H2Oregon: January 2018

Jan 12, 2018

H2Oregon: January 2018
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January 2018


Oregon Water News

Salem Switches Groundwater Supply After North Santiam River Fuel Spill
On December 18th around 11,600 gallons of unleaded gasoline was spilled into the N. Santiam river. The semi-tanker transporting the gasoline slid on ice, then turned over and caught on fire on Highway 22, killing the 58 year old driver Ronald Sculrlock.

"Some of the gasoline burned off in the fire, but the rest spilled onto the roadway and into the river. About 200 yards of soil on both sides of the roadway are contaminated and will need to be excavated, said Katherine Benenati, a Department of Environmental Quality spokeswoman."

In 1964 the Columbia River Treaty was created to help govern the use of the river. Lawmakers across the Pacific Northwest have been pressing the U.S. government to reopen Columbia River Treaty talks for years now. Although the treaty does not have an expiration date, Canada or the U.S. can cancel most provisions after September 2024 with a 10 year notice.

"The Columbia River Treaty is of immense importance to the economy, environment and culture of Washington state and the Pacific Northwest," said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash."

But it needs to be updated to deal with modern-day issues facing the region, such as environmental protections, she said."

Snowpack Lagging Statewide in Oregon
Capital Press
Snowpack across the state is at 42% of normal levels in contrast to 124% of normal levels last year. 

"The highest levels of snowpack are in northeast Oregon, where the Umatilla, Walla Walla and Willow basins are just 55 percent of normal, and the Grande Ronde, Powder, Burnt and Imnaha basins are 53 percent of normal."

The closer to normal conditions, the more assurances you have adequate water supplies closer to irrigation season, Oviatt said. Obviously as time passes, well have a better feel of what the trends and storm impacts look like.
Fluoride in Water: When it Helps vs. When it Harms
Oregon Live|The Oregonian
"Abundant evidence suggests that a small dose of the chemical can help prevent cavities. But it turns out that, when it comes to fluoride, there is a risk of getting too much."

Health conditions linked to too much fluoride include: skeletal fluorosis, dental fluorosis, and neurological problems. O.7 parts per million is high enough to prevent tooth decay, yet low enough to avoid serious health problems.

In 2012, the Portland City Council approved the practice. Opponents fought back, getting the issue placed on the ballot the following year and, after a heated campaign, voters rejected fluoridation for the fourth time since 1956."

Oregon University Water News

University of Oregon oceanographer Dave Sutherland is helping to shed some light on what happens inside and beneath glaciers. Sutherland and his team are studying how glaciers melt and what the effect the meltwater has on the river of ice that extends out to the sea.

"The team wants to know what happens when meltwater coming from under the glacier hits the bay and what effect that has on the rate at which the ice melts and the breaks up."

Job Opportunities

Dr. Michael Campana, a hydrologist at Oregon State, manages a comprehensive water job database on his WaterWired blog. It is updated weekly. See the most recent job postings here

Edited by Ashley Renee Paradis, Institute for Water and Watersheds, Oregon State University

Copyright 2018 Institute for Water and Watersheds - Oregon State University, All rights reserved.
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