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OPINION: We’re Already Paying for Sites by not Having Built it

Been pretty wet the last few days. Streams are full, rivers are full. Without doubt, come summer, we’ll wish we had saved more of what is just running out to sea now, but apparently we’re not smart enough as a state to do that.

The solution has been known for years: You build Sites Reservoir west of Maxwell, and divert some of that extra water there. There’s plenty of rain water available from the roughly 10,000 square-miles of untapped Sacramento River watershed between Oroville Dam and Shasta Dam, but there’s just no way to save it now.

BLOG: Saline Groundwater Better Option for Desalination, Finds Study

Saline groundwater from coastal aquifers is a better alternative water source than seawater for reverse osmosis (RO) desalination due to reduced membrane fouling and pre-treatment costs, researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) have found.

The study was published in Environmental Science & Technology and conducted by Researchers at the BGU Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research, the BGU Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences and the Israel Geological Survey.

The Last Sacramento Storm by the Numbers Before More Rain

Sacramento dries out for at least 24 hours before the parade of storms begins again to drench the north state later in the week. Residents should have a rainless Tuesday to pick up branches scattered by the weekend’s high winds and clear roof gutters choked with leaves and rain water. The numbers tell the story of a wet start to March in Sacramento.

The series of storms that marched into the city are much like what used to visit Sacramento before drought. The storms extended over several days.

New Metropolitan Water District Plan Calls for Farmers to be Paid not to Grow Crops

The Metropolitan Water District Tuesday unveiled a two- year plan in which Imperial County farmers will be paid not to grow crops on a portion of their land so that water can be shipped to the Southland.

Beginning in April, farmers in the southeastern corner of California will voluntarily skip their spring and summer plantings and transfer saved Colorado River water to Southern California, under the pilot program approved in January and revised Tuesday by MWD’s board of directors.The plan will provide up to 4,570 acre-feet of transferable water each year, according to MWD board Chairman Randy Record.

Cloud Seeding Brings 10-15 Percent More Rain to Los Angeles

While California’s 2016 El Niño season has been drier than expected, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works is working to extra moisture from recent storms through a process called “cloud seeding.”

What in the world is cloud seeding? It’s a process where chemicals are sent into the clouds either by plane, generators on the ground or rockets that then make clouds release their moisture as rain.

Folsom Lake Water Levels Reach High Point for This Time in March

There has never been another March 8 quite like the one Folsom Lake is experiencing this year.The day will carry extra resonance for the lake as it marks a day in history where water levels reached historic highs compared with any level recorded on the same day.

Dating back to 1976 when the California Department of Water Resources began tracking the water storage levels at Folsom Lake, the 697,938 acre-feet of water beat out the previous high of approximately 650,000 acre-feet recorded for March in 1982, according to the DWR.

Droughtwise Landscapes: Fake Grass Not Only Answer

Despite recent rainstorms, San Diego’s drought continues and landscape architects worry that families and businesses are fighting back by replacing lawns with fake grass.

Instead, there’s a different plant-based path, a “San Diego Style” that favors succulents, native grasses and other materials appropriate to the Southern California climate, say the experts. Designers, contractors, planners and regulators will gather at the eighth annual seminar on sustainable turf and landscape open to the public Thursday at Cuyamaca College in Rancho San Diego and sponsored by the Ornamental Horticulture Department.

El Niño Likely to Bring Rain This Weekend and Through March

Going into the weekend, rain and snow is predicted from San Diego up through Northern California, promising to fluff ski conditions, feed crops and continue filling reservoirs. While California’s historic drought is far from over, El Niño-fueled storms reemerged last weekend after a record hot February.

From farmers to water officials to urban dwellers, Californians now hold out renewed hope March will deliver a miracle for the long-parched state — or at least enough water to somewhat ease drought restrictions.

Southern California Water Giant Agrees to Buy Delta Islands

The powerful Metropolitan Water District of Southern California agreed Tuesday to buy four islands and a portion of a fifth in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, a bid that some conservationists believe is a blatant water grab by California’s largest water agency.

The district’s 37-member board of directors, representing 26 agencies in Southern California, authorized Metropolitan’s general manager to enter into a purchase agreement to buy 20,369 acres of land encompassing Webb Tract, Bacon Island, Bouldin Island, most of Holland Tract and a portion of Chipps Island, in Contra Costa, San Joaquin and Solano counties.

MWD Votes to Buy 20,000 Acres of Island Farmland in Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

The board of Southern California’s water importer voted Tuesday to buy 20,000 acres of farm islands in the heart of the state’s north-south plumbing system.

The land is owned by a private company that for years has tried to develop a water storage project on the property. But the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California says it has other plans for the four islands in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, which is east of San Francisco.