The Mad Max plot playing out in California is causing all sorts of problems, not least for farmers, who have turned to pumping groundwater to irrigate crops. According to NASA, all that pumping is having an effect: in some places, the ground is sinking by two inches per month.http://gizmodo.com/learning-from-... »
Los Angeles has coated its reservoirs in millions of black plastic balls. But why are they a heat-absorbing black instead of light-reflecting white? Because they’re shade balls, and their purpose has nothing to do with the drought. »
The dry, hot weather of our warming planet doesn’t just mean drought—it also means the fire season is getting longer. Almost six million acres have burned in the US this year, with 45 active large fires currently burning right now. You’d think this would inspire humans to take a look at making our own habitats safer… »
Water-bombing aircraft are pretty standard wildfire-fighting equipment. Helicopters that spew fire onto the forest? Not so much. »
We know California is very, very dry, right now, but just how dry? Dry enough that the “rain debt” the state has been steadily stacking up in the past three years is now equal to a full year of average rainfall. »
There’s an insidious message being delivered to drought-hit Californians: You can have your lawn, and your water too, with a little help from synthetic grass. But, no, be bold, California! Don’t double-down on a failed experiment. It’s time to tear down your lawns. Each and every last one of them.
President Obama just created three new National Monuments, protecting over 1 million acres of land in California, Nevada and Texas for the enjoyment of the American people. Where are they, why were they protected and how can you use them? Let’s take a detailed look at each. »
What’s the best way to get people to stop watering their lawns? Why aren’t we investing in desalination? Will we ever get used to the idea of drinking our own (recycled) pee? And most importantly, when will this drought be over? You had a lot of questions about water, so we turned to two experts to get us all some… »
Everyone’s fretting about a terrifying article on the terrifying Cascadia Subduction Zone, which will almost certainly deliver the deadliest earthquake in US history. That earthquake would almost certainly be made less deadly with an early warning system that’s ready to be implemented—if only the US would decide to… »
The 11-year-old girl’s mother saw the Facebook message first. It came from a profile that looked like it belonged to the girl’s beloved aunt, but the words didn’t sound like her. »
If you need evidence that the California drought has severely impacted outdoor recreation in the state, look no further than Lupin Lodge — a clothing-optional resort that would no doubt prefer keeping prying eyes out of its business, and yet made headlines this week when its owners were accused of water theft. »
On Friday, California passed its deepest water cuts yet, the state’s latest attempt to conserve a dwindling resource in a region crippled by drought. Yet there remains a small group of people in states throughout the West who continue to flagrantly waste water. Yes, on purpose. And it’s not just the wealthy. »
In April, snitchy Californians lodged 22,000 water-wasting complaints that resulted in 838 penalties issued. And guess what? The state reduced overall water use by 13.5 percent. It’s evidence that these kinds of reporting efforts might be working. What’s not really working? Posting photos of celebrity homes on Twitter. »
There are few things on this planet I hate more than bottled water. Just the crinkling sound of someone wrapping their mouth around one of those squeaky garbage accordions fills me with rage. I stopped drinking it a long time ago—and you should stop drinking it, too. »
The drought is no longer a California problem. The Colorado River, which supplies water to one-eighth of the country’s population, is reporting record low water levels due to overallocation. The US needs a little perspective when it comes to how bad this is going to get. Luckily we have one: Australia. »
California grows a pretty significant part of our food supply, both in terms of sheer numbers and in terms of different varieties. But as the land out there gets drier and drier, not everything is going to make it.