As a kid growing up in the Southland, I got my weather tips on the television from a mustached meteorologist named Dr. George.
Bill Croyle stood in front of an aerial photo of Lake Oroville and swept his hand across the top of the emergency spillway that was helping drain water out of the brimming reservoir.
No disaster is entirely natural in our re-engineered state and valley. Owing to our hubris, we humans have a direct hand in them all.
Roaring storms that brought California almost a year's worth of snow and rain in a single month should make state water managers' Sierra snowpack survey Thursday a celebration, marking this winter's dramatic retreat of the state's more than 5-year-drought, water experts say.
After five years of drought, could California really have so much rain and snow there's no room to store all the water?
The state's snow survey measured 28.1 inches of snow water content at Phillips Station off Highway 50, the highest measurement for February since 2005, state figures show.
After a month of huge blizzards and "atmospheric river" storms, the Sierra Nevada snowpack — source of a third of California's drinking water — is 177 percent of the historic average, the biggest in more than two decades.
Think of the snow that falls each winter in the Sierra Nevada as something like a paycheck for California's water supply.
How do you seriously dent a drought?
The arrival of rains with the new year have tempered one of California's most severe ongoing drought periods on record, which officially entered its sixth year in October 2016.
Late last week, something rare happened in Southern California: It rained for three days.
At the end of June, Los Angeles had recorded its driest five-year period since record-keeping began almost 140 years ago.
California's water year officially began in October, and it got off to a good start, with above-average precipitation in Northern California
California's top water regulator has strongly suggested the state will keep drought conservation rules in place despite winter storms that have waterlogged many communities.
San Luis Reservoir west of Los Banos is on its way to filling for the first time since 2011 as rain and snow bring the state additional relief from a punishing drought.
Ventura could begin actively exploring connecting to state water if the City Council approves setting aside money for a comprehensive study evaluating what it would take.
The third in a series of powerful winter storms unleashed a deluge in Southern California on Sunday, flooding numerous roads and freeways, setting new rainfall records and stranding some in dangerously rising waters.
California water suppliers pleaded with state water officials on Wednesday to end a statewide emergency water conservation regulation.
Despite a wet winter that has much of California emerging from drought, state officials are showing no sign that they'll ease up on water regulations imposed on cities and towns over the past three years.
Kevin Starr entered this world in 1940 in a rare fraternity — a fourth-generation Californian whose family's roots dated back to the Gold Rush era.
After weeks of storms in Northern California, the water picture in the Golden State is brighter than it has been in years.
After five years, is the drought over? The feds seem to think so, at least as far as Sacramento and most of Northern California are concerned.
Leaning against a wooden rail, environmental activist Geoffrey McQuilkin took stock of a parched geological wonderland that had been altered by a weekend deluge.
A large-scale effort to purify wastewater and inject it into groundwater basins could feasibly produce enough water to serve 335,000 homes, according to a study released by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
The third and latest storm to hit the state within a week is expected to inundate rivers in Northern California and flood parts of Napa Valley wine country, while also blanketing the frigid Sierra Nevada in heavy snowfall, according to state officials.
The powerful storms that soaked Northern California over the past week did more than trigger power outages, mudslides and flash floods.
OK, so let's get this straight: California is soaked, Los Angeles had its wettest December in six years
We're close – really close – to an agreement on how Arizona, California and Nevada will share looming cuts to the water we all depend on from Lake Mead.
Two weeks before President Barack Obama leaves office, his administration vowed to move full speed ahead on California's controversial Delta tunnels project, calling it essential for the state's water supply as well as its environment.
The outgoing Obama administration on Wednesday tried to nudge forward Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal to build two giant north-south water tunnels for California.
Higher elevations of Northern California were hit by heavy snowfall overnight, prompting avalanche warnings, as the region braced for a week of intense weather.
California is getting the rain and snow it needs this week thanks to a shift in the weather, and the region's meteorologists are finally calling it "normal" for winter on the West Coast.
Municipal water agencies deny that the sole purpose of tiered pricing — in which users pay more per gallon as they use more gallons — is to encourage conservation, but such rate structures just happen to provide fair and sensible incentives for Californians to use their most precious public resource wisely and with respect for its scarcity.
Despite five years of record drought, many Californians have not been required to cut their water use.
The San Francisco Bay estuary is in crisis.
After years of working on water, environment and agriculture issues in California, it remains a mystery to me why the appointed State Water Resources Control Board and several other environmental boards and commissions so often don't understand the pushback from ordinary Californians on their regulatory agenda.
Foreign governments concerned about climate change may soon be spending more time dealing with Sacramento than Washington.
Once dreamed of as a Riviera, the Salton Sea has become a decaying, smelly mess largely written off by the state of California.
After many alternatives, iterations and tweaks, final environmental documents are to be made public Wednesday for a water re-routing project that has come to be known as the California WaterFix.
A multistate agreement aimed at shoring up Lake Mead can't be finished until California finds a way to solve two major, long-simmering environmental fights.
If two water diversion tunnels could help solve California's water delivery woes, can one tunnel be even better?
Public water agencies throughout California are looking to spend billions of dollars in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to address a fundamental physical reality: The existing water system in the southern Delta poses an intractable environmental problem.
Poseidon Water hopes to help quench Orange County's thirst, but first the company's proposed desalination project must slake a thirst of its own.
With the prospect of reduced Colorado River deliveries as early as 2018, U.S. and Mexican negotiators have been in a race against the clock to forge an agreement that involves sharing any future shortages — and are hoping for a signing before President-elect Donald Trump takes office on January 20th.
It's only a beginning.
On Nov. 8, Los Angeles voted to invest in infrastructure improvements that will transform the region for generations to come.
More than a year ago, Fresno County farmer Wayne Western Jr. penned a letter to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, pleading for help.
The number of dead trees in California's drought-stricken forests has risen dramatically to more than 102 million in what officials described as an unparalleled ecological disaster that heightens the danger of massive wildfires and damaging erosion.
The Southland's biggest water agency painted a surprisingly upbeat picture Monday of the region's water supplies.
Despite five consecutive years of drought, record-setting heat and water being diverted to protect the state's native fish population, Southern California's top urban water agency said Monday it has enough water stored up for nearly five years.
Joshua trees could soon follow polar bears as one of the first species to be listed as threatened due to climate change.
With Lake Mead receding year after year and the threat of a shortage looming, the over allocated Colorado River seems to be approaching a breaking point.
Odds favor below-normal rainfall and above-average temperatures in Southern California this winter, according to a National Weather Service forecast released Monday.
October is the time for optimism about water in California.
The Sacramento Bee's editorial board suggests that it would be proper state policy to wring the last drop of water out of California's food producers ("Stop farms from grabbing all the groundwater," Editorial, Sept. 30).
Californians' water conservation slipped for the third consecutive month in August, prompting new alarm from regulators about whether relaxed water restrictions may be causing residents to revert to old habits as the state enters its sixth year of severe drought.
There were high hopes going into water year 2016.
A simple truth: Our homes, businesses and communities in western Los Angeles County served by the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District would not exist were it not for water from Northern California.
Last year at this time, weather forecasters had a pretty good idea of what was in store as California headed into the rainy season.
This summer, as temperatures soared and depleted groundwater turned the San Joaquin Valley into a collection of sinkholes, state Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, put forth legislation to fast-track conservation of underground water supplies.
Drive through rural Tulare County and you'll hear it soon enough, a roar from one of the hundreds of agricultural pumps pulling water from beneath the soil to keep the nut and fruit orchards and vast fields of corn and alfalfa lush and green under the scorching San Joaquin Valley sun.
A major river in California has so much water taken from it by agribusiness that it runs dry for miles.
Not many simple statements can be made about the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, except these: It's hard to overstate the importance of the region's resources to California – or the complexity of sharing those resources.
Environmental Defense in February of 2005 noted 85 percent of the 260,000 acre feet of water San Francisco takes from the Tuloumne River watershed is diverted at Hetch Hetchy Reservoir.
What if it were your job to make sure there's enough water for everyone in your city to drink – in the middle of the worst drought in 500 years?
To support our prosperity and growth, California needs to expand its investments in our physical and natural infrastructure.
The California Supreme Court has ruled that a Southern California water supplier can go ahead with the purchase of five Delta Islands, regardless of the opposition and lawsuit against it.
It has been 110 years since the San Francisco fire led to the damming of the Tuolumne River, cornering dibs on some of the world's most pristine water for that lucky city by the bay.
In a move that foreshadows sweeping statewide reductions in the amount of river water available for human needs, California regulators on Thursday proposed a stark set of cutbacks to cities and farms that receive water from the San Joaquin River and its tributaries.
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.
California's rivers work hard.
When it comes to water management in California, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a giant.
It's getting close to that time of year when weather watchers and water managers start wringing their hands and wondering whether it will be a boy or a girl.
La Niña may not happen after all.
Residents of drought-stricken California kept up water conservation in July despite the long, hot days near the peak of summer, officials said.
A reckoning arrives every August for the Colorado River and the 40 million people across the West who depends on it.
As California's two largest inland bodies of water go, Lake Tahoe is the stereotypical beauty queen — classically stunning, endlessly photogenic, fragile.
Locked in a multi-year drought, California's urban water suppliers have, for the most part, happily enforced rules that prohibit specific wasteful water practices, such as hosing down driveways and over-watering lawns.
Driving through Beverly Hills one afternoon this spring, I pulled over at a corner lot with a tennis court, a pool, a guest house, twenty towering sycamore and redwood trees, and an acre of emerald grass.
You don't have to look too far to find disheartening stories about water in the American West. In general, it seems, we're running out.
The Obama administration unveiled initiatives to help restore the Salton Sea and improve the region's climate resilience, economy and public health as part of President Barack Obama's visit to Lake Tahoe Wednesday.
The country's largest desalination plant is in the ground at Carlsbad and its water is in our pipes, but the debate over whether it was a wise or economical investment continues.
California's top water guzzlers — the people who use tens of thousands of gallons more than their neighbors to keep lawns bright green during serious droughts — could soon be hit with higher water bills and their names made public if the drought continues.
A drone whirred to life in a cloud of dust, then shot hundreds of feet skyward for a bird's-eye view of a vast tomato field in California's Central Valley, the nation's most productive farming region.
It wasn't so long ago that our water deliveries would really spike as the temperature crept above 90 degrees in many Southland areas.
In 1987, California was at the beginning of what would be a six-year drought – the second driest in the state's history.
Construction began Monday on a project at the Tujunga Spreading Grounds that is expected to double the amount of stormwater that can be captured at the facility to about 5 billion gallons per year.
Continuing a string of global heat records, last month was the hottest July ever recorded, NASA said.
Water is like money.
Many of California's farmers, facing severe water cutbacks yet again this year, are blaming the hand they've been dealt on environmental protections for endangered fish.
Michael George has called the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta "highly important, highly complex, highly compromised."
How has California's four-year drought affected the priorities of the Metropolitan Water District?
People in the Coachella Valley continued to save substantial amounts of water in July, even after California regulators relaxed drought measures and gave water districts a reprieve from state-imposed conservation targets.
State officials will not force most California water districts to reduce water use this year, even as they caution that the five-year drought persists and note that drought-fueled wildfires continue to wreak havoc.
California may be in its fifth year of drought, but on Tuesday, state water regulators effectively turned back the clock to 2013.
California's drought is costing farmers an estimated $603 million this year, although the impact is far less than a year ago, according to a study released Monday by UC Davis.
Millions of Californians nearly had their water shut off late last month because the federal government ran out of water — sort of.
With the dual goals of cutting carbon emissions and reducing operational costs, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, a state-established cooperative of 26 cities and water agencies serving nearly 19 million people in six counties, has unveiled its latest investment in solar power.
Rafaela Tijerina first met la señora at a school in the town of Lost Hills, deep in the farm country of California's Central Valley.
With conservation cutting into demand, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California used nearly 16 acres of land originally set aside for additional water production for a solar farm at its F.E. Weymouth Water Treatment Plant in La Verne.
Earlier this summer, the San Diego County Taxpayers Association gave its Golden Watchdog award to the Carlsbad Desalination Project, reflecting the group's support "every step of the way" for what many in the environmental community consider the region's biggest boondoggle in recent memory.
As every Californian knows by now, our state is in the fifth year of a drought, and this persistent imbalance of supply and demand in our water supply is likely the new norm.
Looking north from Blue Canyon near Shaver Lake, copper-colored forests blanket mountain slopes that stretch ridge after ridge to the horizon.
The dancing jets of water in front of the Bellagio have served as a convenient symbol of waste in countless news stories and documentaries.
The State Water Resources Control Board has just released the first month of conservation data under new state rules that emphasize drought preparedness and local discretion regarding conservation activities.
Around 1925, Los Angeles water baron William Mulholland badgered Yosemite National Park Superintendent Horace M. Albright with a proposal to dam Yosemite Valley.
Scientists from two federal agencies are about to overhaul the rules governing the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, potentially increasing protections for endangered fish populations and limiting the amount of water pumped to Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley.
California officials Tuesday released a detailed environmental blueprint for Gov. Jerry Brown’s controversial Delta tunnels project, saying the $15.5 billion plan “minimizes potential effects” on endangered fish species whose populations have dwindled following decades of water pumping.
Californians are continuing to save significant amounts of water despite the decision by Gov. Jerry Brown's administration to relax drought rules two months ago.
Californians conserved less water in June, state officials said Tuesday in releasing results from the first month that statewide drought restrictions were eased after a winter of heavier precipitation in the northern half of the state, which supplies most of the water.
The multi-year drought has become so bad in some parts of California that last year wells dried up and communities had to have their water hauled in by truck.
It might not be what you expect to hear about California agriculture in the throes of drought: After four years of historic water shortages, farm earnings in the state increased 16 percent, and total employment increased 5 percent.
Recently, the Sacramento Bee invited Jeffrey Kightlinger, General Manager of the Metropolitan Water District, to talk about the California Water Fix and other California water issues in a forum attended by newspaper subscribers and students.
A scenic spot along the Sacramento River is quickly becoming ground zero in the fight over California's water future as the new California WaterFix project is generating strong reactions.
It's been 10 years since California enacted AB 32, which requires the state to reduce greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by 2020.
The Yorba Linda Water District won its legal fight Monday against a community group opposed to a $25 monthly water-rate increase imposed on ratepayers.
Representatives of California Gov. Jerry Brown and the Obama administration began making their pitch for approval Tuesday to build a pair of massive water tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.
Tribes are apprehensive, cities are more upbeat and farmers stand somewhere in between over a proposed plan to cut CAP water deliveries to keep Lake Mead from falling to dangerously low levels.
That question has been asked, often quite loudly, by many Californians in the months since voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 1, the 2014 water bond that authorized $7.5 billion in funding for various projects and needs, and specifically allocated $2.7 billion for storage projects.
An Orange County Superior Court judge ruled Monday in a closely watched case that customers of a water district cannot void rate increases using a referendum.
Now that Metropolitan Water District of Southern California has completed its $175 million purchase of four islands in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, totaling almost 20,000 acres in size, it is time to engage in a discussion of how Met can be a good Delta neighbor.
Still swirling in controversy, Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed $15.5 billion re-engineering of the troubled Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is heading into a critical phase over the next year that could well decide if the project comes to fruition.
Diamond Valley Lake returned to its postcard-worthy splendor after Metropolitan Water District pumped in nearly 52 billion gallons of water since spring.
In a win for the state, the California Supreme Court declared Thursday that the state has the right to go on private property for soil and environmental testing as part of a plan to divert fresh water under or around the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta on its way to Central and Southern California.
California officials don't have to pay property owners to access their land and decide whether to move forward with a $15.7 billion plan to build two giant water tunnels that would supply drinking water for cities and irrigation for farmers, the California Supreme Court ruled unanimously Thursday.
Southern California's powerful water supplier has completed the $175-million purchase of five islands in the heart of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, the ecologically sensitive region that's a key source of water for the Southland.
A portion of the Delta is now owned by a powerful water agency from Los Angeles.
It's official: Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is going to own five islands in the heart of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
Southern Californians are conserving water as never before. Yet based on one government formula, we are not conserving at all.
The Metropolitan Water District Tuesday unveiled an "H2Love" campaign asking Southern Californians to embrace long-term conservation as the state's drought enters its fifth year and Los Angeles registers record-low rainfall.
California Republicans are spreading out their bets in their annual effort to steer more water to the state's farmers.
Water suppliers are loosening water-use restrictions and reporting they'll have enough water to meet demand for the next three years.
These past few years have shown us just how bad California's water situation can be when the rain doesn't fall in the Valley and the snow doesn't accumulate in the mountains.
Los Angeles has chalked up yet another dreary milestone in its growing almanac of drought.
Without mandatory conservation, San Diego is positioning itself to fall back into the same short-sighted planning that built the state's drought inadequacies in the first place.
In the final month of mandatory water restrictions in California, residents exceeded Gov. Jerry Brown's goal of cutting water use statewide by 25 percent.
A federal agency projects a record almond crop in California this year, based on sampling results announced Wednesday.
Short-term comfort rarely comes without long-term costs. By the end of the summer, we suspect California will be paying the price for its hasty retreat from sound water policies.
California's drought and a bark beetle epidemic have caused the largest die-off of Sierra Nevada forests in modern history, raising fears that trees could come crashing down on people or fuel deadly wildfires that could wipe out mountain communities.
As if California's water supplies weren't already sufficiently imperiled, a bill that would have taken a small step toward groundwater regulation unfortunately has now stalled.
Twenty-six million people in California, Nevada and Arizona rely on the Colorado River, but this magnificent source of water that carved a continent is drying up.
The state budget Gov. Jerry Brown signed this week includes $80.5 million for restoration of the Salton Sea — more than California has ever allocated for the state's largest and most troubled lake.
In a surprising new study, Stanford researchers have found that drought-ravaged California is sitting on top of a vast and previously unrecognized water resource, in the form of deep groundwater, residing at depths between 1,000 and nearly 10,000 feet below the surface of the state's always thirsty Central Valley.
The water level in Lake Shasta, California's largest reservoir had plunged to less than a third of normal by the end of last year.
When forecasters last year warned of a massive El Niño, some Californians held out hope that a single extremely wet year could bust the state's severe drought.
On April 1, 2015, Gov. Jerry Brown attended a routine snow survey at 6,800 feet in the Sierra Nevada, near Echo Summit on Highway 50 along the road to Lake Tahoe.
The lifeblood of greater Los Angeles runs through the Coachella Valley, coursing through a series of tunnels bored into the rugged foothills of the San Jacinto Mountains.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California today released results of an analysis demonstrating it has sufficient water supplies to meet the demand of its member agencies over the next three years, thanks in large part to successful water conservation by Southland residents.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California announced Wednesday they will definitely have enough water to meet demands for the next three years, thanks to local conservation efforts.
San Diego imports 80 percent of its water, with the Colorado River supplying about 63 percent, and 20 percent coming from Sierra Nevada runoff funneled from northern California via the State Water Project.
California is moving away from mandatory water conservation rules.
Last month, state water officials eased conservation mandates in response to slightly above-average winter rain and snow in much of California, leading many to speculate that the state's long-running drought has tapered off.
More rain arrived in Northern California this year, which is good news overall.
Here, courtesy of Time, is a nice photo from space of the current state of Lake Mead as compared to what used to be Lake Mead.
For years California was behind the curve on managing groundwater, with dire results. There are now 21 groundwater basins or subbasins in the state that are critically overdrafted.
When California officials announced an end to restrictions on urban water use, they cited the recent wet winter as one reason. El Niño, the climate pattern that brought a succession of storms to Northern California, had given the state a reprieve from its water woes, they said.
Water quality at Southern California beaches has shown marked improvement for the second year in a row in what experts say is a continuing byproduct of the severe drought that has cut polluted runoff into the Pacific Ocean.
State officials recently eased the reins on local water agencies when it comes to the drought mandate.
The last time two states went to war over water, it was 1934. The combatants were California and Arizona and the casus belli was the start of construction of Parker Dam, which would direct water from the Colorado River into California via the Colorado River Aqueduct.
After banning boaters from a popular recreational lake for an entire year due to drought concerns and low water levels, the Diamond Valley Lake is back open just in time for Memorial Day weekend.
For its first four years, the California drought spread its pain across most corners of the state.
California on Wednesday suspended its mandatory statewide 25 percent reduction in urban water use, telling local communities to set their own conservation standards after a relatively wet winter and a year of enormous savings in urban water use.
Marking a major shift in California water policy, state regulators Wednesday voted to lift the statewide conservation targets that for the past year have required dramatic cutbacks in irrigation and household water use for the Sacramento region and urban communities across the state.
It has been a year since Steven Latino has been able to put his fishing boat on Diamond Valley Lake.
Ca California's groundwater is threatened – unsustainable use is causing impacts around the state. Pumping during the drought has been so rapid that changes in groundwater levels can be observed from space.
As Americans across the country scrambled to get their taxes filed before the midnight deadline last month, many homeowners found themselves with a new reason to feel frustrated.
Water splashed underneath the Riverside Poly High School boat as senior Natalie Jones piloted it across Lake Skinner under a sun-drenched sky early Friday.
Water agencies across California are signaling that we may be able to turn the spigot back on, thanks to a decent wet winter and spring in the northern part of the state.
Looking into a crystal ball a decade ago, San Diego water officials expected dramatically rising demand for water. The region would be using 242 billion gallons of water a year by 2015, they thought.
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.
With statewide supplies improving, the board of directors of the Metropolitan Water District, the water wholesaler for Southern California, voted today to end a mandatory use-reduction program it imposed on its 26 member agencies to combat the drought.
Solar Cup Gives Students Hands-on Learning Experiences in Water Conservation and Engineering Through Solar-Powered Boat Races
After years of drought, winter's rain and snow storms generated close to a normal supply of water for California.
The Calleguas Municipal Water District Board of Directors was pleased to read the April 10 commentary by John Laird, state secretary for natural resources, on the California WaterFix proposal to build new intakes and tunnels to safeguard and stabilize water deliveries from the northern Sierra and Sacramento Delta.
As promised a year ago, the state is at work restoring wildlife habitat in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Suisun Marsh, with six projects targeted for groundbreaking in 2016.
Trees in California are dying at the highest rate in at least 15 years, raising the risk of faster-moving and more-intense forest fires, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
There is talk that the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is purchasing four islands and tracts in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to construct a reservoir project to divert more water from the estuary.
Let the gleaming bass boats return.
With the Colorado River tapped beyond its limits and the level of Lake Mead in decline, representatives of California, Arizona and Nevada say they've been making progress in negotiating an agreement for all three states to share in water cutbacks in order to stave off a more severe shortage.
Scientists are increasingly focused on shifting warm Pacific waters as a possible cause for Southern California's lack of predicted winter rain.
Californians concerned about the drought and who want to build more water storage and other critically needed infrastructure should be extremely concerned with an initiative that has qualified for the November ballot.
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.
Could desalination provide a reliable supply of water for California?
The West Coast's abundant fisheries are at risk as the region's waters become more acidic, a group of scientists warn.
The California drought is not over. The great hope for major replenishment of California's surface and groundwater supplies — the "Godzilla" El Niño — has failed thus far to live up to its super-sized hype, delivering only average amounts of rain and snow, primarily to the northern half of the state.
It was a rainy weekend in Southern California, but there have been too few such storms in what had been expected to be a rain-soaked El Niño season.
Already viewed with suspicion and hostility in the north state water community, the powerful Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is broadening its reach by purchasing $175 million worth of real estate in the very hub of California's water delivery network: the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
In two months, between January and March, more than enough water to supply all the homes in Ventura County for a year slipped down the Sacramento River and out to the ocean after rules to protect the environment and water quality had been met.
El Niño has been little more than a cruel joke in Southern California this winter.
Stanford researchers who studied trends in the atmospheric circulation patterns that affect California's rainfall have found that conditions linked to the hot, dry weather during our latest drought have become more frequent in recent years, according to research published Friday.
As if we needed more proof, the Sierra snow survey last week made clear that Californians must continue to conserve water while working to build a more reliable water system.
One year ago Friday, Frank Gehrke hiked out to Phillips Station and stuck a tube onto a tuft of brownish-green grass.
After years of drought and months of speculation about how much precipitation a strong El Niño weather pattern would bring, the results are in:
The National Association of Government Communicators has selected Bob Muir, manager of the Press Office of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, as its 2016 Communicator of the Year.
A solution to Southern California's water needs, especially during record-breaking drought years, is now within reach.
In the world of California water, there is a saying about how our statewide system is supposed to work: "big gulp, little sip."
In a further sign of the easing of California's drought, farms and cities that rely on the State Water Project learned Thursday that they will receive an estimated 45 percent of what they requested this year.
Officials in Beverly Hills say they tried it all: educational campaigns, usage restrictions and written notices for people suspected of wasting water.
The board of Southern California's water importer voted Tuesday to buy 20,000 acres of farm islands in the heart of the state's north-south plumbing system.
A fifth year of California drought and continued water challenges now appear unavoidable, even with new storms on the horizon.
It was the final Wednesday of a warm, dry February, and here as in much of California it seemed that spring had made an early arrival.
In what may be an ominous sign for the end of the drought, the El Niño that brought Northern California its wettest winter in five years is continuing to weaken and appears to be giving way to its atmospheric sibling -- La Niña.
Water, water everywhere. Unfortunately, it's not enough.
The California drought has created many oddities over the last few years but none as bizarre as a scene that unfolds regularly on a tributary of the Santa Ana River.
The rainfall across Southern California last week only slightly alleviated the record drought, but was welcome nonetheless.
Southern Californians can expect dry conditions and above-average heat this week as a stubborn high-pressure system continues to block the heavily anticipated El Niño rainstorms that weather officials warned of over the winter.
California residents have been forced to use less water with each passing year, but as drought becomes the new norm, they aren't just conserving, they're revolutionizing the way the state manages its water.
The winter rains finally arrived in Southern California, bringing drenching relief in recent days to a part of the nation suffering one of the worst droughts in history.
A few dozen baby salmon that spent the past two weeks contentedly eating – and growing – in the invertebrate stew of a flooded rice field were netted Friday, dumped into coolers and hauled by pickup several miles to a drainage canal and to the Sacramento River.
Federal climate scientists say the near-record El Niño conditions in the Pacific Ocean have peaked and are slowly waning.
For California, which has endured four years of extraordinary drought, the state's wet season is off to an encouraging start.
Sadly, I missed the community meeting starring Erin Brockovich, who blew into town this month to inform the citizenry that its officials are too cheap and lazy to provide safe drinking water.
So far this winter, El Niño has not delivered the predicted rains needed to replenish the parched Colorado River Basin, conservationists say.
Northern California's El Niño winter has been on pause lately, with this week's storm representing the only significant rainfall so far in February.
As an attempt to balance many competing interests, the water bill that California Democrat Dianne Feinstein introduced in the Senate last week appears well-thought-through and carefully crafted — and as such it is being greeted by many with the kind of lukewarm response that such attempts often receive.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein has spent two years trying to fashion a bill that would help California deal with its drought, but she has never been able to come up with a proposal that can bridge the gaps between Central Valley Republicans and her fellow Northern California Democrats.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein filed a 184-page water policy bill Wednesday, calling it one of the most difficult bills she's worked on in 23 years representing California.
After months of responding to calls to save water, Southern Californians say they've hit a wall.
After months of hopeful predictions, El Niño is delivering our state much-needed snow and rain. But with Mother Nature doing her small part to ease the drought, the big question remains:
By this point in winter, Southern California was supposed to be dealing with rains and flooding, not brush fires and beach weather.
A new state report shows California farmers reaping record sales despite the epic drought, thriving even as city-dwellers have been forced to conserve water, household wells have run dry and fish have died.
A new study suggests that dry conditions in the southwestern United States, including the ongoing California drought, may become standard.
At the Northstar Ski Resort, where a sugary layer of fresh snow gleamed like icing on a wedding cake, Owen Boran, 5, filled up on M&Ms after several trips down the slopes.
This week I testified at a legislative hearing on implementing the $7.5 billion water bond passed by voters in November 2014.
The San Diego County Water Authority has such an oversupply of drinking water that it just dumped half a billion gallons into a lake.
San Diego's overabundance of water during one of California's worst droughts has reached a new, absurd level.
Protecting our water supplies and the Delta's environment requires real solutions and timely action on the California WaterFix.
I have a mission for the young scientists at the Western Center Academy by Diamond Valley Lake.
The California governor's quest to build two giant water tunnels is now in the hands of state regulators, who face key decisions this year.
California's current snowpack is the deepest it has been in five years -- a modest, yet encouraging milestone in a period of prolonged drought.
A new Golden State Poll shows California voters rank dealing with water problems and strengthening the state's economy as top policy concerns facing the state.
The farmers and cities that rely on the California State Water Project got some slightly encouraging news Tuesday – the state is raising their water allocation to 15 percent of what they requested.
California's congressional delegation continued to wrangle over how to respond to the Golden State's water crisis Thursday when Sen.
To a casual listener, Gov. Jerry Brown's State of the State speech Thursday was minimalist if not prosaic.
Scientists reported Wednesday that 2015 was the hottest year in the historical record by far, breaking a mark set only the year before — a burst of heat that has continued into the new year and is roiling weather patterns all over the world.
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."
Southern California's long-term water resource plan that outlines ways to maintain supply reliability for the next 25 years was updated today by Metropolitan Water District's Board of Directors in the midst of a record statewide drought and increased volatility in the available supplies for the region.
The Metropolitan Water District on Tuesday unveiled a revised long-term plan to protect the region from potential water shortages during the record statewide drought.
El Niño is finally making its presence felt with a series of welcome storms.
Some parts of the Central Valley are sinking, and time is running out to make the hard choices to slow the over pumping of groundwater causing it.
A California lawmaker is dramatically raising the stakes in water management, proposing fines that could reach thousands of dollars a day and public shaming of people who use too much.
Will the California Coastal Commission approve Poseidon Water's proposed desalination project?
The State of California has entered into what may prove to be a fifth consecutive year of drought.
To understand the power and potential dangers of El Niño, look at satellite images of the Pacific Ocean on Sunday.
Scott Slater has a plan.
The snow keeps piling up, but the rules requiring water conservation aren't going away.
Jerry Brown is a little like a salmon.
This year's drought has brought an unprecedented amount of attention to California's water future, and with that debate, two different views about the solution.
The message that Maria L. Gutierrez gave legislators on Capitol Hill was anguished and blunt: California's historic drought had not merely left farmland idle.
In the world of water politics, there are few relationships as fraught as the one between the San Diego County Water Authority and its larger rival, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
As many as 58 million large trees in California are under threat due to the droughts that have ravaged the state since 2011.
A controversial plan that would put Southern California's most powerful water agency in control of a group of Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta islands has run into a potentially significant hurdle.
Facing mounting pressure from the state and the public, the city is turning to one of the few remaining options to save additional water: Technology.
This tranquil ranching valley lies 15 miles west of the Sacramento River. A one-lane bridge spans a dried-up creek at the valley entrance.
This was a slight of hand effort by government to transfer money to consumers—then transfer a portion back to government. Agencies gave "rebates" to homeowners to take out grass and replace it with drought resistant plantings.
California has made remarkable progress in addressing many of its long-standing water challenges.
California must develop a modern water system and strategy that includes greater flexibility to deal with climate change and a growing demand for an unpredictable supply of water.
Some dubious source had told me there was a "water museum" off Interstate 5 along the Grapevine, a prospect that immediately grabbed my interest.
Californians suffering through the fourth year of a punishing drought have a new worry.
State regulators are expected to propose changes this week to California's water conservation mandate that has required communities throughout the state to reduce use by 25 percent.
As they look to next year, state regulators are suggesting a slight easing of the conservation requirements that slashed urban water use across California.
Even Noah's Ark may not be able to withstand the deluge of desalinated drinking water created daily by the joint venture of Poseidon Water and the San Diego County Water Authority.
For the second time in a decade, the feds are warning that if water interests in Arizona, California and Nevada can't find a fix for the Colorado River's problems, the interior secretary will find it for them.
Ronnie Reed was born 53 years ago into the Karuk Tribe, whose ancestral lands stretch through the forested Klamath River canyon in Humboldt and Siskiyou counties.
As water utilities and their customers increasingly look to gray water and runoff from storms to supplement their supply amid drought, more guidelines and research are needed to ensure that the water is safe, researchers said in a report released Wednesday.
A coalition of groups representing cities, counties and water agencies filed a proposed ballot measure Monday that would allow water providers to reestablish so-called tiered pricing as a means of encouraging conservation.
There have been at least four attempts in the last 16 years to change the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's governance structure to make the nation's largest municipal utility more transparent, more businesslike and less like a political arm (or piggy bank) of City Hall. Now, make that five.
Gov. Jerry Brown's bid to build tunnels to isolate the Delta from its natural water supply has been repackaged as the "California Water Fix."
The largest ocean desalination plant ever built in the Western Hemisphere is finally generating drinking water - and revenue - 18 years after it was proposed in Southern California. Some investors say it wasn't worth the wait.
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 newest weapon in the war on drought in California has arrived, an engineering marvel that will harvest drinking water from the ocean on a scale never before seen in the Western Hemisphere.
Even as Californians have done their collective part to conserve water during the drought, Congress is engaged in a water fight over reforming federal law to help us.
It might have been a sneaky, underhanded maneuver, or it might have been a simple miscommunication.
The Los Angeles City Council should pursue a 2017 ballot measure to change the way the Department of Water and Power is governed — a move that would better ensure the utility is held accountable for its decisions, a consulting firm said in a report issued this week.
Angry California Republicans threw in the towel late Thursday, conceding that a California water bill that had divided the state was dead for the year.
The Central Basin Municipal Water District serves 1.7 million residents in central and southeast Los Angeles County — including Whittier, Montebello, Pico Rivera, La Mirada and La Habra Heights — and for years it's been a ratepayer-duping, scandalous mess.
Maria Lopez finished her last day of work picking lettuce in mid-November praying that more would come soon.
Municipal water agencies from Sacramento and elsewhere pleaded for relief from California's mandatory drought cutbacks Monday, arguing they should be given credit for coping with arid climates and developing their own supplies.
State regulators are considering extending the mandatory 25-percent conservation rate beyond February.
The State Water Resources Control Board meets Monday on potential changes to mandatory water conservation targets should the drought persist into 2016.
The images are stark. People carrying empty jugs, lining up to fill them with water trucked to their towns. Others waiting in lines to take showers in stalls set up in church parking lots.
A California water bill that skeptics say has been cloaked in excessive secrecy will probably miss its Capitol Hill train this year.
The drought has spurred three of the Valley's largest companies to reduce water use.
The Department of Water Resources today announced an initial 2016 allocation of 10 percent for customers of the State Water Project.
During the first four months of California's emergency drought rules, people in cities and towns across the state made conservation look easy.
With some in these parts seemingly seeing every overnight drizzle as a harbinger of vast El Niño downpours, perhaps it's understandable that Southern Californians dream of soon being freed from drought-induced watering restrictions.
City Controller Ron Galperin took aim last week at Los Angeles' popular "Cash in Your Lawn" rebate program, calling the program a "gimmick" that helped get people to pay attention to the drought but didn't generate much immediate water savings.
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.
Outside her two-story tract home in this working-class town, Debbie Alberts, a part-time food service worker, has torn out most of the lawn.
The snow that falls on the Colorado mountains melts into trillions of gallons of water every year, and most of it flows downstream to Mexico, California and 17 other states.
A key location of the Pacific Ocean is now hotter than recorded in at least 25 years, surpassing the temperatures during the record 1997 El Niño.
We don't know for sure whether the El Niño we face this winter will be a drought buster or a bust.
The average American uses about 50 to 70 gallons of water per day inside their homes for everything from washing dishes to taking showers.
As experts continue to predict a wet winter because of El Niño, California officials continue to take a cautious approach when it comes to easing water conservation measures amid the state's four-year drought
The amount of water above the Earths' surface — in oceans, lakes and rivers — has long been known.
Gov. Jerry Brown has extended his executive order requiring Californians to conserve water as the state prepares for a fifth year of drought.
Californians could be justifiably proud earlier this fall when the State Water Resources Control Board reported that for the three steamy months of summer, the state had not only met Gov. Jerry Brown's mandated 25% reduction in water use but had surpassed it by nearly 4%.
When it comes to single residences consuming large volumes of water, Bel-Air has nothing on Rancho Santa Fe.
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.
San Diego County is in a drought.
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.
Southern California's most powerful water agency could spend as much as $240 million to buy a cluster of islands in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, a move that has stirred accusations of a south state water grab.
The largest provider of treated drinking water in the U.S. may soon become a substantial landowner in the Delta, after the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California gave its general manager permission Tuesday to negotiate an option to buy four large islands.
Gary Serrato watched as a tractor worked its way across a field of dried-up weeds, slicing the sandy dirt into orderly furrows.
We're excited about El Niño, and we know you are, too.
Californians continue to conserve water, again hitting the statewide conservation mandates.
During a time of drought, when most urban dwellers are making do with less, nothing sticks in the craw quite like the cad in Bel-Air who reportedly is using 90 times as much water as the average household.
Gov. Jerry Brown has been getting quite cranky lately when anyone belittles a pet project, especially his proposed water tunnels.
"You've been to the Grand Canyon, right?" Craig Elmore asks as he pulls his Chevrolet Tahoe to the edge of a field plowed into tidy, straight-as-an-arrow furrows, a section of the 6,000 acres that he farms—land his father and grandfather farmed before him.
As the worst drought in California history threatens to enter a fifth straight year, officials are advocating a variety of water reuse projects they say will reduce Southern California's unquenchable thirst for imported water.
Unfazed by the taint of "toilet-to-tap," the Water Replenishment District of Southern California unveiled another in a series of water recycling projects Tuesday that will help end its reliance on imported water and provide drought-insurance for its customers.
Australia has become a crossroads for California policymakers seeking clues to coping with long, arduous droughts.
Californians will act on a ballot measure next year that would require voter approval for many large public-works projects, including Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to dig giant tunnels to divert water from Northern California to the south.
Southern California's largest urban water supplier may decide next week whether to purchase four huge Delta islands.
There's far more riding on the Americas' largest seawater desalination plant than the 50 million gallons of drinking water it will produce for the San Diego area each day.
The City Council voted not to raise a drought charge it levied on residents earlier this year because the new fee helped cover declining revenues, according to the city's top utility official.
Over the last four months, the residents and businesses of the Indian Wells Valley Water District have cut their water consumption by about 25%, and General Manager Don Zdeba thinks that's "pretty darn good."
To the editor: I have a suggestion for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power regarding its intention to raise rates because so many have done more than their share to conserve water and, as a result, the DWP is losing revenue.
A Wednesday state Senate hearing dove into a topic on the mind of many Californians, examining how an anticipated El Niño surge of wetness could affect residents and force a pivot from drought preparedness to flood response.
For the second straight year, huge numbers of juvenile winter-run Chinook salmon appear to have baked to death in the Sacramento River because of California's drought-stretched water supplies, bringing the endangered species a step closer to extinction.
The Coachella Valley Water District's board of directors decided not to raise penalty fees for water wasters Monday night, postponing a decision for at least two weeks even as the agency edges closer to missing Gov. Jerry Brown's mandatory conservation target.
Just a year ago, the Carmel Mountain Ranch Country Club — which bills itself as having an "exquisitely manicured, visually breathtaking" golf course — featured the same traditional rolling hills of grass found at golf clubs around the country.
Some California farmers will flood their field after this upcoming winter's storm to try to replenish the state's groundwater supply.
Decades before someone coined the Twitter hashtag #droughtshaming and people began posting YouTube videos of their neighbors' drowning lawns, California water suppliers encouraged conservation by releasing the names of their biggest water hogs.
In an effort to accommodate the California drought, one brewery is creating an innovative way to conserve California water by using recycled water.
Los Angeles may soon be flush with a new water supply – and it's not what you may think.
Nothing brings the Internet together like a good video. A cat dressed as a pirate? Yes, please.
Global temperatures are running far above last year's record-setting level, all but guaranteeing that 2015 will be the hottest year in the historical record — and undermining political claims that global warming had somehow stopped.
California water regulators on Tuesday lifted restrictions for the holders of hundreds of senior water rights who were ordered to stop pumping this summer.
Biologist Greg Asner first heard the numbers in April, but they did little to prepare him for what he saw.
Enjoying those lower water bills from 3-minute showers and your new drought-tolerant landscaping? Well, prepare to pay a little more to make up for your conservation.
While the rest of us hope for a strong El Niño this winter, California lawmakers are looking to farther-flung locales for solutions to the state's historic drought, now deep into its fourth year.
The sea may be (nearly) endless, but California cannot hope to solve its water problems just by converting salty seawater into something drinkable.
In the coming weeks, the Southern Nevada Water Authority will prepare its livestock for the harsh winter in the Great Basin.
In emergencies, most of us rise to the occasion. Unfortunately, some always need to be nudged.
Apple Valley residents were among the millions of Californians who cut back on water use during the state-mandated water restrictions this spring.
The National Weather Service now expects El Niño to bring greater-than-average rainfall to virtually all of California, forecasters said for the first time Thursday.
Water hogs, beware.
Even as Sacramento waits for the soaking El Niño forecast to hit this fall, Folsom Lake continues to lose water and will almost certainly fall Thursday to its lowest level in more than 20 years, government data show.
Four years of drought have forced most Californians to shoulder some inconvenience. Homeowners have had to watch their lawns go brown, city halls have turned off their ornamental fountains and hotels have had to implore their guests to use their towels twice.
Gov. Jerry Brown is picking a fight over a two-decade-old law that can make it difficult to increase water rates, raising the possibility of a new battle over the issue at the ballot box next year.
With California mired in the worst drought in state history, Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday signed into law a measure aimed at reducing the billions of gallons of water lost every year across the state from leaks in aging and cracked water pipes in hundreds of city water systems.
A panel of scientists from across the Colorado River region wants more study of the possible effects of climate change before policy decisions are made about the future of the river.
After four years of relentless drought, more Californians are worried about water shortages than ever, despite El Niño conditions in the Pacific Ocean that are boosting hopes for a wet winter.
California's punishing drought has taken a firm grip on the electorate's conscience, with more than 3 in 4 voters describing the state’s water shortage as extremely serious, according to a new poll.
Californians dutifully have put buckets in showers, cut back on watering lawns, and replaced grass with pebbles and drought-tolerant plants.
California’s punishing drought has taken a firm grip on the electorate’s conscience, with more than 3 in 4 voters describing the state’s water shortage as extremely serious, according to a new poll.
Californians sharply cut water use this summer, prompting state officials to credit their new conservation policies and the sting of thousands of warnings and penalties that they had issued to people for overuse.
The water-hogging champ of California, a Bel-Air resident who has managed to suck 1,300 gallons of H2O an hour from the state's scant drought-limited supply, may soon find that there's no ice bucket for the champagne, no green in the polo turf and nothing but dust in the Versailles fountain.
An El Niño that is among the strongest on record is gaining strength in the Pacific Ocean, and climate scientists say California is likely to face a wet winter.
When Joe Benson tore out his dying grass in August of last year, he was one of the first in his San Fernando Valley neighborhood to collect a rebate for doing so, he recalls.
This much we know, California's champion water hog lives somewhere in Bel-Air, guzzling more gallons per year - 11.8 million - than any other homeowner in the state. Who is the culprit? This we do now know.
Federal land managers have dealt a blow to the controversial Cadiz Inc. project that would draw water from ancient aquifers in the Mojave Desert and pipe it to cities across California.
As California continues to battle one of its worst droughts on record, some water districts have resorted to fines to get the attention of water wasters.
Things are bad everywhere in California, but the big dry has gotten so severe in the coastal city of Fort Bragg that fancy restaurants are now being ordered to plop their filet mignons on disposable plates and pour wine into plastic cups to avoid washing dishes.
Cadiz Inc.'s plans to sell Mojave Desert groundwater to Southern California communities have hit a major federal roadblock.
Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther, Jimmy Carter, Rahm Emanuel: All of them were quoted at the Southern California Energy and Water Summit in Palm Springs on Thursday.
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? If the storms center on Southern California, the answer is probably not.
In recent weeks, conditions have gelled for what forecasters say could be one of the strongest El Niño weather patterns in recorded history.
The last thing on Sacramento's mind in the midst of the state's epic drought may be the distant Salton Sea and the prospect of spending money or water to prevent the briny lake from going dry.
The water conservation rate dropped four percent in August - to 27 percent - compared to the amount saved in July.
Most Orange County cities are on track to meet state water conservation mandates by cutting water use anywhere from 8 to 36 percent, depending on the city.
Lakewood was among one of California's top water-saving cities in August, reducing its water use by a whopping 30 percent in August, and the city of El Monte was not far behind, reducing its water use by 22.9 percent.
Californians cut water use by 27 percent in August, marking the third consecutive month that residents and businesses surpassed the 25 percent conservation goal set by Gov. Jerry Brown to deal with the relentless drought, officials said Thursday.
The year of the brown lawn and shortened showers concludes Wednesday, with water officials citing bleak statistics and expressing hope that the next few months will bring the heavy rains California so desperately needs.
This probably comes as no surprise: California’s 2015 water year, which ends Wednesday, Sept. 30, was one of the warmest and driest on record.
As California’s new water year begins Thursday, water managers are looking back on a fourth year of drought and record warm temperatures.
California’s four-year drought has the whole state in a water crisis, but no area has been harder hit than the state’s Central Valley, where the wells have run dry.
Drought or no drought, and with or without the "Godzilla El Niño" predicted for the coming rainy season, it is increasingly obvious that from now on California must better manage its water, using it more carefully and then using it again. That makes the giant Metropolitan Water District's plan to join the crowd of agencies investing in recycling, as The Times reported Wednesday, welcome news.
For more than 80 years, the Metropolitan Water District has paved the way for Southern California's epic growth by securing water from hundreds of miles away.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is in talks with Los Angeles County sanitation districts about developing what could be one of the largest recycled water programs in the world.
In 2005, I moved to the United States from Belgium to study the influence of climate on wildfires in the Sierra Nevada over the last five centuries. As part of this work, I traveled for three months all around the mountain range to collect samples of trees and tree stumps.
The current buzz in cafes across California is that snow from this year’s big El Niño will bring the best skiing in years. What fortunate skiers don’t realize is that the same periodic ocean-atmosphere interaction in the Pacific Ocean is one of the most devastating natural forces on Earth, endangering the wellbeing of over three billion people across the tropics.
Problems as daunting as the California drought tend to breed scapegoats.
Southern California’s water wholesaler is considering building a water recycling plant modeled after Orange County’s world-acclaimed facility to replenish groundwater supplies in Los Angeles and Orange counties.
Two of California’s largest and most aggressive water agencies have discussed buying four islands in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, prompting accusations by environmentalists and Delta farmers that the land purchases could be used to engineer a south state water grab.
Much of the recent media coverage of California’s drought has focused on green lawns and agriculture. But with the legal mandate requiring Californians to cut water usage across the board, everyone has a role to play, including renters.
As wildfires rage, crops are abandoned, wells run dry and cities work to meet mandatory water cuts, drought-weary Californians are counting on a savior in the tropical ocean: El Niño.
The Las Vegas Valley has enough water to support 1 million more residents, and it should be able to weather at least the next 20 years before any permanent new supplies are needed, according to the Southern Nevada Water Authority's revised 2015 resource plan.
With demand for turf removal rebates far outstripping the money available, Riverside may pump another $1.5 million into the program that pays people to tear out their grass.
Anaheim residents and businesses have surprised city officials, saving 1.7 billion gallons of water since mandated restrictions went into affect June 1.
The fires that have scorched large stretches of California continue to burn on Thursday, but with lower wind, cooler temperatures and even a little rain, they are no longer spreading fast, and they pose less of a threat than they did early in the week.
Water managers in Los Angeles and Las Vegas are poised to adopt a drought-driven deal to send enough water to serve about 300,000 homes annually from the Lake Mead reservoir to Southern California.
The Southern Nevada Water Authority would dip into its reserves to lease water to drought-stricken California under a plan slated for a vote by the agency's board Thursday.
When California Gov. Jerry Brown stood in a snowless Sierra Nevada meadow on April 1 and ordered unprecedented drought restrictions, it was the first time in 75 years that the area had lacked any sign of spring snow.
El Niño is on track to become one of the most powerful on record, strongly suggesting California could face heavy rainfall this winter, climate scientists say.
With California in the fourth year of a drought, a state lawmaker has introduced a last-minute bill that would require half of treated wastewater to be used for beneficial purposes, including landscape watering, by 2026 and 100% usage by 2036.
Among all the apocalyptic disasters that Californians routinely prepare for -- earthquake, drought, wildfire, carmageddon -- the most welcome is rain, even though giant El Niño events like the one currently massing in the Pacific can bring their own set of calamities: flooding, mudslides, carmageddon with hydroplaning.
In a new move to battle the drought, Burbank residents will get access to free recycled water starting this month and running through the end of October.
With California in the midst of a severe drought, the state imposed mandatory water restrictions earlier this year.
In a testament to the willingness of Orange Countians to do their part during the drought, water agencies across the county reported good news last week.
Gov. Jerry Brown's emergency water restrictions expire in February. In coming weeks, working groups of water officials are expected to begin meeting to shape proposals on what should come next if expected winter El Niño storms don't save California from a fifth year of drought.
Santa Monica moved closer to eliminating its dependence on imported water by 2020 after the City Council last week approved a nearly $2 million contract to hire a groundwater geologist for up to five years.
If weather forecasters are right, drought-plagued California may at last get a much-needed soaking this winter from El Niño.
A solar project that would produce enough renewable energy to power more than 145,000 homes in California is officially coming to the area.
Sixty feet from the top of a giant sequoia named Kong, biologist Anthony Ambrose studied the foliage around him. Dense clusters of green leaves grew like shaving brushes from the branches, cones clustered like Indian clubs.
California's growers enjoyed near-record revenue for their crops last year, despite dropping their harvest by 640,000 acres in 2014, a new study suggests.
This is the soundtrack of our dry-weather lives in Southern California: TLC's "Waterfalls," Blind Melon's "No Rain," Bruce Springsteen's "The River" and about 100 more H2O-themed ditties playing on an endless loop. That should remind us to take shorter showers and stop washing the cars at home. Or just make us very, very thirsty.
If you haven't been living under an extremely dry rock, you know that California state regulators are doing everything they can to get the word out about the drought.
More than 21,000 people are out of work this year from California's drought, according to a study from the University of California, Davis. The majority are in agriculture. Those farmworkers lucky enough to have a job are often working harder for less money.
As the latest phase of the historic California drought rears its ugly head, regulators have desperately scrambled to engage the millennial water waster in any way possible, most recently via the music station Pandora.
Singing in the shower may pierce people's eardrums, but listening to music in the shower could help conserve water.
Last summer, a narrow, rock-rimmed stretch of the Sacramento River near here turned into a mass graveyard for baby salmon.
In California, they're not getting much. If the state's severe drought continues the way it has for another two years, its salmon, steelhead and smelt are in danger of going away forever. Bettina Boxall has a compelling story in Monday's Los Angeles Times, "The drought's hidden victims: California's native fish."
CLAREMONT >> Scripps College has long been known for its sprawling lush green spaces, flowers, and trees.
Los Angeles residents cut their water use by 21% in July, surpassing the mandatory conservation standard set by state regulators to combat the drought, Mayor Eric Garcetti said.
Reports of California's demise are as predictable as they are exaggerated whenever the Golden State endures one of its regular disasters.
The Delta Protection Commission has spent about $400,000 with advertising and public relations agencies to explore ways to promote business in the California Delta with a basic question still unanswered: how -- or even should -- the watery region be promoted.
L.A.'s shade balls go viral — but the Internet has mixed opinions
Reports of California’s demise are as predictable as they are exaggerated whenever the Golden State endures one of its regular disasters.
There's nothing like blasting Adele's "Set Fire to the Rain" to encourage water conservation -- at least that's the hope of one Southern California water supplier..
A growing number of scientists have made the claim that climate change is at least partly responsible for California's crippling drought. Now researchers have estimated the extent to which humans are to blame: between 8% and 27%.
For all the pain this miserable drought has caused, perhaps some good could come of it.
If you're a teacher, a garden is a gift that can generate endless assignments and lesson plans. .
A growing number of scientists have made the claim that climate change is at least partly responsible for California's crippling drought. Now researchers have estimated the extent to which humans are to blame: between 8% and 27%..
Farmland near Corcoran in the southern San Joaquin Valley sank 13 inches in just eight months last year. To the north, near El Nido, the land surface dropped about 10 inches.
In a Sunday Review article last weekend, "How California Is Winning the Drought," Charles Fishman, author of "The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water," argued that despite the severe ongoing drought conditions, California's economy, job market and population are finding ways to thrive.
If the latest predictions are correct, there’s a good chance that one of the wettest, most powerful El Niños on record is headed straight for California. When – or, we should say, if – that rain does arrive, it will be a welcome reprieve from four years of drought.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — State contractors have readied plans to acquire as many as 300 farms in the California delta by eminent domain to make room for a pair of massive, still-unapproved water tunnels proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown, according to documents obtained by opponents of the tunnels.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Wet weather in May and June brought good news Monday from federal water managers keeping close tabs on the Colorado River water supply for about 40 million residents in seven Southwest U.S. states.
California in the Great Drought is a living diorama of how the future is going to look across much of the United States as climate change sets in. Like hippies and "dude," wine bars and hot tubs, mega-churches and gay rights, what gets big in California goes national soon enough. Now, the large dark bruise spreading across the state on the U.S. Drought Monitor map is a preview of a bone-dry world to come..
In the desert of California, where the Colorado River for decades has turned barren ground into an agricultural bounty, farmers are being paid not to grow crops on a portion of their land so that water can be shipped to thirsty cities on the coast..
There's El Nino, and then there's "the blob."
Both are phenomena associated with warm water in the Pacific that can separately impact weather. Now, the two combined are building hopes for a wet winter that could help pull the West out of protracted drought.
Oakmont Country Club's $2.3 million turf removal incentive was the largest the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California paid through mid-June, but it wasn't just its size that was unusual.
one measure, the rebate program that paid Southern California homeowners to
tear out their lawns amid the drought was a quick success: It motivated people
in the area with the state’s highest per capita water use to take out some
truly prodigious lawns.
The flow of water from shower heads and bathroom faucets in California will be sharply reduced under strict new limits approved Wednesday by the state Energy Commission..
When you think of eating delicious donuts you think of saving water, right? No? Well, you will now.
Too much fire and not enough rain is not a new combination in California and the West. But it is as ever a deadly one, and the extent to which the blazes are in the north of our state is a bad omen for us all.
San Diego County and other parts of the state may get some flexibility in complying with California's rigorous water conservation mandate, Gov. Jerry Brown hinted Tuesday.
California is in the midst of its worst drought in 1200 years. As politicians impose statewide water restrictions and the agricultural sector comes under intense public scrutiny for growing water-intensive crops — such as alfalfa and almonds — farmers are pointing to what they say is the true villain of the drought: a fish called the Delta smelt.
The Metropolitan Water District will boost visibility of the agency's summer advertising and outreach campaign with a symbolic "turn" of the iconic Randy's Donuts sign into a giant rooftop call for conservation. The centerpiece red knob of the district's $5.5 million multi-media, multi-lingual outreach campaign will be supersized to cloak the king-sized donut on the roof of the landmark bakery.
Grape and pistachio farmer Mike Stearns is something of a big deal in California water circles, leader of a regional agency that operates a critical piece of the state’s man-made plumbing system.
Heeding the call to conserve water, tens of thousands of Southern California residents and businesses replaced their lawns with drought-tolerant landscaping with the help of $340 million in grants from the Metropolitan Water District..
Californians are thirsty for answers, but with more than $15 billion on the line and pressure to find a statewide water solution, The Sacramento Bee's editorial praising the repackaged twin-tunnel plan and implying that "anything is better than nothing" is concerning in light of growing statewide opposition.
It's not rocket science: Cut your water usage and your bill will go down. But what if you could get money back on top of it?
The California water wars are being fought on multiple fronts: thirsty cities against farmers, north against south, farmers against environmentalists, conservatives against liberals, some homeowners against Governor Jerry Brown's plan to fix the problems, and farmers and cities against the tiny delta smelt, the salmon, and the environmentalists who stick up for them.
The last few weeks have been hot and dry in our area. Still depending on what indicators you use, most of Texas - including Harris County - is no longer experiencing drought.
We looked up at the green road sign for Tamarack, population 9.
It felt like paying homage to the snow gods. Tamarack holds the U.S. record for the deepest snow (454 inches in 1911) and the most Sierra snow in one season (884 inches in the winter of 1906-07).
It's a modest Irvine tract house, ensconced in a modest amount of greenery. Nona Demetre considers her water use modest as well – but her monthly bill shot up 34 percent over the course of a single year nonetheless.
The drought currently shriveling the West Coast comes with an irony that the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge would recognize. There 's water, water, everywhere out there—literally an ocean's worth—but you can't drink it or irrigate with it for the salt.
Pinhole leaks in copper pipes have plagued thousands of South County homes in recent years, and now a judge's ruling may force many homeowners to pay the bills.
Last fall, farmers working the flat land along the Colorado River outside Blythe, Calif., harvested a lucrative crop of oranges, lettuce and alfalfa from fields irrigated with river water. But that wasn't their only source of income. They made almost as much per acre from the seemingly dead squares of dry earth abutting those orchards and row crops, fields left barren for the season..
In last Sunday's Conversation, University of Pacific economist Jeffrey Michael pointed out that the cost to build twin tunnels through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta did not make economic sense. The value derived from the benefit of the tunnels did not justify the $15 billion cost.
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Oroville's main spillway suffered severe damage in early February when flood control releases from the lake eroded sections of the concrete channel. Watch a timeline of the events as they unfolded.
Jeffrey Kightlinger, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, issues the following statement regarding the draft State Water Action Plan released today by the California Natural Resources Agency, California Department of Food and Agriculture and California Environmental Protection Agency.