Thursday, October 19, 2017

Aquifer Recharge Field Trip, Saturday 10/21, 10AM

Celebration of Our Mountains and El Paso Water have scheduled a very valuable field trip this Saturday at 10 AM. Recharging our aquifers is vital for our water supply and for our survival as a city in the Chihuahuan Desert. You will see a critical strategy that El Paso Water uses to recharge the aquifers.

Saturday, October 21, 2017, 10:00 AM
Aquifer Recharge Field Trip

Learn more about El Paso Water’s pioneering efforts to clean wastewater to drinking-water quality standards. EP Water has been using reclaimed water to recharge the Hueco Bolson Aquifer for decades. Hear more about water reclamation from Scott Reinert, El Paso Water’s water resources engineer. Meet at Painted Dunes Golf Club, 12000 McCombs St., inside the restaurant for orientation. Participants will caravan for a short drive to the recharge basins. Expect minimal walking during this 1.5-hour field trip. Bring comfortable shoes, water and a hat.

For more information, contact Scott Reinert, 915-253-2004,

Celebration of Our Mountains on Facebook

El Paso Water on Facebook

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Liz Walsh begins the Kevin Von Finger Speakers Series 10/24/17 at 7PM

Click image to enlarge.

Liz Walsh's talk this coming Thursday inaugurates the 2017-2018 Kevin Von Finger Speakers Series sponsored by the El Paso Group Sierra Club.

The series is named after the late Sierran and ecologist, Kevin von Finger.

October 24, 2017: "What's in a hueco?" - Liz Walsh

November 28, 2017: "Climate change and regional sustainability" - Deanna Pennington

January 23, 2018: "Trash and Recycling 101" - Ellen Smyth

February 27, 2018: "Creating Habitat for Burrowing Owls in El Paso" - Lois Balin
March 27, 2018: "Dude, come on, wolves need a decent life" - Rick LoBello

April 24, 2018: "The role of utilities in renewable energy and sustainability" - El Paso Electric

May 22, 2018: "The ecological and environmental consequences of the 'Wall'" - Paul Hyder

All talks are held on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 7PM at the Centennial Museum at UTEP.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Sustainable, Reliable Water

I and my neighbors have been watching the construction of a "mammoth" water tower in our neighborhood. Those of us who live on the mountain side of Austin High School, now see the tower loom over that school. The cool video above was posted on the El Paso Water Facebook page on October 2nd. It tells how these new towers will make water more sustainable and reliable. (How do the people working inside get out?)

El Paso Water's Communications and Marketing, Christina Montoya, sent these factoids to me:

Additional water tanks in specific areas will allow EPWater to meet water demands when some parts of the system may be down in emergency situations.

o   In 2011, frozen equipment and hundreds of broken water pipes caused water tanks to be emptied faster than they could be filled.
o   These tanks will give us the flexibility to move water where it is needed most.
o   These and other improvements will make EPWater more resilient in a power outage or a weather emergency.

Three new water tank projects will accommodate growth in key areas.

o   Memphis Tank will hold 2.5 million gallons of water in Central El Paso
o   Airport Tank holds 4.4 million gallons in the Lower Valley – completed
o   Ventanas Tank will hold 2 million gallons in the far east - completed

EPWater is highlighting these crucial projects to highlight investments needed in infrastructure

o   Water infrastructure is often out of sight and out of mind so it is hard for customers to appreciate and understand it.
o   Investment in water infrastructure is crucial to maintain essential services and ensure public safety.

o   Projects like this are a big part of our efforts to provide reliable water service.

The graphics below show you just how these new tanks work. Just click on them or the title to enlarge.

Thank you, El Paso Water!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Some FYIs

Hat tip to Judy Ackerman for sending me a link to an El Paso Times story, Bats are the overlooked wonders of our desert. Last June, Celebration of Our Mountains had a special bat watching event. Someone who follows the COM Facebook page just a day ago asked whether there would be another bat event. COM is ready. Hopefully Judy and Urban Biologist, Lois Balin, will repeat the bat watch next summer. 

Check out the concept being used in this store in Cape Town (a bit out of the way). It's a zero waste store called Nude Foods. Might be a good idea to start pushing that idea here. Read 10 Ways to Adopt a Zero Waste Lifestyle

Finally, here is a commercial site selling fermentation kits. I saw it on Facebook and it looks interesting. Bon appetit.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

2 Things to look at today

Painted Lady Butterfly by Liz DeMoultrie

Some of our environmental clubs produce some good newsletters. At the top of my list is The Areole, edited by Ad Konings. It's the newsletter for the El Paso Cactus and Rock Club. The letter is good science, good news and good fun. The photography is beautiful. Read the recent issue HERE. Ask the editor to be put on the mailing list. EPCRC also has a Facebook page.

Next you have got to join, get notified and share the posts at Share El Paso-Plants and Animals. Liz DeMoultrie's photos are priceless. I swiped one for use with this post above. Follow the posted videos to their original sites.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Just the Science Please

This past week a friend of mine who is a Civil Engineer traveled with his wife to Washington D.C. for a climate change conference. He chose to go to this conference to fulfill a City of El Paso requirement for doing new urbanism projects. Fortunately for them, they enjoy visiting D.C. and Alexandria, VA.

The conference was supposed to be focused on climate change and new urbanism. Fine and dandy. The problem was that it became a pretext for pontificating about a number of what can be considered "left-wing" issues: diversity, racial justice, I-Hate-Trump and so forth. Agree or disagree with the political positions the panelists took, they strayed from the purpose of the meeting. There was no presentation of the science of climate change, the data, the measurements, the predictions, etc. Bottom line: it was a farce.

My friend is not anti-environmental. He cares but challenges whether political solutions can ever match market place economics when it comes to addressing environmental problems. 

As an environmentalist (I'm not a scientist - I've just been an activist) I agree that we should stick to the facts, stick to the science. Certainly there are a number of social and political problems that ought to be addressed and there will always be a number of opinions on how we should deal with those problems. However, mixing our political opinions with science is just not scientific. It turns a pursuit for the truth into a tool for demagogues. It becomes opinion and not a theoretical position based on our observations and measurements. 

Environmentalism would be better served by sticking to the science.