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Dry and Failing Wells in Tuolumne County are a Sign of Drought’s Severity

Terry Carney, 71, showed the head of his well Thursday and said it dried up about two weeks after the July 9 magnitude 6.0 earthquake that struck near Walker, Nevada and was felt by people up and down the Sierra Nevada and as far west as the Bay Area.

Carney’s well is one of more than a dozen that have dried up so far this year in Tuolumne County, in addition to at least 19 other wells that are failing but have not yet dried up, according to county staff.

Opinion: Water Markets Can Help Bring California’s Groundwater Into Balance

The San Joaquin Valley town of Corcoran is sinking. It’s fallen as much as 11.5 feet in some places, damaging drinking wells, changing the town’s flood zones and undermining critical infrastructure. The story is so dramatic that the New York Times covered it recently. The culprit here, though, is no ordinary villain – it’s the overpumping of groundwater.

Sacramento Reduces Water Consumption but Falls Short of Newsom’s Goal for California

As California’s drought deepens, Sacramento residents are falling short of meeting Gov. Gavin Newsom’s call for water conservation — at least so far.

Area residents reduced water usage by an average of 6% last month, compared to August 2020, according to data released this week by the Sacramento Regional Water Authority. That compares with the 15% voluntary goal announced by Newsom in an executive order in July.

Stunning Photos Show Drought’s Impact on Huge California Reservoir

The California drought has been brutal over the past few years, but to see just how devastating it has been, you need to see before-and-after pictures side by side.

Bay Area News Group photojournalist Nhat V. Meyer went out to the San Luis Reservoir in Merced County this week and took pictures in approximately the same places that he did in January 2019. The reservoir is one of the largest in California.

The results are startling.

California Fires Are Burning at Higher Elevations Than Ever, Creating New Dangers

Just hours before the Caldor fire threatened to level the resort town of South Lake Tahoe, the massive blaze performed a staggering feat: burning from one side of the Sierra to the other.

It seared through crests and valleys, over foothills and ridges — and also at elevations of 8,000 feet or higher.

Opinion: Climate Change Is Bankrupting California’s Ecosystems

For decades, scientists have warned that climate change would disrupt almost every natural life-sustaining system on our planet. What have we done about it? We’ve dithered. We refuse to believe the evidence, or rail against the cost and inconvenience of change, or hope the problem will just go away. But global warming is not going away. Last month, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued its most alarming report yet: Earth is on the edge of ecological bankruptcy.

It Isn’t Your Imagination. This Summer in California Is the Hottest Ever Recorded

Drought. Wildfires. And, for the country as a whole, temperatures worse than the Dust Bowl.

In a further bit of evidence of the reality of climate change, California has just experienced its hottest summer on record, according to data released this week by the federal government.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the average temperature in California reached 77.3 degrees from June to August. That topped the previous record of 76.5 degrees in summer 2017.

Opinion: Depleted by Drought, Lakes Powell and Mead Were Doomed from the Beginning

For the first time, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation issued a water shortage for Lake Mead starting in 2022. Located between southern Nevada and northwestern Arizona, Lake Mead provides water and generates electricity for the more than 20 million people in the lower Colorado River Basin.

California Records Its Hottest Summer Ever as Climate Change Roils Cities

California and several other Western states endured the hottest summer on record, according to federal data released Thursday, underscoring the ways rapid climate change is unleashing unprecedented wildfires, deadly heat waves and drought conditions. In addition to California, officials said Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Utah also set all-time heat records for the meteorological summer, spanning June through August.

California’s Thirst For Water May Accelerate Global Warming

A new study finds the push to secure more water in California may hurt the state’s ability to meet greenhouse gas reduction goals.

The nonpartisan group Next 10 and the Pacific Institute, a think tank focusing on water issues, found the state’s drive for drinkable water may exacerbate the conditions that are warming the global climate.

The warming climate is increasing the frequency and length of droughts in Southern California which heightens the urgency to develop new water sources.