Tag Archives: drought

Weather ravages border communities

Frontera NorteSur

In the last two years, Maverick County, Texas, made the list of entities rated by the U.S. Drought Monitor as suffering from extreme or exceptional drought. The classification made farmers in the county on the U.S.-Mexico border eligible for extra assistance from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.

But on June 14 and 15, the world changed dramatically. In a 36-hour period, 16.65 inches of rain deluged Maverick, setting off flooding in low-income neighborhoods known as colonias and many other parts of the county.

A crisis in border farming

Frontera NorteSur

Tarahumara women stand in line to receive aid from volunteers with a local non-profit that is working to provide relief to residents of the drought-stricken region. (Photo courtesy New America Media by Mike Jimenez.)

Tarahumara women stand in line to receive aid from volunteers with a local non-profit that is working to provide relief to residents of the drought-stricken region. (Photo courtesy New America Media by Mike Jimenez.)

The land has long produced a basket of delights. Wine grapes, chile and cotton have all thrived in the Juárez Valley bordering Texas. Nowadays, though, farming is in flux — battered by drought, urbanization and other adverse forces. Statistics recently published by El Diario de Juárez newspaper documented the decline of and changes in regional agriculture since the turn of the century.

Report: Climate change complications for Colorado wildlife

This NWF map shows the increase in wildfire acreages for every 1.8 degree rise in temperatures. (Courtesy of NWF.)

This NWF map shows the increase in wildfire acreages for every 1.8 degree rise in temperatures. (Courtesy of NWF.)

Deborah Courson Smith

Public News Service

DENVER – Wild weather, droughts and wildfires in Colorado are chronicled in a new report from the National Wildlife Federation that takes a look at how climate change is impacting wild critters large and small.

The increase in the number of acres burning each summer is significant, said report author and federation senior scientist Amanda Staudt, as is the length of the wildfire season.

The fabulous, frightening fall of 2012

Fall on the Rio Grande. (Photo courtesy of Mike Tungate via Flickr under Creative Commons license. License terms below.)

Silence greets climate-change report

Kent Paterson

Frontera NorteSur, Commentary

High fall is a glorious time in New Mexico. As farmers’ markets unload the last batches of home-grown produce, the lingering aromas of fresh, roasting green chile stimulate the senses. Pumpkins, soon transformed into scary faces, hop from the farm to haunt homes. Running down the Middle Rio Grande Valley, the bosque, or river forest, dazzles like a drooping ribbon of green, yellow and orange, nudging the big Elephant Butte Reservoir that supplies water to New Mexico, Texas and Mexico.

Mixed mood in Mexico as July 1 vote looms

Supporter of PRD candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador displays campaign materials on June 23 in Calle Madero, Mexico City. Mexico will elect a new president and various other officials on July 1. (Photo courtesy Randal Sheppard via Flickr under Creative Commons license. License details below.)

PRI poised for return to Los Pinos

Virtually uncovered in the US press and given secondary treatment in the Mexican national media, the local and state elections will have important consequences for the distribution of power during the next several years, especially considering the enhanced autonomy of municipal and state governments in relation to federal authority.

Kent Paterson

Frontera NorteSur

As Mexico’s political campaigns wind down in preparation for the big election day on July 1, mixed moods of doubt, anger, tension, confusion, excitement, exhaustion, resignation and hope grip the body politic.

Climate havoc crosses borders

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martines and Chihuahua Gov. Cesar Duarte chat during a visit Martinez paid to Chihuahua city in November. The two governors now are struggling with an ongoing drought in the region. (Rio Grande Digital file photo)

Frontera NorteSur

For the second year in a row, residents of New Mexico and neighboring Chihuahua, Mexico, find themselves in the throes of severe drought. On May 15, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez issued an emergency drought declaration, citing in part a forecast from the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center that warned of persistent or intensified drought in the state.

As an example of deepening water woes, Martinez noted the water shortage in the northern town of Las Vegas. Martinez’s office stated that 2011 was the second driest year ever recorded in New Mexico.

More bleak news for Rio Grande irrigators

Editor’s Note: Frontera NorteSur’s special coverage of the southern New Mexico borderland is made possible in part by a grant from the McCune Charitable Foundation

Kent Paterson

Frontera NorteSur

Dependent on melting snowpack in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico for much of their water, Rio Grande irrigators in the Paso del Norte borderland are in for more bad news.

In time of drought, Mexico’s Tarahumara turn to tradition

Tarahumara women stand in line to receive aid from volunteers with a local non-profit that is working to provide relief to residents of the drought-stricken region. (Photo courtesy New America Media by Mike Jimenez.)

Indigenous populations lack food, rely on each other

José Luis Sierra

New America Media

CARICHI, Mex.- “Córima.”

For the more than 60,000 Tarahumara Indians living in the high Sierras of northern Mexico, the expression connotes sharing, a tradition more of necessity than charity. It also is a subtle reminder of the ongoing drought that is proving to be one of Mexico’s worst dry seasons in recent memory.

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