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Drought Ruins Crops, Shuts Off Milan's Fountains

Archbishop visits area to pray for rain

(Newser) - The mayor of Milan signed an ordinance Saturday turning off the spigots of public decorative fountains, and the city's archbishop prayed for rain in a tour of churches as northern Italy endures one of its worst droughts in decades. The city ordinance follows the declaration Friday of a state...

'Unprecedented Measures' Brought In Amid Calif. Drought

LA residents can only water outdoors for 8 minutes a time, 2 days a week

(Newser) - California is taking tough steps to ration water amid a megadrought so severe that even ancient trees haven't experienced anything as bad before. On Wednesday, more than 6 million people in Southern California were placed under unprecedented restrictions cutting outdoor watering days to one or two a week, the...

At Critical Reservoir, a Tangible Sign of Trouble

Intake valve at Lake Mead is fully exposed for first time in its history

(Newser) - Lake Mead has hit a new low. For the first time, water levels at the man-made reservoir have dropped low enough to expose one of three original intake valves, CNN reports. The valve has been drawing water since 1971—but that's no longer possible, according to the Southern Nevada...

UN Warns 350K Children Could Die in Drought by June

In Somalia, some 1.4M under age 5 are malnourished

(Newser) - "The situation cannot be more dire," said Adam Abdelmoula , a UN humanitarian official. Unless something is done quickly about the drought in Somalia, Adam Abdelmoula said, "350,000 of the 1.4 million severely malnourished children in the country will perish." The drought is Somalia's...

West's Water Crisis May Be Worse Than You Think

'We are looking down the barrel of a loaded gun,' says one expert

(Newser) - The snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains, which provides 30% of California's fresh water, is at its lowest level in seven years—a devastating sign of drought conditions to come. The end-of-winter snowpack measurement—which comes from measurements at more than 265 sites across the state, taken annually on...

US Megadrought Is Worst We've Seen in 12 Centuries
On Parched American West,
a Dire 'Wake-Up Call'

On Parched American West, a Dire 'Wake-Up Call'

Study says megadrought is worst in 1.2K years, a 'worst-case scenario' due to climate change

(Newser) - The American West's megadrought deepened so much last year that it's now the driest in at least 1,200 years and is a worst-case climate change scenario playing out live, a new study finds. A dramatic drying in 2021—about as dry as 2002 and one of the...

See Images of 'Ghost' Village Resurfacing in Spain
'Ghost' Village Resurfaces
Amid Drought in Spain
photo gallery

'Ghost' Village Resurfaces Amid Drought in Spain

Aceredo was deliberately flooded 30 years ago, but dry weather is exposing it once again

(Newser) - A drought in Spain has created an inadvertent tourist attraction. People are visiting the site of a former village—Aceredo—that was deliberately flooded 30 years ago to create a reservoir, reports the AP . However, that reservoir is now extremely low, allowing people to walk among formerly submerged houses in...

At Least 6 Boaters Killed by Falling Wall of Rock
10 Boaters Killed by
Falling Wall of Rock

10 Boaters Killed by Falling Wall of Rock

Victims were below a cliff face that sheered off above Brazil's Furnas Lake

(Newser) - Update: The cliff collapse in Brazil killed 10 people, only one of whom had been identified by Sunday afternoon, as 68-year-old retiree Julio Borges Antunes. All victims and survivors have now been accounted for, and two people remain hospitalized, the New York Times reports. At least 27 others were treated...

Denver Without Snow in December: It's 'Unheard Of'

City could log 2nd-longest period without snow within days

(Newser) - Never in recorded history has Denver entered December without logging some snowfall—until now. The city, which has yet to receive its first measurable snow (more than a tenth of an inch) of the 2021 winter season, has blown past its previous record for the latest first snowfall set on...

Southwest Drought Is Worst on Record

Climate change has made it more severe, report says

(Newser) - Not only is the drought in the southwestern US the worst on record, it's not over yet, say researchers who leave no doubt the severity is connected to climate change. A team from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and independent researchers found the 20-month period from January 2020...

Drought Is Hitting Corn, Wheat Production Hard

Inventories expected to fall to lowest level since 2013

(Newser) - This is a tough year for American farmers—severe drought has gripped much of the country and crops planted this spring are failing. The Department of Agriculture has now scaled back its forecasts for 2021 production and inventories of corn, wheat, and soybeans are expected to fall to their lowest...

On the Western Plains, a Debate on America's Mustangs

Roundups of free-ranging horses said to be due to drought, but activists are protesting the move

(Newser) - The sound of the helicopter propeller thundered across the horizon as it dipped down toward mustangs dotting the golden brown plain. The horses burst into a gallop at the machine's approach, their high-pitched whinnies rising into the dry air. That helicopter roundup in the mountains of western Utah removed...

California Has More Than One Almond Problem

Almond orchards are thirsty, and the crops that soak up water are largely exported

(Newser) - A historic drought across the US West is taking a heavy toll on California’s $6 billion almond industry, which produces roughly 80% of the world’s almonds. More growers are expected to abandon their orchards as water becomes scarce and expensive. It’s a sharp reversal for the almond’...

Western States Face Federal Water Cuts
Means Federal
Water Cuts

Shortage Means Federal Water Cuts

Drought fueled by climate change leads to record low levels in major reservoirs

(Newser) - Officials on Monday are expected to declare the first-ever water shortage from a river that serves 40 million people in the American West, triggering cuts to some Arizona farmers next year amid a gripping drought. Water levels at the largest reservoir on the Colorado River—Lake Mead—have fallen to...

Great Salt Lake Hits an Unwanted Milestone

Level reaches an all-time low as Utah battles drought

(Newser) - Inevitable but still unwelcome: The US Geological Society says the average daily water level of Great Salt Lake in Utah has dropped to a historic low. The agency tweeted over the weekend that it recorded a level of 4,191.3 feet above sea level, eclipsing the previous low set...

Biden Reverses Showerhead Rule Trump Demanded

Manufacturers largely ignored relaxed standards meant to give Trump 'perfect hair'

(Newser) - Former President Donald Trump’s reversal of a 1990s rule limiting waterflow from showerheads to 2.5 gallons per minute never really meant anything in the first place. Now, Biden has rolled the regulation back to 2013 standards, USA Today reports. During Obama’s presidency, lower flow showerhead rules were...

Drought Brings 'Earthy' Taste to California Water

Sacramento suggests adding lemon

(Newser) - Some people like their wines to have earthy notes. Their drinking water, not so much. With much of California in extreme drought, Sacramento residents have been complaining that their water smells strange and tastes like dirt, CBS Sacramento reports. Authorities say it is the result of harmless organic compounds found...

17M Salmon Are Being Trucked to San Francisco Bay

With rivers dried up, this is their only chance of survival

(Newser) - With California facing one of the worst drought years in its history, many more salmon will be traveling to the Pacific Ocean by truck this year. Waterways that young Chinook salmon would normally use to migrate have dried up and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife is trying to...

Parts of Nevada Banning 'Non-Functional' Grass

Nevada is first state to permanently ban lawns in certain areas

(Newser) - Grass that's just sitting around, serving no purpose, will soon be prohibited in the Las Vegas Valley. Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak on Friday signed legislation banning "non-functional turf" starting in 2027, the AP reports. Backyards and front lawns aren't going anywhere—single-family homes are exempt from the...

Utah Governor Says It's Time to Pray for Rain

Some Utahns would prefer policy changes

(Newser) - With more than 90% of Utah classed as in "extreme drought," Gov. Spencer Cox is asking for divine intervention. In a video posted on Twitter Thursday, the Republican asked all Utahns, regardless of faith, to join together in a "weekend of humble prayer for rain," CNN...

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