Energy and Environment

Energy and Environment
4:15 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Nevada will create protection plan for native bees

Photo from www.agriview.com.

State wildlife officials say they are concerned that climate change and urbanization might diminish the native bee population. Reno Public Radio’s Michelle Bliss reports the Nevada Department of Agriculture is putting together guidelines to protect these important pollinators of natural plants.

Jeff Knight is the state’s entomologist. His job is primarily to keep the bad bugs out and to monitor the ones that are vital to the local environment.

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Energy and Environment
12:35 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Nevada regulators to decide on rules for fracking

Credit Photo from www.blogs.kqed.org.

Thursday, Nevada regulators will decide on proposed rules for hydraulic fracturing, also known as "fracking." The industry is just beginning to explore for oil in the east, near Elko, using this technique. Environmental groups and some locals worry about the impacts on Nevada's scarce water resources. Reno Public Radio's Will Stone has more on that debate.

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Energy and Environment
9:20 am
Thu August 28, 2014

New funding is needed for Tahoe boat inspection program

The Lake Tahoe boat inspection program prevents invasive species from contaminating the water. Federal funding for the program lasts just one more year and it’s unclear where the money will come from after that.

For the last five years, boats launched into Lake Tahoe have been inspected to prevent non-native species like quagga mussels from wreaking havoc on the lake’s eco-system.

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Energy and Environment
5:38 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

As Tahoe warms, oxygen and clarity could decrease

A warming lake could have dire consequences for animal life and clarity.
Credit Will Stone

In the lead up to next week’s Tahoe Summit, researchers are taking stock of how warmer temperatures are impacting the lake’s iconic clear waters. Earlier this week, we looked at concerns about water quality near the shore. But, as it turns out, climate change may also affect oxygen levels in the lake.

 

 

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Energy and Environment
10:50 am
Thu August 14, 2014

Researchers seek to better understand and plan for drought

Credit Bob Conrad/This Is Reno

UNR and DRI researchers in Northern Nevada are launching a broad effort to better predict and prepare for severe drought and climate change. 

 

While many places are feeling the impacts of climate change, Western Nevada and the Sierra make a good case study. For one, the trends in temperature change here track almost exactly with the global ones. Along with that, Maureen McCarthy, a UNR researcher, says our desert environment, fed by snowfall in the mountains, is one of the most vulnerable to climate change. 

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Energy and Environment
5:46 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Scientists grapple with decline in clarity and species around Tahoe's near shore

UNR researchers Sudeep Chandra, Annie Caires and Christine Ryan (from left to right).
Credit Will Stone

Gary Scott has spent many a summer on the docks at Incline Village, overseeing his rental boat company, Action Water Sports. But, this year, keeping the boats clean has been more of a challenge.

"With our rental boats, in particular, we're seeing more algae growth than what we're used to."

Tahoe may not be in the same shape as some lakes in California, where the water levels are at record lows, but it's still feeling the impacts of a light winter and very little snowmelt. Scott says the water level here is down about 5 feet.

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Energy and Environment
10:40 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Wildlife officials save trout from drought

The salvage operation led by the Nevada Department of Wildlife saved thousands of fish, including brown trout.
Credit Nevada Department of Wildlife

Wildlife officials have been salvaging fish from ditches around Reno that are depleted because of the ongoing drought.

Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss reports that the operation saved about six thousand fish.

The Truckee Meadows Water Authority usually operates the Washoe and Verdi ditches as hydroelectric power sources, but the authority shut down all water flows to the ditches this week because of the drought.

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Fracking Debate
11:25 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Fracking debate takes hold of Reese River Valley

A group of farmers and ranchers is suing the federal government in an effort to block the possible use of hydraulic fracturing in a valley near Austin, Nevada.
Credit Will Stone

A group of farmers and ranchers is suing the federal government in an effort to stop hydraulic fracturing in a valley near Austin, Nevada. Later this week, the Bureau of Land Management is auctioning off leases that could let companies explores for oil and gas there. While fracking has not taken off in Nevada, some say the state could have vast potential given new technology.

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Energy and Environment
2:21 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Reno installs solar-powered garbage bins

Solar-powered trash compactor. Photo from www.bigbellysolar.com.

Reno has recently added 25 solar-powered trash compactors to the downtown corridor. After this trial run, many more could be popping up around town.

“Rather high-tech,” is how Sarah Polito, a spokesperson for Waste Management of Nevada, describes the compactors.

“Think mission impossible style, if you will,” Polito says. “There are laser beams within the compactor.”

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Energy and Environment
12:44 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Lake Tahoe faces the threat of invasive species

Fourth of July is just around the corner and that means it's prime boating season at Lake Tahoe. But with that comes the threat of invasive species. And wildlife officials are hoping no unwelcome creatures find their way into the lake this year.

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