Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: At drought talks on Capitol Hill, behind-the-scenes maneuvering

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.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Feinstein’s sweeping water bill collapses at 11th hour

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.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

How this week’s rain figures in California’s drought

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.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

As snow fades, California ski resorts are left high and very dry

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.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Drought revives ‘forgotten art’ at wineries: Farming without irrigation

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.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco wants to add groundwater to tap

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.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Burbank fights ‘dirty’ in battle to conserve water

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.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Stanislaus residents race to get well permits

There’s a funny line in the staff report that accompanies the proposed groundwater ordinance on Tuesday’s Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors meeting agenda.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Palm Springs reduced its water use by nearly 500,000 gallons in the past six months

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.

Aquafornia news Al Jazeera America

Water thieves just can’t get enough

Something rare quickly becomes valuable. So it should come as no surprise that the latest target of thieves in a state suffering a historic drought is water.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Small Placer dam is a big barrier to salmon

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.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Stream protections vs. private property rights in Sonoma County

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.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Snow-making a pipe dream for resort owner?

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.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Storms raise hope in California drought

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.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California storms bring scattered rain, mudslides

Scattered California storms triggered mudslides in Los Angeles-area foothills scorched bare by a wildfire and dumped about an inch of much-needed rain in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Fair weather predicted for Thanksgiving before rain returns to Sacramento region

Holiday revelers looking to dust off their Frisbees, footballs, grills and croquet sets are in luck, because there’s a gorgeous Thanksgiving ahead, followed by a rain chaser next weekend.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

California beach cleanup participation up after three-year slide

More than 66,000 people picked up cans, bottles and other trash along California’s beaches, rivers and lakes during this year’s annual Coastal Cleanup.

Aquafornia news Pasatiempo

Two views of glory: Walter Feller’s photos enhance a classic

“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.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Editorial: Modesto Irrigation District must make water pay its own way

Modesto Irrigation District needs to divorce its two primary functions, ending once and for all the relationship that has required power customers to subsidize water customers.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Plastic bag referendum is no-lose situation

Superficially, it would seem to make little sense for the plastic grocery bag industry to spend millions of dollars on a referendum to overturn the state’s new ban on their products.