Pacific Swell

Southern California environment news and trends

California Drought News: Drought, fire, snowpack — but at least there's almonds

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83586 full

Friday's news sees plagues everywhere: wildfire, Santa Anas and drought here; rain in New York; sinkholes in Baltimore. Stay inside for a second and catch up on what's happening.

National media have picked up the Etiwanda Fire, and even though containment is increasing and it has taken no structures, they're seeing wider drought-related consequences.

  • The Christian Science Monitor highlights geography. This fire has "implications for the rest of the nation," and the Monitor notes several other states are expecting a dry year too. (Christian Science Monitor)
  • And Time's connecting the fire to climate change. "Etiwanda is effectively opening night for a wildfire season that fire officials say could be one of the most severe and dangerous on record — and a preview of what life in a hotter and drier world could be for Californians." (Time/Bryan Walsh)

For today's view of a drier California, read on:

  • State officials say they're likely to curtail the amount of river water water farmers and some large users (who got rights to water after the year 1914) can take from 10 rivers. (AP)
  • That last snowpack measurement… well, you can guess. I think we're all not paying attention anymore because the end of the episode is always the same. (SFGate)
  • The Inland Empire Utilities Agency has asked for a voluntary 20 percent reduction in water use. (Fontana Herald News)
  • Wondering who's got a problem with recycling water? Some clean water advocates do. They're worried about too much salt and nitrates in water that might end up in your glass. (Valley Public Radio)
  • Should the DWP be running its fountains during a drought if the water's the nicer stuff? (CBS KCAL 9)

But as we figure out how to bet on the Kentucky Derby, here's a little good luck:

  • Almond farmers who are worried about watering their trees for future production have one consolation: if almonds are going down, they're going out with a bang of a year:
Some areas, such as the Oakdale and South San Joaquin irrigation districts, have not suffered much from the drought. The Modesto and Turlock irrigation districts are supplying about half their usual water but are letting farmers transfer it among themselves. The Merced Irrigation District, with a much smaller supply, also is allowing transfers. (Modesto Bee)

Remember, we're always updating our Fire Tracker. And, in lieu of the traditional tweet o'the week, this one's in (dis)honor of the ongoing fire:

Have a great weekend. 

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