Today, the North East Biosolids and Residuals Association (NEBRA) unveiled a new website that provides updated data on anaerobic digestion and biogas production at wastewater treatment facilities across the United States. The website, www.biogasdata.org, provides policymakers, market analysts, project developers, and water quality professionals with key information about the potential for biogas production as a renewable fuel. Biogas can be used in place of natural gas in boilers and engines to produce heat and electricity. [Read more]

From the October IcmaRC Employer Bulletin:

A brief, “Local Government Employment, Benefits, and Retirement Issues”, recently released by ICMA-RC and the Center for State and Local Government Excellence (SLGE), found that one-third of human resource executives made changes to the retirement plans they offer to employees within the past 12 months.1 [Read more]

Matt Bond and Jim Clark

WEF Honorary membership recognizes individuals who have proven their preeminence in the fields of activity encompassed by Water Environment Federation objectives. We are happy to announce that CWEA member Jim Clark has been awarded this special honor. Congratulations Jim!

A new consumer survey conducted by GE (Schenectady, NY) indicates that two-thirds of Americans feel positive about water reuse. The survey of 3000 consumers in the U.S., China, and Singapore found that Americans certainly support “toilet to turf.” The survey also reports that Americans also think that industry and government should play a stronger role in making water reuse a priority. The survey found that 44% of people would pay up to 12% more right now to ensure that future generations would be less vulnerable to water shortages. The report notes this as a significant finding, considering that 36 U.S. states face water shortages in the coming year, and by 2025, two-thirds of the world’s population—or 5.3 billion people—will be vulnerable to water shortages. [Read more]

Two California scientists – James E. Cloern and Alan D. Jassby – published a new paper in Review of Geophysics which reviews changes in the San Francisco Bay. Using monitoring data from the last 40 years, the authors describe 6 key drivers of change in the estuary and make the case for the value of ongoing monitoring efforts of it and other natural systems.

Abstract
Poised at the interface of rivers, ocean, atmosphere and dense human settlement, estuaries are driven by a large array of natural and anthropogenic forces. San Francisco Bay exemplifies the fast-paced change occurring in many of the world’s estuaries, bays, and inland seas in response to these diverse forces. We use observations from this particularly well-studied estuary to illustrate responses to six drivers that are common agents of change where land and sea meet: water consumption and diversion, human modification of sediment supply, introduction of nonnative species, sewage input, environmental policy, and climate shifts. In San Francisco Bay, responses to these drivers include, respectively, shifts in the timing and extent of freshwater inflow and salinity intrusion, decreasing turbidity, restructuring of plankton communities, nutrient enrichment, elimination of hypoxia and reduced metal contamination of biota, and food web changes that decrease resistance of the estuary to nutrient pollution. Detection of these changes and discovery of their causes through environmental monitoring have been essential for establishing and measuring outcomes of environmental policies that aim to maintain high water quality and sustain services provided by estuarine-coastal ecosystems. The many time scales of variability and the multiplicity of interacting drivers place heavy demands on estuarine monitoring programs, but the San Francisco Bay case study illustrates why the imperative for monitoring has never been greater.

Read the paper