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 Sierra Sun

Increasing evaporation influencing historic changes at Lake Tahoe

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.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Salt worries building in Delta waters

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.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Almond harvest looks early this year, rice may mature early as well

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.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Water, and hope, run dry for East Porterville woman caught in drought

[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 East Porterville.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Nearly 1 in 10 gallons of water disappears in Sacramento

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.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: More fires across Calif., but less acreage burned

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.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

#drylandsCA – A wildfire in front of us, drylands all around us

It’s one thing to read about crumbling water infrastructure, another to bump down a road, beneath water level, after freaky July rains in the middle (end? beginning?) of an epic drought.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Wildfires near Sacramento signal start of potentially dangerous fire season

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.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Proving illegal water grabs tough in California’s drought

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.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Blog: Your faucet as power switch — Water’s hidden energy cost

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.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Hope grows that El Niño will reach Northern Calif. — and key reservoirs

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.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Aerial video reveals drought-ravaged lakes worse than imagined

Ugly brown rings where waves used to lap at the shore. … Barren boat ramps. Trickles of water.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

High court hands setback to water conservation fight

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.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

#drylandsCA – Levees and ferries and sloughs and bridges that go up and down

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 over.

Aquafornia news San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Long-term climate forecast — Heat, humidity and El Niño rains

What climatologists disagree on is whether there will be enough rain to break the four-year punishing drought wreaking havoc on California farms and urban centers.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

New ’super scooper’ firefighting plane at Lake Tahoe (with audio)

The U.S. Forest Service in Lake Tahoe says the agency’s Bombardier CL415 aircraft, nicknamed the “Super Scooper,” will be based out of the South Lake Tahoe Airport this summer.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Tracy-area district faces first fine

The stakes got higher Monday for water users across the Central Valley who may be forced to choose between saving their crops or paying a severe penalty.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Another month, another global heat record broken – by far

Earth dialed the heat up in June, smashing warm temperature records for both the month and the first half of the year.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: State proposes $1.5-million fine of water district for improper diversions

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.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

State levies $1.5 million fine for illegal water use

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.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

California drought agency goes after another water district

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.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

New apps take much closer look at water use

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.

Aquafornia news KPCC Southern California Public Radio

Drought will have little impact on California economy, says Moody’s

The credit rating agency Moody’s said last week that California’s drought would have little economic impact on the state in the short term.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Here’s the secret weapon to curb water hogs — the flow restrictor

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.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Finding a way to truck water when drought hits Butte County wells

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.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Weird weather brings record rain, beach closures and a freeway washout

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 region.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Commentary: Water war of yore still resonates with New Melones protester

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 possible arrest.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Blog: 10 questions — Ralph Petroff, gray-water recycling pioneer

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.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Sacramento’s new Mexican consul to help drought-stricken farmworkers

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.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Five questions crucial to future of California drought legislation

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.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Shrinking Colorado River is a growing concern for Yuma farmers — and millions of water users

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.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

­Commentary: How the West overcounts its water supplies

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 Colorado River.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Healdsburg man uses heat to make clean water

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 in Sacramento.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Climate change meets drought in California (with audio)

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.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

California plans cease-and-desist water action against farm district

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.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Water managers dodge bullet with ‘May miracle’ rains

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.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Many of the world’s water basins are being depleted, studies find

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.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: California drought bill roils Capitol Hill waters

A Republican-drafted California water bill approved by the House of Representatives on Thursday now faces a serious test in the Senate and beyond.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

State issues first action to enforce a water rights curtailment

State regulators Thursday took another step in the escalating battle over drought-related curtailments of thousands of California water rights.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California flexes muscles in water tussle with farmers

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 drought.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Bill advances to allow HOA members to install turf without fear of fines

A bill allowing residents of homeowners associations to install artificial turf without fear of fines was approved unanimously this week by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

New curtailment letters issued

State water officials backed down a bit on Wednesday, formally rescinding portions of letters that seemed to require thousands of water users up and down the Central Valley to stop diverting.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

DWR increases water flow in Oroville Feather River

Yes, there is a drought, and yes, water releases have been increased in the Feather River in Oroville.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

After years of drought, wildfires rage in California

The hotshot crew from Big Bear, Calif., pushed along the steep, smoky ridge after a long night battling a blaze that spread fast, burned hot and just would not die.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

State softens approach to curtailing water use in drought

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.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

California curbs lawns for new homes, businesses

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.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: House GOP’s California water bill still a long way from port

Four years into California’s latest devastating drought, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives on Thursday will pass another catch-all water bill that’s nowhere near done.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

California adopts strict lawn-reduction rules for drought savings

Drought-tolerant plants must dominate lawns around new homes and businesses across California under new regulations unanimously approved by the California Water Commission.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

To save water, new California homes will have less lawn

The sprawling suburban lawn — a symbol of the good life in postwar California — moved a step closer Wednesday to being consigned to the history books.

Aquafornia news Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard (KMTG) Natural Resources Law Blog

Legal Commentary: State Water Board rescinds curtailments

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 critical drought.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Blog: Oakland’s water treatment plant generates its own energy and then some

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.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

#drylandsCA – A journey into the drylands

The only thing that’s certain is that this drought is changing California and the West. So we’re going on a road trip, traveling between what was and what will be.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: More lawn restrictions could remake California landscape

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.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Water released from Millerton Lake into San Joaquin River

Water burst out of Friant Dam Tuesday in a new release into the San Joaquin River.

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

Pleasanton limits free reclaimed water amid surging popularity

Reclaimed water from California’s first sewer plant to give it away free has become so popular in the drought that operators are limiting who can use it. 

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Water conservation in small towns, slightly different rules

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?

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Blog: Sacramento Valley farmers save 50,000 ducks with help from Cal Waterfowl (with video)

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.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Disputed San Joaquin River water will go to west San Joaquin Valley farmers

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.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Gov. Jerry Brown signs bill barring fines for dead lawns during drought

Cities and counties will no longer be able to impose fines on residents for unsightly brown lawns while the state is in a drought, under a bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday afternoon.

Aquafornia news NPR

California’s driest region finds short-term drought aid (with audio)

Rural Tulare County, Calif., is now being called the epicenter of this drought.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Drought may be slowing Valley Fever outbreak (with audio)

California health experts are surprised that the incidence of Valley Fever has gone down during the drought. 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Blame the drought: Inmates sweat out the ban on prison yard showers

To save water, California has turned off outside showers on its inmates. No longer can they wash down in the prison yard after a hard workout.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Drought, beetles preying on weakened California forests

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.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

West Nile virus spreads: Is California drought to blame?

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.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Scientists have learned a lot about El Nino, but they still have many questions

Long-range forecasters are growing increasingly confident that a strong El Niño weather pattern will at least put a dent in California’s four-year drought.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Farmers prevail in court

An effort by state officials to stop some Delta farmers from diverting water during the drought amounts to a taking of private property rights without due process, a judge ruled Friday.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Is a strong El Niño on the horizon? Forecasters say count on it

Californians should brace themselves for one of the strongest El Niño events to hit the Pacific Ocean in years.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Water rights ruling a setback for California drought regulators

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 defend itself.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Blog: As California drought rebalances Sierra forests, fire danger mounts

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.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Got sand? Drought prompts California state beaches to shut off outdoor showers

Thousands of beachgoers will soon feel the drought’s impact in the dry shower heads of dozens of state beaches.

Aquafornia news CBS San Francisco

Drought conditions cause Central Valley homes to sink into the ground (with video)

Homes in a Central Valley neighborhood are the latest casualty of California’s historic drought. The parched, dry weather is causing them to literally sink into the ground.

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

California city’s desalination push sparks debate over costs, coastal impact

The slumbering desalination plant that rests off the Ventura Freeway in a seedy area called the Funk Zone might one day be the answer to this coastal city’s desperate need for water.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Republicans’ California drought bill triggers debate

A California water bill easily passed the Republican-controlled House Natural Resources Committee on a near party-line vote after a lengthy, heated debate between the two political parties.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Strengthening El Niño could mean wet winter

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.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

El Niño weather event is biggest since 1997, may trigger soaking winter storms

As Pacific Ocean temperatures continue to warm and trade winds shift, federal scientists now say that the El Niño weather event that’s emerging could be one of the strongest on record.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Southland water district ends popular lawn-removal rebate program

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 once-cherished lawns.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Fish extinction ‘increasingly likely’

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.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Butte Creek salmon survive with help from canal

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.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California regulators discuss water pricing in drought

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.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

No more showers at state beaches

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.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Stress from heat, drought on fish spurs push to reduce kills

Drought and record hot weather are producing lethal conditions for salmon and trout in rivers across the West.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Some urban water suppliers far from conservation goal

A close review of water conservation numbers shows some urban water suppliers in California still have a long way to go to meet mandatory conservation targets. 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles, pushing big water rate increases, seeks 18% more from typical users

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.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

California OKs drought curb on Sacramento River flows

California regulators have given final approval to a controversial drought plan to restrict the flow of water pouring out of Lake Shasta this summer in a bid to preserve an endangered fish species.


Drought Tour 2015
Field Trip (past)

Millerton Lake behind Friant Dam near Fresno

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.

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

Effects of the California drought on farming is regional and coastal farms are thriving

The disparity between the Salinas Valley and hard-hit areas of the San Joaquin Valley is the latest installment in this newspaper’s series “A State of Drought.” 

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California agency considers water prices to save in drought

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. 

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Folsom Lake now being drained more slowly

Water regulators are easing off on plans to draw down Folsom Lake, responding to concerns from Sacramento-area water agencies about the availability of supply, officials said Tuesday. 

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: House panel will approve California water bill, but then what?

It’s a familiar Capitol Hill script, where the ultimate plot twist for California water legislation would be bipartisan compromise that leads to relevant, real-world success.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Plant experts hope for a drought of invasives in ‘water-wise’ yards

Many Californians appear to be taking up Gov. Jerry Brown’s call for the removal of 50 million square feet of lawn energetically and enthusiastically.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Rural residents decry water restrictions

A feisty crowd of west county residents peppered state regulators Monday night with questions about why new water conservation rules aimed at saving endangered coho salmon do not apply to vineyards.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Modesto poised to move forward on recycled-water project

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. 

Aquafornia news The Orange County Register

Orange County’s plans to turn rainwater into a resource (with video)

With California four years into a drought and water sources scarce, engineers, environmentalists and water officials today see stormwater not as a threat, but as a wasted resource.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

USFS: Conditions ideal for megafires this summer (with audio)

The U.S. Forest Service is re-examining how it manages wildfires this summer. 

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Apps help farmers with efficiency during the drought (with audio)

As the drought continues and the weather heats up, California farmers are grappling with how to allocate dwindling water supplies.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: California looks to Australia for drought tips

The state signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Australian state of Victoria to share knowledge and training in wildfire and flood management Monday.

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Soquel Creek hydrant flushing may be history with new tech

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.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Blog: Delta voluntary cuts challenged

The latest lawsuit by a water district with senior rights is significantly different from its predecessors.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Editorial: As lakes drain, we must rethink water

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.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Baja California farmers confront prospect of water shortage

Blocks from the U.S. border on a recent afternoon, inside a packed auditorium, the farmers’ voices rose with their anxious questions.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Drought sends U.S. water agency back to drawing board

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.

Aquafornia news KCRW

The flood of water rights lawsuits begins (audio)

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.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Water agencies baffle conservationists with water use surge

They stuck out like skunks at a drought-resistant garden party.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Lake Mead hits a new low, but the drought has a silver lining – tourism

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.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Gimmicks and technology: California learns to save water

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.

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

California’s rural poor hit hardest as groundwater vanishes in long drought

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.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Highlights: Californians paying more for water in drought

Some California residents are finding themselves in an ironic bind where they have to pay more while using less water in the drought.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: California water rates rise as cities lose money in drought

Saving water doesn’t always mean saving money in parched California. 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Drought drives greater household use of gray water

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.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Baja California’s first desalination plant to open in 2017 in Ensenada

Far from the Colorado River, Baja California’s coastal regions are increasingly looking to alternative sources of supply — and desalination has become a favored option.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

To encourage Californians to conserve, a tweak in wording can help

Officials at the state’s Save Our Water conservation program recently tweaked their “brown is the new green” message, advising instead that residents let their lawns “fade to gold.”

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Dead trees and dread: State’s worst wildfire peril east of Fresno

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 winters.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

In California’s drought, canal now flowing backward

The drought has become so severe that water is beginning to flow backward along a major artery in California’s increasingly distressed water delivery system.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Californians shoot past Gov. Jerry’s Brown’s water conservation targets

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.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Blog: In drying Colorado River Basin, Indian tribes are water dealmakers

Mired in drought and torched by one of the hottest years ever measured, the seven states of the Colorado River Basin are acutely aware of how a desert can bully water supplies. They are not alone.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

North Coast Sen. McGuire: Drought and pot farms cause ‘severe’ crisis for fisheries

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.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Californians getting drought message: Water usage plunges

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.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

‘Unbelievable’: Emergency plan could make canal flow backward

Ever since its construction in 1951, the whole point of the Delta-Mendota Canal has been to ship Northern California water to farmers south of the Delta.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California: Record water savings shows big cuts possible

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.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Californians cut water use 29 percent in May

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.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

California bill could allow tax on water wasters in drought (with audio)

A bill authored by Democratic Senator Bob Wieckowski would allow water districts to tax excessive water users up to 300-percent of the purchase price.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

On the depleted Kern River, rafting companies look to ride out the drought

Dismal snowpack levels in the southern Sierra Nevada have forced rafting companies up and down the 165-mile Kern River to make tough business decisions this year. 

Aquafornia news San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Congressman seeks to end California water wars with wastewater recycling, desalination

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.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Water-independent Riverside fights 28% reduction order

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.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Drought trips up real estate development backed by CalPERS

It looked like the perfect real estate investment, a sparkling suburban development that would provide thousands of weary Bay Area refugees with a more affordable place to live.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Drought leads to significant drop in Sacramento Valley breeding waterfowl

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.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Agriculture irrigation transforming farming

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.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

New round of big state water cuts to hit San Francisco

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.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Blog: In California’s Central Valley, dry wells multiply in the summer heat

Some wells gurgle and hiss before they die. Others expire with a puff of sand. Either way, the result is the same: no more running water. 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Lawsuits over California water rights are a fight a century in the making

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. 

Aquafornia news Education Week

In drought’s firm grip, California schools try to cope

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.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Drought shows need to untangle California water rights

There is absolutely nothing in California government – or its politics – more complicated and contentious than water rights.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Sacramento water agencies brace for historic drop in Folsom Lake levels

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.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

San Francisco told to stop taking some water during drought

Regulators on Friday told San Francisco to stop taking some of the river water it routinely stores in the Hetch Hetchy reservoir.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

California drought resurrects old population growth concerns

With the state in its fourth year of drought, population growth – an issue that receded from public debate in recent years – appears resurgent in California’s consciousness.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC)

Blog: Better reservoir management would take heat off salmon

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.

Aquafornia news Las Vegas Review-Journal

Governors tackle drought at Lake Tahoe forum

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.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Impact of new water saving rules won’t show up until after June meter reading

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.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Another Los Angeles DWP bill? No: ‘You are in the top 1% of all residential water users’

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.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: House Republicans revive California water wish list

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.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Water recycling debuts at new housing tract

KB Home, one of the state’s largest builders, showed off a new recycling system in San Diego Monday that eliminates the need for much of the drinking water now used to quench thirsty landscapes.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Massive marijuana bust in Emerald Triangle continuing

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.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Water conservation amid drought: Who made the grade?

On April 1, as California entered a fourth year of drought, Gov. Jerry Brown stood in a barren field that should have been smothered in snow and demanded a 25% cut in urban water use.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Mono Lake’s ecological crisis is a blow to wildlife, L.A. water supply

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.

Aquafornia news Mono Lake Committee The Mono-logue

Blog: How low can they go? Mono Basin streams in the drought

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.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

California drought brings a golden lining

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.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Some water agencies in California consider defying state cuts

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.

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

Artificial turf: Backlash amid water district rebates for fake grass

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.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Obama turns up dial on California drought aid

The Obama administration is boosting its support for drought-stricken California, escalating a relief effort that congressional Republicans still consider misdirected and insufficient.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

State water system stretched to limit, officials say

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.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Regulations would allow removal of drought-killed trees (with audio)

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 of wildfires.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Town’s water woes resolved

A water crisis that never quite happened was officially averted on Tuesday after a south county water district agreed to sell water to the town of Mountain House.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Setback for Tracy-area farmers

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 place. 

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Editorial: All cities must put in water meters

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 drought.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Under new plan, Folsom Lake could be dangerously dry within months

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 officials.

Aquafornia news National Geographic ScienceBlogs

Blog: The California drought — Almonds and the bigger picture

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.

Aquafornia news Best Best & Krieger LLP (BB&K)

Legal Commentary: Drought bill to combat water shortages passes in California Legislature

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 drought-related projects. 

Aquafornia news UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences California WaterBlog

Blog: How to manage drought — Ask an economist

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.

Aquafornia news Sea Change Radio

Abrahm Lustgarten: Water management breakdown (audio)

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, life-sustaining resource.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Deal keeps Mountain House water flowing

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.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Big difference in water use between wealthy communities and everyone else

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.”

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Most water rights holders facing cuts miss state compliance deadline

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.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Master-planned community will get water under new agreement

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 water.”

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Lawsuits challenge California’s drought plan

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.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Modesto-area irrigation districts sue state over water restrictions

Modesto-area irrigation districts are suing the State Water Resources Control Board after the agency last week curtailed century-old water rights for some of them.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Threatened salmon die after utility temporarily shuts canal

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.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Blog: Saving salmon — California orders new water restrictions

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 endangered salmon.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

As its water dwindled, Fresno cracked down hard

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.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Deepest drought issue: Beyond shallow look at groundwater

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.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California water districts challenge state’s drought order

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.

Aquafornia news KQED

Blog: Court battles loom over California’s senior water rights

Now that California officials have ordered water cutbacks for some of the oldest and most protected water rights holders in the state, we’re about to see if those orders will stick.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Drought disaster in East Porterville turns to budding health crisis

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.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: California Legislature passes drought bill imposing fines, water system consolidation

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.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Despite drought, some San Joaquin Valley cities still lack water meters

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.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Santa Barbara’s cautious relationship with water offers a drought lesson

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.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Dry spell pushes boats out of Folsom Lake ahead of schedule – and on a cool day

Though Sunday is expected to feature the most pleasant conditions in the middle of a stretch of hot weather, it marks the end of boating season on Folsom Lake.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Water supplies ‘alarmingly low’

The U.S. Drought Monitor report released June 18 shows “Severe Drought” increased slightly in California and “Exceptional Drought” decreased in Nevada.

Aquafornia news Herald and News, Klamath Falls, Oregon

Bureau makes a call for water

More water shutoffs are anticipated in the Klamath Basin.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Lake Fire scorches 10,000 acres amid dry heat, wind

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 mountains.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Butte Creek’s threatened salmon try to survive in low-water year

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.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

Meetings and training for cannabis cultivators in Eel River watershed

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.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

First lawsuit filed in water rights clash

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 1903.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Drought legislation part of budget package (with audio)

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 consolidate.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: CEQA exemptions for water projects inserted into budget bill

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.

Aquafornia news Appeal-Democrat

Shasta releases to be even lower

Releases from Lake Shasta will be up to 20 percent less than originally planned this summer, although the impact to local farmers’ water supply from that change is still uncertain.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Highlights of the pope’s case for environmental protection

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 biggest cities.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Drought keeps Bay Area beaches cleaner, for now

California’s drought has a silver lining: Water is cleaner at beaches all over the state because there’s little pollution runoff, according to a new report released Wednesday.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Beach water quality improved due to drought

It’s safe to go in the water this summer, thanks to a lot of sewer upgrades and maybe thanks just a little bit to the drought.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Local water districts score $2 million in grants

Three water districts in Riverside and San Bernardino counties were awarded $2 million in federal grants for drought-related projects.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Editorial: Why don’t we just give saving water a try?

The inevitable legal sparring over the state’s water conservation rules has begun, with the city of Riverside having the distinction of filing the first lawsuit.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Sacramento River flow decreased to save cold water for fish

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.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

What’s blamed for California’s drought? Basically everything

Mother Nature isn’t the only one blamed for California’s drought.