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NASA Says Land is Taking Longer to Recover from Drought

As global temperatures continue to rise, droughts are expected to become more frequent and severe in many regions during this century. A new study with NASA participation finds that land ecosystems took progressively longer to recover from droughts in the 20th century, and incomplete drought recovery may become the new normal in some areas, possibly leading to tree death and increased emissions of greenhouse gases.

District Finds High Levels of Lead in Education Center Water

San Diego Unified officials have shut off some drinking fountains at district headquarters after high levels of lead were discovered in the water. Bottled water is being provided to employees and the public at the Education Center, a district spokesman said. Water was discovered at 18 parts per billion (ppb) at the Education Center in the 4100 block of Normal Street where the school board meets, a spokesman confirmed Tuesday.

Lake Mead Skirts Shortage for Another Year

The snow has melted and the forecast is in: Lake Mead is safe from shortage for another year. According to projections released Tuesday by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the reservoir east of Las Vegas will have enough water in it on Jan. 1 to stave off a first-ever federal shortage declaration — and the mandatory water cuts for Nevada and Arizona that would come with it. The lake is also on track to avoid a shortage in 2019, thanks to decreased demand downstream on the Colorado River and a larger-than-usual influx of water from Lake Powell upstream.

US: ‘Zero’ Chance of Colorado River Water Shortage in 2018

Heavy winter snows in the Rocky Mountains have rescued the thirsty Western U.S. for another year. U.S. water managers said Tuesday there will be no water cutbacks in 2018 for millions of residents and farmers served by the Lake Mead reservoir on the Colorado River that lies behind the Hoover Dam. “The projection indicates there is no chance of shortage in 2018,” said Rose Davis, spokeswoman for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. “Zero.”

Sites Reservoir Backers Ask for Water Bond Money

Backers of the proposed Sites Reservoir west of Maxwell filed an application Monday for Proposition 1 funding and released environmental documents about the project for public review and comment. Monday was the deadline to apply with the California Water Commission for a share of the $2.7 billion for water storage that was in Proposition 1, a bond voters passed in November 2014.

Temperance Flat Plan Would Triple Current Storage

It was an historic day in terms of fixing California’s water infrastructure. The application was signed and submitted to the California Water Commission on Monday for funding, getting one step closer to building the Temperance Flat Dam behind the Friant Dam and Millerton Lake northeast of Fresno. Mario Santoyo is Executive Director of the San Joaquin Water Infrastructure Authority, and they’ve worked mighty hard over the last 10 years to get to this step.

Money Starting to Flow for New Dams in State

During the drought, Californians often asked why the state wasn’t building more reservoirs. On Tuesday, the state finally began taking a major step toward that goal, unveiling a list of 12 huge new water projects — from massive new dams in the north to expanded groundwater banks in the south — that will compete for $2.7 billion in state bond funding for new water storage projects.

Sacramento Permanently Limits Lawn Watering as ‘A Way of Life’

The drought may be over, but Sacramento residents will still have to limit their watering. The Sacramento City Council voted Tuesday to make permanent twice-a-week outdoor watering restrictions despite Gov. Jerry Brown in April lifting a drought state of emergency for California after record-setting winter rainfall. The motion passed 6 to 3, with Councilmembers Angelique Ashby, Allen Warren and Larry Carr voting no. Many residents spoke in favor of the restrictions, but tree activists asked the council to exempt certain watering practices aimed at protecting tree health.