New IBM iPhone App will help protect waterways

IBM’s new Creek Watch application for the Apple iPhone is designed to draw upon the millions of iPhone users to collect data on the country’s rivers, streams and creeks.

IBM is offering an iPhone app designed to enable people to help keep an eye on the waterways around them.

IBM Nov. 4 announced the Creek Watch iPhone app, which lets users quickly and easily gather data on the various rivers and streams they pass. They then would be able to take that data—including a photo—and send it to local or state water authorities, who will be able to gather and analyze the information and get a better view of what’s happening in their environments.

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First-of-its-kind study finds alarming increase in flow of water into oceans

UCI-led team cites global warming, accelerated cycle of evaporation, precipitation

Irvine, Calif. — Freshwater is flowing into Earth’s oceans in greater amounts every year, a team of researchers has found, thanks to more frequent and extreme storms linked to global warming. All told, 18 percent more water fed into the world’s oceans from rivers and melting polar ice sheets in 2006 than in 1994, with an average annual rise of 1.5 percent.

“That might not sound like much – 1.5 percent a year – but after a few decades, it’s huge,” said Jay Famiglietti, UC Irvine Earth system science professor and principal investigator on the study, which will be published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. He noted that while freshwater is essential to humans and ecosystems, the rain is falling in all the wrong places, for all the wrong reasons.

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San Joaquin River Restoration getting some thumbs up

The Fresno Bee

Swept along by a drought-busting winter, the San Joaquin River restoration is getting good reviews at the end of its first year — even from one vocal farm critic.

The stormy season helped officials reconnect the long-dry river with the Pacific Ocean and ease fears of farmers who lost irrigation water for the restoration.

Some of the restoration water was recaptured and sent back to farms. Plus, farmers bought a bounty of cheap river water from excess snowmelt.

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