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New Salton Sea Documentary Wades Into the Slow-Moving Environmental Disaster

It’s been nearly two decades since a controversial deal transferred huge amounts of Colorado River water out of the Imperial Valley and away from the Salton Sea, but still no long-term solution has been found to cover thousands of acres of toxic dust exposed at California’s largest lake.

In-Depth: Why La Niña Could Make Wildfire Season Worse

The National Weather Service says that conditions are in place for a La Niña weather pattern in the fall and winter of 2020-21. That could bring warmer, drier than usual weather to San Diego over the next few months.

By definition, La Niña happens when the water along the equator is colder than usual. That pushes the jet stream farther north and directs storms away from the Pacific Southwest region of the United States.

New COVID-19 Funding Now Available for San Diego County Farmers

Growers of some of San Diego County’s most lucrative crops — flowers, nursery plants and exotic fruits — can now get federal cash to cover some coronavirus-related losses. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s initial relief program left out these small farmers who contribute significantly to the county’s nearly $1.8 billion agricultural economy.

The department expanded the program to include more specialty crops in August and announced last week it would make an additional $14 billion available to farmers through mid-December. Growers could begin applying for the relief this week.

Hannah Gbeh, executive director of the San Diego County Farm Bureau, called the federal aid “the lifeline our producers need to help weather the economic challenges that came along with the pandemic.”

New Atmospheric River Scale Aims to Measure Damage Potential of Incoming Rain Storms

Hurricanes have the Saffir-Simpson Scale (Category 5), tornadoes have the Enhanced Fujita Scale (EF-3) but now the West Coast has a storm scale of our own with a recent introduction of a new rating system for atmospheric rivers — the causes of a vast majority of our annual autumn and winter flooding damage.

Fall in Southern California Begins the Race Between Rains and Santa Ana Winds

The autumn equinox was at 6:30 a.m. PDT on Tuesday, meaning there are nearly equal periods of daylight and darkness. From now until the winter solstice in December, days will gradually get shorter and nights will get longer in the Northern Hemisphere.

Opinion: One Water District is Trying to Make Sure Agriculture Cleans Up Its Own Mess

A Central California water board is poised to do something rare in American agriculture: It is trying to establish enforcement mechanisms — not just toothless regulations — to limit the use of farm fertilizers that contribute to dangerous levels of groundwater pollution. If the effort is successful, within a few decades it will have reversed or at least stopped adding to the pollution of groundwater beneath the Salinas and Santa Maria valleys.

Del Mar to Develop New Water Rate Structure

Del Mar will begin the process of developing a new rate structure for its Clean Water Program.

The process of implementing a rate increase is expected to unfold over the next year, and will include a vote by Del Mar property owners.

Torched Towns Beset by Poisoned Water

After a wildfire ripped through central California last month, residents in the Riverside Grove neighborhood in the Santa Cruz Mountains discovered another danger: contaminated water coursing through their pipes.

Benzene, a chemical tied to cancer, leukemia and anemia, was detected in the town’s drinking water after 7 miles of plastic water piping was torched in the CZU Lightning Complex Fire south of San Francisco. Plastic pipes are used for their flexibility in earthquake-prone California. Today, about 450 homes there remain under a “do not drink” advisory.