The first measure of Sierra Nevada snowpack in 2013 showed promising signs for California’s water supply, with water content at 134 percent of average statewide, NBC News reported, citing state officials. California receives approximately one third of its water from snow in the Sierra range.
An oil boom spurred by hydraulic fracturing in the Monterey shale may be in California’s future, according to this column posted by Reuters. The state government took the first steps toward expanded fracking by publishing draft rules for the practice on December 18.
Droughts and Floods
The severe drought in the United States is still being felt as Mississippi River water levels remain low. More than 8,000 jobs and 7.2 million tons of commodities are at risk if the river levels continue to drop this month, according to numbers released today by the Waterways Council and the American Waterways Operators, Farm Futures reported.
Last year was the second wettest on record in the United Kingdom, the Guardian reported. With 1,330.7 millimeters (52.4 inches) of rain, 2012 was just 6.6 millimeters (0.26 inches) below the record set in 2000.
Africa and the Middle East
Sudan hopes that an expansion of its Roseiris dam on the Blue Nile River will increase agricultural production and encourage agricultural foreign investment, Reuters reported. The country is looking to its agricultural sector to make up for the loss of oil reserves in South Sudan.
New archaeological discoveries in Jordan’s ancient city of Petra show complex dam and terrace farming systems that allowed the city to grow food for itself and for trade in a typically dry climate, Live Science reported.