Topic: Drought



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

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

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

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

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

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: State water regulator flexes new muscle in response to drought

Long considered timid and politically weak, the [State Water Resources Control] board is flexing new muscle in response to a dry spell that threatens to be the worst in modern California history. … On Friday, the board is scheduled to issue unprecedented new regulations to require urban Californians to use 25% less water.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Sacramento-area water agencies push back against proposed water cuts

In separate letters to the State Water Resources Control Board this week, water agency officials in Carmichael, Fair Oaks, West Sacramento and other suburbs argued that their customers already had made significant cuts in water use in the last decade and should not be forced to reduce consumption by 35 percent over 2013 usage.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Fresno looks to Washington, D.C., for drought relief

Fresno-area officials and business leaders hope to turn on the financial and water taps during their annual federal lobbying trip this week.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

With his well nearly dry, a farmer draws on his resolve

The 32-year-old farmer in the barber’s chair said his well wouldn’t make it to summer. … It was late afternoon at the tail end of what should have been the rainy season in the fourth year of the California drought.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

CAL FIRE closely monitoring water levels (with audio)

During wildfire season CAL FIRE helicopters often scoop water from nearby reservoirs and lakes. But the ongoing drought means some water levels are too low to use.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

California’s cycles of drought

When Gov. Jerry Brown of California imposed mandatory cutbacks in water use earlier this month in response to a severe drought, he warned that the state was facing an uncertain future. “This is the new normal,” he said, “and we’ll have to learn to cope with it.” … The new normal, scientists say, may in fact be an old one.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Almonds really not that thirsty, supporters say

As California moves into the fourth year of a withering drought and Gov. Jerry Brown announces mandatory water use restrictions on the state’s 39 million residents, attention has focused on its thirsty agricultural industry and, in particular, rapidly expanding almond orchards.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Higher water rates on tap as utilities cover losses from drought

Water departments across California, including dozens in the Bay Area, are now looking to raise rates — in many cases by double digits — to shore up revenues as customers use less water during dry times and water sales plummet.

Aquafornia news U-T San Diego

Metropolitan Water District of Southern California eyes 15 percent water cut

Facing severe statewide drought — and a mandate from Gov. Jerry Brown — Southern California’s biggest water wholesaler gave preliminary endorsement to a 15 percent cut in water deliveries. … A motion for a deeper cut made by a representative from San Diego County’s main water supplier, the San Diego County Water Authority, was rejected.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Water rationing cut of 15% in SoCal could bring higher bills

Southern California’s water wholesaler Tuesday is poised to impose a 15% cut in water deliveries to local cities and water districts, a move that would bolster Gov. Jerry Brown’s aggressive statewide conservation effort in the fourth year of withering drought.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Commentary: Making sense of water

Almost every number used to analyze California’s drought can be debated, but this can be safely said: No level of restrictions on residential use can solve the problem. The solution lies with agriculture, which consumes more than its fair share.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Deal made in water conflict — again

It was that kind of week in south San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties, where the struggle over scarce water intensified, with two agricultural water districts going so far as to briefly defy a federal order to provide flows for fish.

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Saving water not as hard as you think

Californians are definitely getting creative, water-saving experts say. But if the state’s residents really knew where their main sources of waste were, they might not obsess so much over the small stuff.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

US Forest Service investigates expired permit Nestle uses to draw water out of California for bottled water

The U.S. Forest Service is investigating an expired permit that Nestle has been using to draw water out of a national forest in Southern California for its bottled water business. 

Aquafornia news Associated Press

San Diego, Los Angeles mayors take stage in drought fight

He’s [San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer] among several leaders of California cities, including Los Angeles, proclaiming commitment to water conservation and vowing to move ahead of the state in slashing water use with initiatives including awareness programs, incentives and beefed-up enforcement with warning letters and fines.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

San Diego County farmers warn water reduction rules will be ‘devastating’

A water district serving farmers in northern San Diego County has asked state water officials who are devising cutback regulations for the same exemption given to farmers in the Central Valley.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Every day is fire season in drought-era California, experts say

In drought-era California, does “fire season” mean anything?

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Commentary: In California, rights to water exceed the supply

It’s arguable whether California has enough water to meet its actual needs. But it clearly does not have enough to match people’s expectations.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

For drinking water in drought, California looks warily to sea

Every time drought strikes California, the people of this state cannot help noticing the substantial reservoir of untapped water lapping at their shores — 187 quintillion gallons of it, more or less, shimmering so invitingly in the sun.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California Delta’s water mysteriously missing amid drought

As California struggles with a devastating drought, huge amounts of water are mysteriously vanishing from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta – and the prime suspects are farmers whose families have tilled fertile soil there for generations.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Gov. Jerry Brown’s rural excursion underlines his support for farmers

As California continues reeling from the drought, Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday headed into the farmlands north of Sacramento, where concerns about the state’s parched spell are mounting after a dry winter.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Drought or not, water has long reigned in the Imperial Valley

Modern irrigation — aided by the Hoover Dam and the All-American Canal — transformed the Imperial Valley from a hostile desert into an agricultural marvel: a testament to generations of farmers and their use of cheap and plentiful water.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Farmers to city dwellers: We’re all in the drought together

As the months have worn on, drier and drier but for the very occasional gift from above, it has been hard to avoid a looming civil war in California over a common enemy, the drought.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

In California, cities braced to cut water by 10% to 35%

Among the California water officials who were left reeling on Wednesday by the magnitude of the drought-related cutbacks they will have to make was Tom Gray, the general manager of the Fair Oaks Water District, outside Sacramento.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Drought exacerbates California’s shrinking cotton crop

The cotton crop in California has been shrinking for the last decade, but this year’s planting could be the smallest since early last century.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Water and power agencies sharing drought plans (with audio)

John Sweigard is General Manager of the Merced Irrigation District. He says the district will file a petition with the State of California next week regarding the operation of the dam and the lake.

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

California’s drought response barrels forward

California’s water restrictions barreled ahead Wednesday with stringent new standards for all toilets, urinals and faucets sold in the state starting in 2016 — another sign that the Golden State’s drought situation truly is circling the drain.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Commentary: Gov. Brown has a long-term water plan

For the first time in California’s history, we are faced with mandatory water use restrictions. After Gov. Jerry Brown made this announcement last week, the Fresno Bee Editorial Board asked on April 3, “Where is your long-term water plan, Gov. Brown?” In January of 2014, the governor released the California Water Action Plan — a five-year blueprint for California water infrastructure and policy. 

Aquafornia news Redding Record Searchlight

Shasta Lake triples fines on water wasters

Water wasters in Shasta Lake take note: the City Council has approved tripling fines for residents who use more than two-thirds the average household’s amount after federal officials slashed the town’s allocation to the minimum.

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

Drought encourages do-it-yourself water recycling

Business, however, is booming at the household recycled water station in Pleasanton where water down the drain is converted to drought relief for parched lawns and shrubs. Sewer plants in Martinez and Livermore also have begun giving away reclaimed water to drive-in customers, and plants in several other California cities are considering it.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

California farmers mount PR campaign to counter backlash over water use

When Gov. Jerry Brown announced his unprecedented water use reduction order last week, California farmers were largely spared. They quickly developed another problem: Bad PR.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: State regulators — California water use will never be the same

This is the summer that California’s relationship with water – often wasteful – will undergo permanent change. That was the message delivered Thursday by the state’s top water officials, days after Gov. Jerry Brown ordered the first-ever mandatory statewide cutbacks in urban water use.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Water officials uncertain about just how tough to get with users

Gov. Jerry Brown’s recent executive order requiring a 25% cut in water use from 2013 levels has communities debating how best to achieve the target. It will probably require several weapons: more fines for chronic water wasters, education and more tiered pricing that makes heavy water users pay significantly more than light users.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: California should stretch urban supplies before cutting water for farms

A 25 percent cutback in urban water use – as Gov. Jerry Brown imposed last week – is less a hardship on California residents than an adjustment to a new reality. Droughts like the one gripping California now are inevitable, though climate change makes their frequency and severity unpredictable. We need to change the way we use water, especially outdoors, to cope now and into the future. 

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Toilets, faucets sold in ’16 must be low-flow

Toilets and faucets sold in California starting next year will have to meet low-flow efficiency standards set by the state under emergency drought regulations approved Wednesday.

Aquafornia news Bureau of Reclamation

News Release: Klamath Project 2015 operations and drought plans released amid extreme drought

Based on the current elevation of Upper Klamath Lake and forecasted inflows, the Klamath Project irrigation supply from UKL is expected to be 254,500 acre-feet, or 65 percent of full supply. The anticipated water supplies available from Clear Lake Reservoir are zero acre-feet, and about 16,000 acre-feet from Gerber Reservoir, or 47 percent of full supply.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

OID, SSJID defy federal fish flows

The Oakdale and South San Joaquin irrigation districts defied the federal government Wednesday by diverting some Stanislaus River water to a local reservoir, where it might help thirsty crops, rather than releasing it down the river to benefit fish.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Less water for Oregon-California border farms amid drought

Because of the complex network of irrigation districts, reservoirs and contracts on the 300 square mile Klamath Reclamation District, some farmers will get 100 percent of what they do in a wet year, while others will get zero, said Greg Addington of the Klamath Water Users Association.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

California tightening water-use rules for urinals, faucets amid drought

Last week, Gov. Jerry Brown stood in a bone-dry meadow to order historic water restrictions. On Wednesday, state officials took the drought battle into Californians’ kitchens and bathrooms, approving the nation’s most efficient standards for water appliances.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

No more playing nice: California names, shames water wasters

State regulators are naming and shaming local water departments that have let water wasters slide – and forcing agencies to slash water use by as much as a third.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

San Joaquin Valley cities could see steep residential water cuts under state plan

Gov. Jerry Brown may have ordered a 25% cut in water use statewide due to the ongoing drought, but a host of [San Joaquin] Valley cities could have to do even more. 

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: California warns of deep water rights curtailments amid drought

In the week after issuing an unprecedented statewide water use reduction order, Gov. Jerry Brown labored to defend the measure’s focus on urban water use instead of agriculture, which consumes far more water than cities and towns. … But while Brown defends agriculture’s heavy use of water, he is also considering water rights curtailments that could dramatically affect the industry.

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

Legal Commentary: Proposed framework for mandatory water use reductions in California released

The State Water Resources Control Board late Tuesday issued the draft framework for forthcoming emergency regulations designed to help the state conserve water in the face of severe drought. … Draft emergency regulations will be released April 17. Adoption is scheduled for May 5 or May 6.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Oakdale Irrigation District could sue over water supply

A drought-fueled battle pitting people against fish over the Stanislaus River could wind up in court.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

California proposes desert water use cuts of up to 35%

California officials on Tuesday released a plan for achieving a 25-percent statewide reduction in water use, proposing especially steep cuts of 35 percent in some areas that are heavy water users, including Palm Springs and much of the Coachella Valley.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Santa Barbara looks to ocean desalination for new water; are other cities next?

A mothballed desalination plant sits like a time capsule near Santa Barbara’s main tourist beach, a relic of California’s last drought to end all droughts. … The dilemma is the focus of the latest installment of this newspaper’s ongoing series “A State of Drought.”

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Lake Tahoe: Drought helps improve clarity, but low lake levels could cause other problems

The drought isn’t all bad. The famous clarity of Lake Tahoe is greater than it’s been in more than a decade, UC Davis researchers announced Tuesday, thanks in part to recent dry years, which meant fewer pollutants running into the iconic Sierra lake.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: California sets water use targets amid record low savings

California cities face mandatory targets to slash water use as much as 35 percent while regulators warn voluntary conservation hasn’t been enough in the face of a devastating drought. Underlining their point was data released Tuesday showing a new low in saving water.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Water guzzlers would be punished under state proposal

California officials seeking to cut urban water use by 25 percent amid the punishing drought said Tuesday that the best way to get the job done is to spread the hurt unevenly, slapping the biggest guzzling communities with mandatory cuts up to 35 percent.

Aquafornia news Capitol Weekly

Despite drought, water conservation not a priority

Californians in cities and towns across the state cut their water usage only slightly – 2.8 percent — during February compared with the same month in 2013, an indication that despite the severity of the drought, conservation is not taking hold.

Aquafornia news Capitol Weekly

The drought — with a grain of salt

As drought-parched California withers, salt water captures attention – again. … In Sacramento, the State Water Resources Control Board is poised to adopt new regulations in May governing desalination.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

State to mandate 35 percent conservation targets for some cities

As the state’s drought worsens, Californians are going backward on water conservation, and on Tuesday state water officials provided the first look at just how much each community will be required to save.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Sacramento region faces new round of hefty water cuts

Many Sacramento-area communities would be targeted for the most severe water cutbacks in California under the provisions of a drought management framework issued Tuesday by state water regulators.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Some communities may have to cut water use by 35%, regulators say

The State Water Resources Control Board’s plan, unveiled Tuesday, would place the heaviest conservation burden on cities and towns with the highest rates of per-capita water consumption, which would include small rural communities as well as affluent enclaves like Newport Beach and Beverly Hills.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Marin water boards look to limit outside watering to three days a week

While Marin’s reservoirs are at or above average, more restrictions will face residents as the county’s water districts work to adhere to new state requirements as much of California is in a drought.

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Santa Cruz water rationing may be back as early as May 1

Headed into the fourth year of a drought, the Santa Cruz Water Commission unanimously voted Monday night to recommend the city reinstitute a Stage 3 water shortage emergency.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Business group questions Carmel River cutback relaxation bid

California American Water submitted a draft petition to the state water board last month aimed at delaying the deadline for reducing its river water pumping by four years from the end of 2016 to 2020. It promised to meet a series of milestones including completion of a desalination plant capable of providing a replacement water source for the Peninsula by the new deadline.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Coachella in drought: Polo club looks to cut water use

Despite the drought, the lawns of Coachella will be as green as ever when thousands descend on the Empire Polo Club in Indio this Friday for the annual music festival. Those who manage the grounds say they’ve been trying to gradually reduce their water footprint while still keeping the polo club’s signature grassy spaces.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Oakdale Irrigation District outlook remains murky

Farmers showing up Tuesday morning to say their piece about irrigation leaders’ watering plan this year won’t have much to go on. 

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Blog: San Joaquin Valley cities in the bull’s eye for water cutback rule

Look closely at the first-ever order for mandatory water cutbacks in California. Just beyond the nine paragraphs that start with “where as,” you find something San Joaquin Valley residents should notice about the 25% reduction in water use.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Drought turning green street medians to brown

Grassy center medians on boulevards across the state, including Sacramento’s Capitol Mall corridor, are likely to go brown this summer under Gov. Jerry Brown’s new emergency water restrictions.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California cities pressured to step up to slash water use

Determined to erase its spotty water conservation record, the wealthy coastal community of Newport Beach is among the communities that are preparing to crack down on water guzzlers and wasters in response to California’s worsening drought.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

25% water cuts nothing new to East Bay district

When Gov. Jerry Brown ordered the first-ever statewide water cuts last week, there was consternation across California, with folks everywhere wondering how they could ever chop their water use by 25 percent. But Brown’s executive order is no big deal to cities in Alameda County’s Tri-Valley area, where that fight went down a year ago.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: State will unveil specifics on drought water cuts soon

The State Water Resources Control Board hopes to announce a preliminary framework by Tuesday that will outline how it plans to implement the historic mandatory water restrictions Gov. Jerry Brown ordered last week.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Metropolitan Water District of Southern California plans to ration water to Southland districts, cities

Faced with dwindling regional reserves and a fourth year of drought, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is expected to vote next week to ration imported water that it supplies to 26 Southland water districts and cities, something the agency has done only twice before.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

California slow to spend emergency drought money (with audio)

Here’s a key fact to keep in mind: “Simply because the money has been awarded or encumbered doesn’t mean that it’s been spent,” explains Sacramento State political analyst Steve Boilard, a veteran state budget watcher.

Aquafornia news KPCC Southern California Public Radio

Will turning seawater into drinking water help California through drought? (with audio)

Across California, communities are examining all options to avoid running out of water. Some, like the coastal city of Santa Barbara, are looking to the past for inspiration.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Caltrans fast-tracks water projects

The California Department of Transportation announced Thursday that it has allocated emergency funding to continue to install smart sprinklers on state property in response to California’s protracted drought.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Rocky Mountain snow offers scant encouragement to California

Drought-weary Californians can’t expect much encouragement from mountains elsewhere in the West: Snow that fills the Colorado River is lagging, too, officials said Friday.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Jerry Brown defends drought order that doesn’t limit farmers

Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday defended his order requiring Californians statewide to cut back on their water use in a historic mandate that spares those who consume the most - farmers.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Suburban Sacramento-area water districts eye merger

Two suburban water agencies serving half a million people combined in suburban Sacramento and Placer counties have stepped up merger negotiations, saying they can better survive the drought as a larger organization.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: With new thinking, flood control projects can ease drought

Recently, Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature announced a $1.1 billion drought relief plan for California. But the $660 million allocated for flood management had many observers scratching their heads.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Big water users like Beverly Hills, Newport hit hardest by Brown order

Los Angeles officials are proud to say that the city is using the same amount of water now that it did 40 years ago, despite having more than 1 million additional residents.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Lawn-watering cutbacks alone could meet governor’s demand

Curbing Californians’ passion for watering their lawns will be central to the campaign to meet Gov. Jerry Brown’s demand for a 25 percent reduction in water consumption this year, state and local water officials said.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Drought 2015: Brave words won’t be enough

Welcome, central San Joaquin Valley residents, to new rules for surviving Drought 2015. Local cities are hustling to figure out how they’ll comply with Gov. Jerry Brown’s recent executive order listing 31 drought-fighting mandates.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Brown defends not requiring water cuts for California farmers

In a nationally televised interview Sunday, California Gov. Jerry Brown defended his decision to largely target urban areas rather than agricultural users with his historic order to curb water use.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California moves to kill the lawn, save the water

What’s it going to take to get people to use a lot less water in drought-stricken California, the Technicolor landscape of lush yards, emerald golf courses and aquamarine swimming pools?

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

State-mandated water reductions to cut Butte County residents’ water use

Gov. Jerry Brown mandated a 25 percent water reduction in California, but what that means won’t be clear until the state water board sets the rules in May. … Some local entities, such as Butte College, haven’t seen new rules stemming from the governor’s order, but have already taken steps to reduce usage.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Water cutback has golf courses, cemeteries scrambling

The biggest mandated cutback on water use in California history is landing like a cold shower on park departments, cemetery owners, golfers, manicured-lawn lovers and others who appreciate the type of greenery that has essentially become an enemy of the state.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Cutting back on water use: Q&A on California’s drought

The stubborn drought gripping California is dragging into a fourth year, prompting Gov. Jerry Brown this week to call for mandatory cutbacks in water use across the state.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Wanted: Single snowy Sierra slope good for spring skiing

The fourth year of the devastating drought that has dried up wells, forced mandatory rationing and jeopardized California crops has also put a burden on backcountry skiers in search of their powdery fix.

Aquafornia news Mono Lake Committee

Blog: April 1 lake level means reduced water exports to Los Angeles, more protection for Mono Lake

This morning [April 1] Mono Lake Committee staff met with Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (DWP) personnel to conduct the official annual April 1 reading of the lake level together. The consensus: Mono Lake stands at 6379.01 feet above sea level. The lake has declined to a level at which water exports to Los Angeles are, by the terms of the State Water Board’s rules, automatically reduced by 70%.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

First California governor to deal with two droughts over four terms (with audio)

Longtime California journalist Leo McElroy watched [Gov. Jerry] Brown grapple with drought in the 1970s.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Californians who conserved wonder if state can overcome those who didn’t

Some Californians are already showering just once a week, with buckets at their feet to catch every errant drop.

Aquafornia news KCRA Sacramento

25 drought photos guaranteed to make you conserve

We [KCRA Sacramento] thought we’d compile some photos to tell the story of just how dry some parts of the state really look.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Zip line, anyone? Drought pushes skiers, resorts to seek alternative fun

The Beach Cities Ski Club had eight ski trips planned for Mammoth Mountain this winter but paltry snowfall forced the cancellation of about half of those excursions.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Drought will prove a formidable opponent in Brown’s final term

Even while [Gov. Jerry] Brown faces the short-term consequences of the drought — including the potential for budget-draining wildfires and decreased agricultural production — he is pursuing long-term projects that he says will strengthen California’s highly engineered water systems.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: Gov. Brown’s drought plan goes easy on agriculture

Gov. Jerry Brown’s historic order to curb California’s water use largely bypasses agriculture, the state’s biggest water user, setting off debate about whether growers are getting a pass.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

California agriculture, largely spared in new water restrictions, wields huge clout

When Gov. Jerry Brown issued the first statewide water use reduction order in California history on Tuesday, he put his emphasis squarely on cities and towns…. As Californians mulled Brown’s unprecedented order, some wondered why farms were not being asked to sacrifice more.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

The environment, agriculture and urban consumers drink up California’s water

With California entering its fourth year of drought, the question takes on new urgency: Where does all of the state’s water go?

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Gov. Brown sees smallest snowpack in history, orders first-ever mandatory cutbacks

The Sierra snowpack is a ghastly one-fifth the size of the smallest one ever recorded in the mountain range, state leaders said Wednesday as California’s storm season ended in disappointment for the fourth straight year. … Gov. Jerry Brown, who watched a snow measurement Wednesday at Lake Tahoe, announced the state’s first mandatory water reductions, aiming at cutting water use by 25%.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Key provisions of California’s new water cuts

Here’s a look at [Gov. Jerry] Brown’s plan for achieving an overall 25 percent cut in water use.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California taking sweeping steps to conserve water (with video)

Gary Whitlock watched water run down to the sidewalk as gardeners hosed down a bed of marigolds outside an Orange County office building and questioned if California’s latest attempt to curb water use would be any more successful than previous ones in the drought-stricken state.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

California imposes first mandatory water restrictions to deal with drought (with video)

Mr. [Gov. Jerry] Brown, in an executive order, directed the State Water Resources Control Board to impose a 25 percent reduction on the state’s 400 local water supply agencies, which serve 90 percent of California residents, over the coming year.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

What’s old is new again: Brown called for 25% water cuts in the 1970s

Gov. Jerry Brown’s order Wednesday for a 25% mandatory cut in water use, a response to the state’s devastating drought, comes almost four decades after the governor faced a similar water crisis that pitted water-rich Northern California against its thirsty southern neighbors.

Aquafornia news Valley Public Radio

Brown’s action draws excitement, disdain at street level (with audio)

Among other actions, Governor Brown’s executive order mandates the replacement of 50 million square feet of lawn around the state with drought-tolerant landscaping.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Governor issues mandatory water cuts as California snowpack hits record low

Standing in a dry brown meadow that typically would be buried in snow this time of year, Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday ordered the first mandatory water cutbacks in California history, a directive that will affect cities and towns statewide.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Gov. Brown orders California’s first mandatory water restrictions — ‘It’s a different world’ (with video)

Standing in a brown field that would normally be smothered in several feet of snow, Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday ordered cities and towns across California to cut water use by 25% as part of a sweeping set of mandatory drought restrictions, the first in state history.

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

Tri-Valley’s path eased for water acquisition

The Dublin San Ramon Services District says its path toward buying surplus Yuba County water is clearer after the Tri-Valley’s wholesale water supplier — Alameda County Zone 7 Water agency — withdrew its earlier protest against the transfer.

Aquafornia news KQED Public Media for Northern California

Blog: Record-low Sierra snowpack will drive home drought impacts

We are officially in uncharted territory. The Sierra Nevada snowpack, which typically supplies nearly a third of California’s water, is showing the lowest water content on record: 6 percent of the long-term average for April 1.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Should California water wasters face jail? A drought debate

State water officials bolstered existing emergency regulations this month in response to another year of drought. … But unlike during water crises of the 1970s and 1990s, there was no mention of sending water wasters to jail.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Gov. Jerry Brown to attend snowpack measurement near Lake Tahoe

Gov. Jerry Brown will be on hand Wednesday morning near Lake Tahoe when officials measure the state’s drought-depleted snowpack, his office announced.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC)

Blog: Drought Watch — The end of the rainy season

Most years, 85% of the wet season’s rain and snow has already fallen by late March. While rain often falls in April and May, it is rarely enough to make a big difference in the overall water picture, and the forecast is now quite dry. That means California’s water managers now have a good idea how much water will be available in the state’s reservoirs, snowpack, and groundwater basins.

Aquafornia news Appeal-Democrat

Marysville not cutting back on water use

While Yuba City residents are looking at the likelihood of mandatory water restrictions for the rest of this year, Marysville citizens aren’t facing the same water challenges. … Q&A: Marysville’s Water Supply

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

What severe drought in the Colorado River Basin looks like

Lake Powell, one of the nation’s largest reservoirs, is now below 45 percent of its capacity. … Getty photographer Justin Sullivan explored Lake Powell this weekend.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Blog: California drought is not lifting

Pressured by a relentless drought that produced the lowest winter snowfall in history and shows no signs of lifting, California’s local and state government administrators are responding with emergency measures that reflect their concern that the state is actually running out of water.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Tribe fights Coachella Valley water agencies for aquifer rights

In drought-ravaged California, the vast freshwater aquifer beneath the Coachella Valley is a rare bright spot. … But there is growing concern by some that local water agencies are drawing too much out of the aquifer, which supplies water for more than 260,000 people.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco seeks tech fix to leaky pipes

He’s [John Bess of Baltimore] searching for water leaks in the city’s [San Francisco] underground pipelines with a special microphone and earpiece that enables him to hear escaping water from the street — rather than having to dig down and find it.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Sour water — a new normal in the East Bay?

East Bay residents first noticed a bitter taste in their tap water on Saturday. … It turns out the taste, and a foul odor associated with it, comes from algae in the Pardee Reservoir, which supplies most of the drinking water for East Bay Municipal Utility District customers.

Aquafornia news UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences California WaterBlog

Blog: The California drought of 2015 — A preview

The drought’s impacts are worsened by record heat, which has dried out soils and raised the demands for irrigation, and the historical high levels of California’s population, economy, and agricultural production, and historical low levels of native fish species. … No “Miracle March” this year. … Snowpack is a little worse than last year, perhaps the driest on record statewide.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Federal funding in short supply for rural water projects

During the widespread drought, officials are struggling to finish large-scale water infrastructure projects while populations are growing, drinking water resources are dwindling, and federal dollars are diminishing.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Delta flows may be diminished again

State and federal water agencies again are seeking permission to bypass water-quality rules in the Delta in order to hold back more water in upstream reservoirs while pumping a limited amount south from the estuary.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

California agriculture industry could lose $1 billion in two years because of drought

California agriculture is in line for $1 billion in losses this year and next, on the heels of a drought-induced $1.5 billion hit in 2014, UC Davis scientists said.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

California’s hydro power dries up as drought worsens; utility customers paying more

The drought is drying up California’s once-plentiful supply of cheap hydroelectricity, and utility customers are paying for it.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Drought threatens American River fish

Endangered steelhead about to hatch in the American River could soon be killed by low flows and warm temperatures caused by the drought, a sign of the ongoing struggle over scarce water supplies.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Drought prompts truck and release of salmon smolts in Rio Vista

In a bid to save some of the 12 million juvenile Chinook salmon from near-certain death, federal wildlife officials in California are trucking fish to the Delta for release.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Gov. Jerry Brown OKs $1 billion to tackle drought, other water issues

Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday signed legislation with more than $1 billion in spending on water projects.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Historically small Sierra snowpack, seen up close, another bad sign in California drought (with video)

The water frozen in snow throughout the Sierra Nevada is 8% of average — less than a third the size of the smallest on record. On Wednesday when this disappointing wet season ends, the headlines will be the next alarm bell in the state’s damaging, four-year drought.

Aquafornia news Tahoe Daily Tribune

Dredging projects underway

Dredging projects at Lake Tahoe’s South Shore have gotten underway this week, as those in the boating community find ways to deal with declining water levels.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Lawmakers send California drought aid package to governor (with audio)

The $1 billion emergency drought aid package announced by Governor Jerry Brown last week has cleared the California Legislature. But a late addition to one of the measures has Republicans and farmers upset.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Documentaries focus on Salton Sea, California drought

Two new documentaries about California’s struggles with dwindling water supplies will be shown back-to-back at the American Documentary Film Festival this weekend, one focusing on the state’s epic drought and the other examining the looming environmental problems of the shrinking Salton Sea.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

State drought relief package falls short, conservation advocates say

Not only will the $1-billion spending plan approved by lawmakers Thursday provide little immediate relief to drought-stricken Californians, state leaders are missing an opportunity to take more decisive action to restrict water use, conservation advocates said.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Commentary: California’s cracking down on urban water waste. What about the farmers?

California’s brutal drought has state officials looking for ways to conserve water.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Commentary: Why almond growers aren’t the water enemy

Article after article in newspapers, magazines and online put nut growers in a bad light related to the drought. … I planted my almonds based on a contract with the federal government to deliver surface water from Northern California. 

Aquafornia news Redding Record Searchlight

Drought forces salmon trucking to Bay Area

By 3 a.m. [Dave] Lunsford was loading his tanker truck with about 140,000 fingerling Chinook salmon to haul from Coleman National Fish Hatchery in Anderson to Rio Vista in the Bay Area. … The young salmon are usually released from Coleman into nearby Battle Creek, so they can make their way into the Sacramento River and downstream, eventually reaching the Pacific Ocean. 

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Early ski resort closures impact Tahoe economy (with audio)

Resorts like Sugar Bowl, Donner and Homewood are closing early. It’s hitting nearby businesses like Obexer’s General Store across from Homewood.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Blog: Senate approves California drought relief bill amid Republican complaints

Senators approved Assembly bills 91 and 92 on votes of 35-1 and 24-14, respectively, after Republicans deliberated in a lengthy caucus meeting and then castigated the bill for broadening government powers over water. The Assembly expects to take up the measures Thursday, after which the package would go to Gov. Jerry Brown if passed.

Aquafornia news KQED Public Media for Northern California

Californians gloomy about drought, point fingers in new statewide poll

Wednesday night’s poll from the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California suggests a growing sense of gloom and frustration across the state about the historic drought that’s now in its fourth straight year.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Fleas abound, medicine runs low during drought

Northern California residents have one more reason to detest the drought — fleas are out in force.

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

Neighbors aren’t doing enough to conserve water, poll finds

Is California’s drought turning us against each other? It might be, according to a new poll that finds most Californians don’t believe people in their region are doing enough to conserve water.

Aquafornia news Redding Record Searchlight

Rain drops don’t dampen drought outlook for North State

Already cities and water districts in the North State and beyond have been working to broker water transfers, remind folks about restrictions and take other steps in the hopes of meeting demand during the peak summer months.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Cannabis stream diversion study prompts legislation, enforcement

After several years in the field assessing cannabis cultivation sites, counting plants from Google Earth views and calculating stream flows, a California Department of Fish and Wildlife team has released a comprehensive paper revealing the affects of marijuana cultivation on the North Coast’s watersheds.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Water district board approves recycled water project for Apple Campus 2 and other South Bay sites

The Santa Clara Valley Water District board Tuesday night approved a $17.5 million project that will deepen the use of recycled water in the parched South Bay and make Apple’s futuristic new campus a little bit greener.

Aquafornia news San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Water board member photographed hosing down alleyway next to his West Covina business

Mike Touhey, an elected member of the local water board, got an earful from a passerby who snapped the politician’s photo as Touhey washed down a sidewalk with a water hose.

Aquafornia news Capitol Weekly

California urged to resolve Delta, water issues — fast

Pat Mulroy, the former leader of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, delivered a bluntly worded warning to attendees at the California Water Policy Conference in Claremont, saying the linkage between the Delta and much of the West is clear, “yet many here in California still don’t see the connection.”

Aquafornia news Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

Blog: What does California’s drought mean for proposed Bay-Delta tunnels?

The drought has been a proverbial punch in the mouth, and the drought – and California’s response to it – raise important questions about the viability and wisdom of the draft Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP). So what does that punch in the mouth (drought) mean for BDCP?

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Photos show skiers on more dirt than snow at Squaw Valley

A series of photographs taken at ski resorts in Northern California show just how grim winter has been.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Deal on Stanislaus River fish could aid Lake Tulloch

A tentative agreement on Stanislaus River flows could shore up irrigation supplies and keep Lake Tulloch from emptying this summer. 

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Gov. Brown’s $1 billion plan ‘a start,’ but more needed for drought-related expenses

Fresno County Board of Supervisors declared a drought emergency Tuesday so it can obtain state and federal government reimbursement for local drought emergency costs. … The board also supported water restrictions in five unincorporated areas with about 400 customers.

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

Steep water rate increases eyed for EBMUD customers

The worsening drought is spurring the East Bay’s largest water supplier to consider slapping a 25 percent surcharge on customers’ bills — on top of an 8 percent general rate increase.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Busy Modesto Irrigation District agenda includes water rate hike

Modesto-area farmers on Tuesday should learn how much water prices will go up and whether they’ll be able to buy or sell water shares to help cope with the drought.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Editorial: Jerry Brown’s lame response to California’s drought

California is in a drought of historic proportions with no end in sight. Scientists and political leaders, including Gov. Jerry Brown, agree. 

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Santa Clara Valley Water District considers upping its conservation goals

In one of the most aggressive drought-spawned conservation goals in the Bay Area, the Santa Clara Valley Water District is proposing reducing water use by 30 percent and limiting watering of lawns to twice a week.

Aquafornia news UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences California WaterBlog

Blog: Water giveaways during a drought invite conflict

When drought makes water scarcer in California, those with senior water rights are offered more money to move their water to other users. But fish are asked to give up their water for free. … For California, even partial markets for environmental water would satisfy the state’s stated “co-equal” environmental and economic goals for water management.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Deal would spare Lake Tulloch this summer

Water districts announced a deal Monday that would prevent scenic Lake Tulloch from being drained — at least until after the end of the summer boating season.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Blog: He’s not drilling a new well — why gamble with $30,000?

As the drought deepens, I’m [Mark Grossi] hearing from more people who are forced to go without indoor plumbing because they do not have $20,000 or $30,000 to replace their dried-up wells.

Aquafornia news KQED Public Radio for Northern California

Blog: A candid conversation with California’s ‘water czar’ (with audio)

When water supplies are tight, as they are now, her [Felicia Marcus's] [State Water Resources Control] board is where the buck stops in arguments over who gets what.

Aquafornia news NPR

In California’s fourth year of drought, new regulations and $1 billion in relief (with audio)

NPR’s Kelly McEvers speaks with KPCC reporter Molly Peterson on how effective California’s new water restrictions will be in the midst of the state’s historic drought.

Aquafornia news Las Vegas Sun

Q&A: Water expert discusses actions Southern Nevada has taken and what we should plan for

If and when Lake Mead hits 1,075 feet, the government will declare a federal water shortage for the seven states that draw water from the Colorado River, forcing Nevada and the others to limit water use. … Despite the sobering predictions, former Las Vegas water czar Pat Mulroy is confident life will go on in the West.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Oakdale Irrigation District water-table issue resurfaces

Irrigation leaders were pleased to learn in a recent meeting that groundwater levels in the Oakdale Irrigation District’s wells have dropped less than 4 1/2 inches in the past year, on average, despite record pumping. But those numbers were based on data from only three-fourths of OID’s deep wells, a Modesto Bee analysis found.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Rising temps to bring dry end to Southern California’s poor rainy season

Temperatures are expected to heat up toward the end of next week, signaling a dry, disappointing and foreboding end to the region’s rainy season as four years of low precipitation continue.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Sierra Nevada pine tree die-off worsens as beetles thrive in drought

A massive die-off of pine trees in the southern Sierra Nevada caused by beetles attacking drought-stressed trees is turning forests brown and creating a fire tinderbox.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Lake Mendocino shrinking again

Unless significant rain falls this spring, state regulators are likely to repeat last year’s unprecedented curtailment of hundreds of water rights held by farmers and others along the Russian River between Lake Mendocino and Healdsburg.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Commentary: Thirsty crops should require state regulation

This is what the Brown administration isn’t talking about as it tightens the spigot on landscaping: Urban use accounts for only 20% of California’s developed water. Agriculture sucks up 80%.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California first to feel hydropower crunch of drought

Flying over the Sierra Nevada as California entered its fourth year of drought, the state’s energy chief looked down and saw stark bare granite cloaked in dirty brown haze – not the usual pristine white peaks heaped with snow that would run the state’s hydroelectric dams for the year.

Aquafornia news U-T San Diego

San Diego County has small but key buffer against ongoing drought

As California endures yet another year of drought, San Diego County is among the least-impacted regions.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Conservationists say thinning Sierra forests may help state water supply

With the state entering its fourth year of drought, some conservationists are looking at thinning Sierra forests to increase the amount of water that flows into area rivers. … On Friday, the Association of California Water Agencies also released its own report that calls for better headwater and forest management – and for better collaboration among federal, state and other agencies, and other stakeholders.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Five pictures of Yosemite’s Half Dome that capture California’s historic drought

Snow in California’s Sierra Nevada range typically reaches its greatest depths in late March, covering peaks like Yosemite’s famed Half Dome.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Drought alters the face of Tahoe tourism

Drought is reshaping Lake Tahoe and its all-important tourism industry. … As Tahoe adjusts to climate change, Congress has helped. 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: No, California won’t run out of water in a year

Lawmakers are proposing emergency legislation, state officials are clamping down on watering lawns and, as California enters a fourth year of drought, some are worried that the state could run out of water.

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

Gov. Jerry Brown, legislative leaders propose $1 billion package

Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders on Thursday proposed a $1 billion package of emergency legislation meant to help California weather its crippling drought.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

UN warns world could have 40% water shortfall by 2030

The [U.N.] report, released in New Delhi two days before World Water Day, calls on policymakers and communities to rethink water policies, urging more conservation as well as recycling of wastewater as is done in Singapore.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Hyacinth funding on fast track

An extra $4 million to battle water hyacinth might be available sooner than first expected.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

How $1 billion in California drought plan would be spent

Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders are proposing legislation to accelerate more than $1 billion in water spending.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Manteca considers selling treated wastewater for farm irrigation (with audio)

A Manteca group called Neighbors United is urging the city council to sell treated wastewater to local farmers as water sources dry up in the drought.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

California drought: $1 billion aid package unveiled

At the close of another dry winter, Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders announced a $1 billion package of bills Thursday to expedite money for people and cities hit hard by the drought and prepare the state for the flip side of extreme weather patterns — flooding.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Jerry Brown, lawmakers propose $1.1 billion drought relief bill amid increasing tension

With California trudging into its fourth dry year, Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders on Thursday announced $1.1 billion in emergency funding for flood protection and drought relief.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: California’s response to drought has fallen woefully short

A few weeks ago, a story began circulating on social media that suggested maybe, just maybe, this drought is a hoax. After all, if things are really as bad as we’re told, why haven’t authorities started rationing water yet? The cognitive dissonance is rooted in blinkered and shortsighted public policy.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Editorial: Water restrictions are just a taste of what’s to come for California

Action on Tuesday by the State Water Resources Control Board to restrict lawn watering and home car-washing made big news outside of California but barely raised eyebrows in-state.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Gov. Brown, lawmakers plan short- and long-term strategy on drought

Gov. Jerry Brown and top lawmakers from both parties unveiled a plan that would invest more than $1 billion to improve the state’s water infrastructure, provide emergency assistance to struggling communities and protect wildlife.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Sierra snowpack smallest on record, state water officials tell Fresno meeting

State water leaders Thursday told water district leaders, farmers, bankers and many others at California State University, Fresno, to expect possibly a record-breaking small snowpack. … The briefing, sponsored by the state Department of Water Resources and the Water Education Foundation, is an attempt to explain the dire situation after four years of drought.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino County Sun

Rialto, Apple Valley, Colton, Redlands, Cucamonga agencies cut water use the least

Even as California faces new mandatory water restrictions, seven of the 10 water districts that have cut use the least in the past seven months are close to home, located in the Inland Empire.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Blog: Gov. Jerry Brown, lawmakers to propose $1 billion drought relief bill

With California entering its fourth year of drought, Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders will propose more than $1 billion in emergency legislation Thursday for flood protection and water supply projects and to alleviate impacts of the drought.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Conserving water a priority in Butte County

New mandated water regulations will soon be enforced in Butte County, but many in the area already adhere to the new state standards.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC)

Blog: Drought Watch — Priorities for cities and farms

In our new report, Policy Priorities for Managing Drought, we highlight four areas that need reform to reduce the economic, social, and environmental harm from drought in California: 1) improving water use information; 2) setting clear goals and priorities for public health and the environment; 3) promoting water conservation and more resilient water supplies; and 4) strengthening environmental management.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

A look at California’s emergency drought water restrictions

Amid a historic drought, the California State Water Resources Control Board voted Tuesday to extend and expand restrictions on water use.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Brown, lawmakers to unveil $1-billion emergency drought relief plan

As California braces for a fourth consecutive year of drought, Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders on Thursday will unveil a $1-billion relief plan, two sources told The Times late Wednesday.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

As California drought enters 4th year, conservation efforts and worries increase

The rainy season drove into California in December with wet and windy promise: soaking rain, snow, dark gray skies and a flash of hope that the drought that has scorched this region had run its course. And then came January — with record high temperatures and record low rainfall.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Study: California drought decreases hydropower, increases greenhouse gas emissions (with audio)

The Pacific Institute says there is less hydroelectricity and more expensive electricity, due to the diminished river flows as a result of the California drought.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

New water rules on tap

With the drought apparently intensifying, state officials agreed Tuesday to strengthen emergency water conservation rules — including a rule that will be new for most Stockton residents.

Aquafornia news Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA)

82% of Californians say residents should conserve water – drought or no drought, poll shows

As California enters a fourth year of drought, 90% of Californians say  they are willing to make significant changes to conserve water use both indoors and outdoors according to a new statewide poll commissioned by ACWA in partnership with Save Our Water.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Editorial: Preserve our resources without destroying our region

News flash: The state doesn’t want to ruin the Valley’s economy. News flash: Farmers don’t want to see our rivers die or salmon vanish. Why is it necessary to make such obvious statements?

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California drought making wildfires a year-round threat

Big wildfires have burned almost four times as many California acres as usual so far this winter, a sign of wildfire danger growing higher still as the state moves into its fourth year of drought.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: New mandatory water conservation rules for lawns, hotels, restaurants

Acknowledging that California’s water conservation efforts are falling short as the state descends into a fourth year of punishing drought, the administration of Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday imposed new mandatory water conservation rules that will affect millions of people — from how homeowners water their lawns to how restaurants and hotels serve their guests.

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

Fate of Delta smelt sinks as numbers drop

A tiny fish in the middle of California’s tug of war over water has declined so sharply in the drought it could be headed toward extinction.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Blog: California Water Anxiety Syndrome — Feel it yet?

California, as you might have heard, is running out of water. Very, very quickly. … Perhaps you read NASA senior water scientist Jay Famiglietti’s rather terrifying op-ed in the LA Times, declaring that, by all available measures, our state has only one year of water storage left?

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Don’t forget land use in drought debate

As California moves into its fourth year of prolonged drought, state and local agencies are mulling further restrictions on the use of water in urban settings.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

California restricts yard watering as drought persists

California regulators on Tuesday ordered every water agency in the state to restrict how often customers can water their landscaping, an unprecedented move that marks another milestone in the severe and ongoing drought.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

New watering restrictions imposed amid California drought

With California heading into another parched year, state officials Tuesday beefed up emergency drought regulations, directing urban agencies to limit the number of days residents can water their yards.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Oakdale Irrigation District weighs historic water cap

Because of prolonged drought, irrigation leaders on Tuesday morning will consider capping the amount of water delivered this year to farms around Oakdale and east of Riverbank.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Blog: State water officials will be here to talk about this ugly drought

State officials will be in Fresno on Thursday to tell the public how dire California’s four-year drought has become. … The briefing is sponsored by the California Department of Water Resources and the nonprofit Water Education Foundation, based in Sacramento.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Well problems force Sierra residents to take conservation seriously

Residents in this small community [Shaver Springs] bordering the Sierra National Forest, six miles west of Shaver Lake, could probably teach people living in water-short communities a few lessons.