Posted on December 11, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Dec. 11 is International Mountain Day
Celebrate mountains! @bberwyn photo.
Mountains are much more than just a scenic backdrop for tourist snapshots.They are reservoirs of biodiversity and water, helping to sustain life in the valleys and plains below. And since the dawn of humankind, high peaks have drawn people as places of profound insight, spiritual awakening and inspiration.
Once a year, led by the UN, the world celebrates those gifts with International Mountain Day. This year’s theme is focused on mountain products, especially in developing countries, where the creation of sustainable mountain economies will contribute to a better future for what traditionally have been some of the poorest areas in the world. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, Environment | Tagged: #mountainsmatter, Environment, International Mountain Day, mountain products, mountains, mountains matter, sustainability, water | 1 Comment »
Posted on September 17, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Colorado recorded the greatest increase in average maximum temperatures — between .7 and .9 degrees — from the old normals, compiled between 1971 and 2000, and the new normals, which are based on temperature readings between 1981 and 2010. On average across the U.S., the new average temperatures are about .5 degrees warmer.
Multiple state agencies will eye adaptation, mitigation strategies
Colorado’s new climate plan calls for an all-hands-on-deck approach, with various state agencies working together, and with the public, to address the potential impacts of rising temperatures.
Acknowledging that average temperatures in the state could rise by as much as 2.5 to 5 degrees Celsius in the next few decades, Gov. John Hickenlooper called on Colorado make preparations now.
“Colorado is facing a potential increase in both the number and severity of extreme weather events,” Hickenlooper said in a prepared statement. “We’ve seen what Mother Nature can do, and additional risks present a considerable set of challenges for the state, our residents, and our way of life. This comprehensive plan puts forth our commitment from the state and sets the groundwork for the collaboration needed to make sure Colorado is prepared.”
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Drought, Environment, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: climate change, Colorado climate plan, drought, extreme weather, global warming, Gov. John Hickenlooper, water | 2 Comments »
Posted on September 1, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Recent algae blooms in Chesapeake Bay are some of the most intense on record.
Studies eye potential human health risks
FRISCO — The West Coast isn’t the only place seeing unprecedented algae blooms this summer. Recent water sampling by researchers at William & Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science show some of the densest concentrations of algae recorded in Chesapeake Bay in recent years.
According to the scientists, the current blooms are dominated by an algal species known to release toxins harmful to other marine life, particularly larval shellfish and finfish. Although the recent algae blooms haven’t been directly implicated, there have been some reports of small small numbers of dead fish, oysters, and crabs from the lower York River and adjacent Bay waters associated with nearby blooms. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming, water, water quality | Tagged: algae blooms, Chesapeake Bay, Environment, water, water quality | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 29, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
CRWCD’s annual water seminar features leading national and regional water and climate experts
FRISCO — Colorado this summer may have escaped the severe drought plaguing much of the West — at least for now — but that doesn’t mean the state is immune from regional water woes.
Planners and water users know very well that huge long-term challenges remain for all the states in the Colorado River Basin, and some of those issues will be highlighted during the Colorado River Water Conservation District’s Sept. 10 water seminar in Grand Junction.
Two of the most important women in Western water leadership will be addressing the Colorado River District’s popular Annual Water Seminar in Grand Junction, Colo., that takes place Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Two Rivers Convention Center. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Drought, El Niño, Environment, global warming, rivers, water | Tagged: climate, Colorado, Colorado River Water Conservation District, drought, water | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 21, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Wet spring and summer help avert worst of water shortages for now
FRISCO — Water storage in Lake Powell peaked on July 14 this year and has started its annual seasonal decline that will continue until spring runoff starts early in 2016, according to an Aug. 18 update from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.
Filed under: Environment, rivers, water | Tagged: Colorado River Basin, drought, Lake Powell, water, West | 1 Comment »
Posted on August 18, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Cutting food waste would save huge amounts of water
Food waste has a huge environmental footprint.
FRISCO — Food waste doesn’t just mean that a few scraps end up being tossed in the garbage bin. There’s a huge environmental footprint, including the waste of water associated with the production of the food.
In the EU, according to a new study, the surface and groundwater footprint from avoidable food waste has reached an average of 27 liters per person, per day, which is slightly higher than the average amount per capita municipal water use. The rainwater footprint is even higher, at 294 litres per capita per day, equivalent to the amount used for crop production in Spain.
And the amount of nitrogen contained in avoidable food waste averaged 0.68 kg per capita per year. The food production nitrogen footprint was 2.74 kg per capita per year, the same amount used in mineral fertilizer in both the UK and Germany put together. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, Food | Tagged: Environment, food, food waste, sustainable food, water | 1 Comment »
Posted on June 18, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
New research ranks world’s most threatened aquifers
FRISCO — Scientists this week said that many parts of the world are using groundwater at an unsustainable rate, without any clear idea about when the water might run out. The most overburdened aquifers are in the world’s driest areas, which draw heavily on underground water. Climate change and population growth are expected to intensify the problem.
After studying the world’s 37 largest aquifers, the research team said the Arabian Aquifer System, an important water source for more than 60 million people, is the most overstressed in the world. The Indus Basin aquifer of northwestern India and Pakistan is the second-most overstressed, and the Murzuk-Djado Basin in northern Africa is third. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, water | Tagged: aquifers, climate change, Environment, global water crisis, groundwater depletion, water | 1 Comment »