Drought: California farms destroy crops rather than pay for water

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Photo: Stuart Woolf stands near piles of almond tree wood chips that will get spread out on the his ranch. Caroline Champlin

When Stuart Woolf was growing up on his dad’s ranch in Huron, California, he never liked working the tomato harvest.

“I thought, ‘I am never going to do this.’ Everything was kind of wet, hot and stinky,” Woolf said.

These days, though, now as president of the 20,000-acre … [more…]

Scorched, Parched and Now Uninsurable: Climate Change Hits Wine Country

Scorched, Parched and Now Uninsurable: Climate Change Hits Wine Country

ST. HELENA, Calif. — Last September, a wildfire tore through one of Dario Sattui’s Napa Valley wineries, destroying millions of dollars in property and equipment, along with 9,000 cases of wine.

November brought a second disaster: Mr. Sattui realized the precious crop of cabernet grapes that survived the fire had been ruined by the smoke. There would be no 2020 vintage.

A freakishly dry winter led to a third calamity: … [more…]

Drought Spreads to 93 Percent of West — That’s Never Happened

Drought Spreads to 93 Percent of West—That’s Never Happened

Photo: In an aerial view, the San Gabriel River and the exposed lakebed of the San Gabriel Reservoir are seen on June 29, 2021 in the San Gabriel Mountains near Azusa, California. Credit: Mario Tama Getty Images

The western United States is experiencing its worst drought this century, threatening to kill crops, spark wildfires and harm public health as hot and dry conditions are expected to continue this month.

More … [more…]

Environmental group: Iowa’s waterway cleanup plan could take 22,000 years

Environmental group: Iowa’s waterway cleanup plan could take 22,000 years

The Iowa Environmental Council is working to improve water quality in Iowa’s lakes, including West Okoboji Lake, shown here. (Photo by Perry Beeman/Iowa Capital Dispatch)

Iowa’s work to clean polluted waterways is so slow it will take as much as 22,000 years to meet some of the goals in the state’s voluntary plan, the Iowa Environmental Council reported.

The nonprofit’s latest review of the state’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy — the

[more…]

Forests Near or Far Can Protect Water for Cities

Forests Near or Far Can Protect Water for Cities

Near or far, forests — like this one at the edge of Hong Kong — affect the movement, quality and availability of water in cities. Photo by Florian Wehde/Unsplash

Water is essential to human health and well-being. In cities, leaders strive to provide secure access to clean, safe and affordable water. In rural areas, farmers hope for adequate rain and healthy rivers to produce healthy crops. The coronavirus pandemic reminds … [more…]