Wednesday May 23, 2018
Home World California Dr...

California Drought: Regulators announce largest water cuts in state’s history

0
//
83
Republish
Reprint

o-CALIFORNIA-DROUGHT-facebook

By NewsGram Staff Writer

Caught in one of the worst droughts it has ever encountered, the California state regulators have decided to introduce the largest cuts in the state’s history by ordering farmers and others to reduce their water consumption.

Over 100 water rights holders have been ordered to stop all pumping from three major waterways in one of the country’s prime farm regions by the State Water Resources Control Board.

114 entities, including individual landowners and water districts serving farmers and small communities, with claims dating back to 1914 or before, have been served the curtailment order.

This will force thousands of  water users in the state to tap groundwater, buy it at rising costs, use previously stored water or go dry.

“It’s going to be a different story for each one of them, and a struggle for all of them” acknowledged executive director of the water board Thomas Howard.

Economists and agriculture experts say that the cuts are expected to have little immediate impact on food prices, with the growing of some crops to shift to regions with more  water in the short-term.

“We are now at the point where demand in our system is outstripping supply for even the most senior water rights holders,” said Caren Trgovcich, chief deputy director of the water board.

In order to prevent the board’s action, Jeanne Zolezzi, an attorney for two small irrigation districts serving farmers in the San Joaquin area, has decided to go to court.

“We are not talking about a 25 per cent cut like imposed on urban. This is a 100 per cent cut, no water supplies. A lot of trees would die, and a lot of people would go out of business,” said Zolezzi.

According to Jonas Minton, an advisor at the private Planning and Conservation League environmental group, the droughts of such scale are not unprecedented in California.

“The difference is that the state has grown in population to 38 million and has vast acres of farmland to irrigate, a problem with which the state cannot be blamed”, said Minton

“Today’s curtailments are not being done by choice. They’re a reaction to the reality of the shrinking water supply”, Minton added.

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2015 NewsGram

Next Story

Team Led by Indian-Origin Scientist Converts Plant Matter Into Chemicals

0
//
12
A team led by an Indian-origin scientist from Sandia National Laboratories in California has demonstrated a new technology based on bio-engineered bacteria that can make it economically feasible to produce chemicals from renewable plant sources.
Lignin, a tough plant matter, is converted into chemicals. Pixabay

A team led by an Indian-origin scientist from Sandia National Laboratories in California has demonstrated a new technology based on bio-engineered bacteria that can make it economically feasible to produce chemicals from renewable plant sources.

The technology converts tough plant matter, called lignin, for wider use of the energy source and making it cost competitive.

“For years, we have been researching cost-effective ways to break down lignin and convert it into valuable platform chemicals,” Sandia bioengineer Seema Singh said.

“We applied our understanding of natural lignin degraders to E. coli because that bacterium grows fast and can survive harsh industrial processes,” she added in the work published in the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America”.

Lignin is the component of plant cell walls that gives them their incredible strength. It is brimming with energy but getting to that energy is so costly and complex that the resulting biofuel can’t compete economically with other forms of transportation energy.

A team led by an Indian-origin scientist from Sandia National Laboratories in California has demonstrated a new technology based on bio-engineered bacteria that can make it economically feasible to produce chemicals from renewable plant sources.
Scientists successfully convert plant matter into chemicals. Pixabay

Once broken down, lignin has other gifts to give in the form of valuable platform chemicals that can be converted into nylon, plastics, pharmaceuticals and other valuable products.

Singh and her team have solved three problems with turning lignin into platform chemicals: cost, toxicity and speed.

Apply Pays Fine: Out of Total Tax Fine of $15 billion, Apple Pays $1.77 billion to Irish Government 

Engineering solutions like these, which overcome toxicity and efficiency issues have the potential to make biofuel production economically viable.

“Now we can work on producing greater quantities of platform chemicals, engineering pathways to new end products, and considering microbial hosts other than E. coli,” Singh (IANS)