Despite heavy rain and snow, California braces for another dry year

An onslaught of rain and snow has pulled most of California out of exceptional drought, but experts warn that the state’s dry spell is far from over. Officials issued emergency water regulations this week — including a controversial exemption for agriculture — even as the northern part of the state braced for possible flooding from winter storms.(No paywall)

As drought worsens, California will halt nearly all water deliveries in 2022

In response to the West’s historic drought, California officials warned on Wednesday that cities and farms won’t get any water from the State Water Project next year unless it’s an emergency. The unprecedented decision will affect 27 million residents and 750,000 acres of farmland. Unless a rainy winter offers a reprieve, officials say the state’s urban residents should also brace for mandatory water cuts.

Deluge of rain won’t end California farmers’ water woes

After a near-record year of drought, California received some relief this week from torrential rains, the result of an atmospheric river hitting a bomb cyclone. The storms snuffed out the Dixie Fire, which has been burning in the northern Sierras since July, and put an end to Northern California’s grueling fire season. What the rains didn't do was end the drought — or the water restrictions faced by many of the state's farmers. (No paywall)

‘State of emergency’ in drought-hit U.S. forests

The government needs to quicken the pace of its fuel reduction work in public forests at the same time that it marshals enough crews to fight wildfires, said Forest Service chief Randy Moore at a House hearing on Wednesday. "The sobering takeaway: America's forests are in a state of emergency, and it's time to treat them like one."

Drought imperils Afghanistan grain and livestock

At the same time the Taliban are taking control of Afghanistan, its farmers and herders, the backbone of the nation's economy, are hit by an ever-worsening drought, said the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. The wheat crop is 15 percent below average while livestock herders may have to sell their animals because of high feed costs.

Drought scorches U.S. corn, soy, and wheat crops

U.S. farmers will reap two of their largest-ever corn and soybean crops, the first step to assuring an abundant food supply, the government said on Thursday, despite drought damage in the northern Plains and upper Midwest. The wheat crop, meanwhile, will be the smallest in 19 years.

As globe warms, risk of agricultural drought rises, says climate report

Without immediate and broad-scale action to limit greenhouse gas emissions, global warming almost certainly will result in heat waves, changes in rainfall patterns and agricultural droughts, said a report by the UN climate change panel on Monday. Agricultural and ecological droughts were likely …

USDA puts $15 million into drought relief for Klamath basin farmers

The Klamath Drought Response Agency was awarded a $15 million grant by the USDA to reduce demand for irrigation water in Klamath River basin of southern Oregon and Northern California. The money “will assist in allowing the limited amount of water to be used for practices that are vital to …

Wheat crop withers in northern Plains, Pacific Northwest

The wheat harvest in the northern Plains and Pacific Northwest will be 40 percent smaller than last year due to severe drought, said the USDA on Monday. The declines in durum and spring wheat were so great they would reduce overall U.S. wheat production, dominated by winter wheat, by 8 percent …