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Drought News

Wildfires prompt Calif. governor to declare 'state of emergency'

Sacramento - With a severe drought now in its fourth year and at least 18 wildfires raging across the state, California Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for all of the state.

Utility districts cut water use by 27 percent in California

Sacramento - Drought-slammed California could avoid mandatory water rationing next summer if the state's hundreds of utility districts can keep water under control until the next heavy rains arrive.

Sierra wildfire forces closures, evacuations along Highway 50

Kyburz - Highway 50 in California's Sierra Nevada mountains was shut down Thursday afternoon as a wildfire burned out of control near the town of Kyburz in El Dorado County.

UNICEF warns of child deaths in North Korea drought

Seoul - A serious drought in North Korea requires urgent action to prevent the deaths of children already weakened by widespread malnutrition, the UN children's fund, UNICEF, warned Thursday."The situation is urgent.

Los Angeles cutting down trees because of drought

Los Angeles - Los Angeles officials are saying there isn't enough water to irrigate all the trees in the city, so they have decided to cut down around 14,000 dead or dying trees suffering from the drought.

Roaring wildfire threatens historic California mining town

Markleeville - California and Nevada firefighters battling a wind-fanned wildfire in the Sierra Nevada mountains conceded Tuesday that the blaze had outpaced containment efforts and was out of control.

Drought sparks fears of worsening food shortages in N. Korea

Seoul - North Korea's food supply faces a gloomy forecast this year due to a damaging drought which has sparked fears of worsening shortages in the impoverished communist country, experts said Wednesday.

N. Korea hit by worst drought in a century

Seoul - North Korea has been hit by its worst drought in a century, state media said Tuesday, sparking fears of worsening food shortages in the impoverished communist country.

Op-Ed: Noah-like rain hits town near NOAA headquarters Special

Denver - In Denver this spring, the heavy rains remind us of both the biblical Noah and the government agency NOAA up the foothills in Boulder. Precipitation is twice the norm for the year.

India's Modi seeks expanded irrigation as drought threatens

With monsoons expected to bring less rainfall than usual this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India is seeking a quick fix to the problem, wanting to expand irrigation systems that would improve water usage.

Dengue fever fans public anger over Brazil's health care system

With the number of Dengue fever cases hitting 750,000 people this year, Brazilians are angry, and fanning that anger is the wretched state of the country's health care system.

California's drought resulting in water-related innovation

California's severe drought is forcing state officials to levy big fines against heavy users of water in the Golden State.

'Second-hand smog' from Asia ends up in California

As if the drought in California is not enough to worry about, now the Central Valley, home to over three million people and two million cars, is suffering the effects of a heavy smog, and it's not homemade, either.

California orders 25% cut in resident, business water use

South Lake Tahoe - Faced with the worst drought since becoming a state in 1850, California announced mandatory usage reductions for the first time.

Parched California set to impose more limits on water usage

San Francisco - Additional restrictions on water usage in California are expected to be imposed this week in the face of a continuing drought that has seen rivers, lakes and reservoirs drying up statewide.

California quickly running out of water

Sacramento - While the eastern US may have a surplus of snow this season California was the driest in January since records were first kept in 1895.

What is killing California's sea lions?

Sausalito - Marine scientists say 2015 could be the worst year on record for California’s iconic sea lion, the seemingly friendly marine mammal facing an uncharacteristic winter die-off that has animal lovers, beachgoers and environmentalists traumatized.

Sao Paulo drought worsens — Rationing may be next

Brazil's Sao Paulo state is experiencing their third year of drought, with soaring temperatures and rainfall averages well below normal. With the country's economy in a slump, about the only people doing a brisk business are the water tankers.

First in series of winter rainstorms reach parched SF Bay Area

San Francisco - Rain is falling Friday in San Francisco, welcome relief to the city and to an entire region that has been beset by drought.

Green building trends to look out for in 2015

It's a fact: green building is not a craze or a fad, but the future of construction. And this is true for both new construction and renovation/retrofitting.

What were the biggest environmental stories of 2014?

Environmental issues have been front page news for all of 2014. From the seemingly mundane to international events like the People's Climate March in September. Let's take a look at some of the stories that are still having an impact on our planet.

Rain and snow storms finally soak Northern California

Monterey - The biggest rainstorms in years are expected to continue to pound Northern California for days after resuming Wednesday, bringing a welcome end to three years of drought but ushering in concerns about landslides, flooding and falling trees.

Days of rain could relieve severe Northern California drought

San Francisco - Rain is expected to start falling this afternoon in Northern California and could continue for several days in the largest storm to reach the region in years.

California's drought caused by climate change? Maybe not

After examining the data from 16 extreme weather events occurring last year, from severe floods in Colorado to California's on-going drought, scientists have come to a startling conclusion. The drought cannot be linked to climate change.

California wildfires force thousands from their homes

Weed - Thousands of Northern California residents were forced to evacuate their homes Tuesday as a series of wildfires burned out of control in the drought-afflicted countryside.

Absence of 'Flying Rivers' causing severe drought in Brazil

The extreme drought now affecting Sao Paulo, Brazil is thought to be because of the absence of South America's "flying Rivers." No, they are not a mythical entity, but the name given the clouds of water vapor that bring rains to Southeastern Brazil.

Earthquake offers temporary reprieve for drought stricken state

Napa - As California faces what many believe to be the worst drought in the state's history, last month's 6.0 magnitude earthquake appears to have offered temporary relief.

Texas’ emergency herbicide request refused by EPA

Houston - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has denied the emergency use request filed by the state of Texas to use hazardous herbicide propazine to kill superweeds infesting the state’s cotton.

Texas begins recycling wastewater for people to drink

Wichita Falls - Wichita Falls, near the Oklahoma border, has begun reusing millions of gallons of water at the River Road Waste Treatment plant. The purified water is being diverted as drinking water. The move has been initiated to help combat a severe drought.

Lake Mead water levels drop to new low

Because of the ongoing drought in the southwestern United States, water levels in Nevada's Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the country, will be depleted to its lowest levels since the 1930s when the Hoover Dam was finished.
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A child of Somali refugees  at a camp in Malkadiida  Ethiopia.
A child of Somali refugees, at a camp in Malkadiida, Ethiopia.
Eskinder Debebe / UN
The Enterprise Bridge passes over a nearly dry Lake Oroville near Bidwell Marina on August 31  2014.
The Enterprise Bridge passes over a nearly dry Lake Oroville near Bidwell Marina on August 31, 2014.
YouTube Screengrab
map showing drought area increase 2013-2014
map showing drought area increase 2013-2014
Drought Monitor
Somali refugees sharing a meal in an Ethiopian tent
Somali refugees sharing a meal in an Ethiopian tent
Eskinder Debebe / UN
The extreme drought conditions on the western coast of the U.S. have weakened trees so that pine bar...
The extreme drought conditions on the western coast of the U.S. have weakened trees so that pine bark beetles easily infect them. Note the "red trees."
Colorado State Forest Service
A snake found in Oklahoma
A snake found in Oklahoma
mattgrimm
São Paulo s Cantareira reservoir system has fallen to about five percent capacity as the drought co...
São Paulo's Cantareira reservoir system has fallen to about five percent capacity as the drought continues.
YouTube
PERFECT: U.S. and California National Guard firefighters practice water drops near Lake Pardee in Ap...
PERFECT: U.S. and California National Guard firefighters practice water drops near Lake Pardee in April in anticipation of a tough fire season with the Golden State in its fourth year of drought.
Army National Guard photo/Sgt. Ian M. Kummer
On May 24  2014  the reservoir supplying water to Sao Paulo was already at a devastatingly low level...
On May 24, 2014, the reservoir supplying water to Sao Paulo was already at a devastatingly low level.
Alckmin not
Mono Lake California  August 2014.
Mono Lake California, August 2014.
Mary Phillips
Surrounded by lush green hills lined with rows of Pine  Teenpiple village of Nepal is today like a p...
Surrounded by lush green hills lined with rows of Pine, Teenpiple village of Nepal is today like a picture postcard
Aside from being a vice president for his family s winery  Charles Krug Winery  Marc Mondavi is a wa...
Aside from being a vice president for his family's winery, Charles Krug Winery, Marc Mondavi is a water witch. He talks about his water witching and demonstrates his abilities.
Photo: The Chronicle
Climate change and drought is impacting our forests.
Climate change and drought is impacting our forests.
SmithsonianSERC
Thanks to the community initiative to dig a pond  this year  villagers in Teenpiple  Nepal have rece...
Thanks to the community initiative to dig a pond, this year, villagers in Teenpiple, Nepal have received a good harvest of corn
Officials in Los Angeles have said they don t have enough water to irrigate all the trees in the cit...
Officials in Los Angeles have said they don't have enough water to irrigate all the trees in the city, so they are removing the dead and dying trees.
IB Times UK
Patterns of narrow and wide tree rings correspond to dry and wet years.
Patterns of narrow and wide tree rings correspond to dry and wet years.
Daniel Griffin
Suffering in Somalia famine.
Suffering in Somalia famine.
©UNHRC/S. Modola
Villagers of Teenpiple have taken to rainwater harvesting to meet their drinking water needs
Villagers of Teenpiple have taken to rainwater harvesting to meet their drinking water needs
Mono Lake in California on August 1  2014. Notice the dry lake bed. In 2013  the water depth was at ...
Mono Lake in California on August 1, 2014. Notice the dry lake bed. In 2013, the water depth was at about 50 feet.
Mary Phillips