After both my wife and I completed graduate studies in the late ’70s in the Los Angeles area, the question became, “Where should we make our permanent home?” We looked around us in the LA area at the hubbub of traffic and the mass of individuals in close proximity to us in the LA suburbs and it was not a pleasant picture or thought for our future. We both had grown up in the beauty and solitude of North Santa Barbara County in areas devoid of smog and the clamor of uncontrolled growth.
Archive for date: June 16th, 2016
You are now in California and the U.S. category.
No place has been hit harder by the California drought than Tulare County in the San Joaquin Valley. By now, most Americans have read or heard stories about residential wells going dry in the county’s rural towns, such as East Porterville, Orosi and Cutler.
But it has remained unclear how water shortages are affecting people in these towns. How do they cope without running water in their kitchens and bathrooms? How has this affected their physical health and mental well-being?
Earlier this month the eyes of the world turn to the Pacific Coast, where global energy ministers and business leaders met to begin transforming the Paris COP21 climate agreement from a promise to a plan — developing the specific policies and actions that will accelerate the transition to economies built on clean energy.
Meeting the ambitious carbon reduction goals laid out in Paris last December will require two things in abundance: innovation and collaboration.
Republican lawmakers are objecting to a California budget provision that gives water to medical marijuana growers.
Republicans say a budget bill approved Thursday in the state Assembly gives pot farmers preferential treatment over the rest of the agriculture industry. The bill allows licensed marijuana growers to use water from natural rivers, streams or lakes without state approval or environmental assessment. It cleared the Assembly in a 46-26 vote. It now goes to the Senate.
Two years ago, California became one of the last states in the West to pass a law to manage groundwater. The political will to do so took decades. But the bigger battle may be putting the law into practice.
Paso Robles in San Luis Obispo County may be a perfect example of how hard it’s going to be.
The region is known mostly for it’s more than 200 wineries. But amidst the rolling hills full of vineyards, it’s not unusual to see tanker trucks delivering water to rural homeowners whose wells have run dry.
Israel is regarded as perhaps the most climate-smart agricultural region in the world. It has to be, with annual rainfall of about 17 inches (source: World Bank). By comparison, portions of the Sierra Nevada, the source of much of California’s water, can receive more than four times that amount.
However, the drought and the prospect of climate change has us challenging our long-held assumptions. That’s why I am pleased to be leading a delegation to Israel (June 17-25) to learn more about the country’s climate smart strategies, especially irrigation technologies and extensive use of recycled water.
The best news for the state is that the Sierra Nevada snowpack, which provides roughly 30 percent of California’s water supply, was at its highest level in five years. The 2016 snowpack was at 114 percent of the historic average.
Higher snowpack means more runoff to fill the groundwater that supplies the state’s multi billion-dollar agribusinesses in the San Joaquin Valley. The percentage of wells in 2016 that decreased more than 10 feet is nearly half of what it was last year.
Almost two years ago, California voters passed Proposition 1—a $7.5 billion water bond intended to provide significant investments in the state’s drought-challenged water systems. Today, Californians concerned about the prospects of worsening drought may wonder how the state is spending these funds, and whether they are moving out the door fast enough.
Proposition 1 has seven funding categories, with a pot of money allocated to each. The bond language preauthorized spending in the largest area—$2.7 billion for water storage projects. For the other six areas, spending must be appropriated in the state budget.
Precipitation for the USDM period (June 7-14) was generally below normal for much of the country. Areas that received above normal rainfall were in Florida and along the coast Georgia and the Carolina’s. This was associated with Tropical Storm Colin which exited the coast late in the previous period. Precipitation fell in the Great Basin and central Arizona improving drought conditions in parts of this area. Other areas that received above-normal rainfall were the Northern High Plains and the Southern Plains.
The lifeblood of greater Los Angeles runs through the Coachella Valley, coursing through a series of tunnels bored into the rugged foothills of the San Jacinto Mountains.
The 242-mile Colorado River Aqueduct — constructed from 1933 to 1941 by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California — stretches from Parker Dam at the Arizona border to Lake Mathews in western Riverside County. Since June 1941, it’s provided water to millions of residents of Los Angeles and the surrounding counties.