It’s no secret that we need rain in several American regions. Of course, many of us have lived through drought cycles in the past (half my youth was spent being told, If it’s yellow, let it mellow) but this drought cycle feels different. Because it is. First-ever water cuts declared for Colorado River in historic drought. “Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the US by volume, has drained at an alarming rate this year. At around 1,067 feet above sea level and 35% full, the Colorado River reservoir is at its lowest since the lake was filled after the Hoover Dam was completed in the 1930s.”

+ Esquire: Going With the Flow Is No Longer an Option in Arizona. Or California.

+ Along with the drought comes increased fire danger. And for the folks fighting those fires, things are anything but business as usual. Burning out: the silent crisis spreading among wildland firefighters.

+ Extreme conditions lead to extreme ideas. SF Chronicle: San Francisco Bay’s tides are going to rise. Should we dam the Golden Gate first? “Researchers in the past have dismissed this seemingly straightforward concept on environmental grounds. Engineers are skeptical, too. But the enormity of the challenge has some Bay Area leaders saying it should at least be studied.” (I still like my idea of using ocean tides for pasta water.)