Pacific Swell

Southern California environment news and trends

California Drought News: Fracking (wells), flying (birds), and pricing (water)

82211 full
82211 full

Friday's news reminds us that there are winners and losers in the drought.

  • Fractivists are "starting to reap serendipitous marketing ammunition" from the combo threat of drought and earthquakes, writes Al Jazeera.
“They’re skilled at marketing, skilled at hyperbole,” said Rock Zierman, CEO of the California Independent Petroleum Association in Sacramento, a group that represents 550 companies and individuals in the oil industry. “We use less than a total 300 acre-feet of water a year for fracking. That’s equal to what all golf courses in California use in half a day.” (Al Jazeera America)
  • But drought and birds don't mix around a military base. Valley Public Radio's Ezra David Romero reports that pilots around Lemoore Naval Air Station see more "bird strikes" because fallow land attracts prey for birds to eat. According to Commander Joe Guerrein: (Here & Now):
Three weeks ago, we had a large bird hit the nose of a fuel tank that hangs underneath the airplane and bounced off of that into the left motor and completely disintegrated on the side of the intake and then went down the engine. There was blood all over the side of the airplane.
  • Hopes are rising that a strong El Niño will end California's drought with a series of super soaking storms next winter; federal scientists estimate a 2 in 3 chance of such a rainy weather pattern. (Mercury News)
  • A group of scientists and policymakers affiliated with the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences writes that California should track water supply and use better, plan ahead to protect ecosystems and native species, save up our groundwater supplies in drought years (rather than suck water out, often for agriculture), and change up the price of water during a drought to send price signals. (California WaterBlog)
  • Speaking of price signals, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that the DWP would not raise rates this year. (Alice Walton/KPCC)
  • The Drought Tweet o'the Week reminds us to increase the peace, because violence is never the answer. 

Share your retorts to short-sighted bartenders in the comments below - and enjoy your weekend without stabbing one. 

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