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 Christian Science Monitor

Three years into drought, Californians adapt to a drier way of life

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.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

California drought hits San Mateo County coast particularly hard

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.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Water tanks replace dry wells as drought victims prepare for winter

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.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Sacramento’s salmon run in full swing, but drought still a worry

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.

Aquafornia news The California Weather Blog

Blog: A dry start to autumn for most of California as amplified North American pattern continues; Prospects for rain murky

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.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

More hotels are going green, and not just to save water or money

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.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Brown: California’s water system ‘engineered’

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.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: California, Nevada governors team up on drought

The governors of California and Nevada met Thursday at a forum aimed at coming up with the best ways to cope with the unprecedented drought affecting the western U.S., now in its third year.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Q&A: Rain barely made a dent in California drought

Fall has arrived, but in Southern California, warm, dry conditions remain. While the state has received some rain in recent weeks, the overall picture remains largely unchanged.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

California sees third-warmest October, on pace for hottest year ever

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.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

California drought not likely to end this winter, experts say

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.

Aquafornia news Las Vegas Review-Journal

Commentary: Entsminger sees Las Vegas Valley’s water glass as half full

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.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Daily News

San Fernando Valley officials increased water use during worst year

Some San Fernando Valley officials who set the city’s water policy consume more than twice the water as the average Angeleno when comparing their households.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Daily News

Editorial: Hypocrisy? Meaning of Los Angeles officials’ water use runs deeper

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.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Drought brings early harvest for mandarin oranges in Placer County

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.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Blog: Western governors, California officials discuss drought

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 this morning.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Blog: Water stress makes World Economic Forum list of top 10 trends for 2015

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 marijuana operations.

Aquafornia news NBC Bay Area

Pot farmers steal water amid epic drought

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 water. 

Aquafornia news Brookings Institution

Blog: Tidal wave or drop in the bucket? Differences in water use across the United States

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.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Water levels in California’s reservoirs continue to drop

Statewide all reservoirs – more than 150 of them – hold about 57-percent of the water they normally do.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Sacramento closer to water meter mandate

As California looks at a potential fourth year of drought, the City of Sacramento is moving ahead on a project to keep closer tabs on water use.

Aquafornia news Davis Enterprise

$4 million for water projects in Yolo County

Two Yolo County groups received $2 million, each, from a $200 million pool of state emergency drought funds.

Aquafornia news Davis Enterprise

Drought lecture quenches thirst for information on Yolo County’s water

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.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Estrada: New CVWD election system a ‘better way’

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 drought-related projects.

Aquafornia news National Journal

Drought is taking California back to the wild, wild West

Water theft has become increasingly common in California as the state suffers through its worst drought on record. … Officials say a black market set up to peddle water is thriving as wells run dry.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Water conservation efforts pay off — U.S. usage lowest in decades

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 for conservation.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Drought-defying tomato harvest breaks California record

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.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles to provide soda syrup barrels for home irrigation

The city of Los Angeles will distribute 1,000 soda syrup barrels in an effort to encourage residents to capture rainwater for home irrigation.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Q&A: Lester Snow is the answer man on the water bond

Californians, you just voted yourselves a $7-billion-plus water bond measure. What happens now? Lester Snow can draw you the map of water needs and detail the money being spent.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Editorial: Rebates help MMWD customers battle drought

Marin residents and businesses have a longstanding reputation for conserving water, but our deep drought means we have to take a fresh look at how we could protect our current supply by using less.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Commentary: Are you an environmental enemy if you replace your thirsty lawn with fake grass?

Given the severity of our drought and the calls to lower our water usage, it might make sense to replace our lawns with fake grass. Not everyone agrees.

Aquafornia news San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Editorial: Californians should channel inner wonk to help create a better water future

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 large matters.

Aquafornia news San Gabriel Valley Tribune

California State Water Resources Board shares water usage by each city

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.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Herald

Hydrology hypotheses: can we make our own water?

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.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Heat, drought worsen smog in California, stalling decades of progress

Heat and extreme drought have worsened smog in California over the last year, stalling decades of progress toward cleaner air and increasing health risks.

Aquafornia news The Weather Channel

Will 2014 be California’s hottest year in history?

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 Service meteorologists.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Stockton turf company working to create drought-resistant grasses

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.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Biggest Brazil metro area desperate for water

Brazil is approaching the December start of its summer rainy season with its water supply nearly bare.

Aquafornia news Las Vegas Review-Journal

Team tackles drought

“Ask This Old House, a spin-off of the original Emmy Award-winning show, recently turned its attention to the West’s harsh drought conditions.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Keeping tabs on North Coast’s water use

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.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Cranes crowd Staten Island as other Valley habitat dries up

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.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Hopes for El Niño evaporating; would have brought a wet winter

Federal forecasters on Thursday scaled back the likelihood of an El Niño developing this winter, dampening hopes of a wet winter washing away the California drought.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

$14 million to fund 19 drought relief projects for Sacramento area water agencies

The California Department of Water Resources on Thursday announced it will fund $14 million worth of water infrastructure projects throughout the Sacramento region.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Drought forces dredging in Lake Tahoe

Low water levels at Lake Tahoe are creating numerous problems for water managers.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Sacramento region receives millions in grants

The California Department of Water Resources has awarded more than 14-million dollars in grants for drought-related and water-related projects in the Sacramento region.

Aquafornia news KCRA Sacramento

Will the water last in California?

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.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Herald

New state report shows Peninsula among water conservation leaders

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.

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Santa Cruz residents using least water in state

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.

Aquafornia news UT San Diego

Rancho Santa Fe residents use more water at home than any others in California

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.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Water use down in most of San Joaquin, Calaveras counties, except Lodi

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.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Nestlé water plant’s impact on Sacramento’s supply

A Nestlé Waters North America bottling plant has operated in South Sacramento since 2010. The three-year California drought has renewed criticism of the plant’s use of water.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

A parched farm town is sinking, and so are its residents’ hearts

Beneath this small farm town at the end of what’s left of the Kings River, the ground is sinking.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Rapid warming, blustery winds to create fire danger across Southland

A combination of heat, strong Santa Ana winds and extremely dry air will create “critical” fire danger Wednesday across Southern California, forecasters warned.

Aquafornia news Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA)

Higher food prices, drought water bank possible if 2015 is dry, water officials tell State Board of Food and Ag

From a potential drought water bank to increased food prices and assistance for unemployed farmworkers, water planners on the local, state and federal levels are gearing up for a possible dry 2015.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Inland tops state in per-person water use

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.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Water conservation rate statewide drops in September

After three months of steady gains in conservation, Californians conserved 1.3 percent less water in September than in August.

Aquafornia news Bureau of Reclamation

News Release: Draft environmental documents available for placement of temporary pumping facilities along California Aqueduct

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.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

In California, water use is all over the map

Hoping to increase conservation, the State Water Resources Control Board released estimates of residential daily water use per person in September, as reported by more than 300 urban water suppliers.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Coastal California residents using far less water

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.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Blog: Drought Watch — What if 2015 is dry?

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 year?

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Oakdale Irrigation District to discuss selling water to outside agencies

Oakdale Irrigation District directors will discuss options for selling water to out-of-county agencies Tuesday morning during a closed-door session.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Rain level in drought-stricken South Bay now ‘normal’

A meteorologist at the National Weather Service, now long retired, used to say that the rainy season starts with the World Series and ends with spring training.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

In Cambria, rift over water treatment plant is a drain on parched town

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 allocations.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: State to release per-capita water use numbers

Data to be released Tuesday will show per-capita water use in communities across California that are facing pressure, including the threat of fines, to cut back during the third year of a drought.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

First rainfall sets some records but recovery from drought is far off

The first rainstorm of the just-started season provided some much needed moisture to California, though some areas got more than others. And it was not enough to make much of a dent in the drought.

Aquafornia news UT San Diego

In the man-made oasis of San Diego, water conservation is a sea change in daily life

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.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Farmers needed to flood fields for birds in drought

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.

Aquafornia news San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Fourth water tally shows San Gabriel Valley residents not conserving

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.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Blog: Climate change and paleoclimatology — Putting California’s drought in a long-term perspective

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.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Blog — Californians will vote on big water bond not knowing exactly what they are buying

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 2000.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California storm ushers in wet season

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.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Commentary: Is fake grass good for Los Angeles during the drought?

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.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Rain brings joy, if not a fix, to the drought-ridden Central Valley

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 up.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: New research predicts California droughts will worsen

Future droughts in California are likely to bite deeper and last longer than the one now gripping the state, according to new research into the potential effects of climate change.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Dry year means cutback in winter rice flooding

Unless rain clouds change course to linger over the Sacramento Valley rice farmers are gearing up for another season with less water.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Daily News

For good or bad, grey water systems becoming more popular due to drought

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 Southern California.

Aquafornia news KCRA Sacramento (video)

Sacramento region cuts water consumption by 19%

The Sacramento region has cut its water consumption by 19 percent in 2014, according to newly released numbers from the Regional Water Authority.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Blog: It is time to save your soil

Plants (and people) aren’t the only ones suffering through this epic drought. Our soil has taken a huge hit, too.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Lake Mission Viejo isn’t feeling California drought — yet

Lake Mission Viejo is Southern California at its most idyllic and, when it comes to water, its most extravagant.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

(video) California drought impacting birds and sushi

California’s drought is taking a bite out of the state’s $5 billion rice industry … The drought is also affecting migratory birds …

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Commentary: One of two views on Proposition 1 on Nov. 4 ballot

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 …

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Blog: AM Alert — Water, Water

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 Plan.

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Drought overcomes newts and frogs in Ben Lomond

The drought huffs its way into every California conversation. It dusts everything from business profits to tooth brushing habits. These dry years are tough on frogs, toads and newts, too.

Aquafornia news Tahoe Daily Tribune

Commentary: Reading the Sierra winter’s tea leaves

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.”

Aquafornia news Tahoe Daily Tribune

Another warm Sierra winter likely; drought to persist

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.

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

Western Water Excerpts: ‘Finding the Right Balance — Managing Delta Salinity in Drought’

“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.

Aquafornia news KQED Public Media for Northern CA

Blog: Why California’s largest estuary no longer works for wildlife

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.

Aquafornia news Sacramento Business Journal

Blog: Despite drought, California wine grape harvest is third largest ever

Despite California’s lingering drought, this year’s wine grape harvest was the third-largest ever, at an estimated 3.9 million tons.

Aquafornia news The Arizona Republic

Editorial: Drought making Calif. more like Arizona

For many years, California has stared at the prospect of long-running drought and effectively sniffed with contempt.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Drought means less California rice, but good prices for rice that was grown

Nothing about this year’s rice growing season has been business-as-usual. Some growers received no water. Others received most of their water. Some rice growers sold water.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Prop. 1 aims to relieve drought — but not this one

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.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

California drought squeezes olive oil makers

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.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Insight: Bay-Delta Science Conference

This week, scientists, water managers and policymakers are gathering in Sacramento for the Biennial Bay-Delta Science Conference.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Sacramento Valley farmers are asked: Help the ducks

Farmers in the Sacramento Valley are being asked to lend a hand to migrating waterfowl arriving this winter to a drought-parched landscape.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Nevada Irrigation District suspends some water deliveries

The Nevada Irrigation District has suspended delivery of fall irrigation water for the first time in more than 20 years, a move intended to preserve water supplies during California’s ongoing drought.

Aquafornia news Civil Eats

Blog: How a tiny farm county became ground zero in California’s fracking fight

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.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California drought takes bite out of rice harvest

California’s deepening drought is shrinking its rice harvest, and that’s bad news for farmers, migratory birds and sushi lovers.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Farmers sue state over drought water decisions

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.

Aquafornia news KCRA Sacramento

Bureau of Reclamation: New Melones hasn’t been so low in decades

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.

Aquafornia news U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's "It's Our Environment"

Blog: Climate change and the dry, wild West, Part 2

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 change.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Marin Municipal Water District looks for new ways to beat drought

As talk of drought lingers and with the heavy rains yet to hit, the Marin Municipal Water District is offering up a new type of rebate plan to save precious water.

Aquafornia news Whittier Daily News

California drought boosts synthetic turf businesses as homeowners turn to artificial grass

As drought-conscious Californians look for ways to reduce their water consumption, business is blooming for the synthetic turf industry.

Aquafornia news UT San Diego

Succulents can cure skyrocketing water bills

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.

Aquafornia news UT San Diego

San Diego water restrictions focus on reducing outdoor water use to save 20%

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 fixture too.

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Ground-breaking survey maps coastal saltwater intrusion

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.

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

News Release: Water Education Foundation Executive Director Jennifer Bowles talks water with Radio Disney

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.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Q&A: Drought Watch — A dry winter could mean tougher restrictions

What will happen with water restrictions if California doesn’t get significant rain and snow this winter?

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Stockton East now ’swimming’ in storage

The Stockton East Water District recently finished a new concrete-lined reservoir that helps secure Stockton’s water supply and also prepares for the city’s future growth.

Aquafornia news San Gabriel Valley Tribune

San Gabriel Valley getting graded on local groundwater basin usage

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.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Letter to Mr. El Niño — Please come stay with us this winter

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. 

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Drought, disease wait in San Joaquin Valley for migratory birds

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.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Yosemite rangers try to keep hungry bears at bay

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.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: De León says ‘green jobs’ will be priority as Senate leader

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 …”

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

New El Dorado Hills house recycles wash water and makes its own energy

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. 

Aquafornia news Brookings Institution

Blog: California Governor Jerry Brown — Water is not a political game

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 water supplies.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: For Sierra resident, the well runs dry — along with her options

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.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Commentary: $7.5 billion plan won’t fix 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.

Aquafornia news KQED Public Media for Northern CA

Blog: A first — drought tops list of Californians’ worries

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.”

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

News Release: New Western Water available

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.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Herald

Monterey County begins Salinas Valley groundwater sustainability effort

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.

Aquafornia news NPR

Coping in a drier world: California’s drought survival strategy

The past few years have been California’s driest on record. … The state uses water rationing and a 90-year-old water distribution system to cope until the rains come.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

California still at risk of floods during drought

Local state and federal agencies are operating as if it’s flooding, even during California’s drought.

Aquafornia news UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences California WaterBlog

Blog: Flagging problem dams for fish survival

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.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Sacramento Valley water transfer idea leaves locals fuming

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.”

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Poll: Water bond

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.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

San Gabriel Valley water agency declares water supply emergency

The Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District declared a water supply emergency Wednesday amid record-low levels.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

PG&E plan may reduce water flowing into Lake Mendocino

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.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Tomato growers expect record year despite drought

About 95 percent of the nation’s processed tomatoes come from California.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Drought, drawdowns and death of the Salton Sea

The Salton Sea, California’s largest lake at 370 square miles, once supported resorts that drew celebrities such as Frank Sinatra and Jerry Lewis.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Daily News

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: California water agencies lose millions of gallons underground

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.

Western Water Excerpt Gary Pitzer Jennifer Bowles

Finding the Right Balance: Managing Delta Salinity in Drought
September/October 2014

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 saltwater/freshwater interface.

Aquafornia news UT San Diego

San Diego adopts mandatory water restrictions

San Diego is cracking down on water waste, after the city council voted unanimously Monday to invoke mandatory water restrictions.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Warming Earth heading for hottest year on record

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.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Amid California’s drought, a bruising battle for cheap water

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.”

Aquafornia news The Hamilton Project

Report: In Times of Drought — Nine Economic Facts about Water in the United States

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.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Jerry Brown takes the long view on water

Battles over water rights, wet years flowing into dry ones, Jerry Brown gubernatorial tenures – in California, some storylines recur.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

198 drought maps reveal just how thirsty California has become

It doesn’t take much to understand why California is so worried about drought. … Watch the 10 second snap-shot here.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Gov. Jerry Brown touts water bond measure at Stanford summit

Gov. Jerry Brown pitched his plan Monday for a water bond and a rainy-day fund at a Stanford University water conference. … He called his water plan a “four-term effort.”

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Daily News

Proposition 1 could lessen future water shortages, but at what cost?

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. 

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Palm Springs HOAs need to follow water rules

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.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Water agencies fielding more waste complaints

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.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

NASA spacecraft could help California address drought

A NASA spacecraft getting set to launch will measure soil moisture, one of the most important components of the earth’s water cycle.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Blog: Jerry Brown dives into water policy at Stanford University

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.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Drought funding dries up

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.

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

West Nile cases surging in state, Bay Area

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.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Editorial: Make hard choices on drought while we still can

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.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Giant sequoias may surprise us in a warmer future

Research ecologist Nathan Stephenson crawled around magnificent Giant Forest, checking young giant sequoias for damage from California’s three-year drought.

Aquafornia news Los Angles Times

Commentary: California is in a drought, so why is it still hard to rip out your lawn in L.A.?

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.

Aquafornia news NPR

As their wells run dry, California residents blame thirsty farms

Imagine flushing the toilet and watching sand come up.

Aquafornia news NPR

California farmers: We are getting ‘much less water’

Farmers say they aren’t using up groundwater supplies, nor are they solely to blame for the water crisis. Almond grower Dan Errotabere talks with NPR’s Rachel Martin about the situation on his farm.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Could desalination solve California’s water problem?

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.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Desalination comes of age

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.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Tahoe level at 5-year low; no Truckee River flows

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.

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Santa Cruzans drink up water source solutions

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.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Editorial: It’s time to get extremely serious about conserving water

The message that California is in severe drought is being heard. But more must be done.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Californians can save a lot of water by retrofitting wasteful older homes

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.

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

The West is bone dry. Here’s how to help

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.

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

News Release: Learn about groundwater and take a cruise on Lake Shasta

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.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: Little hope for wet winter

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.

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog by UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences

Blog: Modernizing drought water allocations

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 water experts.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Mendocino Wine Co. saves water, earns raves

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.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Blog: Drought Watch — California as a testing ground

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.

Aquafornia news Calaveras Enterprise

Edson wants county to cash in on snowpack

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.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Sonoma to consider hiking water rates

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.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino County Sun

Experts offer advice for drought tolerant landscaping in Southern California

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.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Editorial: Garcetti’s ambitious goal for L.A.’s water supply

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.

Aquafornia news Slate

Blog: Pacific Decadal Oscillation — We may see two El Niño years in a row

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 accelerated warming.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Blog: Capitol Alert

Governor Grounded: Typically, a Groundwater Resources Association of California conference might not register too much attention.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

The risks of cheap water

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.

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

California’s giant pumpkin growers undeterred by drought

California’s punishing drought has drawn down reservoirs and fallowed fields in the Central Valley, but it hasn’t stopped giant pumpkin growers from pursuing ever bigger gourds.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Early, quick harvest means few rain worries for local grape growers

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.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Amid drought, Mayor Garcetti directs Los Angeles to cut water use 20% by 2017

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 results.

Aquafornia news KQED Public Media for Northern CA

Blog: High temps intensified California drought

The showers and cooler temperatures in the forecast this week won’t be a drought buster — but they may help take the edge off conditions that have been been making the drought even worse.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

L.A. forecast: Cool weather, possible rain to make long-awaited debut

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.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Green Gulch Creek ‘recreated’ to help endangered fish

For the past seven weeks crews at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center have been rerouting a creek closer to its original path to help an endangered species’ chance for survival.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Lake Oroville inches closer to record low

Only time and nature will determine whether Lake Oroville will continue its steady drop or begin to climb back. On Monday, the lake was at a low water elevation of 670 feet. Capacity is 900 feet.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Prop. 1, Prop. 2 backers oversimplify wildfire costs

The campaign for a $7.5 billion water bond and a budget reserve measure is running a TV ad that says reserves will help “protect the water and the fire services we need” in future economic downturns.

Aquafornia news UT San Diego

After a three-year dry spell, the West could face decades more of drought

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 lifetime.

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

People who would be flooded by Sites Reservoir still back project

Cattle and sheep have grazed on the floor of the Antelope Valley for more than a century. But just a few years from now, the land could be transformed into the bottom of a vast inland sea.

Aquafornia news KQED Public Media for Northern CA

Blog: California farmers pray for rain, prepare for continued drought

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 weekend.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Daily News

Pool water in Burbank is repurposed to help aid drought relief

After the final splash into Burbank’s McCambridge Pool as summer’s swimming season ended, the more than 200,000 gallons of water didn’t just gurgle down the drain.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Reintroduced tule elk compete with cattle on Point Reyes

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.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Vast landscape charred by King Fire will receive emergency treatment

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.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Cities seek water independence

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.

Aquafornia news San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Dry-weather runoff — A new source of water for drought-stricken California?

Even without rainfall, the gutters, channels and storm drains of Los Angeles County pulse with about 330 million gallons of water every day.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Proposition 1’s water bonds followed long legislative odyssey

Amid a multiyear dry stretch that is among the worst droughts on record, California lawmakers this year made crafting a new water bond a priority.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Blog: Jerry Brown, smart and prepared, responds to California’s drought emergency

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.

Aquafornia news U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

News Release: EPA’s WaterSense 2014 Partners of the Year honored for efficiency efforts to protect nation’s water supply

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, Nev.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Horseback protest targets BLM, but environmentalists say whoa

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.

Aquafornia news Sierra Sun

Commentary: Tahoe-Sierra mega droughts

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.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

El Niño looking like it will be a weakling

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 California’s drought.