Pacific Swell

Southern California environment news and trends

California Drought News: Water opinions split; DiFi takes heat; that lime's gonna cost you

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76422 full

Today's installment of "Drought News" drills into what Golden Staters are thinking about the dry spell and the impact it might have on their wallets.

  • A Field Poll finds Californians in agreement on the severity of the drought, but not on its cause. A majority favors relaxing environmental restrictions to divert more water to human uses but think farmers can do more to conserve.

There was also broad agreement that agricultural users could drain less water. A clear majority of the state, 54 percent to 30 percent, said farms could conserve water “without creating real hardships” by switching to crops that require less water or using water more efficiently. (Sacramento Bee)

  • California Sen. Dianne Feinstein is taking heat from environmentalists on her bill moving through the U.S. Senate that they say scraps habitat protections in favor of farmers. (SFGate)
  • While it's still not clear how much water Central Valley farmers will get from state and federal water systems this summer, a new report has put a price tag on the higher food costs the drought is likely to trigger. A taste of the findings: lime prices are likely to double. (NBC)
  • A new NASA-funded study links California's drought — and the East's frigid winter — to climate change. It also find this year's weather patterns typically proceed the onset of El Niño conditions. (Think Progress)
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