NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CMC):Jamaican Shaun Bridgmohan wrapped up 2016 in style, producing a dominant front-running effort with favourite BELIEVE IN BERTIE to win the co-feature US$104,400 Pago Hop Stakes in a new track record at Fair Grounds on New Year’s Eve.In firm turf conditions over a mile, Bridgmohan and the three-year-old filly led into the first turn and then made all the running to reach the wire 73/4 lengths clear in a breezy time of one minute, 34.22 seconds.The time eclipsed the one-year-old record of 1:34.51 set by six-year-old PAROLED in 2015.”She’s got such a high cruising speed, so I just wanted to stay out of her way and be a good passenger,” Bridgmohan said afterwards.”She was doing it so easily. I never even had to pull the stick on her.”BELIEVE IN BERTIE broke from the far outside, but quickly made up ground to head Gianna’s Dream into the first turn to set a steady pace.She was easy through the quarter run in 24.01 seconds, but quickened to reach the half mile in 47.27, to be nearly eight lengths clear of the field.Bridgmohan then carried the filly to the six-furlong pole in 1:10.85 and burst into the stretch without a serious challenger. The pair completed the final quarter mile in a speedy 23.55 seconds to pass the wire dominantly.”It was an awesome effort and we’re very proud of her,” said trainer Brad Cox.The victory was BELIEVE IN BERTIE’s fourth in nine starts and it carried her career earnings to $271,522.
Their energy efficiency performance derives in part from their R-22 floors, R-26 walls, R-50 roofs, triple-glazed windows, and envelope airtightness of about 1.03 air changes per hour at 50 Pascals pressure difference. Each house also is equipped with a 4.0 kW photovoltaic system, which is expected to bring overall performance to net zero energy, or close to it.Project developer Visionary Home Builders had already begun fielding buyer inquiries back in June for these homes, which, at $160,000, are available to buyers with annual household income of no more than 80% of the area median. Financing must come through a Federal Housing Administration-approved lender, although approved buyers are eligible for $30,000 of down-payment assistance. ZETA has put its core building strategy to work in Stockton, California, where the company used modular-construction techniques to produce 22 energy efficient single-family homes for an affordable-housing project.When we last mentioned this project, in June, production of the modules at zFab, the company’s 91,000-sq.-ft. factory in Stockton, was just getting underway, although ZETA had by then already delivered a number of moderately priced, modular-construction structures, including a 1,561-sq.-ft. net-zero-energy townhouse in Oakland, California, as well as multifamily, public, and mixed-use buildings.Aiming for NZE in the Central ValleyThe single-family homes in Stockton are the first phase of an affordable-housing development called Tierra del Sol. All 22 houses are built according to the same 1,268-sq.-ft. three-bedroom floor plan, and each has an attached garage. RELATED ARTICLES Will Green Prefab Find Its Way?ZETA Opens a Factory, Continues Prefab QuestA Net-Zero Townhouse in OaklandPreliminaries Underway for Another ZETA ProjectFactory-Made Net-Zero Homes in California
Colorado River: the third big concernThe third concern is the Colorado River. The Colorado is the largest single source of water for Southern California, but it is primarily fed by precipitation from faraway sources in Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado. The Colorado water has served to mitigate the effects of local droughts. Each year, 16.5 million acre-feet of Colorado River water is apportioned to the states of the Colorado Basin and Mexico. California has been allotted the largest share of the river’s water, some 4.4 million acre-feet each year. Prior to 2004, California was able to lay claim to additional “surplus” waters that could total 1 million acre-feet or more of additional water annually.Now, however, several challenges confront this potential source of drought relief. The original apportionment of 15 million acre-feet was devised in the 1920s based on an estimated annual discharge of 17 million acre-feet. Over the 20th century, however, the long-term average discharge of the river has only been 15 million acre-feet. Thus, there is a systemic over-allocation of the water, and in 2003 California agreed to wean itself down to no more than a 4.4 million acre-feet allocation.Like most of the Southwest, the Colorado River basin has also experienced generally hot and arid conditions over the early 21st century. The flow of the Colorado River has declined and the water stored in its massive reservoir system has dropped precipitously. Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the U.S., now stands at 37% of its maximum capacity.The Bureau of Reclamation recently projected that by January 2017 the surface elevation of Lake Mead will have fallen to below 1,075 feet above sea level. This will invoke a federal water shortage declaration and a reduction in water appropriations to Nevada by 4.3 percent and Arizona by 11.4 percent. Although California with its senior rights will not take a cut, it is conceivable that there will be political and public pressure on California in terms of its senior rights. In the history of Lake Mead and the Colorado River management, there has never been a water shortage declaration.Recent research by the Bureau of Reclamation estimates that future climate warming alone will lead to a 10% increase in evaporation in Lake Mead as the 21st century progresses. Just as in the case of California’s groundwater, the Colorado River has been oversubscribed, and the drought lifeline afforded by the river is further shrinking as the climate warms. Heavy reliance on groundwaterSecond, increased reliance on groundwater has been an important mechanism by which California coped with past droughts. However, the groundwater resources of the state are displaying clear signs of unsustainability.Over the past 150 years, agricultural and domestic extraction has caused water table depths to fall by 100 or so feet in some instances, and the deep aquifer water level to decline by even greater depths in parts of the San Joaquin Valley, one of the most productive agricultural areas in the world. In some places the land surface itself has subsided by more than 20 feet. The current drought has led to increased demands on groundwater in regions such as the San Joaquin Valley, where more than 2,400 well permits were issued in 2013 as the drought hit home.Analysis of such trends and new groundwater storage data collected by NASA’s GRACE satellite has led NASA hydrologist Jay Famiglietti to suggest that the collapse of the San Joaquin groundwater reserves may be only decades away. In 2014, more than 1,400 domestic water supply problems largely related to groundwater were reported in California, with more than half in the San Joaquin Valley.Going forward this century, the San Joaquin Valley is projected to experience high degrees of warming, and this will greatly increase agricultural water demands in the region. The strategy of drought relief through increased exploitation of groundwater here and elsewhere in the state has reached its limits. The road aheadTen years ago, my colleagues and I framed this situation as a perfect drought that affects local Southern California precipitation, extra-regional supplies from Northern California, and the external supplies from the Colorado River for periods greater than one or two years. What we are experiencing today is indeed a perfect drought, but it is also something beyond that.We looked at Southern California’s perfect droughts as discrete events. Although hydrologically droughts are indeed discrete events, and the current one will come to a close sooner or later, this drought should focus our attention on the fact that things have changed in terms of the context in which these droughts occur. The rising temperatures will, year by year, increase the demands for water, particularly in our agricultural sector, which accounts for about 80 percent of the applied water in the state. Due to the ever-increasing rates of evaporation, each future drought will have a deeper bite than the previous one. The current drought afflicting California is indeed historic, but not because of the low precipitation totals. In fact, in terms of overall precipitation and spring snowpack, the past three years are not record-breakers, according to weather data for the past century.Similarly, paleoclimate studies show that the current drought is not exceptional given the natural variations in precipitation of the past seven centuries. Nor can it be confidently said that the current drought bears the unequivocal imprint of climate change driven by increasing greenhouse gases, since the low precipitation is well within the bounds of natural variability.All this being said, it is also clear that this drought is exceptional and should be seen as an historical turning point. Indeed, California is moving into new — and worrisome — territory for three reasons: rising heat, which causes increased evaporation; the continuing depletion of groundwater supplies; and growing water shortages on the Colorado River, the main external source of water for Southern California.A decade ago, I first wrote about California and the “perfect drought.” Now, unless bold steps are taken to deal with a growing water crisis, California may be facing a future of perfect droughts. Water conservation effortsSo, what is to be done? At the household level, we can continue to change our landscaping mix from lawns and other water-intensive plants to increased use of water-sipping native plants. At the municipal level, we can expand the use of recycled water and desalination, which will likely lead to higher water costs. Stormwater capture will also help on domestic and citywide scales.But the big prize, of course, is agriculture. In many cases water-saving irrigation technologies have already been installed. Now, hard decisions will need to be made about the best crops to grow in a water-stressed environment. These options raise serious economic, rural environmental justice, and food security questions. Some gains can be realized through additional infrastructure for water capture, storage, and distribution. In some cases, though, these infrastructure strategies buck up against important environmental concerns or competing interests, such as the conflict in the Sacramento Delta between water demands of the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California, versus the water rights of local farmers and protection of endangered fish species.No matter what we decide to do, we will not, as we have done in the past, be able to depend upon either groundwater or external water supplies to see us through these hot droughts of the future. Should Lake Mead fall below the turbine intakes and lowest outlets of Hoover Dam, at 895 feet in elevation — as some have predicted — the fact that California has senior water rights will be meaningless. With groundwater, we face an agricultural cataclysm if the aquifers in the San Joaquin and other parts of the state should indeed fail.We need to look at the situation today as representing Tomorrow’s Drought — a view into the hydrological future of California and the West. There is no question we will see similar climatological droughts over the next century. The question is: Will we have the foresight to learn all we can from the current drought and the will to put in place the changes in infrastructure, policy, and public attitudes that will be needed to cope next time around? Whether it is dry again next winter or rains like mad, the hydrological clock is ticking toward an increasingly difficult 21st century. The time to tackle our longterm water challenges is right now. Glen MacDonald is the John Muir Memorial Chair in Geography and a distinguished professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. This column was originally posted at Yale Environment 360 and is reprinted here with permission. The heat is risingFirst, there is the heat. Although the current precipitation deficit cannot be attributed to global climate change, the record-breaking high temperatures of 2014 can be. These elevated temperatures produce increased evaporation from reservoirs and exacerbate irrigation demands.The commonly used Palmer Drought Severity Index, which combines both temperature and precipitation, shows that 2014 is indeed off the charts. This combination of low precipitation and high evaporative losses fuels the crisis now being faced.Climate models do not provide a consensus on the changes in precipitation that might occur in California over the 21st century. Moving forward, there may well be no significant increase or decrease in the average annual precipitation. However, the models do agree that temperatures will continue to rise.Water demands to meet evaporative losses will therefore increase significantly. There is also some evidence that the length and depth of droughts will increase in the later 21st century. As for high temperatures and persistence of extreme conditions, the current drought might well be considered the harbinger of droughts to come.
Legendary Australian fast bowler Glenn Mcgrath, with whom Sachin Tendulkar had the fiercest of on field battles, is in Tendulkar’s home turf Mumbai for a two day fast bowling camp.The second highest wicket-taker for Australia in Test cricket is the director at the MRF pace foundation and is conducting a short clinic at the invitation of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA).McGrath when quizzed about Sachin’s son, Arjun, having fast bowling aspirations sprung up this response.”I know Sachin wanted to be a fast bowler when he was younger and had come to MRF. So may be…,” he quipped recalling the well documented story of a 14-year-old aspiring fast bowler Sachin rejected by then MRF director Dennis Lillee.18-year-old left arm seamer Arjun, who has represented Mumbai Under-14 and Under-16, is still on the learning curve.His famous father has spoken a few times about the inescapable reality of Arjun having to play with the burden of the Tendulkar surname. Arjun has been seen of late bowling in the nets to the English test team as well as the Indian women’s cricket team while in England.”When you have a name like Tendulkar, those are pretty big shoes to fill. Whether he is looking to be a fast bowler more than a batsman (I don’t know),” he told India Today.”We will wait and see. But if he has the love and passion for the game that Sachin had, he will be a winner,” Mcgrath said