The Cutting-Edge Tech That Will Finally Bring Desalination to the U.S.

In case you haven't heard, California is screwed. The drought has turned our perennially water-challenged state into a desiccated husk. In these dire times, we look toward desalination, an idea long-promised but never quite delivered in the U.S. But a spate of new technologies—graphene, solar mirrors, and more—could… » 6/03/14 6:40pm 6/03/14 6:40pm

How the Colorado River Finally Reached the Sea Again

This week, for the first time in decades, the Colorado River flowed to its natural end in the Gulf of California. But it was the opposite of a natural event. The artificially engineered "pulse flow" that pushed the waters all the way to the Gulf required an unprecedented collaboration between the U.S. and Mexico,… » 5/20/14 12:20pm 5/20/14 12:20pm

Oh Great, Now the Drought Could Be Causing Earthquakes in California

As if the drought couldn't get any worse, geologists now think that changes in groundwater could be destabilizing the infamous San Andreas Fault. The new research presents what one may call, as the SF Public Press put it, "a grand unified theory of California problems: drought, water use, and earthquake risk."… » 5/15/14 2:40pm 5/15/14 2:40pm

Beijing's Giant New Desalination Plant Will Give Water to the People

Beijing is one thirsty city. Its population of 22 million consumes barely 100 cubic meters of water per capita—one fifth the international water-shortage level—thanks to a chronic drought in the nation's north. But this massive desalination plant could help supply a third of the city's water singlehandedly. » 4/21/14 11:40am 4/21/14 11:40am

There's No End in Sight for California's Megadrought

California's chief snow surveyor ventured into the Sierras this week to see how much water the state can expect from the spring melt—and he came back with very bad news. The devastating drought that the state's been dealing with the past few months will continue to devastate for the foreseeable future. » 4/03/14 3:20pm 4/03/14 3:20pm

Sparking Titanium Golf Clubs Might Be Causing California Wildfires

Researchers at UC Irvine have determined that golfers who can't keep their shots out of the rough might actually be responsible for wildfires in California in recent years. Specifically, certain clubs made from a titanium alloy have been found to produce sparks up to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit—more than hot enough to… » 3/24/14 4:00pm 3/24/14 4:00pm

California Salmon Will Get a Free Ride to the Ocean—In Tanker Trucks

If the salmon won't come to the ocean, then the ocean will come to the salmon. Well, not quite: Tanker trucks will take them there. Such are the extreme measures in California this spring, as drought forces major salmon hatcheries to funnel their fish into tanker trucks and ride them straight to the Pacific. » 3/13/14 12:40pm 3/13/14 12:40pm

How the Drought Is Devastating California's #1 Food Export: Almonds

California grows a mind-boggling amount of the nation's produce: 99 percent of artichokes, 97 percent of kiwis, 97 percent of plums, 95 percent of celery, and on and on. That's why the record-breaking drought (yes, it's finally raining—no, it won't help much!) can affect your grocery bill, even if you live nowhere… » 2/08/14 1:00pm 2/08/14 1:00pm