Monday's news finds it sort of ironic that we're talking drought here while torrential rain threatens the United States-Ghana World Cup match. Starts at 3 p.m. Pacific, y'all. Cheer for the USMNT while the hope is still alive in the Group of Death. On to the roundup.
- Will California's drought continue into 2015? UC Davis' Jay Lund and Jeffrey Mount crunch 106 years of state designations to find it doesn't look good:
In all, there’s a 71 percent chance that next year will be Below Normal or drier and only a 29 percent chance of experiencing an Above Normal or Wet year. (California WaterBlog)
The message: it might rain this winter, it might not, but to borrow some words from Top Gun, California's ego may be writing checks its body can't cash. We're still drawing down groundwater faster than we should, argue the authors. Hope is not a plan.
- The Shirley Fire continues to burn in Kern County, and InciWeb connects it to "prolonged drought and dry fuel conditions." NBC reports the fire's minimally contained, an evacuation center's been set up in Lake Isabella, and the county's under air quality alert. (Inciweb,NBC)
- Over the weekend, a former community organizer from Hawaii talked about the immediacy of climate change to graduating students in Anaheim. Here's Barack Obama:
"Today's Congress, though, is full of folks who stubbornly and automatically reject the scientific evidence about climate change," Obama told graduates from the University of California, Irvine in Anaheim. "They'll tell you it's a hoax, or a fad." Many GOP members have said that they can't talk about climate change because they aren't scientists. But Obama wasn't satisfied with this logic, saying, "Let me translate. What that means is, 'I accept that manmade climate change is real, but if I admit it, I'll be run out of town by a radical fringe that thinks climate science is a liberal plot.'" He added, "I'm not a scientist either, but we've got some good ones at NASA." (PolicyMic)
- Amy McDonald writes about the crushing impact of water poverty on vulnerable Central Californians:
In Tulare County, 29.7 percent of residents live below the federal poverty line — making it the most impoverished county in the state and among the highest poverty rates in the nation. The drought has hit Tulare County's poor particularly hard, especially families like 80-year-old Carmen and Al Almanza. The retired couple were surprised in early April when water simply stopped coming out of their faucet.
They rely on their son, who brings a trash can filled with water to their home three times a week, and grandchildren, who bring them bottled water for drinking. (Deseret News)
- A photographer named Matt Black chronicles Central Valley farms as they decline and grow more dusty. (National Geographic)
- The Sacramento Bee is seeking and publishing opinions on the possibility of a water bond, the need for reservoirs, and the desire for Delta restoration. The Nature Conservancy's Jay Ziegler wants more conservation because California's "water supply system is out of balance." (SacBee)
- Fifty percent more salmon smolts are making the trip to the Pacific Ocean in a truck this year, which is the most interesting fact in the latest story about trucking salmon. (AP/via The Guardian)
- The Desert Sun looks at less-thirsty landscaping in housing developments: (Desert Sun)
Home developers tend to do only what's asked of them, Freed said. "They're meeting building codes, and while it's true that California has the greenest and stringent codes in the country, it's still not what's needed in terms of saving water."
- And Dwell on Design will show off drought adaptation measures too this year. (LA Times)
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.