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Hurricane Katrina: UK satellite revisits New Orleans 10 years on - BBC News. When Hurricane Katrina made landfall in the morning hours of 29 August, 2005, it wrought devastation on a huge scale. To get an overview of what they faced, disaster response coordinators needed satellite imagery, and the first picture to come in was acquired by a British-built, Nigerian-owned platform. NigeriaSat-1 captured a wide-area image showing where the New Orleans levee system had been overtopped or breached. It laid bare the extent of the flooding in the city and all along the coastline.

NigeriaSat-1, which worked up until 2012, was part of the Disaster Monitoring Constellation of Earth-imaging spacecraft managed and operated from Guildford in southern England. And one of the constellation's current members, called DMC-2, has been back to Louisiana and the Gulf region in recent days to take another picture to mark the 10th anniversary of Katrina. It is apparent also that the marshes beyond were severely inundated. California Drought: ‘Dire Circumstances’ For Water Supply.

The National Weather Service in Sacramento says it would take 200 to 270 percent of average precipitation to make up for the past three years of drought in California. "This is now the fourth consecutive water year that Northern California has not received its normal amount of rain and mountain snow," said Michelle Mead, Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sacramento. The April 1 snow survey showed the Sierra Nevada snowpack was the lowest on record for that date at only 5 percent.

"The recent storm only improved things minimally, up to 8 percent," said Mead. "This did nothing for the drought but it sure makes the mountains look pretty. But if [you] take a big picture look at our reservoirs and the runoff in the rivers, we are really in some dire circumstances. " Ed Joyce / Capital Public Radio Mead said the majority of Northern California reservoirs are only at 50 percent of capacity. "But this far out, those predictions are not certain," she said. Glogin?mobile=1&URI= Disappearing Lake Powell underlines drought crisis facing Colorado river | Environment. The Colorado river and its tributaries took a hundred million years or two to carve the Glen Canyon out of the pink and scarlet sandstone which marks out the American southwest.

Its myriad gorges, sheer cliffs and towering spires remained a largely hidden secret. Prehistoric peoples farmed part of the canyon and Navajo Indian communities built camps close to the river, but few modern Americans ventured there besides explorers until the canyon disappeared under a man-made wonder, the vast Lake Powell, with the construction of Glen Canyon dam half a century ago. Almost immediately, environmentalists and archaeologists mourned the loss. A final burst of exploration had turned up thousands of ancient ruins and drawn a belated focus on the canyon’s stunning natural architecture. “Glen Canyon died in 1963,” wrote the renowned conservationist David Brower, who founded Friends of the Earth. But Lake Powell, the US’s second largest reservoir, proved its own marvel. Hidden treasures Deeper cuts.

Farmers Agree To Water Cuts To Help California Deal With Drought. California state water officials announced Friday that they have accepted a historic proposal by farmers in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to voluntarily curtail their water or land use in an attempt to stave off mandatory cuts later in the growing season. Farmers with the some of the oldest water rights will have the option of voluntarily reducing their water usage by 25 percent, or leaving a quarter of their land unplanted.

In exchange, the state has promised not to seek further reductions throughout this year’s growing season. Water rights holders who choose not to participate in voluntary curtailments may still face mandatory cuts later in the growing season if the drought — which is now stretching into its fourth year — doesn’t improve. “This proposal helps Delta growers manage the risk of potentially deeper curtailment, while ensuring significant water conservation efforts in this fourth year of drought,” State Water Board Chair Felicia Marcus said in a press statement.

India heatwave: Death toll passes 1,400 as extreme temperatures hitting 47C melt roads - Asia - World - The Independent. Road markings were distorted in Delhi after days of temperatures hitting 45C turned asphalt liquid and the government is urging people to stay inside. Many of the victims are believed to be homeless people, construction workers and labourers unable to find shelter from the conditions. An Indian boy takes a bath at a fountain at India Gate in New Delhi A mahout splashes water on his elephant in the river Sabarmati on a hot summer day in Ahmedabad, India Elderly people and young children are also at a greater risk of succumbing to dehydration or heat stroke. The worst-hit states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, in south-eastern India, reported 1,270 deaths as temperatures hit 47C, the Hindustan times reported. Read more: Hundreds dead in heatwave sweeping India People have also been killed by heat-related conditions in Gujarat, West Bengal and Orissa.

Loading gallery Deadly heatwave hits India 1 of 15 An Indian farmer sits in his dried up land near Karnataka. Is-making-the-pacific-ocean-drinkable-the-best-answer-to-californias-drought-... Yet while many experts say desalination is an inevitable component of California’s future strategy for conserving and bolstering its fragile water supply, others insist the process of turning saltwater fresh remains an environmental threat, and that the answer to the state’s water woes is not to find new sources of water, but to better manage those that already exist. When it begins operating later this year, the $1bn (£650m) Carlsbad Desalination Project is expected to produce approximately 50 million gallons of potable water per day for residents of San Diego County. Planned and approved prior to the drought, it will be the largest such facility in the Western hemisphere, providing around seven per cent of the county’s water supply.

Today there are more than 15,000 desalination plants worldwide, including 2,000 in the US. (Most are small and treat not seawater, but brackish groundwater, a far easier, cheaper process.) Loading gallery Incredible pictures of the California drought 1 of 15. California orders historic water cuts for farmers - BBC News.