DAILY DIGEST, 2/16: Sprinkling of snow little relief as La Nina expected to continue; The not-so-bright future of sustainable groundwater use in agriculture; Hatchery Delta smelt released to wild; For some Kern County farmers, overpumping groundwater could get pricey; and more …
WEBINAR: Water Always Wins – Thriving in an Age of Drought and Deluge from 10am to 11am. Presentation by Erica Gies. the author of “Water Always Wins: Thriving in an age of drought and deluge.” Floods and droughts are growing more frequent and intense not just from climate change but also due to our development patterns. But today — in California, Peru, India, Kenya, and elsewhere — people are asking a revolutionary question: What does water want? We’ve erased many of water’s slow phases in wetlands, floodplains and forests. What water wants is to reclaim that space. Practioners of what I’m calling the “Slow Water movement” — inspired by ancient geology, microbes, beavers, older cultures, and cutting-egde science — are now making space for water within our human habitats. Click here to register.
FREE WEBINAR: Demonstrating Virus Log Removal in Wastewater Treatment to Increase Regulatory Confidence for Potable Reuse from 11am to 12pm. As part of the Orange County Water District’s robust research program, a recently completed study, executed in collaboration with Orange County Sanitation District and co-funded by the Water Research Foundation and Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, demonstrated enteric virus log removal during conventional wastewater treatment. OCWD aims to use the study results to help meet the total Log Reduction Value (LRV) credits required for potable reuse projects in California. Attendees will learn how virus removal through multiple parallel secondary wastewater treatment processes can be quantitatively measured and analyzed using statistical techniques to propose a single log removal credit value for a recycled water project and hear about the status of OCWD’s proposals to the State Water Board Division of Drinking Water. Click here to register for the webinar.
EVENT: The 2021 Orange County Water Supply Infrastructure Review from 11:30am to 1:00pm. In-person in Irvine and simulcast. Click here to register.
WEBINAR: SGMA Implementation: Using an Integrated Hydrologic Model to “Monitor” and Manage Stream Depletion due to Groundwater Pumping from 12pm to 1pm. In this GRACast, we introduce a case study in which an integrated hydrologic model was used to estimate depletion of interconnected surface water over time and, critically, attribute that depletion to groundwater use. The approach implemented for the Scott Valley GSP integrates a wide range of field monitoring data into a historically-calibrated hydrologic simulation tool. This GRACast will also describe some of the current challenges and strategies in achieving stakeholder buy-in to the management of water using less-traditional monitoring tools and the information provided by such tools. Click here to register.
In California water news today …
The Sierra finally gets some snow. But it’s of little relief in drought-ravaged California
“Finally, some fresh snow. Just not very much of it. California’s worsening drought received a bit of relief late Monday with a light dusting of snow in the Sierra Nevada. UC Berkeley’s Central Sierra Snow Lab recorded 1.6 inches of new snow at its measuring station near the Donner Summit — the first measurable snowfall in the area in 37 days. The lab said the dry spell was the longest it had ever recorded in its 51 years of monitoring Sierra winters, surpassing a 31-day stretch without snow in 1990. … ” Read more from the Sacramento Bee here: The Sierra finally gets some snow. But it’s of little relief in drought-ravaged California
La Niña forecast: NOAA gives update amid dry California winter
“La Niña is expected to stick around for at least a little while longer, with the transition back to neutral conditions most likely not taking place until at least later in spring. That’s according to the latest forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center forecast, which was released late last week. NOAA says there’s an approximately 77% chance that La Niña conditions will linger between March and May. Forecasters also favor the transition back to neutral occurring from June to August, giving that a 57% chance. … ” Read more from KTLA here: La Niña forecast: NOAA gives update amid dry California winter
No end in sight: California drought on course to break another record
“The first two months of 2022 are shaping up to be the driest January and February in California history, prompting state officials to warn of dire water conditions ahead. “There’s no precipitation forecast through the remainder of February. And there’s very little precipitation in the long-range forecast for March,” Erik Ekdahl, a deputy director with the State Water Resources Control Board, said at a board meeting Tuesday. “All this is pointing to, again, some pretty dire conditions statewide for drought.” After record-setting storms in October and then December, the past six weeks — usually among the wettest months in California — have seen precipitation totals plateau at roughly half the yearly average in the state’s major watersheds. … ” Read more from Cal Matters here: No end in sight: California drought on course to break another record
Experts say the term ‘drought’ may be insufficient to capture what is happening in the West
“As the American West continues into its 22nd year of a parching megadrought, officials at the federal government’s top water resource management agency are trying to plan for an uncertain and unprecedented time for the nation’s largest reservoirs. “When [the system] was built 100 years ago, you could look outside your window if you’re in Colorado and see snow, and know that that’s your reservoir for the spring,” Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Touton told CNN in an exclusive interview. “It’s not like that anymore. What you’re seeing there is just a completely different way in which the system is managed.” … ” Continue reading at Channel 21 here: Experts say the term ‘drought’ may be insufficient to capture what is happening in the West
U.S. megadrought worst in at least 1,200 years, researchers say
“The megadrought that has gripped the southwestern United States for the past 22 years is the worst since at least 800 A.D., according to a new study that examined shifts in water availability and soil moisture over the past 12 centuries. The research, which suggests that the past two decades in the American Southwest have been the driest period in 1,200 years, pointed to human-caused climate change as a major reason for the current drought’s severity. The findings were published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change. … ” Read more from NBC News here: U.S. megadrought worst in at least 1,200 years, researchers say
Testimony: Implementing SGMA at ground zero—challenges and opportunities for the San Joaquin Valley
“The San Joaquin Valley—California’s largest farming region—has the biggest groundwater overdraft in the state. This makes the valley ground zero for implementing the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). In collaboration with numerous research and stakeholder partners, PPIC has done extensive work on what SGMA means for this region. This has included analyzing promising solutions for bringing basins into balance, and reviewing how well the first groundwater sustainability plans (GSPs) for the region’s 11 critically overdrafted basins—submitted in early 2020—address key challenges. Our remarks today recap the nature of the overdraft problem facing the valley, areas for improvement in the region’s sustainability plans, and some near-term priority areas where the state can play an important role in supporting local success. ... ” Read more from the PPIC here: Testimony: Implementing SGMA at ground zero—challenges and opportunities for the San Joaquin Valley
The not-so-bright future of sustainable groundwater use in agriculture
“Many experts agree that sustainable groundwater use is important for the future of agriculture, but doing so will mean a significant reduction in crop yields. Researchers at Dartmouth College recently studied the impact sustainable water use will have on production potential of major US crops. The study, published in Earth’s Future last month, dives into how the production of corn, soybeans and winter wheat—which account for 52 percent of the country’s irrigated land—could be dramatically reduced if a sustainable water supply was used to grow them. ... ” Read more from Modern Farmer here: The not-so-bright future of sustainable groundwater use in agriculture
Hatchery Delta smelt released to wild
“On a mild day between rainstorms in mid-December, wildlife biologists outfitted in rubber boots and orange lifejackets load drum after drum of precious cargo onto a small boat docked in Rio Vista, a town on the Sacramento River in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. There is little fanfare but the occasion is nonetheless momentous. The shiny silver drums contain thousands of Delta smelt — finger-size imperiled fish unique to the Delta — that were raised in a conservation hatchery. Today marks the inaugural release of captive smelt into the cold, murky waters of their native home. … ” Read more from Estuary News here: Hatchery Delta smelt released to wild
The complexities of monitoring steelhead
“For more than two decades, steelhead — listed as federally threatened in 1997 — have been monitored throughout the state. However, until recently that monitoring has been a haphazard affair. Each local jurisdiction has established a different system, using different methods with different degrees of intensity, according to a 2018 study examining monitoring within the Central Valley and its environs. In some areas, primarily the Sacramento River watershed, which drains the vast northern part of the valley, data has been collected more comprehensively. In other areas, such as the San Joaquin River system to the south, more gaps remain. And in general, monitoring tended to focus solely on migrating numbers and not more detailed life history demographics. ... ” Read more from Estuary News here: The complexities of monitoring steelhead
Expect West Coast seas to rise 8 inches by 2050 — it’ll be even worse on the East Coast
“Bigger storm surges, more flooding at high-tide, eroding shorelines and other damaging events will increase along the coastal United States at a faster pace than in the past century, according to new data on sea level rise released Tuesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Sea levels will go up by as much as 8 inches in California and along the West Coast by 2050, and by as much as 1 foot on the East Coast, projections based on improved research, satellite data and a better understanding of melting ice in the Arctic and Antarctic show. … ” Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: Expect West Coast seas to rise 8 inches by 2050 — it’ll be even worse on the East Coast
What Yosemite will look like in 2100 if we do nothing about climate change
“As Northern California’s unseasonably warm weather broke records this weekend, grim news circulated on drought in the Western United States: Thanks to human-caused climate change, we are living through the region’s driest period in 1,200 years. … This all raises questions about the future of California’s crown jewel, Yosemite National Park. How is climate change affecting some of the park’s premier attractions — for instance, the firefall event? And how will climate change impact the environments within the park, the creatures who live there and the visitor experience? Will it eventually strip Yosemite of its awe-inspiring beauty? To help answer these questions, we spoke to climate change experts. … ” Read more from SF Gate here: What Yosemite will look like in 2100 if we do nothing about climate change
How politics, society and tech shape the path of climate change
“Politics and society largely dictate climate policy ambitions and therefore the trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions, yet climate change models and projections rarely include political and social drivers. A study from the University of California, Davis, simulated 100,000 possible future policy and emissions trajectories to identify relevant variables within the climate-social system that could impact climate change in this century. The study, published today in the journal Nature, indicates that public perceptions of climate change, the future cost and effectiveness of climate mitigation and technologies, and how political institutions respond to public pressure are all important determinants of the degree to which the climate will change over the 21st century. … ” Read more from UC Davis here: How politics, society and tech shape the path of climate change
California’s variable water supply needs more than rainfall
Hanson Bridgett LLP attorneys Allison Schutte and Nathan Metcalf write, “Downpours in October and December, along with record snowfall in the Sierra Nevada, alleviated dry conditions statewide and moved California out of the U.S. Drought Monitor’s “exceptional” drought category. The state is still mandating conservation and curtailing water diversions, however, and water agencies have declared water shortage emergencies and called for mandated water use restrictions. Why is most of California still in an “extreme” or “severe” drought? The answer, we believe, lies in a combination of the climatic uncertainty resulting from seasonal precipitation and climate change, the physical and practical limitations of California’s surface water storage dependency, and California State Water Resources Control Board’s (State Water Board’s) regulation of diversion, considered an overreach by many. … ” Continue reading at Bloomberg Law here: California’s variable water supply needs more than rainfall
Column: Who wins from California’s main environmental law? Too often, the rich and litigious
Columnist Anita Chabria writes, “Early in my marriage, I purchased an ornate mirror, more gilt than glass, that I thought might be so ugly it could actually seem beautiful. It was not. My husband promptly dubbed it the Shield of Zoltran, a made-up name (riffing on a cartoon) meant to highlight its absurdity. He demanded I return the mirror or face divorce. The California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA, has become California’s Shield of Zoltran, reflecting back our ugliest tendencies under the guise of environmentalism and offering protection for those who want to stop development for reasons that often distill down to self-interest — no matter how much gilt gets slapped around their arguments. … ” Continue reading at the LA Times here: Who wins from California’s main environmental law? Too often, the rich and litigious
CEQA advances environmental justice, so why all the hate?
Jennifer Ganata, a senior staff attorney at Communities for a Better Environment and a member of California Environmental Justice Alliance, and Aruna Prabhala is the director of the Urban Wildlands program for the Center for Biological Diversity, write, “Imagine if a new development proposed in your city would cause the sewage system to overflow after it rains. Imagine a new warehouse coming in to occupy 3,800 acres in your community, bringing truck exhaust and around-the-clock lighting to your neighborhood. Now imagine there’s nothing you can do about it. That’s what might happen if public agencies across California weren’t required by law to consider and mitigate the significant environmental harms of a project. Concerned neighbors, including those from low-income and disadvantaged communities, would not be able to speak out and participate in local land-use decisions. … ” Read more from Cal Matters here: CEQA advances environmental justice, so why all the hate?
UC researchers omit key evidence in study on massive tree cutting in Sierra forests
Dr. Chad Hanson, research ecologist with the John Muir Project, writes, “As The Bee recently reported, a new study, by Malcolm North and others (2022), promotes the idea of killing and removing 80% of the trees in the forests of the Sierra Nevada through commercial logging, ostensibly as a wildfire management strategy. The North study was authored by scientists funded by the U.S. Forest Service, an agency that financially benefits from commercial logging on our public lands, and the study neglected to mention some essential information and evidence. The North study reported that “current” tree densities are 83 to 171 trees per acre, and claimed that only 30 trees per acre existed a century ago. But the study used 2011 to represent the “current” condition of Sierra Nevada forests in the two areas that were analyzed, and failed to mention that nearly all of the forests in the two study areas have burned in wildfires since 2011, including the Rim fire of 2013 on the Stanislaus National Forest, and the Cedar fire of 2016 and French fire of 2021 on Sequoia National Forest. … ” Read more from the Fresno Bee via Yahoo News here: UC researchers omit key evidence in study on massive tree cutting in Sierra forests
PLANNING & CONSERVATION LEAGUE: Updating California Water Laws in the Face of Droughts and Climate Change
California’s current system of water laws seems ill-equipped to respond to long-term droughts and climate change. One million Californians do not have safe drinking water, the state’s aquatic ecosystems are in crisis, and water users are confronting increasingly scarce and unpredictable water supplies.
So over 18 months ago, the Planning and Conservation League assembled a group of California water law and policy experts to review and make recommendations on how California water law can be updated to take into account the unprecedented conditions facing 21st century California.
On Thursday, February 3rd, those experts released their recommendations for updating California water law to address drought and climate change. The release coincided with a panel discussion during the Planning and Conservation League’s Annual Assembly.
Board talks drought, weed irrigation curtailment; Madrone confronts a geologist
“Humboldt County hasn’t seen any significant rainfall since early January, and according to Kathleen Zontos, a National Weather Service hydrologist who addressed the ongoing drought at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, if the next two and a half months remain dry, Northern California may wind up having the driest three-year period on record. “So we’re kind of coming into the 11th hour as far as reaching where we want to be,” Zontos told the board. The board voted to continue the ongoing state of local emergency at Tuesday’s meeting, following the advice of staff with the Office of Emergency Services and the Humboldt County Drought Task Force. … ” Read more from the Lost Coast Outpost here: Board talks drought, weed irrigation curtailment; Madrone confronts a geologist
More water restrictions in pipeline? Humboldt County board talks drought conditions, cannabis grows
“Despite a wet fall, drought conditions in the county aren’t expected to improve anytime soon. County supervisors are considering ways to proactively address the situation, and cannabis cultivators aren’t happy part of the solution includes curtailing irrigation for their crop. The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors received a report from the county Drought Task Force on Tuesday indicating drought conditions are going to persist for the foreseeable future. … ” Read more from the Eureka Times-Standard here: More water restrictions in pipeline? Humboldt County board talks drought conditions, cannabis grows
Clear Lake remains quagga-mussel free for now
“By all measures the Lake County quagga mussel inspection program has been a huge success. Despite thousands of boats from throughout the country coming here for fishing and pleasure, not a single quagga has been found in Clear Lake or any other body of water in the county. The program started in 2009 and more than a 100,000 quagga mussel stickers have been issued since then to both resident and non-resident boaters. The Lake County quagga mussel prevention program is starting up again as the spring and summer months approach. ... ” Read more from the Lake County Record-Bee here: Clear Lake remains quagga-mussel free for now
Tahoe conservationists score major court victory over Martis Valley Development
“In a landmark victory for Sierra conservationists, California’s Third District Court of Appeal ruled in the groups’ favor in a long-running fight to rein in oversized development in North Lake Tahoe. The unanimous decision is the latest in a string of conservation victories in the Tahoe Sierra and a major setback to the would-be developers of the Martis Valley West proposal. “This ruling is a significant victory for the preservation of Lake Tahoe’s beauty and environmental health,” said Darcie Goodman Collins, CEO of the League to Save Lake Tahoe, or Keep Tahoe Blue. “Any development – whether inside or outside the Basin – is accountable for impacts to the Lake’s unique water quality and clarity. This precedent makes that certain.” ... ” Read more from the Tahoe Daily Tribune here: Tahoe conservationists score major court victory over Martis Valley Development
Public asked to limit standing water sources as mosquitoes wake from hibernation
“As the weather begins to warm up, the Colusa Colusa Mosquito Abatement District is gearing up for the upcoming mosquito season and asking local residents to do their part. “The effort consists primarily of a spray program to control adult mosquitoes using truck mounted foggers in both the urban and rural areas of the District, starting in late May,” said Colusa Mosquito Abatement District Manager Dan Kiely. “Control measures will only take place within the boundaries of the District which only include the town of Colusa and outlying areas around the town.” ... ” Read more from the Colusa Sun-Herald here: Public asked to limit standing water sources as mosquitoes wake from hibernation
Reconnecting salmon habitat at Battle Creek
“It’s not just big mountains, or the hottest deserts, or the tallest trees, or the clearest lakes and most beautiful beaches. Unlike many states that have one or two iconic features, our state has too many to list, from the geological to the biological and everything in between. During a recent retreat to San Diego, I spent each sunset looking past the waves in search of the Green Flash, hoping for a glimpse of a fluorescent green sky. Somehow it always seems to evade me, but I keep looking anyway. I can’t help but add the majestic sequoia forests to the list—the largest trees known on our planet, with General Sherman standing 275 ft tall with a diameter of 37 ft. Likewise, the north state volcanoes, Mt Shasta and Mt Lassen, dominate the viewscape of the I-5 corridor and help to shape the hydrology and culture of Northern California. From a fisheries perspective, the list goes on and wouldn’t be complete without winter-run Chinook salmon, a distinct member of California’s biodiversity found only within the Sacramento Valley. … ” Continue reading at Cal Trout here: Reconnecting salmon habitat at Battle Creek
Water watchers in Marin, Sonoma counties brace for more drought
“With the North Bay placed squarely on a map of “severe drought” in February, water stakeholders are scoping out ways to navigate another nail-biting summer ahead for farms and other users. While water agencies in Marin and Sonoma counties seek additional sources, even involving desalination, North Bay dairy farmers and ranchers consider trucking in hay to feed the livestock if the hillside grass dies in the coming month or two. “I hate to say it, but it’s a perfect storm. But I wish we had a storm,” said Sonoma County Farm Bureau Executive Director Tawny Tesconi, who is hosting a water summit May 10 and 11. ... ” Read more from the North Bay Business Journal here: Water watchers in Marin, Sonoma counties brace for more drought
S.F. Bay Area could go all of February without rain
“While Southern California residents brace for a bout of damp weather, meteorologists said Tuesday that the Bay Area and much of Northern California may go the entire month of February without rain. National Weather Service Meteorologist Roger Gass told The Chronicle there was nothing in the upcoming forecast to indicate any significant rainfall coming to the Bay for the remainder of the month. … ” Read more from the SF Chronicle here: S.F. Bay Area could go all of February without rain
South Bay trawls show fish like restored shores
“Twelve years ago, scientists at UC Davis began a survey of the southern end of San Francisco Bay — the Lower South Bay — to see how fish responded to the South Bay Salt Ponds Restoration Project. They discovered an unexpectedly diverse and robust aquatic community and a previously unknown spawning ground for the longfin smelt (Spirinchus thaleichthys), listed as endangered in California and a candidate for federal protection because of its declining numbers. The team, led first by Jim Hobbs and now by Levi Lewis, has complied an invaluable long-term dataset and enhanced our understanding of the surprising ecosystems of the bottom of the Bay. In addition to journal publications, their findings have been shared in blog posts by amateur naturalist Jim Ervin, who rides with the sampling crews and documents which fish the trawl brings up: “Every single month is a memorable experience,” he reflects. … ” Continue reading from Estuary News here: South Bay trawls show fish like restored shores
SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY
For some Kern County farmers, overpumping groundwater could get pricey
“Farmers in the sprawling Semitropic Water Storage District in the northwest corner of Kern County got a look recently at possible water charges for going over their allotted water budgets and the top amounts were eye popping. The details are still being worked out and won’t be put in place for a while, said Semitropic General Manager Jason Gianquinto. But the goal is to create a sharp financial disincentive to keep growers from significantly overshooting their water budgets. Very sharp. ... ” Read more from SJV Water here: For some Kern County farmers, overpumping groundwater could get pricey
Native American sites to be protected under plan for the long-suffering McAllister Ranch groundwater project
“In the often hard-fought world of archeological preservation, Colin Rambo is counting the McAllister Ranch groundwater project plan a “win, win, win.” Rambo, an archeologist with the Tejon Tribe, has been working closely with the City of Bakersfield and the two Kern County water districts behind the project to make sure the “significant” Native American sites on the ranch are protected. Most importantly, a process has been agreed to where any human remains found will be properly attended to and reburied on the site. “Usually, it’s not that way,” Rambo said. “Usually, we’d be moving the bones to a tribal cemetery. Any time we can keep a burial in place, it’s the best win a tribe can hope for.” … ” Read more from SJV Water here: Native American sites to be protected under plan for the long-suffering McAllister Ranch groundwater project
Listen: LA and surrounding cities want to recycle more wastewater. What does that mean for the LA river?
“Water is a precious commodity, something that’s becoming even more clear as California weathers an intensifying drought. In fact, a new study published this week has determined the last couple decades have been the west coast’s driest period in more than 1,200 years. According to reporting from the LA Times, cities like Los Angeles, Glendale and Burbank want to ramp up efforts to recycle treated wastewater, which could mean less reliance on imported water. This concerns environmental advocates who want to see the LA River restored to a more natural state, a longstanding debate and one with a myriad of factors. Today on AirTalk, Larry talks with Bruce Reznik, executive director at Los Angeles Waterkeeper, which works to restore and protect local waterways, Michael De Ghetto, chief assistant general manager at Glendale Water and Power and Bill Deverell, professor of history at the University of Southern California and director of the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West.” Listen at KPCC here (Scroll down): LA and surrounding cities want to recycle more wastewater. What does that mean for the LA river?
Long Beach’s historic Rancho Los Cerritos launches water recovery project
“After nearly four years of planning and fundraising, Rancho Los Cerritos will launch a $4 million groundwater recovery project with a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday, Feb. 16. Actual construction will begin in April, Executive Director Alison Bruesehoff said. So far, $3.4 million in grant money is in hand, with plans to raise the other $600,000 — to pay for an extensive new STEAM education program — during the four-month construction period. “We started talking in 2018 and in 2019 we applied to the Port (of Long Beach) for a stormwater mitigation grant,” Bruesehoff said. “They came through with a $1 million grant. … ” Read more from the Long Beach Press-Telegram here: Long Beach’s historic Rancho Los Cerritos launches water recovery project
Can the Salton Sea geothermal field prevent the coming lithium shortage?
“University of California, Riverside scientists will join a first-of-its-kind effort to map out California’s so-called “Lithium Valley,” and learn whether it can meet America’s urgent demand for lithium in a sustainable, environmentally friendly way. Lithium is required for making electric vehicle batteries and other devices that store and use electricity. As the world transitions away from fossil fuels and electric vehicles become increasingly popular, an acute deficit looms in lithium supply: its price increased by over 400% in 2021. The shortage could put the brakes on many automakers’ plans to create all-electric inventory by 2035. … ” Read more from UC Riverside here: Can the Salton Sea geothermal field prevent the coming lithium shortage?
Colorado River states and feds are working on new plan to avoid another emergency water release to save Lake Powell
“The federal government in 2021 made the emergency decision to send water from reservoirs in Colorado and other states to Lake Powell on the Utah-Arizona border, which had dropped to its lowest level on record. The water was needed to keep Powell, the second-largest reservoir in the U.S., from hitting a point where it could no longer produce hydropower for millions of people in the West. Colorado and the other states upstream of the Colorado River are working out a way to keep Lake Powell’s levels above 3,525 feet and avoid the need for similar federal emergency action in the future. If the reservoir drops below that level, it could threaten power generation and other water infrastructure and jeopardize water-sharing agreements between states. … ” Read more from Colorado Public Radio here: Colorado River states and feds are working on new plan to avoid another emergency water release to save Lake Powell
“Every week, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture update America’s Drought Monitor, a map illustrating the parts of the country that are currently experiencing water scarcity, and to what extent. In the West and High Plains, which comprise 15 states with some of the most productive land in the nation, the news over the past 20 years has not been good. Drought conditions have prevailed in more than 15% of the West for 1,138 of the last 1,144 weeks. California has spent eight of the last 10 years with more than half of its land under stress. As of Feb. 8, 95% of the West was considered “abnormally dry.” … With global warming unlikely to slow any time soon, California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment (issued in 2019) cited new technology as both a means of mitigation and crop adaptation to persistent water stress. ... ” Read moire from Bloomberg Green here: How to keep crops alive in a warmer, dryer world
About the Daily Digest: The Daily Digest is a collection of selected news articles, commentaries and editorials appearing in the mainstream press. Items are generally selected to follow the focus of the Notebook blog. The Daily Digest is published every weekday with a weekend edition posting on Sundays.