A slim majority of likely California voters support an $11.1 billion water bond slated for the November ballot, but public support would grow if the bond comes with a smaller price-tag, according to survey results released late Wednesday.
Most of California’s major reservoirs are now less than half-full — or at what officials call a “seriously low” level — but that’s still nowhere near the historic lows set in 1977, the state’s driest year on record.
California Gov. Jerry Brown has asked restaurants not to serve water unless diners ask for it. He’s letting lawns at the state Capitol turn brown. Farmers in the Central Valley are getting just a trickle of the water they usually do. Conspicuous water wasters – commercial and residential – face fines of $500 a day. Even Lady Gaga is pleading with Californians to conserve.
Five years after officials began writing a comprehensive billion-dollar flood protection plan for Stockton, the federal government said this week it will miss a December target to complete the document.
The taps at nine Bakersfield spray parks will be turned off Aug. 1, more than a month ahead of schedule, as part of the city’s latest efforts to grapple with the ongoing drought, the municipal Water Board learned Wednesday. The city will also upgrade to a Stage 3 drought condition, and while Bakersfield police could begin citing water wasters, they won’t yet.
In a little-noticed provision of the regulations adopted Tuesday, the State Water Resources Control Board declared that public agencies – in addition to individuals and businesses – can be prosecuted for a criminal infraction and fined $500 per day for certain categories of water waste.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visited drought-stricken homeowners on Friday in Central California, saying drought and climate change would require major investment to secure future water supplies.
One of the worst droughts in state history is pushing water prices to record levels — fraying nerves, eroding bank accounts and stress-testing the state’s “water market,” an informal and largely hidden network of buyers and sellers.
This time of year, May Vu’s farm in Sanger should be carpeted with blooming flowers and a bounty of vegetables. But a failing irrigation pump and a nearly empty well have dried up Vu’s farm and with it, her source of income.