Governor Gavin Newsom signed a new law on Wednesday to make it cheaper for Californians to replace their traditional grass lawns with more sustainable, drought-resistant plants. The focus behind this new law is to help Californians save water, and a big way they can do that is by opting for these more sustainable plants and landscaping.
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With California’s water supply shrinking and the drought dragging on, Bay Area water agencies are getting serious about persuading their customers to use water responsibly.
NASA satellite photos show how drastically the water levels in Lake Powell and Lake Mead have receded in just the past few years. They demonstrate the severity of long-term drought and the challenges Arizona will face to conserve and enhance its precious water supply. Susanna Eden is the research program manager for the Water Resources Research Center at the University of Arizona.
If you want to cross the Rillito River in Tucson, Arizona, anytime between October and July, you probably won’t need a boat, a bridge, waders or even waterproof shoes. During most of the year, the river is an arroyo, a curvy strip of dry sand that holds no more than the memory of water: braided serpentine patterns in the sand, erosion-smoothed stones, debris wrapped around the trunks of the few hardy deciduous trees.
Amid a third painfully dry year, the Bay Area’s biggest water retailer began releasing the names of customers using “excessive” amounts of water this week, a practice that may soon tee up hundreds of households for humiliation and shame.
California is most likely heading into a fourth consecutive year of drought.
The state’s water year ends tomorrow, which has prompted predictions about what’s in store for the next 12 months. (California’s water year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, so that the winter rainy season falls within a single water year.)
As California’s 2022 water year ends this week, the parched state is bracing for another dry year — its fourth in a row.
So far, in California’s recorded history, six previous droughts have lasted four or more years, two of them in the past 35 years.
Despite some rain in September, weather watchers expect a hot and dry fall, and warn that this winter could bring warm temperatures and below-average precipitation.
A renewable energy plant being commissioned in Oregon on Wednesday that combines solar power, wind power and massive batteries to store the energy generated there is the first utility-scale plant of its kind in North America.
The project, which will generate enough electricity to power a small city at maximum output, addresses a key challenge facing the utility industry as the U.S. transitions away from fossil fuels and increasingly turns to solar and wind farms for power. Wind and solar are clean sources of power, but utilities have been forced to fill in gaps when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining with fossil fuels like coal or natural gas.
Last month, California Natural Resources Agency Secretary Wade Crowfoot warned Bay Area residents to brace for a fourth dry year in a row. As the state’s drought continues to compromise the drinking water supply of millions of people across the state, for some Californians, scarcity isn’t the only reason they can’t access water.
For California’s low-income communities, the cost of potable water is increasingly out of reach.
California’s largest reservoir, Shasta Lake, is located 175 miles north of Sacramento. But what happens there impacts farming throughout the entire Central Valley.
Shasta Lake is capable of holding 4,552,100 acre-feet of water, which is almost five times the capacity of Folsom Lake. When full, Shasta boasts 365 miles of scenic shoreline. But for those visiting the lake in recent months, it is impossible to ignore how that shoreline is shrinking. The water is about 150 feet below the ideal surface level.
“We’re coming out of the three driest years on record,” explained Don Bader, area manager for the Bureau of Reclamation. “So that’s a huge hit to our storage, as you can see.”