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Saturday, March 28

An online rag called "Oregon Live" tried to force me through hoops UPDATED 4 PM

I went to the site, my first visit there, to read a report on Oregon's deepening drought headlined, "Oregon Drought fuels unease about state's long-term water security"  datelined yesterday.  I'd found the report on Google News when I keyed in "drought." The copy in the report was blanked out; the only way I could read it was if I took a little survey on how I felt about computer technology OR graciously "shared" the report. 

So this isn't a subscription wall or pay wall -- or even an attempt to get my email address by asking to forward the report to my inbox.  I could read the report, for free, provided I behaved in a way the people who run the online newspaper directed me.  I'd never seen anything like it.   

Well, I can't give any more time to Oregon and I'll not waste my time again visiting the Oregon Live site.  If the drought in the state gets bad enough the national press will track it closely. 

For now, Reuters has a report, datelined March 17, headlined, Oregon governor declares drought emergency as snow pack levels drop

It seems a concern is that the weather pattern drying up California is spreading to Oregon.  

There's also a website called "The Oregon Story" run by Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB). The site has a backgrounder to the Oregon drought, which I know from plowing through 100,000 reports during the past year on droughts is never only about the weather. 

Ah. I see the people at Oregon Story are making a genuine attempt to communicate with the reader, so I'll be glad to give them a plug. Here's the lead paragraphs from the site's water section:
Oregon has a reputation as a leader in environmental issues, but in this case, we are following other Western states into an extended, widespread drought. A drought in Oregon? Yes. Because drought isn't always caused by a lack of water. It can also be the result of too many people competing for a limited supply.
Our recent water shortages have led to some highly publicized conflicts. But in the background, a broader crisis has been brewing, and it affects every person in the state. The shortage also has an impact on our fish and wildlife, the food we eat, the water from our faucets, our livelihoods, our play and our economy.
In this section of The Oregon Story, you can learn about the sources of Oregon water, see how an old law has shaped the current situation, and consider the many ways that Oregon depends on a stable water supply.

NEXT: Water, Water Everywhere
All right. On to the Salton Sea and the Jordan River. Sigh. To think I used to complain about the complexity of the Afghan War.  But I've learned that water shortage crises have one thing in common with wars: no matter how different the details and no matter how complex they boil down to a surprisingly small list of drivers -- the same drivers.

UPDATE:  Here's the link to the USGS page titled Drought Watch Pacific Northwest states: Washington, Oregon, Idaho

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