Water Issues

Every living thing on the planet shares the same water resources and these resources face severe challenges in the years ahead. Global warming increases the frequency and severity of droughts and floods. Runoff from industrial processes like electricity generation and manufacturing adds pollutants to rivers, lakes, and oceans. Of the 1.4 billion cubic kilometers of water on the planet, just2.5% of it is fresh water. With increasing demands on resources, water scarcity could result in conflicts between people and a loss of biodiversity as aquatic habitats disappear or are irreversibly damaged. EarthShare member organizations are addressing water scarcity and pollution, marine life and fresh water endangerment, and climate change-driven impacts on the water supply.

 

 

Infographic: What we're doing for our water

See what we've been doing and learn how you can help with our latest infographics about the issues. If you're a corporate partner, ask about customized infographics for your company.Download the image by clicking on the thumbnail to the right or you can embed the infographic on your blog or website by using the following code: <iframe width="824" height="1155" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="overflow-y:hidden;" src="https://magic.piktochart.com/embed/8315732-water-copy"></iframe>  

Job announcement: Washington Water Trust Project Manager

Washington Water Trust Project ManagerBackgroundThe Project Manager joins a talented technical team whose members bring many years of experience in collaborative natural resource management, stream and flow restoration, and multi-stakeholder conservation projects. The Washington Water Trust (WWT) team includes recognized statewide experts in the fields of water law, instream flow transactions, water banking, and funding and implementation of large-scale infrastructure projects. As a 501(c)(3) corporation, WWT is a nonprofit leader in river and stream flow restoration throughout Washington, with offices in Seattle and Ellensburg. Using voluntary, market-based approaches and partnerships, we develop water management alternatives that produce environmental, economic and social benefits for Washington’s communities, while serving our mission of improving flows in Washington’s most endangered rivers and streams.Position SummaryWWT seeks an experienced professional to join our team as a Project Manager. This full time position requires a person who will partner with landowners, tribes, conservation districts, land trusts, local, state, and federal agencies to implement and fund innovative programs and projects with lasting benefits to endangered fish, streams, and local economies. Project Management methodology must include a collaborative, consultative approach in addition to a technical and scientific skill set so that high quality services are delivered which leverages flexible funds for each project.Responsibilities and ExpectationsDevelop effective working relationships that result in projects and/or proposals with water rights holders, public agencies, tribes, local governments, conservation and irrigation districts, and salmon recovery funders in WWT’s targeted basinsIdentify opportunities , have discussions about active water management, water rights, hydrology, and ecological priorities, and develop projects that will demonstrate meaningful and measurable benefitsManage collaborative projects which contain a level of complexity commensurate with Project Manager’s (PM) experience and expertise; entry level complexity might be a single entity, a single landowner, or less complex constraints and issues within the projectResearch and prepare, for internal review and approval, ecological, economic, financial, legal and political data for inclusion into regional flow restoration and water rights acquisition strategies and water rights agreementsPrepare fact sheets for Board approval, with input from other PMs, for seeking outside funding for project proposals and offersProvide technical representation and convene stakeholder groups to develop strategic watershed plans that identify and prioritize restoration activities. Demonstrate that outreach activities have been developed and are leading toward a project proposalNegotiate basic acquisition agreementsHelp develop new funding and program opportunities for organization’s priorities and partner with other agencies to clarify prioritiesParticipate in WWT compliance monitoring of agreements, flow outcomes, and help coordinate and communicate with partners on flow and project effectiveness monitoringComplete performance metrics reportingManage project files, databases and all supporting scientific and economic informationRepresent and support WWT’s mission and be a passionate spokespersonSkills and AttributesWorking knowledge of Washington state water management and water lawUnderstanding of biologically-based flow needs and flow-habitat relationshipsStrong project management and organizational skills, including task management, developing timelines and schedules, developing and tracking budgets, managing project filesBe self-directed as well as able to collaborate and coordinate among stakeholders and team membersAbility to develop and make persuasive presentations and influence negotiationsAble to manage project data, spreadsheets, and databases, provide succinct and persuasive reports and scientific summaries using analytical toolsAble to read and interpret GIS mapsAble to assess simple water/land use to determine who owns water rights and how the water is being used; understand the data associated with stream and land managementAbility to write simple contracts; research and close simple water rights transactionsDemonstrated critical thinking and creative problem solvingAbility to write basic grants, technical reports, scientific reports, proposalsAbility to learn quickly on a steep learning curveAble to thrive in a fast-paced environmentStrong communication and interpersonal skills that articulate the WWT mission and goalsWillingness to travel frequently throughout Washington statePreferred Experience and EducationWorking knowledge of western water rights lawUnderstanding of agricultural practicesUnderstanding of hydrology and watershed restorationWorking knowledge of water markets/banking, real estate acquisition, or conservation easementsUnderstanding of alternative funding strategies for market-based natural resource conservationDemonstrated negotiation expertise, including at least one year’s experience negotiating real estate or water right acquisition agreements for conservation purposes, or equivalent experienceUnderstanding of local communities in rural Washington highly valuedExperience in the use of ESRI ARCVIEW or equivalent GIS software preferredExperience establishing and promoting conservation markets (water banks or alternative ecosystem service models) a plusBachelor’s degree in a relevant field required; graduate degree a plusSalary and BenefitsWWT offers competitive compensation commensurate with qualifications and experience. We also offer a generous benefits package which includes: 100 % paid coverage of health, vision, and dental insurance; 12 days of paid holidays; and paid vacation/sick leave.WWT is an equal opportunity employer. We provide equal employment opportunities without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, religion, age, sex, sexual preference, gender identity, marital status, physical disability or veteran status.To ApplyPlease submit a cover letter and resume which addresses the skills and attributes needed for this job. The cover letter and resume can be sent or emailed to:Susan Adams, Executive Director1530 Westlake Avenue N, Ste 400Seattle, Washington 98109susan@washingtonwatertrust.orgApplications will be accepted through March 30, 2017

Waterkeeper swim guide app= safe dip in open water

If you've ever thought it would be nice to take a quick dip in a lake, river or in the Sound but wondered if it is clean enough to get in there's a great app to let you know for sure. If watching your child wade through something floating on top of the water at your local beach sends chills down your spine it might be a necessity to survive summer. The app also gives you the power to report pollution when you find it.Puget Soundkeeper news -by Chris Wilke On a sweltering summer afternoon there is nothing more refreshing than jumping in the water, especially if its a natural body of water like Puget Sound or one of our many lakes or rivers. It is exhilarating, refreshing and rejuvenating. It connects us to a primal experience and it reminds us of just how important water is to all life. Water is so powerful that we often feel good just by being next to it, and faced with the opportunity, we might even convince ourselves that we don’t really need to get in. But I recommend we do get in. Having faced this decision numerous times I don’t always get wet, but when I do, I never regret it. Sadly, jumping in the water also carries with it a calculation – is it clean enough? There are certainly waterways around the country, and some locally, where swimming is not advised. It is however our right to expect that every one of our waterways are protected for this basic purpose. This is why we launched the Waterkeeper Swim Guide app with other Waterkeeper organizations around North America. The Swim Guide helps us check up on our local beaches and review the status. It also allows us to report pollution problems to our nearest...Swimmable Water: What does it mean for Puget Sound? 

Nile Creek with Washington Water Trust

“We’re not wired for ‘Kumbaya’ here,”says a smiling Mike Tobin, district manager of the North Yakima Conservation District. But he has a good reason to celebrate. Mike is part of a collaboration that has launched a struggling creek on a water-fueled renaissance.If you’ve ever shopped in a North American supermarket, it’s likely you’ve picked up something grown near the town of Selah on the east side of the Cascade Range in central Washington—an apple, a pear, some cherries; maybe a juice box.The Matson family has been in the business of growing tree fruit here for well over a century. On a portion of their property, the land was traditionally irrigated by making a temporary “push-up” dam in Nile Creek each year to send water by gravity into a holding pond where a pump would then deliver it where needed. “During low flow, the entire creek and its fish could end up in the pond and in the fields,” says Mike. R.R. Matson Sr., the company founder, was known to try rescuing as many of those fish as he could.Now, the third generation of Matsons has closed the loop.“One of the most rewarding elements of the project was their willingness to work with us,” Mike says.The family entered into an agreement with Washington Water Trust (WWT) to dedicate all of their water right—the only one on the creek—as permanently protected flows. Their new source of irrigation on the Naches River, plentiful and reliable, is aided by the Conservation District, which paid for a pump station and pipeline, and eliminated the old diversion.The Matson’s property encompasses the length of the stream corridor starting just paces above where Nile Creek joins the Naches and extending more than a mile to public lands of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. In this reach, an increase of more than 1,500 gallons-per-minute can nearly double the volume of water during the driest days of summer. With CBWTP’s support, the infusion of flows is a biological game-changer that ripples through the entire stream system, about 15 miles of habitat.Kris Ribellia, WWT Project Manager, calls Nile Creek a “significant spawning sanctuary” that now provides unhindered migration for threatened steelhead from the creek’s headwaters down to the Naches River. The project makes Nile Creek accessible for coho salmon, too, which are being reintroduced by the Yakama Nation. Spring Chinook and bull trout can also benefit from a creek that is once again reconnected year round to a healthy, spring-fed floodplain.Gary Torretta, district biologist with the Forest Service, has tracked spawning steelhead in Nile Creek for over a decade. He says the cooler water of new flows will make a qualitative difference at a fragile moment in the steelhead’s lifecycle, just as incubation of eggs is ending and fingerlings are wiggling free from the gravel. These will be healthier fish, with higher rates of survival…and return.“The rewards for this project can be seen on the ground, here in the creek,” Mike says. “The real indicator will be long-term sustainable populations of anadromous fish that depend on the water mother nature naturally delivers. I have every confidence in the outcome. You add water, fish do better and natural stream process comes to life.”Find out more at https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.474072116093429.1073741835.273118389522137&type=3

New Fund Will Help More Seattle Residents Build Rain Gardens

The RainWise program has expanded in Seattle and now there's a way to get involved without upfront costs to you. Protect local waterways with your home improvements.Sightline Institute news - RainWise garden Image by Lisa StifflerSeattle’s RainWise rain-garden program is spreading green stormwater solutions across the city, but the rebate program has been out of reach for some homeowners with more modest incomes. While RainWise offers generous reimbursements—$4,600 on average for the installation of rain gardens and cisterns—the homeowner has to pay for the work upfront, and then wait up to two months for the program to pay them back. It’s an expense that not everyone can shoulder. A new financial program called the Green Infrastructure Rebate Advance Fund (GIRAF) should remove that hurdle by bridging the payment gap. A separate access fund will also provide small grants to partially pay for projects near the Duwamish River that cost more than the city’s rebate. RainWise “is definitely an exciting success story,” said Aaron Clark, the driving force behind GIRAF and program manager for the non-profit Stewardship Partners.New Fund Will Help More Seattle Residents Build Rain Gardens

Celebrating US Waters

WWF provides a quick rundown on the recent Clean Water Act rules.World Wildlife Fund news -Passed in 1972, the Clean Water Act (CWA) is the primary federal law in the US governing water pollution. However, since its inception, which waters are protected by CWA have always been open to interpretation, causing much confusion and expense when it came to implementation. On May 27, President Obama finalized the Waters of the United States rule, which was developed by the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers to clarify longstanding protections under the Clean Water Act for people and wildlife. At WWF, we recognize the importance of good water governance, and are hopeful this rule will help protect and improve the health America’s rivers, streams and wetlands. We celebrate for America’s fresh water. In the US, we promote water stewardship and are actively engaged on freshwater issues in the following areas...Celebrating US Waters 

Surfrider partnership can tell you where it's safe to swim in Tacoma

Through a partnership with a lcoal school Surfrider tests water at six locations in Tacoma and students test the water for bacteria harmful to humans. Check out the full article to see their results which are updated throughout the season.Surfrider news -The South Sound Chapter is providing a great collaborative opportunity through their BWTF water testing program for an educational institution, Surfrider volunteers, and local health agencies to work together to provide better protection for beachgoers and water recreational enthusiasts in Tacoma, Washington.South Sound BWTF in Tacoma, WA 

How Shell Manipulates Washington State Politics

This is an intersting look at Shell's influence over Washington politics as one of their oil rigs pulls into the Seattle Port. Take a look at our friends over at Sightline's articles for more information; they are once again doing great work following and offering assesment of an important story.Sightline Institute news -Shell's Polar Pioneer oil rig, incoming to Seattle Port's Terminal 5. (Photo by a friend of Sightline, used with permission.)Yesterday afternoon, Shell Oil’s titanic drilling rig made its way into the Port of Seattle, where it will undergo repairs before heading north to drill in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska’s north coast this summer. After local company Foss Maritime inked a secretive lease with the Port to repair two of Shell’s skyscraper-sized oil drilling rigs, the region has been embroiled in a raging controversy over the wisdom of allowing the second largest company in the world to use Seattle as a staging ground for Arctic oil drilling. Shell’s last run at Arctic oil, when the company’s flagship Kulluk drilling rig ran aground near Alaska’s Kodiak Island, was a signal failure, but Shell plans to return to the precarious Arctic seas this summer for another try at tapping the oil reserves. And in Skagit County, Shell has plans to build a large oil train facility at its Anacortes Refinery. After the county hearing examiner recently determined that the company should conduct a full environmental review of the project, Shell sued the county. The case will be heard this month...How Shell Manipulates Washington State Politics 

Surfrider Releases Recreational Use Study for the Washington Coast

Surfrider's report on the value of the Washington coast shows us the value of this natural resource. Most of the 4.1 million trips were for recreational purposes for an estimated $481 million dollars going to coastal communities in direct expenditures. Surfrider news -The Surfrider Foundation, in partnership with Point 97 and the state of Washington, recently completed the Washington Coastal and Ocean Recreation Study and today released the final report.Surfrider Releases Recreational Use Study for the Washington Coast 

Surfrider Releases Ocean Friendly Gardens 2014 Report

Surfrider Foundation has taken to the streets and neighborhoods to protect our oceans with their Ocean Friendly Gardens program.Surfrider - The Surfrider Foundation’s Ocean Friendly Gardens program undertook an awesome effort in 2014, detailed in a newly released annual report. Surfrider chapters, volunteers, student clubs and staff that make up the program implemented an interconnected set of program objectives. They educated the public about a watershed approach to urban runoff, conducted hands-on activities for DIY-ers and to help train professionals, and engaged government agencies to shift policy and programming. A total of 33 chapters or school clubs participated in 2014, offering a spectrum of activities including classes, hands-on workdays, neighborhood walks, policy meetings with government officials and more.

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