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:

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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.

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How California Became Ground Zero for Climate Disasters

Photo: Eric Thayer for The New York Times

California is one of America’s marvels. By moving vast quantities of water and suppressing wildfires for decades, the state has transformed its arid and mountainous landscape into the richest, most populous and bounteous place in the nation.

But now, those same feats have given California a new and unwelcome category of superlatives.

This year is the state’s worst wildfire season on record.

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The burning question: How do wildfires impact watersheds?

Photo: Site of the Brian Head wildfire in Utah still showing clear impacts more than a year after the fire Image Credit: arbyreed (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0). Article: Maina, F. Z., & Siirila‐Woodburn, E. R. (2020). Watersheds dynamics following wildfires: Nonlinear feedbacks and implications on hydrologic responses. Hydrological Processes , 34 (1), 33-50. https://doi.org/10.1002/hyp.13568

For people in the western United States, images of devastating wildfires have become a terrifyingly familiar

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5 major trends impacting the Water industry in the next decade

The Water Industry is set to embrace several changes in the coming years due to rapid urbanisation, severe climate changes, rising customer demands and emerging digital technologies. These changes will present businesses with a complex set of challenges that could be worth addressing in order to stay competitive within the industry.

Can such challenges be turned into opportunities that benefit businesses, customers and the environment? We think yes. We highlight

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