Emptying reservoirs, empty words

Rancho Mirage, where President Obama golfed last weekend, is located between Palm Desert and Cathedral City. The heavily irrigated areas, many denoting water-hungry golf courses in California’s Mojave Desert, are highlighted in red. Source: NASA/Earth Observatory

*President Obama came to the Central Valley to address drought and climate change. Everyone “is going to have to start rethinking how we approach water for decades to come,” he said. After making the remark in a speech at a ranch in Los Banos, a farm town roughly 75 miles northwest of Fresno, the President spent the weekend at a golfing resort in the Mojave Desert.

*Republican Congressman Devin Nunes greeted the President’s outreach to the Central Valley by saying, “To blame the California water crisis on global warming is ludicrous.”

*The Mayor of Los Angeles highlighted local water harvesting as a way to relieve dependence on imports while posing in front of

Girding the grid for 20% water savings

Governor Jerry Brown's drought proclamation comes at a time when Angelenos are least able financially to pay for landscape conversions needed to find his 20% water savings. One free solution may be letting LA's infamous green lawns have seasonal brown turns.

Some relief

Source: NOAA. Click on the map to be taken to the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center.

The Big Dry: After drought, dust

Click on the image to be taken to the Earth Observatory.

A WALL of dust stretched from northern Queensland to the southern tip of eastern Australia on the morning of September 23, 2009, reports NASA’s Earth Observatory, while the Washington Post reports dust blanketing Sydney.

From NASA: Strong winds blew the dust from the interior to more populated regions along the coast. In this image, the dust rises in plumes from point sources and concentrates in a wall along the front of the storm. The large image shows that some of the point sources are agricultural fields, recognizable by their rectangular shape. Australia has suffered from a multiple-year drought, and much of the dust is coming from fields that have not been planted because of the drought, said Australian Broadcasting Corporation News. For a Reuters Q & A about the history of Australian dust storms, click here.

Central Valley, observed

THANKS to Aquafornia, the news feed for the Water Education Foundation, for catching this NASA image from the Earth Observatory. From NASA: The image was made from data collected  by NASA’s Terra satellite between July 12 and July 27, 2009. This image shows how vegetation fared in 2009 compared to 2000 and 2008. To see a larger image with key and to read an excellent accompanying article, click here.

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