Environment

In drought-stricken California, golf is often seen as a bad guy — it can be hard to defend watering acres of grass for fun when residents are being ordered to cut their usage and farmers are draining their wells.

But golf is a $6 billion industry in the state and employs nearly 130,000 workers, according to the California Golf Course Owners Association. So while the greens are staying green, some golf courses are saving every drop of water they can.

You may have heard by now that it takes one gallon of water to produce just one almond. And those are considered fighting words in drought-stricken California, which produces 80 percent of the world's supply of the tasty and nutritious nut.

So when almond grower Daniel Bays hears that, he just shakes his head.

People love South Shore Park in Bay View. But it’s harder to love its beach. It is chronically closed because of high E. coli levels.

Tonight, the chair of the Milwaukee County Board will outline a plan to tackle some of South Shore’s pollution problems. The key strategy is to replace a large adjacent parking lot with porous pavement.

Sharon Reinelt has lived a hop, skip and a jump from South Shore Park since 1974.

The state of California is asking a basic question right now that people often fight over: What's a fair way to divide up something that's scarce and valuable? That "something," in this case, is water.

There's a lot at stake, including your very own nuts, fruits and vegetables, because most of the water that's up for grabs in California goes to farmers. This year, some farmers will get water, and others will not, simply based on when their land was first irrigated.

Every child's ability to succeed in school is influenced by lots of external factors: teacher quality, parenting, poverty, geography, to name a few. But far less attention has been paid to the power of a child's bedroom walls. Or, rather, the paint that's on them and the lead that may be in that paint.

Whitney Curtis / Getty Images

A full-page ad ran in the Wisconsin State Journal Tuesday pulling Gov. Walker into the debate over a recent decision to bar workers on a state board from talking about and working on items related to climate change.

Updated at 1:02 p.m. ET

The mountain lion who spent Monday night under a Los Angeles home despite authorities' best efforts to dislodge him appears to have left on his own, a wildlife official says.

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Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Student activists are demonstrating in Harvard Yard, demanding that the world's wealthiest university sell its shares in big oil and coal companies. From member station WGBH, Kirk Carapezza reports.

Lower oil and natural gas prices have the petroleum industry laying off tens of thousands of workers. It looks like a decade-long trend of job growth in the U.S. oil business may end.

But there are parts of the country where those job numbers are still rising. Pennsylvania is one of them.

California is parched. Wells are running dry. Vegetable fields have been left fallow and lawns are dying. There must be some villain behind all this, right?

Of course there is. In fact, have your pick. As a public service, The Salt is bringing you several of the leading candidates. They have been nominated by widely respected national publications and interest groups.

There's just one problem: Not all of these shady characters live up to their nefarious job description. Let us explain.

1. Almonds

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