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…]

Colorado basin drought sparks water limits at huge US reservoir

Colorado basin drought sparks water limits at huge US reservoir

The level of Lake Mead – as seen in July 2021 from Boulder City, Nevada – has been steadily declining due to a chronic drought.

A huge reservoir that supplies water to tens of millions of people in the Western United States is at such low levels that populations it feeds must reduce their usage next year, the government said Monday.

A chronic drought has left huge swathes of the … [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…]

Increasing Water Access Begins with Improving Representation

Increasing Water Access Begins with Improving Representation

Across the United States, historically underserved communities, such as in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas or southern California, lack regular access to clean drinking water and sewage treatment. These groups, typically Hispanic labor populations or Native American tribes, face barriers to achieving the same access to water as nearby municipalities. Irrigation districts often control water in rural areas, with minimal oversight regarding expanding service areas to include low-income, unincorporated … [more…]