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California’s ongoing drought has forced state authorities to drastically cut water allocations for farmers, even to zero, while water transfers have delayed. As a result, farmers have had to abandon crops that require too much water, like almonds. Despite the USDA making projections for a record almond season, growers like Fowler Brothers Farm in Snelling, CA, tore up 600 acres of their almond orchard in order to make room for crops that require less water.
A Tough Nut to Crack: State water regulations have been particularly severe for farmers — Governor Gavin Newsom drafted an order that would keep thousands of farmers from using water from nearby rivers. Meanwhile, in San Joaquin Valley, farmers were only allocated 5% of water from federal sources.
Though this decision has been made to protect the state’s salmon, who need the water to survive, farmers are worried about what this means for their own survival.
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer “Glacier blood,” or “watermelon snow,” is sweeping across the Alps, and researchers are eager to survey the snow to figure out what’s responsible for the mysterious phenomenon—the culprit: algal blooms. A new study has found that the same algae that cause dreaded red tide are now blooming en masse on mountains worldwide. […]
One more of the Trump administration’s rollbacks will meet its demise as EPA Administrator Michael Regan and the Biden administration are planning to reinstate protections for many marshes, streams, and wetlands — expanding again the coverage of the Clean Water Act under the “Waters of the U.S.” or “WOTUS” rule.
Why This Matters: Since the late 1700s, 221 million acres of wetlands have been drained in the U.S. for agricultural use. This development has had severe consequences, including fertilizer and pollution runoff threatening drinking water for millions of people.
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