June 5, 2010 |
Studies of oyster shells taken from an abandoned well confirm that English colonists who settled on Jamestown Island in 1607 unknowingly picked the worst possible time for their endeavor, arriving in the midst of a drought nearly unprecedented in local history. Research on tree rings had already shown that the colonists' arrival in Virginia coincided with the beginning of the driest seven-year period in 800 years, and their written records — albeit scanty — confirmed that they encountered near-horrific privation.
October 8, 2011 |
The cowboys rose well before dawn, stars still high in the West Texas sky. They strapped on spurs and leather chaps and climbed into their saddles for one last roundup. They didn't have to do much to rustle the cattle from the dusty flats about 220 miles west of Dallas. Hundreds of hungry black Angus and Herefords, tired of foraging for scarce, drought-dry grass, came running — drawn by the hope of feed. The cowboys herded the youngest, thinnest and weakest animals into a separate pen, some with ribs and hipbones jutting after weeks without a decent meal.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 14, 1990
Your editorial is very much to the point. However, as a Northern California resident for most of my life I don't believe your recommendations go far enough. Northern California has had a serious drought for three years. Everyone has sacrificed plants, trees and lawns for lack of enough water, and each household has had to pay severe penalties for any overuse of water restrictions. A trip through the areas where we all get our water is enough to make one cry--dry streams that once flowed majestically with water.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 12, 1988
It doesn't take a Nostradamus to predict the upcoming consumer rip-off by the food industry. Using the present drought as a reason, breads, cereals, pastas, flours, and all other grain containing foods will increase in price far more than the higher basic grain price resulting from the drought justifies. Take wheat for example; even if its price on the Chicago exchange doubles from the early year $3 a bushel to $6, that is only a 6-cent per pound increase! I'm sure we pay more for the packaging than the contents of a 10-ounce box of cereal.
April 6, 2007
Re "By every measure, it's been dry," March 31 Reading about the concern in California and the Western states regarding the lack of rain and the low snowpack in the mountains causing serious droughts, one has to wonder why these states, with several in the enviable position of directly facing the huge Pacific Ocean, are not urgently considering building desalination plants. Some years ago, when desalination was mentioned, the immediate reply from politicians was that it was too expensive.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 10, 1991
Several years ago, when government officials first started talking about California's severe drought, I turned a deaf ear. How could I take what they said seriously when every other day they were approving the construction of new homes? During the last few years, I actually increased my water consumption while many of my dumb neighbors cut back. Why? Because I realized that when things got really bad (but not that bad to halt the construction of new homes), homeowners would be forced to reduce their water consumption based on a previous year's use. I wanted to make sure that my previous year was high enough so that when I was forced to reduce, I'd still be able to do all the things I like to do. If the politicians had stopped new construction once the drought became apparent, I would have done my part.
February 10, 1991
Upon reading your editorial "Agriculture's Big Thirst Is No Longer a Sacred Cow" (Jan. 16), one might draw the conclusion that agriculture has been dragged, kicking and complaining, into the discussion over how cities and farms share water resources in times of drought. That is unfair and inaccurate. The reader might also, after reading your editorial, conclude that farmers are getting all the water they want while city dwellers face mandatory rationing. The truth is that many farms in California are getting less than 50% of their normal allotment of water this year, and if the drought continues, may be entirely cut off from state and federal supplies.