Watering fields in California boosts rainfall in Southwest | Science News


Help us keep you informed.

Real Science. Real News.


Watering fields in California boosts rainfall in Southwest

Irrigation has downstream effects on climate and runoff to Colorado River

10:06pm, January 22, 2013

Farmers in California help make it rain in the American Southwest, a new computer simulation suggests. Water that evaporates from irrigated fields in California’s Central Valley travels to the Four Corners region, where it boosts summer rain and increases runoff to the Colorado River, researchers report online January 12 in Geophysical Research Letters.

This climate link may be crucial to the 40 million people who depend on the Colorado River for drinking water. That number could nearly double in the next 50 years at the same time that droughts are projec

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now. Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content