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Arizona Tree Ring Study Shows Recent Historic Drought In Southern California

Trees
(Photo courtesy of AZPM)
Dense trees grow in a forest in northeastern Arizona.

Arizona researchers have found evidence of a historical drought in southern California trees, and the plants can tell water managers how to prepare for the future.

The California Department of Water Resources commissioned a study from the University of Arizona to look at tree rings over centuries.

Those tree rings showed two to three years of dry conditions are common in the Golden State.

However, the period of 2012 to 2016 was, for a lot of southern California, the driest or second-driest five-year drought on record. Those records start in the 1400s.

State officials said this study helps show how local water managers better work with the future risk of dry conditions and water supply.

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Casey Kuhn reports from KJZZ’s West Valley Bureau. She comes to Phoenix from the Midwest, where she graduated from Indiana University with a degree in journalism.Kuhn got her start in radio reporting in college at the community public radio station, WFHB. She volunteered there as a reporter and worked her way up to host the half-hour, daily news show. After graduating, she became a multimedia reporter at Bloomington's NPR/PBS station WFIU/WTIU, where she reported for and produced a weekly statewide news television show.Since moving to the Southwest, she’s discovered a passion for reporting on rural issues, agriculture and the diverse people who make up her community.Kuhn was born and raised in Cincinnati, where her parents instilled in her a love of baseball, dogs and good German beer. You’ll most likely find her around the Valley with a glass of prosecco in one hand and a graphic novel in the other.She finds the most compelling stories come from KJZZ’s listeners.