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Water

Fall 2003

Summer busy time for Canadian canoe and kayak executive

Surrounded as she is by an inventory of 600 canoes and kayaks, one would think Pamela Robertson spends her summers on the water near her Waverley, Nova Scotia home.

She’d love to. But as vice president of Old Creel Canoe & Kayak Inc., she’s too busy. The Halifax-based company supplies 36 outlets and outfitting operations in Canada’s four Atlantic provinces-New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island.

“You’re working so hard from April through September,” she says, “you don’t have time to paddle yourself.”

The pleasant Canadian with short, black hair and rimless glasses earned a master’s degree in home economics at Washington State … » More …

Summer 2003

Emerald winters, brown summers

How dry it is! Understanding the summer climate west of the Cascades baffles lots of residents. The “emerald green” attitude extends to believing that summer months wrap themselves in rain and mist just as winter does. However, our “modified Mediterranean” climate makes water planning as important in Seattle as it is in Spokane.

Summer of 2002 brought only 4.6 inches of rain at Sea-Tac (May 1 through November 1). September and October, usually good planting months, totaled only 1.08 inches combined. Another way to get perspective on this summer rainfall total-just imagine you’ve planted hybrid rhododendrons in April. They require about an inch per week, … » More …

Spring 2004

Bridges, docks, and dams

Some of General Construction’s best work is under water

Ron Morford was only 19 when he built his first house. A quarter century later, he’s still in construction-only on a much larger scale. The president and district manager of General Construction Co. oversees projects in Washington, Oregon, California, and Alaska. Annual contracts total between $150 million and $200 million, making it one of the largest construction companies in Washington. The payroll includes 130 salaried staff, plus 400 to 500 laborers and craftsmen.

According to Morford, marine and heavy civil construction accounts for the bulk of the business. He lives on Bainbridge Island, not far from … » More …

Spring 2005

Those wasted five gallons

As Americans, we freely water large, green lawns and take showers daily, using on average 100 gallons of water a day. We pay a fraction of a cent per gallon for water out of the tap, while a gallon of gasoline costs $2. Yet life cannot exist without water.

 ”Water is undervalued,” says Jim Clark (’75 B.S. Civil Engr.; ’76 M.S., Civil Engr.). “Whether it’s water in a stream or water going down a sewer, it’s all a valuable resource. I’d like people to think about that and consider that it is.”

Clark lectured a group of civil and environmental engineering faculty and students while … » More …

Fall 2008

What lies beneath – Pullman and its water

Financial hardship, fires, and spring floods: In 1890 the community of Pullman was in desperate need of some good news. A hungry blaze had leveled the city’s newly rebuilt commercial district only three years after it first burned to the ground in 1887.

Then on May 24, 1890 word got out that a “gusher” had been struck. Fifty gallons of water per minute rushed up to the surface where contractors had been drilling a well for the Palace Hotel. They had accidentally discovered an artesian source, a well under pressure that once tapped was forcing water up. It was the turning point for an early … » More …