Water News from Arizona & Way, Way Beyond

How a 25-year-old heavy metal guitarist from Arizona discovered water on Mars

Anne Ryman | azcentral.com

New study led by University of Arizona graduate provides evidence that water flows periodically on the surface of Mars.

He gave up heavy metal music for science.  Now Lujendra Ojha is a rock star in the study of outer space.

Five years ago, as a University of Arizona undergraduate Ojha was examining photos taken by a high-powered camera that orbits Mars when he noticed mysterious, dark streaks cascading down the sides of Martian hills.

“It was mostly accidental,” the 25-year-old said of that discovery, which led to NASA’s Monday announcement confirming evidence of flowing water on Mars.

“I was too stupid to have an ‘a-ha’ moment,” Ojha added in an interview with The Arizona Republic. “… at the time, I didn’t know what I was doing.” [MORE]

Phoenix-area golf courses use more water than anywhere else in U.S.

Terry Tang | Associated Press

Government statistics show that golf courses in and around Phoenix consume more water than any other place in the country.

Maricopa County golf courses averaged more than 80 million gallons daily for irrigation, according to a 2010 U.S. Geological Survey report. That is more than double second-ranked Riverside County, which includes Palm Springs, Calif. The report is compiled every five years.

Irrigation water for golf courses includes surface water, groundwater and reclaimed water, State Department of Water Resources officials said.

Ed Gowan, the Arizona Golf Association executive director, believes every golf course would use reclaimed water if the infrastructure was available.

“That’s probably the biggest issue facing golf course water use over the next 10 or 20 years,” Gowan said.

Reclaimed water contains nutrients that can filter into the soil and benefit golf courses, he added. But it costs money, which is being spent on other infrastructure. [MORE]


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