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State Considers New Drought Rules As Conservation Ebbs

As California faces the daunting prospect of its sixth straight year of drought, regulators are preparing to roll out the state’s first-ever permanent “water budgets” aimed at slashing consumption on a district-by-district basis.The idea is to determine each water district’s allowable supply by establishing customized targets for indoor use and outdoor landscaping, along with adjustments for weather differences in various parts of the state and between coastal versus inland communities.

Is La Niña On The Way?

Last year’s El Niño turned out to have less impact on California than expected — the forecast for much higher rainfall did not come to pass, though precipitation totals achieved nearly normal levels and reservoirs in Northern California refilled. Now we are entering a period climate scientists call La Niña. El Niño is characterized by higher than normal temperatures in the Northeastern Pacific Ocean, the effects of which change weather patterns. La Niña, which means The ‘little girl’ in Spanish, is the opposite, the anti-El Niño.

BLOG: Are Farmers, San Francisco Up The Same River?

Rather than call out the hypocrisy of San Francisco’s complaint that losing nearly half of its Tuolumne River water to the State Water Board and environmental activists, let’s see these concerns as a “glass half-full” opportunity. According to the San Francisco Chronicle’s opinion page, the city/county’s public utilities commission is concerned about losing much of its water to a state water grab with strong concerns rippling across the state.

Southland Water Supplies Increase Despite Drought

The Southland is well-positioned to weather a sixth year of drought, Metropolitan Water District officials said Oct. 10, but they warned that consumers and business still need to do their share to conserve. “The reality is that California is still in a drought. We’re just not in a state of emergency,” MWD board Chairman Randy Record said. “Heading into 2017, we’re hoping to build on the supply momentum created by Southern California’s ongoing water-saving efforts and improved storage conditions this year.”


Monster Rainstorms Could Bring Flooding And Huge Waves In Northern California

A second storm fueled in part by a typhoon hit California’s border with Oregon on Saturday with heavy rain and gusty winds as it made its way south. After an overnight lull, rain returned to Eureka and nearby cities, where winds at 40 mph and gusts up to 70 mph were recorded in the highest points. Officials in Del Norte and Humboldt counties provided sand and sandbags for residents to protect against flooding, and the Coast Guard warned of swells up to 25 feet and urged people to avoid low-lying beaches and other coastal areas.

OPINION: Was Jerry Brown Kidding, Or Is He Worried About Legacy Projects?

Jerry Brown and his predecessor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, this month jointly celebrated the 10th anniversary of California’s war against greenhouse gas emissions. Brown pointed out that Schwarzenegger not only signed the 2006 bill, but also championed two immense public works projects that Brown has adopted as his own. “Arnold, thanks for being for climate change, cap and trade, the tunnels project, high-speed rail and all the other unpopular issues I’m saddled with,” Brown kidded Schwarzenegger.