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San Diego hit its 2020 climate plan benchmark before document was approved

The city of San Diego released its first Climate Action Plan monitoring report Thursday, finding that its short-term goal for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions was essentially satisfied before the plan was even approved last December. The report outlined progress on emissions cuts during the past five years and found that by 2015, climate pollution had been reduced by 17 percent below the baseline year of 2010 — surpassing the plan’s targeted 15 percent reduction goal by 2020. The emissions cuts resulted largely from state and federal mandates to green up electrical grids and improve fuel-efficiency standards.

BLOG: How Conservation Is Getting a 21st-Century Overhaul

The seriousness of our environmental situation today calls for the implementation of new tools and technology, and more focus on outcomes instead of procedure. That’s the idea behind the work done today by the Freshwater Trust (TFT). The organization, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, works to restore the health of watersheds by using very precise environmental accounting. “We analyze data, model outcomes and develop rigorous systems and protocols to quantify the environmental benefits of every restoration action,” TFT explains on its website.

Dry Farming Flourishes In Drought-Stricken California

Reducing the amount of water we use to grow our food would go a long way to helping the world’s water stress. At the moment, we use more than two thirds of our water for agriculture. With the United Nations predicting that by 2025 two thirds of us could be living with water scarcity, it throws the issue into sharp relief. Fresh water is rarer than you might think. In fact, it’s only 3% of the planet’s supply with around 75% stored in glaciers.

Officials: California Salmon Avoid Catastrophic Year

California’s iconic native salmon, which has been hard hit by historic drought and high temperatures, avoided a third disastrous year, federal officials said Thursday. The number of juvenile winter-run Chinook salmon spawning on the Sacramento River in Northern California and swimming out to sea has doubled from 2015, and it’s significantly up from the prior year, officials said. California has experienced five years of drought. The fishing industry and farmers in California’s fertile Central Valley are in a constant struggle over the same river water to sustain their livelihoods.


San Diego Achieves Major Climate Change Goals

Two major goals in the city of San Diego’s plan to address climate change have already been achieved, and other targets are close, according to a report released by the mayor’s office Friday. The targets that have been met involve greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption. The plan, approved by the City Council in December, established policies in a variety of areas, set goals compared to a 2010 baseline, and fixed target years for when to meet them.

Twin Tunnels: City Warns Of Harm To Drinking Water

Gov. Jerry Brown’s Delta tunnels could harm the quality of Stockton’s drinking water to the extent that water rates would need to be doubled or tripled, a city official testified on Thursday. That’s far from certain and wouldn’t happen for decades. But the tunnels are inching closer to approval, and the state’s voluminous reports on the project are lacking in detail, the city says. “We don’t know exactly how these changes will affect Stockton’s water supply because that information was not included,” Bob Granberg, assistant director of the Municipal Utilities Department, told the State Water Resources Control Board.


La Niña Arrives In California. What That Means For The Drought.

La Niña has arrived, bringing California the possibility of a relatively dry winter. With the state entering its fifth year of drought, the National Weather Service made it official Thursday, following weeks of speculation, declaring that the country will see a winter of La Niña. That’s a weather phenomenon associated with cooler-than-average temperatures in the surface of the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean near the equator. Jim Mathews, a weather service meteorologist in Sacramento, said the phenomenon is expected to bring somewhere between a normal or somewhat drier winter.