BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – It will take about 11 trillion gallons of water (42 cubic kilometers) — around 1.5 times the maximum volume of the largest U.S. reservoir — to recover from California’s continuing drought, according to a new analysis of NASA satellite data. The finding was part of a sobering update on the state’s drought made possible by space and airborne measurements and presented by NASA scientists Dec. 16 at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco. Such data are giving scientists an unprecedented ability to identify key features of droughts, data that can be used to inform water management decisions. A team of scientists led by Jay Famiglietti of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California used data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites to develop the first-ever calculation of this kind — the volume of water required to end an episode of drought. Earlier this year, at the peak of California’s current three-year drought, the team found that water storage in the state’s Sacramento and San Joaquin river basins was 11 trillion gallons below normal seasonal levels. Data collected since the launch of GRACE in 2002 shows this deficit has increased steadily. READ MORE »
Selenium, a trace element that can be toxic under certain circumstances, has been linked to adverse health impacts in honey bee populations, according to a new study by researchers at the University of California-Riverside. To read the full report click here:http://ucrtoday.ucr.edu/18085. Selenium in farm drainage water generated on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley poisoned birds at the Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge 30 years ago. Despite the potential dangers from farming high selenium soils the State Water Resources Control Board has continued to allow these lands to be irrigated and drainage waters to be dumped in the lower San Joaquin River.
EPA Finalizes California’s List of Polluted Waters
Trends Include 170% Increase In Toxicity Listings Since 2006
SAN FRANCISCO— More of California’s waterways are impaired than previously known, according to a list of polluted waterways submitted by the state to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and finalized by the agency today. Increased water monitoring data shows the number of rivers, streams and lakes in California exhibiting overall toxicity have increased 170 percent from 2006 to 2010. California has some of the most magnificent rivers, lakes and coastal waters in the country. However, of its 3.0 million acres of lakes, bays, wetlands and estuaries, 1.6 million acres are not meeting water quality goals, and 1.4 million acres still need a pollution clean-up plan, known as a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). READ MORE »