WaterWorld Weekly Newscast: Sept. 22, 2011

Transcript of the Sept. 22, 2011, edition of the WaterWorld Weekly Newscast.

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The following is a transcript of the Sept. 22, 2011, edition of the WaterWorld Weekly Newscast.

Hi, I'm Angela Godwin, digital media editor for WaterWorld magazine, bringing you this week's water and wastewater news headlines. Coming up...
• LCRA considers emergency water plan
• Georgia wins again in tri-state water feud
• Conference highlights green infrastructure, sustainability
• Water main break fouls NYC commute
• Scottish Water faces criticism over aluminum incident

The Lower Colorado River Authority is expected to vote this week on an emergency water management plan intended to combat the severe drought impacting south Texas.

The 11 months from October 2010 through August 2011 have been the state's driest for that 11-month period since 1895, when the state began keeping rainfall records.

The dry conditions, coupled with record heat, have reduced flows to the Highland Lakes, which are the water supply reservoirs for the region. For the months of June, July and August, inflows were less than 1 percent of average.

The proposal being considered would cut off water to downstream farmers, the most significant users of that water supply, in order to make more water available to communities, including Austin, who depend on that resource for drinking water.

The plan would only be enacted if water supply levels fall below 600,000 acre feet by January 1st and forecasts call for continued dry conditions.

An update on the ongoing tri-state water feud between Georgia, Alabama, and Florida.

A federal appeals court has unanimously denied a request by Alabama and Florida to reconsider a June ruling on rights to water from Lake Lanier.

In that ruling, it was determined that Georgia in fact had a right to use water from the lake, a dammed up portion of the Chattahoochee that supplies water to 800,000 residential and business customers in metro Atlanta.

Alabama and Florida maintain that Georgia uses too much water from Lake Lanier, leaving too little for communities and businesses downstream.

Further, they say, Buford Dam was originally built to generate electricity, aid navigation and provide flood control -- not to secure Atlanta's water supply.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley expressed disappointment with the court's decision but said Alabama will "seek review of the ruling in the United States Supreme Court."

Urban water leaders and experts will converge in Milwaukee, October 1st through the 3rd, for the Urban Water Sustainability Leadership Conference, sponsored by the Clean Water America Alliance.

The 3-day event will highlight green infrastructure initiatives in Austin, Cincinnati, Louisville, Seattle, and Los Angeles, as well as other topics vital for implementing green infrastructure across the nation.

Here with us on the phone to share more about the event is Clean Water America Alliance President Ben Grumbles.

Ben, thanks for being with us. What can you tell us about upcoming Urban Water Sustainability Leadership Conference?
[audio clip]

What can you tell us about the attendees? Who's coming to the event?
[audio clip]

What would you say are the major goals of the conference?
[audio clip]

Now, I understand that, like last year's conference, there are 'spotlight' cities discussing their experiences with green infrastructure. Can you tell us more about that?
[audio clip]

Sounds like a great lineup. Any other participants you want to mention?
[audio clip]

Thank you, Ben.

If you are unable to attend but would still like to take part in the event, our staff will be on site streaming live from the conference.

For details on how to register for pay-per-view access, visit waterworld.com/webcasts.

Manhattan commuters were able to take to the subways again Tuesday morning after a water main break on Monday forced Metropolitan Transportation Authority to shut down the A, B, C and D lines.

A break in a nearly 100-year-old, 36-inch water main at 106th and Central Park West sent water gushing over streets, through grates and ultimately into the subway system where it wreaked havoc with electrical and signal systems.

Crews worked round the clock to pump out the water, which was 3 to 10 feet deep in some places.

New York City's Department of Environmental Protection is investigating the break and said it will pay for repairs.

In international news...
Scotland's water utility, Scottish Water, is facing tough criticism over an incident in March that involved a spike in aluminum in drinking water delivered to its customers. A 24-hour boil order had to be issued for nearly 12,000 customers in north and west Glasgow.

The Drinking Water Quality Regulator's investigation found that the spike occurred because pH levels at the Burncrooks water treatment plant had fallen low enough to dissolve solid aluminum deposits in the distribution system.

The report further suggested that the boil order was lifted based on flawed scientific evidence and that aluminum levels were still "well above normal" when the restriction was lifted.

In the report, DWQR makes a number of recommendations to Scottish Water.

The utility apologized for the inconvenience it caused to customers and said it will review the report and recommendations to prevent this from happening again.

For WaterWorld magazine, I'm Angela Godwin. Thanks for watching.


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