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Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Appeals court restores lumber companies’ challenge to northern spotted owl habitat

A top federal appeals court has added fuel to a long-running fight over federal protections for the northern spotted owl in California, Oregon and Washington state. 

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

‘Dream’ comes true for water future

In the end, it wasn’t very controversial. Nineteen years after San Joaquin County water interests overwhelmingly rejected a water-sharing plan with rival East Bay Municipal Utility District, a similar plan earned the unanimous approval of the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

Council recommends full closure of Klamath River salmon fishing

The top West Coast fishery council has recommended the full closure of the sport and commercial Chinook salmon fisheries near the Klamath River for the 2017-18 season. The Pacific Fishery Management Council’s recommendation Tuesday was expected after it forecast the lowest return of Klamath River Chinook salmon on record, with about 12,000 fish expected to return.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Regulators call for no commercial salmon fishing on Sonoma Coast until August

Fishery managers on Tuesday advanced a framework for this year’s West Coast salmon season that roughly halves the length of the commercial season in an effort to protect diminished king salmon runs.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

San Joaquin Valley farmers will get full federal water allocation

Farmers south of the Delta will receive their fully contracted amount of irrigation water this year for the first time in more than a decade. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced the allocation on Tuesday, following one of California’s wettest winters in years.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

From extreme drought to record rain: Why California’s drought-to-deluge cycle is getting worse

California’s climate has long been dominated by cycles of intense dry conditions followed by heavy rain and snow. But never before in recorded history has the state seen such an extreme drought-to-deluge swing.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Marin’s stormy season blowing records away

The 2016-17 rainy season is going into the record books: Marin hasn’t seen this much rain in 121 years. That was back when the county had a total population of 15,000 and San Rafael, Sausalito and Belvedere were the only incorporated cities.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Big Sur storm damage creates obstacles for condor crews

As record rainfall led to flooding and landslides that cut part of the Big Sur community off from the rest of the world, the California condors kept soaring above it all. … It’s a different story for humans on the Big Sur coast.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Chills, spills, thrills in high-mountain quest to gauge snow

We were trudging up the side of a mountain on skis to measure California’s massive snowpack when a late blast of winter stopped us in our tracks. I [Brian Melley] started the morning less concerned about strong winds forecast and light snow than keeping pace with veteran snow surveyors in the thin Sierra Nevada air and getting over steep, icy 11,700-foot Kearsarge Pass.

Aquafornia news The New Yorker

California’s drought may be over, but its water troubles aren’t

In the years before California’s civil engineers got around to confining the Sacramento River, it often spilled over its banks, inundating huge swaths of the Central Valley.

Aquafornia news Sea Change Radio

Jeremy Miller on California’s water troubles (audio)

This week on Sea Change Radio, we hear from environmental writer Jeremy Miller who discusses his recent New Yorker article chronicling California’s deep, systemic water problems. Miller talks about the impact of the flooding in Northern California, shares ideas from experts on how to re-charge the state’s stressed groundwater reserves, and posits that California needs a more sustainable model for fresh water that is less dependent on the snow pack in the Sierra Mountains.

Aquafornia news Paradise Post

Former Paradise Irrigation District manager will work for Cal Water in Oroville

George Barber, who recently resigned from Paradise Irrigation District, will take over Cal Water’s Oroville office. Barber has served as general manager of Paradise Irrigation District for over 12 years and will be leaving on April 21.

Aquafornia news Redding Record Searchlight

Snowstorm from long ago holds up solar installs today

In an ironic twist, a snowstorm nearly 50 years ago puts a damper on today’s solar industry in Redding. Solar power installation companies say Redding’s highly restrictive code on how much snow a roof can bear can delay and add thousands of dollars to installing solar panels on older homes.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Sonoma County parks, trails see invasion of poison oak, ticks and other pests

Lush greenery, gurgling streams and cascading waterfalls are some of the welcome signs across the North Coast that five years of punishing drought are behind us. But be warned.

Aquafornia news Best Best & Krieger LLC

Legal Commentary: Final California Water Conservation Plan and proposed legislation released

Urban water suppliers would face significant new requirements under water conservation and drought resiliency legislation proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown. The legislation, released in the form of budget trailer bill language late Friday, implements portions of a May 2016 Executive Order issued by Brown to conserve water supplies and make California more drought resilient. 

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Commentary: What California should learn from a decade of water extremes

California is a land of extremes – where preparing for extremes must be constant and eternal. The past six years have demonstrated California’s precipitation extremes. From 2012 to 2015, California endured one of its driest periods on record. And 2016 was an additional near-average year, classified into drought because water storage levels were so low.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Commentary: Why I’m running a thousand miles for water awareness

I’m [Mina Guli] running through a slot canyon in the Grand Canyon, and feeling exhilarated, almost intoxicated. I am on the first leg of a crazy quest that will see me run 1,049 miles (1,688km) to raise awareness about our global water crisis, and I’m having what can only be described as a spiritual moment.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: ‘A cultural tragedy’ — Karuk Tribe cuts salmon harvest to 200 fish

For the first time in its history, the Karuk Tribe will be limiting ceremonial salmon harvests for tribal members because of the record low forecast for returning Chinook salmon on the Klamath River. … The tribe’s announcement came as the Pacific Fishery Management Council met in Sacramento to discuss catch limitations for this year’s salmon season.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Appeals Court: School district on hook for flood projects

The Manteca Unified School District must pay to fund local levee improvements, just like any other property owner in the area, an appeals court has found. One attorney says the decision is good news for the small levee districts across the Delta charged with protecting farms and cities from floods.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Oakdale Irrigation District loses hard-fought fallowing lawsuit

In a key ruling released Monday, a judge slammed the Oakdale Irrigation District for skirting state law in last year’s fallowing proposal. The district should have studied whether shipping river water elsewhere might harm local groundwater levels, Stanislaus Superior Court Judge Roger Beauchesne said in a decision issued nearly 11 weeks after a one-day trial in January.