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Drying Out

IT'S GETTING WARMER THE BIGGEST VICTIM: CALIFORNIA SAVVY SOLUTIONS DRYING OUT Extreme drought levels increased by 1.5 Drought Locations December 2014 Amount the April 2015 California Drought Map WASTE WATER 20% agriculture industry will lose in 2014 due to Anything that goes down the drain can be disinfected with ultraviolet light after the traditional water treatment. This water will then meet new water quality requirements and can be used on crops. BILLION the drought 58% None in a single week Dry Moderate Drought Severe Drought Extreme Drought Exceptional Drought A LOOK INTO THE MODERN DAY DROUGHT FOG CATCHERS Based on a technique used by a beetle found in the Namib desert, scientists have created a way to capture the moisture in fog. Giant nets mimic the shell of the beetle and capture that water. So far, the amount of water captured is minimal, but the technology is improving. x2 Infographic & Story By: Jacqueline Leonhardt o one can argue that the western half of the United States is experiences dryer than average conditions Nin the past few years. In fact, scientists say that the western states have been drying out rapidly since 2002. California's water supply alone has been dropping more than 12 million acre-feet each year since 2011. As of April 1, 2015, the statewide water content of Sierra snowpack is only at five percent of average. These are the lowest levels of any year in since scientists began recording them in 1950. 82% A farmer drilled five new wells each 2,500-feet deep (twice the height of the Empire State Building) hoping tap into new water sources. Unfortunately for California, much of the state's economy comes from the agriculture industry and almost everything is tied to farming. Therefore the lack of water forces many farmers to leave fields unfarmed because they cannot afford to water the crops. The economic repercussions can already be see in some places. In the small town of Mendota, where the population is made up primarily of farm laborers, the government is warning workers that unemployment rates could hit 50%. IONIZATION In 2014, the overall average The company Rain of Request is using the basic chemistry of ionization that naturally induces rain. By building a network of towers, the company can create rain within a 15 mile radius. They claim they can boost precipitation levels from 50% to 400%. temperature rose by In central California, an estimated 500,000 acres or 4.4 The water levels are a major issue and the dry ground causes a number of issues. One clear consequence is the increase in the number and intensity of wildfires. In a five year period between 2002 and 2007, 51% of San Diego County's coniferous forest has been lost. Since 2000, 90.75 million acres of land have been burned and well over 100 firefighter and civilian deaths can be attributed to the fires. Less More 10% of the farmland has The total amount of Drought Locations April 2015 degrees in California water stored in the gone unplanted this season due to lack of water. Sacramento and San DESALINATION The issues that stem from the drought are only getting worse. The good news is that scientists and entrepreneurs are working to create solutions to the various problems. Although there are not any immediate fix-alls in the near future. Perhaps in time, the issue will be solved. 2014 was warmer than the average for all of the 20th century and broke the all-time record as the warmest year in California's recorded history. Joaquin river basins (snow, river water, reservoir water, soil water and groundwater) in 2014 was 34 million Ocean water is pumped to a treatment facility and the salt is removed from the water through reverse osmosis. After this process is complete, the water is fit for domestic use. The downside to this process is that it is exceptionally expensive in both money and energy. acre-feet below normal. A BRIEF HISTORY For the past four years, the average snowpack for California dropping of water THE WATER ISN'T RISING the Sierra Nevada mountains stood at less than more than 12 million supply left in California's a third of the average Sierra snow pack. The 2014 reading was at 5% across the entire range. acre-feet of total water yearly since 2011. reservoir JULY 1934 The worst drought month in recorded U.S. history More than Southern California 1,081 FEET 5,000 Americans died 60% has received only = 100 people The Hoover Dam 40% reservoir is only at 37% of California's water 50 The expected 2015 water levels. Only six feet above the trigger point that will cut water supplies to Arizona and Nevada. of its annual average supply comes from the Sierra Nevada rainfall amount of its capacity 80% of the country experienced drought acres of farmland Drought Severity Chart Less unusable More Yearly California Rainfall MILLION country across the 70% LAKE MEAD conditions the rapidly warming 60% 1,080 Current water level in feet water can cause stress to the native fish and the 50% Long Lake reservoir on the continuously warming water will kill the fish Current capacity at 40% At the lowest levels 2.5 40% Americans 63% Spokane River has recorded 1930 forced away since it was built in blue-green algae that blooms in warm water can produce toxins that sicken 30% from the Great experienced temperatures of The levels have dropped 140 feet over the past 15 years Plains due extreme 20% MILLION 77°F to drought N conditions drought conditions 10% Las Vegas will dry up 1,000 when levels drop to 1960- 1963 1981- 1984 2011- 2014 people and animals. 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 21 Inches 32 Inches 15 Inches 'FEET THE NEW DROUGHT THE FIERY CONSEQUENCES JUNE 2012 The Department of Agriculture has cut corn production estimate by 12% 60% of the largest fires in the California's history have 3.6 Number of acres burned through MILLION wildfires in 2014. 9.9 acres burned in 2006, the highest MILLION number ever. Start of the current drought with several weeks in a row of 100-plus degree days occurred since 2000. Top 10 Worst Drought Periods Wildfire Locations ОСТОВER 2003 Cedar Creek Falls Fire $ $ $ S S S S S S Length of Fire Season Fire Suppression Cost In Billions During the recent peak last may, O Projected Range $2.0 Sak Lare Citye $SOS S S SSSS Nevada Largest Fire in California's History: Lost hunter set a signal flare. Burned 280,278 acres (95%) of the forest at Cuyamaca Rancho State Park 23 deaths Colorado. California All Western States $1.5 40% of the $ $ S San Franciteo Caltorpid 1973 - 1982 78 Days 147 Days country was abnormally dry or in at least Las Vegas $1.0 1983 - 1992 86 Days 201 Days New Mexico $0990 00006 50 Billion in agricultural losses 113 injuries 2,873 structures damaged or destroyed Estimated fire suppression cost more than $40 million a moderate $0.5 JULY DEC JULY DEC SEPT JUNE AUG MAY JUNE JUNE Los A 1993 - 2002 120 Days 223 Days drought. 1934 1939 1954 1956 1931 2012 1936 1925 1977 1988 = $1 billion 2003 - 2012 143 Days 233 Days % is the percent of the country that experienced drought conditions 1985 1995 2005 2015 Sources:;;;;;;; http://ca.wa-;;;;;;;;; http://; 79.9% 62.1% 60.4% 57.6% 54.9% 54.6% 54.4% 54.0% 52.5% 52.3% YEAR

Drying Out

shared by JacquiLeonhardt on Jul 29
A multi-faceted look into the drought impact the western states and the many problems resulting from it.


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