CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 12, 2014 |
The California Department of Transportation is using more than 700 electronic highway signs to raise awareness about the state's severe drought. The statewide educational campaign is in response to last month's declaration of a drought emergency by Gov. Jerry Brown. In his proclamation, Brown said the state's rivers and reservoirs are at alarming levels and ordered Californians to cut back at least 20% of their water use. Brown also ordered state agencies to prepare for water shortages and launch water conservation campaigns.
February 11, 2014 |
TULARE, Calif. - California's drought could prove devastating to the state's farmers and ranchers. But the dry spell has brought a gusher of new business to companies that provide them with water. That much was clear at this year's World Ag Expo, which kicked off Tuesday in Tulare, a town of 60,000 about 45 miles south of Fresno. At one booth was a well repair company that had to add extra shifts to meet all the agricultural demand for groundwater. Nearby, a firm that provides turbine pumps for wells said orders were coming in so furiously it was running out of parts.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 9, 2014 |
DAVENPORT, Calif. - By now, water would typically be ripping down Scott Creek, and months ago it should have burst through a berm of sand to provide fish passage between freshwater and the ocean. Instead, young coho salmon from this redwood and oak-shaded watershed near Santa Cruz last week were swirling around idly in a lagoon. There has been so little rain that sand has blocked the endangered fish from leaving for the ocean or swimming upstream to spawn. Scott Creek is one of dozens of streams across California where parched conditions have put fish in immediate danger.
February 8, 2014 |
WASHINGTON--President Obama will travel to Fresno next week to highlight federal efforts aimed at helping farmers and others hit by a severe drought. A White House official said Obama will visit the Central Valley city Feb. 14. The White House already had announced Obama's plans to meet with Jordan's King Abdullah II at the Sunnylands estate near Palm Springs that day. Obama's visit comes as interest on Capitol Hill in taking action to alleviate California's water crisis grows.
February 7, 2014 |
Tony Schumacher not only is the most successful top-fuel drag racer in NHRA history, he's also a huge hockey fan. So he was thrilled to drop the ceremonial opening puck at the Kings' game Thursday night at Staples Center, where they snapped a four-game losing streak. Now Schumacher hopes to end a drought of his own. After winning a remarkable six consecutive top-fuel championships from 2004 through 2009, giving him a record seven overall, Schumacher hasn't won a title since then.
February 6, 2014 |
The severe drought in California and much of the West is a reminder that civilized life is a paper-thin veneer that overlays the deep upheavals of nature. Humans carry on blithely, holding fast to the illusion that the natural world can be tamed and exploited with no unavoidable consequences. Then we get slammed by a hurricane, a flood, a tornado, a wildfire, a drought or a freezing polar vortex that lets us know how wrong we are. Yet, after each disaster, we forget again -- which is the reason so few of us give any sustained attention to the climate change peril.
February 5, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - The Republican-controlled House passed legislation Wednesday billed as a response to the California drought, but the measure is unlikely to go further in the face of a White House veto threat and opposition from the state's Democratic senators. Still, the action highlights the growing interest on Capitol Hill in trying to do something about the water shortage, a potentially hot issue in this year's elections. Democratic lawmakers are calling for hearings and hurriedly drafting legislation of their own. The House bill would, among other things, roll back environmental protections and halt restoration of a dried-up stretch of the San Joaquin River that is designed to revive salmon runs.
February 4, 2014 |
CLOVIS, CALIF. - Beneath unyielding blue skies on a recent afternoon, Ryan Indart knelt down to examine what was left of one of his sheep pastures. Land that should have been lush with native grasses this time of year has been reduced to powdery dirt, splotched with a few withered strands of filaree and foxtail. And where there's no vegetation, there are no sheep. A fourth-generation rancher, Indart has already sent 10% of his 4,000 ewes - which he normally would want to keep - to the slaughterhouse because he can't afford the hay to feed them.
February 4, 2014 |
The U.S. Department of Agriculture will make $20 million available to California farmers to boost water conservation efforts amid one of the worst droughts in state history. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the program was the first of more to come to assist California's growers and ranchers, some of whom are faced with fallowing land and liquidating herds because of the lack of water. “We are doing everything within our power to support those farmers and ranchers affected by this intense drought,” Vilsack said in a media briefing Tuesday.
February 3, 2014 |
As California's drought continues, and more than a dozen rural communities ponder what to do when their drinking water runs out sometime in March, it would be nice if the state's Republican politicians brought some straightforward plans for relief to the table. But what many of them are bringing instead is a tired political tactic barely, and laughably, disguised as a remedy for the lack of rainfall. The "man-made California drought" is the term House Republicans use to describe the state's current dry condition, as if it were somehow the hand of humankind, environmentalists or, even worse, Democrats that has stopped the snowfall over the Sierra and kept the dams that store water for fields, orchards and homes from being replenished.