Topic: Drought



Drought— an extended period of limited or no precipitation— is a fact of life in California and the West, with water resources following boom-and-bust patterns.

No portion of the West has been immune to drought during the last century and drought occurs with much greater frequency in the West than in other regions of the country.

Most of the West experiences what is classified as severe to extreme drought more than 10 percent of the time, and a significant portion of the region experiences severe to extreme drought more than 15 percent of the time, according to the National Drought Mitigation Center.

Experts who have studied recent droughts say a drought occurs about once every 10 years somewhere in the United States. Droughts are believed to be the most costly of all natural disasters because of their widespread effects on agriculture and related industries, as well as on urbanized areas. One of those decennial droughts could cost as much as $38 billion, according to one estimate.

Because droughts cannot be prevented, experts are looking for better ways to forecast them and new approaches to managing droughts when they occur.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

California farms added 30,000 jobs in 2015 despite drought

California’s farm industry kept growing in 2015 despite a fourth year of drought, adding 30,000 jobs even as farmers idled huge swaths of land because of water shortages.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

Salmon season faces significant cuts

California’s 2nd District Congressman Jared Huffman stated the proposed harvest reductions will have a significant economic impact on California’s $1.4 billion salmon industry which he said could be exacerbated should Congress fail to pass legislation to address the ongoing drought conditions.

Aquafornia news KPCC Southern California Public Radio

Los Angeles DWP board OKs plan to start fining major water users up to $40k (with audio)

The board for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power passed an ordinance Wednesday setting up a mechanism to fine major water users who don’t cut back their consumption.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

March storms brighten future of winter-run Chinook salmon

Seasonal storms that have raised the region’s reservoir water levels to their highest points in the last two years could bolster this year’s run of Chinook salmon, water and wildlife officials said Wednesday. 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Latest storms are filling reservoirs and bringing hopes of a ‘March miracle’

Ever since a series of winter storms began dumping rain and snow in Northern California last year, officials have been looking for tangible signs that all those storms were making a dent in the state’s four-year drought.

Aquafornia news Sea Change Radio

Desalination: Is it time to drink the Pacific? (audio)

This week on Sea Change Radio, host Alex Wise speaks with energy reporter from The Desert Sun, Sammy Roth. He recently researched a piece about efforts to make desalination more commonplace in California.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: California experiencing ‘Miracle March’ says water manager (with audio)

The northern Sierra has seen nearly double the average precipitation since the beginning of March. It may seem hard to believe after such a dry February, but some of California’s largest reservoirs have approached flood operations.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Troubled waters: California salmon season facing big restrictions

Federal fishery regulators unveiled plans this week to limit this year’s chinook salmon catch in an effort to protect the state’s signature seafood amid the growing threats of a warming ocean and drought-parched rivers and creeks.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: California’s biggest reservoirs recover, putting water limits in question

With California’s two largest reservoirs hitting historically average levels following a weekend of heavy storms, the state’s chief water regulator is cautiously optimistic that the drought may finally be relaxing its grip.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Rain fills reservoirs, but California still suffers drought’s effects

The drought isn’t over, but the recent storms that many hope are part of a “March miracle” have put California a lot further down the road to recovery.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Pine Flat, Millerton lakes rise thanks to winter rains

Recent rains have dramatically increased the volume of water flowing into major central Sierra lakes and reservoirs that are vital to San Joaquin Valley farmers and communities. 

Aquafornia news Associated Press

The latest: Rain-swollen Sacramento River flows over barrier

Water from the rain-swollen Sacramento River is spilling over a 33.5-foot-high concrete wall and into a bypass built to divert flood water.

Aquafornia news KQED Public Media for Northern California

Catching storm runoff could ease droughts, but it’s no quick fix (with audio)

Stormwater is starting to get some serious attention in California, as the state’s drought enters a fifth year. … In Walnut Creek, behind a ranch-style home, landscape designer Ryan Kelsey is helping people do that—at least in the short term, and on their own properties.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: California’s biggest reservoir, Shasta, rises to key milestone

Sunday’s storms brought more rain to Northern California, but they also helped the state hit a key milestone in its efforts to recover from the historic four-year drought. 

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Fourth day of wet weather saturates parts of California

A storm brought strong winds, heavy rain, snow and high surf to California on Sunday, the fourth day of wet weather that has inundated rivers and roads and led to some evacuations.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Worries rising as Colorado River water runs low

For the past five years, as the drought drained California’s water sources and depleted its reservoirs, Southern California water managers have relied increasingly on the region’s largest out-of-state water source: the Colorado River.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

As rain falls in California, tensions rise over who gets the water

Saying too much water is flowing out to sea, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Friday called on operators of the federal and state water projects to pump more water south through the Delta to drought-stricken farms and cities in Central and Southern California.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

El Niño’s winter storms are no cure-all for California drought

The El Niño storms drenching California won’t suffice to solve the state’s drought and won’t permanently save the Central Valley’s vulnerable salmon, federal scientists are cautioning.

Aquafornia news Arizona Daily Star

El Niño hasn’t helped Colorado River Basin much

El Niño has been a washout so far for the Colorado River Basin, which has led to a lower than normal forecast for the all-important spring-summer runoff into Lake Powell.

Aquafornia news KCRA Sacramento

Why not fill Folsom Lake? What’s the worst that could happen? (with video)

Two days after dam operators began releasing additional water from Folsom Lake, the lake’s level has dropped by about one foot.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Holy El Niño! It’s possible Shasta Lake will fill up this month

Shasta is the state’s largest and most important water reserve, and if it were to fill, it would be for the first time in four years. 

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Feds: Still hope for El Niño drenching Southern California

Even though Southern California hasn’t gotten the drought-busting rainy windfall some might have expected from El Niño, federal scientists hold out hope for the next several weeks.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

California’s largest water district, accused of misleading investors, settles with the SEC

A sprawling Central Valley water district run by some of the state’s wealthiest growers papered over its drought-related financial struggles and misled investors, federal regulators said Wednesday.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Storms predicted to bring rain this weekend, continue into March

Going into the weekend, rain and snow is predicted from San Diego up through Northern California, promising to fluff ski conditions, feed crops and continue filling reservoirs.

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

Delta smelt count hits record low

An endangered fish in the middle of California’s struggle over water allocations is becoming scarcer. … An indicator species of the environmental health of the Delta, the smelt also figures into the criteria for regulators determining how much water can be pumped from the Sacramento San Joaquin River Delta.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles officials seeded clouds during El Niño storm in hopes of more rain

Clouds over Los Angeles County were seeded with silver iodide to increase the amount of rainfall during Monday’s storm, marking the first cloud seeding done by the Department of Public Works since 2002.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

9,000 dying trees to be removed in Tuolumne County (with audio)

Tuolumne County will start on the job of removing  9,000 dead and dying trees that threaten roads, water supplies, and infrastructure this month.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Storms send billions of gallons of water into state reservoirs

This weekend’s soaking rains delivered just what drought-weary Northern California needed: billions of gallons of water pouring into the state’s major reservoirs — and more predicted for later this week.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

California slammed by rain and snow; more is on the way

Northern California was slammed by powerful storms over the weekend that dumped rain across coastal regions and plenty of snow in the Sierra, while Southern California was expected to see another round of showers and thunderstorms Monday after a rainy weekend.

Western Water Magazine

Tapping the Ocean: What is the Role of Desalination?
Winter 2016

This issue looks at the role of ocean desalination in meeting California’s water needs today and in the future.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

March storms needed to build Sierra snowpack (with audio)

California reservoirs are ’stable’ with help from above-average January precipitation, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: Strong winter storm to bring several feet of snow to Sierra Nevada, Lake Tahoe

An atmospheric river drawing moisture from the tropics is expected to blanket the Sierra Nevada and Lake Tahoe area with more than 3 feet of snow through the weekend, forecasters say.

Aquafornia news Redding Record Searchlight

Ocean salmon estimates plunge; restricted fishing likely

Due to the drought and poor ocean conditions, the number of fall-run salmon in the Pacific Ocean has plummeted this year, increasing the likelihood that federal and state officials will restrict commercial and recreational salmon fishing.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

El Niño leaves much of drought-stricken California in dust

Residents had hoped that El Niño would drench California with enough water to end the drought that is now in its fifth year.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

El Niño returns: Big weekend storms coming to Bay Area

Remember winter? It’s about to come roaring back.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Weekend storms expected to drop rain on north valley

The latest snow survey in the Sierra Nevada showed that an above-average snowpack in January gave way to a dry February, which reduced the statewide snowpack to 83 percent of normal. It was slightly better in the norther Sierra/Trinity area, the drainages that feed lakes Oroville and Shasta, but still below average at 89 percent.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Dwindling salmon put fishing season in peril

[Jym] Gritzfeld was among about 150 people – mostly recreational and commercial anglers – who filed into a conference room in Santa Rosa on Wednesday to hear presentations from state and federal fisheries managers about the dire state of salmon off the coast of California.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Water restrictions eased along Sonoma County creeks

Enhanced water-use restrictions imposed last year on more than 10,000 Sonoma County landowners whose properties lie along four critical salmon-bearing streams will be lifted this spring in recognition of improved winter rainfall.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

California drought restrictions lifted in Russian River area

California regulators have ended mandatory water cutbacks along tributaries of the Russian River, but will continue to require property owners to report how much water they use.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Dry spell ate away at snowpack of drought-ridden California

An unwelcome three-week winter dry spell left the California snowpack at just 83 percent of average, a setback for the state as it tries to break out of record drought, state snow surveyors found Tuesday.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Sierra snowpack falls below average

In another sign that a once-promising El Niño weather pattern is proving to be no drought-buster, California officials say an unseasonably warm and dry February shrunk the Sierra snowpack to below average depths.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Drought hasn’t been all bad—we’ve learned some things too, California water chief says

“Crazy-making” is how Felicia Marcus, chair of the state water board and the political face of the ongoing drought, characterized a February in which nature suddenly turned off its taps. “Nervous-making.”

Aquafornia news Reno Gazette-Journal

Warm month saps Sierra snowpack, late winter storms needed

An unusually warm and sunny February took a toll on the Sierra Nevada snowpack, leaving mountain snow lovers to hope for a comeback in March.

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

California’s drive to save water is killing trees, hurting utilities and raising taxes

Eight months after California’s governor ordered cities to cut water consumption by a quarter, residents and businesses have exceeded expectations. … Now, the state’s furious conservation drive is not only threatening trees but also resulting in sluggish sewer lines and possible increases in water and tax bills.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Will El Niño’s punch return in March? California snowpack needs renewal of drought-busting storms

After a dismally dry February, drought-weary Californians are hoping a series of storms predicted to roll through in early March blanket the Sierra Nevada with a much-needed additional layer of snow, building up the state’s vital snowpack that all but disappeared last year.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Devastated salmon population likely to result in fishing restrictions

Northern California’s commercial anglers are bracing for restrictions on the upcoming salmon-fishing season after federal regulators projected there are half as many Central Valley Chinook salmon in the ocean compared to this time last year.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Names, addresses of Los Angeles DWP customers who received turf rebates are released

After a seven-month legal battle, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California on Friday released the names and addresses of thousands of Los Angeles residents who received cash rebates for replacing their lawns.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Strong El Niño no help for long-term California drought (with audio)

The U.S. Drought Monitor says warmer weather has increased concerns of early snow melt in California and the overall trend is for the multiyear drought to continue or even worsen.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Clean water versus the sucker fish: Drought creates a bizarre dilemma

The California drought has created many oddities over the last few years but none as bizarre as a scene that unfolds regularly on a tributary of the Santa Ana River.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: Despite drought, Californians fall short in water cutbacks

Californians are starting to fall behind the state’s mandatory 25-percent water conservation target even though the state remains in drought, state officials said Thursday.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

State falling short of 25 percent goal in water cutbacks

California fell short of water conservation goals in January, officials said Thursday, and for the first time the state is lagging behind Gov. Jerry Brown’s mandate to cut usage by 25 percent.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

California cut water use 17.1% in January, falling short of target for the first time

When Gov. Jerry Brown called for a statewide 25% cut in urban water use last April, drought-weary Californians snapped quickly into compliance.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Is this El Niño a dud?

Sacramento is in the peak of its rainy season, but there is no substantial rain in the forecast. … Whither El Niño?

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Old tensions boil over once more in House hearing on California water

The year’s first congressional hearing on California’s water crisis incited stern voices and familiar feuds Wednesday, but showed no sign of legislative progress.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Sierra snowpack melts with dry February (with audio)

The water content in the statewide Sierra Nevada snowpack has decreased significantly due to dry conditions and record warm temperatures across California in February. 

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: California water politics could get choppier with new House bill

Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, said his proposal would provide for new dams, spur water transfers and fund emergency drought aid.

Aquafornia news High Country News

A dry future weighs heavy on California agriculture

On a hot summer afternoon, California farmer Chris Hurd barrels down a country road through the Central Valley city of Firebaugh, his dog Frank riding in the truck bed. … Agricultural land stretches out in every direction.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: El Niño — Summer drought rules likely to continue unless big storms come in March and April

Even in the midst of a strong El Niño, California’s sunny weather this February is not surprising, experts say: The longest dry spell this month — 14 days — is actually less than the average for a strong El Niño winter.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Under sunny skies, Folsom Dam operators to double releases

Even with unseasonably warm temperatures and little to no rain in the forecast for at least the next seven days, the operators of Folsom Dam are going to more than double the flows in the lower American River to protect against flooding.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Storm Water, long a nuisance, may be a parched California’s salvation

After a year in which Californians cut water use by 25 percent, storm water has become the next front in what amounts to a fundamental restructuring of Southern California’s relationship with its intricate water network.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Waning El Niño could signal state’s water woes not over

El Niño, as all things must, will be coming to an end over the next couple months, possibly to be replaced by its sister phenomenon, La Niña, which could spell a drier than average summer and fall, a foreboding prospect for a thirsty region suffering through an extended drought.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

New limits on California well-drilling sought

Warning that a drought-driven surge in well drilling is causing the earth to sag and imperiling long-term water supplies, a California senator wants to place more stringent limits on new wells.

Aquafornia news Las Vegas Review-Journal

Here’s what El Niño’s storms meant for Lake Mead’s water levels

Even one of the strongest El Niños on record can’t seem to dent the drought on the Colorado River.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

‘Considerable’ long-term drought in California

Record high temperatures and a dry spell in California the past week has ”renewed concerns of early snowmelt” in the Sierra and “considerable long-term” drought impacts remain.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

In Northern California, skiers and water officials are grateful for the recovering snowpack

Going into March, there’s a good chance most of California will see above-average precipitation, climate experts said. But judgment day is not until April 1, when officials start calculating just how much snow might be available to supply California’s water demands over the summer and fall.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Rain, snow hit California shifting weather back to winter

A storm packing rain and high winds downed power lines, toppled trees and delayed flights in parts of California, bringing back winter weather after several days of record-heat in the West.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

State’s snowpack back down below average

Here’s a reality check for anyone thinking the drought might be over: The snowpack in California has dipped back down below average for this time of year.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Rain, snow head for California after days of record heat

California’s touch of summer will be interrupted by a weather system that will bring cool temperatures and rain to a large part of the state and snow of up to 2 feet to the mountains.

Aquafornia news PolitiFact California

Fact & Fiction: Ending California’s drought

California’s soggy start to winter had many predicting the end of the state’s record drought. Myths and overstatements popped up like weeds after winter rain.

Aquafornia news Valley Public Radio NPR for Central California

Despite drought, government to release water for San Joaquin River Restoration

Despite promises that El Niño storms will not bring an end to California’s drought, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced Friday that it will begin releasing more water into the San Joaquin River.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Where did El Niño go? Heat, dry spell stoke drought worry

Winter has suddenly switched off the rain and flipped on heat up to 95 degrees in California, raising jitters that the strong El Niño might not be the drought-buster the crispy state had hoped.

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 Los Angeles Times

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Feinstein water policy bill could signal a compromise in sight

Sen. Dianne Feinstein filed a 184-page water policy bill Wednesday, calling it one of the most difficult bills she’s worked on in 23 years representing California.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Sen. Dianne Feinstein tries yet again with California water bill

Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Wednesday relaunched a big California water bill, in what might be cast as the triumph of hope over experience.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

California’s drought adds $2 billion in electricity costs

It’s one of the lesser-known costs of California’s drought: the drying-up of the state’s normally abundant cheap hydroelectric power.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Bridge over troubled Stanislaus about to be inundated again

Sometime soon, and possibly by the end of this week, we’ll again bid goodbye to the old Parrotts Ferry Bridge. It’s been nice revisiting the 78-year-old concrete crossing, north of Columbia State Park in Tuolumne County, since it re-emerged from the murky waters of New Melones Reservoir last summer.

Aquafornia news KQED Public Media for Northern California

California’s water supply at risk from warmer winters

Any sign of precipitation in the forecast is a welcome sight for Californians these days. But with temperatures expected to be above normal this winter, California’s snowpack may not reach the heights it could.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Calendar says winter, but it’s hot and dry

Last fall, the consensus was that El Niño would give Southern California the best chance for above-average rains and much less of a chance to Northern California. But the opposite has turned out to be true.

Aquafornia news KPCC Southern California Public Radio

Analyst urges California lawmakers to back Gov. Brown’s drought measures

A report released Friday by the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) — a non-partisan fiscal and policy adviser to the California Legislature — says that the ongoing drought necessitates continuing support.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Drought’s hardest-hit sectors may need years of support

The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office also urged officials to study the effectiveness of the state’s more than $3 billion in drought programs to learn lessons for managing the next drought.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Dry February could bring problems for drought-stricken Valley

El Niño has given Central California a wet – and welcome – start to the rainy season, raising water levels in foothill reservoirs and blanketing the Sierra with snow. But the tap has been turned off for the foreseeable future.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

State fire prevention fee money to fund Sierra dead tree removals

Money from a controversial “fire prevention” fee paid by many California foothill and mountain residents will be used to cut down trees that are dead or dying because of the drought and bark beetle infestation.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Why your Super Bowl vegetable platter might cost more this year

Drought followed by the rains of El Niño, and heat followed by cold snaps created a cauliflower price boom that now has turned to a bust, and a celery inflation that lingered just long enough, growers and industry experts say.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: El Niño ‘takes a break’ (with audio)

El Niño, which helped increase precipitation in California last month, is taking a break. … The U.S. Drought Monitor says “exceptional drought” was reduced slightly in just one area of the northern Sierra this week: El Dorado County.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Drought remains ‘very serious’ in California (with audio)

The U.S. Drought Monitor says exceptional drought was reduced in one area of the northern Sierra this week, “despite heavy precipitation and rebounding stream flows in the short term the past few weeks.”

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

El Niño rainstorms improving wildfire conditions throughout California, fire agency says

Higher-than-normal rainfall associated with El Niño has diminished the risk of wildfires in California for the next four months, according to a national fire agency report.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Official — El Niño could signal easing of California drought

In the strongest indication yet that the California drought could be easing, officials said strict water conservation orders could be dramatically scaled back or even ended if El Niño storms keep pummeling the state into the spring.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Water conservation continues downward slide (with audio)

Californians used 18 percent less water in December than the same month in 2013, but water regulators say the state is still reaching the long-term 25 percent savings goal set by Governor Jerry Brown.

Aquafornia news San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Despite El Niño rains and deep snowpack, state board extends mandatory water conservation

Despite record January rainfall, an above-average snowpack and rising reservoirs, the state water board stuck to its conservation guns Tuesday, approving an eight-month extension of the existing drought-related emergency regulations with minor adjustments.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

California extends mandatory water cuts despite growing snowpack

The snow keeps piling up, but the rules requiring water conservation aren’t going away.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

State refuses pleas for major weakening of water conservation rules

Nine months after California imposed its first-ever mandatory statewide water conservation rules to cope with the state’s historic drought, dozens of leaders of water agencies on Tuesday pleaded with the administration of Gov. Jerry Brown to relax them.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Water officials vote to extend California drought emergency

State water regulators voted to extend emergency conservation measures because of a drought, even though an increase in rain and snow this winter has improved California’s snowpack. But with the drought still severe, conservations efforts fell off in December.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Northern California salmon run devastated, again, by drought

One of California’s last great salmon runs tallied a perilously low number of surviving offspring in 2015, scientists said Monday, marking a second year of drought-driven problems for the Sacramento River chinook, which loom on the verge of extinction.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino County Sun

Agencies find new water source from the sewer

In the wake of drought and environmental concerns, more water agencies in California and across the West are finding a new water source for human consumption in an unexpected place: the sewer.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Drought’s harm to forests more severe than feared, study finds

Worsening drought conditions may be doing more damage to forests in California and throughout the West than their ecosystems can handle, causing a spiral of death that could have a devastating impact, a U.S. Forest Service study concluded Monday.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: 2nd disastrous drought year for endangered California salmon

Endangered native salmon suffered a second straight disastrous year in California’s drought, with all but 3 percent of the latest generation dying in too-shallow, too-hot rivers, federal officials said Monday.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California weighs extending drought conservation orders

Following a welcomed parade of El Niño storms drenching drought-stricken California, state officials on Tuesday will decide whether to extend emergency conservation orders, and reveal how much water Californians saved in December.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Buoyed by recent rains, Folsom Lake levels triple

What a difference a month of rain makes. … Still, lots of water in Folsom Lake doesn’t mean the drought is over.

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

Crop report: Good news, bad news for California farmers

Despite a historic drought, California farmers and ranchers are bringing in more money than ever, the state’s latest crop report shows. But that doesn’t mean they are living high on the hog.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Reservoirs slowly filling, Sierra snowpack above normal (with audio)

The second Sierra snowpack measurement of the winter is Tuesday. January has brought much needed snow, but February may start a bit more slowly.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Drought-depleted Folsom Lake is rising, but it’s still far from its level-best

Folsom — which dwindled to 14% of capacity last year and became a global image of the California drought — has more than tripled in size since December, thanks to a series of storms that has brought above-average snow and rainfall to Northern California.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Predicting El Niño’s flood risk: How new warning systems save lives, property

Four winters ago, as worried rescuers watched the quickly rising waters of a Peninsula creek and tried to decide whether to alert local residents, they turned to a small green plant for guidance.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

California almonds, partly blamed for water shortage, now dropping in price

The decline also could influence whether farmers south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta will agree to help pay for Gov. Jerry Brown’s Delta tunnels, the $15.5 billion plan to re-engineer the fragile estuary with the goal of improving reliability of water deliveries to Southern California cities and farms.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Big surf, rain and snow heading toward California

Big surf, rain and snow are heading toward California, including the first significant rains predicted for the southern half of the state since early this month, forecasters said Thursday.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

‘Modest dents’ in long-term California drought (with audio)

The U.S. Drought Monitor released January 28 partly credits El Niño moisture for “some modest dents in the armor of the multi-year drought in California.”

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: California to release more reservoir water thanks to El Niño storms

The Department of Water Resources, mindful of the fruits of the El Niño weather pattern, boosted expected water deliveries to cities and farms from last month’s scant projection of 10 percent of what was requested to a slightly better 15 percent.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

El Niño lets landslide scientists get back to their research

… After four dry winters, scientists are finally getting a chance to gather information that may improve their ability to predict landslides — a science that has been notoriously imprecise.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

$1 billion insured losses in California fires

Damages from two destructive Northern California wildfires that killed six and sent thousands fleeing their homes topped $1 billion in insured losses, according to a preliminary estimate by the state’s insurance department.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

El Niño inspires hope of ‘major dent’ in drought, but empty reservoirs point to long recovery

Ever since climate experts first predicted El Niño last year, California officials have been tamping down expectations that this winter’s rains would bring significant drought relief.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Feds to California farmers: Water reserves low despite recent rains

On Friday, the Bureau of Reclamation issued notice that reservoir levels behind Central Valley Project dams remained unusually low despite recent rains and heavy snowpack.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

El Niño inspires hope of ‘major dent’ in drought, but empty reservoirs point to long recovery

After months of warnings by some officials that El Niño and winter rains were far from certain, the bounty of storms plowing through Northern California has opened hope that there could be a huge improvement in the state’s severe drought by spring.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Feinstein water plan would fund recycling, desalination and storage

California’s congressional delegation continued to wrangle over how to respond to the Golden State’s water crisis Thursday when Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) released what she called a “discussion draft” of proposed legislation.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

California has ‘a shot out of the drought’ if El Niño rain persists

With a couple of weeks of rain and snow behind them and more on the horizon for the Sierra Nevada in Northern California, state water officials expressed cautious hope that this El Niño season could lift California out of its historic drought.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Drought years tough on Sacramento Valley rice growers

Rice growers gathered in Richvale Tuesday morning for an annual Sacramento Valley update sponsored by University of California Cooperative Extension.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Water-starved Lake Oroville rises dramatic 20 feet in six days

El Niño is officially here, and the recent soakings walloping Northern California are recharging California’s drought-ravaged reservoirs with water. 

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Thanks El Niño! 44-foot rise of Folsom Lake offers hope for California’s worst ever drought (with graphic)

California lake levels are rising as fast as the stock market is falling, with Folsom Lake east of Sacramento rising an astonishing 44 feet in just over a month and Lake Oroville, the second most expansive water storage facility in the state rising another 20 feet.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Daily News

Judge decides turf rebate customer names should be public

Those who received government rebates to replace their turf could soon be subject to more scrutiny after a Los Angeles judge’s recent decision.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Rain, snow making a dent in California’s historic drought

The rain and snow falling across Northern California in recent days is by no means extraordinary. … But inch by inch, forecasters say, it’s doing the work necessary if California is to reverse years of epic drought.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Just like city folk, water rights holders will have to track usage

Even as California has marched out unprecedented water restrictions during the drought, the spigots at thousands of farms and ranches have gone largely unmonitored — a vestige of the state’s Gold Rush-era water policy.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Capturing every drop of EL Niño runoff

With recurring drought and the promise of a wet winter, water officials have a new appreciation for storm runoff.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

What happened to El Niño? Be patient, L.A., it’ll come, expert says

When the first hints of El Niño developed last year, experts believed that the brunt of the rain would occur in Southern California rather than Northern California. So far this season, the opposite has happened.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Drought rules could be eased for Sacramento region, other inland areas

Acknowledging the challenges posed by the hot, dry climate endemic to much of inland California, state drought regulators Friday proposed easing the water-conservation rules for Sacramento and other communities where it takes extra water to keep trees from dying.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Judge orders MWD to release data on recipients of turf replacement rebates

Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ruled Friday that the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California must release the names and addresses of recipients of millions of dollars in turf replacement rebates.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Water regulators propose further relaxation of conservation requirements

The proposed changes to California’s emergency drought regulation reward water districts for investing in new local supplies and allow for adjustments to savings goals based on a district’s climate and population growth.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Amid El Niño, a push to save California’s drought-drained aquifers

This winter, dozens of water agencies across the state are counting on a drenching El Niño to produce surplus water to stash in the earth and make up for what’s been pumped out at unprecedented rates due to the recent absence of surface supplies.

Western Water Excerpt Jennifer Bowles

Historic Drought and the Colorado River: Today and Tomorrow
November/December 2015

The dramatic decline in water levels in Lake Mead and Lake Powell is perhaps the most visible sign of the historic drought that has gripped the Colorado River Basin for the past 16 years. In 2000, the reservoirs stood at nearly 100 percent capacity; today, Lake Powell is at 49 percent capacity while Lake Mead has dropped to 38 percent. Before the late season runoff of Miracle May, it looked as if Mead might drop low enough to trigger the first-ever Lower Basin shortage determination in 2016.

Read the excerpt below from the Sept./Oct. 2015 issue along with the editor’s note. Click here to subscribe to Western Water and get full access.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Ruling expected Friday on releasing names, addresses of Los Angeles DWP turf rebate recipients

Los Angeles County Superior Court judge could rule as soon as Friday on whether the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California must release information about the recipients of millions of dollars in turf replacement rebates.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Blog: 2015—The year recycled water became cool

California’s current drought may well be remembered as the crisis that introduced people to recycled water. All over the state, water agencies in 2015 began offering customers free recycled water at designated “fill stations.”

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Exceptional drought eases in Northern California

The U.S. Drought Monitor released January 14 showed a slight improvement in one category of drought in California.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

California water agencies say proposed drought rules don’t provide enough relief (with audio)

The State Water Resources Control Board will soon vote on changes that it says relax – at least somewhat – the 25-percent statewide conservation mandate. But many urban water suppliers say the regulations don’t provide enough relief.

Aquafornia news KQED Science

When will California’s drought end? (with audio)

For more detail on El Niño, the drought and what to expect in the weeks ahead,  KQED news anchor Danielle Venton spoke with Paul Rogers, KQED’s managing editor for science.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Two years later, water agencies receive final round of ‘emergency drought’ aid (with audio)

It turns out “emergency drought relief” can take up to two years to distribute. On Wednesday, California regulators awarded the final pieces of the $680 million drought aid package Gov. Jerry Brown and state lawmakers approved in March 2014.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Poll: Rain brightens California’s mood

Californians’ spirits, once parched by California’s punishing drought, have rebounded amid recent rains, according to a new poll.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Despite ‘Godzilla El Niño’ predictions, rainy season still pacing behind last year

You hear it every time you flip on a local TV forecast “we really need the rain.” At this point the sentiment is cliche, but the statement remains quite accurate. 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Two feet of snow expected across northern Sierra Nevada this week

A series of storms passing over Northern California are expected to drench residents in rain and dump up to 2 feet of snow on the northern Sierra Nevada, a precious water resource the state relies on in the spring, the National Weather Service said.

Aquafornia news Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting

Water tanks are a way of life in California community during drought

What began as an emergency response to the drought has dragged on and on. A year after the first tank was installed, tanks are now the primary source of water for more than 540 households in Tulare County, the epicenter of California’s four-year drought. 

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

California drought: How will we know when it’s over?

The final decision will rest with Gov. Jerry Brown. He declared a statewide drought emergency Jan. 17, 2014, and he is the one who eventually will rescind it.

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

Lawmaker wants to throw the checkbook at water hogs

Legislation introduced this week would require the state’s 411 urban water districts to set local limits on household water consumption during drought emergencies.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: Governor Brown’s budget earmarks big money for natural disasters

[Gov. Jerry] Brown’s $170.7 billion budget proposal includes a $719 million one-time drought package, including an extra $215 million to the state’s emergency fund for battling big blazes.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Water district orders 70 percent cuts to irrigation

After six months of failing to meet the state’s water-reduction mandate, Riverside County’s largest supplier on Wednesday imposed an immediate 70 percent cut to residential irrigation.

Aquafornia news KCRA-TV Sacramento

Groundwater supply needs more rain despite recent storms (with video)

Water experts in Yolo County are actively monitoring water wells to measure the groundwater supply. … The groundwater supplies about 30 percent of the water in our region, according to the Northern California Water Association, which represents water rights holders in the Sacramento Valley.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: El Niño helps, won’t end historic California drought (with audio)

Meteorologist Michelle Mead, with the National Weather Service in Sacramento says one “normal year” is not going to save California from a four-year drought.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Drought-ravaged Folsom Lake rises 28.5 feet in just one month

Water-starved Folsom Lake is beginning to slowly fill up and recover from its lowest water levels ever. 

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: California officials focus on water conservation amid storms

State regulators said Tuesday they are confident that residents of drought-stricken California will meet long-term water conservation goals but worried that the onslaught of storms dousing the state might lead to backsliding.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Southern California lags as state misses water conservation goal

California residents continue to ease back on the taps, but their efforts are slipping a bit, according to data released Tuesday that show cities and towns missed the state’s 25 percent water savings mandate for the second straight month.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

First big El Niño storms hit California, bring hope of easing historic drought

After a year of hype and hope, El Niño’s punch is finally arriving in California, bringing a series of storms to soak the Bay Area and most of the rest of the drought-stricken state through this week and probably into next.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: California misses mark for saving two months running

Residents of drought-weary California in November fell short of hitting a 25 percent water conservation mandate for a second month running, state officials say.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Officials upbeat about snowpack, but El Niño looms large on drought

After taking the measurement and leaving a path of boot prints in his wake, Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program, told a group of tightly bundled reporters that the snowpack was “encouraging, but still obviously not where we’d like to be.”

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Lawmakers look Down Under to help state get over the drought

Don’t be surprised to see a flurry of new legislative proposals in 2016 that push toilet water recycling, rooftop water tanks and underground systems to filter sewer sludge for field irrigation in California. Call it the Australian plan.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

First snow survey shows water content at 105 percent of average

It was almost shocking to see, but there, blanketing the ground off Highway 50 in the Sierra, was that elusive substance known as snow.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Farmers try political force to twist open California’s taps

The message that Maria L. Gutierrez gave legislators on Capitol Hill was anguished and blunt: California’s historic drought had not merely left farmland idle. It had destroyed Latino farm workers’ jobs, shuttered Latino businesses and thrown Latino families on the street. Yet Congress had turned a deaf ear to their pleas for more water to revive farming and farm labor.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Dry La Niña might follow soggy El Niño

Beyond all the hype over a possible drought-busting El Niño this winter is a much grimmer prospect for California: a dry La Niña come fall.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Is the era of dam-building over? Backers of several major projects say it shouldn’t be.

Drought, climate change and environmental curbs on water deliveries are fueling campaigns for more water storage in California.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Official: California snowpack at 136 percent of normal

The water content of the Sierra Nevada snowpack in drought-stricken California was 136 percent of normal Wednesday when officials took the winter’s first manual survey – an encouraging result after nearly no snow was found at the site in April.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

California snowpack measures an encouraging 111% of normal

It’s far too early to declare an end to California’s historic drought, but the state’s snowpack now measures an encouraging 111 percent of normal for this time of year, state water officials say.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Tahoe gets 6.4 billion gallons of water in 24 hrs.

More than 6 billion gallons of water have poured into Lake Tahoe in less than two days, helping the lake begin to recover from four years of crushing drought.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: California snowpack exceeds average for first time in years

A series of powerful snowstorms in the Sierra Nevada has resulted in a small milestone in drought-stricken California: The snowpack is now higher than average for this time of year.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Drought increases risk of destructive mudflows during El Niño storms

An intense October rainstorm that pounded the Grapevine’s barren hillsides offered a sober preview of what El Niño might unleash in the rest of drought-stricken Southern California.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Wet weather brings ‘normal’ back to Sacramento for Christmas

It’s beginning to look a lot like … an appropriately wet and sloppy Christmas.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Gov. Brown helped drought, wildfires percolate as Bing search topics

Gov. Jerry Brown, Starbucks and Tom Selleck drove the nationwide curiosity and concern over California’s fourth year of dreadful drought conditions, according to a survey of billions of online search engine records.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Mixed opinions on ’shame game’

Does publicizing the names of top “water hogs” amount to unfair embarrassment, or much-needed motivation?

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Without water, work or homes: Farm laborers displaced by drought

His [Martín Hernandez Mena] was one of dozens of shanties that grew where little else does after four years of California’s crippling drought. … Mena’s is a story about what water gives and takes away — how California’s farmworkers are an ecological crisis away from losing their jobs and their homes, with no safety net.

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

Salmon runs stronger than expected on many rivers despite drought

Long droughts like the one California is experiencing can be cruel to wild chinook salmon — smothering, starving, overheating, disorienting and drying out the fish.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Study: Rising lake temperatures may worsen algae blooms

Some of the world’s biggest temperature jumps are happening in lakes – an ominous sign that suggests problems such as harmful algae blooms and low-oxygen zones hazardous to fish will get worse, says a newly released scientific report.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Agency begins review of Nestle water permit

The U.S. Forest Service said officials have started assessing the renewal of a 1978 permit that Nestle has long been using to pipe water out of the San Bernardino National Forest to produce Arrowhead brand bottled water.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Feds unveil interactive tool showing Colorado River drought

Federal agencies have unveiled an interactive Web display showing high-water to low-water data and images resulting from a historic 16-year drought in the Colorado River basin.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Gray water and stormwater can help in the drought, but risk needs to be studied, researchers say

As water utilities and their customers increasingly look to gray water and runoff from storms to supplement their supply amid drought, more guidelines and research are needed to ensure that the water is safe, researchers said in a report released Wednesday.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

After drought and warmer weather, local farmers are taking time off

Four years of drought and unusually warm weather have exhausted the patience and the resources of many local farmers, and the result is empty farm stands at Southern California farmers markets.


Dry, Wet or Average? The Challenges for Water Project Operations
New Date: February 23, 2016

This free briefing sponsored by the Department of Water Resources and the Water Education Foundation will discuss forecasts of water project operations in the coming year.

Water year 2016 has officially begun, and all eyes are on the weather and the potential runoff. But even if the projected heavy El Niño becomes reality, the state’s drought-impacted reservoirs are still a major concern.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Salmon thrive in some places like Stanislaus River, struggle in others

Salmon have spawned this fall in the Stanislaus River in numbers not seen in three decades – 11,629 of them as of Monday by one count – but the outlook is worse to the south.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Lake Oroville water levels rising after missing record low; crews work on boat ramp

After coming within five feet of a record low last week, water levels on Lake Oroville are rising.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

After two bad years for fish, water officials seek solution

Not content to hope for El Niño storms, state officials on Tuesday approved a plan that — though watered down in the end — could result in better flows next year for endangered fish species decimated by drought.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Blog: Water gained stature at Paris climate talks

The Paris conference brought cheers not only from renewable energy advocates but from water groups. For years, organizations that focus on the world’s freshwater resources felt marginalized in the climate change debate. A warmer planet means nastier droughts, bigger floods, and unsettling perturbations in the water cycle, but the question of adaptation was mostly ignored by diplomats. 

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

State sets minimum lake levels in attempt to save salmon

California regulators set a minimum level of water that should be held behind Shasta and Folsom lakes Tuesday in an effort to avoid another catastrophic die-off of Sacramento River salmon, but they reserved the right to change the limit if El Niño rains fill up the reservoirs.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: California drought regulators back off controversial salmon-rescue plan

California drought regulators on Tuesday backed off a controversial plan to withhold water from farms and cities next year in an effort to preserve an endangered species of salmon, instead choosing a more flexible approach they said still could do the trick.

Aquafornia news KQED Science

‘Water Czar’ disputes poor grades for California’s drought response

A “report card” for California’s response to the four-year drought is being greeted with some consternation by state water officials.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Environmental group gives California mixed marks for drought management

More than four years into a drought, California’s efforts to manage the crisis have produced mixed results, according to a report card issued Monday by a leading environmental nonprofit organization.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Fertilized salmon eggs injected into Feather River to boost fish population (with audio)

The California drought has devastated the state’s salmon populations. But a pilot program is experimenting with a new way to save the fish.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

GOP members blame Feinstein for blocking drought language

Debate over a plan to address California’s drought continued Friday as the Republicans in the state’s delegation held a news conference blaming Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) for not supporting their bid to insert the plan into a must-pass spending bill.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Southern California desalination plant will help ease water crunch, but price is steep

The newest weapon in the war on drought in California has arrived, an engineering marvel that will harvest drinking water from the ocean on a scale never before seen in the Western Hemisphere.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Drought worries weren’t enough to force agreement on Calif. water bill

California lawmakers’ repeated failures to agree on legislation to resolve the state’s seemingly endless battle over how to use its water resources raise new questions about whether they’ll ever be able to find a compromise. This year, the climate looked ripe for an agreement.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

California drought: Storms help, water supply ‘below average’ (with audio)

The U.S. Drought Monitor released December 10, splits the report between Northern and Southern California. 

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

Buster Posey, Roy Jacuzzi, Blackhawk’s Ken Behring hit for using too much water

In what looks like a who’s who of local celebrities, the latest list of the East Bay’s biggest water users released Thursday includes San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey; Roy Jacuzzi, inventor of the namesake whirlpool tub; and Motley Crue lead singer Vince Neil.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: Angry California Republicans call drought bill dead for the year

The utter collapse of negotiations means a California water package that in its latest manifestation spanned 92 pages will not be slipped into a much larger, much-pass omnibus federal spending package needed to keep the federal government open. 

Aquafornia news San Diego Union-Tribune

Thirsty illegal marijuana farms stealing water amid drought

About 72 million gallons of water were used to irrigate San Diego County’s thirsty and illegal marijuana operations, enough to serve 440 families for a year, and that’s only for the ones that were found.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Finally, a storm that packs some serious snow predicted for Tahoe peaks (with video)

It’s shaping up as the biggest snowstorm to hit the central Sierra in two years. … After four years of drought, its reservoirs are dry: Folsom Lake last week hit its lowest point since record-keeping began 40 years ago.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Drought relief language proposed by California Republicans

Document, obtained by the Los Angeles Times.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Californians clash as GOP seeks $300 million for drought in spending bill

California Republicans will continue trying to include language addressing the state’s drought in a must-pass bill to fund the federal government, over objections from the state’s Democratic delegation.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: California mulls new plan to save imperiled salmon

Preparing for another season of drought, California officials plan to hold back more water at Shasta Lake next year in an effort to save an increasingly endangered fish: the winter-run Chinook salmon.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Feinstein-McCarthy clash dooms prospects for drought law for year

A closed-door attempt to rewrite California water law crashed late last week in a public row between Sen. Dianne Feinstein and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy that could doom drought legislation for yet another year.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

California water agencies want relief from conservation regulations (with audio)

State regulators are considering extending the mandatory 25-percent conservation rate beyond February.