Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα California. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα California. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Τρίτη, Φεβρουαρίου 03, 2015

CA Officials Allowed Fracking to Taint Drinking Water Amid Record Drought

Oil companies in drought-ravaged California are pumping wastewater from their operations into aquifers, potentially contaminating groundwater supplies that have become increasingly important...

State regulators permitted companies to drill hundreds of waste-disposal wells into aquifers that store water for drinking or irrigation, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Companies injected a blend of briny water, hydrocarbons and trace chemicals.

Most of the wells are located in the state’s Central Valley, where residents are pumping so much groundwater to cope with the historic drought that the land has started to sink.

“It is an unfolding catastrophe, and it’s essential that all oil and gas wastewater injection into underground drinking water stop immediately,” said Kassie Siegel, director of the Climate Law Institute at the Center for Biological Diversity environmental group.

So far, tests of nearby drinking-water wells show no contamination, state officials said. But the federal Environmental Protection Agency is still threatening to take control of monitoring the waste-injection wells after more than 30 years of state management.

“If there are wells having a direct impact on drinking water, we need to shut them down now,” said Jared Blumenfeld, regional administrator for the EPA. “Safe drinking water is only going to become more in demand.”

The problem dates back to 1983, when the EPA gave state regulators responsibility for enforcing the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. The agreement listed aquifers considered exempt, where oil companies could legally inject leftover water.

But there were two signed copies of the agreement, which led to oil companies injecting wastewater into aquifers that were supposed to be off-limits, the Chronicle reported.

The EPA first suspected the problem in 2011, and last summer state officials shut down 11 waste-injection wells that they feared could taint groundwater supplies already feeding homes and farms.

In 2010, cherry trees on Mike Hopkins San Joaquin Valley orchard starting turning brown, a problem that spread the next year.

Tests of the water revealed high levels of salt and boron, both of which can damage trees. Hopkins blames oil companies for tainting the aquifer that used to feed his orchard, and sued four companies that had been injecting wastewater nearby.

In another sign of California's persistent drought, downtown San Francisco recorded no measurable rain in January for the first time in 165 years, the National Weather Service said.

The agency also said Santa Cruz recorded no rain in January for the first time since 1893. Normal rainfall for that city in January is more than 6 inches.

For the Bay Area as a whole, last month was the driest January on record, the weather service said. December brought decent rain to Southern and Northern California, raising hopes for a wet winter, but January turned out to be dry and unusually warm.
sputniknews.com

3/2/15
--
-

Σάββατο, Οκτωβρίου 04, 2014

NASA Satellite Images Reveal Shocking Groundwater Loss in Drought-Stricken California

NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) program has released a series of satellite images, taken in June 2002, June 2008 and June of this year, showing the  stunning groundwater loss in California which is in its third year of record drought.... 

“This trio of images depicts satellite observations of declining water storage in California as seen by NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment satellites,” says NASA. “Colors progressing from green to orange to red represent greater accumulated water loss between April 2002 and June 2014.”

The prolonged drought has impacted everything from agriculture to fisheries to residential use, worsened and prolonged the wildfire season and created conflicts over the use of water resources.
That has included calls for banning water-intensive fracking and disputes over the diversion of river water for the state’s even more water-intensive agriculture sector, primarily in its fertile Central Valley.

“California’s Sacramento and San Joaquin River basins, including the Central Valley, have suffered the greatest losses, in part due to increased groundwater pumping to support agricultural production,” said NASA. “Between 2011 and 2014, the combined river basins have lost 4 trillion gallons of water each year, an amount far greater than California’s 38 million residents use in cities and homes annually.”

Gov. Brown declared a state of emergency in January after the state had its lowest recorded rainfall in its history.

*** GRACE is a collaborative endeavor involving the Center for Space Research at the University of Texas, Austin; NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.; the German Space Agency and Germany’s National Research Center for Geosciences, Potsdam.


Anastasia Pantsios | October 3, 2014
ecowatch.com
--
-
Related:

---

Σάββατο, Αυγούστου 02, 2014

California Experiencing Most Severe Drought Ever Recorded

One of the worst North American droughts in history could be getting a whole lot worse. According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor Map released on Tuesday, more than 58 percent of California is in an “exceptional drought” stage. That’s up a staggering 22 percent from last week’s report. And, in its latest drought report released earlier today, the National Drought Mitigation Center warned that “bone-dry” conditions are overtaking much of the Golden State, and noted that, overall, California is “short more than one year’s worth of reservoir water, or 11.6 million acre-feet, for this time of year.”

All across California, streams are drying up, crops are dying off and local communities are struggling to maintain access to water, thanks to 3 years of persistent drought conditions. 
The situation is so dire that on Tuesday, California implemented state-wide emergency water-conservation measures, in an effort preserved what remaining water there is. Under the new measures, Californians can face fines of up to $500 per day for using hoses to clean sidewalks, run decorative fountains, and other water-guzzling activities.
Unfortunately, while the situation in California is already pretty bleak, it looks like things are only going to get worse. In fact, it’s possible that all of the American southwest could soon be seeing the devastating drought conditions that Californians are facing. That’s because the largest surge of heat ever recorded moving west to east in the Pacific Ocean, often referred to as a Kelvin Wave, which was supposed to start an El Nino and bring tropical-like rains to the West Coast and southwest, just dissipated, after it was absorbed by abnormally warm ocean waters.

An El Nino is marked by the prolonged warming of Pacific Ocean surface temperatures, when compared to the average temperature. El Ninos usually happen every two to seven years, and can last anywhere between nine months and two years. As warm water spreads from the western Pacific and the Indian Ocean to the eastern Pacific, it brings rain and moisture with it, bringing rain to California and the American Southwest. 
So, during an El Nino period, winters are often a lot wetter than usual in the southwest U.S., including in central and southern California, where drought conditions are currently the worst. That’s why Californians were hoping for a strong El Nino period, to bring the rains and moisture that’s needed to help ease the drought.

Unfortunately, while some weather models are still predicting that an El Nino is possible, the chances of an El Nino strong enough to break the devastating drought that California is seeing are now very, very slim. As a result, there’s probably no end in sight to the current drought conditions in California. And, since warm ocean waters that bring rain are moving farther north up the Pacific, while Oregon and Washington and Alaska will get rain, the jet stream is set to extend drought-like conditions to much of the southwest.......................................ecowatch.com
1/8/14

Τετάρτη, Οκτωβρίου 16, 2013

High court orders California to release thousands of prisoners....

On Tuesday, the US Supreme Court rejected an appeal to halt the early release of thousands of California prison inmates by the end of the year.
The Supreme Court did not comment on its decision, which supports a previous ruling by a lower court forcing California to free about 9,600 additional inmates by the end of the year. In 2011, federal judges ruled that the state must improve prison health conditions. Reducing the number of inmates was included as part of the process.
Since then, California has cut its prison population by about 25,000 inmates. State Gov. Jerry Brown claims that releasing even more could jeopardize public safety. It remains to be seen whether or not counties in California are equipped to handle the influx of inmates scheduled to occur.

"We haven't projected for them. They are not part of our population modeling. So you can't give them to us. We're not ready for this yet," Jerry Powers, a member of the Los Angeles County Probation Department, told the local ABC news affiliate in Los Angeles.
According to ABC, Los Angeles County could find itself making room for about 3,000 inmates in January 2014.
"The state's reclassification of mentally disordered offenders so that they're no longer mentally disordered offenders because of a signature on a piece of paper has resulted in an undue burden to our local county probation officers," Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich said. 

California is still trying to strike a deal with the courts that would delay the release of prisoners beyond the start of the new year. Gov. Brown has also signed a bill that would allow the state to hold inmates in private and county jails should it fail to arrange a delay of the January deadline. 
Attorneys representing the inmates are currently in the midst of settlement negotiations with the state. At least one is arguing that Tuesday’s decision should compel California to begin complying with the judges’ ruling.
“They already lost once and the Supreme Court said you don’t get a second bite at the apple,” Michael Bien, one of the attorneys representing inmates, said to Time. “Hopefully it’s the signal to all the parties that it’s time to comply with the three-judge court’s orders and move on with the reforms that are necessary, rather than resisting.”
 
This is just the latest chapter in a dispute that began in 2001, when a lawsuit filed on behalf of inmates argued that poor prison conditions violated inmates’ constitutional rights against cruel and unusual punishment. When federal judges agreed, California was required to upgrade its medical facilities and staff, and reduce overcrowding.

The Supreme Court’s decision to reject California’s appeal comes just over one month after inmates ended an attention-grabbing hunger strike at the state’s largest prison. In an attempt to protest the poor conditions they found themselves in because of the prison’s lengthy solitary confinement policies, about 30,000 inmates began refusing meals in a strike that would last for two months. By the end of the second month, the number of participants fell to 100, but lawmakers agreed to hold legislative hearings this autumn to discuss policy change proposals. 
http://rt.com/usa/high-court-california-prisoners-271/
16/10/13

Οι νεκροί Έλληνες στα μακεδονικά χώματα σάς κοιτούν με οργή

«Παριστάνετε τα "καλά παιδιά" ελπίζοντας στη στήριξη του διεθνή παράγοντα για να παραμείνετε στην εξουσία», ήταν η κατηγορία πο...