Pacific Swell

Southern California environment news and trends

California Drought News: My burger, my burrito, my poor wallet


Tuesday's drought news makes you question whether waiting so long in the drive-thru line will continue to be worth it.

First, today's dryku:
Burger prices rise
Will we turn to other foods?
Burritos' do too


  • Have you noticed the increased food prices at the grocery store? Well, now you're going to see it at your fast food joints too. In-N-Out and Chipotle are having to raise prices on their food. Starbucks has also.
In-N-Out raised the cost of its hamburgers and cheeseburgers by a dime and their famous Double-Double jumped 15 cents to $3.45. French fries were unchanged but soft drinks went up a nickel. (San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

Oil and Water:

  • They don't mix, but they separate pretty well. The New York Times looks at how an oil field in the Central Valley also pumps 760,000 gallons of water each day that it sells to a local water district. Article goes on to look at the fight over water use in fracking. (NY Times)


  • The lowering water levels at Lake Oroville have revealed more prehistoric artifacts. Volunteers are helping rangers by keeping tabs on looters who are digging up the relics. My favorite factoid is about how meth heads are among the many culprits. Does smoking meth cause an uncontrollable digging impulse?
Though many who disturb artifacts may not know any better, others can be troublesome. Among them are insomniac "tweakers" high on methamphetamine. "They just dig and dig like little squirrels," Dobis said. (LA Times)


  • Dowsers have been the media darlings of the current drought year. Benjamin Radford pokes at the practice and points out why we should trust our suspicions about the water-finding trick. He also gives a history lesson about all the things dowsing has been used to find: water, oil, jewels, murderers... (Discovery)

Maps and charts:

  • Finally, I leave you with Weather Underground's latest roundup of water statistics. This year is dry but not the worst on record. Reservoirs are still holding a decent amount of water, especially Pyramid Lake. What's up with that? I'm going to have to look into that. (Weather Underground)

And 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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