Late Thursday morning, while the Capitol Hill spotlight was pointed elsewhere, three Northern California congressmen paid a quiet call on the state’s junior Democratic senator, Barbara Boxer. They wanted to talk water.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s abrupt decision to yank a water bill she had spent more than four months negotiating came just as the California Democrat and Central Valley Republicans appeared on the brink of a deal.
A trio of storms this week gave Northern California communities an inch or more of rain. The weather also brought welcome relief from the state’s long dry spell, but – no surprise – the drought is by no means over.
At ski areas up and down the jagged peaks of the Sierra Nevada, where California’s drought has hit historic proportions and the broader threat of climate change hangs heavy over an industry built on optimism, the man-made snow is flying. A couple of resorts have managed to open a few runs.
The gnarled zinfandel grapevines on Rich Czapleski’s land have borne fruit for more than 100 years, producing dark, intense wines that exemplify the special growing conditions in this coveted winemaking region. Over that time, the vines have weathered some of California’s worst droughts — including the last three years with little difficulty.
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission recently began digging in and around Golden Gate Park in hopes of drawing underground flows into the mix within the next two years. The move is designed to increase and diversify the city’s water reserves as California faces its worst drought in a generation.
Thanks to California’s persistent drought, the city of Burbank is resorting to “dirty” tactics in the fight to conserve water. … The city recently joined the “Go Dirty for the Drought” awareness campaign run by the Santa Monica-based environmental organization Los Angeles Waterkeeper.
Whether it’s cutting back to a five-minute shower, installing a low-flow toilet or pulling up the front lawn, residents in Palm Springs seem to have heard the drought message and have cut back on their water use.
On a recent day after a rainstorm, several dozen fall-run Chinook salmon trying to migrate upstream in Auburn Ravine found their progress frustrated. Efforts to complete their long spawning run from the Pacific Ocean were halted by a small dam on the outskirts of Lincoln.
Sonoma County’s effort to implement one of its most controversial land use policies — protective buffer zones along 3,200 miles of rivers and streams — has reignited a pitched debate between environmental organizations, farmers and private property rights activists about how to best protect and manage waterways throughout the county.
He [Lance Vetesy] owns Leland High Sierra Snow Play east of Pinecrest. … Snow-making ability would all but guarantee him a full season of business every year. … But in California water law, nothing is simple.
Hours of steady rain Saturday from northern California’s third winter storm in a week raised hopes that the state was moving out of its driest three years in history – while still deeply locked in drought.
“This is a charming book, and I think it’s going to come back,” Gary Snyder said about a new version of Mary Hunter Austin’s The Land of Little Rain, which many value as one of the early classics of environmental writing. The new volume was commissioned by William Randolph Hearst III, who had the idea to combine the text from the 1903 book with Walter Feller’s contemporary color photographs of the Mojave Desert, Owens Valley, and adjacent landscapes in eastern California.