Topic: Water Supply

Overview

Water Supply

California’s climate, characterized by warm, dry summers and mild winters, makes the state’s water supply unpredictable. For instance, runoff and precipitation in California can be quite variable. The northwestern part of the state can receive more than 140 inches per year while the inland deserts bordering Mexico can receive less than 4 inches.

By the Numbers:

  • Precipitation averages about 193 million acre-feet per year.
  • In a normal precipitation year, about half of the state’s available surface water – 35 million acre-feet – is collected in local, state and federal reservoirs.
  • California is home to more than 1,300 reservoirs.
  • About two-thirds of annual runoff evaporates, percolates into the ground or is absorbed by plants, leaving about 71 million acre-feet in average annual runoff.
Aquafornia news U.S. Geological Survey

Blog: How much do you use? The story of water

Every five years the U.S. Geological Survey collects data from counties all over the Nation for the national water use report, a thorough document that provides water resource managers and private citizens with accurate information on how much water is being used in specific places for a wide variety of purposes.

Aquafornia news Bureau of Reclamation

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

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

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Study urges thorough review of water storage projects

Voters just approved $7.5 billion dollars for new water storage projects, but a new study says it’s likely not all projects will be worth the money.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

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

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

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

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

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

Aquafornia news KQED Public Media for Northern CA

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

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

Aquafornia news Valley Public Radio

Drought brings boom for water delivery trucks

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

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

California drought hits San Mateo County coast particularly hard

The historic statewide drought has struck especially hard along the southern San Mateo County coast. While other parts of the Bay Area are served by big water agencies with steady if shrinking supplies, most of the homes and small farms here, less than an hour’s drive from Silicon Valley, rely on creeks and wells, many of which have stopped flowing.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

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

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

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

California drought not likely to end this winter, experts say

As California heads into its annual rainy season, water managers, farmers and millions of residents with parched yards are hoping huge storms will finally break the state’s historic three-year drought. Don’t count on it.

Aquafornia news Brookings Institution

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

A serious drought in the American West has called national attention to our country’s water resources. U.S. businesses report substantial concerns over water supply, while the current drought in California has cost the state billions of dollars in economic losses.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Water levels in California’s reservoirs continue to drop

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

Aquafornia news Monterey County Herald

Hydrology hypotheses: can we make our own water?

Imagine harvesting your own water — no water utility, no monthly water bill. Instead, you have equipped your home with a rain catchment system or atmospheric water generator, and connected it to your tap. Monterey will soon be a site for just such an experiment.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Blog: Earth’s major aquifers are in trouble

The world is perilously ignoring the water crisis that is occurring underfoot, writes Jay Famiglietti in the journal Nature Climate Change. A professor of Earth system science at the University of California, Irvine, Famiglietti has helped refine the premier tool for understanding large-scale changes in groundwater reserves.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Nevada Irrigation District suspends some water deliveries

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

Aquafornia news Imperial Valley Press

Report: $7.5 billion water bond may not produce ‘real improvements’

A report released Thursday cautions that the $7.5 billion water bond on California’s November ballot may not yield “real improvements” to the state’s water supply or environment.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

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

Things were bad enough for Rochelle Landers before her well went dry. … She has an acre in the Sierra foothills, in a sparsely populated town an hour northeast of Sacramento with a seemingly abundant water supply despite the drought.

Aquafornia news UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences California WaterBlog

Blog: Flagging problem dams for fish survival

This drought year, as in those past, California water regulators have given away to cities and farms some river flows critical to fish and wildlife. … There are, however, legal backstops to prevent harmful reductions in fish flows, even during a drought as severe as this one.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

San Gabriel Valley water agency declares water supply emergency

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

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

PG&E plan may reduce water flowing into Lake Mendocino

A plan by PG&E to temporarily shut down a powerhouse that feeds water from the Eel River to the Russian River may cut into consumer supplies this winter by further reducing the amount of water coming into Lake Mendocino.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Gov. Jerry Brown touts water bond measure at Stanford summit

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

Aquafornia news NPR

As their wells run dry, California residents blame thirsty farms

Imagine flushing the toilet and watching sand come up.

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Santa Cruzans drink up water source solutions

Even ideas are being conserved as Santa Cruz continues its hunt for alternative water supply solutions. … The so-called ideas convention was hosted by the city’s 14-member Water Supply Advisory Committee.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Temperance Dam plan is flawed, critics say at Fresno forum

About 100 people listened at a public meeting in Fresno to sometimes passionate statements from speakers who faulted everything from the feasibility analysis to the notification for the hearing on the draft Environmental Impact Statement for Temperance Flat Reservoir.

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

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

Drought is rampant these days in many parts of the American West, so consider this a pretty sweet gift: You’ve just been given the rights to some water. … Your job is to turn around and use that resource in the most valuable way possible.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

The risks of cheap water

This summer, California’s water authority declared that wasting water — hosing a sidewalk, for example — was a crime. Next door, in Nevada, Las Vegas has paid out $200 million over the last decade for homes and businesses to pull out their lawns.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Big debut for 1st-of-its-kind water tunnel below San Francisco Bay

This week, the $288 million tunnel begins carrying the Bay Area’s water supply from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park to the Peninsula, bolstering the dependability of the region’s water system.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

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

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

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Prop. 1, Prop. 2 backers oversimplify wildfire costs

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

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Obama to declare national monument in San Gabriels

The lure of a San Gabriel Mountains wilderness teeming with wildlife, rivers and breathtaking panoramas is so strong that it now draws 3 million annual visitors whose presence, paradoxically, has overrun the region and degraded its beauty. President Obama will address that reality Friday by announcing that he is designating part of the mountains a national monument.

Aquafornia news Bureau of Reclamation

News Release: Central Valley Project begins Water Year 2015 with 3.1 million acre-feet of storage

The Bureau of Reclamation’s Central Valley Project began water year 2015 (Oct. 1, 2014, to Sept. 30, 2015) with 3.1 million acre-feet of water in six key CVP reservoirs (Shasta, Trinity, Folsom, New Melones, and Millerton reservoirs and the federal share of the joint federal/state San Luis Reservoir). This is less than half of the 15-year average annual carryover of 6.4 million acre-feet and about 2 million acre-feet less than the amount with which the region started WY 2014.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Could those empty San Joaquin Valley reservoirs fill up in one winter?

In mid-September 1977, the 326 billion-gallon Pine Flat Reservoir sat nearly empty — holding 6% of capacity in a warm puddle.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

With dry taps and toilets, California drought turns desperate

In the Gallegos household and more than 500 others in Tulare County, residents cannot flush a toilet, fill a drinking glass, wash dishes or clothes, or even rinse their hands without reaching for a bottle or bucket. Unlike the Okies who came here fleeing the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, the people now living on this parched land are stuck.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

North Coast water woes reflected in dwindling reservoirs

California turned the page this week on the fourth-driest water year on record, an occasion marked on the North Coast by dwindling reservoir supplies and restrictions on water use.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Blog: Western U.S. governors begin drought discussions

In the midst of a record-smashing dry cycle in the United States, the organization with the most influence over state and federal drought policy wants to do a better job managing the crisis. … On September 18 and 19, the Western Governors’ Association, a forum for state leaders, will welcome to Norman, Oklahoma, agency officials, industry representatives, and technical experts who will offer insight on how a multi-year drought in the western United States is challenging the energy sector.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Drought has Yankee Hill mobile home park on the edge of bone dry

Help will soon be on the way for about 100 residents who live in the Big Bend Mountain Mobile Home Park in Yankee Hill. … Luckily, the park was added to a list for emergency water supply funds, with money recently approved by the state.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Reservoirs at 19-year low

We’ve all had those years when we couldn’t wait to flip the calendar to January, put our troubles behind us and get a fresh start. That’s how California water managers must feel today.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: Drought has 14 communities on the brink of waterlessness

Parkwood is one of 28 small California communities that have since January cycled onto and off of a list of “critical water systems” that state officials say could run dry within 60 days.

Aquafornia news Vacaville Reporter

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Governor signs urban water district bill

Governor Jerry Brown signed into law legislation by State Senator Lois Wolk, D-Solano, to strengthen requirements that urban water districts report to the state their water losses through leaks in their water systems.

Aquafornia news Best Best & Krieger LLP

Legal Analysis: Governor signs new laws amending California’s Urban Water Management Planning Act

Under new amendments to California’s Urban Water Management Planning Act, urban water suppliers will be required to provide narrative descriptions of their water demand management measures and account for system water losses when preparing Urban Water Management Plans, among other changes. The amended Act, created by Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature on Assembly Bill 2067 and Senate Bill 1420 last week, also establishes July 1, 2016 as the deadline for urban water suppliers to prepare and submit their 2015 UWMPs to the Department of Water Resources.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Reserves narrowing for California water wholesaler

The giant wholesaler that provides drinking water for half the California population has drained two-thirds of its stored supplies as the state contends with a punishing drought, officials said Monday.

Publication

The Lower Yuba Accord: From Controversy to Consensus
Published 2009

This 24-page booklet details the conflict between environmentalists, fish organizations and the Yuba County Water Agency and how it was resolved through the Lower Yuba River Accord – a unique agreement supported by 18 agencies and non-governmental organizations. The publication details the history and hydrology of the Yuba River, past and present environmental concerns, and conflicts over dam operations and protecting endangered fish is included.

Video

Overcoming the Deluge: California’s Plan for Managing Floods (DVD)

This 30-minute documentary, produced in 2011, explores the past, present and future of flood management in California’s Central Valley. It features stories from residents who have experienced the devastating effects of a California flood firsthand. Interviews with long-time Central Valley water experts from California Department of Water Resources (FloodSAFE), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation, Central Valley Flood Management Program and environmental groups are featured as they discuss current efforts to improve the state’s 150-year old flood protection system and develop a sustainable, integrated, holistic flood management plan for the Central Valley.

Video

The Klamath Basin: A Restoration for the Ages (20 min. DVD)

20-minute version of the 2012 documentary The Klamath Basin: A Restoration for the Ages. This DVD is ideal for showing at community forums and speaking engagements to help the public understand the complex issues related to complex water management disputes in the Klamath River Basin. Narrated by actress Frances Fisher.

Video

The Klamath Basin: A Restoration for the Ages (60 min. DVD)

For over a century, the Klamath River Basin along the Oregon and California border has faced complex water management disputes. As relayed in this 2012, 60-minute public television documentary narrated by actress Frances Fisher, the water interests range from the Tribes near the river, to energy producer PacifiCorp, farmers, municipalities, commercial fishermen, environmentalists – all bearing legitimate arguments for how to manage the water. After years of fighting, a groundbreaking compromise may soon settle the battles with two epic agreements that hold the promise of peace and fish for the watershed. View an excerpt from the documentary here.

Video

Restoring a River: Voices of the San Joaquin

This 30-minute documentary-style DVD on the history and current state of the San Joaquin River Restoration Program includes an overview of the geography and history of the river, historical and current water delivery and uses, the genesis and timeline of the 1988 lawsuit, how the settlement was reached and what was agreed to.

Video

A Climate of Change: Water Adaptation Strategies

This 25-minute documentary-style DVD, developed in partnership with the California Department of Water Resources, provides an excellent overview of climate change and how it is already affecting California. The DVD also explains what scientists anticipate in the future related to sea level rise and precipitation/runoff changes and explores the efforts that are underway to plan and adapt to climate.

Video

Salt of the Earth: Salinity in California’s Central Valley

Salt. In a small amount, it’s a gift from nature. But any doctor will tell you, if you take in too much salt, you’ll start to have health problems. The same negative effect is happening to land in the Central Valley. The problem scientists call “salinity” poses a growing threat to our food supply, our drinking water quality and our way of life. The problem of salt buildup and potential – but costly – solutions are highlighted in this 2008 public television documentary narrated by comedian Paul Rodriguez.

Video

Salt of the Earth: Salinity in California’s Central Valley (20-minute DVD)

A 20-minute version of the 2008 public television documentary Salt of the Earth: Salinity in California’s Central Valley. This DVD is ideal for showing at community forums and speaking engagements to help the public understand the complex issues surrounding the problem of salt build up in the Central Valley potential – but costly – solutions. Narrated by comedian Paul Rodriquez.

Video

Stormwater Management: Turning Runoff into a Resource

20-minute DVD that explains the problem with polluted stormwater, and steps that can be taken to help prevent such pollution and turn what is often viewed as a “nuisance” into a water resource through various activities.

Video

Drinking Water: Quenching the Public Thirst (60-minute DVD)

Many Californians don’t realize that when they turn on the faucet, the water that flows out could come from a source close to home or one hundreds of miles away. Most people take their water for granted; not thinking about the elaborate systems and testing that go into delivering clean, plentiful water to households throughout the state. Where drinking water comes from, how it’s treated, and what people can do to protect its quality are highlighted in this 2007 PBS documentary narrated by actress Wendie Malick. 

Video

Drinking Water: Quenching the Public Thirst (30-minute DVD)

A 30-minute version of the 2007 PBS documentary Drinking Water: Quenching the Public Thirst. This DVD is ideal for showing at community forums and speaking engagements to help the public understand the complex issues surrounding the elaborate systems and testing that go into delivering clean, plentiful water to households throughout the state.

Video

Delta Warning

15-minute DVD that graphically portrays the potential disaster should a major earthquake hit the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. “Delta Warning” depicts what would happen in the event of an earthquake registering 6.5 on the Richter scale: 30 levee breaks, 16 flooded islands and a 300 billion gallon intrusion of salt water from the Bay – the “big gulp” – which would shut down the State Water Project and Central Valley Project pumping plants.

Video

Shaping of the West: 100 Years of Reclamation

30-minute DVD that traces the history of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and its role in the development of the West. Includes extensive historic footage of farming and the construction of dams and other water projects, and discusses historic and modern day issues.

Video

Water on the Edge (30-minute VHS)

A 30-minute version of the 2005 PBS documentary Water on the Edge. This video is ideal for showing at community forums and speaking engagements to help the public understand the complex issues surrounding the New River.

Video

Water on the Edge (60-minute VHS)

Water truly has shaped California into the great state it is today. And if it is water that made California great, it’s the fight over – and with – water that also makes it so critically important. In efforts to remap California’s circulatory system, there have been some critical events that had a profound impact on California’s water history. These turning points not only forced a re-evaluation of water, but continue to impact the lives of every Californian. This 2005 PBS documentary offers a historical and current look at the major water issues that shaped the state we know today. Includes a 12-page viewer’s guide with background information, historic timeline and a teacher’s lesson.

Video

Water on the Edge (60-minute DVD)

Water truly has shaped California into the great state it is today. And if it is water that made California great, it’s the fight over – and with – water that also makes it so critically important. In efforts to remap California’s circulatory system, there have been some critical events that had a profound impact on California’s water history. These turning points not only forced a re-evaluation of water, but continue to impact the lives of every Californian. This 2005 PBS documentary offers a historical and current look at the major water issues that shaped the state we know today. Includes a 12-page viewer’s guide with background information, historic timeline and a teacher’s lesson.

Video

Two Sides of a River (60-minute DVD)

California’s little-known New River has been called one of North America’s most polluted. A closer look reveals the New River is full of ironic twists: its pollution has long defied cleanup, yet even in its degraded condition, the river is important to the border economies of Mexicali and the Imperial Valley and a lifeline that helps sustain the fragile Salton Sea ecosystem. Now, after decades of inertia on its pollution problems, the New River has emerged as an important test of binational cooperation on border water issues. These issues were profiled in the 2004 PBS documentary Two Sides of a River.

Video

Two Sides of a River (60-minute DVD Spanish)

$25.00

Spanish version of the 60-minute 2004 PBS documentary Two Sides of a River. DVD

Video

Desert Treasure: Water Conservation in Nevada

With an average annual rainfall of only 9 inches, water conservation in Nevada is essential not only in drought years, but every year. This 17-minute video features interviews with key policy-makers who explain how important it is to develop a conservation ethic for this desert state.

Product

Go With the Flow: A Storm Water Pollution Prevention Message

This 7-minute DVD is designed to teach children in grades 5-12 about where storm water goes – and why it is so important to clean up trash, use pesticides and fertilizers wisely, and prevent other chemicals from going down the storm drain. The video’s teenage actors explain the water cycle and the difference between sewer drains and storm drains, how storm drain water is not treated prior to running into a river or other waterway. The teens also offer a list of BMPs – best management practices that homeowners can do to prevent storm water pollution.

Video

California Water Recycling

In the West, it is not a matter of if a drought will occur, but when. In an effort to develop a drought-proof water supply, many communities are turning to water recycling. Water recycling is reusing treated wastewater for irrigating golf courses, other urban landscapes, some crops, wetlands enhancement, industrial processes and even groundwater recharge. But many people do not understand how water is treated, recycled and reused, causing some to oppose new projects.

Video

Conjunctive Use: A Comprehensive Approach to Water Planning

This 11-minute video simplifies the often-misunderstood concept of conjunctive use – coordinating surface water and groundwater supplies, which are often managed as separate resources. It explains in an easy-to-understand manner the relationship between groundwater and surface water, outlines different forms of conjunctive use, and identifies issues of concern that must be resolved for each project. Includes extensive computer graphics that illustrate these concepts.

Video

Groundwater Quality: Managing the Resource

This 15-minute video explains in an easy-to-understand manner the importance of groundwater, defines technical terms, describes sources of groundwater contamination and outlines steps communities can take to protect underground aquifers. Includes extensive computer graphics that illustrate these groundwater concepts. The short running times makes it ideal for presentations and community group meetings. Available on VHS and DVD.

Maps & Posters

San Joaquin River Restoration Map
Published 2012

This beautiful 24×36 inch poster, suitable for framing, features a map of the San Joaquin River. The map text focuses on the San Joaquin River Restoration Program, which aims to restore flows and populations of Chinook salmon to the river below Friant Dam to its confluence with the Merced River. The text discusses the history of the program, its goals and ongoing challenges with implementation. 

Maps & Posters

Klamath River Watershed Map
Published 2011

This beautiful 24×36 inch poster, suitable for framing, displays the rivers, lakes and reservoirs, irrigated farmland, urban areas and Indian reservations within the Klamath River Watershed. The map text explains the many issues facing this vast, 15,000-square-mile watershed, including fish restoration; agricultural water use; and wetlands. Also included are descriptions of the separate, but linked, Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement and the Klamath Hydroelectric Agreement, and the next steps associated with those agreements. Development of the map was funded by a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Maps & Posters

Carson River Basin Map
Published 2006

A companion to the Truckee River Basin Map poster, this 24×36 inch poster, suitable for framing, explores the Carson River, and its link to the Truckee River. The map includes Lahontan Dam and Reservoir, the Carson Sink, and the farming areas in the basin. Map text discusses the region’s hydrology and geography, the Newlands Project, land and water use within the basin and wetlands. Development of the map was funded by a grant from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Mid-Pacific Region, Lahontan Basin Area Office.

Maps & Posters

Delta Sustainability Map
Published 2006

This beautifully illustrated 24×36 inch poster, suitable for framing and display in any office or classroom, focuses on the theme of Delta sustainability.

The text, photos and graphics explain issues related to land subsidence, levees and flooding, urbanization and fish and wildlife protection. An inset map illustrates the tidal action that increases the salinity of the Delta’s waterways. Development of the map was funded by a grant from the California Bay-Delta Authority.

Maps & Posters

Truckee River Basin Map
Published 2005

This beautiful 24×36 inch poster, suitable for framing, displays the rivers, lakes and reservoirs, irrigated farmland, urban areas and Indian reservations within the Truckee River Basin, including the Newlands Project, Pyramid Lake and Lake Tahoe. Map text explains the issues surrounding the use of the Truckee-Carson rivers, Lake Tahoe water quality improvement efforts, fishery restoration and the effort to reach compromise solutions to many of these issues. 

Maps & Posters

Nevada Water Map
Published 2004

This 24×36 inch poster, suitable for framing, illustrates the water resources available for Nevada cities, agriculture and the environment. It features natural and manmade water resources throughout the state, including the Truckee and Carson rivers, Lake Tahoe, Pyramid Lake and the course of the Colorado River that forms the state’s eastern boundary.

Maps & Posters

Water Cycle Poster

Water as a renewable resource is depicted in this 18×24 inch poster. Water is renewed again and again by the natural hydrologic cycle where water evaporates, transpires from plants, rises to form clouds, and returns to the earth as precipitation. Excellent for elementary school classroom use.

Maps & Posters

California Groundwater Map
Redesigned in 2017

California Groundwater poster map

Fashioned after the popular California Water Map, this 24×36 inch poster was extensively re-designed in 2017 to better illustrate the value and use of groundwater in California, the main types of aquifers, and the connection between groundwater and surface water.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to Water Rights Law
Updated 2013

The 28-page Layperson’s Guide to Water Rights Law, recognized as the most thorough explanation of California water rights law available to non-lawyers, traces the authority for water flowing in a stream or reservoir, from a faucet or into an irrigation ditch through the complex web of California water rights.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to the State Water Project
Updated 2013

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to the State Water Project provides an overview of the California-funded and constructed State Water Project.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to Nevada Water
Published 2006

The 28-page Layperson’s Guide to Nevada Water provides an overview of the history of water development and use in Nevada. It includes sections on Nevada’s water rights laws, the history of the Truckee and Carson rivers, water supplies for the Las Vegas area, groundwater, water quality, environmental issues and today’s water supply challenges.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to Integrated Regional Water Management
Published 2013

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) is an in-depth, easy-to-understand publication that provides background information on the principles of IRWM, its funding history and how it differs from the traditional water management approach.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to the Colorado River
Updated 2018

The Colorado River provides water to more than 35 million people and 4 million acres of farmland in a region encompassing some 246,000 square miles in the southwestern United States. The 32-page Layperson’s Guide to the Colorado River covers the history of the river’s development; negotiations over division of its water; the items that comprise the Law of the River; and a chronology of significant Colorado River events.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to California Water
Updated 2015

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to California Water provides an excellent overview of the history of water development and use in California. It includes sections on flood management; the state, federal and Colorado River delivery systems; Delta issues; water rights; environmental issues; water quality; and options for stretching the water supply such as water marketing and conjunctive use.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to the Central Valley Project
Updated 2011

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to the Central Valley Project explores the history and development of the federal Central Valley Project (CVP), California’s largest surface water delivery system. In addition to the history of the project, the guide describes the various CVP facilities, CVP operations, the benefits the CVP brought to the state, and the CVP Improvement Act (CVPIA).

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to the Delta
Updated 2020

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to the Delta explores the competing uses and demands on California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Included in the guide are sections on the history of the Delta, its role in the state’s water system, and its many complex issues with sections on water quality, levees, salinity and agricultural drainage, fish and wildlife, and water distribution.

Maps & Posters

California Water Map
Updated December 2016

A new look for our most popular product! And it’s the perfect gift for the water wonk in your life.

Our 24×36 inch California Water Map is widely known for being the definitive poster that shows the integral role water plays in the state. On this updated version, it is easier to see California’s natural waterways and man-made reservoirs and aqueducts – including federally, state and locally funded projects – the wild and scenic rivers system, and natural lakes. The map features beautiful photos of California’s natural environment, rivers, water projects, wildlife, and urban and agricultural uses and the text focuses on key issues: water supply, water use, water projects, the Delta, wild and scenic rivers and the Colorado River.

Aquafornia news

Commentary: Preparing Marin Community for Sea-level Rise

From the Marin Independent Journal, in a commentary by Sandy Wallenstein, Hannah Doress and Douglas Mundo:

“Because Marin County is a peninsula, sea-level rise caused by climate change has special relevance to us — both to our bay-facing and coastal communities, but also to inland communities affected by flooding.

“And all of us will be affected by impacts to core infrastructure such as Highway 101, water and sanitation systems and possible isolation by flooding.”

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Editorial: Climate Change is Here, Now. Will the World Act?

From the Los Angeles Times:

“There’s a new tone in the latest report on climate change from the United Nations’ expert organization on the subject.”

Read more from the LA Times

 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Climate Change is Felt Globally and Risks are Rising, U.N. Panel Says

From the Los Angeles Times:

“Climate change is already affecting every continent and ocean, posing immediate and growing risks to people, an international panel of scientists warned Monday.
Aquafornia news Sacramento Bee

Editorial: Yes, Climate Change is Real and Damaging

From The Sacramento Bee:

“Faced with overwhelming evidence, climate-change deniers resort to cherry picking and spinning.
Aquafornia news Associated Press

UN: 2013 Extreme Events Due to Warming Earth

From the Associated Press:

“Much of the extreme weather that wreaked havoc in Asia, Europe and the Pacific region last year can be blamed on human-induced climate change, the U.N. weather agency says.

“The World Meteorological Organization’s annual assessment Monday said 2013 was the sixth-warmest year on record. Thirteen of the 14 warmest years have occurred in the 21st century.”

Read more from AP

 

Aquafornia news News Observer

While Seas Rise in Outer Banks and Elsewhere in North Carolina, Science Treads Water

From the News Observer:

“There’s not much dispute these days, up and down the [North Carolina] coast, about whether the ocean is rising. The question is: How high will it go here, and how fast?

“North Carolinians must wait until 2016 for an official answer. That’s the law.”

Read more from the News Observer

 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

White House Unveils One-stop Website for Climate Change Data

From the Los Angeles Times:

“As part of its campaign to address climate change, the White House on Wednesday unveiled a website to serve as a one-stop location for the enormous amount of climate data housed at different federal agencies.”

Read more from the LA Times

 

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Obama Unleashing Power of Data on Climate Change

From the Associated Press:

“The Obama administration hopes to fight global warming with the geeky power of numbers, maps and even gaming-type simulations. …

“The government also is working with several high-tech companies, such as Google, Microsoft and Intel, to come up with tools to make communities more resilient in dealing with weather extremes, such as flooding, heat waves and drought.”

Read more from AP

 

Aquafornia news

Adapting Existing Water Laws to Climate Change

From Bloomberg BNA’s Water Law & Policy Monitor, in an article by Eric L. Garner, Best Best & Krieger:

“Climate change is essentially a water problem. Whether it is drought, flood, changing hydrology or rising sea levels, the impacts of climate change all involve water to some extent. Even those who deny that human activities cause climate change must acknowledge that long-term drought cycles in the past (as evidenced by tree rings and other environmental indicators) and wide variations in hydrology can be expected to recur and may be recurring now.
Aquafornia news Fresno Bee

Editorial: A Second Look at Restoration

From The Fresno Bee:

“Eric Holthaus, a meteorologist who writes about weather and climate for the website Slate, had this to say about the California drought on Friday:

“‘The present-day Southwest was born from a pendulum swing in climatic fortunes that has no equal in U.S. history.’”

Read more from The Fresno Bee

 

Aquafornia news

Blog: A Climate Analyst Clarifies the Science Behind California’s Water Woes

From The New York Times, in the Dot Earth blog by Andrew C.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Climate Engineering Ideas No Longer Considered Pie in the Sky

From the Los Angeles Times:

“As international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions stall, schemes to slow global warming using fantastical technologies once dismissed as a sideshow are getting serious consideration in Washington.”

Read more from the LA Times

 

Aquafornia news New York Times

Science Linking Drought to Global Warming Remains Matter of Dispute

From The New York Times:

“California last week, President Obama and his aides cited the state as an example of what could be in store for much of the rest of the country as human-caused climate change intensifies.

“But in doing so, they were pushing at the boundaries of scientific knowledge about the relationship between climate change and drought.”

Read more from The New York Times

 

Aquafornia news

Commentary: A Prescription to Prepare for Drought

From The Sacramento Bee, in a commentary by Steve Fleischli:

“President Barack Obama visits Fresno today to highlight federal efforts to confront California’s epic drought, possibly our worst in 500 years. …

“The president can help us cope with this disaster, prepare for the chronic water shortages to come and protect future generations from the widening dangers of climate change. All three will require federal help.”

Read more from The Sacramento Bee

 

Aquapedia background

Water Supply in California

California’s “Mediterranean” climate, characterized by warm, dry summers and mild winters, is considered one of its great attractions, but it also can be unpredictable with flooding followed by drought and few years of “normal” precipitation.  [See also Hydrologic Cycle].

Aquapedia background

Lake Powell and Glen Canyon Dam

The construction of Glen Canyon Dam in 1964 created Lake Powell. Both are located in north-central Arizona near the Utah border. Lake Powell acts as a holding tank for outflow from the Colorado River Upper Basin States: Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

The water stored in Lake Powell is used for recreation, power generation and delivering water to the Lower Basin states of California, Arizona, and Nevada. 

Aquafornia news

Blog: Climate Change Hits Home with Another Round of Extreme Weather Events in 2013

From the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Switchboard blog, in a post by Frances Beinecke:

“I just returned from California and was struck by how devastating the state’s drought has become. People talked about it everywhere I went, wondering what it means for people and the economy. I can see why they are worried.
Aquafornia news Fresno Bee

California Drought Exposes Sierra’s Weaknesses

From The Fresno Bee:

“High-country blizzards usually bury southern Sierra lake basins in late January, leaving lodgepole pine and red fir trees in snow drifts 15 feet deep.

“But snow surveyors making their usual visit this year to Kings Canyon National Park found something most had never seen at 10,300 feet in January. Bare ground.”

Read more from The Fresno Bee

 

Aquafornia news

White House to Help Farmers, Ranchers Cope With Climate Change

From the McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau:

“The White House will announce President Obama’s latest executive order later today [Feb. 5] — a move aimed at helping farmers, ranchers, and rural communities combat climate change and adapt to extreme weather.
Aquapedia background Oroville Dam Shasta Dam Hoover Dam

Dams

Dams have allowed Californians and others across the West to harness and control water dating back to pre-European settlement days when Native Americans had erected simple dams for catching salmon.

Aquapedia background

Conjunctive Use

Conjunctive use is a catch-phrase for coordinated use of surface water and groundwater— literally going with the flow to maximize sufficient yield.

Aquapedia background

Colorado River 2007 Interim Guidelines And Drought Contingency Plans

In 2005, after six years of severe drought in the Colorado River Basin, federal officials and representatives of the seven basin states — California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Wyoming — began building a framework to better respond to drought conditions and coordinate the operations of the basin’s two key reservoirs, Lake Powell and Lake Mead.

The resulting Interim Guidelines for Lower Basin Shortages and the Coordinated Operations for Lake Powell and Lake Mead (Interim Guidelines) identified the conditions for shortage determinations and details of coordinated reservoir operations. The 2007 Interim Guidelines remain in effect through Dec. 31, 2025.

Aquapedia background

California Water Issues Overview

California will always be inextricably linked to its water resources. Water continues to shape the state’s development and no resource is as vital to California’s urban centers, farms, industry, recreation, scenic beauty and environmental preservation.

But California’s relationship to water is also one that continues to generate controversy.

Aquapedia background

Applied Water

Applied water refers to water delivered by an application to a user, either indoors or outdoors. Applied water use typically occurs in an agricultural or urban setting.

In agriculture, applied water is typically supplied through irrigation, which uses such devices as pipes and sprinklers. There are also different types of systems including gravity flow and pressurized systems.

With soil absorbing applied water and being porous (some water can move down below a plant’s root zone), it is necessary to apply more water than a crop might need.

Aquafornia news Commonwealth Club of California Climate One blog

Blog: Fluid State — The Future of Water in California

From the Commonwealth Club of California Climate One blog:

“It was a sunny, dry day [Jan. 10] in the middle of winter when two state senators [Sen.
Aquafornia news New York Times

Industry Awakens to Threat of Climate Change

From The New York Times:

“Coca-Cola has always been more focused on its economic bottom line than on global warming, but when the company lost a lucrative operating license in India because of a serious water shortage there in 2004, things began to change.

“Today, after a decade of increasing damage to Coke’s balance sheet as global droughts dried up the water needed to produce its soda, the company has embraced the idea of climate change as an economically disruptive force.”

Aquafornia news

Commentary: The Drought, and Your Car

From The Sacramento Bee, in the Back-seat Driver column by Tony Bizjak:

“Gov. Jerry Brown this week in his State of the State speech made a pointed connection between the drought and the cars we drive.

“It’s pretty clear human action is affecting the climate, and that means more droughts, he said.”

Read more from The Sacramento Bee

 

Aquafornia news

Commentary: We Can Preserve Bay Area’s Water Supply

From the San Francisco Chronicle, in a commentary by David Sedlak:

“Most Bay Area residents obtain their drinking water from a system of reservoirs, canals and pipes that was built during the first half of the 20th century. In the near future, it is likely that we’ll pump a lot of money into this aging system to adapt it to rising sea levels and changes in rainfall patterns.
Aquafornia news

Blog: Scientists to Look for Link Between California Drought, Climate Change

From the San Francisco Chronicle Politics blog, in a post by Carolyn Lochhead:

“California’s drought will be one of the extreme weather events that the American Meteorological Society will examine later this year to determine whether the cause is natural variability or human-caused climate change, the head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Climatic Data Center said Tuesday.”

Read more from the SF Chronicle’s Po

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Barbara Boxer Forms New Climate Change Task Force

From Capital Public Radio:

“California Democrat Barbara Boxer has put together a new climate change task force in the U.S. Senate. The group is focusing more on keeping current regulations in place than in advancing new legislation.”

Read more from Capital Public Radio, or listen to the story

 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Daily News

New Study Pinpoints Los Angeles Coastal Areas Vulnerable to Sea Level Rise from Climate Change

From the Los Angeles Daily News:

“San Pedro, Wilmington, Venice and other low-lying areas of Los Angeles are vulnerable to future flooding that could damage buildings, erode beaches and impair roadways in the event of a storm like Hurricane Sandy, which devastated parts of the East Coast in 2012, according to a new report by USC researchers.”

Read more from the LA Daily News

 

 

Aquafornia news Washington Post

Editorial: A Cloudy Forecast on Climate Change

From the Washington Post:

“Just how much will the Earth heat up over the next 100 or 200 years? Climate scientists are not able to predict with high certainty. They have estimated that average global temperatures will increase by 1.5 to 4.5 degrees Celsius — 2.7 to 8.1 degrees Fahrenheit — given a doubling of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.”

Read more from the Washington Post

 

Western Water Magazine

Overdrawn at the Bank: Managing California’s Groundwater
January/February 2014

This printed issue of Western Water looks at California groundwater and whether its sustainability can be assured by local, regional and state management. For more background information on groundwater please refer to the Founda­tion’s Layperson’s Guide to Groundwater.

Aquafornia news

Blog: Moving Coastal Communities Out of Crosshairs of Climate Change

From the Center for American Progress blog, in a post by Shiva Polefka:

“In June, the consulting firm AECOM published a report for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, comprehensively analyzing the change in America’s flood risks due to climate change. Its study found that sea-level rise is projected to increase the flood-hazard area in our nation’s coastal floodplain by 55 percent by 2100.
Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Editorial: Hard Truths About California’s Water Future

From the Los Angeles Times:

“At the heart of California’s vast and complex plumbing system, and the plan to re-engineer it with two tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, are two truths. The first is that failing to take any action at all will result in almost certain disaster.
Aquafornia news U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

News Release: What are Future Climate Projections for Precipitation, Temperature for Your County?

From the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS):

For the first time, maps and summaries of historical and projected temperature and precipitation changes for the 21st century for the continental U.S. are accessible at a county-by-county level on a website developed by the U.S.
Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

California Releases Draft Climate Change Preparation Plan

From Capital Public Radio:

“California Governor Jerry Brown’s administration today released a draft of its action plan on preparations for the impacts of climate change over the next century. The plan addresses the effects of extreme weather, rising sea levels and other issues.”

Read more from Capital Public Radio, or listen to the story

 

Aquafornia news California Natural Resources Agency

News Release: Brown Administration Releases Draft Safeguarding California Plan to Ready State for Impacts of Changing Climate

From the California Natural Resources Agency:

“The administration of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today [Dec. 10] released the draft Safeguarding California Plan to outline key actions needed to ready the state for the impacts of a changing climate.
Aquafornia news Associated Press

Local Leaders Planning for Climate Effects

From the Associated Press:

“When it comes to climate change, local officials have a message for Washington: Lead or get out of the way.

“Local governments have long acted as first responders in emergencies and now are working to plan for sea level rise, floods, hurricanes and other extreme events associated with climate change.”

Read more from AP

 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Studies Warn of Abrupt Environmental Effects of Warming

From the Los Angeles Times:

“Scientists sounded alarms Tuesday with a pair of studies challenging the idea that climate change is occurring gradually over the century and that its worst effects can be avoided by keeping emissions below a critical threshold.

“A National Research Council report says the planet is warming so quickly that the world should expect abrupt and unpredictable consequences in a matter of years or a few decades.”

Read more from the LA Times

Aquafornia news New York Times

Panel Says Global Warming Carries Risk of Deep Changes

From the New York Times:

“Continued global warming poses a risk of rapid, drastic changes in some human and natural systems, a scientific panel warned Tuesday, citing the possible collapse of polar sea ice, the potential for a mass extinction of plant and animal life and the threat of immense dead zones in the ocean.
Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Editorial: Stalling Globally, Acting Locally on Climate Change

From the Santa Rosa Press Democrat:

“As noted in our Sunday editorial, the recent Warsaw Climate Conference ended with little achieved other than an agreement by nations to work toward curbing emissions as soon as possible. …

“Fortunately, Sonoma County isn’t waiting around for a global green light before doing something about cutting carbon-laced gases.”

Read more from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat

 

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Editorial: Global Climate Inaction Continues

From the Santa Rosa Press Democrat:

“The Geysers wildfire fire scorched more than 3,500 acres in northern Sonoma County last week. Meanwhile, half a world away, representatives from nearly 200 nations continued to stumble toward an agreement on greenhouse gas emissions.

“Debate about whether these events are connected will continue.

Aquafornia news

Blog: When It Rains, It Pours —The Climate Link Between Extreme Precipitation and Drought

From the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “It’s Our Environment” blog, in a post by Allison Crimmins:

“From the photos my Colorado friends posted this summer, I wasn’t surprised to learn that 2013 has been the wettest on record for Boulder. However, Boulder also experienced drought, the most destructive wildfire in Colorado’s recorded history, and a week of record heat.
Aquafornia news

Commentary: Avert Water Wars — Build Desalination Plants

From the San Francisco Chronicle, in a commentary by Joel Brinkley:

“Get ready for the water wars.

“Most of the world’s population takes water for granted, just like air — two life-sustaining substances.”

Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle

 

 

Aquafornia news

Commentary: Another Big Disaster Could Spur Climate Change Action

From The Sacramento Bee, in a commentary by Jeffrey D. Sachs:

“By some early measures, Typhoon Haiyan – which ripped through the Philippines last weekend and claimed thousands of lives – is the strongest storm on record to make landfall. …

“In the past couple of years, the United States has experienced the worst East Coast flooding in decades as well as the most intense and largest drought in decades, and 2012 was the warmest year on record in the lower 48 states.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

UCLA Project to Study Shifting Los Angeles to Local Resources

From the Los Angeles Times:

“Could Los Angeles prosper without electricity from fossil fuels? Could the city shun water imported from the Sierra Nevada, even as a changing climate brings hotter days and a declining snowpack?

“Those are some of the questions being tackled by a new research initiative at UCLA that seeks to confront and adapt to climate change at the local level.”

Read more from the LA Times

 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Commentary: Monitoring a Climate Epidemic

From the Los Angeles Times:

“At the U.N. climate negotiations in Warsaw on Monday, the lead Philippine delegate, Yeb Sano, made an emotional plea: “Typhoons such as Haiyan and its impacts represent a sobering reminder to the international community that we cannot afford to procrastinate on climate action.”

“But was Sano’s statement consistent with the science?”

Read more from the LA Times

 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Report on Climate Change Depicts a Planet In Peril

From the Los Angeles Times:

“Climate change will disrupt not only the natural world but also society, posing risks to the world’s economy and the food and water supply and contributing to violent conflict, an international panel of scientists says.

“The warnings came in a report drafted by the United Nations-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”

Read more from the LA Times

 

Aquafornia news U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

News Release: EPA Releases Agency Plans for Adapting to a Changing Climate

From the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released its draft Climate Change Adaptation Implementation Plans for public review and comment. In support of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan and Executive Order on Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change announced today, the Implementation Plans provide detailed information about the actions EPA plans to take across the country to help communities adapt to a changing climate.
Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Obama Appoints Brown, Garcetti to Climate-Change Task Force

From the Los Angeles Times:

“Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Gov.
Aquafornia news Associated Press

Report: Warming Likely to Make Bad Things Worse

From the Associated Press:

“Many of the ills of the modern world – starvation, poverty, flooding, heat waves, droughts, war and disease – are likely to worsen as the world warms from man-made climate change, a leaked draft of an international scientific report forecasts.”

Read more from AP

 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Pacific Ocean Warming Faster than It has in 10,000 Years, Study Finds

From the Los Angeles Times:

“Scientists have struggled to explain a recent slowdown in the rise of global surface temperatures while skeptics have seized on the 15-year lull to cast doubt on the science of climate change.

“A new study offers one explanation of where much of the heat trapped by greenhouse gas emissions is going: the ocean.”

Read more from the LA Times

 

Aquafornia news Sacramento Bee

Editorial: Brown’s Climate Pact Contains Lofty Goals But No Money or Staffers

From The Sacramento Bee:

“In some parts of the country, talk about the need to combat climate change can be viewed as downright subversive.

So Gov. Jerry Brown and the leaders of Oregon, Washington state and British Columbia are to be commended for gathering in San Francisco this week to sign a pact in which they agree to work collaboratively to fight climate change. The question comes down to follow-through.”

Read more from The Sacramento Bee

 

Aquafornia news

News Release: California Agencies Release Draft Action Plan for Water, Ask for Input and Dialogue

From the California Natural Resources Agency, California Environmental Protection Agency and California Department of Food and Agriculture:

“The California Natural Resources Agency, the California Environmental Protection Agency and the California Department of Food and Agriculture today released a detailed draft action plan to help guide state efforts and resources on one of California’s most important resources, water.

“The California Water Action Plan will focus on the reliability of our water supply, the needed ecosystem restoration to bring our water system back into balan

Western Water Magazine

An Era of New Partnerships on the Colorado River
November/December 2013

This printed issue of Western Water examines how the various stakeholders have begun working together to meet the planning challenges for the Colorado River Basin, including agreements with Mexico, increased use of conservation and water marketing, and the goal of accomplishing binational environmental restoration and water-sharing programs.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Fracking and Reducing Climate Change — Can Jerry Brown Have It Both Ways?

From the San Jose Mercury News:

“Gov.
Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Editorial: Climate Change Pact Sends a Message

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

“Climate change may still be a taboo topic in Congress. But the West Coast of the United States – and Canada – is leading the charge to tackle the issue.”

Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle

 

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Climate Change Pact Signed by California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia

From the San Jose Mercury News:

“Saying that the West Coast must lead the way in battling climate change, the governors of California, Oregon and Washington, along with the premier of British Columbia, signed an agreement Monday committing the Canadian province and the three states to coordinate global-warming policies.

“Each state and the Canadian province promised to take roughly a dozen actions, including streamlining permits for solar and wind projects, better integrating the electric power grid, supporting more research on ocean acidification and expanding government purch

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Gov. Jerry Brown Signs Clean Energy Pact with Two States, Canadian Province

From the Los Angeles Times:

“Gov. Jerry Brown signed a new pact Monday to formally align California’s clean energy policies with those of Oregon, Washington state and British Columbia. …

“The agreement commits all four governments to work toward ways to put a price on carbon pollution, require the use of lower-carbon gasoline and set goals for reducing greenhouse gases across the region.”

Read more from the LA Times

 

Aquafornia news Associated Press

West Coast States and BC to Link Climate Policies

From the Associated Press:

“The governors of Pacific coastal U.S. states and a Canadian province official are joining forces in a new effort to fight climate change.

“In an agreement announced Monday, the governors of California, Oregon, Washington and the environment minister of British Columbia, Mary Polak, will place a price on greenhouse gas pollution and mandate the use of cleaner-burning fuels.”

Read more AP

 

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Rising Sea Levels Threat to Ports, Experts Say

From the Orange County Register:

“Due to rising sea levels, storms will make it more likely that the Port of Long Beach’s wharves will be damaged, critical roads submerged and utilities harmed, bringing activity at one of the state’s economic hubs to a disruptive lurch, experts say. …

“Predictions show that by 2100, the water will rise between 55 and 66 inches above its current level.”

Read more from the OC Register

 

Aquafornia news U-T San Diego

Fighting to Fend Off the Sea

From U-T San Diego:

“With sea level projected to rise by up to a meter by the end of the century, property owners, state regulators and environmentalists are debating whether to fortify the coastline against advancing seas, or to retreat inland. …

“In its landmark climate report released last month, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported that sea level rose by more than seven inches over the last century, and is projected to rise between 10 and 38 inches by the end of this century.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Study: Temperatures Go Off the Charts Around 2047

From the Associated Press:

“Starting in about a decade, Kingston, Jamaica, will probably be off-the-charts hot — permanently. Other places will soon follow. Singapore in 2028. Mexico City in 2031. Cairo in 2036. Phoenix and Honolulu in 2043.

“And eventually the whole world in 2047.”

Read more from the Associated Press

 

Aquafornia news

Blog: Groundwater and Climate Change in California

From the California WaterBlog of the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences in a post by Andrew Fisher, Graham Fogg, Joshua Viers, Jay Lund, Ruth Langridge and Patricia Holden:

“For all the talk of climate change adaptation, California has yet to comprehensively address the effects of warmer temperatures and changing weather patterns on the state’s limited groundwater resources.

“To start the process, several of the leading University of California faculty and researchers on California groundwater recently met with staff of the Governor’s Office of Planning & Research.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Scientists Call for More Controlled Burns in West’s Forests

From the Los Angeles Times:

“Some of the West’s leading fire scientists are calling for the increased use of managed burns to reduce fuel levels in the region’s forests, warning that climate change is leaving them more vulnerable to large, high-severity wildfires.

“In a paper published Friday in the journal Science, seven fire and forest ecologists say the rate of fuel reduction and restoration treatments is far below what is needed to help sustain forest landscapes in an era of rising temperatures and increased drought.”

Aquafornia news

Commentary: What New Climate Report Says, What Needs to Be Done

From the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, in a commentary by Eric Pooley:

“The people who are paid to spread doubt and confusion about our changing climate have been working overtime this week, because the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a scientific body that includes thousands of the world’s best climate scientists, has just issued its latest assessment. …
Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Yosemite’s Largest Ice Mass is Melting Fast

From the Los Angeles Times:

“Climate change is taking a visible toll on Yosemite National Park, where the largest ice mass in the park is in a death spiral, geologists say. …

“The Sierra Nevada Mountains have roughly 100 remaining glaciers, two of them in Yosemite.”

Read more from the Los Angeles Times

 

Aquafornia news U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

News Release: How Global Change Will Impact Mercury Around the World

From the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS):

“Rising global temperatures and changing human actions will significantly affect the behavior and distribution of mercury worldwide, according to a recent article by the U.S. Geological Survey and Harvard University. …

“Several seemingly unconnected aspects of climate change are expected to affect mercury at the global scale, according to the article.

Aquafornia news New York Times

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: Climate Panel Says Upper Limit on Emissions Is Nearing

From the New York Times:

“For the first time, the world’s top climate scientists on Friday formally embraced an upper limit on greenhouse gases while warning that it is likely to be exceeded within decades if emissions continue at a brisk pace, underscoring the profound challenge humanity faces in bringing global warming under control.

“A panel of experts appointed by the United Nations, unveiling its latest assessment of climate research, reinforced its earlier conclusions that global warming is real, that it is caused primarily if not exclusively by human emissions, and that

Aquafornia news U-T San Diego

Commentary: Busting Myths About Water Shortage

From U-T San Diego:

“The Colorado River Basin has a problem: the ongoing drought that began in 2000 is one of the worst in a thousand years. While demand for water continues to grow, climate change is causing supplies to dwindle. We need to take aggressive steps now toward solving this imbalance and protecting the vibrant economy of the Southwest.

“The right resources are being brought to bear.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Alameda Point Studies Threat of Rising Sea Level

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

“Plan on moving to Alameda Point someday? You might want to pack a swimsuit and snorkel.

“Much of the former Naval Air Station – site of a projected 1,425-home development – will be underwater by the end of the century due to sea level rise brought on by climate change, according to the city’s draft environmental impact report on the project released this month.”

Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle

 

Aquafornia news Associated Press

What 95% Certainty of Warming Means to Scientists

From The Associated Press:

“There’s a mismatch between what scientists say about how certain they are and what the general public thinks the experts mean, specialists say.

“That is an issue because this week, scientists from around the world have gathered in Stockholm for a meeting of a U.N.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle in a commentary by Columnist David Sirota

Commentary: Flooding Proves We Need Climate Change Planning

From the San Francisco Chronicle in a commentary by Columnist David Sirota:

“Two months before my Colorado community was overwhelmed this week by epic rains, our state’s chief oil and gas regulator, Matt Lepore, berated citizens concerned about the ecological impact of hydraulic fracturing and unbridled drilling.”

Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle

 

Aquafornia news Politico

Obama’s Coming Climate Crackdown

From Politico:

“The Obama administration is about to take a major step forward on climate change — a crucial piece of a long-term strategy to join other countries in tackling the Earth’s environmental woes, but one sure to fuel a furious GOP counterattack in 2014.

“The proposed rule, expected Friday from the Environmental Protection Agency, won’t cut any carbon immediately and won’t come anywhere near the sweeping mandate of the cap-and-trade plan that died in the Senate three years ago.”

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Global Warming Slows — But Scientists Not Reassured

From The Associated Press:

“Scientists working on a landmark U.N. report on climate change are struggling to explain why global warming appears to have slowed down in the past 15 years even though greenhouse gas emissions keep rising.

“Leaked documents show there are deep concerns among governments about how to address the issue ahead of next week’s meeting of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”

Read more from The Associated Press

 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Magazine City Think Blog

Blog: The Prophet of California Climate — A Dialogue With Bill Patzert

From the Los Angeles Magazine City Think Blog:

“We set out to have a question and answer session with Bill Patzert, a climatologist with Caltech’s NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. What we intended was a Q&A about how climate change will affect California’s water supply in the coming years.
Aquafornia news U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

News Release: EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy Testimony Before House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power

From the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

“In June, the President reaffirmed his commitment to reducing carbon pollution when he directed many federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, to take meaningful steps to mitigate the current and future damage caused by carbon dioxide emissions and to prepare for the anticipated climate changes that have already been set in motion.
Aquafornia news Center for American Progress

News Release: 10 Truths that Should Be Said at This Week’s House Climate Change Hearing

From the Center for American Progress:

“This Wednesday, September 18, the House Energy and Power Subcommittee will conduct a long-overdue hearing on climate change. It is unfortunately not to seek scientific facts from reputable institutions, such as the National Academy of Sciences, the American Meteorological Society, and similar experts, as requested 27 times by Ranking Committee and Subcommittee Members Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Bobby Rush (D-IL).
Aquafornia news KPCC Southern California Public Radio Represent! blog

Blog: Farmers Tell Democrats How Climate Change Affects Crops

From the KPCC Southern California Public Radio Represent! blog:

“Democrats frustrated with the lack of Congressional action on global warming are trying a new tactic: focusing on how climate change is affecting Americans in various ways. The bicameral Task Force on Climate Change has in the past examined the growing threat of wildfires, and also profiled clean energy companies and their effect on the U.S.
Aquafornia news New York Times

A Climate Alarm, Too Muted for Some

From the New York Times:

“This month, the world will get a new report from a United Nations panel about the science of climate change. Scientists will soon meet in Stockholm to put the finishing touches on the document, and behind the scenes, two big fights are brewing.”

Read more from the New York Times

 

Aquafornia news KQED Science Blog

Blog: Warming Climate Could Transform Bay Area Parks and Open Space

From the KQED Science Blog:

“It may not be an official record, but by some accounts, more open space has been preserved in the San Francisco Bay Area than in any other major U.S. metropolitan area. More than a million acres are permanently protected from development – that’s almost one-third of the 4.5 million acres that make up the 10-county region.

“Now, with temperatures on the rise, land managers and scientists are beginning to ask how the Bay Area’s landscape will withstand climate change.

Aquafornia news Fresno Bee Newsroom Blog

Blog: Climate Activist Author Stops in Fresno on Book Tour

From the Fresno Bee Newsroom Blog:

“Author Bill McKibben, who is an award-winning journalist and a climate activist, will speak Saturday at Fresno City College as part of his latest book tour.”

Read more from the Fresno Bee Newsroom Blog

 

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Population Growth Increases Climate Fear

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

“California has 157 endangered or threatened species, looming water shortages, eight of the 10 most air-polluted cities in the country and 725 metric tons of trash washing up on its coast each year.

“California also has 38 million people, up 10 percent in the last decade …

“For various reasons, linking the world’s rapid population growth to its deepening environmental crisis, including climate change, is politically taboo.”

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Editorial: Rim Fire and Folly of Sequestration

From the Los Angeles Times:

“Even as the Rim fire in and around Yosemite National Park rages on, the U.S. Forest Service already has exhausted its firefighting budget for the year, which had been reduced by sequestration cuts. Not that the agency will stop fighting wildfires, but overtime and hiring will be trimmed.
Aquafornia news

Western Water: A ‘Slow Road’ to Progress?

JulyAug13WW-231x300.jpgThe Water Education Foundation’s July/August 2013 issue of Western Water looks at climate change through the lens of some of the latest scientific research and responses from experts regarding mitigation and adaptation.

Aquafornia news

Western Water — ‘Adjusting to the New Reality: Climate Change in the West’

JulyAug13WW-231x300.jpgThe Water Education Foundation’s July/August 2013 issue of Western Water looks at climate change through the lens of some of the latest scientific research and responses from experts regarding mitigation and adaptation.

Like clockwork, the scientific studies describing climate change and its expected impacts keep coming, reminding ever

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Gov. Brown Interviewed About Top Legislative Priorities

From Capital Public Radio:

“With just three-and-a-half weeks to go before California lawmakers adjourn for the year, Governor Jerry Brown says he wants to avoid what he calls legislative ‘clutter.’ …

“Brown listed three ‘big ideas’ he’s focusing on right now – combating climate change, securing a stable water supply and dealing with the state’s prison system.”

Read more from Capital Public Radio or listen to the story

 

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Editorial: Climate Change Reaching Crisis Point

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

“A draft of the latest U.N. climate report, the fourth update since 1988, underscores the progressive certainty of the scientific community that human activity is a significant factor in the warming of the planet, that its effects are already apparent, and the long-term consequences will be dire if carbon emissions are not curtailed.”

Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle

 

Aquafornia news New York Times

Climate Panel Cites Near Certainty on Warming

From the New York Times:

“An international panel of scientists has found with near certainty that human activity is the cause of most of the temperature increases of recent decades, and warns that sea levels could conceivably rise by more than three feet by the end of the century if emissions continue at a runaway pace.”

Read more from the New York Times

 

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Surprise Findings: Climate Change Causes Marin Redwoods to Grow Bigger

From the Marin Independent Journal:

“Marin’s majestic redwoods — and others around the state — are experiencing unprecedented growth due to warmer temperatures and sunnier skies brought on by climate change, according to a report released Wednesday by the Save the Redwoods League.”

Read more from the Marin Independent Journal

 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Effects of Climate Change in California are ‘Significant and Growing’

From the Los Angeles Times:

“California is feeling the effects of climate change far and wide, as heat-trapping greenhouse gases reduce spring runoff from the Sierra Nevada, make the waters of Monterey Bay more acidic and shorten winter chill periods required to grow fruit and nuts in the Central Valley, a new report says.

“Though past studies have offered grim projections of a warming planet, the report released Thursday by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment took an inventory of three dozen shifts that are already happening.”

Aquafornia news Sacramento Bee

Areas of Sacramento will be Inundated as Sea Rises Over the Years, Study Says

From The Sacramento Bee:

It could take a few hundred years – or even 2,000 – but the eventual, permanent flooding of low-lying areas in Sacramento is guaranteed if greenhouse gases are not deeply reduced, according to new research. …

“A new study shows that the largest U.S. cities highly threatened by future sea level rise are Miami, Virginia Beach, Va., Jacksonville, Fla., and Sacramento.”

Read more from The Sacramento Bee

 

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Editorial: California Needs to Continue Leading Climate Change Fight

From the San Jose Mercury News:

“As some Americans, including some in Congress, continue questioning whether climate change exists, a group of world-class scientists has documented its very real effects even now in California. A report released Thursday by the state Environmental Protection Agency makes clear the alarming threats posed by global warming.”

Read more from the San Jose Mercury News

 

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Agency Finds Climate Change Taking Toll on California

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

“California lakes are warming, sea levels are rising, wildfires are spreading, and mountain plants and animals are migrating to higher ground as the impact of climate change takes hold throughout the state, a new report says.

“The evidence of the effects of the warming trend emerged in an analysis of 36 ‘indicators’ – warning signs of changes – that are detailed in the 240-page report released Wednesday by the state’s Environmental Protection Agency.”

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Global Warming Already having Dramatic Impacts in California, New Report Says

From the San Jose Mercury News:

“Rising ocean waters. Bigger and more frequent forest fires. More brutally hot summer days. These aren’t the usual predictions about global warming based on computer forecasts.
Aquafornia news Alex Breitler's Environment Blog

Blog: Stockton — ‘Locked-in’ by 2051?

From Alex Breitler’s Environment Blog:

“The folks at Climate Central made another splash last week, releasing lists of cities that they argue could end up at least 50 percent underwater if carbon reductions are not achieved by certain ‘locked-in’ dates.

“Yes, Stockton’s on the list. In fact, it has the earliest ‘locked-in’ date in the entire state – the year 2051.

Aquafornia news U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) "It's Our Environment" blog

Blog: #AskGinaEPA about Climate Change

From the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “It’s Our Environment” blog:

“EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will host her first live Twitter chat on climate change on Friday, August 2, at 12:30 PM ET. Administrator McCarthy will discuss her plans for the agency moving forward, focusing on EPA’s work to combat climate change.

“Helping communities adapt to the changing climate and cutting carbon pollution will be a significant part of EPA’s work over the coming years – the Agency will play a key role in implementing President Obama’s Climate Change Action Plan.

Aquafornia news National Journal

Congressional Task Force Links Worsening Wildfires to Climate Change

From the National Journal:

“In a forum convened Tuesday by the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change, a panel of experts on climate, wildfires, and forestry met with task force cochairs Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., and other lawmakers to discuss the impact of climate change on wildfires.”

Read more from the National Journal

 

Aquafornia news New York Times

Alaska Looks for Answers in Glacier’s Summer Flood Surges

From the New York Times:

“The idea that glaciers change at a glacial speed is increasingly false. They are melting and retreating rapidly all over the world. But the unpredictable flood surges at the Mendenhall Glacier, about 14 miles from downtown Juneau, Alaska’s capital, are turning a jog into a sprint as global temperatures and climate variability increase.”

Read more from the New York Times

 

Aquafornia news Sacramento Bee CapitolAlert blog

Blog: Will Rising Waters Engulf California Economy?

From The Sacramento Bee CapitolAlert blog:

“Lawmakers are taking a more detailed look at the implications [of climate change] during a Select Committee On Sea Level Rise And The California Economy hearing assessing how rising water will affect the agriculture, tourism and fishing industries in a state renowned for its coastlines.”

Read more from the CapitolAlert blog

 

 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Democrats Looking to Build Support for New Climate Change Action

From the Los Angeles Times:

“Democrats on Capitol Hill sought to move climate change back to the front of the congressional agenda Thursday morning, after a long period of inaction.

“But the testy back-and-forth at a hearing of the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee, chaired by Sen.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Study: Coastal Fish Stocks Crash, Climate to Blame

From the Orange County Register:

“Fish populations off the Southern California coast have dropped by 78 percent over the past 40 years, a new study shows, and an author of the study says the sharp declines are most likely caused by global warming.”

Read more from the Orange County Register

 

Aquafornia news U.S. Department of the Interior

Western Watershed Enhancement Partnership to be Announced

From the U.S.

Aquafornia news KPCC Southern California Public Radio

Blog: Climate Change Forces US Forest Service to Shift Strategy on Larger Fires

From KPCC Southern California Public Radio:

“Global warming has increased the intensity of fires, forcing the [U.S. Forest Service] USFS to spend more and more of its money fighting them.
Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Study a Step Toward Managing Santa Rosa Plain Water

From the Santa Rosa Press Democrat:

“Tackling one of the American West’s most contentious issues, a new government report assesses the demands on Sonoma County’s largest underground water source against a future that includes population growth, agricultural needs and the wild card of climate change.

“The report by the U.S.

Aquafornia news KQED

New Map Shows Where Nature Protects Communities

From KQED:

“Stanford environmental scientist Katie Arkema and her colleagues published a national map on Monday, showing where coastal reefs and wetlands are keeping communities safe, and which areas may need more preservation.”

Listen to the KQED story

 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Climate Change Report: Weather, Rising Seas Imperil Power Plants

From the Los Angeles Times:

“Power plants across the country are at increased risk of temporary shutdown and reduced power generation as temperatures and sea levels continue to rise and water becomes less available, the Energy Department said Thursday.
Aquafornia news New York Times

Some Trees Use Less Water Amid Rising Carbon Dioxide, Paper Says

From the New York Times:

“A paper published Wednesday suggests that trees in at least some parts of the world are having to pull less water out of the ground to achieve a given amount of growth. Some scientists say they believe that this may be a direct response to the rising level of carbon dioxide in the air from human emissions, though that has not yet been proved. …

“The work was led by Trevor F.

Aquafornia news USA Today

Water Worries: Climate Change in the Desert Southwest

From USA Today:

“More than 10 centuries ago, Native Americans dug canals to bring water — the desert’s most precious resource — into their farms and communities in the harsh climate of what’s now Phoenix.

“Today, the 56 million Americans in the fast-growing desert Southwest — including those in the megacities of Phoenix, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and San Diego — are faced with a challenge beyond the region’s natural dryness: coping with an uncertain future of man-made climate change and how it will impact their life-sustaining supply of water.”

Aquafornia news Contra Costa Times

Commentary: Climate Change a Hot Topic for a Lot of Reasons

From the Contra Costa Times:

“Andrew Guzman and Richard Jackson spoke to the Commonwealth Club in Lafayette last Thursday about the hazards of climate change, heat waves and drought. … “Guzman explained that it will affect water supplies — too much rain falling when it shouldn’t, too little when it should.

Commands