Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Rain Barrels and Rain Gardens

Don't let all this rain go to waste! Rain barrels and rain gardens are just two ways Wisconsin's Water Library recommends beating the rain shower blues (and prevent flooding!).

Rain barrels are water tanks which are used to collect and store rain water runoff, typically from rooftops via rain gutters. This prevents excess rain water flooding storm sewers and water mains. Also, the collected water can be used to water plants and gardens during the drier, summer months.

If you live in Dane County and are interested in purchasing a rain barrel, Sustain Dane distributes RainReserve® Rain Barrels for a fee. Sustain Dane is a non-profit organization committed to creating communities that deeply enjoy, care for and are sustained by their unique environment. You can save money by purchasing a RainReserve® Rain Barrel at Habitat Restore's Earth Day Event on Saturday April 18th and receive $15.00 off single system or $20.00 off tandem system.

Rain gardens capture water in a shallow depression planted with vegetation that filters the water as it slowly seeps into the ground. This creates cleaner groundwater and protects our lakes and streams. To learn how to start a rain garden, check out Wisconsin's Water Library's new rain gardens reading list.

To request books from our reading list:
UW-Madison faculty, student or staff request books from MadCat.
Wisconsin residents request books by filling out a book request form.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Flood seminar seeks to avoid future devastation

Two national experts will join more than a dozen Wisconsin researchers and government officials in April in Madison at a symposium aimed at helping Wisconsin communities avoid devastating floods like those that inundated the Midwest last year.

Gerry Galloway, of the University of Maryland, and Ray Burby, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will highlight the symposium "From Sandbags to Sanity: The Policy Implications of the Midwest Floods of 2008," to be held Monday, April 20, at the Monona Terrace convention center.

The project is funded by the Ira and Ineva Reilly Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment, now it its seventh year, which supports projects that advance the Wisconsin Idea through collaborations with communities and outside organizations. Additional support is being provided by the UW-Madison Water Resources Institute and the Center for World Affairs and the Global Economy.

The daylong conference is free and open to the public, but registration is required and limited to 150. To register, call Bridget Pirsch at 608-265-2658 or e-mail her at pirsch@lafollette.wisc.edu. Deadline is Wednesday, April 15.

To learn more, check out complete article at UW News.

Friday, March 27, 2009

In the News

Philip Moy was recently interviewed on UW-Milwaukee Public Radio's show Lake Effect on the Asian Carp barrier. Moy is a fisheries and invasive species outreach specialist for the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute out of Manitowoc. He also co-chairs an advisory panel working with the Army Corps of Engineers on a project to build an electric barrier on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal in an effort to keep Asian Carp out of Lake Michigan.

To hear the interview, go to WUWM's website and scroll down to March 24th recording titled Asian Carp Invasion.

Water Quality of Potential Concern in US Private Wells

More than 20 percent of private domestic wells sampled nationwide contain at least one contaminant at levels of potential health concern, according to a study by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). About 43 million people - or 15 percent of the Nation's population - use drinking water from private wells, which are not regulated by the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Web Resource: Listen to your lakes.org

A resource on the Great Lakes brought to you by Shedd Aquarium. The website includes tips and topics, events in and around Chicago area, and additional resources from participating partners such as National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

In the News

Michael Scott, a reporter for The Plain Dealer based in Cleveland, Ohio, looks into Great Lakes ice cover and what it may mean to climate change studies. The article, focuses on the research of Jia Wang and Ray Assel, investigators for NOAA's Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL).

To view their research, go to GLERL's website.

For additional information, go to the Great Lakes Ice Cover brochure.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Hydrologist named Gaylord Nelson Professor

A UW-Madison hydrologist widely known for his work in watershed protection has been named the university's next Gaylord Nelson Distinguished Professor.

Kenneth Potter, a professor of civil and environmental engineering and environmental studies, will hold the honorary title for the next four years. The award includes an annual stipend for flexible research support.

To read full article, go to UW-Madison news.

Friday, March 20, 2009

World Water Day 2009

World Water Day
Sunday, March 22, 2009

International World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.

An international day to celebrate freshwater was recommended at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day.

Each year, World Water Day highlights a specific aspect of freshwater. This year highlights transboundary water. Nurturing the opportunities for cooperation in transboundary water management can help build mutual respect, understanding and trust among countries and promote peace, security, and sustainable economic growth.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Mercury in stream ecosystems

Three related U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) articles on mercury transport, biogeochemical processes, and bioaccumulation in stream ecosystems have been published in Environmental Science & Technology (ES&T). The papers were published electronically on the March 11, 2009 in the "Just Published (ASAP)" web version of ES&T, and will be published in final form in the April 15, 2009 print issue.

The USGS studied eight streams in Oregon, Wisconsin, and Florida during 2002-2006. Streams in urban areas (near Portland, Oregon; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Orlando, Florida), and streams in relatively undeveloped areas in these states were included in the study. The streams span a range of environmental settings and watershed characteristics that can affect biogeochemistry and bioaccumulation of mercury in streams, including precipitation, mercury deposition rates, degree of urbanization, and wetland abundance. Findings from these studies can help decision makers to better anticipate concentrations of mercury and methylmercury in unstudied streams in comparable environmental settings.

To see the reports, go to USGS.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Attention Wisconsin fishers!

The 2009 Wisconsin Fishing Report from Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is now available. Happy fishing!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Book Review: The Thumb Guide to Raingardens

The Thumb Guide to Raingardens: Design and Installation for Homeowners in the Upper Midwest
By Rusty Schmidt, Dan Shaw and David Dods

This manual, written by self-proclaimed "raingarden geeks," gives a step-by-step process for planting your own raingarden here in the Midwest. Actually, the planting zone and manual are relevant as far west as Nebraska and Kansas and as far east as Ohio, including every state in between. The three authors provide examples of sizing the garden to property, selection and description of plant choices, long-term care, and common questions about raingardens. There are even blueprint garden designs in the back of the book. With all this information, new raingardeners can't go wrong.

This is book is part of a new collection of books on Rain Gardens at Wisconsin's Water Library. Please take a look at the complete reading list on the library website. If you are a Wisconsin resident and would like to check out this or any other book, please fill out our book request form. If you are a UW student, faculty or staff, please use MadCat.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Fix a Leak Week: March 16-20, 2009

WaterSense, a partnership program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, makes it easy for Americans to save water and protect the environment. Look for the WaterSense label to choose quality, water-efficient products. Many products are available, and don't require a change in your lifestyle. Explore the links below to learn about WaterSense labeled products, saving water, and how businesses and organizations can partner with WaterSense.

To learn more go to Watersense.

Friday, March 13, 2009

New Report from USGS

Ground-Water Flow in the Vicinity of the Ho-Chunk Nation Communities of Indian Mission and Sand Pillow, Jackson County, Wisconsin

An analytic element ground-water-flow model was constructed to help understand the ground-water-flow system in the vicinity of the Ho-Chunk Nation communities of Indian Mission and Sand Pillow in Jackson County, Wisconsin. Data from interpretive reports, well-drillers' construction reports, and an exploratory augering program in 2003 indicate that sand and gravel of varying thickness (0–150 feet[ft]) and porous sandstone make up a composite aquifer that overlies Precambrian crystalline rock.

To view entire new report from the United States Geological Survey, click here.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Book Review: Manfish: A story of Jacques Cousteau

Manfish: A story of Jacques Cousteau
By Jennifer Berne
Illustrated by Eric Puybaret

This story of famous deep sea diver and filmmaker Jacques Cousteau has beautiful illustrations of underwater exploration that will fascinate and delight readers at any age. The story begins with Cousteau as a little boy in France, discovering his love for water, and ends with a message of warning to protect the seas for future exploration. For those who share an enthusiasm for discovery and invention, check this out from Wisconsin's Water Library today!

If you are a UW-Madison student, faculty, or staff, please request this book from MadCat. If you are a Wisconsin resident, please request it through Wisconsin's Water Library book request.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

In the News

From Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Milwaukee civic leaders say the region has its best opportunity in decades to replace its rust belt identity with a growth-oriented emphasis built around the stable of water-technology companies that already are located in and around the city.

To read article...

Monday, March 9, 2009

Ground Water Awareness Week

The National Ground Water Association has designated the week of March 8–14 as National Ground Water Awareness Week.

Ground water is among the Nation’s most important natural resources, and is a major source of water supply around the world. It provides half our drinking water and is essential to the vitality of agriculture and industry as well as to the health of rivers, wetlands, and estuaries throughout the country. This year’s theme, “Be a good steward of ground water and wells,” is a call to action for everyone to protect this resource.

To learn more about groundwater and awareness week, visit:
University of Wisconsin Water Resources Institute Web site,
National Ground Water Awareness Week Web site
or USGS Ground-Water Resources Program Web site.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Look what we found in the library!

A new series brought to you by Wisconsin's Water Library, Look What We Found in the Library! Occasionally AquaLog will feature items recently re-discovered on our shelves.

Our first highlight is in honor of J. Philip Keillor, coastal engineer at UW Sea Grant for 29+ years. Found: American Lakes series of books Keillor once owned. Published in 1945, each book in the series focuses on each of the Great Lakes. Each book provides a history of the exploration and settlement of the lakes. The series describes itself as "written by scholars" but "intended for the use and enjoyment of laymen." It goes on to state, "All of the authors are competent historians, familiar with methods of historical investigation and specialists in their own particular fields of study. All have been chosen, too, for their ability to write and for their sympathetic understanding of the language and interests of common men and women. All have striven to combine the qualities of scholarly accuracy and popular interest, believing that the sober truth of American history requires no fictitious adornment and that, properly presented, it suffers from no lack of drama or of glamour."

Feel free to request any books in the American Lakes series from Wisconsin's Water Library. If you are a UW-Madison student, faculty or staff member, please request through MadCat. If you are a Wisconsin resident, please use our online book request form.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Three NOAA resources

Three resources to explore from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:

National Marine Sanctuary

An online vault where a comprehensive collection of select video clips and high-resolution still images from America's underwater treasures are securely stored and available for searchable access and download.

Local Fisheries Knowledge Project

Looking through the lens of marine fisheries, high school students learn about history, culture, science, language arts, and business as part of NOAA’s pilot Local Fisheries Knowledge Project.

NOAA Shoreline Website

This website was developed and designed by the NOAA Coastal Services Center. The purpose of this resource is "to eliminate confusion about vector shoreline data by providing information about and access to shorelines that are generated by federal agencies." Visitors to the site are able to access shoreline data, searching by type of data, application, and scale. There are also features on shoreline mapping history, policy and management, and applications such as cartographic representation.

Meeting to Examine Climate Change, Other Wisconsin Water Issues

Annual meeting of the American Water Resources Association–Wisconsin Section

WHEN: March 5-6, 2009

WHERE: Ramada Stevens Point Hotel, 1501 Northpoint Drive, Stevens Point, Wis. (715) 341-1340

Contact: David Hart, President, AWRA Wisconsin Section, (608) 262-2307, djhart@wisc.edu

BACKGROUND: Recent analysis of historical data, combined with climate modeling, suggest that the southern Wisconsin precipitation events of 2008 are part of a trend toward wetter conditions and more intense rainfall. Climate models also suggest that increased winter snow pack and late winter rainfall may result in high groundwater tables, high lake levels, and saturated soil conditions.

AGENDA: The effects of climate change on Wisconsin’s water resources will be discussed by three plenary speakers at the annual meeting of the American Water Resources Association–Wisconsin Section. A full program and abstracts are available online.

Milwaukee Area Technical College’s George Stone will begin the meeting with a talk on “Global Effects of Climate Change,” followed by a talk by John Magnuson of the University of Wisconsin-Madison entitled “Effects of Climate Change on Wisconsin Lakes,” and ending with Chris Kucharik of the University of Wisconsin-Madison addressing “Future Implications of Climate Change to Wisconsin.”

Throughout the two-day meeting, leading water scientists, resource managers and planners from around the state will present their latest research findings about Wisconsin’s most pressing water issues. Thursday afternoon, March 5, Madeline Gotkowitz of the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey will discuss the 2008 flood in Spring Green, Wis. She and her colleagues evaluated the role of groundwater in the flooding of the region and found that the geography of the area, combined with the spring snow melt and heavy June rainfall, may have caused a 12-foot rise in water table elevation. This would explain why the town remained flooded for five months despite its location over a mile from the Wisconsin River floodplain. With climate models predicting wetter conditions in Wisconsin, the community may need to make changes to infrastructure and land use policies.

Friday morning, March 6, UW-Platteville’s Michael Penn will discuss what happens to water quality when snowdrifts begin to melt. Snowmelt runoff can be a significant portion (often the majority) of annual runoff from agricultural lands, washing sediment, nitrogen and phosphorus into lakes, rivers and streams. Penn will show how the amount of snowfall and the timing of spring thaws affect water quality.

# # # #

The meeting is sponsored by the UW Water Resources Institute, UW-Stevens Point Center for Watershed Science, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey, and the U.S. Geological Survey Wisconsin Water Science Center. The University of Wisconsin Water Resources Institute is one of 54 such institutes nationwide, all focused on addressing problems of water supply and water quality at local, state, regional and national levels.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

In Memoriam: J. Philip Keillor

In honor of Phil Keillor, outstanding engineer and beloved colleague, we highlight some of his published works available from Wisconsin’s Water Library. Phil was a great friend and co-worker at Wisconsin Sea Grant, serving as our coastal engineering specialist for nearly 30 years. In his “retirement” since 2003, Phil remained active in many scientific activities including Great Lakes climate change outreach and service to the Great Lakes Observing System board. He will be truly missed.

Select publications by Phil:

Coastal processes manual : how to estimate the conditions of risk to coastal property from extreme lake levels, storms, and erosion along Great Lakes shores / by J. Philip Keillor - 2nd ed. Madison, Wis. : University of Wisconsin, Sea Grant Institute, c1998. call no. 152241 - full text

Benefits and costs of cleaning up contaminated sediments in Great Lakes areas of concern. Madison: University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute, 2000. Call no. 090552 Ref

Estimating economic benefits of cleaning up contaminated sediments in Great Lakes areas of concern / John R. Stoll, Richard C. Bishop, J. Philip Keillor. Madison, Wis. : University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute, 2002. Call no. 090555 - full text

Monday, March 2, 2009

Wisconsin Lakes Convention

2009 Wisconsin Lakes Convention
March 18-20
KI Convention Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin

The 2009 Wisconsin Lakes Convention is called Back to Balance, featuring an international symposium on aquatic invasive species (AIS). Experts from around North America will gather to discuss the research, management options, educational ideas and needed policy changes to deal more effectively with this prevailing issue. The goal of the symposium is to share this knowledge with agency staff, lake citizens, businesses, elected officials, and others to help get our lakes “back to balance.”

While AIS is an important issue, it is not the only challenge facing Wisconsin lakes. Wednesday and Friday workshops will offer hands-on training and discussion on many important lake topics including AIS, lake ecology, interpreting and using lake data, working with local partners for lake protection and running a more effective lake group.

Help play a pivotal role in developing Wisconsin aquatic invasive species policy! Come learn and share during these information-packed three days.

To learn more, visit UW-Extension website...