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Friday, May 1

Washington drought now in nearly half the state: "Washington is so screwed"

Drought areas in Washington State, apple kingdom of the US. 

April 17, NBC Washington affiliate King5 TV: 

Governor expands drought declaration to nearly half of Wash.

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Governor Jay Inslee expanded the drought emergency declaration to include nearly half of Washington on Friday.

Sixteen watersheds in Western Washington and eight on the east side of the state are expected to experience hardships. These 24 river basins impact around 44% of the state.

April 22, Tom Philpott for Mother Jones

California's been getting all the attention, but it isn't the only agriculture-centric western state dealing with brutal drought. Washington, a major producer of wheat and wine grapes and the source of nearly 70 percent of US apples grown for fresh consumption, also endured an usually warm and snow-bereft winter.
The drought regions include apple-heavy areas like Yakima Valley and the Okanogan region. Given that warmer winters—and thus less snow—are consistent with the predictions of climate change models, the Washington drought delivers yet more reason to consider expanding fruit and vegetable production somewhere far from the west coast. That's an idea I've called de-Californication (see here and here). But we'll need a new term to encompass the northwest. De-westernization? Doesn't have quite the same ring.

[end report]

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