The seven states that make up the Colorado River Basin failed to reach an agreement last week on how to reduce their water consumption so the system avoids major disaster. The federal government had told them that by the end of January they needed to come to an understanding on how to cut two to four million acre-feet of water—about 30 percent of the river’s overall allocation—or the Bureau of Reclamation could step in. The federal government’s goal is to keep the reservoirs made by the Glen Canyon and Hoover dams from falling to extremely low levels, at which generating electricity and releasing water downstream would be threatened.
Glen Canyon Dam | Credit: Udo S / Flickr
The drought in much of the West has led to some dramatic, if not crazy schemes, to pipe water from, for example, the Mississippi River to Colorado or from the Pacific Ocean to Utah. Such ideas have led to some fears in the Great Lakes region that their water could be diverted hundreds of miles away; however, as Michigan Public Radio reports, there is protection against such schemes through the Great Lakes Compact.
In the new HBO dystopian drama The Last of Us, global warming has caused fungi to mutate and turn humans into zombies. It is, of course, a work of fiction—but according to a new study, the series does offer a warning about climate change.
Life-threatening infections caused by the encapsulated fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans have been increasing steadily over the past ten years. People with AIDS, and those using immunosuppressive drugs are most vulnerable. | Credit: U.S. Centers for Disease Control
In our polarized world, the debate over straws…sucks. Environmentalists decry how the single-use plastic pollutes waterways and harms marine life, while others complain paper alternatives collapse mid milkshake. It seems there is no way to sip sustainably and make both camps happy—until now, perhaps.
Bending PBS and PBS/BS-CNC straws under wet conditions. | Credit: Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology (KRICT)