California’s calamitous drought drags on
It’s dry in California - historically dry. Water is in short supply, the air is noticeably without moisture, farms are parched and just look at the photo above of the state’s dwindling snow cover. It pretty much speaks for itself.
Meanwhile, various interests are turning to the political realm to try and ensure they get theirs when it comes to H2O.
And the drought has been particularly harsh on agriculture:
Ranchers have begun liquidating herds. Growers are considering tearing out thirsty tree crops such as nut orchards and citrus groves. And tens of thousands of additional acres of prime California soil could go unplanted if farmers don’t get enough water to irrigate them.
Read more on the drought’s effect on California here.
Photos: David McNew / Getty Images, Frederic J. Brown / Associated Press, NOAA, Randall Benton / Los Angeles Times
The dusty decimation of California’s drought
California’s longstanding drought has escalated in recent months, with 62.7% of the state now in what the Department of Agriculture deems “extreme” conditions.
But in few places is it as easily visualized as in the area surrounding the vanishing Cachuma Lake, which has become one of the most prominent victims of the lack of rain.
In years past, the spot where Bozarth was standing was under 30, 40, even 50 feet of water. It wasn’t all that long ago that Cachuma “spilled” — filled to the brim, to the point where millions of gallons of clean, fresh water was released through the dam’s gates and cast into the sea, a display of surplus that is laughable today.
That was only three years ago. Now, said Tom Fayram, Santa Barbara County’s deputy public works director, “it’s just empty.”
Photos: Brian van der Brug, Lorena Iñiguez Elebee / Los Angeles Times
Dry enough for you?
More than two-thirds of the U.S. is experiencing abnormally dry, if not outright drought conditions, with the situation becoming increasingly dire for western states. And the implications aren’t limited to an uptick in air conditioning.
From the National Drought Early Warning Outlook:
The 2012-2013 drought has serious implications for agriculture, navigation, recreation and municipal water supplies, costing the nation at least $35 billion in economic losses.
Photo: Greg Lindstrom / Longmont Times-Call
West Texas farmers and ranchers are struggling to survive the worst drought in the region since the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.
Photo: In Fluvanna, Texas, rancher Ralph Miller, 79, checks on one of many “stock tanks” of water that are receding because of a severe drought. View more photos on Framework. Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times
In his column today, George Skelton discusses the news that Gov. Jerry Brown has officially declared the three-year drought over.
reblogged via 3rdofmay:
The art: Pirkle Jones, House Being Moved, from the series “Death of a Valley,” 1956 (printed 1960). Jones and Dorothea Lange collaborated on “Death of a Valley,” which chronicled the last days of Monticello, Calif., before the town and the surrounding Berryessa Valley were dammed into Lake Berryessa. The reservoir is sited west of Sacramento, about halfway between the state capital and the Napa Valley wine-growing region. It’s one of the least-known great narrative photo-documentary series in American art.
The news: “Water, water everywhere, but not enough is saved,” by George Skelton in the Los Angeles Times. Skelton reports that California built its last dam in 1979. Since then the state’s population has increased by about 50 percent, or over 14 million people.
test reblogged from 3rdofmay