Pacific Swell

Southern California environment news and trends

California Drought News: Climate change and Cinco de Mayo 2015

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79545 full

Tuesday's drought roundup brings us tidings of climate fears and expensive guacamole years. It also gives us a new drought synonym: solannoyed.

Climate change:

  • The White House is releasing its Third National Climate Assessment today. The report is mandated by Congress and is put out every four years. As you might expect, it's not cheerful. (CNN)
The report sketches out sobering scenarios for different regions. The Northeast and Midwest, for instance, would see a huge increase in heavy downpours that could lead to flooding and erosion. The Southwest, including California, would be more prone to extreme heat, drought and wildfire. The first rains after fires compound the peril and damage because they wash down debris and earth left behind, said Gregg Garfin, a climatologist at University of Arizona and a co-author. (LA Times)

Seis de Mayo:

  • Much ado has been made over avocados and guacamole during this solannoyed. The Guardian takes a wider (and more entertaining) look at how future Cinco de Mayos will be more expensive if dry conditions continue. (The Guardian)

Fruit tree futures:

  • Froma Harrop looks at fruit trees and sees a problem with how water is pumped and sold. She points to some landowners who may be making money through illegal water sales:
The Resnicks appear to be selling some of their water to a developer seeking to create a new 2,000-acre planned community, Gateway Village, in another county. This is being done through a web of exotic arrangements — with the water bouncing through a maze of Resnick-owned companies, West Side Park Mutual Water Co. in particular. (Seattle Times)
  • The tree fruit industry is probably going to do fine this year. It's next year that's going to be a problem. (The Produce News)

Conservation:

  • Did you know that May is "Save Our Water Month"? That's according to the California Department of Water Resources. Expect a deluge of PSAs urging you to cut back. (Lake County News)
  • The Valencia Water Company is making it easier for its customers to reach that 20 percent voluntary reduction. It's going to send out water reports that show how much water people should be using and how much they actually are. (KHTS)

How has your community been affected by the drought? Share your story with a photo on Twitter or Instagram. Tag it #mydrought. For more details on our photo project, click here.

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