The Green Team: competing in the Californian desert
In the Wild West
The extreme dry spell that hung over California from 2012 to 2014 was the most relentless of the last 1,200 years. Experts fear that these conditions could persist in the region.
Around a third of the water used by California’s cities and farms comes from the snow reservoirs in the high mountain region. As a result of climate change, half of this reserve is expected to melt by 2100.
Fierce forest fires
The dry and hot climate poses an increasing threat of forest fires. In the western parts of the US, severe fires now take hold up to 75 per cent more often than in the 1970s.
Waning water levels
During periods of drought, the residents of California depend on groundwater resources, however these resources are in dramatic decline. Between 2004 and 2014 in the west of the US, the Colorado River Basin alone lost around 65 cubic kilometres of water – more than 1.3 times the volume of Lake Constance.