drought

Courtesy KABC Los Angeles / Center For Health Journalism Collaborative

Valley fever has long been a major health concern for people who live in the San Joaquin Valley. A fungus that grows in the soil can become airborne. If inhaled it can cause serious health issues, even death in some cases, though most people who contract the disease have a mild case, and they don’t even know they’ve had it. Now cases of the disease are up significantly in Kern County and some say it is connected to California's weather patterns. It's one theory explored in the first report of...

Forecasting An Epidemic: Does Weather Hold The Key To Predicting Valley Fever Outbreaks?

Nov 13, 2016
Craig Kohlruss / The Fresno Bee

When a punishing drought besieged California in the late 1980s, relief came with 30 days of rain in 1991 — dubbed the March Miracle because of how it revived the state’s agricultural economy. Those significant swings in the weather may have had another consequence, though. The next year, Kern County health officials counted more cases of valley fever than ever before, with roughly 3,342 diagnoses and 25 deaths. By contrast, a decade earlier in 1982, fewer than 200 people were diagnosed with...

Ezra Romero/KVPR

With the drought in California in its fifth year little is known about how people’s health is affected by it. Thousands of acres have been fallowed, lakes are experiencing toxic algae blooms and water sources for whole communities have dried up. There have been a few small studies around public health and the drought, but now a larger two-year study is in the works by UC Riverside. To find out what the study hopes to accomplish Valley Public Radio’s Ezra David Romero interviewed Professors...

Kerry Klein/KVPR

In 2014, Governor Jerry Brown declared a drought state of emergency as wells across the state began to run dry. This just two years after California became the first state to legally recognize water as a human right. And yet, thousands of residents remain without water, as the state estimates 2,000 wells have run dry. While temporary relief has come to many, permanent relief has still been slow to arrive. Last Friday, a solution finally came to one of Tulare County’s hardest hit communities...

Kerry Klein/KVPR

Four years into the drought, an estimated 1,500 wells have run dry in Tulare County. Now, thanks to a state-funded project, relief is finally coming to one of the county’s hardest hit communities. For the first time in three years, water splashed out of a spigot at an East Porterville home on Friday. The Ramirez family home is one of about 500 in the unincorporated community whose private wells have run dry since the drought began. Now, a new project is connecting East Porterville’s 1,800...

Community Water Center

When we talk about water in the San Joaquin Valley, it’s often to highlight water problems, like dry wells, contaminated drinking water or, more recently, toxic algae in lakes and reservoirs. But the news isn’t all bad: local advocate Susana De Anda recently received an award from the White House for her work bringing clean water to San Joaquin Valley communities. She's the co-director and co-founder of the Community Water Center, a non-profit that lobbies policymakers, pursues grants and...

Study: Water Windfall Beneath California's Central Valley

Jun 28, 2016
Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

A new study finds California’s Central Valley has three times more water beneath it than previously estimated. As Capital Public Radio’s Amy Quinton reports, researchers say that doesn’t mean accessing the groundwater will be cheap or easy. Researchers at Stanford University found what they call a “water windfall” deep beneath the Central Valley. Stanford Earth Science Professor Rob Jackson is the report’s co-author. Jackson: “We estimate there are about two billion feet acre feet of fresh...

Ezra Romero/KVPR

Residents in a valley community with one of the highest concentrations of dry wells will soon be getting some relief. For years, residents in East Porterville have watched their wells dry up in the drought forcing them to rely on water delivery and tanks. Now, the state of California is offering to pay to hook up the tiny unincorporated community to the much larger city of Porterville. Eric Lamoureux with the Office of Emergency Services says the state will make an initial $10 million dollar...

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

Shipping containers have been used for everything from community gardens to pools and even homes. In rural Madera County one farmer is using these containers to help him save water on his sheep farm. He says a shipping container could actually be a solution to drought. At Golden Valley Farm , about 10 miles northwest of Madera, Mario Daccarett’s employees are milking 500 sheep in rounds of 12. As they hook up long clear suction cups to each animal’s set of teats, milk drains down tubes into a...

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

Farmers in the western part of the San Joaquin valley will receive 5% of their water allocation from the Central Valley Project. That's the word from the federal Bureau of Reclamation. If it’s an April fool’s joke, farmers, water managers and Fresno County leaders aren’t laughing. After two years of zero percent allocation, the Bureau announced that this year, despite El Nino conditions, many growers on the valley’s west side, will only get five percent of their promised water. Farmer Sal...

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