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OPINION: Hasty Water Policies Don’t Mix Well With Long-Term Planning

When I started in the water industry more than 40 years ago, providing water to the San Diego region was relatively simple. Imported water deliveries from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California seemed plentiful and reliable, and the San Diego County Water Authority reliably conveyed those MWD supplies to local water districts.

The drought of 1987-92 ended that mirage. At that drought’s peak, the Water Authority faced 50 percent cutbacks from MWD, which provided virtually all of our region’s water. The 50 percent reduction was averted thanks to the Miracle March rains of 1991 – but we did endure a 31 percent supply cutback for more than a year.

Fact & Fiction: Ending California’s Drought

California’s soggy start to winter had many predicting the end of the state’s record drought.
Myths and overstatements popped up like weeds after winter rain.

Some said El Niño’s powerful storms could wash away the drought by spring. Others said the state couldn’t officially declare an end to the drought until reservoirs filled up. And then there were questions about whether an official drought-ending declaration could only come from California Gov. Jerry Brown.

Heat Records Eclipsed in L.A. Tuesday, but Rainy Weather is on the Way

It’s time to dust off the umbrellas. After temperatures soared in recent days, reaching the low 90s on Tuesday, the National Weather Service said the rest of the week will bring cooler temperatures, strong winds and rain. For those in the Sierra, expect heavy snowfall.

A southerly moving low-pressure system is forecast to roll in Wednesday, when temperatures in Southern California probably will cool to a high of about 70.

Study: NASA Satellites Show Areas Growing Drier, Wetter

By studying more than a decade of measurements recorded by NASA satellites, scientists have documented a striking pattern in places around the world: many wet regions have grown wetter, while a number of dry regions have grown drier.

Researchers examined data from NASA satellites between 2002 and 2014 and found areas that have become wetter included the upper Missouri River basin, the northern Amazon and parts of Africa, as well as other parts of the tropics. Areas throughout the mid-latitudes became drier: in the Middle East and North Africa, parts of India and China, and across much of the southern and western United States, where drought-plagued California and the southern High Plains stood out for especially large losses of water.

The Latest: More Record Highs in Heat-Scorched California

Temperatures have again broken records in California, where a lingering heat wave is on the verge of finally easing.

The National Weather Service says the high in downtown Los Angeles hit 90 degrees on Tuesday, breaking the old record of 88 for the day that was set in 1977. San Diego’s high of 89 was eight degrees above the 1981 record. The airport in San Francisco recorded 72, beating a 2007 high.

The California Drought is Costing You in Ways You Might Not Realize

California’s prolonged drought has visible consequences such as depleted reservoirs and mandatory water conservation rules. But one of the more expensive effects could be buried deep in your electric bill.

The Pacific Institute updated its study on the hidden costs of drought and estimated that Californians have paid an additional $2 billion dollars in electrical bills over the last four years.

Lake Oroville Nearly Half Full, Boating Access Increases

With Lake Oroville nearly half full, California State Parks has announced more boat ramps are open.

The agency stated Bidwell Canyon stage 1 ramps are now open for launching, along with Spillway stage 2 and Lime Saddle, according to a press release.

What Happened to the “Godzilla” El Niño?

Wild weather swings across the globe are caused, in part, by the phenomenon known as El Niño. That’s the warming of the Pacific Ocean that leads to drought in much of Africa, and soaking rain and floods on America’s West Coast.

But in Southern California, it appears that El Niño is temporarily on hold.

Fact & Fiction: Ending California’s Drought

California’s soggy start to winter had many predicting the end of the state’s record drought.

Myths and overstatements popped up like weeds after winter rain.
Some said El Niño’s powerful storms could wash away the drought by spring. Others said the state couldn’t officially declare an end to the drought until reservoirs filled up. And then there were questions about whether an official drought-ending declaration could only come from California Gov. Jerry Brown.

Bay Area Weather: New Radar Better Predicts Just Where and Just How Much Rain to Expect

As a wet and windy storm blows in off the Pacific, a new San Jose-based radar system is watching it with the greatest precision ever, estimating rainfall in individual communities rather than providing a more general Bay Area forecast.

Discrete patches of incoming moisture are detected by a humming “X-band” radar unit on the rooftop of a treatment plant owned by the Santa Clara Valley Water District, predicting precipitation and flood risk with much greater accuracy than current technology. Four more units will be phased in over the next five years for the Peninsula, East Bay and North Bay.