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San Diego’s Water Authority Has Reignited a Century-Old Water Dispute with Local Tribes

A century ago, a handful of Indian tribes in North County lost their water as settlers began drying up the San Luis Rey River. For 50 years, the tribes fought to get back their water — water that’s used today by Escondido and Vista. They spent over a decade in lower courts and in 1984 took a fruitless trip to the Supreme Court. Several years of negotiations went nowhere and a 1988 act of Congress intended to settle the matter instead caused more confusion. That led to another decade of negotiations, and then yet another act of Congress in 2016 to clear things up. Another several months passed while the paperwork was completed.

Big Improvement In Predicting Drought-Busting Atmospheric Rivers

Atmospheric rivers are vital to western water supplies, yet until very recently they were poorly understood: difficult to predict and measure, and very hard for scientists to estimate where they would make landfall. These are often erroneously called “pineapple express” storms, a term that applies to only a subset of atmospheric river events that originate near Hawaii. Most atmospheric river storms begin in the more distant tropical ocean and develop into a narrow band of strong winds that funnel huge quantities of moisture toward the West Coast of the United States.