Boats grounded in canal off Lake Okeechobee, Florida

1 week ago
At least half a dozen boats were grounded in a canal off Lake Okeechobee as moderate drought in the region lowered water levels. Lake Okeechobee was at 12.6 feet above sea level, the lowest it has been in early January since 2010. WPTV-TV NBC 5 West Palm Beach (West Palm Beach, Fla.), Jan. 3, 2019

Kansas drought emergency

1 week 3 days ago
Gov. Colyer rescinded a drought declaration signed in September and stated that drought had abated statewide. Kansas Office of the Governor (Topeka), Jan. 8, 2019 Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer updated the drought declarations to reflect the recent rainfall and improvement in drought conditions. Fifty counties were in emergency status, and five were in watch status. KFDI-FM 101.3 (Wichita, Kan.), Sept. 11, 2018 Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer added 22 counties to a drought emergency declaration, making the counties eligible for emergency use of water from certain state fishing lakes. Dairy Herd Network (Lenexa, Kan.), Aug. 14, 2018 Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer recognized 50 counties as being in a drought emergency, 27 as being in a drought warning and 28 counties in a drought watch. His previous order, issued in March, included 28 counties in a drought emergency. Emporia Gazette (Kan.), July 6, 2018

New Mexico irrigation district warning of dire allotment in 2019

4 weeks ago
The Elephant Butte Irrigation District issued warnings that customers might receive as little as a few inches of water per acre if this winter does not bring more snow to fill Elephant Butte Reservoir, which dipped to just 3 percent of capacity in September. Subsequent snowfall boosted the reservoir level a little. Santa Fe New Mexican (N.M.), Dec. 20, 2018

Surplus power interrupted in Juneau, Alaska

4 weeks 2 days ago
Due to low reservoir levels, Alaska Electric Light & Power interrupted line power to Greens Creek Mine, which is an electric customer that receives surplus power. Power interruptions began in September. Juneau Empire (Alaska), Dec. 17, 2018

Higher electricity rates in Juneau, Alaska

4 weeks 2 days ago
Alaska Electric Light & Power alerted its customers to higher electricity rates probably through June 2019, due to low rainfall and insufficient hydropower production. The increase will amount to about $13.62 per month starting with January’s bills. AEL&P also produces surplus power, which is usually sold to several other entities, such as Greens Creek Mine, Princess Cruise Lines and others, with the understanding that the supply is interruptible when water supplies are low. Since reservoir levels were low, there was not enough surplus electricity to sell to these customers, fully interrupting their supply for the first time in five years. Juneau Empire (Alaska), Dec. 17, 2018

Christmas tree shortage in eastern Massachussetts

1 month ago
An Attleboro tree farm manager reported a shortage of Christmas trees in his area and noted that people from the Cape, Rhode Island and Braintree were calling in search of trees. The financial crisis in 2008 when tree growers planted fewer trees was one reason there were not enough trees, and several hot, dry summers slowing tree growth was another reason for the shortage. Attleboro Sun Chronicle (Mass.), Dec. 16, 2017

Series of dry summers stressing, killing western Washington trees

1 month 1 week ago
A series of hot, dry summers has caused Skagit County trees to turn brown and die from disease and insect infestations. Western red cedars were especially affected, but several other species, including maples and hemlocks, were affected also, according to area foresters with Washington State University Extension Forestry and the Skagit Conservation District. Cedars and other trees manifested signs of drought damage in the Anacortes Community Forest Lands, Deception Pass State Park and private forest lands. Skagit Valley Herald ( (Wash.), Dec. 9, 2018

Treated sewage water made potable in El Paso, Texas

1 month 1 week ago
The El Paso water system was turning to treated sewage water for a renewable water source as climate change was expected to reduce the flow of the Rio Grande River as there was less snowmelt from northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. The city also has a desalination plant to treat brackish water from an aquifer. WQAD-TV 8 (Davenport/Rock Island/Moline) (Iowa), Dec. 5, 2018

Initial allocation of 10 percent for California's State Water Project

1 month 1 week ago
The California Department of Water Resources announced the initial water allocation of 10 percent for the State Water Project contractors for the 2019 calendar year, due to a dry start to the 2019 water year. In addition, many large reservoirs were below average. Department of Water Resources (Sacramento, Calif.), Nov. 30, 2018

Remnants of submerged town appear in Blue Mesa Reservoir in southwest Colorado

1 month 1 week ago
The depleted Blue Mesa Reservoir, at 39 percent of capacity, revealed the remnants of the town of Iola, a community swallowed when the Blue Mesa Dam was constructed in the 1960s. The streets were again visible, as were 10 to 15 building foundations, including that of the town’s general store. Colorado Public Radio (Centennial, Colo.), Nov. 19, 2018

Limited hunting opportunities in southwest Missouri

1 month 2 weeks ago
Wetlands were not as wet as usual in the Missouri Department of Conservation’s Robert E. Talbot Conservation Area. The Spring River, which crosses the Talbot Area, brought less water than normal after the summer drought, leaving hunters with significantly less water to draw waterfowl. “Water conditions are extremely low due to the summer drought, low flow in the Spring River, and chronically dry soils. Waterfowl hunting opportunities will be very limited this winter especially later in the season,” according to MDC Wildlife Management Biologist and Talbot Area Manager Frank Loncarich. Department of Conservation (Jefferson City, Mo.), Nov. 30, 2018

Open burning prohibited in Kern County, California

1 month 2 weeks ago
Kern County Fire Department reminded the public that open burning of hazardous fuels continued to be prohibited, due to drought and long-range weather forecasts. Ridgecrest News Review (Calif.), Nov. 30, 2018

Care urged with campfires along California's Lost Coast Trail

1 month 2 weeks ago
The Bureau of Land Management urged visitors to be especially careful with campfires along the Lost Coast Trail on California’s Lost Coast. The King Range has received just 1.5 inches of rain from August through November, in comparison with an average of nearly 19 inches during that time frame. The unusually arid fall came on the heels of a warm, dry summer. My Outdoor Buddy (Minden, Nev.), Nov. 21, 2018

Drought, urbanization limit citrus production in Arizona

1 month 2 weeks ago
Drought and urbanization have limited citrus production in Arizona. While demand for lemons was at a peak, Arizona growers were not growing enough to meet demand because there was not enough water for irrigation. Phoenix Business Journal (Ariz.), Nov. 24, 2018

Coho salmon unable to spawn in Douglas County, Oregon

1 month 2 weeks ago
Low river flows and warm water temperatures in Douglas County caused a delay in the coho spawning, due to low water levels preventing fish from swimming upstream, according to Evan Leonetti, a biologist with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife in Roseburg. The cold-water fish were also more susceptible to predation. Since coho can spawn until spring, there was still time for spawning to occur. Roseburg News-Review (Ore.), Nov. 20, 2018

Drought killed Christmas tree seedlings in Portland, Oregon

1 month 3 weeks ago
A Portland Christmas tree grower planted 9,000 trees in the spring, but nearly all of them, except for a couple hundred, died because drought destroyed the trees. While the grower normally has a 95 percent survival rate, this year that percentage better described how many trees he lost. KPTV-TV Fox 12 Beaverton (Ore.), Nov. 24, 2018
7 hours ago
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