Western Water

By Carl Southwell | Water policy issues in the Western United States

A tale of two droughts in California: Wetter in the north, still bone dry in the south

When California water officials assess the drought, the first place they look is the northern Sierra Nevada mountains.<p>Rain and snowmelt from the area feed into a complex system of rivers, canals and reservoirs that send water across the state. And by almost all measures, the drought picture in …

Drought

Water conservation improved in September but is still worse than in 2015

Californians halted a three-month slide in water conservation in September, saving enough to hearten state regulators who previously had expressed alarm about possible drought fatigue.<p>Residents and businesses cut their water consumption by 18.3% in September compared with the same month in 2013. …

Drought

Salton Sea water diversion could be catastrophic for public health | The Sacramento Bee

Flint, Mich., is not the only place in the U.S. facing a devastating, preventable public health disaster.<p>In January 2018, water that had been flowing …

Water Prelude - Angel City Chorale - June 2014

California's drought could continue for centuries

If you were hoping for a respite from California's drought (on its fifth year), you may be disappointed. That's because, according to a new study out …

Lake Powell: Going, Going, Gone?

The 16-year drought on the Colorado River has drained Lake Mead and Lake Powell to their combined lowest level in history. But that's nothing …

Across U.S., Heaviest Downpours On The Rise

<i>Research Report by Climate Central</i><p>Record-breaking rain across Texas and Oklahoma this week caused widespread flooding, the likes of which the region …

What Happens to the U.S. Midwest When the Water's Gone?

The Ogallala aquifer turned the region into America's breadbasket. Now it, and a way of life, are being drained away.<p>This story appears in the August 2016 issue of <i>National Geographic</i> magazine.<p>"Whoa," yells Brownie Wilson, as the steel measuring tape I am feeding down the throat of an irrigation …

Agriculture

KQED

Desalination just took a huge leap forward in California. The biggest plant in North America, able to purify tens of millions of gallons each day, is …

Israel Proves the Desalination Era Is Here

<i>From Ensia (find the original story here); reprinted with permission.</i><p>July 19, 2016 — Ten miles south of Tel Aviv, I stand on a catwalk over two …

State Supreme Court sides with Southern California in epic water war over delta islands

The state Supreme Court has cleared the way for Southern California’s powerful Metropolitan Water District to buy five islands at the epicenter of the delta’s water system, officials said Friday.<p>Some officials and environmentalists in Northern California had fought to halt the sale, worried about …

Water

Leave California’s ‘new’ water in the ground

In the last couple of weeks, the California media have been heralding the discovery of “new water” in deep aquifers as a possible solution to the state’s ongoing drought and water shortages. Unfortunately, the updated estimate of available groundwater reported by Stanford University researchers …

Water

How Stanford researchers discovered a gigantic underground reservoir in California's Central Valley

<i>A sign in Bakersfield warns people not to dive from a bridge over the Kern River, which has been dried up by water diversion projects and little</i> …

Water

Wildfire burns more than 30,000 acres, prompting state of emergency; 2 dead, 100 structures lost

Fire officials confirmed two fatalities Friday in a fast-moving fire near Lake Isabella that has scorched more than 30,000 acres and destroyed 100 structures.<p>As of Friday evening, the blaze was 5% contained.<p>Gov. Jerry Brown issued a state of emergency for Kern County, a move that helps more quickly …

California

Before Flint, lead-contaminated water plagued schools, including in LAUSD

<i>Third graders Ezekiel White (right) and Emanuel Black push a jug of water to the cafeteria at Southwest Baltimore Charter School.; Credit: Jennifer</i> …

Water

Beverly Hills put a spotlight on its celebrity water wasters -- and it worked

Officials in Beverly Hills say they tried it all: educational campaigns, usage restrictions and written notices for people suspected of wasting water.<p>Despite those efforts, the community missed its savings target every month since June, when a statewide 25% reduction in urban water consumption …

Water

L.A. 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.<p>Los Angeles County has used cloud seeding to boost water supplies since the 1950s, backing off in …

Weather

Water utilities serving American cities use tests that downplay contamination

Guardian analysis reveals millions of customers were asked to used testing method condemned by the EPA which may flush out detectable lead content<p>Water utilities in some of the largest cities in the US that collectively serve some 12 million people haveusedtests that downplay the amount of lead …

Water

Four Billion People Experience Water Scarcity

biography<p><b>Arjen Hoekstra</b> is Professor in Water Management at the University of Twente, the Netherlands. He holds an MSc degree, cum laude, in Civil …

What California can learn from Australia’s 15-year millennium drought

California has experienced, over the past few years, its most severe drought on record. In response to worsening conditions, Governor Jerry Brown …

Groundwater Sustainability Plans

Groundwater Sustainability Plan Emergency Regulations<p>The legislative intent of the 2014 <b>Sustainable Groundwater Management Act</b> (SGMA) is for …

Global Water Shortage Risk Is Worse Than Scientists Thought

About two-thirds of the world's population faces water scarcity for at least one month during the year.<p>The growing risk of worldwide water shortages is worse than scientists previously thought, according to a new study.<p>About 66 percent, which is 4 billion people, of the world's population lives …

Water

Feeding Ourselves Thirsty

The global food sector, which uses 70% of the world’s freshwater, faces extraordinary risks from the twin challenges of water scarcity and water …

Missed lead: Is central Pa.'s water testing misleading?

As Flint, Mich.'s lead-ridden water garners national attention, large water utilities in central Pennsylvania don't appear to be facing a similar …

El Niño rains only slightly increased historic low reservoir levels in California

Releasing an initial water outlook for farmers, federal officials said heavy rains and strong Sierra Nevada snowpack could help, but reservoirs remain low<p>The recent onslaught of El Niño storms only slightly increased the levels of California reservoirs that stand at half of historic depths for this …

Drought

California water conservation lagged in October, but state is still on course

During the first four months of California's emergency drought rules, people in cities and towns across the state made conservation look easy.<p>From June to September, urban areas routinely exceeded Gov. Jerry Brown’s call to reduce water use by 25% — sometimes by wide margins.<p>But during an unusually …

Drought

Earth's underground water quantified

BBC Science Correspondent<p><b>The total amount of groundwater on the planet, held in rock and soil below our feet, is estimated to be 23 million cubic km.</b><p>If this volume is hard to visualise, imagine the Earth's entire land surface covered in a layer some 180m deep.<p>The new calculation comes from a …