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Managing Trees During Droughts

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Aug 3, 2015 12:31:00 PM

Trees keep urban landscapes cool, beautify neighborhoods and retain stormwater, but droughts put trees at risk.

THIS INFOGRAPHIC, created by the California Urban Forests Council (CaUFC), provides valuable tips for keeping trees alive and healthy during droughts.

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Water Wars: EPA Rule Front and Center

Posted by Sara Gutterman

May 21, 2015 8:23:32 AM

EPA’s Waters of the United States rule on the regulation of water pollution is creating polarity—and some unlikely allies.

For decades, farmers, businesses, developers, environmental groups, and elected officials have been confused by the scope of federal jurisdiction over the types of water bodies protected by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Clean Water Act, which ensures the safety of drinking water.   To clarify its authority over water pollution control, the EPA proposed a controversial and widely criticized rule last year that would prevent the pollution of streams, tributaries, and wetlands that feed water sources.

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Drought Dilemma Challenges Unlimited Growth

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Apr 16, 2015 9:09:00 AM

California’s drought is putting the concept of unlimited growth under severe scrutiny, and for good reasons. 

When it comes to water, California is running out of options—and time. Suffering through its fourth year of excruciating drought...the state’s snow pack is at an all-time low... Governor Brown has issued unprecedented water restrictions...surface and ground water is quickly drying up...and crop and pasture losses are escalating.

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Water Conservation: Leave It to Beavers?

Posted by Ron Jones

Sep 15, 2014 8:56:00 AM

Water should go—we all know—to those who tend it, who use it, who love it, who dance for it, and it should flow downhill from stream to river, and river to sea. – “Dancing for Water,” Stanley Crawford, 1990

LIKE ALL GUERILLA FIGHTERS, the beaver is most effective at night. The hours between dusk and dawn belong to him; under cover of darkness he is more than capable of overpowering our stubborn but feeble daytime efforts to keep the irrigation gate clear, the water flowing.

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Water Conservation by Stormwater Management

Posted by Juliet Grable

Sep 8, 2014 3:18:51 PM

We've let our stormwater get away from us. These water conservation practices can help clean it up and encourage it to stick around.

STORMWATER RUNOFF is rain or snowmelt that flows over the land without percolating into the soil. Stormwater occurs naturally, especially during large rain events, but nature’s sponge—the water-absorbing cover of trees, shrubs and other vegetation hugging our planet—usually takes care of the rest. Unfortunately, we’ve turned our world into a hard place. Paved sidewalks, asphalt parking lots, concrete curbs, streets, driveways, roofs and building facades—all of these impervious surfaces change the natural movement of water over the landscape, and increase the volume, speed and temperature of the runoff.

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