Dry California

In Dry California, Thirsty Oil and Big-Ag Industries Exempt from Water Regulations

As California Governor Jerry Brown this week instituted the state’s first-ever mandatory restrictions on water usage to combat its historic four-year drought, environmental activists are pointing out two glaring exemptions from the order: the fossil fuel and agriculture industries. Brown’s mandate, announced Wednesday, directs cities and communities to cut down their water consumption by 25 percent, but does not make …

drought

Californians Point to Big-Ag, Unrestrained Development as Drought Culprits

As residents adapt to recently imposed water restrictions and California’s historic drought continues, experts are closely examining the dry spell’s exacerbating factors—from thirsty agribusiness operations to unrestrained development—and saying a fundamental shift is in store for the Golden State. In an analysis published Sunday, the New York Times suggests that the drought will “force a change in the way the state does business.” …

drought

California’s Dire Drought Leads to Record Low Snowpack Levels at 6%, Triggers Mandatory Conservation Measures

California’s dire drought conditions have finally triggered more meaningful action at the state level. Today, Gov. Brown issued an executive order which calls on state and local water agencies “to implement a series of measures to save water, including increased enforcement to prevent wasteful water use, streamline the state’s drought response, and invest in new technologies,” according to California Coastkeeper Alliance. The governor issued the statement today as readings …

drought

Era of ‘Nice Little Green Grass’ Is Over as Calif. Imposes Strict Water Rules

Standing on dry grass in an area that would typically be covered by at least several feet of accumulated snow in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains on Wednesday, California Governor Jerry Brown on Wednesday announced his approval of emergency measures, including mandatory water restrictions, designed to help the nation’s largest state cope with a drought that has been …

drought

To Solve California’s Water Crisis, We Must Change the Nation’s Food System

The bold headline of a recent Los Angeles Times editorialby the hydrologist Jay Famiglietti starkly warned: “California has about one year of water left. Will you ration now?” The write-up quickly made the social media rounds, prompting both panic and the usual blame game: It’s because of the meat eatersor the vegan almond-milkdrinkers or the bottled-waterguzzlers or the Southern California lawn soakers. California’s water losshas been …

drought

California Is Turning Back Into A Desert And There Are No Contingency Plans

Once upon a time, much of the state of California was a barren desert.  And now, thanks to the worst drought in modern American history, much of the state is turning back into one.  Scientists tell us that the 20th century was the wettest century that the state of California had seen in 1000 years.  But now weather patterns are …