Topic: Drought



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

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

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

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

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

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Blog: 2014 was the never-ending Earth Log story

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

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

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

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

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

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

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

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Amid flakes, snow levels don’t jettison drought worries

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

Aquafornia news Associated Press

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

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

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Citing drought, California town rushes water plant

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

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

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

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

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Sierra Nevada snowpack levels are greater than a year ago

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

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

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

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

Aquafornia news KPCC Southern California Public Radio

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

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

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Authorities recover thousands of archaeological artifacts taken from Lake Oroville

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

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

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

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

Aquafornia news The San Luis Obispo Tribune

Cambria outdoor watering policy to be revisited

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

Aquafornia news Woodland Daily Democrat

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

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

Aquafornia news KQED Public Media for Northern Calif.

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

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

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Recent storms send Yosemite waterfalls rushing back

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

Aquafornia news Redding Record Searchlight

Blog: Eleven trillion gallons to go

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

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Mt. Tam watershed reservoirs near capacity from recent storms

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

Aquafornia news KQED Public Media for Northern Calif.

Blog: Storms a boon for rainwater harvesters

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

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

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

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

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog by UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences

Blog: Drought a ghost of Christmas past — and present

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

Aquafornia news KCRA Sacramento

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

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

Aquafornia news BBC News

California’s water woes quantified

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

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Feds forecast good chance of wet conditions for next three months

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

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

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

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

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

Water district considering another rate hike

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

Aquafornia news Davis Enterprise

Rain Recyclers saves water for another day

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

Aquafornia news Oakland Tribune

Editorial: Southern California’s sad water conservation effort

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

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

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

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

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Remembering roaring Christmas floods of decades past

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

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

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

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

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California gets more rain, 1 big mudslide

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

Aquafornia news The New York Times

States in parched Southwest take steps to bolster Lake Mead

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

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Storm to blanket mountains with snow

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

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

California’s water deficit: 11 trillion gallons

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

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Another week of wet weather covers California

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

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Rain could spell trouble for California water conservation

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

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Daily News

Northern California looks to beat past Decembers

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

Aquafornia news Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA)

Federal, state agencies release Interagency 2015 Drought Strategy Draft

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

Aquafornia news Associated Press

New storm drops rain across soggy California

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

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Commentary: On Gardening — Time to lose the lawn

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

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

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

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

Aquafornia news Associated Press

More rain forecast for California

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

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Commentary: Government is being a drip on the drought

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

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California cleans up as storm hits Southwest

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

Aquafornia news NBC

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

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

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

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

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

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Flood-causing deluge amounts to just drops in California drought

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

Aquafornia news Monterey County Herald

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

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

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

How much will heavy rains ease California’s drought?

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

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Heavy rains, winds, flooding slam Northern California

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

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Winter storms finally starting to boost storage levels in key reservoirs

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

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

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

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

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Once again, water plan stalemated

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

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California storm hits south after drenching north

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

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Gardeners, nurseries struggle to adapt as drought cuts their business

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

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Big storm arrives — rain, wind, outages packing punch

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

Aquafornia news U.S. Geological Survey

Blog: Rain for thirsty California

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

Aquafornia news UT San Diego

Editorial: Congress must help California deal with drought

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

Aquafornia news Whittier Daily News

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

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

Aquafornia news Associated Press

With future uncertain, Colorado shields its water

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

Aquafornia news Water in the West

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

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

Aquafornia news KQED Radio

Despite rain, Coho salmon still struggling (with audio)

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

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Australia proves desalination works

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

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Storm to bring river of rain, snow to Sacramento region

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

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

East Bay poised for higher water rates

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

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

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

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

Aquafornia news Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA)

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

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

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Recent rain not enough to ease California drought

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

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Santa Cruz water rationing lifted as big storm approaches

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

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

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

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

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

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

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

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Feds: Don’t blame California drought on warming

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

Aquafornia news KQED Public Media for Northern Calif.

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

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

Aquafornia news KQED Public Media for Northern Calif.

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

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

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Commentary: Feinstein’s efforts disappointingly undemocratic

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

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Animal deaths spike on Sierra roads as drought hits habitat

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

Aquafornia news UT San Diego

Bill would force HOAs to allow fake grass

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

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

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

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

Aquafornia news Sacramento Business Journal

​Despite drought, California exports on track for record year

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

Aquafornia news U.S. Geological Survey

News Release: Data-driven insights on the California drought

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

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Blog: House Republicans push for California drought bill

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

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

Water conservation could mean fewer redwood trees

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

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

Drought dries rural wells, residents carry water in buckets

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

Aquafornia news Associated Press

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

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

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Editorial: Emergency drought bill deserves to die

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

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Blog: 2014 Water Year in Review, Part 3

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

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Pajaro Valley farmers welcome wet weather

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

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Roseville hits high water conservation mark for 2014

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

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

El Niño not expected to help California drought

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

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

With California drought, Coachella Valley consumption steady

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

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Adaptable turf in times of drought

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

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Flash flooding strands drivers in California

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

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Lake Tahoe ski season off to a snowy start

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

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

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

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

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

California needs more rain, any way you count it

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

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

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

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

Aquafornia news KCRA Sacramento

The Riggs Report: Protecting dead lawns

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

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

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

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

Aquafornia news Associated Press

14 people rescued from flash flood in California

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

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Storm soaks region, but drought’s grip still tight

Parts of the Bay Area have gotten almost as much rain in the past two days as fell all of last year. Recent storms put us well above our normal rainfall average. And — yes — we’re still in a drought.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Editorial: Sacramento region has no excuse to let up on conserving water

It’s encouraging that Sacramento-region residents are doing better at conserving water. … Yet we shouldn’t congratulate ourselves too much.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Editorial: Enjoy the rain, but consider L.A.’s water needs

At long last, and thank goodness — the rain. … As much as we need the rain, though, what Southern California and the rest of the state really need is to refill our biggest reservoir — the Sierra snowpack — because that’s where most of our water comes from.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Drought saps supply of Christmas trees in California

This season, customers of Martin’s Living Christmas Co. won’t be seeing as much of the classic Christmas pine, which requires more water than spruce varieties and is more likely to brown in the heat. … The company’s drought-conscious move comes as Christmas tree growers struggle with the effects of the state’s lack of rain.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

California rain: ‘Six straight hours of rain,’ and drought continues

A record-setting storm covering Southern California was expected to begin tapering off Wednesday after triggering dozens of evacuations and putting city crews in Ventura and Los Angeles counties on alert for mudslides. … The storm left Northern California sopping too.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

In midst of California’s drought, a rainy day is a welcome sight

This might be the only state in the nation where a rainy day — complete with blinding sheets of water, shoe-sopping flooded intersections and chalk gray skies — puts people in a good mood. And with good reason.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Report: California drought threatens groundwater

Three years of drought have taken a heavy toll on California groundwater supplies, with hundreds more wells being dug this year, one of the driest on record, a state report released Tuesday said.

Aquafornia news Appeal-Democrat

Yuba City likes state water allocation

California public agencies requested 4.1 million acre-feet of state water for 2015. For now, they’ll get 90 percent less. … Yuba City is the only local agency with a share of State Project Water.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Updated report shows continued groundwater depletion

The California Department of Water Resources report shows this year through September more than 350 new water wells were drilled in Fresno and Tulare counties, the most in the state.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Rain drops for a second day on parched California

Hours of downpours brought California some relief from a devastating drought and produced few of the problems such as flooding and mudslides that the long-awaited storm had threatened – at least so far.

Aquafornia news KPBS Radio News

Rancho Santa Fe residents no longer biggest water users in California

Rancho Santa Fe residents lost the dubious distinction of being the biggest water users in California with new numbers released Tuesday by the State Water Resources Control Board.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Sacramento’s seasonal rainfall total inches toward average

Recent storms aren’t enough to relieve the drought, but rainfall totals for the season are inching closer to average.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

California slips on water conservation

California’s commitment to water conservation in the face of epic drought appears to have waned with the end of summer: Statewide, water use was down 6.7 percent in October compared with the same month in 2013. … The data were presented Tuesday in Sacramento at a meeting of the State Water Resources Control Board, which regulates water rights and usage.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Despite drought, water usage climbs in some parts of Orange County

You might think that in October with no real rain, we’d conserve. Think again. While most of Southern California heeded that message – decreasing water usage 1.4 percent – customers of a handful of Orange County water suppliers actually increased their consumption compared with last October, according to data released Tuesday.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Rain soothes Californians, but state reservoirs in bad shape

The recent storms are doing wonders for the California psyche, but it will take more than a few days of rain to pull the state out of its precipitation doldrums.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Despite drought, Californians failing to conserve enough water

Troubling new numbers out Tuesday show that in October the state reduced urban water use by just 6.7 percent compared with the same month the year before. … The figures released by the state’s water board and analyzed by this newspaper also showed a dramatic difference in conservation between the north and south.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Daily News

California’s West Nile virus deaths highest this year compared to nation

In the shadow of the Ebola scares and Enterovirus D68 cases, West Nile virus left its mark across California this year, killing 29 people, nearly twice as many as last year.

Aquafornia news San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Los Angeles leaders learn water-saving lessons from Australia

When TreePeople’s Andy Lipkis returned from Australia last week, he couldn’t get out of his head the response people had when he told them most of the rain that falls in Los Angeles escapes to the sea.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

State projects 10% of full water deliveries

State officials announced Monday that with the drought persisting, water agencies can expect only 10 percent of their full allotted amounts of water next year through the canals and pipelines of the State Water Project.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Rain brings hopes, fears to drought-dry California

A Pacific storm moved into drought-dry California on Tuesday, bringing hopes for much-needed moisture but fears of mudflows on wildfire-scarred hillsides.

Aquafornia news San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Southern California in need of water usage behavioral shift

As almost all of California slips into a fourth year of severe, extreme or exceptional drought, are there similar benchmark behavioral changes we can expect regarding water?

Aquafornia news Tahoe Daily Tribune

Sierra Nevada lake nearly dry after five years of drought

Five years of drought has reduced Washoe Lake to little more than a puddle, and Park Supervisor Jennifer Dawson says unless the Sierra gets some moisture this winter, it could very well be dry next year.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Rancho Santa Fe ranked as state’s largest residential water hog

Behind the groves of orange trees and gated driveways in this wealthy San Diego County enclave lie estates boasting Gatsby-sized lawns, resort-style swimming pools, water falls and even putting greens.

Aquafornia news KQED Public Media for Northern Calif.

Blog: California drought boosts ‘Cash for Grass’ programs

One way water companies are nudging homeowners to conserve? Asking them to rip out their grassy lawns.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: State Water Project expects scant deliveries next year

The State Water Project, which carries runoff from the mountains of Northern California to much of the state, expects to limit annual water deliveries to 10 percent of what is requested in the coming year due to the prolonged drought.

Aquafornia news Natural Resources Defense Council Switchboard

Blog: Thanksgiving water-saving tips

This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful that — despite the epic drought in California — we still have enough water for essential uses … like cooking up a delicious holiday feast.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Experts offer recommendations for Southern California drought

A group of water experts recommended this week that Southern California should do much more to address the region’s long-term water problems.

Aquafornia news San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Commentary: Drought talk around Thanksgiving table — Farmers versus urbanites

Would your Thanksgiving table be ruined if the stuffing or side dishes did not contain almonds? … Then why are our water policymakers treating the almond farmers like they were producing a life-sustaining staple?

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Muir Woods coho salmon vanish, fanning fears of extinction

The cherished coho salmon that historically wriggled their way past beachgoers up Redwood Creek into Muir Woods vanished this year and are now on the verge of extinction, prompting a last-ditch attempt by fisheries biologists to save the genetically unique species.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Blog: Reservoir and water conditions for December 1

This post is a collection of graphic representations of current reservoir and hydrologic conditions drawn primarily from the Department of Water Resources website, as well as a few others.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Sacramento to speed up water meter installations

City of Sacramento officials plan to speed up installing water meters at homes and businesses, aiming to beat a state-mandated 2025 deadline by five years and potentially saving millions of dollars.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Commentary: Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s drought relief bill needs closer scrutiny

No one is more adept at turning crises into opportunities than representatives of special interests in Washington. And there are few better opportunities-in-disguise than the California drought.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Commentary: California drought puts a chill on Los Angeles pool time

Los Angeles equals sunshine. Yet, not all is serene in La La Land. There is way too much of a good thing.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Storm series shows how Northern California weather should look

Rainy day after rainy day may seem unusual to Californians used to the recent dry winters amid a historic drought, but forecasters said Sunday that the current wet stretch is what normal looks like.

Aquafornia news NBC Southern California

Experts say prolonged drought has left trees unstable, vulnerable (video)

Thirsty trees affected by the drought could certainly use some rain, but it’s a delicate balance.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Where grass is greener, a push to share drought’s burden

In these hills overlooking San Diego, the only indication of the continuing drought — now among the worst in California’s recorded history — is the perpetually cloudless sky.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Editorial: What we’re thankful for

In addition to the wisdom voters showed in approving the water bond, state and local officials have been surprisingly smart when it comes to drought and other water issues.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Daily News

Councilman Bob Blumenfield breaks ground on Reseda drought-tolerant garden

Councilman Bob Blumenfield helped break ground Monday on a 20,000-square-foot, drought-tolerant garden designed to serve as a water-wise example for Angelenos amid the state’s record-setting dry spell.

Aquafornia news National Geographic

Record drought reveals stunning changes along Colorado River

My partner DeEdda McLean and I had come to this area west of Mexican Hat, Utah, to kayak across Lake Powell, a reservoir formed by the confluence of the San Juan and the Colorado Rivers and the holding power of Glen Canyon Dam, which lies just over the border in Arizona. Yet in place of a majestic reservoir, we saw only the thin ribbon of a reemergent river channel, which had been inundated for most of the past three decades by the lake. 

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: California opens door to new chapter in water policy

For California water managers, 2014 has been one for the record books. Reservoirs have dropped to near-record lows, surface water deliveries have been slashed and some communities are rationing water to keep supplies in reserve for next year. But amid these challenging conditions, California voters opened the door for long-term solutions when they passed Proposition 1 on Nov. 4.

Aquafornia news CBS San Francisco

Make it rain: Cloud seeders coaxing water to fall and relieve California’s drought (with video)

As California’s drought lingers on and reservoirs dry up, small planes are trying to coax the water to come down.

Aquafornia news San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: As key California reservoir nears 37-year low, new billboards urge water conservation

Water level at Lake Oroville, the second-largest reservoir in the state water delivery system, is at 26 percent capacity and is approaching its historic low set in 1977, state water contractors announced Tuesday.

Aquafornia news Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

Upland brown lawn case continued to January

A lack of an available courtroom has once again delayed the trial between Upland and homeowner over a brown lawn.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Blog: Drought Watch — It’s the heat and the humidity

The severity of the current drought is sparking keen interest in seeing how this past water year (October 2013–September 2014)—and more importantly, the past combination of years—ranks in comparison to other droughts. As noted in a PPIC fact sheet, this drought is one of the driest. What’s more, this drought is so challenging because it has been very warm. … Temperature plays an important role in exacerbating water scarcity during drought. 

Aquafornia news KCRA Sacramento

LiveCopter3 flies over a scary-low Lake Oroville (with video)

California’s drought has taken a huge toll on Lake Oroville, the second-largest reservoir in state.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Indio passes additional water use restrictions

The city of Indio has passed additional measures to regulate water use during the state’s severe drought.

Aquafornia news Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

Upland man facing possible jail time for failure to water lawn

A jury could decide Monday if resident Fernand Bogman will get jail time or a fine for failing to water his lawn. The homeowner is being charged with two misdemeanors for failing to properly maintain his front yard and parkway space.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

Rainfall deficit: Recent storms help, but won’t end drought

With rain falling in Humboldt County and winter fast approaching, there’s a natural tendency for people to breathe a sigh of relief, forget about the ongoing drought and turn their attention to other pressing issues. But even with intermittent showers and some moisture still hanging in the air, the drought in California continues, and it’s unlikely to end any time soon.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Commentary: Getting our money’s worth from $7.5 billion water bond

Whether Prop. 1 delivers on its promise, however, depends on what happens next. One danger is that Prop. 1 will lull Californians into believing that we have solved our water troubles. We haven’t. Nothing that Prop. 1 can do will redress the current drought.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Commentary: Coca-Cola gave Los Angeles residents ‘free’ rain barrels. What’s the catch?

I like recycling. I like innovative solutions to California’s drought. … But while you’re hosing down those corn syrup barrels, why don’t you also put some thought to how you can phase out bottled water operations in California and other water-stressed areas?  

Aquafornia news UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences California WaterBlog

Blog: How engineers see the water glass in California

How do engineers see the water glass in California? The same as they did two years ago when this blog was first posted, though with today’s drought the glass is perhaps down to a quarter full — or three-quarters empty. 

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Snow-making a pipe dream for resort owner?

He [Lance Vetesy] owns Leland High Sierra Snow Play east of Pinecrest. … Snow-making ability would all but guarantee him a full season of business every year. … But in California water law, nothing is simple.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Storms raise hope in California drought

Hours of steady rain Saturday from northern California’s third winter storm in a week raised hopes that the state was moving out of its driest three years in history – while still deeply locked in drought.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California storms bring scattered rain, mudslides

Scattered California storms triggered mudslides in Los Angeles-area foothills scorched bare by a wildfire and dumped about an inch of much-needed rain in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Palm Springs reduced its water use by nearly 500,000 gallons in the past six months

Whether it’s cutting back to a five-minute shower, installing a low-flow toilet or pulling up the front lawn, residents in Palm Springs seem to have heard the drought message and have cut back on their water use.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Burbank fights ‘dirty’ in battle to conserve water

Thanks to California’s persistent drought, the city of Burbank is resorting to “dirty” tactics in the fight to conserve water. … The city recently joined the “Go Dirty for the Drought” awareness campaign run by the Santa Monica-based environmental organization Los Angeles Waterkeeper.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco wants to add groundwater to tap

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission recently began digging in and around Golden Gate Park in hopes of drawing underground flows into the mix within the next two years. The move is designed to increase and diversify the city’s water reserves as California faces its worst drought in a generation.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

As snow fades, California ski resorts are left high and very dry

At ski areas up and down the jagged peaks of the Sierra Nevada, where California’s drought has hit historic proportions and the broader threat of climate change hangs heavy over an industry built on optimism, the man-made snow is flying. A couple of resorts have managed to open a few runs.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Feinstein’s sweeping water bill collapses at 11th hour

Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s abrupt decision to yank a water bill she had spent more than four months negotiating came just as the California Democrat and Central Valley Republicans appeared on the brink of a deal.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

How this week’s rain figures in California’s drought

A trio of storms this week gave Northern California communities an inch or more of rain. The weather also brought welcome relief from the state’s long dry spell, but – no surprise – the drought is by no means over.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: At drought talks on Capitol Hill, behind-the-scenes maneuvering

Late Thursday morning, while the Capitol Hill spotlight was pointed elsewhere, three Northern California congressmen paid a quiet call on the state’s junior Democratic senator, Barbara Boxer. They wanted to talk water.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Drought revives ‘forgotten art’ at wineries: Farming without irrigation

The gnarled zinfandel grapevines on Rich Czapleski’s land have borne fruit for more than 100 years, producing dark, intense wines that exemplify the special growing conditions in this coveted winemaking region. Over that time, the vines have weathered some of California’s worst droughts — including the last three years with little difficulty.

Aquafornia news Al Jazeera America

Water thieves just can’t get enough

Something rare quickly becomes valuable. So it should come as no surprise that the latest target of thieves in a state suffering a historic drought is water.

Aquafornia news Bureau of Reclamation

News Release: Bureau of Reclamation invests $9.2 million in water and power research

Following a year of record drought, water managers throughout the west are searching for information and ideas to ensure a reliable and sustainable water supply. To meet this growing need for information, Bureau of Reclamation Principal Deputy Commissioner Estevan López announced today [Nov. 19] that Reclamation has awarded $9.2 million for 131 research projects.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Weather Service: Wet December more likely

The National Weather Service expects as much as four inches of water from rain and snowstorms in the Sierra from now thru Saturday.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Wild, wet weather brings lightning, threats of hail, waterspouts

Another storm system slogged its way through San Francisco on Thursday, bringing much-needed rain, lightning and threats of hail and waterspouts to the region, forecasters said.

Aquafornia news KPCC Southern California Public Radio

Secret California water deal left high and dry in D.C.

California’s record drought prompted both the House and Senate to pass their own version of water bills.

Aquafornia news UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences California WaterBlog

Blog: Shaping water storage in California

With the continuation of California’s historic drought and the recent passage of Proposition 1, the potential value of additional water storage in the state is an area of vigorous discussion. In a new study released today, we look at the different roles of storage in California’s integrated water system and evaluate storage capacity expansion from what we call a “system analysis approach.”

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: Capitol Hill talks on drought bill dry up, to resume next year

Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California on Thursday pulled the plug on secret, high-stakes negotiations over a water bill for her drought-plagued state, saying she and fellow lawmakers will try again next year.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

Humboldt County, tribes receive 2,400 donated drought kits for low-income households

In an effort to address the drought on the household level, California has teamed up with The Home Depot to distribute kits to low-income residents, with about 2,000 being given to North Coast tribes last month and now 400 more for drought-stricken communities in Humboldt County.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Editorial: City of Fresno’s water plan is sound and worthy of approval

People opposed to the city of Fresno’s $410 million plan to reduce the relentless overdrafting of our aquifer offered their objections during four recent community forums.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Blog: Shopping for water — How the market can mitigate water shortages in the American West

In October of 2014, the Hamilton Project and the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment hosted a forum, New Directions for U.S. Water Policy, which brought together government and agency officials with policy experts to discuss the release of new papers highlighting opportunities from improving water management in the West.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Editorial: Why are U.S. lawmakers making California water deals in secret?

California made extraordinary progress on water policy in this severe drought year, largely under the guiding hand of Gov. Jerry Brown.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Light rain moves into Bay Area

The rain is here, but California could certainly use more. The first of three predicted small storms brought light showers to the Bay Area early Wednesday.

Aquafornia news UT San Diego

San Diego County fountain keeps spraying during drought

The county administration complex on San Diego’s downtown waterfront has been using 1.3 million more gallons of water per month since a popular new park and splashy water feature went in.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

California almond growers welcome record revenue, rainy weather

It rained on hundreds of farmers heading into Blue Diamond Growers’ 104th annual meeting Wednesday at the Sacramento Convention Center.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Editorial: Feinstein freezes out north state in water bill talks

Sen. Dianne Feinstein and House Republicans have been secretly negotiating drought relief legislation that could severely alter California water policy. She should know better.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Limits end on most California stream diversions

Thousands of water users across California can again draw water directly from streams after state officials Wednesday lifted restrictions on one of the last major blocks of water rights, imposed in June due to the drought.

Aquafornia news KQED Public Media for Northern CA

Blog: Designing California cities for a long-term drought (with audio)

Let’s consider the possibility that this drought we’re in could last more than than just a few dry years. … Meanwhile, most Californians live in cities designed, to a great extent, on the promise of nearly endless water, imported from wetter parts of the state via massive engineering projects like the California State Water Project.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Dry San Diego to look to sewers as water source

Acknowledging California’s parched new reality, the city of San Diego has embraced a once-toxic idea: turning sewer water into drinking water.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Ranchers questioning accuracy of U.S. Drought Monitor

Some ranchers feel the Drought Monitor is slow in reporting actual conditions on the ground and the droughts severity.

Aquafornia news KCRA Sacramento

Dry Tulare County town gets portable showers (with video)

Officials say residents of a California community where hundreds of home wells have run dry can now take hot showers in portable facilities set up in a church parking lot.

Aquafornia news Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

Southern California ski resorts hope to open soon

If they make it, they will come. Snow, that is, at Southern California’s major ski resorts, which are prepping for thousands of thrill-seeking skiers, despite a record-dry year in the region.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

San Diego considers recycling water for drinking

Dismissed only a few years ago by residents of California’s second-largest city, San Diego is joining other California cities that are taking a closer look at recycling wastewater for drinking as the state suffers from severe drought.

Aquafornia news Valley Public Radio

Drought brings boom for water delivery trucks

It’s the dead of autumn and there’s no sign that the California drought will ease up. When wells run dry the immediate answer is to dig a new one, but they’re expensive. In some parts of the state there’s been an uptick in water theft, but in Central California many homeowners are turning to a legal water solution that’s not dependent on city water lines.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

California drought puts water thievery on rise

As California’s drought has grown more extreme this year, so have efforts to obtain water — some now veering toward the criminal. Parched places like the East Bay hills have experienced not only an increase in water thefts in recent months, authorities say, but a bump in brazenness.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino County Sun

Commentary: They stopped watering paradise, and forgot about the trees

Horticulturalist Emily Green is really, really worried about an unintended consequence of Southern California’s new yard-watering restrictions in our long drought, one that could put our outdoor lifestyles, our sense of place and even our relatively temperate microclimates at peril.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Commentary: Lake-level watching is new tourism fad

It started last winter, when some area TV stations began showing the foundation from the stamp mill of the old Eagle-Shawmut mine as it emerged from Lake Don Pedro.

Aquafornia news CBS 60 Minutes

Depleting the water (with video)

It’s been said that the wars of the 21st century may well be fought over water. … California is entering its fourth year of a record-breaking drought.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Marin’s rainy season off to a sluggish start, but wet weather could come this week

It looks like it could get wet mid-week in the county, but right now Marin is again lagging in the amount of rain it normally sees by this time of year. It is a bit of a repeat of last year.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Gov. Jerry Brown honors Sikh ‘peach king’

Clad in a blue head scarf, Gov. Jerry Brown went to the Sikh Temple of Sacramento on Sunday to honor the “peach king of California,” … Bains said his crops still have plenty of water from deep wells and the Oroville Dam and Feather and Sacramento rivers, but called the drought “a big threat. It’s not like we’re going to have water forever without rain.”

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Ocean water is answer to drought

At the State Building and Construction Trades Council, we agree with the San Diego County Water Authority – the Carlsbad desalination plant can’t come online fast enough. There is no denying that California is in desperate need of a reliable, drought-proof water supply.