LA Times on water

The LA Times has three articles on water in California.

The first, "As wells run dry, Central Valley neighbors find common ground" talks about ground water pumping in the Central Valley, the rise of almond farming as a last ditch financial gambit despite its heavy water inputs. Its accompanied by some nice black and white photographs. Perhaps this caliber of article is what we can (happily) anticipate with the Times new publisher?

A second article, "Climate change won't dry up Southern California, study finds" takes a more local approach and summarizes recent UCLA climate predictions.  Contrary to earlier predictions, average rainfall in S. Ca. is not expected to change all that much due to climate change.  However, the pattern of rain may shift. This sort of modeling is important because planners need to know how to build water infrastructure now for the decades to come and local planning is all about doing ground water recharge with local rainfall.  All good stuff, until the next model comes along that upends it all.  Still, I think that the model fidelity generally improves with time so this is, for now, the most believable scenario.

The third, Gardeners, nurseries struggle to adapt as drought cuts their business: In four decades of tending people's yards, this year has been [gardener] Ortega's roughest: Clients put off landscaping projects, scaled back his duties or simply let their yards go altogether, costing him thousands of dollars. As one of California's worst droughts continues, gardeners across the region have been faced with a choice: Become more water-savvy or risk being left behind. 

The story continues that gardens are transforming to drier landscaping and gardeners have to stay current or risk losing their livelihood. How long is this going to take?
"The change will be gradual, but soon, you're going to see more and more people transition their yards," Muir [spokesman for the Los Angeles Metropolitan Water District] said. "And those gardeners who don't adapt will see their opportunities become more sparse." It's tough to say how long it will take to phase out the ideal of a lush, thirsty garden; water policy experts say it could be decades.

native plants...lawn removal rebates...design firms specializing in drought tolerant...intransigent plant growers and nurseries that would rather go out of business than adapt...Payne Foundation... It's all there.  Have a read. 

Actually, it's the intransigent grower/nursery owner that is the most interesting to me. Their interviewee is willing to watch his business evaporate rather than change, even though he knows what to do. Why? Because "It would take too long to grow the seedlings, too much effort to relearn all the plant names and growing habits."  Don't let the door hit you on the way out, gramps. 

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