Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: El Niño ‘takes a break’ (with audio)

El Niño, which helped increase precipitation in California last month, is taking a break. … The U.S. Drought Monitor says “exceptional drought” was reduced slightly in just one area of the northern Sierra this week: El Dorado County.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

First research links California quakes to oil operations

A 2005 spate of quakes in California’s Central Valley almost certainly was triggered by oilfield injection underground, a study published Thursday said in the first such link in California between oil and gas operations and earthquakes.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Report looks at how climate change could affect Truckee River Basin (with audio)

A new federal study takes an in-depth look at how climate change will affect the Truckee River Basin. The Basin includes the Truckee and Carson Rivers, Pyramid Lake and Lake Tahoe.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino County Sun

State has ‘big awakening’ on Salton Sea concerns

Planners working on the preservation of the Salton Sea envision a smaller version surviving indefinitely, with some of the costs for its maintenance recovered by economic development which may include geothermal, the harvest of algae, or something else, officials said during a conference at the UC Riverside. 

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

400,000 winter-run salmon planned for Sacramento River release

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is preparing to release 400,000 winter-run juvenile chinook salmon into the Sacramento River this month.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Scientists link oil and gas activity to earthquakes in California (with audio)

The study, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, examined an area in the southern San Joaquin Valley along the White Wolf Fault.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Drought remains ‘very serious’ in California (with audio)

The U.S. Drought Monitor says exceptional drought was reduced in one area of the northern Sierra this week, “despite heavy precipitation and rebounding stream flows in the short term the past few weeks.”

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Testing on discolored water finds problem is inside Fresno homes

Traces of lead have been found in water samples taken from some northeast Fresno homes, but city and state officials say the water is safe to drink as long as homeowners flush their taps for a minute or two. 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Why your Super Bowl vegetable platter might cost more this year

Drought followed by the rains of El Niño, and heat followed by cold snaps created a cauliflower price boom that now has turned to a bust, and a celery inflation that lingered just long enough, growers and industry experts say.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

$2 million worth of crab disaster loans available; tests show decreased toxin levels

Recent North Coast Dungeness crab tissue testing shows lowered neurotoxin levels, but not yet consistently low enough to reopen the commercial fishing season. Meanwhile, federal loans to small businesses affected by the closure are now available after Gov. Jerry Brown requested a crab disaster declaration in late January, according to a U.S. Small Business Administration news release.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

New partnership promotes prescribed fires

Fire is good. That’s the theory behind a new partnership between federal and state agencies aimed at promoting prescribed burns – controlled fires that authorities purposely set to help prevent catastrophic blazes.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Monarch numbers rise slightly

The monarch butterfly population is on an upward swing, based on numbers released Thursday by the Xerces Society from its Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count. … However, the society found that although the count was up, the estimate represents a 39 percent decline from the long-term average.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: To make the most of rain, state needs Delta tunnels

This week I [California Natural Resources Secretary John Laird] testified at a legislative hearing on implementing the $7.5 billion water bond passed by voters in November 2014. One legislator asked me if the state was positioned to capture extra rainwater if El Niño brings a strong rainy season.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Commentary: Can the Sacramento Delta survive more ‘regulatory flexibility’?

During California’s historic drought, as fish populations have crashed, toxic algae blooms have begun to proliferate and in some areas, delta water has turned too salty for irrigation or consumption. The drought is one important driver of this destruction, but it isn’t the only problem.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Debate over new supplies is microcosm of state’s water war

Despite a wet winter, California’s historic drought continues to spark fierce – even bitter – debate over how the state’s water needs should be met in the future.

Aquafornia news The Salt Lake Tribune

Commentary: We need the Colorado River, and right now it needs us

The snows have returned to the Utah high country, but — after 15 years of record-breaking drought — the Colorado River and water in the Southwest remain critically challenged resources. As citizens of the West, among our most important challenges are how to use water efficiently, manage our water resources and keep our rivers, and the manifold benefits they provide, whole. 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Commentary: Barren a year ago, a snowpack station comes up deep and dense

It was 22 degrees and snowing Tuesday morning. State snow surveyor Frank Gehrke slowly crossed a blanketed field. … In the age of satellites and computer telemetry, what Gehrke was doing seemed oddly old-fashioned. 

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Blog: Water planning in the climate change era

Juliet Christian-Smith, a climate scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists, talked to Water Deeply about the two things we need to ensure a reliable water supply in the future. And she explained why the best climate science should guide our water resources planning.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Blog: There’s always drought somewhere in the West

Thanks to the January rains, hopes for an end to the latest drought are rising along with reservoir levels. But the reality is, drought is occurring somewhere in the West practically all the time.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Official — El Niño could signal easing of California drought

In the strongest indication yet that the California drought could be easing, officials said strict water conservation orders could be dramatically scaled back or even ended if El Niño storms keep pummeling the state into the spring.