California and the U.S.

The latest news and analysis covering water issues in Caliornia and the rest of the United States.

California May Break the Record for the Amount of Water in Its Snowpack

Since the beginning of 2023, California has seen a record-setting amount of snow across the state, especially in the Sierra Nevada, setting up the state to close in on the records for the highest snow water equivalent, which was reached just over a decade ago. Snow water equivalent is the amount of water that would […]

Opinion: Why California Will Still Have a Water Shortage No Matter How Much It Rains This Year

During a winter of blizzards, floods and drought-ending downpours, it’s easy to forget that California suffers from chronic water scarcity — the long-term decline of the state’s total available fresh water. This rainy season’s inundation isn’t going to change that. How is this possible, given the unrelenting series of atmospheric river systems that have dumped near-record snowfall over […]

At Its Lowest Point in History, Lake Powell Sees First Growth in Months

Nearly 50 years after being filled, Lake Powell recently reached its lowest point. Since then, the lake’s seasonal uptrend in water levels has begun. Lake Powell hit a new low of 3520.46 feet on March 13, data from the Bureau of Reclamation shows. However, the following eight days all saw more water flow into the lake than […]

What Will the U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision on a Navajo Nation Water Rights Case Mean for Other Tribes?

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Monday on a case that focuses on water access for the Navajo Nation but could impact battles for the resource across the West. For 20 years, the Navajo Nation’s fight for water has been circulating through lower courts. The foundation of the case reaches back more than 150 years, […]

Alameda County Water District Drops Drought Surcharge After Wet Winter

The Alameda County Water District announced Wednesday that surcharges prompted by years of drought will be dropped in April, following one of the wettest winters on record. At a special meeting held Tuesday, the agency’s Board of Directors voted unanimously to end the surcharges, which were put in place after a water shortage emergency was […]

Opinion: Western Water Crisis Solutions Inevitably End With a Lot Less for California Farms

A modest proposal for western water: Turn off the spigot to the Imperial Valley and let the farms go fallow. In return, provide a water future for Arizona, Nevada and Southern California. Sure, there would be a price to pay. California’s Imperial Valley, which sits in the southeastern corner of the state, bordered by Arizona […]