Ezra David Romero

Radio Reporter/Producer, Multimedia Journalist


Ezra David Romero

Reporter for Capital Public Radio, Podcast Host of YosemiteLand


In California Drought, Musicians Find Inspiration

Historical movements, wars and disasters around the globe have created signature sounds in music. Think freedom songs like “We Shall Overcome” or even Prince’s “Baltimore.”. California is in its fourth year of drought and songs about a drying state are now emerging. From Here & Now’s contributing station Valley Public Radio, Ezra David Romero reports.
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Central Valley Town Turns to Eco-Friendly Homes to Save Water

At the edge of the Central Valley town of Reedley, there’s a plot of ground that once grew 40 acres of green leafy peach and plum trees. It’s here that city leaders hope to build an eco-friendly village. Reedley has historically grown in a pattern of cookie-cutter tract homes, but City Manager Nicole Zieba says the plan is to change that.

Californians Look To Sierra Nevada Native Americans For Drought Solutions

In the Sierra Nevada mountains, North Fork Mono American Indians are working to thin the forest. Their ancient techniques are being considered as a possible long-term solution to the drought. In the Sierra Nevada above Fresno, a Native American tribe is working to thin the forest. The approach has been used for centuries to restore meadows, and now California's severe drought means these ancient techniques are a possible long-term water-saving solution.

As Wells Dry Up, Calif. County Aims To Streamline Solutions For Water

The lack of rain has hit all of California hard but perhaps no place more than Tulare County, an hour south of Fresno. It's home to 60 percent of the residential wells that have gone dry in the state. Here in California, the entire state is feeling the effects of drought - perhaps no place more than Tulare County, which lies largely in the parched Central Valley.

Drought-Friendly Recipes Kick Up The Flavor — And Cut Back On Water

When television chef Nathan Lyon read about California's worsening drought earlier this year, he started thinking about the amount of water it takes to grow the food in recipes he creates. That's when he and his girlfriend and culinary manager, Sarah Forman, decided to develop what they call "drought-friendly recipes."

All Tapped Out In A Tiny California Town

Around the tiny rural community of Fairmead, Calif., about an hour north of Fresno on Highway 99, hundreds of one-story houses on small ranches stretch out for miles. The ground is mostly brown, parched by California's recent drought. But beneath the surface, this mostly African-American community in the San Joaquin Valley has been going dry for years.

Why Aren’t California Farms Part Of The New Water Restrictions?

California Gov. Jerry Brown has been under fire for not requiring new water restrictions for the agriculture sector, despite historic rules restricting urban use by 25 percent. On ABC’s “This Week,” Brown said that although more water is used in almond production than is used by all residents and businesses in San Francisco combined, the agriculture sector is too important to risk.
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California Drought Poses Threat To Navy Jets

The ongoing drought in California is posing huge problems for farmers in the Central Valley, where half of the country’s fruits and vegetables are grown. Because of the lack of water, farmers have had to let thousands of acres of farmland go fallow, instead of planting new crops. But the fallow farmland isn’t just a concern for farmers, it’s a concern for pilots at one of the largest Navy bases in the West.
Here & Now Link to Story

Wells Have Run Dry In One Central California Community

Drought conditions have gotten so bad in California that in some places, turning on the tap and having nothing come out is commonplace. The lack of running water has especially plagued the little farming town of East Porterville in the San Joaquin Valley, leaving scores of homes without working wells.
Here & Now Link to Story

Farmers, Water Agencies React To Brown's Water Order

An executive order from Governor Jerry Brown imposes a 25 percent mandatory water reduction on California cities and towns. It’s the first such order in the state’s history. Cannon Michael says that’s enough. He farms 10,000 acres of tomatoes and corn in Central California. “Compare a 25 percent reduction in urban use to a zero percent allocations for thousands of farms.

Hot Showers a Blessing for Valley Town Suffering From Drought

Drought conditions in parts of California are now so harsh that it has become normal to turn on the tap and have no water coming out. In the small San Joaquin Valley town of East Porterville, more than 600 household wells went dry this summer, leaving more than half the population without water. “I’ve been without running water for the last three months,” says Gilberto Sandoval, 81.

Drought Brings Boom for Water Delivery Trucks

It’s the dead of autumn and there’s no sign that the California drought will ease up. When wells run dry the immediate answer is to dig a new one, but they’re expensive. In some parts of the state there’s been an uptick in water theft, but in Central California many homeowners are turning to a legal water solution that’s not dependent on city water lines.


Ezra David Romero

Ezra David Romero is an award-winning radio reporter and producer. His stories have run on NPR's Morning Edition, NPR's Morning Edition Saturday, NPR's Morning Edition Sunday, NPR's All Things Considered, NPR's Here & Now, NPR Food, Latino USA, KQED, KALW, Harvest Public Radio, etc.

Romero has worked with Valley Public Radio for about five years. He landed at KVPR after interning with Al Jazeera English during the 2012 presidential election. His series ‘Voices of the Drought’ using the hashtag #droughtvoices has garnered over 1 million impressions on Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram. It's also resulted in two photography exhibits and a touring pop-up gallery traveling across California. Stories affiliated with #droughtvoices have run locally, statewide and on national air. The series also was awarded a Golden Mike Award in 2015 by RTNA of Southern California for "Best Radio News Feature Series."

In 2016, he received won two Golden Mike Awards for best entertainment reporting and business reporting and consumer reporting. And in 2014 he was awarded two Golden Mike Awards through the RTNA of Southern California for a piece on budding tech in Central California and a story on Spanish theater. Valley Edition, the show Romero produces, was named for the best Public Affairs Program for 2013 by the RTNDA of Northern California.

He’s a graduate of California State University Fresno, where he studied journalism (digital media) and geography. He has worked for the Fresno Bee covering police, elections, government and higher education. In 2012 he was a Gruner Award finalist for his 13-part Sanger Herald series on obesity in Sanger, Calif.

In his spare time, Romero hikes the Sierra Nevada, takes road trips to the Pacific Coast and frequently visits ice cream shops.



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