Monday, October 31, 2011

Episode 86 (October 31, 2011): High-water Mark Sign Dedication for New River at Radford

Click to listen to episode (3:34).

Please see below (after the transcript and show notes) for links to news and upcoming events.

TRANSCRIPT

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of October 31, 2011.  This week’s somewhat-longer episode features comments from an October 18 ceremony unveiling a record high-water marker for the New River at Radford.  The comments are by Richard Harshberger, vice-mayor of the City of Radford; Anthony Phillips, who donated the Radford high-water marker; Dave Wert, meteorologist-in-charge at the National Weather Service’s Blacksburg office; and Peter Corrigan, service hydrologist at Blacksburg office.  Have a listen for about two minutes. 

[Richard Harshberger:] “Good morning.  On behalf of the City of Radford, I’m honored and pleased to receive the second high-water-mark sign in the Commonwealth.” 

[Anthony Phillips:] “The actual hurricane that produced these record floods developed down in the Caribbean on August 5th, 1940.....  After it made landfall, it really slowed down, and actually spent three days over the southern Appalachians.  And it started raining here in Virginia on August 13, and of course this flood occurred on August 14.  And it spent three or four days over land, just producing copious amounts of rainfall.  The water that produced this record rainfall actually occurred over Floyd in the Little River, which runs into the New upstream...they got 17 inches in two days in Floyd County.” 

[Dave Wert:]  “It’s flooding, and flash flooding specifically, that produces overwhelmingly the most number of deaths annually across the nation....  Just a simple Category 1 hurricane coming in on the border of Georgia and South Carolina—a lot of people think that Category 1, Category 2, Category 3, the stronger the storm, the more the potential impact.  That’s not the case, especially when it comes to a flash flood or flooding situation.” 

[Peter Corrigan:] “But, you know, one thing that we’ve noticed in the past five years, 10 years, in increase in massive flooding.  Pennsylvania, Nashville, Tennessee, Atlanta, Georgia—floods that have greatly eclipsed past records.  So, you know, we’re looking at, this is the highest we’ve ever achieved [at Radford] but there’s no reason it can’t be exceeded, even by significant amounts.  Iowa broke a record by 10 feet just recently as 2008, a river that had 100 years of records.  So, this is the highest it’s reached, but it’s not to say it couldn’t reach higher.  And we hope not.” 

As you heard, the record high level for the New River at Radford was produced by rainfall from an August 1940, category 1 hurricane that came ashore along the Georgia-South Carolina border.  That hurricane’s rainfall raised the river level to about 22 feet above flood stage.  The Radford high-water marker is one of three so far in Virginia and 56 nationwide for the National Weather Service’s and U.S. Geological Survey’s High Water Mark Sign project, which aims to increase communities’ awareness of flooding history and potential.  

For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water. 

SHOW NOTES 

Acknowledgments: The comments in this episode were recorded by Alan Raflo at the October 18, 2011, Radford High Water Mark Sign Unveiling and Dedication, Bissett Park, Radford, Virginia.  A 20-minute recording of the entire ceremony is available at http://vwrrc.vt.edu/virginia_water_radio/mp3_archive/RadforddedicationOct182011.mp3.

Sources and More Information: Information about the High Water Mark Sign Project is available at http://www.nws.noaa.gov/os/water/high_water.  Photos from the unveiling at Radford on October 18 are available at New River Flood Marker Unveiled in Radford, Virginia Water Central News Grouper blog, 10/18/11.



Recent Virginia Water News

For news relevant to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Virginia Water Central News Grouper, available online at http://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/.


Water Meetings and Other Events

For events related to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Quick Guide to Virginia Water–related Conferences, Workshops, and Other Events, online at http://virginiawaterevents.wordpress.com/. The site includes a list of Virginia government policy and regulatory meetings occurring in the coming week.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Episode 85 (October 24, 2011): Virginia Statewide Water-supply Planning

This episode was updated in Episode 261, 4-13-15; the audio for this episode has been archived.

Please see below (after the transcript and show notes) for links to news and upcoming events.

TRANSCRIPT
From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of October 24, 2011.

This week, we listen in on a recent public hearing about a subject that’s been on the agenda of every Virginia locality at some point between 2005 and 2011.  Have a listen for about 60 seconds.

SOUND.

You’ve been listening to the county attorney of Montgomery County at an October 11 Board of Supervisors’ public hearing on a regional water-supply plan and a local drought-declaration protocol.  Chances are that your town, county, or city’s governing body has had a similar public hearing recently.  Since 2005, all Virginia localities have been involved in a statewide water-supply planning process mandated by the 2003 Virginia General Assembly, following the severe drought of 1999 to 2002.  Like Montgomery County, many localities have participated in regional plans, and November 2011 is the deadline for submitting those plans to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.  Localities that chose to submit individual plans were required to do so between 2008 and 2010, depending on the locality’s population.  The local and regional plans are to be incorporated into a state water resources plan for submission to the General Assembly and the governor.
                       
For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

SHOW NOTES

Sources and more information:
The sound excerpts used in this episode were recorded by Alan Raflo at the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors meeting in Christiansburg, Va., on October 11, 2011.  Video of the complete meeting is available online at http://montgomeryva.pegcentral.com/. 

SB 1221 in the 2003 Virginia General Assembly required the following:

“The [State Water Control] Board, with the advice and guidance from the Commissioner of Health, local governments, public service authorities, and other interested parties, shall establish a comprehensive water supply planning process for the development of local, regional, and state water supply plans consistent with the provisions of this chapter [Chapter 227 of the Virginia Code].  This process shall be designed to (i) ensure that adequate and safe drinking water is available to all citizens of the Commonwealth, (ii) encourage, promote, and protect all other beneficial uses of the Commonwealth's water resources, and (iii) encourage, promote, and develop incentives for alternative water sources, including but not limited to desalinization. 

“Local or regional water supply plans shall be prepared and submitted to the Department of Environmental Quality in accordance with criteria and guidelines developed by the Board.  Such criteria and guidelines shall take into account existing local and regional water supply planning efforts and requirements imposed under other state or federal laws.” 

The plans were required to include information on the following: water sources; water use; natural resources; water-demand management or current conservation practices; drought response and contingency plans; projected water demand; and a statement of need based on the adequacy of existing water sources to meet current and projected water demand over the planning period (a minimum of 30 years to a maximum of 50 years). 

The full text of SB 1221 is available at the Virginia Legislative Information System’s Web site, at http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=031&typ=bil&val=sb1221. 

Information about the water-supply planning program is available from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) at this Web site, http://www.deq.state.va.us/watersupplyplanning/.  Information about the expected compilation of the local/regional plans into a state water plan is available at this DEQ site: http://www.deq.state.va.us/watersupplyplanning/statwat.html. For more information, please contact Tammy Stephenson at the DEQ’s Blue Ridge Regional Office in Roanoke at (540) 562-6828, e-mail: tammy.stephenson@deq.virginia.gov. 

For a summary of the process, including a table of which localities prepared individual plans and which participated in regional efforts, please see “Water Supply Planning on the Agenda in Virginia and Several Other States,” Virginia Water Central November 2009, p.7, online at
http://vtechworks.lib.vt.edu/handle/10919/49360.

Recent Virginia Water News

For news relevant to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Virginia Water Central News Grouper, available online at http://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/. 


Water Meetings and Other Events

For events related to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Quick Guide to Virginia Water–related Conferences, Workshops, and Other Events, online at http://virginiawaterevents.wordpress.com/. The site includes a list of Virginia government policy and regulatory meetings occurring in the coming week.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Episode 84 (October 17, 2011): "Wind in the Maples/Sugartree Branch" by Timothy Seaman

Click to listen to episode (2:47).

Please see below (after the transcript and show notes) for links to news and upcoming events.

TRANSCRIPT

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of October 17, 2011.

This week we feature an instrumental musical selection about the trees whose colors are the star of the fall, and about a Virginia stream whose name derives from the same trees’ springtime product.  Have a listen for about 50 seconds.

MUSIC.

You’ve been listening to part of “Wind in the Maples” and “Sugartree Branch” performed by Timothy Seaman on his 2002 CD, “Sycamore Rapids.”  Virginia is home to eight native maple species, including Red Maple and Sugar Maple, the two main species that turn Virginia’s countryside into a blaze of color each fall.  Along streets and in backyards, those two natives share the color show with Norway Maples and other non-native species.  The rising springtime sap of Sugar Maples is famously tapped to make maple sugar, but several other maple species are also used for sugaring.  Evidently named for this practice, Sugartree Branch is an approximately two-mile long stream on the Blue Ridge in the St. Mary’s River Wilderness area of Augusta County.  But streams get more than just a name from maples.  As a major component of Virginia’s forests, maples join with many other trees in exerting a large influence on water quality, flow, and habitat of Virginia’s water resources.  Thanks to Timothy Seaman for permission to use this week’s music. 

For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

SHOW NOTES
Acknowledgments: “Wind in the Maples,” Sugartree Branch,” and “Sycamore Rapids” are copyright 2002 by Timothy Seaman and Pine Wind Music, used with permission.  “Sugartree Branch” was also featured in the sound segment of Virginia Water Radio Episode 47 (week of 12-20-10).


Sources and More Information:  Information on maple trees in Virginia was taken from Common Native Trees of Virginia, Virginia Department of Forestry, 2007 (PDF available online at http://www.dof.virginia.gov/edu/resources/pub_Native-Trees-Va_2009.pdf, as of 10/17/11); the “Dr. Dendro” Web site provided by the Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, online at http://dendro.cnre.vt.edu/dendrology/doctor/doctor.cfm; and the Virginia Department of Forestry’s 2010 State of the Forest (available online at http://www.dof.virginia.gov/info/index-forms-docs.htm), which identifies Red Maple as the number-one tree species in Virginia by number of trees and the number-five Virginia tree by volume.



The various maple species used for making maple sugar are listed by various sources, including the University of Minnesota Extension (http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/naturalresources/dd6286.html) and the Vermont Department of Forests Park, and Recreation’s mapleinfo.org Web site.



Information about St. Mary’s Wilderness is available from the U.S. Forest Service brochure available online (as a PDF) at http://www.fs.fed.us/outernet/r8/gwj/gp/pdf_files/saint-mary%27s.pdf (as of 10/17/11).  Sugartree Branch is one of several Virginia streams that have received liming treatments in an attempt to counteract the impacts of acid precipitation on trout and other aquatic life.  Scientific information about Sugartree Branch and other trout streams in the St. Mary’s River watershed is available in the U.S. Forest Service’s 2002 report, Condition of Fish Populations and Habitat in the St. Mary’s River and Selected Tributaries Before and After Limestone Sand Treatment (PDF available online at http://www.srs.fs.usda.gov/catt/pdf/va/2003_va_catt_report_2.pdf, as of 10/17/11). 

 
Recent Virginia Water News

For news relevant to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Virginia Water Central News Grouper, available online at http://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/.



Water Meetings and Other Events

For events related to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Quick Guide to Virginia Water–related Conferences, Workshops, and Other Events, online at http://virginiawaterevents.wordpress.com/. The site includes a list of Virginia government policy and regulatory meetings occurring in the coming week.
    

Monday, October 10, 2011

Episode 83 (October 10, 2011): Waterways Trash and Cleanups

This episode was re-done for the week of August 31, 2015, available at this link:

http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2015/08/episode-180-revisited-8-31-15-update-of.html.

Please visit there for a 3 min./23 sec. introduction to the annual effort coordinated by Clean Virginia Waterways, at Longwood University, to get the trash out of Virginia's water bodies.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Episode 82 (October 3, 2011): Ponds

Click to listen to episode (2:17).

Please see below (after the transcript and show notes) for links to news and upcoming events.

TRANSCRIPT

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of October 3, 2011. 

This week we feature another series of mystery sounds!  Have a listen for about 30 seconds, and see if you can guess what kind of place the following sounds have in common.  And here’s a hint: bigger than a puddle, it’s where lots of things can make a splash.

SOUNDS:
WIND IN CATTAILS
DUCKS LANDING IN WATER
GEESE HONKING
SPRING PEEPERS
FOUNTAIN

If you guessed that all of these sounds can be found at a pond, you’re right!  Wind blowing through cattails, ducks, geese, frogs, and even splashing fountains can be found at ponds.  By definition, a pond is a quiet, relatively shallow body of standing water, differing from lakes by having little temperature change from top to bottom and by having little wave action.  Some seasonal ponds—holding water only a few weeks or months each year—are vital to many amphibians.  Other ponds hold water more or less all year round and last for decades.  In Virginia, these permanent ponds are built and used for many purposes, including stormwater management, farming, fishing, wildlife habitat, and aesthetics.  And chances are, there’s a pond near you—the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries estimates that the Commonwealth has about 80,000 ponds.

For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water. 

SHOW NOTES 

Acknowledgments: This week’s script was researched and written by Alyssa Hart, a senior English major at Virginia Tech who is doing an internship with the Virginia Water Resources Research Center.  The ducks and geese sounds were taken from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s “Sound Clips” Web site at http://www.fws.gov/video/sound.htm, 10/3/11. 

Sources:
*A Golden Guide: Pond Life, by George K. Reid (Racine, Wisc: Western Publishing Company, 1967).
*The Pond Guidebook, by Jim Ochterski et al., (Ithaca, N.Y.: Natural Resource, Agriculture, and Engineering Service Cooperative Extension, October 2007).
*Web site of Spring Creek Aquatic Concepts of Lake Placid, New York, at http://www.aquahabitat.com/ponds.lakes.ed.html (accessed 9/29/11).
*“Pond Construction: Some Practical Considerations,” by Louis Helfrich and Garland Pardue, Virginia Cooperative Extension Publication 420-011 (2009), online at http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/420/420-011/420-011.html (accessed 9/29/11).
*“Detention Systems: Dry Ponds,” Minnesota Urban Small Sites BMP Manual, online at http://www.metrocouncil.org/environment/water/BMP/CH3_STDetDryPond.pdf (accessed 9/29/11).
*“Farm Pond Ecosystems,” U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service Fish and Wildlife Habitat Management Leaflet No. 29, online at ftp://ftp-fc.sc.egov.usda.gov/WHMI/WEB/pdf/TechnicalLeaflets/FarmPond.pdf (accessed 9/29/11).
*“Private Pond Management,” Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Web site, http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/fishing/pondmanagement/ (accessed 9/29/11).



Recent Virginia Water News

            For news relevant to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Virginia Water Central News Grouper, available online at http://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/.


Water Meetings and Other Events

            For events related to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Quick Guide to Virginia Water–related Conferences, Workshops, and Other Events, online at http://virginiawaterevents.wordpress.com/.  The site includes a list of Virginia government policy and regulatory meetings occurring in the coming week.