Between 2015 and 2010, Californians slashed their water use by seventeen percent, according to the US Geological Survey report. During that time, the state was gripped by the worst drought in modern times, and Governor Brown declared the first-ever mandatory water restrictions. But despite the savings, Californians still use more water than residents of many East Coast states. As of September 2017, Californians use 110 gallons per person per day for outdoor and indoor consumption. Meanwhile, in Connecticut, residents needed just 35 gallons of water per person per day in 2015 – less than half the national average of 82 gallons per person per day.
Archive for date: November 13th, 2017
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The current three- to seven-day forecasts Americans have come to rely on for planning everything from weekend picnics to hurricane evacuations rely heavily on constant updates from satellites that orbit Earth’s poles measuring temperature, moisture and a host of other variables that define the planet’s ever-changing weather. Early Tuesday, NASA plans to launch the first of four state-of-the-art polar orbiters for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a $1.6 billion weather satellite that will monitor the entire planet as it rotates below, feeding computer models the data they need to make increasingly accurate predictions.
A roaring “pineapple express” is expected to blast the Sierra Wednesday and Thursday, marking the biggest storm of the season so far. The warm, moisture-rich storm is fueled by an “atmospheric river” originating in the South Pacific and predicted to bring up to a foot and above of snow at elevations as low as 7,500 feet.
One of the nation’s most successful partnerships between farm and urban water agencies has lately run into serious turbulence, potentially threatening an important Colorado River water-sharing deal. Twelve years ago, the Palo Verde Irrigation District in Blythe, California, signed an agreement with the powerful Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. It allowed the latter to pay Palo Verde farmers to fallow up to 35 percent of their acreage in times of water scarcity, and take delivery of the unused irrigation water, via canal, to serve its urban customers in the Los Angeles area, some 200 miles away.
California’s most important federal water reform law – the Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA) – celebrated its 25th anniversary on October 30. The landmark law, signed by President George H.W. Bush, was a historic effort to protect and restore California’s wetlands, rivers, migratory waterbirds, salmon and other fish species, and also to promote more sustainable water supplies for a drought-prone state. Before the CVPIA’s passage in 1992, Central Valley rivers, wetlands and salmon runs had been severely damaged by the construction and operation of the federal Central Valley Project (CVP), a water system including 20 dams and 500 miles of canals.
California could one day be uninhabitable. Fire. Heat. Floods. Infestation. Disease. Suffering. Scientists have for years warned about the ravaging consequences of a warming planet. Decamping for the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Convention on Climate Change, California academics and political leaders were mulling how to better deploy the distressing projections to give unwary citizens a better understanding of what’s at stake and compel them to see the wisdom of embracing sustainability.