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Free water and fire-wise landscape workshop scheduled for July 30

Olivenhain Municipal Water District has teamed up with the Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection to present a free water and fire-wise landscape education event on July 30 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The event, at Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District’s Station 2, 16930 Four Gee Road, celebrates the station’s newly completed fire-wise and water-smart garden, which OMWD helped construct. The garden was installed by Blue Skies Landscape Maintenance.

California City, Lacking Water, Halts Development

Leaders in the Bay Area community of East Palo Alto imposed a moratorium on development until the city can increase its water supply. For the past 14 years, the city has used nearly all of its annual water allotment, making it increasingly difficult for East Palo Alto to approve new developments, unless they can essentially provide their own water. With no easy or affordable solution in sight, developers are caught in limbo as they wait for the city to obtain additional water resources — a process that could take years, reports Kaitlyn Landgraf of the Bay Area News Group.

SoCal’s Massive Water Agency Grabs Up Land on NorCal’s Wettest River

Late last week, several hundred northern California farmers suddenly became tenants of an unlikely landlord. On July 15, after three months in legal limbo, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California became the proud owner of four rural islands and their water—300 miles north of its jurisdiction.

To anyone familiar with southern California’s history of by-any-means-necessary water rights acquisition, this might seem like yet another way for the southerners to drink the northerners’ milkshake.

Drought Persists And So Does Water Conservation In Sacramento

Summer isn’t the easiest time to save water, but users in the Sacramento-area reduced their water use by 22 percent in June compared to the same month in 2013. The savings is the first following the end of mandatory statewide conservation rules.

The June 2016 conservation analysis is from the Regional Water Authority, which represents water providers in Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado, Yolo and Sutter counties.

The findings come from a review of June water use data submitted to the RWA and the California State Water Resources Control Board.

California court denies push for payment during tunnel tests

California officials don’t have to pay property owners to access their land to conduct preliminary testing before deciding whether to move forward with a $15.7 billion plan to build two giant water tunnels to supply drinking water for cities and irrigation for farmers, the California Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

The landowners in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta had demanded payment for thousands of acres sought by the state for testing. The payments would have added millions of dollars to the cost of the tunnels project.


Seven Experts to Watch on California’s Groundwater

Groundwater provides more than one-third of California’s water supply in typical years and as much as 60 percent during dry years. It serves as a crucial “savings account” to help mitigate the effects of droughts and climate change. Yet despite its essential role, mismanagement and drought have put the state’s groundwater system under considerable strain.

Just two years ago, California still lacked statewide regulations for groundwater extraction. Overdrafting of basins and sub-basins has led to saltwater intrusion, damaged infrastructure and land collapses.

Regulators ordered Californians to cut water use 25%. In the desert, golf courses cut back 8%

During the past year of drought, while many Californians have heeded the call to conserve and managed to achieve water-savings of nearly 25 percent statewide, one group of water users hasn’t measured up: the golf courses that spread out across thousands of acres in the desert.

A Desert Sun analysis of data provided by water districts reveals that golf courses in the Coachella Valley used just 8 percent less water during the 12-month period ending in May as compared to the same months in 2013.

Is it OK to eat berries from water-starved California?

Oh, the berries of summer, and the culinary delights they provide! Strawberry shortcake, blackberry jam, raspberry trifle … and let’s not forget gooseberry pie, lingonberry pancakes, and my personal favorite, thimbleberry melba. With berry season in full swing, I must confess to typing this with purple-stained fingers. I suspect our enthusiasm for berries would be tempered, though, if we knew how much water they were slurping up — especially out in California, where long-lasting drought has made us all feel a lot guiltier about our almond-milk lattes.

California’s top court rules in favor of Gov. Brown’s water project

The California Supreme Court cleared the way Thursday for state water authorities to do environmental and geological testing on private land for a proposed project to divert Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta water to the south.

The ruling capped six years of litigation by delta property owners, who challenged the state’s right to enter their land without compensation.

In a decision written by Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, the court said state water authorities could proceed with testing — subject to various conditions — on more than 150 properties.

New watering schedule in effect Aug. 1 for Carlsbad Municipal Water District

Starting Aug. 1 Carlsbad Municipal Water District customers can use their sprinklers three times a week, for up to 10 minutes per station, on days assigned based on street addresses, according to a city press release.

Water officials say the change reflects the fact that Carlsbad has enough water on hand for the immediate future, but that using water wisely should be an ongoing way of life in our desert climate, according to the release. Under the new schedule, odd addresses may water on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday and even addresses on Monday, Thursday and Saturday.