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Recent Northern California Storms Made a Dent in the Drought. But Will It Be Enough?

The parade of storms that blasted California over the past week marked a strong start to the rainy season. Some parts of the state, including Napa, Santa Rosa and Sacramento, received half the rain in 24 hours that they got in all of the past year.

But with California locked in one of its worst droughts in modern history, and some areas short two years’ worth of water, a lot more wet weather is needed to mend the state’s water woes.

Helix Water District Adds New Assistant General Manager Position

Helix Water District has added a new tier of management to help oversee its more than 277,000 East County customers.

The district’s five-person board last week approved the creation of an assistant general manager position, bringing the number of employees to 151 in the district, which has an $80 million budget.

District spokesperson Mike Uhrhammer said Helix created the new position as part of its succession plan following the anticipated retirement of current general manager Carlos Lugo.

Water News Network is Best Public Website for 4th Consecutive Year

The Water News Network was awarded first place as the Best Public Service or Consumer Advocacy Website in the 48th annual San Diego Press Club Excellence in Journalism Awards. It’s the fourth consecutive year the WNN website has won first place in that category. The award was announced during a virtual ceremony on October 25. Last year the California Public Information Officers Organization, or CAPIO, named the WNN the “Best Website” among California public agencies.

Opinion: The Southwest Must Fight for its Water and its Future

For over 30 years, I’ve been a climate scientist who has focused intensely on the causes and consequences of drought and climate change. I’ve done my research all over the planet, but my No. 1 focus has been on interactions of drought and climate change in the Southwest United States and on how drought and climate change are impacting the Colorado River. Seven states in the U.S. and Mexico depend on the Colorado River for water, yet I worry most about one state: Arizona.

The West Needs a Lot of Snow to Escape Drought. This Year, That’s Unlikely

When you’ve been coming to the same place for decades, it’s easy to notice changes. On this ranch near Steamboat Springs, Colorado, the tell-tale signs of drought are everywhere. Todd Hagenbuch stands beside a silent, dusty creek bed, where golden grasses and scrub are beginning to reclaim the thin channel.

Marin Municipal Water District Tightens Usage Restrictions

Most Marin County residents will be prohibited from turning on their sprinklers and drip irrigation systems under new drought restrictions starting in December.

The Marin Municipal Water District board voted unanimously Tuesday to adopt an ordinance that bans residents from using outdoor irrigation systems including overhead sprinklers and drip irrigation from Dec. 1 through May 31. Hand spot watering using a hose and spray nozzle or a watering can is still allowed.

From Sky to Bedrock, Researchers Near Crested Butte Are Resetting What We Know About Water in the West

Eight white shipping containers, instruments spouting from the tops of some and a generator humming away in another, sit in the East River valley, on the outskirts of this mountain town, pulling data out of the air.

The containers, a “mobile atmospheric observatory,” will gather bits of information over the next two years about the winds and clouds and rain and snow and heat and cold above the silvery and serpentine waterway as it slides past the gray granite dome of Gothic Mountain on its way to the Colorado River.

California May Soon Impose New Water Restrictions. Here’s What That Means in San Diego.

San Diegans could be forgiven for not knowing how seriously to take California’s current drought.

Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a statewide emergency last week, reiterating a desire that urban water users from San Diego to Sacramento voluntarily cut consumption by 15 percent. That would bring water use back down to roughly where it was in 2016, after then-Gov. Jerry Brown issued the state’s first-ever mandatory drought restrictions.

Drought-Stricken California Pounded by Massive Storm

A massive storm barreled toward Southern California on Monday after flooding highways, toppling trees, cutting power and causing rock slides and mud flows in areas burned bare by wildfires across the northern half of the state.

Drenching rains and strong winds accompanied the weekend arrival of an atmospheric river — a long plume of Pacific moisture — into the drought-stricken state.

Rainfall records were shattered and heavy snow pounded high elevations of the Sierra Nevada. The National Weather Service issued numerous flash flood warnings.

Opinion: It’s Time to Get Serious About Water Crisis

Talk about timing.

Last Tuesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom extended and expanded his declaration of a drought emergency, just as the first in a series of storms rolled in from the Pacific to give California a much-needed respite.

Of course, it was just coincidence, one that reminds us of the fickle nature of the state’s water supply, dependent as it is on a few wet months each year. We’ll need an old-fashioned wet winter, with soaking rains and heavy snowfalls, to truly get some relief.