January 30, 2013 |
Irrigation in California's Central Valley pours so much water vapor into the atmosphere that it significantly drives up summer rainfall and runoff in the Southwest, according to a new study. Using a global climate model and estimates of agricultural water use in the Central Valley, UC Irvine scientists concluded that increased evapotranspiration and water vapor export from the valley had a significant effect on the interior Southwest's weather patterns. Average rainfall during the region's summer monsoon season is 15% greater than it would be without the influence of Central Valley irrigation, and the extra precipitation boosts Colorado River flows by 28%, according to the researchers' computer modeling.
August 23, 2012 |
If you're worried about picking up an infectious disease this summer, you may be fretting about catching West Nile disease from a mosquito, H3N2v influenza from a pig, or salmonella from a cantaloupe. But for those who like to dabble in pure medical horror, there's little scarier to ponder than a brain-eating amoeba lurking in your tap water. That's exactly what CDC investigators found when they swabbed the plumbing in the houses of two people who died of primary amoebic meningoencephalitis in 2011. The illness, which is extremely rare, strikes when the amoeba Naegleria fowleri travels into the brain through the nose and olfactory nerve, causing fever, vomiting, seizures and coma.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 19, 2012 |
A major landslide along a seaside cliff in San Pedro that could cost up to $70 million to repair was triggered last year by soil saturated with groundwater, a new study shows. A build-up of water was largely blamed for the November collapse of a stretch of Paseo del Mar after a heavy weekend rainstorm, according to an 800-page report from Shannon & Wilson Inc., a geotechnical and environmental consulting firm. The failure took out 600 feet of the scenic road and carved a gaping chasm into the 120-foot-high coastal bluff, where the ground had been creeping seaward for several months.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 1, 2012 |
The House approved a bill Wednesday that rewrites two decades of water law in California, wiping out environmental protections and dropping reforms of federal irrigation policy that have long irritated agribusiness in the Central Valley. The legislation passed on a mostly party line vote of 246-175 in the Republican-controlled House. But its prospects of becoming law are poor. The White House has issued a veto threat, and it is unlikely to survive the Democratic-controlled Senate, where both of California's senators have vowed to work against it. "It essentially says farmers will get theirs and nothing for anybody else," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)
February 1, 2012 |
It's raining. It's pouring. Or at least it was at 4 in the morning a couple of Saturdays ago. And though no old men were snoring in my vicinity, some sprinklers were watering lawns, rain or no rain. It was waste in its purest form because during and after a downpour the water runs right off the saturated soil into the street. Turning curbs into waterfalls is a side effect of technology that lets us run sprinklers on timers that we set and forget. In theory, they allow watering at optimal but inconvenient times, such as early morning, when cooler air minimizes evaporation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 8, 2011 |
When archeologist John Foster started peeling the asphalt from a parking lot in downtown Ventura, he knew he wouldn't have to dig deep to find a cache of long-buried relics. He just didn't realize how many he'd find and from how many different eras. "It was layer upon layer," he said this week as he surveyed the emerging foundations of a long-buried, 3-foot-thick mission wall, a span of 200-year-old terra cotta floor tiles laid by Chumash laborers, and a channel fashioned from inverted roof tiles that irrigated a long-dead garden.