In Where the Water
Goes, David Owen uses the history of the Colorado River to lay out the
immense complexity of America’s water situation, reminding us that both water
and time are finite resources. Critic Genevieve Valentine says, “It’s a
staggering glimpse of just how complex the situation is — and how long the
river has been a concern.”
Our planet is constantly changing,
and we use the vantage point of space to increase our understanding of Earth, improve lives and safeguard our future.
These images show change over
time, with periods ranging from centuries to years. Some of these effects are
related to climate change, some are not. Some document the effects of
urbanization or the ravage of natural hazards such as fires and floods. All
show our planet in a state of flux. Take a look…
Expansion in New Delhi, India
Between the times these two images were taken, the
population of India’s capital and its suburbs (known collectively as “Delhi”)
ballooned from 9.4 million to 25 million. It is now second
in population only to Tokyo, which has 38 million people.
Salt Lake Shrinkage, Utah
in the area of the Great Salt Lake over the past 25 years. The lake was
filled to near capacity in 1985 because feeder streams were charged with
snowmelt and heavy rainfall. In contrast, the 2010 image shows the lake
shriveled by drought. The Promontory Peninsula (protruding into the lake from
the top) is surrounded by water on three sides in the first image, but is
landlocked on its eastern side in the second.
Early Ice Melt, Greenland
Meltwater streams, rivers and lakes form in the
surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet every spring or early summer, but melting
began exceptionally early in 2016. Melting encourages further melting when
pods of meltwater develop, since they darken the surface and absorb more
sunlight than ice does. Surface melt contributes to sea-level rise when the
water runs off into the ocean.
Lake Urmia Changes Color
Some combination of algae and bacteria is
Iran’s Lake Urmia from green to red. The change typically occurs when
summer heat and dryness evaporate water, increasing the lake’s saltiness. Data
from satellites indicate that the lake has lost about 70% of its surface area
over the last 14 years.
Lake Degradation, California
Owens Lake lies in the Owens Valley between the
Sierra Nevada and the Inyo Mountains, about 130 miles north of Los Angeles,
California. For thousands of years, it was one of the most important stopover
sites in the western U.S. for migrating waterfowl and shore birds. However, in
the early 20th century, the lower Owens River, which fed the lake,
diverted to the Los Angeles aqueduct. Water from springs and artesian wells
kept some of the lake alive, but toxic chemicals and dust impinged on the
regional environment and disturbed the bird habitat.
Rafi Deforestation, Niger
Rafi Forest is the most significant area of woodland in the Maradi
Department of Niger, a west African country on the southern edge of the Sahara
Desert. These pictures show the loss of a significant fraction of the natural
landscape (darker green areas) of the forest to agriculture. Population in this
region quadrupled during the 40 years leading up to the 2007 image.
River Evolution, Mexico
These two pictures illustrate the extremes
of water flow in the Colorado River since measurements began in the late
1800s. The 1985 image was taken in the midst of record high flow, while the
2007 image shows the driest period. Excessive rains or severe droughts directly
change the amount of water available in the Colorado River Basin, and so does
the increasing pressure of human needs throughout the western states.
Glacier Melt, Greenland
Along the margin
of the Greenland Ice Sheet, outlet glaciers flow as icy rivers through
fjords and out to sea. These pictures show a fjord in which Helheim Glacier (on
the left) is crumbling into large and small icebergs (light blue, on the
right). The glacier outlet held steady from the 1970s until about 2001, then
began to retreat toward its source about 4/7 miles between 2001 and 2005. The
glacier’s flow to the sea has also sped up.
Lake Poopó, Bolivia
Lake Poopó, Bolivia’s second-largest lake and an
important fishing resource for local communities, has dried
up once again because of a drought and diversion of water sources for
mining and agriculture. The last time it dried was in 1994, after which it took
several years for water to return and even longer for ecosystems to recover.
on the Ganges River, India
rains have caused catastrophic flooding along the Ganges and other rivers
in eastern and central India. At least 300 people died and more than six million
were affected by the flooding, according to news reports. These images show a
stretch of the Ganges near Patna.
All of this knowledge about our home planet enables
policy makers, government agencies and other stakeholders to make informed
decisions on critical issues that occur all around the world. From rising sea
levels to the changing availability of freshwater, we enable studies that
unravel the complexities of our planet from the highest reaches of Earth’s atmosphere
to its core.
The Owens River in California sits in Owens Valley, a fault-bounded valley at the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. In parts, it spreads out across the valley floor, but in other areas it is confined to a deep gorge that it has eroded through volcanic rocks erupted by the Long Valley Caldera. The terrain is spectacular - the Sierra Nevada Mountains on one side, the White Mountains on the other, and a volcanic caldera in the center. This river also is an industrial story - much of the water from this river is now shipped south to the city of Los Angeles by major aqueducts. This video takes you on a short fly fishing trip to the parts of that river that still flow.
From Owen Wright : “To see this wave coming at me brought up every frightening memory I have. healing emotional scar tissue is just as important as the physical. Sometimes confronting the thing that put it there is the only way to heal. Here is a picture of me healing haha” And yes, he is in quarterfinal of the Margies !
Fly fishing the Upper Owens River in the winter is fantastic. It is stunningly beautiful. Peaceful. Quiet except for the occasional piercing sound of a hawk. Clear and very cold this day. Not another person to be seen. The fishing went off.
Trip Report: Roadtrip to the Women’s Climbing Festival in Bishop, California
Weekend of March 3-5
I headed out of Reno on Thursday to meet up with my HS buddy Steph and her friend Lindsay in South Lake Tahoe! After enjoying some coffee and lunch at a cafe, we walked the beach and docks to enjoy the super calm waters. We then began our trek south towards Bishop during the sunset. We cooked up some dinner on the stove in Walker, and slept in the cars in Walker Canyon.
The next morning, we drove up to Bridgeport for a soak in Travertine Hot Springs, enjoying the view pool and the main travertine pools. After thoroughly relaxing, we made a quick stop at Mono Lake, where we again had super calm waters and AMAZING reflections of the tufas. Hungry, we continued to Bishop and filled up on food before hitting up some bouldering in the Happies. Steph and Lindsay headed off to the festival while I ate dinner and caught up on some reading. That night my coworkers Genevieve and Brittany met up with me and we headed up to the Tablelands to camp.
Saturday morning, Genevieve, Brittany and I enjoyed a slow morning, making coffee, eating muffins and eventually packing up our bags to hit Owens River Gorge. We got to the Gorge floor around 11am, and it was packed with clinics and groups attending the women’s fest. We still found a couple climbs to do; I was able to onsight 2 routes (something I’ve needed work on), Brittany led her first outdoor route and it was Genevieve’s first time on ropes in over a year. We were only able to do 3 climbs in total, but we considered it a success! We hiked out of the Gorge in time for sunset, then headed into town for some well earned pizza and cider.
Waking up on Sunday, we were met with no view. Clouds had swept in over night and the temperatures had dropped. Not sure of what the weather was going to be like, we headed into town for some coffee and gear shopping. We met up with Steph and Lindsay and decided that we would brave the crappy weather and climb at the Sads. Upon unloading the cars and getting the crash pads ready, Koa (Brittany’s pup), decided he should roll in some cow poop… creating a smelly fiasco. We hiked up to the Sads in the light snowy rain stuff and found some V0s we were comfortable cruising up and down, since we were nervous about topping out in the wet weather. After about 2 hours, we headed out, as the weather started turning for the worse. We parted ways with Lindsay and Steph, and decided to take the Nevada route back to Reno to avoid the chain controls and road closures on 395.
“He is turning now, seeing all his friends waving at him from the walkaway. There’s Craig and Sophie, and their son. He’s a couple of years now. Turning, there’s Dorium Maldovar. He makes a comical little gesture at his head - oops! There’s Vastra and Jenny, waving. Strax giving a sontaran salute. Brian Williams - a little nod hello. River Song, blowing the sexiest kiss, and winking. And then, there they are, like the King and Queen of the Prom. The Ponds. Rory and Amy.”
Elevens’ alternative regeneration scene, from the draft script. Doctor Who Magazine special edition 38.