Venice, Louisiana is aptly nicknamed “the end of the world.” The community of 1000, which includes Venice, Orchard and Boothville, is south of New Orleans is the most southerly terminus of the Great River Road and the last community on the Mississippi River. Venice was almost completely destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. East of Venice, LA is a human-induced oxygen deprived dead zone on the Gulf of Mexico seabed with too little oxygen to support fish, shrimp, crabs and other forms of marine life, that expanded to its largest on record by 2008 of c. 8,000 square miles.

One of Venice’s main industries is to provide service and transport for off-shore petroleum platforms, including BP’s  Deepwater Horizon oil rig which exploded 2010-02-20 killing eleven people and causing a huge oil spill.

Deepwater Horizon, built in 2001, was a Transocean-owned semisubmersible drilling rig but it was leased to BP (65%), with partners Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and Mitsui & Co. owning the remainder.

BP plc founded in 1909 as the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (See wiki for its Iranian-British-American history), which became The British Petroleum Company plc then BP Amoco plc now called BP) “is a British global energy company that is also the third largest global energy company and the 4th largest company in the world. As a multinational oil company (“oil major”) BP is the UK’s largest corporation, with its headquarters in St James’s, City of Westminster, London.[2][3][4] The company is among the largest private sector energy corporations in the world, and one of the six “supermajors” (vertically integrated private sector oil exploration, natural gas, and petroleum product marketing companies). BP’s 2009 reports a revenue of $246.1 billion, a net incomeof US $16.58 billion, a total equity of US $101.6 billion with 92,000 employees worldwide. wiki source

See dramatic photos here.

BP’s Gulf of Mexico Deepwater operations which include Atlantis Oil Field, Thunder Horse, Mad Dog, Pompano, Holstein, Horn Mountain, Marlin, Nakika and Tiber oilfield (announced 2009; production not commenced) operates from Houston, Texas.

“Transocean LTD is the world’s largest offshore drilling contractor. The company rents out floating, mobile drill rigs, along with the equipment and personnel needed for operations, to oil and gas companies. The company was spun-off from its parent, Birmingham, Alabama based Sonat, Inc. in 1993 and was originally called Sonat Offshore Drilling, Inc. Sonat Offshore acquired the Norwegian group Transocean ASA in 1996 and adopted its name. In 2000 the company merged with Sedco Forex, and was renamed Transocean Sedco Forex. In 2001 the company bought Reading & Bates Falcon. The name of the company was simplified to Transocean in 2003. Sedco Forex was originally part of Schlumberger until 2000 when it was spun off. Sedco Forex was originally formed from the merger of two drilling companies, the Southeast Drilling Company (Sedco) and French drilling company Forex. Transocean employs approximately 26,300 people worldwide and has a fleet of 136 vessels and units as of March, 2009. It was incorporated in the Cayman Islands while the principal office is in Houston, Texas. On December 8, 2008, the company’s shareholders voted to move its incorporation from the Caymans to Zug, Switzerland. The company has offices in 20 countries around the world, with major offices in Stavanger, Aberdeen, Perth, Brazil, Indonesia and Malaysia. On July 23, 2007, Transocean announced a merger with GlobalSantaFe Corporation. The merger was completed on November 27, 2007.” wiki source

Steven L. Newman, CEO became CEO of Transocean in March 2010 just before the explosion. Newman joined the company in 1994 in the Corporate Planning Department. Mr. Newman holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Petroleum Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and an MBA from the Harvard University Graduate School of Business.

Macondo prospect:
“The Macondo prospect is located on Mississippi Canyon Block 252 in the Gulf of Mexico in a water depth of 4,993 feet (1,522 meters). BP serves as the operator and holds a 100% interest in the prospect, which was acquired at the MMS Lease Sale #206 in March 2008. On Feb. 23, 2009 an EP was submitted to MMS (OCS-G 32306) proposing to drill and temporarily abandon two exploratory wells on the field. Transocean’s Deepwater Horizon semisub, which caught fire on April 20, 2010, was drilling the Macondo prospect. According to Dow Jones, the well had reached a depth of at least 11,500 feet (3,502 meters), when BP filed a permit with MMS to temporarily abandon the well. The rig sunk after erupting into flames from a blowout. BP may drill a relief well, if required, and will utilize a nearby drilling rig, which is available to commence drilling immediately source.”

Mapping Blue Gold

April 4, 2009

Timeline of events related to water resource management

1954 “Pickens, an AAPG member since 1954, was branded a corporate raider by newspapers, magazines, networks and opposing managements back in the 1980s when his firm, Mesa Petroleum, made hostile takeover bids for companies he felt were undervalued and mismanaged (source).”

1996 “The World Water Council (WWC) was established in 1996 in response to increasing concern from the global community about world water issues. Its mission is to promote awareness, build political commitment and trigger action on critical water issues at all levels, including the highest decision-making level, to facilitate the efficient management and use of water in all its dimensions and on an environmentally sustainable basis. The WWC has been granted special consultative status by UNESCO and ECOSOC.”

1997 The First World Water Forum was held in Morocco.

1999 T. Boone Pickens (who owns more water than any other individual in the U.S. and is looking to control even more) and a group of more than 100 landowners formed Mesa Water to develop groundwater from the Ogallala Aquifer under Roberts County in the far northeastern Texas Panhandle.

2000 The Second World Water Forum was held in The Netherlands.

2000 “In 2000 the Pantanal, which has particular characteristics and species nonextant in other parts of Brazil, was designated a World Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations Education, Science, and Culture Organization (UNESCO). In the same year UNESCO also declared it part of the Natural Patrimony of Mankind. These two titles came at a critical moment, when various factors were jeopardizing the stability of the ecosystem, which contains the planet’s largest flood plain. According to the Ministry of Environment, the selection of world biosphere reserves depends upon their capacity to accommodate the conservation of biodiversity with the economic utilization of their resources on a sustainable development basis.”

2001 “Rules of Capture: In 1997 the Canadian River Municipal Water Authority announced it had purchased 43,000 acres of water rights in the area just south of Pickens’ ranch in Roberts County, Texas, and planned to develop the water field. Then, the city of Amarillo bought 71,000 acres of water adjacent to Pickens’ ranch, with plans to develop the resource in 25 years. “These developments got my attention,” Pickens recently told the EXPLORER. “The CRMWA and Amarillo basically put other landowners on notice they were going to start draining us. I felt we had no choice but to start selling our surplus water or lose it to drainage. “Under the rule of capture we would have no recourse to prevent CRMWA and Amarillo from draining the reservoir under our land.” In Texas all surface water is considered public, but groundwater is privately owned. Under the rule of capture a landowner can pump water without regard for his neighbors. The region of the Texas Panhandle that encompasses Roberts, Lipscomb, Hemphill and Ochiltree counties is one of the last remaining untapped portions of the Ogallala Aquifer, the largest aquifer in the United States. In other regions — from just south of Lubbock all the way to the South Dakota border — the aquifer has been tapped for over 50 years, primarily for irrigation. This four-county section of the Texas Panhandle, however, is too rough to farm, and the aquifer has remained untouched. Of the total 2.22 million acres in the four counties, only about 100,000 acres have been irrigated. Initially, Pickens approached CRMWA, which provides water to 11 communities in the Texas Panhandle and south plains, and the city of Amarillo, and offered his water rights for sale as well. They declined, however, so Pickens then went to his neighbors to ask if they would join in his efforts to market and sell the water rights under their land. He formed Mesa Water Inc., and currently has about 150,000 acres with 3.3 million acre-feet of usable groundwater under lease — twice as much water as CRMWA and Amarillo. In addition to banning together with neighboring ranchers, Pickens has purchased an agency agreement covering 65,000 acres of land from Quixx, a subsidiary of Southwestern Public Service Company — the same firm that sold 43,000 acres of water rights to CRMWA. Under the agreement Pickens’ group will market water from the Quixx land. (source).”

2003 The Third World Water Forum was held in Japan.

2005-04 The Region C planning group, responsible for water planning for much of North Texas, added the Mesa Water project to its list of alternative supply sources. Mesa Water is also listed as a possible supply source for North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD), Dallas Water Utilities (DWU), Region L and San Antonio Water System (SAWS).

2006 The Fourth World Water Forum was held in Mexico (2006).

2005Paraguay and the United States: Improbable allies.” The Economist.

2005 “Since 2005 there have been allegations in the media that the U.S. planned to intervene in Cuidad del Este a Paraguayan city of about 200,000 people located in the tri-border area of Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil and/or seeks to control the Guarani Aquifer, a large fresh-water reserve which lies beneath those countries. The United States claimed that its interest in Cuidad del Este is solely to support programs to create jobs in the formal sector there and that the United States has no interest in the Guarani Aquifer, which the U.S. government recognizes as an important resource for the inhabitants of the region (source).” The book and film Blue Gold were criticized by Michael E. Campana in WaterWired for the “Tenuous (really!) connection between possible Bush family land purchases in Paraguay and the taking of ground water from the Guaraní aquifer, the largest fresh ground water source in the world, and arguably the largest fresh unfrozen water body in the world. So how would the Bushes and/or the USA get the water from the aquifer to the USA?”

2005 “In December, 2005, Brazil’s Minister of Environment, Marina Silva, signed an act establishing the Pantanal Biosphere Reserve Management Council, charged with the task of formulating and monitoring an action plan for the reserve. The document was signed at the opening of the 2nd National Environmental Conference, which took place in Brasília, the Brazilian capital.”

2006 Fourth World Water Forum

2006-10-13 “The Prensa Latina paper reported that George W. Bush had purchased 98, 842 acres on the Acuifero Guarani in northern Paraguay, between Bolivia and Brazil. This news was also reported in Asuncion, Paraguay on Oct. 12, and by Upsidedownworld on Oct. 11. earlier George H.W. Bush purchased 173, 000 acres in Paso de Patria, the Chaco area of Paraguay. Jenna Bush has spent time in Paraguay as a representative of UNICEF. (source).”

2007 “Pickens was reported to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for allegedly destroying wetlands and taking water from the Canadian River through Mesa Vista Ranch’ water features including seven miles of water works that include small lakes and manmade streams. The case was dismissed. The first experimental creek was a PVC waterline buried in an area where experience had shown quail hunting to be sporadic. The year after the waterline was created, quail hunting in that area was consistently good. These days, Mesa Vista’s manmade “creeks” consist of 38 miles of underground PVC pipe that feed small waterholes spaced every 1,000 feet or so (source).”

2007 “A political shopping spree may have accelerated the efforts of Dallas billionaire T. Boone Pickens to hijack sweeping government powers of eminent domain. The tycoon wants these extraordinary powers to benefit his private utility companies: Mesa Water and Mesa Power. The $1.8 million that Pickens spent on Texas’ last two elections made him the state’s No. 5 individual donor—up from No. 12 in 2002. Pickens wants condemnation powers to lay 320 miles of utility lines from suburban Dallas to the Texas Panhandle—with or without the approval of the owners of the private land that he would excavate (Texans for Public Justice).” T is for ‘Taking’: Did Texas Sell T. Boone Pickens Powers of Eminent Domain?

2008-06-12 “T. Boone Pickens owns more water than any other individual in the U.S. and is looking to control even more. He hopes to sell the water he already has, some 65 billion gallons a year, to Dallas, transporting it over 250 miles, 11 counties, and about 650 tracts of private property. The electricity generated by an enormous wind farm he is setting up in the Panhandle would also flow along that corridor. As far as Pickens is concerned, he could be selling wind, water, natural gas, or uranium; it’s all a matter of supply and demand. “(Berfield 2008).” Business Week

2009-02-04 – Brazilian radio and TV launch a campaign on the public utility “Aplauso” which aims to demonstrate to society the importance of water in people’s lives and the need to take care of this natural resource.
2/4/2009 – Seminário Edital evaluate capacitação of resource managers in water
2/4/2009 – Reporting to the list of participants selected for or II Course Monitoramento da Qualidade da Água
26/3/2009 – Paulo Varella as director takes posse da ANA
26/3/2009 – New director takes posse da ANA Nesta fifth-feira
25/3/2009 – NAA launches new on relatório situação da água e gestão two water resources in Brazil
25/3/2009 – Conselho National Water Resource Plan discusses water-da Bacia do Araguaia Tocantins produced pela ANA
23/3/2009 – Events marking the beginning gives elaborate document of norteador Ações na Bacia do Rio Verde Grande
23/3/2009 – Diretor da ANA participates chat da Fundação Bunge
2009-03-15 20,000 people were expected at the Fifth World Water Forum in Istanbul.
2009-03-19 ANA (Agência Nacional de Águas) made two presentations at the The 5th World Water Forum: Bridging Divides for Water
18/3/2009 – Brazil e da CPLP countries discutem water policy and cooperação mútua
18/3/2009 – Stand Coordenação do Brazil to discuss and prepare projetos Apresentações no Fórum Mundial da Água
18/3/2009 – Machado: “As public policy setoriais da questão devem include água em suas patterns ”
18/3/2009 – Comitê do Rio Doce já tem novos membros eleitos
17/3/2009 – Mais uma edição do hotsite Águas de Março é haul
16/3/2009 – Machado apresenta da América do Sul demands no Fórum Mundial da V Água

AFP. 2009. “Water forum seeks way through worsening crisis.” 2009-03-15. Istanbul.

2009-03-29 – Paulo Varella was named as Director of ANA (Agência Nacional de Águas) the Brazilian, National Water Agency that implements and coordinates the management of shared and integrated water resources and regulates access to water, promoting sustainable use for the benefit of current and future generations.

Key words: Aqüífero Guarani, Guarani Aqüifer,

Webliography and Bibliography

2005. “Paraguay and the United States: Improbable allies.” The Economist.

AFP. 2009. “Water forum seeks way through worsening crisis.” 2009-03-15. Istanbul.

Barlow, Maude and Tony Clarke. 2002. “Who Owns Water?” The Nation.

Barlow, Maude and Tony Clarke. 2002. Blue Gold: The Fight to Stop the Corporate Theft of the World’s Water. New York: New Press.

Berfield, Susan. 2008. “There Will Be Water.” Business Week.

Bozzo, Sam. 2008. Blue Gold: The Fight to Stop the Corporate Theft of the World’s Water.

Lohan, Tara. 2009. “Blue Gold: Have the Next Resource Wars Begun?” The Nation. .

Marra, Ana Paula. 2006. “Brazil Drafts Conservation Plan for Pantanal, a Mankind’s Patrimony.” Brazil Magazine. 2006-01-06.

Texans for Public Justice. 2007. ” T is for ‘Taking’: Did Texas Sell T. Boone Pickens Powers of Eminent Domain?


Through WSJ Online which I follow on Twitter, I was alerted to Kuroda’s Wall Street Journal timely and informative opinion piece on Asia’s Food Crisis (2008-05-05). I realized that this article was rich in research-based information and provided an excellent summary of a pivotal moment in the social history time-line of the way in which “Wealth Disparities Will Intensify.” See Drummond and Tulk (2006). First I dugg Kuroda’s article.

Then I began a slow world rhizomic process using the semantic web with its microblogs, blogs, social bookmarking, aggregators and folksonomies locating this article at the centre of a dendronic cartography.

Leaving all the windows and tabs open on Firefox I worked with and between Adobe Photoshop, notepad, blogs, etc to produce this series of layered images which I call digitage. They conform to Powerpoint’s default size and highest resolution (1440 x 900). I saved them as .jpg to upload to the Flickr account using my new handy Flickr desktop uploader. These images Circum Asian Pacific Globe 2. “Globalization: Food, Fertilizer and Fuel“, 3. On the Tomato Trail 4. Consuming Questions: East and West were then combined into a .ppt PowerPoint file entitled “Food, Fertilizer, Fuel” which conforms to the default size. Once the presentation was uploaded I collected all the urls and transformed them into snurls. (Snurls are shortened urls that can also be used with microblogging services like Twitter.)

This article then on the East and West was a catalyst to my first “snurl cloud” or “snurl roll” on on Twitter. (A second snurl cloud links to the first: “Wealth Disparities Will Intensify also on Twitter (2008-05-06).

In a sense this is a virtual faint echo of Barndt’s Tangled Routes (2001). See also Flynn-Burhoe (2006-11-17) on the layered digitage linking tomatoes, French Fries, fast foods, high-meat-protein-consumption, Milton Friedman’s “The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase Profits” (1970), Cannibals with Forks and Barndt’s Tangled Routes: Women, Work and Globalization on the Tomato Trail (2001).

Webliography and Bibliography

Barndt, Deborah. 2001. Tangled Routes: Women, Work and Globalization on the Tomato Trail. Aurora, ON. Garamond Press.

Drummond, Don & Tulk, David (2006 ) Lifestyles of the Rich and Unequal: an Investigation into Wealth Inequality in Canada. TD Bank Financial Group.

Flynn-Burhoe, Maureen. 2006. “Wealth Disparities Will Intensify (Drummond and Tulk 2006).” >> December 15, 2006.

Kuroda, Haruhiko. 2008. “Solving Asia’s Food Crisis“. Wall Street Journal Asia. May 5, 2008.

Dramatic images from NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado in Boulder reveal disturbing changes to the homelands of circumpolar Inuit. Rotten sea ice prevents access to resources. The amount of ice loss this year absolutely stunned CU-Boulder senior cryospheric scientist Mark Serreze of NSIDC.

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Sea ice extent continues to decline, and is now at 4.24 million square kilometers (1.63 million square miles), falling yet further below the previous record absolute minimum of 5.32 million square kilometers (2.05 million square miles) that occurred on Se

Key words, tags, folksonomies: environment, science, weather, Nunavut, circumpolar Inuit, Inuit social histories, climate change,

National Snow and Ice Data Center. 2007.

Reflection Nebula NASA

© NASA: Hubble Heritage Project
NGC 1999, a reflection nebula in the constellation Orion

This nebula in the constellation Orion is a reflection nebula which does not emit visible light on its own but is illuminated by a neighbouring recently born white star, V380 Orionis which is visible left of center. NGC 1999 became famous when the first Herbig-Haro object was discovered next to it. Herbig-Haro objects are now known to be jets of gas ejected from very young stars. V380 Orionis has a mass three times that of our sun and it twice as hot on its surface. This jet-black cloud near the centre is an example of a “Bok globule,” (after Bart Bok) a dense, cold light-eating cloud which might be where new stars are formed.(NASA 2006)

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Hosted by NASA, National Aeronautics and Space Administration on their image of the day, November 21, 2006.