The Times podcast: Our Masters of Disasters break down the fierce drought

People stand in a parched lakebed
Gov. Gavin Newsom holds a news conference in April in the parched basin of Lake Mendocino in Ukiah, Calif.
(Kent Porter / Press Democrat)

Today we launch Drought Week, a five-part series looking at how water shortages across the West are profoundly changing life. We’ll swoop around, from Oregon to the Sonoran Desert, from cities to national parks, from Joshua trees to lawns.


To start Drought Week, it’s only natural — pardon the pun — that we take the bigger view first with our Masters of Disasters, the L.A. Times reporters who focus on natural calamities. So get your five-gallon buckets and put them next to you when you shower, ’cause things are serious right now.

Then stick around to hear from super-heavyweight boxer Richard Torrez Jr., a Californian representing the United States in the Tokyo Olympics, and his father and coach, Richard Torrez Sr.

Host: Gustavo Arellano

Guests: L.A. Times earthquake and COVID-19 reporter Rong-Gong Lin II, L.A. Times coastal reporter Rosanna Xia, L.A. Times wildfire reporter Alex Wigglesworth, boxer Richard Torrez Jr., boxing coach Richard Torrez Sr.

More reading:

Drone photos reveal the shocking truth of California’s parched landscape

He had 10 minutes to flee the Salt fire. Now his home is gone


Ready to scratch the grass? Here are 28 inspiring lawn-free yards

Listen to more episodes of The Times here

About The Times

“The Times” is made by columnist Gustavo Arellano, producer Shannon Lin, senior producer Denise Guerra and editors Lauren Raab, Shani O. Hilton and Julia Turner. Our intern is Ashlea Brown. Our engineer is Mario Diaz and our theme song was composed by Andrew Eapen.