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Publication: Water Citizen News (WaterCitizenNews.Com)

Since 2012, Cat Shrier has been the principal journalist, as well as editor and publisher, of Water Citizen News, an online, free, independent news site on all things water, written for a mass audience of water-aware citizens. Some of the stories were written with support by journalism and environmental studies interns from American University and the University of Illinois, or by professional journalists formerly working with Washington Post and Agency Free Press, with contributions and editing by Cat Shrier. The following stories were authored by Cat Shrier (listed by section):

Business: Water is Big Business for Small Business Original publication date: August 14, 2012 Summary and Features: This story was inspired by a question and answer I had with George Hawkins, General Manager of DC Water, about the local job opportunities created by the infrastructure projects currently underway in the District of Columbia. The article walks through the larger issue of water infrastructure needs, and particularly the need to separate storm sewer systems from wastewater systems in older systems, where sewage is combined and released untreated during periods of high flows. While a new, dedicated piping system is being created, a portion of the stormwater can be managed through “green infrastructure” – captured through “green roofs” and other “green spaces” around the city. Hawkins noted that the development of green infrastructure also creates more opportunities for local, small businesses, versus the large tunnels, which are typically built by specialty construction firms from outside the DC area. In addition to a long quote from Hawkins, the article features an interview with Harold Pettigrew, Director of the DC Office of Small and Local Businesses. Videos from DC Water (“A Drop’s Life”) and from the American Society of Landscape Architects are also embedded or linked in the article.

Technology: Smart Farmers Use Smart Phones For Smart Water Original publication date: August 13, 2012 Summary and Features: This article began with a series of interviews with members and speakers at the annual “Fly-In” (Capitol Hill briefings and visits with members) of the National Rural Water Association (NWRA), which represents irrigation districts and other water suppliers that have contracts with the US Bureau of Reclamation. The article was written to show, in part, that smart phones, remote sensing, and other newer technologies are not used only by younger-generation farmers, but throughout the agricultural community. Interviews included NWRA President Wade Noble (from Arizona) and Bill Netherlin (New Mexico), as well as American Farm Bureau’s Dan Parrish. The article also included sections on the Yuma Conservation District (CO) use of remote sensing to determine irrigation and fertilizer needs to save both water and energy, and the collaboration by the US Department of Agriculture and University of California at Davis to create an app to make soil survey maps more accessible and usable for agriculture (called SoilWeb). Following a final video clip of American Farm Bureau Federation’s Dan Parrish on the importance of using the latest technology to ensure American can continue to “feed the world,” the article notes that With digital technology, tractors can be both smart and “sexy”! and ends with an embedded video of Kenny Chesney’s YouTube video (“She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy”)

Policy: Senate Seeks Understanding of Water and Energy Connection in Buildings Original publication date: August 13, 2012 Summary and Features:This article provides an overview of a Senate briefing on the connection between water and energy in buildings, and provides analysis of the challenges and opportunities associated with low-flow water appliances and to heat and move water through buildings with less energy and waste. The article provides background and context on these issues, as well as summaries (with links to the original written testimonies) for the witnesses:

  • o Henry Green, President of the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS);
  • o Daniel Bena, Senior Director of Global Sustainable Development for PepsiCo, Inc (PepsiCo);
  • o Russ Cheney, Chief Executive Officer of the IAPMO Group (led by the International Association of Plumbers and Mechanical Officials); and
  • o Mary Ann Dickinson, President/CEO of the Alliance for Water Efficiency (A4WE).

Policy: Sachs Sees Lack of Water at Root of Conflicts in Poorest Countries Original publication date: August 13, 2012 Summary and Features:This short video and transcript captures the response of Jeffrey Sachs (author of The End of Poverty and one of the architects of the UN Millennium Goals) to a question about the links between water, poverty, and global security, in which he stresses, “[L] ook at the map! That’s where the conflicts are! Don’t misunderstand this thing! You keep calling it Islamic extremism or something else. These are hungry people!And they’re hungry because there’s not enough water.” The video and transcript are augmented by some background on studies by Alexander Zehnder that further illustrates the links between water, food, and global security, through studies of the “virtual export of water” to countries that lack sufficient water to grow their own crops, creating dependencies and political insecurity, including a map by Zehnder illustrating that regions with the greatest water and food shortages are areas with the greatest political instability.

Community: Hispanic Leaders in Water: Sally Gutierrez, EPA Director of Innovation Clusters Original publication date: September 20, 2012 Summary and Features:This was the first of a series of interviews for Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15, 2012), in which I spoke with Hispanic leaders in the water community on how their personal stories and family heritage related to water have been a major driver for their passion for and commitment to water. Sally Gutierrez, former Director of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Risk Management Research Laboratory in Cincinnati, Ohio, and current director of EPA’s new Environmental Technology Innovation Cluster Program, talks about how her parents’ loss of a child due to a water-borne disease caused their move to the United States. Other topics discussed included her Hispanic mentors in water, and the importance of having more Hispanic entrepreneurs in water technology. The article is presented as a series of video clips from the interview.

Community: Hispanic Leaders in Water: Albert Robles, Water Replenishment District President Original publication date: September 27, 2012 Summary and Features: This was the second of a series of interviews for Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15, 2012), in which I spoke with Hispanic leaders in the water community on how their personal stories and family heritage related to water have been a major driver for their passion for and commitment to water. This piece provides video clips from an interview with Albert Robles, Board President of the Water Replenishment District of Southern California (WRD), whose family came to the US through the Bracero program. The first in his family to graduate college, Robles went to Capitol Hill with plans to work in international politics. Robles explains how his career path brought him to local water issues in Southern California – and his becoming the first Latino member of the WRD Board.

Community: Hispanic Leaders in Water: Ed Piñero, Chief Sustainability Officer, Veolia Water North America Original publication date: October 5, 2012 Summary and Features: This was the third of a series of interviews for Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15, 2012), in which I spoke with Hispanic leaders in the water community on how their personal stories and family heritage related to water have been a major driver for their passion for and commitment to water. This piece provides video clips from the interview with Ed Pinero, Chief Sustainability Officer for Veolia Water North America, on how Ed – a first generation Puerto Rican and a self-proclaimed “Nuyorican” – became a leader with one of the world’s largest water service providers and with the United Nations CEO Water Mandate.

Sports & Recreation: Diving into Life (note: some research contributions by Astara March) Original publication date: August 13, 2012 Summary and Features: This story provides an interview and background on Logan Shinholser – a 30-meter diver from Virginia Tech who was a finalist in the 2012 Olympic Trials – as well as his two brothers, who are also divers. The story covers some of the physical risks associated with diving, the differences between platform and springboard diving, and the opportunities created for divers to compete and to gain skills that help them in academic and professional pursuits (Logan is an Engineering major). The story is augmented with embedded YouTube videos by the US Olympic Diving team on the impact of hitting the water, and the Diving Team’s version of the “Call Me Maybe” music video (created following the viral success of the US Swim Team’s video of the same song).

Arts & Entertainment: Telling the Oceans’ Tales through Art (note: some writing and research contributions by art historian Francine Farr and journalist Robert Thomason) Original publication date: August 19, 2012 Summary and Features:This article discusses the role art can play in communicating issues related to water, and specifically issues related to the oceans. With contributions by Art History Professor Francine Farr and former Washington Post journalist Robert Thomason, this review of Courtney Mattison’s work, “Our Changing Oceans” – created for her graduate thesis in Biology and Art at Brown, and the many scientists, artists, and policymakers who supported her in the development and display of the work. The article also reviews related exhibits that have been held at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science Gallery with other artwork that explore the role of art in communicating on ocean issues, including embedded YouTube interviews of some of the other artists explaining their work and their role in communications on science.

Culture & Society: Reflections on the Transformative Nature of Water Original publication date: August 13, 2012 Summary and Features:This piece was written to be the first of a series of articles on the role of water in various spiritual practices, and in conversations with religious leaders reflecting on water in their faith and their lives. The video (with video editing support from Robert Thomason) provides clips from an interview with the Reverend Melana Nelson-Amaker following services she conducted celebrating the Transfiguration – an important story within the Gospels of Christ, telling of a time when Christ is revealed to the apostles as being more than just another prophet (like Moses and Elijah), but the Son of God. The Rev. Nelson-Amaker describes experiences with water in her own life, revealing how water has transformed her own life and strengthened her connection with both God and humanity.

Culture & Society: Book Review: Water Historian Wennersten’s View of Global Water Issues Original publication date: August 13, 2012 Summary and Features:This piece provides a review of the new book Global Thirst (SchifferBooks 2012), by noted environmental historian John R. Wennersten. While his past books have focused primarily on local issues of the Chesapeake Bay and Anacostia River, in this book, Wennersten draws upon his experiences living overseas and his son’s experiences as an “expatriate” to provide a series of essays on water issues across the globe and throughout the centuries. The piece includes a series of video clips from an interview with the author.

Culture & Society: Water Supply for the Nation’s Capital: A History Original publication date: August 13, 2012 Summary and Features:As a city without a state, whose residents run the country yet have no voting representatives in Congress, Washington, DC tends to do things a little differently. Water is no exception. To help provide a better understanding of the history of DC’s water, Water Citizen met with DC Historian Nelson Rimensnyder, a former staff member from the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress, who is currently running for DC’s “Shadow Senator” seat in the Congress. This piece provides the video and transcript from that discussion.

Water & You: Are Ponds Your Path to Peace? Original publication date: August 13, 2012 Summary and Features: This piece was created as the first example of our “Water & You” section, which was intended to cover ways the reader can become more involved with water and more aware of water in their own lives. The piece covers a “Parade of Ponds” that was organized by a pond developer, Steve Shinholser, and includes interviews with Steve and with two of his clients, talking about the benefits of ponds for their emotional and spiritual well-being, as well as some of the mechanics of how to build and maintain different water features including ponds and waterfalls.

Editorial: Water Isn’t Sexy Original publication date: August 20, 2012 Summary and Features: This piece – my first “Publisher’s Notes” – provides my thoughts on the statement “Water isn’t sexy.” – something I’ve been told frequently by journalists and news publishers to explain why can don’t (or won’t) cover stories about water in the mainstream press. I hear the same from the water community – perhaps to explain why we don’t invest more in communicating what we know about water. The piece includes several embedded YouTube videos and links to popular representations of sexy scenes involving water, as well as interviews with water professionals about how un-sexy water is.

Previous publications and presentation abstracts were primarily written on water resources planning and policy matters, with an increasing number of publications completed to explain complex technical and regulatory matters to a more general, non-technical, non-expert audience – including publications for The Water Report and for Southwest Hydrology.

Publications and Presentations

Shrier, Catherine. 2010. Aquifer Storage Recovery: New Federal Iniatives – EPA to Develop Guidance. The Water Report Issue #74.

Shrier, Catherine. 2009. Aquifer Storage Recovery & the EPA’s Underground Injection Control Program: Report from EPA’s “ASR Experts” Meeting May 5-6, 2009. The Water Report Issue #64.

Shrier, Catherine. Water Planning & Uncertainty: Colorado Perspectives. The Water Report Issue #61.

Shrier, Catherine. 2009. California’s Water Supply Challenges & Solutions. The Water Report Issue #59.

Shrier, Catherine. 2009. Water Reuse Supply Sustainability: WateReuse Association and International Water Association. The Water Report Issue #59.

Shrier, Catherine. 2009. Water Management Alternatives: Incorporating “New” Water Management Methods at a Watershed Scale. The Water Report Issue #56.

National Academy of Sciences Study Committee (Member). 2008. Prospects for Underground Storage of Recoverable Water. National Academy of Sciences, Water Science & Technology Board.

Shrier, Catherine. 2008. Using and Protecting Water Resources in Energy Development. Mid-Atlantic Water Resources Research Institutes Regional Water Conference, Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

Shrier, Catherine. 2008. Water Management Alternatives: Incorporating “New” Water Management Methods at a Watershed Scale. The Water Report Issue #56.

Shrier, Catherine. 2008. Understanding and Addressing UIC Challenges in ASR Permitting. Proceedings of the Ground Water Protection Council Annual Meeting, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Shrier, Catherine. 2008. Federal Interest and Involvement in Aquifer Storage Policy and Permitting. Hydrovisions. Groundwater Resources Association of California. Volume 17 Number 3.

Shrier, Catherine. 2008. Water Use and Reuse in Energy Production. Proceedings of the Western Water Workshop, Gunnison, Colorado.

Shrier, Catherine and Ana Carolina Coelho Maran. Phreatophyte Control for Water Supply Enhancement in Alberta. Proceedings of the Weeds Across Borders Biennial Conference, Banff, Alberta.

Shrier, Catherine 2008. ASR and the Big Picture. Southwest Hydrology. Volume 7 Issue 3.

Coelho Maran, Ana Carolina, Cat Shrier, and Darrell Fontane. 2008. Applications of a Knowledge-Based Approach to Wetland Function Assessments. Proceedings of the American Water Resources Association Summer Specialty Conference.

Shrier, Catherine, Darrell Fontane, and Luis Garcia. 2008. A Spatial Knowledge-Based Decision Analysis System for Pond Site Assessment. Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management. Volume 134, Number 1. Pages 14-23.

Jones, Gregory, and Catherine Shrier. 2007. Natural Resources Canada Comparison of the International Regulatory Framework. American Water Works Association (AWWA) Annual Conference and Exposition Proceedings. June.

Shrier, Catherine and Gregory Jones. 2007. Environmental Assessment Regulations and Policy Approaches for Hydro-Electric Projects in Canada and Five Other Countries. Canadian Society of Civil Engineering Hydrotechnical Conference Proceedings. August.

Shrier, Catherine, Mike Bender, Les Sawatsky, Kala Pandit, John Edgerly, and Oscar Kalinga 2007. Review of Water Supply Storage and Management Methods Throughout the Water Cycle. Canadian Society of Civil Engineering Hydrotechnical Conference Proceedings. August.

Jones, Gregory, and Catherine Shrier. 2007. Natural Resources Canada Comparison of the International Regulatory Framework. American Water Works Association (AWWA) Annual Conference and Exposition Proceedings. June.

Shrier, Catherine J., Darrell G. Fontane, and Luis A. Garcia. A Spatial Knowledge-Based Decision Analysis System for Pond Site Assessment. ASCE Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management. In Press

Shrier, Catherine J. 2006. Environmental Impact Assessments and Sustainable Development for Energy Resource Projects.31st Annual Colorado Water Workshop. Gunnison, CO. August.

Shrier, Catherine J. and Darrell G. Fontane. 2004. Economic and Environmental Aspects of Site Evaluation for Stream Augmentation Recharge Ponds in Colorado. 2004 Universities Council on Water Resources (UCOWR) Annual Conference Proceedings. Carbondale, IL.

Shrier, Catherine J. 2004. Guidelines for Aquifer Storage Recovery Regulations in the United States. 2004 American Groundwater Trust ASR IV Conference Proceedings. Tampa, FL.

Michaela Bell, Catherine Shrier, Marian Muste, and Witold Krajewski. 2003. The University of Iowa’s International Perspectives in Water Resources Planning Program. UNESCO World Transactions on Engineering and Technology Education. Vol. 2, No. 1.

Shrier, Catherine J. 2002. Survey and Analysis of Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) Systems and Associated Regulatory Programs in the United States. T. Miller, Project Manager. F. Bloetscher and A. Muniz, Editors. American Water Works Association. Denver, Colorado. August.

McKee, Thomas B., Nolan J. Doesken, John Kleist, and Catherine J. Shrier. 2000. A History of Drought in Colorado: Lessons Learned and What Lies Ahead. Colorado Water Resources Research Institute Water in the Balance Series, No. 9. February (2nd Edition).

Shrier, Catherine J., Deanna Durnford, and Jon Altenhofen. 1999. The Development Of Multi-Criteria Managed Groundwater Recharge Facility To Augment Instream Flows And Restore Protected Species Habitat. 1999 AWRA Annual Conference Proceedings. Middleburg, VA.

Shrier, Catherine J. 1999. North Carolina’s Responses to Water Use Conflicts: Restrictions on Individual Users vs. Regional Management. AWRA Proceedings, Specialty Conference on Science into Policy: Water in the Public Realm. Middleburg, VA.

Shrier, Catherine J. 1998. Recommendations for a Regulatory Strategy to Address Regional Groundwater Level Declines In the Central Coastal Plain Of North Carolina. MS Thesis. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Shrier, Catherine J. 1998. North Carolina’s First ASR Project: A Regulatory Perspective. 1998 AWRA Annual Conference Proceedings. Herndon, VA.

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