A Heartbreaking Portrait of the People Affected By California's Drought

When Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti issued some of the most sweeping citywide water reforms in history today, it included this haunting line: "Our major supplier of imported water expects to curtail supplies in the next 12 months." While the drought is about to change life drastically in LA, it's already crippled… » 10/14/14 8:00pm 10/14/14 8:00pm

5 Water Saving Bathroom Devices You Can Install Yourself

California remains in a deep drought, and this winter's expected precipitation levels aren't expected to be much more than a than a drop in the bucket, so to speak, for the state's parched aquifers. That means it's the responsibility of every citizen to conserve as much water as possible in this time of need. But that… » 10/11/14 12:00pm 10/11/14 12:00pm

In the 1960s California had a serious plan to take water from Alaska

It's so ungodly hot in much of California right now that you can almost hear the sun sucking what's left of our reservoirs dry. But if a group of engineers and politicians would have had their way in 1964, the lower 48 would be swimming in water imported from the far North—all the way from Alaska. » 9/16/14 5:39pm 9/16/14 5:39pm

Rich People Are Trucking Their Own Water Into Drought-Ridden California

Although 81 percent of the state is experiencing an "extreme drought," for many parts of California there is no apparent water shortage. Visit the highest-income neighborhoods and you'll see lush lawns and sparkling fountains defiantly sucking our lifeblood from the Earth. Apparently, as reporter Ann Louise Bardach… » 8/26/14 6:41pm 8/26/14 6:41pm

California's Drought Is So Bad, Its Mountains Rose Half an Inch

Water is heavy—ask anyone who screwed up the Ice Bucket Challenge. And California and the rest of the West Coast have precious little of it. The water is so depleted, it's not weighing down the earth's surface—and geologists have measured a rise of up to 15 millimeters at GPS stations across the West. » 8/23/14 5:57pm 8/23/14 5:57pm

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