As an aquifer declines, farmers hope for water promised 80 years ago.
LAST SUMMER as we stood in the middle of Brad Bailie’s onion fields just north of Connell, the discussion, as discussions seem to do in the Columbia Basin, turned to water.
Bailie ’95 pumps irrigation water from a well drilled down 800 feet. Neighbors have pushed wells down to 2,000 feet. At such depths, the water is often laden with salts and minerals. After a while of irrigating with this water, a crust can form over the soil surface. Farmers must use a variety of means to break up the crust, including … » More …
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 …
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 …
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 …
Soap Lake is surrounded by dark shores, sheer rock walls, a primeval
landscape. Its waters have long been thought by some to cure certain
maladies. It is also home to strange, hardy organisms that live nowhere
else. » More ...
Willapa Bay is the largest estuary between San Francisco and Puget
Sound. It boasts one of the least-spoiled environments and the
healthiest salmon runs south of Canada. It produces one in every four
oysters farmed in the United States and is a favorite stop for tens of
thousands of migratory birds. And it's in trouble. » More ...
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 …
Among locals, you occasionally hear the word "wasteland" used to
describe sagebrush-studded lands that biologists prefer to call native
shrub steppe. It's impossible to take such a harsh view when Robert Kent is your guide to the Columbia Basin Wildlife Areas. » More ...