Documenting California's Epic Drought

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A reporter and photographer on a road trip across California, looking at how the drought has reshaped lives there.

Maybe el Nino will bail California out.  Dump enough water in the right places this winter to pull the Golden State back from the brink of drought disaster. But there is no guarantee. And no single season of rain is going to cure the state of its long, parched descent into bone dry. Diana Marcum won the Pulitzer Prize for her reporting on California’s drought. She’s back on the road right now, witnessing with photographer Robert Gauthier just how bad it is. How Californians are adjusting - or not.  Looking at lives and futures. This hour On Point: we’re on the road in drought-stricken California.
-- Tom Ashbrook


Diana Marcum, Pulitzer Prize-winning Central Valley reporter for the Los Angeles Times. (@DianaMarcum)

Robert Gauthier, staff photographer for the Los Angeles Times. (@rgaut999)

Jeffrey Mount, senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California's Water Policy Center. Professor emeritus at the University of California Davis’ Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.

From Tom's Reading List

Los Angeles Times: A Journey Into The Drylands — Los Angeles Times staff writer Diana Marcum and photographer Robert Gauthier are both California born-and-bred journalists who have seen their state go through many changes. They're hitting the road in the fourth year of drought in California and documenting it on this blog.

Los Angeles Times: Q&A: El Niño could bring disaster and drought relief to California — "Winds along the Pacific Ocean at the equator typically move east to west. That’s why ocean water enjoyed by tourists on Indonesian beaches is so warm. Winds move warm water west, and the eastern Pacific Ocean's surface along the equator is chilled as deep ocean water wells up. In big El Niño years, so-called trade winds weaken, allowing the eastern Pacific Ocean to warm up more — making El Niño even stronger.

Los Angeles Times: Fires followed by floods: California faces dramatic climate year with El Nino, drought — "El Niño is a warming of the ocean along the equator west of Peru, which triggers changes in the atmosphere that can dramatically alter weather patterns across the world. Although there is still some debate about how strong an effect this year's El Niño will have on California, flood control officials are beginning to plan for the worst."

This program aired on July 23, 2015.


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