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Environment

NEWS BRIEFS: Firefighters in route to Ventura County

Campus firefighters were headed out this morning (Dec. 5) as part of the response to a wind-whipped wildfire that erupted Monday in Ventura County and grew to 45,000 acres overnight.

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Helping Water utilities reduce California’s energy use and emissions

Over the next three and a half years, researchers at the University of California, Davis, will work with the Moulton Niguel Water District and Helio Energy Solutions to better understand how water utilities can reduce California’s energy use as the state works to meet its ambitious greenhouse-gas reduction goals.

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The diet soda effect of buying a fuel-efficient vehicle

Like ordering a diet soda with a side of fries, households who buy a fuel-efficient vehicle tend to buy a bigger, more powerful second car to compensate. This tendency, combined with the changes in driving behavior that result, may reduce up to 60 percent of the expected future gas savings from increased fuel economy in two-car households. That is according to a recent white paper from the University of California, Davis, MIT and Yale.

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In major setback for Gov. Brown, Westlands Water District votes no on Delta Tunnels Project

By Dan Bacher | September 19, 2017 |

In a major victory for Delta Tunnels opponents, the Board of Directors of the Westlands Water District today voted 7 to 1 against their participation in Governor Jerry Brown’s California WaterFix project.
Growers in the massive district, located on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, cited the high cost of the state-federal proposal as their reason for rejecting the project. Politically powerful Westlands is the largest irrigation district in the country. 
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Earth’s oldest trees in climate-induced race up the tree line

Bristlecone pine and limber pine trees in the Great Basin region are like two very gnarled, old men in a slow-motion race up the mountaintop, and climate change is the starting gun, according to a study from the University of California, Davis.

The study, published in the journal Global Change Biology, shows that the tree line has been steadily moving upslope over the past 50 years in the Great Basin. The region extends from California’s Sierra Nevada, across Nevada to Utah’s Uinta Mountains. Its north and south are framed by the Columbia and Colorado rivers’ watersheds.

The study also found that limber pine is successfully “leapfrogging” over bristlecone pine. They are growing in soils once almost completely dominated by bristlecone pine, and they are moving upslope at a faster rate than the bristlecone pine.

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Central Basin Water Board, LA City Council committee delay Delta Tunnels vote

By Dan Bacher | August 30, 2017 |  
On August 28, the Central Basin Water Agency board in Compton voted 5 to 2 to postpone a decision supporting the controversial Delta Tunnels plan, a joint public works project between the Governor Jerry Brown and President Donald Trump administration.  
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Fitch ratings concludes Delta Tunnels Project would further increase water rates

The San Joaquin River at Lauritzen Yacht Harbor. Photo by Dan Bacher. |
By Dan Bacher | August 18, 2017 |

On August 16, Fitch Ratings confirmed what Delta Tunnels opponents have been saying for years — the proposed California WaterFix project being currently fast-tracked by the Trump and Brown administrations would likely drive a significant increase in monthly water rates.
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