Friday, January 30, 2015

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

Driest January in history: Bay Area swings from boom to bust after wettest December
San Jose Mercury News (Calif.), Jan 29, 2015
California
The second snow survey of the year at Echo Summit revealed a water equivalent of 2.3 inches or 12 percent of average on Jan. 29. San Francisco, Oakland and Sacramento set new precipitation records for January with no moisture recorded. The state seems to be headed into a fourth consecutive year of drought.
Forecasts show drought continuing in California, Southwest
San Jose Mercury News (Calif.), Jan 15, 2015
Southwestern U.S.

The start of the year has been unusually dry in the Southwest, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Weather and Climate Center, and forecasts do not show improvement for Northern California and Nevada.

Recent dry spell means snowpack figures are worsening
Reno Gazette-Journal (Nev.), Jan 14, 2015
Western Nevada
Snowpack readings have fallen to less than 50 percent in the Walker River Basin. The snow water equivalent values were dropping about a half of one percentage point or more daily. With the high pressure ridge off the coast of California, not many storms are expected.
Stray satellite signals help measure snowfall in arid West
Yahoo! News, Jan 09, 2015
Western U.S.
Errant satellite signals were found to reveal snowpack depth and soil moisture information in the West. Kristine Larson, a professor of aerospace engineering at the University of Colorado, made the discovery about four years ago and continues to track observations from about 500 GPS receivers.
Western Drought Tops the List of 2014 Billion-Dollar Disasters in US
Fox News, Jan 09, 2015
U.S.
Final figures are not in yet, but the economic losses from the 2014 drought exceeded that of other natural disasters in 2014.

Agriculture

California Dairies Look To Midwest’s Greener Pastures
NET (Lincoln, Neb.), Dec 17, 2014
California, Midwest
California dairy owners are increasingly selling cattle and moving to the Midwest for new opportunities to raise dairy cattle. High feed costs, state business and environmental regulations, drought and, in some cases, almonds, have driven farmers to give up on the dairy business. Almond production is attractive because demand for the nut is high, as is the profit margin.
South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas are popular states drawing dairymen from California.
Bad Year for Big Country Cotton Growers
KTAB TV 32 & KRBC TV 9 (Abilene, Texas), Dec 16, 2014
Texas
Low prices for cotton and reduced cotton production due to drought has hurt farmers significantly in the Big Country of Texas. A cotton ginner reported that most of the cotton in the region was shredded because cotton production was so low. With less cotton to gin, the gin brought in fewer workers, who will certainly miss the paycheck.
Water worries multiply in Eastern Oregon
Capital Press (Salem, Ore.), Dec 11, 2014
Oregon
Three consecutive years of drought and meager snowfall in Eastern Oregon have cost farmers tens of millions in lost or unplanted crops. Water supplies for 2015 were not looking very good because the project usually carries over 350,000 to 500,000 acre-feet of available storage, but only had 30,000 acre-feet to carry over this year.
Cattle prices could lead to thefts
Salina Journal (Kansas), Nov 22, 2014
Kansas
Kansas farmers and ranchers were warned to be on guard against cattle rustlers. A livestock production agent with the Central Kansas Extension District cautioned that record high cattle prices could make cattle an attractive way to make a quick buck. Steers were selling for $1,300 to $2,000, according to the Farmers & Ranchers Livestock Commission.
Drought revives 'forgotten art' at wineries: Farming without irrigation
Los Angeles Times, Nov 23, 2014
California
More California grape growers are considering dry farming as ongoing drought reduces the region’s water supply. The right type of soil to absorb and retain natural moisture is essential, as is the right vines that produce deep roots to reach moisture. Growers must also till carefully and manage soil well to help vines get through the summer months. Dry farming can lead to reduced yields, but often produces higher quality grapes.

Business & Industry

Despite drought, California exports on track for record year
Sacramento Business Journal (Calif.), Dec 08, 2014
California
California’s agricultural exports were 5.9 percent lower from August through October, compared to the same time frame in 2013. Drought was the reason for the reduction.
Marin Sun Farms to close San Francisco facility
SFGate.com (San Francisco), Nov 17, 2014
San Francisco
Marin Sun Farms will close its San Francisco meat processing plant at the end of 2014. The rising cost of doing business and the lingering financial impacts from drought on beef producers made it a wise decision to shutter the San Francisco plant.
State exports stay strong despite slowing ag shipments
The Sacramento Bee (Calif.), Nov 04, 2014
California
California’s exports of non-manufactured goods, consisting of mainly agricultural produce and raw materials, were nearly the same as last year, which analysts say was a byproduct of the exceptional drought gripping the state.
“With each passing month, we are seeing mounting evidence of the adverse impact the drought is having on California’s multibillion-dollar agricultural export trade,” said Jock O’Connell, an international trade adviser with Beacon, a consulting firm with offices in the Bay Area and Los Angeles.
California drought boosts South Bay synthetic turf businesses as homeowners turn to artificial grass
Torrance Daily Breeze (California), Oct 27, 2014
South Bay, California
The California synthetic turf industry is thriving as sales skyrocket. One South Bay landscaper reported jumps in annual revenues from under $300,000 in 2012 to more than $2.5 million in the first nine months of the year. An artificial grass supplier based in Torrance reported turf sales for 2014 are on track to be double those of 2013, when 625,000 square feet of turf were sold.
California drought worries pool industry
Yahoo! Finance, Oct 05, 2014
California
The California pool industry is concerned that more than three dozen water agencies and cities have set rules on pool maintenance. In some cities, residents may not drain or refill pools or must cover pools with covers to reduce evaporation. While business is fine at present, people in the pool industry worry that ongoing drought will eventually hurt pool-related businesses. The California Pool & Spa Association says that pools use less water than traditionally irrigated lawns, and the use of a pool cover reduces evaporation by up to 90 percent.

Energy

California ISO: Challenging 2014 Summer but Reliability Held Firm
Reuters, Oct 20, 2014
California
Drought curbed California hydropower production this summer by 1,628 megawatts.
Drought Shutters Hydro Power Generation
KOLO-TV (Reno, Nev.), Jul 30, 2014
Western Nevada
Three hydropower plants belonging to the Truckee Meadows Power Authority were shutting down because there was not enough water to keep the plants operating. The plants will probably be able to generate hydropower again in January or February.
Drought hinders state's emissions goals
San Francisco Chronicle, Jul 20, 2014
California
Drought has cut into hydropower production in California, driving energy costs higher as the state turns to other more expensive energy sources. Hydropower generation dropped from 18.2 percent in 2011 to 11.7 percent in 2012 when drought began.
Despite years of decreases in greenhouse gas emissions since 2004, California’s emissions began to rise in 2012, due to drought and the closing of the San Onofre nuclear plant in San Diego County. Emissions data for 2013 were not yet available.
With drought comes downturn in hydroelectricity generation
Austin American-Statesman (Texas), May 23, 2014
Central Texas
Hydropower generation by the Lower Colorado River Authority was 69 percent lower in 2013 than in 2011, due to reduced flows from the Highland Lakes.
California may rely on more gas-fired generation due to drought
Reuters, Jan 10, 2014
California
With less water stored in California reservoirs, less hydropower will likely be produced in the state in 2014, leading to greater reliance on natural gas-fired power production.
In 2011, hydropower accounted for an above average 21.3 percent and natural gas was used for 45.4 percent of in-state electricity production. In 2012, dry conditions in California shifted the balance to 13.8 percent hydropower and 61.1 percent gas-fired generation. Hydropower is cheaper than gas-fired power.

Fire

WILDFIRES: Threat should be dropping this time of year – but isn't
The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, Calif.), Nov 15, 2014
Southern California
Firefighting resources in Riverside and San Bernardino counties are being kept at summer levels. Normally at this time of year, reductions in staffing and equipment are made, but the fire danger remains high, so the staffing reduction is being postponed. The U.S. Forest Service also has kept its staffing levels high in the San Bernardino National Forest and the Cleveland National Forest and continues to renew contracts for firefighting airplanes on a weekly basis.
Wildfires prove costly for California budget
Los Angeles Times, Sep 29, 2014
California
The expense of fighting California’s many wildfires has used the $209 million set aside for the task, prompting Gov. Brown to access another $70 million from a reserve account, containing $449 million designated for unexpected costs like natural disasters, as fires continue to burn. The federal government may reimburse the state for some of the firefighting costs incurred so far.
State officials set aside more money than usual for firefighting, but the funds were spent less than three months after they were marked for firefighting. In addition, the extra money spent on firefighting has made the governor reluctant to commit funds to other programs.
Pacific Northwest wildfire season: Oregon and Washington topped nation in acres burned
Oregon Live (Portland, Ore.), Sep 24, 2014
Washington, Oregon
Oregon and Washington endured 3,270 wildfires that burned 1,284,013 acres of federal, state and private land from the start of 2014 through Sept. 22, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. The number of fires was lower than the 10-year average, but the spatial extent of the fires was nearly three times the 10-year average of 452,039 acres. The largest fire in each state was the Carlton Complex in Washington at 256,108 acres and the Buzzard Complex in southeastern Oregon at 395,747 acres. Both states have been affected by drought since the start of the year.
Total firefighting costs have risen to $446 million, in comparison with $235 million at this time last year, according to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center.
Little rain makes for anxious fire officials
FOX6 WBRC-TV (Birmingham, Alabama), Aug 30, 2014
Alabama
Dry conditions have allowed more fires than usual across Alabama, where summer is not normally a part of their fire season. During a recent seven-day period, 43 wildfires blackened more than 593 acres, according to the Alabama Forestry Commission.
Lightning strikes in Northern California spark 34 new wildfires
Los Angeles Times, Aug 11, 2014
Northern California
Since the end of July, more than a dozen wildfires have blackened more than 100,000 acres in northern California.

Plants & Wildlife

State's deer harvest up, but drought-stricken west suffers
Tulsa World (Okla.), Jan 25, 2015
Western Oklahoma
Smaller deer populations led to lower hunter success in northwestern and southwestern Oklahoma. The Wildlife Division southwest region supervisor thought that drought led to low reproduction numbers in 2011 and 2012 when fawn survival was poor. Deer populations in southwestern Oklahoma were likely to remain low until drought abates.
Biologists: Raising California dam would harm salmon
San Jose Mercury News (Calif.), Jan 28, 2015
Sacramento River in Northern California
Three times as many or about 600,000 Chinook salmon will be released into the Sacramento River below Keswick Dam by the U.S. Fire and Wildlife Service. Warm water allowed a massive fish die-off to occur in 2014 when about 95 percent of the salmon eggs and newly hatched fish died. Only 5 percent of the juvenile salmon survived in 2014, compared with a typical survival rate of about 27 percent.
Delta water weed problems called the worst in years
San Jose Mercury News (Calif.), Jan 21, 2015
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, California
Weeds proliferated in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, clogging harbors, trapping boats in their slips, hindering cargo deliveries, endangering migrating birds and jeopardizing the safety of those who navigate the waters. Drought is responsible for conditions conducive to the growth of water hyacinth and other weeds.
Delta fish species plunge amid drought
The Sacramento Bee (Calif.), Jan 14, 2015
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, California
Populations of five fish species in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta dropped dramatically during the past year of drought when freshwater flows failed to support their habitat. The affected fish include the Delta smelt, longfin smelt, American shad, threadfin shad and striped bass. Delta smelt numbers nosedived to record lows in the fall fish survey. Water diversions for humans, pollution, habitat loss and invasive species also affect fish counts.
Santa Clara County residents may have to cut water use further — for the fish
SFGate.com (San Francisco), Jan 06, 2015
Santa Clara County, California
Santa Clara County officials were debating whether to withhold water from people during drought to sustain fish, such as steelhead trout and Chinook salmon, and were seeking opinions from their water customers before deciding. Water levels and fish populations dropped immensely this year.

Relief, Response, & Restrictions

Oklahoma ranchers received $883 million in federal drought relief, most in the nation
Tulsa World (Okla.), Jan 28, 2015
Oklahoma, Texas, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri
Livestock producers in Oklahoma, Texas, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri altogether received over $2.7 billion in payments from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Livestock Forage Disaster Program for losses stemming from drought between Oct. 1, 2011 and Dec. 1, 2014. Oklahoma led the pack with $883 million in payments, Texas followed with $592.36 million, Nebraska got $512.89 million, Kansas received $461.26 million, and Missouri producers got $303.58 million.
January looking dry, next few months warm
The Bakersfield Californian, Jan 15, 2015
California
The California Department of Water Resources and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation cooperated in devising a plan to change water quality rules and water rights permits to contend with ongoing drought and submitted it to state regulators.
Farmers, utilities lose bid to overturn delta smelt protections
SFGate.com (San Francisco), Jan 12, 2015
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, California
Appeals by Central Valley farmers and California water districts wanting to pull more water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta were brought to the U.S. Supreme Court and refused. A 2008 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plan to protect Delta smelt, a threatened species, still stands and limits the amount of water that can be drawn from the delta for the use of Central Valley farmers and water districts.
Capitol Hill Californians will push for drought legislation again
The Fresno Bee (Calif.), Jan 06, 2015
Washington D.C.
With Republicans in control of the House and Senate, California lawmakers will again be pushing drought legislation to send more water to farmers south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
States in Parched Southwest Take Steps to Bolster Lake Mead
The New York Times, Dec 17, 2014
Colorado River Basin
Officials with water agencies in Arizona, California and Nevada signed an agreement at the Colorado River Water Users Association conference to try to protect Lake Mead from dwindling further. The cooperating states intend to add up to three million acre-feet of water to Lake Mead by 2020 through conservation and changes in water management to limit demand on the lake. Forty million people rely on Lake Mead for water, and a lot of electricity is generated there and also at Lake Powell.
Lake Mead was about 40 percent full and just 10 feet above the trigger for the federal government to declare a shortage and start water rationing. The federal Bureau of Reclamation says rationing could happen as early as the spring of 2016 and is likely in 2017.

Society & Public Health

Climbing beef prices doing little to curb consumers' taste for cow, area experts say
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (Texas), Jan 24, 2015
U.S.
Choice beef retail prices averaged about $6.31 per pound in December, an increase of 0.1 percent since November, as reported in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. The United States Department of Agriculture’s data show that figure was 0.1 higher than in November and 17.7 percent higher than one year ago. The demand for beef was at a record high.
Brisket shortage has Texas? barbecue lovers facing rising costs
CBS News, Jan 22, 2015
U.S.
Brisket prices rose 16 percent in the past year, climbing from $2.21 per pound to $3.52 per pound.
Westwide snow school to teach sampling and survival
Elko Daily Free Press (Nev.), Jan 09, 2015
Tahoe City, California
Participants at the annual Westwide Snow Survey School in Tahoe City, Calif., receive instruction in snow sampling, avalanche recognition, outdoor survival and emergency care. Normally they also must build a snow cave and spend the night in it, but this year, a new activity will replace the snow cave exercise. Participants will have to improvise shelter outdoors, but likely without snow for insulation. With the training area in its fourth year of drought, surveyors must be prepared to survive in snowless situations.
California drought brings smaller harvests, more hunger among farmworkers
San Jose Mercury News (Calif.), Dec 26, 2014
Southern Central Valley in California
Farmworkers in the southern Central Valley continued to struggle to get by as agricultural employers cut jobs, due to drought, leading to hunger in an area where half of the country’s fruits, vegetables and nuts are grown. Many laborers relied on charity to keep food on the table. Undocumented workers suffer most because they cannot get food stamps and other federal assistance. The ripple effects are felt by farm-related businesses as the regional economy shares the pain.
Duncan budget proposal cuts raises, hiring
KSWO-TV ABC 7 (Lawton, Okla.), Dec 15, 2014
Duncan, Oklahoma
The 2015 budget for Duncan includes pay and hiring freezes so the town can save nearly $1 million. Drought and past debts were some of several factors resulting in reduced revenue and the need to save money.

Tourism & Recreation

Drought suspends cross country skiing near Tahoe
Reno Gazette-Journal (Nev.), Jan 21, 2015
Lake Tahoe area, California
A lack of snow led Tahoe Donner Cross Country near Truckee to close until the area receives more snowfall. A spokeswoman for the ski resort said they tried to keep trails and snowshoeing areas suitable for use, but without snow, there is little they can do. All programs, clinics and events are postponed until conditions improve.
Washoe Lake north of Carson City nearly dry after five years of drought
Nevada Appeal (Carson City), Nov 29, 2014
Washoe Lake in western Nevada
Employees at Washoe Lake State Park have come up with new activities to entertain visitors rather than using water-based activities because the lake is very low. Park visitors can enjoy moonlight hikes and stargazing. While Washoe Lake used to be 4 miles long and 2 miles wide, the lake has shrunk to roughly one-tenth of its former size.
Lake-level watching is new tourism fad
Merced Sun-Star (Calif.), Nov 16, 2014
California
More tourists were flocking to see foundations, old bridges and other relics as drought depletes California lakes and exposes objects not seen in many years. In Lake Don Pedro, the foundation from the stamp mill of the old Eagle-Shawmut mine has reappeared. Hundreds of curious people have visited the lake to have a look and sometimes enjoy a picnic.
Many visitors to the New Melones Visitor Center near Highway 49 on the Tuolumne County side of the New Melones Lake inquire about when certain landmarks will become visible.
At Lake McClure, the old Yosemite Railway tunnels are high above the water line and have been exposed for several months. Tourists can also view the concrete pillars of the railroad’s old Barrett Bridge and bits of the foundations from the town and rail stop of Bagby.
As drought continues, boat ramps close on area lakes
Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Texas), Oct 17, 2014
Dallas-Fort Worth area
Ongoing drought has dropped lake levels to the point that many boat ramps were no longer useable in north central Texas. The last accessible boat ramp at Eagle Mountain Lake was closed mid-September when water levels fell to a critical point.
At Benbrook Lake, the only open boat ramp was at Mustang Park. Many boat ramps were closed at Lake Grapevine, but most ramps were still open at Joe Pool Lake, Lewisville Lake and Lake Ray Roberts.
Worsening California drought starting to limit outdoor recreation
San Francisco Chronicle, Aug 17, 2014
California
Numerous California lakes and parks continue to feel the pain of the ongoing drought. Yosemite Falls has gone dry; many parks have porta potties for use, instead of flush toilets; and boat ramps were closed. Many plants were also showing drought stress by turning color and dropping leaves early.

Water Supply & Quality

California may dam 3 Delta channels, if drought persists
The Fresno Bee (Calif.), Jan 26, 2015
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, California
Three channels of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta may be dammed in an emergency effort to protect its freshwater if drought continues, said the Department of Water Resources. Rocky barriers would reduce the need for water releases from dams because less water would be needed to keep saltwater from seeping in from the San Francisco Bay. Twenty-five million people and millions of acres of farmland rely on the delta for freshwater.
Company says evaporation suppression worked
Wichita Falls Times Record News (Texas), Jan 28, 2015
Wichita Falls, Texas
The evaporation suppression powder used on Arrowhead Lake during the 2014 summer was successful. A report by the Texas Water Development Board said the measure may have reduced normal evaporation by 15 percent.
Wichita Falls officials were evaluating the report and considered it inconclusive. The city spent about $294,000 on the project.
State engineer cuts supplemental water rights by 50%
Reno Gazette-Journal (Nev.), Jan 27, 2015
Northwestern Nevada
A curtailment of 50 percent on supplemental water rights in Smith and Mason valleys was announced by the state engineer. Supplemental water is well water used to make up for surface water when supplies are short. Nevada Division of Water Resources staff will put tags on irrigation wells to let permittees know how much water they can pump.
Quenching Our Future, Part 6: Texas drought diminishes, but enormous water loss persists, satellites show
El Paso Times (Texas), Jan 25, 2015
Texas
Since early 2011, Texas lost 84 million acre-feet of water, but has regained just 10 percent of that, said scientists at UT Austin’s Center for Space Research. The data came from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment.
Harvard buys up water rights in drought-hit wine country
Reuters, Jan 22, 2015
Paso Robles, California

The value of land with wells has risen in the Paso Robles area and also in Sonoma and Napa counties. Irrigable land around Paso Robles was selling for $15,000 to $20,000 per acre, compared to $3,000 for an acre of dry pasture. The price for irrigable land has increased dramatically during drought and is expected to climb. The cost of land in the Napa Valley and Sonoma ranges from $75,000 to $100,000 per acre.

International

Brazil’s biggest city may cut water service to 2 days a week
The Washington Post, Jan 28, 2015
Brazil
Sao Paulo residents may soon have running water just two days a week as the Cantareira water system dips to 5.1 percent of capacity.
Long dry spell doomed Mexican city 1,000 years ago
Phys.org (Great Britain), Jan 28, 2015
Mexico
Cantona, a city of 90,000 inhabitants, collapsed due to drought and climate change, found geographers from UC Berkeley. Sediment cores from a lake near the city indicated a stretch of intermittent but frequent droughts occurred from around A.D. 500 to about A.D. 1150.
Thai govt to buy 50,000 T palm oil after drought cuts domestic supply
Reuters, Jan 23, 2015
Thailand
Drought in nine provinces of Thailand cut palm oil production by 27 percent, said the Office of Agricultural Economics. About 50,000 tons of the oil will be imported from Indonesia or Malaysia, the world’s largest producers of palm oil.
Brazil's largest city goes black
Futures (Chicago), Jan 22, 2015
Brazil
Brazil may be in for energy rationing later this summer because its reservoirs are depleted and the rainy season has been a disappointment. There is concern that reduced hydropower production and energy rationing could push the country into recession.
Drought Threatens Sugar Crop in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal
Bloomberg, Jan 20, 2015
South Africa
While the sugar crop in KwaZulu-Natal has weeks yet to benefit from rainfall, one of the region’s sugar mills will not open in anticipation of a meager crop. Eighty percent of South Africa’s sugar cane is grown in KwaZulu-Natal.

Research

Water stress takes toll on California's large trees, study says
Los Angeles Times, Jan 20, 2015
California
California’s forests have become denser with smaller trees and more susceptible to fast-moving wildfires, due to drought, fire-suppression techniques and changes in land use. Tree surveys performed between 1929 and 1936 and 2001 and 2010 were analyzed by researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, UC Davis and the U.S. Geological Survey. The surveys showed a reduction in large tree density across the state with drops as high as 50 percent in the Sierra Nevada highlands, the south and central Coast Ranges and Northern California.
Ag uses for highly saline water researched
Albuquerque Journal (N.M.), Jan 05, 2015
Alamogordo, New Mexico
Experiments with alternative water sources, like wastewater and highly saline water, to irrigate crops and urban areas were underway at New Mexico State University. The aim is to conserve potable water and maintain agricultural practices, said a professor of soil physics at NMSU. Barley and triticale, biomass plants lepidium alyssoides and switchgrass, and fodder plants Atriplex and NiPa Grass are being used.
Floods Breed Cooperation, Droughts Breed Conflict
Water Online, Dec 16, 2014

Floods require emergency response that is short-lived, while droughts often mean sustained response efforts where decisions over water allocations must be made, sometimes leading to conflict.
Study finds varied fish response to unexpected droughts
Phys.org (Great Britain), Dec 15, 2014

Native fish populations on the Upper Verde River in Arizona decreased during droughts and increased during floods, while non-native populations did not vary much, according to research conducted by Albert Ruhí with Arizona State University’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability.
Plants have little wiggle room to survive drought, UCLA life scientists report
UCLA Newsroom (Los Angeles), Nov 13, 2014

Researchers from the University of California and China’s Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden found that plants have the ability to adapt to drought conditions by adjusting the amount of salt in their cell sap, which allows them to draw more water into their cells. Plants were found to be able to make only small adjustments in the salt content of their cell sap, giving them little capacity to respond to drought.

Mitigation

Company says evaporation suppression worked
Wichita Falls Times Record News (Texas), Jan 28, 2015
Wichita Falls, Texas
The evaporation suppression powder used on Arrowhead Lake during the 2014 summer was successful. A report by the Texas Water Development Board said the measure may have reduced normal evaporation by 15 percent.
Wichita Falls officials were evaluating the report and considered it inconclusive. The city spent about $294,000 on the project.
Cloud seeding, no longer magical thinking, is poised for use this winter
The Sacramento Bee (California), Nov 11, 2013
California
Cloud seeding will continue to be used in California during the 2013-14 winter to boost snowfall and increase water supplies in a state that has endured two years of drought. Cloud-seeding efforts in California began more than 60 years ago and involve the spraying of silver iodide into clouds.
Heat, Drought Draw Farmers Back To Sorghum, The 'Camel Of Crops'
National Public Radio (Washington, D.C.), Oct 31, 2013
U.S.
Farmers trying to find crops that need less water are rediscovering grain sorghum, and people searching for healthier foods are buying more of it.
USDA study shows benefits of weaning calves early
Drovers Cattle Network (Lenexa, Kansas), Aug 29, 2013

Weaning calves early during drought allows cows to gain more weight and achieve better body condition than cows with nursing calves. Consequently, less harvested feedstuffs were needed for cows to maintain adequate body weights and condition during the winter.
USDA Recommends New Practice to Combat Drought
WIUM-FM Tri States Public Radio (Macomb, Illinois), Aug 27, 2013
Illinois, Midwest
The USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service says that drain water management techniques can help farmers cope with drought as they regulate how much water is allowed to drain from a field. A device can be attached to the ends of tile lines to act as a valve to keep needed moisture from draining away.
Drought Headlines Archive

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