Pacific Swell

Southern California environment news and trends

California Drought News: Janet Napolitano and other things that fly

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78679 full

Thanks to @zandubinscott, we have a new word for drought to try out: sereation.

Use it in a sentence you demand? But of course! I need a vacation from this sereation of unknown duration, lest I lose motivation for my vocation.

Keep the suggestions coming. In the meantime, ACADEMIA:

  • New UC president Janet Napolitano (who's apparently known for some other position she's had in the past) took an aerial tour of areas hit hard by the sereation. This is ahead of a sustainability plan due out this spring that will involve all 10 campuses:
It was Napolitano's first visit to the 330-acre center -- one of nine UC agriculture research hubs that dot California -- where she took a tour of the canola, walnut and blueberry crops planted there. Her visit comes as California faces a third year of drought and one of the driest years on record. Napolitano said the UC system will do its part to help farmers find relief. For example, she said, UC Merced could soon play a more prominent role in agricultural research. (Fresno Bee)
  • But agricultural research itself is taking a hit.
Many growers in California will receive no surface water allocation this year because of the drought. Neither will the University of California’s Westside Research and Extension Center (WSREC) near Five Points, which gets its surface water from Westlands Water District. (Western Farm Press)


  • We've blogged about the sereation's possible effects on bats. Some are connecting it to a lack of bugs as they make their thousands-of-miles journey. (Sacramento Bee)
  • You know else migrates? Birds! To help them, the Nature Conservancy is figuring out which fields are likely stopover targets. Then, they're paying farmers to flood those fields at specific times to create temporary wetland oases for the travelers. (TakePart)


  • Death Valley is seeing a boom in wildflower blooms (see what I did there?). It's all due to the miniscule amount of rain we got recently. Now, I will attest to the sudden greening. I went into Griffith Park after the most recent sprinkling, and the place was shooting up plants in earnest. Who knows how long they'll last though now that the "rainy" season is ending? So, if you want to see some wildflowers, best get to driving those 300 miles right quick. (L.A. Times)
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