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You Can Still Find Groundwater in California, But It'll Cost You

So your taps have run dry in the drought and you desperately need more water for your family. Why not just dig another well? For starters, the cost of digging a well might be more than you paid for your house. And then there’s another issue: No matter how deep you dig, someone with more money is gonna dig one deeper… » 7/24/15 7:40pm 7/24/15 7:40pm

Soil Sensors Can Cut Farms’ Water Use By a Quarter During Drought

We’ve extensively covered California’s drought, in which farming is playing a key role. While there’s no easy answer about how to restrict agricultural water use, a new startup wants to help farmers all over the country conserve valuable H20 using smart sensors that dictate where—and when—to water their crops. » 6/22/15 3:10pm 6/22/15 3:10pm

Farmers Are Pumping So Much Groundwater It's Making California Sink

What happens when your water supply runs dry? You go underground. In some parts of California, drought-plagued farmers are digging groundwater wells that plunge deeper and deeper into the earth, siphoning away the water of their neighbors, and causing the ground to collapse—potentially destroying the soil for good. » 6/05/15 7:30pm 6/05/15 7:30pm

Government-Subsidized Cotton Farms Are Sucking the Colorado River Dry

Not too many drought stories have focused on cotton. As one of the thirstiest crops, it was long abandoned by many farmers in the regions hardest hit by unprecedented water scarcity. Except for one part of Arizona, where cotton blooms defiantly, even today. Because here, the more cotton fails, the more the US pays… » 5/27/15 8:20pm 5/27/15 8:20pm

Learning From Australia's Drought Lessons to Avoid a Mad Max Future

The drought is no longer a California problem. The Colorado River, which supplies water to one-eighth of the country’s population, is reporting record low water levels due to overallocation. The US needs a little perspective when it comes to how bad this is going to get. Luckily we have one: Australia. » 5/15/15 12:00pm 5/15/15 12:00pm

California's Drought Is Making Its Dying Inland Sea Even More Toxic

Most of the narratives about California’s drought focus on the state’s Central Valley, where the nonexistent snowpack from the Sierras is threatening the economic vitality of the region. But the other, lesser told story is playing out in the southeast corner of the state, where the lack of water is actually poisoning… » 5/01/15 6:20pm 5/01/15 6:20pm

California Farmers Without Water Are Installing Solar Panels Instead

Due to the unprecedented drought, many of California’s farmers won’t be allocated any water this year, thanks to the way that the state’s water rights work. But what actually happens to the farms that don’t get water? Some of the farmers are ditching produce altogether for a more profitable alternative to… » 4/27/15 6:49pm 4/27/15 6:49pm

Seriously, Stop Demonizing Almonds

We have seen the real cause of the California drought, and it’s one crunchy inch tall. One gallon of water to grow a single nut? BAN THEM ALL, writes everyone. But almond outrage is misplaced. We shouldn’t stop eating any fruit or vegetable due to how much water it takes to grow it. Especially when there actually is » 4/08/15 11:00am 4/08/15 11:00am

Should We Freak Out That a Common Herbicide Is "Probably Carcinogenic?"

Glyphosate, better known as Roundup, is widely used to kill weeds, especially along with genetically modified crops engineered to be glyphosate-resistant. The World Health Organization today released an assessment calling the weedkiller "probably carcinogenic." But it's not as scary as it sounds. » 3/25/15 3:11pm 3/25/15 3:11pm