California’s Drought Is Part of a Much Bigger Water Crisis. Here’s What You Need to Know
Most of California is experiencing 'extreme to exceptional drought,' and the crisis has now entered its fourth year. Explosive urban growth matched with the steady planting of water-thirsty crops – which use the majority of the water – don't help. Water use policies—perhaps more than nature—have caused the water crisis in the West

Why do I keep hearing about the California drought, if it's the Colorado River that we're "killing"?

Pretty much every state west of the Rockies has been facing a water shortage of one kind or another in recent years. California's is a severe, but relatively short-term, drought. But the Colorado River basin — which provides critical water supplies for seven states including California — is the victim of a slower-burning catastrophe entering its 16th year. Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and California all share water from the Colorado River, a hugely important water resource that sustains 40 million people in those states, supports 15 percent of the nation's food supply, and fills two of largest water reserves in the country.
The severe shortages of rain and snowfall have hurt California's $46 billion agricultural industry and helped raise national awareness of the longer-term shortages that are affecting the entire Colorado River basin. But while the two problems have commonalities and have some effect on one another, they're not exactly the same thing.

Just how bad is the drought in California right now? 



Most of California is experiencing "extreme to exceptional drought," and the crisis has now entered its fourth year. This month, signaling how serious the current situation is, state officials announced the first cutback to farmers' water rights since 1977, and ordered cities and towns to cut water use by as much as 36 percent. Those who don't comply with the cuts will face fines, but some farmers are already ignoring the new rules, or challenging them in court.
The drought shows no sign of letting up any time soon, and the state's agricultural industry is suffering. A recent study by U.C. Davis researchers projected that the drought would cost California's economy $2.7 billion in 2015 alone.
In addition to the economic cost, the drought has subtle and not-so-subtle effects on flora and fauna throughout the region. This current drought may be contributing to the spread of the West Nile virus, and it's threatening populations of geese, ducks and Joshua trees. Dry, hot periods can exacerbate wildfires, while water shortages are making firefighters' jobs even harder.
And a little bit of rain won't help. NOAA scientists say it could take several years of average or above-average rainfall before California's water supply can return to anything close to normal.

What about a lot of rain? Couldn't that end the drought in California and across the West?


Not necessarily. A half-decade of torrential rains might bail California out of its crisis, but the larger West's problems are more structural and systemic. "Killing the Colorado" has shown that people are entitled to more water from the Colorado than has flowed through it, on average, over the last 110 years. Meanwhile much of the water is lost, overused or wasted, stressing both the Colorado system, and trickling down to California, which depends on the Colorado for a big chunk of its own supply. Explosive urban growth matched with the steady planting of water-thirsty crops – which use the majority of the water – don't help. Arcane laws actually encourage farmers to take even more water from the Colorado River and from California's rivers than they actually need… Continue Reading…

Courtesy: ProPublica


Will market regulator's plan to simplify start-ups' listing help?
The spirit of entrepreneurship got a shot in the arm as India's market regulator decided to simplify the framework for raising of capital by technological startups. But how much will it help them? While most of them feel it will open up opportunities, others feel the traditional route was better.
"In the last two years, the majority of the funds raised by startups have gone to three to four big companies. It was difficult for the smaller entrepreneurs to get attention of the funding companies. But now with the SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) rules, it will open up opportunities for smaller entrepreneurs," Mandeep Manocha, chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder ReGlobe, told IANS.
Earlier smaller startups would only get funds from angel investors and venture capitalists (VC). Now with SEBI's simplified rules, tech startups can also raise money from the public.
According to reports, ReGlobe raised $1 million from a venture capital firm almost two years ago. The Gurgaon-based company has 60 employees across 40 cities in India and plans to expand its business in Southeast Asia and the UAE after a year. It is planning to raise a second tranche of funds in the next three-four months.
ReGlobe is a re-commerce market-place, which offers an online platform to sell old, or used electronic gadgets such as laptops, mobile phones, gaming consoles, tablets and air-conditioners.
In a statement issued on June 23, SEBI said: "The Board undertook a review of the extant regulatory framework in the primary market and noted the suggestions of market participants on making the existing avenues for capital raising amenable for accommodating a larger number of start-up companies."
"In a country like India, which is ranked fifth globally in terms of the combined size of the start-up industry, this announcement by SEBI is extremely positive for entrepreneurs and domestic investors alike, Aamir Jariwala, secretary, E-Commerce Coalition of India, and co-founder, Karma Recycling, told IANS.
"India may emerge as the preferred choice for listings instead of overseas markets and qualified domestic investors can more easily benefit from the phenomenal growth promised by some of these enterprises," he added.
The stakeholders, however, said it is a welcome move by SEBI, but clarity about the process will come with time.
"In private markets fund raising was easier. Tech startups need times to prove themselves and their business models keep changing. So, it was easier to take funding from angel investors and VCs. If one is going the IPO way, then the public's expectations are much higher as they expect the company to perform well," Bipin Preet Singh, founder and CEO of Mobikwik, told IANS.
"We have no current plans for an IPO. We are focussing on growth. We are adequately funded. We first raised $2.5 million and then $25 million six months ago," he added.
Started in 2009, MobiKwik is a mobile wallet company with over 17 million users. The company witnesses 400,000 unit transactions a day and employs 220 people. It soon plans to set up offices in Chennai, Mumbai and Bengaluru, where it sees more traction.
"This move by SEBI is likely to create an exit ecosystem for both investors and entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurs will be able to draw greater funding from investors," Raju Vanapala, founder of LearnSocial, told IANS.
"Most start-ups so far were keen on listing in the foreign stock exchanges, given the current restrictions, but with the current move by SEBI, more investors will be willing to invest in India and more startups will also list in the country in the future," he added.


Deadline to exchange pre-2005 currency notes extended
The Reserve Bank of India has extended the deadline for exchanging pre-2005 currency notes of various denominations, including Rs.500 and Rs.1,000, by six months till December-end.
"The Reserve Bank of India has extended the date for the public to exchange their pre-2005 banknotes till December 31, 2015," the central bank said in a press release.
RBI had, in December 2014, set the last date to exchange these notes as June-end, asking the public to deposit the old design notes in their bank accounts or exchange them at a convenient bank branch.
It had extended its earlier exchange deadline of January 1 till the end of this month.
Besides being standard international practice to withdraw old series notes, the RBI said the pre-2005 banknotes have fewer security features compared with banknotes printed thereafter, designed to curb the menace of fake currency.
The finance ministry has informed parliament that over 164 crore pre-2005 currency notes of various denominations, with a face value of around Rs.21,750 crore, were shredded in regional offices of the RBI during a 13-month period ending January.



Hemen Parekh

11 months ago

( A Mobile App called " BLACK-MAIL " )

While inaugurating the International Conference on " Networking the Networks " on Nov 2 , our FM Shri Jaitleyji said :
" Tax evasion and money laundering will become extremely difficult in the next 1-2 years, with the global automatic exchange of information system coming into effect on a real time basis "
To speed up this process and make it truly automatic / real time , I suggest resorting to the following technologies :

# Internet of Things ( IoT )

As each currency note of Rs 500 / 1000 , is getting printed , embed it with microscopic
RFID chips
Besides communicating with each other , these chips will also transmit their existence
location , through internet , to cloud-based servers of Income Tax Department
This will form a " NETWORK OF CURRENCY NOTES ( NoC ) "
You may like to call this Internet of Currency ( IoC ) , a sub-set of IoT !

# Internet Protocol Address System ( IP V 6.0 )

Each Rs 500 / 1000 currency note must be assigned ( at the time of printing ) , its own
unique Internet Address , using IP V 6.0
This IP address should be linked with the unique Serial Number printed on each note.
Since IP V 6.0 , will be capable of assigning " 2 * 10 to the power of 128 ", no of IP
addresses , there is no danger of running out of addresses , even if we decide to extend
this idea to Rs 100 currency notes !

Here are the most important BYE - PRODUCTs :
* No more possibility of fake / forged / counterfeit , currency notes !
* Plastic currency notes will last 10 times longer !

This reform will enable the Central Government / Income Tax Department , to :

* Continuously trace the movement of each of these higher denomination currency notes
* Instantly locate any place ( using Google Map based GPS ) , where there is an
accumulation of more than Rs 1 Crore worth of currency notes
Such accumulation will be made to appear as a TAG CLOUD on the web site of IT Dept,
like thousands of balloons floating on a map of India , capable of being drilled down to
within 1 Sq Meter !
On each balloon , will appear a number announcing , " Amount of Cash here - Rs " !
This will vastly simplify the task of Anti Corruption Dept / Enforcement Dept etc

But then such transparency might lead to break-down of social order / chaos
It may be a better / safer / saner solution for such balloons / tag clouds to appear , on a secret Mobile App , available only to the officers of Enforcement Department ( ED )
You may want to call this app , " BLACK-MAIL " !

Of course , my suggestions may become outdated with the arrival of mobile wallets based CASHLESS SOCIETY , by 2030

In the meantime , should Shri Arun Jaitleyji and Shri Ravi Shankar Prasadji , want this implemented , it can be done in 6 months , at one tenth the cost of MoM ( Mars Orbital Mission ) , ie approx Rs 43 Crores

All they have to do , is to tell the bureaucracy :
" Since we need not depend upon Opposition parties to pass a bill in Rajya Sabha , please go ahead and implement this - in less than 6 months "

hemen parekh
06 Nov 2015

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