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OPINION: Water Solutions Debate Continues as we Go Thirsty

So now we are deluged by calls to raise Shasta Dam and build the Sites Reservoir. A previous writer explains how we simply have to build higher dams and the Sites Reservoir. An editorial reluctantly falls in line with the raise-the-dam argument. Momentum seems to be building.

This whole conversation boils down to climate deniers wanting more reservoirs and global warming adherents wanting none. So, once again, we debate while we go thirsty.

Visitors Enjoy Higher Water Levels High at Lake Shasta

The sounds of watercraft and families enjoying Lake Shasta on Sunday carried across the water against a vibrant backdrop of the tree line. The scene is a far cry from last year’s low water levels on the lake, which became a visual indicator of the state-wide drought and the impact to the local environment.

This time last year recorded water levels at Shasta Dam were half of what they are today, according to the Department of Water Resources.

Countries Turn Saltwater into Drinkable Water Using Solar Power

Can countries stop burning fossil fuels to supply fresh water? Work is on its way to answer that very question. The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park under construction near Dubai, goes into operation this month.

A desalination facility which is run by an array of solar panels and batteries, the system will produce about 13,200 gallons of drinking water a day for use on site, reports Business Insider. Hundreds of desalination plants are planned or under way worldwide because fresh water is increasingly precious.

BLOG: Climate Change Not Causing More Droughts, Deaths or Wars; Unlikely to Harm Plankton

A study by the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) finds little evidence purported human-caused climate change is increasing the number or intensity of droughts or heatwaves in the United Kingdom or worldwide.

Citing research in Nature Scientific Data from scientists at the University of California, the GWPF study notes, if anything, there has been a slowly declining trend in drought since 1982. Even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has found it almost impossible to attribute changes in drought since the mid-twentieth century to anthropogenic warming.

OPINION: Latino Leaders in the West Focusing on Water Issues

As Californians continue to face a mounting list of significant water challenges – including an aging infrastructure, growing population, degraded ecosystems, over reliance on groundwater, disjointed management of water resources by government agencies, and not least of all climate change and drought – we are clearly going to need all the help we can get to meet these challenges.

Among those involved in determining California’s water policy, Latino leaders, in particular, will need to be fully informed about our water challenges and more than that become part of the solution. The growing western states Latino demographic demands that.

Governor Seeking Extra $5 Million for Drought Relief

California Assemblyman Devon Mathis is praising Gov. Jerry Brown for revising his state budget proposal to add $5 million for grants to pay for deepening wells and cleaning contaminated wells in small communities that could include East Porterville.

“This is a major win for those in the Central Valley who haven’t had running water for years,” Mathis, R-Visalia, said in a press release, noting his months of efforts to negotiate with Brown to get more drought-relief funding for small communities in his district hit hard by California’s drought, now going into its fifth year.

When Water Policy Kills Farming, Consumers Will Pay the Price

When you open your pantry or refrigerator, what do you see? Tomatoes, oranges, lettuce; grains and nuts; chicken and beef; butter, milk, cheese and other dairy products, and yes … almonds – it’s very likely you are looking at products from the Central Valley, most likely grown in the Westlands Water District.

California’s Central Valley has more than 150 years of history following the Gold Rush. People from the Midwest, Europe, China, Mexico, and other parts of Latin America settled and brought their cultural and food influences, which became a staple of Californians’ dinner tables.

OPINION: Meeting the Demands of the Colorado River

Heavy attention on California’s sustained and severe drought, recent coverage of water sharing agreements in the Lower Colorado River Basin, and most recently an insightful piece in this newspaper from Colorado River Water Conservation District General Manager Eric Kuhn (Sixteen years of drought in the Colorado River Basin: Reality or talking point? May 12) might have people wondering, what does this mean for our headwaters state of Colorado? What kind of actions are Colorado and the Upper Basin states undertaking in this climate of uncertainty and water scarcity?

OPINION: California Water Conservation Should Continue

This is no time for California to significantly drop its water conservation targets, despite the wet winter that eased but by no means ended the state’s five-year drought.

It’s irresponsible for Gov. Jerry Brown to ask the State Water Resources Control Board to allow cities, water districts and private companies from San Diego to Yreka to set their own water conservation targets. Go ahead, Beverly Hills and Bakersfield, open those spigots and fill those swimming pools. Never mind the growing signals that drought-like weather patterns are returning to the state for the long haul.

Northern California Lakes Brim with Chances for Fun on the Water

If you haven’t been outside the Bay Area bubble this spring, the sight of the high-water levels at recreation lakes across Northern California will make your jaw drop.

Memorial Day weekend is two weeks off, and dozens of lakes are filling in time for the start of the vacation season. Many lakes will hit their peak in the next two weeks. A great summer is imminent for lake-based vacation and recreation — camping, boating and fishing.