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More Water Means No Water Transfers, Despite Shortage in Southern California

The rains this winter were more or less than expected, depending on where you live and what you expected.

In September of last year, many weather forecasters expected heavier than normal rains in Southern California, and mixed expectations for rains in Northern California. However, Northern California ended up receiving normal rainfall and Southern California did not.

Stanford Study: California Moving Toward More Extreme Weather

Stanford researchers who studied trends in the atmospheric circulation patterns that affect California’s rainfall have found that conditions linked to the hot, dry weather during our latest drought have become more frequent in recent years, according to research published Friday.

That means that while this year’s El Niño-driven storms may have brought temporary relief to the Golden State’s parched soil and depleted reservoirs, Californians can expect more frequent droughts in the decades to come, said the study published by Science Advances.

OPINION: California Doesn’t Let a Drought go to Waste

Researchers at the University of Twente in the Netherlands recently announced a startling global statistic. About two-thirds of the world’s population experience a severe water scarcity for at least one month during the year. About half of these 4 billion people live in India and China. And the country that comes in third for periodic water shortages? The United States, with California as drought central.

Yet something just as startling should be noted about California and how its 39 million people have responded to a long and historic dry spell.

Is California’s Drought Now the Rule, not the Exception?

Atmospheric patterns resembling those that appeared during the latter half of California’s ongoing multiyear drought are becoming much more common, a new study finds.

“The current record-breaking drought in California has arisen from both extremely low precipitation and extremely warm temperature,” says Noah Diffenbaugh, associate professor of earth system science at Stanford University.  “In this new study, we find clear evidence that atmospheric patterns that look like what we’ve seen during this extreme drought have in fact become more common in recent decades.”

El Niño Helped, but no Panacea, as California Battles Drought

In the nine months since the effective date of California Gov. Jerry Brown’s mandate of a 25-percent reduction in water use in urban areas of the state, reports from the 400-plus suppliers of that water indicate they’ve fallen just short of the goal.

From June 2015 through February of this year, cumulative water savings among the urban suppliers totaled 23.9 percent, according to California’s State Water Resources Control Board.


Things to know: The next Step in California’s Drought

Some residents of drought-stricken California who let their lawns turn brown and took shorter showers could soon get some relief, while others may continue to feel the pain. In the coming months, state officials will undertake a monumental task of rewriting conservation orders for a fifth year of drought.

The challenge for state regulators will be treating millions of residents fairly, unlike the El Nino storms that soaked Northern California with considerably more rain and snow this winter than the drier Southern California.

Ventura County Supervisors Protest Water Rate Change, But Protest May be Moot

Ventura County supervisors are opposing a proposed rate change by the giant Metropolitan Water District, saying the measure would undermine conservation and is unconstitutional.

Metropolitan now bases rates for water treatment wholly on the volume purchased. The district’s board is set to act next week on separate charges to cover fixed costs of building, running and maintaining its plants.