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OPINION: Dan Walters: Skirmishes in California’s Water War

Despite a wet winter, California’s historic drought continues to spark fierce – even bitter – debate over how the state’s water needs should be met in the future.

The core issue is whether we should primarily rely on conservation of what may be a permanently diminished water supply, or make more energetic efforts to increase the supply with new dams and reservoirs, desalination plants, etc.

OPINION: Our Voice: California Must Keep On Smart Water Path

Many headlines in recent days have touched on the ongoing drought and California’s response to it.

Each of these developments relates to a facet of the Golden State’s complicated relationship with water and how we as Californians will move forward.

While there has been some pretty good news to celebrate after years of extremely dry times, there’s plenty of nuance here that should have all proceeding with caution when it comes to our use of this most precious resource.

More Rain Coming; Catch It with Rain Barrels

So far, Southern California has not seen the back-to-back deluges highly anticipated with this year’s strong El Niño. Last Sunday’s storm dumped snow on the Sierra and thrashed Southern California with high winds, but Ventura County’s lower-lying communities got less than a half-inch of rain.

The county’s total rainfall to date this season is still below 60 percent of normal. But don’t lose confidence in El Niño yet. Curt Kaplan, a meteorologist in the National Weather Service’s Oxnard office, said, “We still have a very strong El Niño set up in the Pacific … and it’s still encouraging. We’ll see quite a few storms come through between now and the end of March and even April.”

Brown’s Projects Face Tests

The two immense public works projects that would be Jerry Brown legacies will soon face pivotal moments.

The years-long debates over a north-south bullet train and twin water tunnels beneath the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta have focused on whether they are needed, as Brown contends, to enhance the state’s future.

Ultimately, however, whether they fly or die depends on securing tens of billions of dollars in financing.

OPINION: Water Issues Everywhere

When it comes to California, water always seems to be in the news.

The problems of having too much — rarely. More often the problems of having too little. Maybe it’s about where to get it or where to store it? Even how to protect us from it. Frequently in some form or another, whether it be snowpack or drought or flooding, water is on our minds.