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BLOG: Meet The Minds: Erin Mackey On Engineering A Waterwise Mindset

What will it take for California to not just get by during drought, but to really flourish? Erin Mackey, a drinking water and reuse process engineer at Brown and Caldwell, the largest engineering consulting firm focused on the U.S. environmental sector, believes it will take both a shift in how we think of water-use efficiency, as well as the development of a more diverse water supply. That’s why her work is focused on helping clients explore water resources so they can use them smartly and efficiently.

BLOG: Water Talks: Patrick Atwater, Greg Gearheart On California Water Data

Water Deeply will kick off Water Talks – a new, monthly lunchtime conversation on hot topics in California water. Patrick Atwater of the California Data Collaborative and Greg Gearheart of the State Water Resources Control Board will join Water Deeply’s managing editor Tara Lohan to talk about the opportunities and challenges in the water data world. Patrick Atwater serves as project manager for the California Data Collaborative, a coalition of water utilities working together to share metered water use data and ensure water reliability.


Sacramento River Report Adds To Water Concerns

California farmers and ranchers say they’re drowning in proposals, regulations, plans and deadlines affecting the future of water supplies. The latest wave came in the form of a “draft science report” from the State Water Resources Control Board that would potentially require dedication of more Sacramento River water to fish. The draft scientific report for fisheries and flows in the Sacramento River and Bay-Delta represents part of what the board calls Phase 2 of its update to the Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan.

OPINION: Fresh Water Is Not Renewing Fast Enough For Human Consumption

Transportation is one of the most vital assets to all people. Getting around allows us to get to work, run errands, and so on. What gets most of us out and about is oil and gasoline. For years, this was one of the driving forces behind the war in Afghanistan. Since America is dependent on oil in the Middle East. This crisis has seemingly evolved from oil to something a little more important… water. 75 percent of the Earth is water, yet the majority is completely undrinkable due to its salt content.


What Will Happen After The ‘Big One’ Hits SoCal?

Over a decade has passed since Hurricane Katrina brought destruction to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, leaving 1,245 dead and $108 billion in property damage. More than a million people were displaced and communities destroyed. The region has come a long way since then, but it will never be the same. Katrina remains the country’s worst natural disaster. Here in Southern California, earthquakes, rather than hurricanes, pose risks to our lives, health, and socioeconomic futures. The risks are more pronounced in dense areas — places where there are more people and infrastructure that can be affected.

California Weather Changes Affect Power Supply

The state of California has set big goals for switching over to green energy within the next decade. The difference with these energy source, they depend on the weather. Water (hydro energy), wind (wind turbines), and sun (solar energy) are the key components to generating renewable energy. In California, lawmakers have set high standards for how green we want to be in the next 10 to 20 years. The goal is to have switched over 33% of the state to renewable energy sources by 2020 and half of the state by 2030.

As the Salton Sea’s decline looms, a rush to cover up dry lakebed

On the bottom of what used to be a shallow bay, bulldozers and excavators are clawing into the dry lakebed.

Over the past decade, the shore of the Salton Sea has receded more than a mile at Red Hill Bay, leaving a dusty plain of salt-laden soil that crunches and crumbles underfoot.

Workers have been using machines to dig down to a clay layer, starting to build berms so the area can be flooded and transformed into more than 500 acres of wetlands.

Deal slashes water use rates

After more than a decade of dead lawns, vacant storefronts, and failed community action, District 3 Supervisor Jim Steele’s report of a significant decrease in future water rates took a while to sink in with residents Tuesday at the Northshore Community Center in Lucerne.

In fact, he had to ask them for a response.

The audience erupted in applause. Finally, some cheer in a town that recently has had little reason to celebrate, at least when it came to the water bill.

“This is fantastic news for everyone,” 26-year resident William Becker said. “The best I’ve heard in a long time.”

Remembering a ‘Forgotten Flood’

It doesn’t matter how old you are, or if you weren’t even born at the time: Most residents know about the great floods of the area from 1955, 1986 and 1997.

One flood residents may not know about, though, is the “Forgotten Flood” of 1940 that devastated 780 square miles of Sutter, Butte, Tehama, Glenn and Colusa counties.

Sutter County Public Information Officer Chuck Smith said every October as the rainy season approaches, the county takes measures to educate residents about the area’s flood history, the steps that have been taken for better protection and the risks that still remain.

Soil moisture, snowpack data could help predict ‘flash droughts’

New research suggests that “flash droughts” – like the one that unexpectedly gripped the Southern Rockies and Midwest in the summer of 2012 – could be predicted months in advance using soil moisture and snowpack data.

Researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) analyzed the conditions leading up to the 2012 drought, which ultimately caused $30 billion in economic losses, looking for any warning signs that a drought was on the way.