June 24, 2021

Featured in The Press Democrat

These are the California Crops That Use the Most Water

When discussing the drought, the question of which crops use the most water comes up a lot.

A Pacific Institute analysis of California Department of Water Resources data sheds light on the state’s top 10 water-intensive crops in 2015, the most recent year for which the department has published water-use estimates.

June 24, 2021

Featured in The New York Times

Once Again, the Earth is Being Wrung Dry

Drought may be the sneakiest of natural disasters. Although human history teems with people engulfed by abrupt aridity — the Akkadians of four millenniums ago, the Maya in the ninth and 10th centuries A.D., the Great Plains farmers of the 1930s — even today drought is a poorly appreciated phenomenon.

June 23, 2021

Featured in CalMatters

Water Shortages: Why Some Californians Are Running Out in 2021 and Others Aren’t

In Los Angeles, people have been hearing about the dangers of drought for decades. But in this land of infinity pools and backyard putting greens — better suited for rattlesnakes and scrub — water never seems to run out.

Yet little Redwood Valley in Mendocino County, which gets a bountiful 38 inches of rain in an average year and sits near the headwaters of the Russian River, has been devastated by this year’s drought. Each resident has been told to use no more than 55 gallons per day — enough to fill a bathtub and flush a toilet six times. 

June 19, 2021

Featured in NBC News

Drought Stricken Communities Push Back Against Data Centers

On May 17, the City Council of Mesa, Arizona, approved the $800 million development of an enormous data center — a warehouse filled with computers storing all of the photos, documents and other information we store “in the cloud” — on an arid plot of land in the eastern part of the city.

But keeping the rows of powerful computers inside the data center from overheating will require up to 1.25 million gallons of water each day, a price that Vice Mayor Jenn Duff believes is too high.

June 17, 2021

Featured in Los Angeles Times

California’s Hottest, Driest Days are Getting Even Drier, Worsening Fire Risk

If you live in the American West, you don’t need me to tell you it’s hot, hot, hot.

Palm Springs set a daily record of 120 degrees this week. So did Anaheim, where the mercury hit 97. Salt Lake City tied its all-time temperature record, as did the Montana city of Billings. Las Vegas baked in 114-degree weather on Tuesday and was expected to be even warmer the next two days. The hills above Santa Clarita, north of Los Angeles, saw an overnight low of 87 degrees.

June 2, 2021

Featured in AGDAILY

Current Drought Conditions Make California Look Downright Apocalyptic

For those of us in agriculture, we realize that Mother Nature will always have a say in our industry. You can plan out every detail of a growing season, but often it is a waste of time since no one knows what type of weather we will face in a given season. That is exactly what is happening to farmers and ranchers out west.

May 28, 2021

Featured in Weather Underground

These Eight Facts Show the Seriousness of California’s Drought

The California drought, part of the most expansive western U.S. drought this century, is locked in place for awhile. The impacts from this slow-motion disaster are only beginning to ratchet up as we head into the state’s dry season. Here are some facts on the status of the drought, the factors that triggered it, and the impacts already being felt.