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Is California Heading for a Multi-Year Drought? The Odds Aren’t in Our Favor, Experts Say

With no rain in the forecast for the rest of 2020 — thanks to a La Niña weather pattern pushing storms north of the state — the probability of California entering a multi-year drought is increasing.

Anxiety Grows Over Scope of Infrastructure Package

Concerns are growing over the fate of a sprawling water infrastructure package, even as staffers in both chambers insist negotiations are fruitful and moving forward.

Santa Ana Winds Expected in San Diego County Mountains, Valleys this Week

Santa Ana winds will return amid dry conditions this week, significantly raising the risk of wildfires in the San Diego County mountains and western valleys, according to the National Weather Service.

Moderate strength winds were expected Tuesday in the mountains, forecasters said. Winds out of the east were expected to be around 15 mph, with gusts potentially reaching 30 mph Tuesday afternoon.

If Aridification Choked the Southwest for Thousands of Years, What Does The Future Hold?

The ancient people of Danger Cave lived well. They ate freshwater fish, ducks and other small game, according to detritus they left behind. They had a lush lakeside view, with cattails, bulrush and water-loving willows adorning the marshlands.

But then, the good life became history. As heat and drought set in, the freshwater dried up and forced the ancients to survive by plucking tiny seeds from desert shrubs called pickleweed. Archaeologists know this from a thick layer of dusty chaff buried in the cave’s floor.

Colorado River Indian Tribes Want to Lease Water for Non-Tribal Use

The Colorado River Indian Tribes on the western edge of Arizona have the largest share of first-priority Colorado River water rights in the state. Now, the tribal council is proposing to lease some of its water for non-tribal use. Colorado River Indian Tribes chairman Dennis Patch thinks tribal water can be a valuable tool in Arizona drought mitigation.

San Diego Coastal Marshes May Become Important Tools to Battle Climate Change

Matthew Costa stepped gingerly into a little pocket wetland near the Del Mar Fairgrounds. The squishy salt marsh is more than just a patch of habitat in the intertidal zone. “Just watch out,” said Costa, a postdoctoral researcher at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, as he warned a helper. “Watch out for birds.” Endangered ridgeway rails like hiding in the pickleweed that covers the soft, moist ground nestled between train tracks and a busy Del Mar street.

Unions, Renova Energy, Family Money Try to Influence IID Board Election Via Campaign Cash

Changes are coming to the powerful Imperial Irrigation District.

The dust is still settling on the 2020 election, with some votes still to be counted, but after one incumbent on the board of directors fell in the primary, a second is losing in the general. The board likely will see two new directors seated, reshaping the direction of an agency that delivers both water and electricity to a wide swathe of Southern California.

In California, Rethinking Who ‘Owns’ Wildfire

A record-breaking season of fire across the West has shown the limits of the century-old strategy of suppression. Many agree the need now is for better land management – built around values of collaboration and shared responsibility.

What a Strengthening La Niña Tells Us About SoCal’s Winter Weather Outlook

Winter is usually the wettest season in Southern California, but due to a strengthening La Niña pattern in the Pacific, this winter is looking warmer and drier than normal. La Niña and El Niño are opposite phases of what’s known as the El Nino-Southern Oscillation cycle. La Niña is the cold phase and develops due to below average temperatures in the equatorial Pacific.

Colorado River Runoff Plunges, Raising Shortage Concerns

Record and near-record low flows on the Upper Colorado River this summer and fall have dramatically and abruptly worsened the outlook for the entire river and the Central Arizona Project over the next two years. Low flows into Lake Powell led federal officials to sharply reduce their forecasts for how high Lake Mead will be next year. That has ratcheted up the odds that the first major shortage in CAP deliveries will occur in 2022, cutting off some supplies to Central Arizona farmers.