September 18, 2014

An old stovepipe well in Death Valley. California was the last Western state that allowed people to pump groundwater without regulation.     Photo: sprokop/Thinkstock

California to Start Regulating Groundwater

New law puts onus on local planners

On Tuesday, Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation to regulate groundwater, making California the last Western state to do so, according to a report by the Associated Press. Previously, while some local rules were in place, many landowners were entitled to pump as much water as they could. This practice was increasingly viewed as unsustainable, particularly in light of California’s ongoing drought. 

Republicans and Democrats representing agricultural areas opposed the legislation. California farms have come to rely on groundwater to cope with the drought.

Unlike other western states, the California bill does not create a statewide agency with the power to outlaw groundwater exploitation. Instead, the new legislation requires local planners to draw up plans for sustainability by 2040.


Sponsor Trek announced that Jens Voigt broke the hour record on Twitter.     Photo: Trek Factory Racing/Twitter

Jens Voigt Smashes the Hour Record

Rides 205 laps, 31.76 miles

With 39,000 people watching the live-stream, 42-year-old Jens Voigt covered 51.115 kilometers in 60 minutes, breaking the hour record—a measure of how far a cyclist can ride in 60 minutes. The distance to beat was 49.7 kilometers (30.882 miles), a record which was set in 2005 by Czech rider Ondrej Sosenka. But unlike every rider who’s competed since 2000, Voigt rode in a modern pursuit position and with aero gear thanks to a UCI rule change in May.

Voigt's attempt is likely to renew interest in the hour record, which lost much of its relevance and luster in 2000 when the UCI limited the positions and equipment cyclists could use in the race.