Pacific Swell

Southern California environment news and trends

California Drought News: Start your day off wrong with coffee and Bono

The sun shines on Joshua Tree National Park. Photo submitted by Nillie De Grakovac.
The sun shines on Joshua Tree National Park. Photo submitted by Nillie De Grakovac. Nillie De Grakovac

Today's drought news tells us we're starting our day off wrong. First though, here's a little song to match today's reading:

VIDEO: U2 - In God's Country


  • Rick Paulus over at KCET is trying to make us feel bad about drinking coffee. He points out that 37 gallons of water go into making a single cup of joe. Also, there's the carbon footprint and other things that may make me give up my morning fix. What to do?
Tea with caffeine is a good alternative. On average, one cup of tea needs only 9 gallons of water to produce, and loose tea generates a carbon footprint of around 20 grams of CO2 per cup [vs. roughly 340 grams for a large latte]. (KCET)
  • Families in 24 of the counties hardest-hit by the drought are getting food assistance. It's part of the $687 million drought relief package Governor Brown signed back in March. The article contains good information about the program if you or someone you know needs to take part. (CBS Sacramento)

The reason I listened to U2 this morning:

  • It's all about the Joshua trees. Apparently swaths of them are dying off in their namesake park. Climate change and the drought are to blame. The Desert Sun has a great article with gorgeous pictures. Scientists say the trees are shifting to higher ground, but that might not be the answer:
Scientists expect that many plant populations will move in the same way — if they have someplace to go. And researchers increasingly are trying to pinpoint cases in which plants and animals could be pushed toward extinction by climate change because they are confined to hilltops or small pockets, or depend on specific soil types. (The Desert Sun)

Water rights:

  • Junior water rights holders in the San Joaquin River watershed have gotten notices to stop diverting water. (Capital Press)

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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