Pacific Swell

Southern California environment news and trends

California Drought News: Cheap greens, expensive beef and priceless lessons

52027 full
52027 full

There's a leak in my apartment ceiling. This is after one of the weakest rainy seasons in decades. Had we gotten our fair share of rain this year, I'm pretty sure I'd be swimming around in here.

Anyway, enough complaining (kind of), because it's time for DROUGHT NEWS:

  • Mother Jones looks into the question of why produce prices remain reasonable despite California's persisting drought. After all, we do grow half of the vegetables in the country. The answer (and potential problem) is groundwater.
There's a financial metaphor that works here. To live off surface water is to live off your paycheck. When you get a raise, you can spend more. But when your paycheck drops, you have to cut back, economize. To rely on groundwater, though, is to live off of savings. Every draft you take is one that you won't be able to replenish, at least not easily. (Mother Jones)
  • But while vegetable prices remain low, beef prices are climbing, partly due to the drought. (CBS 5 KPIX)
  • The U.S. recently began releasing a 100,000 acre-foot "pulse" of water down the Colorado River into Mexico. The Christian Science Monitor explains the policy and why it's not our water to hoard. High Country News sent Matt Jenkins to see the celebration. (Christian Science Monitor)
Back upstream, the party continued over the next several days. The populace of the town of San Luis Río Colorado turned out at the river en masse. What had served as an improvised dune-buggy area in the long-dry riverbed became a veritable waterpark of people splashing in the newly returned river. (High Country News)
  • Escondido has a $285 million plan to convert all of its sewage into irrigation water. While it has all sorts of water independence benefits, it's largely driven by the need for more sewage capacity. Win-win? (San Diego Union Tribune)

And finally...

Turning our drought into a teaching moment for our kids - or at least the kids of New York Times readers. (New York Times)
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