Topic: Drought

Overview

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 Los Angeles Times

Southern California could face above-normal rainfall in next 3 months

New rainfall figures released Monday show California is at 85% of normal rainfall for this time of year, with an average of 23.1 inches of rain as of Monday, according to the state Department of Water Resources.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Russian River basin prepares for fourth year of drought

The dry January was the topic of discussion Monday at a meeting held by the Sonoma County Water Agency, which provides drinking water to more than 600,000 residents in Sonoma and Marin counties — relying exclusively on rainfall captured in two reservoirs.

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

Dogs die from East Bay lake toxic algae blooming caused by drought

Stemming from California’s drought, three pet dogs have died after lapping up water in a popular recreation lake fouled by toxic algae flourishing in scarce rain and runoff.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

What happens when streams dry up? The insect impact

Scientists from UC Berkeley and Oregon State University spent a decade studying about 30 streams in the Madrean Sky Islands, an arid landscape of canyons, cliffs and mountainous woodlands in southern Arizona and northern Mexico.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Blog: New Melones an ‘absolute mess’

That’s how Jeff Shields, general manager of the South San Joaquin Irrigation District, described it to me the other day. The key reservoir east of Stockton is 23 percent full and 40 percent of normal.

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Organizers eye Santa Cruz for giant slide event

A Utah-based company is eying Santa Cruz as one of 150 sites across the country to host a pool party of sorts, laying down a padded 1,000-foot long water slide on city streets as its prime attraction.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

NASA launches Earth-observing satellite

The satellite is on a three-year mission to track the amount of water locked in soil, which may help residents in low-lying regions brace for floods or farmers get ready for drought conditions.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

NASA launches Earth-observing satellite on third try

Amid growing concern about global weather patterns, a rocket roared into space Saturday carrying a NASA satellite that will give scientists new tools to forecast weather, track drought and monitor climate change.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

January in Sacramento ends with a record high and no rain

January ended with a record temperature of 74 degrees Saturday at Sacramento’s Executive Airport and almost no measurable rainfall for the month – making it the driest January on record since reliable records started being kept in 1849, the National Weather Service said.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

San Francisco gets no rain in January for first time in 165 years

For the Bay Area as a whole, last month was the driest January on record, the weather service said.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

First-ever rainless January in San Francisco history

The month ended with a sun-drenched bang Saturday, an apropos ending for what was the driest January on record in San Francisco.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Winter skips January: ‘This just keeps getting worse’

One look at the numbers says it all about California’s latest drought nightmare: The snowpack must grow seven times its current size in the next two months just to be average.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Amid California’s drought, water chief preaches conservation – and balance

Felicia Marcus gets in the shower when it’s still cold. As full-time chair of California’s State Water Resources Control Board, Marcus has a key role in how California stewards its finite resources during a devastating drought.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

NASA moves Vandenberg satellite launch to Saturday

NASA has again postponed the launch of a satellite on a mission to gather water data that will help forecast weather, track drought and monitor climate change.

Aquafornia news KQED Public Radio for Northern Calif.

Blog: Shrinking Sierra snowpack heightens drought worries (with DWR video)

Manual surveys on Thursday confirmed concerns over the withering mountain snowpack — a critical source of water for millions of Californians.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Blog: Michael Anderson, state climatologist — Climate, drought and change

Earlier this month, the Public Policy Institute of California held a half-day conference in Sacramento focusing on how the state can manage through another dry year and become more drought resilient. Is the current drought a sign of things to come? Michael Anderson, state climatologist with the Department of Water Resources, kicked off the PPIC conference, Managing Drought, with a presentation addressing that question.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Blog: Lessons from Australia’s millennium drought

At the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) event, Managing Drought, held earlier this month, Jane Doolan, a professorial fellow of natural resource governance and a member of Australia’s National Water Commission, discussed how the Australian government responded to the extreme drought conditions with policy initiatives that changed their water entitlement system, supported water markets, and provided water for the environment to head off catastrophic impacts to sensitive species and ecosystems.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino County Sun

California snowpack gains erased by meager January rainfall

Traditionally California’s wettest month, January’s meager rainfall has produced a miniscule improvement in the crucial winter snowpack in the Sierra Nevada that historically provides about 30 percent of the state’s water needs.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Snowpack in California ‘dismally meager’ (with audio)

While December storms brought some hope that California’s drought would ease, January’s second snow survey shattered it.

Aquafornia news Best Best & Krieger LLP

Legal Commentary: State Board issues notice of potential curtailment of surface water rights diversions

On Jan. 23, the State Water Resource Control Board issued a Notice of Surface Water Shortage and Potential for Curtailment of Water Right Diversions for the coming year. … While the new Notice does not specify when such curtailment notices will be issued to the affected water rights holders, it is expected that the State Board will follow similar procedures as it did in curtailing water diversions in 2014.

Aquafornia news Tahoe Daily Tribune

Western drought continues: Washoe Lake, before and after

The news isn’t much better at Lake Tahoe, where the lake’s water level dipped below its natural 6,223-foot rim last fall and was at 6,222.43 feet Tuesday.

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

Driest January in history: Bay Area swings from boom to bust after wettest December

For the first time ever, San Francisco, Oakland and Sacramento have recorded no rainfall for the month of January — nada drop. … Southern California has had better luck, enjoying a couple of significant weather systems this month that came up from the south. 

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Snow levels in the Sierra drop to among the lowest on record

Chicken Littles they are not, but California water officials are fretting a bunch over the weather.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: Sierra snowpack dismal for January; fourth year of drought looks likely

The latest survey of California’s mountain snowpack on Thursday brought the bad news slamming home: This month will rank as the driest January in state history at many locations, virtually assuring a fourth straight year of drought. On Thursday, the statewide snowpack was 25 percent of normal for the date.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Drought expands in California, Nevada with dry January

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows that the intensity level of drought has increased in California and Nevada, as some areas of both states head toward one of the driest January’s on record.

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Santa Cruz water demand flat even after healthy rainfall

After receiving nearly 160 percent of normal rainfall in November and December — thus causing Santa Cruz to suspend mandatory water rationing for residential customers — the driest January on record stands as a stark reminder of how vulnerable the water supply is to nature’s mood swings.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Blog: Not as much water on the brain

A new PPIC poll released tonight [Jan. 28] shows that 59 percent of California adults consider water to be a “big problem” — a high number, but coming down from a record-high 68 percent in October.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Blog: The dam mirage

California is working on a checklist to ease the pain of three-year drought and make sure the state isn’t caught short in the future. One of the items is “water storage,” better translated as more dams.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Cash For Grass in Roseville (with audio)

The City of Roseville is swapping grass for drought-resistant landscaping at Crestmont Park, Roseville Electric Utility and the Roseville Corporation Yard.  

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Satellite mission poised to help farmers and water managers, NASA says

The Soil Moisture Active Passive project is expected to provide crucial information to Central Valley farmers and water resource managers dealing with the multiyear drought.

Aquafornia news KPCC Southern California Public Radio

Water cutbacks on horizon if snow stays stingy (with audio)

On the eve of the January snowpack survey of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, water management officials said Southern California’s largest water wholesaler may need to institute stricter water limits if winter precipitation does not improve.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Measuring Sierra snowpack is a lot more complex than it looks

As California caps what may be its driest January on record, Frank Gehrke will lead a bevy of surveyors on Thursday to a predetermined spot on Echo Summit in an exercise that has become a monthly downer in the documentation of the state’s historic drought.

Aquafornia news KCRA Sacramento

Larger salmon releases planned in Sacramento River near Redding

Officials plan to more than triple the number of endangered winter-run Chinook salmon released into the Sacramento River following a massive die-off last year.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Five straight years of disappointing January rainfall in Sacramento

It is very likely that this month will be the driest January on record in Sacramento, marking a string of five straight years of below normal precipitation for the first month of the year.

Aquafornia news Sierra Sun

California Department of Water Resources announces winter’s second snow survey

Department of Water Resources (DWR) snow surveyors are likely to encounter above-normal temperatures and below-normal snowpack when they conduct their second survey of the wet season on January 29.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Herald

Drought expected to continue, county pushes conservation

With December’s deluge now a distant memory and a bone-dry, unseasonably warm January coming to a close, even a wet February and early spring likely won’t help the historic drought conditions affecting Monterey County and the rest of the state, according to a National Weather Service expert.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Blog: Don’t get lost in California’s fickle winter, it’s still stuck in drought mode

A little storm can come through and rain on Fresno records, but I’m [Mark Grossi] driving at something else: This is winter in capricious California. Wildfires, blizzards, killing frosts, dry spells, howling wind, pleasant sunny days, drizzling storms and fog happen in January.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Water managers propose emergency actions after driest January on record

A city that normally sees well over 2 inches of rain in January will likely finish the month with two-hundredths of an inch. But Stockton won’t be the only community to record its driest January ever.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Wildlife agencies see collapse of 2014 winter run salmon (with audio)

High water temperatures in the Sacramento River last summer and fall caused 95 percent of naturally-spawning winter-run salmon egg and fry to die.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Legislature should stand up for environmental justice

In his inaugural speech, Gov. Jerry Brown promised to be a national leader on environmental issues. If California wants to pass big environmental policies, legislators need to look to people of color to lead the way.

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Commentary: A letter home from the state’s natural resources chief

This month I [John Laird] start my fifth year as California’s Secretary for Natural Resources. … Many major issues we face are not chosen by us. Nothing better describes that than being on point for the issues of water and fire amidst the three driest years in California history.

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: State revives plan for Delta barriers to fight seawater intrusion

The drought has spurred California to revive controversial plans to build rock dams across three Delta waterways in an effort to prevent seawater from degrading drinking water for 25 million people — including those in San Jose, Concord, and Livermore.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Marin heads toward near-record dry January

Since the last of a series of rainstorms on Dec. 18, only 0.23 of an inch of rain has fallen, as measured by the Marin Municipal Water District at Lake Lagunitas.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

As drought persists, conservation nonprofit tests system in Mill Valley

A Mill Valley home has been fitted with a series of pipes and valves to send shower, sink and clotheswasher graywater to landscaping in an effort to conserve limited supplies of fresh water from Mount Tamalpais and the Russian River used by Marin residents.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Blog: Farm water agency reacts to drought with changes at top

In drought-scarred farm country, there has been a shakeup at the Friant Water Authority, which represents 15,000 east San Joaquin Valley growers who got no river water last year.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Record-setting rainless January sparks fears, fire

Firefighters halted the blaze early Monday before it could do serious damage, but the evacuations punctuated a January that is poised to go down as the driest in California history, giving rise to summerlike conditions — including the threat of wildfire — even as the Northeast is hit with a paralyzing blast of snow.

Aquafornia news UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences California WaterBlog

Blog: Demystifying mist as a source of water supply

In some of the world’s driest places, atmospheric moisture is a major source of water for native ecosystems. … Some drought-minded California residents along the coast, perhaps yearning for a clear ocean view, have suggested harvesting fog as a water supply.

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Soquel Creek district to roll out voluntary conservation budgets

Although Soquel Creek Water District officials pulled the plug last year on a $3 million mandated conservation program, the agency soon will roll out some components of the initiative designed to reverse groundwater overdraft.

Aquafornia news KQED Public Radio for Northern California

Blog: ‘Ridiculous Ridge’ may be back to prolong California drought (with audio)

You might’ve noticed a conspicuous absence lately: rain. In fact, with a scant few days remaining in the month, much of Northern California is on track for a record-dry January.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Commentary: Reform CEQA to help live with drought

California took enormous steps to address our water future by passing a water bond and landmark groundwater laws last year, but there’s more to be done. Lawmakers should look to reform the California Environmental Quality Act to ensure we are using water efficiently and sustainably.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Blog: Stockton’s New Melones water in jeopardy?

No surprise here, but the federal government is warning that the Stockton area might not receive all of its contracted water from New Melones Lake this year.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Dry January starts familiar feeling of dread among farm water leaders

Facing a fourth drought year and maybe the driest January on record, farm water leaders hope storms are on the way, but they saw a dry January last year and got no water from the federal Central Valley Project. … In late February, the bureau [of Reclamation] makes a forecast of summer water delivery.

Aquafornia news Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA)

State Board warns of water curtailments if dry conditions persist

The State Water Resources Control Board advised water rights holders today [Jan. 23] that water diversions may be curtailed in critically dry watersheds again this year if conditions do not improve over the coming months.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Sneaky leaks can be draining, Placer County homeowner finds

Judy Henry knew she couldn’t be using that much water. … Her water use spiked so much, it got the attention of the Placer County Water Agency, too.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Lack of snowstorms sends Sierra ski season off course

Skiers struggled this week to keep their spirits up as dark patches of dirt and grass poked through what should be long, smooth, white ski slopes near Truckee.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commercial growers, Sacramento-area gardeners face possible headaches from warm afternoons, lack of rain

Sacramento-area residents have been down this winter weather road before: cold, foggy mornings giving way to warmer-than-usual afternoons . . . and no rain.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

State awards $2 million to Cachuma Lake pumping project

Santa Barbara County water agencies announced Friday that they will receive $2 million in state funding for a pumping project at Cachuma Lake — a source of drinking water for 220,000 people on the southern central coast — where water levels have dropped precipitously low.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Commentary: Learn to live with drought — eat more lentils

As California enters what appears to be the fourth year of its historic drought, we also appear to be headed for the usual water wars between farmers and conservation groups.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Commentary: Where’s the snow? Trips up Northern Calif. highways reveal shocking images

The winter temperature tantrum is having a mind-boggling effect across California’s high country, that much is well known.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Blog: Important California water infrastructure talks start

Two discussions that play a large role in the future of California’s water systems begin this week. … The two meetings are the highest profile examples of discussions that are taking place in California communities large and small.

Aquafornia news KQED Public Radio for Northern California

Blog: So how do those reservoirs look?

Just over a month ago, we were watching rain gauges fill up and going to sleep at night with visions of our reservoirs rising again after a long, punishing drought.

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

Santa Cruz County expecting near record high temperatures for weekend

Residents are getting a sample of Santa Cruz County’s summer-like weather this weekend as temperatures are expected to reach into the 70s. … The weather is the latest stage of the unseasonably warm and dry weather hovering around as California enters its fourth year of drought.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

California farmers turn sugar beets into energy

Struggling sugar beet farmers in the San Joaquin Valley are turning their crop into energy instead of sweetener. A cooperative of nine sugar beet farmers just opened a demonstration biorefinery south of Fresno.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Sacramento on track to have driest January since 1800s

Sacramento is on pace to have the driest January since the first official weather observation was made on July 1, 1877.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Turlock Irrigation District braces for another tight water year

The Turlock Irrigation District could cap water deliveries at about 40 percent of the customary amount even if the rest of winter brings average rain and snow. The district staff on Tuesday night provided an initial look at the supply for 2015, which is looking to be a fourth straight year of drought.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

‘Tough season’ for California wine grape growers relying on groundwater (with audio)

More than three years of drought has reduced reservoir storage in California and groundwater supply. Some wine grape growers in Amador County are worried the limited resource could make this season more challenging. 

Aquafornia news Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

Upland battle over man not watering lawn heads to trial

Fernand Bogman, the resident who has been battling the city over his not watering his lawn, has obtained a new attorney for when his trial starts Tuesday.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Roseville to replace turf with water-saving plants in response to drought

In response to the ongoing drought, Roseville leaders on Wednesday approved a plan to tear up roughly 2 acres of turf on city property and replace it with water-saving plants.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Sierra’s snow economy melting in the midwinter heat

Normally at this time of year, the sugar pines of the Sierra glisten with frost and the mountainsides are deep in snow — a call to action for California skiers.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Boxer vows no more ‘secret’ talks on drought bill

Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer on Wednesday set down some markers on California water legislation, denouncing “secret negotiations” and stressing the importance of seeking statewide support.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Salmon survival in California’s drought (with audio)

Big Springs Creek is a tributary of the Shasta River, which historically was one of the most productive salmon streams in California.

Aquafornia news KCRA Sacramento

Lingering drought suspends X-country skiing near Tahoe

A popular cross-country ski area near Lake Tahoe has temporarily closed due to a lack of snow, and forecasters say the lingering drought should persist or get worse in the months ahead across most of California and Nevada.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Commentary: Water park idea is a talker

Word that the Renaissance Indian Wells is considering adding a water park spurred a robust debate in recent days among members of The Desert Sun’s “You’ve Got Issues” Facebook group.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Dodge Ridge ski resort closes over lack of snow

The 862-acre mountain that rises to 8,200 feet — a relatively small site by California standards — was the latest in two days to ground operations as January temperatures climb to near-record highs and weeks pass without wet weather.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Protecting California’s natural lands is key to combating climate change

Today, we face climate change as our biggest environmental challenge, and these lands are more important than ever. Drought and extreme weather already impact California’s communities and economy; rising sea levels already erode our coastline.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

What happened to the rain?

When Dennis Conta started building his dream house in Santa Cruz three years ago, he prayed that it wouldn’t rain much during the long construction process.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Dry January for Tahoe (with audio)

The the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service says the Snow-Water Equivalent around Lake Tahoe is 29 percent of normal.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Another dry January? Winter’s wettest month failing to measure up

Santa Rosa is on track to post a third straight abnormally dry January, historically the wettest month of the year, as California’s drought moves into its fourth year.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Marin water district resumes pipe flushing as drought eases

Thousands of gallons of clean water will flow into streets in the coming weeks. Don’t be alarmed: It’s a sign that drought conditions are easing, according to water officials.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

The heat is on; NOAA, NASA say 2014 warmest year on record

For the third time in a decade, the globe sizzled to the hottest year on record, federal scientists announced Friday.

Aquafornia news UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences California WaterBlog

Blog: A salmon success story during the California drought

Looking back on 2014, it’s hard not to feel despair for California salmon. … There was, however, a startling exception to the run of bad salmon news. On the Shasta River, a lifeline for Siskiyou County cattle ranchers, more than 18,000 fall-run Chinook salmon returned from the ocean. That’s more than double the return from the previous fall.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Blog: So far, Fresno’s rainless January feels pretty familiar

A Fresno reader was telling me this winter is beginning to feel like last winter. There are some big differences between the two, but the wait for rainfall does feel familiar.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Feds say San Joaquin River could reach ocean this year; farmers say it isn’t close

Stream gauges and monitoring wells are ready and waiting along the San Joaquin River. Big money has been spent for the right to let water flow through a private bypass. All that’s missing now is water.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Pressure’s on to help Delta fish suffering amid drought

With populations of numerous endangered Delta fish species at alarming lows, officials in California are planning a number of steps to help them survive if 2015 proves to be a fourth drought year.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Denser California forests raise firefighting questions, study says

Drought, fire suppression techniques and changes in land use have made California forests denser and more susceptible to fast-moving wildfires, a study to be released Tuesday has found.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

California drought could end with storms known as atmospheric rivers

California’s drought crept in slowly, but it could end with a torrent of winter storms that stream across the Pacific, dumping much of the year’s rain and snow in a few fast-moving and potentially catastrophic downpours.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

2014 was Earth’s warmest year, December its warmest month

The average surface temperature on Earth was higher in 2014 than at any time since scientists began taking detailed measurements 135 years ago.

Aquafornia news KPBS Radio News

San Diego County water use dropped by 29% in December

Water use in the San Diego region plummeted by 29 percent last month, compared to December 2013, the San Diego County Water Authority announced Thursday.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: California agency releasing more state water after storms

Recent storms will allow California to provide more water to local agencies and farms even as drought conditions stretch into a fourth year, officials announced Thursday.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

How does L.A. use its water?

For all the discussion of how the city, parks and golf courses guzzle water, the lion’s share of L.A.’s supply is sucked up by residential customers, according to data from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Forecasts show drought continuing in California, Southwest

Federal agencies released a pair of forecasts showing dry conditions will persist in parts of the drought-stricken West, suggesting there won’t be enough snow to boost water supplies.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Exceptional drought expands in Sacramento Valley, Sierra Nevada

The drought update reflects the lack of rain and snow in January.

Aquafornia news Best Best & Krieger LLP

Legal Commentary: Conversations among federal lawmakers may lead to new water legislation

A number of conversations are occurring in the U.S. House of Representatives, and between the House and the U.S. Senate (particularly Rep. David Valadao (R-Hanford, Calif.) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D.-Calif.)) to reintroduce a version of last year’s drought legislation (H.R. 5781). 

Aquafornia news San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Anti-drought bill by Rep. Napolitano catching a wave of interest in Congress

The saga of the California drought — possibly the most severe in 1,200 years — may not be enough on its own to cause the 114th Congress to fork over billions in federal dollars for new water projects that benefit the Golden State.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Delta fish species plunge amid drought

California’s ongoing drought marked a setback for five important fish species in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta in 2014, including the Delta smelt, a signature native fish that has often altered the course of state water policy.

Aquafornia news KCRA Sacramento (with video)

Wet December leads to dry January for thirsty NorCal

In Sacramento, it has been three weeks since state weather stations received measurable rain, and as of Wednesday, the Sierra snowpack was at 38 percent of normal.

Aquafornia news KCRA Sacramento (with video)

San Juan Water District impressed by customers’ conservation

The San Juan Water District has reduced its water usage by 32 percent, officials said Wednesday. Officials attributed education of its water users for the reduction.

Aquafornia news KQED Public Radio for Northern California

Blog: Napa wineries face global warming

It just goes to show, scientists say, that which wines become popular has more to do with personal taste and marketing than with warming temperatures and water availability.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Blog: American Geophysical Union 2014 recap — That sinking, drying, sharing feeling

The American Geophysical Union’s fall meeting is the world’s largest convention for the Earth sciences. Every year in mid-December, the Moscone Center in San Francisco’s tech-booming South of Market district welcomes nearly 24,000 of the world’s top scientists for a banquet of research and debate. For five days I sampled widely from the AGU buffet, looking for new insight into the ways in which water shapes ecology and society.

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Pajaro Valley farmer taps water-saving sprinklers

Last year, as drought gripped California, [Javier] Zamora’s bills for water and the electricity that runs the pump at his well skyrocketed. But this year, he invested in a new irrigation system that’s dramatically cutting his costs and water consumption.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: NOAA: California drought likely lingers through summer (with audio)

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the drought that started in 2011 in California will linger into summer. 

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

EBMUD puts rate increase and emergency supply on hold at least until April

The East Bay’s largest water district will wait until April before deciding whether to take an emergency water supply that would trigger a rate increase.

Aquafornia news Contra Costa Times

Editorial: EBMUD right to delay decision on its pumping

Those excellent December rains were a welcome and useful relief, but they did not end the drought. We need more rain — a lot more rain — to pull us out of this mess.

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

Recent rains provide no respite for Pleasanton lake

Despite December storms that prompted flood warnings and brought more than eight inches of rain to areas of the Tri-Valley, the much-needed precipitation did little to relieve the drought’s impact on the former gravel quarry between Livermore and Pleasanton.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Happy new year, smoggy ol’ air

The spike in air pollution signaled that Southern California hasn’t met a long-stated goal of meeting the federal health standard by 2015 for daily measures of this kind of pollution, which is associated with health problems ranging from increased asthma attacks to early deaths. For years, the region was on track to meet the goal, but the ongoing drought meant fewer rainy days that cleanse the skies.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Blog: The end or the beginning of the drought?

You treat drought as a way of life, not an event to just get through, said Jane Doolan, an Australian who helped that nation craft the water policies that led Australia through a 20-year drought. Doolan shared that viewpoint with some of the most water wise people in California  … at a conference hosted by the Public Policy Institute of California.

Aquafornia news Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

Inland Empire water agencies shoring up supply for times of drought

Two Inland Empire water wholesale agencies, just like most consumers, are tired of dealing with the impact of drought. … The IEUA [Inland Empire Utilities Agency] and the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District, are working to increase local supply reliability through future projects in the next decade.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Lawmakers say water bond oversight will be priority

Lawmakers will begin a series of oversight hearings on the water bond funding and flood control funding this week.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Floating weather station will measure water evaporation

California’s drought has made it abundantly clear how important it is to know exactly how much water is available. … Scientists from the Desert Research Institute in Reno, the California Department of Water Resources and the US Bureau of Reclamation are placing a floating weather station in the water at Folsom Lake.

Aquafornia news The Santa Clarita Valley Signal

Editorial: Make water conservation a lifestyle

We learned last week that Santa Clarita Valley residents and businesses are doing well in the water-saving department, at least compared to numbers last fall, and that we’re doing better than most other communities in California.

Aquafornia news San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Commentary: Northern vs. Southern California water wars

A new report out of the State Water Resources Control Board found that despite calls from the governor to reduce water use by 20 percent, state residents are stuck at around 10 percent. And that’s looking at the numbers in a positive way.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Calculating the value of rice in more than dollars

The value of California’s rice harvest in 2012 was $770 million. The almond harvest’s worth was $4.3 billion. But which is more valuable: a rice field or an almond orchard? Which is more worthy of our vital resource, water?

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Jerry Brown unveils proposal on how to start spending $7.5 billion water bond

Two months ago, in the grip of a historic drought, California voters overwhelmingly approved a $7.5 billion water bond to fund everything from new storage projects to modernizing drinking water treatment plants.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

Rain slated for latter part of the week

The forecasted rain can only help alleviate a relatively parched North Coast region.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Blog: California policymakers look to Australia for drought answers

California policymakers have done about all they can to deal with the state’s historic drought: urge residents to use less water, pass a bond with money for more storage facilites, cross their fingers that Mother Nature will soon relent.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Renaissance Indian Wells exploring water park addition

Trying to be more inviting to families with children, the Renaissance Indian Wells is considering building a water park and some residential villas at the resort off of Highway 111. … ”A red flag goes up for me when a water park is being proposed and we’re in the middle of a drought,” [Councilman Dana] Reed said.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Businesses get fat rebate checks for water-saving turf replacement

A tractor rumbled over 2 acres of green turf last month at the MillerCoors brewery, its mechanical rake leaving wide swaths of thirsty grass chomped up in its wake. … For its water-saving efforts, the beer company is scheduled to receive a check for about $187,000 from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California through the agency’s turf replacement rebate program.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Programmers sought to help solve state’s water woes

Looking to cultivate technical innovation and address vital water-supply issues facing drought-stricken California, the newly formed Innovation Hub San Joaquin board announced Thursday its H2O Hackathon to be held March 27-28 in Stockton.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Editorial: Questions ahead on state water supply

A succession of December storms filled North Coast reservoirs to their highest level in months, but the most important gauge of California’s water storage is still stuck on drought.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Sacramento beats L.A. in water conservation

Sacramento residents recently achieved something significant in dealing with the drought gripping California: In November, they used less water per person than residents of Los Angeles.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

California drought persists; 2014 warmest year on record

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday that the U.S. average temperature in 2014 was half a degree warmer than normal and weather was less disastrous than previous years.

Aquafornia news Capitol Weekly

2014: A look back at key stories

First and last, the year’s biggest story was California’s historic drought, which forced down reservoirs and ground water to unprecedented lows, turned off the taps to farms and businesses – and even at least one small town – and ultimately persuaded voters in November to approve a multibillion-dollar waterworks bond that included $2.7 billion in new storage.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Daily News

Los Angeles, looking for water wherever it can, targets freeways

As Los Angeles looks for any way it can to save water, City Council members turned their attention Wednesday to how Caltrans irrigates its landscaping along freeways.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

2014 warmest year ever recorded in California

Driven by climate change and a persistent ridge of high pressure over the Pacific Ocean that caused California’s drought, 2014 was the state’s hottest year ever recorded. … On Monday, California Gov. Jerry Brown made climate change a centerpiece of his inaugural address.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

U.S. Weather in 2014 not too hot, disastrous

California, Nevada and Arizona had the hottest year in 120 years of record-keeping, while Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and New Mexico had one of their five warmest years on record.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Editorial: A wish list for the next U.S. senator from California

After three years of drought, water shortages and the impact on agriculture show that California’s system of delivering water is troubled. The voter-approved $7.5 billion water bond will help. But whoever replaces Boxer must be steeped in water policy and able to deliver federal aid back home.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

2014 was California’s hottest year, and it wasn’t even close

California not only sweated through its hottest year on record in 2014 but obliterated the previous mark by nearly 2 degrees, federal scientists said Thursday, while experiencing firsthand some of the worst fears of a warming planet — from intensified drought to melting snowpack.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Herald

Nacimiento, San Antonio lake levels still low after storms

Those nine inches of rain that soaked Monterey County last month? They made hardly a dent in our local water supply, officials say.

Aquafornia news KPCC Southern California Public Radio

Blog: California students invited to devise creative solutions to state water problem

California officials want to tap the inventive minds of 4th- and 5th-graders around the state to help address the region’s drought problem.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Turf removal rebate a great idea for local golf courses

Everyone in the golf business has known for some time that golf courses were going to have to reduce the amount of water they use, particular as the California drought continued to worsen.

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

EBMUD puts rate hike on hold

Thanks to December’s downpour, 1.3 million East Bay residents expecting to see a 14 percent hike in their water bill this month are getting a break — for now. The East Bay Municipal Utility District has postponed its emergency plan to pump Sacramento River water to local reservoirs as insurance against a prolonged drought.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

2014 was hottest year in Sacramento’s history

Sacramento plodded through its hottest year on record in 2014, with an average high temperature a full degree above the city’s next-hottest year, according to a Bee analysis of records from the National Climatic Data Center.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Drought leads to more Spare the Air days

For a while there, it felt like it might rain forever, or at least long enough to deliver a much-needed blow against the current drought. Well, those welcome, wet days brought on by a series of Pineapple Express storm systems have pretty much faded into the weather almanac, pushed aside by a familiar bully — the dreaded thermal inversion layer.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

Local conservation on level with state

Humboldt County municipal water providers were nearly on par with water conservation efforts statewide in November with a nearly 10 percent reduction compared to the same month last year, according to a report from the State Water Resources Control Board.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Water source for almonds in California may run dry

California’s almond orchards have been thriving over the past decade and now provide an $11 billion annual boost to the state economy. … But the growth coincides with another record development here — drought — and the extensive water needs of nut trees are posing a sharp challenge to state water policy.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

State residents increase conservation but still fall far short of governor’s goal

After two months in a row of declining conservation, Californians are doing better at saving water, but they remain far short of a goal set by Gov. Jerry Brown last January.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Once desert springs, now dry

As a boy in the late 1940s, Harry Quinn hiked with his family to a desert spring in the Santa Rosa Mountains where cool water flowed into an oasis filled with tadpoles. Now the spring is dry.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Water conservation gets a boost

Pat yourself on the back, but don’t stop saving water. … Overall, November marked the first month that all San Joaquin communities registered major savings — though many still fell short of Gov. Jerry Brown’s 20 percent goal.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Blog: Managing—and learning from—scarcity

California is entering a fourth year of drought. The welcome, wet conditions that appeared earlier this winter gave way to dryness during the latter half of December.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Californians improve slightly on water-saving efforts

Californians did slightly better in November on conserving water during the drought, figures released Tuesday show.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Capitol Hill Californians will push for drought legislation again

Another year, another California water fight. This week, as the 114th Congress commences, lawmakers prepare to revive anti-drought proposals that divided the state last year.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

California water use down 10%, still short of target

Wet weather at the end of last year helped Californians tame their insatiable demand for water, but consumption — particularly in Southern California — remains well above Gov. Jerry Brown’s target for the drought-stricken state.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Editorial: Rain shouldn’t dampen Marin’s resolve to conserve

The 23 inches of rain that have fallen in Marin since October have taken the edge off worries about a drought. It shouldn’t.

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog by the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences

Blog: The 2015 drought – so far

The California Department of Water Resources does a great job assembling data that can give insights on water conditions during the ongoing drought. They update the information daily (which can be addictive for some of us) on the California Data Exchange Center website.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Don’t let chilly ending fool you; California was toasty in 2014

A cold snap this week brought snow and freezing temperatures to much of California during the final days of the year, but for the most part 2014 was hot. In fact, it was the warmest year for California since record-keeping began in 1877.

Aquafornia news Appeal-Democrat

No end in sight for drought

The only answer to the question of when the drought will end is that there’s no sure answer. … The major reservoirs in Northern California are below historical averages, but they are above the levels from 2014, which is cause for cautious optimism for some northern state water contractors.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Fungi flourish after rains, but beware of poisonous mushrooms

The drought is over. For wild mushrooms, that is. And how.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Water district to help golf courses remove grass

The Coachella Valley’s largest water district is starting to offer cash rebates to encourage golf courses to remove some grass and replace it with desert landscaping.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

California drought brings smaller harvests, more hunger among farmworkers

Here in the produce basket of the nation, the drought so dried out the farm economy that farmworkers depend on charity to fill their pantries.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Blog: 2015 Preview — States react to new era of water scarcity

California, its hand forced in 2014 by a nasty drought, brought its groundwater laws out of the Gold Rush era and into line with nearly every other state in the Union. New York’s Democratic governor banned fracking for natural gas, in large part because of concerns about water pollution.

Aquafornia news Whittier Daily News

Drought brought permanent changes to California water policy in 2014

California’s prolonged drought left an indelible mark on state water policy and homeowners alike in 2014.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Blog: 2014 was the never-ending Earth Log story

I’m looking back at the last 12 months, checking out Earth Log stories — like Fresno’s warmest temperatures on record and the corrosive air siege of November. But drought was the story of 2014.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Editorial: Progress in state’s water policy was remarkable last year

One of the worst droughts on record forced California lawmakers and voters to implement far-reaching initiatives intended to change how the state manages water. And while the policy shifts last year were remarkable, Californians did not achieve the goal of conservation set by the governor.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Dry stretch doesn’t mean rain is finished in Sacramento, weather forecaster says

The first week of the year will be warm and dry, but that doesn’t mean 2015 will stay that way, weather experts said Sunday.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Amid flakes, snow levels don’t jettison drought worries

Snow levels that didn’t quite measure up turned a snowshoe party in the Sierra into an exercise in hand-wringing on Tuesday as it became clear that recent storms have done little to end California’s historic drought.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Snow survey shows higher snowpack, far less water content

The winter’s first survey of the Sierra Nevada snowpack found more snow than last year at this time, but officials said much more is needed to end the California drought.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Citing drought, California town rushes water plant

California’s drought declaration has triggered only local limits such as restrictions on washing cars or watering lawns for most communities, but one Pacific Coast tourist town has seized it as an opportunity to build a long-desired desalination plant.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Editorial: Stunning view of Folsom Lake provided harsh perspective of California’s drought

California’s drought really didn’t have an impact on me until last January when my wife, Linda, and I went to Folsom Lake to take our dog for a walk. Sure, I had seen that the American River was low when driving across the Watt Avenue Bridge.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Sierra Nevada snowpack levels are greater than a year ago

Measurements of Sierra Nevada snowpack on Tuesday [Dec. 30] showed more snow than surveyors recorded a year ago. But state water officials said it was far from enough to signal a potential end to California’s continuing drought.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Commentary: Will thirsty Californians swallow the Pacific Northwest’s culture?

California is in the midst of the worst drought in five centuries. But even if this drought ends, it seems another is coming. … Naturally, here in Oregon, we’re terrified.

Aquafornia news KPCC Southern California Public Radio

4 things Southern California is doing to capture stormwater, and 1 we’re not (with audio)

Billions of gallons of water have fallen on Los Angeles County since last week. And much of that  kept right on going — out into storm drains, lost to the sea. Couldn’t we actually use that water? Yes, and we do.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Authorities recover thousands of archaeological artifacts taken from Lake Oroville

Authorities have recovered thousands of stolen archaeological artifacts reportedly taken from Lake Oroville over the last 20 years. …State regulations, as well as other federal laws, protect items of cultural significance from being removed from public land.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Blog: Those trillion-gallon stories on storms, drought last week were confusing

I shared your confusion briefly last week. Readers called and emailed, wondering if the drought had ended after two separate news stories featuring the numbers 10 and 11 – each followed by 12 zeroes. We’re talking trillions of gallons of water.

Aquafornia news The San Luis Obispo Tribune

Cambria outdoor watering policy to be revisited

When directors of Cambria’s services district meet Thursday, they’re scheduled to hold a public hearing about whether to allow customers to use some of their allocated amounts of water outdoors.

Aquafornia news Woodland Daily Democrat

Editorial: Our 1,200-year drought and bad water policies

People with professional expertise in California’s four-year drought — plus those just looking for something new to worry about — get it right about expecting too much from the recent series of storms.

Aquafornia news KQED Public Media for Northern Calif.

Blog: A thirsty town debates need for new source of water (with audio)

The coastal tourist town of Cambria, located just below Big Sur and adjacent to Hearst Castle on California’s central coast, will begin pumping about 300 gallons a minute of treated water into the local aquifer this week. The new water source is part of a controversial emergency solution—built just this fall—to keep the community from running dry.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Recent storms send Yosemite waterfalls rushing back

In other winters it was a sight to behold, but to be expected. This year, the return of Yosemite’s waterfalls was more.

Aquafornia news Redding Record Searchlight

Blog: Eleven trillion gallons to go

Temperature is all that matters. Ten trillion gallons could fall from the sky tomorrow but if it doesn’t freeze and hold still as snow and ice in the mountains, what good is it?

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Mt. Tam watershed reservoirs near capacity from recent storms

Unlike the rest of California, the drought is over for the moment in Marin County.

Aquafornia news KQED Public Media for Northern Calif.

Blog: Storms a boon for rainwater harvesters

Water didn’t just pour into city streets during last week’s storm, it was also stashed away by rain harvesting enthusiasts.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

A couple days of no Bay Area rain: Here comes the sun

The Bay Area developed a warm glow Sunday on account of a once-familiar friend known as the sun. … National Weather Service forecasters reckon the fiery orb will be sticking around until Christmas Eve.

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog by UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences

Blog: Drought a ghost of Christmas past — and present

I love this cartoon because it says so much about water and droughts in California. Alan Marciochi drew this during the 1976-77 drought. He knew what he was drawing. A farm boy from Los Banos with a degree in biology, Alan worked for me studying endangered Modoc suckers in remote northeastern corner of California. His main stipulation in working for me was that he had to have the melon harvest season free.

Aquafornia news KCRA Sacramento

Recent rains avert NorCal waterfowl die-off (with video)

Recent rains have helped avert a massive die-off of ducks and geese that migrate through Northern California, according to federal wildlife officials.

Aquafornia news BBC News

California’s water woes quantified

Scientists have assessed the scale of the epic California drought and say it will require more than 40 cubic km of water to return the US state to normal. The figure was worked out by weighing the land from space.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Feds forecast good chance of wet conditions for next three months

There is a 75 percent probability of average or above-average precipitation between January and the end of March for California, according to a new report by federal scientists — the first time in five years such a wet outlook has been predicted in the state during the first three months of a year.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

California drought weakens, forecasters have ‘cautious optimism’ for future

For the first time in five months, a majority of California is no longer considered to be in an exceptional drought, the most severe level possible under federal guidelines, the U.S. Drought Monitor announced Thursday.

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

Water district considering another rate hike

The cost of water in southern Alameda County might rise again soon, as the utility serving the area is considering a rate hike for the 13th consecutive year.

Aquafornia news Davis Enterprise

Rain Recyclers saves water for another day

A round black tub sits in David Montijo’s front yard, on a bed of gravel where his lawn used to be. … The plastic container, about 8 feet in diameter, is full up with rainwater that Montijo is collecting from his roof, the first of his Rain Recycler systems.

Aquafornia news Oakland Tribune

Editorial: Southern California’s sad water conservation effort

It’s hard to think about a drought after considering the amount of water we’ve seen this past week, but even if these storms continue into the New Year, California is still dangerously dry. That can only mean one thing: Southern California wants more water.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

California drought: We need 11 trillion gallons of water in the bank

A series of rainstorms — one of which was powerful and destructive for residents statewide — helped deposit needed moisture to California, but it’s going to take 11 trillion gallons of water in storage to recover from the drought, NASA scientists said this week.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Remembering roaring Christmas floods of decades past

Ebenezer Scrooge isn’t the only one to visit Christmas Past. Every season our memory, however imperfect, whips out reminders of oft-told tales from a lifetime of Christmases in the wilds of the North Coast.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Blog: Ten trillion gallons of rain – just a drop in the drought bucket

Somebody called this morning asking me if it was true that 10 trillion gallons of water had fallen on California in the last several days, as reported by several news outlets. Yes, it’s true a Florida meteorologist ran the numbers, figuring 1 inch of rain per square mile is worth 17,378,742 gallons.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California gets more rain, 1 big mudslide

The latest in a string of storms noisily marched across Southern California on Wednesday, hurling lightning bolts, coating mountains with snow and unleashing downpours that triggered a freeway-blocking mudslide before mostly moving on.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

States in parched Southwest take steps to bolster Lake Mead

With a 14-year drought in the Colorado River basin showing few signs of breaking, states along the river’s path are taking new steps this month to ensure that Lake Mead — the Colorado River reservoir that is the water source for much of the Southwest — does not fail them.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Storm to blanket mountains with snow

The current storm will bring brief but intense rain to the valleys, while the mountain resorts are apt to be blanketed by 4 to 8 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

California’s water deficit: 11 trillion gallons

NASA satellites that have been tracking California’s troubled water supplies from space generated a first-ever estimate of how much water the state needs to recover from the drought — an astonishing 11 trillion gallons. In other words, a whole lot.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Another week of wet weather covers California

California remains deep in a drought, but a steady string of wet weather that is expected to continue Wednesday is making it look and feel replenished.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Rain could spell trouble for California water conservation

After California’s driest three years on record, there have been few sounds as disturbing to water conservationists as the whisk-whisk-whisk of automatic lawn sprinklers kicking on directly behind TV reporters covering some of the state’s first heavy downpours in years.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Daily News

Northern California looks to beat past Decembers

There’s no way of predicting if Mother Nature will continue to shower the Bay Area when we turn the calendar to 2015, but this month is shaping up to be one of the wettest Decembers in decades — at least in some parts of the region.

Aquafornia news Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA)

Federal, state agencies release Interagency 2015 Drought Strategy Draft

The five federal and state agencies primarily involved in the operation and regulation of the Central Valley Project and the State Water Project have jointly released a draft Interagency 2015 Drought Strategy.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

New storm drops rain across soggy California

A storm that unleashed rain on parts of Northern California already soggy from big downpours headed south in the first of a one-two punch of much-needed moisture this week.

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Commentary: On Gardening — Time to lose the lawn

One the best gardening strategies to prepare for future droughts — and achieve additional benefits — is to replace your lawn with any of several landscape designs.

Commands