Tag Archive for: San Francisco Chronicle

Higher Prices for Ketchup and Tomatoes? California’s Drought is Hurting Tomato Farmers

No matter if you’re whipping up a cacciatore, amatriciana or a homemade pizza, you’re going to need one thing: tomatoes.

But while most of the tomatoes consumed in the U.S. — fresh, canned, and otherwise — come from California, factors like the ongoing drought, rising fuel prices, and a changing climate are making the fruit harder and more expensive to grow. And that’s prompting some California farmers to consider raising other, hardier crops that require less irrigation.

California Might Get Hit by a Rainstorm. It All Depends on These Two Weather Patterns

From record-breaking heat waves to historic rainstorms, September was nothing short of a meteorological roller-coaster ride and the Bay Area was given a front-row seat.

This roller coaster of temperatures and intense back-and-forth between extreme heat and strong rains has come to a halt, though. A quiet, mostly dry pattern looks to be taking center stage for October as California is set to enter its third consecutive year of La Niña. But another weather pattern could shake up our chances of seeing at least one more storm roll into California before the end of the month.

California Officials Warn of More Water Restrictions in 2023 as Fourth Year of Drought Looms

California cities and farms should brace for little or no water from the state’s big reservoirs in the coming year, a prospect that signals more water restrictions for households and more fallowed fields in the farm belt.

The warning was delivered Monday by state and federal water officials who said they are preparing for the possibility of a fourth year of drought. Both are considering, at least initially, reduced allocations for the many water agencies that contract for reservoir supplies from California’s sprawling water projects.

Water is Expensive in California. A New Bill Could Change That

Last month, California Natural Resources Agency Secretary Wade Crowfoot warned Bay Area residents to brace for a fourth dry year in a row. As the state’s drought continues to compromise the drinking water supply of millions of people across the state, for some Californians, scarcity isn’t the only reason they can’t access water.

For California’s low-income communities, the cost of potable water is increasingly out of reach.

Here’s The Alarming Amount of Ice California’s Longest Glacier Just Lost in the Heat Wave

Mount Shasta, the widely recognizable face of California’s far north, has lost almost all its defining snow cover for a second straight year.

Another summer of scorching temperatures, punctuated by the recent heat wave, has melted most of the mountain’s lofty white crown, typically a year-round symbol of the north state’s enduring wilds.

California Set To Become First in Nation to Test Drinking Water for Microplastics

Microplastic is everywhere.

The tiny particles that shed from clothing, food packaging and tires are in the air, the soil, the ocean and, almost certainly, your drinking water.

California Drought: Why More Than 530,000 Acres of Farmlands Are Now Left Barren

The years-long drought and dwindling water supply are estimated to have left more than 531,000 acres of California farmlands unplanted without harvest this year — a 36% increase since August of last year.

The new estimates on acres farmed from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reflect the struggles of some California farmers to procure water to irrigate their crops as major government water projects supplying their water remain thirsty as drought continues for a third year.

Dozens of High-Risk Bay Area Dams Lack Required Emergency Plans

The Bay Area is dotted with at least 145 dams where failure or misoperation could result in death or property destruction, yet many lack required emergency plans, according to an analysis of state data.

Most of these “high-hazard” dams were built before 1960. While not at a higher risk of failure, they could endanger countless homes and businesses that rest below the aging facilities, making emergency planning and maintenance increasingly important, experts said.

On Eve of Trump Visit, Critics Ask Why Newsom Hasn’t Fought President’s Water Moves

During President Trump’s visit to California this week, the commander in chief who campaigned on a pledge of shipping more water to Central Valley farms plans to stop in Bakersfield to boast about a promise kept.

His administration has succeeded in rolling back protections for fish in California, opening the door to more pumping from rivers and streams, and more irrigation deliveries for the state’s vast agricultural economy.

The endeavor is no surprise for a president who has been supportive of industry and hopes to rally rural voters behind his re-election bid. But what confounds some who are worried that Trump’s water plan could undermine the environment is how little the state has done to stop Washington.

A February Without Rain Could Boost Wildfire Danger in Northern California

Meteorologists say much of Northern California likely will not see a drop of rain in February, heightening concerns that summer will arrive with below-average rainfall and tinder-dry hillsides susceptible to wildfire.

It’s too early to declare the rainy season a bust, as there could be huge storms in March and April. But a bone-dry February would make it nearly impossible to catch up to seasonal expectations, meteorologists warn.