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Ambitious plan would restore Escondido Creek

A concrete channel that cuts through a large chunk of Escondido may get a makeover, as conservationists begin planning to restore Escondido Creek to its natural state.

The nonprofit Escondido Creek Conservancy is seeking $355,000 through a regional water grant to begin designing the restoration project — a first step toward transforming the urban culvert from a polluted canal to a picturesque waterway, officials said.

“We would love to see it be a much more natural channel, and a public amenity for the community..,” said Ann Van Leer, executive director of the conservancy.

BLOG: The Race To Turn Stormwater From Gray To Green

California’s five-year drought is changing our take on rainfall in cities, recasting it from a threat to a resource. “For so long, stormwater was simply a nuisance,” said Keith Lichten of the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board. “We needed to get it out of the way as quickly as possible to protect structures.” But stormwater can also be an asset. Instead of directing it into gutters and straight down storm drains, we can capture and clean it in rain gardens and other planted areas.

OPINION: Would LA Times Like Some Delta Facts With Its Kool-Aid?

In reading a recent editorial in the Los Angeles Times, we just about choked on our Cheerios. One of our nation’s truly great newspapers, with inspiring editorial writers, the Times noted that California is more than merely lines on a map. Invoking the “California condor, the giant sequoia, the golden trout,” the writer implied that farmers in Stanislaus, Merced and San Joaquin counties have lost sight of what it means to be Californians.

San Diego Climate Scientists Strive To Better Impact Public Policy

Researchers are expanding their understanding of the natural world all the time. But do those breakthroughs filter down to the policies that dictate how we handle our natural resources? UC San Diego is hosting a panel Thursday to help make those connections stronger. It’s called “Water in the West” and will feature climate scientists and a County Water Authority executive to discuss the source of the state’s water supply and how best to regulate its use.

State’s Water Grab Hurts More Than Just Farmers

The state of California’s proposed Bay Delta water plan is being portrayed as a water fight between supposedly wealthy farmers and fish. When there is so much more at stake to us all, I have to ask why? I suspect this is a deliberate tactic by those involved in professional politics and government. It is probably much easier to say that only a handful of farmers are being harmed by a massive water diversion than to acknowledge that an entire community – including some of the most disadvantaged youths and adults in the state – are going to be harmed.

Modesto Rain Stays Ahead Of Average, But Sierra Snow Lags

The first in a wave of storms brought moderate rain to the Modesto area Thursday, along with accidents on the slick streets.The Modesto Irrigation District reported 0.39 inches in its downtown gauge as of 5 p.m., bringing the total to 3.88 inches for the rainfall year that started July 1. The historical average to date is about 2.5 inches.The more important Sierra Nevada snowpack is not doing so well. It stood at 52 percent of average in the central part of the range as of Thursday, the California Department of Water Resources reported.

San Diego Explained: San Marcos Water Shortage Just A Figment

On paper, there’s enough water for San Diegans for years to come. The exception is in San Marcos. Every five years, urban water agencies across California must prepare reports showing they won’t run out of water. Almost every San Diego water agency projects they will have enough water for the years to come. But the Vallecitos Water District, which provides water to 97,000 people in and around San Marcos, has projected a huge shortage: 3.7 billion gallons a year by 2020. Vallecitos is the only district in the state that projects such a shortfall.

Conservation Opportunities to Improve Water Quality

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will offer farmers and ranchers more opportunities to participate in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). The announcement includes new CRP practices to protect water quality and adds an additional 1.1 million acres targeted to benefit wildlife, pollinators and wetlands. “The Conservation Reserve Program is an extremely popular voluntary program that offers producers and landowners a wide variety of opportunities to prevent erosion, protect wildlife habitat and reduce nutrient runoff,” said Vilsack.

Pelosi Rails Against Bipartisan California Drought Bill, Calls Republicans Arrogant

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi railed against a bipartisan provision tacked onto the Water Resources Development Act providing California drought relief funding Thursday, alleging Republicans “hijacked” the must-pass legislation. While the rider was negotiated between House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and California Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein, critics, including outgoing California Democrat Sen. Barbara Boxer, slammed the addition, calling it a “poison pill” that would undermine the Endangered Species Act.


Industry Heads Praise California Drought Legislation

Representatives of some of California’s leading agricultural bodies have highlighted a “litany of positives” in the state’s recently introduced drought legislation for its “short term and long term solutions to California’s needs”.

In a statement, California Citrus Mutual president Joel Nelsen, California Fresh Fruit Association president George Radanovich and California Cotton Ginners & Growers Association and Western Agricultural Processors Association president Roger Isom, echoed the words of Senator Dianne Feinstein – “this bill isn’t perfect but I do believe it will help California”.