July WaterWorks News: Rate hikes spur opposition, water main causes cave-in, stimulus funds arriving slowly

July 2010 Vol. 65 No. 7
A scene in Gainesville after a water main burst flooded a street and caused a cave-in.

American Rivers called on the Delaware River Basin Commission to ban any shale fracking in the Upper Delaware watershed until a thorough study of impacts is completed and the pollution potential of shale fracking is fully documented and assessed. American Rivers also urged Congress to pass the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act of 2009 and to resist special interest pressures to include federal subsidies of shale fracking for natural gas in upcoming energy legislation.

The entire Upper Delaware River and its watershed are located over a geological formation known as the Marcellus Shale. In order to access the reserves of natural gas in the shale, multinational energy corporations have acquired drilling rights to large tracts of land in the watershed. Two companies, Chesapeake Appalachia and Statoil, have a stated goal of developing 13,500 to 17,000 gas wells in the region in next 20 years.

Energy companies have requested permits to take clean water from the river to mix with over 250 chemicals to make hydraulic fracturing fluid for injection into wells to release the gas. Each well requires between three and five million gallons of water for fracturing.

In 1978, Congress designated roughly 73 miles of the Upper Delaware River between Hancock, NY, and Mill Rift, PA, as one of the original National Wild and Scenic Rivers, and made it a unit of the National Park System. The river is a popular recreation destination. Additionally, several endangered, at-risk, or rare species live in the river and along its banks.

WorkForWater.org offers resources for recruiters, job seekers
The Water Environment Federation (WEF) and the American Water Works Association (AWWA) have launched WorkForWater.org, a collaborative Web site featuring resources for water recruiters, career seekers and students.

The site addresses one of the water community’s top concerns in the coming decade – the expected retirement of 30 percent of the water workforce and the need to recruit new talent to the field. The new Web site is a gateway to many recruiting and retention resources already available throughout North America and beyond. WEF and AWWA are inviting organizations to contribute documents, videos and links that benefit both career seekers and employers.

The site has landing pages for four audiences: high school and vocational school students, college students, second career and retired military job seekers, and advanced science professionals.