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Aquafornia news The New York Times

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: In a warming West, the Rio Grande is drying up

The Rio Grande is a classic “feast or famine” river, with a dry year or two typically followed by a couple of wet years that allow for recovery. … A study last year of the Colorado River, which provides water to 40 million people and is far bigger than the Rio Grande, found that flows from 2000 to 2014 were nearly 20 percent below the 20th century average, with about a third of the reduction attributable to human-caused warming.

Aquafornia news Western Water

Arizona effort to manage groundwater could offer strategy for California

Earlier this year, the Environmental Defense Fund detailed how nine groundwater basins in six states west of the Mississippi River have confronted the need to rebalance depleted aquifers and establish successful future management. In a Western Water spotlight story, Gary Pitzer writes about strategies used in one of those basins noted in the EDF report: the Phoenix Active Management Area (AMA), which spreads 5,646 square miles across large urban centers and farmland in Arizona.

Aquafornia news The California Weather Blog

Wrap-up of California’s dry/warm winter

Most of California was on track for one of its driest winters on record as recently as February as a result of persistent (one might even call it resilient) high pressure ridging along the West Coast during the first half of winter. Recall that December 2017 featured the largest wildfire in modern California history, following on the heels of the most destructive and deadly wildfire event in the state’s history just months earlier in October.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Oil companies want San Francisco, Oakland climate lawsuits dismissed

Five of the world’s largest oil producers urged a federal judge Thursday to dismiss lawsuits by San Francisco and Oakland that seek to hold the companies liable for climate change, arguing that the issue is one for Congress, not the courts.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

New US weather satellite can’t keep cool, threatening photo quality

The nation’s newest weather satellite, launched under three months ago, has a serious cooling problem that could affect the quality of its pictures.

Aquafornia news Redding Record Searchlight

Marinas, other Lake Shasta attractions expect big summer 2018

For Shasta Marina, where about nine out of every 10 customers come from out of the area, 2018 business could be better than last summer, when high water levels were a welcome change from the drought that made it tough on lake businesses, owner John Harkrader said.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Folsom hitting the reset button after fumble over water-rate hike

After a pamphlet proposing water rate increases in Folsom sparked backlash from residents and City Council members, the city is slowing its process and plans to seek additional input from the public, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Tulare mayor says ag hurts environment, public health. Farmers react angrily online.

Tulare Mayor Carlton Jones is facing the wrath of the farming community after saying on social media that agriculture is damaging to the environment and public health. A screen shot of his comments was shared Friday on the Facebook page My Job Depends on Ag.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

‘Floating village’ eyed in San Jose’s Alviso flood plain

A “floating village” project is being eyed in north San Jose’s Alviso hamlet by tech company Arx Pax, using a technology that would deploy a group of pontoons beneath the buildings to protect the development from floods and earthquakes.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

In bid to save abalone, Sonoma Coast divers plan huge purple urchin harvest

Abalone hunters and other recreational divers forced to stand by idly for years as tiny purple urchins overran the ocean floor off the North Coast are scheduled to converge en masse over Memorial Day weekend to try their hand at resetting nature.

Aquafornia news NPR

As the planet warms, we’ll be having rice with a side of CO2

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, the fruits of three grasses provide the world with 60 percent of its total food: corn, wheat and rice. Aside from energy-rich carbohydrates, grains feed us protein, zinc, iron and essential B vitamins. But rice as we know it is at risk.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Cal Am water pipeline project to cause road closure

The California American Water Monterey Pipeline Installation project will cause the closure of Garden Road next week and the Monterey-Salinas Highway near the project site the first week of June.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Environmentalists take aim at New Mexico power plant’s discharge permit

The Sierra Club and others contend in papers filed Wednesday in federal court that without a new permit, the communities surrounding the Four Corners Power Plant in northwestern New Mexico remain exposed to heavy metals and other pollutants that are released into drainages that eventually lead to the San Juan River.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Officials: Efforts failing to save US West sagebrush land

Officials say they’re losing the battle against a devastating combination of invasive plant species and wildfires in the vast sagebrush habitats in the U.S. West that support cattle ranching and recreation and are home to an imperiled bird.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

These winning photos of America’s national parks and public lands will make you want to go right now

Every year, the National Park Foundation asks travelers to share photos that capture their experiences in national parks and public lands during a yearlong contest. And every year these winning images inspire us to jump in the car and go.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

The asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs also shaped the evolution of birds

Scientists studying plant life around the extinction event that killed the dinosaurs have made a surprising discovery: Out of all the birds living at the time, only the ground-dwelling species survived.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Commentary: California’s water pollution laws languishing without enforcement

There is nothing more Californian than our ability to swim, surf and fish in clean water. And yet, we have fallen behind Kentucky and Texas when it comes to clean water enforcement.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Commentary: Time for California to deliver on the human right to water

When my [Leo Heller] predecessor, Catarina de Albuquerque, visited California, what she found shocked her. Drinking water conditions were akin to those typically seen in a developing country: families without an acceptable level of safe drinking water or sanitation; exposed pipes running through irrigation ditches; crumbling or nonexistent infrastructure.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Commentary: Gov. Brown’s wildfire plan will only make things worse

Responding to the tragic losses of homes and lives in wildland fires in California over the past year, Gov. Jerry Brown announced a “major offensive” against fire, in the form of a “Forest Carbon Plan.” The governor proposes to use $254 million of taxpayer money to double logging levels in California’s forests — to “at least” 500,000 acres a year — and to achieve it, he wants to reduce environmental protections.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Commentary: How to be safe on the Half Dome cables

Wet conditions that exacerbate the slipperiness of the smooth granite, polished thousands of years ago by glaciers and today by the shoe soles worn by thousands of hikers ascending and descending the cables each year, are a factor in many of Half Dome’s accidents and fatalities.