Talk about a one-two punch. Between the lack of rain and the sub-freezing temperatures, “there’s no doubt about it – the two together give it a harder case,” says James McFarlane, who grows 700 acres of citrus in Fresno County.
And McFarlane says he’s one of the lucky ones: “Even though we’ve spent all that money on propane and labor, to get those wind machines on and off, even though for about a 40 day period I only spent two full nights in my warm bed, we’re probably gonna make more money because of it.”
That’s because his supply weathered the weather fairly well. Others did not. California’s citrus industry estimates the cost of the seven-day December freeze at about $440 million. That’ll lead to a shorter California citrus season in stores, and perhaps higher prices for customers.
The drought intensified over the last week in the Western U.S. as the region swelters under a heatwave and firefighters battle major wildfires.
A new poll shows Californians support the goals of the state’s landmark law to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It also found that Californians want state and local governments to do more when it comes to the drought.
Mandatory statewide water conservation rules have ended in California. But Sacramento-area users conserved 22 percent in June, compared to June 2013.
A UC Davis researcher has used pigeons to track lead pollution in New York City and plans to do the same in California cities and agricultural areas.
The state of Nevada will pay $120,000 to settle a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency complaint about storm water runoff pollution in Reno.