Topic: Drought

Overview

Drought

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

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

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

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

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

Aquafornia news Associated Press

State: Dry California town soon to have running water return

The state announced plans to spend $10 million to begin connecting unincorporated East Porterville in Tulare County to the water system of neighboring Porterville. … Statewide, officials said roughly 2,000 wells have run dry during California’s most severe drought on record and stretching into its fifth year.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Study shows Sierra snowpack 3 years away from pre-drought levels

The Sierra snowpack, which is responsible for more than 60 percent of California’s water, won’t likely make it back to its pre-drought levels until 2019, scientists said in a study published this week, dashing the hopes of those who believed one extremely wet El Niño year could alleviate the state’s water crisis.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Alarm over fire danger as California tree die-off hits 66 million

The California drought is carving an unprecedented path of ruin through Sierra forests, killing trees by the millions and setting the stage for a potentially devastating wildfire season that’s already burning homes and closing freeways in the southern half of the state.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

26 million trees have died in the Sierra since October, raising fire risk

A lethal combination of drought, heat and voracious bark beetles has killed 26 million trees in the Sierra Nevada over the last eight months — an alarming finding for a state already raging with wildfires fueled by denuded landscapes and desiccated tinder.

Post

Drought FAQs

California is no stranger to drought. When conditions become dry, water storage declines and water conservation mandates make news headlines; questions from the public often surface about what appear to be easy solutions to augment the state’s water supply. But the answers can be complicated and, in the end, there is no silver bullet to ensure a resilient water supply, especially during drought.

We explore “frequently asked questions” often posed by the public and provide answers below. Simply click on the question for the answer to appear.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Snowpack unlikely to recover from drought until 2019, study finds

When forecasters last year warned of a massive El Niño, some Californians held out hope that a single extremely wet year could bust the state’s severe drought.   

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

In Southern California, firefighters jump from one forest blaze to the next

Improving weather conditions overnight have diverted resources from a brush fire burning in Santa Barbara County to a pair of blazes burning above communities in the San Gabriel Valley foothills and a third in San Diego County, where hundreds of homes remain under threat.

Aquafornia news USA Today

Forest Service pushes for fire funding change

Some forest fires should be considered natural disasters and their damage paid for like hurricanes and tornadoes, according to the chief of the U.S. Forest Service, who laments that 56 percent of his budget is going to suppressing fires. … A bill pending in the House would allow for supplemental appropriations, like those made for natural disasters like hurricanes, as needed. 

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

California snowpack won’t recover from drought for years (with audio)

The winter of 2015 capped four years of drought that resulted in an unprecedented water deficit in Sierra Nevada snowpack. Much of California’s water comes from snowmelt.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Wildfires rage across Western US, but homes mostly spared

For days, wildfires have raged amid spiking heat across Southern California and much of the West, driving hundreds of people from their homes.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Research: California years away from making drought recovery

It could take California four years to recover from the most severe drought on record, even if the next several winters bring above-normal snowfall to the Sierra Nevada, researchers said Tuesday releasing a study.

Aquafornia news Redding Record Searchlight

Forest service: Tree die-off epidemic hasn’t yet hit North State

The Shasta-Trinity National Forest has not yet seen the die-off from drought and beetles that has killed large swaths of forest in the Sierra Nevadas, a forest official said Monday.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Melting snow, water releases and La Niña complicate California’s drought picture

Word of the vanishing Sierra snowpack, which usually helps replenish reservoir levels later in the summer, arrives amid uncertainty over how California’s dams will be managed in coming months to protect endangered fish. It also comes at a critical juncture for urban water officials across the state.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Should California limit the number of small, new water systems?

California’s drought has revealed that when it comes to water, not every community is equal. … Now, a bill by a Bay Area state lawmaker aims to slow the spread of little “mom and pop” water providers by making it very difficult to create new ones.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

What Lake Mead’s record low means for California

When the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced last month that the country’s largest reservoir, Lake Mead, had fallen to its lowest-ever level at 1,074ft (327m), the question many asked was: How will it affect one of California’s primary drinking sources? … Falling water levels are the result of a drought in the Colorado River Basin that has dragged on for 16 years and counting.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California to fire up burners to battle dead tree epidemic

California’s drought and a bark beetle epidemic have caused the largest die-off of Sierra Nevada forests in modern history, raising fears that trees could come crashing down on people or fuel deadly wildfires that could wipe out mountain communities.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Obama gets personal with Yosemite in speech, long hike

President Barack Obama mixed business with pleasure here Saturday, touting the importance of national parks and then seeing one up close for himself as he took in the sights at what is arguably the crown jewel of the national park system.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Fire torched us last year, and the blazes keep coming

Summer starts Monday, and the state faces another fire season. Many worry it could be a repeat of last year, when massive wildfires tore through populated areas and ravaged landscapes parched by years of drought.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: California drought bummer — Sierra water runoff coming up short

The El Niño-fueled storms that coated the Sierra with nearly normal snow this winter brought blasts of hope to drought-weary California. But after the flurries stopped and the seasons changed, the melt-off from the high country has been swift and disappointingly scant, according to new water supply estimates from the state.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Santa Barbara fire bad omen for dangerous California fire season

The fire started smoldering Wednesday afternoon off a curvy mountain road in the coastal hills north of Santa Barbara.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Fires threatening communities around West

Fueled by hot and dry weather, wildfires threatened homes in California and other Western states as crews struggled to corral flames that have scorched miles of brush and timber.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: Water supply a ‘concern’ this summer in California (with audio)

The U.S. Drought Monitor says a lack of rain in May and in early June has caused the expansion of abnormally dry conditions in northwest California.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Wildfire near California oil refinery burning out of control

Winds and rising temperatures across the dry Western U.S. also worsened wildfires in other states.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Is drought causing a health crisis in California?

For the first time ever, a survey tool developed by the Centers for Disease Control to assess public health in disaster settings has been applied to a drought.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

San Joaquin County groundwater levels still falling

For anyone who doubts that we’re still in a drought, San Joaquin County’s groundwater “savings account” was even more depleted this spring than last, despite improved rainfall over the course of the winter.

Aquafornia news KPCC Southern California Public Radio

Do Southern California water wholesalers have enough supply for 3 more years of drought?

Wednesday will be a day of reckoning for California water wholesalers like Southern California’s Metropolitan Water District (MWD). They have to prove to the state that they have enough water to get through three more years of drought.

Aquafornia news San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: How long can droughts last? Los Angeles County’s trees may have the answer

The DWR [California Department of Water Resources] hired [Dave] Meko and his crew to perform the massive tree-ring study beginning last year. … The Southern California watershed data will be analyzed and compared with tree-ring data from Northern California and the Colorado River area, three key sources of drinking water for a state of 36 million people.

Aquafornia news PPIC

Blog: A weatherman explains California’s volatile climate

What does the future hold for California’s weather and climate? Is drought the new normal? And what about La Niña? We talked to Daniel Swain—founder of the popular California Weather Blog and a Stanford University climate scientist—about our volatile climate.

Aquafornia news Bureau of Reclamation

News Release: Interior Department Announces $30 Million for Water Reuse and Reclamation Projects in California

Deputy Secretary of the Interior Michael L. Connor announced more than $30 million in funding through the Bureau of Reclamation’s Title XVI program for seven projects that will provide clean water to California communities and promote water and energy efficiency.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: How plans to save fish species could cut summer water supply

This year was supposed to be different. With Northern California’s reservoirs finally brimming and cities liberated from stringent conservation rules, farmers were expecting more water for their crops. The worst of the drought seemed over. Or maybe not.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Scientists bid farewell to a slightly underwhelming El Niño

Though El Niño’s impacts in the state, particularly Southern California, fell short of expectations, worldwide effects from the event were significant, according to scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. . . . in its declaration, NOAA estimated a 75 percent chance for a La Niña phase, characterized by cooler-than-average sea temperatures, to roll around this fall, though it’s unlikely to cause extreme changes in the Bay Area’s rainfall, forecasters said.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Earth’s super-sized El Nino is over; coming up, La Nina

In its monthly update Thursday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the El Nino has ended, 15 months after its birth in March 2015. El Nino is a natural warming of parts of the central Pacific that changes weather worldwide.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Sen. Feinstein: ‘We’ve got to reach consensus’ on drought bill

At the first hearing on Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s controversial drought legislation, it emerges that the Obama administration supports the bill. But a deeper look shows that many concerns remain, leaving consensus still in doubt.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Santa Clara County prepares to ease conservation rules

Following the wettest winter in five years, water conservation rules for Santa Clara County’s 1.9 million residents are likely to be relaxed in the next few weeks. The staff of the Santa Clara Valley Water District, the wholesale water provider for the county, is recommending a 20 percent cut in water usage compared with 2013 levels through Jan. 31, down from the current 30 percent.

Aquafornia news Charter Local Edition

Video: California Assemblyman James Gallagher on water, drought

Charter Local Edition Host Brad Pomerance interviews California Assemblyman James Gallagher about water, the drought and transportation.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Illegal pumping cases dismissed

State water regulators on Tuesday formally dismissed complaints against two Delta water districts accused of diverting water illegally during the worst of the drought last summer.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Drought sparks larger wildfires throughout California

Firefighters are tackling larger and more aggressive wildfires as drought conditions continue for a fifth year in California, drying out swaths of forest land.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: State water board drops record $1.5-million drought fine

State water regulators Tuesday dismissed a record $1.5-million fine against a Northern California irrigation district accused of diverting water last year in violation of a drought order.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

New California drought threat: Bark beetles and tens of millions of dead trees

More rain arrived in Northern California this year, which is good news overall. Yet, more bad news is lurking in the forest: Bark beetles.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Conservation sticks as Californians cut water use 26%

Californians fought the urge to take long showers and generally slosh water around after all the rainfall this year, cutting water use instead by 26.1 percent in April, state officials said Monday.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

California April water conservation rate is 26 percent (with audio)

The statewide water conservation rate in April 2016 was 26.1 percent, compared to 2013, as Californians exceeded the mandatory rate.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Californians continue to rack up water savings

State officials lauded Californians’ continued water savings Monday while issuing a stern warning: State-mandated restrictions will be imposed again on suppliers that fail to take extended conservation needs seriously.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Californians cut water use by 26 percent in April

Californians continued to save water in April despite the easing of the drought, reducing use by about 26 percent compared to 2013, the State Water Resources Control Board said Monday.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

The drought solution that’s under our feet

When California searches for relief from the drought, and explores different solutions, from conserving water to desalination, one avenue that often gets overlooked is what’s under our feet – soil.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Thanks to La Niña, drought could get worse this winter

Last month, state water officials eased conservation mandates in response to slightly above-average winter rain and snow in much of California, leading many to speculate that the state’s long-running drought has tapered off. If only.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Note to Donald Trump: Why the California drought is real

As the issue of how to manage California’s water supply continues to be debated, here is what scientists and water experts tell us about the drought.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino County Sun

State says it’s looking into Nestle water rights in San Bernardino Mountains

The state Water Resources Control Board has launched an investigation into Nestle’s water rights in the San Bernardino National Forest, adding a new layer of scrutiny to the growing public outcry into the water bottler’s operations during a drought.

Aquafornia news KQED

Easing drought boosts California hydropower, for now

The easing of California’s drought has boosted the state’s early spring hydropower generation to its highest level since 2011, helping it to recover from a 15-year low reached last year.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Drought improvement in northwestern California (with audio)

There was a slight reduction in moderate and severe drought in California over the past week but extreme and exceptional drought maintains its grip over a large swath of the state.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Officials heed warnings as early heat wave hits the West

Parts of the Western U.S. are getting an early taste of scorching summer heat, forcing officials in California, Oregon and desert Southwest states to heed the warnings of dangerous, triple-digit temperatures in this first week of June.

Aquafornia news Vox

Lake Mead helps supply water to 25 million people. And it just hit a record low.

It’s a good time to revisit the slow-motion water crunch in the American Southwest.

Aquafornia news Vox

Watch Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the US, shrink dramatically over 15 years

Earlier this week, I [Brad Plumer] wrote about how Lake Mead, America’s largest man-made reservoir, has shrunk to its lowest level ever. … Now NASA’s Earth Observatory has posted two satellite images that show the dramatic decline of Lake Mead between 2000 and 2015.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Bernie Sanders takes on Trump over drought and climate change

Bernie Sanders, traipsing across far-flung regions of California as he seeks a comeback victory here next week, swatted at likely Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for minimizing the state’s water shortage and the effects of climate change.

Aquafornia news ProPublica

As one of its chief sources of water dries up, California eases restrictions on use nonetheless

Earlier this month, California lifted its sweeping restrictions on how its towns and cities use their water, signaling that even though much of the state continues to face extraordinary drought, a moderately wet winter has blunted officials’ sense of urgency over water shortages. Seemingly overlooked, however, is the state’s enormous reliance on the Colorado River for its urban water supplies — and the fact that the Colorado is approaching its worst point of crisis in a generation.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Good news: Trees and other foliage have regrown, despite drought

Over the past year, scientists have studied California’s trees from the air, the ground and even using X-ray technology.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Water crisis not on presidential candidates’ radar

The 20th century dams and canals that gave birth to modern California — to San Francisco, to Los Angeles, to the San Joaquin Valley farms that feed the nation — are near the end of their engineered lives. … So far, the three major presidential candidates have hardly noticed these problems as they barnstorm the state heading into the June 7 primary.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Trump tells California ‘there is no drought’

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump told California voters Friday that he can solve their water crisis, declaring, “There is no drought.”

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

In agricultural heartland, Trump sides with California farmers over environmentalists

Donald Trump waded into California’s perennial water wars Friday, taking the side of agriculture and vowing to boost the state’s farmers even if it means cutting back environmental protections.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

The winter was wet, but California could get thirsty again

When California officials announced an end to restrictions on urban water use last week, they cited the recent wet winter as one reason. El Niño, the climate pattern that brought a succession of storms to Northern California, had given the state a reprieve from its water woes, they said.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: Water board moves to dismiss record fine against irrigation district

State water regulators are proposing to dismiss a record $1.5-million fine they intended to levy against a Northern California irrigation district accused of ignoring drought-related cuts in water diversions.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Water supply concerns as drought persists in Western U.S. (with audio)

There was “minor improvement” in California drought conditions over the past week. But as long-term drought persists throughout the west, and storage levels drop, water supply concerns rise.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Two Delta districts may be off the hook

In a significant reversal on Thursday, state water officials moved to drop their case against two Delta water districts accused of illegally diverting water during the drought last summer.

Aquafornia news KCRA Sacramento

Tree mortality skyrockets in 2016 wildfire season (with video)

Despite the rain and snow, California is experiencing unprecedented levels of tree mortality. Fire officials believe the worst is yet to come.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

House rejects bid to strip California water provision from appropriations bill

The House voted 247 to 169 Wednesday to keep to a measure affecting California’s drought in an appropriations bill.

Aquafornia news Western Water on Tap

Blog: Northern reservoirs brimming early but warm weather taking its toll in the south

Photos of brimming lakes and reservoirs, flowing rivers and raging waterfalls have been splashed across news headlines and in social media. It’s a welcome change from last year when California was entering its fifth year of drought. Yet, the reservoirs are filling because the snow is melting early, not necessarily because the state has more water that fell as snow or rain this winter.

Aquafornia news Reno Gazette-Journal

Drought parched Nevada warms up for fire season

Nevada’s wildland firefighters are readying themselves for a treacherous fire season in months ahead. That’s because a multi-year drought interrupted by El Nino moisture created conditions that cranked up the risk of wildfire in both the Sierra Nevada and Great Basin.

Aquafornia news NPR

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: With drought the new normal in the West, states scramble to prepare (with audio)

As the Colorado River dries out, the seven states that rely on this body of water risk water scarcity.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Many California cities predict no conservation requirements under new water rules

Before throngs of TV news cameras in April last year, Gov. Jerry Brown stood on a patch of bare Sierra dirt that should have been covered in snow and told Californians they had to be unified in conserving water. … Flash forward to this week.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Californians navigate changing tide of drought rules

California’s decision to let local entities regulate how much water people use has residents hoping their bills will get a little more manageable and their yards a little less ugly.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Lake Mead shrinks to record low amid ongoing Western drought

The surface level at Lake Mead has dropped as planned to historic low levels, and federal water managers said Thursday the vast Colorado River reservoir is expected to continue to shrink amid ongoing drought.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Drought conditions improve in California, Nevada

The lastest drought update shows that as California moves toward the dry summer months, conditions continue to improve.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

California regulators end unprecedented water restrictions (with audio)

Californians will still be expected to save water, but state regulators Wednesday lifted unprecedented mandatory conservation measures in place since last year. 

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

‘Deeply disappointed’ with Garamendi bill — Delta congressman faces pushback from his own allies

Long considered an ally of Delta advocates, U.S. Rep. John Garamendi introduced legislation this week that appears likely to test that reputation. … The Feinstein-Garamendi bills are pitched as a more moderate alternative to a bill by U.S. Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford, that already has passed the House.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

California board allows water districts to set their own conservation targets

For its first four years, the California drought spread its pain across most corners of the state.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Drought, dead trees add up to big fire danger for California

Stubborn drought conditions and an epidemic of dead and dying trees mean California is facing a potentially catastrophic fire season, federal officials said Tuesday as they promised to send extra money and personnel to the state.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California weighs next step for saving water in drought

Strict rules adopted at the height of California’s drought leading many people to let their lawns turn brown may soon end as state regulators Wednesday consider letting local communities decide how to keep their own water use in check.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Sen. Dianne Feinstein pushes Senate subcommittee for water bill to address California’s drought

El Niño’s rains didn’t end California’s drought, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein urged Senate colleagues Tuesday to hurry and find a compromise on a package of bills to address the water crisis in the West.

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

Is California drought new norm for water use?

With the drought fading and temperatures heating up, it’s no wonder more sprinklers are popping up. But is it too soon?

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

California water bill — Here’s why it’s so hard for Congress to pass

Five years into California’s latest drought, a major water bill compromise can seem as far away as ever. The perennial conflict, often summed up as fish vs. farms, subtly surfaced again Tuesday at a key Senate hearing.

Aquafornia news Redding Record Searchlight

Visitors enjoy higher water levels at Lake Shasta

The sounds of watercraft and families enjoying Lake Shasta on Sunday carried across the water against a vibrant backdrop of the tree line. The scene is a far cry from last year’s low water levels on the lake, which became a visual indicator of the state-wide drought and the impact to the local environment.

Aquafornia news Tahoe Daily Tribune

Lake Tahoe water levels keep rising

After the best winter in years, Lake Tahoe is slowly refilling.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Slight slump leads Gov. Jerry Brown to shrink spending plan

The budget also contains significant money to address the historic drought: an increase of $11 million to fund the removal of some of the estimated 29 million trees, many in the Sierra Nevada, that have died over the past two years from drought and bark beetles.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Why did El Niño miss SoCal? It’s complicated, National Weather Service says

A mix of rising global temperatures, mysteriously warmed waters off Baja California and unusually far-reaching storms in the western Pacific Ocean conspired to block this year’s El Niño storms from hitting Southern California, the National Weather Service said this week.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Severe and extreme drought eases in California (with audio)

The U.S. Drought Monitor released May 12 shows some minor improvement in California drought conditions and the removal of the short-term drought designation. 

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Blog: California changes course in fighting drought

Those at the helm of California’s drought response and water policy have decided to make a tactical shift. … A new draft plan from Water Board staff calls for allowing water suppliers to develop their own plans based on each area’s unique conditions.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Relaxed state water rules should be good news in Sacramento Valley

Nobody has called an end to California’s drought. Yet, it looks like people in Northern California will have more wiggle room when it comes to water use.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

In another sign drought may be easing, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California ends water limits

Citing the state’s improved hydrology and impressive regional conservation, officials at Southern California’s massive water wholesaler voted Tuesday to rescind the cuts they imposed on regional water deliveries last year. 

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California Senate backs bill to fine excessive water users

The California state Senate has passed legislation that seeks to crack down on people who use too much water during droughts.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Leeway for water agencies under new Calif. drought rules

California water regulators announced new drought rules on Monday that will loosen mandatory conservation targets while making permanent some of the measures that have helped reduce water use during the past year.

Aquafornia news The Orange County Register

Some water restrictions to become permanent under Gov. Brown’s executive order

Some of the temporary water-saving measures imposed on homeowners and water agencies — including how you wash your car at home and how you water your lawn — are now permanent under an executive order issued Monday by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

California braces for unending drought

With California entering its fifth year of a statewide drought, Gov. Jerry Brown moved on Monday to impose permanent water conservation measures and called on water suppliers to prepare for a future made drier by climate change.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California looks at easing drought cuts after wet winter

Members of the state Water Resources Control Board – czars of the state’s drought emergency program – will decide May 18 whether to remove the 11-month-old statewide order.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Governor Jerry Brown announces new permanent water-conservation rules

On the same day that Gov. Jerry Brown sought to make water conservation a way of life for Californians by permanently banning some wasteful practices, regulators in Sacramento prepared to significantly ease the current drought restrictions for urban residents and businesses.

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

California drought rules eased significantly

California’s historic drought rules are going to be a whole lot looser this summer. In a major shift, the administration of Gov. Jerry Brown announced Monday plans to drop all statewide mandatory water conservation targets it had imposed on urban areas last June.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Some emergency drought rules might be eased, but don’t start hosing down sidewalks

Gov. Jerry Brown and top water regulators on Monday laid out a revised game plan for dealing with California’s persistent drought, making some conservation rules permanent while also moving to give communities more of a say in deciding how much water they must save.

Aquafornia news KQED Science

Sierra meltdown: What snow we got is going fast

California’s “frozen reservoir” is melting fast. Unusually high temperatures this spring have acted like a blow-drier on accumulated winter snows, despite a healthy boost during the stormy month of March.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Long-term drought persists in California (with audio)

The U.S. Drought Monitor released May 5 shows some minor improvement in California drought conditions. But looking ahead to the dry season shows drought persisting for a fifth consecutive year in the Golden State.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

El Niño rains added fuel to California’s upcoming fire season, experts say

Thanks to El Niño rains and a fifth year of drought, experts say, California’s landscape has provided enough water to spring up new vegetation to ignite while swaths of forest continued to dry out, priming them to burn and creating a dangerous mix that state and federal firefighters will have to contend with this year.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Hope survives in East Porterville, even as wells continue to run dry

No fewer than nine government agencies and nonprofit organizations have had a hand in helping the [East Porterville] community, which drew international media attention for its exceptional suffering in the fourth year of California’s drought.

Aquafornia news AgAlert Newspaper, California Farm Bureau Federation

Water officials outline outlook for 2016, beyond

What if 2017 is a dry year? “There are no predictions yet, but we have to be prepared,” said Jeanine Jones, resources manager for the state Department of Water Resources. Jones and other state and federal water officials outlined the challenges faced in meeting water demands and the limiting factors to delivery, during a Water Education Foundation seminar held in Fresno.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Debate over Nestle water permit heats up

The U.S. Forest Service’s proposal to grant Nestle a new permit to continue piping water out of a national forest for bottling has drawn a flood of written comments from the public, including a petition with more than 280,000 names demanding the agency “turn off the spigot.” 

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Drought-stricken California boosts conservation for March

Residents of drought-stricken California doubled their water conservation efforts in March compared with the month before by turning off their sprinklers when the rain fell and changing habits, officials said Tuesday.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Tree deaths rise steeply in Sierra; drought and insects to blame

Trees in California are dying at the highest rate in at least 15 years, raising the risk of faster-moving and more-intense forest fires, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Californians step up in March, cut water use by 24%

After months of flagging water conservation, Californians rebounded in March, cutting their urban consumption by 24.3% compared to the same month in 2013.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Water bank project in southern San Joaquin Valley nearing approval

It’s too late for the current drought, but an ambitious water bank project in the southern San Joaquin Valley would give farmers a supplemental supply in future dry spells. 

Aquafornia news BBC News

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Nestle — Bottling water in drought-hit California

Nestle extracted 36 million gallons of water from a national forest in California last year to sell as bottled water, even as Californians were ordered to cut their water use because of a historic drought in the state.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Almond industry growth continues despite drought

Despite California’s drought, almond growers expanded their orchards by an estimated 60,000 acres in 2015, marking the 12th consecutive year of growth for the crop, which now covers more than 1.1 million acres, or more than any other fruit, nut or vegetable crop in the state.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Forest Service clears 62,000 dead trees to prepare for fire season

State and federal agencies spent much of their fire-prevention efforts this winter clearing dead trees.

Aquafornia news Sierra Sun

California, Tahoe-area tree deaths climb to record levels thanks to bugs, drought

Twenty-eight million. That’s the estimated number of trees in California that were dead or dying in 2015 as a result of the ongoing drought, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

One-third ponder leaving Bay Area amid costs, congestion

The trifecta of complaints in 2016 pounded last year’s biggest concern — the California drought — like a heavy El Niño rainstorm. Only 1 percent of Bay Area residents named the lack of water as the biggest problem this year, compared with 24 percent last year.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Spring storms help snowpack as California drought persists (with audio)

There was no change in drought conditions last week in California and Nevada, but spring storms added snow to the northern Sierra Nevada.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

2016 wildfire season expected to be less severe

California is vulnerable because much of the state remains in a drought, despite an El Niño weather system that brought near-average snowfall to its northern mountains.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Plan to enlarge Los Vaqueros Reservoir gains momentum

For nearly two decades, Los Vaqueros Reservoir — a sprawling lake in eastern Contra Costa County nearly 3 miles long and 170 feet deep — has been a popular spot for boating, fishing, hiking and a key source of water for local residents.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Loretta Sanchez says relaxing species law ‘on the table’ to help state

Democratic U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez, campaigning for U.S. Senate, said Tuesday that she would consider amending the federal law governing endangered species to help improve the water supply across the parched state of California.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

This gated community insists California’s drought is over, wants green lawns again

With El Niño-fueled storms drowning out reminders that most of California remains in a state of severe drought, a growing number of communities and water associations are demanding an end to emergency water restrictions that were first imposed more than a year ago.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Thousands of Sierra trees getting cut to prepare for summer

Once bathed in deep green, the forests in the foothills and Sierra east of the San Joaquin Valley are increasingly turning reddish-brown as drought- and beetle-weary trees die by the month. … Local and state officials want the ponderosa pine’s territory, generally above 3,000 feet in elevation, declared a federal disaster area.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Lawsuit over Delta flows: Feds fail in oversight role, environmentalists say

Environmental groups sued federal regulators on Friday for allowing river flows in the fragile Delta to decline below levels that would normally be required even in the driest of years.

Aquafornia news San Gabriel Valley Tribune

On Earth Day, take a moment to consider these 10 local environmental issues

Earth Day, celebrated today across the globe, reminds us of the fragile state of our planet. From land contaminated with toxic chemicals to bad air spewed into the atmosphere, the most of us have been affected by pollution in some way. To bring all of this closer to home, we’re listing the 10 most critical environmental problems in Southern California.

Aquafornia news Tahoe Daily Tribune

UC Davis reports Lake Tahoe clarity down in 2015, lake level returns to natural rim

Lake Tahoe’s famed water clarity took a hit last year in part due to California’s fourth consecutive year of drought. … With spring snowmelt continuing, the lake is currently 2 inches above its rim and has begun spilling over into the Truckee River for the first time since October 2014.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

State Water Project increases allocations to 60 percent

The State Water Project announced Thursday that it will supply 60 percent of the water requested by its 29 contractors.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Extreme and exceptional drought decline in California (with audio)

The U.S. Drought Monitor says extreme and exceptional drought was reduced slightly in California last week and, for the first time since the week of July 2013, there is no exceptional drought in Nevada.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California water districts say drought emergency has ended

California water districts large and small urge regulators to toss out or significantly relax emergency drought orders requiring residents to take shorter showers and let their lawns turn brown.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

California water agencies want conservation requirements relaxed or eliminated (with audio)

California may not be completely out of the drought, but water agencies around the state told regulators that it’s time to further relax or eliminate emergency water conservation requirements.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Interior Secretary Jewell: ‘Major course correction’ needed on conservation

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on Tuesday called for “a major course correction” in the way the nation conserves its public lands, waters and wildlife, saying climate change and other trends threaten natural areas “in existential ways.”

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Lake Oroville within 18 feet of crest

With Lake Oroville at its highest level in nearly four years, state officials were cautiously optimistic that the reservoir will reach the crest this year. 

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

What drought? East Bay gated community orders homeowners to green up

The homeowners association for this upscale, gated community [Blackhawk] has threatened to fine homeowners for brown or dead lawns and landscaping despite a continuing state drought emergency.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Living with less snow in the West

Among firs and cedars high in the Sierra Nevada, scientists are using an array of instruments to monitor the health of the forest, measure the snowpack and track the water that melts and seeps into the soil. … Already, as the winters have grown warmer, the snow has been melting earlier after storms pass.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Drought proposals in Congress are so last century

Politicians in Washington could have passed laws four years ago that would be yielding benefits today. These would be things like assistance with groundwater recharge, water conservation on farms, stormwater capture and wastewater recycling. I [Matt Weiser] call these non-nuclear options, because they don’t peg the Geiger counter in many lobbying offices in the land.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Pacific salmon may be scarce, pricy in stores this summer

Four years of bruising drought in the West has strained inland rivers where salmon spawn, putting the fish in sharp decline. … The salmon industry in California and Oregon alone is valued at $2 billion annually.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Scientists confirm: El Niño a disappointment in still-too-dry Southern California

The National Weather Service has confirmed what many Southern Californians suspected during a scorching February: El Niño, and its badly needed rainstorms, are pretty much kaput.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Delta pumping to Southern California restricted despite rainy winter

For the first time in five years, Northern California’s rivers are roaring and its reservoirs are filled almost to the brim. But you’d hardly know it, based on how quiet it’s been at the two giant pumping stations at the south end of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Poll: Most Californians see serious water shortage despite rains

Despite the wettest winter in five years, an overwhelming majority of Californians believe that the state faces an extremely serious water shortage and plan to continue conserving water, according to a poll released Thursday.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

El Niño weakens, here comes El Niña, meteorologists say

In the midst of an epic El Niño, federal meteorologists say its flip side, La Niña, is around the corner.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

El Niño weakens, and here comes La Niña, meteorologists say

As if drought-stricken Southern California’s El Niño bust wasn’t bad enough, now the experts say we’re headed for a bona fide period of bone-dry weather.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

California salmon season cuts planned to protect struggling fish

Responding to profound threats to California’s quintessential catch, federal fishery regulators laid out new restrictions Thursday for the state’s commercial salmon fishing season, scheduled to begin next month, as well as to the sport season, which started April 2.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Odds of La Niña increase for next winter, bringing concerns the drought may drag on

In what may be an ominous sign for the end of the drought, the El Niño that brought Northern California its wettest winter in five years is continuing to weaken and appears to be giving way to its atmospheric sibling — La Niña.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Before-and-after photos of California reservoirs show impact of drought, El Niño

Dramatic photographs showing California’s diminishing, drought-ravaged reservoirs circulated all over news sites and social media last year. Images of exposed lake beds with parched, cracked earth became symbols of the Golden State’s water crisis.  The story changed this winter.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

California drought and drainage bills could collide on Capitol Hill

The politics of California water is becoming three-dimensional chess in Congress as lawmakers balance competing anti-drought ideas with a proposed San Joaquin Valley irrigation drainage settlement that’s going to get bigger.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

California drought fears ease, don’t vanish, with rain

A wetter winter has dampened Californians’ anxiety about the drought, though large majorities remain deeply concerned about ongoing water shortages and committed to consuming less.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Navy to require climate change reporting from vendors

The U.S. military has characterized climate change as a threat to national security since at least 2014, saying drought and other natural disasters can foster instability, conflict and extremism.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Wildfires, once confined to a season, burn earlier and longer

The first Alaska wildfire of 2016 broke out in late February, followed by a second there just eight days later. … And on the border of Arizona and California this month, helicopters dumped water on flames so intense that they jumped the Colorado River, forcing the evacuation of two recreational vehicle parks.

Aquafornia news KOLO 8 ABC News

Lake Tahoe reaches natural rim (with video)

Here at the Gatekeepers Museum, onlookers see something that until now has been a rare occurrences. Lake Tahoe at its natural rim, slightly above as a matter of fact, to allow water to overflow into tributaries — like the Truckee River.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Sierra Nevada snow won’t end California’s thirst

Thanks in part to El Niño, snowpack in the Sierra Nevada is greater than it has been in years.

Aquafornia news The Weather Channel

More rain and mountain snow expected this week in the West (with video)

A pattern change will continue to bring rain and some mountain snow to parts of the drought-stricken West this week. … This pattern change is good news for California, where drought remains a concern and any precipitation is beneficial. 

Aquafornia news U.S. News & World Report

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Water woes divide California into haves, have nots

People have long predicted that California could eventually collapse into the ocean following a mega earthquake. Now, an eerily similar true-life scenario is playing out — but it’s thanks to the weather. 

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California storm brings mostly light rains, minor nuisances

Scattered statewide showers forced baseball players to sit through rain, horses to run through mud and caused other nuisances. But the rainfall once again fell short of wet expectations for the dry California.

Aquafornia news The Orange County Register

Was flood insurance a mistake for Southern California homeowners?

In record numbers, homeowners throughout the state rushed out to buy flood insurance in anticipation of the widely hyped – and feared – monster El Niño. …. And some are asking: Did all these insurance buyers make a monster mistake?

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Higher water rates likely due to mandate

This is the time of year when water utilities set their rates, which almost inevitably go up. But this year, the rate hikes are likely to be higher than usual, as water utilities cope with the unexpected impact of mandatory conservation on their budgets.

Aquafornia news KPCC Southern California Public Radio

California’s water conservation targets have been revised

Under standards posted Thursday afternoon, the water districts that provide water around California have new conservation targets.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: Exceptional and extreme drought persists in California

The weekly U.S. Drought Monitor shows slight improvement in California’s drought last week even though there was “little or no precipitation.”

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Central Valley communities get lower state water conservation goals

Central Valley water suppliers and customers got a break Thursday when new conservation goals for the coming months were announced by the state Water Resources Control Board.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Drought woes continue at New Melones

In another sign that the drought isn’t over in this neck of California, state officials are considering temporarily loosening water quality standards on the Stanislaus and San Joaquin rivers for the third year in a row. 

Aquafornia news Associated Press

The next step in California’s drought

Some residents of drought-stricken California who let their lawns turn brown and took shorter showers could soon get some relief, while others may continue to feel the pain. In the coming months, state officials will undertake a monumental task of rewriting conservation orders for a fifth year of drought.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles County moves toward water fee for new developments, looks at stormwater funding

Los Angeles County will consider new water-saving requirements for developers and look at tax options to pay for future drought planning under a pair of measures adopted Tuesday.

Aquafornia news San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Why Southern California may see easier water conservation goals despite state missing target

On April 20, the [State Water Resources Control] board will meet with hundreds of cities, water utilities and private water companies in an effort to reduce targets and adjust a new conservation plan that runs through October. On May 5, the board will consider reducing targets due to water availability and hydrology.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Drought still grips Southern California, keeping pressure on state water supplies

El Niño has been little more than a cruel joke in Southern California this winter. … Northern Californians who believe the drought is over should think again.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

California water-saving rules to ease, but nobody’s off the hook

Poised to ease California’s mandatory drought rules after rebounding rain and snow levels this winter, state water officials on Monday made it clear that — even where reservoirs are 100 percent full — no community is likely to get an entirely free pass from conservation targets this summer.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

California barely misses 25% water-savings drought goal

Californians cut water use 12 percent in February, concluding a nine-month mandatory conservation initiative that fell just short of the governor’s 25 percent saving goal, according to state data released Monday.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: After lackluster February, Californians fall a bit short of Brown’s call for 25% cut in water use

After nine months of fervent conservation, drought-fatigued Californians narrowly missed meeting the water-savings target set by Gov. Jerry Brown a year ago. 

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Drought-stricken California ponders future of conservation

Officials on Monday will launch a discussion about the best approach to saving water as California’s drought modestly improves, but clearly hasn’t ended as it stretches into a fifth year.

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Slow start for salmon season at Santa Cruz harbor

After the disastrous loss of the crab season, the sport salmon season kicked off with a slow start at the Santa Cruz harbor on Saturday.

Aquafornia news KCRA Sacramento

Experts: Folsom Lake levels 10 feet higher than last month (with video)

Folsom Lake is 10 feet higher Sunday as compared to a month ago.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

California’s drought: Get used to it, scientists say

The Bay Area and the rest of the state may as well get comfortable with drought.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Many Central Valley farmers face severe water shortages despite easing drought (with video)

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, in an eagerly anticipated announcement, outlined the initial 2016 water allocations from the Central Valley Project, the federal government’s massive network of reservoirs, pumps and canals.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Feds to announce water allotment for some California farms

Federal officials will say how much water some California farmers can expect to receive this year in one of the nation’s most productive agricultural regions.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: Average snowpack could prolong California water conservation

A nearly average spring snowpack in the Sierra Nevada will likely prolong tough water conservation measures in drought-stricken California — although the restrictions could be loosened in some areas after an El Niño storm system drenched the northern half of the state this winter, officials said.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

US Sen. Dianne Feinstein says water wars tougher than assault-weapons ban (with video)

Moments before release of a crucial snowpack survey Wednesday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein warned against loosening the mandatory water restrictions imposed last year by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Capitol Park gets a drought-minded makeover

“California’s front yard” is getting a water-wise makeover. Work crews Wednesday started sheet mulching swaths of lawn outside the state Capitol as the iconic Capitol Park begins transforming its landscape for a more drought-tolerant future.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Survey Shows Nearly Average California Snowpack

The latest Sierra Nevada snow survey finds that the statewide snowpack is at 87 percent of normal for March 30 and 87 percent of the April 1 average.

Aquafornia news San Gabriel Valley Tribune

How one botanist turned to old methods to treat drought-stressed trees

“And don’t forget the trees,” would be the refrain from State Water Resources Control Board Chairwoman Felicia Marcus at the end of every meeting. Marcus wants Californians to conserve water but not at the expense of yard trees and park specimens that provide shade and reduce energy use.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Improved California spring snowpack won’t end drought

State drought surveyors will trudge through deep snow Wednesday to manually measure what could be close to a normal Sierra Nevada snowpack for this time of year.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Unimpressive El Niño leaves California in water limbo

The rain storms and blizzards that were supposed to come with El Niño were conspicuously non-biblical in California this winter, leaving the state in an ecological limbo that has regulators thinking about easing water-use restrictions in some places but not in others.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: California drought rules likely to be relaxed

With the wettest winter in five years having taken the hard edges off the historic drought and a key Sierra snowpack reading Wednesday expected to show big gains, Californians can look forward to substantial relief from mandatory statewide water restrictions.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

State snowpack has changed a lot in the last year — as have Californians’ attitude toward water

One year ago Friday, Frank Gehrke hiked out to Phillips Station and stuck a tube onto a tuft of brownish-green grass. There was no snow, but Gehrke had quite an audience. … On Wednesday, when Gehrke hikes out to the field again, he’ll have something to measure.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

4 things to know about federal drought legislation

Congress is about to try again to help ease California’s drought. … Discerning the helpful proposals from the hyperbole can be difficult. So as a guide to the process, Water Deeply offers the following four themes to watch as the bills are debated.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Granite Bay water district says it will no longer follow state water conservation mandate

Pointing to improved conditions at Folsom Lake, a water district serving one of the region’s wealthiest areas announced Friday that it would not follow conservation targets mandated by the state this year and would instead ask its customers to voluntarily cut water use by 10 percent.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Feinstein, Republicans ask Obama for more water pumping from Sacramento Delta

Adding to the debate over Northern California’s winter stormwater, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and congressional Republicans asked President Obama on Thursday to increase the volume of water pumped through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to the drought-stricken San Joaquin Valley.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Extreme drought ‘entrenched’ in most of California

The U.S. Drought Monitor released March 24 says from a water supply perspective, there is nearly normal snowpack to melt off and northern Sierra reservoirs are filling. But long-term to extreme drought is still “entrenched” across much of central and southern California.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Largest California reservoirs releasing water for flood safety

After years of drought, Northern California has so much water that the state’s two largest reservoirs are releasing water to maintain flood-control safety. … Shasta and Oroville are the twin anchors of California’s giant water-delivery networks. 

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Lake Oroville hits flood control limit, may have to release water

With Lake Oroville rising more than 82 feet this month, the water level is now cutting into the buffer needed for flood control. … Other north state reservoirs have increased their outflows as they encroach on flood control limits.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: In first-of-a-kind summit, White House rallies corporate investment in water supplies

The White House on Tuesday unveiled several billion dollars’ worth of corporate commitments to water research and development during a high-level summit. Pegged to World Water Day, the summit was intended to draw attention to specific state and corporate pledges as well as new Obama administration initiatives prompted in part by Western states’ drought and the Flint, Michigan, drinking water scandal.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Fight over senior water rights splashes into the Capitol

Late last spring, amid the depths of California’s punishing drought, state officials made a historic determination that rivers and creeks were too low for many farms and cities to draw from. Not everyone agreed, however.

Aquafornia news San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Will El Niño’s water bounty in Northern California provide for dry southern cities?

The so-called March Miracle has unleashed the largest allocation of water from Northern California in four years, more than doubling the flow of imported water from the State Water Project into Central and Southern California.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Obama seeks more coordination on dealing with drought

President Barack Obama on Monday directed the federal government to come up with a less reactionary and more long-term strategy for dealing with drought. … The White House is hosting a “water summit” on Tuesday, which is World Water Day, to raise awareness of the importance of safe, sufficient and reliable water resources.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Documentary focuses on crisis of groundwater depletion

The film, titled “Pumped Dry: The Global Crisis of Vanishing Groundwater,” was co-produced by Steve Elfers of USA TODAY and Ian James of The Desert Sun, and was supported by a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

Aquafornia news NPR

In California, dealing with a drought and preparing for a flood (with audio)

As Californians hope for rain and snow to end the state’s extreme drought, a decades-old rule prohibits reservoirs from filling up in the winter, so some water ends up being released. The rule may sound odd given how chronically dry California is, but it’s actually to prevent a bigger disaster: flooding.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Blog: Four things to note in federal drought legislation

Congress is about to try again to help ease California’s drought. A handful of bills — some new, some held over from last year — will come up for debate in the weeks ahead. The subject is as partisan as the presidential race, and a lot more complicated.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Nestle’s bottled water operation under scrutiny

The Forest Service is conducting an environmental review of Nestle’s controversial bottled water operation in the San Bernardino Mountains, and could require the company to monitor the impacts of its withdrawals, officials said Friday, March 18.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Why some reservoirs don’t fill as quickly

Years of drought followed by the recent pounding storms to hit the Bay Area and Northern California has turned water watching into a spectator sport.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

California SWP will deliver most water since drought began

California farmers and urban areas that rely on the State Water Project will receive the largest allocation of water since 2012.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Dramatic images show El Niño beginning to rescue California from its drought

No, California’s drought isn’t over. But this week, the state came to terms with the fact that the series of El Niño influenced storms has made a dent.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Extreme and severe drought decline in California (with audio)

The ‘Miracle March’ storms have reduced the severity of drought in California.

Commands