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This is how serious India's drought has gotten

Prakash Rathod's family is living in a makeshift shed of sticks barely 4 feet high, with torn clothes serving as a canopy. They hail from a village more than 300 miles west of Mumbai, in a farming region where some 350 farmers have committed suicide this year due to the impact of one of the worst...

  • A North Korean farm may not be what it appears

    A North Korean farm may not be what it appears

    It looked like a farm: Cabbages were growing in neat rows in the dirt. Cucumber vines stretched to the ceiling in a spotless greenhouse, with an orange tractor parked out front. And it smelled, faintly, like a farm. But in North Korea, master of the Potemkin everything, what looks like a duck and...

  • In response to 'Little Miss Flint,' Obama visits Michigan city for the first time since the water crisis began

    In response to 'Little Miss Flint,' Obama visits Michigan city for the first time since the water crisis began

    President Barack Obama is set to meet with residents of Flint, Michigan, to hear how they're managing after lead from old pipes tainted their drinking water.  And he is bringing a message to Flint on Wednesday: a promise for change.  Obama declared a state of emergency in mid-January and ordered...

  • Californians step up in March, cut water use by 24%

    Californians step up in March, cut water use by 24%

    After months of flagging water conservation, Californians rebounded in March, cutting their urban consumption by 24.3% compared to the same month in 2013. The savings percentage, announced Tuesday, was more than double the state’s effort in February and offered a strong signal that people in cities...

  • In reversal, staff of Coastal Commission recommends approval of Newport Beach hotel and housing project

    In reversal, staff of Coastal Commission recommends approval of Newport Beach hotel and housing project

    In a reversal of its previous position, the staff of the California Coastal Commission is recommending approval of a hotel and housing complex on the last big block of private land on the Southland coast. The proposal to build an upscale hotel, retail space and hundreds of homes on a coastal bluff...

  • L.A.'s water wasters will soon face heavier fines and audits

    L.A.'s water wasters will soon face heavier fines and audits

    As regulators mull softening the state’s drought restrictions amid outcry from some Northern California water districts, water wasters in Los Angeles will soon face stiffer fines and water audits under a plan approved this week by Mayor Eric Garcetti. Under the city’s amended water conservation...

  • This gated community insists California's drought is over, wants green lawns again

    This gated community insists California's drought is over, wants green lawns again

    The warning was stern and unequivocal: The days of unkempt, browning lawns in the gated community of Blackhawk were officially over. “We believe that allowing the drought to negatively impact the landscaping at any Blackhawk home does a disservice to property values throughout the community,” the...

  • West Coast fisheries are at risk as climate change disturbs the ocean's chemistry

    West Coast fisheries are at risk as climate change disturbs the ocean's chemistry

    The West Coast's abundant fisheries are at risk as the region's waters become more acidic, a group of scientists warn. Researchers from the West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Science Panel released a report this month that projects dire changes to ocean chemistry and marine life, and recommends...

  • California delays BPA warning rules, fearing they could scare away shoppers

     California plans to delay state-required warnings on metal cans lined with the chemical BPA, arguing too-specific warnings could scare stores and shoppers in poor neighborhoods away from some of the only fruits and vegetables available — canned ones, officials said Thursday. Instead, the state...

  • Will the world's next wars be fought over water?

    Will the world's next wars be fought over water?

    California’s ongoing drought is one sign that we have entered some uncharted and uncomfortable territory. Of the fears that have risen alongside a warming planet, perhaps none have attracted more attention than the "water wars" hypothesis. This hypothesis says that increased water shortages around...

  • Reservoirs are getting a big boost from 'Miracle March' — but the drought isn't over yet

    Reservoirs are getting a big boost from 'Miracle March' — but the drought isn't over yet

    So much rain has fallen in Northern California recently that federal officials have done what would have been unthinkable a year ago. They opened the spill gates at Folsom Lake and let precious water tumble into the American River as a precaution against — of all things — flooding. A series of...

  • EPA rejects Southern California smog-fighting program as ineffective

    EPA rejects Southern California smog-fighting program as ineffective

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has rejected part of a smog-reduction plan by Southern California air quality regulators, saying it has failed to cut pollution from oil refineries and other big emissions sources as required by federal law. The EPA says an emissions-trading program administered...

  • El Niño: Preparing now for disasters later

    El Niño: Preparing now for disasters later

    For much of this year, some of the world’s most vulnerable people have found themselves in the grip of El Niño, a profound and confounding natural disaster that brings with it severe floods, severe drought and, potentially, more intense and more frequent cyclones. Arriving every three to seven...

  • Natural causes are ruled out in the deaths of 13 bald eagles in Maryland

    Natural causes are ruled out in the deaths of 13 bald eagles in Maryland

    Federal authorities have determined how 13 bald eagles found dead on the Eastern Shore have died, but will only say publicly that they have ruled out natural causes. The focus of the investigation is now on prosecuting anyone responsible for the deaths — Maryland's largest single die-off of the...

  • State Senate leader will introduce measure to counter Southern California air board's industry-friendlier plans

    State Senate leader will introduce measure to counter Southern California air board's industry-friendlier plans

    The leader of the state Senate said Tuesday that he will push to reverse efforts by the Southern California air quality board to adopt pollution rules friendlier to industry, saying swift action is needed to prevent a rollback of environmental gains. State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León...

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