Fire Earth

Mass die-offs from anthropogenic assault on Earth, and planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin by 2016

Posts Tagged ‘Drought’

Drought Threatens Half of Thailand

Posted by feww on July 7, 2015

Critical water shortages threaten millions of people in Thailand

Many of Thailand’s dams have fallen below the critical levels, and water shortages threaten about a half of the country 76 provinces [pop: ~ 70 million.]

The following information is based on reports published by Bangkok Post:

The Sirikit dam reservoir has dropped to just 6.84% of usable capacity, or 455.35 million cubic meters, prompting authorities to warn residents to drastically limit their use of water or face restrictions, said a report.

Bhumibol dam in Tak province has fallen to its lowest level in its 51 years of operation, according to dam director.

Nine districts in the province have already been declared drought-hit areas. In Ban Khok district, a total of 62,648 households faced water shortages… http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/general/611180/sirikit-dam-down-to-6-84-of-usable-capacity

Riversides collapse as Chao Phraya dries out

Meanwhile, many roads are collapsing throughout the drought hit areas.

People living along the Chao Phraya River in three provinces were advised on Monday to prepare for evacuation as waterside subsidence is very possible as the river level continues to fall.

People in three provinces living along the Chao Phraya River have been advised to prepare for evacuation because they would be affected by waterside subsidence as the river level continues to plunge.


Officials inspect a collapsed section of the embankment road next to the Khlong Phraya Banlue canal in Lat Bua Luang district of Ayutthaya Province on Monday. (Photo credit: Sunthorn Pongpao via Bangkok Post.) More images..

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Drought Destroys Crops in Six U.S. States

Posted by feww on July 2, 2015

Crop disasters declared for 38 counties across six states

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated a total of 38 counties in six states:  Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming—as crop disaster areas due to losses caused by drought.

Disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by a recent drought (Designation #1)

  • Idaho: Blaine, Camas, Cassia, Clark, Elmore, Fremont, Gooding, Jefferson, Jerome, Madison, Minidoka, Lincoln,  and Teton counties.
  • Montana:  Beaverhead, Gallatin and Madison counties.
  • Wyoming: Teton County.

Disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by a recent drought (Designation #2)

  • Utah: Daggett, Duchesne, Morgan, Rich, Salt Lake, Summit and Wasatch counties.
  • Wyoming: Sweetwater and Uinta counties.

Disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by a recent drought (Designation #3)

  • Washington: Asotin, Chelan, Columbia, Douglas, Garfield, Grant, King, Kittitas, Pierce, Whitman and Yakima counties.
  • Oregon: Wallowa County.

Crop Disasters 2015

Beginning January 7, 2015 USDA has declared crop disasters in at least 1,367 counties across 22 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.

About 99 percent of the 2015 crop disaster designations so far are due to drought.

Crop Disasters 2014

In 2014, USDA declared crop disasters in at least 2,904 counties across 44 states. Most of the designations were due to drought.

Those states were:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan. Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. [FIRE-EARTH has documented all of the above listings. See blog content.]

Notes:
i. USDA trigger point for a countywide disaster declaration is 30 percent crop loss on at least one crop.

ii. The counties designated as agricultural disaster areas, as listed above, include both primary and contiguous disaster areas.

iii. Some counties may have been designated as crop disaster areas more than once due to multiple disasters.

iv. The U.S. has a total of 3,143 counties and county-equivalents.

v. The disaster designations posted above were approved by USDA on July 1, 2015 .

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Lake Mead Falls to Record Low

Posted by feww on June 25, 2015

Lake Mead falls to 36 percent of capacity

Lake Mead water level fell to a record low of 327.65m (1,074.98 feet) above sea level, or 36 percent of the available capacity,  just before midnight Tuesday, said the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

The level rose slightly to 327.68m (1,075.05 feet), barely above the critical level of 327.66m (1075 feet) by 7 am Wednesday, said the Bureau.

At 327.66m (1075 feet) elevation, Lake Mead has an available capacity of 11.84 km³ (9,601,000 acre feet), with the total available capacity being 32.56 km³ (26,399,000 acre feet), according to the USBR 2009 data.

In August 2010, Lake Mead level fell to 331 meters (1,087 feet) above sea level, compared with August 1985 level of 370m.

Summary of Lake Mead Stats

  • Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in the U.S. in terms of water capacity.
  • It’s formed by the Hoover Dam (construction finished in 1936), fed by the Colorado River, and located in the states of Nevada and Arizona.
  • The lake is 177 km long when full, and has 1,220km of shoreline.
  • Max. Width: 12.87km
  • Max. Depth: 162m (532 feet)
  • The high-water line: 375 m of (1,229 feet) above sea level. ( At this elevation, the water would be more than 7 1/2 feet over the top of the raised spillway gates, which are at elevation 372.28m, or 1,221.4 feet —USBR).
  • Surface area: 642 km² (248 square miles) at 372.28m (1,221.4 feet)
  • Capacity: 35.7 km³ (28,945,000 acre feet) – less the accumulated sediments.
    • Available capacity: 32.56 km³ (26,399,000 acre feet)
  • Last time at full capacity: 1983 (the lake has since been plagued by drought and increased water demand.)
  • Current capacity: 36 percent of the available capacity.
  • Demand: About 42 million people including farmers in Arizona, California, Nevada and Mexico depend on Leak mead for their water.
    • Lake Mead attracts more than 9 million visitors each year for swimming, boating, skiing, fishing and other outdoor pursuits.
  • Annual Inflow: Lake Mead receives most of its water from snow melt in the Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah Rocky Mountains.
  • Annual Outflow: About 9.7 million acre feet (12.0 km³)
    • Evaporation (included in the above): About 800,000 acre feet/ year (0.987 km³).
  • Annual Deficit: 1.2 million acre feet (1.5 km³)
  • Drought: Colorado River is currently experiencing its 15th consecutive year of drought.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Reclamation has issued the following warning.

Excessive Heat Warning: Visitors to Hoover Dam should expect temperatures at least 10 degrees higher than the Las Vegas area, ranging from [49 to 52 degrees Celsius] 120 to 125 degrees Fahrenheit. There is limited shade at Hoover Dam. Visitors must be prepared for the heat with appropriate clothing and extra water, and are encouraged to visit Hoover Dam during morning hours.

Related Links

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Drought and Deluge, Hail and Severe Freezing Destroy Crops in 7 States

Posted by feww on June 25, 2015

Crop disasters declared for 70 counties across seven states

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated a total of 70 counties in seven states:  Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming—as crop disaster areas due to losses caused by multiple disasters including drought, severe flooding and hail, as well as severe  freezing.

Disaster Designations due to damages and losses caused by a recent drought

  • Washington. Adams, Benton, Columbia, Douglas Franklin, Garfield, Grant, King, Klickitat, Kittitas, Lewis, Lincoln, Okanogan, Pierce, Skamania,Walla Walla,Whitman and  Yakima counties.
  • Oregon Gilliam, Hood River, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Wallowa and Wasco counties.

Disaster Designations due to damages and losses caused by a recent drought

  • Oregon. Baker, Gilliam, Grant, Morrow Sherman, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, Wasco and Wheeler counties.
  • Idaho. Adams, Idaho and Nez Perce counties.
  • Washington. Asotin, Benton, Columbia, Garfield, Klickitat and Walla Walla counties.

Disaster Designations due to damages and losses caused by a recent drought

  • Idaho. Bingham, Butte, Bonneville, Clark, Fremont, Jefferson, Lemhiand, and Madison  counties.
  • Montana. Beaverhead County.

Disaster Designations due to losses caused by severe flooding and hail that occurred on June 3, 2015, and continues

  • Wyoming. Converse, Goshen, Niobrara, Platte and Weston counties.
  • Nebraska. Sioux County.
  • South Dakota. Cluster and Fall River counties.

Disaster Designations due to damages and losses caused by severe freezing that occurred from Nov. 13, 2014, through Jan. 2, 2015

  • Oregon. Clackamas, Gilliam, Hood River, Jefferson, Marion, Sherman, Wasco and Wheeler counties.
  • Washington. Klickitat County.

Crop Disasters 2015

Beginning January 7, 2015 USDA has declared crop disasters in at least 1,329 counties across 22 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.

About 99 percent of the 2015 crop disaster designations so far are due to drought.

Crop Disasters 2014

In 2014, USDA declared crop disasters in at least 2,904 counties across 44 states. Most of the designations were due to drought.

Those states were:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan. Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. [FIRE-EARTH has documented all of the above listings. See blog content.]

Notes:
i. USDA trigger point for a countywide disaster declaration is 30 percent crop loss on at least one crop.

ii. The counties designated as agricultural disaster areas, as listed above, include both primary and contiguous disaster areas.

iii. Some counties may have been designated as crop disaster areas more than once due to multiple disasters.

iv. The U.S. has a total of 3,143 counties and county-equivalents.

v. The five disaster designations posted above were approved by USDA on June 24, 2015 (posted on their website on June 25).

Related Links

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Environmental Emergency Declared in Santiago amid Hazardous Smog

Posted by feww on June 22, 2015

Suffocating smog forces Chilean govt. to declare state of emergency in Santiago

Chilean officials have declared an environmental emergency in response to PM2.5-rich smog in the capital, Santiago.

The emergency measures requires about 3,000 factories and other polluting businesses to stay closed on Monday. Additionally, 40 percent of the capital’s 1.8 million cars will stay off the roads, said Santiago regional governor Orrego Larrain.

“We’re currently facing unusual conditions, with one of the driest Junes in over 40 years as well as really bad air circulation conditions over the Santiago valley in recent days, which boosts the concentration of contamination,” said  the Environment Ministry.

The restrictions would remain in place for 24 hours, while dangerously high pollution levels persists, but can be extended if no improvement in the conditions results.

Meanwhile, the health officials have urged Santiago residents to avoid outdoor exercise, while the emergency measures last.

Santiago [metro population: ~ 7.5 million] is located in Chile’s central valley, at an elevation of 520 m (1,706 ft) above the sea level.

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Crop Disasters Declared in Three States

Posted by feww on June 19, 2015

Crop disasters declared for 26 counties across three states

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated a total of 26 counties in three states: The Carolinas and Idaho—as crop disaster areas due to losses caused by the worsening drought and Freezing condition.

Disaster Designation due to damages and losses caused by a recent drought

  • Idaho. Blaine, Cassia, Camas, Elmore, Gooding, Jerome, Lincoln, Minidoka and Twin Falls counties.

Disaster Designation due to damages and losses caused by freezing conditions that occurred from Jan. 8,, 2015, through March 29, 2015

  • South Carolina. Abbeville, Anderson, Cherokee, Chester, Fairfield, Greenville, Laurens, Newberry, Pickens, Spartanburg, Union and York counties.
  • North Carolina. Cleveland, Henderson, Polk, Rutherford and Transylvania counties.

Crop Disasters 2015

Beginning January 7, 2015 USDA has declared crop disasters in at least 1,259 counties across 19 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington.

About 99 percent of the 2015 crop disaster designations so far are due to drought.

Crop Disasters 2014

In 2014, USDA declared crop disasters in at least 2,904 counties across 44 states. Most of the designations were due to drought.

Those states were:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan. Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. [FIRE-EARTH has documented all of the above listings. See blog content.]

Notes:
i. USDA trigger point for a countywide disaster declaration is 30 percent crop loss on at least one crop.

ii. The counties designated as agricultural disaster areas, as listed above, include both primary and contiguous disaster areas.

iii. Some counties may have been designated as crop disaster areas more than once due to multiple disasters.

iv. The U.S. has a total of 3,143 counties and county-equivalents.

v. The disaster designations posted above were approved by USDA on June 17, 2015 (posted on their website on June 19).

Related Links

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A Third of World’s Major Aquifers Rapidly Depleting: Report

Posted by feww on June 18, 2015

Groundwater basins likely far smaller than previously thought: Researchers

Some of the world’s largest groundwater basins are rapidly depleting due to excessive human consumption, according to two new studies led by UC Irvine.

Researchers say they they don’t know exactly how much more water remains in the basins.

The findings are significant because humans are consuming groundwater quickly without knowing when it might run out, the researchers say.

“Available physical and chemical measurements are simply insufficient,” said UCI principal researcher. “Given how quickly we are consuming the world’s groundwater reserves, we need a coordinated global effort to determine how much is left.”

Researchers classified eight of the planet’s 37 largest aquifers as “overstressed,” with almost “no natural replenishment to offset usage,” and five others as “extremely or highly stressed.”

Unsurprisingly, the most stressed aquifers are in the world’s driest areas, which depend greatly on underground water. “Climate change and population growth are expected to intensify the problem.”

“What happens when a highly stressed aquifer is located in a region with socioeconomic or political tensions that can’t supplement declining water supplies fast enough?” asks the lead author on both studies. “We’re trying to raise red flags now to pinpoint where active management today could protect future lives and livelihoods.”

Researchers found that the Arabian Aquifer System, on which more than 60 million people depend, is the most overstressed reserve in the world.

The second-most overstressed reserve is the Indus Basin aquifer in NW India and Pakistan, with the Murzuk-Djado Basin in northern Africa in third position. California’s Central Valley is also classified as “highly stressed.”

“As we’re seeing in California right now, we rely much more heavily on groundwater during drought,” said the principal researcher.

“We don’t actually know how much is stored in each of these aquifers.” The lead author said. “In a water-scarce society, we can no longer tolerate this level of uncertainty, especially since groundwater is disappearing so rapidly.”

[Globally, about 2.2 billion people rely on groundwater as the primary source of freshwater. Estimate is based on FIRE-EARTH Models.]

The report is posted at Water Resources Research

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Severe Drought Hits N. Korea

Posted by feww on June 17, 2015

‘Worst drought in 100 years’ parching paddy fields across the country

The worst drought in 100 years continues to damage crops and agricultural fields in N. Korea, said the State news agency KCNA.

At least 136,200 hectares of paddy fields, or about a third of the total, are drying up across the country, said the report.

“The granaries including North and South Hwanghae provinces and South Phyongan and South Hamgyong provinces have been badly damaged,” said the report.

“Drought dries up rice-seedlings in nearly 80 percent and 58 percent of paddy fields in South and North Hwanghae provinces.”

“According to the State Hydro-meteorological Administration, no rainfall has been witnessed in North and South Hwanghae provinces, added the report. “Water level of reservoirs stands at the lowest, while rivers and streams getting dry.”

In 2014, the country experienced its lowest rainfall in 30 years.

Up to 600,000 people, or 2.3% of the population, died as a result of North Korean famine between 1993 and 2000, according to a report.

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Drought Disaster Declared for Counties in Two States

Posted by feww on June 12, 2015

Crop Disasters Declared for 9 Additional Counties across Oregon, Washington

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated a total of nine counties in two states—Oregon and Washington—as crop disaster areas due to losses caused by the worsening drought.

The disaster designations are as follows:

  • Oregon. Clackamas, Gilliam, Hood River, Jefferson, Marion, Sherman, Wasco, and Wheeler counties.
  • Washington. Klickitat County.

Crop Disasters 2015

Beginning January 7, 2015 USDA has declared crop disasters in at least 1,233 counties across 17 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington.

About 99 percent of the 2015 crop disaster designations so far are due to drought.

Crop Disasters 2014

In 2014, USDA declared crop disasters in at least 2,904 counties across 44 states. Most of the designations were due to drought.

Those states were:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan. Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. [FIRE-EARTH has documented all of the above listings. See blog content.]

Notes:
i. USDA trigger point for a countywide disaster declaration is 30 percent crop loss on at least one crop.

ii. The counties designated as agricultural disaster areas, as listed above, include both primary and contiguous disaster areas.

iii. Some counties may have been designated as crop disaster areas more than once due to multiple disasters.

iv. The U.S. has a total of 3,143 counties and county-equivalents.

v. The disaster designations posted above were approved by USDA on June 10, 2015 and posted on their website on June 11.

Related Links

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Drought Destroys More Crops in Idaho, Oregon, Utah

Posted by feww on June 4, 2015

Drought Crop Disasters Declared for 15  Counties across Three States

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated a total of 15 additional counties in three  states—Idaho, Oregon and Utah—as crop disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by the ongoing drought.

The disaster designations are for the following areas:

  • Idaho:  Adams, Gem, Idaho, Valley and Washington counties.
  • Oregon: Baker and Wallowa counties.
  • Utah: Piute, Sevier, Beaver, Emery, Garfield, Millard, Sanpete and Wayne counties.

Crop Disasters 2015

Beginning January 7, 2015 USDA has declared crop disasters in at least 1,224 counties across 16 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.

About 99 percent of the 2015 crop disaster designations so far are due to drought.

Crop Disasters 2014

In 2014, USDA declared crop disasters in at least 2,904 counties across 44 states. Most of the designations were due to drought.

Those states were:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan. Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. [FIRE-EARTH has documented all of the above listings. See blog content.]

Notes:
i. USDA trigger point for a countywide disaster declaration is 30 percent crop loss on at least one crop.

ii. The counties designated as agricultural disaster areas, as listed above, include both primary and contiguous disaster areas.

iii. Some counties may have been designated as crop disaster areas more than once due to multiple disasters.

iv. The U.S. has a total of 3,143 counties and county-equivalents.

v. The disaster designations posted above were approved by USDA on June 3, 2015 and posted on their website in two separate declarations.

Related Links

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Drought Disaster Declared in 36 Thai Provinces

Posted by feww on June 3, 2015

Drought plagues about half of Thailand

Thailand’s Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) has declared drought disaster in 36 provinces that are in need of emergency aid, including 8 provinces classified as severe disaster areas.

The disaster areas include 12 provinces in the north, 10 in the northeast, three in the east, four in the south and a further seven in central Thailand.

The 8 severe drought disaster areas include Chanthaburi, Chiang Mai, Nakhon Sawan, Phitsanulok, Phrae, Saraburi, Sa Kaeo and Trang.

Some 254 districts are facing water shortages, said the national News Bureau of Thailand.

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Weak Monsoon Threatens Drought in India

Posted by feww on June 2, 2015

UPDATED

Indian Govt Downgrades Monsoon Forecast to 88%

Rainfall below 90% is considered as drought year: IMD

India’s June-September monsoon rains will most likely be “deficient” this year and India Meteorological Department (IMD) has revised its earlier forecast from 93% to 88%, said the country’s earth sciences minister Harsh Vardhan on Tuesday.

A five-day delay in the arrival of the monsoons has also been forecast, as large parts of the country experience a searing heatwave that has killed more than 2,500.

“The rain-bearing system, that typically begins its four-month journey across India on June 1 in Kerala, is also crucial for power, drinking and irrigation. A bad monsoon hits power production since hydropower accounts for a quarter of India’s electricity output, critical for industry and households alike,” said a report.

Rainfall in NW India is likely to be 85 percent of the Long Period Term Average (LPA), 90% of LPA over the Central region, 92% of LPA over South Peninsula and 92% of LPA over the Northeast, with a margin of error of ±8%,  the minister added.

The monthly rainfall over the entire country is forecast at 92% of LPA during the month of July, and 90% of LPA in August (margin of error of ±9%).

Minister Blames Climate Change

“Let us not fool ourselves that there is no connection between the unusual number of deaths from the ongoing heat wave and the certainty of another failed monsoon. It’s not just an unusually hot summer, it is climate change,” said Vardhan.

India is Asia’s third-largest economy and world’s 3rd largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

The world’s second most populous country [pop: more than 1.2 billion,] India is home to 194 million hungry people—the highest number globally.

 

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Indian Govt Downgrades Monsoon Forecast to 88%

Posted by feww on June 2, 2015

Rainfall below 90% is considered as drought year: IMD

India’s June-September monsoon rains will most likely be “deficient” this year and India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) has revised its earlier forecast from 93% to 88%, said the country’s earth sciences minister Harsh Vardhan on Tuesday.

A five-day delay in the arrival of the monsoons has also been forecast, as large parts of the country experience a searing heatwave that has killed more than 2,500.

“The rain-bearing system, that typically begins its four-month journey across India on June 1 in Kerala, is also crucial for power, drinking and irrigation. A bad monsoon hits power production since hydropower accounts for a quarter of India’s electricity output, critical for industry and households alike,” said a report.

Rainfall in NW India is likely to be 85 percent of the Long-Term Average (LPA), 90% of LPA over the Central region, 92% of LPA over South Peninsula and 92% of LPA over the Northeast, with a margin of error of ±8%,  the minister added.

Minister Blames Climate Change

“Let us not fool ourselves that there is no connection between the unusual number of deaths from the ongoing heat wave and the certainty of another failed monsoon. It’s not just an unusually hot summer, it is climate change,” said Vardhan.

India is Asia’s third-largest economy and world’s 3rd largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

The world’s second most populous country [pop: more than 1.2 billion,] India is home to 194 million hungry people—the highest number globally.

 

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Crop Disasters Declared in Nevada, Utah

Posted by feww on May 28, 2015

Drought destroys more crops in 11 areas across two states

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 11 additional areas (10 counties and Carson City) across two states—Nevada and Utah—as crop disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by ongoing drought.

Crop disasters have  occurred in the following areas:

  • Nevada.  Storey, Lyon, Lincoln, Washoe counties and Carson City.
  • Utah. Beaver, Garfield, Iron, Millard, Piute and Sevier counties.

Crop Disasters 2015

Beginning January 7, 2015 USDA has declared crop disasters in at least an 1,209 counties (and county-equivalent areas) across 20 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.

Majority of the 2015 crop disaster designations so far are due to drought.

Crop Disasters 2014

In 2014, USDA declared crop disasters in at least 2,904 counties across 44 states. Most of the designations were due to drought.

Those states were:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan. Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. [FIRE-EARTH has documented all of the above listings. See blog content.]

Notes:
i. USDA trigger point for a countywide disaster declaration is 30 percent crop loss on at least one crop.

ii. The counties designated as agricultural disaster areas, as listed above, include both primary and contiguous disaster areas.

iii. Some counties may have been designated as crop disaster areas more than once due to multiple disasters.

iv. The U.S. has a total of 3,143 counties and county-equivalents.

v. The disaster designations posted above were approved by USDA on May 27, 2015 and posted on their website as two separate declarations.

Related Links

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Drought Emergencies Declared in 8 Oregon Counties

Posted by feww on May 23, 2015

Drought has caused natural and economic disaster conditions in Oregon —Gov. Brown

Oregon’s Gov. Brown has declared drought emergencies in eight additional counties due to low water conditions caused by drought and  low snow pack levels. The new declaration bring the total to 15, so far this year, compared with 9 counties in 2014.

“Projected precipitation and climatic conditions are not expected to alleviate the continuing drought conditions, and the drought is having significant economic and other impacts on communities and on agricultural, livestock, and natural resources,” said Brown in her Executive Order. “I find that continuing dry conditions, low snowpack, and lack of precipitation have caused natural and economic disaster conditions in Deschutes, Grant, Jackson, Josephine, Lane, Morrow, Umatilla, and Wasco Counties.”

“We are going to experience one of the worst droughts in the history of our state. Snowpack is at historic lows and severe water shortages are nearly a certainty in many areas,” Brown said.

“The majority of our state is parched due to the warm winter and lack of snow,” She said. “As we move into summer, many areas of the state are going to dry out very quickly, likely leading to a difficult fire season as well as water shortages. We need our state, local and federal partners to be prepared as our communities grapple with hot and dry conditions.”

Brown declared drought emergencies in Baker, Crook, Harney, Klamath, Lake, Malheur and Wheeler counties in April.

“The drought means water shortages for farming and ranching operations, as well as to low river and stream levels. While recreational areas around the state are open for business as we head into Memorial Day weekend, long-term forecasts continue to call for temperatures well above normal,” said the Governor’s office in a statement.

Related Links

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Crop Disasters Declared in 4 States

Posted by feww on May 21, 2015

Drought and freeze destroy crops in 27 counties across four states

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 27 additional counties across four states—Georgia, Kansas, Oklahoma and Utah—as crop disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by drought and freeze.

Crop disasters caused by drought occurred in the following areas:

  • Kansas. Chautauqua, Crowley, Elk and Montgomery counties.
  • Oklahoma. Osage and Washington counties.
  • Utah. Carbon, Duchesne, Emery, Grand, San Juan, Sanpete, Sevie, Utah, Uintah and Wayne counties.

Crop disasters caused by freeze occurred in the following areas:

  • Georgia. Bibb, Crawford, Houston, Macon, Marion, Monroe, Peach, Schley, Talbot, Taylor and Upson counties.

Crop Disasters 2015

Beginning January 7, 2015 USDA has declared crop disasters in at least an 1,198 counties across 20 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.

Majority of the 2015 crop disaster designations so far are due to drought.

Crop Disasters 2014

In 2014, USDA declared crop disasters in at least 2,904 counties across 44 states. Most of the designations were due to drought.

Those states were:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan. Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. [FIRE-EARTH has documented all of the above listings. See blog content.]

Notes:
i. USDA trigger point for a countywide disaster declaration is 30 percent crop loss on at least one crop.

ii. The counties designated as agricultural disaster areas, as listed above, include both primary and contiguous disaster areas.

iii. Some counties may have been designated as crop disaster areas more than once due to multiple disasters.

iv. The U.S. has a total of 3,143 counties and county-equivalents.

v. The disaster designations posted above were approved by USDA on May 20, 2015 and posted on their website in three separate declarations.

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Drought Destroys More Crops in CO, ID, OR, TX, UT

Posted by feww on May 14, 2015

Drought Disaster Declared for 34 Additional Counties in Five States

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 34 additional counties across five states—Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Texas and Utah—as crop disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by the drought.

The drought disaster designations are for the following areas

  • Colorado: Garfield, Moffat and Rio Blanco counties.
  • Idaho: Ada, Blaine, Boise, Camas, Custer, Elmore, Gooding, Owyhee and Twin Falls counties.
  • Oregon:  Crook, Gilliam, Grant, Jefferson, Morrow,Wasco and Wheeler counties.
  • Texas: Bell, Bosque, Coryell, Hamilton, Lampasas and McLennan counties.
  • Utah: Carbon, Daggett, Duchesne, Emery, Grand, Summit, Uintah, Utah and Wasatch counties.

US Crops Experiencing Drought (as of last week)
Approximate Percentage of Corn Located in Drought: 26%
Approximate Percentage of Soybeans Located in Drought: 22%
Approximate Percentage of Hay Acreage Located in Drought: 28%
Approximate Percentage of Cattle Inventory Located in Drought: 37%
Approximate Percentage of Winter Wheat Production Located in Drought: 43%
[Source: USDA Agricultural Weather Assessments World Agricultural Outlook Board]

Crop Disasters 2015

Beginning January 7, 2015 USDA has declared crop disasters in at least an 1,169 counties across 20  states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.

Majority of the 2015 crop disaster designations so far are due to drought.

Crop Disasters 2014

In 2014, USDA declared crop disasters in at least 2,904 counties across 44 states. Most of the designations were due to drought.

Those states were:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan. Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. [FIRE-EARTH has documented all of the above listings. See blog content.]

Notes:
i. USDA trigger point for a countywide disaster declaration is 30 percent crop loss on at least one crop.

ii. The counties designated as agricultural disaster areas, as listed above, include both primary and contiguous disaster areas.

iii. Some counties may have been designated as crop disaster areas more than once due to multiple disasters.

iv. The U.S. has a total of 3,143 counties and county-equivalents.

v. The disaster designations posted above were approved by USDA on May 13, 2015 and posted on their website in four separate declarations.

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Drought Destroys more Crops in ID, NV, OR, UT

Posted by feww on May 7, 2015

Crop disasters declared for 37 counties in four states

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 37 additional counties across four  states—Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Utah—as crop disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by the drought.

The drought disaster designations are for the following areas:

  • Idaho. Ada, Bingham, Blaine, Boise, Butte, Camas, Canyon, Cassia, Clark, Custer, Elmore, Gem, Jefferson, Lemhi, Lincoln, Minidoka, Owyhee, Payette, Power, Valley and Washington counties.
  • Nevada. Pine, Elko, Eureka, Lincoln and Nye counties.
  • Oregon. Malheur County.
  • Utah. Juab (multiple designations), Millard (multiple designations), Tooele, Carbon, Emery, Sanpete, Sevier and Utah counties.

Crop Disasters 2015

Beginning January 7, 2015 USDA has declared crop disasters in at least an 1,135 counties across 20  states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.

Majority of the 2015 crop disaster designations so far are due to drought.

Crop Disasters 2014

In 2014, USDA declared crop disasters in at least 2,904 counties across 44 states. Most of the designations were due to drought.

Those states were:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan. Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. [FIRE-EARTH has documented all of the above listings. See blog content.]

Notes:
i. USDA trigger point for a countywide disaster declaration is 30 percent crop loss on at least one crop.

ii. The counties designated as agricultural disaster areas, as listed above, include both primary and contiguous disaster areas.

iii. Some counties may have been designated as crop disaster areas more than once due to multiple disasters.

iv. The U.S. has a total of 3,143 counties and county-equivalents.

v. The disaster designations posted above were approved by USDA on May 6, 2015 and posted on their website as three separate declarations.

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Drought Forces California into Mandatory Water Cutbacks

Posted by feww on May 6, 2015

California adopts unprecedented mandatory water cuts

The Golden State regulators have adopted unprecedented mandatory water cutbacks by as much as 36 percent, as the region’s catastrophic drought enters its fourth year.

The emergency regulations were approved unanimously late Tuesday by the State Water Resources Control Board.

“This is a collective issue that we all need to rise to in this time of emergency,” said the chairwoman of the state board during a public hearing Tuesday in Sacramento. “This is a community crisis. The community is California.”

Communities across the state must reduce water use from 8 percent to 36 percent starting May 15 to comply with an order issued by Gov. Brown to reduce state water use by 25 percent amid dwindling water supplies, said a report.

“Individuals face $500 fines per violation. Water retailers that do not meet water conservation targets will be issued a cease and desist order and if they continue to miss the mark, could be fined $10,000 a day,” said the report quoting an environmental scientist with the state water board as saying.

Read more…

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Crop Disasters Declared in AZ, ID, NV, OR, UT

Posted by feww on April 23, 2015

Drought destroys more crops in Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Utah

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 37 additional counties across five states—Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Utah—as crop disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by the drought.

The drought disaster designations are for the following areas:

  • Arizona. Mohave County
  • Idaho. Adams and Washington counties
  • Nevada. Clark, Humboldt, Lincoln, Nye Washoe and White Pine counties.
  • Oregon. Baker, Crook, Deschutes, Grant, Harney, Jefferson, Klamath, Lake, Lane, Linn, Malheur, Union, Wallowa and Wheeler counties.
  • Utah. Box, Carbon, Davis, Duchesne, Elder, Juab, Morgan Salt Lake, Summit, Tooele (multiple designations), Sanpete, Utah, and Wasatch counties.

Crop Disasters 2015

Beginning January 7, 2015 USDA has declared crop disasters in at least an 1,098 counties across 20  states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.

Majority of the 2015 crop disaster designations so far are due to drought.

Crop Disasters 2014

In 2014, USDA declared crop disasters in at least 2,904 counties across 44 states. Most of the designations were due to drought.

Those states were:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan. Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. [FIRE-EARTH has documented all of the above listings. See blog content.]

Notes:
i. USDA trigger point for a countywide disaster declaration is 30 percent crop loss on at least one crop.

ii. The counties designated as agricultural disaster areas, as listed above, include both primary and contiguous disaster areas.

iii. Some counties may have been designated as crop disaster areas more than once due to multiple disasters.

iv. The U.S. has a total of 3,143 counties and county-equivalents.

v. The disaster designations posted above were approved by USDA on April 22, 2015 and posted on their website as three separate declarations.

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Crop Drought Disaster Continues to Spread in U.S. South, Midwest

Posted by feww on April 16, 2015

UPDATED

Drought destroys more crops in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has declared additional counties across Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas as crop disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by the ongoing drought.

The drought disaster designations are for the following areas:

  • Kansas.Barber, Butler, Chautauqua,Cowley, Elk, Harper, Kingman, Pratt, Reno, Sedgwick and Sumner counties.
  • Oklahoma. Kay and Osage counties.
  • Texas. 23 counties including  Brown, Callahan, McCulloch, Menard, Mills and Taylor counties.
    Also: Coleman, Comanche, Concho, Eastland, Fisher, Hamilton, Jone, Kimble, Lampasas, Mason, Nolan, Runnels, San Saba, Schleicher, Shackelford, Sutton and Tom Green counties.

Crop Disasters 2015

Beginning January 7, 2015 USDA has declared crop disasters in at least an 1,061 counties across 20  states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.

Majority of the 2015 crop disaster designations so far are due to drought.

Crop Disasters 2014

In 2014, USDA declared crop disasters in at least 2,904 counties across 44 states. Most of the designations were due to drought.

Those states were:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan. Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. [FIRE-EARTH has documented all of the above listings. See blog content.]

Notes:
i. USDA trigger point for a countywide disaster declaration is 30 percent crop loss on at least one crop.

ii. The counties designated as agricultural disaster areas, as listed above, include both primary and contiguous disaster areas.

iii. Some counties may have been designated as crop disaster areas more than once due to multiple disasters.

iv. The U.S. has a total of 3,143 counties and county-equivalents.

v. The disaster designations posted above were approved by USDA on April 15, 2015 and posted on USDA website on April 11, 2015 in a  separate declarations.

California Drought Update (U.S. Drought Monitor)

Week None D0-D4 D1-D4 D2-D4 D3-D4 D4
2015-04-14 0.14 99.86 98.11 93.44 66.6 44.32
2015-04-07 0.15 99.85 98.11 93.44 66.6 44.32

Drought Severity
D0 – Abnormally Dry || D1 – Moderate Drought || D2 – Severe Drought|| D3 – Extreme Drought || D4 – Exceptional Drought

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Drought Destroys Crops in CA, OR, ID, UT, AZ and NV

Posted by feww on April 9, 2015

Drought Crop Disasters Declared in Six States

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued 47 additional county-level drought disaster designations across six states—California, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Arizona and Nevada—due to damages and losses caused by the worsening drought.

The drought disaster destinations are for the following areas:

California. Del Norte, Humboldt, Modoc and Siskiyou [multiple crop disaster designations, “MCDD”] counties.
Oregon. Baker [MCDD], Curry , Deschutes, Douglas, Grant, Harney, Jackson Josephine, Klamath, Lake, Lane and Malheur [MCDD] counties.
Idaho. Canyon, Cassia, Owyhee, Payetteand, and Washington counties.
Utah. Adams, Box Elder, Gem, Payette, Tooele and Washington counties.
Arizona.  Gila, La Paz, Maricopa, Pima, Pinal, Yavapai and Yuma counties.
Nevada. Elko, Eureka, Humboldt [MCDD,] Lander, Nye, White Pine and Washoe counties.

Crop Disasters 2015

Beginning January 7, 2015 USDA has declared crop disasters in at least 995 counties across 20  states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.

Majority of the 2015 crop disaster designations so far are due to drought.

Crop Disasters 2014

In 2014, USDA declared crop disasters in at least 2,904 counties across 44 states. Most of the designations were due to drought.

Those states were:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan. Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. [FIRE-EARTH has documented all of the above listings. See blog content.]

Notes:
i. USDA trigger point for a countywide disaster declaration is 30 percent crop loss on at least one crop.

ii. The counties designated as agricultural disaster areas, as listed above, include both primary and contiguous disaster areas.

iii. Some counties may have been designated as crop disaster areas more than once due to multiple disasters.

iv. The U.S. has a total of 3,143 counties and county-equivalents.

v. The disaster designations posted above were approved by USDA on April 8, 2015 in five separate declarations.

U.S. Drought Continues Spreading

drought population  impact
U.S. Drought Population Data. Source: U.S. Drought Monitor

Drought Severity
D0 – Abnormally Dry || D1 Drought – Moderate || D2 Drought – Severe || D3 Drought – Extreme || D4 Drought – Exceptional

California plagued by fourth consecutive year of drought

With temperatures averaging more than 10°F above normal for the week, snowpacks continued to dwindle; as of April 1, the state’s total snowpack stood at a meager 5 percent of average. Indicative of the virtually non-existent snowpack, streamflows have dropped into the 5th percentile or lower over much of California. In addition, the 2014-15 Water Year has ended on an abysmal note, with precipitation over the past 30 days totaling a mere 10 percent of normal or less from Redding southward.  Continued dryness resulted in an expansion of Exceptional Drought (D4) in northwest California. [Source: U.S. Drought Monitor]

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Drought Paralyzes Taiwan

Posted by feww on April 8, 2015

Taiwan rations water to 1.2 million households amid worsening drought

One of the driest years on record has depleted Tai­wan’s reservoirs aggravating the water quality problem, forcing cutbacks in irrigation and prompting the authorities to begin water rationing to about 1.2 million households across northern Taiwan, said a government website.

Authorities have begun cutting off water supplies for two days each week in several cities north of the country.

“The water supply situation is urgent as Taiwan had the lowest rainfall last autumn and winter since 1947,” said the authorities.

“We may have delayed or no monsoon rains at all [this year.] We urge the public to co-operate during this difficult time.”

The island nation’s reservoirs have fallen to below 24  percent of capacity, “and lit­tle water will be available for ir­rigation until next June, according to estimates of the Water Resource Planning Commission under the Economics Ministry.”

“The use of water for irrigation was suspended Dec. 1 by the Pro­vincial Reconstruction Depart­ment. It directed farmers to let land lie fallow this spring rather than endanger the supply of water for household use. Farmers will be compensated for letting more than 75,000 hectares of farmland stay idle,” said the report.

Although Taiwan [pop. 24 million] “enjoys an oceanic and subtropical monsoon climate and receives an average annual rainfall of 90 billion cubic meters,” or 2.6 times the global average [total land area: 36,190 km²,] its annual rain per capita is only one-sixth of the world’s average due to its high population density.

[“About 50 bil­lion cubic meters of rain goes directly to the ocean, 20 billion evap­orates and 4 billion soaks into the ground. Only about 20 billion cu­bic meters is available for use, from reservoirs, rivers, and ac­cessible ground water supplies.”]

Taiwan consumed about 17.6 billion cubic meters of water in 1991: About 13.6 billion for  farming, 2.5 billion for households and 1.5 billion for industry.

However, only 20 percent of Taiwan’s water meets the regulatory standard, said the government.

“A third of its 50 rivers and tributaries are seriously polluted, according to a report by the 1,322 water quality observation centers across the island. Every day nearly 2,800 tons of wastewater from farms, factories and households follows its course to the rivers.”

Southern Taiwan, which is plagued by “heavy-metal and chemical industries,” is also facing acute water shortages, as a result of which both the “aquacultural and industrial sec­tors” are pumping underground wa­ter excessively, “causing the ground to sink,” said the report.

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Sierra Nevada Snowpack Virtually Vanished

Posted by feww on April 4, 2015

‘NO Snow Whatsoever’ at Phillips Snow Course—first time in 75 years

No snow whatsoever was found at 6,800 feet (2,073m) in the Sierra Nevada this week, reported the California Department of Water Resources (DWR). This was the first early-April measurement that found no snow at Phillips Station in 75 years.

04-01-15-Snow_Survey_3
At an elevation of 6,800 feet, Phillips Station in the Sierra has been measured since 1941, with an average April 1 snow depth of 66.5 inches. Today was the first early-April measurement that found no snow at Phillips, an indication, Governor Brown said, of the drought’s extreme severity. Statewide, the snowpack’s water content is just 5 percent of average for April 1, breaking the previous record of 25 percent in 1977 and 1991. Brown observed the manual survey, which confirmed electronic readings showing the statewide snowpack with less water content than any early-April since 1950. DWR Photography Kelly Grow and Florence Low.  Copyright © 2015 State of California.

  • The Sierra snowpack traditionally is at its peak in early April before it begins to melt.
  • The statewide snowpack currently holds less than 1.4 inches of water content, or less than 5 percent of the historical average of 28.3 inches for April 1.
  • The previous low for the date was 25 percent in 2014 and 1977.
  • The Phillips snow course has averaged 66.5 inches in early April since first readings in 1941.

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Drought Crop Disaster Declared in Utah

Posted by feww on April 3, 2015

8 Counties in Utah declared drought crop disaster areas 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated eight additional counties in Utah as crop disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by drought.

The latest crop disaster areas include Davis, Box Elder, Cache, Morgan, Rich, Salt Lake, Tooele and Weber counties.

Crop Disasters 2015

Beginning January 7, 2015 USDA has declared crop disasters in at least 948 counties across 20  states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.

Majority of the 2015 crop disaster designations so far are due to drought.

Crop Disasters 2014

In 2014, USDA declared crop disasters in at least 2,904 counties across 44 states. Most of the designations were due to drought.

Those states were:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan. Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. [FIRE-EARTH has documented all of the above listings. See blog content.]

Notes:
i. USDA trigger point for a countywide disaster declaration is 30 percent crop loss on at least one crop.

ii. The counties designated as agricultural disaster areas, as listed above, include both primary and contiguous disaster areas.

iii. Some counties may have been designated as crop disaster areas more than once due to multiple disasters.

iv. The U.S. has a total of 3,143 counties and county-equivalents.

v. The disaster designations posted above were approved by USDA on April 1, 2015.

U.S. Drought Spreads

drought comparison map - population data
U.S. Drought Population Data. Source: U.S. Drought Monitor

Drought Severity
D0 – Abnormally Dry || D1 Drought – Moderate || D2 Drought – Severe || D3 Drought – Extreme || D4 Drought – Exceptional

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