Californians have recently endured increasingly aggressive
wildfires, rolling power outages, and smoke-filled air for
days. Unless the state government changes course, we can
add water shortages to this list. … However, the dirty
little secret is that 50 percent of California’s water supply
is used for environmental purposes and is ultimately flushed
out into the Pacific Ocean, 40 percent goes to agriculture, and
only 10 percent goes for residential, industrial, commercial,
and governmental uses. -Written by Daniel Kolkey, a former judge and former
counsel to Governor Pete Wilson and board member of Pacific
As wildfires, heat waves, water scarcity and threats to
wildlife intensify in the West, California’s effort to confront
these environmental crises now has support in Washington, a
stark change from the past four years. Even as former President
Donald Trump spent his final days in office on the sidelines,
lamenting his election loss, his administration continued to
roll back environmental conservation and gut climate
Kevin Kelley, the elegant, whip-smart and fierce former general
manager of the Imperial Irrigation District, who fought to
preserve the Salton Sea and his rural county’s water
rights, died Tuesday at 61. He passed away at home, said his
brother, Ryan Kelley, an Imperial County Supervisor. The cause
of death is still being determined. As top executive from
2011 to January 2019 of the powerful but often
overlooked IID, Kelley regularly took on state, federal
and urban water officials to remind them of the valley’s
The Colorado River District’s Board of Directors finalized a
new program that will fund Western Slope water projects and
approved funding for the program’s first-ever project. The
Partnership Project Funding Program will fund multi-purpose
water projects on the Western Slope in five project categories:
productive agriculture, infrastructure, healthy rivers,
watershed health and water quality, and conservation and
San Joaquin Valley farms and Southern California cities are
facing different but equally daunting water challenges.
For Valley farmers, the requirement to achieve groundwater
sustainability in coming years has heightened interest in
expanding water supplies to reduce the need to fallow irrigated
farmland. For Southern California, falling demands since the
early 2000s have reduced water stress during normal and wet
years, but a warming climate makes future droughts a major
concern. Both regions’ water futures could be more secure if
they jointly developed and managed some water supplies. -Written by Alvar Escriva-Bou, a research fellow at the
Public Policy Institute of California
If 2020 taught us anything, it is that ACWA member agencies are
highly skilled at delivering essential services to their
customers even during the most unexpected and unprecedented
times. As we gear up for the new year, our members continue to
impress with their collaborative and coordinated efforts on
vital issues affecting California water management, including
the implementation of additional long-term water use efficiency
strategies to increase resiliency in dry years.
About a mile of bare, cracked earth now lies like a desertscape
between the boat ramp at the north end of Lake Mendocino and
the water’s edge of a diminished reservoir that helps provide
water for 600,000 Sonoma and Marin County residents. The
human-made lake near Ukiah is about 30 feet lower than it was
at this time last year, and Nick Malasavage, an Army Corps of
Engineers official who oversees operations at the reservoir,
said the scene is “pretty jarring.”
California is home to over 1,000 golf courses, so when there
was a lack of water and public officials had to decide where to
allocate the water, the choice should have been obvious.
California should have shut down the golf courses and made sure
that every resident had access to clean drinking water.
However, this was not the case. As many as two-thirds of
Californian golf courses stayed open and the average 18-hole
course continued to use 90 million gallons of water each day.
Written by Alex Noble, a columnist for the newspaper
California’s Central Valley produces much of the nation’s food,
including about 40% of the country’s fruits and nuts and has
the nation’s second most pumped aquifer system. Its drier
southern portion, the San Joaquin Valley, has decreasing
surface water supply reliability due to frequent and prolonged
droughts, stricter environmental regulations, and growing
competition among water users. Many farmers pump groundwater to
provide their unsupplied water demand. The resulting
groundwater overdraft has numerous impacts on the Valley’s
agriculture and residents.
Colorado is headwaters to a hardworking river that provides for
40 million people. The importance of the Colorado River to the
state and the nation cannot be overstated, and its recent
hydrology serves as a reminder that we must continue to find
workable solutions that will sustain the river. History shows
that we are up to the challenge. … Colorado and the other
Basin states face big challenges. Drier hydrology, competing
demands on the river, and those who seek to profit from such
circumstances, impact the types of tools available to address
these challenges. Written by Rebecca Mitchell, who serves as the state of
Colorado’s Colorado River Commissioner as well as director of
the Colorado Water Conservation Board.
California Water Service (Cal Water), in partnership with the
California Association of Science Educators (CASE) and
DoGoodery, today announced the launch and expansion of the
seventh annual Cal Water H2O Challenge. The free, project-based
competition invites fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-grade classrooms
in Cal Water service areas to develop and implement solutions
for local water issues. … The revamped and expanded Cal Water
H2O Challenge will build on best practices gleaned from the
previous six years to engage more people in caring for water at
a range of levels.
The Southwest U.S. is mired in an ever-worsening drought, one
that has left deer starving in Hawaii, turned parts of the Rio
Grande into a wading pool, and set a record in Colorado for the
most days of “exceptional drought.” Why it matters: These
conditions may be the new normal rather than an exception,
water experts say, as climate change runs its course. And
worsening drought will intensify political and legal battles
over water — with dire consequences for poor communities.
Major cities across Turkey face running out of water in the
next few months, with warnings Istanbul has less than 45 days
of water left. Poor rainfall has led to the country’s most
severe drought in a decade and left the megacity of 17 million
people with critically low levels of water … and farmers in
wheat-producing areas such as the Konya plain and Edirne
province on the border with Greece and Bulgaria are warning of
Efficient water use is an important responsibility that comes
along with the benefits of living in San Diego County’s
beautiful Mediterranean climate. No matter whether your
landscaping is just a few square feet alongside a small front
porch, or covers many acres on a luxury estate, San Diego
County residents have learned to embrace sustainability as a
central principle for creating or renovating their landscapes.
Irrigation is among the highest uses of water for most
California isn’t meeting its recycled water goals, and billions
of gallons of treated wastewater are being discharged into the
ocean or other water bodies each year, according to state
regulators, who say drought conditions could cause future
The Visalia City Council’s last meeting was a fitting end to
2020 bringing news of an impending drought and the possibility
the city’s groundwater reaching a new low. At the Dec. 21
meeting, Visalia’s water resource manager Andrew Munn told the
council he was recommending the city move into Stage 2 of its
water conservation ordinance on March 1, 2021 and to move into
Stage 3 if the aquifer drops to a historic low.
There’s an ecological crisis underway in California’s lonely
corner of the American West. Invasive grasses are causing fires
to explode. Wild horses are trampling fragile habitats.
Thousands of water birds are dying miserable deaths. Wolves are
settling down in hostile territory. Sacramento Bee reporter
Ryan Sabalow examines the hardline politics, romantic notions
of the West and intractable idealism that have made these
problems harder to solve.
The U.S. Department of Energy has finalized two new rules that
offer a win to President Trump in his personal crusade to roll
back water efficiency standards on appliances like showerheads.
Trump frequently has bemoaned what he views as insufficient
water pressure with newer appliances. The new rules, announced
Tuesday, loosen water regulations on showerheads and for
washers and dryers. The Trump administration heralded the
standards as a victory for the “quality of life” of Americans.
Many in Utah think of Las Vegas as a colony of water waste.
Fountains, swimming pools, golf courses and lawns come to mind.
While those things exist, they are not as widespread as they
once were – nor as profligate. Today, Southern Nevada, with a
small share of the Colorado River and limited
groundwater, is an emblem of responsible water use.
Southern Utah is not. But it doesn’t have to be that way. -Written by Kyle Roerink, executive director of the
Great Basin Water Network.
With an investment valued at $1.5 million, USC is installing
touch-free, water-saving faucets in 118 buildings on both
campuses. The new faucets are estimated to save 85% more water
than previous faucets.
In a bold step toward a new kind of collaboration in the
Colorado River Basin, the Metropolitan Water District of
Southern California and Southern Nevada Water Authority are
partnering to explore development of a drought-proof water
supply that could reduce reliance on the over-stressed river.
Water conservation isn’t cheap. But it’s not as pricey as
300-mile pipelines and water grabs. Last week, the Southern
Nevada Water Authority’s board passed its 2020 Water Resource
Plan — a blueprint detailing the water purveyor’s estimates for
supply and demand in a world with a declining Colorado River,
spiking temperatures and increasing populations. -Written by Kyle Roerink, executive director of the Great
Basin Water Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to
protecting water resources in the nation’s driest places.
If an options agreement between the [Ridgecrest] City Council
and Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority comes to
fruition, recycled water from the city’s wastewater facility
could help balance the groundwater basin… Both the council
and the groundwater authorities at their respective meetings
last week approved the option agreement between the two parties
for recycled wastewater.
A new partnership with Pasadena-based Jet Propulsion Laboratory
(NASA JPL) will help state agencies better understand climate
change impacts and identify opportunities to build resilience,
conserve biodiversity and use California’s natural and working
lands to store and remove carbon from the atmosphere.
In September, Tucson declared a climate emergency, setting
the ambitious goal of going carbon neutral by 2030. The desert
city has gradually implemented policies over the past decade to
further rainwater harvesting with the aim of bolstering
conservation, lowering water bills and creating more green
With its Séka Hills olive oil, the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation [in
Northern California’s Capay Valley] is reclaiming its ancestral
land with a crop for the future. … Wherever possible, the
tribe uses sustainable farming practices, and has received
several grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s
Natural Resource Conservation Service for water and rangeland
After decades of new and deeper wells, degraded water quality
and groundwater level declines, residents in the [Madera] area
have a chance to influence how local groundwater will be
managed and used for decades to come — and the deadline to
participate is quickly approaching.
Lake Miramar, a longtime recreational oasis celebrating its
60th anniversary this year, is about to become a key part of
San Diego’s new $5 billion Pure Water system that will boost
the city’s water independence by recycling treated sewage.
Twenty years ago, the Colorado River’s hydrology began tumbling
into a historically bad stretch. … So key players across
seven states, including California, came together in 2005 to
attack the problem. The result was a set of Interim Guidelines
adopted in 2007… Stressing flexibility instead of rigidity,
the guidelines stabilized water deliveries in a
drought-stressed system and prevented a dreaded shortage
declaration by the federal government that would have forced
water supply cuts.
Now based in California, 39-year-old engineer and entrepreneur
Meena Sankaran is working to make water cleaner and more
reliable — by making it smarter. Using sensors and analytic
tools, Sankaran’s startup KETOS provides real-time monitoring
of both water usage and quality, alerting, say, a farmer to a
leak, or a municipality to a contaminant.
Fewer properties over the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin will be
subject to severe water restrictions after the San Luis Obispo
County Board of Supervisors voted on Nov. 17 to revise the
basin’s “area of severe decline,” eliminating roughly 37,000
Non-revenue water loss is among the biggest challenges facing
the water industry and the world. Nearly one-third of all
water, amounting to $39 billion annually, is lost before it
ever reaches a customer… Water scarcity will proliferate with
the aging water infrastructure, rapid urbanization and
worsening disaster seasons throughout the world.
The lower Colorado River Basin, which is primarily in Arizona,
is projected to have as much as sixteen percent less
groundwater infiltration by midcentury compared to the
historical record. That’s because warming temperatures will
increase evaporation while rain- and snowfall are expected to
remain the same or decrease slightly.
For a city built in an arid desert basin in Nevada, the USA’s
driest state with around 10 inches of rainfall a year, this
doesn’t sound too surprising. But the climate emergency and
recent droughts have changed the complexion and urgency of the
Grant Reynolds, a director of Water Audit California, delivered
a letter to the city on Monday criticizing its use of the
Stonebridge wells for municipal use and “a pattern of
exercising no discretion” in issuing permits for new wells.
Meadows in the Sierra Nevada are critical components of
watersheds. In addition to supplying water to over 25 million
people in California and Nevada, meadows contain large
quantities of carbon belowground. … A new study led by
researchers at the University of Nevada Reno demonstrates for
the first time that meadows throughout the region are both
gaining and losing carbon at high rates.
A new Stanford University study identifies residential water
use and conservation trends by analyzing housing information
available from the prominent real estate website Zillow. The
research … is the first to demonstrate how real estate data
platforms can be used to provide valuable water use insights
for city housing and infrastructure planning, drought
management and sustainability.
The incoming Biden administration is widely expected to undo
President Trump’s regulatory rollbacks on a range of water
rules including stream and wetland protections, drinking water
contamination, and the permitting of controversial energy and
The U.S. Geological Survey is in the beginning stages of
learning more about this river via an expanded and more
sophisticated monitoring system that aims to study details
about the snowpack that feeds the river basin, droughts and
flooding, and how streamflow supports groundwater, or vice
A helicopter making low-level passes over the Santa Ynez Valley
towing a large hexagonal frame is using a technology first
developed in World War II to peer as far as 1,400 feet below
the surface to map the groundwater basin.
Plans to regulate groundwater for the first time ever in the
Ukiah Valley Basin are moving forward. And though the details
are wonky and a little esoteric, the results could affect water
and ag policy for years to come. Last week, the Ukiah Valley
Basin Groundwater Sustainability Agency discussed how their
mammoth project of sustainably managing the groundwater is
As the Colorado River District looks to quickly put newly
approved tax revenues to work on Western Slope projects, an
implementation plan offers some examples of the kind of work it
expects to pursue… The district plans to use 14 percent of
the new revenues to shore up its finances… The rest is to be
used to partner with others on projects focused on agriculture,
infrastructure, healthy rivers, watershed health and water
quality, and conservation and efficiency.
All of these wineries focus on energy efficiency, water use
efficiency, soil and nutrient management, pest management,
biodiversity and wildlife conservation. They participate in
sustainable certification programs such as the Certified
California Sustainable Winegrowing program. For each,
sustainability involves an ongoing process of evaluation and
The Ridgecrest City Council Nov. 18 will discuss entering into
an agreement with the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority
regarding treated wastewater. … The agreement would be for
five years, during which the city would provide for sale to the
IWVGA available recycled water produced at its wastewater
treatment plant upon 30-day notice to the city.
Fluidmaster, headquartered in San Juan Capistrano, California,
is the #1 toilet repair brand worldwide. They boast more than
80% U.S. market share, sell their products in over 90
countries, have about 1,500 employees worldwide, and produce
about 100 million toilet repair products annually.
After fires marred the San Lorenzo Valley near Santa Cruz,
in August, the local water district issued a “Do Not Drink Do
Not Boil” notice to residents. Volatile organic compounds
including benzene, residents were warned, could be seeping into
the water system — just as the toxic chemicals did in Santa
Rosa and Paradise, California, in the wake of wildfires in 2017
The public can finally get a look at how Madera officials plan
to correct severe groundwater over pumping and replenish
aquifers in that area. For some farmers, that correction will
mean pumping limits of up to 50 percent from what’s allowed
Located in western Riverside County, California, Eastern
Municipal Water District provides water and wastewater services
to nearly one million residents across a 555-square mile area.
The water provider’s metering infrastructure has always gone
hand-in-hand with customer service. It was a natural decision
to invest in a smart utility network to streamline efficiency,
promote sustainability and improve customer service across
their coverage area.
The Metropolitan Water District board voted to begin
environmental planning work on what would be one of the largest
advanced purified wastewater treatment plants in the world.
Metropolitan officials said the approval marks a significant
milestone for the Regional Recycled Water Program…
There’s some fascinating tension around a proposed wastewater
reclamation collaboration in Southern California. The project,
if it goes forward, would provide some 150 million gallons per
day (~170,000 acre feet per year) of treated effluent. Water
now being discharged into the ocean would instead be available
for aquifer recharge within Southern California.
Private wells in the central San Joaquin Valley are at risk of
water quality issues, failing equipment and declining
groundwater supplies. To help residents address these concerns,
The Fresno Bee contacted public officials, water advocates and
other experts to answer frequently asked questions about common
There’s a concept called “demand management” in the news in
Colorado, and here’s a simple definition: Landowners get paid
to temporarily stop irrigating, and that water gets sent
downstream to hang out in Lake Powell. It’s an idea long talked
about because of increasing drought and the very real danger of
both Lake Mead and Lake Powell dropping into “dead pool” where
no hydropower can be generated.
Managing water resources in the Colorado River Basin is not for
the timid or those unaccustomed to big challenges. … For more
than 30 years, Terry Fulp, director of the Bureau of
Reclamation’s Lower Colorado Basin Region, has been in the
thick of it, applying his knowledge, expertise and calm
demeanor to inform and broker key decisions that have helped
stabilize the Southwest’s major water artery.
Voluntary agreements have been proposed as a collaborative,
modern and holistic alternative to the State Water Resources
Control Board’s staff proposed update to the Bay-Delta Water
Quality Control Plan. … Westlands and other public water
agencies are eager to reengage in the process to finalize the
voluntary agreements, as they offer the best path forward for
Years in the works, Menlo Park’s first recycled water system is
up and running, carrying wastewater from local households to
the Sharon Heights Golf & Country Club, where a new treatment
facility cleans the water for irrigation use, keeping the golf
course a lush emerald green.
The San Joaquin Valley and urban Southern California are worlds
apart in many ways. Yet each face growing water challenges and
a shared interest in ensuring reliable, affordable water
supplies to safeguard their people and economies. Both regions’
water futures could be more secure if they take advantage of
shared water infrastructure to jointly develop and manage some
Conservative estimates from the National Association of Clean
Water Agencies suggest the industry as a whole is expected to
lose at least $12.5 billion due to the coronavirus when all is
said and done. Revenue concerns are spurring utilities to find
new infrastructure investments that can help offset shortfalls.
The persistent problem of non-revenue water is a good place to
Two years ago, Cape Town, South Africa, a city of 4 million
people, informed its shocked citizens that the city was just a
few months away from running out of water due to drought. It
was a wake-up call for all of us to become much better stewards
of our own water. … California of course continues to have
its own foreboding water challenges.
Determining how much water each section of a field needs is a
cumbersome process that requires people to hand-pluck
individual leaves from plants, put them in pressure chambers
and apply air pressure to see when water begins to leak from
the leaf stems. … UC scientists are developing a robotic
pressure chamber that can harvest its own sample leaves and
test them on site, immediately, to provide the freshest data.
The City of Fresno will start its one-day-a-week outdoor water
use schedule on Nov. 1 – and will remain in place through
March. Outdoor watering is considered watering areas such as
lawns, gardens, pools, and other items requiring irrigation or
The Delta Conveyance Project is a necessary investment to
secure California’s water future. Let’s face it, our climate is
changing rapidly and becoming more unpredictable – wildfires
are larger and more frequent, the seas are rising, droughts are
lasting longer and storms are fiercer. The need for this
project has never been clearer.
In a critical step for the proposed public takeover of
California American Water’s Monterey-area water system, the
Monterey Peninsula Water Management District’s board of
directors on Thursday night certified the final environmental
impact report for the effort.
Climate change, as I’ve often heard Brad Udall point out, is
water change. By that, Brad means that the effect of a changing
climate on people and ecosystems is most clearly felt through
changes in how much water there is.
The San Joaquin Valley and urban Southern California each face
growing water challenges and a shared interest in ensuring
reliable, affordable water supplies to safeguard their people
and economies. Both regions’ water futures could be more secure
if they take advantage of shared water infrastructure to
jointly develop and manage some water supplies.
At the Oct. 22 meeting of the Delta Stewardship Council, Delta
Watermaster Michael George gave a detailed presentation on
estimating water use in the Delta… He also discussed
implementation of the state’s policy of reducing reliance on
the Delta and provided updates on the preparations for the next
If all you’ve ever seen of the Fresno River is through Madera
as you drive over it on Highway 99, you’d be forgiven for
thinking it’s just a weed-infested, shopping cart collector
rather than a real river. But there’s a lot to this unobtrusive
waterway, which just made history as the first river in 40
years about to go through a rights settlement under the State
Water Resources Control Board.
If all goes according to plan, recycled water from the city’s
planned $45 to $60 million wastewater treatment facility may be
used to help balance the Indian Wells Valley groundwater basin
as mandated by the state’s Sustainable Groundwater Management
I can see clearly the challenge ahead for implementation of the
Sustainable Groundwater Management Actcal act because I now
have first-hand experience with the kinds of water disputes
that can arise when the local parties involved are not given a
chance to work things out collaboratively.
Advocates and researchers warn that the way many local agencies
have interpreted the Sustainable Groundwater Management
Act overlooks the needs of disadvantaged communities who rely
on groundwater for their drinking water. Many are concerned
that households and communities could see their wells go dry in
the coming years, leaving them without access to safe and
affordable drinking water.
My research group published a new paper last week in the
international Water journal that presents some very good news
for water-stressed areas: cities are succeeding in decoupling
their growth from their water needs. Our research – focused on
20 cities in the Western US – revealed some surprising
On Sept. 30, we sent a letter to state officials requesting
that restoration projects coming out of the Salton Sea
Management Program consider impacts on nearby communities. We
hope those officials will share in our vision of reforestation
and green spaces around the Salton Sea, see the benefits of
such projects in addressing the sea’s deteriorating
environmental conditions, and act with the same urgency.
President Trump has added a false claim to his pitch to
“suburban women” — maintaining that his administration already
has delivered on his promises to speed up dishwashers and
improve sinks and showers. … But no new products are on the
market because of changes, and no proposals have fully made
their way through the regulatory process.
ACWA on Oct. 15 submitted “A Roadmap To Achieving the Voluntary
Agreements” to Gov. Gavin Newsom and top members of his
Administration that calls on the state to take the necessary
steps to re-engage on Voluntary Agreements regarding the
Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay-Delta and its tributaries.
Southern Californians will have more opportunities to save
water under two new programs approved by the Metropolitan Water
District Board of Directors. Both programs provide rebates for
the purchase of water-saving equipment – one for
flow-monitoring devices that provide real-time data on water
usage; the other for premium high-efficiency toilets to replace
older models in apartment buildings and multi-family complexes.
Right now, the Mendocino County Sustainable Groundwater Agency
is writing up a groundwater sustainability plan for the basin.
The plan will regulate groundwater in the Ukiah Valley basin
for the first time ever, and will define how water is managed
in and near Redwood Valley, Calpella, and Ukiah for perpetuity.
The Los Angeles Basin is often thought of as a dry, smoggy,
overdeveloped landscape. But a new study led by NOAA and the
University of Colorado, Boulder shows that the manicured lawns,
emerald golf courses and trees of America’s second-largest city
have a surprisingly large influence on the city’s carbon
emissions…The green spaces within megacities provide numerous
benefits, including improving air quality, capturing runoff,
moderating temperatures and offering outdoor recreation.
Oceanside finished second in a national water conservation
challenge among cities with populations between 100,000 and
299,999, behind only Lakeland, Florida, it was announced
Wednesday. … Oceanside residents pledged to save water and
protect the environment as part of the Wyland National Mayor’s
Challenge for Water Conservation.
California is facing an impending water shortage. With
widespread fires, a COVID-19 provoked economic recession
bringing widespread unemployment and a public health emergency,
it would be easy, but not prudent, to forget that we face a
water crisis around the next corner.
After about six months of construction, Morro Bay’s new water
reclamation facility is well underway — and it remains
politically divisive this election season, with three
candidates talking about halting or undoing the project, which
is the largest-ever infrastructure project in city history.
A new California Biodiversity Collaborative will help determine
how to carry out an executive order from Gov. Gavin Newsom
aimed at conserving 30% of California’s land and marine areas
by 2030—and agricultural organizations said they would
participate to assure the collaborative recognizes stewardship
efforts carried out on the state’s farms and ranches.
At a shuttered water park in the desert landscape of Coachella
Valley in Southern California, Tom Lochtefeld has transformed a
pool into a surf spot. For decades, inventors like Lochtefeld
have struggled to mimic the ocean’s swells. In recent years,
commercial projects and proof-of-concept pools have made good
on the dream.
In many areas of the world, there may be no more precious
commodity than water — and that’s especially true in Los
Angeles. So, it’s probably not surprising that L.A. has become
a font of activity for companies looking to tap the water
market in myriad ways. … From established companies to
ambitious startups, water-focused businesses dot the landscape
in a city that funnels in much of its water from outside
Last month, Microsoft announced it would replenish more water
than it consumes by 2030, focusing on 40 “highly stressed”
basins where it operates. … Microsoft has provided a grant to
the Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability, to work
on software to better predict levels and accessibility in the
drought-threatened Central Valley region of California.
Water utilities increasingly face a dilemma in these
recessionary times: the challenge is to take in enough money to
operate and maintain complex water systems while also providing
safe and affordable water to all their customers—even those who
have trouble paying. We talked to Kathryn Sorensen of Phoenix
Water Services about Phoenix’s equity innovations.
California just recorded its hottest September on record,
according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration, and the state looks to be stuck in a nearly
endless loop of hot, dry weather. With a strong La Niña
developing, the dry pattern is looking ever harder to break,
and could be settling in to stay for a while.
If certain hay species retain more nutrients than others when
on low-water diets, then ranchers know their cattle will
continue to eat well as they evaluate whether they can operate
their ranches on less H20…. Any water saved could be left in
the Colorado River, allowing it to become more sustainable,
even as the West’s population grows and drought becomes more
It’s still dry as dirt, but promises to be a central component
of future water supplies for the 165,000 people served by the
Santa Margarita Water District. While the district currently
imports 100% of its drinking water from the Colorado River and
northern California, the new Trampas Canyon Reservoir is part
of a plan to generate 30% of potable water supplies locally and
to recycle more wastewater.
Unbeknownst to many, some voters will pick five new members of
the Board of Directors of the Westlands Water District. GV Wire
had a chance to speak with two of those… Both offered
insights into how Westlands can change its reputation, how
farmers can change their approach, and what their biggest
adversaries are in the fight for water.
The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) recently
launched an environmental justice community survey to gather
input to inform Delta Conveyance Project planning. The survey,
entitled, “Your Delta, Your Voice,” seeks direct input from
communities that may be disproportionately affected by the
To inform landowners about their water budgets, Rosedale-Rio
Bravo Water Storage District in Kern County partnered with EDF,
Sitka Technology Group, WestWater Research and local landowners
to co-develop a new online, open-source water accounting and
trading platform. We asked general manager Eric Averett to
answer a few questions about how the platform…
A University of Arizona researcher is leading a National
Science Foundation project that is integrating artificial
intelligence to simulate the nation’s groundwater supply for
the purpose of forecasting droughts and floods. [One aim,
the researcher said, is to] “come up with better forecasts
for floods and droughts in the upper Colorado River Basin…”
Residents of Bolinas and Inverness must take further steps to
reduce their water consumption to stave off rationing. Both the
Inverness and Bolinas utility Districts lack significant water
storage in their systems; recently, they put increased pressure
on their customers to cut water use and warned of mandatory
restrictions should they fail to comply.
In the western United States, crops and natural landscapes
consume the greatest portion of water supplies. However,
tracking that consumption is surprisingly complex and
expensive… A recently announced web application called OpenET
aims to fill this gap for farmers and water managers to build
more resilient water supplies…
While use of large seawater desalination plants will continue
to be limited to coastal communities, small-scale, localized
systems for distributed desalination will be essential to
cost-effectively tapping and reusing many of these
nontraditional water sources across the country.
Newsom, who made the announcement in a walnut orchard 25 miles
outside of Sacramento, said innovative farming practices,
restoring wetlands, better managing forests, planting more
trees and increasing the number of parks are all potential
tools. The goal is to conserve 30% of the state’s lands and
coastal waters in the next decade as part of a larger global
Despite that reduction in flow, total storage behind Glen
Canyon and Hoover dams has dropped only 2.6 million acre feet.
That is far less than you’d expect from 12 years of 1.2 maf per
year flow reductions alone. That kind of a flow reduction
should have been enough to nearly empty the reservoirs. Why
hasn’t that happened? Because we also have been using less
In a new paper, researchers from UC Santa Barbara reveal how a
large-scale field experiment in messaging based on
psychological science significantly reduced water consumption
on the Central Coast of California.
A relatively new water budgeting platform appears to be working
well for producers in Kern County. The Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water
Storage District has worked with multiple stakeholder partners
to develop the Water Accounting Platform to help growers more
accurately track water use.
New technologies intend to help farmers translate a mountain of
detailed soil moisture and weather data into informed
irrigation decisions to use water most efficiently, while
maintaining detailed information to satisfy regulators.
Every year, the Groundwater Resources Association of California
selects two speakers for the David Keith Todd Lectureship…
One of the speakers for the 2020 lecture series was Theresa
“Tess” Dunham, an attorney with Kahn, Soares & Conway LLP, who
spoke about groundwater quality and how the Porter-Cologne
Water Quality Control Act, the Sustainable Groundwater
Management Act, and the state’s recycled water policy can work
Despite little precipitation and a small snowpack in the 2020
water year, which ended Sept. 30, California weathered the year
on water stored in reservoirs during previous years’ storms.
Going into 2021, farmers note that weather officials predict a
La Niña climate pattern in the Pacific Ocean, which has brought
drought conditions in the past.
in a bid to celebrate the importance of water in our lives, the
collaborative design office NUDES has conceived a rainwater
harvesting tower for San Jose in California. The soaring ‘rain
water catcher’ is a design proposal that aims to address the
global impact of climate change by advocating the need for
Landowners with access to underground water have been able to
pull as much water, at any rate, any time, and for any reason
without worrying about protocols or following government rules.
That is about to change. Last Tuesday, local officials and
environmental engineers introduced an outline for how to
sustainably manage and regulate groundwater in the region.
In the area that the Moapa Valley Water District serves, water
users are facing an uncomfortable future: People are going to
have to use less water than they were once promised. Over the
last century, state regulators handed out more groundwater
rights than there was water available. Today state officials
say that only a fraction of those rights can be used, which
could mean cuts.
The Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority faces two
lawsuits, from a major local farm operation and Searles Valley
Minerals, over water rights filed this week in the aftermath of
the passing of a controversial groundwater replenishment fee
and a fallowing program.
For years, the Orange County Water District has expressed
interest in buying the desalted water, provided Poseidon
receives the necessary regulatory permits. But the water
district’s appetite for the controversial project could be in
jeopardy after Nov. 3, if two board members who support the
project are upset in their reelection bids and replaced by
Unfortunately, some Wall Street water companies are trying to
take advantage of California’s drought fears by pushing through
overpriced and unnecessary water projects. Poseidon Water Co.
is one of those companies. Poseidon has been working for years
to build a seawater desalination plant in Orange County,
seeking a deal that would lock the local utility into buying
their water for decades, regardless of need.
The recent downgrade in the forecast for the flow of water in
the Colorado River should be a death punch to the proposal to
build a new pipeline out of Lake Powell. The pipeline was
already a major threat to Las Vegas and much of the rest of the
Southwest; now the threat risk is heading off the charts.
Two lawsuits accusing the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater
Authority of ramming through a plan that ignores water rights
and, according to one plaintiff, is intended to “destroy
agriculture” were filed this week. At issue is a controversial
$2,000-per-acre-foot fee that would be charged to certain
groundwater users over a five-year period. That money is
intended to raise $50 million to buy Central Valley water and,
somehow, bring it over the Sierra Nevada to replenish the
overdrafted desert aquifer.
One of the biggest challenges to implementing California’s
Sustainable Groundwater Management Act hovers around this
two-part question: Who gets to pump groundwater and how much do
they get to pump? Or, put another way, who must cut their
groundwater use and by how much? [Please note Oct. 20 webinar.]
Participants will pay $1,295 per acre-foot for treated water,
while municipal and industrial users will pay $1,769 per
acre-foot. Farmers who participate will receive a lower level
of water service during shortages or emergencies. That allows
the water authority to reallocate those supplies to commercial
and industrial customers who pay for full reliability benefits.
In exchange, participating farmers are exempt from fixed water
storage and supply reliability charges.
When governor Jerry Brown signed the Sustainable Groundwater
Management Act (SGMA) into law in September 2014, he said that
“groundwater management in California is best accomplished
locally.” With the first round of plans made available for
public comment this year, it appears that, while the state
certainly ceded control to local management agencies, those
same agencies have prioritized the interests of big agriculture
and industry over small farmers and disadvantaged communities.
Potentially the most important question popped up roughly
halfway through the Indian Wells Valley Water District Board
candidate forum Wednesday night. Hidden within a longer
question was the key point: how do the candidates think the
local water basin should be balanced and how do they plan to
protect water district ratepayers while doing so?
From the time when the pioneers first arrived, water, or the
lack of it, was a major problem for the valley. The first water
system was started by Reuben Hart, who came to the United
States from Derbyshire, England, first settling in New Jersey
with his brother, Thomas.
Last week on these pages, you heard the President of California
American Water explain their rationale for withdrawing their
application for a desalination plant from the California
Coastal Commission the day before their Sept. 17 hearing. What
he didn’t tell you is that there is a feasible alternative
project that has less environmental impact, is more socially
just, and would be less costly to ratepayers
Some of the largest users of the Ventura River recently
released their proposal to settle litigation and potentially
stave off a water-rights adjudication. The plan includes
multiple habitat restoration projects intended to help
endangered steelhead trout, but largely avoids any changes to
water use. Before it goes to a judge, however, other parties
likely will weigh in, including the state.
Regional water conservation groups and a Clark County
commissioner welcomed a request by Utah officials Thursday to
extend the federal environmental review of a controversial plan
to divert billions of gallons of water from the Colorado River
to southwest Utah.
At the September meeting of Metropolitan’s Water Planning and
Stewardship Committee, Laura Lamdin, an associate engineer in
water resource management, gave a presentation on how the
United States and Mexico built a collaborative relationship,
the many accomplishments that have come as a result, and a look
at the work currently in progress.
The combination of drought conditions and heat waves, which can
make wildfires more likely, is becoming increasingly common in
the American West, according to a new study. The results may be
Practically every drop of water that flows through the meadows,
canyons and plains of the Colorado River Basin has reams of
science attached to it. Our latest article in Western
Water news examines a new report that synthesizes and
provides context for that science and could aid water managers
as they prepare to rewrite the operating rules for a river
system so vital to the Southwestern United States and Mexico.
A crisis could be approaching. The two giant reservoirs on the
Colorado River are both below 50 percent of capacity. If
drought causes even more drastic drops, the Bureau of
Reclamation could step in to prioritize the making of
electricity by the hydro plants at lakes Mead and Powell. No
one knows what BuRec would do, but it would call the shots and
end current arrangements.
California’s Delta Watermaster Michael George is responsible
for administering water rights within the Sacramento-San
Joaquin River Delta, which supplies drinking water to more than
25 million Californians and helps irrigate 3 million acres of
farmland. For him, the development of OpenET signals an
exciting opportunity for the future of water in the West.
Earlier this summer, American Rivers released a new report,
Rivers as Economic Engines, detailing how the right investments
in water infrastructure, natural infrastructure and river
restoration can create jobs, strengthen communities and address
longstanding injustices. … We are calling on Congress to
invest $500 billion over 10 years to create the
transformational change we need when it comes to ensuring clean
water and healthy rivers for everyone.
By 2030 we will be water positive, meaning we will replenish
more water than we use. We’ll do this by putting back more
water in stressed basins than our global water consumption
across all basins. … We will focus our replenishment efforts
on roughly 40 highly stressed basins where we have
operations….Our new Silicon Valley campus, opening later this
year in California, features an on-site rainwater collection
system and waste treatment plant to ensure 100% of the site’s
non-potable water comes from onsite recycled sources.
The Central Contra Costa Sanitary District Board of Directors
is one of the special districts set to appear on San Ramon
Valley voters’ ballots during the Nov. 3 election, with six
candidates vying for three at-large seats on the sewer board.
Through research funded by the Almond Board of California we
are exploring ways to recharge groundwater aquifers, be good
stewards of the water that we all collectively share as a
state, and even helping the salmon industry understand how
agricultural land, like rice fields, could play a role in
supporting salmon health.
In recent years, a wide range of water-related factors have
contributed to political instability, human dislocation and
migration, agricultural and food insecurity, and in more and
more cases, actual conflict and violence.
On Wednesday, at the virtual 35th Annual WateReuse Symposium,
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency facilitated a
“charrette” to identify challenges and map solutions to
continue advancing the National Water Reuse Action Plan…
“Water reuse must be a central theme in EPA’s efforts to meet
21st century demands for water,” said EPA Assistant
Administrator for Water David Ross.
Farmers whose only access to water is pumping from their own
well will get their first glimpse at what the state’s new
groundwater management law will cost them next month. On Oct.
1, the East Tule Groundwater Sustainability Agency will hold a
public hearing to discuss a groundwater extraction fee…
Former U.S. Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt writes that
a “Grand Bargain” in California water is needed to end the
“political culture of deferral” and allow major water projects
to advance. On the contrary, what’s needed is an adult
regulator that will make hard choices that water users refuse
A team of scientists, led by the University of Arizona, has
developed a new blueprint for arid-land agriculture using wild,
native crops and modern growing techniques. The 14 researchers
from the Southwest and Mexico believe their model can produce a
sustainable, local source of food that will improve the health
and well-being of consumers and farmworkers alike.
San Diego is not well endowed with many freshwater sources to
support its growing population, so some water experts are
perplexed the city’s ignoring a self-replenishing local
groundwater source that, though small in size, is safe from the
threat of natural disasters and reliably recharged by the San
Roughly a thousand acre-feet of water won’t make or break the
Colorado River. But for many who live in counties that border
the river, even losing a few drops of water to central Arizona
poses a major threat to their way of life.
Lake Powell isn’t in Southern Nevada. Rather, it’s about four
hours away by car in southern Utah. But some environmentalists
say the water consumption of St. George, Utah, and neighboring
communities could have a direct and deleterious impact on the
Las Vegas water supply.
The cuts are a plan to keep Lake Mead, a reservoir at the
Arizona-Nevada boundary, functional. Water levels have
precipitously dropped as a result of historic overallocation
and a drought that started in 2000. … ASU Now checked in with
Sarah Porter of the Kyl Center for Water Policy at the Morrison
Institute on how these new developments will impact the Copper
State and its residents.
The plan, approved by the board of directors, will help serve
more customers who use recycled water for irrigation,
construction grading, fire department usage. Additionally, the
board approved temporarily closing the Recycled Water Fill
Station No. 1 to move it, upgrade it and add better security
for the grounds.
In Protecting Our Water and Environmental Resources v. County
of Stanislaus, the Court held that the County may not
categorically classify all groundwater well permit issuances as
ministerial decisions. Such a classification exempts well
permit issuances from environmental review.
Between February and July 2020, the East Bay Municipal
Utility District completed work on more than 20 community
infrastructure projects totaling $49 million. The projects
include rehabilitated neighborhood water storage tanks, miles
of new water distribution pipelines designed to withstand
earthquakes, and a new photovoltaic system to generate energy
from the sun.
The Utility of the Future Today recognition program celebrates
the achievements of water utilities that transform from a
traditional wastewater treatment system to a resource recovery
center and leader in the overall sustainability and resilience
of the communities they serve.
Nevada officials raised numerous concerns Tuesday about a
proposed project to pipe large quantities of Colorado River
water roughly 140 miles from Lake Powell to southern Utah…
Six of the seven states that use the Colorado River also sent a
letter to federal water managers Tuesday asking them to refrain
from completing project permitting…
The Guidebook is designed to assist urban water suppliers with
preparing UWMPs that are due to DWR on July 1. DWR also
released its draft 2020 Agricultural Water Management Plan
Guidebook related to long-term water supply and demand
strategies for agricultural water planning.
The water wars are far from over, a point made clear in a
just-released feature-length documentary, “Until the Last
Drop.” If you can block from your mind the old Folgers “good to
the last drop” commercials, the film title will evoke a
combination of dripping water with a fight to the last drop of
Santa Rosa miscalculated its stored water forecast near the
beginning of the irrigation season, leading to sudden limits on
water use that farmers say will cost them dearly in an already
dry year. In mid-June, the agricultural users were put on
notice: There would not be enough irrigation water for all to
last through the growing season, according to the city.
Starting in mid-July, the flows in the Noyo River began
dropping faster than in any other summer on record. The river
flow is below 2015 low flows, when the entire state was in a
drought emergency. John Smith, director of Fort Bragg Public
Works, said staff had never before seen water levels in the
Noyo drop so precipitously.
I visited in late August with Matt Angell about California San
Joaquin Valley water issues. Angell is a chairman of San
Joaquin Resource Conservation District 9, is a managing partner
at Pacific Farming Co., and also is managing director of Madera
Pumps. The conversation included discussion of California’s
Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and what that will
require of growers in the years ahead.
With an ever-increasing human population, water shortages
already occurring in many areas are only expected to get worse.
Now, researchers reporting in Environmental Science &
Technology have estimated the freshwater supply and demand of
about 11,000 water basins across the globe, determining that
one-fourth of freshwater consumption exceeds regional
Nevada and California joined forces last week at the 24th
annual Lake Tahoe Summit to advance the states’ shared
priorities to protect and restore Lake Tahoe. … There is a
long history of collaboration between Nevada and California to
restore and protect the spectacular natural treasure of Lake
Tahoe and its surrounding environment. This spirit of
collaboration was a pillar of the 24th annual Lake Tahoe Summit
Studies estimate that 1.5 – 2.5 million Californians rely on
domestic wells to meet their household water needs. But because
domestic wells are often shallow, they are also often sensitive
to changes in groundwater levels. As such, sustainable
groundwater management has an important role to play in
safeguarding the health and safety of residents and the
achievement of California’s recognized Human Right to Water.
In 2018, the legislature passed AB 1668 and SB 606, which
establish guidelines and standards for urban and agricultural
water use efficiency and conservation… At the August meeting
of the Delta Stewardship Council, council members received an
update on the State Water Board’s ongoing efforts to implement
the legislation from Charlotte Ely, a Supervising Senior
Environmental Scientist at the Water Board…
The city of Rohnert Park is encouraging community members to
continue water conservation efforts although Sonoma Water has
lifted its emergency water conservation request. Sonoma Water
issued the emergency request as a precaution because its water
production facilities are situated along the Russian River
within the fire evacuation zone.
The new suit, filed Tuesday on behalf of three different tribal
groups and the Sierra Club, argues states and tribes have a
right to place conditions on federal projects that could
degrade waters within their borders or to reject them
altogether. “These changes that cut into the tribe’s ability to
protect its waters and fish harm us all,” Anthony Sampson,
chairman of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe in Nevada, said in a
The study looked at how much water conservation can readily and
affordably be achieved in each region and industry of the
United States by looking at what conservation measures were
already working and considering how much water is being used in
every industry and throughout the country. Then the researchers
ran statistics on that information, looking for areas that
offer greater efficiency.
Over the next 20 years, San Joaquin Valley farmers may need to
temporarily fallow or permanently retire over half a million
acres of cropland as California pushes towards sustainable
groundwater use. … Below, the paper’s lead authors, Benjamin
Bryant and Rodd Kelsey, discuss their research examining how
conservation planning can guide the land use change being
driven by SGMA to achieve multiple benefits…
The Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority last week voted
unanimously to adopt a transient pool and fallowing program and
also approve findings that the programs are exempt from
California Environmental Quality Act review — meaning the
programs are not considered to have a significant impact on the
It hasn’t always been easy, and there have been plenty of bumps
along the way, but we’ve learned a lot in those five years, and
we are happy to share some of what we learned. We are pleased
to present our top 10 SGMA lessons learned:
A group of residents in Laughlin, Nev., which sits along the
Colorado River, are organizing a campaign to oppose a pipeline
that would divert billions of gallons of river water to
southwest Utah, reflecting intensifying struggles over water in
the U.S. West.
Waters of the Delta are in the midst of a tug-of-war. If
California is not careful, the largest inland delta on the
western coast of the North American continent will be damaged.
Water is a Many Splendor’ed Thing brings you another water
relationship that has a personally significant impact to your
The Lake Dolores Waterpark in California’s Mojave Desert has
been abandoned three times since it first opened to the public
in 1962. A private firm recently secured the rights to revive
the derelict site.
The Twentynine Palms Water District will pay the consulting
firm of Kennedy Jenks $84,660 to create a new Urban Water
Management Plan for the district. … The plan, General Manager
Ray Kolisz told directors, helps with long term planning of
water resources and existing and future needs. This year’s
plan,he said, will need to address issues related to climate
As if a global pandemic was not enough, the tumultuous
legislative session comes to a close as much of the state is on
fire. Understandably, lawmakers had already significantly pared
down their legislative packages to focus on a response to
COVID-19. And, then last week many important bills on
environmental justice and natural resources stalled.
The estimated fee would be $24 a month for the average
residential user presuming a five-year repayment period,
according to Gleason. The fee would reportedly collect some $50
million which would be used to purchase water rights for
imported water, presuming the same users continue using the
water at roughly the same rate.
Groundwater is California’s water savings bank account that can
be tapped during dry years when water in lakes and rivers are
low. Conserving water helps preserve groundwater, which is
important for plants, animals and people.
Despite opposing views among board members and objections from
the public, on a 3-2 vote the El Dorado Irrigation District
Board of Directors voted Monday to approve piping the Upper
Main Ditch, also known as the El Dorado Canal.
The written version of remarks delivered by Eric Kuhn at the
Aug. 25 Western Resource Advocates webinar on the Lake Powell
Pipeline, featuring Eric, WRA’s Bart Miller, and Alice Walker,
attorney for the Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians.
This week, water suppliers and landowners along the Sacramento
River joined with federal and state agencies in a new science
collaborative designed to inform ongoing efforts to improve
conditions for salmon on the Sacramento River, while also
helping better manage water for cities and rural communities,
farms, refuges and wildlife management areas that depend upon
After more than two years, another big El Dorado Irrigation
District project is complete as renovations and improvements to
the El Dorado Forebay Dam and Reservoir are finished and the
The study … says that some of the most water-stressed areas
in the West and Southwest have the greatest potential for water
savings. The paper attributes nearly half the potential to
simply improving how water is used in agriculture, specifically
in growing the commodity crops, corn, cotton and alfalfa.
The consolidation of multiple agencies into SCV Water makes
local coordination in emergencies much easier than in the past.
Partnerships with other agencies to the north and south of us
mean there are backup plans for dry years and places to store
excess water in wet years.
A ruling that promises to rein in surcharges appearing on the
water bills of 3 million ratepayers in Monterey County and
elsewhere is coming up for a vote at the California Public
Utilities Commission Thursday. The reform is proposed by CPUC
Commissioner Martha Guzman Aceves with backing from the
agency’s Public Advocate’s Office. Aceves says the surcharge
system failed to incentivize conservation and just ended up
making water more expensive.
Earlier this month, CSU-Fresno hosted the event “Funding Water
Infrastructure in the San Joaquin Valley.” The majority of the
event was focused on the so-called “Water Blueprint for the San
Joaquin Valley,” a high profile new investment plan for
irrigation water. At the event, the Blueprint rolled out a
proposed funding plan – the centerpiece of which is a proposed
0.5% special sales tax in the 8 counties of the San Joaquin
Above-average temperatures in spring resulted in a paltry 57%
runoff, nowhere near enough water to refill the reservoirs that
remain half-empty. Based on these conditions, the U.S. Bureau
of Reclamation recently determined that 2021 will be a “tier
zero” year under the Lower Colorado River Basin Drought
Contingency Plan, with reduced water deliveries for Arizona,
Nevada, and Mexico.
More than 100 people gathered in front of the Mayten Fire
Department in Montague Saturday morning to protest the trucking
of water from local wells, most likely to irrigate illegal
cannabis grows in the Big Springs and Mt. Shasta Vista areas.
A main water pipeline in the San Lorenzo Valley was destroyed
by a wildfire burning in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties. The
San Lorenzo Valley Water District lost 4.5 million gallons of
water after this 5-mile long pipe melted from intense heat. The
district shut off its water supply throughout the Valley except
to Boulder Creek.
A friend last week pointed out something remarkable. Arizona,
California, and Nevada are forecast this year to use just 6.8
million acre feet of their 7.5 million acre foot allocation of
water from the main stem of the Colorado River. And that’s not
just a one-off.
A statewide public effort to determine whether Coloradans
should engage in perhaps the biggest water conservation program
in state history — a Lake Powell drought contingency pool —
enters its second year of study this summer.
The basin replenishment fee was passed by the Indian Wells
Valley Groundwater Authority with a vote of four to one Friday
afternoon. IWV Water District Director Ron Kicinski was the
sole no vote. The IWVGA voted after the basin replenishment fee
protest hearing Friday failed. The IWVGA did not announce the
number of protest votes received…
Nevada and Utah share more than borders. We share the coveted
and much-fought-over Colorado River. But it seems as if only
one state — Nevada — is doing the difficult work to protect our
most valuable resource
’The “Save Searles” campaign was launched Tuesday, three days
before the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority
public hearing on a controversial replenishment fee. The fee
would increase water costs for Searles Valley Minerals by
nearly $6 million a year, “pushing the company and the local
community towards extinction,” according to the campaign…
Because San Diego County gets so little natural rainfall, most
residents must artificially irrigate their landscaping.
Rainfall becomes a welcome sight when it occurs. But rainfall
turns into an unwelcome problem when it enters the storm drain
With the North Bay’s LNU Complex Fire topping 124,000 acres
Wednesday and new state evacuation orders emerging every few
hours, local and state officials urged Bay Area residents to
take a variety of precautions….The city of Santa Rosa has
prohibited all outdoor water use, including for irrigation. It
is temporarily illegal for residents to wash their cars, and
they are asked to conserve water indoors as much as possible.
We know there are ways to actively manage our Western forests
to improve water quality, provide for jobs, reduce the cost of
firefighting and increase forest resiliency. Now we have new
tools to assess how proper management of watershed vegetation
can increase water yield.