OPINION: Beware: LA County’s $300 Million Rain Tax Is A Blank Check!

Even though the County does not have a well-developed stormwater or management plan, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to place on the November ballot a $300 million parcel tax to fund the County’s efforts to prevent stormwater and urban runoff from polluting the LA River, the Santa Monica Bay, and our beaches (the “Rain Tax”). The County is also claiming that its Safe, Clean Water Program will result in “mutual benefits,” including the exaggerated claim that it will capture of significant volumes of stormwater that will eventually be recycled into the local supply of drinking water.

BLOG: How Wildfires Affect California’s Water Supply

Summer marks the traditional beginning of California’s fire season, although the warming climate has stretched the season considerably. Until the winter rains arrive, wildfires will burn forests and grasslands throughout the state. Since January 1, about 3,700 fires have consumed more than 111,000 acres of land—outpacing 2017, the most destructive and deadly fire season in state history. While public safety and economic costs deserve and receive a great deal of attention, wildfires also have consequences for the management of water—including the amount and quality of supply, and the potential for flooding.

Environment Report: ‘The Water Department Has Lost The Public’s Trust’

Three audits of the city of San Diego’s water department are expected to be released in coming days. Already, though, some members of the City Council are pushing for changes at the department, including the possible removal of top officials who struggled to send out accurate water bills and withheld information from the public and the press. Councilman David Alvarez said he no longer has confidence in the department’s leadership, following an investigation by Voice of San Diego and NBC 7 Responds that showed the head of the department tried to dodge oversight.

Agency Aims To Tackle Groundwater Supply Problems

A diverse group of public officials, agency representatives and citizens are working to tackle one of the most pressing issues dogging the region — the continued depletion of groundwater reserves. “There’s not a lot of water available for recharge and there’s not going to be one project that is going to get us to the finish line,” said Darcy Pruitt of the Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Agency, a group mandated by state law to develop a sustainability plan for local aquifers. “It’s and, not or.”

Monitoring Agricultural Water Use Remains Challenging Despite New Oversight Rules

A new program in California aimed at tracking agricultural water consumption is off to a bumpy start, highlighting the challenges of monitoring an industry that has historically enjoyed limited oversight. Agriculture is the biggest consumer of water in the West, with many states using more than 70 percent of developed freshwater supplies for agriculture. So you would think state governments watch water consumption on farms carefully to look for conservation opportunities. In fact, some do not.

The Great Era Of California Dam Building May Be Over. Here’s What’s Next

For a century, California has harnessed its water with concrete, building dams and reservoirs on an epic scale. Now, as the state prepares to hand out $2.7 billion for new water storage projects, it looks as though that era of dam-building might be ending. During the height of the California’s 5-year drought, state voters approved new funding for water storage as part of Proposition 1. This week, the California Water Commission will allocate those funds to the eight projects that have qualified after a lengthy analysis.

California Farms’ Water Use Still Unclear, Despite New Reporting Rules

A new program in California aimed at tracking agricultural water consumption is off to a bumpy start, highlighting the challenges of monitoring an industry that has historically enjoyed limited oversight. Agriculture is the biggest consumer of water in the West, with many states using more than 70 percent of developed freshwater supplies for agriculture. So you would think state governments watch water consumption on farms carefully to look for conservation opportunities. In fact, some do not.

$1 Billion Coming To Bay Area For Two New Dams

During California’s recent five-year drought, it was common to hear people asking why the state doesn’t build more dams. On Tuesday, flush with cash from voters, the administration of Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to finally do just that, committing nearly $1 billion to build two huge dam projects in the Bay Area, and another $1.5 billion for six more big water projects from the Sacramento Valley to Bakersfield. The California Water Commission, whose eight members are appointed by the governor, will likely vote to fund $2.5 billion overall for the eight projects — four new dams and four groundwater storage proposals.

Desert Residents Have Been Saving A Lot Of Water. Farms And Golf Courses, Not So Much

Every day, millions of gallons of water flow through pipes across the Coachella Valley and pour out to nourish lawns, artificial lakes, farmlands and a total of 121 golf courses. This lush oasis in the desert owes its existence to groundwater pumped from the aquifer and an imported supply of water from the Colorado River. And during the past decade, public records show the area has made progress in using less water overall and in combating the long-term problem of groundwater overdraft.

Flex Alert To Go Into Effect Tuesday As Scorching Heat Wave Brings Record-Breaking Temps To SoCal

A heat wave that is expected to bring triple-digit temperatures to parts of the southland has prompted state officials to issue a flex alert ahead of the hot weather. Wednesday is expected to be the hottest day of the week, according to the National Weather Service. Coastal areas could see temperatures between 85 to 92, while inland areas could reach 92 to 100. Triple digits to 110 are forecasted in local valleys and deserts, according to the weather service.