What it takes to recover from drought

Read the full story at Phys.org.

Drought-stricken areas anxiously await the arrival of rain. Full recovery of the ecosystem, however, can extend long past the first rain drops on thirsty ground.

According to a study published August 10 in Nature, the length of drought  depends on several factors, including the region of the world and the post-drought weather conditions. The authors, including William Anderegg of the University of Utah, warn that more frequent  in the future may not allow time for ecosystems to fully recover before the next drought hits.

Saving Lives by Predicting Global Drought

Read the full story in Pacific Standard.

Droughts are large-scale phenomena that can morph through time and space, and accurately forecasting them has long proven an elusive goal for climate scientists and meteorologists. But a new study could help because it reveals certain quite-specific geographic patterns that some regional droughts follow over and over again.

After analyzing thousands of droughts on all continents over a 30-year period, an international team of researchers found that about 10 percent of droughts follow predictable tracks. Combining new models with existing forecasting tools, the findings will give scientists a jump on predicting droughts.

Trump win churns U.S.-Mexico water talks

Read the full story at Politico.

Negotiations between the U.S. and Mexico to seal a water-sharing deal over the dwindling supplies on the Colorado River are confronting a new deadline: the inauguration of Donald Trump.

California, White House Launch Water Data Challenge

Read the full post at CivSource.

The state of California and the White House are coming together on a new open data challenge around California’s drought. The challenge is backed by Governor Brown’s Water Action Plan, which is a roadmap for the first five years of the state’s work on sustainable water management. The Governor and several state agencies are inviting developers to use the state’s open data to create applications that help save water.

The challenge will run from October 28 – December 5, 2016. Final entries must be submitted by 5:00 pm Pacific Time on December 5, 2016, and a closing event will be held on December 9, 2016.

California’s Dire Drought Message Wanes, Conservation Levels Drop

Read the full story from NPR.

Remember the California drought? It was all over the news a year ago, when the state took the unprecedented step of mandating statewide water cutbacks. The Sierra Nevada snowpack was at its lowest recorded level. Rivers and reservoirs were getting shallower and shallower. Wells in rural towns were literally running dry.

That drought is still very much a thing.

‘Climate change is water change’ — why the Colorado River system is headed for major trouble

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

There’s good news and bad news for the drought-stricken Colorado River system, according to projections just released in a new federal report from the Bureau of Reclamation, manager of dams, powerplants and canals.

The report predicts that Lake Mead — the river system’s largest reservoir, supplying water to millions of people in Nevada, Arizona, California and Mexico — will narrowly escape a shortage declaration next year. But a shortage is looking imminent in 2018, and water experts are growing ever more worried about the river system’s future.