Water? Water? Where did it go? Last winter was one of the warmest winter on record in California. Paleoclimatologists believe it is exacerbating what could well be the region’s worst drought in 500 years…nearly all of the state’s 191 reservoirs are below normal levels.
If things don’t improve, some small communities may run out of drinking water. Farmers may need to idle 500,000 acres of farmland, resulting in billions of dollars in economic damage. The last time the water supply was as low, in the 1960s, California’s population was just less than 20m. Today, the same amount of water must accommodate twice as many people.
The chart shows reservoir storage records from California’s Department of Water Resources for all 191 reservoirs starting in 1960. Each color represents a different reservoir (though only the nine biggest are identified). The largest aren’t even in California: Lake Mead sits in Nevada and Lake Powell straddles the borders of Utah and Arizona.
by Jodi Summers
Office space has changed drastically in the past decade. Gone are cubicles and forced air. What’s hot are bright and breezy multiuse open spaces which use less square footage than their predecessors. Allow us to share with you some cutting edge concepts in office design.
Google’s stimulating new workspace in Tel Aviv. Google creates environments to allow creative ideas to easily flow.
92% of young professionals interviewed said they would be more inclined to work for an environmentally-friendly company.
Office space abundant in light with inspiring design.
Three complementary design firms have joined together to share a loft office space.
Shared office or executive office suites.
The office barns the workspace is completely open, without partitions and without hierarchy. Desks and local storage are mobile and a system of power distribution drops power and network down to the desks from over head. It’s unlike any corporate office space that came before it and in fact has many of the characteristics of smaller businesses.
Open office space circa 1923
by Jodi Summers
Corporations are learning that their employees are happier if they work at home at least one day a week. Going one step beyond, for some careers and small business owners the home office and related tax deductions have become a legitimate tax deduction.
According to data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, in 1997 7% of workers (9.2 million individuals) reported working at home at least one day a week. By 2010, that total had grown to 9.4% (13.4 million), an increase of more than four million or 35%.
The geographic distribution of those workers who primarily work at home (most days) shows interesting geographic clustering. Using data from the 2012 Census Bureau American Community Survey, the map above charts the share of the workforce (age 16 and over) who report working at home. The highest shares are found in the West, the Northwest, the Upper Midwest and New England. The state of Vermont has the highest share (7.1%), followed by Montana (6.5%), Colorado (6.5%), and Oregon (6.3%). Louisiana has the lowest share at 2.3%.
by Jodi Summers
What Home Buyers Really Want: Ethnic Preferences is an actual study conducted by the National Association of Home Builders. We responded as Americans, undeterred by our heritage. More than 80% of people who took part in the study would like to live in “an environmentally friendly home,” but 65% are not willing to pay more for it.
Ethnicity did not factor into any major responses. Where slight difference showed up was in relation to how much buyers are willing to pay for energy efficiency features that translate to lower utility bills. Hispanic buyers indicated that they were willing to pay the most, $9,146, while white buyers indicated that they would pay the least, $6,774.
Bravo! The Port of Long Beach has been recognized as the “Best Green Seaport” in the world at the 28th annual Asian Freight & Supply Chain Awards.
The Port of Long Beach is one of the world’s premier seaports, a primary gateway for trans-Pacific trade and a trailblazer in innovative goods movement, safety and environmental stewardship. The Port is served by 140 shipping lines with connections to 217 seaports worldwide. A major economic engine for the region, the Port handles trade valued at more than $180 billion each year and supports hundreds of thousands of Southern California jobs.
In 2005, the Port of Long adopted a “Green Port Policy,” focusing reducing its impact on the community, wildlife and the environment…with unmitigated success. The POLB is proud of the dramatic improvement in air and water quality thanks to an array of environmental initiatives that include the Clean Trucks, Green Flag Vessel Speed Reduction and Technology Advancement programs.
“This is an honor to be named the AFSCA’s Best Green Seaport. The Port of Long Beach has made great strides in reducing air pollution and improving water quality, and we are committed to doing even more,” said Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners President Doug Drummond.
The Port’s growth policy has had tremendous results. The total number of containers handled at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles in May increased by 5.6% on a year-over-year basis to 1,288,652 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units). This was the 14th consecutive month of at least 1 million TEUs for the San Pedro Bay ports.
The Port of Long Beach’s Green Port Policy is an aggressive, comprehensive and coordinated approach to reduce the negative impacts of Port operations. The Green Port Policy, adopted in 2005, serves as a guide for decision making and established a framework for environmentally friendly Port operations. The policy’s five guiding principles are:
- Protect the community from harmful environmental impacts of Port operations.
- Distinguish the Port as a leader in environmental stewardship and compliance.
- Promote sustainability.
- Employ best available technology to avoid or reduce environmental impacts.
- Engage and educate the community.
The Green Port Policy includes six basic program elements, each with an overall goal:
- Wildlife – Protect, maintain or restore aquatic ecosystems and marine habitats.
- Air – Reduce harmful air emissions from Port activities.
- Water – Improve the quality of Long Beach Harbor waters.
- Soils/Sediments – Remove, treat, or render suitable for beneficial reuse contaminated soils and sediments in the Harbor District.
- Community Engagement – Interact with and educate the community regarding Port operations and environmental programs.
- Sustainability – Implement sustainable practices in design and construction, operations, and administrative practices throughout the Port.
The “Green Seaport” honor of the Asian Freight & Supply Chain Awards is reserved for ports that have “demonstrated compliance with green freight transport regulations and environmental standards; investment in green initiatives, technology and action plans; incorporation of environmental requirements in strategic planning; use of a policy on reducing fuel emissions from freight handling operations; and ongoing training of staff in green initiatives and in measures to lower carbon footprints.”
The awards are based on an annual poll of thousands of professionals in freight transportation services. Awards also are given in many categories, including best shipping lines, container terminals, air cargo terminals, airports and rail haulers.
Find out more about the Port of Long Beach’s environmental programs at www.polb.com/environment.
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