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Phys.org internet news portal provides the latest news on science including: Physics, Nanotechnology, Life Sciences, Space Science, Earth Science, Environment, Health and Medicine.

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    A canal that delivers vital water supplies from Northern California to Southern California is sinking in places. So are stretches of a riverbed undergoing historic restoration. On farms, well casings pop up like mushrooms as the ground around them drops.

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    A decade ago, environmentalists and the federal government agreed to revive a 150-mile stretch of California's second-longest river, an ambitious effort aimed at allowing salmon again to swim up to the Sierra Nevada foothills to spawn.

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    Surveyors will plunge poles into the Sierra Nevada snowpack near Lake Tahoe on Tuesday, taking the season's first measurement by hand of the snow's water content as California flirts with a sixth year of drought.

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    Dogs can be trained to find almost anything (people, drugs, weapons, poached ivory) but one York University researcher had them detect something a little unusual - the scat of endangered blunt-nosed leopard lizards. The scat detection dogs helped biology PhD student Alex Filazzola discover not only scat, but the importance of shrubs in preserving lizard populations in the face of climate change.

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    California has seen some heavy rains recently after years of drought, filling many of the state's reservoirs. The rising waters are evident in this radar image from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellite mission over part of the San Joaquin Valley.

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    Since the 1920s, excessive pumping of groundwater at thousands of wells in California's San Joaquin Valley has caused land in sections of the valley to subside, or sink, by as much as 28 feet (8.5 meters). This subsidence is exacerbated during droughts, when farmers rely heavily on groundwater to sustain one of the most productive agricultural regions in the nation.

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    Endangered San Joaquin kit foxes face many threats to their survival, including loss of habitat and competition with non-native species such as the red fox. Now, scientists are rushing to save remaining fragile populations from a new danger - sarcoptic mange, a skin disease caused by mites.

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    Decades of over-pumping groundwater have irreversibly altered clay layers in parts of California's Central Valley, causing the ground to sink and permanently reducing its capacity to store water, a new satellite remote sensing study shows.

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