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Judge Upholds Major Provisions of Complex Delta Management plan

A judge has upheld major provisions of a state plan that lays out a long-term strategy for managing the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, rejecting most complaints included in a cluster of long-standing lawsuits.

But in a ruling Wednesday, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael P. Kenny also found that some aspects of the plan are inadequate, raising fresh questions about Gov. Jerry Brown’s controversial $15.5 billion plan to build two tunnels through the estuary.

Fighting Zika Virus in a Silver Lake Backyard: The Hunt for the ‘Cockroach of Mosquitoes’

Randy Garcia points a flashlight into a bush and shakes the leaves. Martin Serrano climbs a ladder to peer into rain gutters. Yessenia Avilez ducks under stairs and flips over a plastic tarp collecting water.

In a Silver Lake backyard resembling a small jungle, the team — dressed in khaki shirts tucked into blue slacks — searches for its target. Serrano and Garcia spot a tub filled with rainwater, leaves floating on the top. There’s movement just below the surface: hundreds of swimming creatures, like tiny tadpoles.

California Investigates Nestle Water Rights

Activists who are trying to block Nestle’s bottling of water from a national forest have questioned the company’s claim that it holds water rights dating to the 1800s. Now California regulators are conducting an investigation to get to the bottom of the dispute.

Nestle Waters North America has long been piping water out of the San Bernardino National Forest to produce Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water.

Yosemite’s Waterfalls Bring Torrents of Swift, Cold Water and Drowning Concerns

Winter and spring rains put a decent-sized dent in California’s water woes.

In Yosemite National Park, its storied falls are flowing with the kind of force not seen in four years. But the return of torrents of swift, cold water also have park officials concerned about increased drowning hazards. “The hazard is the water is flowing very swiftly and the bottom has all kinds of entrapments to catch people,” said park ranger Alan Hagman, who heads Yosemite’s rescue operations. “What attracts people to the river is also what will hurt them.”

Drought Be Dammed

Wedged between Arizona and Utah, less than 20 miles up river from the Grand Canyon, a soaring concrete wall nearly the height of two football fields blocks the flow of the Colorado River. There, at Glen Canyon Dam, the river is turned back on itself, drowning more than 200 miles of plasma-red gorges and replacing the Colorado’s free-spirited rapids with an immense lake of flat, still water called Lake Powell, the nation’s second largest reserve.


Drought Water Rates End at Contra Costa Water District

Water rates for some 200,000 Central Contra Costa residents will drop in early June after the Contra Costa Water District board agreed Wednesday to end a temporary drought surcharge. With plenty of water this year, the water board decided there is no need to continue collecting the higher drought rate that was passed last summer to encourage saving.

The decision will reduce the typical water bill from $72 to $66 per month — a $6 decrease — for an average household using 320 gallons per day in the district’s treated water service area in Concord, Clayton, Clyde, and parts of Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill and Martinez.


We’re in Year Five of California’s Drought

On Wednesday, California said goodbye to its mandatory statewide water restrictions for urban use, a tip of the umbrella to the relatively wet winter northern parts of the state had, which helped fill reservoirs and brought a relatively normal snowpack to the Sierras.

That decision was probably premature. For Southern California especially, the drought is still just as bad as ever. In much of the Sierra Nevada and Southern California, there’s still two or three entire years of rain missing since this drought began five years ago.