Californians increased water consumption this year during the state’s severe drought, despite pleas from the governor to conserve, fallowed farm fields and reservoirs that are quickly draining, according to a report released Tuesday.
Rainy seasons over the last two years were the driest in downtown Los Angeles since record-keeping began in 1877, and forecasters now say the El Niño that had been predicted to bring some relief may not materialize.
According to a recent survey conducted by the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the number of breeding ducks remaining in California this season is 23 percent below the long-term average. The decline speaks to the significant degradation of habitat in the Central Valley due to lack of precipitation.
About 2,200 firefighters have been assigned to combat the fast-moving blaze, which sparked southwest of Ono on Friday when a marijuana grower inadvertently sparked a brush fire with his truck while transporting fertilizer to an illegal garden in the area.
From the Los Angeles Times, in a commentary by Karin Klein:
Bottled water is usually a waste of money and, beyond that, an environmental mess. … Now people are starting to question the environmental cost of allowing water-bottling operations in the state’s drought-stricken areas — specifically, Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water.
In one of the most drastic responses yet to California’s drought, state regulators on Tuesday will consider fines up to $500 a day for people who waste water on landscaping, fountains, washing vehicles and other outdoor uses.
A federal judge has cleared the way for water transfers from Northern California to the thirsty south San Joaquin Valley, overruling environmentalists who argued the transfers would harm threatened fish.
From the Santa Cruz Sentinel, in a commentary by Russell Brutsché:
Responding to public invitation, I attended the recent meetings of our newly-formed Water Supply Advisory Committee. I was impressed by the hard work of these volunteers, and came away with several questions in my mind.
From the California WaterBlog by UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences, in a post by Richard Howitt, Josué Medellín-Azuara, Duncan MacEwan and Jay Lund:
Today [July 15], UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences economists join the California Department of Food and Agriculture in releasing a second, more comprehensive and forward-looking report estimating the effects of the California drought on farm production.
From the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA):
The drought is on and so is the California State Fair. This year, the Save Our Water campaign is doubling down its messaging on conservation by hosting two exhibits at the fair – one on indoor water conservation and the other on outdoor conservation.
With no end to the extreme dry weather in sight, Marin water officials are waiting to see whether state leaders will make the move to allow local authorities to slap water wasters with unprecedented fines of up to $500 a day.