Daily Archives: November 21, 2011

Pew Trust versus Flouride Action Network

From my perspective, the Pew Trust historically funds studies and takes positions for political activism (e.g., global warming) or political expediency, rather than seeking to ensure scientific integrity. This raises red flags in my mind.

The Pew Trust supports fluoridation (click here)……so communities should consider the alternative perspective offered by the Fluoride Action Network (click here) before making a decision for or against fluoridation.

Who should be responsible for ensuring dental health? Government? or Parents and individual citizens?

Budget Update: Supercommittee, Superfailure, as predicted

Even for the political novice, it is clear that the idea that a supercommittee was going to agree on $1.2 trillion deficit reduction over 10 years was pure fantasy. This was a process designed to fail, so that the incumbent can blame the opposition in hopes of bolstering reelection. (Click here for prior post.)

The so called deficit reduction was not a real deficite reduction at all….just a reduction in spending. In addition, debt this year alone is greater than this amount…..so even if the committee could agree it gets us nowhere…..

Why a republican lead House of Representatives  and the Senate minority leader would agree to this process at all is completely beyond rationality….It is easy to see why the President and Senate leader like what is going on……they got their federal debt increase, have just about spent all of it to make government bigger, and now can blame the republicans for the failure…..or can they?  Get those ballots ready…time to vote the spenders (democrat and republican) out….

Click here for news coverage.


California State University, Fresno: Agricultural Water Use in California: A 2011 Update

Important findings of this study include:

  • The estimated potential new water from agricultural water use efficiency is 1.3% of the current amount used by the state’s farmers – about 330,000 acre‐feet per year.
  • Groundwater overdraft of about 2 million acre‐feet per year continues to be a serious problem in certain regions of California because of inconsistent and uncertain surface water supplies.
  • Changes in irrigation practices, such as switching from flood irrigation to drip, have the effect of rerouting flows within a region (or basin), but generally do not create new water outside of the basin.
  • Previous reallocations of agricultural water supplies for environmental purposes represent at least 5% of farm water diversions depending on water year.
  • On‐farm water conservation efforts can affect downstream water distribution patterns, with potential impacts on plants and animals, recreation, as well as human and industrial consumptive uses.

Click here for the full study.

American States Water Company seeks water rate increase for Orange County, CA

A 29 percent water rate increase started this year. A 24 percent rate increase has been requested for 2013, and 3 percent for 2014 and 2015. Water rate increases will be the norm going forward regardless of whether the water system is publicly or privately owned.

Click here for more.

Bundschuh et al 2011: One century of arsenic exposure in Latin America: A review of history and occurrence from 14 countries

J. Bundschuh, M.I. Litter, F. Parvez, G. Roman-Ross, H.B. Nicolli, J.S. Jean, C.W. Liu, D. Lopez, M.A. Armienta, L.R. Guilherme, A.G. Cuevas, L. Cornejo, L. Cumbal, and R. Toujaguez.  One century of arsenic exposure in Latin America: A review of history and occurrence from 14 countries. Science of the Total Environment. 2011 Sep 17.

Abstract: The global impact on public health of elevated arsenic (As) in water supplies is highlighted by an increasing number of countries worldwide reporting high As concentrations in drinking water. In Latin America, the problem of As contamination in water is known in 14 out of 20 countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru and Uruguay. Considering the 10μg/L limit for As in drinking water established by international and several national agencies, the number of exposed people is estimated to be about 14million. Health effects of As exposure were identified for the first time already in the 1910s in Bellville (Córdoba province, Argentina). Nevertheless, contamination of As in waters has been detected in 10 Latin American countries only within the last 10 to 15years. Arsenic is mobilized predominantly from young volcanic rocks and their weathering products. In alluvial aquifers, which are water sources frequently used for water supply, desorption of As from metal oxyhydroxides at high pH (>8) is the predominant mobility control; redox conditions are moderate reducing to oxidizing and As(V) is the predominant species. In the Andes, the Middle American cordillera and the Transmexican Volcanic Belt, oxidation of sulfide minerals is the primary As mobilization process. Rivers that originate in the Andean mountains, transport As to more densely populated areas in the lowlands (e.g. Rímac river in Peru, Pilcomayo river in Bolivia/Argentina/Paraguay). In many parts of Latin America, As often occurs together with F and B; in the Chaco-Pampean plain As is found additionally with V, Mo and U whereas in areas with sulfide ore deposits As often occurs together with heavy metals. These co-occurrences and the anthropogenic activities in mining areas that enhance the mobilization of As and other pollutants make more dramatic the environmental problem.

Click here to obtain the article (fee).