Daily Bread for 1.21.24: Water Quality on Mississippi River Improving

 Good morning.

Sunday in Whitewater will be mostly sunny with a high of 17. Sunrise is 7:18 and sunset 4:53 for 9h 35m 18s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 84.2% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1960, Little Joe 1B, a Mercury spacecraft, lifts off from Wallops Island, Virginia with Miss Sam, a female rhesus monkey on board.

Some good news about — literally on and in — the Upper Mississippi: Hope Kirwan reports Water quality on Mississippi River ‘improving, with a ways to go’ (Report looks at contamination levels, other water quality measures over last three decades’).  Kirwan writes 

Water quality on the upper Mississippi River has largely improved over the last 30 years, but action is needed to address different contaminants than those seen in previous decades.

That’s the takeaway from a new water quality report by the Upper Mississippi River Basin Association, or UMRBA, which represents Wisconsin and four other states.

The same report was first completed in 1989, when the river was largely polluted around urban areas, according to UMRBA’s executive director Kirsten Wallace.

She said this year’s version highlights the impact from years of work to reduce contamination from wastewater treatment plants, agricultural land and other sources throughout the river basin.

“We’re seeing declining trends in total (sediment and algae), metals and particles that attach to the sediment like phosphorus,” Wallace said. “So that all has been good.”

But Wallace said the monitoring data, collected from sites along the river between 1989 and 2018, shows there are some pollutants that have increased in the last three decades.

Levels of nitrogen, a nutrient that often comes from runoff of farm fields and other lands, have increased in the section of the river along Wisconsin.

Emphasis added. 

See also Upper Mississippi River Basin Association’s 2023 How Clean is the River? Report and 2023 How Clean is the River? Executive Summary.

A community that expects beneficial development keeps harmful waste to a minimum, exports its waste to places where it cannot harm other humans or animals, and does not import others’ harmful waste into its borders.  Three times since FREE WHITEWATER began publishing officials in this city’s government have recklessly considered plans to bring others’ waste into this city. Each plan was, at last, sensibly abandoned when repeated studies showed the impracticality of the plan (while not addressing all of the obvious environmental risks to Whitewater’s residents). 

If there should one day be a fourth effort, then it will fare no better than the last three. 

Penguin selfie offers bird’s eye view:

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