Christmas tree farmers across the country are experiencing the effects of this drought-filled year. In the United States, according to the National Christmas Tree Association, there are nearly 15,000 Christmas tree farms employing a total of over 100,000 people with combined sales reported at more than $1.3 billion in 2015.  However, the future of this billion-dollar industry may be at stake. According to an article written by Dominique Mosbergen of the Huffington Post, some Christmas tree farms were forced to open later this season or even close down for the year due to the prolonged drought leaving trees dehydrated and lifeless. […]
With much of New England nearing its fifth month of severe drought, the region’s fall foliage and seasonal agriculture are starting to feel the effects. Each year, billions of people flock to the northeast to see the changing leaves on forest trees and participate in fall festivities such as pumpkin and apple picking. Fall tourism in Vermont and New Hampshire produces a combined $1.8 billion;  however, the damaging effects of persistent drought may keep people away and revenue down. Recent reports state some agriculture is half its normal size and, in certain areas, the foliage is less vibrant than usual. […]
Drought has triggered another environmental disaster: a bug infestation. The epidemic has claimed the lives of over 60 million trees in the Sierra Nevada region of California over the last 5 years.  Excessive heat and prolonged periods of drought have given rise to bark beetles. Smaller than the tip of your pencil, these beetles have systematically destroyed the forest from the inside out. The wide-spread tree decay has sparked concerns related to wildfires that can devastate an already arid region. Without adequate moisture, trees have been left weak and vulnerable; unable to properly defend against an attack. An article […]
As our Pacific Southwest, and other drought-prone regions of our country, struggle with the regulatory challenges of safely guiding water reuse, the EPA has published a great deal of information on their website. A recent article, which can be found here: http://www.epa.gov/region9/water/recycling/ aims to familiarize users and treatment providers with basic information to help them determine if and how water reuse could help solve their facility or community issues.