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A Day of Drought

(originally published 9/29/2014)

A few weeks ago I went to shoot some fill-in material for a story on the drought I was doing for Landscape Architecture magazine. I thought the juxtaposition of the two subjects really told the story of how bad it is and how far we need to go before all of us out here in the southland start to take some responsibility ourselves for improving the situation.

It is pretty clear that we may be in this for a while. A report last week from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center indicates a poor forecast for rain and more importantly the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada for this winter. The snowpack is critical for farmers in the San Joachin Valley, without it the crops simply don’t get the irrigation they need. Cutbacks in water allocation have forced farmers to take water from the water table below, a limited supply at best and one that replenishes very slowly. There is only so much they can squeeze from it and without a healthy snowpack it is only a matter of time before the situation becomes critical. At that point high prices for food will be the least of our problems.

My day started in the nearby community of Cheviot Hills. I originally went there to shoot the sprinklers on the golf courses which are a major user of water in urban and suburban environments...

For complete story contact me at pbennett(at)