The Huron at Delhi in the Fall

This edition of News to Us focuses on a number of issues that are affecting the Huron River, from stormwater runoff to septic system failure. Learn about the growing global importance of the Great Lakes, as well as an important connection between water and energy.

Assessing the health of Michigan’s rivers and inland waters — HRWC’s executive director Laura Rubin talks with Michelle Nelson on Michigan Radio’s Stateside with Cynthia Canty. Rubin explains how urban pollution has become the main danger to the health of our rivers and lakes, but remains positive that both economic and environmental interests can be met in protecting our natural resources.

Ann Arbor Wastewater Treatment staff evaluating operations after 10K gallon raw sewage spill — A big storm on June 27 not only overflowed Ann Arbor’s streets, but also its Wastewater Treatment Plant, sending 10,000 gallons of untreated sewage into the Huron River. While staff responded quickly, preventing a larger spill, the plant is currently evaluating its operations as a result.

Thousands of failed septic tanks threaten Michigan’s waters — Researchers from Michigan State University recently found high levels of genetic markers of human waste in many of Michigan’s rivers, including our own Huron. They say that a significant contributor is failing septic systems present throughout the state. HRWC is working on a Failing Septic Identification project to explore ways to save money, and protect home and freshwater resources.

Great Lakes ‘ground zero’ for water needs — As climates change and freshwater vanishes throughout the world, the Great Lakes are becoming an invaluable global resource. Water supplies and food production may become a huge part of Michigan’s future economy.

Research Gaps in Understanding the Connection between Water and Energy Identified in New AWE/ACEE Report — The Alliance for Water Efficiency is looking to accelerate collaborative and integrated approaches to managing water and energy resources. This report identifies specific recommendations for future opportunities, calling out priority research areas. Learn about the water energy nexus through HRWC’s Saving Water Saves Energy Project. AWE is an important resource for HRWC’s efforts.

Anti-biodiversity SB 78: Michigan scientists (133 of ’em!) poised to tell Gov. Snyder it is “against the best advice” of state’s academic efforts — Michigan Senator Tom Casperson has recently sponsored SB 78, legislation that would redefine the term “biodiversity” as well as prohibit the designation of public lands in order to conserve that diversity. This would effectively strip power away from our state agencies that have helped to protect our abundant natural resources — including our freshwater.

Tip-toeing around climate change at the state capitol — Bridge magazine reports on current climate change issues within the state of Michigan and what our legislators are doing about it, with an entire issue dedicated to the topic.