The California Department of Fish and Wildlife helicopter circled over steep timberland in Humboldt County’s coastal mountains, prowling for potential water diversions and environmental damage caused by what is arguably the state’s most lucrative agricultural product: marijuana.
Driven by drought, California stands ready to build a water system for the 21st century. Ideas are flowing: conservation, recycling, desalination, aquifer recharge, floodplain restoration, storm water capture. But the biggest, most expensive, most popular item of all is the foundation of the 20th century water system — dams.
The number of water agencies that met or exceeded their mandate increased to 290 in July, from 265 in June. … Longtime California water watcher Rita Schmidt Sudman [adviser to the Water Education Foundation and former executive director of the Sacramento-based nonprofit] said the response is encouraging.
The Environmental Protection Agency says it is going forward with a new federal rule to protect small streams, tributaries and wetlands, despite a court ruling that blocked the measure in 13 central and Western states.
An Alaska company is planning to be the first to ship massive amounts of fresh water to drought-plagued California, potentially as much as 10 million gallons a month. … Water experts in California are skeptical, not necessarily because of the idea but as a result of the cost.
The record wildfire season scorching the West is prompting renewed calls for Congress to change how it funds firefighting, a push that comes as the head of the Forest Service said the agency would soon exceed its firefighting budget for the year — again.
Jail officials are revamping the environment in and around the Theo Lacy jail, embarking on a conservation effort that ranges from tearing out grass to testing low-flow toilets and upgrading shower valves and testing low-flow toilets.
City leaders grimly denounced their predecessors for not having courage to charge enough fees in a past housing boom, then voted unanimously to more than double water and sewer rates despite pleas from several upset customers in the audience.
Hundreds of feet beneath the Black Hills, a team of scientists and researchers snake through dark, narrow and silent corridors of ancient rock to reach their goal: what is thought to be some of the purest water on Earth.
On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson in Fargo, N.D. issued a temporary injunction requested by North Dakota and 12 other states prohibiting the United States Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers from implementing a revised definition of the term “waters of the United States” for the purposes of Clean Water Act jurisdiction. … Following the decision, EPA announced that the 13 states that are parties to the North Dakota lawsuit will temporarily operate under the old regulatory definition of waters of the United States.
Gerald Meral, a former deputy secretary of the state’s Natural Resources Agency, sent draft language for “The Water Supply Reliability and Drought Protection Act of 2016” to water agency officials, environmentalists and others in recent days.
In the past two years, the lesser-known longfin smelt has slipped down to the single digits in trawl surveys of Delta fish populations. The dramatic downturn is likely a result of the drought, as with the tinier delta smelt.
The California Legislature is considering bills that would expand state efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions. One, SB 32, would require that California reduce emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. Another, SB 350, would require that petroleum use in cars be reduced by 50 percent, half of the state’s electricity come from renewable energy sources, and buildings double their energy efficiency—all by 2030. Our July statewide survey examined support for the goals of these bills.
After Gov. Jerry Brown ordered a 25% reduction in urban water use statewide, regulators spent much of the spring chastising water districts for not conserving enough during California’s stubborn drought. Data released Thursday suggest the message is getting through.