• Alaska mining and water quality

      Zemansky, Gil M.; Tilsworth, Timothy; Cook, Donald J. (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1976-06)
      The Institute of Water Resources has sought financial assistance for some time in an attempt to initiate research relative to the impact of mining on water quality. Attempts were made as early as 1971 by Dr. Timothy Tilsworth and later by Dr. Donald Cook and Dr. Sage Murphy. These investigators anticipated growth in placer gold mining and the development of natural resources in Alaska during a period of national and environmental concern. The subsequent energy "crisis," the major increase in the price of gold on the world market, and dwindling nonrenewable resource supplies have resulted in large-scale mineral exploration in Alaska. This exploration, coupled with development of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline, has attracted considerable capital for potential investment and development in Alaska. Expected industrial growth has already started and major new projects are "just around the corner." Yet, as of 1976, no major research effort has occurred to determine the extent of or potential for water quality impacts from mining operations in Alaska. Recently a series of interdisciplinary research projects have been completed in Canada; however, the application of Canadian data to Alaskan problems is uncertain. Although, state and federal government agencies have been advised and are aware of this potential problem and lack of baseline data they have not sought out new information or rational solutions. Even now, with deadlines of Public Law 92-500 at hand, some regulatory agencies give the impression of attempting to ignore the situation. Interim limitations are proposed and permits are issued with no discernible rationale or basis. Data have not been obtained relative to the Alaskan mining operations and thus are not available for use in seeking solutions compatible with mining and environmental protection. Numbers appear to have been arbitrarily assigned to permits and water quality standards. When permits are issued, self-monitoring requirements are negligible or nonexistent. Nor have regulatory agencies demonstrated the ability or inclination to monitor mining operations or enforce permits and water quality standards. It was hoped that the project would bring together miners, environmentalists, and regulators in a cooperative effort to identify the problems and seek solutions. The investigators recognized the political sensitivity of the subject matter but proceeded optimistically. Relatively good cooperation, though not total, occurred early in the project. In April 1976, a symposium was held to exchange ideas and determine the state-of-the-art. Although the symposium had good attendance and an exchange of information occurred, the symposium itself was somewhat of a disappointment. With few exceptions, the participants aligned on one side or the other in preconceived fixed positions. Some even chose not to attend and were therefore able to avoid the issues. Little hard data was presented. Optimistically, some of the miners, environmentalists, and regulators are prepared to resolve their differences. This report, hopefully, will be of benefit to them. It is our experience that miners and environmentalists share a love of the land that is uniquely Alaska. We feel that technology is available for application to this problem for those who care about doing the job right in the "last frontier." Whether or not it will be effectively applied to protect Alaska's water resources is a question which remains unanswered.
    • Alaska Mining and Water Quality: Proceedings of the Symposium

      University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1979-04
      Very little information on Alaska mining activities and resulting environmental changes has been available. The objectives of this research were to: 1) review the literature pertinent to water quality deterioration resulting from mining activities, and 2) conduct a symposium, "Alaska Mining and Water Quality," in Fairbanks, Alaska. Alaska Mining and Water Quality (IWR Report 74) was published in June 1976. The report covers effluent limitations and water quality standards, physical parameters, chemical/biological parameters, and effects of Alaska mining on water quality. Over 300 references are cited, and a description of settling pond theory is appended. The literature review Focused primarily on mining activities in Canada and the contiguous portion of the United States. The main emphasis of the literature review was directed at gold mining and coal mining operations; however, other mining activities relevant to Alaska were examined. The April 9, 1976, symposium was meant to achieve: 1) information dissemination, 2) increased and more effective communication, 3) env1ronmental awareness, and 4) identification of environmental problems and potential solutions associated with mining activities in Alaska. Although there was good attendance and an exchange of information, the other objectives of the symposium were not attained. With few exceptions, both speakers and participants were aligned in extreme positions, and they presented little actual data to support their conclusions. The purpose of this publication is to present differing viewpoints on important and controversial issues in Alaskan water resources with the hope that effective solutions can be achieved through consideration of all facets of the problems.
    • Alaska Wastewater Treatment Technology

      Johnson, Ronald A. (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1978-01)
      This report is intended to be an assessment of wastewater treatment technology in Alaska today. It is not a study of the politics of environmentalists vs. industry, the environmental laws now existing, nor of the design of utilidors in the Arctic. These and other important topics have been dealt with elsewhere. The study is subdivided into three major areas: 1) individual home treatment systems, 2) municipal and military systems, and 3) industrial wastewater treatment. With each category, the existing situation in Alaska is summarized and examples of technology currently being used are presented. Advantages and disadvantages of various methods are discussed with suggestions made for methodologies particularly appropriate to Alaska. Although the bulk of the report is drawn from the "Alaskan experience," results obtained in other parts of the world are cited where appropriate.
    • Alaska Water Resources Research Needs for the 70's: A seminar, Oct. 27-28 Anchorage, Alaska

      Carlson, Robert F.; Butler, Jacqueline (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1973-09)
    • Alaska's Water: A Critical Resource

      Bredthauer, Stephen R. (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1984-11)
    • Alaskan water resources: Selected abstracts, 1974

      Hartman, Charles; Finch, Sheila (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1977-02)
      As one of the 51 Water Resources Research Institutes administered under the Water Resources Research Act of 1964, IWR receives a semimonthly journal entitled Selected Water Resources Abstracts. The bulletin, published by the Water Resources Scientific Information Center (WRSIC) of the Office of Water Research and Technology, includes abstracts of documents covering the water-related aspects of the life, physical, and social sciences as well as related engineering and legal aspects of the characteristics, conservation, control, use, or management of water. Each abstract in the bulletin is classified into 10 fields and 60 groups of water research categories (see page iii). In addition, the journal contains a subject, author, and organizational index. In an attempt to keep interested parties abreast of the research being done in water resources in Alaska, the Institute of Water Resources is planning to publish yearly all abstracts listed under the subject index "Alaska." This report covers all citations for 1974.
    • Analysis of Alaska's water use act and its interaction with federal reserved water rights

      Curran, Harold J.; Dwight, Linda Perry (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1979-02)
      Since the passage of Alaska's Water Use Act in 1966, the amount of water required by Alaska's growing population and resource development has increased very rapidly. The need to review the adequacy of existing water use laws and their administration has been expressed both by those trying to comply with regulations and by those attempting to enforce standards and permit requirements. This report summarizes the historical development of the doctrine of prior appropriation in Alaska. The statutory authority, regulations, and administration of Alaska's Water Use Act by the Alaska Department of Natural Resources are presented. Overlapping state agency authorities are discussed, and existing and proposed regulations are analyzed. The application of federal reserved water rights to Alaska and the status of quantification of these rights is explained. The report presents options for the State of Alaska to manage water use on federal lands, and for preserving minimum stream flows for maintenance of fish and wildlife habitats.
    • An Analysis of the Demands for Water from the Private Sector in a Sub-Arctic Urban Area

      Haring, Robert C. (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1972-04)
      Manufacturing and domestic uses of water are very important to local communities throughout Alaska, although manufacturing typically represents relatively high levels of consumption in terms of population use equivalents. This study is concerned principally with the present water use practices and associated problems in the private sector of the North Star Borough, Alaska.
    • Annotated Keys to the Genera of the Tribe Diamesini (Diptera: Chironomidae), Descriptions of the Female and Immatures of Potthastia iberica Tosio, and Keys to the Known Species of Potthastia

      Doughman, Jan S. (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources and Engineering Experiment Station, 1985-08)
      A review of available information on the tribe Diamesini led to the construction of generic keys to most life stages. Serra-Tosio (1971b) first described Potthastia iberica from an adult male from the Spanish Pyrenees. Evaluation of specimens collected in the Nearctic, from Idaho (in 1967) and Georgia (in 1981 and 1983), indicate that this species is extant in eastern and western highland streams that appear to be typical trout streams. This new group of specimens contained a mature male and female pupa and immatures, and associations made it possible to describe the female and the immatures for the first time. Adult specimens conform very closely to the holotype. The known species of Potthastia are keyed.
    • Application of Artificial Recharge Technology for Managing the Water Resources - Anchorage, Alaska

      Guymon, Gary L. (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1972-06)
      The purpose of this report is to explore the usefulness of artificial recharge in Alaska where there are significant known water supply problems, specifically Anchorage, Alaska. More importantly, however, this report is intended as a vehicle for updating what is known about artificial recharge and for making this information available to water resources agencies and water supply planners in Alaska. The report is not intended to be an original scientific research but is a synthesis of new knowledge developed by the writer and others within the last half-decade. This report concentrates primarily on artificial recharge by off-stream basins in an effort to narrow what is a rather broad field. The concepts discussed under this restricted heading, however, are generally applicable to other recharge methods such as on-stream artificial recharge. Artificial recharge by basins is defined for purposes of this report as the practice of ponding water in constructed off-stream ponds with the explicit intention of allowing water to infiltrate into the underlying aquifer.
    • Application of the Finite-Element Method for Simulation of Surface Water Transport Problems

      Guymon, Gary L. (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1972-06)
    • Arsenic in the Water, Soil Bedrock, and Plants of the Ester Dome Area of Alaska

      Hawkins, Daniel B.; Forbes, Robert B.; Hok, Charlotte I.; Dinkel, Donald (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1982-06)
      Concentrations of arsenic as large as 10 ppm (200 times the safe limit for drinking water) occur in the groundwater of a mineralized residential area near Fairbanks. Bedrock of the area contains 750 ppm As, primarily as arsenopyrite and scorodite. The oxygen-poor groundwater is enriched in As(III) and ferrous iron while the surface waters are iron free and contain less than 50 ppb As(V). Arsenic is removed from the water by coprecipitation with ferric hydroxide. Some iron-rich stream sediments contain as much as 1,400 ppm arsenic. The distribution of arsenic in the groundwater is controlled by the distribution of arsenic in the bedrock. The arsenic content of the B soil horizon over mineralized veins is about 150 ppm, while that over barren rock is 30 ppm. The vegetation over the veins is not significantly enriched in arsenic. Lettuce, radishes and tomatoes grown with arsenic-rich water (5 ppm) contain 16, 8 and 1 ppm As, respectively; these amounts are significantly greater than plants not treated with arsenic. Preliminary studies by state and federal health agencies show no detrimental effects on the health of persons drinking these arsenic-rich waters.
    • An Atmospheric carbon monoxide transport model for Fairbanks, Alaska

      Carlson, Robert F.; Fox, John (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1976-06)
      A comprehensive computer model of atmospheric carbon monoxide transport has been developed for Fairbanks, Alaska. The model, based on a finite element method computational scheme, accents input from specified vehicle traffic parameters inc1uding miles per day, number of cold starts, and total idle time. The carbon monoxide concentrations are calculated for specified time intervals at numerous points throughout the urban area. A test of the model against the data of January 22, 1975, indicates a good correspondence. Extremely high carbon monoxide concentration were calculated at an unmeasured point down wind of the business district. The model should prove useful for a number of community needs including parking management, planning and zoning, episode strategy planning, and carbon monoxide forecasting.
    • Bibliography of Arctic Water Resources

      Hartman, Charles W.; Carlson, Robert F. (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1970-11)
      In July, 1969, the Institute of Water Resources began a study of Alaska's Arctic water resources in response to the impending resource development of Arctic regions. The intent of the study was to provide a literature review of existing information, a model study of the water system in an Arctic region, and a limited field program. It became quite apparent early in the study that a great amount of literature pertaining to the Arctic water cycle was available and would need extensive organization to be useful. It also became apparent that if the literature were organized, the list would be useful to investigators other than ourselves. The result is this Bibliography of Arctic Water Resources.
    • Bio-Processes of the Oxidation Ditch When Subjected to a Sub-Arctic Climate

      Ranganathan, K. R.; Murphy, R. Sage (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1972-05)
      Alaska's far northern area is sparsely populated primarily because of a severe climate which varies from northern temperate to Arctic. Construction and power costs are high. Skilled operating personnel are scarce and expensive, if available. Receiving streams are said to be delicate, particularily in the winter, when little possibility for reaeration exists due to a total ice cover. The oxidation ditch modification of the extended aeration activated sludge process appears to be well suited for the treatment of wastes in this environment. Past operating data on a plant of this type located in Interior Alaska (near Fairbanks) indicated it may be well suited to treat small volumes of domestic waste economically, with low sludge production, and minimal sensitivity to low temperatures.
    • The Biochemical Bases of Psychrophily in Microorganisms: A Review

      Miller, Ann P. (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1967)
    • The Biodegradation of Organic Substrates Under Arctic and Subarctic Conditions

      Murray, Ann P.; Murphy, R. Sage (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1972-03)
      The objective of this research was to obtain data on the metabolic reaction rates of the microorganisms indigenous to the cold environments of the arctic and sub-arctic in order to evaluate the natural abilities of the freshwater streams and lakes of Alaska to assimilate the wastes discharged into them. Microorganisms capable of growth even at subzero temperatures have long been known; however, most have consistently fared better at higher temperatures, usually above 20° C. Much of the work done with the biological oxidation of wastes at low temperatures has been with organisms of this type : mesophilic organisms which are able to survive at low temperatures but which are metabolically much more active in the temperature range from 20 to 45° C. Such organisms might be labeled "cold-tolerant," but they are probably biochemically quite different from the truly "cold-loving," or psychrophilic, microorganisms which are able not only to survive but also to thrive at temperatures below 20° C and which, in fact, find temperatures much higher than 25° C intolerable.
    • Biogeochemistry of deep lakes in the central Alaskan Range: Completion report

      LaPerriere, Jacqueline; Casper, Lawrence (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1976-02)
      Casper, one of the investigators, was a guest of the National Park Service as a weekend camper at the Wonder Lake Campground within Mount McKinley National Park. On the next visit to this campground for the same purpose, Mr. Casper took along several pieces of equipment for making simple limnological measurements. On this trip, he was accompanied by Frederick Payne, a graduate student from Michigan State University, who was in Alaska working with aquatic plant community structure. Following this visit to the lake, a research project proposal was drawn up for the purpose of obtaining funds in order to study several limnological aspects of this lake and others related to it. The relative high importance of vascular aquatic plant production in the Arctic had been noticed by John Hobbie (1973). In an intensive study of a deep subarctic lake, Harding Lake, being conducted by the Institute of Water Resources, University of Alaska, the relative high importance of rooted aquatic plants had also been noted. Thus, a question arose as to whether or not the primary production of vascular aquatic plants is higher than that of phytoplankton in subarctic lakes as is the case in arctic lakes which usually have higher biomass concentrations of algae than subarctic lakes (Hobbie, 1973). The stated objectives of this project were: 1) To conduct a biogeochemical reconnaissance of selected deep subarctic lakes in the central Alaska Range. 2) To develop hypotheses concerning the regional limnology. 3) To collect biological specimens to extend knowledge of taxonomic distributions, especially of aquatic plants and phytoplankton. 4) To estimate the seasonal nutrient budget for these lakes.
    • A Builder's Guide to Water and Energy

      Seifert, Richard D.; Dwight, Linda Perry (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1980-08)
    • Carbon Monoxide Exposure and Human Health

      Joy, Richard W.; Tilsworth, Timothy; Williams, Darrell D. (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1975-02)