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 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.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Blog: Drought Watch: Is this the end of our dry spell?

This was an unusually powerful “atmospheric river” storm—California’s version of a hurricane—unmatched in intensity since January 2008. … Beneath every headline about the intensity of the storm will be the question: Is the drought over?

Aquafornia news Associated Press

More rain forecast for California

Forecasters said Sunday they expect more rain for California, but the two water-bearing fronts approaching the region aren’t packing the wallop delivered by a major storm last week.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Commentary: Government is being a drip on the drought

There are two things very annoying about the deluges that have been drenching California. And neither involves nature. Both involve government.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California cleans up as storm hits Southwest

Californians cleaned up Saturday from a major storm that soaked the drought-stricken state before moving east to drop rain on the Southwest.

Aquafornia news NBC

‘Holy guacamole!’ Avocado prices expected to rise, thanks to California drought

In spite of recent rain, California’s drought has taken a serious toll on the avocado industry.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: California needs more big storms to beat drought

Despite the heavy storm that hit California last week – complete with flooded creeks and mudslides, closed highways and downed trees – it will take a lot more of the same to end the drought. In fact, experts say it may take five or six more storms like it to consider the drought over.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Flood-causing deluge amounts to just drops in California drought

The strong Pacific storm that left Northern California a sodden mess will not have much impact on the state’s historic drought, meteorologists said Friday.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Herald

Editorial: Rain, rain don’t go away — yet

Is it over? We’re not talking about the storm that hit Northern California and the Central Coast Thursday, inspiring apocalyptic media coverage and leading to store shelves being stripped of flashlight batteries and tarps.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

How much will heavy rains ease California’s drought?

As the biggest rainstorm in years slams into California, some are wondering how much it will mitigate California’s epic drought. The rain will definitely help. But by any measure, the drought is far from over.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Heavy rains, winds, flooding slam Northern California

The powerful system was being fueled by a stream of tropical moisture up to 400 miles wide and 3,000 miles long known as an “atmospheric river.”  … National Weather Service forecasters issued a blizzard warning for parts of Northern California – the first since Jan. 4, 2008 – and said the storm overall could be the most “significant” since that year. 

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Winter storms finally starting to boost storage levels in key reservoirs

One storm does not end a drought as severe as this one, meteorologists and water managers emphasized again Thursday. But this storm and last week’s milder one have done something very important: They have saturated the parched ground across Northern California so much that rainfall is finally starting to fill up the state’s dangerously low reservoirs as it runs down streams, rivers and hillsides.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

As the wells run dry, Central Valley neighbors find common ground

When a man of 91 is downright cantankerous and has been on his land longer than most everyone else has been alive, he wastes no time speaking his mind. So after his new neighbor started sinking a well to plant a water-sucking almond orchard in the middle of the worst drought he’d ever seen, James Turner hurried over.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Once again, water plan stalemated

As the most severe winter storm in at least a half-decade bore down on California on Tuesday, 3,000 miles away in Washington, the House voted, largely along party lines, for a California drought relief bill.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California storm hits south after drenching north

A dangerous storm system blamed for two deaths in Oregon, thousands of power outages in Washington and flooded roadways in the Bay Area that kept many from work and school pushed into Southern California on Friday, causing mudslides and evacuations.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Gardeners, nurseries struggle to adapt as drought cuts their business

In four decades of tending people’s yards, this year has been [Alberto] Ortega’s roughest: Clients put off landscaping projects, scaled back his duties or simply let their yards go altogether, costing him thousands of dollars.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Big storm arrives — rain, wind, outages packing punch

Mother Nature walloped Northern California early Thursday after three years of drought, bringing a deluge of rain and heavy winds that brought down trees, cut power and wreaked havoc on the morning commute.

Aquafornia news U.S. Geological Survey

Blog: Rain for thirsty California

Heavy rains are predicted for California this week, and after the extreme drought of the past few years, California welcomes the moisture. But can there be too much of a good thing? While drought is a significant natural hazard Californians must contend with, the natural hazards of severe weather and flooding are equally significant in the feast or famine cycle of storms in California.

Aquafornia news UT San Diego

Editorial: Congress must help California deal with drought

For years, the California Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown squabbled over what should be in a multibillion-dollar water bond. Finally, this summer, they agreed on a $7.5 billion measure that won landslide approval in November. … Now Congress needs the same epiphany on water legislation meant to help California.

Aquafornia news Whittier Daily News

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 last week’s and this week’s storms.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

With future uncertain, Colorado shields its water

With demand increasing across the West, Colorado is drawing up a strategy to keep some of the trillions of gallons of water that gushes out of the Rocky Mountains every spring – most of which flows downstream to drought-stricken California, Arizona, Nevada and Mexico. … [James] Eklund’s insistence on Colorado’s water rights drew diplomatic responses from his colleagues in other states on the eve of a Las Vegas meeting of water managers.

Aquafornia news Water in the West

Blog: Water Governance and Climate Change — Drought in California as a Lens on Our Climate Future

A new report on water governance and climate change through the lens of the current California drought has just been released by Stanford University’s Water in the West Program. This report, authored by Water in the West visiting scholar Jacqueline Peel and research analyst Janny Choy, summarizes the insights, lessons and key findings of a workshop hosted by Water in the West in September 2014, which brought together participants who have played central roles in managing water during California’s current drought. 

Aquafornia news KQED Radio

Despite rain, Coho salmon still struggling (with audio)

State fisheries biologists recently reported some disturbing news: the coho salmon that typically spawn near Muir Woods had vanished.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Australia proves desalination works

This week, water leaders from Australia are meeting our Californian counterparts in West Sacramento to discuss the lessons from our long drought. … We applied a number of techniques including conservation, water trading, stormwater collection and on-site gray water reuse, but one of our more tangible successes has been a $10 billion seawater desalination program with the construction of six major plants in all five mainland state capitals.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Storm to bring river of rain, snow to Sacramento region

The storm predicted to strike Northern California starting Wednesday night originated in the complex high-altitude wind currents constantly whipping around the globe. … Snow levels in the Sierra Nevada will be relatively high – around 5,500 feet – at least initially.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

East Bay poised for higher water rates

Despite early December rains, the East Bay Municipal Utility District board voted unanimously Tuesday to augment its Sierra reservoirs with water purchases from the Central Valley Water Project and to pass on the cost to customers, if need be.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: House approves California drought bill that faces Obama veto

The U.S. House on Tuesday passed a California drought bill, despite a veto threat from the Obama administration and its expected demise in the Senate in the final days before Congress adjourns.

Aquafornia news Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA)

State Board to hold informal Dec. 17 workshop to discuss potential future water conservation actions

The State Water Resources Control Board has announced that it will hold an informal public workshop to solicit input on potential next steps related to urban water conservation.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Recent rain not enough to ease California drought

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows the recent rains in California are not having much impact after three dry years.

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Santa Cruz water rationing lifted as big storm approaches

Ahead of a storm that is expected to drench the Monterey Bay region, Santa Cruz officials announced Monday the temporary lifting of mandatory residential water rationing and fines in favor of maintaining voluntary conservation at drought-driven levels.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Commentary: Water extravagance — San Jose cemetery to replace oak-covered hills with turf

Conservation and utilization of ever more efficient technologies remains our most cost effective approach to providing our growing population with adequate supplies. … That’s why it is so frustrating that the city is poised to permit 75 acres — 3.267 million square feet — of new turf for the Heritage Oaks Memorial Park cemetery in the undeveloped hills off McKean Road in southern San Jose.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

Heavy rain, strong winds, huge waves to pound Humboldt County

Sporadic rain fall is expected to pelt Humboldt County on Tuesday, but the heavy stuff? That comes later.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Feds: Don’t blame California drought on warming

Don’t blame man-made global warming for the devastating California drought, a new federal report says. A report issued Monday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said natural variations – mostly a La Nina weather oscillation – were the primary drivers behind the drought that has now stretched to three years.

Aquafornia news KQED Public Media for Northern Calif.

Blog: California’s drought — Is it global warming?

Federal climate scientists say that California’s drought, now in its fourth year, is not likely the product of human-induced global warming.

Aquafornia news KQED Public Media for Northern Calif.

Blog: How California’s water rights make it tough to manage drought (with audio)

After three years of historically dry and hot weather, the images of California’s drought have become familiar: empty fields, brown lawns, dry stream beds. But for every one of those scenes, there are other parts of the state where water has been flowing freely and the effects of drought are hard to see.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Commentary: Feinstein’s efforts disappointingly undemocratic

Just days after promising to bring highly controversial water legislation to the Senate through “regular order” in January, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., appears poised to ram through a bill in the last days of the session without public hearings and widespread debate.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Animal deaths spike on Sierra roads as drought hits habitat

Motorists in the Sierra have been plowing into deer, bear and a variety of other large hoofed and pawed creatures in unprecedented numbers, according to state transportation and wildlife officials.

Aquafornia news UT San Diego

Bill would force HOAs to allow fake grass

California homeowner associations would be required to allow artificial turf in front yards under a bill recently proposed by the San Diego County Water Authority. … Citing the growing need to conserve water, the San Diego agency sponsored similar legislation in 2010 and 2011.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: House-passed drought bill likely to sink in the Senate

House Republicans who have scrambled all year to complete a California water bill throw a Hail Mary pass Tuesday, with legislation that’s drawn a presidential veto threat and resistance from the state’s two senators.

Aquafornia news Sacramento Business Journal

​Despite drought, California exports on track for record year

California is on course to set an all-time record for exports this year, according to a recent analysis by Beacon Economics.

Aquafornia news U.S. Geological Survey

News Release: Data-driven insights on the California drought

A newly released interactive California Drought visualization website aims to provide the public with atlas-like, state-wide coverage of the drought and a timeline of its impacts on water resources.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Blog: House Republicans push for California drought bill

House Republicans try again to send more water to San Joaquin Valley farmers, but President Obama says he’ll veto the bill.

Aquafornia news Peninsula Press, a project of the Stanford Journalism Program

Water conservation could mean fewer redwood trees

With a drought continuing to punish California, cities across Santa Clara County are expanding their use of recycled water to irrigate parks. But the water-saving step may put a local icon at risk: redwood trees.

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

Drought dries rural wells, residents carry water in buckets

As California struggles through the drought, the first to suffer are rural residents with shallow private wells and limited incomes. They live in cabins in Modoc County, among the golden rolling hills of Paso Robles, in the farmworker towns of the San Joaquin Valley and a chaparral-covered valley in northern Los Angeles County.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Water woes among topics for 8 governors in Vegas

Facing dwindling water supplies, Western states are struggling to capture every drop with dam and diversion projects that some think could erode regional cooperation crucial to managing the scarce resource. Against that backdrop, eight Western governors meeting in Las Vegas this weekend will address regional water issues, and water managers from seven states arrive next week to work on ways to ensure 40 million people in the parched Colorado River basin don’t go thirsty.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Editorial: Emergency drought bill deserves to die

House Republicans intend to jam through a California drought-relief bill early next week that would suspend some state water rights and environmental law to maximize water diversions from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Blog: 2014 Water Year in Review, Part 3

At the November meeting of the Delta Stewardship Council, council members heard from numerous agency and water officials on how the state has responded to the drought conditions. In this final installment, Mary Scruggs from the Department of Water Resources discusses the impact the drought has had on the state’s groundwater resources, Mike Chotkowski with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service discusses the drought’s impact on Delta smelt and Central Valley wildlife refuges, and Tom Gohring with the Sacramento Water Forum discusses the region’s response to drought conditions.

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Pajaro Valley farmers welcome wet weather

This time last year Pajaro Valley farmer Javier Zamora was spending hundreds of dollars on irrigation so he’s thrilled rain has started to fall after two years of drought.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Roseville hits high water conservation mark for 2014

The City of Roseville posted its best water conservation rate of the year in November. The City is close to its yearly goal as well.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

El Niño not expected to help California drought

The recent storms in California are part of the typical wet December-February weather pattern and not from El Niño conditions.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

With California drought, Coachella Valley consumption steady

Despite one of the most severe droughts in California history, the Coachella Valley’s overall consumption of water largely held steady during much of this year.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Adaptable turf in times of drought

Some water districts in the region have doubled the bounty for customers who tear out their turf, offering $2 per square foot – or more – to those who replace their sod with drought-tolerant landscaping.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Flash flooding strands drivers in California

Heavy downpours took a parting shot Thursday at California, triggering flash floods that temporarily stranded more than three dozen people in their cars in inland Riverside County as the state took stock of the effects of days of steady downpours.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Lake Tahoe ski season off to a snowy start

At lower elevations, Lake Tahoe still hasn’t donned its rich, white winter coat. … But while they produced rain at the lake itself, this week’s storms have transformed the mountains ringing the lake into snow-capped beauties.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

California drought the worst in 1,200 years, new study says

The last three years of drought were the most severe that California has experienced in at least 1,200 years, according to a new scientific study published Thursday.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

California needs more rain, any way you count it

Measuring drought recovery is a tricky business. And two key agencies — NOAA and the California Department of Water Resources — do it in significantly different ways.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Infographic: How much precipitation do we need to end the drought?

There are different ways to measure the amount of precipitation needed to end the drought, but one fact is clear: The recent storm that doused Southern California was not enough.

Aquafornia news KCRA Sacramento

The Riggs Report: Protecting dead lawns

Brown lawns might seem like an extreme form of water conservation, but now comes the first bill of the new legislative session — from an assembly member named Brown — that seeks to make brown lawns off-limits to local fines.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Blog: First significant rain brings battle over who gets the first drops

The first major rains in California after months of drought have ignited a congressional battle over who gets the first drops.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

14 people rescued from flash flood in California

Authorities say 14 people were rescued after their cars became stranded in a flash flood in a Southern California community during the third straight day of rain.

Commands