With California in a severe drought, the State Water Resources
Control Board ruled last week that some cases of water waste
could be treated as criminal infractions. … The Sacramento Bee
asked Sacramento utilities director Dave Brent how the city was
dealing with the state’s latest ruling.
From Pacific Institute President Peter Gleick’s National
Geographic Science Blog:
In the past few weeks, I have had been asked the same question by
reporters, friends, strangers, and even a colleague who posts
regularly on this very ScienceBlogs site (the prolific and
thoughtful Greg Laden): why, if the California drought is so bad,
has the response been so tepid?
In a little-noticed provision of the regulations adopted Tuesday,
the State Water Resources Control Board declared that public
agencies – in addition to individuals and businesses – can be
prosecuted for a criminal infraction and fined $500 per day for
certain categories of water waste.
This time of year, May Vu’s farm in Sanger should be carpeted
with blooming flowers and a bounty of vegetables. But a failing
irrigation pump and a nearly empty well have dried up Vu’s farm
and with it, her source of income.
From the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA):
The recent mandatory water restrictions put in place by the state
were the topic of an interview on July 16 by Judy Woodruff during
the PBS News Hour of Timothy Quinn, ACWA Executive Director, and
Craig Miller of KQED. Much of the focus of the interview was
on just how serious the drought is and why the regulations are
necessary right now.
[Lars] Mitchell, 52, a contractor, has succinctly hit upon twin
facts that have driven San Diego County water policy for 70
years: the region does not own most of its water supply, and
water is often a zero-sum business — for every winner there must
be a loser.
A state official confirmed Friday that a potentially toxic form
of blue-green algae is blooming in the San Joaquin River. It’s
unknown whether this is the same algae greening up the waterfront
area only a few miles away.
From the Los Angeles Times, in the Capitol Journal column by
So let me get this straight: The state government is telling us
we can’t hose down the driveway and should feel guilty about
watering the lawn. But it’s OK for somebody to pump all the
groundwater he wants?
On the same day the state approved mandatory outdoor watering
restrictions with the threat of $500 fines, the Southern
California couple received a letter from their city threatening a
$500 penalty for not watering their brown lawn.
Desperate to save plummeting water reserves in Lake Mendocino, a
Mendocino County water agency is lobbying the state to
dramatically reduce the amount that must be released downstream
into the Russian River for fish and people.