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Has El Niño Abandoned L.A.?

By this point in winter, Southern California was supposed to be dealing with rains and flooding, not brush fires and beach weather.

Yet temperatures have soared this week, breaking records in downtown Los Angeles and other locations across California, with even hotter conditions expected Tuesday. Forecasters warn of more hot winds as well as temperatures that could exceed 90 degrees downtown.

Water Top Topic at GOP Forum

A handful of topics were on the table when candidates for political offices ranging from Congress to county supervisor appealed for support at the San Joaquin County Republican Party’s Candidate Forum.
But one was integral to nearly every stump speech heard Monday at Chez Shari’s at the Manteca Golf Course. Water.

While the current El Nino weather system is expected to improve California’s water outlook for the upcoming year, the four consecutive years of drought has taken its toll on the most integral of natural resources, especially in the agriculture-rich San Joaquin Valley.

California Farmers Reap Record Sales in Record Drought

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.

California’s 76,400 farms recorded $53.5 billion in sales in 2014, the year Gov. Jerry Brown declared the state in a drought emergency and launched what in 2015 became mandatory conservation for cities and towns. The sales figures are the most recent annual ones released by the state agriculture department.

Salton Sea Canoe Race Organizers Hope Recreation Can Help Save the Sea

The idea to host an outrigger canoe race on the Salton Sea began as a way to start the racing season earlier but has evolved into a dream of something much bigger. Event organizers said they hope bringing recreation back to the Salton Sea will help save the sea itself.

In the 1950s, the Salton Sea was a destination for recreation. It was a popular resort area with yacht clubs, large marinas and a championship golf course that attracted celebrities.

PBMS Installs Rain Barrels; Students Learning To Conserve, Recycle Water

The U.S. – Israel Center (USIC) at UC San Diego’s Rady School of Management recently unveiled a new rain barrel program at three San Diego schools and Pacific Beach Middle is one of the schools participating in the international project.

Earlier this month, four rain barrels, which will collect the water from the school’s roof and save it, were installed at the middle school. Students will use the captured rain water to care for campus gardens, and students at the Farm Lab also will use it to flush toilets.

Supervisors Reaffirm Support for Huntington Beach’s Poseidon Desalination Plant after Lower Water-Demand Estimate

The county may need less water than once projected, but the Orange County Board of Supervisors made it known Tuesday that it still supports construction of a proposed $1 billion Huntington Beach desalination plant.

One week after the Municipal Water District of Orange County projected that the county’s water demand in 2040 would be 17 percent lower than previously estimated, supervisors voted to reaffirm their support for the desal plant and urged the California Coastal Commission to approve the project’s final permit.

Obama Proposes New Approaches to Western Water Shortages

Spurning dams for research in water technology, President Obama laid out a striking contrast Tuesday to the strategies adopted by California lawmakers in both parties on how to remedy Western water shortages.

In a final budget plan that was dead even before its arrival on Capitol Hill, the administration’s vision of investing $269 million in research on water desalination, recycling and efficiency will find little traction in the Republican-controlled Congress. But it does lay out an alternative to the dams, water tunnels and other giant building projects that Gov. Jerry Brown, Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, and Central Valley House Republicans have embraced to varying degrees.

Report: Water Management Offers Global Opportunities

The world must increase its usable water supply and effectively manage water demand – and that could provide opportunities, says a new report from the Fresno-based agribusiness research department of Rabobank, N.A.

The report “Agricultural Water – Free Flowing Markets Sustain Growth” focuses on water markets as a tool that has been proven to be effective at delivering water where it’s most valued. Rabobank contends that markets are an important part of ensuring that the proper allocation of water can occur, and helping ensure that the agricultural industry has access to enough water to be economically viable.

California’s Drought Adds $2 Billion in Electricity Costs

It’s one of the lesser-known costs of California’s drought: the drying-up of the state’s normally abundant cheap hydroelectric power.

A hydro shortage has raised California’s electricity costs by a combined $2 billion the past four years, according to a report released Tuesday by the Pacific Institute, a water policy think tank based in Oakland. In addition, the institute said the drought has contributed to climate change: California’s fossil-fuel power plants have increased greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent to make up for the hydro shortage.

El Niño’s not done yet: Weeks of Dry Weather Ahead, But More Rain Expected after That

Water flows into Lake Oroville Tuesday from a pipe at the Nelson Bar Day Use Area. Although rainfall stopped with the coming of February, the lake continues to rise as snow in the mountains melts. The Department of Water Resources reports the lake has added almost 116,000 acre-feet in February, and the water level is up almost 17 feet, but the snowpack in the mountains above the lake is down from 122 percent of normal to 109 percent of normal in the same period. Bill Husa — Mercury-Register