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Water Reuse and Reclamation Projects in California get $30M Boost from Interior Department

More than $30 million in funding through the Bureau of Reclamation’s Title XVI program were awarded today by Deputy Secretary of the Interior Michael L. Connor. The money will support seven projects that will provide clean water to California communities and promote water and energy efficiency.

“With California in its fifth year of drought, these investments will build resilience for local communities struggling with limited water supplies — an effort that is more important than ever as the dangers of drought escalate in the face of climate change,” Deputy Secretary Connor said.

EL NINO: ‘The Great Wet Hope’ is dead

The Godzilla of all El Niños is dead. And the big guy went out with a whimper, at least in Southern California.

On Thursday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center declared the much-anticipated – and miserably disappointing – El Niño of 2015-16 history. “There’s nothing left,” said Climate Prediction Center Deputy Director Mike Halpert. “Stick a fork in it, it’s done.”

So Long, El Nino! Hello, La Nina?

The winter El Nino, once described as a “Godzilla” weather pattern threatening to drench the coast with rains and put a dent in the Southland’s years-long drought, is officially over, forecasters announced Thursday.

Officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Prediction Center said the El Nino pattern, characterized by warming ocean temperatures, dissipated by the end of May “as indicated by the expansion of near-to-below average surface temperatures across the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean.”

OPINION: Brown: Desal Means Paying Premium Prices For Water We Don’t Need

Over a decade ago, Poseidon Water came to Orange County and began applying for permits to build a desalination plant in Huntington Beach to turn sea water into drinking water. The process stalled for years. The proposed plant would only produce about eight percent of Orange County’s water needs, would be nearly twice as expensive as other water, required a massive amount of energy and had numerous environmental impacts. To many decision-makers, it seemed like an option only worthy of consideration as a last resort; definitely not worth the billion-dollar plus price tag for ratepayers.

Water Board to Refine Enforcement Procedures After Ruling

California water regulators will re-examine the way they determine water rights violations in the wake of the State Water Resources Control Board’s dismissal of a proposed $1.5 million fine to a water district east of the San Francisco Bay area.

Officials issued the fine to the Byron Bethany Irritation District at the height of the drought last summer, but the water board on June 7ww affirmed two hearing officers’ earlier ruling that there wasn’t enough evidence to prove the district took water it wasn’t entitled to under its century-old water right.


Phil Isenberg: What’s Next for the Delta?

Speaking on May 18 to the Mountain Counties Water Resources Association, Phil Isenberg said, “I have learned the hardest thing in public life to do is change human behavior. It’s a lot easier to pass a law than to get people to like it and to pay attention to it.”

With 50 years of public policy experience, Isenberg knows this all too well; his lesson applies to the trials of implementing water policy in California. Beginning in the early 1970s, Isenberg served on Sacramento City Council, then went on to be mayor and a member of the state assembly.

El Nino Has Runs its Course. But Did it End California’s Drought?

El Niño has passed on its merry way after 17 months of unusual warmth, wet weather, and unusual storms from the Pacific Ocean around the world. The big story for this El Niño has been whether it would aid dry California’s comeback from a drought.

The answer is mixed. “In California, it’s all about location, location, location,” Jan Null, San Francisco meteorologist said, according to USA Today.


BLOG: A Weatherman Explains California’s Volatile Climate

What does the future hold for California’s weather and climate? Is drought the new normal? And what about La Niña? We talked to Daniel Swain—founder of the popular California Weather Blog and a Stanford University climate scientist—about our volatile climate.

Water Users Target Delta Fish — Again

A popular Delta sportfish may be on the hook yet again after water users mostly south of the estuary asked state officials this week to allow more of the fish to be caught, in order to reduce their numbers.A nearly identical proposal, ardently opposed by Delta fishermen, was rejected in early 2012 by the state Fish and Game Commission.But the water users didn’t stop fighting. Their concern is that stripers, which are technically not native to the Delta, gobble up threatened and endangered fish. And the decline of those species has reduced the amount of water that can be pumped to southland cities and farms.