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Thanks to El Niño, Six Out of Eight Marin Reservoirs Full and Overflowing

The recent El Niño storms soaking Northern California are recharging Marin County reservoirs, and on Tuesday, six were spilling over and funneling water into creeks and streams.

This is all good news for Marin residents and local salmon as this year’s coho run is the largest in almost a decade.

 

The Marin Municipal Water District has recorded 28.7 inches of rain at its Lake Lagunitas gauge since July 1, and this season’s rainfall is 103 percent of average.

California Extends Mandatory Water Cuts Despite Growing Snowpack

 

The snow keeps piling up, but the rules requiring water conservation aren’t going away.

California’s drought regulators agreed Tuesday to extend water conservation mandates through the end of October. The decision came in spite of increasing evidence that El Niño is delivering better-than-average precipitation, including an encouraging measurement of the Sierra Nevada snowpack recorded just hours earlier.

 

The new regulations adopted by the State Water Resources Control Board mean urban Californians will have to reduce their water usage between March and October by about 23.4 percent compared with the baseline year of 2013.

California Water Officials Vote to Extend Emergency Water Conservation Measures

State water regulators voted Tuesday to extend emergency conservation measures because of a drought, even though an increase in rain and snow this winter has improved California’s snowpack.

 

But with the drought still severe, conservations efforts fell off in December. Officials said residents used 18 percent less water than in December 2013, but that was the worst showing in seven months of tracking and fell well short of Gov. Jerry Brown’s goal of 25 percent.

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.

 

However, those same rains ultimately could trigger an uptick in grass fires at lower elevations because of a heavy grass crop expected in late spring, according to the National Interagency Coordination Center. The NICC helps oversee wildfire response efforts.

California Cut Water Use 18.3% in December, Still Barely Meeting Gov. Brown’s Mandate

As state water regulators consider extending drought restrictions though the fall, officials reported Tuesday that urban Californians had reduced their water use by 18.3% during December.

 

The savings, which are compared with December 2013 water usage levels, were the smallest in seven months of reporting and put California’s cumulative savings at 25.5%, down from 26.3% in November.

Most of County Water Agencies Fall Short of December Conservation Targets

Most of the water agencies in San Diego County fell short of their state-mandated conservation targets in December, according to data released Tuesday by the state Water Resources Control Board.

 

The lagging savings totals reflected the state as a whole, which cut back by 18.3 percent in December, missing Gov. Jerry Brown’s order to reduce water use by 25 percent statewide.

San Diego’s Oversupply of Water Reaches a New, Absurd Level

San Diego’s overabundance of water during one of California’s worst droughts has reached a new, absurd level. The San Diego County Water Authority has dumped a half billion gallons of costly drinking water into a lake near Chula Vista.

 

Now that drinking water has been poured into a lake, the water must be treated a second time before humans can consume it. And here’s another kick in the gut. The drinking water that’s now been dumped into the lake includes desalinated water, some of the most expensive treated water in the world. Water officials will now have to spend even more money to make the once-drinkable desalinated water drinkable once again.

Researchers Fly into Heart of Biggest El Niño in a Generation

A thousand miles south of Hawaii, the air at 45,000 feet above the equatorial Pacific was a shimmering gumbo of thick storm clouds and icy cirrus haze, all cooked up by the overheated waters below.

 

In a Gulfstream jet more accustomed to hunting hurricanes in the Atlantic, researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration were cruising this desolate stretch of tropical ocean where the northern and southern trade winds meet.

California Weighs Extending Drought Conservation Orders

Following a welcomed parade of El Niño storms drenching drought-stricken California, state officials on Tuesday will decide whether to extend emergency conservation orders, and reveal how much water Californians saved in December.

 

The figures are expected to show that for a third straight month, Californians missed a mandate to use 25 percent less water. State regulators, however, say they are confident residents will meet the long-term goal that requires the savings over a nine-month period ending in February, a more important target.