skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Day of action focuses on CT undocumented's healthcare needs; 7 jurors seated in first Trump criminal trial; ND looks to ease 'upskill' obstacles for former college students; Black Maternal Health Week ends, health disparities persist.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Seven jury members were seated in Trump's hush money case. House Speaker Johnson could lose his job over Ukraine aid. And the SCOTUS heard oral arguments in a case that could undo charges for January 6th rioters.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Fears grow that low-income folks living in USDA housing could be forced out, North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues, and small towns are eligible for grants to boost civic participation..

Report: Wildfires Expanding Into Snow Zones Will Impact Water Supplies

play audio
Play

Thursday, September 22, 2022   

Wildfires in Wyoming and across the West are creating bigger impacts on snowpack supplying farms, energy production and drinking water for millions of downstream users, according to a new study.

Steven Fassnacht, professor of snow hydrology at Colorado State University and the report's co-author, said the 2020 Mullen Fire in southern Wyoming and Cameron Peak Fire in Colorado were both very large fires destroying forests in places which have historically not seen fires spark or spread.

"They were burning at this high elevation where the snowpack is deep," Fassnacht observed. "They burned up there not because of a lack of snow; they burned because of a lack of rain in the summer."

Researchers found snow in wildfire-burned locations is now melting roughly three weeks earlier than normal, and Fassnacht explained as climate change expands fire zones into more snow areas, water managers and others may need to make adjustments. Increasing storage capacity can help capture melting snowpack, and managers can also re-time water releases from reservoirs to be in sync with time-sensitive users including farms.

Instead of less-than-precise tools such as snow courses and SNOTEL stations to estimate annual water supplies, Fassnacht urged managers to tap technologies including LIDAR, which works like radar using light instead of radio waves to measure snowpack, and new modeling, which can better calculate actual water volumes.

"We need to use multiple tools from our toolbox to better manage the water," Fassnacht emphasized. "One is the storage, and two is the information of how much is there, and how much is actually coming into the system?"

After the Cameron Peak fire, the city of Fort Collins was forced to cut off water coming down the mountain because it was filled with ash and soot. Wildfires also can increase landslides in watersheds, which Fassnacht pointed out can harm fish habitat and water quality for downstream users.

"Especially municipalities, especially for residential water use downstream of any of these fires," Fassnacht asserted. "The ash is very difficult to treat in water treatment plants."


get more stories like this via email
more stories
Since 2009, Market Match has served tens of thousands of low-income Californians to buy produce at markets like this one in San Francisco.(Heart of the City Market)

Social Issues

play sound

California's program helping low-income families buy fresh fruit and vegetables is on the chopping block and health care advocates are asking legislat…


Social Issues

play sound

A persistent child care worker shortage across New Hampshire is leaving families with few options. The state is currently short more than 7,000 …

Social Issues

play sound

The child welfare system in Pennsylvania faces a staffing crisis affecting children and families throughout the system. The Child Welfare Resource …


By 2031, good jobs accessible to people with only a high school education will represent just 6% of all jobs. (bodnarphoto/Adobe Stock)

play sound

Work is being done in rural areas across Texas to make sure students are prepared for the workforce even if they intend to stay put after graduation…

play sound

This summer, colleges and universities will have to comply with a new federal rule and not withhold students' transcripts over unpaid tuition and …

From 2017 to 2019, Ohio ranked 46th among 50 states for pollution exposure, including exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) pollution. (Halfpoint/Adobe Stock)

play sound

Recent data ranks Columbus as the most polluted major city in the U.S., highlighting concerns about common pollutants, like smog and vehicle …

Health and Wellness

play sound

While Black Maternal Health Week is wrapping up, health disparities for pregnant Black women continues to be an issue. From April 11-17 this year…

Social Issues

play sound

Kentuckians have less than a week to register to vote in next month's primary election. If folks miss the April 22 deadline, residents can still …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021