The Times podcast: Let’s blame someone for California’s drought

An abandoned almond orchard in Newman, Calif.
An aerial photo of an abandoned almond orchard in Newman, Calif. The state’s deepening drought threatens its $6-billion almond industry, which produces about 80% of the world’s almonds. As water becomes scarce and expensive, some growers have stopped irrigating their orchards and plan to tear them out years earlier than planned.
(Terry Chea / Associated Press)

It’s barely spring in 2022 and California has already broken record heat and drought levels never before seen in 1,200 years. Major reservoirs across the American West are at record lows. Groundwater is drying up. It’s projected to get even worse in the upcoming summer months. Come June 1, millions of Southern Californians will have to learn how to live with the region’s most severe water restrictions ever.

So who can we blame? Today, our Masters of Disasters tell us. Read the transcript.

Host: Gustavo Arellano

Guests: L.A. Times earthquake reporter Rong-Gong Lin II, L.A. Times wildfire reporter Alex Wigglesworth and L.A. Times breaking news reporter Hayley Smith


More reading:

A drought so bad it exposed a long-ago homicide. Getting the water back will be harder than ever

It’s not even summer, and California’s two largest reservoirs are at ‘critically low’ levels

Your lawn will suffer amid the megadrought. Save money and put it out of its misery

About The Times

“The Times” is made by columnist Gustavo Arellano, senior producers Denise Guerra, Shannon Lin and Kasia Broussalian and producers David Toledo, Ashlea Brown and Angel Carreras. Our engineers are Mario Diaz and Mark Nieto. Our editor is Kinsee Morlan. Our executive producers are Jazmín Aguilera and Shani O. Hilton. Our theme song was composed by Andrew Eapen.