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.
When Rosemary Plano decided to rip out her lawn in 2012 and put
in a low-maintenance desertscape of succulents, heather, and
gravel, passersby said things like “it’s jarring” or “you’ll
miss your roses.” … Californians also demonstrated a
commitment to addressing the state’s water issues by passing
Proposition 1 on Election Day.
The historic statewide drought has struck especially hard along
the southern San Mateo County coast. While other parts of the
Bay Area are served by big water agencies with steady if
shrinking supplies, most of the homes and small farms here,
less than an hour’s drive from Silicon Valley, rely on creeks
and wells, many of which have stopped flowing.
There are 810 dried wells at Tulare County homes, and water
tanks may be their best chance to get running water for the
winter. At the same time, county officials say the cost of all
this triage could be $12 million annually — a cost the state
would pick up.
A miraculous thing happens each fall in the Sacramento Valley,
and it’s not the end of 100-degree weather: Salmon return to
the area’s rivers and creeks. One hundred miles from the
Pacific Ocean, the valley hosts one of the largest annual
salmon spawning runs in America.
A rather extraordinary sequence of atmospheric events has
unfolded over the Pacific Ocean and across adjacent North
America over the past week or so. The current pattern is
strongly reminiscent of the extremely high amplitude wave
pattern that dominated most of winter 2013-2014 and the latter
half of 2012-2013.
In the hotel industry, being green sometimes means ripping out
the greenery. The Intercontinental Los Angeles Century City
Hotel is removing draping ivy plants from the balconies of all
361 rooms, replacing them with drought-tolerant succulents.
California Governor Jerry Brown welcomed representatives from
western states to Sacramento today for the Western Governors’
Drought Forum. And Brown took some time to share his thoughts
on moving water around California.
This past month was the third-warmest October in California
since officials began keeping records more than a century ago,
continuing the state’s pattern in what is likely to be its
hottest year ever, according to government climatologists.
As California heads into its annual rainy season, water
managers, farmers and millions of residents with parched yards
are hoping huge storms will finally break the state’s historic
three-year drought. Don’t count on it.
Lake Mead’s infamous bathtub ring has been there so long it no
longer shocks the sensibilities. … But, all things
considered, Las Vegas Valley Water District General Manager
John Entsminger is feeling pretty good these days.
It’s hard to sympathize with politicians most of the time, and
especially when they appear to ignore the standards they set
for their constituents. But maybe a well-rehearsed chorus of
“hypocrisy!” isn’t the only way to react to the reports about
water use at the homes of Los Angeles officials.
The typical season for the mandarin harvest is November through
January. But Bob Bonk of Snow’s Citrus Court said the last two
years haven’t been typical at the family-owned and operated
citrus grove in Newcastle.
Today, the drought will bring together the leaders of several
states suffering from water scarcity. Gov. Jerry Brown and
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval will open a forum on how drought is
affecting agriculture with remarks in the governor’s office
Worsening water stress was identified by the World Economic
Forum as one of the top global trends to watch next year. Water
stress has prompted Georgia to sue the U.S. government, while
water stress in California is being exacerbated by illegal
According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s
Marijuana Enforcement Team (MET), in the last two years,
illegal marijuana grows have stolen 1.2 billion gallons of
water. … Just this year, wardens from Fish and
Wildlife’s MET have uncovered 136 dams, reservoirs and
elaborate piping systems set up by pot growers to steal
A serious drought in the American West has called national
attention to our country’s water resources. U.S. businesses
report substantial concerns over water supply, while the
current drought in California has cost the state billions of
dollars in economic losses.
Tim O’Halloran, director of the Yolo County Flood Control and
Water Conservation District (YCFCWCD), gave a talk on how the
drought is affecting groundwater and the potential implications
of the groundwater management bill package signed by Governor
Jerry Brown earlier this year.
Cástulo Estrada, the 26-year-old political newcomer who won a
seat on the Coachella Valley Water District board in last
week’s election, is thought to be the first Latino ever elected
to the position. … Water districts in the Coachella
Valley will receive $5.2 million from the state for
Americans recently passed a milestone when federal officials
reported that water use across the nation had reached its
lowest level in more than 45 years: good news for the
environment, great news in times of drought and a major victory
Defying the state’s devastating water shortage, California
farmers produced a record tomato crop. … In a year when most
commodities saw declines in production, the tomato crop was 16
percent larger than last year.
The good news for ensuring a reliable water supply in
California is the passage of Proposition 1 last week.
… Too few Californians voted last Tuesday, passing on
one opportunity to get involved with water policy, among other
The just-released report from the State Water Resources Board
shows denser, multi-family neighborhoods use much less water
than leafy suburbs with single-family homes surrounded by
manicured lawns and non-native landscaping.
Imagine harvesting your own water — no water utility, no
monthly water bill. Instead, you have equipped your home with a
rain catchment system or atmospheric water generator, and
connected it to your tap. Monterey will soon be a site for just
such an experiment.
Book it: This year will go down as the hottest in California’s
history. With just two months left in the year, there’s a
better than 99 percent chance that 2014 will be the warmest
year on record for California, according to National Weather
They’re famous for asparagus and potatoes on this central Delta
island, where the Zuckerman family has farmed for four
generations. But here and there, mixed in with the spuds and
other crops, are vast fields of emerald-green grass that
stretch into the distance until they meet the sky.
People are using twice as much water in the city of Sonoma as
they are along the Russian River, with residents of five other
cities and one water district in Sonoma County falling between
the two extremes, according to a state report that calculates
per capita water use for the first time.
Every fall and winter at sunset, the sky above Staten Island
fills with majestic sandhill cranes alighting in the fields.
The sight is more spectacular than usual this year, as the
number of cranes wintering on the island in the Sacramento-San
Joaquin Delta has doubled over the same time in 2013.
Water runs in Curtis Hennings’ family, as his grandfather and
his father owned well-drilling businesses. … Starting in
January, new regulations will require local water boards to
create (rules) that will limit how much water is being pumped.
Already among the best at conserving water in the state for
several years, the Monterey Peninsula still managed to cut its
water use even further this summer and ranks among the state’s
most efficient water users.
Santa Cruz’s tough water restrictions are paying off. With the
lowest water use per capita, the city is doing the best job at
conserving water in the state, according to the State Water
Resources Control Board report released this week.
Residents of the elite community of Rancho Santa Fe have the
highest home water use in California, according to a newly
released state report. For the analysis, made public this week
by the State Water Resources Control Board, officials
calculated daily residential water use per person for nearly
400 water districts between June and September.
For the first time since the drought began, state officials
this week revealed how much water communities across California
are using on a per-person, per-day basis — and as always there
are heroes and villains.
The first-ever reporting of per-person water use across
California showed that residents in the hottest, driest parts
of the Inland region averaged 252 gallons per day – almost
three times higher than northern coastal areas, according to
data presented Tuesday to the State Water Board.
The Bureau of Reclamation has released for public review an
Environmental Assessment on a proposal to place temporary pumps
along a joint-use portion of the California Aqueduct. The pumps
would reverse flow so the Santa Clara Valley Water District can
recover previously banked Central Valley Project water. …
Normal operations of the Santa Clara Valley Water District’s
previously approved banking and exchange program is not
possible due to severe drought conditions.
Residents in coastal communities use far less water than their
inland counterparts, but still find ways to cut back even more,
residential per-capita water use figures released for the first
time Tuesday show.
Three consecutive years of drought have depleted California’s
water storage, brought hardship to the agricultural sector, and
led to stringent emergency conservation measures in cities
throughout the state. In October, the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration released its outlook for next
winter, and the preliminary modeling suggests more of the same.
So what, if anything, should the state do differently next
The trees are a symbol of the drought’s effect on the
relatively isolated Central Coast, which — despite its
proximity to the world’s largest body of water — is
particularly vulnerable to shortages because it relies on an
unstable networks of creeks, lakes and State Water Project
In the man-made oasis of San Diego, calls for water
conservation are a sea change in daily life. This semi-arid
coastal region gets just enough rainfall in average years to
avoid classification as a desert.
The Sacramento Valley is a resting stop for millions of birds
in the Pacific Flyway. Wet weather in Canada earlier this year
is predicted to bring a record number of birds. And they’ll
face a landscape with little water.
That is the preliminary conclusion arrived at by the San
Gabriel Valley Water Association on Friday after the fourth
week of water watching revealed the region used 182 million
gallons more water this week than the same week last year.
The University of California’s Agriculture and Natural
Resources (UCANR) has developed a series of webinars titled
Insights: Water and Drought which feature timely, relevant
expertise on water and drought from experts around the
University of California system.
When Californians close the musty drapes of the voting booth on
Tuesday, they will face a $US 7.5 billion question: Should the
perpetually water-worried state, in the midst of a record
drought, use its taxing authority to pay for another set of
state-funded water projects? If the voters say yes – as the
polls suggest is likely – Proposition 1 will be the seventh and
most expensive water-related bond passed in California since
A California storm dropped about half an inch of rain on Los
Angeles, causing a troublesome mudslide in the region but
bringing a good start to a much needed wet season amid the
state’s drought, forecasters said Saturday.
In an effort to convince Angelenos to rip out their
water-hogging lawns, the Department of Water and Power has
offered one of the most generous grass-removal incentives in
the state — $3 per square foot of lawn replaced by a low-water
landscape. The new yard can include drought-tolerant plants,
gravel or artificial turf.
One modest, seasonal storm wasn’t going to reverse California’s
historic drought. Yet across the Central Valley and Sierra
Nevada mountains, where livelihoods and entire towns are
threatened, there was joy Saturday as rain fell and snow piled
In Southern California, gardens are going grey. Grey water
systems that take spent water from showers, bathroom faucets
and washers and use it to quench the landscape are seen by some
as the next step in sustainable gardening across bone-dry
Proposition 1, the $7.5 billion water bond, gathered the
reluctant hold-your-nose support of The Press Democrat
editorial board. But you should vote no on Proposition 1.
Here’s why: Proposition 1 is not a solution to our water
shortages or drought. But it does burden us with $14.4
billion of real debt obligations including interest …
With a drought in the atmosphere and a water bond on the
ballot, interest in the state of our water is soaring. Today
officials will offer a primer on the vital resource, assessing
the state of things with an update to the California Water
A few years ago I remember getting overly excited about an
upcoming storm and its potential for producing a powder day. A
friend, a little more grizzled in his Sierra Nevada lifestyle,
promptly shut me down with a “I’ll believe it when I see it.”
Complete recovery from the drought gripping California and
other western states is not likely this winter, according to a
recent forecast. … Tahoe’s drought is predicted to persist,
according to a NOAA drought outlook map for Oct. 16, 2014,
through Jan. 31, 2015, with the potential for slow drought
recovery later in winter and early spring for the Sierra.
“In wet years, dry years and every type of water year in
between, the daily intrusion and retreat of salinity in the
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is a constant pattern.” The
newest issue of Western Water magazine examines salinity in the
San Francisco-San Joaquin Delta, a vital estuary and critical
juncture of the state’s water delivery system. Read more
excerpts from this issue.
California’s historic drought has put the state’s water
problems in the forefront this year and those problems aren’t
likely to be solved when the clouds open up again. Nowhere is
that more apparent than in the water system’s central hub — the
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
California’s stubborn drought helped push a $7.5-billion water
bond through the Legislature and onto the November ballot. But
even if voters approve Proposition 1, it won’t provide relief
any time soon.
Faced with a continuing drought, not to mention the ravages of
the olive fruit fly, this year’s olive harvest is expected to
start in a week or so, earlier than usual, and be about a third
smaller than last year. This will also be the first harvest to
come under new stricter grading and labeling standards that
took effect last month.
As one of two counties with fracking bans on the local ballot
this November, San Benito County has also become the site of a
heated political battle between oil companies and anti-fracking
ranchers, farmers, and residents. A similar fight is going down
in Santa Barbara County, where oil companies have funneled $7.6
million into a campaign against Measure P, a citizen’s ballot
initiative that would ban future high-intensity petroleum
operations on unincorporated county land.
East San Joaquin Valley growers are suing state water
authorities over drought decisions, claiming east-side
communities and farms got no federal water after the state
illegally denied deliveries to a separate group of landowners
with senior water rights.
The drought is causing low water levels at New Melones Lake.
“We are about 20 percent of our capacity,” park manager Alex
Michalek said Monday. … The Bureau of Reclamation said the
lake has not been this low in the past two decades.
In my last blog, I discussed how low rainfall and
higher-than-average temperatures are worsening the drought and
causing severe water shortages. The changes that are affecting
the drought in the Southwest – lower-than-average rain, higher
temperatures, and changes in snowpack and runoff patterns – are
consistent with the changes we expect to see with climate
Peter Walkowiak, Palomar Society president, said he talked with
dozens of people looking to say farewell to water-sucking grass
for low-consuming, easy-care plants. … Plant vendors saw more
than 1,500 plants go out the door Saturday and a like amount if
not more on Sunday, a projected increase this year over last of
more than 40 percent, Walkowiak said.
The city of San Diego’s vote for mandatory water limits took no
one by surprise in light of what is shaping up to be a
four-year dry spell. … The details of those rules, however,
puzzled city residents, who wondered, for instance, what the
measure meant for their low-flow irrigation system, or whether
an order to shut off ornamental fountains affected their water
A team of researchers from Stanford and the University of
Calgary say a ground-breaking geophysical survey of saltwater
intrusion into groundwater tables along 25 miles of Monterey
Bay coastline shows the wells are running a deficit.
Jennifer Bowles, the executive director of the Water Education
Foundation, recently did an interview with Radio Disney in San
Francisco to talk about various water issues, including the
drought and groundwater.
Nearly 1.8 million San Gabriel Valley water users are being put
to the test. In an effort to shine a light on the effects of
the drought, the San Gabriel Valley Water Association is
tallying the amount of water drawn from wells in local
groundwater basins every week, then handing out grades.
I’m hoping you’ll come visit us this winter and stay for a
while. I miss the wave after wave of storms from northern cold
fronts or the soothing Pineapple Express warm tropical storms
that stretch from Hawaii to California.
Great horned owls hang out at the San Luis National Wildlife
Refuge. … But this year, predators may be the least of the
worries for these birds. Starvation, avian cholera and botulism
may be bigger killers than usual. It’s another dark twist from
California’s destructive drought.
Rangers at Yosemite National Park are in a constant battle to
keep wild black bears — with their ultra-keen noses and
powerful paws and jaws — far away from humans. … The
instances of bears raiding campgrounds and parking lots for
human food are up by 35 percent from Jan. 1 to Oct. 19 compared
to the same period last year — the second such increase during
the state’s three consecutive dry years.
In his first policy speech as California’s Senate leader, Kevin
de León said one of his key priorities will be combating
climate change by setting policies that promote energy
efficiency. … In his speech to the water officials Thursday,
de León also stumped for Proposition 1 …”
A demonstration house unveiled in El Dorado Hills last week by
national builder KB Home recycles drain water for toilets and
landscaping and can power itself entirely with solar panels.
… Water recycling has been gaining momentum in
California’s historic drought.
Earlier this week, The Hamilton Project at Brookings and the
Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment hosted a forum and
released new papers highlighting opportunities for improving
water management in the United States in the face of scarce
Things were bad enough for Rochelle Landers before her well
went dry. … She has an acre in the Sierra foothills, in a
sparsely populated town an hour northeast of Sacramento with a
seemingly abundant water supply despite the drought.
An in-depth analysis of the $7.5 billion water bond
(Proposition 1) on the Nov. 4 ballot finds that it could
benefit California’s communities and the environment but that
those benefits (water supply, water reliability and
environmental quality improvements) are not guaranteed.
The drought has moved to the top of Californians’ worry list.
And that’s a first. Asked to name the “most important issue”
facing the state, 26 percent of respondents to a statewide
survey earlier this month said “water” and “drought.”
The newest issue of Western Water magazine examines salinity in
the San Francisco-San Joaquin Delta, a vital estuary and
critical juncture of the state’s water delivery system. Written
by the Foundation’s Gary Pitzer, the September/October issue
discusses the how salinity during drought is affecting fish,
wildlife and farms. In wet years, dry years and every type of
water year in between, the daily intrusion and retreat of
salinity in the Delta is a constant pattern.
Faced with a state mandate to balance groundwater basins within
the next two decades, Monterey County officials on Tuesday took
the first step toward meeting that goal in the long overdrafted
Salinas Valley groundwater basin.
This drought year, as in those past, California water
regulators have given away to cities and farms some river flows
critical to fish and wildlife. … There are, however, legal
backstops to prevent harmful reductions in fish flows, even
during a drought as severe as this one.
There’s a plan for water transfers could move up to 511,000
acre-feet of water each year for the next 10 years from the
Sacramento Valley to the San Joaquin Valley and the Bay Area.
… The Bureau [of Reclamation] is in the middle of writing the
“Long-Term Water Transfers Environmental Impact
Statement/Environmental Impact Report.”
The [Public Policy Institute of California] survey, produced
with support from The James Irvine Foundation, determined
likely voter sentiment on other issues, including: … On
Proposition 1, the $7.5 billion water bond, 56 percent say they
would support it after being read the ballot title and label
for the measure.
A plan by PG&E to temporarily shut down a powerhouse that
feeds water from the Eel River to the Russian River may cut
into consumer supplies this winter by further reducing the
amount of water coming into Lake Mendocino.
Turns out the UCLA flood was just a drop in the sea of potable
water that leaks or blows out of underground pipes.
California’s water distribution systems lose up to 228 billion
gallons annually, the state estimates — more than enough to
supply the entire city of Los Angeles for a year.
In wet years, dry years and every type of water year in between,
the daily intrusion and retreat of salinity in the Sacramento-San
Joaquin Delta is a constant pattern.
The cycle of ebb and flood is the defining nature of an estuary
and prior to its transformation into an agricultural tract in
the mid-19th century, the Delta was a freshwater marsh with
plants, birds, fish and wildlife that thrived on the edge of the
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced
Monday that last month the globe averaged 60.3 degrees
Fahrenheit (15.72 degrees Celsius). That was the hottest
September in 135 years of record keeping.
The signs appear about 200 miles north of Los Angeles, tacked
onto old farm wagons parked along quiet two-lane roads and
bustling Interstate 5. “Congress Created Dust Bowl.” “Stop the
Politicians’ Water Crisis.” “No Water No Jobs.”
This Hamilton Project memo presents nine economic facts that
provide relevant background context to the water crisis in the
United States. … We examine these issues through the lens of
economic policy, with the aim of providing an objective framing
of America’s complex relationship with water.
Step by step, sewage flows through the city’s Donald C. Tillman
Water Reclamation Plant in the San Fernando Valley. Ultimately,
the cleaned effluent flows into lakes and rivers.
… Mayor Eric Garcetti, who prefers the term “showers to
flowers” instead of “toilet to tap,” also lobbied for
groundwater cleanup funds.
Water has become a huge issue in the desert. On our You’ve Got
Issues Facebook group, Vic Yepello of Palm Springs writes that
homeowners associations are violating the rules about watering
during daylight hours.
Broken sprinklers, water running on streets and neighbors
hosing down driveways are increasingly prompting complaints to
water agencies as drought-conscious residents across the
Coachella Valley are reporting incidents of waste.
He’ll [Gov. Jerry Brown] dive further into the world of water
at a policy conference today at Stanford University, hosted by
The Hamilton Project at The Brookings Institution and the
Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. … His
speech, scheduled for 9:20 a.m., will be webcast.
San Joaquin County is missing out on millions of dollars in
state grants to fight the drought, in part because some private
landowners are reluctant to share confidential information
about their wells.
In the midst of a historic drought, public health officials are
searching for clues as to why cases of West Nile virus have
exploded statewide since last year, making this season the
worst for human infections in California since 2005.
The pending closure of the Paradise Pines Golf Course may be a
matter of simple economics, but it may also be a sign of these
dry times in California. … The course is an economic asset, a
recreational asset, and a scenic asset for many of the
residences built along the fairways.
For months now California leaders have been telling people to
conserve water, let their lawns go brown and switch to
drought-tolerant yards. But Los Angeles rules have, in some
cases, made it hard to be water wise.
Along this patch of the Pacific Ocean, welders and pipefitters
nearly outnumber the surfers and sunbathers. … They are
building the Carlsbad Desalination Project, which will convert
as much as 56 million gallons of seawater each day into
drinking water for San Diego County residents.
Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink. That line is
all that remains in my brain from an early exposure to “The
Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” the endless poem that has been
cruelly inflicted upon generations of American schoolchildren.
Lingering drought has helped push Lake Tahoe’s water level
below its natural rim for the first time in five years, cutting
off flows into the Truckee River, which has been reduced to a
shallow stream as it meanders down the Sierra through Reno.
Even ideas are being conserved as Santa Cruz continues its hunt
for alternative water supply solutions. … The so-called
ideas convention was hosted by the city’s 14-member Water
Supply Advisory Committee.
The reduction of water use in new homes has long been a focus
of California’s homebuilding industry. … The good news is the
state has a golden opportunity to use the emergency drought
funds available to retrofit older homes to comply with current
building standards – potentially saving hundreds of billions of
gallons a year.
Drought is rampant these days in many parts of
the American West, so consider this a pretty sweet gift:
You’ve just been given the rights to some water. … Your
job is to turn around and use that resource in the most
valuable way possible.
The Water Education Foundation’s popular Northern California
Tour features a diverse group of experts talking about
groundwater, flood management, the drought, water supplies,
agricultural challenges, and the latest on salmon restoration
efforts. The tour also includes a houseboat cruise on Lake
Shasta. … The tour travels the length of the Sacramento
Valley with visits to Oroville and Shasta dams.
A winter outlook released Thursday by the National Weather
Service suggests drought is likely to continue in many parts of
California for a fourth straight year. Although that prediction
is early and marked by some uncertainty, it’s enough to keep
water officials on edge.
The State Water Resources Control Board recently
solicited public comments on how to improve its
drought curtailment of water rights. Here is a summary of
insights and recommendations from a group of seven California
In his first career, Tim Thornhill stuck about 4,000
tensiometers – instruments that measure soil moisture and
thereby help regulate irrigation – into the earth as he
developed botanical gardens around the country.
An international consortium of water economists gathered at the
World Bank headquarters in Washington, D.C. earlier this fall
for two days of meetings on water policy research. … In light
of the national and international attention to California’s
ongoing drought, I was asked to give keynote remarks about
lessons from California for other regions of the world.
Caring for the annual snowpack would become a core industry in
Calaveras County under an economic development vision being
championed by county Supervisor Cliff Edson of San Andreas. …
Now, he’s putting together an ad-hoc coalition of water
agencies, utilities, forest managers, property owners and
others who have an interest in either the prosperity of
Calaveras County or in increasing water yield.
In an attempt to reduce water use during California’s severe
drought, Sonoma’s City Council will consider raising water
rates next month and imposing a new tiered-pricing system that
puts the financial squeeze on the city’s heaviest water users.
The drought has reached a tipping point, according to several
area landscape contractors and designers. More residents are
converting some or all of their lawn to drought-tolerant
landscapes, while others are mulling it over.
Spurred by the drought, but planning for long-term
sustainability, Mayor Eric Garcetti has set an ambitious and
important goal for Los Angeles: to reduce the amount of water
it purchases by 50% in 10 years.
As this year’s El Niño sets in, early signs are pointing toward
the possibility of a rare occurrence: back-to-back El Niño
years. If it happens, it would virtually guarantee a new global
heat record in 2015 and could help usher in a decade or more of
This summer, California’s water authority declared that wasting
water — hosing a sidewalk, for example — was a crime. Next
door, in Nevada, Las Vegas has paid out $200 million over the
last decade for homes and businesses to pull out their lawns.
The threat of rain in mid-October would typically have
winemakers and vineyard managers scrambling as they look to
limit any damage caused by severe rot or other moisture-related
harm to the North Coast’s most valuable crop.
Mayor Eric Garcetti on Tuesday challenged Los Angeles
residents, businesses and city agencies to cut water use by 20%
over the next 21/2 years and warned of new water restrictions
if conservation targets aren’t met. … The mayor’s move
comes as statewide conservation efforts appear to be producing
Not only are temperatures across the Southland expected to drop
below normal for the rest of the week, but some areas could
even see rain overnight Tuesday and into Wednesday morning,
according to the National Weather Service.
For three years now, Californians have fixed leaks, ripped out
lawns and shortened showers, adjusting to what officials call
the most severe drought in memory. Imagine what changes might
come next if the drought continues for the rest of our
Get a group of farmers and ranchers together and they will tell
you without hesitation California’s historic drought is driving
up the cost of food. The Center for Land-Based Learning, a
non-profit teaching people how to farm, held its annual
fundraiser at the Oracle Conference Center in Redwood City this
The wild elk and domestic cows simply do not mix, according to
the ranchers who lease the fields from the National Park
Service, which administers 28,000 acres of agricultural land in
the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Point Reyes
seashore. The ranchers say the competition from the elk for
scarce vegetation threatens their very existence after three
years of drought.
Rugged and isolated, the Rubicon River Valley on the border of
El Dorado and Placer counties was for many years an idyll of
old growth trees and icy swimming holes. … Experts now worry
that the devastation and the extreme temperatures of the fire,
which scorched much of the soil and reduced its ability to hold
together and absorb runoff, could lead to floods and mudslides
when winter storms arrive.
California’s drought has created mandated water conservation
efforts, but some communities in Southern California, from
Huntington Beach to Los Angeles, are doing something extra:
trying to become water independent.
Three straight years of desperately dry conditions in
California are igniting hills in walls of towering orange
flames, turning reservoirs to sandpits, and causing residents
across America’s most populous state to clamor for water.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized the
2014 WaterSense Partners of the Year for their commitment to
promoting water efficiency and strengthening the drought
resiliency of communities across the country, during the
WaterSmart Innovations Conference today [Oct. 9] in Las Vegas,
They’re a dozen men and women riding horseback on a modern-day
cross-country cattle drive, but with fistfuls of petitions
instead of a herd of steers. … But environmentalists have
lashed out at protesters as a selfish, entitled group with no
business running private cattle on public lands, especially
during years of prolonged drought.
The Sierra Nevada water year for 2014 ended on Sept. 30 and the
snowfall and precipitation totals aren’t pretty. The 194.5
inches of snowfall measured last season at the Central Sierra
Snow Lab tied with 1924 as third least snowiest since 1879,
well under the 409 inch seasonal average.
This year’s much-anticipated El Niño is closing in, federal
climate experts said Thursday, but it’s also looking weaker
than ever — meaning there is little chance it will help squelch