City Atty. Mike Feuer, Turf Rebate Recipient, Steers Clear of DWP Records Lawsuit

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has spent months fighting to keep certain information about its turf removal rebate program from being released, arguing in court that customers’ names and addresses should remain confidential.

If the utility ultimately prevails, one of the beneficiaries of its legal battle could be City Atty. Mike Feuer, who received a lawn removal rebate from the DWP in 2014.

Drought’s Hardest-Hit Sectors May Need Years of Support

Dying native fish, rural communities with dry wells and some other sectors hardest-hit by California’s drought may still need extra support long after the current dry spell ends, an analysis of the state’s drought response said Friday.

The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office also urged officials to study the effectiveness of the state’s more than $3 billion in drought programs to learn lessons for managing the next drought.

City Attorney Defending Turf Grant Privacy Got One

The City of Los Angeles has spent months fighting to keep certain information about its turf removal rebate program from being released, arguing in court that customers’ names and addresses should remain confidential.

Turns out, one of the grant recipients is City Attorney Mike Feuer himself, who received a lawn removal rebate in 2014.

California’s Water Supply at Risk From Warmer Winters

Any sign of precipitation in the forecast is a welcome sight for Californians these days. But with temperatures expected to be above normal this winter, California’s snowpack may not reach the heights it could.

Getting snow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains is crucial to the state’s water supply. But scientists say as the climate continues to warm, more precipitation will fall as rain instead of snow.

State Water Strategy: Crush the Little Guy

The water wars in California are getting uglier.
If you doubt that consider the plight of the Bryon-Bethany Irrigation District. They were slapped — along with other water districts — with a curtailment order on June 12 by the State Water Resources Control Board for water diversions based on pre-1914 appropriative water rights. The targeted districts including Byron-Bethany had the audacity to sue the state on June 26.
Two weeks later, Sacramento Superior County Court Judge Shelleycane Chang ruled the state orders constituted an invalid taking of property.

Many of California’s Larger Reservoirs Still Starved for Rain

With several Bay Area reservoirs nearly full, at capacity or overflowing, you might think we’re in good water shape.  But, when it comes to the state’s really big reservoirs, which we depend on most— think again.

Majestic Mount Shasta’s huge crown of snow gleams in the sun. Fifty miles south, Lake Shasta, California’s largest reservoir by far, is only just over half full; but better than it was in the fall.

As Drought Becomes the Norm, Where Can U.S. Turn for Lessons in Adaptation?

It’s official: the southwestern United States will likely never be the same again. A new analysis of the past 35 years of weather patterns concluded that what is now considered a normal year of rain and snow in the Southwest is one-quarter drier than it was before the 1970s.

And the climate conditions that bring the region most of its rain and snow will become even more rare in the future, according to a federally funded study posted online Thursday in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

White House Proposes Millions for Big Water Innovations

Go ahead and turn up those Jock Jams, Obama, because your administration is doing something unprecedented before you become un-presidented: submitting a budget proposal with $267 million specifically devoted to water innovation.

OK, it’s more exciting than it sounds. The water tech section of the budget focuses on making desalination affordable, monitoring water use in real time, helping farmers grow food with less water, and forecasting floods and droughts with more precision, Fast Company reports.

The Great Wet Hope

While the Atlantic coast of America was preparing for last month’s massive snowstorm, California was enjoying a welcome, albeit temporary, reprieve from its four-year drought. The prolonged downpour—a harbinger of the imminent El Niño storms — raised pool levels in Los Angeles by almost three inches, providing your correspondent with an extra 500 gallons of water free of the city’s Tier 1 tariff.

Lawns, parks and hillsides that had been left to go brown during the drought (state-wide emergency measures have required cities to cut water usage by 25%) have turned green again. The one dismay has been seeing millions of gallons of precious rainwater pour down hillside gutters and storm drains, as it flowed unhindered into Santa Monica Bay.