Topic: Water Supply


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 The Sacramento Bee

Will wet start to rainy season put dent in California’s drought?

State water officials are expected to have a better sense of the drought outlook after they conduct the first snowpack measure of the season, later this month or early next.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: California’s water future will change as a result of this bill set for House approval

A California water bill set for House approval on Thursday that’s split the state’s two Democratic senators will make it easier for the incoming Trump administration to build new Western dams.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Fall snow, rains have ’satisfied the drought debt’ in Northern Sierra Nevada, climatologist says

Now, if past weather patterns are fulfilled this year, experts say, Northern California’s winter — and long-term relief from years of drought — could be just around the corner for the state’s most important watershed.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Wet fall helps, but real test begins now

One hundred and seventy percent of normal: It sounds so impressive. But Stockton’s wet fall — mirrored across much of Northern California — doesn’t necessarily portend a wet winter.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Who likes state’s plan to keep more water for fish in California rivers? Practically nobody.

California regulators say their sweeping proposal to devote more flows from the state’s major rivers to fish and wildlife is an attempt to balance competing interests for a scarce resource.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Rain season off to fast start, but drought worries linger

In a preliminary outlook, the state Department of Water Resources said it can count on allocating as little as 20 percent of requested water supplies to start, hinting drought fears are far from over in California.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

State initially estimates 20% of full water deliveries

California’s Department of Water Resources has made its initial projection of how much water public agencies can count on receiving from the canals and pipelines of the State Water Project next year: 20 percent of their full allotments.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

California rainy season off to wet start, but drought not over

It’s only a beginning. But it’s a strong beginning, and it offers at least a rain gauge’s worth of hope to a state enduring its fifth year of drought.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Start-up is pitching a new type of bond to fix California’s wildfire and water woes

The founders of fledgling San Francisco firm Blue Forest Conservation want to use the proceeds of what they call a forest-resilience bond to pay crews to cut down small trees, clear out shrubs and burn off ground cover in overgrown forests. 

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Sides brace for hearing on river flow plan

Fishing and environmental groups will get the first say Tuesday about how much water should run down the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced rivers. The session in Sacramento will be the first of five before the State Water Resources Control Board, which is considering a major boost in the flows.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Trump promised California farmers more water. Can he deliver?

More than a year ago, Fresno County farmer Wayne Western Jr. penned a letter to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, pleading for help.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Why water district is paying growers to replace avocado trees

Thirsty avocado trees in the hills of De Luz are on a literal chopping block. The Rancho California Water District on Monday, Nov. 14, started accepting applications from district growers who want to remove high water use crops, such as avocado trees, for lower use varieties such as wine grapes or citrus trees.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Trump election impact in California will be huge

Farmers from California’s Central Valley invested big time in Donald Trump, and soon the president-elect could repay the debt.

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

A giant reservoir that supplies a California county’s drinking water is nearly empty

Lake Cachuma, a giant reservoir built to hold Santa Barbara County’s drinking water, has all but vanished in California’s historic drought. It reached an all-time low this summer — 7 percent capacity, which left a thick beige watermark that circles the hills framing the lake like an enormous bathtub ring.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Reservoir expansion could store water for millions in Bay Area

Millions of Bay Area residents could get extra drought insurance against water shortages and quality problems from a proposed $800 million expansion of the Los Vaqueros Reservoir that may have up to 10 water suppliers as partners.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Northern California is seeing two or three times more rain than normal. So why is Southern California so dry?

As the state enters its sixth year of drought, Northern California is seeing some significant relief thanks to a series of powerful storms, while Southern California remains mired in record dry conditions.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

A study says that more research is needed into how marijuana farming affects environment

As nine states prepare to vote on marijuana legalization on Nov. 8, a study concludes that more research is needed into how pot farming could hurt the environment.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Sites Reservoir has a new website, logo and more than enough investors

Last week, folks who are in the inner circle of the plans for Sites Reservoir held a get-together in Maxwell to show off the group’s new office and new logo. Also new is a website, that talks about all things Sites Reservoir — a construction schedule, facts sheets and a list of interested participants (see sidebar).

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

South San Joaquin farmers say ‘no’ to flow plan

Manteca-area farmers voted this week to oppose a state proposal to permanently allow more water to remain in the Stanislaus River to protect fish. … The State Water Resources Control Board says river flows would increase from roughly 20 percent to perhaps 40 percent on the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced rivers combined.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Strange bedfellows form coalition to increase water supply (with audio)

California’s drought has brought about a strange partnership that includes corporations like Coca-Cola and environmental groups like the Nature Conservancy. They’re partnering on projects aimed at helping increase water supply in California. 

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Don’t expect much snow from soaking storm approaching California

California has been trying to fill its reservoirs for 5 years, and it will get a little help from a storm expected to hit later this week. Right now, Lake Shasta is only at 60% capacity and Lake Oroville is at 44%, with other reservoirs across the state even lower. 

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

River flow proposal stirs debate in Turlock and Sacramento

Four of the five board members at the Turlock Irrigation District voted Tuesday against the state’s proposed boost in river flows. Meanwhile, the fifth board member was in Sacramento to press the same case.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Another dry year on California’s books as ‘drought continues’

October is the time for optimism about water in California. … Hydrologically speaking, Oct. 1 also marked the official start of the state water year.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

River flow proposal will be discussed in Turlock and Sacramento

The board of the Turlock Irrigation District will get its turn Tuesday to denounce the river flow increases proposed by the state. Later in the morning in Sacramento, supporters and opponents of higher flows will speak to the California State Board of Food and Agriculture.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Timber Company tells California town, go find your own water

The water that gurgles from a spring on the edge of this Northern California logging town is so pristine that for more than a century it has been piped directly to the wooden homes spread across hills and gullies.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Why California may ban new small water agencies

California’s goal of ensuring universal access to safe drinking water, as mandated in the 2012 Human Right to Water Bill, will come a step closer to being met if Gov. Jerry Brown signs a new measure into law that halts the creation of new small, unsustainable ­– and in many cases dangerous – water districts in the state.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

State announces river flow standards

State officials said Thursday that they are still seeking major increases in flows on the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced rivers, to the dismay of farming advocates.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

A plan to keep rivers flowing for fish triggers another water fight

State regulators want to leave more water for fish and wildlife in the heavily tapped tributaries of the San Joaquin River, setting the stage for another bruising California water fight.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

New state water plan may force tighter conservation restrictions

San Francisco faces potentially drastic cutbacks in its water supply, as state regulators proposed leaving more water in three Northern California rivers Thursday to protect wildlife in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta estuary, the linchpin of California’s water supply.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Lugging buckets and coping during California’s hottest summer on record

In small communities scattered across California, more wells have been failing as the drought persists for a fifth year.

Aquafornia news Arizona Daily Star

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Feds’ Colorado River water use forecast was too good to be true

It sounded too good to be true — an official forecast that 2016 [Colorado River] water use in Arizona, California and Nevada will be the lowest since 1992. That forecast from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation was too good to be true — by the bureau’s own admission.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

East Porterville residents, tired of drought, say end is in sight

Five years of drought have left East Porterville residents exhausted. As of Monday, 628 homes countywide have dry wells and no county-supplied water tanks. … Residents say they see the end in sight.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Report: Delta tunnels fail financially

The costs of Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed Delta tunnels vastly outweigh the benefits of building them, according to an analysis released Wednesday by University of the Pacific economist Jeff Michael.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Delta tunnels don’t pencil out, UOP economist says

A prominent Sacramento-area economist says Gov. Jerry Brown’s $15.5 billion plan to overhaul the troubled Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta doesn’t make financial sense, with costs far outweighing the benefits.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Bill targeting water secrecy scrapped in California Senate

Strong opposition in the Legislature has scuttled a bill that would have required agencies in California to release information about water use by businesses such as farms and golf courses.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

After years without water, taps are turned on in East Porterville

Tania Ramirez stepped into her family’s front yard Friday morning, leaned down toward a pipe protruding from the garden, and twisted a spigot. For the first time in three years, water came pouring out.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Northern California towns are running out of water

Paskenta, population 112, is an out-of-the-way place where rustic ranches grace grass-covered hills rolling west toward Mendocino Pass. … A water crisis has triggered a rude awakening.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Colorado River’s tale of two basins

Recently, Gov. John Hickenlooper cast renewed attention on water supply and growth in the West with a decision in a long-running process to expand a Colorado River diversion. … The Gross reservoir expansion reflects a fundamental tension for the seven states and two countries that share the Colorado River: how many more diversions can the stressed basin tolerate?

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Lake Oroville dropping much faster than Shasta Lake this summer

State and federal reservoir levels have been dropping at dramatically different rates for the last couple of months, for reasons that figure into last week’s discussions about the twin tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Aquafornia news Redding Record Searchlight

Sites Reservoir likely years down the road

Plans to build the Sites Reservoir have been in the works since 1957, and if it is eventually approved, work on the project probably would not be complete for another 10 to 12 years, according to Jim Watson, the Sites Reservoir Project general manager.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Sprouts subject of nationwide Nestle protest

Activists arguing that Nestle’s bottling of water from the San Bernardino National Forest is illegal due to a long-expired permit gathered Saturday at Sprouts Farmers Market locations across the U.S., including one in La Quinta, in order to protest the chain’s sale of Nestle Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles County proposal to let landowners use hauled-in water worries environmentalists

Los Angeles County is considering a controversial plan to spur housing development in rural unincorporated areas by allowing property owners to haul in drinking water if no other source is available.

Aquafornia news USA Today

Lawmakers debate benefits of holding water back to benefit endangered fish

Whether the temperature management of the runoff of Northern California water reservoirs, including Shasta Dam, results in improved survivability of endangered fish or uncertainty for human water users was debated at a House Natural Resources subcommittee hearing Tuesday.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Proponents planning a redo of stalled water-train initiative

Backers of a controversial ballot measure intended to shift billions of dollars in state bond money from high speed rail to water storage projects say they will rewrite the stalled initiative in an effort to gain broader support.  

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise Record

More investors asked to join Sites Reservoir planning

Calling all water users: If you would like to buy in on water from a future Sites Reservoir, now is the time. Plans for Sites Reservoir are moving forward, with a deadline of June 2017 to ask the state Water Commission to pay for half of the estimated $4.4 billion construction cost.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Los Angeles looks for extra water down its alleys

Of the roughly 300,000 acres in the city of Los Angeles, more than 2,000 are alleyways that cut through city blocks. And because they’re mostly paved, they do little to capture one of the city’s most prized resources: water.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Water for pot no longer unregulated

Within less than a year, as many as 50,000 marijuana growers in California could be required to obtain state permits for the irrigation water they consume. … This new ability to regulate water for marijuana growing is a result of SB 837, a state law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on June 27.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Suit challenges Delta pumping restrictions

In a failed effort to protect endangered fish, the federal government decided without proper study to default to restricting the giant pumps at the bottom of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. So argues a lawsuit filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Sacramento by a powerful consortium of water agencies.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: California drought and water bills are stuck on Capitol Hill

California water will retake the Capitol Hill stage in coming days, with compromise nowhere in sight. … Underscoring the many complications entangling California water, the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority and the Westlands Water District on Friday sued the federal Bureau of Reclamation over measures intended to protect endangered species.

Aquafornia news Valley Public Radio NPR for Central California

Critical Temperance Flat Agreement signed

Federal and local officials have signed an agreement that could bring the Temperance Flat Dam project one step closer to reality.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: San Joaquin Valley groups, feds seek funds to build Temperance Flat dam

A coalition of local elected officials, water districts, tribal members and the federal government will gather Friday to launch the application process to help build Temperance Flat Dam and Reservoir project.

Aquafornia news Voice of San Diego

Why San Diego isn’t at the table for doomsday Colorado River water talks

When a group of water officials from California, Nevada and Arizona get together behind closed doors to talk about potential cuts to California’s share of the precious and dwindling Colorado River, representatives from San Diego County Water Authority are not present.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Shasta water release plan has no cutbacks to farmers – for now

After weeks of uncertainty and pressure from members of Congress, federal officials on Wednesday announced a plan for managing water releases from California’s largest reservoir this summer in a manner that will not involve cutbacks in farm water deliveries – at least if all goes as hoped.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Sacramento region to California: We’ve got plenty of water

Under the state’s newly relaxed conservation rules, California’s 400 urban water district were to submit an analysis of their supply conditions and conservation outlook by last Wednesday. The water board won’t publish the responses until next month. 

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Residents in westside town get extra money to offset water bills

Residents of El Porvenir, threatened with water shutoff in August as their neighbors in Cantua Creek were last year, are getting financial relief from the state. … In April, the farmworker residents of the tiny western Fresno County town rejected a higher water rate over five years that amounted to about $5 a month the first year.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

New arguments added to case over Nestle’s water permit in San Bernardino Mountains

Because Nestle North American Waters did not provide requested information, its permit related to water withdrawals in the San Bernardino National Forest has lapsed, plaintiffs contend in a brief filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Riverside. 

Aquafornia news KPCC Southern California Public Radio

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Some water agencies say ‘no’ to mandated water cuts despite drought (with audio)

Municipal water agencies across California are required to report to state officials by midnight Wednesday on whether they have enough water to withstand three more years of drought. … Officials with the State Water Resources Control Board are calling it a “stress test.”

Aquafornia news Associated Press

State: Dry California town soon to have running water return

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

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

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

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

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

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

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

Aquafornia news Charter Local Edition

Video: California Assemblyman James Gallagher on water, drought

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

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Blog: State water board expands its commitment to recycled water with new permitting process

This new Order, approved Tuesday, will encourage more recycled water projects by providing a single permit that can be used across Regional Water Quality Control Board boundaries. It also establishes conditions for recycled water use and gives authority to an administrator to issue recycled water permits to users.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Residents in Tulare County community open taps to clean water

Matheny Tract residents can finally open their taps to clean water. … In March, the State Water Resources Control Board ordered Tulare to merge its water system with Matheny Tract under a new law.

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

Delta tunnels won’t take northern California’s water, say officials

Will Gov. Jerry Brown’s $17 billion Delta tunnels divert water to southern California that belongs to northern Californians? … Months of contentious public hearings start July 27.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino County Sun

Water agency offers financial, physical assistance for new wells

The board of the East Valley’s water wholesaler on Tuesday approved a $1.87 million package to tap an emergency water supply for the federally endangered Santa Ana sucker.

Aquafornia news KCRA Channel 3

Snowpack melting quickly in Sierra causes faster rapids (with video)

With temperatures in the 90s Tuesday, the water was raging along the North Fork of the American River thanks to fast-melting snow.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

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

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

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

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

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

Aquafornia news AgAlert Newspaper, California Farm Bureau Federation

Water officials outline outlook for 2016, beyond

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

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Water flowing into Diamond Valley Lake, launches to resume

Water is once again flowing into Diamond Valley Lake near Hemet for the first time in three years, which will allow boat launches to resume on Southern California’s largest reservoir in mid-May, just in time for Memorial Day weekend fishing.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Plan to enlarge Los Vaqueros Reservoir gains momentum

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

Aquafornia news San Bernardino County Sun

Open house draws about 100 to learn about Nestle water study

The room contained about 100 people migrating from station to station, looking at poster boards and talking to specialists about fault lines, water drainage and other environmental concerns of Nestlé’s tap into a San Bernardino Mountains creek.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

In Owens Valley, they’re skeptical of Angelenos bearing gifts, including new artwork

Los Angeles insists that it had the best of intentions as it erected the monument of granite and sculpted earth that is now rising from a dry bed of Owens Lake 200 miles to the north. Department of Water and Power officials saw it as a gesture of reconciliation for taking the region’s water more than a century ago.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Blog: Klamath Dam removal could boost water supplies

It doesn’t seem possible that removing four dams could actually improve water supplies. But that is one potential result of the recently approved deal to remove dams on the Klamath River. The agreement, announced on April 6 by the U.S. Department of Interior, will likely become the largest dam removal project ever undertaken in the United States. 

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California loosens water cutbacks in drought

California will deliver more water this year than it has for each of the last three, as spring storms have nearly filled the state’s major reservoirs, officials said Thursday.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

State ups its water allocation for Southern California

In another sign that the so-called “Miracle March” storms in Northern California helped ease the state’s drought, farms and cities reliant on the State Water Project learned Thursday that they’ll likely get 60 percent of the water deliveries they requested from the state, an increase from a month ago.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

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

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

Aquafornia news Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting

We’re running out of water, and the world’s powers are very worried

Secret conversations between American diplomats show how a growing water crisis in the Middle East destabilized the region, helping spark civil wars in Syria and Yemen, and how those water shortages are spreading to the United States. 

Aquafornia news U.S. News & World Report

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

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

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

San Joaquin Valley’s irrigation supplies range from near-normal to dismal

The 2016 irrigation season is rolling out on these warm April days with close-to-normal supplies in parts of the Northern San Joaquin Valley. In other parts, the drought of the past few years has not eased much, and farmers face another year of scraping by.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

California water allocation has winners, losers

In the latest sign of California’s improving drought picture, federal officials announced Friday that South Bay cities will receive 55 percent of their contracted water amounts this summer — up from 25 percent last year — from the Central Valley Project, California’s largest water delivery system.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Feds to announce water allotment for some California farms

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

Aquafornia news Associated Press

In California backcountry, skiers find satisfying snow

We were gliding downhill along a river buried in snow, our skis skimming a thin layer of fresh powder toward the setting sun and a wall of darkening clouds. … In California, snow isn’t just for skiers.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

California’s largest reservoir filling too fast thanks to El Niño, must release more water

The El Niño-fueled storms that have swept through Northern California in recent weeks have swelled some of the state’s largest reservoirs to encouraging levels even as the state’s drought persists.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: Feinstein, GOP press Obama administration on Delta water

As lingering El Niño rains swell the state’s rivers, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein joined California House Republicans on Thursday to demand that President Obama order more water to be pumped from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to farms in the San Joaquin Valley.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Oroville Dam spillway gates open for first time in years

Dozens of people made their way toward Oroville Dam to see water surge down the dam’s controlled spillway Thursday. … Over the past 10 years, the spillway has been open for flood control just twice.

Aquafornia news KCRA Sacramento

Nevada County reservoir littered with butane cans, irrigation officials say (with video)

Volunteers with the Nevada Irrigation District came to the Rollins Reservoir Saturday to canvas it for butane cartridges that had been spotted throughout the water.

Aquafornia news Arizona Republic

Water experts: Drought, climate change require new ways of living in Colorado River basin

The Southwest needs a new vision and technologies to shore up its diminishing water supplies instead of relying on old “security blankets” like a drought-busting winter that refills America’s two biggest reservoirs, water experts and users argued Monday. That’s what’s been happening with water use in the Colorado River basin.

Aquafornia news Redding Record Searchlight

Group wants water bottling issue on Siskiyou ballot

A Siskiyou County group wants to put a measure on the November ballot that would require any business that wants to pump groundwater that would be exported from the county — including bottled water — would need an extraction permit.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Blog: World Water Day rises to international prominence (with multimedia)

For almost all of its 240-year history, with only episodic interference from nature (the 1930s Dust Bowl) and one big intervention from man (the clean water campaigns of the 1960s and 1970s), the United States has been a place that largely took its water supply and quality for granted. 

Aquafornia news San Gabriel Valley Tribune

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

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

Aquafornia news Associated Press

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

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

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

The world’s poorest pay largest percentage of income for water, study says

The study, “Water: At What Cost? The State of the World’s Water,” coincides with the international observance of World Water Day.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Feds loosen up, offer 30 percent water allocation to San Joaquin Valley contractors

The drought is certainly not over, but the federal Bureau of Reclamation was optimistic enough to offer water suppliers in the Valley 30 percent of their contract allocations this year. And several water agency officials believe more could be coming as well.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

March rains prompt California to boost water project deliveries

Deliveries from the State Water Project are now forecast to be 45 percent of what was requested, still less than what’s supplied during most wet years but more than what’s been allocated since the first year of the drought. 

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California eases water cutbacks as drought loosens

The state Department of Water Resources announced it would be able to give its client water agencies 45 percent of their water allocations this year.

Aquafornia news KCRA Sacramento

High water levels could lead to ‘interesting’ runoff season (with video)

Federal water managers warned Tuesday that northern California could be headed for an “interesting” runoff season following a series of late-season storms.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: California experiencing ‘Miracle March’ says water manager (with audio)

The northern Sierra has seen nearly double the average precipitation since the beginning of March. It may seem hard to believe after such a dry February, but some of California’s largest reservoirs have approached flood operations.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: California’s biggest reservoirs recover, putting water limits in question

With California’s two largest reservoirs hitting historically average levels following a weekend of heavy storms, the state’s chief water regulator is cautiously optimistic that the drought may finally be relaxing its grip.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Pine Flat, Millerton lakes rise thanks to winter rains

Recent rains have dramatically increased the volume of water flowing into major central Sierra lakes and reservoirs that are vital to San Joaquin Valley farmers and communities. 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

A behind-the-scenes battle to divert L.A.’s storm water from going to waste

[Eric] Batman reveled in El Niño’s long-overdue rumbling. His job, as senior civil engineer for the [Los Angeles] county Department of Public Works, is to keep as much rain as possible from escaping to the ocean.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Kill high-speed rail and spend the money on reservoirs? Proposed California ballot measure sparks debate

Supporters of a proposed ballot initiative to kill California’s high-speed rail project and use the money to build new reservoirs are racing to gather enough signatures to qualify the measure for the November ballot. But the campaign, which is being bankrolled by San Joaquin Valley farmers, is already drawing fire from fellow farmers and environmentalists, who call it a “Trojan horse.”

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Blog: Will Human Right to Water resolution really help?

California is the first state to have a law declaring the human right to water, and now it also has a resolution from the Water Board prioritizing it. … In Poplar, California, an unincorporated Central Valley town of low-income, largely Hispanic residents, two of three community wells are contaminated with nitrates. The other one is going dry.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles officials seeded clouds during El Niño storm in hopes of more rain

Clouds over Los Angeles County were seeded with silver iodide to increase the amount of rainfall during Monday’s storm, marking the first cloud seeding done by the Department of Public Works since 2002.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

9,000 dying trees to be removed in Tuolumne County (with audio)

Tuolumne County will start on the job of removing  9,000 dead and dying trees that threaten roads, water supplies, and infrastructure this month.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Storms send billions of gallons of water into state reservoirs

This weekend’s soaking rains delivered just what drought-weary Northern California needed: billions of gallons of water pouring into the state’s major reservoirs — and more predicted for later this week.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

March storms needed to build Sierra snowpack (with audio)

California reservoirs are ’stable’ with help from above-average January precipitation, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. 

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Weekend storms expected to drop rain on north valley

The latest snow survey in the Sierra Nevada showed that an above-average snowpack in January gave way to a dry February, which reduced the statewide snowpack to 83 percent of normal. It was slightly better in the norther Sierra/Trinity area, the drainages that feed lakes Oroville and Shasta, but still below average at 89 percent.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Failure of key water pipeline into Silicon Valley may have exposed wider problems

Like a car owner whose transmission unexpectedly breaks down and results in a huge bill, Silicon Valley’s largest water provider will have to spend at least $20 million to drain, test and repair a critical water pipeline that failed last summer and may have more hidden problems.

Aquafornia news California DWR

News Release: California’s Three Traditionally Wettest Months End With Statewide Snowpack Water Content Less than Average

SACRAMENTO –The statewide snowpack – source of much of the California’s water supply – is only 83 percent of the March 1 average, the result of moderate precipitation since last October and relatively warm temperatures.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Will El Niño’s punch return in March? California snowpack needs renewal of drought-busting storms

After a dismally dry February, drought-weary Californians are hoping a series of storms predicted to roll through in early March blanket the Sierra Nevada with a much-needed additional layer of snow, building up the state’s vital snowpack that all but disappeared last year.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Is this El Niño a dud?

Sacramento is in the peak of its rainy season, but there is no substantial rain in the forecast. … Whither El Niño?

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

California boosts water deliveries to cities, farms — slightly

With a bit more snow in the Sierra than in years past, California officials on Wednesday boosted the amount of water they expect to deliver this year from the state’s mountain-fed reservoirs.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Sierra snowpack melts with dry February (with audio)

The water content in the statewide Sierra Nevada snowpack has decreased significantly due to dry conditions and record warm temperatures across California in February. 

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

California increases water allocation to farms, cities

In an encouraging note for California’s farms and cities, the State Water Project has doubled the amount of water it expects to deliver this year.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Flow of frustration — Delta stretched thin as drought lingers and fish die

Only in the wettest times is there enough water from the Delta to satisfy most everyone — farmers, fish, southland cities. In a drought, there is never enough.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

In Northern California, skiers and water officials are grateful for the recovering snowpack

Going into March, there’s a good chance most of California will see above-average precipitation, climate experts said. But judgment day is not until April 1, when officials start calculating just how much snow might be available to supply California’s water demands over the summer and fall.

Aquafornia news Redding Record Searchlight

Salmon concerns may affect water deliveries

Unlike the past two years, some North State water agencies have received a glimmer of hope they won’t see water cuts this year from the federal government.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

State’s snowpack back down below average

Here’s a reality check for anyone thinking the drought might be over: The snowpack in California has dipped back down below average for this time of year.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Proposal would shift bullet train funding for use on new water projects

The state’s powerful agriculture industry and its political allies are gathering signatures for a November ballot initiative that would grab bond money earmarked for California’s bullet train and use it instead for new water projects.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: California drought improvement will ‘take quite a while’ (with audio)

Despite heavy rainfall in January, an above-average snowpack and rising reservoirs in some areas, the U.S. Drought Monitor says more than one above-average winter will be needed to ease all the impacts of long-term drought in California. 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

El Niño rainstorms improving wildfire conditions throughout California, fire agency says

Higher-than-normal rainfall associated with El Niño has diminished the risk of wildfires in California for the next four months, according to a national fire agency report.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Snowpack ‘growing nicely’ in Sierra (with audio)

Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program for the California Department of Water Resources, says the snowpack measurement was 130 percent of average at Phillips Station off Highway 50 near Sierra-at-Tahoe Road.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: California starts decisive year on governor’s water tunnels

State regulators launched Thursday into a year of pivotal decisions on Gov. Jerry Brown’s quest to build two giant tunnels to ferry water from Northern California for Central and Southern California, a $17-billion project that would be one of the largest in decades in the state.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

California Supreme Court clears way for user fee on Cal Am bills

More than five years after the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District was barred from collecting a user fee on California American Water bills to pay for Carmel River mitigation and other work, the California State Supreme Court ruled the state Public Utilities Commission had no authority over the fee.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press Enterprise

Storms help boost water deliveries

Projections for this summer’s State Water Project deliveries were increased Tuesday because of recent El Niño-propelled storms, officials said.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Snowpack in drought-stricken California hits five-year high

Recent El Nino storms have boosted the Sierra Nevada snowpack to 115 percent of normal – more than the drought-stricken state has seen in five years, officials said Tuesday.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Good news for dry times — Sierra snowpack highest in 4 years

The snowpack in the Sierra contains more water than any year since 2011 on this date, according to the California Department of Water Resources.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: California to release more reservoir water thanks to El Niño storms

The Department of Water Resources, mindful of the fruits of the El Niño weather pattern, boosted expected water deliveries to cities and farms from last month’s scant projection of 10 percent of what was requested to a slightly better 15 percent.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Silicon Valley leaders express skepticism of Gov. Jerry Brown’s Delta tunnels plan

Three of Gov. Jerry Brown’s top water lieutenants came to Silicon Valley on Tuesday to make the case for his $17 billion plan to build two huge tunnels under the Delta to more easily move water from north to south.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

El Niño inspires hope of ‘major dent’ in drought, but empty reservoirs point to long recovery

Ever since climate experts first predicted El Niño last year, California officials have been tamping down expectations that this winter’s rains would bring significant drought relief.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Feds — California reservoirs only half full after big storms

The recent onslaught of El Nino storms only slightly increased the levels of California reservoirs that now stand at half of historic depths for this time of year, federal officials said Friday while releasing an initial water outlook for 2016.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Gov. Jerry Brown calls for better water management

During his state of the state address on Thursday, Gov. Jerry Brown highlighted the need to better manage water and recharge aquifers while touting efforts at home to combat climate change.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

El Niño inspires hope of ‘major dent’ in drought, but empty reservoirs point to long recovery

After months of warnings by some officials that El Niño and winter rains were far from certain, the bounty of storms plowing through Northern California has opened hope that there could be a huge improvement in the state’s severe drought by spring.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Water-starved Lake Oroville rises dramatic 20 feet in six days

El Niño is officially here, and the recent soakings walloping Northern California are recharging California’s drought-ravaged reservoirs with water. 

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Thanks El Niño! 44-foot rise of Folsom Lake offers hope for California’s worst ever drought (with graphic)

California lake levels are rising as fast as the stock market is falling, with Folsom Lake east of Sacramento rising an astonishing 44 feet in just over a month and Lake Oroville, the second most expansive water storage facility in the state rising another 20 feet.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Rain, snow making a dent in California’s historic drought

The rain and snow falling across Northern California in recent days is by no means extraordinary. … But inch by inch, forecasters say, it’s doing the work necessary if California is to reverse years of epic drought.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Water leak forces shutdown of California Aqueduct

A break in the California Aqueduct has halted the flow of water in the canal that supplies millions of Southern California residents, but there’s no concern that taps will run dry, officials said Wednesday.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Jerry Brown calls Delta water project ‘fundamental necessity’ (with video)

Facing uncertain financing and a ballot measure threatening his $15.5 billion Delta water plan, Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday called the project a “fundamental necessity” and said he is confident “we’ll get it done.” 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: Gov. Brown defends Delta tunnels as he rolls out tweaks to water plan

Gov. Jerry Brown warned Thursday that if his multibillion-dollar delta tunnels project fails to move forward, it would deal a “body blow” to California’s economy and prosperity.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Despite ‘Godzilla El Niño’ predictions, rainy season still pacing behind last year

You hear it every time you flip on a local TV forecast “we really need the rain.” At this point the sentiment is cliche, but the statement remains quite accurate. 

Aquafornia news Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting

Water tanks are a way of life in California community during drought

What began as an emergency response to the drought has dragged on and on. A year after the first tank was installed, tanks are now the primary source of water for more than 540 households in Tulare County, the epicenter of California’s four-year drought. 

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: El Niño helps, won’t end historic California drought (with audio)

Meteorologist Michelle Mead, with the National Weather Service in Sacramento says one “normal year” is not going to save California from a four-year drought.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Water agencies celebrate storage of Truckee water in federal reservoirs

There will be more water available to supply the Truckee River this summer.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Officials upbeat about snowpack, but El Niño looms large on drought

After taking the measurement and leaving a path of boot prints in his wake, Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program, told a group of tightly bundled reporters that the snowpack was “encouraging, but still obviously not where we’d like to be.”

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

California snowpack measures an encouraging 111% of normal

It’s far too early to declare an end to California’s historic drought, but the state’s snowpack now measures an encouraging 111 percent of normal for this time of year, state water officials say.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: California snowpack exceeds average for first time in years

A series of powerful snowstorms in the Sierra Nevada has resulted in a small milestone in drought-stricken California: The snowpack is now higher than average for this time of year.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

California wants to store water for farmers, but struggles over how to do it

This state, forward-looking on other environmental issues, has been stymied for decades over how to upgrade its plumbing system, an immense but aging network of reservoirs and canals that move water from the mountainous north to the drier south.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Nature controls Colorado River Basin outlook

The Colorado River Basin’s water supply is mainly affected by wet and dry weather cycles, not changes in human use, according to a study led by researchers from the University of Texas at Austin.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Agency begins review of Nestle water permit

The U.S. Forest Service said officials have started assessing the renewal of a 1978 permit that Nestle has long been using to pipe water out of the San Bernardino National Forest to produce Arrowhead brand bottled water.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

$1-billion desalination plant, hailed as model for state, opens in Carlsbad

With Monday’s ceremonial opening of the Western Hemisphere’s largest ocean desalination plant, a new era began for water use in San Diego County — and possibly for the entire parched state.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union Tribune

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Finish line for desalination

Poseidon Water’s desalination plant in Carlsbad is poised to begin regular operations within days — decades after water officials first considered harvesting drinking water from the sea and 14 years after they formally took the first steps toward its construction. The opening, to be celebrated with an anticipatory ceremony Monday, will be a milestone for the company, for arid San Diego County and for all of California.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

California drought: Storms help, water supply ‘below average’ (with audio)

The U.S. Drought Monitor released December 10, splits the report between Northern and Southern California. 

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California water supplies not looking good for 2016

Public water agencies that serve millions of residents in drought-weary California might only receive 10 percent of expected supplies in 2016 – half the amount that flowed to them this year through the state’s massive system of reservoirs and canals, state officials say.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: California officials expect 10 percent deliveries from State Water Project

California officials said Tuesday they expect to deliver just 10 percent of normal supplies from the State Water Project next year, or half as much as this year.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

California’s snowpack is deeper than last year, but more is needed, officials say

First, the good news: Thanks to a series of frosty winter storms, California’s snowpack is now double what it was last year at this time, according to officials.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Amid drought, San Diego faces the opposite problem: too much water

The $1-billion desalination plant coming online next month in Carlsbad will fit right in with years of careful planning and investment in water supply in San Diego County. It will also worsen a peculiar San Diego problem amid a multiyear drought: an oversupply of water.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Holiday travelers be warned — Huge snowstorm coming to Sierra Nevada

A massive storm, reaching across about half of the state, is expected to move in Tuesday and peak Wednesday, where it will drop up to 18 inches of snow on mountain summits from Shasta County and Lake Tahoe to Yosemite, said Nathan Owen, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sacramento.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Massive El Niño gains strength, likely to drench key California drought zone

One of the most powerful El Niños on record continues gathering strength and is looking increasingly likely to bring heavy rains to key Northern California areas that provide water for the rest of the state, according to a new forecast.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Recent storms help Sierra snowpack not water supply (with audio)

The weekly U.S. Drought Monitor update says the storms that have brought snow to the Sierra Nevada had no effect on California’s long-term water supply deficit.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: El Niño forecast to ease drought as odds of wet winter rise again

After four years of unrelenting drought, nearly all of California is likely to see at least some relief this winter, federal climate experts said Thursday, offering a first real message of hope for the bone-dry state.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Butte Fire’s ‘watershed moment’

Preserving a watershed requires everyone in that watershed to help, and that’s starting to happen in the wake of the destructive Butte Fire.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Study: California drought management lacking (with audio)

The report from the Public Policy Institute of California says the state’s system for allocating water is fragmented, inconsistent and lacks transparency. It says the problems keep the state from adequately managing water in a drought.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Billions of people depend on water from shrinking snowpacks

Snowpacks are a vital source of water for humans, but they may shrink in some regions as the climate warms. A new study estimates how changes in showfall will affect water supplies.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: Ballot proposal would divert high-speed rail money to water

Two well-known Republican state lawmakers submitted language Thursday for a ballot initiative that would ask California voters to redirect about $8 billion in bond money from the state’s high-speed rail project to build water storage.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Commentary: Many California lakes are shockingly low

In 35 years, nobody’s seen numbers like these. In a personal survey this week of 125 recreation lakes, 33 are under 25 percent full, and that includes 19 that are less than 10 percent full and four that are empty.

Aquafornia news National Geographic

6 places where melting snow means less drinking water

In order to help water providers better forecast their supply, [Justin] Mankin led a team of scientists in a new study published Thursday in the journal Environmental Research Letters. Climate models were used to predict changes in rainfall and snowpack across basins in the northern hemisphere that supply water to large numbers of people. 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Metropolitan Water District will try to buy Delta islands for water storage, habitat purposes

The board of the Southland’s water importer Tuesday voted to pursue the purchase of four farm islands in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, the ecologically troubled center of California’s sprawling water system.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Southern California deal for Delta islands could cost up to $240 million

The board of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California voted Tuesday to authorize its general manager to negotiate options on the five islands, owned by a Swiss company called Delta Wetlands Properties.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Metropolitan Water District of Southern California considers buying 4 Delta islands to solve some water problems

The Southland’s major water agency is considering buying 20,000 acres of farm islands in the hub of California’s water system, a move that could help stem cuts in deliveries from Northern California.

Foundation Event

Dry, Wet or Average? The Challenges for Water Project Operations

Water year 2016 began with the potential for heavy El Niño rains that captured the attention of the public. State and federal officials knew that California’s drought-stricken reservoirs would not recover that quickly. 

Hydrologic conditions, precipitation patterns, the need for fishery flows, and forecasts of state and federal water project operations were all discussed at a special FREE briefing held February 23, 2016. Sponsored by the California Department of Water Resources and the Water Education Foundation, the briefing was held at the Sacramento Convention Center, Room 202.

Sacramento Convention Center
1400 J Street, Room 204
Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

California drought keeps water delivery companies busy (with audio)

More than 2,000 California homeowners have run out of water in the drought, according to the state website that tracks such data. But many homeowners whose wells have run dry haven’t reported it.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Heavy snows in Sierra Nevada raise hopes of relief from drought

A day of heavy snow may have turned swaths of the Sierra Nevada into a winter landscape, but it’s too early to tell if it will have a lasting effect on the winter snowpack, forecasters say.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Central Valley communities get drought-related grants

East Porterville and other Valley communities suffering the effects of California’s worst drought in decades are getting financial aid from the federal government to buoy their water supplies.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Southern California water agencies push forward on Delta land purchase

With the future of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta approaching a critical stage, a group of Southern California water agencies is working to buy four Delta islands, a move that has drawn accusations that the parcels could be used to orchestrate a south-state water grab.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Despite hype of El Niño Grande, California rainy season starts with a whimper

Many Californians have already mentally deposited oceans of rainwater into our depleted reservoirs, thanks to the hype surrounding a projected Godzilla El Niño this year. The only problem is that actual deposits haven’t really amounted to much just yet. 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Congressional Republicans demand plan for collecting El Niño water

The Republican members of California’s delegation are demanding a government plan to store the deluge of water that could come with El Niño this winter.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Our driest days: The sad state of local reservoirs

The tow trucks are busy these days at Lake Camanche, rescuing drivers who get stuck on the sandy road that drops toward the receding shoreline. … And at New Melones Lake, a ghostly forest and portions of an old town have emerged as the water drops nearly one vertical football field below the spillway at the dam.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Cities and private equity firms fight over ownership of water systems

The fight in San Bernardino County is part of a wider tug of war between cities and private owners over water systems. More broadly, the controversy is over the degree to which Wall Street and other private parties should be controlling basic municipal infrastructure such as water systems and parking meters.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino County Sun

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Groups sue over Nestle water operation in San Bernardino Mountains

A group of environmentalists accused the federal government on Tuesday of not pushing Nestle Corp. to update its permits to tap and divert water in the San Bernardino Mountains, an operation they say is sapping vital water from public land.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Nestle drawing millions of gallons of California water on expired permit, suit claims

Environmental groups sued the U.S. Forest Service on Tuesday, alleging that the agency has allowed Nestle Waters to draw water from a creek in the San Bernardino Mountains under a permit that expired more than 25 years ago.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Rain no help for California reservoirs (with audio)

A fifth year of drought is likely in California, and El Niño won’t end it, say water scientists and forecasters.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: California’s federal reservoirs even lower than last year

In the latest indicator of the severity of the drought, the federal government’s main reservoirs serving California have begun the new “water year” at just a quarter full and in worse shape than last year.

Aquafornia news Whittier Daily News

Could lake water from Alaska be shipped to Los Angeles, Long Beach ports?

California needs water. Blue Lake in Sitka, Alaska, has a lot. So a company that holds the rights to up to 9 billion gallons of the lake’s water is pitching an idea that would send some of it — via tanker ship — to the Golden State as it endures the fourth year of severe drought.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Will El Niño ‘solve’ drought? Not if the rain falls in Southern California

In recent weeks, conditions have gelled for what forecasters say could be one of the strongest El Niño weather patterns in recorded history. Will it substantially ease California’s historic drought?

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Water, 2015, California: The no-good, very bad year — now, ‘pray for rain’

“Water year” 2015 was hot, dry and fiery, compounding the misery brought on by a fourth year of drought. … Water watchers keep track of precipitation and storage using Oct. 1 as a starting point.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Tiny mountain community finally gives up its old-school water district

Last winter, residents [of Lompico in the Santa Cruz mountains] agreed to have the neighboring San Lorenzo Valley Water District take over their mom-and-pop operation. … At least 18 districts have been consolidated since 2013, according to the State Water Resources Control Board.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

In East Porterville, drought escalates mental health issues

Experts say people affected by the drought also face stress, which can escalate to anxiety, depression and a host of other mental conditions. Studies show those findings are especially true for people who rely on water for economic survival, such as farmers, and people living in rural areas with fewer options for income and care.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Millions remain unspent in federal water-system loan program

The largest federal aid program for improving the nation’s drinking water systems has struggled to spend money in a timely fashion despite demand for assistance that far exceeds the amount available, a review by The Associated Press shows.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Nation’s water challenges are many, but so are the solutions

Although the problems are complex, experts generally agree on some basic solutions.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Cities bear rising cost of keeping water safe to drink

Across the country, small towns and big cities alike are debating how much they can afford to spend to make contaminated water fit for drinking. … A study released in June by the U.S. Geological Survey found nearly one-fifth of the groundwater used for public drinking systems in California contained excessive levels of potentially toxic contaminants. 

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Orange County offers model for places without enough water

The [Orange] county’s diverse efforts to keep water flowing are a model for other communities across the nation with stressed supplies. Roughly 112 million Americans are now affected by drought, according to federal calculations.