Water is for Fighting Over


Starting next month, millions of young California salmon could be migrating to the ocean in tanker trucks instead of swimming downstream in the Sacramento River.

On Monday, state and federal wildlife officials announced a plan to move hatchery-raised salmon by truck in the event the state’s ongoing drought makes the Sacramento River and its tributaries inhospitable for the fish. They fear the rivers could become too shallow and warm to sustain salmon trying to migrate to sea on their own.

Shrunken habitat could deplete food supply for the young fish, and make them easier prey for predators. It also would make the water warmer, which can be lethal to salmon.

 

Alex Breitler, Record

More than 20,000 salmon splashed up San Joaquin Valley streams to spawn last year, a relatively robust return that you’d think would bode well for future populations.

But now biologists are worried that the offspring of those fish will not survive, because there’s simply not enough water to flush the babies back downstream toward the ocean.

And if they don’t make it out alive, that means fewer adult salmon returning to our rivers three years down the road.

Click here to read more at Recordnet.com

"U.S. Drought Monitor. Here's what you need to know: Red is bad." - Breitler

“U.S. Drought Monitor. Here’s what you need to know: Red is bad.” – Breitler

 

Click here to read Alex Breitler’s post on his blog.

The drought that has been afflicting most of the Western states for 13 years may be a “megadrought,” and the likelihood is high that this century could see a multidecade dry spell like nothing else seen for 1,000 years, according to research presented at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting last week.

Today, drought or abnormally dry conditions are affecting every state west of the Mississippi Riverand many on the East Coast, with much of the Southwest under long-term severe, extreme or exceptional drought conditions. Drought conditionsnationwide are down this year, but they remain entrenched in the West.

 

Environmental researchers at Harvard University have published evidence that significant reductions in mercury emissions will be necessary just to stabilize current levels of the toxic element in the environment. So much mercury persists in surface reservoirs (soil, air, and water) from past pollution, going back thousands of years, that it will continue to persist in the ocean and accumulate in fish for decades to centuries, they report.

“It’s easier said than done, but we’re advocating for aggressive reductions, and sooner rather than later,” says Helen Amos, a Ph.D. candidate in Earth and Planetary Sciences at the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and lead author of the study, published in the journal Global Biogeochemical Cycles.

 

Click here to read more at www.seas.harvard.edu

By Bettina Boxall, Los Angeles Times

California could use $44.5 billion to fix aging water systems over the next two decades, according to a federal survey that placed the state at the top of a national list of water infrastructure needs.

Texas, at nearly $34 billion, and New York, with about $22 billion, were next in line.

The assessment, conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2011 and released last week, is used to document the capital investment needs of public drinking water systems across the country. The EPA relies on the results to allocate grants through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.

Click here to read more at LATimes.com

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — State fish and wildlife officials are studying a new way of transporting hatchery salmon that are intended to repopulate the Sacramento River system.

The San Mateo County Times reports that about 100,000 Chinook salmon have been taken to San Francisco Bay in water actually from the Sacramento River before their release.

 

Click here to read more at Recordnet.com

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