Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: California drought improvement will ‘take quite a while’ (with audio)

Despite heavy rainfall in January, an above-average snowpack and rising reservoirs in some areas, the U.S. Drought Monitor says more than one above-average winter will be needed to ease all the impacts of long-term drought in California. 

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Fight brews over federal wildfire funding after devastating year

After the costliest of wildfire seasons ravaged the West last year, with three catastrophic blazes ripping through Lake County, the U.S. Forest Service may be headed for a showdown with Congress over how to cover the surging bill.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

California fishermen struggle to make ends meet (with audio)

Lawmakers heard from California state agencies, fishermen and scientists about the state of fisheries along the West Coast. Most of the news was not good.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Point Reyes: Lawsuit challenges historic ranching operations at iconic park

A year after an oyster farm was forced to shut down at Point Reyes National Seashore, sparking a bitter controversy over the role of farming in national parks, a coalition of environmentalists on Wednesday filed a lawsuit over a bigger and more explosive target: thousands of dairy and beef cattle in the park.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Obama to protect 1.8 million acres of California desert

President Barack Obama plans to designate three national monuments in California on Friday, setting aside nearly 1.8 million acres for permanent conservation and bringing to fruition Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s years-long effort to protect some of the desert’s most treasured landscapes and ecosystems.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Earthquake warning system for West Coast gets lift in Obama budget

In the last 150 years, Washington state has experienced 15 major earthquakes, and scientists say it’s just a matter of time before the next one strikes. To get ready, President Barack Obama’s new budget plan includes $8 million to help bring an early earthquake warning system online.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Plastic microbead pollution harms oysters, the ocean’s critical ecosystem engineers, study finds

Oysters eat by filtering the water around them and digesting anything small enough to trap, whether that’s algae, phytoplankton — or tiny pieces of plastic floating in the ocean.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Crab warning lifted: Locally caught Dungeness is declared safe

It’s safe again to eat Dungeness crab caught off the Bay Area coast, state officials said Thursday in lifting a three-month health warning about the tasty crustaceans.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Stockton water rate hike advances to city council

The 26 percent rate increase is needed in part to make sure Stockton has enough cash coming in to meet a legally required balance between revenue on the one hand, and debt from the city’s new $220 million Delta drinking water plant on the other, said Bob Granberg, assistant director of the Municipal Utilities Department.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Imperilled J Levee in Hamilton City gets another burst of funding

It looks fairly quiet along the banks of the Sacramento River near Hamilton City. Yet, that’s due to change soon.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

California grape harvest shrank in 2015

In its preliminary “crush report” for 2015, the California Department of Food and Agriculture said the crop for all varieties of grapes came in at just under 3.9 million tons. That was a drop of 7 percent from the year before.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

As more heat records broken, a toasty forecast predicted for L.A. Marathon

After the winter heat wave set temperature records Wednesday, Southern California will see a slight cooling trend through Sunday, when temperatures will again rise in time for the L.A. Marathon.

Aquafornia news The Atlantic

A free-market plan to save the American West from drought

[Disque] Deane [Jr.] is not a rancher or a farmer; he’s a hedge-fund manager who had flown in from New York City the previous night. And as he appraised the property, he was less interested in its crop or cattle potential than in a different source of wealth: the water running through its streams and coursing beneath its surface.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Welcome to the ‘agrihood’: homes built around working farms

This farm-to-table residential model has been sprouting up everywhere from Atlanta to Shanghai.

Aquafornia news Bay Nature

El Niño means it’s warmer than usual. Take away the El Niño? That’s warmer than usual, too.

The National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center creates all kinds of forecasts for the United States. Familiar and unfamiliar variables, short-term and long-term timescales, pretty much anything you might wonder about and lots of things you probably don’t, the CPC has an outlook for it: drought, rain, monsoon, El Niño and La Niña, Madden-Julian Oscillation, storm tracks, and of course, temperature.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Coke suspends bottling at plant at center of water dispute in India

Coca-Cola suspended bottling at three plants in India, including one in the parched northwest where farmers have been protesting the company’s use of dwindling groundwater reserves.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Blog: Steyer Fellowship to focus on groundwater

A new fellowship will enable the PPIC Water Policy Center to explore solutions to some of California’s toughest groundwater policy challenges. This three-year program is supported with funding from the TomKat Foundation, established with funding from Tom Steyer and Kat Taylor. PPIC has appointed Richard Howitt, an adjunct fellow at the center, as the 2016 Steyer Fellow.

Aquafornia news U.S. Geological Survey

News Release: New California fog maps reveal pictures for planning

A new series of maps of fog and low clouds covering the northern and central California coasts reveals daytime and nighttime patterns with a level of detail never previously mapped. U.S. Geological Survey scientists used new analyses of satellite images to understand the dynamics of fog.  Fog and low clouds have a significant influence on California’s coastal ecosystem processes and on the local economy for everything from wine production to tourism.

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

Announcement: Water project operations in a time of drought/El Niño — Free Feb. 23 briefing in Sacramento

What will happen with water year 2016? Reservoirs were at record lows. Recent precipitation has boosted storage levels but will it be enough? What is the operation plan for the state and federal water projects? These are among the topics discussed at our free Feb. 23 briefing “Dry Wet or Average? The Challenges for Water Project Operations.” This one-day briefing, co-sponsored by the California Department of Water Resources and the Foundation, will be held at the Sacramento Convention Center. The event is free but you must register …

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

Announcement: Rita Schmidt Sudman coauthors book — Water: More or Less

Rita Schmidt Sudman, former executive director of the Water Education Foundation, has coauthored a new book on California water. “Water: More or Less,” captures the historic water conflicts, moments of change and offers solutions for the future. Sudman, along with artist and essayist Stephanie Taylor, visually and verbally cover water in three dimensions – art, history, and stories of real people. Twenty diverse top water policy leaders, including the Foundation’s current executive director, Jennifer Bowles, also add their voices …