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 Courthouse News Service

Concrete jungle: The quest to make the L.A. River wild again

A dozen kayakers paddled down the tree-lined, sandy-bottomed Los Angeles River in late August, running their hands through sycamore and willow leaves and gliding over carp and steelhead trout as traffic noise from the nearby 405 Freeway buzzed overhead.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Opinion: Farmers deal with climate change every day

Most farmers haven’t heard about the recent report from the UN, even though it deals with climate change and land use and features agriculture prominently. But we don’t need to read the science — we are living it.

Aquafornia news Las Vegas Sun

Las Vegas water use has dropped, but its affluent residents remain copious consumers

Total and per-capita water use in Southern Nevada has declined over the last decade, even as the region’s population has increased by 14%. But water use among the biggest water users — some of the valley’s wealthiest, most prominent residents — has held steady.

Aquafornia news Natural Resources Defense Council

Blog: Freshwater flows, reduced diversions help abate toxic algae

When water is diverted from rivers, the remaining water moves more slowly and warms more easily. Algae and bacteria thrive in warm, stagnant water and are more likely to grow in excess, increasing the chances of a HAB event.

Aquafornia news Santa Barbara Independent

Steelhead win landmark victory

By any reckoning, the steelhead trout won a significant legal victory this week, along with CalTrout and the Environmental Defense Center, which have been arguing the case for two decades. But it remains uncertain exactly how much more water will have to be released downstream from Lake Cachuma to create a habitat wet enough along the main stem of the Santa Ynez River for the federally endangered fish to wage a meaningful comeback.

Aquafornia news Palo Alto Online

Palo Alto looks to sell, treat — and possibly ask people to drink — wastewater

In an effort to open the spigot on recycled water in the region, Palo Alto and Santa Clara Valley Water are exploring a deal that would send the city’s wastewater to a treatment plant elsewhere in the county, where it would be treated, transformed into potable water and potentially resold to the city for its residents and businesses.

Aquafornia news CALmatters

Opinion: Newsom should sign SB 1 into law. Without its environmental protections, Californians will suffer

At least 85 different federal laws and regulations affecting California have been weakened or undermined by the Trump administration since January 2017. … That’s why I, along with many proponents, believe that Senate Bill 1 would safeguard our state …

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Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Report: Peninsula may not need desal for two more decades

Reaction has been predictably mixed to a new report that concludes the Monterey Peninsula may be able to get by with recycled water instead of desalinated water for the next two decades and perhaps beyond.

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Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Opinion: To avoid environmental genocide, Gov. Newsom must sign SB 1

I’m writing to express our tribe’s dismay at Gov. Gavin Newsom’s announcement that he plans to veto Senate Bill 1. … Vetoing this bill will green-light President Trump’s plan to divert even more water from our struggling rivers for industrial agriculture. Many well-respected fish biologists and environmentalists have concluded Trump’s attempt to ignore the best science and rewrite the rules will essentially be an “extinction plan” for Chinook salmon and other threatened fish.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Eyes in the sky help farmers on the ground

Recent years have brought severe droughts that have forced farmers to become more efficient with water use. With nearby Silicon Valley teeming with the promise of efficiency and data-fueled intelligence, a natural relationship between technology and agriculture has developed.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

California farms, ranches strive to adapt as climate warms — it’s a matter of survival

Every degree of warming is expected to worsen what, in many ways, is already a crisis for the state’s multibillion-dollar agricultural industry. And a crisis here is a problem everywhere, given that California produces 50% of the nation’s fruits and vegetables and 90% of its nut crops.

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Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Study: Inadequate groundwater for current and potential demands in basin targeted by Las Vegas

There is not enough water to support important wetlands and springs in a semi-arid desert ecosystem that straddles the Nevada-Utah border if all permitted and proposed groundwater rights are put to use, according to a U.S. Geological Survey study of the Snake Valley. There also may not be enough groundwater to satisfy the desires of the Las Vegas area, whose water agencies have eyed the valley for decades…

Aquafornia news CALmatters

Thursday Top of the Scroll: Demise of key environment bill could escalate California’s water wars

Newsom has said he won’t approve Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins’ bid for a legal backstop against environmental rollbacks by the Trump administration. And Washington is poised to reduce protections for endangered fish species in the state’s largest watersheds. The result may be the heightened regulatory uncertainty that opponents of the bill said they hoped to avoid…

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Aquafornia news Voice of San Diego

A brief history of Pure Water’s pure drama

After years of scientific progress, regulatory wrangling, political ups and downs, and searching for the money, San Diego is getting ready to get to work on a multi-part, multibillion-dollar project that will eventually provide a third of the city’s drinking water.

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Aquafornia news CALmatters

Opinion: Newsom has a chance to end California’s water battles

Last week, the Legislature acted to thwart President Donald Trump on water matters by passing a bill to essentially pre-empt the execution of federal environmental law. The Metropolitan Water District opposed Senate Bill 1 because it would have unleashed rounds of state-federal litigation, and would have likely brought 13 years of effort to a halt. Gov. Gavin Newsom has signaled he plans to veto the measure.

Aquafornia news Civil Eats

Investment in regenerative agriculture connects the dots between soil and plate

Anthony Myint vividly recalls the moment he encountered the idea that would shift his life’s path. In 2014, the San Francisco chef and his wife and business partner, Karen Leibowitz, visited California carbon ranching pioneer John Wick at Nicasio Native Grass Ranch in Marin County.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Opinion: The quiet death and imminent rebirth of a water bond

A concerted effort to put a $4 billion bond measure for safe drinking water, drought preparation, wildfire prevention, and climate resilience on the March 2020 ballot in California died quietly in the state legislature last week. But the bond measure proposal will rise again early in the new year…

Aquafornia news Civil Eats

As water sources dry up, Arizona farmers feel the heat of climate change

Farms in central Arizona will soon lose access to Colorado River water, impacting farmers, cities, and Native communities.

Aquafornia news Tri County Sentry

Higher groundwater pumping fees are coming to Oxnard

The Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency … discussed reasons why the area will reduce pumping in the future to meet its sustainability goals as it moves toward 2040. Cities can expect considerable pumping fee increases per acre-feet of water and can have far-reaching effects on the local economy.

Aquafornia news San Luis Obispo Tribune

Coastal Commission delays Cambria affordable housing project

Commissioners will decide later about whether the long-planned, reconfigured Cambria Pines Apartments project (32 affordable-housing apartments and a manager’s unit) should move forward, given Cambria’s current water-supply issues and other concerns.

Aquafornia news Ventura County Star

State to increase flows on Santa Ynez River to protect steelhead

State officials have ordered increased water flows on the Santa Ynez River in Santa Barbara County to protect steelhead trout, which are endangered in Southern California. The State Water Resources Control Board action follows two decades of legal efforts to address long-term declines in native fish populations in the Santa Ynez.

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Aquafornia news UCLA

News release: UCLA to assess California drinking water systems to identify risks and solutions

Through a $3 million contract with the California State Water Resources Board, the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation will conduct a statewide drinking water needs analysis to identify risks and solutions for water systems and private wells throughout the state.

Aquafornia news Modesto Bee

Editorial: Newsom must keep his promise on California SB1

Whatever satisfaction might be gained by telling the president to pound sand is nowhere near as important as protecting the water supply of Modesto and thousands of farmers depending on the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced rivers.

Aquafornia news YourCentralValley.com

Selma residents get drought notices, demand answers from city officials

We all know it’s important to conserve water, but are we still in a drought? California water officials say “no!” But a number of residents in Selma got a notice on their door telling them we are in a drought and that’s why stage 3 water restrictions are in place.

Aquafornia news The Revelator

Opinion: Why environmentalists are losing the water wars

It all boils down to diluted language that minimizes the perception of how we’re devastating our rivers and other bodies of water.

Aquafornia news East Bay Express

UC pot researchers working with ‘gray literature’

Here’s a weird fact: There is no industry standard for how much water a cannabis plant requires. Four gallons a day? Six? Growers are left to ask their friends, look at possibly-dicey web sites, and experiment for themselves. Growers of tomatoes or corn, meanwhile, can easily find such information by looking it up on the USDA’s web site, or asking their local extension representative.

Aquafornia news Inside Climate News

Ocean heat wave intensifies in Pacific, with risks for wildlife and wildfires

An intensifying marine heat wave in the northeastern Pacific Ocean has triggered government warnings about harm to salmon and other fisheries along the U.S. West Coast, and it’s raising concerns about hurricane risks to the Hawaiian islands and wildfire risks in California.

Aquafornia news KEYT

Steelhead trout trapping underway to help the endangered species

Steelhead trout … trapping is taking place in an undisclosed portion of Gaviota Creek in Goleta where the water is drying up. There are more than a dozen barriers that restrict the movement of the fish when they get trapped below them.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: A fight with Trump that Gavin Newsom doesn’t want: Why he’s vetoing environmental bill

Newsom saw SB 1 as a mortal threat to something he’s been supporting since shortly before he took office: a tentative truce in California’s longstanding water wars. The truce revolves around the flow of water in and out of the Delta from California’s most important river systems, the Sacramento and San Joaquin.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Teen Vogue

What climate change will do to three major American cities by 2100

For San Franciscans … there are new worries for the city. Fires now burn more regularly across the Sierra Nevada as well as coastal mountain ranges. The flames may ruin plans for weekend getaways to Yosemite or deliver noxious smoke to the Bay Area. And locals may start to reach for air masks as dangerously smoky days become more common.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Opinion: East Coachella Valley residents, demand a cleaner environment

The state’s moves open up more opportunities for extension of drinking water service, operations and maintenance for domestic wells, and even demands action for Salton Sea conservation. The myriad issues east valley residents face are exacerbated by the public health impacts of the receding Salton Sea.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Opinion: The Klamath River Basin is headed toward disaster. Here’s how we can save it

Salmon and steelhead that were once abundant in this great watershed are now at risk of extinction, a preventable disaster that can be averted by moving forward with the planned removal of four aging hydroelectric dams. While the Klamath River was once the third-largest salmon producer on the west coast, its fish runs have been declining for decades.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

South Gate charts new course to rear fish that once thrived in L.A.

The city of South Gate plans to transform a weedy and rutted field overlooking an industrialized stretch of the Los Angeles River into a sylvan retreat boasting a nursery for rare native fish that thrived before the explosive growth of Southern California after World War II.

Aquafornia news Civil Eats

Will climate change mean less farming in the West?

The three-year Colorado River System Conservation Pilot Program (SCPP) started out modestly, with just 15 participating farms and ranches the first year, but grew quickly as farmers realized they could earn passive income for changing their irrigation patterns, turning off the water they diverted from the river earlier in the year when it carries more snowmelt, and—in a few cases—fallowing some fields all together.

Aquafornia news Ventura County Star

Ventura sued over State Water Project environmental impact report

A nonprofit that advocates on behalf of water issues is suing Ventura for what it claims is a faulty environmental report prepared in anticipation of the city connecting to state water.

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

Blog: Providing flows for fish

Because there are moral, aesthetic, and legal obligations to provide fish with water in streams, biologists like me often get asked the question “Just how much water do the fish need, anyway?” This, of course, is the wrong question…

Aquafornia news Mt. Shasta Herald

Opinion: Removing dams is key to fish recovery

Removing the four aging hydroelectric dams from the river would significantly improve ecological and geomorphic conditions throughout the Klamath watershed and play a key role in returning salmon to stable population levels.

Aquafornia news Capital Press

Forecasters see neither La Niña nor El Niño

The tropical Pacific Ocean probably won’t be particularly warm or cool this winter, climatologists said Thursday, depriving forecasters of their best clue to how much snow will pile up in the Cascade Range and the rest of the Northwest.

Aquafornia news Gilroy Dispatch

Environmental report favors new reservoir

The project would build a new dam and expanded reservoir on the North Fork of Pacheco Creek that could hold 140,000 acre-feet of water, a substantial increase from the 5,500-acre-foot capacity of the existing reservoir built 80 years ago.

Aquafornia news Arizona Republic

Opinion: What’s next for the Colorado River? Here’s how Arizona will find out

It didn’t take long for the completion of the Drought Contingency Plan to create value to Arizona and the Colorado River Basin. Its focus on stabilizing Lake Mead and creating incentives to “bank” water in the reservoir already are paying dividends.

Aquafornia news The New Republic

Opinion: The water wars are here

Heather Hansman’s new book Downriver: Into the Future of Water in the West explores the water emergency with remarkable calm and even-handedness. She focuses on a single river, the Green River, where ranchers, frackers, rafters, fishermen, and urbanites all fight for their share of the water, while contending with Byzantine state policies.

Aquafornia news Ventura County Star

Camarillo officials celebrate groundbreaking for desalter plant

The groundbreaking ceremony was decades in the making for the North Pleasant Valley Groundwater Desalter Plant, which aims to convert brackish water from the Calleguas Creek watershed into potable water for the city of Camarillo.

Aquafornia news LAist.com

You can rip out your SoCal lawn for money again — now without landscaping abominations

The Metropolitan Water District’s new rebate program is still about removing grass, but it has a tighter focus on improving the looks and sustainability of our collective front yards. And it pays $2 for every square foot of lawn you remove, even more in some areas where local water agencies supplement the rebate.

Aquafornia news Somach Simmons & Dunn

Blog: State Water Board authorizes major recycled water project

Efforts to increase recycled water use in California got a significant boost this week with the State Water Board’s issuance of an order authorizing the Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District’s program to deliver an average of 45 million gallons per day of recycled water from the Sacramento Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant …

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Pure Water Monterey recycled water project delays continue

Completion and operation of the much-anticipated Pure Water Monterey recycled water project have been delayed again and it is now expected to miss another key water delivery deadline set for the end of this year.

Aquafornia news Bay Nature Magazine

Review of the Pacific warm blob sequel: Not yet a phenomena like the original

The new marine heatwave, which started spreading out from the Gulf of Alaska in June and now covers much of the Pacific Ocean, has not yet fully become The Blob 2, particularly in California. Which means the effects, too, might not be as dire as last time.

Aquafornia news Napa Valley Register

Opinion: Farms, the environment, and the future of water

If we don’t manage groundwater pumping, levels of groundwater as well as rivers and streams will decline, compromising the wildlife, farms and cities that depend on them. By managing our groundwater with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, we are plugging leaks in the system.

Aquafornia news Western Water

Friday Top of the Scroll: Could “black swan” events spawned by climate change wreak havoc in the Colorado River Basin?

The Colorado River Basin’s 20 years of drought and the dramatic decline in water levels at the river’s key reservoirs have pressed water managers to adapt to challenging conditions. But even more extreme — albeit rare — droughts or floods that could overwhelm water managers may lie ahead in the Basin as the effects of climate change take hold, say a group of scientists.

Could “Black Swan” Events Spawned by Climate Change Wreak Havoc in the Colorado River Basin?
WESTERN WATER NOTEBOOK: Scientists say a warming planet increases odds of extreme drought and flood; officials say they’re trying to include those possibilities in their plans

Runoff from what some describe as an "epic flood" in 1983 strained the capacity of Glen Canyon Dam to convey water fast enough.  The Colorado River Basin’s 20 years of drought and the dramatic decline in water levels at the river’s key reservoirs have pressed water managers to adapt to challenging conditions. But even more extreme — albeit rare — droughts or floods that could overwhelm water managers may lie ahead in the Basin as the effects of climate change take hold, say a group of scientists. They argue that stakeholders who are preparing to rewrite the operating rules of the river should plan now for how to handle these so-called “black swan” events so they’re not blindsided.

Aquafornia news ABC News San Diego

California professor awarded grant to harness water from fog

A California State University, Monterey Bay professor will receive a substantial grant from the Defense Department to find methods to harness fog. … The DoD is interested in the study … which may be useful for military personnel in remote foggy regions.

Aquafornia news KCET

Blog: Unquenchable thirst: Groundwater bill could shift state’s water management approach

Although its target was narrow — it was designed to undercut the capacity of Cadiz, Inc. to pump annually upwards of 16 billion gallons of groundwater in eastern San Bernardino County and sell it to ever-thirsty Southern California — the legislation may prove to be far-reaching in its consequences.

Aquafornia news Visalia Times Delta

Friant-Kern’s $400 million fix sunk by state legislature

In March, newly-elected Senator Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger) proposed a $400 million windfall to finance repairs for the canal under Senate Bill 559… But the bipartisan bill, much like canal it was designed to fix, is sunk — for now. The bill failed to reach the Senate floor for a vote before the Sept. 13 legislative deadline.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Opinion: Farmers are not to blame for Valley subsidence, but they can help solve it with water

Why do farmers pump the water under their land (which California law clearly states belongs to them) in the first place? Unfortunately, you’ll rarely read the answer to this question in the press, but it is the most important part of the story.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Thursday Top of the Scroll: California’s Trump-blocking environmental bill may be delayed in fight over water

Facing fierce lobbying from well-financed water districts, the bill’s author, Senate President Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, acknowledged Tuesday that the bill might get pulled from consideration until next year.

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Aquafornia news AgAlert

State seeks comment on its Water Resilience Portfolio

In a new effort to balance California’s water needs, Gov. Gavin Newsom has directed state agencies to prepare a water plan known as the California Water Resilience Portfolio that includes “a comprehensive strategy to build a climate-resilient water system.”

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Blog: The Russian River: Managing at the watershed level

Water managers across the state face new and more extreme challenges as the climate warms—from balancing the sometimes conflicting needs of urban, agricultural, and environmental water users to reducing risks from fires, floods, and droughts. We talked to Grant Davis, general manager of the Sonoma County Water Agency, about how his agency is approaching these challenges comprehensively, at the scale of the entire watershed.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Is a pipeline from Paradise to Chico even possible? Supervisors approve study to find out

A major groundwater sustainability study was approved by the Butte County Board of Supervisors which will look at different aspects into future water allocations and conservation in Butte County, including the possibility of building a pipeline from Paradise to Chico.

Aquafornia news CALMatters

Opinion: In going after Trump, California is going too far with environmental legislation

We cannot advance the fight for environmental quality by declaring that all science stopped on a specific date. If it’s dumb for the President to close his eyes to science, it’s dumber for us to follow him down that rabbit hole.

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Aquafornia news Oroville Mercury-Register

Editorial: Chico, Paradise problems may have single solution

Of all the chicken-or-the-egg dilemmas that will determine Paradise’s recovery from the Camp Fire, water may be the most critical. To rebuild, the town needs water from the Paradise Irrigation District. To survive, PID needs the town to rebuild. One can’t happen without the other, and it’s been tough to figure out how it’s going to work.

Aquafornia news USA Today

California’s wildfire season is off to a quiet start. That could change this week

Forecasts of strong winds in Southern California this week have heightened concerns that the state’s fire season, tame in its early stages compared to the devastation of last year, could swing into destructive, even deadly mode.

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Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

Blog: The good, the bad, and the ugly of California’s state-mandated urban water conservation

The state’s drought response was seen by some as an overwhelming success and by others as an unprecedented, and possibly illegal, invasion of local water suppliers’ management… Through analyzing the practical outcomes of the state’s drought response, the overall experience can be distilled into what worked and what didn’t.

Aquafornia news Davis Enterprise

Opinion: Residential graywater for outdoor irrigation

When the next drought rolls around, and it will, we could be sitting pretty with healthy trees and landscapes using less water from the Sierra than we do now. How could we accomplish this? The answer is graywater, defined in California as the discharge from laundry wash water, showers, and bathroom sinks.

Aquafornia news Union of Concerned Scientists

Blog: The world is in a water crisis and climate change is making it worse

Presently, three (Los Angeles, Phoenix, and San Diego) of the top ten most populous cities in the US–home to about 7 million people–are within ‘extremely high’ water stress regions. … Twenty years from now, another four cities (New York, Chicago, San Antonio, and San Jose) may experience such conditions.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Opinion: Newsom plan best to fix California water woes

We applaud Gov. Gavin Newsom’s efforts in leading discussions with the United States Department of the Interior, public water agencies and environmental groups to craft voluntary agreements that will restore the ecological health of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta while providing California with clean, reliable water.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Monday Top of the Scroll: Water users fight California’s anti-Trump environmental bill

Senate Bill 1 has strong support from some of California’s most influential environmental and labor organizations, including some that helped get Gov. Gavin Newsom elected. But several of California’s water suppliers and agricultural interests … oppose the measure. This includes the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which has made SB 1 a top lobbying priority.

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Aquafornia news Redding Record-Searchlight

Shasta Dam case appealed to California Supreme Court

Westlands Water District has filed an appeal with the California Supreme Court in an attempt to overturn a lower court ruling and get on with assessing the effects of raising the height of Shasta Dam.

Aquafornia news Pasadena Star-News

Opinion: Science shunned by Trump once more

When the salmon are healthy, the world is healthy. That means the waters are clean and fast-running and the bottom gravel is clean. It means the rivers … are pouring as they should into our oceans, bringing nutrients and sediments into the salt- and fresh-water interplay.

Aquafornia news The Ukiah Daily Journal

Ukiah’s wastewater no longer being wasted

The city of Ukiah made its first delivery of recycled water through its extensive Purple Pipe system this week, putting about 2 million gallons of water reclaimed from local sinks, showers and toilets into an irrigation pond just south of the Ukiah Valley Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Aquafornia news Arizona Public Media

Audio: Using computer models to predict the effect of climate change on groundwater in the West

Utilities typically turn to groundwater to make up for surface water depleted by drought. University of Arizona hydrology professor Laura Condon is using computer models to predict what climate change will do to the availability of groundwater. She is exploring a series of “what if” scenarios on how to respond to water shortages.

Aquafornia news Arizona Republic

Cleanup of cancer-causing toxins in Phoenix has been delayed for years

The water beneath a large swath of Phoenix isn’t fit to drink. A plume of toxic chemicals has tainted the groundwater for decades, and it’s now at the center of a bitter fight over how the aquifer should be cleaned up and what should happen to the water in the future.

Aquafornia news St. George News

Utah water managers seek public input on regional water conservation plans

According to a draft of the Utah Regional Water Conservation Plan, the Lower Colorado River South region … is slated to reduce water use 14%, to 262 gallons per capita by 2030 and ultimately 22%, with 237 gallons per capita by 2065. … New laws and ordinances may be passed to help enforce reduced water use.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

San Geronimo homeowners open land to salmon restoration

As homes along San Geronimo Creek face the threat of erosion and coho salmon face the threat of extinction, a series of projects nearly a decade in the making is working to find a win-win solution.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Editorial: Here’s hoping salmon habitat is finally being protected

Hopefully, the Board of Supervisors’ approval of a study on construction in the San Geronimo Valley watershed is a strong step forward to ending more than a decade of costly studies and lawsuits.

Aquafornia news U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Blog: Marsh of Dreams

Over the past 200 years, California has lost 97% of its wetland habitat. The Carpinteria Salt Marsh Reserve, part of the UC’s Natural Reserve System, represents about 3% of what remains of California’s coastal wetlands. Due to a century of draining for land use and land development, the marsh has dwindled to 230 acres.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Droughts, tunnels & clean water: A conversation on California water policy

Recently, the Sacramento Press Club hosted a panel discussion on the future of California water featuring Secretary Wade Crowfoot, Metropolitan General Manager Jeff Kightlinger, and State Water Contractors General Manager Jennifer Pierre.

Aquafornia news Arizona Public Media

New border wall could further deplete groundwater supplies

According to a Customs and Border Protection spokesperson, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument has identified existing groundwater wells construction contractors can use. In addition, the contractor has proposed drilling new wells along the border for the wall project. Currently, the construction contractor estimates needing about 84,000 gallons of water per day for the project.

Aquafornia news Arizona Daily Star

Below-average rainfall this summer could push Tucson into short-term drought

Tucson’s below average rainfall for August, which is typically the wettest month during monsoon season, might mean it’s time to face the music and prepare for a potential short-term drought, according to local weather experts.

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Aquafornia news University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

Blog: Climate change has altered winter precipitation across the Northern Hemisphere

A team of scientists has successfully teased out the influence of human-caused climate change on wintertime precipitation over the last century, showing that the warming climate altered wintertime rainfall and snowfall across the Northern Hemisphere.

Aquafornia news Tri County Sentry

Groundwater workshop causes concern for Oxnard

Groundwater in Ventura County had a severe talk about reductions as the Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency held its fourth workshop about the future. The proposed new plan will commence in 2020 and will start slow but will ramp up and reduce groundwater pumping in the area significantly.

Aquafornia news Audubon

Blog: Water to flow in Colorado River delta again

However, this is brackish water. For a few months we will see it in the Colorado below Morelos Dam, reminding us of the river that once flowed there. It is agricultural drainage that comes from farms in southwestern Arizona that use the Colorado River to irrigate in the desert.

Aquafornia news The Sun-Gazette

Water utilities being held liable for wildfires

At its Aug. 5 meeting, the Visalia City Council unanimously approved a letter of support for California Water Service’s effort to eliminate water suppliers’ liability due to wildfires. California Water Service, which operates Visalia and 22 other municipal water systems throughout the state, says the threat of legal action against water suppliers is “arcane” legal reasoning and could actually put water users at risk.

Aquafornia news The Sun-Gazette

Canal plans to bypass subsidence with 30-mile parallel path

As the old saying goes, if you can’t go through something, go around it. And at an estimated cost of $357 million, the Friant Water Authority is contemplating a 30-mile parallel canal to circumvent the portion of the Friant Kern Canal that has been negatively affected by subsidence.

Aquafornia news Colusa County Sun-Herald

Groundwater authority to host public workshops in Colusa and Glenn counties

The Colusa and Glenn groundwater authorities will host a pair of public workshops about local groundwater conditions and areas of concern in portions of Glenn and Colusa counties…

Aquafornia news Fox News

Farmers concerned over how mandatory water cuts from Colorado River will impact agriculture

Nevada and Arizona, concerned that a 20-year drought has dried up much of the river, are trying to rein in water use in an effort to save the disappearing river. The river’s water levels next year are projected to be just below the threshold of 1,090 feet laid out in the Drought Contingency Plan that was signed earlier this year…

Aquafornia news Natural Resources Defense Council

Blog: Why SB 1 must ensure that CESA applies to the federal CVP

Now, some are arguing that the bill should be stripped of its longstanding provision applying the State’s own Endangered Species Act to the operations of the federal Central Valley Project. Here’s why that’s a terrible idea.

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

California Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot to be keynote speaker at Water Summit

Crowfoot oversees a sprawling agency of 19,000 employees engaged in the stewardship of the state’s forests and natural lands, rivers and waterways, coast and ocean, fish and wildlife and energy development. Now in its 36th year, the Water Summit features a variety of policymakers, experts and stakeholders discussing important topics in water across California and the West.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Weekly

Supreme Court won’t consider Marina’s challenge to Cal Am desalination plant

With every passing week, California American Water clears more hurdles as it sets out to build a desalination plant near Marina. The most recent victory for the proponents of the $329 million project came on Aug. 28 at the California Supreme Court.

Aquafornia news ScienceDaily

How California wildfires can impact water availability

A new study by scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory uses a numerical model of an important watershed in California to shed light on how wildfires can affect large-scale hydrological processes, such as stream flow, groundwater levels, and snowpack and snowmelt. The team found that post-wildfire conditions resulted in greater winter snowpack and subsequently greater summer runoff as well as increased groundwater storage.

Aquafornia news Stanford Water in the West

How a diverse water portfolio may quench the thirst of California’s future water needs

Gov. Gavin Newsom recently signed an executive order to develop a comprehensive strategy for making the state’s water system climate-resilient. … In a related study published earlier this year, Stanford researchers Newsha Ajami and Patricia (Gonzales) Whitby examined effective strategies to rising water scarcity concerns.

Aquafornia news Time

How to save the Colorado River from climate change & overuse

A few years ago, Paul Kehmeier did something unusual: He decided not to water about 60% of his fields. He was one of a few dozen farmers and landowners in Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico who volunteered for a pilot program meant to test out a new water-conservation strategy: Paying farmers to temporarily leave their fields dry, to save the Colorado River.

Aquafornia news Science Magazine

Crystalline nets harvest water from desert air, turn carbon dioxide into liquid fuel

When Omar Yaghi was growing up in Jordan, outside of Amman, his neighborhood received water for only about 5 hours once every 2 weeks. … At a meeting last week here, in another area thirsting for freshwater, Yaghi, a chemist at the University of California, Berkeley, reported that he and his colleagues have created a solar-powered device that could provide water for millions in water-stressed regions.

Aquafornia news The Hill

Opinion: Colorado River: The West’s precious, but limited resource

Water users in the Colorado River Basin have survived the drought through a combination of water storage infrastructure and voluntary actions to protect reservoir storage and water supply. Adoption of drought contingency plans this summer, developed over years of collaborative negotiation, takes the next step by implementing mandatory action to reduce risk and protect limited water supplies.

Aquafornia news Woodland Daily Democrat

Woodland banking surplus winter water for use during summer

Woodland is sitting atop what is essentially an underground reservoir containing millions of gallons of freshwater. And for much of the past three years, the city has been banking excess water during the winter months to use during the summer when it isn’t allowed to make withdrawals from the Sacramento River.

Aquafornia news San Joaquin Valley Sun

Controversial water legislation heads to California Assembly floor

Senate Bill 1 is seen as a pre-emptive strike by California lawmakers before the Trump administration ushers in new biological opinions to alter water deliveries through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Sacramento’s Capitol Mall fountain could be demolished as part of building project

A proposal by the California Department of General Services to remove the fountain at the head of Capitol Mall has distressed preservationists, who say it is a historic icon that should remain.

Aquafornia news Glendale News-Press

Many Foothills residents will have higher water bills in September

Roughly 33,000 residents of foothill communities will see an increase in their water bills beginning Sept. 1, when a pair of recently approved rate hikes are set to go into effect. On Tuesday, Crescenta Valley Water District board members voted 4-1 to go forward with a 7% increase in water rates and a 4% hike in sewer rates.

Aquafornia news Antelope Valley Press

Payments required for those who pump excess groundwater

Those with wells within the Antelope Valley who pump more groundwater than is allowed under a 2015 court settlement will be required to pay between $415 per acre-foot and $948 per acre-foot to replace the additional water, based on assessments approved Wednesday by the Antelope Valley Watermaster Board.

Aquafornia news The Confluence

Blog: Improved oxidation is water wizardry against drought

Increasingly, California’s water will come from transforming the water we flush down our toilets, sinks, and washing machines into sparkling, pure water. Indeed, potable water reuse seems like a no-brainer. So why don’t we do it? In some places, we already do, and those places have lessons for the rest of the state and beyond.

Aquafornia news Water News Network

Blog: California moves to boost recycled water

A new plan recommends four strategies to advance water reuse in California over the next three decades – an important part of both the state and regional water resilience portfolio.

Aquafornia news Redding Record-Searchlight

Order to stop Shasta Dam raising report upheld by appeals court

A state court of appeal has upheld a Shasta County Superior Court decision to stop a Fresno-based water district from doing an analysis of the effects of raising the height of Shasta Dam. The Westlands Water District had asked the California Third District Court of Appeal to overturn the lower court’s preliminary injunction that ordered the district to stop work on an environmental impact report.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Prop. 64 didn’t stop illegal cannabis farms on public lands

When California voters legalized cannabis in 2016, supporters of Proposition 64 hoped it would significantly reduce the scourge of black market weed cultivation, particularly on public lands. Yet nearly two years later, illegal marijuana grows are still rampant across wide swaths of the national forests in California, leaving behind a trail of garbage, human waste, dead animals and caustic chemicals.

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 The San Diego Union-Tribune

Escondido hires firm to plan reverse osmosis water treatment plant

Escondido is moving forward on a reverse osmosis treatment facility that will reduce the city’s wastewater and also provide more recycled water for agricultural use. The project will divert millions of gallons of water from the discharge pipeline, and turn it into highly treated irrigation water. It’s expected to begin construction in early 2020…

Aquafornia news KUNC

Can a ‘wild’ river survive in a rapidly drying West?

Finding a river in the West that still behaves like a Western river — one that rises and falls with the annual rush of melting snow — is tough. … But one major Western waterway has achieved almost mythical status for its wildness: the Yampa in northwestern Colorado.

Aquafornia news New Times San Luis Obispo

Paso Robles groundwater basin included in high-tech Stanford study

The Paso Robles groundwater basin is one of three basins in the state chosen to participate in a Stanford University study that will deploy state-of-the-art aerial electromagnetic technology to better understand its characteristics.

Aquafornia news KCRA TV

New water park to open summer 2020 in Northern California

California’s Great America announced it will open South Bay Shores in summer 2020. The expanded space will include three new water attractions, more food locations, cabanas and a sandy beach area.

Aquafornia news One Truckee River

Blog: The importance of Pyramid Lake water quality

There are a lot of reasons our watershed is unique. It’s a high elevation terminal watershed, what could be more special? Well, another contributing factor is that the terminus of the Truckee River watershed exists on the largest Native American Reservation in Nevada.

Aquafornia news The Salt Lake Tribune

Utah sets new goals to cut water use, but critics say nation’s thirstiest state could do better

Critics say the plan, out for public comment through Sept. 25 before final adoption by the Utah Division of Water Resources, goes too easy on the surging St. George metro area, where daily per-capita water use exceeds 300 gallons — a high number some officials say is deceiving. The plan looks for a 16% reduction averaged across the state by 2030 and up to 20% in much of Utah.

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.

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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 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 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 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 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.

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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 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 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 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 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 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.

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