Lake desiccation has been happening for thousands of years; it’s not a new phenomenon. What’s new is the rate at which lakes are drying. For example, Lake Lahontan in the western United States dried over the course of 3,000 to 4,000 years due to natural climate change—but Lake Albert in eastern Oregon has shrunk dramatically over just two decades.
Sawmills in the Western United States have an intriguing history. As mostly European-descendant settlements of the 19th century American West forged deeper into resource extraction of wood to build homes and towns, sawmills were developed to process immense logs into usable lumber. Naturally, a power source was needed to propel the industry beyond the work of hand-sawyers. Technology used to power the mills included water turbines and steam engines, while boilers provided steam for a sawmill’s kilns.
Air Sciences is always looking for ways to save clients time and money while keeping abreast of the newest methods and technologies. We recently wrote about how we are helping clients calculate theoretical evaporation a simplified way. Cue the entrance of low-cost air quality sensors (LCS). Thanks to advances in laser technology and open source computing, these instruments cost just 5% of what you’d expect for conventional reference sensors. How does the adage “you get what you pay for” hold up in a situation like this? Let’s look at the LCS pros and cons and find out:
Large man-made bodies of water at mining sites such as tailings ponds are designed for water to evaporate. Exposure to the greatest tool for evaporation – the sun – means water level changes require water balance tracking due to precipitation and evaporation.