Scarce water and unrelenting heat are rattling the states west of the Mississippi River. Wildfires this year have already charred more than 1.5 million acres and darkened the skies for thousands of miles. Household wells are going dry, large reservoirs on the Colorado River are dangerously low, and farmers from California to Oregon and Idaho are being told no irrigation water is available. Salmon and marine life, meanwhile, are succumbing to record-breaking heat.
Is this an unusually severe drought — or something altogether different?
On August 5, join a roundtable of experienced journalists and subject-matter experts to discuss the drying of the American West, what it means, and how to report it.
In this hour-long event, a lively discussion and Q&A, you will learn:
• data sources and tools for finding current statistics on reservoir levels, fire movements, dry well reports, crop conditions, and more.
• story ideas
• scientific context for the region's drought crisis
• Spot the special interests and avoid the pitfalls and clichés
This media-only event follows the public online event, Drought in the American West: The Everything Disaster. (Learn more about the August 4 event https://www.circleofblue.org/the-drying-american-west/.)
National editor, climate and environment team
The Washington Post
• Pulitzer Prize, Explanatory Reporting, 2020 2C: Beyond the Limit
• Pulitzer Prize, International Reporting, 2019 Yemen's Dirty War
• Pulitzer Finalist, International Reporting, 2018, Collapse of the Calliphate
• Pulitzer Finalist, National Reporting, 2009, The Subversion of the EPA
Heather Cooley, Pacific Institute
Peter Gleick, Pacific Institute
Cody Pope, Vector Center
Johannes Cullmann, World Meteorological Organization
Brett Walton, Circle of Blue
Faith Kerns, California Institute for Water Resources
Laura Paskus, New Mexico PBS