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Vocapedia > Earth > Natural disasters > Drought

 

 

 

Todd Allen walks his parched farm,

which usually grows melons and wheat.

 

Photograph:

Peter DaSilva

for The New York Times

 

California’s Thirsting Farmland

The New York Times

APRIL 20, 2014

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/21/
business/energy-environment/californias-thirsting-farmland.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

California Drought Tests History of Endless Growth

 

A punishing drought is forcing a reconsideration

of whether the aspiration of untrammeled growth

that has for so long been the state’s engine

has run against the limits of nature.

NYT

APRIL 4, 2015

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/05/
us/california-drought-tests-history-of-endless-growth.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

California's Extreme Drought, Explained        NYT        7 July 2014

 

 

 

 

California's Extreme Drought, Explained | The New York Times        7 July 2014

 

The state is experiencing the worst drought in its history.

 

Find out just how bad the situation is getting

and what it means for you.

 

Produced by: Carrie Halperin and Sean Patrick Farrell

Read the story here: http://nyti.ms/1vRoFUz

Watch more videos at: http://nytimes.com/video

 

YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?
v=rHWHuP91c7Y&list=UUqnbDFdCpuN8CMEg0VuEBqA&index=976

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

water        USA

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/01/12/
509474666/snowpocalypse2017-inundates-west-coast-clobbering-towns-but-easing-drought

 

http://www.npr.org/2016/05/23/
478568014/going-there-the-future-of-water

http://www.npr.org/2016/05/22/
479084475/a-warming-world-means-less-water-with-economic-consequences

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/25/
business/energy-environment/private-water-projects-lure-investors-
preferably-patient-ones.html

 

 

 

 

ground water        USA

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/01/12/
509474666/snowpocalypse2017-inundates-west-coast-clobbering-towns-but-easing-drought

 

 

 

 

water table        USA

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/01/12/
509474666/snowpocalypse2017-inundates-west-coast-clobbering-towns-but-easing-drought

 

 

 

 

water > 1 US gallon  =  3.78541178 liters        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/31/
opinion/sunday/nicholas-kristof-our-water-guzzling-food-factory.html

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/05/21/us/
your-contribution-to-the-california-drought.html

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2015/04/15/
398607800/redistribute-californias-water-not-without-a-fight

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/04/01/us/
water-use-in-california.html

 

 

 

 

water        USA

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/07/20/
424571389/drought-stricken-california-farmers-look-to-tap-urban-wastewater

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/19/
opinion/sunday/how-the-west-overcounts-its-water-supplies.html

 

 

 

 

water supplies        USA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjQhVPkKDcE - NYT, July 20, 2015

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/19/opinion/sunday/
how-the-west-overcounts-its-water-supplies.html

 

 

 

 

water management        USA

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/01/12/
509474666/snowpocalypse2017-inundates-west-coast-clobbering-towns-but-easing-drought

 

 

 

 

wastewater / recycled water        USA

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/07/20/
424571389/drought-stricken-california-farmers-look-to-tap-urban-wastewater

 

 

 

 

global water shortages        UK

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/feb/09/
global-water-shortages-threat-terror-war

 

 

 

 

water shortage    USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/21/
opinion/Dealing-With-the-Water-Shortage-in-California.html

 

 

 

 

water scarcity        USA

http://www.npr.org/2016/05/22/
479084475/a-warming-world-means-less-water-with-economic-consequences

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/31/
opinion/sunday/nicholas-kristof-our-water-guzzling-food-factory.html

 

 

 

 

scant water        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/13/us/
california-announces-restrictions-on-water-use-by-farmers.html

 

 

 

 

farmer > water allotment        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/22/us/
california-farmers-offer-concession-in-drought.html

 

 

 

 

water pricing        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/07/
business/energy-environment/water-pricing-in-two-thirsty-cities.html

 

 

 

 

water woes        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/12/
science/drinking-seawater-looks-ever-more-palatable-to-californians.html

 

 

 

 

 the nation's largest reservoir,

Lake Mead, near Las Vegas        USA

http://www.npr.org/2015/04/17/
400377057/as-lake-mead-levels-drop-the-west-braces-for-bigger-drought-impact

 

 

 

 

The Colorado River

is like a giant bank account

for seven different states.

Now it's running short.

 

For decades,

the river has fed growing cities

from Denver to Los Angeles.

 

A lot of the produce in supermarkets across the country

was grown with Colorado River water.

 

But with climate change,

and severe drought,

the river is reaching a crisis point,

and communities at each end of it

are reacting very differently.        USA

http://www.npr.org/2016/12/30/
507569514/high-demand-low-supply-colorado-river-water-crisis-hits-across-the-west

 

 

 

 

drought-ravaged American West > water crisis        USA

http://www.npr.org/2016/12/30/
507569514/high-demand-low-supply-colorado-river-water-crisis-hits-across-the-west

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/21/
science/silicon-valleys-water-conservation-conundrum.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2014/06/29/
the-water-crisis-in-the-west

 

 

 

 

water war        USA

http://www.npr.org/2015/04/30/
403283276/drought-in-calif-creates-water-wars-between-farmers-developers-residents

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/13/
opinion/the-southwestern-water-wars.html

 

 

 

 

war over water        USA

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/06/04/
411475620/californias-war-over-water-has-farmer-fighting-farmer

 

 

 

 

water battleground        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/25/
science/troubled-delta-system-is-californias-water-battleground.html

 

 

 

 

consume water        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/31/
opinion/sunday/nicholas-kristof-our-water-guzzling-food-factory.html

 

 

 

 

water-guzzling food factory        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/31/
opinion/sunday/nicholas-kristof-our-water-guzzling-food-factory.html

 

 

 

 

water rights        USA

http://www.npr.org/2016/10/30/
499985890/florida-and-georgia-argue-in-court-over-water-rights

http://www.npr.org/2016/05/28/
479866079/colorado-towns-farmers-battle-over-water-rights

 

 

 

 

water use        USA

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2015/04/16/
399958203/how-almonds-became-a-scapegoat-for-californias-drought

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/04/01/us/
water-use-in-california.html

 

 

 

 

cut water use        USA

http://www.npr.org/2015/05/05/
404239904/santa-barbara-leads-california-in-cutting-water-use

 

 

 

 

reduction in water use        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/13/us/
california-announces-restrictions-on-water-use-by-farmers.html

 

 

 

 

farmers > agree to water cuts        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/23/us/
some-california-farmers-to-cut-water-use-to-ease-drought.html

 

 

 

 

use less water        USA

http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2015/05/11/
405888966/why-california-farmers-are-conflicted-about-using-less-water

 

 

 

 

tap water        USA

http://www.npr.org/2015/05/05/
402584148/teens-say-california-drought-makes-tap-water-taste-funky

 

 

 

 

impose mandatory water restrictions        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/02/us/
california-imposes-first-ever-water-restrictions-to-deal-with-drought.html

 

 

 

 

permanent water restrictions        USA

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/05/09/
477392158/california-governor-makes-some-water-restrictions-permanent

 

 

 

 

water cuts        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/04/01/us/
water-use-in-california.html

 

 

 

 

irrigation canal        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/23/us/
some-california-farmers-to-cut-water-use-to-ease-drought.html

 

 

 

 

drinking water        USA

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/gallery/2015/dec/26/
east-porterville-california-water-bottles-drought-gallery

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/12/
science/drinking-seawater-looks-ever-more-palatable-to-californians.html

 

 

 

 

ocean desalination plant        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/12/
science/drinking-seawater-looks-ever-more-palatable-to-californians.html

 

 

 

 

across the Sun Belt        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/12/
science/drinking-seawater-looks-ever-more-palatable-to-californians.html

 

 

 

 

Rio Grande        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/13/
us/mighty-rio-grande-now-a-trickle-under-siege.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

drought        UK

 

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/drought

 

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/may/05/
dry-farming-california-drought-wine-crops

 

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2015/mar/30/
global-warming-and-drought-turning-golden-state-brown

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/jul/10/
droughts-hot-dry-summers-england

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/16/
wildfires-colorado-fears-drought-evacuations

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/mar/02/
britain-faces-more-floods-and-droughts

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/apr/16/
drought-wildlife-farming-disaster-warning

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/apr/16/
drought-farm-water-desperation

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/apr/16/
drought-fears-revive-memories-1976

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/interactive/2012/apr/16/
drought-hosepipe-bans-england-map

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/mar/28/drought-reaches-yorkshire-levels-falling

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/feb/15/uk-households-water-restrictions

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jun/07/uk-regions-given-drought-warning

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/jul/14/leeds-liverpool-canal-closure-drought

 

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2006/aug/09/
water.conservationandendangeredspecies 

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2006/jul/22/
environment.frontpagenews 

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2006/may/17/
water.ethicalliving

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

USA > drought        UK / USA

 

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/california-drought

 

 

https://www.npr.org/2018/12/26/
676953511/theres-a-lot-at-stake-in-the-weekly-u-s-drought-map

 

https://www.npr.org/2018/10/14/
656343127/when-in-drought-states-take-on-urgent-negotiations-to-avoid-colorado-river-crisi

 

https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2018/07/08/
619229814/deepening-drought-in-western-u-s-costs-ranchers-money-and-heartache

 

 

 

 

http://www.npr.org/2017/03/30/
522042235/with-drought-emergency-over-californians-debate-lifting-water-restrictions

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/01/26/
511833338/nearly-half-of-california-emerges-from-drought-in-latest-report

 

 

 

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/11/29/
503712391/wildfire-tears-through-tennessee-as-region-suffers-exceptional-drought

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/08/30/
491942025/northeast-farmers-grapple-with-worst-drought-in-more-than-a-decade

 

http://www.npr.org/2016/05/28/
479866079/colorado-towns-farmers-battle-over-water-rights

 

http://www.npr.org/2016/03/18/
469799456/in-california-dealing-with-a-drought-and-preparing-for-a-flood

 

 

 

 

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/gallery/2015/dec/26/
east-porterville-california-water-bottles-drought-gallery

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/09/29/
442670602/drought-is-driving-beekeepers-and-their-hives-from-california

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/08/27/
434763709/farmworkers-see-jobs-earnings-shrivel-in-california-drought

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/08/27/
434649587/despite-the-drought-california-farms-see-record-sales

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/08/19/
432885101/in-search-of-salvation-from-drought-california-looks-down-under

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/18/
opinion/is-california-really-winning-the-drought-reader-q-a.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/16/
opinion/sunday/how-california-is-winning-the-drought.html

http://www.npr.org/2015/08/04/
429385985/drought-drives-california-fires-to-unprecedented-speeds

http://www.npr.org/2015/08/04/
429385978/all-you-can-do-is-pray-wildfire-rages-in-northern-california

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/07/28/
426886645/squeezed-by-drought-california-farmers-switch-to-less-thirsty-crops

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/07/24/
425904033/salt-is-slowly-crippling-california-s-almond-industry

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjQhVPkKDcE - NYT, July 20, 2015

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/07/20/
424571389/drought-stricken-california-farmers-look-to-tap-urban-wastewater

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/07/15/us/
california-fire-season-drought.html

http://www.npr.org/2015/07/10/421738613/
california-s-driest-region-finds-short-term-drought-aid

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/25/science/
troubled-delta-system-is-californias-water-battleground.html

http://www.npr.org/2015/06/15/414616299/
endangered-species-protections-at-center-of-drought-debate 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/13/us/
california-announces-restrictions-on-water-use-by-farmers.html

http://www.npr.org/2015/06/09/
412236562/texas-cattle-ranchers-whipsawed-between-drought-and-deluge

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/06/03/
411802252/drought-may-cost-californias-farmers-almost-3-billion-in-2015

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/23/us/
some-california-farmers-to-cut-water-use-to-ease-drought.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/24/travel/
drought-tests-california-tourism.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/22/opinion/
the-sins-of-angelenos.html

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/05/21/us/
your-contribution-to-the-california-drought.html

http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2015/05/11/
405888966/why-california-farmers-are-conflicted-about-using-less-water

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/07/business/
energy-environment/water-pricing-in-two-thirsty-cities.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/05/us/
droughts-extremes-can-be-measured-at-record-low-lake-mead.html

http://www.npr.org/2015/04/17/
400377057/as-lake-mead-levels-drop-the-west-braces-for-bigger-drought-impact

http://www.npr.org/2015/05/04/
403588826/a-landscape-of-abundance-becomes-a-landscape-of-scarcity

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/03/
opinion/sunday/the-end-of-california.html

http://www.npr.org/2015/04/30/403283276/
drought-in-calif-creates-water-wars-between-farmers-developers-residents

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/27/us/
drought-widens-economic-divide-for-californians.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/21/science/
silicon-valleys-water-conservation-conundrum.html

http://www.npr.org/2015/04/16/
399616140/in-record-drought-calif-course-ethically-keeps-greens-green

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2015/04/16/
399958203/how-almonds-became-a-scapegoat-for-californias-drought

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2015/04/15/
398607800/redistribute-californias-water-not-without-a-fight

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/14/science/
californias-history-of-drought-repeats.html

http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/bigpicture/2015/04/08/
record-breaking-drought-california/

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/12/science/
drinking-seawater-looks-ever-more-palatable-to-californians.html

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2015/04/07/
can-farms-survive-without-drying-up-california-13

http://www.npr.org/2015/04/05/
397659871/will-turning-seawater-into-drinking-water-help-drought-hit-california

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/05/us/
california-drought-tests-history-of-endless-growth.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/04/opinion/
the-many-droughts-of-california.html

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2015/04/01/396780035/
scary-times-for-california-farmers-as-snowpack-hits-record-lows

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/02/science/
california-drought-is-worsened-by-global-warming-scientists-say.html

http://www.nytimes.com/video/us/100000003606340/
california-governor-imposes-water-order.html

http://www.nytimes.com/video/us/100000003577285/
californias-extreme-drought-explained.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/29/opinion/sunday/
preparing-for-tomorrows-storms.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/18/us/
as-california-drought-enters-4th-year-conservation-efforts-
and-worries-increase.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/13/opinion/
the-southwestern-water-wars.html

http://www.npr.org/2015/02/22/387599629/
californias-drought-exposes-long-hidden-detritus

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/07/us/
dry-california-fights-illegal-use-of-water-for-cannabis.html

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/
upshot/mapping-the-spread-of-drought-across-the-us.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/10/opinion/saving-water-in-california.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/21/
business/energy-environment/californias-thirsting-farmland.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/21/business/cost-of-drought.html

http://www.npr.org/2014/04/20/
304173037/californias-drought-ripples-through-businesses-and-even-schools

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/28/us/new-mexico-
reaps-pecan-bounty-as-other-states-struggle.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/12/
opinion/exploiting-californias-drought.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/08/
opinion/meat-makes-the-planet-thirsty.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/08/us/
a-dry-california-town-struggles-to-save-its-water-supply.html

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/02/25/282624536/
california-s-drought-a-shocking-photo-and-other-updates

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/17/science/
some-scientists-disagree-with-presidents-linking-drought-to-warming.html

http://www.npr.org/2014/02/05/272086049/
scientists-help-western-states-prepare-for-drought-as-new-norm

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/01/us/
amid-drought-california-agency-will-withhold-water-deliveries.html

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/nation/jan-june14/drought1_01-22.html

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/nation/jan-june14/drought2_01-22.html

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/01/17/263529525/
california-s-governor-declares-drought-state-of-emergency

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/27/us/new-mexico-
farmers-push-to-be-made-a-priority-in-drought.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/13/us/
politics/drought-driven-voters-vent-anger-over-farm-bill.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/12/
opinion/sunday/extreme-weather-and-drought-are-here-to-stay.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/05/us/
fast-moving-oklahoma-wildfires-force-evacuations.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/31/
opinion/corn-for-food-not-fuel.html

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/07/25/
how-can-we-prevent-another-dust-bowl

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/20/
science/earth/severe-drought-expected-to-worsen-across-the-nation.html

http://www.thedailybeast.com/galleries/2012/07/17/
photos-of-the-midwest-drought.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/30/us/texas-
drought-is-revealing-secrets-of-the-deep.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/07/us/
07drought.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/09/
science/earth/09drought.html

 

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2006/aug/09/
water.conservationandendangeredspecies 

 

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-07-29-us-drought_x.htm

 

 

 

 

exceptional drought        USA

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/11/29/
503712391/wildfire-tears-through-tennessee-as-region-suffers-exceptional-drought

 

 

 

 

South Africa > drought        USA

https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2018/02/04/
582482799/south-african-farmers-lose-crops-and-workers-amid-crippling-drought

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

extreme drought        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/18/us/
as-california-drought-enters-4th-year-conservation-efforts-and-worries-increase.html

 

 

 

 

drought-stricken California        USA        2014

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/02/09/
274125150/is-it-enough-rain-for-drought-stricken-california

 

 

 

 

drought emergency        USA

http://www.npr.org/2017/03/30/
522042235/with-drought-emergency-over-californians-debate-lifting-water-restrictions

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/05/us/
californians-keep-up-with-joneses-water-use.html

 

 

 

 

drought > wildfires        USA

http://www.npr.org/2015/08/04/
429385978/all-you-can-do-is-pray-wildfire-rages-in-northern-california

http://www.npr.org/2015/08/04/
429385985/drought-drives-california-fires-to-unprecedented-speeds

 

 

 

 

AUS > drought        UK

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/nov/08/australia.drought 

 

 

 

 

severe / punishing drought        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/02/us/
severe-drought-has-us-west-fearing-worst.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/18/us/
as-californias-drought-deepens-a-sense-of-dread-grows.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/26/business/
food-prices-to-rise-in-wake-of-severe-drought.html

 

 

 

 

widespread drought        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/20/
science/earth/severe-drought-expected-to-worsen-across-the-nation.html

 

 

 

 

droughtshaming        USA

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/05/25/
409522056/in-california-technology-makes-droughtshaming-easier-than-ever

 

 

 

 

cope with the drought        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/30/
opinion/mark-bittman-the-changing-face-of-california-agriculture.html

 

 

 

 

dust bowl        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/10/
opinion/the-dust-bowl-returns.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/07/25/
how-can-we-prevent-another-dust-bowl

 

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/dustbowl/

 

 

 

 

hosepipe ban        UK

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/interactive/2012/apr/16/
drought-hosepipe-bans-england-map

 

 

 

 

water waste        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/01/
opinion/wasting-water-in-california.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/05/us/californians-
keep-up-with-joneses-water-use.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Darren Becker sifts through arid topsoil under a ruined crop on the family farm

on August 24, 2012 in Logan, Kansas.

 

Like many Kansas farmers who's profits

have been wiped out by the record drought,

the Beckers are working hard to hang on to their farm,

which has been in their family for five generations.

 

John Moore/Getty Images

 

Boston Globe > Big Picture > Harvest        September 10, 2012

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2012/09/harvest.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

parched        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/25/
science/troubled-delta-system-is-californias-water-battleground.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/13/us/
mighty-rio-grande-now-a-trickle-under-siege.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/12/
science/drinking-seawater-looks-ever-more-palatable-to-californians.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/21/
business/energy-environment/californias-thirsting-farmland.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/01/us/
amid-drought-california-agency-will-withhold-water-deliveries.html

 

 

 

 

parched earth        UK

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2004/feb/15/
water.conservationandendangeredspecies

 

 

 

 

crumbly soil        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/21/
business/energy-environment/californias-thirsting-farmland.html

 

 

 

 

cracked and dry soil        UK

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/feb/15/
uk-households-water-restrictions

 

 

 

 

run dry        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/15/opinion/
where-the-colorado-river-runs-dry.html

 

 

 

 

dry        USA

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/03/03/
climate/dry-california.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/07/us/
dry-california-fights-illegal-use-of-water-for-cannabis.html

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/02/05/
271997854/california-is-so-dry-some-diners-wont-get-water-unless-they-ask

 

 

 

 

dry        UK

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/mar/22/
las-vegas-desert-water-pipeline-nevada

 

 

 

 

USA > California > dry farming        UK

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/may/05/
dry-farming-california-drought-wine-crops

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

arid        USA

https://www.npr.org/2018/08/09/
637161725/the-arid-west-moves-east-with-big-implications-for-agriculture

 

 

 

 

thirst

 

 

 

 

thirsty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Severe Drought

Has U.S. West Fearing Worst

 

FEB. 1, 2014

The New York Times

By ADAM NAGOURNEY

and IAN LOVETT

 

LOS ANGELES — The punishing drought that has swept California is now threatening the state’s drinking water supply.

With no sign of rain, 17 rural communities providing water to 40,000 people are in danger of running out within 60 to 120 days. State officials said that the number was likely to rise in the months ahead after the State Water Project, the main municipal water distribution system, announced on Friday that it did not have enough water to supplement the dwindling supplies of local agencies that provide water to an additional 25 million people. It is first time the project has turned off its spigot in its 54-year history.

State officials said they were moving to put emergency plans in place. In the worst case, they said drinking water would have to be brought by truck into parched communities and additional wells would have to be drilled to draw on groundwater. The deteriorating situation would likely mean imposing mandatory water conservation measures on homeowners and businesses, who have already been asked to voluntarily reduce their water use by 20 percent.

“Every day this drought goes on we are going to have to tighten the screws on what people are doing” said Gov. Jerry Brown, who was governor during the last major drought here, in 1976-77.

This latest development has underscored the urgency of a drought that has already produced parched fields, starving livestock, and pockets of smog.

“We are on track for having the worst drought in 500 years,” said B. Lynn Ingram, a professor of earth and planetary sciences at the University of California, Berkeley.

Already the drought, technically in its third year, is forcing big shifts in behavior. Farmers in Nevada said they had given up on even planting, while ranchers in Northern California and New Mexico said they were being forced to sell off cattle as fields that should be four feet high with grass are a blanket of brown and stunted stalks.

Fishing and camping in much of California has been outlawed, to protect endangered salmon and guard against fires. Many people said they had already begun to cut back drastically on taking showers, washing their car and watering their lawns.

Rain and snow showers brought relief in parts of the state at the week’s end — people emerging from a movie theater in West Hollywood on Thursday evening broke into applause upon seeing rain splattering on the sidewalk — but they were nowhere near enough to make up for record-long dry stretches, officials said.

“I have experienced a really long career in this area, and my worry meter has never been this high,” said Tim Quinn, executive director of the Association of California Water Agencies, a statewide coalition. “We are talking historical drought conditions, no supplies of water in many parts of the state. My industry’s job is to try to make sure that these kind of things never happen. And they are happening.”

Officials are girding for the kind of geographical, cultural and economic battles that have long plagued a part of the country that is defined by a lack of water: between farmers and environmentalists, urban and rural users, and the northern and southern regions of this state.

“We do have a politics of finger-pointing and blame whenever there is a problem,” said Mr. Brown. “And we have a problem, so there is going to be a tendency to blame people.” President Obama called him last week to check on the drought situation and express his concern.

Tom Vilsack, secretary of the federal Agriculture Department, said in an interview that his agency’s ability to help farmers absorb the shock, with subsidies to buy food for cattle, had been undercut by the long deadlock in Congress over extending the farm bill, which finally seemed to be resolved last week.

Mr. Vilsack called the drought in California a “deep concern,” and a warning sign of trouble ahead for much of the West.

“That’s why it’s important for us to take climate change seriously,” he said. “If we don’t do the research, if we don’t have the financial assistance, if we don’t have the conservation resources, there’s very little we can do to help these farmers.”

The crisis is unfolding in ways expected and unexpected. Near Sacramento, the low level of streams has brought out prospectors, sifting for flecks of gold in slow-running waters. To the west, the heavy water demand of growers of medical marijuana — six gallons per plant per day during a 150-day period — is drawing down streams where salmon and other endangered fish species spawn.

“Every pickup truck has a water tank in the back,” said Scott Bauer, a coho salmon recovery coordinator with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. “There is a potential to lose whole runs of fish.”

Without rain to scrub the air, pollution in the Los Angeles basin, which has declined over the past decade, has returned to dangerous levels, as evident from the brown-tinged air. Homeowners have been instructed to stop burning wood in their fireplaces.

In the San Joaquin Valley, federal limits for particulate matter were breached for most of December and January. Schools used flags to signal when children should play indoors.

“One of the concerns is that as concentrations get higher, it affects not only the people who are most susceptible, but healthy people as well,” said Karen Magliano, assistant chief of the air quality planning division of the state’s Air Resources Board.

The impact has been particularly severe on farmers and ranchers. “I have friends with the ground torn out, all ready to go,” said Darrell Pursel, who farms just south of Yerington, Nev. “But what are you going to plant? At this moment, it looks like we’re not going to have any water. Unless we get a lot of rain, I know I won’t be planting anything.”

The University of California Cooperative Extension held a drought survival session last week in Browns Valley, about 60 miles north of Sacramento, drawing hundreds of ranchers in person and online. “We have people coming from six or seven hours away,” said Jeffrey James, who ran the session.

Dan Macon, 46, a rancher in Auburn, Calif., said the situation was “as bad as I have ever experienced. Most of our range lands are essentially out of feed.”

With each parched sunrise, a sense of alarm is rising amid signs that this is a drought that comes along only every few centuries. Sacramento had gone 52 days without water, and Albuquerque had gone 42 days without rain or snow as of Saturday.

The snowpack in the Sierra Nevada, which supplies much of California with water during the dry season, was at just 12 percent of normal last week, reflecting the lack of rain or snow in December and January.

“When we don’t have rainfall in our biggest two months, you really are starting off bad,” said Dar Mims, a meteorologist with the Air Resources Board.

Even as officials move into action, people who have lived through droughts before — albeit none as severe as this — said they were doing triage in their gardens (water the oak tree, not the lawn) and taking classic “stop-start-stop-start” shower.

Jacob Battersby, a producer in Oakland, said he began cutting back even before the voluntary restrictions were announced.

“My wife and I both enjoy gardening,” he wrote in an email. “ ‘Sorry, plants. You will be getting none to drink this winter.’ ”

 

A version of this article appears in print on February 2, 2014,

on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline:

Severe Drought Has U.S. West Fearing Worst.

Severe Drought Has U.S. West Fearing Worst,
NYT,
1.2.2014,
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/02/us/
severe-drought-has-us-west-fearing-worst.html

 

 

 

 

 

Our Coming Food Crisis

 

July 21, 2013
The New York Times
By GARY PAUL NABHAN

 

TUCSON, Ariz. — THIS summer the tiny town of Furnace Creek, Calif., may once again grace the nation’s front pages. Situated in Death Valley, it last made news in 1913, when it set the record for the world’s hottest recorded temperature, at 134 degrees. With the heat wave currently blanketing the Western states, and given that the mercury there has already reached 130 degrees, the news media is awash in speculation that Furnace Creek could soon break its own mark.

Such speculation, though, misses the real concern posed by the heat wave, which covers an area larger than New England. The problem isn’t spiking temperatures, but a new reality in which long stretches of triple-digit days are common — threatening not only the lives of the millions of people who live there, but also a cornerstone of the American food supply.

People living outside the region seldom recognize its immense contribution to American agriculture: roughly 40 percent of the net farm income for the country normally comes from the 17 Western states; cattle and sheep production make up a significant part of that, as do salad greens, dry beans, onions, melons, hops, barley, wheat and citrus fruits. The current heat wave will undeniably diminish both the quality and quantity of these foods.

The most vulnerable crops are those that were already in flower and fruit when temperatures surged, from apricots and barley to wheat and zucchini. Idaho farmers have documented how their potato yields have been knocked back because their heat-stressed plants are not developing their normal number of tubers. Across much of the region, temperatures on the surface of food and forage crops hit 105 degrees, at least 10 degrees higher than the threshold for most temperate-zone crops.

What’s more, when food and forage crops, as well as livestock, have had to endure temperatures 10 to 20 degrees higher than the long-term averages, they require far more water than usual. The Western drought, which has persisted for the last few years, has already diminished both surface water and groundwater supplies and increased energy costs, because of all the water that has to be pumped in from elsewhere.

If these costs are passed on to consumers, we can again expect food prices, especially for beef and lamb, to rise, just as they did in 2012, the hottest year in American history. So extensive was last year’s drought that more than 1,500 counties — about half of all the counties in the country — were declared national drought disaster areas, and 90 percent of those were hit by heat waves as well.

The answer so far has been to help affected farmers with payouts from crop insurance plans. But while we can all sympathize with affected farmers, such assistance is merely a temporary response to a long-term problem.

Fortunately, there are dozens of time-tested strategies that our best farmers and ranchers have begun to use. The problem is that several agribusiness advocacy organizations have done their best to block any federal effort to promote them, including leaving them out of the current farm bill, or of climate change legislation at all.

One strategy would be to promote the use of locally produced compost to increase the moisture-holding capacity of fields, orchards and vineyards. In addition to locking carbon in the soil, composting buffers crop roots from heat and drought while increasing forage and food-crop yields. By simply increasing organic matter in their fields from 1 percent to 5 percent, farmers can increase water storage in the root zones from 33 pounds per cubic meter to 195 pounds.

And we have a great source of compostable waste: cities. Since much of the green waste in this country is now simply generating methane emissions from landfills, cities should be mandated to transition to green-waste sorting and composting, which could then be distributed to nearby farms.

Second, we need to reduce the bureaucratic hurdles to using small- and medium-scale rainwater harvesting and gray water (that is, waste water excluding toilet water) on private lands, rather than funneling all runoff to huge, costly and vulnerable reservoirs behind downstream dams. Both urban and rural food production can be greatly enhanced through proven techniques of harvesting rain and biologically filtering gray water for irrigation. However, many state and local laws restrict what farmers can do with such water.

Moreover, the farm bill should include funds from the Strikeforce Initiative of the Department of Agriculture to help farmers transition to forms of perennial agriculture — initially focusing on edible tree crops and perennial grass pastures — rather than providing more subsidies to biofuel production from annual crops. Perennial crops not only keep 7.5 to 9.4 times more carbon in the soil than annual crops, but their production also reduces the amount of fossil fuels needed to till the soil every year.

We also need to address the looming seed crisis. Because of recent episodes of drought, fire and floods, we are facing the largest shortfall in the availability of native grass, forage legume, tree and shrub seeds in American history. Yet current budget-cutting proposals threaten to significantly reduce the number of federal plant material centers, which promote conservation best practices.

If our rangelands, forests and farms are to recover from the devastating heat, drought and wildfires of the last three years, they need to be seeded with appropriate native forage and ground-cover species to heal from the wounds of climatic catastrophes. To that end, the farm bill should direct more money to the underfinanced seed collection and distribution programs.

Finally, the National Plant Germplasm System, the Department of Agriculture’s national reserve of crop seeds, should be charged with evaluating hundreds of thousands of seed collections for drought and heat tolerance, as well as other climatic adaptations — and given the financing to do so. Thousands of heirloom vegetables and heritage grains already in federal and state collections could be rapidly screened and then used by farmers for a fraction of what it costs a biotech firm to develop, patent and market a single “climate-friendly” crop.

Investing in climate-change adaptation will be far more cost-effective than doling out $11.6 billion in crop insurance payments, as the government did last year, for farmers hit with diminished yields or all-out crop failures.

Unfortunately, some agribusiness organizations fear that if they admit that accelerating climate change is already affecting farmers, it will shackle them with more regulations. But those organizations are hardly serving their member farmers and ranchers if they keep them at risk of further suffering from heat extremes and extended drought.

And no one can reasonably argue that the current system offers farmers any long-term protection. Last year some farmers made more from insurance payments than from selling their products, meaning we are dangerously close to subsidizing farmers for not adapting to changing climate conditions.

It’s now up to our political and business leaders to get their heads out of the hot sand and do something tangible to implement climate change policy and practices before farmers, ranchers and consumers are further affected. Climate adaptation is the game every food producer and eater must now play. A little investment coming too late will not help us adapt in time to this new reality.

 

Gary Paul Nabhan is a research scientist

at the Southwest Center at the University of Arizona

and the author of “Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land:

Lessons From Desert Farmers in Adapting

to Climate Uncertainty.”

Our Coming Food Crisis,
NYT,
21.7.2013,
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/22/opinion/our-coming-food-crisis.html

 

 

 

 

 

Hundred-Year Forecast: Drought

 

August 11, 2012
The New York Times
By CHRISTOPHER R. SCHWALM,
CHRISTOPHER A. WILLIAMS
and KEVIN SCHAEFER

 

BY many measurements, this summer’s drought is one for the record books. But so was last year’s drought in the South Central states. And it has been only a decade since an extreme five-year drought hit the American West. Widespread annual droughts, once a rare calamity, have become more frequent and are set to become the “new normal.”

Until recently, many scientists spoke of climate change mainly as a “threat,” sometime in the future. But it is increasingly clear that we already live in the era of human-induced climate change, with a growing frequency of weather and climate extremes like heat waves, droughts, floods and fires.

Future precipitation trends, based on climate model projections for the coming fifth assessment from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, indicate that droughts of this length and severity will be commonplace through the end of the century unless human-induced carbon emissions are significantly reduced. Indeed, assuming business as usual, each of the next 80 years in the American West is expected to see less rainfall than the average of the five years of the drought that hit the region from 2000 to 2004.

That extreme drought (which we have analyzed in a new study in the journal Nature-Geoscience) had profound consequences for carbon sequestration, agricultural productivity and water resources: plants, for example, took in only half the carbon dioxide they do normally, thanks to a drought-induced drop in photosynthesis.

In the drought’s worst year, Western crop yields were down by 13 percent, with many local cases of complete crop failure. Major river basins showed 5 percent to 50 percent reductions in flow. These reductions persisted up to three years after the drought ended, because the lakes and reservoirs that feed them needed several years of average rainfall to return to predrought levels.

In terms of severity and geographic extent, the 2000-4 drought in the West exceeded such legendary events as the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. While that drought saw intervening years of normal rainfall, the years of the turn-of-the-century drought were consecutive. More seriously still, long-term climate records from tree-ring chronologies show that this drought was the most severe event of its kind in the western United States in the past 800 years. Though there have been many extreme droughts over the last 1,200 years, only three other events have been of similar magnitude, all during periods of “megadroughts.”

Most frightening is that this extreme event could become the new normal: climate models point to a warmer planet, largely because of greenhouse gas emissions. Planetary warming, in turn, is expected to create drier conditions across western North America, because of the way global-wind and atmospheric-pressure patterns shift in response.

Indeed, scientists see signs of the relationship between warming and drought in western North America by analyzing trends over the last 100 years; evidence suggests that the more frequent drought and low precipitation events observed for the West during the 20th century are associated with increasing temperatures across the Northern Hemisphere.

These climate-model projections suggest that what we consider today to be an episode of severe drought might even be classified as a period of abnormal wetness by the end of the century and that a coming megadrought — a prolonged, multidecade period of significantly below-average precipitation — is possible and likely in the American West.

The current drought plaguing the country is worryingly consistent with these expectations. Although we do not attribute any single event to global warming, the severity of both the turn-of-the-century drought and the current one is consistent with simulations accounting for warming from increased greenhouse gases. The Northern Hemisphere has just recorded its 327th consecutive month in which the temperature exceeded the 20th-century average. This year had the fourth-warmest winter on record, with record-shattering high temperatures in March. And 2012 has already seen huge wildfires in Colorado and other Western states. More than 3,200 heat records were broken in June alone.

And yet that may be only the beginning, a fact that should force us to confront the likelihood of new and painful challenges. A megadrought would present a major risk to water resources in the American West, which are distributed through a complex series of local, state and regional water-sharing agreements and laws. Virtually every drop of water flowing in the American West is legally claimed, sometimes by several users, and the demand is expected to increase as the population grows.

Many Western cities will have to fundamentally change how they acquire and use water. The sort of temporary emergency steps that we grudgingly adopt during periods of low rainfall — fewer showers, lawn-watering bans — will become permanent. Some regions will become impossible to farm because of lack of irrigation water. Thermoelectric energy production will compete for limited water resources.

There is still time to prevent the worst; the risk of a multidecade megadrought in the American West can be reduced if we reduce fossil-fuel emissions. But there can be little doubt that what was once thought to be a future threat is suddenly, catastrophically upon us.

 

Christopher R. Schwalm

is a research assistant professor of earth sciences

at Northern Arizona University.

Christopher A. Williams

is an assistant professor of geography at Clark University.

Kevin Schaefer is a research scientist

at the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

    Hundred-Year Forecast: Drought, NYT, 11.8.2012,
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/12/opinion/sunday/
    extreme-weather-and-drought-are-here-to-stay.html

 

 

 

 

 

Sacrifices and Restrictions

as Central Texas Town

Copes With Drought

 

September 6, 2011
The New York Times
By MANNY FERNANDEZ

 

LLANO, Tex. — When the people who run this small town in Central Texas put up hand-painted signs reading “No watering” in bold red letters, they really mean it.

Hundreds of lawns are dying in the 100-degree heat here, turning straw-colored and crunchy. The drought that has gripped much of Texas has forced Llano to adopt some of the toughest mandatory water restrictions in the state. Residents are prohibited from watering their lawns except for once a week early in the morning and late at night. The filling of swimming pools, the washing of cars parked outside homes, the use of automatic or detachable sprinklers — all have been banned since June, by order of the City Council.

Government has always had a hard time telling Texans how to live. But the ban on most types of outdoor watering has been embraced by people in Llano, where a kind of World War II-era rationing spirit has become a way of life.

This has been the season of extremes in Texas — too much fire and too little water. As towns and cities throughout the state have been coping with the extreme drought, dozens of wildfires that erupted over the Labor Day weekend continued to burn on Tuesday, destroying hundreds of homes and forcing thousands of people to evacuate.

To ease the drought-related strain on Llano’s water system, Bryan Miiller, the owner of a meat-processing company, cut back his production schedule to four days a week from five, reducing the water he uses to clean the equipment and work areas, though he was not required to do so under the restrictions. Restaurants are serving water only if a patron requests it, and a few residents and businesses, including local car washes, have gone through the trouble and expense of trucking in water from outside the city or from private wells. Terry Mikulenka, manager of the city-owned 18-hole golf course, has been spraying treated sewer water on the greens. One couple has been irrigating their backyard trees and shrubs with the run-off from their washing machine and the water they use to wash their dishes and take a shower, a conservation technique numerous other residents are doing as well.

“I think all of us are making sacrifices,” said the city manager, Finley deGraffenried. “People are changing their ways, changing their habits.”

In many ways, the drought that has devastated Texas has been measured on an epic scale. It is the worst one-year drought in recorded state history, costing Texas’ farmers and ranchers an estimated $5.2 billion. But the drought has also had a smaller, more intimate effect on how many Texans live and work. In Houston, the biggest city, the mayor recently ordered residents to limit the watering of their lawns to twice a week. The seaside city of Galveston banned all outdoor watering for five days in August but then eased the rules to allow twice-a-week watering.

In Llano, a town of 3,100 about a 90-minute drive northwest of Austin in the Hill Country, the river from which the town gets 100 percent of its water supply has been running at critically low levels. One recent afternoon, the Llano River was flowing at 2.3 to 3.4 cubic feet per second, down from 123 cubic feet per second, the median level for that date.

Amid so many yellow lawns, the handful of green lawns are a source of curiosity and suspicion, and property owners have had to post handmade signs explaining, in effect, why their grass is green. Some of the signs read “Well water,” meaning the water keeping them alive comes not from the river but from private wells, which are not subject to the restrictions. One resident with a sense of humor posted his own sign on his dying yard. It read, “Rain water.”

The yard outside the First Presbyterian Church has withered, as has the one around Laird’s Bar-B-Q. But the grass has been green at the State Farm Insurance office. The agent, Jeffrey Hopf, has had customers tell him that just because he used to be the mayor does not mean he can violate the water rules. Mr. Hopf has a simple explanation: His landscaper added a turf dye similar to the one used on professional football fields to turn his yellowed lawn green.

That landscaper, Flay Deats, used to mow five or six yards a day, but now does only about three a week, and he estimated that the drought has cost him at least $30,000 in lost business.

Residents and officials have concocted their own drought algorithms to decide what they want to save and what they will let die. During their once-a-week watering time, most people do not bother with the lawn but focus on saving the trees. The golf course, which spent roughly $3,000 obtaining a state permit allowing it to supplement the river water it uses with 3,500 gallons a day of treated sewer water, has kept the main greens healthy but has given up on the driving range and other areas, creating a polka-dot effect of yellow and green. The school district has let the baseball and softball fields go since those sports are in the off-season, but has spent roughly $15,000 to keep the football fields alive with well water as that season gets under way.

“I was talking to somebody the other day, and it’s almost like paradise lost,” said Dennis R. Hill, the schools superintendent. “Llano County is one of the most beautiful places anywhere, when it rains. We have wildflowers and fields of bluebonnets. But drive through the country and look at the pastures. There’s no grass. You keep thinking, ‘Well, surely it will rain, surely it will rain.’ And it doesn’t rain.”

The town’s sacrifices are having an impact. Water use has dropped considerably — in mid-May the city was pumping 1.2 million to 1.4 million gallons a day from the river, but one day in late August that rate was down to 497,000 gallons. One reason for the drop has been the restrictions and the threat of a fine of up to $500, but another has been the older longtime residents, many of whom vividly recall the extended drought of the 1950s. At one point in 1956, the river literally went dry — there was zero flow for a total of 88 days, town officials said — and Llano had to haul in water by train.

“A drought is an unusual animal,” Mayor Mike Reagor said. “You can’t run from a drought. You have to survive it. We’re a tough people. We’ll survive this, hopefully better than they did in 1956.”

The situation is not as dire as it was more than 50 years ago, though the dead landscaping, extreme heat and lack of rain — from January through July, 8.15 inches of rain fell on Llano, according to the National Weather Service — have taken a psychic toll.

Mr. Hill, the schools superintendent, drove around town the other day with a horse trailer — he was in the process of selling Peppy, one of his two horses, because the drought has made hay so scarce. Sue Houston and John Wedekind, the couple who recycle their dishwater, stare at the dying camellia shrub by the front door and hold back tears — Ms. Houston’s mother planted it in the late 1940s.

Mr. Hopf, the insurance agent, took a trip this summer to Wisconsin to see an air show with his wife. It rained on them three times. Mr. Hopf walked outside and let the rain soak him. “I just said, ‘I want to see what it’s like. It’s been so long.’ ”

    Sacrifices and Restrictions as Central Texas Town Copes With Drought,
    NYT, 6.9.2011,
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/07/us/07drought.html

 

 

 

 

 

Governor Declares Drought in California

and Warns of Rationing

 

June 5, 2008
The New York Times
By JENNIFER STEINHAUER

 

LOS ANGELES — Its reservoir levels receding and its grounds parched, California has fallen officially into drought, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Wednesday, warning that the state might be forced to ration water to cities and regions if conservation efforts did not improve.

The drought declaration — the first for the state since 1991 — includes orders to transfer water from less dry areas to those that are dangerously dry. Mr. Schwarzenegger also said he would ask the federal government for aid to farmers and press water districts, cities and local water agencies to accelerate conservation. Drought conditions have hampered farming, increased water rates throughout California and created potentially dangerous conditions in areas prone to wildfires.

The declaration comes after the driest California spring in 88 years, with runoff in river basins that feed most reservoirs at 41 percent of average levels. It stops short of a water emergency, which would probably include mandatory rationing.

Efforts to capture water have also been hampered by evaporation of some mountain snowpacks that provide water, an effect, state officials say, of global climate change.

A survey this year found that the state’s snowpack water content was 67 percent of average, and the Colorado River Basin, from which California draws some water, is coming off a record eight-year drought, contributing to the drop in reservoir storage.

The drought declaration, made when reservoir levels are far higher than they were when Gov. Pete Wilson issued a similar statement in 1991 — is as much a political statement as a practical one. Mr. Schwarzenegger is pressing the Legislature to approve an $11.9 billion water bond as part of the state budget to pay for water storage and to fix the state’s aging water delivery systems.

The governor, a Republican, has said that addressing California’s seemingly omnipresent water shortage is one of his most urgent priorities, but his ideas have not passed muster with the Legislature in the past.

“This drought is an urgent reminder of the immediate need to upgrade California’s water infrastructure,” Mr. Schwarzenegger said Wednesday in a prepared statement. “There is no more time to waste because nothing is more vital to protect our economy, our environment and our quality of life.”

A bill to require Californians to cut water use 20 percent recently passed the Assembly. The bill, which requires Senate approval, puts most of the onus on residents, and little on the agriculture industry, underscoring tension over conservation between city dwellers and farmers, who consume most of the state’s water.

Across the state, many districts and municipalities are instituting or considering recycling, rationing and higher fees for excessive use. For instance, Los Angeles officials recently announced their intentions to begin using heavily cleansed sewage to increase drinking water supplies.

The East Bay Municipal Utility District and the Long Beach Water Department, serving districts at opposite ends of the state, have made water rationing mandatory.

“Some cities and regions are rationing, some are doing nothing and a group of people are in the middle,” the director of California’s Department of Water Resources, Lester A. Snow, said in a telephone interview. “The governor thought it was important to step out in front and get ahead of this. It is in part to avoid an emergency.”

In a telephone interview later, Mr. Schwarzenegger said, “Water is like our gold, and we have to treat it like that.”

    Governor Declares Drought in California and Warns of Rationing,
    NYT, 5.6.2008,
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/05/us/05drought.html

 

 

 

 

 

The century of drought

One third of the planet
will be desert by the year 2100,
say climate experts
in the most dire warning yet
of the effects of global warming

 

Published: 04 October 2006

The Independent

By Michael McCarthy,

Environmental Editor
 

 

Drought threatening the lives of millions will spread across half the land surface of the Earth in the coming century because of global warming, according to new predictions from Britain's leading climate scientists.

Extreme drought, in which agriculture is in effect impossible, will affect about a third of the planet, according to the study from the Met Office's Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research.

It is one of the most dire forecasts so far of the potential effects of rising temperatures around the world - yet it may be an underestimation, the scientists involved said yesterday.

The findings, released at the Climate Clinic at the Conservative Party conference in Bournemouth, drew astonished and dismayed reactions from aid agencies and development specialists, who fear that the poor of developing countries will be worst hit.

"This is genuinely terrifying," said Andrew Pendleton of Christian Aid. "It is a death sentence for many millions of people. It will mean migration off the land at levels we have not seen before, and at levels poor countries cannot cope with."

One of Britain's leading experts on the effects of climate change on the developing countries, Andrew Simms from the New Economics Foundation, said: "There's almost no aspect of life in the developing countries that these predictions don't undermine - the ability to grow food, the ability to have a safe sanitation system, the availability of water. For hundreds of millions of people for whom getting through the day is already a struggle, this is going to push them over the precipice."

The findings represent the first time that the threat of increased drought from climate change has been quantified with a supercomputer climate model such as the one operated by the Hadley Centre.

Their impact is likely to even greater because the findings may be an underestimate. The study did not include potential effects on drought from global-warming-induced changes to the Earth's carbon cycle.

In one unpublished Met Office study, when the carbon cycle effects are included, future drought is even worse.

The results are regarded as most valid at the global level, but the clear implication is that the parts of the world already stricken by drought, such as Africa, will be the places where the projected increase will have the most severe effects.

The study, by Eleanor Burke and two Hadley Centre colleagues, models how a measure of drought known as the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) is likely to increase globally during the coming century with predicted changes in rainfall and heat around the world because of climate change. It shows the PDSI figure for moderate drought, currently at 25 per cent of the Earth's surface, rising to 50 per cent by 2100, the figure for severe drought, currently at about 8 per cent, rising to 40 cent, and the figure for extreme drought, currently 3 per cent, rising to 30 per cent.

Senior Met Office scientists are sensitive about the study, funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, stressing it contains uncertainties: there is only one climate model involved, one future scenario for emissions of greenhouse gases (a moderate-to-high one) and one drought index. Nevertheless, the result is "significant", according to Vicky Pope, the head of the Hadley Centre's climate programme. Further work would now be taking place to try to assess the potential risk of different levels of drought in different places, she said.

The full study - Modelling the Recent Evolution of Global Drought and Projections for the 21st Century with the Hadley Centre Climate Model - will be published later this month in The Journal of Hydrometeorology .

It will be widely publicised by the British Government at the negotiations in Nairobi in November on a successor to the Kyoto climate treaty. But a preview of it was given by Dr Burke in a presentation to the Climate Clinic, which was formed by environmental groups, with The Independent as media partner, to press politicians for tougher action on climate change. The Climate Clinic has been in operation at all the party conferences.

While the study will be seen as a cause for great concern, it is the figure for the increase in extreme drought that some observers find most frightening.

"We're talking about 30 per cent of the world's land surface becoming essentially uninhabitable in terms of agricultural production in the space of a few decades," Mark Lynas, the author of High Tide, the first major account of the visible effects of global warming around the world, said. "These are parts of the world where hundreds of millions of people will no longer be able to feed themselves."

Mr Pendleton said: "This means you're talking about any form of development going straight out of the window. The vast majority of poor people in the developing world are small-scale farmers who... rely on rain."

 

 

 

A glimpse of what lies ahead

The sun beats down across northern Kenya's Rift Valley, turning brown what was once green. Farmers and nomadic herders are waiting with bated breath for the arrival of the "short" rains - a few weeks of intense rainfall that will ensure their crops grow and their cattle can eat.

The short rains are due in the next month. Last year they never came; large swaths of the Horn of Africa stayed brown. From Ethiopia and Eritrea, through Somalia and down into Tanzania, 11 million people were at risk of hunger.

This devastating image of a drought-ravaged region offers a glimpse of what lies ahead for large parts of the planet as global warming takes hold.

In Kenya, the animals died first. The nomadic herders' one source of sustenance and income - their cattle - perished with nothing to eat and nothing to drink. Bleached skeletons of cows and goats littered the barren landscape.

The number of food emergencies in Africa each year has almost tripled since the 1980s. Across sub-Saharan Africa, one in three people is under-nourished. Poor governance has played a part.

Pastoralist communities suffer most, rather than farmers and urban dwellers. Nomadic herders will walk for weeks to find a water hole or riverbed. As resources dwindle, fighting between tribes over scarce resources becomes common.

One of the most critical issues is under-investment in pastoralist areas. Here, roads are rare, schools and hospitals almost non-existent.

Nomadic herders in Turkana, northern Kenya, who saw their cattle die last year, are making adjustments to their way of life. When charities offerednew cattle, they said no. Instead, they asked for donkeys and camels - animals more likely to survive hard times.

Pastoralists have little other than their animals to rely on. But projects which provide them with money to buy food elsewhere have proved effective, in the short term at least.

 

Steve Bloomfield

The century of drought,
I, 4.10.2006,
http://news.independent.co.uk/environment/article1786829.ece

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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