State water regulators met in Sacramento Tuesday to consider making water wasting rules permanent state law, according to The Mercury News.The State Water Resources Control Board held the public hearing, but it’s unclear whether a final vote would come Tuesday, or at a later date. The talks come amid one of the driest winters in modern California history. The rules being discussed were originally enacted during the last drought.
Archive for date: February 20th, 2018
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Human water use in California could be the reason behind an increase in earthquakes in the state. A study published recently in Nature said the use and extraction of groundwater affects the mountains and valleys. The study comes as the state experiences its third driest winter on record. State officials are also considering permanent water restrictions.
David Greene, Host: So this has been one dry winter for many of you living in the Western United States. So dry, in fact, that some are worried about a prolonged drought. Today California’s water board is considering not just bringing back water restrictions, but making them permanent. Meanwhile, water agencies are looking for new sources of water, and NPR’s Nathan Rott tells us about one big potential source. If, that is, people are willing to accept it.
It’s starting to look like a drought year for California farmers who depend on water from the federal government. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced Tuesday that most farmers south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta who get water from the federal Central Valley Project will receive just 20 percent of their requested allocation this year. Although the numbers could change and the allocations could increase this spring, the initial figures reflect the abysmal precipitation California has received so far this winter. “We have extremely low snowpack and limited anticipated runoff,” said David Murillo, the bureau’s regional director.
A federal judge ordered federal regulators to reevaluate the environmental impacts of a popular California water program that allows farmers to sell water to parched southern cities and water districts during droughts. In a 133-page ruling on Feb. 15, U.S. District Judge Lawrence O’Neill declared “unlawful” parts of environmental reviews approved by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation for a 10-year water transfer program. The plaintiffs, led by AquAlliance, include water agencies of the south, central and north delta, and the California Sportfishing Alliance.
A blast of cold air from Canada delivered record-low temperatures to a handful of Bay Area locations Tuesday morning as the mercury dropped near or below freezing across the region. As of 6 a.m., locations setting or tying record-low daily temperatures for Feb. 20 include San Francisco airport (36, previous record 37 in 2011) and Oakland 34 (tying previous mark set in 2006), according to the National Weather Service. It is likely other records will fall, but official temperatures are not reported until the afternoon, according to the weather service.
A defining quality of California’s state government is sluggishness. It’s common for audits of state agencies to note that problems identified in previous audits remain unresolved. Now Californians are witnessing an especially egregious example of this state trait. Forty months after state voters reacted to a brutal drought by lopsidedly approving a $7.5 billion water bond, none of the $2.7 billion the measure set aside for water storage projects has been appropriated by the California Water Commission.
That sign in hotel rooms asking guests if they really need their towels and sheets washed each day would become the rule in California, enforced with a $500 fine, if water officials vote to make a series of smaller-scale conservation measures permanent in the drought-prone state. Members of the state Water Resources Control Board are scheduled to decide Tuesday whether to bring back what had been temporary water bans from California’s 2013-2017 drought and make them permanent.
California’s water regulator punted a raft of regulations to fine water hogs up to $500, even as the Golden State plunges back into drought. While the California State Water Resources Control Board delayed making a decision until next month in order to add to the regulations, opponents of the new restrictions – or how they’re being implemented – hinted at future litigation and the possibility of a prolonged battle. “We support the regulations but we remain concerned about the means and the process,” said Rob Donlan, a Sacramento-based water rights attorney.
Sprinklers that splash more water onto the sidewalk than the lawn, which have increasingly drawn scornful looks in drought-distressed California, are about to be banned forever. Same goes for hosing down a driveway or patio, or washing a car with a garden-variety hose. Recognizing California’s increasing propensity for parched weather — this winter being no exception — state water officials are planning to resurrect many of the temporary water restrictions that were enacted during the recent five-year dry spell and make them permanent.