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OPINION: Water The West: Changes To Our Water Usage

Gov. Brown declared the five-year drought ended in 2017. However, water conservation never stopped being important. Hotter weather for longer periods and less precipitation have created conditions calling for unprecedented lifestyle changes. Water levels are dropping above-ground and underground, and rain and snow pack are diminishing in frequency and depth. As temperatures increase, the elevations of snow pack increase. Mountains get smaller at the pinnacle, so there is less surface area for snow pack. Higher temperatures mean less snow and, theoretically, more rain, but has received little of either in recent years.

The Valley Floor Is Sinking, And It’s Crippling California’s Ability To Deliver Water

Completed during Harry Truman’s presidency, the Friant-Kern Canal has been a workhorse in California’s elaborate man-made water-delivery network. It’s a low-tech concrete marvel that operates purely on gravity, capable of efficiently piping billions of gallons of water to cities and farms on a 152-mile journey along the east side of the fertile San Joaquin Valley. Until now. The Friant-Kern has been crippled by a phenomenon known as subsidence. The canal is sinking as the Valley floor beneath it slowly caves in, brought down by years of groundwater extraction by the region’s farmers.

How Communities Are Turning Stormwater From A Liability To An Asset

 Stormwater used to be viewed as a liability – it was shuttled into storm drains as fast as possible to prevent flooding – and then dumped into the ocean, rivers or streams. But increasingly, stormwater is now being viewed as an asset – a way to help augment water supplies and adapt to a changing climate. A new report on stormwater capture issued by the Pacific Institute – the Oakland, California-based water think tank – looks at regulatory and funding challenges as well as creative solutions and collaborations.

Water Agencies Increase Incentives To Replace Turf

Residents in San Diego County now can receive $2.75 per square foot for replacing turf with sustainable landscaping features as part of a new Landscape Transformation Program launched this week across Southern California. The new program includes a partnership by the San Diego County Water Authority and the Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to boost the per-square-foot incentive amount available in the water authority’s service area and streamline the application process.

OPINION: Why Understanding Oceans Is Vital To Economy, Security

Meteorologists and oceanographers still love to talk about the 2015-16 El Niño that wasn’t. It was the weather event that was meant to deliver California from the horrible drought that had afflicted the state for four years. Emergency officials braced for widespread flooding usually associated with El Niño as Eastern Pacific Ocean temperatures jumped nearly 4 degrees Fahrenheit in the months leading up to that winter, just as they had during the great El Niños of the past. It was supposed to be, as one researcher predicted, the “Godzilla” El Niño.

Water Authority Offers Homeowners $2.75 A Foot To Replace Grass Lawns

San Diego County homeowners can receive $2.75 per square foot to replace their water-wasting turf lawns with sustainable landscaping under a new program in Southern California. The new Landscape Transformation Program was announced this week by both the San Diego County Water Authority and the Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Water District. “Over the past few years, the water authority has helped foster sustainable landscaping through financial incentives, a demonstration garden, hands-on classes and publication of a detailed guidebook,” said Mark Muir, chair of the water authority’s board.