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Archive for March 19th, 2015

Who needs rice when you can grow money on water?

Posted by feww on March 19, 2015

N. California Farmers Skip Planting to Sell Water To LA at $700 Per Acre Foot

Northern California farmers are leaving their fields fallow this year to cash in on their water rights at  $700 per acre foot, said a report.

[An acre-foot is about 1,233.5 cubic meters. —Editor.]

They’re selling their rights to Los Angeles County at a new price that is twice what southern California authorities paid for their water in 2010.

In 2014, rice farmers received $500 per acre foot of water. This year the stakes are even higher because water replaces rice as their cash crop.

“We’re going to make a lot more selling the water than planting the rice,” a farmer north of Sacramento told NBC News. “This is a huge deal.”

Some farmers are concerned that the water may simply be taken away from them.

“In the long term, if we don’t make it available we’re afraid they’ll just take it,” said a fourth generation rice farmer with senior rights to Yuba River water, said the report.

“It’s much more than we ever expected to get. But at the same time, that just shows the desperation of the people that need it,” he said.

He and his fellow farmers are selling 20 percent of their allotment to Los Angeles’s Metropolitan Water District, which provides water from Los Angeles to San Diego County.

California experienced its driest January in recorded history (record-keeping began in 1895), as groundwater and snowpack levels fell to record lows.

A state of emergency proclaimed by Gov. Brown in January remains in effect, as Califonia enters its fourth year of severe drought.

Meantime, the Governor and other senior state officials were expected to announce Emergency Drought Legislation later Thursday, March 19, 2015.

“Taking action to further strengthen water conservation in the state, the State Water Resources Control Board yesterday voted to expand and extend an emergency regulation to prohibit certain water use, such as washing down sidewalks, and create a minimum standard for outdoor irrigation restrictions by urban water suppliers,” said the governor’s office.

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Earthquake Hits Offshore Chile as Villarrica Volcano Erupts

Posted by feww on March 19, 2015

Strong quake hits Chile Trench as Villarrica volcano erupts

M6.2 quake strikes coastal Chile

Centered at 36.097°S, 73.626°W the quake struck at a depth of 10.0 km, said USGS/EHP. The main event was followed by at least 5 aftershocks measuring up to 5.3Mw.

EQ Details
Magnitude: 6.2Mw
Event Time: 2015-03-18 18:27:28 (UTC)
Nearby Cities:

  • 82km (51mi) NNW of Talcahuano, Chile
  • 83km (52mi) NW of Tome, Chile
  • 91km (57mi) NW of Penco, Chile
  • 96km (60mi) NNW of Concepcion, Chile
  • 400km (249mi) SW of Santiago, Chile

Villarrica erupts again

Villarrica erupted again ejecting volcanic matters into the air, reported Chile’s National Service of Geology and Mining (SERNAGEOMIN). The latest eruption follows March 3 Activity, which forced thousands of evacuations.

Villarrica volcano, aka “House of the spirit,” is one of Chile’s most active volcanoes.Image source: SERNAGEOMIN

Current Warning Level

The National Service of Geology and Mining (SERNAGEOMIN) and its National Network for Volcanic Monitoring, at the Volcano Observatory of the Southern Andes (OVDAS),  has raised the volcanic alert level for Villarrica volcano  to “ORANGE” effective 22:25 local time (UTC -3:00  hrs.) on March 17, 2015.

Volcano Details

REGION: Araucanía, Chile
Summit Elevation: 2,846m
Location: 39.42°S, 71.93°W
Base Area: 490 km² (corrects earlier entries)
Volume: 321 km³ (corrects earlier entries)
Last Major Activity: 2000
Last major eruption 1984-85
FEWW Ranking: Regional 3

Eruptive History

During a 1964 eruption, a lahar flow from Villarrica destroyed the town of Coñaripe, then located on the northwestern shores of Calafquén Lake. The town (population: ~1,500) was later rebuilt further east.

After the 1971 eruption, a series of lahar flows and toxic gas emissions from the volcano affected several communities in the Trancura River’s basin, leaving up to 30 people dead.

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