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

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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.

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Drinking Water Boosts Mental Skills in Elders Who Exercise

Drinking water may boost mental skills in exercising elderly

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Drinking water boosts mental skills in exercising elderly.
Drinking water boosts mental skills in exercising elderly. Pixabay

Older people who indulge in physical activity should increase their amount of water intake, to reap the full cognitive benefits of exercise, researchers suggest.

Dehydration has been shown to impair exercise performance and brain function in young people, but less is known about its impact on older populations.

The findings showed that hydration boosts performance on test of executive function that includes the skills needed to plan, focus, remember and multitask following exercise.

Exercise has been shown to improve intellectual health, including executive function.

“Middle-age and older adults often display a blunted thirst perception, which places them at risk for dehydration and subsequently may reduce the cognitive health-related benefits of exercise,” said researchers including Brandon Yates, of Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, US.

An elderly woman exercising.
An elderly woman exercising. Pixabay

The study, presented at the American Physiological Society (APS) annual meeting at Experimental Biology 2018 in San Diego, explored the association between hydration status before exercising and exercise-enhanced cognition in older adults.

The team recruited recreational cyclists (average age 55) who participated in a large cycling event on a warm day (78-86 degrees F).

The cyclists performed a “trail-making” executive function test–quickly and accurately connecting numbered dots using paper and pencil — before and after the event.

Also Read: Why is water fasting NOT a good idea for weight loss?

The team tested the volunteers’ urine before they exercised and divided them into two groups — normal hydration and dehydrated — based on their hydration status.

The normal hydration group showed noticeable improvement in the completion time of the trail-making test after cycling when compared to their pre-cycling test.

The dehydration group also completed their post-cycling test more quickly, but the time reduction was not significant.

“This suggests that older adults should adopt adequate drinking behaviours to reduce cognitive fatigue and potentially enhance the cognitive benefits of regular exercise participation,” the researchers said.  IANS

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