Weekly Photo Challenge: “Fresh” Water & Sustainable Development

World Water Day Hero:Rajendra Singh -

Fresh Water Champion in India

In this post, I share Stockholm International Water Institute’s (SIWI) press release information about the achievement of Rajendra Singh… a remarkable man who has pioneered effective methods in the restoration of FRESH WATER for villages and eco-systems in India. This inspirational story seems vividly appropriate for this week’s Photo Challenge: Fresh; just in time for World Water Day- March 22.



siwi.org-2015 2_siwi.org-2015



“In a world where demand for freshwater is booming, where we will face a severe water crisis within decades if we do not learn how to better take care of our water, Mr Singh is a beacon of hope,” says Torgny Holmgren, SIWI’s Executive Director. “He has literally brought villages back to life. We need to take Mr Singh’s lessons and actions to heart if we are to achieve sustainable water use in our lifetime.”


“Water is a Precious Resource; Let Us Count the Ways”



UNLESS…Earth-friendly Friday: World Water Day- Water is a precious resource; let us count the ways

In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly designated March 22nd as World Water Day… A day to celebrate water, a day to contemplate water’s vital attributes, a day to prepare a course for individual and group solutions for water-related problems and how we manage water in the future.

Poster Credit: UN World Water Day resource


World Water Day strives to highlight a different water-related issue every year. The issue provides a foundation for the theme of the annual UN World Water Development Reports which is launched on World Water Day.

In 2015, the theme for World Water Day is ‘Water and Sustainable Development. It’s about how water links to all areas humanity needs to consider to create the future we want in terms of: health, nature, urbanization, industry, energy, food, equality.

A World Water Day photo/journal report authored by David Sim in the International Business Times caught my attention this week. It is a powerful set of photographs. The collection of images in David Sim’s article vividly demonstrate  how people perceive or experience water is not the same world-wide. David Sim’s photos carry an important message about water…

“Think twice about wasting this precious resource.”


Click photo to view article by David Sims: Photos to make you think twice about wasting water.

Click photo to view article by David Sims:
Photos to make you think twice about wasting water.

I cut the following photos from his article hoping they will entice you click on the link to view his entire collage, and to create a post for this week’s week’s UNLESS… Earth-friendly challenge by following the guidelines below.





Earth-friendly Friday Challenge-

World Water Day- Water is a precious resource; let us count the ways

Water… clean and potable is a precious resource! For this week’s challenge, appreciate water!

Celebrate the ways it impacts your life.

You can use the U.N. categories to inspire your photographs and thoughts…

Or, simply create your own celebration.

How is water precious to you?  

Let us count the ways, and show appreciation by “thinking twice about wasting it.”

Please join the Challenge by sharing your photos and thoughts-

  • Title your blog post: UNLESS… Water is a precious resource
    Tag your post: Earth-friendly Friday
    Copy and include the URL to this challenge in your post to create a ping-back.
UNLESS- Someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing will get better. It’s not. From: The Lorax by Dr. Suess.

Please Click Image for UNLESS…Earth-friendly Friday weekly challenge Guidelines.

Water Celebrations:

Do you know about Rajendra Singh? You should …

Winner of the Stockholm Water Prize, he is a sustainable water project hero in India. Read his inspiring story:

Weekly Photo Challenge: “Fresh” Water and Sustainable Development 


Do you know about low-water consumption gardening? Here are some interesting tips…


Weekly Photo Challenge: “Fresh”

Fresh New Blooms Attract Spring Pollinators!

Official arrival time for Spring in Oregon: 3:45 PM PDT

I love seeing the pollinators back on the job…

Pacific Willow Blossoms visited by:




Can you pick out who’s who?

Dandelion visited by:

Cabbage Butterfly


Skunk Cabbage visited by:

Marsh Fly


This weeks photo challenge: “Fresh




Great Egret- Spring appearance

Good advice.

When I first started to get serious about keeping a photo record of the wildlife in and around our wetland, I expressed fears to my daughter Aimee. Photographs were filling files on my desk top at an alarming rate. I knew it wouldn’t take long before I’d totally lose track of where to find photos… and worse, remember what the photos were.

Then, Aimee to the rescue! She suggested that I develop a consistent, easy to follow code and file system. That was some of the best advise I’ve ever followed. Now I can consistently “put my photos away.” AND there’s an added bonus! I can see patterns beginning to emerge for when certain species of birds are seen in our area, when wildflower species generally bloom, and how plant phenophases are timed.

The data contained in photo codes of the Great Egret suggest that the bird will make an appearance at Glencoe Swale in the fall during October/November, and again in the Spring in mid March. Last year, a siting was made on March 14th. These photos were taken on March 7th. A coincidence?  I don’t think so.  What do you think?

Great Egret slowly stalks prey in wetland grasses. Potential candidates for this bird’s belly include: fish, frogs, insects, snakes, and crayfish. This bird is likely to catch any one of those choices except the crayfish.

Hunting the water path between the Reed Canary grass stands proved successful. I couldn’t pinpoint exactly what this particular entree was, but it was pulled out of the stalks of grass.

Moving on to  larger, more open-water pond area. The Great Egret scores another capture. This, most certainly was a small fish.

More photos: Great Egret- Fall Appearance


UNLESS…Pulse of the Tualatin River Basin

My watershed is relatively small in comparison to Oregon’s Willamette River or Columbia River watersheds. However, that doesn’t exclude the Tualatin River Basin from human influences that alter natural hydrological rhythms.

Within the 712 square miles (455,680 acres) drained by the Tualatin Basin:   20% of the watershed’s area is inhabited by 500,000 people in densely populated urban areas; 30% is farm or vineyard lands; and 50% is forest land.

The demand for water in the Tualatin Basin is primarily for: irrigation, drinking water, industrial use, recreation, fish/wildlife habitat, and a small hydroelectric generating power-house.

The major human-made structures in the watershed that alter flow include:

- two dams

- irrigation pumping stations

Photo credit: Tualatin River Flow Management Technical Committee 2010

Oswego Lake Dam

The dam holds back water diverted from Tualatin River to form Oswego Lake  (or Lake Oswego). The water fills an old channel of the Tualatin River that was scoured and filled by the Bretz or Missoula Floods 15,000 to 13,000 years ago.  In 1871, wooden dams were built on Oswego Creek to raise the water level of the lake, but since these never lasted very long, a concrete dam was constructed in 1921.

The dam caused Tualatin River overflow to back up during 1996 winter floods, resulting in millions of dollars in property damage. A recently completed spillway project at the east end of Lakewood Bay is designed to allow faster drainage of sudden spates. (Cut from:  Oregon Hikers.org )

Photo credit: SoulRider.222 (Flicker)

Photo credit:SoulRider.222 (Flicker)

Oswego Lake is a private water body whose primary water right is hydropower generation. Secondary uses include irrigation, aesthetic viewing, contact recreation, fishing, and boating.

Hydropower generated here is sold to Portland General Electric Company. Public Law 97-345, signed in U.S. Congress in 1982,  exempts this hydroelectric facility from the Federal Power Act. I don’t know what this means. However, the powerhouse is very small…

Human Influence on Environmental Flow/ Natural Hydrological Rhythms -

Although the environmental flow of the lake system seems to be well-managed with the newer spillway installation, it is my impression that biodiversity is stressed in this particular arm of the Tualatin River basin. Natural features have been highly modified by: logging in the late 1800’s, saw mill and steel foundry industrial use in the early 1900’s, and present-day affluent residential development. Native flora is greatly replaced by formal lawns, and ornamental plantings. Riparian areas have been replaced by shoreline development that includes seawalls, docks, and boathouses. Water quality is threatened by silt caused by erosion, nutrients from lawn fertilizer, and improperly functioning septic systems adjacent to the lake and tributary streams. The current Lake Oswego Comprehensive Plan recognizes these issues. It includes recommended action measures to address water quality and restoration/preservation of natural features.

Scoggins Dam/ Henry Haag Lake on Tualatin River tributaries: Scoggins, Sain, and  Tanner Creeks

Scoggins Dam is an earthfill dam constructed during 1972–75 to store water during the winter for summer and fall use. Three tributaries flow into Hagg Lake—Sain, Scoggins and Tanner Creeks. Scoggins Dam is owned by the Bureau of Reclamation and managed by the Tualatin Valley Irrigation District. Stored water from Hagg Lake is used for irrigation, municipal and industrial use, and flow augmentation in the Tualatin Basin to support water quality and protect fish and wildlife.

Scoggins Dam stores 53,640 acre-feet of water in Henry Hagg Lake as active storage—the amount of water that can be moved in or out of the reservoir between the intake structure and the top of the spillway gates. Another 7,000 acre-feet of stored water that is not engineered to be removed exists below the intake structure. It is for the protection of fish if the lake were to be drafted down completely to the intake structure.

Scoggins Dam is authorized by the U.S. Congress to provide flood control for communities located down- stream. The dam controls runoff from a 39 square mile watershed (about 5% of the Tualatin Basin). From November to April, 20,000 acre-feet are designated for flood control storage. The dam does not generate electricity. During the summer months, recreation is a major activity at Hagg Lake and the surrounding area. (Cut from source: Tualatin River Flow Management Technical Committee, 2013 Annual Report)


Pumping Plants and Distribution Systems

Two downstream pumping plants receive water released at Scoggins Dam for distribution into irrigation systems. One, the Patton Valley Pumping Plant, is constructed on the bank of Scoggins Creek about 2.5 miles downstream from the dam. About 3.5 miles of buried, gravity-fed pipeline serve approximately 1,900 acres of land. The other, Spring Hill Pumping Plant, is located on the bank of the Tualatin River about 9 miles downstream from the dam. About 80 miles of deliver water pumped by nine irrigation pumps to about 10,300 acres.

Human Influence on Environmental Flow/ Natural Hydrological Rhythms -

Flow management is carefully monitored in the Tualatin River watershed basin. Key stake-holders work together  to assure that Tualatin River seasonal and annual flows and levels meet human needs and, at the same time, address biodiversity needs. Water management entities partner with local eco-related agencies to encourage public involvement with riparian-related projects and education opportunities.

This week’s UNLESS challenge helped me to identify one of the eco-related agencies in my community that I can contact to learn about partnering to promote wetland awareness interpretive studies in the section of the Tualatin River basin where I live,and to investigate the possibility of monitoring flow data for the tributary in our section of the watershed.

This week’s UNLESS… Earth-friendly challenge: Taking the Pulse of your Watershed River’s Heartbeat