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 Monterey County Weekly

Seaside wants to take golf course irrigation water and earmark it for housing

Under the plan, Seaside’s Bayonet & Black Horse golf course would stop pumping the 450 acre-feet of drinking water it draws every year from the area’s underground basin. Instead, the greens would get irrigated using recycled water produced by Pure Water Monterey, the advanced sewage treatment facility in Marina that is slated to open this fall. The water that stays in the basin would be made available to developers who want to build in Seaside.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Opinion: Legislature, rethink SB 1. It will hurt water management

If not amended, Senate Bill 1 will perpetuate California’s water and environmental troubles, not help to resolve them, as its proponents claim.

Aquafornia news USC News

Blog: As Salton Sea shrinks, experts fear far-reaching health consequences

University of Southern California researchers are exploring how losing California’s largest lake could affect the respiratory health of people throughout the Imperial Valley and beyond.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

Blog: August Delta conveyance update

The Department of Water Resources is continuing to work on the environmental planning and permitting to modernize State Water Project infrastructure in the Delta. This effort is consistent with Governor Newsom’s direction and support for a single-tunnel project to ensure a climate resilient water system.

Aquafornia news Arizona State University

Blog: ASU water policy expert addresses new drought plan for state

ASU Now spoke to Sarah Porter, director of the Kyl Center for Water Policy at ASU’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy, about the cutbacks and what they will mean for Arizona’s agriculture and the state’s roughly 7 million residents.

Aquafornia news ScienceDaily

Water harvester makes it easy to quench your thirst in the desert

With water scarcity a growing problem worldwide, University of California, Berkeley, researchers are close to producing a microwave-sized water harvester that will allow you to pull all the water you need directly from the air — even in the hot, dry desert.

Aquafornia news KESQ TV

Class action lawsuit takes aim at Coachella Valley Water District, claims illegal tax benefits agricultural industry

A new class action lawsuit accuses the Coachella Valley Water District of illegally taxing customers to benefit large agricultural companies. … Under the Burns-Porter Act, a local water district’s revenue can only be used for a few specific, voter-approved purposes. According to the suit, using tax dollars to fund aquifer replenishment and subsidizing agricultural water use are not appropriate uses. 

Aquafornia news The Revelator

Blog: California tribe hopes to conquer climate woes — with fire

More and more land in California is going up in flames. The area in the state burned by wildfires has increased by a factor of five since 1972, according to a recent study, which identified human-caused warming the likely culprit. So what’s to be done? The Karuk Tribe wants to fight fire with fire.

Aquafornia news The Business Journal

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: 30-mile parallel Friant-Kern Canal proposed

Friant Water Authority is conducting geotechnical investigations this summer along the outer banks of the Friant-Kern Canal in southern Tulare County to determine if the soil may support construction of a second canal running parallel to the first. The reason for the research is the capacity of this key, eastside Valley canal has been reduced 60% due to land subsidence caused by years of vigorous groundwater pumping …

Aquafornia news Imperial Valley News

State agriculture officials will host public comment session on California’s water future

The California State Board of Food and Agriculture will host a public comment session on California’s Water Future on Thursday, September 5, 2019 in Fresno. … State agencies are asking Californians to help shape a roadmap for meeting future water needs and ensuring environmental and economic resilience …

Aquafornia news Long Beach Business Journal

Stormwater parcel tax collection to begin this fall

Los Angeles County residents will see a new charge on their property tax bills this fall. Measure W, which was approved by county residents last November, will implement a parcel tax that is intended to increase stormwater capture. The intent is to increase local water supply, improve water quality and invest in community projects.

Aquafornia news Jefferson Public Radio

Audio: Managing Shasta Dam for cold- and warm-water fish

Managing a river is no easy feat. Consider the needs for water released at Shasta Dam into the Sacramento River: salmon need cold water, sturgeon need warm water, and irrigators just need water. Recent research shows that all three needs can be met in all but the most drought-stricken years. How?

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Editorial: Trump’s Delta assault threatens Bay Area water supply

The latest assault on the Delta, which supplies roughly one-third of the Bay Area’s water, is the Trump administration’s efforts to gut the federal Endangered Species Act. Removing protections in existence for nearly 50 years threatens not only the Delta’s wildlife but also the quality of its fresh water.

Aquafornia news Motley Fool

This water stock is now a play on cannabis — specifically, the U.S. hemp CBD market

Shares of water resource specialist Cadiz (NASDAQ:CDZI) have jumped 19.5% this month through Aug. 23, while the S&P 500, including dividends, is down 4.3%. … The catalyst for Cadiz stock’s August pop was the company’s announcement that it has entered the U.S. hemp market.

Aquafornia news The Nevada Independent

Environmental groups argue lands bill will exempt Las Vegas water pipeline from judicial review

Environmental groups are raising concerns over a provision in draft legislation they believe could exempt the Las Vegas pipeline — a proposal to pump eastern Nevada groundwater about 300 miles to Southern Nevada — from further litigation and federal environmental review.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Center for Chula Vista students fosters learning about water

Fifth graders now have a space to learn everything about water, from conservation to careers in the water industry. The Hydro Station is an initiative of the Chula Vista Elementary School District (CVESD), the Otay Water District and Sweetwater Authority. This facility consists of a classroom right next to the Richard A. Reynolds desalination plant, which is estimated to receive about 4,500 students every school year.

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Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

‘Anything to speed up the process’: Local forest experts like Forest Service’s plan to expedite tree removal

Local and professional foresters say they support a new proposal by the U.S. Forest Service that would speed up logging and cut some environmental review processes. The Forest Service is proposing a sweeping amendment of The National Environmental Policy Act.

Aquafornia news Australian Broadcasting Corp.

California looks to Australia for ways to manage its groundwater after worst-ever drought

Farmers, experts and lawmakers are working to find more sustainable ways to droughtproof farms and address the vexed issue of water allocation. And it turns out many farmers and water experts in California are looking to Australia for answers as they face up to the biggest water reforms in the history of the US.

Aquafornia news The Capistrano Dispatch

City approves framework for potential water transfer agreement with Santa Margarita Water District

Councilmembers approved a framework that will be the basis for a potential agreement to have Santa Margarita Water District take over water and sewer services in San Juan Capistrano.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Less snow, more rain: How Tahoe’s climate balance could be shifting

The iconic image of Lake Tahoe is of a clear, blue lake surrounded by stunning snow-capped mountains. But that picturesque sight could look very different by the end of the century due to climate change. Those snowy mountains we’re used to seeing could lose their white tips. And this would mean a major transformation for life in Tahoe and beyond.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Monday Top of the Scroll: Why California is having its mildest fire season in 20 years

Firefighters and rural residents have been on edge about wildfires all year, after the Camp Fire, the deadliest in the United States in 100 years, obliterated the town of Paradise in Butte County last November, killing 86 people… Yet in a run of much-needed good fortune, California has been spared this year — at least so far.

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Aquafornia news Tri County Sentry

Planning Commission receives report about programmatic water master plan

Oxnard Assistant Public Works Director Tien Ng presented the item and said the city wants to integrate the water, wastewater recycled water and stormwater while looking for opportunities to align projects on the same street. They want to do them at the same time. Doing this enhances the schedule and cost for such projects.

Aquafornia news Valley Public Radio

Audio: Should California insulate itself from federal rollbacks of environmental laws?

Moderator Kathleen Schock spoke with advocates on both sides of the issue, John Harris of Harris Farms and Kim Delfino with Defenders of Wildlife. Dr. Lisa Bryant, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Fresno State also joined the conversation.

Aquafornia news Denver Post

Colorado River water rights debated as climate change depletes supply

Rocky Mountain water managers worried about climate-driven depletion across the Colorado River Basin are mulling a “grand bargain” that would overhaul obligations among seven southwestern states for sharing the river’s water. This reflects rising concerns that dry times could turn disastrous.

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Aquafornia news Hi Desert Star

Deadly algae blooms contaminate Big Bear Lake

If you’re planning on visiting Big Bear Lake, avoid the water, the state warned Friday. State and regional water quality boards both urged dog owners, fishers and everyone else to avoid direct water contact while visiting areas of Big Bear Lake due to a harmful algae bloom.

Aquafornia news The Mendocino Voice

Cal Fish & Wildlife considering summer steelhead for endangered species status

The California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW) is considering listing the Northern California Summer Steelhead, which lives in portions of Mendocino and Humboldt counties, as an endangered species.

Aquafornia news Brentwood Press

Discovery Bay algae prompts study, possible solutions

While some residents are unconcerned each summer as the algae’s trademark scum appears atop stagnant water in the bays around town, many are worried about the algal blooms’ toxic effects. The Discovery Bay Community Foundation (DBCF) has formed a harmful algae bloom (HAB) subcommittee, partnering with agencies across the state to help mitigate the epidemic.

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Aquafornia news Santa Clara Valley Water News

Blog: South County’s groundwater is getting a boost that will benefit farms, residents and businesses

South County gets most of its water from groundwater, so this project, part of the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program that was overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2012, is vital to ensuring a reliable water supply for the region.

Aquafornia news Physics World

Changing the ground (water) rules

In 2014 California introduced the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) into state law to help manage the conflict between ground and surface water. But updating legal structures to accommodate evolving scientific knowledge involves far more than simply rewriting statutes, according to researchers in the US.

Aquafornia news Western Water

Friday Top of the Scroll: How private capital is speeding up forest restoration in the Sierra Nevada that benefits water

The Forest Resilience Bond uses private capital to finance forest restoration activities. Beneficiaries, including the U.S. Forest Service and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, reimburse investors over time. Yuba Water has pledged $1.5 million toward the project and the state of California has committed $2.6 million in grant funding, with additional funding from the Sierra Nevada Conservancy.

Aquafornia news Taft Midway Driller

Indian Wells groundwater authority approves well registration ordinance

All residents and organizations within the Indian Wells Valley will have to implement register their wells come Oct. 1 following the approval of an ordinance by the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority board of directors.

Aquafornia news The Press Democrat

Editorial: Base water plans on science, not politics

Trump started promising more water to Central Valley growers before he was elected. During a campaign stop in Fresno three years ago, he dismissed the drought, then in its fifth year, as a hoax and snorted at legal protections for endangered fish in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Aquafornia news LAist.com

Blog: Is Los Angeles a desert?

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article in which I — perhaps cavalierly — described Los Angeles as a desert. … There was a small part of me that raised a red flag as I pounded the words into my keyboard. Is L.A. a desert, though? I thought. Haven’t I also heard that it isn’t?

Aquafornia news FishBio

Blog: Understanding how fish deal with drought

Aquatic animals in regions like California that have historically experienced frequent droughts have evolved remarkable adaptations to dealing with dry conditions. However, the duration, severity, and frequency of droughts are all increasing as a result of ongoing climate change and an increased human demand for water, leaving even drought-hardened species struggling.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Councilman wants to refill Hole Lake

A piece of Riverside history could be revived if Councilman Steve Adams can get the city to refill Hole Lake, an irrigation and recreation reservoir for 60 years that’s now full of trees and plants and, in some spots, trash and homeless camps.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Opinion: Regional collaboration keeps desert’s groundwater supply healthy

Recent validation by state regulators of the effective and sustainable management of Coachella Valley’s groundwater basins speaks volumes about the importance of collaboration by local water managers to protect our most important resource.

Aquafornia news Antelope Valley Press

Recycled water plan moves forward

Officials are proceeding with a project to bring recycled water further into Palmdale for irrigation use, but have had to change direction in terms of securing financing.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Reactivating our floodplains: A new way forward

A panel of experts discuss how reactivating the floodplains can provide habitat and food for native fish and for migrating birds, and highlights the many projects and opportunities in the Sacramento Valley.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Dead fish and starving whales: What Trump’s hidden report on water means to California

Federal scientists pulled no punches in their report: The Trump administration’s plan to send more water to San Joaquin Valley farmers would force critically endangered California salmon even closer to extinction, and starve a struggling population of West Coast killer whales.

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Aquafornia news U.S. Department of Agriculture

Blog: Banking on soil health

Farmers implementing conservation practices that improve soil health aren’t just hoping for better crop yields, they’re banking on them. The Natural Resources Conservation Service and American Farmland Trust recently released case studies highlighting the economic benefits of implementing soil health management practices.

Aquafornia news Imperial Valley Press

A desert oasis in western Imperial Valley

Known as the Ocotillo-Coyote Wells Aquifer, the presence and importance of this groundwater has long been known and utilized by the inhabitants and people traveling through the Valley.

Aquafornia news Zillow.com

Blog: Drought-resistant terms doubled in California, Arizona home listings

Mentions of drought-resistant features in home listing descriptions roughly doubled in California and Arizona during the recent drought, and have yet to return to pre-drought levels.

Aquafornia news Lake County Record-Bee

Lake County throws hat in ring on Potter Valley Project

The Lake County Board of Supervisors approved an amended resolution Tuesday that will open the door for Lake County to join a group vying to take over responsibility for the Potter Valley hydroelectric project.

Aquafornia news Stanford Water in the West

Lessons Australia’s water reform offers in science, politics and sustainable watersheds

The successes and failures of Australia’s recent reform of the Murray-Darling Basin hold valuable lessons for policy makers in California and elsewhere who are likely to grapple with the environmental repercussions of extreme drought in the future.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Thursday Top of the Scroll: Off the hook: California king salmon rebounds after drought

Commercial salmon catches have surpassed official preseason forecasts by about 50%, said Kandice Morgenstern, a marine scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Harvests have been particularly strong in Morro Bay, Monterey and San Francisco, but weaker along California’s northern coast.

Aquafornia news AgAlert

Farm data management becomes priority

On the modern farm, soil sensors, well monitors and paperwork abound. The trick is trying to keep all that data organized. To that end, a Monterey County winegrape grower, Scheid Family Wines of Greenfield, came up with its own system, first called VitWatch, to digitize information previously recorded on paper.

Aquafornia news KQED

Audio: One California community’s efforts to manage wildfires

California’s forests aren’t healthy. After a century of preventing and putting out fires, millions of acres of trees are overcrowded, drought-stressed, and more than ready to burn. A couple of hours from the Oregon border, one community is asking how to do better.

Aquafornia news The Salt Lake Tribune

Lake Powell pipeline costs can be covered, audit says, but critic wonders if this pricey ‘boondoggle’ is needed

A new legislative audit has concluded Washington County water bosses will likely be able to generate sufficient revenue to pay the massive costs of building and operating the proposed Lake Powell pipeline, but only through large fee, rate and tax increases and if the county triples its population during the next 50 years.

Aquafornia news AgAlert

Flows proposals: Sacramento River water agencies aim for certainty

The plan affecting Sacramento River tributaries has not been released, but water-resource managers in the region said they have been collaborating with government agencies and environmental groups to develop voluntary agreements that would accomplish the goals of the state board’s flows-only methodology.

Aquafornia news KJZZ

Audio: Months after completing the drought contingency plan, we have to use it

Just a few months after completing the Drought Contingency Plan for the Colorado River states, water managers in the southwest will likely have to implement it starting in 2020. That’s according to new projections for the levels of key reservoirs in the southwestern river basin, and Arizona is first in line to take water cutbacks.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Lake Tahoe Summit boasts bipartisan rhetoric, but division simmers

For a moment as columns of sunlight drifted through the pines with the cobalt surface of Lake Tahoe in the background, it seemed as though the partisan rancor so characteristic of this political moment might temporarily evaporate. But such congeniality was short lived, if it ever lived at all.

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Aquafornia news CleanTechnica

Farm to solar field transformations come with controversy & compromise

Solar energy projects could replace some of the jobs and tax revenues that may be lost as constrained water supplies force California’s agriculture industry to scale back. However, the shift from farm to solar is controversial — it can alter the pastoral landscape and take some of the most fertile soil in the world out of production at a time when the global population is soaring.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Suppressed federal report shows how Trump water plan would endanger California salmon

The July 1 assessment, obtained by The Times, outlines how proposed changes in government water operations would harm several species protected by the Endangered Species Act, including perilously low populations of winter-run salmon, as well as steelhead trout and killer whales, which feed on salmon.

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Aquafornia news LAist.com

Yes, we got a lot of rain this year, but the fire danger is still very real

One of the key factors when assessing fire danger is the moistness of the vegetation. When it was raining all the time, plants were soaking up a lot of that water, which helped them produce new growth and keep their limbs well hydrated. Usually by August, they’ve dried out to dangerously low levels, but this year they’re holding on a bit longer, in part due to cooler summer temperatures.

Related article

Aquafornia news Denver Post

Historic ranch on Colorado’s high plains now holds millions of gallons of water for Denver-area economic development

The desire to expand housing, commerce and other development around metro Denver and on arid high plains once deemed inhospitable has driven an innovative urban water broker to build a $22 million reservoir on a ranch 70 miles east of the city along the South Platte River.

Aquafornia news California Sun

Podcast: Ariel Rubissow Okamoto and a deep dive into the San Francisco estuary

Ariel Rubissow Okamoto, the editor in chief of Estuary Magazine and long-time Bay Area science writer, talks about the resiliency of the largest estuary on the West Coast, the challenges facing the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta, and the potential impacts of climate change and sea-level rise on the San Francisco Bay.

Aquafornia news San Joaquin Valley Sun

Facing water crunch, Clovis gets to work on drought resiliency

The Clovis City Council in July approved an amended deal with the Fresno Irrigation District concerning the conveyance of Kings River water to the city’s water system. … The agreement includes “the addition of a new water supply to meet future City growth and support implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA).”

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Judge denies motion in Agua Caliente vs. Coachella Valley water agencies case

A U.S. District Court judge has denied a motion from the federal government to reconsider a ruling on the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians’ lawsuit against two Coachella Valley water agencies.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Blog: Preparing California’s rivers for a changing climate

California’s rivers and streams have experienced enormous changes over the past 150 years, and a warming climate brings new challenges. We talked to Ted Grantham—a river scientist at UC Berkeley and a member of the PPIC Water Policy Center research network—about the state of the state’s rivers.

Aquafornia news Klamath Falls Herald & News

Opinion: Common sense strengthens the Endangered Species Act

Although more fundamental ESA reform is needed, last week’s action yielded modest and common-sense improvements to implementation of an imperfect law. New efficiencies, clarity, and transparency will serve the purposes of the ESA and the public interest.

Aquafornia news Redding Record-Searchlight

Fresno water district appeals ruling to stop work on Shasta Dam study

Westlands Water District says a preliminary injunction ordering it to stop work on an environmental impact report may prevent it from helping to pay for raising the height of the dam, according to the appeal filed last week.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Taking the dog to the water? Tips to help watch for toxic algae

Not every bloom is toxic, but the toxins produced by the blue-green algae can be harmful and even deadly for pets when they eat the algae or drink the water, even in small amounts, water experts warn. Summer heat, stagnant or slow-moving water and nutrients from agricultural or septic runoff are an ideal recipe for the toxic stew.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Redlands Community News

Valley District provides seed money for new sources of water

In a region that has already seen two 20-year droughts, the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District continues to invest in water supplies to help the region sustain prolonged droughts. A new program offered by Valley District provides financial incentive to local water agencies for projects that produce recycled water or capture storm water.

Aquafornia news Noozhawk

Goleta Water District updates permit to sell recycled water to ag users

The Goleta Water District has updated its recycled water permitting so it can now sell to agricultural customers, although not many of them are interested in buying.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Daily News

Los Angeles, state officials discuss increasing local water supplies

Los Angeles city and county representatives hosted a discussion with state officials to address ways to increase local water supplies and to support a proposed statewide water system. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was joined Friday by the California Secretary of Natural Resources, Wade Crowfoot, and Secretary of Environmental Protection, Jared Blumenfeld, to discuss the city’s maintenance of its water sources.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino Sun

6 things to know about Cadiz’s plan to pump water in San Bernardino County’s Mojave Desert

The story behind a proposal to pump water from under the Mojave Desert in San Bernardino County is a long and complicated one. Since its approval in 2012, the Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project has been tied up in litigation from environmental groups, fought over in the state legislature and faced hurdles by state and federal government officials.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Arizona, Nevada cuts to Colorado River water negligible

Arizona and Nevada will face their first-ever cuts in Colorado River water next year, but the changes aren’t expected to be overly burdensome for either state.

Aquafornia news The New Yorker

A trailblazing plan to fight California wildfires

Although prescribed burns have been part of federal fire policy since 1995, last year the Forest Service performed them on just one per cent—some sixty thousand acres—of its land in the Sierra Nevada. “We need to be burning close to a million acres each year, just in the Sierras, or it’s over,” said Jeff Brown, manager of a field station in the Tahoe National Forest.

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Aquafornia news Lost Coast Outpost

Karuk Tribe releases climate adaptation plan calling for more prescribed fires

For most of the last 150 years, traditional Karuk burning practices were criminalized. The Plan attempts to reverse all this by re-establishing a more natural fire regime on the landscape through prescribed burns at appropriate times of year.

Aquafornia news Forbes

Blog: Conservationists fight to save critically endangered amphibians as Trump guts Endangered Species Act

A dozen conservationists gathered eagerly around the edges of some shallow pools above a waterfall in the Angeles National Forrest. They watched with anticipation as about a thousand Southern mountain yellow-legged frog tadpoles and three adult frogs enjoyed their first few minutes of life in the wild.

Aquafornia news Antelope Valley Press

Opinion: Urgency lost in hyper-wet winter

Desalination began to lose its urgency among Californians and their public officials two years ago, after the drought-busting winter of 2016-17, when heavy rain and snow ended dry conditions in most of the state. The idea of drawing potable water from the sea became even less of a priority this year, when an autumn of record-level fires gave way to one of the state’s wettest winters on record.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Odor advisory issued for Salton Sea area; hydrogen sulfide leads to rotten-egg smell

Hydrogen sulfide is associated with the natural processes occurring in the Salton Sea, a non-draining body of water with no ability to cleanse itself. Trapped in its waters are salt and selenium-laden agricultural runoff from surrounding farms, as well as heavy metals and bacterial pollution that flow in from Mexico’s New River, authorities said.

Aquafornia news The Salt Lake Tribune

Opinion: Does southern Utah need the Lake Powell Pipeline?

The Lake Powell Pipeline (LPP) proposal arose from a belief that Utah has an unused share of the Colorado River and a fear of water shortages stifling Washington County’s rapid population growth. Although many leaders across the state say southern Utah needs the LPP, this statement is not based on facts.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Then and now: Photos of Irvine Lake show dramatic recovery from drought times

Irvine Lake looks a lot different today than it did a year ago. Last September the reservoir looked like a giant puddle at 13 percent of capacity, today, after a rainy winter, the water covers the area and is ready to greet the public on Saturday, Aug. 17. After a 3-year hiatus, Irvine Lake is reopening for shoreline fishing on Aug. 17.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Surviving the next drought: It’s political in California’s Central Valley

With the last drought in the rearview and the next one inevitable, the damaging run on groundwater has state water agencies and lawmakers mulling whether to spend hundreds of millions to patch up a federally owned canal. But critics say doing so would amount to a clear bailout for the state’s largest farmers.

Aquafornia news Ridgecrest Daily Independent

Meadowbrook, Searles Valley Minerals protest groundwater model

In light of the recent groundwater modeling scenarios generated by Indian Wells Valley Water Groundwater, some stakeholders in the basin have pushed back, including Searles Valley Minerals and Meadowbrook Dairy.

Aquafornia news Arizona Republic

Friday Top of the Scroll: First-ever mandatory water cutbacks will kick in next year along the Colorado River

Arizona, Nevada and Mexico will be required to take less water from the Colorado River for the first time next year under a set of agreements that aim to keep enough water in Lake Mead to reduce the risk of a crash.

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Aquafornia news California Ag Today

Turning up heat on more dam storage

GAR Tootelian, a major agricultural chemical company, and Families Protecting the Valley are rolling up their sleeves to put up several hundred road signs calling for action to build more dam storage and the message is simple: Dam Water Grows Food.

Aquafornia news San Luis Obispo Tribune

Desperate for new water supplies, San Luis Obispo County bets on cloud-seeding program

With $300,000 already set aside by Zone 3 of the San Luis Obispo County Flood and Control Water Conservation District, cloud-seeding airplanes could fly over Lopez Reservoir as soon as January.

Aquafornia news The Economist

Caps on groundwater use create a new market in California – a liquid market

During the drought of 2012-16 landowners pumped more and more groundwater to compensate for the lack of rain. Thousands of wells ran dry. As a result, California passed a law requiring water users to organise themselves into local Groundwater Sustainability Agencies.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Weekly

The fight over Salinas Valley groundwater heats up as free-for-all nears its end

California was the last Western state to pass legislation regulating groundwater: the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 arrived after more than a century of development, intensive agriculture, bouts of drought and the looming threat that our aquifers will dry up. But the details of who would get to pump what – and the financial cost of achieving groundwater sustainability – are only now becoming clear.

Aquafornia news Klamath Falls Herald & News

All aboard for sucker recovery

Two species of Klamath Basin sucker have been dying before they can reach adulthood, and U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley is showing continued interest in expediting efforts already underway to save the fish species.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg

Desert farmers trade water for cash as the Colorado River falls

With big western cities clamoring for a share of the river’s diminishing supply, desert farmers with valuable claims are making multimillion dollar deals in a bid to delay the inevitable. … But if the river’s water keeps falling, more radical measures will be needed to protect what remains. 

Aquafornia news National Geographic

‘Snow droughts’ will soon become more common in the western U.S.

Nowadays there’s about a 7 percent chance that snowy areas in the western U.S. will get two really bad snow years in a row—years with snowpack lower than a quarter of the long-term average. But within a few decades, if climate change continues apace, those bookending “snow droughts” could occur about 40 percent of the time, according to work published in August in Geophysical Research Letters.

Aquafornia news Coastalview.com

Water district plans sustainable groundwater basin

The Carpinteria Valley Water District is in the process of forming a groundwater sustainability agency for Carpinteria Groundwater Basin in partnership with the city of Carpinteria, Santa Barbara County and Ventura County.

Aquafornia news AgAlert

Technology offers options to farmers

Amid employee shortages, groundwater issues and other challenges, farmers in Monterey County and elsewhere are looking to the tech sector to help them bring their crops to market.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Thursday Top of the Scroll: New sprinklers will soon be more expensive in California. Here’s why

Californians, your yard sprinklers are about to get a little bit more expensive. The good news is, your water bill is about to get cheaper. California on Wednesday officially adopted new regulations which are estimated to save more than 400 million gallons of water per day within 10 years, enough to supply San Diego, the second largest city in the state.

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Aquafornia news Associated Press

Wet winter doesn’t end climate change risk to Colorado River

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation on Thursday will release its projections for next year’s supply from Lake Mead, a key reservoir that feeds Colorado River water to Nevada, Arizona, California and Mexico. After a wet winter, the agency is not expected to require any states to take cuts to their share of water. But that doesn’t mean conditions are improving long term.

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Aquafornia news Santa Clarita Valley Signal

Opinion: Warming climate and our water

Some areas of the country are predicted to see increased flooding from hurricanes and other storms, while climate models show the West, particularly California, will be getting dryer. This will especially affect the water supply in California and here locally in the Santa Clarita Valley, where we have long depended on water from the melting Sierra snowpack to get us through our hot, dry summers.

Aquafornia news American Bar Association

Blog: Maps, models, and mystery: Interconnected groundwater and the public trust

We are a profession that depends on, and you might even say reveres, a good map. Rights to water flowing in surface streams are fundamentally defined by geography, and maps have long been a requirement of appropriation and essential evidence of riparian ownership.

Aquafornia news Sierra Wave

Groundwater authority awating decision from Department of Water Resources

The tentative low priority status of the Owens Valley groundwater basin has only heightened the complexity of the Owens Valley Groundwater Authority’s meetings, not lowered them.

Aquafornia news Natural Resources Defense Council

Blog: Keeping water demand in check

A new tool from the World Resources Institute for assessing water stress around the globe is shedding much-needed light on a growing mismatch between the supply and demand for fresh water. But an article surveying the data assembled by WRI for the digital New York Times this week missed the mark in describing California’s situation, where water use tops all other states.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: Toxic algae has killed dogs across the U.S. this summer. Now California is on alert

Toxic, blue-green algae blooms that poisoned dogs across the country this summer with deadly results have California water officials on alert for the dangerous bacteria.

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Aquafornia news Capital Press

Cost, timeline for removing Klamath River dams updated

Removing four hydroelectric dams along the lower Klamath River in Southern Oregon and Northern California is expected to cost just under $434 million and could happen by 2022, according to a new filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Aquafornia news Ridgecrest Daily Independent

Groundwater committee talks well registration outreach

With the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority Board of Directors set to pass an ordinance requiring mandatory groundwater well registration on Aug. 15, a looming question remains: how to notify residents in the valley.

Aquafornia news Pew Charitable Trusts

Blog: Remarkable California lands and rivers would gain protection under U.S. bill

According to a 2017 report by the Outdoor Industry Association, outdoor recreation generated $92 billion in consumer spending in California and is directly responsible for 691,000 jobs in the state. That’s why local residents and elected leaders have sought additional safeguards to make sure that some of the more extraordinary lands and rivers within the national forest and monument receive permanent protection as wilderness and wild and scenic rivers.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

County considering project to send treated water from Paradise to Chico

Butte County, California Water Service and Paradise Irrigation District are kicking off the lengthy process on a project to pipe water from Paradise to Chico. The project would seek to restore some viability to PID, which lost most of its customers after the Camp Fire. It would also reduce demands on the groundwater basin currently used for water in Chico to boost long-term sustainability.

Aquafornia news AgNet West

SGMA rollout coming along smoothly

The implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act has presented some challenges, however it appears the overall process is progressing smoothly overall. Supervising Engineering Geologist with the Department of Water Resources, Steven Springhorn noted that the stakeholders have been diligent in adhering to the timeline established by the regulation.

Aquafornia news Forbes

Blog: Hope springs eternal: The new wave of startups fighting drought

California could be the canary in the coal mine. Over the next decade, 40 U.S. states are expected to experience water shortages, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office. The situation is serious, but California’s entrepreneurs, who are seeking to boost supply and tame demand, offer a glimmer of hope.

Aquafornia news California Farm Water Coalition

Blog: If you’re concerned about climate change and water supply, California farms can help show the way

In a 2018 Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) survey, 80 percent of respondents said climate change is a serious threat to California’s future. And 72 percent cited water as a concern, with drought and water supply named most frequently as our biggest environmental issue. If you see yourself in these statistics, you should be cheering the efforts of California farmers.

Aquafornia news MyMotherLode.com

Blog: California’s water budget

The existing standard for indoor residential water use is 55 gallons per day per person. On January 1, 2025, the standard decreases to 52.5 gallons per capita per day. Then, on January 1, 2030, the standard drops to 50 gallons per person per day. So, how much is 50 gallons per day?

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Farms turn to technology amid water warnings in Southwest US

A drone soared over a blazing hot cornfield in northeastern Colorado on a recent morning, snapping images with an infrared camera to help researchers decide how much water they would give the crops the next day.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Fighting fire with fire? That strategy falling woefully short of California’s goals

The tactic is considered one of the best ways to prevent the kind of catastrophic destruction that has become common from wildfires, but its use falls woefully short of goals in the U.S. West. A study published in the journal Fire in April found prescribed burns on federal land in the last 20 years across the West has stayed level or fallen despite calls for more.

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Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Blog: Planning for a drier future in the Colorado River Basin

The recently adopted Drought Contingency Plan (DCP) was an important step toward addressing the Colorado Basin’s chronic water shortages, but more work is needed to prepare for a hotter, drier future. We talked to Doug Kenney, director of the Western Water Policy Program at the University of Colorado and a member of the PPIC Water Policy Center research network, about managing the basin for long-term water sustainability.

Aquafornia news The National Review

Opinion: The Trump obsession comes for California’s water

Tomorrow, the Golden State’s Democrat-run, veto-proof legislature returns from its summer break and is expected to quickly take up S.B. 1, the “California Environmental, Public Health, and Workers Defense Act of 2019.” It has been proposed for one reason: Donald Trump is president.

Aquafornia news FishBio

Blog: A diverse Delta: Integrating social and natural sciences

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta has been extensively studied in terms of its biology, chemistry, and physics, but this wealth of data leaves out a crucial piece of the puzzle: people.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Business Journal

Cadiz enters hemp business

With its long-awaited water project encountering yet another delay, Los Angeles water developer Cadiz Inc. is turning to a new cash crop for its desert land holdings: hemp production.

Aquafornia news Mother Jones

Opinion: It’s long past time to end the Delta smelt demagoguery

The Delta smelt is practically extinct in the wild already. So could the Delta be repopulated by taking up the farmers’ offer to “hatch and repopulate the fish,” as Jack Fowler says in National Review? That certainly sounds like common sense! Except that the Delta smelt war has never really been about the Delta smelt at all.

Aquafornia news Hamilton Spectator

Editorial: How California’s water levels affect Canadians

Why do Canadians need to worry about water levels in California? Because we live in a global world, where an overwhelming amount of foodstuffs cross borders.

Aquafornia news Inside Climate News

EPA plans to rewrite Clean Water Act rules to fast-track pipelines

The proposed changes to Clean Water Act permitting rules, announced Friday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, would limit the amount of time states and tribes can take to review new project proposals… It also would limit states to considering only water quality and allow the federal government to override states’ decisions to deny permits for projects in some situations.

Aquafornia news San Diego County Water Authority

Blog: Santa Margarita River Project to increase local water supply

The upcoming groundwater recharge project will improve existing facilities and build new facilities to capture surface runoff from the Santa Margarita River. When water flows are high, the runoff would recharge groundwater basins on Camp Pendleton.

Aquafornia news KGET TV

Groundwater trading program, first of its kind for Central Valley, is being designed

The Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District is working with the Environmental Defense Fund to develop a web-based platform growers can use to sell or buy units of groundwater. … As groundwater use is restricted, growers may decided to fallow cropland and instead sell their groundwater allocations to other growers.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Environment

California’s Shasta Dam project hits financial, legal snags

A plan to raise and expand California’s largest reservoir is on hold as federal officials look for partners to share in the $1.4 billion cost. The federal Bureau of Reclamation also must grapple with opponents who have sued, saying the Shasta Dam project violates state law.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Environmental study out on $1 billion dam planned for San Jose

Environmentalists have raised concerns about the project’s costs, and the fact that it would submerge 1,245 acres of oak woodlands… But the Santa Clara Valley Water District, a San Jose government agency that provides water to 1.9 million Silicon Valley residents, says the reservoir is needed to store more water as insurance against California’s next drought.

Aquafornia news KQED Science

Feds extend review for controversial forest plan

The proposal would upend long-held environmental practices that have been in place since 1970, and make it easier for timber harvesting and bulldozing forest roads in all 20 of California’s federal forests…

Aquafornia news The Oregonian

Report touting benefits of Snake River dam removal stirs controversy

A new report from a Portland-based economics firm, which says the removal of dams on the Snake River in Eastern Washington would have broad financial benefits, is getting pushback from local politicians in the Tri-Cities area.

Aquafornia news Western Water

Friday Top of the Scroll: A rancher-led group is boosting the health of the Colorado River near its headwaters

A partnership of state, local and conservation groups, including Trout Unlimited, is engaged in a restoration effort that could serve as a template for similar regions across the West. Centered around the high plateau near Kremmling, a town of about 1,400 people in northern Colorado about 100 miles west of Denver, the partnership aims to make the river function better for people and the environment.

Aquafornia news KUNC

A world without water

What would happen if we ran out of water? For an increasing number of people, that question is moving from a hypothetical to a reality. New data from the World Resource Institute show that a quarter of the world’s population is at high risk of running out of water.

Aquafornia news Yale Climate Connections

Blog: What a drier and hotter future means for the arid Southwest

Between 1901 and 2016, temperatures increased across the Southwest, with the greatest upturns in California and Colorado. … Meanwhile, growing population, aging infrastructure, and groundwater depletion are also compounding long-standing water scarcity issues in the region. These mounting pressures have a bevvy of potential implications, from human health and ecological function, to food and energy supply.

Aquafornia news Environmental Working Group

Blog: Across U.S., eruptions of toxic algae plague lakes, threatening drinking water and recreation

In recent years, algae blooms – actually microscopic bacteria called cyanobacteria – have erupted in hundreds of lakes nationwide, putting at risk Americans whose drinking water comes from those lakes, or who swim, ski or fish in them. If ingested, microcystins can cause adverse health effects in people and animals, ranging from skin rashes to serious illness and even death.

Aquafornia news The Grass Valley Union

‘It is changing’: Snowpack, lake clarity among threats to Tahoe

During the past 107 years, daily air temperatures measured in Tahoe City have increased. The average daily maximum temperature has risen by 2.25 degrees Fahrenheit, and the average daily minimum temperature has risen by 4.43 degrees. According to the report, the number of days when air temperatures averaged below freezing has declined by about 30 days since 1911, though year-to-year variability is high.

Aquafornia news UC Merced News

Blog: Humanities grad students drive community engagement, public understanding through research

Ivan Soto has aspired to produce research with a positive impact on the public — not just to benefit the academic community. … His research examines the power dynamics of infrastructure and water politics through an environmental history of southernmost California’s Imperial Valley along the U.S.-Mexico borderlands.

Aquafornia news The Conversation

Blog: Climate change will mean more multiyear snow droughts in the West

In a newly published study, my colleagues and I analyze year-to-year variations of future snowpack to see how frequently western states can expect multiple years in a row of snow drought, or very low snow. We find that if climate change continues relatively unabated, consecutive years with snow drought conditions will become much more common…

Aquafornia news Capital Press

El Nino gone; winter outlook unclear

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center estimated the chances of neutral conditions sticking through the winter at about 55%. An El Nino has a 30% percent chance of returning, while La Nina has a 15% chance of forming, according to the center.

Aquafornia news Environmental Defense Fund

News release: EDF and Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District to build new groundwater trading market

Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District (Rosedale) and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) announced a joint pilot project today to build the first online, open-source groundwater trading platform in the Central Valley in response to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Opinion: Farmers don’t need to read the science. We are living it

Many farmers probably haven’t read the new report from the United Nations warning of threats to the global food supply from climate change and land misuse. But we don’t need to read the science — we’re living it. Here in the San Joaquin Valley, one of the world’s most productive agricultural regions, there’s not much debate anymore that the climate is changing.

Aquafornia news Marysville Appeal-Democrat

Program offering no cost irrigation evaluations to Northern California

Local land owners have an opportunity to get their irrigation systems inspected free of charge as part of a program offered across Northern California. Jay Thomas, engineering technician for the Irrigation Training Facility at California State University, Chico, said this program is part of a mobile irrigation laboratory that services the growers of Northern California.

Aquafornia news Eurasian Review

How Pacific Ocean influences long-term drought in Southwestern U.S.

The general rule of thumb had been that El Niño years — when the sea surface in a region off the coast of Peru is at least 1 degree Celsius warmer than average — tend to have more rainfall, and La Niña years, when that region is 1 degree Celsius cooler than average, tend to have less rain. But that simple rule of thumb doesn’t always hold true.

Aquafornia news KQED News

CalEPA Secretary Jared Blumenfeld on California’s environmental priorities under the Trump administration

California’s Secretary of Environmental Protection Jared Blumenfeld joins Forum to discuss how the state is responding to the Trump administration’s environmental rollbacks and what he sees as the state’s top priorities and challenges.

Aquafornia news Bakersfield Californian

Hard Rock casino could ease county’s water worries, officials say

As the Tejon Tribe casino makes its way through the regulatory process, concerns have been raised over the impact the complex will have on the county’s groundwater. However, county officials believe the casino may actually use less water than the farms that currently occupy the planned site just south of Bakersfield. But questions do remain …

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Opinion: Desalination loses urgency in super-wet winter

Whenever the price of other water goes up, desalinating Pacific waters becomes more enticing. It will become more so if the price of filtering minerals out of salt water drops. But if the price and availability of fresh water remains reasonable, as it surely will be this year, desal stays in the back seat.

Aquafornia news Highland Community News

San Bernardino Basin has record recharge

San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District reported more than 20 billion gallons of water captured, a new record for captured groundwater recharge. … This is a 30-year record with 1987 being the last year this much groundwater was stored into the region’s aquifers. Prior to that, 20 billion gallons of storage had not been achieved since the late 1940s.

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

Mapping the strain on our water supply

Ample water resources in northern areas of California are balanced by huge demands from Central Valley agriculture and the large populations in hotter, drier southern areas such as Los Angeles and San Diego. California uses the most water of any state, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, up to 9 percent of all withdrawals from the national supply.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Opinion: What does climate change really mean to California’s water resources?

Whether you are a water utility manager, elected official, or homeowner, future water availability is a concern. There are several factors fostering that concern and one of them is climate change. … But as the empirical evidence mounts and a once doubtful citizenry become more informed, it is instructive to review what a changing climate fundamentally means to California’s water resources; arguably our most important.

Aquafornia news Porterville Recorder

Cox working on Friant-Kern Canal issue

It’s hard for U.S. Representative T.J. Cox to understand why the Friant-Kern Canal is just at 40 percent capacity. … Cox said funding is provided to maintain the Friant-Kern Canal that’s supposed to be reimbursed by the Federal Government, but those reimbursements haven’t been coming.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Chico State, Stanford University helping county analyze water basin management

A Butte County project will expand its partnership with Chico State and Stanford University to analyze available groundwater systems. … It’s a groundbreaking project for water management in the county, according to Paul Gosselin, director of the county’s water and resource management department.

Aquafornia news The Guardian

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: Several US states face significant stress on their water availability, study shows

New Mexico tops the list and is the only state with “extremely high” pressures on its water availability. The state’s score is on par with the United Arab Emirates in the Middle East and Eritrea in Africa, the World Resources Institute (WRI) found. California ranks second, followed by Arizona, Colorado and Nebraska.

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Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Opinion: Will we ever have to ask, ‘Where have all the flowers gone?’

Hiding and waiting is a great strategy as long as droughts are temporary. But as our climate becomes warmer, increased evaporation will make it effectively ever drier, and rainfall will arrive ever less predictably at the right time of year. Native plants will thus face long-term increases in water stress, often exacerbated by intensified fire and shifts in their delicate coexistence with exotic species.

Aquafornia news Huffington Post

9 foods that are making the drought even worse

Some foods require a lot more water to produce than others and our appetites for them could exacerbate water issues. These foods are taxing an already scarce resource.

Aquafornia news California Sun

Blog: Photographs of a California beautiful and battered

For five years or so, German-born, San Francisco-based photographer Thomas Heinser has made a study of the state’s scarred landscapes. His images, shot from the open side of a helicopter, focus on the after-effects of drought, wildfire, and human profit.

Aquafornia news Highland Community News

Sterling water facility one year into build

One year from its initiation of the design-build process for the Sterling Natural Resource Center water recycling plant, East Valley Water District (EVWD) Board of Directors reviewed the project’s considerable progress and adopted a few modifications during a July 24 meeting. … The project will construct a wastewater recycling plant capable of treating up to 10 million gallons per day.

Aquafornia news Ventura County Star

Opinion: Water plan needs bigger frame

Water resource management is key in Ventura County to help address the perils local residents face from global warming, such as flooding, drought and sea level rise. The preliminary draft of the 2040 General Plan update on Water Resources Element is so much more than an “update.”

Aquafornia news Oroville Mercury-Register

Chico State, Stanford University helping county analyze water basin management

A Butte County project will expand its partnership with Chico State and Stanford University to analyze available groundwater systems. The project involves analysis of well logs, and hopes to expand the analysis using magnetics and a grid to fill in holes in the data.

Aquafornia news Mt. Shasta Herald

Klamath River Renewal Corp. submits response to dam removal questions

Klamath River Renewal Corporation announced last week the selection of Resource Environmental Solutions, LLC to perform restoration work after the proposed removal of four Klamath dams, and on Monday, KRRC announced it had filed with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission the answers to a plethora of questions brought forward by a Board of Consultants in December 2018.

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Aquafornia news Long Beach Press Telegram

Central Basin Water District is now charging even noncustomers in Southeast L.A. County

Kevin Hunt, general manager for Central Basin Municipal Water District, said his agency needs the $600,000-plus the fee will raise to balance its $10 million budget. The water wholesaler has significant money problems because of decreasing water sales.

Aquafornia news Cool Green Science

Blog: A biodiversity analysis in Los Angeles

Two of the most basic questions about biodiversity are “what is it?”, which is the focus of taxonomists, and “where is it?”, which is the realm of biogeographers. Understanding basic patterns in the biogeography of an urban area is the focus of a partnership between The Nature Conservancy and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. We call our project Biodiversity Analysis in Los Angeles (BAILA).

Aquafornia news The Press

New Delta tunnel project begins taking shape

Opponents of the twin tunnels breathed a collective sigh of relief in April when Gov. Gavin Newsom put a formal end to the California WaterFix project, but that action also called for the assessment of a single-tunnel project in the Delta. The first major step in that direction took place last week when the Department of Water Resources (DWR) initiated a series of negotiations with public water agencies that participate in the State Water Project (SWP)…

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

‘Protection for the entire river’: Yurok, fishermen sue to save Klamath salmon

A new federal management plan for the Klamath River is proving to be a disaster for salmon, a lawsuit alleges. The Yurok Tribe and the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations filed a lawsuit against the Bureau of Reclamation and the National Marine Fisheries Service on Wednesday because the new plan has led to drought-level flows in the lower Klamath River and an increase in salmon with a potentially lethal parasite…

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Aquafornia news KUNC

To commemorate Powell’s Colorado River expedition, research team retraces his steps

One hundred and fifty years ago, a group of explorers led by Civil War veteran John Wesley Powell set out to document the canyons of the Green and Colorado Rivers. It was the first trip of its kind. To commemorate the journey, a group of scientists, artists and graduate students from the University of Wyoming called the Sesquicentennial Colorado River Exploring Expedition has been retracing his steps this summer.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Opinion: Sites Reservoir needed for reliable water future

A flexible, reliable water supply is essential to California’s economy and to the job creation and job security goals of California’s working families. … Of all the projects vying for California’s attention, the proposed Sites Reservoir in Northern California offers the most tangible benefits.

Aquafornia news KQED News

Friday Top of the Scroll: Feinstein working on bill to speed up logging, other forest projects to head off wildfire risks

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein has joined with a Montana Republican to craft a bill that would expedite logging and other forest management projects near electrical transmission lines and roads in an effort to head off catastrophic wildfires. The bill is also aimed at slowing or stopping lawsuits that block logging projects on federal land.

Aquafornia news Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory

Blog: Moving forward on desalination

Jeff Urban, a staff scientist who specializes in new materials for energy storage and conversion at Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry, a Department of Energy nanoscience research facility, explains what forward osmosis is and how Berkeley Lab is addressing the challenges.

Aquafornia news Merced County Times

Groundwater Sustainability Plan up for public review

Over the past 18 months, the three Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) in the Merced Subbasin have worked together to develop a Draft Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) that is now available for public review and comment.

Aquafornia news SCVNews.com

Efforts to save federally endangered frogs, tadpoles continue

Close to one thousand Los Angeles Zoo bred mountain yellow-legged frogs and tadpoles will be released into a tributary to Cooper Canyon, located in the Angeles National Forest. Representatives from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Los Angeles Zoo, and Forest Service will release the tadpoles Aug. 14 …

Aquafornia news New Times San Luis Obispo

Thirsty for sustainability: Is Paso Robles any closer to solving its groundwater problem?

A San Luis Obispo County policy regulating pumping from the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin has hamstrung how Robert Galbraith can farm his land. For decades, the family grew corn silage, Sudan grass, alfalfa, and grains on their few hundred acres. Now, Galbraith has essentially lost the right to farm, though he can see many a green vineyard down the road.

Aquafornia news Coastalview.com

With water supply dwindling, water district plans advanced purification project

Like many communities throughout California, Carpinteria faces sustained and historic drought conditions. … In response to the shortfall, CVWD proposes a $25 million project to take wastewater that has been cleaned, purify it and then inject it into the groundwater basin to be used for various needs, including potable drinking water.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Thursday Top of the Scroll: Newsom signs bill requiring further environmental review for Cadiz project

A bill signed Wednesday evening by Gov. Gavin Newsom will require Cadiz Inc.’s Mojave Desert groundwater pumping project to undergo further review to show it will not harm the surrounding environment. … It requires the State Lands Commission to determine that projects involving the transfer of water from a groundwater basin won’t adversely impact the surrounding environment.

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Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Cal Am seeks three-year rate increase starting in 2021

California American Water is seeking to raise its Monterey area average customers’ bills by nearly 18 percent over a three-year period from 2021-2023. … Under the proposal, the “average” Cal Am customer would see their monthly rates increase from about $89.40 to $105.42 over the three-year period.

Aquafornia news Water News Network

Blog: Study to explore new regional water conveyance system

The San Diego County Water Authority’s Board of Directors last week approved a contract to study the viability of a new regional water conveyance system that would deliver water from the Colorado River to San Diego County and provide multiple benefits across the Southwest. The $1.9 million contract was awarded to Black & Veatch Corporation for a two-phase study.

Aquafornia news Climate.gov

Blog: At a California oyster hatchery, farming native seaweed improved water quality

Native seaweed has the potential to be cultivated in California coastal waters and used to alleviate the effects of local ocean acidification, according to a new study funded by NOAA’s California Sea Grant.

Aquafornia news Redding Record-Searchlight

Judge orders Westlands of Fresno to stop work on Shasta Dam raise

The Westlands Water District, which provides irrigation water to farmers on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, was working on a report assessing the environmental impacts of raising the height of the dam. But a judge ruled Wednesday that Westlands’ work violated a state law that prohibited local and state agencies from participating in any projects that would have an adverse impact on the McCloud River.

Aquafornia news Tahoe Weekly

Lake Tahoe water wars, part I

Water is indeed the most precious natural resource in the arid West and from that perspective it should come as no surprise that water-rights issues on Lake Tahoe and Truckee River have been at the center of negotiation and controversy since pioneers first settled the region.

Aquafornia news KSBY

Central Coast reservoirs riding high after winter rains

The heavy rains that hit the Central Coast this past winter are keeping recreators at area lakes and reservoirs happy this summer. However, the precipitation has done little to ease concerns for a group fighting Monterey County over the water it withdraws from Lake Nacimiento.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: California farmers are planting solar panels as water supplies dry up

The silvery panels looked like an interloper amid a patchwork landscape of lush almond groves, barren brown dirt and saltbush scrub, framed by the blue-green strip of the California Aqueduct bringing water from the north. … Solar energy projects could replace some of the jobs and tax revenues that may be lost as constrained water supplies force California’s agriculture industry to scale back.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

The Yolo Bypass: It’s a floodplain! It’s farmland! It’s an ecosystem!

California’s biggest river—the Sacramento—needs a lot of room to spread in big water years. A floodplain project called the Yolo Bypass allows it to flood naturally, while also providing habitat for waterbirds, fish, and other aquatic species. We talked to Ted Sommer, lead scientist for the Department of Water Resources (DWR), about this versatile landscape.

Aquafornia news BobVila.com

10 homeowners who decided to rip out their lawns—and why

To mow or not to mow? This question is at the heart of a nationwide movement against lawns and in favor of more sustainable landscapes. These ten homeowners and garden enthusiasts created unique, beautiful lawnless yards—and you can too.

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Aquafornia news Noozhawk

Montecito pursues project funding for groundwater basin management plan

The Groundwater Sustainability Agency board will submit a sustainability plan to the Department of Water Resources in 2021 and begin to implement that plan in 2022-2024. The board last week heard a presentation about funding options to pay for the groundwater management plan — including fees, taxes or assessments to customers — and specific projects to implement the plan…

Aquafornia news Ventura County Star

Wildfire, coastal issues worry Californians, survey finds

Californians are worried about global warming causing severe wildfires and consider the health of beaches and the ocean key priorities, according to a new statewide survey focused on the environment. … While the poll found significant concern about rising seas and more extreme heat, it was at a lower level than the preoccupation with wildfires.

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Aquafornia news Delta Stewardship Council

Blog: What does groundwater have to do with the Delta? A lot.

While it may not be obvious to some, sustainable groundwater management is inherently connected to the long-term survival of the Delta. Not only does the state’s most significant groundwater use occur in regions that also rely upon water from the Delta watershed, reduced reliance on the Delta and improved regional self-reliance are central to many of the goals outlined in the Delta Stewardship Council’s Delta Plan.

Aquafornia news GreenBiz.com

Ratings giant Moody’s buys big chunk of California climate-risk data firm

It is seen as a major move from one of the world’s biggest credit ratings agencies that could have a significant impact on how seriously climate risk factors are viewed by financiers. Based in California, Four Twenty Seven scores physical risks associated with climate-related factors and other environmental issues, including heat stress, water stress, extreme precipitation, hurricanes and typhoons, and sea-level rise.

Aquafornia news PasadenaNow.com

JPL researchers win Presidential Early Career Awards

John Reager is being honored for his work on the GRACE mission, studying Earth’s water cycle by measuring groundwater, floods and drought. This helps him and his colleagues study how extremes of water vary with time and climate change.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Peninsula mayors water authority downsizes

Seven and a half years after it was formed, the Monterey Peninsula Regional Water Authority is moving forward with a smaller, less expensive version of itself. … The authority has completed the vast majority of its mandate in backing a new water supply for the Peninsula and can now be expected to shift its focus toward dealing with the state water board’s Carmel River pumping cutback order.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: Three-way wrangle over plan to expand Shasta Dam

On Monday, the state of California and a coalition of fishing groups and environmentalists asked a judge to bar Westlands from completing a crucial environmental report in hopes of stalling the project. “Everything we see looks to be illegal,” said deputy attorney general Russell Hildreth. At issue is a stretch of the McCloud River that both sides agree would be inundated by the project.

Aquafornia news Inland Empire Community News

San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District breaks 30-year record for groundwater storage, at 20 billion gallons and counting

More than 61,000 acre-feet of snowmelt and rainfall has been diverted from Mill Creek and the Santa Ana River by the District and recharged into the groundwater basin for future use by those who pump water from the basin. Imported water was also used to help supplement the amount of water stored.

Aquafornia news EOS.org

Bringing climate projections down to size for water managers

Hydrologists are creating watershed-scale projections for water resources managers and tools that managers can use to plan for the effects of climate change.

Aquafornia news Forbes

Opinion: Amid climate-linked drought, farmers turn to new water sources. Those are drying up too.

What happens when the farmer’s source of water is tapped out? They look for it elsewhere. This could become a major problem as their adaptation to climate change only exacerbates another major impact from climate change—water scarcity.

Aquafornia news The Weather Channel

Faster water cycle brings worries of increased drought and flooding in the United States

The water cycle is the movement of water on the planet — from falling as precipitation, such as rain, ice or snow, to being absorbed in the soil or flowing into groundwater and streams and then being evaporated to start all over again. Research by scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey shows water has been moving more quickly and intensely through the various stages of the cycle, according to NASA’s Earth Observatory. 

Aquafornia news Salon.com

Climate change may decimate California’s avocado industry

The report estimates there are a cluster of major California crops that are particularly vulnerable to extreme temperature changes: wine grapes, lettuce, almonds, strawberries, table grapes, hay, oranges, cotton, tomatoes, walnuts, avocados, and pistachios. Specifically, avocado production in California could fall 40 percent by 2050 due to climate change factors.

Aquafornia news Valley Public Radio

Panel: An update on how the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act is working

Moderator Kathleen Schock got an update on how the work is progressing locally from Gary Serrato, executive director of the North Kings Groundwater Sustainability Agency, Christina Beckstead, executive director of Madera County Farm Bureau, and David Orth with New Current Water and Land.

Aquafornia news Manteca Bulletin

Opinion: Are Manteca leaders preparing to sell city’s future down the river?

Water is key to everything in California. If you have control of water in sufficient amounts you control your destiny. There are three things on the horizon that city leaders had best pay heed before they buy into the PG&E model regarding critical and essential utilities and go for the money in the here and now while ignoring long term consequences.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Water slides, cabanas, pools: $45 million aquatic center coming to this Sacramento community

The center, being built at North Natomas Regional Park, will feature the city’s first 50-meter competition pool with 13 diving boards and lanes. It will also feature a 25-meter pool, four water slides, a shallow kids’ pool, and a kids’ rope course and play area…

Aquafornia news E&E News

Climate: Water shortages force a reckoning in California wine country

More than 90% of U.S. wine comes from California, despite growth in other states’ production, and it’s putting a strain on the environment. Throughout the region, wine producers say they’re striving to save water and use less pesticides, among other measures aimed at sustainable growing, as they face the challenges brought on by the advance of climate change.

Aquafornia news Coastalview.com

With water supply dwindling, Carpinteria water district plans advanced purification project

By 2030, the Carpinteria Valley Water District estimates that on a dry year, the deficit could be as high as 1,550 acre feet—enough to fill 775 Olympic-sized swimming pools, or serve the average yearly use of 6,200 local households. In response to the shortfall, CVWD proposes a $25 million project to take wastewater that has been cleaned, purify it and then inject it into the groundwater basin…

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

California coasts recovering, but more marine heatwaves like ‘The Blob’ expected

Jennifer Gilden, the Pacific Fishery Management Council’s staff officer for outreach, habitat and legislation, said the ocean conditions are improving, though the Chinook salmon population has yet to fully recover. Unfortunately, it is likely marine heatwaves are only going to increase in frequency and intensity in the coming years, according to a body of research on the topic.

Aquafornia news Association of California Water Agencies

Blog: Trinity River restoration project a collaborative success

During a recent trip to the Trinity River, I learned about the many challenges facing its salmon and steelhead populations. … A holistic approach to habitat restoration doesn’t rely on a single silver bullet solution, but applies a comprehensive set of actions that rely on collaboration

Aquafornia news ABC10.com

Roseville preparing for drought with unique system to capture water for future use

Water is the lifeblood of the Sacramento Valley. Yet, the best methods for storing and using the precious resource are often elusive. A new water system in operation in Roseville treats underground aquifers like a bank, making deposits in times of surplus for withdrawal in times of drought.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Scrutiny grows over whether small, South County Water District can afford desalination plant

The project’s ocean-friendly technology has won praise from the same environmentalists fighting a desalter plant proposed by Poseidon Water for Huntington Beach, one of several things that distinguish the south county plant from the more controversial project to the north. … But the price tag is steep for a district that serves a relatively modest population of 35,000, just over 1% of the county.

Aquafornia news The Revelator

Blog: A climate-resilient Los Angeles must first address its polluted past

To meet ambitious climate goals, L.A. needs more local water. A critical step is battling the ghosts of industry past — polluted groundwater that dates back to World War II.

Aquafornia news KBAK

Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water District launching water market pilot program

The newly formed water market would create a place where farmers in the Rosedale district can buy and sell water based on their needs. So if one farmer has too much for his crops in a certain year, he’d be able to sell it on the market to another who might not have enough.

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

Seeding clouds and atmospheric river research among efforts explored on Edge of Drought Tour that starts in Burbank

During our Edge of Drought Tour Aug. 27-29, we’ll visit an atmospheric river observatory in Santa Barbara that specifically monitors the meteorological phenomenon and also visit Lopez Lake to hear from the County of San Luis Obispo on their cloud seeding efforts.

Aquafornia news Red Bluff Daily News

Coleman Hatchery expresses optimism for future fish returns

The Coleman National Fish Hatchery is expecting good returns of their fish in the foreseeable future after a few lean years of comebacks. … Mother Nature worked with the hatchery this year providing high water levels and spring storms, said Galyean. When nature was not working in the hatchery’s favor was during the recent drought.

Aquafornia news Quartz

Artificial intelligence is changing the way we farm

High-tech firms like Ceres, Prospera, Farmers Edge, and the Climate Corporation are using artificial intelligence to help famers decide when to plant, water, spray, and harvest their crops. As climate change worsens rainstorms in the Midwest and drought in California, the technology could also help growers navigate more severe and volatile weather.

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