In January of this year, James Watson, an Australian scientist who works for the Wildlife Conservation Society, noticed an image that had been tweeted by a friend of his, a physician in Sydney. With a chain of progressively larger circles, it illustrated the relative frequency of causes of death among Australians, from the vanishingly rare (war, pregnancy and birth, murder) to the extremely common (respiratory disorders, cancer, heart disease). It was a simple but striking depiction of comparative risk. “I thought, ‘Why hasn’t anyone done something like this for the rest of nature?’ ”Watson recalled.
Archive for date: August 10th, 2016
You are now in California and the U.S. category.
Calling for more scrutiny of one of the largest proposed infrastructure projects in California history, legislators from up and down the state on Wednesday approved a financial audit of Gov. Jerry Brown’s $15 billion Delta tunnels. A request by Assembly woman Susan Eggman, D-Stockton, and Sen. Lois Wolk of Davis, cleared an audit committee with the support of several legislators from the Los Angeles area, which would benefit from water diverted through the 40-foot-wide tunnels.Eggman and Wolk said their goal wasn’t to block or delay the tunnels, which are fiercely opposed by their Delta-area constituencies.
In 1933, a number of scattered newspaper articles appeared across Southern California extolling the grandeur and beauty of some recently discovered massive limestone caves within the Mojave’s Providence Mountains near the old Bonanza King Mine. Known today as Mitchell Caverns, these geological wonders were named after Jesse E. “Jack” Mitchell who had initially explored the caves in 1929 and would later market them into a popular recreational destination accessible from the National Trails Highway, better known as Route 66.
In the end, it will be state and local officials, not scientists, who put forward the ways Southern California deals with the effects of both the drought and man-made climate change. But we expect policy-makers, even when they are not exactly brainiacs themselves, to keep up with the science on these subjects in order to make informed decisions. It’s scientists who discovered global warming and who now are studying its effects on the planet, as well as offering diverse ways to respond to the crises that will come with sea-level rise, dangerous weather patterns, disruption of agriculture and other problems.
Dear Garden Coach: I am a new gardener who replaced a lawn with Mediterranean and native plants and have noticed some of the plants, such as a native purple sage and monkey flower, are losing their leaves. They are not dead. I see smaller leaves appearing. Do I need to water the plants more often?
A late-season surge of rain and snow melt made a bad year better for the Colorado River, but it wasn’t enough to lift Lake Mead out of record-low territory. The reservoir that supplies Boulder City’s water and 90 percent of the Las Vegas Valley’s drinking water bottomed out at 1,071.61 feet above sea level on July 1, its lowest level since May 1937, when the lake was filling for the first time behind a newly completed Hoover Dam.
Water is an economic imperative —yet clean water supplies are diminishing around the world. Every day we hear reports of water crises—from California, to Brazil, to India, and to South Africa. Just last week for example, the UN stated that 23 million farmers are in need of urgent assistance in drought-stricken Southern Africa.
NASA satellite data has shown that the world’s largest underground aquifers are being depleted at alarming rates. Climate change, water pollution and exploding population growth will add further pressure on freshwater resources.
The Pajaro Valley, in southern Santa Cruz County close to Monterey Bay, is ground zero for high-value farm crops such as arugula, strawberries and cane berries. The area depends almost entirely on groundwater and is not connected to any intrastate transfers, so it has to rely only on local water resources.
The valley’s farms, residents and commercial businesses draw about 56,000 acre-feet (69 million cubic meters) of water each year, and 98 percent of it comes from the groundwater basin, with the balance from surface water and recycled water.
With students heading back to classes this month, we want to ask a little favor of teachers, principals and other educators at public and private elementary, middle and high schools alike: Please spend some time this school year teaching our children about water conservation, if you are not already. Because despite some mixed signals from water regulators lately, a severe drought continues in Southern California, and water education is more important than ever.
Pushing a wheelbarrow filled with 350,000 petition signatures, concerned Californians gathered outside the capitol Tuesday to urge Gov. Brown and the California Water Resources Control Board to stop the potentially dangerous practice of using wastewater from oil drilling to irrigate California’s crops.
The wastewater, sold by Chevron and California Resources Corporation, is now being used to irrigate more than 90,000 acres in the Cawelo Irrigation District and the North Kern Water Management District and is slated to expand in the near future to other districts.