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Despite recent rains and record snowpack, California’s drought is far from over

The Department of Water Resources announced an increase in allocations from 5 percent to 30 percent of requested water. For agriculture, the increased allocations mean approximately 10 million acre feet of water for the nearly 10 million acres of irrigated farmland in the state or enough water to cover every acre of irrigated farmland with one foot of water if applied at once. However, drought is more complex than surface water levels with considerations needed …

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Are Western cities ready for renewable skyscrapers?

Every so often a product comes along that presents itself as a “sustainable” innovation, yet has compelling appeal even if sustainability isn’t someone’s top priority. Of course, sustainability has become something of an overused buzzword, but it generally refers to a production process that doesn’t deplete natural resources or damage the environment. So called “mass timber” is an example of such an innovation. Able to replace reinforced concrete as a building material, it is economically competitive and …

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Pork producers await the SCOTUS decision on Prop 12

The law, approved by California voters back in 2018, would require pork producers to give hogs in commercial settings 24-square-feet of housing space in which they would not come in contact with another pig. It also bans gestation crates and requires any pork coming into the state to follow the same housing rules, regardless of origin. Both the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and the American Farm Bureau Federation have appealed their original lawsuit to …

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