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California WaterFix Start Dates Raise Red Flags

An application submitted by the Delta Conveyance Finance Authority (DCFA) seeking $1.6 billion in federal funding to support the California WaterFix project has raised some eyebrows.

The application indicates dates for the issuance of construction permits and the start of tunnel construction.

“They emphatically state that they’re going to have the permit in their hand on Dec. 14 and construction begins Dec. 15,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta. “So either the permit in front of the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) is a fait accompli or these guys are just straight out lying to the federal government and marching in with a lot of hubris.”

Arizona May Have To Cut Back On Water Use in 2020, Outlook Says

Arizona will avoid a water shortage next year, but water users may be forced to cut back in 2020, according to a new federal report released Wednesday.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s outlook comes as Arizona managers and stakeholders work to finalize a drought-contingency plan in time for the next legislative session. Overallocation, climate change and long-term drought have contributed to Lake Mead’s decline, where water levels hover just a few feet above shortage triggers.

State Water Board Won’t Vote Until Next Week on Controversial River Flow Plan

The State Water Board is making it clear that it won’t vote next week on a much-disputed proposal to require higher river flows for improving water quality in the Sacramento-San Joaquin river delta.

Felicia Marcus, who chairs the water board, said in a letter Wednesday to the California Natural Resources Agency that final action will be taken at a board meeting later.

OPINION: Unfinished Business On Water

In the latest Public Policy Institute of California poll, voters said drought, water supply, and water pollution are the state’s most pressing environmental challenge.

Californians recognize that water fuels our economy, grows our food, and sustains our natural places.

81-Degree Reading Likely Sets Record For Highest Temperature Ever Measured in California Waters

Two buoys off the coast of San Diego last week recorded what researchers believe could be the highest temperature ever measured in California waters.

A sea-surface temperature of 81.3 degrees was logged Thursday by both the Torrey Pines buoy (7.3 miles offshore) and the neighboring Scripps Nearshore buoy (.7 miles from the coast). The buoys are two of 25 managed by Scripps Institution of Oceanography in California.

Great Groundcovers To Consider as Lawn Substitutes

You may have decided to replace your thirsty traditional lawn in your new sustainable landscape. What options are available for  some kind of natural plant element rather than covering the same area with hardscaping?  

Consider replacing the lawn with a groundcover type plant. There are many good choices that make good lawn substitutes and grow well in San Diego’s six climate zones. Several of them fall into the very low or low Plant Factor categories, which means they require less water than the same amount of grass.  

Very Low Plant Factor choices include: 

  • Silver Carpet (Dymondia margaretae) 
  • Bluff California Lilac (Ceanothus maritimus)

Low Plant Factor choices include:  

Lawn Substitutes groundcovers

Bee’s bliss sage also attracts valuable pollinators.

  • Pink Yarrow (Achillea millefolium rosea) 
  • Gold Coin Plant (Asteriscus maritumus) 
  • Sundrops (Calylophus hartwegii)
    Carmel Mountain ceanothus 
  • Dwarf Mat Rush (Lomandra longfolia) 
  • Bee’s Bliss Sage (Salvia) 
  • Wooly Thyme (Thymus pseudolanguinosus) 
  • Blue Chalksticks (Senecio serpens) 

Moderate Plant Factor choices include: 

Beach Strawberry lawn substitutes

Beach Strawberry makes an attractive lawn substitute.

  • Creeping Manzanita ‘Carmel Sur’ (Arctostaphylos edmunsii) 
  • Beach Strawberry (Fragaria chiloensis) 
  • Pink yarrow, sages, and lilacs also support the lifecycle of butterflies, which are important pollinators.  

This article was inspired by the 71-page Sustainable Landscapes Program guidebook available at The Water Authority and its partners also offer other great resources for landscaping upgrades, including free WaterSmart classes at   

READ MORE: Inspiring Charge At The Water Conservation Garden