California drought

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This State's 102M Dead Trees 'Should Be Concerning for Everyone'

California's wildfires are getting more common and more dangerous

(Newser) - In drought-stricken California, 36 million trees have died since May, the Los Angeles Times reports. They're part of 62 million trees that have died in the state since 2016 and 102 million trees that have died over the past six years. "It's not beyond the pale to... More »

This California Couple Uses Mind-Boggling Amount of Water

Megafarmers Lynda and Stewart Resnick have built a multi-billion dollar empire

(Newser) - While you may not be familiar with California power couple and megafarmers Lynda and Stewart Resnick, it's highly likely you've heard of some of the things they own. There's flower delivery service Teleflora; Fiji Water; Pom Wonderful juices; Halos mandarin oranges; groves upon groves of navels, grapefruits,... More »

Scrapping Lawns in LA Would Change City's Temps

How much depends on what lawns are replaced with

(Newser) - The typical California home's biggest area of water usage is beyond its four walls: its outdoor landscaping . So in the face of drought, tens of thousands of Los Angeles homeowners made a change last summer, reports the Times , swapping their grass for artificial turf, gravel, or drought-tolerant shrubs. And... More »

What Drought? Still-Parched California Lifts Water Limits

The power to conserve now shifts to the hands of local communities instead of the state

(Newser) - It used to be you'd be heavily fined if you turned on your water too much or for an unapproved reason in parched California. Now many of those restrictions are about to be dismissed, with a reversal of the state mandate for a 25% drop in city water use,... More »

California's Pricey Drought Problem: Sinking Land

As more groundwater is pumped, the danger grows

(Newser) - A canal that delivers vital water supplies from Northern California to Southern California is sinking in places. So are stretches of a riverbed undergoing historic restoration. On farms, well casings pop up like mushrooms as the ground around them drops. Four years of drought and heavy reliance on pumping of... More »

Drought Drops Key Calif. Lake Near 'Dead Zone'

Folsom Lake is less than 15% full with little relief in the forecast

(Newser) - It was already one of the most iconic visuals of California's historic drought, and things have only gotten worse. Gizmodo reports few people—even in California—were aware of the severity of the ongoing drought when it was officially declared in 2012. That changed in 2014 when before and... More »

Moneyball Subject Among Biggest Water Wasters

He's using nearly 24 times more water than most East Bay residents

(Newser) - Billy Beane—Oakland A's executive and the inspiration behind the film Moneyball—is one of the San Francisco area's worst water wasters, the San Jose Mercury News reports. According to a partial list of customers made public by the East Bay Municipal Utility District Thursday, Beane uses 5,... More »

Nestle's Been Bottling Calif. Water With Expired Permit

Environmental groups file suit against US Forest Service

(Newser) - In the midst of a historic drought, Nestle bottled approximately 68,000 gallons of water from California's San Bernardino National Forest every day last year. It paid only an annual fee of $524 for the privilege. Oh, and its permit to do so expired 27 years ago. The Desert ... More »

California Lake Goes Dry, Kills Thousands of Fish

And residents say something smells rotten

(Newser) - A popular Northern California fishing hole went dry overnight last weekend, leaving residents scratching their heads and demanding answers, CBS Sacramento reports. Walker Lake, also known as Mountain Meadows Reservoir, is owned by the Pacific Gas & Electric Company, which uses it for hydroelectric power. A spokesperson for PG&E... More »

Group to Calif. Water Bottling Plant: See You in Court

Nonprofit wants an environmental impact report from Crystal Geyser

(Newser) - Complaints about a planned bottled water plant in Mount Shasta, Calif., have been cemented in a lawsuit. Nonprofit group We Advocate Thorough Environmental Review (WATER) claims Crystal Geyser doesn't have the proper permits and is violating land-use provisions in getting the plant up and running in a drought, reports... More »

Shade Balls to the Rescue? Hardly

If they're strictly for water conservation, they're a bad investment: Grist

(Newser) - Los Angeles' 96 million shade balls are bizarre to say the least—which is partly why the media pounced on the story of their role in conserving water, as officials had hoped, Grist included. Now, the website does a careful walk-through of just why these balls aren't so hot.... More »

Drought Is Causing California to Sink Fast

Some areas of Central Valley dropping 2 inches a month

(Newser) - Vast areas of California's Central Valley are sinking faster than in the past as massive amounts of groundwater are pumped during the historic drought, state officials say, citing new research by NASA scientists. The data shows the ground is sinking nearly 2 inches each month in some places, putting... More »

LA Fighting Drought With Millions of Black Plastic Balls

They prevent evaporation, keep water clean in reservoirs

(Newser) - The Los Angeles Reservoir has now turned black, but not from any kind of pollution. Over several months, city officials have been unleashing 96 million black plastic balls into the city's 175-acre reservoir in an effort to fight the effects of California's drought. The final 20,000 were... More »

Cost of Tom Selleck's Alleged Water-Swiping: $21,685.55

Selleck, water district didn't agree on everything, but settlement reached

(Newser) - The settlement deal in Tom Selleck's very own Watergate was finalized last night, with the actor agreeing to cough up $21,685.55—the cost of the PI hired by California's Calleguas Municipal Water District to investigate Selleck's alleged water-pilfering from the district, the AP reports. The... More »

Tom Selleck Reaches Deal in Water War

Details are confidential until water district's board approves

(Newser) - The water war is apparently over: Calleguas Municipal Water District says it has reached a tentative agreement with Tom Selleck after accusing the actor of stealing water from Ventura County to use on his 60-acre estate and avocado farm in Hidden Valley, Calif., amid a drought. The details of the... More »

Tom Selleck Accused of Stealing Water in Drought

Actor allegedly had truck fill up at hydrant in California

(Newser) - Brace yourself for lots of Magnum PI jokes today: Tom Selleck has been accused of stealing water amid California's drought to keep his sprawling estate and avocado farm well-watered. The Calleguas Municipal Water District, with help from a real private investigator, accuses Selleck of sending a water truck to... More »

Withering in Relentless Drought: the Joshua Tree

Drier than usual conditions in desert mean seedlings aren't taking root

(Newser) - The latest casualty in California's ongoing and massive drought comes from a rather arid place to begin with: The iconic Joshua tree, which grows only in the Mojave desert, is in trouble, reports the Los Angeles Times . "For Joshua trees, hotter, drier conditions are a problem—but a... More »

Calif.'s New Rage: Fake Grass

As drought rages on, it begins to make more sense

(Newser) - From the same drought that brought the nation lawn-painting comes yet another fad in faux greenery: Fake lawns, nicknamed "frass," are gaining popularity in parched California, which is cracking down on water use. With live grass requiring 55 gallons of water a year per square foot, and with... More »

California Farmers Make Historic Water Concession

Some with rights going back a century agree to 25% cuts amid drought

(Newser) - Another sign of the severity of California's drought: Farmers who hold some of the oldest and thus strongest water rights in the state have agreed to voluntarily cut their water use by 25% this season. The move by the farmers in the delta of the Sacramento and San Joaquin... More »

California's New Class Warfare: Drought Shaming

Snitching on water wasters goes viral as green lawns separate haves, have-nots

(Newser) - As California enters its fourth year of drought, with fines that the Los Angeles Times reports could range up to $10,000 for water wasting, citizens are taking to social media to not only rat on their neighbors but call out the state's wealthiest, some of whose magnificently manicured... More »

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