Two stories this week discussed long-term drought issues in different parts of the world.  Bloomberg reported that California and the rest of the West is watching this coming winter anxiously.  Communities in the West depend on winter snowfall to provide them with up to 90 percent of their water for the summer dry season.  The dwindling chances for El Nino to provide a wet winter season are increasing concerns that the drought will not end any time soon.  You can read the story here at AgWeb.

Meanwhile, in northern China farmers are suffering through a drought that is the worst in 60 years.  Estimates of losses to agriculture so far exceed $1.2 billion.  Even before the rain stopped, according to Associated Press (as reported here in AgWeb), groundwater levels in some areas had dropped by as much as 260 feet.  The drought is one of an increasing number of water crises that has affected the area in recent years.  Trends towards warmer temperatures and lower rainfall in northeast China and higher intensity rainfall in southern China have also increased concerns about long-term impacts of climate trends on agriculture and providing predictable water supplies for an enormous population.