The Golden State's nickname has taken on a grave new meaning. The agricultural and economic powerhouse of the country is in the midst of a historic drought pervading the whole U.S. Southwest, at once turning sprawling front lawns into golden-brown scratch pads and inciting Chinatown-style...
These days, while the almond orchards are kept a perfect green, the surrounding landscape is a dull brown, and the yards in front of most of the houses are little more than dirt and weeds. At least 25 families have seen their wells go dry in recent months. Many others are rationing what little water remains. Those lucky enough to be on the city’s system still have to strictly conserve to keep the town’s only well from going dry. — thenation.com
The Nation paints Fairmead – an agricultural town where many personal wells have dried up, pitting indigent residents further into poverty – as a cautionary tale for all those living in historic drought conditions.More on California's historic drought:Fog catchers: squeezing water out of...
Simply look up into the sky at a single cloud, on average that white pouf holds 8 million gallons of water — enough to sustain 100,000 people for a day. Yet the water we harvest has become so scarce, its cost is greater than the devices invented to catch and deliver it. [...]
How might we imagine new ways to collect water? How do we get it off my socks and into my coffee cup?
Fog catchers – contraptions that gather the moisture in our atmosphere for drinking water – have been used by humans and animals alike to survive in some of the driest places on earth. In Chile's Atacama desert, fog catchers have been in use for over half a century, and even are used to...
Santa Barbara City Council members on Tuesday unanimously approved spending $55 million to reactivate a mothballed desalination plant that could provide the city with nearly a third of its drinking water. [...]
“Desalination has been a last resort,” Mayor Helene Schneider told The Times Tuesday night after the vote. “The way the drought has continued these last four years, we are really getting at that last resort.”
More on the historic drought in the U.S. southwest:Gov. Brown issues order to reduce California's greenhouse gas emissionsCalifornia has about one year of water left30% of the US in DroughtRelocation or Adaptation: "We may have to migrate people out of California"Drought may force California to...
The California Water Commission, responding to a fourth year of drought, approved sharp new limits on the amount of water that can be used on landscapes surrounding newly constructed buildings, such as houses, businesses and schools.
The revised ordinance will limit grass to about 25% of a home's combined front, back and side yards in all new construction. [...]
Additionally, grass will be all but banned in landscapes of new commercial, industrial and institutional buildings. — latimes.com
More on California's historic drought:The sudden drought gold rush for California landscapers may be overThe best lawn for California's drought may still be greenAs Californians let their lawns turn golden, water conservation targets were exceeded in MayCalifornia's desert resorts struggle to...
These have been boom times for companies that rip out lawns and replace them with drought-tolerant landscaping, but now their business might be drying up.
The Metropolitan Water District said Thursday it would no longer offer rebates to entice homeowners to get rid of their lawns because the agency ran out of money much sooner than it expected.
That is bad news for [...] landscape contractor in Los Angeles. Grass removal has become about 40 percent of his business, driven by the rebates. — scpr.org
As a result of the sudden end of the government incentives, some Los Angeles landscape contractors, that had made turf removal their main business in the past months, began laying off staff. The LA Times reports: "Turf Terminators, which ballooned from a staff of three to more than 450 over the...
While a golden brown lawn is seen as a badge of honor to some residents of drought-stricken California, in fact, they are doing more harm to the environment than good, says UC Agriculture and Natural Resources turf expert Jim Baird. [...]
maintaining lawns rather than letting them die or replacing the grass with synthetic turf, concrete or so-called drought-tolerant plants offers important ecological services. [...]
“The more we let our grass lawns die or go away, the hotter it's going to get” — ucanr.edu
For more on the ongoing struggle through California's historic drought:As Californians let their lawns turn golden, water conservation targets were exceeded in MayEnlisting the Internet of Things against California's historic droughtCalifornia Water Crisis? Now there's a board game for...
Californians in May shot past Gov. Jerry Brown's water conservation targets in response to the drought emergency [...].
New numbers, released Wednesday, show that the state's ambitious conservation campaign is working, with statewide residential water use declining 28.9 percent in May from its baseline 2013 levels. The figures surpassed Brown's order in April to cut water use statewide by 25 percent. — mercurynews.com
Click here to read the full report issued by the California State Water Resources Control Board.Drought-related news on Archinect:Enlisting the Internet of Things against California's historic droughtCalifornia Water Crisis? Now there's a board game for that!California Farmers Using Oil...
[...] the drought is a gusher for a growing number of tech startups in the emerging world of the Internet of Things, the buzzy term for the trend of connecting devices and data in the physical realm to the Internet. Getting more sensors into the environment will help thousands of farms, businesses and cities figure out where water is going and how it can be diverted for the most efficient use. Agriculture is the area most ripe for collecting more and higher-quality data. — forbes.com
What would you do about the drought if you were Jerry Brown? A new 2-3 player board game by Bay Area-based graphic designer Alfred Twu allows you to play the politics of water in California.
Twu specializes in designing games that try and have fun with complex issues. Currently, he is developing one called “California Housing Crisis” that deals with San Francisco’s runaway housing costs, and he previously designed a fantasy map for a U.S. national high speed rail system that went viral. — blogs.kcrw.com
For decades, tourists have been coming to Southern California's Coachella Valley, drawn by spectacular mountain vistas, great weather and lush landscapes.
Those landscapes have been, for the most part, man-made — an artificial oasis in a land of desert. [...]
As California enters a fourth year of drought and state and local water officials unveil a series of conservation dictates, at least some hotels in the valley — big and small — have begun launching water conservation measures. — USA Today
[Barclay's] plan, to fabricate a “master-planned community” for nearly 100,000 people on what is today a field of sand dunes, is called Santolina. If fully populated, the development would be about the size of New Mexico’s current second-largest city, Las Cruces, and bigger than Santa Fe [...]
Columbia University’s Earth Institute points to 2050 as a time when the drought will begin to worsen dramatically, right around when Santolina planners predict the development could approach full capacity — theguardian.com
Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today issued an executive order to establish a California greenhouse gas reduction target of 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 - the most aggressive benchmark enacted by any government in North America to reduce dangerous carbon emissions over the next decade and a half. "With this order, California sets a very high bar for itself and other states and nations, but it's one that must be reached - for this generation and generations to come," said Governor Brown. — gov.ca.gov
Currently in the midst of four consecutive years of exceptional drought, California is experiencing first-hand the real-life implications of a warming climate. Before the order, the state was already on track to "meet or exceed" targets for reducing CO2 emissions to pre-1990 levels in the next...
For every barrel of oil Chevron produces in its Kern River oil field, another 10 barrels of salty wastewater come up with it. So Chevron is selling about 500,000 barrels of water per day...back to...the local water district that delivers water to farmers within a seven-mile slice of Kern County...But it’s a risky dance; over time, high sodium can change the properties of the soil, making it impermeable, unable to take in any more water...Eventually, the soil becomes barren. — Newsweek
California Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday imposed mandatory water restrictions for the first time on residents, businesses and farms, ordering cities and towns in the drought-ravaged state to reduce usage by 25%... [amounting] to roughly 1.5 million acre-feet of water (an acre-foot of water equals about 325,000 gallons) over the next nine months... "We're in a new era," Brown said. "The idea of your nice little green grass getting lots of water every day, that's going to be a thing of the past." — CNN
Brown's executive order will also mandate:Require agriculture to report more on their water usage so as to better "enforce against illegal diversions and waste"A ban on watering lawns on public street mediansSignificant cuts in water use for large landscapes like universities, golf courses, and...
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