Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Closing the gap

In major shift, B.C. will start licensing groundwater use

Richmond farmer Bill Zylman shows how the top of the soil crumbles, but moisture is only a few inches below the surface of his potato field. This summer’s drought has focused attention on the gaps in B.C.’s water management system.  CHUNG CHOW

Business in Vancouver

Business in Vancouver

With the rewriting of British Columbia’s century-old Water Act, groundwater will be licensed in the province for the first time. B.C. was one of the only jurisdictions in North America to leave groundwater unlicensed and largely unaccounted for. Water experts are praising the new act but are also warning that without adequate staffing and money to manage water and enforce the new rules, the precious resource will continue to flow down the drain.

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NOAA funds Wash. coastal algae bloom research

NOAA

NOAA announced that it is committing $88,000 in grant and event response funding for Washington state to monitor and analyze an unusually large bloom of toxic algae off its coast. So far this year, toxic algae blooms have resulted in fishery closures, which can have tremendous economic and ecological effects. In May, the razor clam fishery closed resulting in an estimated $9.2 million in lost income.

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Columbia's sockeye salmon face mass die-off

Al Jazeera America

More than a quarter million sockeye salmon returning from the ocean to spawn are either dead or dying in the Columbia River and its tributaries due to warming water temperatures. Fisheries biologists say the warm water is lethal for the cold-water species and is wiping out at least half of this year's return of 500,000 fish and by the end of the season that death toll could rise to 400,000.

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