Pacific Swell

Southern California environment news and trends

California Drought News: Melting snow, farming woes and a dynamic duo

33794 full
33794 full

New drought word for the week: wizentimer.

Today's news focuses largely on farming under the grip of the wizentimer.

  • First, though, let's take a moment to remember what snow used to look like. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor report shows that the snowpack is melting super fast:
In California, already particularly hard hit by drought, the situation is worsening. Temperatures there were 9 to 12 degrees above normal, which caused breathtakingly rapid melt of the California snowpack. Some areas of the Sierra Nevada lost half of the water locked up in snow in just one week. Yet, there was little change in inflows into the state’s starved reservoirs. (Discover)


  • What's it like for farming communities when large swaths of their fields are having to stay fallow? NPR's Arun Rath toured some of the regions and looked at the impact it's having on employment and school attendance. (NPR)
  • Mike Hornick runs down the grocery list of expected produce yields. It's a mixed bag, but things will be really bad if 2015 ends up another dry year too. (Shocker, huh?) (The Packer)
  • The new farm law has an insurance plan that is controversial among farmers but that may be critical for California growers. (Reuters)


  • Senators Boxer and Feinstein are the ideal good cop/bad cop duo to push through a California drought relief bill. It's unclear which is which, though. (OC Register)
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