water

Maybe California’s Water Wars Aren’t as Bad as You Think
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Maybe California’s Water Wars Aren’t as Bad as You Think

The American West has always been a dry place. That gave it a reputation: Everyone is fighting over water. Historically, that reputation reflected reality. Decades-long grudges between farmers and environmentalists over endangered fish. Cities that slurp up entire lakes. States literally declaring war on each other—as Arizona did to California in […]

It Would Take a Lot of THC to Contaminate a Water Supply
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It Would Take a Lot of THC to Contaminate a Water Supply

It was a quiet Thursday afternoon when every phone in Hugo, Colorado rang with the same message. Don’t bathe, it said. Don’t cook. Don’t drink the water. Earlier that day—July 21—the small town’s public works had detected THC in the water supply. Weed is legal in Colorado, but Hugo doesn’t […]

Fun Fact: Lots of California Isn’t Metering Its Water
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Fun Fact: Lots of California Isn’t Metering Its Water

The villain in Greg Keyes’ 1996 fantasy novel The Waterborn is a voracious river god who devours his tributaries. The book’s hero, a young warrior named Perkar, wants to kill the river god so it will stop chewing away at his beloved stream (a minor goddess). I don’t do lit […]

Thanks El Niño, But California’s Drought Is Probably Forever
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Thanks El Niño, But California’s Drought Is Probably Forever

Drought is a tricky thing to define. It is not just a matter of how little water falls out of the sky. If it were, you would be forgiven for believing that California’s wettish winter had ended, or even alleviated, the worst drought in state history. But no. Despite the […]

El Niño Did Few Favors for Southern California’s Farmers
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El Niño Did Few Favors for Southern California’s Farmers

This winter’s El Niño has been a godsend for California. After years of crippling drought, the state’s reservoirs are overflowing, snow pack is barely below average, and the government is finally easing up on some of its careful water restrictions. Oh, but, about that last one … ignore it if you’re […]