Tuesday, February 11, 2020

WATER WARS, Ch. 4, Colorado River Basin

Water Wars Sharing the Colorado River

There are two major water basins in the American Southwest, the Rio Grande and the Colorado. The Rio Grande flows southeast from the Rocky Mountains, and the Colorado flows generally southwest from these peaks. The Colorado River Basin is expected to experience significant water shortages in the coming decades; we have chosen it as the focus of our work.
As David Owen (2017) notes, “Water challenges in the United States are less dire than those in places like India, Syria, and Brazil, but they are similar in kind. They also involve much more than water, since they’re inextricable from equally thorny challenges concerning energy, economics, governance, democracy, and climate.” Owen also commented that in some ways water problems are straightforward: without water, we die. We must find solutions, but each “solution” has its own set of problems.


The Colorado River drains approximately one-quarter of a million square miles in a region that contains some of the most rapidly growing U.S. urban populations, a total of about 40 million persons. The State of California ends up being the largest single user of water from the Colorado River even though that river does not naturally flow through California. Unfortunately, this region has been in a drought since about 2000.
The 1400-mile-long Colorado River has been called “the American Nile.” The river is so heavily used that it just peters out.
Native Americans occupied this Southwest region for a thousand years, coping with the variation in weather conditions, husbanding the relatively rare water supplies. Their encampments were usually concentrated along streams and rivers. From 800-1130 A.D., the weather was wetter than usual, but this was followed by an extended drought that in a score of years dramatically reduced the size of the settlements. The year 1100 was pivotal; in the prior century, flooding destroyed much of the canal systems: in the following century, a prolonged drought changed conditions radically toward desertification. (Gallagher, 2017)
 Special “dry land” farming techniques were used by those not near water sources, as the general area was arid. A dry period in the mid-13th century led to internecine warfare among the Southwestern tribes over access to water. Around this time, the populations in the Four Corners area (UT, CO, AZ, NM) dispersed. (Gallagher, 2017)
The Hohokam people lived in the Colorado Basin for nearly 1500 years and developed water distribution canal systems unrivaled until the early 20th century.
Although the Colorado River is certainly a large river, when compared to the Mississippi, it can seem rather small. Still, it is crucial to the wellbeing of the American Southwest, draining about ¼ million square miles. The Mississippi is 1000 miles longer, and the annual Colorado River flow is equal to about two weeks of the Mississippi’s, but the river and its tributaries flow through seven states in the West: Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, and California, and then on into Mexico. 36,000,000 people benefit from its water supply. That includes irrigating farmland and powering two giant hydroelectric plants, Hoover Dam and Glen Canyon Dam, and several smaller ones. It supplies Lake Mead and Lake Powell and some smaller lakes, as well. (Owen, 2017)
All the states along the path of the Colorado River claim some of its flow, to the point where more flow is claimed than the river provides, an imbalance made more awkward by a recent drought in the West, a drought that began shortly before the year 2000, leaving the river seriously “over-allocated.” (Owen, 2017)
Some scientists believe that global warming, if it occurs, will reduce the flow in the Colorado River. Historically there have been periods where the flow has been unusually low. The river has been managed since 1922 under the Colorado Compact agreement among the seven states involved. One feature of the Colorado Compact constrains the Upper Basin by forbidding it to reduce the flow below a 7.5 million acre-feet average for any 10 consecutive years, without distinguishing whether this was due to overuse or reduced rainfall and snow pack melt. [An acre-foot is the amount of water that would cover one acre to a depth of one foot, approximately 326,000 gallons or 1230 cubic meters.]
Historically, the allowed allocations of water use have so far not been reduced. Owen writes, “The prior-appropriation doctrine and the Colorado River Compact are central elements of what’s known throughout the Colorado’s watershed as the Law of the River…,” a mix of written and unwritten rules, known almost exclusively to river oldtimers. (Owen, 2017)


The Colorado River is fed by a host of tributary rivers, and their management has given rise to a host of legal and practical controversies.
The Blue River flows into Lake Dillon, which is dammed, and which supplies about 40% of Denver’s water, being 3200 acres in area and about 250,000 acre-feet in capacity. A tunnel carries water under the ridge of the Continental Divide, running 23 miles, being ten feet in diameter. It feeds the South Platte River, which carries the water farther to the east. (Owen, 2017)


Conditions in the West range from mountains that receive heavy snow to deserts that receive almost no moisture. Snow melt in May and June and a brief “monsoonal” period later in the year provide almost all the water for much of this area. The very little precipitation occurs during the growing season.
As civilization developed, humans were first dependent upon water, then were able to manipulate water, and finally, they were able to control water. In the American Great Plains, Native Americans developed a lifestyle that essentially involved following the migration of the bison, the major food source, and the bison themselves were following the availability of plant material on which to graze. The lifestyle of the Plains Indians was totally dependent on water.
Historian Jared Diamond, in his book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail describes the development of communities that grow until coming close to the carrying capacity of the land they inhabit, and then are faced with sometimes devastating consequences from relatively minor environmental changes.
Overcoming this environmental variability required controlling the water resources of the region. For example, the Mormons became highly successful in developing irrigation. Massive irrigation projects were too expensive for local communities, and soon the Federal government was called upon. A milestone in this regard was the 1902 Newlands Reclamation Act which supported widespread dam-building to provide water storage and hydroelectric power. These projects transformed areas that had been deserts. Water converted Southern California’s desert Valley of the Dead into the Imperial Valley, providing 70% of the nation’s winter vegetables. The Colorado River itself changed course, too, due to increased flow.


Mark Twain commented that whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting. One researcher noted, “…mounting litigation over increasing water rates, mandatory rationing and reducing amounts of water delivered to senior water rights holders--- just scratch the surface of what is in our future.” (Gallagher, 2017)
A senior scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratories warned that there could be a situation in which 22,000,000 people are told they only have 12 to 18 months of water. This is what could face southern Californians. (Gallagher, 2017)
Water levels in 2015 dropped below the 50% marks in both Lake Mead and Lake Powell, major reservoirs along the Colorado River. The Santa Cruz River in Tucson, Arizona, runs dry during parts of the year now. It’s claimed that this is due to increased pumping of groundwater that provides water for various purposes, an eightfold increase in usage over a 60-year period. (Gallagher, 2017)
An Associated Press article published by the Denver Post online on September 3, 2018, cited the Colorado River Research Group statement that transfers from already-low Lake Powell to Lake Mead have dropped Lake Powell to “dangerous levels,” the result of a two-decade drought. Lake Powell serves primarily the Upper Basin and Lake Mead serves the Lower Basin. “The scientists suggested it could be time to reform the management system.” [https://www.denverpost. com/2018/09/03/lake-mead-lake-powell-drought-colorado-river/]
Los Angeles Times reporter Bettina Boxall [http://www.latimes.com/ local/lanow/la-me-colorado-cuts-20181010-story.html] outlined an agreement being worked out with Arizona and Nevada on sharing water from the Colorado River during periods of drought. California would reduce its diversion from the river 4.5% to 8% as the shortage continued, with Arizona and Nevada losing water earlier, as these two states have later appropriation histories. So far, with occasional breaks, there has been a shortfall from 2000 on. The whole Basin is at 47% of capacity, the Upper Basin’s Lake Powell is at 45%, and the Lower Basin’s Lake Mead is at 38%; some experts expect drought restrictions to be announced by 2020.
Because of arrangements made in prior years, including the purchase of water rights and the banking of unused water allocations, the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) of Southern California has some built-in cushioning of the effects of drought conditions region-wide. Experts believe the Lower Basin problems will only worsen, because the usage is outpacing the supply.

Drought in the Colorado River Basin

An exceptional Internet site has been prepared by the Department of the Interior, “Drought in the Colorado River Basin,” posted at these locations:
https://www.doi.gov/water/owdi.cr.drought/en/ http://doi.gov/water/owdi.cr.drought/en/index.html#coRiverLifeLine
including a wealth of text, illustrations, and active links on the topic. What follows has been taken from that source (DOI, 2018), accessed in August 2018:
The Basin provides about 10% of Americans with their municipal water, irrigates over 5 million acres and supplies over 4000 megawatts of electrical power. The river is over 1400 miles long and drains “roughly one-twelfth of the land area of the contiguous United States.”
Most of the water supply comes from precipitation and melting in the Upper Basin. The period 2000-2016 was the lowest sixteen-year period in a century and one of the driest sixteenyear periods in the past 1200 years, as determined by examining tree ring patterns. The most extreme drought in this area, historically, occurred in the mid-1100s.

The water storage capacity of the Basin, primarily at Lake Mead and Lake Powell is 60 million acre-feet (maf) of water, about four times the historical average annual water supply (“inflow”) to the region.

Colorado River Named Nation’s Most Endangered Waterway

A report by Shoshona Davis for CBS News (April 22, 2013) noted, “American Rivers, an organization dedicated to protecting U.S. waterways, released their annual list of endangered rivers. Their list named the Colorado River as the most endangered river in the nation due to outdated water management, increased drought and overuse.”
Davis went on to quote a statement issued by Bob Irvin, president of American Rivers, “The Colorado River, the No. 1 Most Endangered River in the nation, is so over-tapped that it dries up to a trickle before reaching the sea. We simply cannot continue with status quo water management. It is time for stakeholders across the Colorado Basin to come together around solutions to ensure reliable water supplies and a healthy river for future generations.”
Davis noted that the river is used by over 36 million people, irrigates about 4 million acres of land, supports 15 percent of the crops grown in the U.S. Her article continued, “Current drought conditions are increasingly putting stress on quantities available for human use, but it is also causing major problems for the flora and fauna of the area. Researchers suggest that the flow of the Colorado River will reduce by 10 to 30 percent by 2050 due to climate change, limiting the amount of water available to all living things in the southwestern United States.”

Study: Colorado River Drying Up Faster Than Previously Thought

[https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2014/07/24/ study-colorado-river-basin-drying-up-faster-than-previouslythought/?utm_term=.eb3b9fbff87e]
Reid Wilson, The Washington Post, 24 July 2014, (Wilson, 2014) summarized the results of a study by Stephanie Castle et al. at the University of California at Irvine: increased water usage meant that in the prior nine years were lost about 65 cubic kilometers of fresh water, “nearly double the volume of the country’s largest reservoir, Lake Mead,” based on data from a NASA weather satellite, and it was estimated that about 2/3 of this water came from aquifers, underground sources, rather than surface water. The Bureau of Reclamation regulates surface water; groundwater is not regulated by them but is left to the states to govern as they choose. Lake Mead is at the lowest level since it was created in the 1930s in association with the Hoover Dam. The study concluded that Federal officials “allocated 30% more water from the Colorado River than was actually available.” Flow from groundwater made up the difference, but groundwater supplies are slower to recover than surface water supplies, suggesting water supply problems for the future. (The article is accompanied by a finely detailed map of the Colorado River Basin.)
A July 18, 2015 Los Angeles Times feature article by environmental journalist William Yardley (Yardley, 2015) made the following points:
        The Colorado River is a major source of water for California and Arizona farmers, who supply a major fraction of certain foods during the fall-to-spring period in the U.S.
        “Nearly 40 million people in seven states depend on the river, a population some forecasts say could double in the next 50 years.”
        By 2015, the Basin had suffered 16 years of relative drought, leading to predictions of shortages soon, which could lead to mandatory cutbacks on use, the first in the nearly 100 years since the river has been managed under the 1922 Colorado River Compact.
        Because of the laws governing the river, largely influenced by the prior appropriation principle, Arizona would generally be a major loser due to the cutbacks, with some significant exceptions, such as Yuma, whose early heavy use of the water supplies puts it in a favorable position not to have them cut, while Phoenix could be hard hit.
        The seven Basin states must wrestle with whether agriculture or urban living deserves the higher priority. While the farmers have prior use on their side, the urban dwellers have more votes.
        “Las Vegas and other southern Nevada communities draw up to 90% of their water from the Colorado.”
        In general, California would need to cut back less than most of Arizona, due to an agreement reached between the states in 1968.
        Highly agricultural Yuma would lose little of its large allocation of river water.
        “Research shows that a cut of just 4% in certain agricultural areas could increase the water supply by 50% for some cities,” according to Robert Glennon, a professor of law at the University of Arizona.

Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program

Another threat to the availability of fresh water from the Colorado River is contamination, especially salt.
Protecting the Colorado River from the influx of salt from natural, industrial, and agricultural sources is a major concern, and has been for decades. The Colorado organization responsible for this describes itself as follows:
“The Colorado River Water Conservation District (River District) is a public water policy agency chartered by the Colorado General Assembly in 1937 to be ‘the appropriate agency for the conservation, use and development of the water resources of the Colorado River and its principal tributaries in Colorado.’ We are the principal water policy and planning agency for the Colorado River Basin within the State of Colorado and provide legal, technical, and political representation regarding Colorado River issues for our constituents….
Our district is comprised of 15 West Slope counties in which a majority of the Colorado River Basin in the State of Colorado exists.”

Problems associated with elevated levels of salinity include harm to plants, damage to infrastructure, and taste and odor impairments. With other organizations, approximately a million tons of salt per year are prevented from entering the river, an estimated $100 per ton of salt in damage prevented by these activities.


I will be serializing here weekly the Microsoft Word transcription of the final galley proof .pdf copy ot WATER WARS, and the book itself  is most conveniently found at amazon.com  https://www.amazon.com/Water-Wars-Sharing-Colorado-River-ebook/dp/B07VGNLSMX/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=water+wars+by+carter+and+cooper&qid=1577030877&sr=8-1

or at DWC's amazon.com author's book title list https://www.amazon.com/s?k=douglas+winslow+cooper&i=digital-text&ref=nb_sb_noss

UNDERSTANDING SASSIE, Ch. 29, Valerie's Story

Understanding Sassie: A Novel of Dog and Human Communication
ane was in her office working on the unending pile of paperwork. I’m so glad that Mike sent
Donald to me! she thought. He has not only been able to do many of the repairs but has been a kind and compassionate dog walker as well.

Jane noticed that Ruth had begun to work with Donald in ways that made the shelter tasks easier for all the volunteers. Donald and Ruth were constantly in and out of her office bringing updates, as well as laughter. Jane also noticed that a lot of the expenses had decreased since Donald started volunteering. I don’t know how they do it, but I am glad that they are working together here, Ruth thought.

At the farm, Mary had found one of the old family photo albums and was enjoying the memories of times gone by. “Mom, what did you think when you first held me when I was born? I was a first-born child; did you count my toes and have any special thoughts?” Mary asked as she looked at her baby photos.

“You were not my first child,” Mom replied.

Surprised, Mary looked up at her mother and asked, “What did you say?”
Mom was no longer paying any attention to Mary and refused to answer any more questions. “I’m reading” was the only response Mom would give.

Mary looked from the photo album to her mother. Not understanding what she thought her mother had said, she put the album aside and decided to go to the kitchen to prepare a cup of tea. Ruth will be home soon. Maybe she can explain what I thought I heard, Mary decided.

As soon as Ruth came in the door, she was greeted with a happy dance from Sassie and a sister who wanted answers to a confusing question. Ruth was petting Sassie and only half listening to Mary; 

Mary asked, “Did Mom have a baby before me?”

Ruth looked at Mary in disbelief and said, “What did you just say?”

Mary again explained what their mom had said to her. Ruth thought for a minute and said, “Mom has never talked about her early life in New York City.”

Mary replied, “Maybe now is a good time to have her tell us about that time.” Ruth, Sassie, and Mary entered the living room and gently removed the book from her hands.

“Mom, you never told us about your life in New York City. We know you traveled from Europe to America, but why did you come? Who did you meet here? When you married Pop, we know you came to Upper New York State, but why have you never told us your New York City story?” After asking all these questions, Mary sat at Mom’s feet and continued to encourage her to explain.

“It was a painful time,” Mom began, “I wanted to forget all that had happened right after I got to this country. My name on the travel ticket was Valerie. The boat had just landed at Ellis Island.

“It had been arranged that I was to meet a man who would become my husband. I had gotten very sick and was hospitalized as soon as I got off the boat. That man never came to see me but did send word that he had met another woman and was going to marry her. I was too sick to care.

“When I recovered, I had no interest in going back across that ocean. I decided to make a new life for myself here. I became a Nana for a wealthy family. I did enjoy playing with and caring for their children.

“One night I was attacked and raped.

“I never knew who attacked me, but the rape resulted in a pregnancy. Back then it was considered the woman’s fault if she was having a baby without being married.”

Valerie began to cry as she remembered the day the baby was born. “All I knew was that the baby was a boy. I was told that if I told no one about the baby or about the attack, my medical bills would be paid. I had no choice but to agree. They took my baby that day, and I never saw him again. I’ve often wondered about him but was afraid to say anything to anyone.”

Mary and Ruth hugged their mom and tried to comfort her. Mary went to the kitchen and made tea for everyone. When she brought out the tray, there was a batch of sugar-free cookies along with the tea.

“You’re just like Mom!” Ruth announced as she laughed at Mary. “You both always want to use food to soothe away our problems.” They talked for hours, but the result was more questions than answers.


With her permission, I am serializing a chapter a week, on this blog, near-final material from this instructive novel by dog trainer Helen A. Bemis, published by Outskirts Press and available through amazon.com:  UNDERSTANDING SASSIE  

Connect with all Helen A. Bemis books on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/s?k=helen+a.+bemis&ref=nb_sb_noss

I coached and edited for Helen through my Write Your Book with Me endeavor.


What Ever Happened to My White Picket Fence?: My Brain Injury from My Massive Brain Tumor


What Ever Happened to My White Picket Fence?
My Brain Injury from My Massive Brain Tumor

Where Janet’s been in 2018:

Janet Johnson Schliff spoke at the Oblong Books Bookstore in Rhinebeck, NY, on Tuesday, February 6 at 6 p.m.

Janet was on WKNY Radio 1490 in Kingston, NY, on Thursday, March 1 at 9:10 a.m. 

Janet spoke at Barnes & Noble in Kingston, NY, on Saturday, March 3 at 1 p.m. 

Janet spoke at the Starr Library in Rhinebeck, NY, on March 6 at 7 p.m. 

Janet was interviewed by John DeSanto for the Middletown, NY, Times Herald-Record 845 LIFE Feature,  https://www.recordonline.com/news/20180311/845-life-brain-tumor-teaches-retired-teacher-about-life, which appeared on March 11.

Janet spoke at the Golden Notebook Bookstore in Woodstock, NY, on March 17 at 2 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Morton Library in Rhinecliff, NY, on March 28 at 6:30 p.m. 

Janet spoke at RCAL in Kingston, NY, on April 3 at 4 p.m. [They gave her an impromptu book-launch party.]

Janet spoke at the Parkinson's Support Group at the Starr Library in Rhinebeck, NY, on April 4 at 2:30 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Stone Ridge Library in Stone Ridge, NY, on April 27 at 5:30 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Hurley Library in Hurley, NY, on May 4 at 6 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Kingston Library in Kingston, NY, on May 9 at 6 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Staatsburg Library in Staatsburg, NY, on May 14 at 7 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Clinton Community Library in Rhinebeck, NY, on May 31 at 6:30 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Mountain Top Library in Tannersville, NY, on June 9 at 12 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Gardiner Library in Gardiner, NY, on June 11 at 7 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Marbletown Community Center in Stone Ridge, NY, on June 20 at 6 p.m.

Janet was interviewed on radio station WTBQ-FM (93.5) on June 29 at 12 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Esopus Library in Port Ewen, NY, on July 13 at 7 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Pine Plains Library in Pine Plains, NY, on July 20 at 6 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Ulster Library in Kingston, NY, on July 23 at 5:30 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Northern Dutchess Bible Church in Red Hook, NY, on August 11 at 1 p.m.

Janet spoke at a writers' group in Rosendale, NY, on August 30 at 2 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Inquiring Minds Bookstore in New Paltz, NY, on September 6 at 7 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Adriance Library in Poughkeepsie, NY, on September 15 at 2:30 p.m.

Janet was interviewed on radio station WRIP-FM (97.9) on September 21 at 8 a.m.

Janet again spoke at the Mountain Top Library in Tannersville, NY, on September 22 at 12 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Enchanted Cafe in Red Hook, NY, on September 28 at 7 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Hyde Park Library in Hyde Park, NY, on October 4 at 7 p.m.

Janet participated in an Author Weekend at the Barnes & Noble in Poughkeepsie, NY, on October 14 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Tivoli Library in Tivoli, NY, on October 22 at 5:30 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Germantown Library in Germantown, NY, on November 7 at 6 p.m.

Janet’s interview for the TV program Wake Up with Marci on the You Too America Channel aired on Monday, November 5, and Friday, November 9. It is now available on the Internet.

Janet participated in the Red Hook Middle School’s College and Career Cafe in Red Hook, NY,  on December 19 at 10:30 a.m.

BOOK TALKS AND SIGNINGS                            
Where Janet’s been in 2019

Janet spoke at the Poughkeepsie Brain Injury Support Group at the Poughkeepsie Galleria Mall in Poughkeepsie, NY, Saturday, February 23 at 12 p.m. 

Janet spoke at the Stanford Library in Stanfordville, NY, Saturday, March 9 at 10 a.m.

Janet spoke at the Howland Library in Beacon, NY, Wednesday, March 20 at 1 p.m.

Janet spoke at the W. Hurley Library in West Hurley, NY, Saturday, March 23 at 1 p.m.

Janet spoke at the East Fishkill Library in Hopewell Junction, NY, Monday, March 25 at 6:30 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Grinnell Library in Wappingers Falls, NY, Saturday, March 30 at 10:30 a.m.

Janet spoke at the Dover Plains Library in Wingdale, NY, Friday, April 5 at 6 p.m.

Janet participated in an Author Talk at the Saugerties Library in Saugerties, NY, Saturday, April 13 at 1 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Red Hook Community Center in Red Hook, NY, Wednesday, April 24 at 5 p.m.

Janet participated in the Authors’ Event at the New Creations Gift Shop in Fishkill, NY, Saturday, May 4 at 12 p.m.

Janet spoke at St. Timothy's Church in Hyde Park, NY, Sunday, May 5 at 11 a.m.

Janet spoke at the Moffat Library in Washingtonville, NY, Saturday, May 11 at 1 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Beekman Library in Hopewell Junction, NY, Saturday, May 18 at 10:30 a.m.

Janet spoke at the Pleasant Valley Library in Pleasant Valley, NY, Tuesday, May 28 at 6 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Blodgett Library in Fishkill, NY, on Saturday, June 8 at 1 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Westchester Medical Center's "Lunch and Learn" in Valhalla, NY, on Friday, June 14 at 12 p.m. (She has been invited to speak at two more hospitals.)

Janet spoke at the Fishkill Ability Center in Fishkill, NY, on Thursday, July 11, at 11 a.m.

Janet spoke at the Marlboro Library in Marlboro, NY, on Tuesday, July 16, at 7 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Plattekill Library in Modena, NY, on Saturday, July 20, at 1 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Rosendale Senior Center in Rosendale, NY, on Wednesday, July 24, at 2 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Newburgh Library in Newburgh, NY, on Monday, July 29, at 7 p.m.

Janet spoke at the LaGrange Association Library in LaGrange, NY, on Wednesday, September 11, at 6 p.m.

Janet participated in the New Creations Gift Shop Authors’ Event in Fishkill, NY, on Saturday, September 21, at 12 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Sport and Physical Medicine Center’s “Lunch and Learn” in Kingston, NY, on Tuesday, September 24, at 12 p.m. [Continuing Education Units (CEUs) were earned by attendees.]

Janet spoke to the Red Hook High School health classes in Red Hook, NY, on Friday, October 4, throughout the day.

Janet spoke at the Pawling Rec Center for Seniors in Pawling, NY, on Wednesday, October 9, at 12 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Chestertown Library in Chestertown, NY, on Saturday, October 12, at 11 a.m.

Janet spoke at the Bolton Free Library in Bolton Landing , NY, on Tuesday, October 15, at 7 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Office for the Aging in Kingston, NY, on Wednesday, October 23, at 1:30 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Sarah Hull Hallock / Milton Library’s Tea and Talk in Milton, NY, on Friday, November 1, at 3:30 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Northern Dutchess Hospital Acute Rehabilitation Unit in Rhinebeck, NY, on Friday, November 8, at 12 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Journey Support Services in Poughkeepsie, NY, on Monday, November 18, at 12:30 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Woodland Pond Health Center in New Paltz, NY, on Wednesday, December 11 at 2:30 p.m.

More talks are being planned for 2020… contact her at 845.336.7506 (h) or 845.399.1500 (c).                                                   

BOOK TALKS AND SIGNINGS                            
Where Janet’s headed in 2020

Janet will speak at the Sawkill Seniors’ Meeting in Kingston, NY, on Wednesday, February 12 at 1:00 p.m.

Janet will speak to the Red Hook High School health classes in Red Hook, NY, on Tuesday, February 25 throughout the day.

Janet will speak at the Town of Ulster Senior Club in Lake  Katrine, NY, on Thursday, March 26 at 1:00 p.m.

Janet will speak at the Esopus Seniors’ Meeting in Esopus, NY, on Monday, April 20 at 1:00 p.m.

Janet has been invited to speak at more high school health classes, hospitals, senior centers, colleges, libraries, and bookstores. Dates in 2020 to be determined.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Understanding Sassie, Ch. 28, Valerie, Ruth, Mary

Understanding Sassie: A Novel of Dog and Human Communication

assie was glad to see Valerie back home. She doesn’t have that bad smell anymore, Sassie thought, as she lay at Valerie’s feet.

“Millie will be coming to sit with you while I get Mary from the airport,” Ruth explained to her mother.

Valerie smiled and said, “It has been a long time since Mary has visited. It will be good to see her.”

The doorbell rang, and Sassie raced to the door. I think I smell Millie. Maybe she brought Goldie! Sassie thought. When Ruth opened the door, Sassie began to look for Goldie.

“Sorry, Sassie, I left Goldie at home today.” Millie explained. To Ruth she said, “I was afraid that the dogs might play too rough if I brought Goldie.”

Ruth ushered Millie to the living room with a disappointed Sassie following them. “You’re looking good, Valerie,” Millie said. “I bet it feels good to be
home. I brought you the latest book written by your favorite author. I understand it is the best mystery he has written.”

Millie handed the book to Valerie and turned to Ruth, saying, “You’ll want to get started to the airport. It’s always wise to get there before the flight is scheduled to land. I’ll visit with Valerie and Sassie.”

Valerie had already opened the book and had started to read. Millie laughed and added, “Good thing I brought my own book. It looks like it will be a quiet visit.”

Ruth wasted no time getting to the car and heading toward the airport. The airplane was on time. Ruth waved when she spotted Mary. “Welcome home!” Ruth said as she hugged her sister. After collecting Mary’s baggage, they loaded the car and headed to the farm.

“Now, please tell me again about Mom,” Mary requested as they traveled the familiar road home. Ruth told her all about the problems and threat to their mom. Mary thought about the information and could only say, “Who would want to hurt our Mom?”

Ruth replied, “I don’t know. It is good to have you home. Maybe you can help me find the answer to that question.”

At the Animal Control headquarters, Mike was looking at the latest schedule. He had made a copy for Donald and wanted to explain how this schedule would affect his salary. “I’ll have you continue driving as needed. I will guarantee at least ten hours of pay per week, but any extra work will need to be on an as-needed basis.”

Donald replied, “I understand. I may do some volunteer work to keep me busy. I recently sold some New York City property, so I’m not in need of a full-time job at this time.”

Thinking about the Riverview Animal Shelter and their need for volunteers, Mike asked, “What kind of volunteer work are you looking to do?”

Donald replied, “I’m not sure. I do like working with dogs. Do you have any ideas?”

“Yes, I do,” Mike replied. “I know they need volunteers at the Riverview Animal Shelter.”

Donald thought for a minute and said, “That sounds like a good idea. Maybe I will look into that.”


With her permission, I am serializing a chapter a week, on this blog, near-final material from this instructive novel by dog trainer Helen A. Bemis, published by Outskirts Press and available through amazon.com:  UNDERSTANDING SASSIE  

Connect with all Helen A. Bemis books on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/s?k=helen+a.+bemis&ref=nb_sb_noss

I coached and edited for Helen through my Write Your Book with Me endeavor.

WATER WARS, Ch. 3, Water Conflicts

Water Wars: Sharing the Colorado River

A good summary and starting point for the topic “water conflict” is available at Wikipedia. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_conflict].
The right to ownership or access to water resources has been a contributing factor to numerous wars, though rarely the predominant factor. The Pacific Institute, established in 1987, has a detailed chronology of wars involving water access as a trigger, a weapon, or a casualty of the conflict; [https://www.worldwater.org/water-conflict/] the Institute specializes in water resource issues. Its web site is pacinst.org. Its President Emeritus Peter Gleick spoke at the American Geophysical Union’s Centennial Meeting on December 11, 2018, his talk centering on the issue of freshwater sustainability.
Peter Gleick and colleague Charles Iceland in August of 2018 published an issue brief, “Water, Security, and Conflict,” through the World Resources Forum [http://pacinst.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Water-Security-and-Conflict_Aug-2018-2.pdf]. “This paper summarizes our current understanding of water and security threats and their links to conflict, migration, and food insecurity,” they write.


Gleick and Iceland (2018) noted that increasing populations and industrialization along with predicted climate changes threaten freshwater supplies. Water insecurity is “much more likely if governance is weak, infrastructure is inadequate, and institutions are fragile.” Gleick and Iceland list some risk-reducing options:
        putting caps on water usage;
        improving irrigation practices and technology (irrigation being
70% of water withdrawals worldwide);
        planting water-conserving crops;
        “introducing social safety net programs;”
        reducing food loss and waste;
        slowing population growth;
        establishing urban water conservation programs;
        improving water treatment and conservation;
        negotiating watershed agreements;
        updating water information systems;
        investing in water reuse and in water capture by dams, dikes, and levees;
        protecting the forests and wetlands; and
•    strengthening the relevant governance bodies.
They classify the threats as
        diminished water supply or quality
•    increased water demand
        extreme flood events.
They write that analysts are emphasizing now that conflicts arise not only due to political differences, but also to economic, demographic, and social factors somewhat affected by resource constraints.
They cite work by the U.S. Director of the Office of National Intelligence (DNI) to the effect that water issues are not likely to cause war in the next decade but can contribute to tensions that lead to war. “In 2017, the global forcibly displaced populations grew to 68.5 million individuals.” Some of these were displaced by economic conditions that grew out of water resource issues. Population growth is marked in the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa. “More than half the world’s population now lives in urban areas,” putting pressure on the supply of clean water. Predicted and observed environmental change is making water less available.
Water problems can lead to trans-national communication and sometimes conflict.
Droughts hit Somalia, Syria, Russia, Ukraine, and China in the recent past. Other losses have come from contamination and salt water intrusion.
Construction of a major dam by Ethiopia has strained the relationship it has with Egypt. Over-use of certain areas for agriculture can lead to water shortages. A drought in Syria from 2006 to 2011 led to mass migration to the cities, straining the infrastructure and contributing to the outbreak of civil war. Floods in southern Asia in 2017 affected more than 40 million people there.
Governance is strained by water supply emergencies. The same fiveyear drought that precipitated the Syrian civil war was successfully weathered by Jordan and Lebanon.
Water can be a weapon or a casualty in war. ISIS employed the manipulation of the water supplies of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in support of its goals. The Syrian government curtailed water supplies to its enemies. Yemen was hit with destruction of water supply modalities.
The UN Convention on the Law of Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses established standards and best practices. Earlier, a 1977 Geneva Convention set rules and standards for the protection of civilians during military conflict. Agreements have been reached for many multi-nationally shared watersheds, with the significant exception of the Tigris-Euphrates region.
A set of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) has developed a Water, Peace and Security project to advance these causes. Understand, Mobilize, Support, and Dialogue are their four-pronged activities,
The Brief ends with Definitions, Endnotes, Bibliography, and information about the authors and the sponsoring institutions, the World Resource Institute and the Pacific Institute.
A sidebar offers “The Water Conflict Chronology” at the site www. worldwater.org/water-conflict. There is presented an extensive tabulation of 551 conflicts [http://www.worldwater.org/conflict/list/] in which water played an important role. Accompanying this is a map.


Here we list the water conflicts of 2017 (the most recent complete year at our time of writing this) presented in “The Water Conflict Chronology” at the site www.worldwater.org/water-conflict. There is presented an extensive tabulation of 551 conflicts [http://www. worldwater.org/conflict/list/] in which water played an important role. Accompanying this is a map. Here is a summary of just the 2017 conflicts. The chronology’s Headlines are quoted or paraphrased here from the list. We have added the numbers on the left-hand side:
1.      Attack on a local dam in India. Militia fires blanks at crowd.
2.      Water pipeline is damaged in Pakistan. Mistaken for gas pipeline.
3.      Islamic State militants raid Great Manmade River Project pumping station in N. Africa. Provides water to Libyan cities.
4.      Water supply in Damascus, Syria, periodically cut off. These springs supply water to 4 million people.
5.      Groups clash over water shortages in Sehore district, India.
6.      US Coalition vs. ISIS destroys main pipeline to Raqqa, Syria. Damaged by airstrike.
7.      Military action destroys water facilities in Al Mokha, Yemen. Scores of people killed as well.
8.      Groups clash over ecological impact of proposed coal plant. Protestors in and near Dhaka battle about ecosystems and fisheries.
9.      Deadly clashes in Darfur (N. Africa) between farmers and herders over water access. More than 70 killed.
10.   ISIS floods villages east of Aleppo. Water pumped from lake as part of civil war.
11.   Nearly 3 million people left without reliable access to water in the Ukraine. War damage to infrastructure.
12.   Battle in vicinity of Tabqa Dam on the Euphrates River. Dam may have been target of the attack.
13.   11 injured in clashes between farmers and herdsmen over water in the Sudan.
14.   ISIS militants burn water purification plant in Iraq near Mosul.
15.   Two militias fight over underground water storage tank, subSaharan Africa.
16.   Demonstration over clean water turns violent and one protestor is killed, sub-Saharan Africa.
17.   Water well is poisoned in Somalia, killing more than 30 people.
Soldiers were the targets.
18.   Airstrikes in Yemen destroy water and electrical systems.
19.   Farmers and herdsmen fight over water, sub-Saharan Africa.
20.   Water for Bari community in Somalia cut off as part of war.
21.   Protests over water shortages turn violent and damage water storage tanks.
22.   Police and protestors fight during a march against cut-offs of water and electricity, sub-Saharan Africa.
23.   One killed during fighting over access to water by herdsmen and farmers, sub-Saharan Africa.
24.   Airstrikes in Yemen destroy water and electrical facilities in Sanaa and Taizz.
25.   Syrian forces capture Euphrates River water treatment and pumping plants from ISIS.
26.   Demonstration over access to clean water turns violent in Ghana.
27.   Bomb planted at water, oil, and gas pipelines explodes in Iraq.
28.   Water and electrical systems are attacked by coalition forces in Yemen.
29.   Citizens protesting lack of access to water are allegedly beaten and tortured by military in sub-Sahara.
30.   Demonstrations over access to water and over salary disputes turn violent in Yemen.
31.   Fighting in the Sudan between two clans over water ownership leaves six dead.
32.   Airstrikes in Yemen hit water supply systems.
33.   Four killed in class over water access in Darfur, Sudan.
34.   ISIS bomb damages water truck and a tank in Egypt.
35.   Kenyans destroy water pipe going through their community, protesting lack of benefits to them.
36.   Ethiopian troops charged with attacking Somalian water source.
37.   Three Jordanian officials are shot at when trying to prevent the drilling of a water well.
38.   South Africans riot over water shortages.
39.   Coalition forces bomb water and electrical facilities in Yemen.
40.   38 killed, 30 injured in clan vs. clan battle over water and land in South Sudan.
41.   Two killed in battle over water point in Somalia.
42.   Road blocked in Algeria by protestors complaining they receive water only once every 15 days.
43.   Residents fight police in protest in South Africa over access to water.
44.   Persistent attacks on water facility in Eastern Ukraine leave residents without reliable and safe water.
45.   Algerians protest lack of clean water and adequate sanitation.
46.   One million in Yemen affected by cutting of power lines to water supplies.
47.   Two citizen groups in South Africa fight over electrical and water connections alleged to be illegal.
48.   Yemini government forces kill 12 Houthi in battles at two water wells.
49.   Multiple airstrikes hit water facilities in Yemen.
50.   Violent protests occur in Tunisia over water allocations.
51.   Protests over water outages in Sudan turn violent.
52.   Suspected Taliban militants blow up Afghan dam.
53.   Local Algerian government shut down by protests over water cuts.
54.   Al Qaeda militants destroy water tankers.
55.   Violent protests erupt in South Africa over lack of clean water.
56.   Two killed in conflict over water supplies by two Iraqi clans.
57.   Three killed, more injured in protests in Guinea over lack of electricity and clean water.
58.   In Mali, water pumps destroyed in conflict over clean water.
59.   In Yemen, 5 killed, 11 injured in airstrikes on water facilities.
60.   Arrest 10 in Nigeria over protests about inadequate food, water, healthcare.
61.   Kill 10, wound 16 in battle at watering point in South Sudan.
62.   Israeli forces destroy water pipes in Palestine.
63.   South African student protest against water and power outages and fees becomes violent.
64.   Lack of water triggers violent protest in Guinea.
65.   Protest over lack of drinking water turns violent in Morocco.
66.   Protests turn violent over lack of water and power services in Guinea.
67.   Protests about lack of drinking water become violent in Morocco.
68.   Cuts in water and power lead to violence in Guinea.
69.   Algerians block roads protesting lack of drinking water.
70.   Two wounded in Somalian water dispute.
71.   Airstrike hits water and electrical equipment in Yemen.
72.   Students battle police over water and electricity cuts in Guinea.
73.   ISIS diverts water from village in Iraq.
74.   One killed in dispute over well in Somalia.
75.   Militants destroy water well in Kenya.
76.   Airstrike hits water and electricity facilities in Yemen.
77.   Multiple airstrikes hit water and electricity facilities in Yemen.
78.   Somali conflict over water and land kills at least 14.
79.   Violence erupts in queue at water supply station in South Africa.
This serves as a snapshot of conflicts involving water in 2017. Those living in the U.S. have been spared such conflicts recently, partly due to the detailed legal structures available for adjudicating water rights issues. This is particularly true in the Colorado River Basin, where the Law of the River has evolved and will be instrumental in resolving conflicts over water allocation there as demand increases and supply becomes less reliable.
We next examine problems and possible solutions in the U.S. Colorado River Basin.


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