Environment

California can't say if it's meeting drought goal

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The sprinklers outside the California's state Capitol are off and the lawn is withering, the lemon- and cucumber-infused "water stations" at the state pension building are gone, and prison inmates are taking shorter showers while campers at some popular parks can't take them at all.

In ways big and small, the state government is conserving water to try to meet Gov. Jerry Brown's request that everyone — from residents to businesses to state agencies — reduce their use by 20 percent.

New photos show wandering wolf OR-7 has 3 pups

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — New photos show that Oregon's famous wandering wolf, OR-7, has at least three pups that he and a mate are raising in the Cascade Range of southern Oregon.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist John Stephenson said Friday that the photos taken July 12 by an automatic camera in a remote section of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest show two gray pups.

Combined with one black pup Stephenson observed outside the pack's den in June, that makes at least three.

Kudzu creeping north

Source: 
Bloomberg

Warming temperatures mean kudzu, the invasive vine that’s the bane of the South, has been spotted as far north as Canada, Bloomberg reports, noting that attempts to use it for biofuel have so far failed to gain traction.

Deadly fungus spreads in Everglades, killing trees

MIAMI (AP) — A fungus carried by an invasive beetle from southeast Asia is felling trees across the Everglades, and experts have not found a way to stop the blight from spreading.

Then there's a bigger problem — the damage may be leaving Florida's fragile wetlands open to even more of an incursion from exotic plants threatening to choke the unique Everglades and undermine billions of dollars' worth of restoration projects.

Satellites show major Southwest groundwater loss

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Groundwater losses from the Colorado River basin appear massive enough to threaten long-term supplies for the seven states and parts of Mexico that draw water from the basin, a study released Thursday says.

Researchers from NASA and the University of California, Irvine used satellites to assess what lead author Stephanie Castle called the "shocking" depletion of the groundwater.

Since 2004, researchers said, the basin has lost 53 million acre feet of water — enough to supply more than 50 million households for a year or nearly fill two Lake Meads, the nation's largest water reservoir.

Future supplies of Texas groundwater uncertain: Experts

Source: 
E&E

A Texas A&M analysis of groundwater supplies in the state going back 80 years raises questions about whether there will be enough to keep supplying it with drinking water going forward, E&E reports.

Obama attributes wildfires to climate change

SEATTLE (AP) — President Barack Obama says a wildfire that has burned nearly 400 square miles in the north-central part of Washington state, along with blazes in other Western areas, can be attributed to climate change.

Obama, speaking at a fundraiser Tuesday, offered federal help to deal with Washington's wildfire, the largest in the state's history.

He said Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Craig Fugate had authorized an emergency declaration to ensure electrical power.

San Bernadino Basin water levels never so low

Source: 
Los Angeles Times

The water level in the San Bernadino Basin is the lowest ever recorded, lower than a record set in 1964 after a 20-year drought, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Improvement in EPA radiation monitors, says IG

Source: 
The Hill

The Environmental Protection Agency is doing better with RadNet, its system of ambient radiation monitors: Installing more of them, getting them to work longer and changing the filters more often, according to a report from the EPA’s Office of Inspector General, The Hill reports.

Drones seeing increasing use in conservation

Source: 
The New York Times

Conservationdrones.org is working to boost the use of the small unmanned craft for conservation purposes around the world, from monitoring illegal fishing in Belize to keeping track of seabird populations in Australia to studying caribou in Greenland, The New York Times reports.

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