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San Diego’s Avocado Production Plummets. Growers Cite Drought, Heatwaves

Avocado growers in San Diego County are facing tough times as a result of the soaring cost of water coupled with ongoing drought and heatwaves.

The crop generated just $82.8 million throughout the region last year, down from $152.9 million in 2020, according to the county’s annual crop report. It was the first time the fruit generated less than $100 million a year since 1996.

Megadrought Spurs First-Ever Federal Colorado River Cutbacks

The Biden administration today will declare a water shortage on the Colorado River for the first time ever, triggering cutbacks in the Southwest due to a decadeslong drought that experts say is a sign of what’s to come.

Bureau of Reclamation officials will announce that water levels in the river’s main reservoirs have dropped so low they have triggered mandatory delivery reductions in Arizona and Nevada.

The announcement comes as heat waves and wildfires are scorching the West, presenting the Biden administration with another crisis. A 20-year “megadrought” in the seven-state Colorado River Basin has caused Lake Mead and Lake Powell to drop to levels not seen since they were originally filled a half-century ago.

“This drought has come on faster and harder than last time,” said Ellen Hanak, the director of the water policy center at the Public Policy Institute of California, referring to the last Golden State drought that ended in 2016. “We are in year two, but we’re in as bad a shape as year three of what was a record drought last time.”

Climate Change Ravaged the West With Heat and Drought Last Year; Many Fear 2021 Will Be Worse

If there were any doubts that the climate is changing in the Colorado River Basin, 2020 went a long way toward dispelling them, thanks to yet another year of extreme weather.

Unprecedented wildfires, deadly heat waves, withering drought—the many indicators of the climate mayhem that scientists have been warning about for years—ravaged the landscape, claiming dozens of lives and causing billions of dollars in damage.

Colorado endured an unprecedented wildfire season. And so did California, in some cases burning where the wounds were still fresh from the epic fires of 2018. Utah experienced its driest year ever, and persistent high temperatures killed more people in Arizona than ever before. Monsoon rains that typically bring relief throughout the region were a no-show for the second summer in a row and now are being called the “non-soon.”

La Niña May Signal Scant Relief from California’s Seemingly Endless Loop of Hot, Dry Weather

After a brief interlude of mild temperatures Saturday, a warm-up is forecast to begin Sunday as upper-level high pressure builds into California, the National Weather Service said. High temperatures will climb by several degrees on Sunday.

Solana Beach Resolution Declares Climate Emergency, Need for More Action

In response to the adverse impacts of heatwaves, wildfires, sea level rise and other issues stemming from climate change, the Solana Beach City Council approved a resolution declaring a climate emergency and calling for accelerated action to address the crisis.

“Solana Beach would directly experience these impacts that include warming temperatures, increased wildfires, sea level rise and variable water supply,” Rimga Viskanta, a senior management analyst for the city of Solana Beach, said during the council’s Aug. 26 meeting.