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Environment & Science

California Drought News: Big questions about drought, short-term memory about weather



This homeowner ripped out lawn to replace it with rocks. At least half of residential water use still goes toward landscaping in California, even during a drought.
This homeowner ripped out lawn to replace it with rocks. At least half of residential water use still goes toward landscaping in California, even during a drought.
slworking2/Flickr Creative Commons

Friday's news is asking questions and hoping for solutions.

If cities boosted their efficiency and reuse of water, they could readily save 5.2 to 7.1 million acre-feet of water per year, the report says, or more than enough water to supply all of urban southern California. Earlier this year the state allocated nearly $700 million toward those kinds of investments, and some projects are already under way around the state. "Cash for grass" programs, in which residents are paid to replace their lawns with water-free plantings, have been particularly popular, says Poole. On June 3, the State Water Resources Control Board issued revised rules that make it easier to use recycled water for landscaping. (National Geographic)
However, strong events in 1991/92 and 2009/10 only provided small surpluses in the southern part of the state, while precipitation during 1965/66 was generally average to below average across the state. (io9)

Guess we're not solving everything today. On to the rest of the news.

If you truly believe in global warming, there will be more rainfall than snowfall in the future. If you don't have storage reservoirs to put it in, we won't have the water supply we have today, said Andy Christensen, general manager of the Woodbridge Irrigation District, which also opposes the wild and scenic designation. (RecordNet)
And Voice of America talked to California firefighters training for this summer in Hemet. CalFire has 5000 full time firefighters now, and just hired 300 more people because of the drought. (VOA)

Speaking of which, 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.