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Washington Snowpack Low, Similar to 2015 Drought Year

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — Washington’s snowpack is less than a year ago and officials say it’s similar to the start of 2015, the state’s last big drought.

The Capital Press reports the statewide snowpack is 47% of normal. It was 46% of normal at this time five years ago.

“It’s very reminiscent of 2015, but this year we are way behind on mountain precipitation,” said Scott Pattee, state water supply specialist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Mount Vernon, Washington. “It’s worrisome. It’s the third slowest start in snow accumulation statewide since the 1990s and we had one of the driest Novembers on record.”

New Federal Guidelines for Diverting California Water to Take Effect Soon

The war over California’s water between Governor Gavin Newsom and the Trump administration is at a crossroads, with new federal guidelines loosening the restrictions on water pumping set to take effect soon. The new guidelines call for diverting more water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to agribusiness and urban areas further south. Barbara Barrigan-Parilla with the group Restore the Delta, says despite Newsom indicating he was going to sue over the new federal guidelines, that hasn’t happened yet.

Who Should Pay For Water Conservation in the West? Water Managers Wade Into Discussion

Water managers from throughout the Colorado River Basin took the stage at the Colorado River Water Users Association conference earlier this month to talk about conserving water in the face of the twin threats to the river: increasing demand and climate change.

Student Artists Featured in 2020 ‘Water Is Life’ Calendar

Five talented San Diego County student artists from four elementary schools were among 36 Southern California students whose artwork will appear in the 2020 “Water Is Life” calendar.

The five artists represent regional water agencies including Helix Water District, Otay Water District, Padre Dam MWD, and Sweetwater Authority.

San Diego International Airport Collects Over Two Million Gallons of Stormwater

In its first year of operation, an innovative stormwater capture and re-use system at San Diego International Airport has collected more than two million gallons.

The airport collects rain that falls on the roof of the Terminal 2 Parking Plaza, diverting it from becoming runoff that can pollute San Diego Bay. This water is fed into the airport’s central plant, where it is used in place of potable water to help heat and cool the terminals.

California Water Cutbacks Could Take Large Area of Farmland Out of Production

The state of California is gearing up to regulate its groundwater. By some estimates, water cutbacks could result in half a million acres of farmland taken out of production.

Los Angeles May Store Water Under an Owens Valley Lake Drained to Fill its Faucets

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has launched studies of ambitious plans to store water in the lake’s underground aquifer so that it could be pumped up in summer months and drought years to create pools of water to limit the dust sweeping across the vast lakebed’s salt flats.