Thursday, December 31, 2015

A Flood of Hoop Dreams

Recent torrential rains have caused flooding throughout areas of Missouri. Floods of this magnitude are not a normal winter event. First, because the late December atmosphere is typically too cold to carry this much moisture. Second, ice upstream usually slows down the river’s flow.  Though the record rainfall, which is 2 to 6 times the typical December amount, has mostly subsided. river levels continue to rise as tributaries flow into larger streams, some of which are as  high as 20 to 30 feet above flood stage. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Tortoise and Snake

In Chinese culture, especially under the influence of Taoism, the tortoise is the symbol of heaven and earth, its shell is compared to the vaulted heaven and the underside to the flat disc of the earth. The tortoise was the hero of many ancient legends. It helped the First Chinese Emperor to tame the Yellow River, so Shang-di rewarded the animal with a life span of Ten Thousand Years. Thus the tortoise became a symbol for Long Life and as an immortal creature. In ancient beliefs there were no male tortoises and the female had to mate with a snake.

This sculpture is along the banks of the Mississippi in St. Louis Missouri.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015


"I live in the desert. It's dry. It's brown. It's mostly hot. Venturing into a world of boats, life jackets and water was peculiar and enchanting."

This was submitted by Charles J. 

Monday, December 28, 2015

The Key to Water

Who holds the true key to power in Fresno? This guy with the key to the water on campus at Fresno State. In order to make vital repairs to some areas of the plumbing system, water had to be turned off completely.  This guy and his giant key were called in to shut down the water.

This image was submitted by Suzy M in Fresno, CA.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Not a Lake 

The recent rains in California while a welcomed sight for the drought stricken landscape have caused some flooding issues and a sparked conversation about how to store the rain water. Even in rainy time, if conservation  and sustainable water usage could be maintained perhaps water supplies could be begin to replenish.


Saturday, December 26, 2015

No Water No Jobs

The drought in California is far reaching. It's effects are not simply felt by the individuals who live in the effected area. This harbinger sign points to the frustration felt by the agriculture community in the Valley. No water =No Jobs = higher food costs. And while many people don't feel the hurt outside of California they may feel the hurt in their wallet when they stroll the produce aisle at the local grocery. For more information on the economic reaches click

Friday, December 25, 2015

Let it Snow

Merry Christmas from MYOW. Due to El Nino, California is  on track to receive more snow than last year. The snow pack will help lessen the sting of the continued drought.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

 Night Water

There are many forms of water recreation from swimming, to skiing, boating to diving. One of the new fads is night kayaking or paddle surfing with equipment that illuminates the water. Invented by water adventurist Bill Rossini, Nocqua is the only adjustable LED waterproof light system for standup paddle boards, kayaks, canoes, and outdoor living. Water fun doesn't have to stop when the sun goes to bed!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Water Connections

" I live in  the desert. I was feeding the quail outside and spotted the hook ups for the sprinklers on the house. I realized how lucky I am, even in the desert my house has sprinkler connections."

This was submitted by Leslie B

Empty Pool

How much water do you need to fill a pool? The no frills answer is to calculate the volume of the pool.There are 7.5 gallons of water in a cubic foot. To find the amount of water in any given pool multiply the cubic feet of the pool by 7.5 to arrive at the volume of water in the pool. Unusual shaped pools may require multiply calculations.

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Inner Passage

The Inside Passage, while it may sound like Tolkien adventure is simply a coastal route for ocean vessels through a network of passages which weave through the islands on the Pacific coast of North America. The route extends from southeastern Alaska through western British Columbia in Canada and down into the to northwestern  regions of  Washington. Ships use this route to avoid the rough weather of the open ocean while enabling access to some of the numerous isolated communities along the route. The Inside Passage is heavily travelled by cruise ships, freighters, tugs with tows, fishing craft and ships of the Alaska Marine Highway, BC Ferries, and Washington State Ferries systems.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Mount Rainier and the Highest Lake

Mount Rainier also called Mount Tahoma by the Puyallup is the highest mountain of the Cascade Range of the Pacific Northwest. It is a large active stratovolcano and considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world. Interestingly,  it is covered with 26 glaciers and 36 square miles of permanent  snow fields. Due to the  large amount of glacial ice, Mt. Rainier could potentially produce massive lahars that could threaten the entire Puyallup River valley .The summit is topped by two volcanic craters that keep the crater rims free of snow and ice while forming the world's largest volcanic glacier cave network within the ice-filled craters. A small crater lake about 130 by 30 ft and 16 ft deep, is the the highest lake in North America with a surface elevation of 14,203 ft.

Saturday, December 19, 2015


There are over 75,371 dams over 3feet high in the United States. That is equivalent to a dam a day being built since Thomas Jefferson was in office as President.

Friday, December 18, 2015

From Above

"Most of the time I experience water through touch- drinking, or bathing or swimming. Parasailing was a new experience of water through flight and sight. The vastness of the ocean as I sailed above was humbling. "

This was submitted by Mark L from CA.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Poison Water in Flint 

Ever wonder what would happen if the water coming out of your kitchen tap was poison? The residents in Flint, Michigan are living that nightmare. The water has toxic levels of lead, in part from the corrosive nature of the water moving through the lead pipe infrastructure in parts of the city and older homes. On December 14, 2015  the Federal Emergency Management Agency sent 28,000 bottles of water to Flint,Michigan to be distributed by the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Left Behind

The most common litter in U.S. streams is household trash, including plastic cups, plastic bags and wrapping materials, fast-food wrappers, plastic bottles, and other plastic containers.  Despite environmental regulations that protect the quality of streams, lakes, and wetlands, solid waste in the form of trash, litter, and garbage often ends up in these surface waters. Because surface waters collect in low-lying areas, anything that is dropped or blown into a watershed can eventually reach a drainageway. In urban areas, trash and litter (general terms for dry solid waste) often are transported by storm water runoff. In both urban and rural areas, these items sometimes are illegally dumped directly into a waterbody or wetland, or deposited along riverbanks or lake shores.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

And so it begins

El Niño has been on the lips of meteorologists for months. This ocean warming weather phenomena brings promise of reservoir filling rains, snow packed ski slopes and a warmer drier winter in the normally snowy east coast. The large storms associated with El Niño started in January of 1983 and February of 1998. Weather patterns have noticeably shifted as of this December. States that normally experience a white christmas will most likely celebrate a sunny and mild holiday.  Fear not, the warm ocean waters promise a wet winter on the west coast. El Niño awakens.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Grand Rapids Support

My Your Our Water made its way to Grand Rapids Michigan in early September with the support of many along the journey. Richard App and Suzy Mitchell enjoyed a celebratory moment with Mayor Heartwell after a river clean up along the Grand River.

Collectible Trash

"Sea glass and beach glass are similar but come from two different types of water. Sea glass is physically andchemically weathered glass found on beaches along bodies of salt water. These weathering processes produce natural frosted glass. "Genuine sea glass" can be collected as a hobby and can be used to make jewelry. Beach glass comes from fresh water and in most cases has a different pH balance, and has a less frosted appearance than sea glass. Sea glass takes any where between 20 -50 years to acquire its characteristic texture and shape".

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls is the collective name for three waterfalls that straddle the international border between Canada and the United States; more specifically, between the province of Ontario and the state of New York. They form the southern end of the Niagara Gorge. From largest to smallest, the three waterfalls are the Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls.

"We were so young when we went. We didn't take a honeymoon after we were married. This was our first trip as a married couple."

This image was submitted by Grace S of Charles S at Niagara Falls in 1970

Friday, December 11, 2015

Catching Rain

Catching and storing rainwater in your yards can help reduce flooding and stress on the sewer / storm water system infrastructure, keeping pollutants out of our rivers and streams. Estimates indicate that a quarter-inch of rain falling on an average home yields over 200 gallons of water. Rain barrels are simply large containers that capture stormwater from your roof that would otherwise be lost as runoff. Modern rain barrels are sealed, safe around children and insect resistant – they can even be painted or decorated to your liking. You can divert water from your downspout to fill your rain barrel and a hose spigot on the front makes the water easy to access and use. 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

 Agriculture in the Arid Southwest

According to Scientific America "much of the U.S. Southwest is a desert—at least it was at one time in the past. But about 90 percent of the Colorado River's water is today diverted into these parched lands for agricultural irrigation. Perhaps half of this regional resource does not even reach the intended crops because it is lost to evaporation and seepage during pumping and transport, according to a 1997 Cornell University study that appeared in the journal BioScience. Many farmers rely on flood irrigation, which, though inexpensive, is a highly inefficient means of delivering water to thirsty plants. The Colorado's dwindling water flow threatens the supplies of seven states and has spawned a plethora of lawsuits regarding water rights. As the Scientific America featured article on water points out, shaving irrigation water by 10 percent would save more than is used by all other water consumers put together. A prime example of this ill-advised approach is growing alfalfa in the desert."

My Your Our Water

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Water Quality

Pure clean water has no odor or taste and a pH of about 7. Ever wonder the quality of the water ways that are in your backyard? A link on the Environmental Protection Agency website lists beach closures, fish advisories and a "how's MY Waterway" link which allows one to search a specific zip code for water quality information.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Michigan and the Poison Water

Unfortunately, while it's a grim statement it's not a Grimm fairy tale. Flint, Michigan has undrinkable water contaminated by lead. The story of the Flint water crisis while over a year in the making, made headlines in October yet it has dropped from the public eye in the wake of numerous national and international events. After 17 months, the governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder, announced the city would reconnect to the Detroit Water system because of concerns about lead in the water supply.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Waiting for El Niño

Every two to seven years, trade winds shift and sea surface temperatures warm in the Pacific, creating the meteorological event. As conditions change, they trigger a domino effect of disruptive weather patterns worldwide. This is referred to as El Nino.
Normally, trade winds blow east to west across the Pacific Ocean. This pushes warmer water towards the western edge and allows cooler water to rise up toward the surface on the eastern edge. During El Niño events, trade winds weaken or change course, pushing that warm ocean water on the west further east across the ocean, bringing rainfall and rising surface temperatures along with it. Typically in the United States El Nino produces wetter and colder winters in the south  while the north experiences warmer and drier winters. On a global scale, El Nino can cause heat waves and devastating droughts in the western Pacific region or heavy rains and flooding in the eastern Pacific region. El Niño conditions can also boost hurricane activity in the Pacific, but reduce it in the Atlantic.  

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Waterless Music

Dr. Benjamin Boone, Fresno State professor of music theory and composition, released the video “Waterless Music,” an orchestral composition featuring the poetry and narration of the late Philip Levine, emeritus professor of English, last week. Boone and several other musicians were working on a CD project with the former Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. poet laureate when Levine died in February.
That project, which is near completion, inspired Boone’s work when he observed the water theme in 29 tracks Levine had recorded. “Somewhat unexpectedly, I noted that Philip frequently used water, rain and dryness as metaphors,” Boone said. “I began writing down water, storm and agricultural references and categories began to emerge.
The video can be seen on youtube.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

 American Water

American Water company is the largest investor-owned water and wastewater utility company in the United States. American Water regulated businesses currently provide water and wastewater services in 20 U.S. states. The regulated subsidiaries are subject to economic regulation by state PUCs in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.That means that in each state we operate, water quality and service rates are subject to extensive regulation by state PUCs, as well as environmental, health and safety and water quality regulations by federal, state and local governments. American Water serves an estimated 15 million people in more than 45 states and parts of Canada . The map includes the market based business as well as the regulated operations of AW.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Lake Springfield

Lake Springfield is a 4,260 acre  reservoir located in the city of Springfield, Illinois, southeast of downtown. It is 560 feet above sea level. It was formed in 1931-1935 by building Spaulding Dam across Sugar Creek, a tributary of the Sangamon River.The lake was created, at a cost of $2.5 million in the 1930s, as a source of water for Springfield and to provide coolant for the City Water, Light & Power coal-fired electrical generating plant.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Swimming Hole

It may be winter but summer water fun is a near and dear day dream.

"Watering holes are made for jumping in! We spend every Friday goofing off in the water."

These images were submitted by Cole is Seascape, Ca.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


Yosemite Falls: 2,425 feet (with its three sections, it makes up the tallest waterfall in North America)
  • Upper Fall: 1,430 feet
  • Middle Cascade: 675 feet
  • Lower Fall: 320 feet
Bridalveil Fall: 620 feet
Ribbon Fall: 1,612 feet
Vernal Fall: 317 feet
Nevada Fall: 594 feet
Illilouette Fall: 370 feet
Silver Strand Fall: 1,170 feet
Sentinel Fall: 2,000 feet
Horsetail Fall: 1,000 feet

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Color Coded Pipes

PVC (polyvinyl chloride) pipes have been carrying water to communities all over the world since the 1950s. It is used extensively in underground municipal systems to carry clean water to homes and sewage to wastewater treatment facilities. PVC resin pipes have some advantages over metal pipes such as corrosion resistant, flexibility, water tight joints. The PVC pipes are color coded to indicate the appropriate use of the pipe: blue for potable water, green or white for sewage, white for irrigation and purple for reclaimed water.