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California’s Drive to Save Water Is Killing Trees, Hurting Utilities and Raising Taxes

Everywhere he goes, Anthony Ambrose sees the dead and dying.
They haunt this city’s streets, the browning yards of stylish homes, the scenic grounds of the local University of California campus and dry roadway medians. They’re urban trees, thirsty for water as the state enters the fifth year of the worst drought in its history, and thousands are keeling over.

“It’s definitely not a good thing,” said Ambrose, a researcher at the university who studies forest ecosystems. “They’re not as visual, they’re not as pretty. Along the highway you see a lot of dead redwoods. I feel sorry for the trees.”

Snowpack Experts Not Concerned About Unseasonably Warm Weather in Southwest

A mild, dry winter spell like the one Durango experienced this February is generally accompanied by concerns about snowpack and the coming spring.

Last week on Sunday and Monday, temperatures reached their warmest this month when they climbed to 54 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

Lake Tahoe Level Rises But Mild Weather Puts Brakes On Sierra Snowpack

The water level at Lake Tahoe continues to rise, but a dry February is putting the brakes on the heavy snowpack that was fueling relief earlier this winter from four years of drought on both sides of the Sierra.

Lake Tahoe has risen to within about 9 inches of its natural rim, but that’s still far short of the average this time of year of more than 2 feet above the rim, National Weather Service hydrologist Tim Bardsley said.

El Nino: NASA Describes What California Should Expect Next

NASA is breaking down the effects of El Nino across California and what the state should expect next. The agency says there’s good news and bad news.

The good news is that warm El Nino water is still present in the Pacific, so there is still time to get some good El Nino storms in both Southern California and Northern California.

OPINION: Feinstein and Costa Sound Like Broken Records

California Democrats are so predictable, they’re like a broken record playing a bad song over and over. Every election cycle they propose “new” legislation or hype their “prior efforts” to help solve our state’s water-supply crisis.

This time Sen. Dianne Feinstein is proposing “new” legislation that would do nothing to solve the underlying causes of California’s water supply crisis – rigid, scientifically groundless, environmental regulations that so far this year have allowed enough water to flow to the ocean to fill six Millerton lakes, about 3 million acre-feet.

OPPINION: State Needs Drought Emergency Exit Plan

Californians are doing an outstanding job conserving water, reducing urban water use by nearly 26 percent during the last seven months of 2015, compared with the same period in 2013, exceeding Gov. Jerry Brown’s 25 percent reduction mandate. California’s investor-owned water utilities, together serving approximately 6 million people, are partnering with their customers to achieve those savings. The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) has recognized many of our members among the state’s water conservation standouts.

The severity of this historic drought has required extraordinary conservation measures to ensure adequate water supplies. As SWRCB Chair Felicia Marcus said last spring, “This is the drought of the century, with greater impact than anything our parents and grandparents experienced, and we have to act accordingly.” Given the uncertainties with the weather, the SWRCB made the prudent, responsible decision on Feb. 2 to extend the emergency conservation regulations (with appropriate adjustments for local climates, population growth and drought resilient supply investments) through October 2016.