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NASA Satellite Data Shows Rapid Recovery for Some California Forests Despite Drought

NASA researchers have found that years of California’s drought conditions have not slowed the regrowth of tree and shrub cover in areas burned by wildfires.

But a newly published study in the April 2016 issue of the Open Journal of Forestry by scientists at NASA’s Ames Research Center has revealed that forests and woodlands in the Santa Cruz mountains near San Jose and Silicon Valley suffered little or no detectable loss of trees over the past several years.


Public Health Survey Finds Impacts From Drought

One of the main things health officials have taken from a survey of approximately 400 households in the Culter-Orosi area and East Porterville is some residents may be risking their health because of cutting back on water use.

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) conducted a Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER) survey in October and released the findings last week. The survey was a collaborative effort between local public health, CDPH, and numerous local agencies and organizations.

Water Purification Video Wins Padre Dam Awards

Padre Dam Municipal Water District was nationally honored with a Bronze Anvil Award of Commendation from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), an Award of Distinction from the California Association of Public Information Officials (CAPIO) and a Platinum Hermes Creative Award from the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP) for its video, Water, Too Good to Waste.

“The Water, Too Good to Waste video is instrumental to providing the public with a better understanding of why the Advanced Water Purification Program is essential for East San Diego County,” said Allen Carlisle, CEO and General Manager of Padre Dam.

Berkeley Lab Joins Groundwater Recharge Study

One of the nation’s top centers for science will look at how stormwater seeps into almond orchards in the Modesto area and beyond.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory announced Monday that it has joined a groundwater recharge study that already involves the Almond Board of California and other partners.

The lab, managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy, works in several scientific disciplines. The Modesto-based board is paying it $105,840 to use chemical, geophysical and other tools for tracking water through aquifers.


BLOG: San Francisco Makes History With New Water Bond

Finding funding for water infrastructure projects can sometimes be tough, especially for smaller, decentralized projects that don’t fall under the criteria of traditional funding sources. But another avenue for accessing resources is coming to light after the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission last week became the first entity to issue a green bond certified under the Water Climate Bonds Standard.

Green bonds were established as a way to direct private financing to environmental projects, and in less than 10 years, it has it has generated $41.8 billion.

Governor’s Order Expands Water Efficiency Rules

Water management plans for agricultural water districts will be expanded, and more districts will be required to submit the plans, under an executive order issued last week by California Gov. Jerry Brown. The requirements came as part of an order that also requires urban water agencies to make permanent a number of water-efficiency measures instituted last year at the height of the California drought.

The agricultural provisions of the governor’s order include that the state Department of Water Resources work with the state Department of Food and Agriculture to update existing requirements for agricultural water management plans.


San Diego County Reduces Water Use by 23% in April

Customers in San Diego County cut back on water consumption by 23 percent in April, compared to the same month three years ago, marking the largest monthly reduction since September, the San Diego County Water Authority reported Monday.

The state-mandated target for the county as a whole is to reduce consumption by 13 percent compared to the corresponding month in 2013. The goal was lowered recently from 20 percent after the region was given credit for bringing a desalination plant in Carlsbad online.

San Diego’s Losing Its Grip on the Avocado Market

Like any plants, avocados need water to thrive. But lately, water has been causing a lot of headaches for San Diego’s avocado farmers.

Water rates have soared over the past several years. And as San Diego water officials have scrambled to assemble a drought-proof water supply, they’ve begun to rely more on water from the Colorado River. That water, it turns out, is quite salty. Avocado trees are particularly sensitive to salt.

California Water Bill Has Three Possible Paths for Passage

House Republicans this week are adding a controversial California water bill to an unrelated Senate energy package, opening a new front in a fight that’s already put Democrats on the defensive.

The unexpected energy bill maneuver gives San Joaquin Valley lawmakers a third vehicle they might propel all the way to the White House. At the least, it builds up steam for the GOP drive to boost California water storage and divert more irrigation deliveries to Valley farms.


As Lake Mead Swindles, Can An Interstate Water War Be Far Behind?

The last time two states went to war over water, it was 1934. The combatants were California and Arizona and the casus belli was the start of construction of Parker Dam, which would direct water from the Colorado River into California via the Colorado River Aqueduct.

The episode unfolded with a sort of Gilbert and Sullivan absurdity. Arizona’s governor, Benjamin Baker Moeur, dispatched a handful of National Guardsmen upriver in a ferryboat named the Julia B., which frontline correspondents dispatched to the river by The Times and other California newspapers happily dubbed the “Arizona Navy.”