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BLOG: San Diego’s $127 Million Answer to Climate Change

American cities seem to be the hub for climate change strategy these days. For many state governments, the prospect of implementing incremental changes to how they produce, sell and benefit from power is a fight-or-die issue that will ultimately be born out in the Supreme Court. But for many of their cities, like Seattle, San Francisco, New York and even Charleston, West Virginia — the heart of a coordinated challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency — change is, well, just common sense.


Hillary Clinton Speaks Out on CA Water Issues

Hillary Clinton says she has been following California’s water issues from “afar” and as president would be open to having the federal government involved in long term solutions to benefit cities and agriculture.

But the Democratic Party front-runner declined to specifically address the latest dust-up over water deliveries to the southern part of the state. “We have got to seriously address the California water situation because I know how difficult it has been,” Clinton said on NBC4’s News Conference program broadcast Sunday.

Drought Worsening Inland Water Quality

San Diego County’s inland water quality is suffering amid the ongoing drought, according to a new San Diego Coastkeeper report that found high amounts of bacteria and low oxygen levels in the region’s creeks and streams.

Coastkeeper’s 2015 Water Quality Report, released Tuesday, ranked the area’s inland water quality as fair to poor, with no watershed earning “good” or “excellent” status.

Water Rights Will Be Next Big California Fight

After years of drought, winter’s rain- and snowstorms generated close to a normal supply of water for California. As winter turned to spring, the Bureau of Reclamation announced allocations to farmers.

Rice growers and other farmers in the Sacramento Valley north of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta were pleased to learn that they would receive 100 percent of their contracted water supplies. However, it was bad news for farmers south of the Delta, who were told they would get, at most, just 5 percent of the water they expected this year.


Drought May Be Worsening Water Quality, Coastkeeper Says

The nine major watersheds in San Diego County had unusually low water quality in 2015 for the second year in a row, according to an annual report released Tuesday by an environmental organization.

The continuing drought may be worsening inland water quality, while runoff pollution remains a serious problem, the San Diego Coastkeeper report says. “Our inland waters empty to the ocean,” said Meredith Meyers, the group’s laboratory coordinator. “These inland water quality problems directly impact the water quality of our beaches, too, making them less safe to swim and fish.”

OPINION: The Growing Stress on the World’s Water

THE WORLD Bank has warned countries that one of climate change’s most significant impacts will be on a precious resource that many people, particularly in advanced nations, take for granted: water. The concerns go far beyond sea-level rise, which is perhaps the most predictable result of the planet’s increasing temperature, or an uptick in extreme weather. Countries must worry about whether their people will have enough fresh water to farm, produce electricity, bathe and drink.

Global warming will not change the amount of water in the world, but it will affect water’s distribution across countries, making some much worse off.

California’s New Drought Rules

Governor Jerry Brown of California announced new changes to the state’s water-use policies Monday, extending some of the regulations the government had adopted to cope with the state’s ongoing, five-year drought and easing restrictions for those districts seeing more regular rainfall.

The changes include a ban on hosing down driveways or washing cars with hoses that lack a shut-off nozzle, and watering lawns within two days of a rainstorm. They also include reduced restrictions regarding mandatory water rationing.

California Court Upholds Large Urban Water Transfer

A California appeals court on Tuesday upheld plans for a large transfer of Mojave Desert groundwater to homes and businesses in Southern California.

The ruling by a three-judge panel in Santa Ana moves urban districts a step closer to getting up to 75,000 acre feet of desert groundwater a year from the Cadiz and Fenner valleys in San Bernardino County — enough to supply about 150,000 homes. The water will be pumped with about 34 new wells and sent on a 43-mile pipeline to the Colorado River aqueduct, which serves 19 million people in Southern California.


Cadiz Water Project in Mojave Desert Wins Big in Appellate Court

Cadiz Inc. won a decisive courtroom victory Tuesday for its plans to transfer ancient groundwater in a remote part of San Bernardino County’s Mojave Desert to parts of Orange County and other locations.

California’s Fourth District Court of Appeal in Santa Ana upheld six lower court decisions dealing with various governmental approvals and environmental reviews of the controversial water project.


OPINION: California Needs More Water Storage

California desperately needs additional water storage capacity. The proposed enlargement of Los Vaqueros Reservoir by 115,000 acre-feet is a step in the right direction, albeit a very small one. An acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover 1 acre of land to a depth of 1 foot.

After California voters authorized the State Water Project in 1960, the Department of Water Resources signed contracts with various water agencies in the state for future entitlements to the water that the SWP would develop. These entitlements total 4.2 million acre-feet annually.