The California Drought in Amazing Pictures

By Mihai Andrei, ZMEScience – California is experiencing the most severe drought in the last millennium, with extreme measures being taken to preserve water, though some believe the state is already heading towards an unmitigated disaster. We’ve already discussed that in depth several times before (1, 2, 3), but we’re not going to do that here. They say an image is worth a thousand words, so we’ll let images do the talking here. Before and after Before: the Green Bridge passes over Lake Oroville near the Bidwell Marina in 2011. Note all the vegetation. Not so much vegetation now, and you can completely see even the bridge’s pillars. Before: the marina at Oroville Lake, here in 2011. In 2014, it doesn’t even seem that the picture was taken in the same place. Again in 2011… … and 2014. It’s a dry spell Jae C. Hong/AP The drought was so...

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California Issued Rights for Five Times the Water it Actually Has

By Tibi Puiu, ZMEScience – California is facing one of its direst drought streaks, and only last year it came out of its warmest winter on record. Clearly, things aren’t looking that good and the most vulnerable resource to these conditions is at the same time the most valuable: water. Desperate times, call for desperate measures, and this means in some instances policymakers need to cut the chord. But where should regulators first stop water access given California has allocated five times more surface water than the state actually has? Ted Grantham and Joshua Viers of UC Davis  explored the state’s water-rights database only to come to this confusing and disheartening conclusion. To be more exact, water-rights allocations exceed the state’s actual surface water supply by about 300 million acre-feet, enough to fill Lake Tahoe about 2.5 times. The analysis was published in the journal Environmental Research Letters. As it is today, California’s water-rights allocation...

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