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The Horinko Group's Newsletter: Sustainabulletin

September 2013 — In this month's bulletin...

leafEPA Proposes Regulatory Clarifications to Water Quality Standards

ACEEE Conference on Energy Efficiency as a Resource

A Case for an Incremental Adaptive Management Approach to Ecosystem Restoration and Resiliency

The Horinko Group's April 2012 Salon



Description: EPA Picture

Source: EPA

In an ongoing effort to assure effective implementation of the Water Quality Standards (WQS) established under the Clean Water Act (CWA), EPA published a proposed rule for public comment in the Federal Register on September 4, 2013.  The proposed revisions would require states and tribes to obtain Administrator or appropriately delegated approval authority for the anti–degradation methods used to protect water quality.  EPA is accepting comments for this proposed structure and an alternative whereby states and tribes may opt out of a formal review.  Beyond Administrator approval for new or revised WQS, the FR proposed rules address designated uses, triennial reviews, anti–degradation, variances to WQS, and compliance schedule authorizing provisions.  The comment period will remain open until December 3, 2013.

To see the full FR notice, visit


Description: EPA Green Infrastructure

Source: EPA

EPA recently announced a joint $3.4 million investment by EPA, the State of Maryland, and the Chesapeake Bay Trust to enable an expansion of the Green Streets, Green Towns, Green Jobs Initiative (G3).  Administered by the Chesapeake Bay Trust, the program aims to support President Obama’s Executive Order for Protecting and Restoring the Chesapeake Bay. 

The central function of the G3 initiative is to help municipalities and nonprofits with projects to add green space and green infrastructure.  These projects would reduce stormwater runoff, increase tree cover, capture and filter rainwater, and improve watershed protection, community livability, and economic vitality. 

To read the full EPA press release, visit


Description: USACE.png

Source: Water in the West Report

Water in the West, a Stanford University partnership between the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and the Bill Lane Center for the American West, published a literature review in August on the water and energy nexus.  The review uses a water–energy life cycle approach to study related literature from the academic, government, and nonprofit sectors in order to evaluate the current state in the water–energy research field.  It covers research on energy used in the processes of water extraction, conveyance, treatment, and distribution, as well as water use in energy activities such as natural gas extraction, thermoelectric generation, and biofuel transportation.

To see the full literature review, visit


Description: USACE.png

Source: EDF

(EDF) Conventional electricity sources, like coal, natural gas and nuclear power plants, require an abundance of water — about 190 billion gallons per day.  Because the majority of our electricity comes from these sources, high energy use strains the water system and contributes to Texas’ prolonged drought.  Coincidentally, extreme drought could force power plants to shut down.  Climate change is having a profound effect on our weather patterns, making extreme heat and drought more common in Texas and throughout the Southwest.  If we don’t set the energy–water system on a sustainable course, we risk a compounded problem.  Finding a solution will require unconventional cooperation and swift action.  To reduce the water footprint of our energy sources, the water consumption of electricity sources should be an integral part of long–term electricity planning, and be reflected in competitive electricity markets.

To read this article in its entirety, visit


Cargill shipping barge; Source: Star Tribune

Source: 2030 WRG Report

In August 2013, the 2030 Water Resources Group published a new report cataloguing cases of smart water management in water scarce environments around the world.  The document aims to, “report and catalogue examples, expertise, advice and innovations in water demand and supply management improvement across key sectors and technologies.”  By illustrating the many drivers, interventions and implementation paths to confront water scarcity on a case–by–case basis, the 2030 Water Resources Group intends that the document may serve as a tool for decision makers and a focal point for action around water scarcity.  The case studies are divided by sector and include agricultural, industrial, and municipal examples.

To read the full report, visit


Cargill shipping barge; Source: Star Tribune

Source: Associated Press

(Houston Chronicle) The use of one precious fluid — water — to recover another — oil — chafes in dry country.  Rivers and groundwater are receding in Texas for lack of rain and over–pumping just when the demand for water in new oil and gas fields is growing.  Now one exploration and production company in San Antonio is fracturing its wells mostly without water, using gas liquids instead, in a practice that’s beginning to spread.  BlackBrush Oil & Gas LP is using a butane–rich mix for fracking after being confounded by many of the same obstacles other energy companies face in buying, moving and disposing of large amounts of water.

To view the full report, visit


ACEEE Conference on Energy Efficiency as a Resource
September 22-24, 2013 | Nashville, TN | Registration

MEDGEO2013 Conference

The American Council for an Energy–Efficient Economy will host the Conference on Energy Efficiency as a Resource, bringing together an array of energy industry stakeholders and experts.  Given growing costs of power plant construction, volatile fuel costs, environmental compliance costs, and calls to address global warming, energy efficiency is a key solution to each of these challenges.  The conference will focus on issues related to utility–sector energy efficiency policies and programs.

For additional information, visit

Chesapeake Watershed Forum
September 27-29, 2013 | Shepherdstown, WV | Registration

MEDGEO2013 Conference

This year’s Chesapeake Watershed Forum, hosted by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, is titled Beyond BMP’s: Strategies for a Restored and Sustainable Chesapeake Watershed.  The forum will be composed of seven different tracks covering all aspects of restoration, conservation, regulation, communication, and outreach through workshops, panel discussions and keynote speakers.

For additional information, visit

Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference
October 5-9, 2013 | Chicago, IL | Registration

WateReuse SymposiumThe annual Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference, or WEFTEC, will run this October for the 86th time, offering water quality professionals education, training, and access to the most cutting–edge technologies in the field.  Conference attendees can design their own learning experience from the expansive array of water and wastewater issues that will be covered including collection systems, resource recovery, plant operations, regulations, stormwater management, and water recycling, to name just a few.

For additional information, visit

Forum on Natural Gas Production and Climate Change
October 8, 2013 | Washington, DC | Registration

WateReuse SymposiumThe Forum on Natural Gas Production and Climate Change, organized by the Bipartisan Policy Center and hosted by former U.S. Senator Pete Domenici will examine the question: “how will expanded natural gas production affect climate change mitigation?”  Discussion will consider whether natural gas and low carbon energy technologies can play complementary roles in the global transition to cleaner energy sources.  Particular consideration will be given to the scientific and technological prospects for natural gas and other low carbon technologies, near– and long–term impacts on greenhouse gas reduction, economic alternatives for deploying them, and policy lessons from abroad.

For additional information, visit

NGWA Conference on Groundwater and Food Production
October 10-11, 2013 | Dallas, TX | Registration

WateReuse Symposium

The National Groundwater Association’s Groundwater and Food Production Conference will explore potential solutions to the question: “how will we use new and existing tools and technology to plan, manage, protect, and allocate increasingly stressed groundwater resources to provide adequate food and drinking water supplies to nourish more than seven billion people as we move through the 21st century?”  Areas explored will include agricultural policy, aquaculture, drought implications, groundwater conservation, and responsible land use planning.

For additional information, visit

Annual Water Resources Conference
November 4-7, 2013 | Portland, OR | Registration

SER2013 World ConferenceThe American Water Resources Association’s 48th annual Water Resources Conference will cover physical, chemical, economic, biological, social, geological, legal, hydrological, political, and cultural aspects of water resources.  An anticipated 500 water resource professionals will convene for oral and poster presentations, field trips, workshops and large plenary sessions covering all facets of water resources.

For additional information, visit


WRAP to Exhibit at J Street Conference

By: The Water Resources Action Project

J Street Conferene

The Water Resources Action Project (WRAP) will join dozens of organizations and hundreds of individuals for the fourth National J Street Conference that runs from September 28 — October 1, 2013 in Washington, DC.  The conference brings together pro–peace advocates providing participants with the opportunity to hear from world class experts about developments in the region, strategize with innovators and activists working to solve the conflict, and connect with other committed supporters.  This year the conference is titled, “Our Time to Lead” and features an incredible array of speakers.

WRAP will be exhibiting at the conference to share its story and vision for the future.  WRAP has successfully installed rainwater–harvesting systems at two schools in East Jerusalem and one in the West Bank.  The harvesting systems collect and store precious rainwater during the six–month rainy season.  The collected water is used primarily for toilet flushing and can provide up to 70% of a school’s total water needs.  Each project includes a parallel educational component and routine maintenance.  Thus far, in a very short time completed, the projects have already conserved over 180,000 liters of rainwater benefiting over 1,200 students.

To read the remainder of In the Spotlight, visit


A Case for an Incremental Adaptive Management Approach to Ecosystem Restoration and Resiliency (EXCERPT)

Patrick S. McGinnis

Patrick S. McGinnis
Senior Advisor for Water Resources, The Horinko Group

Excerpt from: A Case for an Incremental Adaptive Management Approach to Ecosystem Restoration and Resiliency

By: Patrick S. McGinnis, Senior Advisor for Water Resources, The Horinko Group

THG’s Senior Advisor for Water Resources, Pat McGinnis, was invited to participate in a panel at the 5th National Ecosystem Restoration Conference last month in Chicago.  The panel entitled, “Community Approaches Among Successful Regional Ecosystem Management Initiatives,” was moderated by colleague, Mark Gorman, Policy Analyst at the Northeast-Midwest Institute.  Due to an emergency dental procedure, Mr. McGinnis was forced to cancel his presentation, but has furnished his written remarks prepared in advance of the conference, which we are pleased to share with our newsletter followers…

I want to begin by reflecting on a piece that appeared ten years ago published by the American Society of Ecology entitled, “Sustaining Healthy Freshwater Systems.”

The authors tell us in our pursuit of water for cities, farms, and industry, we are largely ignoring or at least failing to adequately protect the benefits of water that remains in–stream to sustain healthy aquatic ecosystems.

They offer three observations, which I believe are still relevant to ecosystem restoration considerations today…