News Briefs: Weeklong Wastewater Spill Into Florida's Oleta River Now Contained

Also in this week's water and wastewater news, a geography research team develops a highly accurate global map that could predict future floods

A 1.6 million gallon spill of untreated wastewater into Miami-Dade, Florida’s Oleta River has been contained, according to officials. The leak originated from a ruptured pipe 12 feet underground.

The leak was first noticed by a kayaker, and it eventually led to a no-swim advisory in the area. The leak was finally patched a week later using a device to collect wastewater from the leak and reroute it to the sewer system.

The city couldn’t close off that sewer line because it would have affected wastewater services for thousands of residents, say officials.

New York Communities to Divide $10 Million in Drinking Water Funds

In New York state, 18 communities will divide $10 million in state funding earmarked for lead service line replacements, according to Associated Press.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the projects are part of a larger $2.5 billion effort to improve water systems in the state.

Some of the cities accepting the funds, according to AP, were Hudson, Oswego, Yonkers and Plattsburgh.

Geography Team Produces Map That Could Predict Future Floods

A Texas A&M University geography professor is part of a team that has produced what could be the most accurate global map of freshwater hydrography ever made – so precise it could be used to predict future flooding events across the world.

Dr. George Allen, an assistant professor in the Department of Geography at Texas A&M, and colleagues have had their work published in Water Resources Research.

The team created the new global map, called MERIT Hydro, which used complex computer algorithms to determine the shape of millions of Earth’s rivers, lakes and canals. MERIT Hydro also provides a hydrologically-consistent map of Earth’s topography. The team was led by Dr. Dai Yamazaki at the University of Tokyo.

“We believe this map is the most accurate representation of Earth’s hydrography to date,” Allen says. “It is the new state-of-the-art base layer dataset for hydrologic applications. As Earth’s climate changes, we expect that the intensity of rainfall events will change as well. To be able to translate predicted changes in global rainfall intensity to global changes of flood hazard, hydrologists need highly accurate maps of Earth’s land elevation and hydrologic features.”

Federal Officials Announce Long-Term Drought Resilience Document

Senior federal officials recently participated in the Second National Drought Forum where they announced Priority Actions Supporting Long-Term Drought Resilience. This document outlines key ways in which federal agencies support state, tribal and local efforts to protect the security of our food supply, the integrity of critical infrastructure, the resilience of our economy, and the health and safety of our people and ecosystems.

The document was developed by the National Drought Resilience Partnership, a federal collaborative formed to promote long-term drought resilience nationwide. 


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