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SWRO Water Declared ‘Drought-Resilient’

State regulators certified the water supply from the Carlsbad Desal Plant as drought-resilient, reducing the regional impacts of emergency water-use mandates the state imposed in June 2015. The State Water Resources Control Board’s certification lowers the regional aggregate water conservation goal from 20 percent to about 13 percent, though water-use targets will continue to vary by local water agency.

Vallecitos Water District, the only retail water provider with a direct connection to the Carlsbad plant, will have its conservation target dropped to 16 percent compared to its previously mandated 24 percent reduction in potable water use.

California Revives Cloud-Seeding Effort as El Nino Disappoints

Hopes that El Nino will end California’s drought are withering. It appears they’re being replaced with high hopes for the science of cloud-seeding.

Southern California in particular has been suffering from a lack of precipitation and now Los Angeles County officials are reviving its cloud-seeding program for $550,000 a year. The program was abandoned in 2009 – several years after it had last been used – apparently out of fear that too much rain would destabilize hillsides charred from wildfires. It was resurrected last year after the governor’s declaration of a water emergency.

Xylem Gets Contract for Underdrain at Plant Retrofit

Southern California’s Metropolitan Water District has commissioned Xylem as part of a project at its FE Weymouth Water Treatment Plant to retrofit biologically active filtration and ozone. Xylem will supply its Leopold Type XA underdrains with IMS 200 media retainers and Leopold dual media sand and anthracite to the 75-year-old plant which treats water from the Colorado River Aqueduct and the State Project Water (SPW) California Aqueduct.

March Storms in Calif. Could Boost CVP Water Deliveries

While they’re giving informal updates to water districts, federal water officials in California have put off announcing Central Valley Project allocations until they see what this month’s storms will bring.

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation spokesman Shane Hunt didn’t flinch when asked if the “March Miracle” of abundant rain and snow that many had hoped for is coming to fruition. He responded by noting that the agency’s eight weather stations along the Sacramento River in Northern California had received their average precipitation for the month by about March 9.

California ‘Ready for Recycled Water’

California residents are overwhelmingly supportive of using treated wastewater, or recycled water, in their everyday lives, according to a statewide survey released today by water technology provider Xylem. The survey defined recycled water as former wastewater that has been treated and purified so that it can be reused for drinking purposes.

The survey found that 76 percent of respondents believe recycled water should be used as a long-term solution for managing water resources, regardless of whether or not a water shortage continues.

Lake Oroville Passes Benchmark, Now Fuller Than Average

We’re average, and that’s good. Just before 4 p.m. Monday afternoon, the amount of water in Lake Oroville topped the 2,569,644 acre-feet that is the average storage for March 14, and that’s the first time in almost three years the lake has been where it’s supposed to be.

The lake water level was rising about a foot every 2 1/2 hours Monday, according to the Department of Water Resources website. More important, about 5,000 acre-feet of water was being added to the lake each hour, with inflow to the lake topping 60,000 cubic feet per second.

VIDEO: Water Agencies Aim to Get State Board to Ease Restrictions

Despite five spill gates open, Folsom Lake is rising once again and is nearly 70 percent full and Lake Shasta is nearly 80 percent full. Within weeks, the State Water Board will have to decide whether to ease tight water use restrictions.

13.1 Million US Coastal Residents Could Face Flooding Because of Rising Sea Levels

As many as 13.1 million people living along U.S. coastlines could face flooding by the end of the century because of rising sea levels, according to a new study that warns that large numbers of Americans could be forced to relocate to higher ground.

The estimated number of coastal dwellers affected by rising sea level is three times higher than previously projected, according to the study published Monday in the science journal Nature Climate Change.

El Nino Leaves Some Dry, Brings Back Runoff

Department of Water Resources State Climatologist Michael Anderson talked to the dairy industry about the status of El Nino, which the majority of may have passed already. “So the tropical sea surface temperatures did reach their peak anomaly in November and have since been cooling,” Anderson says. “Beginning mid-February it starting cooling much more rapidly. We expect a transition towards neutral conditions in the latter part of spring and expectations are that we may transition to a La Nina condition by later in the fall and into winter.”

California’s Biggest Reservoirs Recover, Putting Water Limits in Question

With California’s two largest reservoirs hitting historically average levels following a weekend of heavy storms, the state’s chief water regulator is cautiously optimistic that the drought may finally be relaxing its grip. If the wet weather continues, she said, the urban conservation mandates that turned lawns brown and have Californians taking shorter showers may be eased in the weeks ahead.

“In May, we’ll be either lifting it or changing it significantly,” Felicia Marcus, chair of the State Water Resources Control Board, said Monday. “The more precipitation we get, the more snowpack we have, the better it is.”