Dam Disaster · Floods · USA

Michigan Dam failures: FERC is also in the dock

A Sanford couple is taking on the federal government in general and FERC (Federal Electricity Regulatory Commission) in particular after they lost their lakefront home in May when the Sanford Dam was overwhelmed, causing major flooding. This is interesting since at the root of the dam disaster is the failure of FERC. For years, FERC kept humouring the dam owner, and tolerated its violations. Why it did that, when it could have taken much stronger action almost two decades back is a mystery. Hopefully, this case will help get it resolved. Continue reading “Michigan Dam failures: FERC is also in the dock”

Dams · Groundwater · USA

Sacred Origins: Spring Lake and San Marcos River of Texas

It was a freak accident. But it meant that I had to travel every week from Austin to Brooke Army Medical Center, some 75 miles away. These were not enjoyable trips and one of the solace was a sign on the highway:  “San Marcos River Recreational Areas: Turn Right”. I used to wonder what will happen if we actually turn right someday. A river with parks around it maybe? Or trails along a flowing river? The thought always made the journey slightly more palatable. Continue reading “Sacred Origins: Spring Lake and San Marcos River of Texas”

USA

USA manages to reduce 2015 water use to below 1970 level

Water use across US has been decreasing since 2005, has now reached pre 1970 levels, says the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) study[i] published on June 19, 2018. According to a new USGS report[ii], 445 BCM (Billion Cubic Meters, all BCM figures are annual figures) of water were withdrawn for use in the United States during 2015. This represents a 9 percent reduction of water use from 2010 when about 489 BCM were withdrawn and the lowest level since before 1970 (511 BCM). Continue reading “USA manages to reduce 2015 water use to below 1970 level”