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.
While Lake Tahoe’s iconic blueness and clarity often garner all
the attention during annual State of the Lake reports, it was
the lake’s increasing rate of evaporation in 2014 that most
surprised the report’s author this year.
Normally, rivers from interior California help push back that
saltier water and keep the Delta fresh, which is important for
people and fish alike. But this year the rivers are low, which
allows the Bay water to move toward the east and invade
portions of the tidally influenced estuary.
Almond farmers who planned a mid-summer getaway may need to put
those plans on hold. Already the nuts are at the phase of hull
split, which comes just before its time to shake the trees.
Butte County Agricultural Commissioner Richard Price said all
crops are early this year.
[Donna] Johnson is known as the water angel. … The
72-year-old is her town’s biggest advocate, sitting in on
drought funding meetings with county and state leaders,
shepherding reporters from around the globe so no one forgets
Almost half of the city [of Sacramento] utility’s nearly
126,000 residential connections don’t have meters tracking and
tallying how much they use. Because of this, there’s no way of
precisely knowing how much water goes missing because of leaky
pipes, loose connections, theft or at city hydrants.
The drastic drop in acres burned in the past year is in large
part because of an increase in the number of crews and
aircrafts CalFire was able to obtain through the state
declaring a drought emergency last year, officials say.
Firefighters battled flames in mountainous terrain Thursday
above opposite sides of the Sacramento Valley, signaling the
start of what could be a particularly combustible fire season
in drought-stricken California.
California’s vast network of reservoirs, canals and rivers is
among the world’s most engineered water systems, but it is
tough to prove when water is illegally siphoned because of
sparse metering, infrequent reporting and a complex web of tens
of thousands of water rights.
Most of us hardly think about it, but when we turn on the tap,
we’re not just using water — we’re also using energy. And you
may be surprised to learn just how much. … It takes a lot of
power to get water to our taps — conveyance from the source,
treatment, and distribution — not to mention cleaning the
wastewater we send down drains.
The El Niño hitting the mountains of the north is critical
because California’s vast waterworks rely on rain and snow from
the Sierra to supply farms and cities. By contrast, much of the
rain that falls in Southern California ends up in the ocean.
Rejecting the pleas of California officials worried about water
conservation, the state Supreme Court on Wednesday left intact
a lower court ruling that makes it tougher for cities and water
districts to impose punishing higher rates on water wasters.
Ever since we crossed the first bridge into California’s delta,
I’ve been in a world that ambles and rambles and moves with the
river. … There are 1,100 miles of sloughs and tributaries and
55 islands surrounded by the water that California is fighting
Regulators proposed a record $1.5-million fine Monday against a
Northern California irrigation district after it allegedly
diverted more than 670 million gallons of water illegally — a
rare enforcement action that escalates the legal battle between
Gov. Jerry Brown and the state’s oldest water rights holders.
California regulators are seeking a $1.5 million penalty from a
Tracy-area water district for allegedly illegally tapping the
delta for farmers and thousands of homes, marking a significant
escalation in the state’s push to get big users to go along
with drought-forced reductions.
State drought regulators went on the offensive against another
agricultural irrigation district Monday, proposing a $1.55
million fine against a Delta-area agency accused of diverting
water illegally over a two-week period.
When it comes to watching water use as California’s four-year
drought drags into midsummer, water districts statewide are
turning to software apps that show both customers and utilities
gallon-by-gallon details unavailable a few years ago.
A 2-inch-long brass cylinder, the modest-looking plumbing
device is to water wasters what handcuffs are to shoplifters
and parking boots are to motorists piling up unpaid tickets.
And now water agencies struggling to meet California’s tough
new conservation rules have the devices at the ready and are
giving them a fresh look.
It’s hard to know how many people are scrambling to get water
this summer. … If the long-term solution is waiting for well
driller to deepen a well, the quick-fix is calling a man with a
truck who will deliver water.
Rain, sometimes heavy and accompanied by thunder and lightning,
fell over Southern California on Sunday, the second wave of a
rare summer storm system that brought a weekend of beach
closures, power outages and warm, muggy air to the parched
Mark DuBois did the impossible for five days in May 1979. With
boats and helicopters combing the Stanislaus River canyon
searching for him, the rising water of New Melones Reservoir
practically lapping at his feet and chained to a rock in the
canyon, DuBois hid beneath a small ledge to avoid detection and
Ralph Petroff is changing the way California homes use water.
As executive chairman of Nexus eWater, Petroff last week
unveiled the first housing subdivision in the United States
with on-site water recycling standard in every home.
With California’s historic drought evaporating the livelihood
of thousands of Mexican migrants, Mexico will start offering
them emergency rent assistance, clothing, food and even a plane
ticket back home, said the region’s new consul general in her
first major media interview.
The House of Representatives’ passage Thursday of an ambitious
and controversial California water bill now starts a round of
maneuvering that will show whether a divided Congress can get
its act together and legislate.
Nearly 40 million people in seven states depend on the
[Colorado] river, a population some forecasts say could nearly
double in the next 50 years. … In the decades to come,
federal officials say, significant shortages are likely to
force water-supply cutbacks in parts of the basin, the first in
the more than 90 years that the river has been managed under
the 1922 Colorado River Compact.
Paul Matuska is the closest thing the American West has to a
water cop, and his beat includes Needles, Calif., a beleaguered
desert town midway between Flagstaff, Ariz., and Los Angeles.
… Mr. Matuska, a hydrologist, is one of about a dozen
accountants for the federal Bureau of Reclamation, which
controls water distribution along the lower half of the
Healdsburg’s Aaron Mandell wants to build a $30 million
desalination plant in the San Joaquin Valley that would use the
warmth of the sun to distill former irrigation water and reuse
it on thirsty farms. … “I think everybody is trying to
stretch the supplies every way they can,” said Jennifer Bowles,
executive director of the nonprofit Water Education Foundation
Jay Famiglietti is a Senior Water Scientist with NASA’s Jet
Propulsion Lab and a Professor of Earth Systems Science at UC
Irvine. We asked him if California is seeing an intersection of
the drought and climate change.
A week after getting slapped down in court, California drought
regulators went back on the offensive Thursday in their
campaign to curb water use, launching a crackdown against a
small irrigation district that allegedly took water illegally
from a river in San Joaquin County.
At a time when water levels in Lake Mead were getting so low
that officials prepared for drastic cutbacks, it started
raining. A series of powerful storms pummeled the mountains
that feed the Colorado River, a key source of water for
California, Arizona and Nevada.
More than a third of the largest groundwater basins in the
world are being depleted faster than they are getting
replenished, and there are little to no accurate data showing
just how much water is left in them, according to two new
studies published Tuesday.
California water regulators flexed their muscles by ordering a
group of farmers to stop pumping from a branch of the San
Joaquin River amid an escalating battle over how much power the
state has to protect waterways that are drying up in the
State water officials on Wednesday softened their approach to
telling thousands of California farmers to stop pumping from
rivers to irrigate crops during the drought but warned that
stiff penalties still await anybody who takes water they don’t
have a right to use.
State officials, who are already urging people to let their
grass yards wither during the drought, passed new rules
Wednesday essentially banning them from being planted around
new commercial buildings, while limiting grass to about 25
percent of the landscaping at new homes.
Today [July 15] the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB)
issued a letter rescinding and clarifying its previous
curtailment notices. Today’s letter walks away from the strong
language of the previous curtailment notices issued by the
SWRCB, which the Sacramento Superior Court found coercive and
in violation of constitutional due process safeguards in a
ruling last Friday. … Friday’s ruling was a setback for
the SWRCB and it demonstrated the difficulty in swiftly
administering the water rights system during the ongoing
Although treating wastewater generally ranks alongside police
and fire safety, schools, and transit as the top priorities of
any sensible city hall, new ideas about cleaning up sewage
almost never attract headlines or TV airtime. … It has taken
a four-year drought in California to change that.
The California Water Commission is scheduled to consider new
rules Wednesday that would significantly slash the amount of
water that can be used by landscapes surrounding newly built
houses, businesses and schools.
By now, most customers of a water district know the new
conservation rules. … However, what about people who live in
more rural areas and in smaller water districts that have
different water conservation rules?
While harvesting 350 acres of wheat, farmer Deke Dormer
collected 819 eggs in his field. The eggs were then placed
in egg cartons, taken to incubators for hatching, and will
be returned to wetlands when the ducklings are old enough
to survive on their own.
Federal officials Tuesday will begin releasing a disputed
allotment of San Joaquin River water from Millerton Lake to a
group of west San Joaquin Valley growers with water rights
dating back to the 1870s.
Frank Cody wasn’t surprised to learn that at least 12 million
trees across California recently have died from a lethal mix of
bugs and long-term drought. Business is booming for the South
Lake Tahoe tree service business owner.
Health officials haven’t reported any infections in California
yet this year. But as the West Nile season begins, summer
temperatures rise and the 4-year-old drought drags on, the
virus has now been detected in birds in 31 California counties
— six more than were reported at this point last year.
In a significant ruling that could hinder California’s ability
to order mass water cutbacks, a judge told state drought
regulators Friday they can’t slash the water rights of four
Central Valley irrigation districts until each had a chance to
During the July 4 weekend, the U.S. Forest Service issued
urgent instructions to hikers and campers to be exceedingly
cautious in lighting campfires across California’s tinder dry
Sierra Nevada mountain range.
The chances that California will begin clawing its way out of
the drought with a wet winter got a bump Thursday with a
federal report showing an El Niño weather pattern continuing to
strengthen in the Pacific.
When Gov. Jerry Brown called on drought-weary Californians to
reconsider their love of thirsty, nonnative landscaping, some
businesses and homeowners responded by tearing out their
It’s been nearly 60 years since a species went extinct in the
Delta, but the latest survey of the diminutive Delta smelt
makes their demise “increasingly likely” this year, a leading
expert said this week.
For salmon to survive in Butte Creek, the fish will need as
much water as they can get from Pacific Gas and Electric Co.
… PG&E showed the Enterprise-Record that water system
Tuesday during a helicopter tour.
California water regulators heard proposals for a statewide
drought fee and hefty fines for water-guzzling homeowners as
part of a Wednesday workshop discussing how to implement Gov.
Jerry Brown’s order for water pricing to maximize conservation.
Starting Wednesday, outdoor showers at all state beaches are
shut off as a way to conserve water during the drought,
California State Parks officials announced this week. The move
is designed to save up to 18 million gallons of water annually.
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power officials are seeking
an increase in rates over the next five years in a bid to boost
water conservation amid California’s drought and expand repairs
of crumbling water mains and electricity infrastructure.
This 2-day, 1-night tour traveled through the San Joaquin Valley
to explore the impacts of California’s unprecedented four-year
drought on the nation’s breadbasket and what steps are being
taken to avert disaster.
California Gov. Jerry Brown called for an overhaul in water
pricing as part of his sweeping drought order, and regulators
on Wednesday will discuss how to best do that in light of legal
questions over rates designed to encourage conservation.
Modesto is poised to take a big step Tuesday in its project to
send highly treated wastewater to drought-stricken West Side
farmers as soon as 2018, though the Turlock Irrigation District
remains a staunch opponent over concerns of how the project
will affect its groundwater basin.
Soquel Creek Water District leaders are looking at purchasing a
new piece of water main-flushing technology as one of several
potential water-saving projects that they could fund through
fees paid by new district development permits.
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation officials, who operate the Central
Valley Project, relied on a faulty gauge in April and
overestimated the amount of cold water behind Shasta Dam. That
error might seem trivial, but not in this fourth parched year
of the drought.
For most of the 1900s, the bureau’s [of Reclamation] system —
which grew into the largest wholesale water utility in the
country — worked. But the West of the 21st century is not the
West of Roosevelt.
He’s a fifth-generation cattle farmer, who bought land in the
1960’s — with water rights that were granted before 1914. But
two weeks ago, the pumps were turned off and there’s no water
now in his irrigation canal.
Bruce Nelson was just a baby when Lake Mead was at its
mightiest. That was 1983 — ancient history to the 32-year-old
whose family has run marinas here for three generations — when
the lake gushed over Hoover Dam like a desert Niagara Falls.
Billboards and TV commercials, living room visits,
guess-your-water-use booths, and awards for water stinginess -
a wealthy swath of Orange County that once had one of the worst
records for water conservation in drought-stricken California
is turning things around, proving it’s possible to get people
to change their ways.
For many Californians, the state’s long drought has meant small
inconveniences such as shorter showers and restrictions on
watering lawns. But in two rural valleys, the Coachella
southeast of Los Angeles and the San Joaquin to the north,
farmworkers and other poor residents are feeling its impact in
a far more serious and personal way.
Strands of silver hair fell into Annie Costanzo’s face as she
wielded a sledgehammer against the brick walkway in her
backyard. Plumes of dust and debris filled the air, and
reddish-pink shards scattered in the wake of the 64-year-old
sculptor’s latest water conservation project.
Californians trembled two years ago as 200-foot flames from the
Rim fire sent up pyrocumulus clouds visible 100 miles away from
the central Sierra Nevada. Burning from August to October, it
left a charred footprint nearly the size of Los Angeles — a
reminder that the state had just passed through two dry
Californians in May shot past Gov. Jerry Brown’s water
conservation targets in response to the drought emergency — a
profound shift in behavior for a state that until recently
prized its hot tubs, lush landscaping and spotless cars.
A Mendocino County lawman and a former marijuana grower
defended small-scale cannabis cultivation Wednesday at a
legislative hearing on the impact of the drought and marijuana
on North Coast fisheries.
California residents cut their water use by nearly 29 percent
in May compared with the same month in 2013, the steepest
reduction since officials began calling for people to conserve
last year, according to figures the state released Wednesday.
Water use in drought-stricken California plunged by record
levels in May, and Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration cited that
as proof cities can hit steep summer conservation targets they
have blasted as unfair.
In a rare bit of encouraging news in a state gripped by
drought, regulators reported Wednesday that urban Californians
reduced their water consumption by 28.9 percent in May from the
same month two years ago.
Northern California Rep. Jared Huffman came to Southern
California to push his $1.4 billion drought bill and find some
common ground in what he called the state’s water wars being
waged in the halls of Sacramento and Washington.
The city sued the state this month after it learned it would be
rejected for inclusion in a special reduction tier that allows
suppliers to reduce water use by just 4% if they do not import
water and have at least a four-year supply.
Breeding waterfowl populations have suffered a 19 percent drop
in the Sacramento Valley this year and a steeper decline
statewide due to the drought and poor habitat conditions,
according to the latest annual survey released by the
California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Madera County farmer Tom Rogers thought he knew a lot about how
to irrigate his family’s 175-acre almond ranch. But several
droughts, including the current four-year dry spell, made him
reconsider his approach on how to get the most out of his
ever-shrinking water supply.
State water officials not only told more Central Valley farmers
Friday that they need to stop drawing water from low-flowing
rivers and creeks — but they tossed the city of San Francisco
onto the list as well.
The lawsuits hit the courts within days of the state mailing
notices to some Central Valley irrigation districts: They were
to stop diverting from rivers and streams because there wasn’t
enough water to go around.
With Gov. Jerry Brown imposing new mandatory water
reductions to respond to the statewide emergency, school
districts are grappling with how to adhere to those
requirements while continuing to meet the needs of students and
communities. … Some wells serving schools are drying up.
Four years of dry, hot weather have raised lake temperatures
and depleted many of the state’s reservoirs. In response, the
state has cut flows from Lake Shasta to protect an endangered
species of salmon and raised flows from Folsom Lake to prevent
salt water from intruding into the Delta.
Over the past few weeks, the state’s largest
reservoir—Shasta—has been in the spotlight as managers struggle
to meet multiple demands with dwindling reserves. Surface
reservoirs are central to managing California’s water supplies
for a variety of purposes. … This year the trade-offs at
Shasta are particularly challenging, since the survival of a
run of endangered salmon may be on the line.
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval welcomed water experts and managers
from around the West on Tuesday to scenic Lake Tahoe, where
they reviewed a final report on dealing with drought and
meeting the myriad challenges that come with competing demands
for a dwindling resource.
The new state rules for water conservation kicked in June 1,
requiring residential customers in Chico to use 32 percent less
water than they used during the same months in 2013. Oroville
customers have to use 28 percent less.
City water officials are getting personal with their efforts to
boost conservation. … The [Los Angeles Department of Water
and Power] letters urging homeowners to improve their
water-wasting habits went to about 4,600 homes, largely in
upscale neighborhoods with big lots and lush lawns.
House Republicans are swinging for the fences with an ambitious
new, but familiar, California water bill introduced Thursday.
… The legislation speeds studies for water storage projects,
including proposals for raising Shasta Dam and building a new
reservoir at Temperance Flat on the Upper San Joaquin River.
A major multiday, multiagency law enforcement operation
targeting large marijuana farms in the heart of the pot-rich
Emerald Triangle has uncovered serious environmental damage
along with huge numbers of pot plants, according to a state
Fish and Wildlife officer participating in the operation.
In recent months, the Department of Water and Power has reduced
its take from Mono’s tributaries by more than two-thirds.
Still, the 1-million-year-old lake is within two feet of the
level that state officials say threatens the alpine ecosystem
at the base of the eastern Sierra Nevada.
For residents and regular visitors, the expanded exposed
lakebed, growing landbridge, and dramatically changing
topography of key visitation sites are hard to miss. While less
immediately visible, the effects of the drought on the streams
of the Mono Basin are no less severe.
As California’s prolonged drought dries up irrigation supplies
for agriculture and forces cutbacks in urban water deliveries,
it also creates opportunities for prospectors and miners
panning, sluicing, chiseling and diving for gold.
A handful of Central Valley water agencies that have been
warned to stop pumping water from rivers to farms, in light of
the drought, say they’re considering running their pumps
anyway. … The State Water Resources Control Board said
Wednesday that is not a good idea, warning that the water
agencies could face penalties for drawing water illegally.
The East Bay Municipal Utility District Board is the latest to
balk at subsidizing synthetic turf after hearing complaints
that it has undesirable environmental effects even if it does
well in reducing outdoor water use.
A plan to save endangered fish has pushed California’s fragile
water system almost to the breaking point, putting additional
strain on farmers while drawing down reservoirs at Folsom and
Oroville to historically low levels.
California’s drought has killed so many trees that the Board of
Forestry and Fire Protection is adopting emergency regulations
to remove them. The board is concerned about the growing threat
Longtime farmers hoping to block state-imposed cuts suffered a
defeat Tuesday after a San Joaquin County Superior Court judge
said the case must be heard in another county, potentially
leaving those farmers without a legal water supply. But in a
new twist, attorneys for the farmers now are questioning
whether the cuts actually are required in the first
Valley cities — from the biggest to the smallest — have no
excuse for not having water meters by now. Water is no
different than gasoline or electricity: Consumers should pay
for precisely what they use, especially during this historic
Folsom Lake water levels will likely drop to historic lows by
summer’s end, possibly hovering just above the point where
cities and water agencies can still draw water from the
reservoir, according to interviews with federal and local
Significant figures by Peter Gleick —In a climate where
rainfall is so variable from one year to the next, it makes
little sense to talk about what is “normal” but California
farmers know to expect that some years will very dry and that
sometimes there will be a string of dry years back-to-back.
The California Legislature approved a budget bill that would
grant the state authority to force water systems to consolidate
to serve disadvantaged communities where a steady supply of
clean drinking water is not available. Senate Bill 88 also
would give public water suppliers the power to impose civil
fines of up to $10,000 for violations of water conservation
programs, impose new measuring and reporting requirements for
water diversions, and suspend environmental review for certain
The economics of water scarcity is crucial to sustainable water
management, particularly during droughts. … Luckily,
California has a wealth of young, talented economists already
active in public water policy and who will be around for future
droughts. California WaterBlog asked five of them what
California should be doing to prepare for a fifth year of
drought and beyond.
The importance of water conservation during this record dry
spell notwithstanding, sound water management turns out to be
about a lot more than just water use. Today on Sea Change
Radio, host Alex Wise speaks with Abrahm Lustgarten of
ProPublica, who is writing a multi-part series exposing
unfortunate policies and practices vis-à-vis our most precious,
Water will continue to flow to Mountain House under a deal
reached Monday, and a separate water sale pending approval
Tuesday would slake the community’s thirst for the rest of the
year, officials said.
Whether it’s East Palo Alto and Hillsborough, Beverly Hills and
Compton, or Richmond and Orinda, a huge disparity in
residential water use is posing a challenge for water agencies
as they try to curb consumption and write rules that treat all
customers fairly. The divide is the focus of the latest
installment in this newspaper’s series “A State of Drought.”
The majority of California growers, irrigation districts and
others who have been ordered to stop drawing water from rivers
and streams due to worsening drought conditions have failed to
register their compliance before an official deadline,
officials said Monday.
Mountain House, an upscale community near Tracy, learned of its
precarious situation this month when the State Water Resources
Control Board issued a notice ordering the [Byron Bethany
Irrigation] district to “immediately stop diverting
The lawsuit, filed in Stanislaus Superior Court, challenges the
State Water Resources Control Board’s decision last week to ban
diversions by 114 different rights holders in the Sacramento
and San Joaquin river watersheds.
More than one-tenth of the largest wild population of
threatened salmon in the Central Valley died after repair work
near a power plant led Pacific Gas & Electric Co. to cut off a
cooling flow of water into a creek, wildlife and utility
officials said Friday.
The Delta smelt, a tiny fish, steals most of the attention in
the war of words over water use and environmental goals in
California. But other species play a role, too. This week,
state and federal agencies ordered water restrictions for two
northern California watersheds in order to guard the health of
With water monitors like [Don] Wells on the prowl, Fresno is
taking a more aggressive tack than most cities in California’s
battle against the severe drought. In one month, Wells and his
water conservation team handed out 347 of the 838 penalties
issued by all the water districts statewide.
The history beneath your feet in this Valley goes far deeper.
It’s a piece of the story about the nation’s second-largest
groundwater basin — California’s Central Valley, the San
Joaquin and Sacramento valleys.
Three California irrigation districts sued the state on Friday,
claiming officials overstepped their authority by ordering
farmers with some of the strongest water rights to stop pumping
from some rivers during the drought.
Nearly a year and a half after East Porterville’s first dry
well was reported, residents and experts say not having running
water and breathing increasingly dusty air is worsening their
pre-existing health issues and contributing to the development
of new ones.
A California budget bill that would allow the state to force
consolidation of water systems, exempt certain water projects
from environmental review and make other far-reaching changes
in response to the drought cleared the Legislature on Friday
over the angry objections of Republicans.
Thousands of homes, businesses and apartments in the
drought-stricken central San Joaquin Valley lack water meters,
complicating efforts by city officials to reduce consumption as
mandated by the state. … By state law, all urban water
hookups in California must be metered by 2025, and the drought
is prompting some communities to speed up their programs.
Santa Barbara, known for its landscapes fed by coastal fog, has
always had a cautious relationship with water. And its history
of conservation may hold lessons for other upscale communities
such as Beverly Hills and Rancho Santa Fe being forced to slash
their hefty water consumption because of the drought.
Less than a day after igniting, the wind-whipped Lake Fire in
the San Bernardino Mountains grew to more than 10,000 acres,
forcing the evacuation of 200 people and sending smoke
billowing over the northern Coachella Valley on another very
hot, dry day on Thursday. … Closer to home, trees are dying
in unusually high number in the San Jacinto and San Bernardino
The state’s wildlife department has counted about 1,950
spring-run salmon swimming upstream past a Vaki River Watcher
video system located in a fish ladder. Last year, the
department counted 5,083, with an estimated 16,782 in 2013 and
16,317 in 2012.
The Eel River Recovery Project is offering free field training
and public meetings to promote sustainable cannabis cultivation
in the Eel River watershed. The events will cover the best ways
to water gardens with the least amount of water and nutrients,
ERRP co-founder Patrick Higgins said.
The Banta-Carbona Irrigation District filed its complaint in
San Joaquin County Superior Court, asking a judge to overturn
the decision last week by the State Water Resources Control
Board to temporarily suspend water rights dating back as far as
Late-emerging legislation designed to deal with the drought
could be part of the budget package California lawmakers will
vote on Friday. Part of the legislation would give state
water regulators the ability to force local water agencies to
Some drought-related groundwater and water recycling projects
would gain exemptions from the California Environmental Quality
Act under late-emerging legislation at the Capitol. … The
bill includes language related to the consolidation of water
agencies, among other measures.
The pope [Pope Francis] says “a very solid scientific
consensus” indicates that global warming is real, and will
limit drinking water, harm agriculture, lead to some
extinctions of plant and animal life, acidify oceans and raise
sea levels in a way that could flood some of the world’s
State and federal fish and water managers are trying to find a
way to avoid a massive die-off of young fish in the Sacramento
River. … The changes in river flow might further impact the
amount of water that Sacramento River Settlement Contractors
are able to draw from the river for farms.