Watch: Chinese rocket falls to Earth as a fireball streaking across western United States

 

A Chinese rocket body streaking across the night sky over the Western United States lit up social media as people shared photos and video of the bright object.

The Chinese CZ-7 re-entered the atmosphere Wednesday night, US Strategic Command spokeswoman Julie Ziegenhorn confirmed. That’s when people in Nevada, Utah and California took to social media to report a small fireball streaking across the sky.

Photographer Ian Norman was taking pictures of the night sky with friends in Alabama Hills, California, near the eastern Sierra Nevada, when he saw the light and started recording, thinking the flash was a meteor. Continue reading

California’s Sierra Nevada snowpack shrinks to a 500-year low

The record-low Sierra Nevada snowpack was another indication of the severity of California’s drought, which is affecting everything from agriculture to hydropower generation.

California’s Sierra Nevada mountains haven’t had this little snowpack since the days of Christopher Columbus.

That’s the finding of a new study released Monday indicating this year the state has seen its lowest snowpack in 500 years, and climate change may cause greater water shortages in the already drought-stricken, wildfire-ravaged state. Continue reading

Study into the California drought confirms the worst is yet to come

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THE carcasses of salmon, trout and more than a dozen other newly extinct native species lie in dry streambeds around California.

Exhausted firefighters in the Sierra Nevada battle some of the biggest wildfires they’ve ever seen. And in Central Valley farm towns, more and more parents hear the squeal of empty pipes when they turn on water taps to cook dinner.

A new report by the Public Policy Institute of California non-profit think-tank paints that distressing picture of California for the next two years if the state’s driest four years on record stretches further into the future. Continue reading

Dry Wells Plague California as Drought Has Water Tables Plunging

Near California’s Success Lake, more than 1,000 water wells have failed. Farmers are spending $750,000 to drill 1,800 feet down to keep fields from going fallow. Makeshift showers have sprouted near the church parking lot.

“The conditions are like a third-world country,” said Andrew Lockman, a manager at the Office of Emergency Services in Tulare County, in the heart of the state’s agricultural Central Valley about 175 miles (282 kilometers) north of Los Angeles.

Continue reading

Delta’s water vanishing amid drought

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In this photo taken Friday March 27, 2015, low-flow water emitter sits on some of the dry, cracked ground of farmer Rudy Mussi’s almond orchard in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta near Stockton, Calif.

 

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — As California struggles with a devastating drought, huge amounts of water are mysteriously vanishing from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta — and the prime suspects are farmers whose families have tilled fertile soil there for generations.

A state investigation was launched following complaints from two large agencies that supply water to arid farmland in the Central Valley and to millions of residents as far south as San Diego.

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At issue is California’s century-old water rights system that has been based on self-reporting and little oversight, historically giving senior water rights holders the ability to use as much water as they need, even in drought. Gov. Jerry Brown has said that if drought continues this system built into California’s legal framework will probably need to be examined. Continue reading

How Many People Will Have To Migrate Out Of California When All The Water Disappears?

The drought in California is getting a lot worse.  As you read this, snowpack levels in the Sierra Nevada mountains are the lowest that have ever been recorded.  That means that there won’t be much water for California farmers and California cities once again this year.  To make up the difference in recent years, water has been pumped out of the ground like crazy.  In fact, California has been losing more than 12 million acre-feet of groundwater a year since 2011, and wells all over the state are going dry.  Once the groundwater is all gone, what are people going to do?  100 years ago, the population of the state of California was 3 million, and during the 20th century we built lots of beautiful new cities in an area that was previously a desert.  Scientists tell us that the 20th century was the wettest century in 1000 years for that area of the country, but now weather patterns are reverting back to normal.  Today, the state of California is turning back into a desert but it now has a population of 38 million people.  This is not sustainable in the long-term.  So when the water runs out, where are they going to go? Continue reading

California governor orders mandatory water restrictions

This is only the beginning of a ‘mega drought‘, say experts. The worst in a thousand years.

California has no backup plans whatsoever and Nevada has struggled with the issue for years already.

 

ECHO LAKE, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Jerry Brown ordered officials Wednesday to impose statewide mandatory water restrictions for the first time in history as surveyors found the lowest snow level in the Sierra Nevada snowpack in 65 years of record-keeping.

Standing in dry, brown grass at a site that normally would be snow-covered this time of year, Brown announced he had signed an executive order requiring the State Water Resources Control Board to implement measures in cities and towns to cut the state’s overall water usage by 25 percent compared with 2013 levels.

The move will affect residents, businesses, farmers and other users. Continue reading

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