Chaos on the Coast: How Drought and Fire Ravaged North America’s West Coast 

The recipe for drought is simple: mix extended hot weather with a corresponding lack of precipitation and, voilà. Add in a carelessly tossed cigarette or a flash of lightning and drought conditions beget wildfires. Both have wrought damage and pain on North America’s West Coast during the summer of 2015.

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Source: National Post


HIGH & DRY: Marijuana Plants Soak Up Billions of Gallons of Water in California

Hempfest Promotes Legalization Of Marijuana

One outdoor marijuana plant requires approximately six gallons of water per day during its roughly 150-day growing season.

Ethan Epstein writes: California’s terrible drought has become — like just about everything else in the United States — a political issue. Many liberals have taken to blaming anthropogenic climate change for the drought, while some conservatives have placed the blame at the feet of “liberal environmentalists.” The political point-scoring is tiring and just plain silly, given that the drought is almost certainly a result of natural processes — processes that we humans, conservatives and liberals alike, have precious little to do with. Another problem is that our partisan pugilists are conflating two separate issues: the drought, which is the lack of rainfall that California has suffered over the past four years, and the water shortages, which may indeed have some man-made causes.

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“Over California’s four-year drought, outdoor marijuana plants — based on the six-gallon a day estimate, and the 2006 figure — have used roughly 63 billion gallons of California water.”

To that end, a San Francisco-based author with a PhD in Nutritional Ethnomedicine floated an interesting theory regarding those water shortages earlier this week.  Speaking on the radio, he suggested that California’s huge crop of marijuana plants is “depleting the water table,” and is partially responsible for the massive shortfalls in water that the state is now facing.

“…by some estimates, California now produces more marijuana than Mexico.”

It may sound outlandish, but it turns out that there may be something to the good doctor’s theory.

As anyone who has ever had the misfortune to visit, say, Santa Cruz can attest, there’s a lot of marijuana in California. (This despite the fact that it’s only legal for medicinal use in the state.) Indeed, by some estimates, California now produces more marijuana than Mexico.

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The Golden State: California Special Bureau for the Management of Toilet Affairs

LA-water

 California Drought Leads to Historic Toilet Policy

Katy Steinmetz  reports: California officials working to combat the state’s four-year drought are taking aim at everyday practices that use billions of gallons of water each year: flushing toilets and running faucets.

“We’re seeing serious dry spell here in California. And we need to make sure we are not only saving water right now but in the coming years.”

— Amber Beck, a spokesperson for the commission

The California Energy Commission took emergency action on Tuesday by mandating that all toilets, urinals and faucets sold in the state must conserve water. That means only low-flush toilets and low-flow sinks will be allowed for sale after Jan. 1, 2016, regardless of when they were manufactured. The mandate applies to both public places and private residences.

 “These regulations come less than a week after Governor Jerry Brown imposed the state’s first-ever mandatory water restrictions, aimed at cutting the state’s usage by 25%.”

“We’re seeing serious dry spell here in California,” says Amber Beck, a spokesperson for the commission. “And we need to make sure we are not only saving water right now but in the coming years.” These regulations come less than a week after Governor Jerry Brown imposed the state’s first-ever mandatory water restrictions, aimed at cutting the state’s usage by 25%. Read the rest of this entry »