, through conservation efforts, then we will let you store that water in Lake Mead and use it as a cushion when you start taking cutbacks.

What are the benefits to the parties in this transboundary water cooperation between the US and Mexico?
The US benefits in two ways.  One in that Mexico will now take shortages at the same elevations that we the US take shortages.  Second, during this period when the drought is deepening, all of us are buying water and sticking it in Lake Mead, so today Lake Mead is ten feet higher than it would normally be.  The other advantage goes to the environment.

What are the environment benefits that will arise from the extra water stored in Lake Mead?
There are a couple of environmental groups, most notably the Nature Conservancy, the Environmental Defense Fund and Sonoran Institute, that are going to help pay for those on-farm improvements in Mexico.  Now the water in Lake Mead will be used for experimental releases to the delta.  So when you look at the entirety of this, it was a pretty amazing combination of benefits that accrued to everybody. 

I love it that Mulroy talks about the ‘combative culture’ of some US states. Terrible! And those environmental groups that don’t want to find solutions? Perhaps they are combative and obstructive because they don’t fall into line behind the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s approach to water supply – that of constructing a pipeline to bring rural groundwater to Las Vegas.

But I could not help but wonder at the narrow view of the term ‘transboundary cooperation’ shared by Mulroy (and likely the SIWW and many other water people). ‘Transboundary’ does not always equal ‘transnational’ but can refer to cooperation across all political boundaries, whether they be international, interstate, or intrastate. It can even refer to non-geographic or non-political boundaries, such as those between different cultures, ways of life, etc.

Given that more expansive definition of ‘transboundary’ I would say that Mulroy fails when it comes to ‘transboundary cooperation’. If you don’t think so, you might ask the rural Nevada residents who don’t fancy the groundwater in their valleys being pumped to fuel Las Vegas’ growth, or the state of Utah, which takes umbrage at the possibility some of its Snake Valley groundwater heading to Utah.

As Emily Green reported:

As negotiations took months, then years, Southern Nevada Water Authority General Manager Pat Mulroy became so incensed by what she regarded as an Utahan “veto” on the Las Vegas pipeline that in 2006 she threatened the editorial board of the Salt Lake Tribune. The longer Utah delayed approval of Las Vegas’ water withdrawals from Snake Valley, she said, “the more uncomfortable it will become for Utah. If they can do it to another state, they can have it done to them, too.”

Mulroy proceeded to file protests  with the Utah Department of Natural Resources on Utahan groundwater applications within Beaver and Iron counties

Cooperation? With Mexico, perhaps. Other Nevadans and Utah? Not so much.

And the spin machine rolls on…

“…singularly most stupid idea anyone ever had…” – Pat Mulroy, talking about the pipeline to bring rural groundwater to Las Vegas (High Country News, 1994; see this article)

“People don’t understand water.” — Pat Mulroy, quoted in The Big Thirst



And just what atrocities do you suggest we hold Benson accountable…?

clip_image002…yes indeed, “W” leadership gave us fictitious WMD in Iraq … “you’ve done a good job, Brownie” … if you can recall Hurricane Katrina and the dead Americans “W” left floating in New Orleans … you and I do agree, Mr. Williams, those were perilous times, but only because “W” actions made them so…

And just what atrocities do you suggest we hold Benson accountable…?

with corporate’’s permi$$ion of course

…and of course … FDA would never lie or distort any information they provide to us for our good … with corporate’s permi$$ion of course…

Gilead-Bristol Hepatitis C Drug Combo Cures All in Study

04-28-2013  •  Simeon Bennett via Bloomberg.com

A hepatitis C drug combination from Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD) and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMY)cured all patients in a trial, demonstrating the success of a cocktail that may never be approved.

In a study among 41 patients of Gilead’s sofosbuvir with Bristol’s daclatasvir, with or without the generic antiviral ribavirin, 40 were virus-free 12 weeks after six months of treatment, according to results presented yesterday in Amsterdam. The other patient didn’t turn up to the last appointment and was later found to be virus-clear. All the patients had failed prior treatment with either Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (VRTX)’s Incivek or Merck & Co. (MRK)’s Victrelis.

Enlarge imaThe lack of a late-stage study, and the expense of the pills, will probably put the Gilead-Bristol combination out of reach for doctors and patients, said Geoffrey Dusheiko, a professor of medicine at the Royal Free Hospital in London.

“It’s a conundrum for us,” Dusheiko said in an interview after the results were presented at the European Association For the Study of the Liver’s conference. “It looks a very promising regimen, it really does. But I’m really not sure it’ll see the light of day.”

Still, doctors may be tempted to prescribe the Gilead- Bristol combo “off-label” once both drugs are approved, said Mark Thursz, secretary-general of the European liver association.

Read Full Story


of course we believe this law will be adhered to, yea right

…and of course we believe this law will be adhered to, yea right … just more ‘feel-good” crap…

Law Requiring Warrants for E-Mail Wins Senate Committee Approval

04-28-2013  •  David Kravets via WIRED.com

A Senate committee today backed sweeping privacy protections requiring the government, for the first time, to get a probable-cause warrant to obtain e-mail and other content stored in the cloud.

what you did not think “mother nature” would fight back…?

…what you’re surprised … what you did not think “mother nature” would fight back…?


GMOs are backfiring as chemical resistance of insects grows even worse:


you really need to stop watching Fox New$

so you really think that corporate interests controlling fossil fuel power generation will allow this “alternative” form of energy production an opportunity to be proven … you really need to stop watching Fox New$ …


clip_image002How Giant Concrete Balls Could Make Wind Power More Efficient

04-27-2013  •  Martha Harbison via PopSci.com    Read Full Story


Wind power is pretty great: One doesn’t need to do much but build turbines and capture the energy from a passing breeze. But, like what happened to the Ancient Mariner, still air means trouble. Intermittent energy is not useful for a grid that requires a continuous supply.

To get over this problem, engineers have devised a number of ways to store energy generated when it’s windy for disbursement during the times when it is not. Ideas include giant flywheels, carbon-neutral natural gas and giant batteries made from gravel and argon gas. Now Alexander Slocum, Brian Hodder and their colleagues at MIT have demonstrated a new way to store that energy — giant hollow concrete balls. They published their results this month in Proceedings of the IEEE.


Storage Concept: As the wind turbines turn, they pump water out of the hollow spheres. Once the wind dies down, the water rushes back into to sphere, spinning a turbine which generates power to send to the electrical grid.  Alexander Slocum, MIT

The concept is pretty simple: As floating offshore wind turbines churn, they send most of the generated power to the grid. Some of the power, though, goes to pumping seawater out from 25-meter-wide hollow spheres which sit on the seafloor. As soon as the wind dies down, the pumps turn off, and the seawater rushes back into the spheres through a turbine; the water turns the turbine, which then generates electricity. The researchers calculated that one such sphere, moored in 400-meter-deep water, could store up to six megawatt-hours of power. A few hundred of those would be enough to offset an hour of energy from a typical nuclear power plant.






laugh now … but be prepared to pay significantly higher price for water $oon

…it just might be advisable to contemplate just how much water we can afford … laugh now … but be prepared to pay significantly higher price for water $oon … still want corporate to control your water…?



clip_image002Lifeline and Affordable Water Rates for Locals Hit Close to Home

I received an interesting email today from a woman in a town on the Oregon coast. She and her husband, both in their late sixties and on Social Security, were having trouble paying their water bill. Seems their rates had recently gone up dramatically to fund a new wastewater treatment plant. 

She told me the city manager had been sympathetic to their plight but was unable to help any further. The state of Oregon could not help. A local charity was helping them with their power bills but had no money for their water bill (I thought water would be more important than water). Now they are being threatened with service discontinuation and are at wits’ end. She asked for my help to write a proposal to someone or something to obtain support not just for them, but also for all low income people in the town.

I felt badly but couldn’t think of anything to do, except for proposing lifeline rates and/or a fund to which ratepayers could contribute help low income people.

She had never heard of such things, and I sent her links to the City of Olympia’s program and the City of Tumwater’s program. I also found a link to an EPA publication that does not deal exclusively with lifeline water and sewer rates but does have some information on utilities with lifeline rates/programs.

Here is some affordability information from EPA with a link to areport:

Download Water_Affordability_4004

And here is a 2002 paper prepared by EPA for DC:

Download 2009_05_26_waterinfrastructure_pricings_AffordOptions

She was enthusiastic but thought that the very conservative City Council might not go for such a plan.

My curiosity has been piqued now. I told her to keep me informed.

Stay tuned