Summer drought sends Taranaki to bottom of regional economic scorecard

And while economists are predicting the region’s economic outlook could get worse before it gets better, its political and business leaders remain optimistic.
ASB’s latest regional economic scoreboard for the March quarter listed Taranaki as the worst performing of the 16 regions in the country.
* Why is Taranaki the best performing region?
"Following the drought the dairy payout is going up and there will be significant oil and gas exploration over the next few years."
Holdom said there was also the expectation Taranaki would attract significant investments in its energy and engineering sectors in the coming yeas as the Government looked to invest in the ‘Just Transition’ to a low carbon economy.
Young said there was "nothing surprising" in the ASB report.
"There were strong indicators to show the local economy was healthy with construction, tourism, housing all currently showing strong demand," he said.
The ASB regional economic scoreboard took latest quarterly regional statistics and ranked the economic performance of 16 regional council areas.
Fastest growing regions gain the highest ratings, and a good performance by the national economy raises the ratings of all regions.
Ratings were updated every three months based on 11 measures, including employment, construction, retail trade, and house prices.

New efficient and economical technique helps remove pharmaceuticals, chemical contaminants from public water systems

Download image WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.
– As the controversy surrounding the Environmental Protection Agency and water contamination heats up in Washington, D.C., Purdue University researchers have developed a technology to remove pharmaceuticals, including antibiotics and controlled substances, and chemical contaminants from public water systems.
The concern about water contaminants has been making headlines in the past couple of months as the EPA held a national summit on the issue.
According to Reynaldo Barreto, an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry and Physics at Purdue University Northwest, organic compounds and pharmaceuticals are commonly being found in public water supplies.
“The effect of these trace contaminants in the water supply is unknown,” said Barreto, who led a team of undergraduate students to develop the new technology.
“Although little is known about the many organic and pharmaceutical compounds, their presence in the water supply, even in trace amounts, poses a real threat to public health.” Barreto and his students developed a series of continuous-flow photoreactors to effectively remove chemical products and compounds, commonly used as solvents and gasoline additives, from water supplies.
The tubing is pressurized and then water flows through and the combination of the light, silicone and glass removes the trace contaminants.
About Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization The Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization operates one of the most comprehensive technology transfer programs among leading research universities in the U.S. Services provided by this office support the economic development initiatives of Purdue University and benefit the university’s academic activities.
The office is managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, which received the 2016 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Award for Innovation from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.
For more information on licensing a Purdue innovation, contact the Office of Technology Commercialization at

SA at risk of economic downgrade as Day Zero fast approaches

“When acute water scarcity hits, people have a choice.
“I am speaking to people who own residential complexes in Cape Town.
“We saw with the electricity crisis that South Africa missed out on a lot of growth.
A water crisis to me is a few times worse.
IT, which is a big industry in Cape Town, could move.
But if people queue for five months it would really impact.
Fruit that we export from the Cape will also be impacted, and this will impact our growth.
“Tourism to South Africa will be impacted.
“In the short term, south-western parts of the Western Cape, including Cape Town, are expected to remain rain-free for the remainder of this and next week.” Saws reminded that most rain in the Western Cape province falls during winter months.
“Since cold fronts form part of a variable eastward propagating wave pattern of air flow over the Southern Ocean, the frequency of the cross-continental passage of cold fronts across the Western Cape province is difficult to predict at a seasonal time range, and more research is required into weather patterns.”

SA at risk of economic downgrade as Day Zero fast approaches

Because the economy will suffer, we run the risk of a downgrade from the ratings agencies. With #DayZero fast approaching in the Western Cape and the possibility of taps running completely dry, South Africa’s economy could be severely affected if water refugees embark on a mass exodus to other provinces. Added to this, experts say the Western Cape drought also has the potential to widely affect a number of sectors, resulting in South Africa experiencing a downgrade. “When acute water scarcity hits, people have a choice. They either have to live with it or they can migrate,” said University of Free State Centre for Environmental Management Professor Anthony Turton. Turton, a trained scientist specialising in water resource management, pointed to global studies of water scarcity, ultimately resulting in “a study of migration”. “It becomes a push factor in human migration. Environmental scarcity ultimately results in resource capture. “I am speaking to people who own residential complexes in Cape Town. And I am speaking to one person that owns 10 such complexes. One has 300 units. And they are already talking about people breaking their leases and leaving. They are saying they are not willing to go through it. It’s not a far-fetched concept.” Economist Mike Schussler said there is also the potential for big firms moving from Cape Town to other parts in South Africa, including the economic hub of Johannesburg. “We saw with the electricity crisis that South Africa missed out on a lot of growth. A water crisis to me is a few times worse. There’s no rolling blackouts with water. It’s permanent,” Schussler said. “If the crisis is over relatively quickly, I don’t think it would be a…

Rick Perry tries to make the economic case for coal, screws up the economics part

Experts agree coal is not coming back, but Perry repeated the claim nonetheless.
Secretary of Energy Rick Perry toured the Longview coal plant in West Virginia on Thursday with the state’s congressional delegation.
Given a generous reading, Perry is referring here to Say’s law, also known as the law of markets, which has been rephrased as “supply creates its own demand.” In fact, the classical economic theory could be more accurately rephrased as “the total demand of an economy will meet the amount of supply,” although Keynes and the Depression called Say’s law into rather dramatic question.
The report predicts that demand will remain in the 80-million-ton range through the first part of the next decade and will fall below 80 million tons by 2030 — and it’s not expected to rebound from there.
The report attributed the long-term outlook for coal production to low demand overseas, declining productivity in West Virginia’s mines, and a decrease in U.S. coal-fired power plants — which, again, is tied to low-cost natural gas prices as well as increased emissions standards and more economical clean energy.
(West Virginia’s biggest utility even announced this week it would invest in two more wind farms.)
The WVU report came out in conjunction with the West Virginia Coal Forum, a state-sponsored event that brings together coal producers, politicians, and researchers to discuss the industry’s future.
“There’s been a lot of interest in looking at coal-fired power plants like Longview as a future for clean coal, and I think that’s his focus.” As a newer coal plant, Longview is much less carbon-intensive and more efficient than some of its decades-old brethren.
Clean coal is “just a marketing phrase,” Price told ThinkProgress.
“I think Secretary Perry’s visit certainly misleads the people of West Virginia — and some policy makers — that coal is clean and that coal is coming back,” Price said.

BLOG ROUND-UP: Bloggers weigh in on Delta tunnels and science; Flawed California water economics; outdated water rights; drought emergency ends; late fall-run Chinook status; in other words water; and more …

BLOG ROUND-UP: Bloggers weigh in on Delta tunnels and science; Flawed California water economics; outdated water rights; drought emergency ends; late fall-run Chinook status; in other words water; and more ….
Independent science review panel finds problems with Delta tunnels biological opinion: Restore the Delta writes, “An analysis by an Independent Review Panel has been made public by the Delta Stewardship Council (DSC).
During the question-and-answer session (VIDEO) at the end of the meeting, Feinstein tells the crowd… … ” Read more from Restore the Delta here: Feinstein on Delta tunnels at town hall meeting Scientific integrity in DWR’s engineering: sea level rise: “The WaterFix tunnel design assumes 18 inches of sea level rise by Late Long Term (2065.)
… ” Read more from the California Water Research blog here: Scientific integrity in DWR’s engineering: sea level rise Yet another flawed study on California water economics: Doug Obegi writes, “David Sunding prepared yet another flawed analysis of the economics of California water earlier this week.
… ” Read more from the California Water Blog here: GRA’s Contemporary Groundwater Issues Council weighs in on BMPs for groundwater sustainability plans Determining how many fish a long dammed river can sustain: “On a long dammed river in northwestern California, researchers are determining how many Chinook salmon and steelhead trout could live upstream of the dam if given the means to pass.
Historic estimates of salmon and trout populations are upwards of one million fish running the river and its tributaries annually as they migrated from the Pacific Ocean and back to spawn.
They migrate upstream to spawn below Shasta Reservoir in the Sacramento River in the late fall and early winter.
… ” Read more from Medium here: Cadiz needs scrutiny by the USGS Oakdale: Will the water district double down on dumb?
The storm hovered over California for a steady month with small breaks, a little rain, and then more storming into February.
… ” Read more from the … & the West blog here: In other words, water And lastly … “Pretend you are a river.

BLOG ROUND-UP: More on Delta tunnels impacts and economics, Delta smelt take limits, CVP allocation, ag water conservation, nitrate troubles, and more …

BLOG ROUND-UP: More on Delta tunnels impacts and economics, Delta smelt take limits, CVP allocation, ag water conservation, nitrate troubles, and more ….
… ” Continue reading at the Valley Economy blog here: WaterFix Economics Flop in Two Recent Federal Consultant Lists of National Infrastructure Priorities Reclamation Requests Higher Smelt Take Limits: Tom Cannon writes, “The State and Federal water projects requested on March 16, 2017 a higher take limit for Delta smelt under their endangered species permits for the south Delta pumping plants.
And as climate change brings longer, more frequent droughts, rising sea levels, and floods (or even leads to near failures of our outdated water infrastructure like we recently saw at Oroville Dam), it’s critical that we prepare for the water challenges looming ahead.
Tom Cannon writes, “The Klamath River Chinook salmon fall run is expected to be a record lows in 2017.
… ” Read more from the California Fisheries Blog here: 2017 Klamath Chinook run: Disaster or catastrophe?
In recent years, the sea received a temporary water source arranged as part of a Colorado River water trading agreement that is sending some irrigation water to cities on the Southern California coast.
John Fleck writes, “David Owen makes an interesting point in this New Yorker piece: Just as proximity makes people think that Las Vegas is the principal cause of the decline of Lake Mead, it also makes them think that any further decline in the lake will be a problem mainly, or even only, for Las Vegas.
Glen Canyon Dam and the $10 bill: John Fleck writes: “tl;dr The claims of “Fill Mead First” advocates that we could save hundreds of thousands of acre feet of water a year while draining Lake Powell and consolidating all the Colorado River’s water in Lake Mead don’t hold up.
… ” Read more from the Legal Planet blog here: The overlooked part of Trump’s Executive Order on climate change New article on judicial review and the Endangered Species Act: Damien M. Shiff writes, “The Endangered Species Act gives the United States Fish and Wildlife Service the authority to exclude areas from protected species’ “critical habitat” when the benefits of excluding those areas would exceed the benefits of including them.
… ” Read more from Legal Planet here: The implementation gap Sign up for daily email service and you’ll never miss a post!