Southern California Declares Emergency as Western US Faces Ongoing Drought

Headline Roundup April 28th, 2022

Large swaths of the western U.S. have faced “extreme” drought conditions and water restrictions for months. On Wednesday, southern California’s water supplier declared a water shortage emergency. 

Responding to what officials called an “unprecedented” crisis, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California asked businesses and residents to limit outdoor watering to one day per week. “We don’t have enough water supplies right now to meet normal demand. The water is not there,” one official said. 

While areas of “extreme” drought are widespread, some parts of Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Nevada and Oregon are experiencing a higher level of “exceptional” drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Lake Mead, an important water source for parts of Arizona and Nevada, fell to historically low water levels and exposed an intake valve that had remained submerged since its installation in 1971. This trend is not unique to the U.S.; it was reported in early April that severe drought threatened livestock in Ethiopia

While several left-rated outlets featured original coverage, major right-rated outlets used wire service articles from Associated Press (Center bias) to cover the California drought. Some coverage in left-rated outlets discussed climate change in the first paragraph of articles; original coverage from right-rated outlets often did not mention climate change at all. 

From the Center
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Southern California’s gigantic water supplier has taken the unprecedented step of requiring about 6 million people to cut their outdoor watering to one day a week as an extended drought plagues the state following another dry winter.

The board of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California on Tuesday declared a water shortage emergency and is requiring certain cities and water agencies it supplies to implement the cutback on June 1 and enforce it or face hefty fines.

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From the Left
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The historically severe drought in Southern California has compelled one of its water suppliers to implement “emergency” conservation measures for the first time that will affect about 6 million people.

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) declared the water shortage emergency Tuesday and ordered limits to “reduce nonessential water use” to parts of Los Angeles, Ventura and San Bernardino counties. The move includes the unprecedented measure of restricting outdoor watering to one day a week for about a third of their region.

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From the Right
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Leaders in the Western United States are scrambling to secure precious water supplies for their states and cities as they battle the worst drought conditions in 1,200 years with little, if any, relief on the horizon.

Irrigation districts in many parts of the Southwest are already warning farmers to expect less water from rivers such as the Rio Grande this year, even as demand has surged following months of below-average precipitation. And in the Pacific Northwest, experts are forecasting one of the driest summers on record, noting that more than 70% of the region is already considered to...

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