There’s No Business Like Snow Business

This blog post brought to you by WCO intern Laura Keys, who has not built a snowman during the 2014-2015 school year.

Like many of my fellow Athenians, I awoke this past Thursday and excitedly looked out the window to see how many inches of snow we had received. Weather forecasts had shown Athens receiving a potential 1-3 inches during the night, and students across the city awaited with bated breath for word of school closures and delays. So did it snow in Athens?

The view from my window agreed with the forecast from local website “Is It Snowing In Athens?” (http://isitsnowinginathens.com). The answer: a resounding no.

School and work continued as usual in Athens that day, much to the disappointment of many, and Athens was spared from a repeat of 2014’s Snowpocalypse that shut down operations for several days. While Athens’ economy is certainly not dependent on the presence of snow (and in fact, probably fares much worse when there -is- snow), many places in the world actually rely on snow to get their annual water and business needs met.

Measuring snow depth in California

Case 1: the entire state of California, the largest economy in the US. California is in a dire drought, with no foreseeable end in sight. Much of their water supply needs are met by snowpacks in the surrounding mountain ranges such as the Sierra Nevada, where snow falls during the winter and melts in the spring to supply cities that need the water. Snow levels have been much lower over the past few years, and that signals big trouble for California, whose GDP rivals that of Canada, Italy, or India. Californians definitely have room to complain about a lack of snow.

Skiing at Lake Lucerne

Case 2: Switzerland and mountainous European countries. Winter in Switzerland, Austria, and other Alpine nations is marked by outdoor recreation in the snow, particularly skiing. Skiing is a huge part of the winter economy, with families traveling by train to stay in resorts, rent skis, eat meals in restaurants, and generally spend money. Over the past several decades, precipitation has decreased in Switzerland by upwards of 60% in some areas, and that translates into serious economic losses due to a shorter skiing season. The Swiss are understandably distressed about missing out on snow.

Baikal seal pup in its den

Case 3: Baikal seals. Lake Baikal is the largest lake in the world, located in Siberia, and is home to the endemic Baikal seal. Snow in autumn provides habitat for these seals: a mother seal digs a den in the ice and snow in which to raise her pups. In spring when the ice melts, the den collapses, and the seals venture out into the world on their own. Snow is crucial for the life cycle of Baikal seals, so a lack of snowfall could be disastrous for the lake ecosystem.

In short, we Athenians aren’t going to suffer immense monetary or water supply shortfalls due to a lack of snow, but it is a nice departure from the norm to have some. Even those who hate snow can revel in the fact that when we do get snow, it doesn’t stick around forever; your bread and toilet paper supplies will last until the snow has melted away.

15 Ways a Water Utility can Dive into Social Media

This week’s blog is from Laurie Loftin, program specialist with the ACC Water Conservation Office.

Have you been thinking about dipping your toes into social media but still haven’t taken the plunge?

flu shot

Don’t let the fear of a flu shot keep you from using social media.

A water utility deciding whether or not to use social media is similar to going in for a flu shot.  Your rational brain knows the flu shot is beneficial for your long-term health, but you drag your feet walking into the doctor’s office.  You fear the pain of the needle, dread the lingering soreness in your arm, and worry about the possible negative side effects.

Content creation is the social media equivalent to the flu shot.  You know social media offers you an enormous opportunity to building a healthy relationship with your customers, just like a flu shot prevents the flu all season.  But the burden of having to create continuous and engaging content can linger like the painful memory of  a needle stick.

Assuming you got the flu shot, you know it wasn’t that bad after all.  Content creation for your social media sites can be the same way.  To ease the pain and anxiety, here are a few ideas to get you started creating content.

1.  Organize your outreach calendar.  Start your efforts  by creating a social media calendar to compliment your outreach plan.  A good social media strategy helps you determine your goals, organize your outreach tactics, and create content.  Doing this step makes social media less daunting and gives your utility more direction.  For more on this, check out the wonderful book Content Rules, by Ann Handley & C.C. Chapman.

Screenshot 2015-02-17 13.15.50

Monitor posts by others and create a response to address their concerns.

2.  Give real-time information and warnings about water main breaks, boil water alerts, or weather related emergencies.   You can also look on Twitter for postings from your customers about breaks or other issues, possibly allowing you to get to a problem quicker than before.

3.  Brag on your employees and boost morale.  Our water and wastewater workers are a vital part of our community, but these men and women are often taken for granted.  Post photos of them at work on Facebook and Instagram.  Have the employees submit on the job selfies. This helps the community understand what the utility worker does behind the scenes.

4.  Engage in conversation with customers.  Use social media to speak directly to your customer base.  Explain upcoming utility changes before they happen.  Share tips on how to prevent frozen pipes.  Worried about negative comments?  See this public feedback as an opportunity to address the problem and make it right.

5.  Share videos.  Find something really disgusting in a sewer line?  Share a video of the yuck being removed on You Tube or Vine, then use this as an opportunity to educate your audience of proper waste disposal.  Post links to videos explaining how to check the house for leaks on Twitter.  If sharing videos made by others, remember to watch the entire video  for appropriateness before posting!

6.  Publicize upcoming events.  Have a great toilet repair workshop in the near future?  Boost attendance through your social media outlets.  Create a Facebook event page and send reminders on Twitter. Provide links to online registration forms and additional information. Take pictures during the event and share in a photo album on Facebook.

WaterSense Award

You work hard. Let others know how much you care about our water!

7.  Establish yourself as an expert in your field.  Write blogs, answer questions posted by your audience, or post on Linkedin message boards in a knowledgeable, thoughtful, and professional manner.  Do this consistently throughout the year and you become the trusted expert your customers turn to in an emergency or drought.

8.  Attaboys!  Did you recently win an award for your drinking water quality?  Do you have a drinking water treatment operator  working at your facility named the best in the state?  Brag about your accomplishments!  Share a photo of the trophy on Instagram.  Write a brief bio and snap an image of the operator for Facebook.

9.  Share your Consumer Confidence Report, or Drinking Water Quality Report, with your customers through links on Twitter or Facebook.  You need to share this with the public anyway, so why not add this to your list of distribution methods?

10.  Highlight local businesses.  Do you know of a business who has made great strides in water efficiency?  Recognize their efforts through photos and words.  Take a photo inside the location and ask your audience to guess which local business updated their toilets.  Have a drawing of the entrants and give a prize.  Add this business to a board of Water Warriors on Pinterest by including an image, brief description, and link to the business.

50 Shades of Brown

Find what is trending & use it as a springboard when creating interesting content.

11.  Create targeted messages utilizing your smart meter analytics.  With the data collected from a smart meter, you can target particular groups with community based social marketing messages to change social norms.  For example, let a specific neighborhood know that “75% of the people in your neighborhood reduced their water use from the month before.  Keep up the good work!”

12.  Stay with the current!  Look for what is trending on Twitter, BuzzFeed, or other sites and incorporate it into your content.  For example, 50 Shades of Gray was trending, so a tour of a water reclamation facility is a perfect place to promote 50 Shades of Brown.

13.  Post images and infographics.  Add posts with an image to increase engagement.  Capture a pretty sunset over an aeration basin?  Find an easy to understand inforgraphic about World Toilet Day?  Share the image with a creative and brief caption or text.  This easy content builder works well on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

14.  Share articles, posts, and blogs from other experts.  Stay up to date and keep learning about the water field by reading blog postings and articles by others.  Did you learn something new?  See something another utility posted?  (Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District has great content!)   Share it with your readers!  You can also take a moment to post comments and questions to the author.  Linkedin is a good place to find articles and create discussion.

15.  Ask your audience what they want from you.  When in doubt, go to the source.  We can only pretend to know exactly what our customers find helpful.  Ask your followers what they would like to see you share.  Examine your analytics to determine which posts received the most view, shares, likes, and comments, then do more of it.

Using social media is an inexpensive way to conduct outreach, but it can cost time.  Develop an organized plan of action and content creation becomes much easier.  You can even do it from your phone while waiting for your flu vaccine.  Just do it.

 

 

Are we following in the Footsteps of Mesopotamia the Ancient Mayans?

This week’s blog is written by Marilyn Hall, Athens-Clarke County Water Conservation Coordinator

hydroillogical cycle

Here is the graphic for the Hydro-Illogical Cycle created in the 1990s.

Way back in the late 1990s the National Drought Mitigation Center created the “Hydro-Illogical Cycle”. It is a cute play on words from the water cycle that we all learned about in elementary school. The graphic shows how drought tends to emerge under the radar screen compared to other natural disasters.  In other words, tornadoes and tidal waves are more exciting to watch on YouTube that a developing drought. It is hard to even know when a drought begins and when it ends.  But when drought does finally end, people are often glad to forget about it and to resume business as usual. (Of course this is true of most natural disasters.)

The purpose of the graphic is to remind us that severe drought can sneak up on us at any time, so we need to think about drought preparation when we aren’t currently in a drought. People all over the globe have been suffering from the Apathy-Panic cycle for millenniums.  Here are a couple of examples.

Picture of a Cichlid school, Mystic Pool, Cara Blanca Pools, Belize

Cichlids swim in pool where ancient Mayans made sacrifices to their water god.

1) A “Mayan Drought Cult” developed after the Mayan’s suffered many years of drought.  Human sacrifices to Chaak, the Mayan water god, picked up after things started looking especially bleak.  Unfortunately for the Mayans it was too little too late.

2)  A New York Times from 1993 linked the demise of an ancient Mesopotamian empire to an unrelenting 300 year drought. Scientists were saying that it was “probably the first abrupt climate change in recorded history that caused major social upheaval…it raises some interesting questions about how volatile climate conditions can be and how well civilizations can adapt to abrupt crop failures.”

It took thousands of years for us to come up with the clever “hydro-illogical” graphic shown above.  I am ashamed to say that I have not thought about or presented the “Hydro-Illogical Cycle” in years.  In fact, I have not shown it during a presentation since the last big drought!

According to the graphic we are lucky to be napping happily in the Apathy stage here in Athens, GA. However, if you look at the National Drought Monitor many of the states out west are not so lucky. (I wonder who answers the phone when the little guy dials 911?) Here in Athens we are “between droughts” right now and the next one may be right around the corner. What can you do to avoid the panic?  Go to ThinkattheSink.com and learn about our upcoming workshops and sign up for our email list.  The Athens-Clarke County Water Conservation Office is working to make our County resilient to drought.  Contact us to find out how you can help!

Updating my showerhead: a review

This week’s blog post was written by WCO intern Laura Keys.

This past October the Athens-Clarke County Water Conservation Office gave away 500 low-flow showerheads. On numerous occasions as I was handing them out, the recipient would ask me, “So have you used one? How are they?” I would sheepishly admit that I had not, in fact, tried them yet but had heard good things about them.

The WCO is poised to do another even bigger showerhead giveaway, and I figured it was time to sample the wares so I could give people my informed opinion. So here are the details of my experience with a new low-flow showerhead: the chrome-finished Niagara Sava Spa 2515 showerhead.

Not how I want my shower to feel.

Before I removed my old showerhead, I measured how much water was actually flowing out of it. I was surprised to measure 3.5 gallons per minute (gpm) because it was rated at a maximum flow of 2.5 gpm!! In the past we never turned the shower on fully because it felt like we were being blasted by a firehose, and now I understand why.

Using a set of pliers, I twisted off the old showerhead and removed the rubber washer, which was covered in black grime and might not have been seated correctly against the showerhead. (I don’t know why the showerhead produced more flow than it was rated for, but several generations of rental house neglect probably didn’t help.)

Then I installed the new showerhead, twisting it into place by hand and giving it an extra quarter twist using pliers. (Using small pliers scuffed up the finish a little bit. A big wrench probably would have been better, oops.) I measured the flow out of it and saw that it was hitting a perfect 1.5 gpm, as it should have been.

The final task was to actually try it out. When I first turned the shower on to its maximum flow, it was sort of a weird sensation… a nice full spray, but with a much lighter feel. As soon as my hair was fully wet, I didn’t notice a difference anymore, and shampooing/conditioning my hair took the same time as usual. So it was a pretty quick adjustment period. Another pretty sweet advantage: my shower usually lasts under 10 minutes, but I often run out of hot water before then because our water heater is teeny-tiny. Besides saving water and money on my shower, I didn’t run out of hot water because less was being used in the same period of time!

This new showerhead will be a big money-saver, too. It retails for around $10, though I used it for free. (My old showerhead was free since it came with the house, so no difference there.) But here’s the water cost-savings for the next year: assuming eight 8-minute showers a week from my household for 50 weeks of the year, the cost of water would be $23.23. With my old showerhead, running it fully would cost $54.21, and partly running it at 2.5gpm would cost $38.72.

So I call this new showerhead a total victory. Sleek appearance? Check. Good water pressure? Check. Hot showers? Check. Saving money? Check. Saving water? Double-check. Stay tuned for the next showerhead giveaway!

10 Simple Water Resolutions for the New Year

This week’s blog is from Laurie Loftin, Program Specialist with Water Conservation Office and your personal cheerleader.  I know you can do at least one of these all year!!!

Do you feel like a failure?  If you are like me, it is the middle of January and you have yet to start or have already failed with your exercise, savings, eating, and/or (fill in the blank) resolution for the shiny New Year.

Don’t let this get you down!  It is never too late to forgive yourself and try again.  Who says New Year’s Day is the only day you can make a change?  This time, instead of the overdone promises everyone makes to themselves, pick one that has the power to change you, water, and the world.

I offer 10 options for change you can make in 2015 to turn you into a Water Warrior.

 

drink more tap water

1.  Quit the Bottle

A common resolution is to save money.  You can very easily do this AND use water wisely with one little change.  Drink tap water instead of bottled water.  A gallon of tap water in Athens-Clarke County costs less than $.01.  A gallon of bottled water can go up to $8.00!  You protect water by quitting the bottle, too.  It takes 3 liters of water to produce 1 liter of bottled water.

Middle Oconee Walk

2.  Hit the Trail

Locate the local source of your drinking water supply.  Are there any trails you can walk that follow beside or around the source?  Pledge to walk the trail once a week.  Take mental snapshots of the water levels and compare these throughout the year.  In Athens we pull water from the Middle and North Oconee Rivers.  The UGA State Botanical Gardens and Ben Burton Park both offer walking trails along the Middle Oconee.  When the weather warms, consider kayaking down your water source.

UOWN donate3.  Be More Charitable

Give to a local organization that safeguards the waterways right in your community.  Consider a direct contribution or support one of their events.  Look on AmazonSmile to see if your chosen organization is eligible to receive a portion of your purchase price whenever you shop on their site.  How easy is that?!?

Makeover bathroom

4.  Give Yourself a Makeover…

in your bathroom.  Replace those old fixtures and faucets with a WaterSense labeled product to become more water efficient this year.  Once you knock this out, you are saving water without even trying!  See the difference you make by simply switching out your showerhead.  Your seven minute shower in 2014 used about 437 gallons a month (assuming you shower 25x a month).  After successfully meeting this 2015 resolution, the high-efficiency showerhead results in just 219 gallons used – a 50% reduction!

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5.  Be a Good Role Model for Your Kids

Here is where the old adage “actions speak louder than words” proves itself to be true.  Your children are watching you.  Model how to be water efficient in 2015 so your children will have water for life.

 Find leaks

6.  Find & Fix Leaks

Pledge to not only look for leaks inside and outside your home, but to fix the leaks you find within 24hr.  A leaky toilet wastes the most water and significantly increases your water bill.  Ignore that dripping faucet the whole year of 2015 and you have lost more than 3,000 gallons of water by 2016.  Remember, your kids are watching. The Buyerarchy of Needs7.  Buy Less

Everything you purchase requires water to get you the product.  This is part of what is called your water footprint.  The socks you buy needed water to grow the cotton, water for manufacturing, water for the packaging, water for transporting… Buy less and shrink your water footprint.  What to do with that extra money?  See #3.meatless_monday_logo-large[1]

8.  Go Meatless

Try the Meatless Monday craze this year.  It is simple.  Skip meat in all of your meals on Mondays.  A pound of beef requires about 1,850 gallons of water to produce.  Compare this to only 39 gallons of water to produce a pound of vegetables.  The switch has the power to reduce your water footprint and possibly your waist size.

 

recyclemore[1]

9.  Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle

These 3 Rs apply to water, too.  Remember that water footprint? Water is used in the production of almost everything.  Get more life out of a product by reusing or recycling it to make those gallons go further.  A ton of recycled paper uses 50% less water than that to make one ton of paper products from virgin wood pulp.

Turn off the water while brushing.

10.  Turn Off the Water While You Brush

If you achieve no other resolutions this year, make simply turning off the water while you brush your teeth the one you master.  You will quickly realize it requires very little effort on your part.  Stick a post-it to your mirror with a printed friendly reminder.  Doing this one thing can provide a 1,000 gallon a year savings for you.  If everyone in the United States did it, we would save 314 billion gallons.  Wow!

Pick one or two of these actions and start today.  Every little bit you do helps water.  You can do it!

Did you make a water related New Year’s Resolution for 2015?  Share it with us!

12 Ways I Saved Money and Water at my Wedding

This week’s blog is written by Marilyn Hall, Water Conservation Coordinator for Athens-Clarke County, Georgia.

On January 3, 2015 I married the man of my dreams! When planning for the wedding we had two goals: saving money and saving water. Much to my delight, those goals work hand in hand. Here are 12 of the things we did to save money and water on our special day.

The Marquee at the New Earth Music Hall was up for a whole week!

The Marquee at the New Earth Music Hall was up for a whole week!

1) We had our wedding and reception at the same venue.  We chose the New Earth Music Hall which is also Certified Blue.  By using just one venue we saved money on site fees and on transportation from one location to the other. Saving gas saves water so eliminating that extra travel saved water too.

2) We used one of Athens’ Certified Blue Restaurants for catering. Certified Blue restaurants and bars use less water and promote efficient water use in Athens. There are about 25 restaurants to choose from ranging from pricey gourmet to inexpensive fast food. We chose Barberitos, a less expensive option and the guests loved it.

3) We served a vegetarian meal. It takes a lot of water to grow the grain to feed the animal that ultimately ends up on your guests’ plate. If you have 100 guests at your wedding and serve a vegetarian meal instead of a 4 oz steak per person you can save about 40,000 gallons of water. Barberitos’ tofu is fantastic and I am not sure the guests even noticed they were eating vegetarian.

4) We chose a water-efficient hotel. We stayed in a hotel that won the Leadership in Water Conservation Award presented by the Athens-Clarke County Water Conservation Office and recommended the hotel to our guests. If you are planning a wedding out of town, stay at a hotel that has taken the WaterSense H2Otel Challenge. These hotels have gone above and beyond the norm to save water.

5) I wore a vintage gown.

I found this gown at Goodwill for $90, saving over $1000 and lots of water too.  (This photo was taken by my 11-year-old daughter.)

I found this gown at Goodwill for $90, saving over $1000 and lots of water too. (This photo was taken by my 11-year-old daughter.)

The textile industry is the third largest consumer of water in the world – behind the paper and oil industries. Finding a nice vintage gown at a thrift or consignment store can go a long way to having a water-saving wedding. Obviously this saves a lot of money too.

6) We shamelessly borrowed as much as we could from friends and family. Everything has a water footprint from its manufacturing to its shipping. When you reuse items you are saving water, money, and other resources. We got very lucky in this regard.  My friend’s daughter was married in December and she was gracious enough to lend me bows, centerpieces, and other lovely items that we used to decorate the New Earth.  (Thank you Christy!)

7) We minimized the use of cut flowers. Flowers are very expensive and they require a lot of water, fertilizer, pesticides, and oil for transportation. If you really want flowers at your wedding use seasonal, local, and organic flowers and grasses in your arrangements. You can also do what we did and choose one focal point for the flowers. I held a beautiful bouquet put together by a local florist with flowers she had on hand.

8) We used recycled paper products. Paper products made from 100 percent recycled paper require much less water in their manufacturing than do those made from virgin paper. Buying or renting linen napkins is expensive and they must be washed. If you think your guests will think it is tacky to use paper products, put up a little sign explaining why you chose them.  Be proud to conserve, reduce, and reuse!

9) We didn’t send paper invitations.   A lot of paper is used in wedding planning: paper is used for save-the-dates, invitations, RSVP cards, seating programs, menu cards, seating cards, thank you cards, and more. Traditional paper-making is a water and energy-intensive process that uses harsh chemicals and produces a lot of waste.  We saved money and water by using Evite. It worked for us, but may not work for everyone.  I imagine most couples can find a middle ground that best suits their style and their guests’ needs.

10) We went digital with the photography. Digital photography offered a paperless and chemical-free way to capture our wedding.  Also, getting a DVD of all the photos saves a lot of money because we can can print them ourselves.

11) We did not give our guests wedding favors. Favors for guests can cost hundreds of dollars and wedding favors are usually small trinkets that end up in the trash. If it ends up in the trash, it wastes money and all the resources that went into it.

12) Tell people about it! “Whatever you do to make your wedding environmentally responsible, make sure you tell people about it! Screening An Inconvenient Truth during the ceremony is probably over the top, but you can still take advantage of having your friends and family gathered in one place to do a little friendly education. Tell them about yourselves and about what is important to you. If you can create a wonderful, magical celebration that treads a little lighter on the planet, then people will remember it. Too many folks still believe environmentalism is all doom and gloom–this is the perfect opportunity to prove them wrong!” (I couldn’t say it better so I excerpted from a great article on how to have a green wedding.)

Santa Claus Should Pack Up and Move!

We revisit a blog from Laurie Loftin, Program Specialist, who is clearly dating herself with this blog intro.

superman santa

“Superman’s Father,” by Funkwood. Won 4th place in The Secret Life of Santa 7 photo effects contest at Worth1000.com.

Look, up in the sky!  It’s a bird.  It’s a plane.  It’s an Amazon drone.  It’s Santa Claus!  Yes, it’s Santa Claus.  A jolly old elf from the North Pole who comes to visit good girls and boys with gift giving abilities far beyond those of mortal men.  Santa Claus, who can slide down the tightest of chimneys, make gazillions of toys with his bare hands, and fights a never-ending battle to promote consumerism, as it is the American way.

And now, take part in another exciting episode in the adventures of Santa Claus.  On Christmas Eve track his flight across the world, thanks to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).  Using radar, satellites, SantaCams, and jet fighters, the NORAD is sure to be the envy of the NSA this Christmas, as they keep children everywhere up to date with the surveillance of St. Nick.  The official tracking website allows your little ones to see how far the sleigh is from their home, play holiday games, and listen to well-loved Christmas carols.  Visit the library to learn how Santa functions in a different time-space continuum, making his amazing annual trek a reality for all children who keep Santa alive in their hearts.

Now to tie this blog to water.  Santa Claus’ legendary workshop is located in the North Pole.  I admit I only think of the North Pole in December.  The location brings to mind images of snowy white landscapes and mountains of ice.  Last winter I was curious as to what the North Pole looks like during the other seasons of the year.

rudolph

Yes, Virginia, these trees don’t grow at the North Pole.

Much to my dismay, I once again confirmed how completely misinformed I am about most topics.  Relying only on the teachings of claymation classics such as “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “The Year Without Santa Claus,” I incorrectly believed Santa’s workshop in the North Pole to be a fixed location on snow-covered land with pine trees.  I have since learned a few things as shocking as if someone were to tell me Santa isn’t real.

First, there are two North Poles.  One is the North “Magnetic” Pole, the other is the geographic location.  No wonder no one has been able to find Santa’s legendary workshop!  Which area should one search?  To further add to the confusion, the  North Magnetic Pole is constantly moving – about 35 miles a year – due to magnetic changes in the Earth’s core.  Can you imagine the headache this must cause Santa?  He could leave to deliver presents and, because of the different time-space continuum he exists in, return to his workshop only to discover the whole setup has moved somewhere else!

The other thing I learned is the North Pole, be it the North Magnetic Pole or the Geographic North Pole, is not made up of any land mass.  It is made mostly out of shifting sea ice.  Santa’s magical workshop sits on top of solid WATER!  Without water the North Pole and Santa’s workshop would not exist.  I knew water was important, but I didn’t realize the legend of Santa Claus depends on this natural resource for his survival.

north pole

Images of North Pole at different times of the year.

Images from the summer of 2013 taken near the Geographic North Pole caused a bit of controversy.  The headline grabbing news shouted the North Pole is melting!  Climate change believers and non-believers sought to disprove each other.  But neither group could deny the image of a lake in the North Pole.  Ice was melting.  Apparently this is not out of the ordinary.  Axel Schweiger, who heads the Applied Physics Laboratory’s Polar Science Center, and other researchers explained in Science Daily that it is not unusual to find a melt pond on an ice floe during summer months.  I guess Santa Claus accepts the possibility of the ice below his workshop melting come mid-July?

I encourage you to use the NORAD Santa tracker to locate the North Pole and follow Mr. Claus on his epic journey.  NORAD should keep the tracker up and running after Christmas.  With the geographical headaches Santa must encounter every year, I wouldn’t be surprised if the jolly old elf himself needs to locate the North Pole.  I also wouldn’t blame him if he moved.

Happy Holidays to All – enjoy the gift of water.

Laurie