Eco-friendly vs appropriate technology Daniel Collins Jul 14

The BBC has a nice photo essay on the up-take of a low-tech irrigation device – a treadle pump. The BBC, perhaps echoing IDEI, is calling it “eco-friendly”. But it’s not. There’s nothing environmentally friendly about pumping out more water from an aquifer than is recharged. Even pumping less than the recharge rate can be [...]

The case of the blue mozzarella Daniel Collins Jul 07

Back in June, 70,000 balls of mozzarella were confiscated in Turin, Italy because they were blue. This was not an evolutionary step in cheese manufacturing – the offspring with an amorous roquefort – but a consequence of contaminated water. Italians weren’t happy, with farmers demonstrating near the border with Austria, the blue cheese’s country of [...]

Texas GOP water platform Daniel Collins Jun 29

The Texas Republican Party has renewed their election platform. In addition to opposing oral sex, a single world currency and membership in the UN, they have a few things to say about water: “We believe that … groundwater is a vested ownership right;…” That is to say, groundwater is a property right, and any groundwater [...]

CSI-Silurian: The biological roots of landforms Daniel Collins May 24

Imagine an episode of CSI-Silurian. The team of detective-scientists are investigating a case of wholescale graffiti in the middle Silurian, and they’re looking for fingerprints. Someone – or something – has taken a knife to the land and carved out a network of rivers and streams. The usual suspect is quickly identified: the climate. In [...]

Cloud seeding you can bank on Daniel Collins May 21

Estimated price of a cloud seeding experiment in the Southern Alps: $300,000 Estimated price of annual cloud seeding operations: $1,000,000 Balancing water supply and demand: priceless

Canadian house swallowed by sarlacc Daniel Collins May 12

Okay, so the house wasn’t swallowed by a sarlacc. But nor was it swallowed by a sinkhole, as the Associated Press is telling us. You may have seen the news: “Family killed as home swallowed up by giant sinkhole in Quebec”, or variations upon a theme. If you look at the aerial photos, you’ll see [...]

Drought, kiwi and ecological dominoes Daniel Collins Apr 27

Two weeks ago news hit the TV of the impact the Northland drought is having on kiwi. It had already been picked up far and wide back in February, but as the drought continues, so does the story. The story is this: drought has caused nocturnal kiwi to forage for food during the day. These [...]

Discontent bubbling to the surface in Canterbury Daniel Collins Apr 16

When it comes to Canterbury water governance, the balance of satisfaction has shifted dramatically over the last few weeks. Some are happier now that government-appointed commissioners will replace elected councilors at ECan. Some are not. And those who are not are increasingly making themselves heard. At two meetings recently the malcontents voiced their feelings, from [...]

Introducing a new series: Horton’s Index Daniel Collins Apr 14

After much mulling, distilling and filtering, Crikey Creek is introducing another new series: Horton’s Index. Many readers will know the name Horton. Not the one who heard a who, but Robert E. Horton – hydrologist extraordinaire. Horton was instrumental in the 20th century quantitative revolution in hydrology. He even got his name attached to one [...]

Land use hydrology paradox in Central Texas Daniel Collins Apr 13

When it comes to conversion of grassland to shrubs or trees, the typical story goes like this. More rainfall is caught be the foliage and evaporated straight back into the air. Higher rates of transpiration deplete soil moisture faster, and deeper roots inhibit drainage of water from soil to aquifer. This story is typical because [...]

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