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

Moby Also Has a Plan to Fix California's Water Woes

While most celebs are making headlines in California’s drought for their unnaturally green and fragrant lawns, a few public figures have stepped up to offer real solutions for the state. William Shatner explained his enthusiastic if somewhat unrealistic plot to siphon water from Seattle. Now Moby’s issued his own idea… » 5/13/15 8:05pm 5/13/15 8:05pm

Self-Driving Cars Are Already Getting Into Accidents [Updated]

Update 06/21: Google has emphasized that none of the accidents its cars were involved with were the fault of its self-driving vehicles, and has updated its recorded miles to nearly a million. With that information, the accident rate for self-driving cars looks less unsettling and a lot more reassuring. » 5/11/15 9:52am 5/11/15 9:52am

More Than 12 Million Trees Have Been Killed In California's Drought

If you happen to be flying anywhere in the western third of the US this summer, you’ll see a lot of brown: Dark umber bare mountain peaks, dusty khaki dry river beds, golden beige straw-like grass. Add one more shade to the mix: The reddish specks of trees killed by four years of crippling drought. » 5/07/15 6:05pm 5/07/15 6:05pm

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

Starbucks Sells California's Scarce Water to "Help" People Without Water

When you buy a bottle of water at Starbucks, five cents goes towards “improving the lives of people who lack vital resources,” according to the in-house brand named Ethos Water. That may be true, but there’s a catch: The water’s bottled in a part of California where people’s wells are running dry. » 4/29/15 1:20pm 4/29/15 1:20pm

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

William Shatner Is Crowdsourcing Ideas for His Bonkers Drought Plan

Hey, we’ve all got ideas to save California from its cataclysmic drought. Stop fracking! Stop showering! Stop eating! But none of us is William Shatner: Enterprise captain, Priceline spokesperson, Twitter watchdog, and probably, definitely, most certainly not a water expert. This is not preventing him from proposing… » 4/24/15 12:15pm 4/24/15 12:15pm

Why The Data On California's Biggest Water Hogs Isn't Public 

It might seem like all of California is busy naming scapegoats who consume unfair shares of water during the state’s historic drought. But there’s actually no way for the public to go after the state’s worst water wasters because there’s no way of knowing who they are. Legislation has ensured that much of the state’s… » 4/21/15 6:00pm 4/21/15 6:00pm

Oil Companies Are Selling Dirty Wastewater to Drought-Stricken Farms 

If we’re talking about who’s wasting water during California’s drought, one of the big culprits is oil production—about 10 gallons of wastewater are produced for every gallon of oil. Now oil companies like Chevron are selling that water back to farmers. But it’s not as tidy of an idea as you’d think.
» 4/09/15 3:10pm 4/09/15 3:10pm