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Experience a Sustainable Demonstration Garden Self-Tour

Sustainable landscape demonstration gardens inspire homeowners to create and maintain their own beautiful, water-efficient landscapes. In California, where more than half of urban water usage goes towards landscape irrigation, any reduction in water consumption contributes to successful conservation efforts.

The San Diego County Water Authority and several member agencies host demonstration gardens that residents can visit and gather ideas for their own landscape makeovers and water-efficient upgrades. With gardens flourishing in late spring, it’s the perfect time for a self-guided garden tour.

Bill to Create Salton Sea Conservancy Moves Forward in State Legislature

Legislation introduced by Sen. Steve Padilla of San Diego to create the Salton Sea Conservancy moved forward this week with a unanimous vote in the state Senate.

Senate Bill 583 would create a new state agency to unify California’s efforts to expedite preservation, protect residents’ health, and foster ecological recovery of the shrinking sea.

“The environmental calamity at the Salton Sea is decades in the making,” said Padilla. “It is going to take unprecedented collaboration at all levels of governmental to adequately address this challenge.”

Legislation to Curb Water Use for Irrigation Clears California Assembly

A pair of California bills aimed at curbing water use for landscaping has cleared the California State Assembly.

On Wednesday, AB 1573, which requires the use of California native plants, and AB 1572, banning the use of potable water for irrigation on non-functional turf, passed onto the Senate.

Lake Hodges Reopens to San Diego Community After Yearlong Closure

The Lake Hodges dam is old — over 100 years old, in fact. It opened in 1918, so it has dealt with some wear and tear over the years, and recently needed critical repair work to keep it up and running.

Now, it has been reopened to the community.

“It opened yesterday and will remain open through October. We’re open for recreation Wednesday, Saturdays and Sundays, sunrise to sunset,” the San Diego Public Utilities Department’s Drew Kleis said on Friday.

Opinion: No Time to Waste for Government to Protect Drought-Stricken West

For decades, Western cities like Las Vegas and Tucson, Ariz., have embraced water conservation and recycling as a means of preparing for a multidecade drought like the one we’re experiencing. Despite our best efforts, our neighbors in Southern California, Northern Arizona and Utah have not always followed our lead. Cities like Phoenix, Los Angeles and St. George, Utah, have been allowed to grow at an explosive pace with little planning for where water would come from or how long the supply would last.

High-Tech Mapping of Central Valley’s Underground Blazes Path to Drought Resilience

A new underground mapping technology that reveals the best spots for storing surplus water in California’s Central Valley is providing a big boost to the state’s most groundwater-dependent communities.

The maps provided by the California Department of Water Resources for the first time pinpoint paleo valleys and similar prime underground storage zones traditionally found with some guesswork by drilling exploratory wells and other more time-consuming manual methods.

Dramatic Weather Swings Are Headed to California. Here’s What to Expect in June

The curling of the jet stream — an atmospheric stream of fast-moving air with speeds over 100 mph that travels thousands of miles — over the Pacific Ocean has triggered recent shifts in California’s spring weather patterns. Californians have seen leaps from snowmelt-inducing heat waves in the Sierra Nevada to marine layer clouds that stretch from the Bay Area to Sacramento.

Arizona Limits Construction Around Phoenix as Its Water Supply Dwindles

Arizona has determined that there is not enough groundwater for all of the housing construction that has already been approved in the Phoenix area, and will stop developers from building some new subdivisions, a sign of looming trouble in the West and other places where overuse, drought and climate change are straining water supplies.

Salton Sea Restoration Legislation Passes CA Senate Floor

The California State Senate passed Senate Bill 583, Wednesday, May 31, authored by Senator Steve Padilla (D-San Diego). The bill creates the Salton Sea Conservancy to unify the state’s efforts to expedite preservation project delivery, protect residents’ health, and foster ecological recovery in the area, according to a recent Padilla press release.

Morning Report: State Steps Into San Diego’s Water Divorce Debate

A bill in the state Assembly would make it harder for local water districts to leave their regional partnerships if they’re seeking cheaper water rates. That’s what two small, North County farming communities have been fighting to do for the last three years.