All about the humble water shrew

Water shrew

Photo: Water shrew Erni Shutterstock

The water shrew is well adapted to an aquatic lifestyle: they have a dark brown (almost black), waterproof coat of short fur, and ears (visible as white tufts) that can close in the water. A fringe of stiff silvery hairs runs the length of the underside of the tail, which they use as a rudder, and their hind feet have similar fringes. They can dive … [more…]

These Dams Needed Replacing 15 Years Ago. Now Texas will Drain Four Lakes Instead.

These Dams Needed Replacing 15 Years Ago. Now Texas will Drain Four Lakes Instead.

Photo: The dam at Lake McQueeny, near Seguin, is one of four remaining in the Guadalupe River Valley in Central Texas that are at risk of failure. MIGUEL GUTIERREZ JR. / THE TEXAS TRIBUNE

Texas officials will start draining four lakes next week in Guadalupe County in Central Texas without a plan in place for when the lakes, and the 90-year-old dams that support them, will be rebuilt. Area homeowners, … [more…]

Alfalfa Project Targets Saving Over 300 Billion Gallons of Water Annually

A history of drought refugees in America.

San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) – It was 83 years ago this week, when 23 car and truck-loads of migrant families were reported to have crossed the California-Arizona border in a single day. They were among tens of thousands of poverty-stricken families who found themselves without water in 1936, as drought and erosion in the Southern Plains swept through about 100 million acres of … [more…]

CAFOs: The Scary New Math of Factory Farm Waste

photo: open-air lagoon for waste processing at a concentratedd animal feedlot operation (CAFO)

CAFOs often store animal waste in massive, open-air lagoons, like this one at Vanguard Farms in Chocowinity, North Carolina. Bacteria feeding on the animal waste turns the mixture a bright pink. picstever / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

It has been almost a year since Hurricane Florence slammed the Carolinas, dumping a record 30 inches of rainfall in some parts of the states. At least 52 people died, and property … [more…]

What is an ‘impaired’ waterway and why are so many in Pennsylvania?

What is an ‘impaired’ waterway and why are there so many of them in Pennsylvania?

Photo: Pennsylvania’s “Category 5” streams include the Juniata and Susquehanna rivers and many creeks, such as the Yellow Breeches in Cumberland County.

More than a third of Pennsylvania’s lakes and a fifth of its streams are impaired, meaning that pollution has (or should have, anyway) hindered their use for drinking water supplies, fishing, recreation or the aquatic life that call the waterways home.

Perhaps the best illustration of the scale … [more…]