Resilience to drought, California tomato crop edition

From the USDA (pdf): Contracted production of California processing tomatoes is forecast at a record high 14.0 million tons, averaging 48.61 tons per acre, according to a survey conducted by the National Agricultural Statistics Service. The current forecasted production is 17.6 percent above the 2013 crop. Drought has been an issue for some crops, but apparently …

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Drought and those yummy California almonds

Via Brett Walton: Continuing a decades-long trend, California farmers will increase their almond acreage next year, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report. An estimated 48,000 acres of new almond orchards will be planted next year, an estimate based on a first-ever survey of nursery sales. The increase is roughly 40 percent higher than the …

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California’s drought – is this what climate adaptation looks like?

Bloomberg’s Alan Bjerga last week gave us a nice tour through the details of how California’s agricultural businesses are responding to drought conditions. He notes especially a shift, was water gets more expensive, into higher valued crops. Stuff that can be grown in places where water is cheap and plentiful, like what, into high-dollar crops …

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How well is California weathering the drought?

Peter Gleick runs down some of the impacts of California’s remarkable drought: [W]ater still comes out of my tap, in unrestricted amounts and superb quality, at a reasonable price. And this is true of every resident in the state: drinking water supplies have not been affected, especially for the vast majority of the population that …

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Isenberg: Drought amplifies, not causes, water problems

Smart words from Phil Isenberg, California’s water sage: [O]ur historic population and economic growth—and the social and individual choices we have made—explain the water and environmental problems we face today. Unless we acknowledge that water supplies are limited, and act to temper our water use, we will limp toward the next drought, and act surprised when …

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Jagger, Richards and Steinberg on the California water bond

California state senator Darrel Steinberg on the California water bond: In the water world, you can’t always get everything you want, but there’s a whole lot in this bond that California needs. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards on (I think) taking a lot of drugs and getting laid: You can’t always get what you want …

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In the West, what used to be snow, falling as rain

If I was trying to manage water in California, these maps would give me the heebie-jeebies. It’s from a new paper (AGU-walled) by Zion Klos and colleagues extending our knowledge of the shift from snow to rain in the high country of the western United States as a result of warming temperatures. Here’s why this …

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California: a young state’s first drought, “an abundant crop of irrigation schemes”

The state’s first protracted drought occurred in 1868 and lingered on until 1872 or 1873. The west side of the San Joaquin Valley suffered most. There the wheat crop was a total loss in 1870 and 1871, and by the fall of the latter year the parched valley had turned to dust…. [B]anks foreclosed on …

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The L.A. River – when “wasted” water isn’t wasted

It seems like a no brainer. Stop wasting that water! Put it to good use! But when we’re talking about things like lining irrigation canals (see for exmample the All-American Canal saga, pdf here) or cleaning up and re-using sewage, it’s critical to ask the question: If we don’t do this, where will that water …

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