Tag Archive | Agriculture

Groundwater Depletion Is Detected by Grace Satellites

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by Felicity Barringer, NYT, May 30, 2011

IRVINE, Calif. — Scientists have been using small variations in the Earth’s gravity to identify trouble spots around the globe where people are making unsustainable demands on groundwater, one of the planet’s main sources of fresh water. They found problems in places as disparate as North Africa, northern India, northeastern China and the SacramentoSan Joaquin Valley in California, heartland of that state’s $30 billion agricultural industry. Jay S. Famiglietti, director of the University of California’s Center for Hydrologic Modeling here, said the center’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, known as Grace, relies on the interplay of two nine-year-old twin satellites that monitor each other while orbiting the Earth, thereby producing some of the most precise data ever on the planet’s gravitational variations.

via Groundwater Depletion Is Detected by Grace Satellites – NYTimes.com.

Access to USDA Geospatial Data Still Contested

Central Platte NRD appeals dismissal of lawsuit

Source: TIMBERLY ROSS, Associated Press Writer, Greenwhichtime.com, 12:58 p.m., Saturday, October 16, 2010


OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Central Platte Natural Resources District has appealed the dismissal of its federal lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture over access to information. The Central Platte Natural Resources District has spent five years trying to gain access to the geographic information system data kept by the USDA‘s Farm Service Agency. Better known as GIS data, the information is used to map and track things like irrigation practices and cropland. It can also be used to help guide district decisions. But the district has received only “evasive responses, feigned cooperation, shifting legal interpretations and flagrant stonewalling” from federal officials, according to the lawsuit filed in September 2009 in U.S. District Court in Lincoln. The lawsuit was dismissed in September. An appeal was filed earlier this month with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

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