Monday, Sept. 25, 2017

Alpine alert

Why disappearing meadows are bad news for water

Meadows like this one, on the Toiyabe National Forest south of Lake Tahoe, are at risk of encroachment by lodgepole pine trees as temperatures warm over the decades ahead, according to a new study. UC DAVIS

UC Davis

Water Deeply

Mountain meadows are starting to get some respect. For more than a century, meadows were targeted for development, grazing and farming because they tend to be flat and packed with rich soil and nutritious plants. But we're starting to understand that meadows have a much more important role to play. Meadows, it turns out, are water banks. A new study by researchers at UC Merced found that Sierra Nevada meadows are shrinking due to encroachment by trees.

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More wildfires means more dirt in water supply

KPCC Pasadena

Water quality and supply in many western cities could suffer in the future as wildfires burn hotter and more frequently, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey. The culprit is erosion; the process is called "sedimentation." After a wildfire, few plants and trees are left to hold the soil in place in a burned area. So when it rains, soil and rocks are swept downstream.

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Mud Creek: Long road ahead to rebuild Highway 1

Monterey Herald

With the rainy season only months away, engineers working to rebuild Highway 1 near Big Sur atop a massive landslide covering more than a quarter mile of the scenic coastal road have a plan they hope will keep them on track to reopen the roadway in the late summer of 2018. More than 5 million cubic yards of rock and dirt came down the Mud Creek hillside in May.

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