Monday, April 23, 2018

National Drought Mitigation Center

Drought Headlines

We select interesting and representative drought stories from all over the U.S. and around the world. We group them into the same categories that the Drought Impact Reporter uses, as well as a few others. Subscribe to Drought Headlines Drought Headlines RSS

Drought Headlines Archive

General Awareness

Drought Returns To Huge Swaths Of U.S., Fueling Fears Of A Thirsty Future
Huffington Post, Apr 17, 2018
U.S.

With almost one-third of the continental U.S. in some level of drought and the expectation of a hot, dry summer, the concern becomes whether water supplies will be adequate and how to stretch existing reserves.

Report: Drought Expands; Oklahoma Sees Worst Conditions
The New York Times, Apr 12, 2018
Southwest, Southern Plains

Drought has intensified in the Southwest with the heart of the drought being Oklahoma, where about 20 percent of the state was in exceptional drought.

Late-winter storms slow California's dive back into drought
San Francisco Chronicle (SFGate.com), Apr 02, 2018
California

As of April 2, the Sierra Nevada snowpack was 52 percent of normal, which was far better than it was one month prior.  The late-season storms were very helpful and fortunately, reservoirs were still full from last year’s abundant winter precipitation.

When A Drought Lasts 18 Years, Does It Need A New Name?
KUNC-FM 91.5 (Greeley, Colo.), Mar 28, 2018
Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona

Parts of the Colorado River Basin were in their 18th year of drought, with a few wetter years interspersed.  Brad Udall with Colorado State University suggested that drought was no longer a useful term to describe what was happening in the Southwest when aridification might be a better descriptor.

New Sierra snow storm bringing up to 5 feet of powder, but it’s not a “March Miracle” yet
The San Jose Mercury News (Calif.), Mar 16, 2018
California

Although a storm was currently dumping more snow in the Sierra Nevada, to the delight of ski resort operators, this does not yet qualify as a March Miracle, according to experts.  The snowpack was still about half of normal for this time of year, but could possibly reach 60 to 70 percent of normal by April 1.

Agriculture

Hay Shortage Grows, Prices Nearly Double
Agriculture.com (Des Moines, Iowa), Apr 18, 2018
Iowa

Farmers in the Iowa were running short on hay as winter refused to completely release its grip on the region, driving up hay prices. Snow has slowed the growth of spring pastures, worsening the hay shortage that began in the arid fall of 2017 as producers continued to feed hay until weather becomes warmer to promote pasture growth. Missouri horse farmers were in an especially tight spot looking for high-quality alfalfa, while some cattle producers resorted to selling some livestock.

Cattle Market Struggles as Drought Lingers
AgWeb (Mexico, Mo.), Apr 16, 2018
U.S.

In February, 1.82 million cattle were sent to feedlots, an increase of 7.3 percent from 2017.  With drought in the Plains, it is expected that more cattle will be sent to feed yards for fattening, which hastens the growing process, sending more livestock to market earlier than usual.

Texas Crop and Weather Report – April 10, 2018
The Bryan-College Station Eagle (Texas), Apr 10, 2018
Texas

With drought affecting much of West Texas and the Panhandle, many producers were reevaluating stocking rates.  Most rangeland and pastures west of the Pecos River have not received significant rain since October.  Wheat conditions in the Panhandle continued to deteriorate while wheat irrigation continued.   Extreme drought in the South Plains has dramatically affected winter wheat conditions to the point that farmers were assessing wheat field quality to decide whether to use it as hay or to terminate for cotton.  Feed supplementation and water hauling was occurring in some areas of South Texas.

Drought 2018: Estimated losses no small potatoes for Malin packing shed
Klamath Falls Herald and News (Ore.), Apr 08, 2018
Klamath County, Oregon

A potato grower in the Klamath Basin estimated that, in the worst case, water unavailability would cost him 70 percent of both his fresh market seed potato operation and about the same percentage in the packing shed.  The longer the planting delay, the smaller the crop, but farmers were hard pressed to decide what to do, given the uncertainty over irrigation supplies.

Ranchers seeing increase in aborted calves
WDAZ-TV 8 Grand Forks (N.D.), Mar 29, 2018
North Dakota

The poor pasture conditions in North Dakota and poor nutrition from last summer were reflected in the number of preterm abortions and dead calves this spring.  More mid- and late-season abortions were reported in central and western North Dakota than in other parts of the state.

Business & Industry

Bankers: Drought Still Burdening Rural Economy in 10 States
U.S. News & World Report, Aug 17, 2017
Plains and Midwest

The overall Rural Mainstreet Index for 10 Plains and Midwestern states rose from July’s 40.7 to 42.2 in August.  Any number below 50 indicates a shrinking economy.  Nearly 58 percent of bankers who participated in the August survey felt that drought conditions were negatively impacting agricultural products in their area.  Surveyors consulted bankers in Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

Nestlé Faces Backlash Over Collecting Water From Drought-Stricken Southern California
CBS Los Angeles, May 09, 2017
Southern California

Activists continued to protest Nestlé’s use of springs in southern California as drought and the company’s sourcing of water on public land continues to rile the public.  Of the company’s 40 water sources in the U.S., 11 are in California.  Nestlé captures about 30 million gallons of water annually and pays the U.S. Forest Service just $524 for the permit.

The 102 million dead trees in California's forests are turning tree cutters into millionaires
Los Angeles Times, Dec 14, 2016
California
The southern Sierra Nevada was home to millions of dead trees, needing to be felled and removed for public safety and to reduce the amount of combustible material in the landscape, but the task of removing so many trees was daunting and costly. The Forest Service estimated that there were more than 24 million dead trees in the Fresno and Tulare County portion of the Sierra Nevada alone. Tree cutters, however, see prosperity in the dead trees.
The owner of a tree service said that he charged $1,700 daily for his services. His outfit was one of more than two dozen cutting dead trees along California 168 east of Fresno to Huntington Lake.
Well companies flooded with calls for new wells as drought persists
New Hampshire Union Leader (Manchester), Sep 25, 2016
New Hampshire
The owner of a well-drilling business in Amherst said they had a backlog of three to four weeks, with the phone ringing steadily in the last two weeks and most calls coming from Hillsborough and Rockingham counties. A well driller based in Hudson reported getting quite a few calls from the Kingston area. An Epping well driller was getting calls from Barrington, Brentwood, Durham, Epping, Madbury and Nottingham.
Warm, dry summer a blessing and curse for Maine golf industry
Bangor Daily News (Maine), Aug 29, 2016
Maine
Maine golf courses have benefited from the hot, dry summer because they have had sunny weather and almost no rain days. More irrigation than usual was needed to keep grass green, but golfers appreciate that dry fairways allow the balls to roll further. Overall, golf course operators seemed to like the dry summer and were happy about all of the golfers playing.

Energy

A silver lining from California's drought: Water conservation led to reduced energy use and less pollution
Los Angeles Times, Jan 12, 2018
California

From June 2015 through April 2016, when Californians curbed their water use by 24.5 percent, or 524,000 million gallons of water, they also conserved a lot of electricity at the same time.  By using less water, they conserved 1830 gigawatt hours of electricity—enough to electrify 274,000 average homes for one year.

How hydroelectric power has roared back in California
San Francisco Chronicle, Mar 20, 2017
California
The recent years of drought caused a significant lull in hydropower production. Fifteen to 18 percent of California’s electricity generation typically comes from hydropower, but during the drought, hydropower generation dropped to less than 10 percent on average. The state turned to burning natural gas to make up the difference, driving up greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent over what they would have been. Burning natural gas also cost Californians $2.4 billion more than they would have paid if hydropower production had been near normal.
Ongoing drought taking toll on Alabama Power lake levels
Alabama NewsCenter, Sep 12, 2016
Northern Alabama
The dry summer has depleted lakes used by Alabama Power to generate electricity. Water levels at Weiss, Neely Henry, and Logan Martin lakes on the Coosa River, Harris and Martin lakes on the Tallapoosa River, and Smith Lake on the Black Warrior River were dropping and were expected to continue to drop. Alabama Power reduced water releases from its hydroelectric dams and stopped recreational releases from Jordan Dam on the Coosa River.
Water conservation has saved energy, cut greenhouse gas emissions, study finds
Los Angeles Times, Jun 07, 2016
California
Water conservation in California between June 2015 and February 2016 resulted in energy savings of 922,543 megawatt-hours, which is enough to power 135,000 homes for a year, and also reduced greenhouse gas emissions, found researchers from the University of California-Davis. During that time, Gov. Jerry Brown’s initial emergency conservation program was in effect, requiring all water users to curb their use by 25 percent. Electric utilities and water districts were also ordered to submit reports on their operations, reports that were used by UC Davis to determine the savings.
Easing Drought Boosts California Hydropower, For Now
Climate Central, Jun 01, 2016
California
Spring hydropower generation has reached its highest level since 2011, thanks to near-average snowfall this winter in the Sierra Nevada, helping power production to rebound from the 15-year low reached last year.

Fire

Local, statewide burn bans extended and expanded
Enid News & Eagle (Okla.), Apr 17, 2018
Oklahoma

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin’s list of counties in a burn ban was expanded by Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb from 16 counties to encompass 36 counties in western and central Oklahoma as the state reeled from numerous wildfires devastating the region.

Drought, Low Snowpack Mean Wildfire Season Could Be As Bad As 2012, 2013
Colorado Public Radio (Centennial, Colo.), Apr 13, 2018
Colorado

Colorado’s fire season may be extremely bad, based on drought and low snowpack.  Statewide, snowpack was 70 percent of average, and less than 40 percent of average in the Upper Rio Grande Basin.

Okmulgee County one of 52 included in state of emergency
The Henryettan.com (Henryetta, Okla.), Apr 13, 2018
Oklahoma

Gov. Mary Fallin announced a state of emergency involving 52 counties in the state due to wildfires, which spurred numerous evacuations, and drought conditions.

Fire restrictions implemented around New Mexico
KOB 4 (Albuquerque, N.M.), Apr 11, 2018
New Mexico

Heat and drought prompted fire officials to enact a number of fire restrictions across the state.  Santa Fe National Forest, the Mountainair and Sandia Ranger Districts and Bernalillo County were some of the areas with fire restrictions.

Agriculture Officials Warn Of Statewide Wildfire Danger
WFSU Public Broadcasting(Tallahassee, Fla.), Mar 22, 2018
Florida

The Florida Forest Service warned of a heightened wildfire risk statewide as drought conditions persisted.  Extreme fire risk existed in Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, Lee, Martin, Indian River, Brevard, Highlands, Polk and Orange counties.

Plants & Wildlife

Minnow rescues under way as portions of Rio Grande dry up
Valley Morning Star (Harlingen, Texas), Apr 13, 2018
New Mexico

Biologists began rescue efforts on April 2 to salvage the Rio Grande silvery minnow, a tiny fish listed as endangered since 1994. More than 10 miles of the Rio Grande River in the vicinity of Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge were dry, making this one of the earliest salvage efforts as low snowpack and little water threatened the fish.

Dry weather helping Lake Okeechobee recover
Fox 29 WFLX.com (West Palm Beach, Fla.), Mar 28, 2018
Lake Okeechobee, South Florida

Hurricane Irma raised the level of Lake Okeechobee in 2017 and destroyed miles of underwater vegetation.   Drought has allowed the lake level to drop back into a more comfortable range that was allowing the ecosystem to recover, but lower lake levels could be even more beneficial.

California salmon lose way after ride downstream in drought
The Sacramento Bee, Dec 26, 2017
California

Six million fewer fall-run Chinook salmon were produced at the federal Coleman National Fish Hatchery for release into Battle Creek in the spring of 2018, half of the usual production of 12 million fish. Past years of drought, notably 2014 and 2015, led biologists to truck juvenile salmon to the Delta because rivers were warm and shallow rather than cold, roiling rivers of stormwater runoff that protect the fish. Transporting the fish resulted in fewer fish being able to return on their own to the fishery to spawn as returns of spring- and winter-run salmon born during drought were some of the lowest on record.

California losing 2 million trees a month as drought-related plague drags on
San Francisco Chronicle (SFGate.com), Dec 11, 2017
California

Trees continued to die in the Sierra Nevada more than a year after the end of California’s multiyear drought.  The U.S. Forest Service reported that 27 million trees died since November 2016, bringing the total of dead trees to roughly 129 million on about 8.9 million acres of land since 2010.  The trees were stressed and dehydrated by drought, making them more vulnerable to bark beetle infestations and other ills.

2.4 million trees are dead in Yosemite National Park
San Francisco Chronicle (SFGate.com), Nov 08, 2017
Yosemite National Park, California

The latest fall count found 2.4 million dead trees on about 131,000 acres of Yosemite National Park, said the park spokesman. This is the highest number of dead trees ever recorded in the park and was blamed on persistent drought, warming temperatures, poor forest health and native bark beetles.

Relief, Response, & Restrictions

Drought Emergency In Grant County
KXL.com (Portland, Ore.), Apr 16, 2018
Grant County, Oregon

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown declared a drought emergency for Grant County on April 13. Low snowpack, a lack of precipitation, low streamflow and warming temperatures were reasons for the declaration.

The governor declared a drought emergency in Klamath County on March 13.

Kansas Delegation Calls for Emergency Haying and Grazing
USAgNet (Marshfield, Wis.), Mar 20, 2018
Kansas

Kansas lawmakers sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Purdue requesting emergency haying and grazing on Conservation Reserve Program lands, due to ongoing drought.

USDA: Ag disaster from drought in 4 states
The Brownsville Herald (Texas), Mar 14, 2018
Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and Texas

Drought prompted the U.S. Department of Agriculture to declare agriculture disasters in 149 counties in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and Texas.

Governor declares drought emergency, warnings, watches
The Hays Daily News (Kan.), Mar 13, 2018
Kansas

Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer issued drought declarations for all 105 counties with Executive Order 18-11, recognizing all counties as being in emergency, warning or watch status.  Counties in emergency status were eligible for emergency water use from certain state fishing lakes.

Georgia EPD Drops Level 1 Drought Response As Winter Rains Bring Relief To Lake Lanier and Metro Atlanta
Georgia Environmental Protection Division (Atlanta), Mar 08, 2018
Northern Georgia

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division lifted the Level 1 Drought Response in 12 north Georgia counties, putting the state on a non-drought outdoor water use schedule.  The change came after recent rainfall raised the level of Lake Lanier.

Society & Public Health

Wind, dirt close highways, blow over semi as parts of Kansas drier than Dust Bowl
The Wichita Eagle (Kan.), Mar 06, 2018
Kansas

Very dry conditions in Kansas and strong winds led to a dust storm on the afternoon of March 6.  The dust storm closed Interstate 70 and other highways, including parts of U.S. 36, U.S. 40 and K-25, for a brief time.  Nearly 99 percent of the state was abnormally dry or worse, with more than 73 percent of the state in moderate or worse drought.

Meat makes a comeback: Prices coming down and U.S. consumption predicted to rise
Yakima Herald (Wash.), Jan 09, 2018
U.S.

Drought and high feed costs have kept meat prices high in recent years, but the meat supply is expanding, and with that, meat prices were coming down.

North Dakota drought delays reclamation of Cold War site
The Bismarck Tribune (N.D.), Nov 15, 2017
North Dakota

Drought and an inability to get grass growing at the site of a Cold War-era base in Divide County has prevented the full reclamation of the Fortuna Air Force Station. Grass must be seeded on an inert waste disposal pit, but a contractor’s seeding in July did not survive. County workers have since reseeded the area.

The base in northwestern Divide County was activated in 1952 as a radar facility during the Cold War. Before partial deactivation in 1979, Fortuna AFS had long-range and height-finder radar, data and backup systems. The site was decommissioned and abandoned in 1984.

More ink, less water: News coverage of the drought prompted Californians to conserve, study suggests
Los Angeles Times, Oct 27, 2017
California

The more news coverage of California’s drought, the more Californians conserved, according to research by Stanford University.

Here’s California’s plan to save motorists from toppling trees at Tahoe
The Sacramento Bee, Aug 22, 2017
Lake Tahoe area, California

California crews plan to cut down dead and drought-weakened trees along highways in the Tahoe Basin starting in September as part of the statewide movement to remove dangerous trees along highways.  Efforts will be focused on Highway 89, where a tree fell and killed a woman in her car, and other area highways.  Caltrans has already taken out more than 100,000 dead trees in the Golden State, mostly on state property along highways as part of a $115 million safety campaign.  Removing dangerous trees on private property will be the next step.  Caltrans identified Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Fresno, Kern, Madera, Mariposa, Placer, Tulare and Tuolumne counties as areas of particularly high risk for falling trees.

Tourism & Recreation

Dry, hot California winter closes ski resorts, stalls wildflower blooms and revives drought fears
Los Angeles Times, Feb 13, 2018
California

Royal Gorge, Tahoe Donner, TahoeXC and other Nordic trails were closed for skiing, as the poor snowpack left recreationists looking to fat tire biking rather than skiing. The statewide snowpack for this time of year averaged 21 percent.

Yosemite's 'firefall' unlikely appear due to drought
KFSN-TV ABC 30 Fresno/Visalia (Calif.), Feb 12, 2018
Yosemite National Park in California

Yosemite’s Horsetail Fall may not have the firefall look as it often does in the latter part of February.  The lack of snow meant that there was no water flowing to produce the waterfall.

Ruidoso business owners struggle to stay afloat: 'We haven't had a winter'
KVIA-TV (El Paso, Texas), Feb 08, 2018
Ruidoso, New Mexico

Ski Apache has recorded just 24 inches of snow more than halfway through the ski season, which is far below the 300 inches received during the 2010 season, according to the director of operations for the resort. Despite being able to make artificial snow, the ski area only has six of 54 lanes open for use.

Lack of snow closes Lake County ski season before it starts
Klamath Falls Herald and News (Ore.), Feb 09, 2018
Southern Oregon

Operators of Warner Canyon Ski Area opted to close for the entire winter season, given that they have been unable to open thus far for lack of snow.  The ski area typically opens the last week of December and remains open as long as the snow lasts. 

The annual Chemult Sled Dog races were also canceled in January, and Mt. Ashland closed until further notice, pending additional snowfall.

Drought hurting ski areas in New Mexico
KOB 4 (Albuquerque, N.M.), Jan 31, 2018
New Mexico

Ski Santa Fe has about 15 to 20 percent of its normal snow for late January, which has not drawn the usual number of skiers.  Skier visits were down about 30 percent so far during the season, according to Ski New Mexico Executive Director George Brooks.  Some resorts were making snow, but the price tag for doing so for 24 hours can range from $3,500 to $10,000.

Water Supply & Quality

Driest winter ever recorded for Arizona’s mountain watersheds
KVOA-TV NBC 4 Tucson (Ariz.), Apr 18, 2018
Arizona

The 2017-18 winter in Arizona was the driest ever, according to the Arizona Department of Water Resources.  The total watershed streamflow this season was forecast to be near the lowest runoff on record, which was 106,000 acre-feet in 2002.

Feud erupts between CAP, other states over Colorado River
Pinal Central (Casa Grande, Ariz.), Apr 18, 2018
Colorado River Basin

Four states felt that Arizona’s largest water provider was manipulating supply and demand to prevent a reduction in its portion of the Colorado River.  Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming and Denver’s water utility resented cutting back on water use while it seemed that the Central Arizona Project was not doing its fair share of conservation and was taking advantage of the situation, which the CAP denied.

Salt Lake City mayor issues water advisory, warns of possible shortage
KSL-TV NBC 5 (Salt Lake City), Apr 11, 2018
Salt Lake City, Utah

The mayor of Salt Lake City warned of a possible water shortage and urged residents to conserve water as a stage 1 advisory took effect.

After dry winter, Colorado River forecasters look for 6th-driest runoff year
AzCentral (Phoenix, Ariz.), Apr 04, 2018
Colorado River Basin

The Colorado River Basin was on track to see the sixth-driest runoff season into Lake Powell since the Glen Canyon Dam was constructed 55 years ago.  The projected April-July runoff season ought to provide only 43 percent of the typical inflow during an average year.  At present, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation projects that Lake Mead, downstream from Lake Powell, will remain high enough to avoid mandated cutbacks in 2019, but could be near shortage levels in 2020.

California's wet March was no miracle, but state didn't need one
U-T San Diego, Mar 29, 2018
California

California enjoyed a good amount of snow in March, but snowfall was nothing like that seen in 1991, when the Miracle March term was coined.  Reservoirs in the Golden State were still near or exceeding historical averages in most cases, thanks to last year’s wet winter.

International

Argentina buys most U.S. soy in 20 years after drought cuts crop
Reuters, Apr 10, 2018
Argentina

Argentina, the world’s third largest soybean producer, has plans to purchase 120,000 tons of soybeans from the U.S. after drought damaged their crop.

Drought-Plagued Iranian Farmers Protest Lack of Access to Water
Voice of America, Apr 10, 2018
Iran

Farmers in Iran have held several protests, asserting that the government has deprived them of use of water sources in the region and was diverting water elsewhere.

Argentina's Herd to Decline by As Much As 1 Million Head of Cattle Due to Drought
Voice of America, Apr 09, 2018
Argentina

Argentina’s drought has ranchers slaughtering their cows, likely reducing the cattle herd by up to 1 million head by next year.  Hot, dry weather since November has decreased grain production by 40 percent.

Giant effort to save water pushes back Day Zero in Cape Town, South Africa
The Denver Channel , Apr 05, 2018
Cape Town, South Africa

The people of Cape Town have undertaken drastic conservation measures, allowing the date for Day Zero to be pushed back to sometime in 2019.

Argentine soy, corn harvests begin with low yields reported
Reuters, Mar 28, 2018
Argentina

Argentine soy yields were considerably below historic averages, according to the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange.

Research

Scientists seek to unlock mysteries of Sierra snow droughts
Reno Gazette Journal (Nev.), Jan 17, 2018
Sierra Nevada, California

Snow drought come in two main kinds: dry snow droughts and warm snow droughts, found climate scientists Ben Hatchett and Dan McEvoy with the Desert Research Institute in Reno.

Global warming could leave 25 percent of the planet in permanent drought
UPI, Jan 02, 2018

About one-quarter of the Earth could remain in permanent drought if efforts to curb climate change miss the targets set by the Paris agreement.

Study: Loss of Water in Drought Caused Sierra Nevada to Rise
U.S. News & World Report, Dec 13, 2017
California’s Sierra Nevada

The loss of water from rocks during drought in California’s Sierra Nevada allowed the land to rise nearly an inch in elevation between October 2011 and October 2015, according to a study by National Aeronautics and Space Administration.  In the following two years of improved snow and rainfall, the rocks recovered just half of the water they lost during drought.  The height of the mountains also fell by about half an inch.

Changes in water consumption linked to heavy news media coverage of extreme climatic events
Science Advances, Oct 25, 2017
California

Greater media coverage of drought in California resulted in greater water conservation in the San Francisco Bay area.

NAU Study: Fungi Helps Pinyon Pines Survive Drought
KNAU (Flagstaff, Ariz.), Oct 18, 2017
Arizona

Certain species of fungi helped trees pull water and nutrients from the soil, allowing the trees to be more drought-resistant.

Mitigation

California growers, researchers preparing for next drought
Capital Press - Agriculture Weekly (Salem, Ore.), May 18, 2017
California

Growers and researchers were working fervently to find ways to help California’s orchards, vineyards and row crops withstand the next drought with as little water as they can manage and yet thrive.  Subsurface drip irrigation, minimizing soil disturbance, leaving crop residue, diversifying crop rotations and using cover crops are some of the strategies for improving moisture retention and drought tolerance.

Will replacing thirsty lawns with drought-tolerant plants make L.A. hotter?
Los Angeles Times, Aug 02, 2016
California
If every lawn in Los Angeles were replaced with drought-tolerant vegetation, researchers from the University of Southern California found that the city’s overall temperature in July would increase up to 3.4 degrees during the day and decrease by about 5.4 degrees cooler during the night. The lower soil moisture changes the thermal properties of the soil.
San Luis Valley aquifer refills after years of drought, overuse
Santa Fe New Mexican, Jun 11, 2016
San Luis Valley in southern Colorado
A multiyear drought that began in 2002 in the San Luis Valley in southern Colorado quickly drew down the region’s streams and water table, causing wells to go dry abruptly. The Rio Grande Water Conservation District and San Luis Valley water users created a subdistrict project to address the water problem of over appropriation and help the region to balance its water use. Farmers and ranchers paid $75 per acre-foot of groundwater they pumped, but also were compensated for fallowing parts of their fields, limiting water demand.
In the four years since the subdistrict project began in 2012, the aquifer is recovering. One-third less groundwater water being pumped than before the project, from more than 320,000 acre-feet prior to 2012 to about 200,000 acre-feet. Ten thousand acres that previously were used to cultivate thirsty alfalfa and potato crops were fallow. Stewards of the land continue to improve soil quality and were striving to grow more efficient crops as other ways to help the aquifer.
Central America tests drought-resistant 'miracle' beans
ReliefWeb, Dec 01, 2015
El Salvador
A hybrid light red bean created through traditional cross-breeding grows well despite little moisture and is resistant to bean golden yellow mosaic virus.
This machine can make salty water drinkable — using only the sun’s rays
The Washington Post, May 06, 2015

A group of people from Massachusetts Institute of Technology developed a novel method of purifying brackish, undrinkable water via a solar-powered water desalination system. The water produced by the system is free of contaminants and is potable.
Drought Headlines Archive

The National Drought Mitigation Center | University of Nebraska-Lincoln
3310 Holdrege Street | P.O. Box 830988 | Lincoln, NE 68583–0988
phone: (402) 472–6707 | fax: (402) 472–2946 | Contact Us | Web Policy

University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Copyright 2018 National Drought Mitigation Center