California and the West

Water news from California and the western United States.

California snowlines-Scripps Institution of Oceanography-study-Climate Change

California Snowlines On Track To Be 1,600 Feet Higher by Century’s End

This winter produced record snowfall in California, but a new study suggests the state should expect gradually declining snowpacks, even if punctuated with occasional epic snowfalls, in the future. An analysis by Tamara Shulgina, Alexander Gershunov, and other climate scientists at UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography suggest that in the face of unabated […]

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Snow Surveys Help Plan Snowmelt Runoff Forecasts

The California Department of Water Resources May 1 conducted the fifth snow survey of the season at Phillips Station. The manual survey recorded 59 inches of snow depth and a snow water equivalent of 30 inches, which is 241% of average for this location on May 1. The last time there was measurable snow at […]

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Record Snowpack Conditions in California, Parts of Southwest

After a three-year drought in California and throughout the Southwest, many states throughout the West are measuring record snowpack conditions at NRCS SNOTEL stations and snow courses. Utah especially has seen a benchmark year for snowfall levels throughout the state. Record snowpack In California, the statewide snowpack (April 5) was 243% of normal, with the […]

Sierra Nevada Snowpack: One of the Largest on Record

Following three consecutive years of drought in California, the Sierra Nevada snowpack is one of the most bountiful in more than 40 years. While the snowpack and snow water equivalent is great news for water supply, there are concerns the record snowpack could create flooding issues. The California Department of Water Resources electronic readings from […]

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NOAA Spring Outlook: California Drought Cut by Half with More Relief to Come

NOAA’s U.S. Spring Outlook indicates the abnormally wet winter will further improve drought across much of the western U.S. as the snowpack melts in the coming months. Winter precipitation, combined with recent storms, wiped out exceptional and extreme drought in California for the first time since 2020, and is expected to further improve drought conditions […]

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California’s Snowpack Shows Huge Gains from Recent Storms

The snow water equivalent of California’s snowpack is 190% of average for March 3, 2023. After three years of drought, the bountiful winter is good news, but a drier future demands more conservation and innovative solutions for water supply in the Southwestern U.S. The Department of Water Resources on March 3, conducted the third snow […]

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Water Authority Delivers Emergency Water Supply to Tijuana

Fast action by the San Diego County Water Authority and its partners is helping maintain water service in Tijuana after problems with the city’s aqueduct emerged in December. Emergency water deliveries started last week after a coordinated effort between the Water Authority, Otay Water District, and Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD). The typical […]

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Snow Survey: Good Start but Drought Relief Depends on Coming Months

The California Department of Water Resources first manual snow survey of the season Tuesday at Phillips Station recorded 55.5 inches of snow depth and a snow water equivalent of 17.5 inches, which is 177% of average for the location. The snow water equivalent measures the amount of water contained in the snowpack and is a […]

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Water News Network Top Stories of 2022

The Water News Network top stories of 2022 were drought-related and features about technology and college scholarships also engaged readers. Water News Network Top Stories of 2022 The #1 Water News Network Top Story of 2022 focused on scholarship opportunities for water industry education and the growing need for water and wastewater industry workers: Multiple […]

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PPIC Video: Surplus and Shortage — California’s Water Balancing Act

After three years of virtual events, the PPIC Water Policy Center’s annual fall conference made a welcome return to an in-person format in Sacramento on Friday, November 18. The half-day event began with a welcome from PPIC Water Policy Center assistant director Caity Peterson and a presentation by senior fellow Jeffrey Mount. This year was […]

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More Evidence that California Weather is Trending Toward Extremes

A team led by Kristen Guirguis, a climate researcher at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, found evidence that the risk of hazardous weather is increasing in the Southwest. The researchers investigated the daily relationships among four major modes of weather affecting California. How they interact governs the formation of weather events such […]

L to R: Governor Gavin Newsom; Clifford Chan, East Bay Municipal Utility District: Rick Cailender, Valley Water District; Joaquin Esquivel, State Water Resources Control Board; and Sandy Kerl, San Diego County Water Authority met on July 29 to discuss ways to maximize water supplies. Photo: San Diego County Water Authority water savings

Urban Water Suppliers Report Water Savings Progress Statewide

Following Governor Gavin Newsom’s recent executive order and a State Water Board emergency regulation, members of the California Urban Water Agencies, or CUWA, including the San Diego County Water Authority continue to advance water-saving efforts, yielding measurable results. These efforts come on the back of the driest first quarter in California’s history, which prompted the […]

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Few Strong Landfalling Atmospheric Rivers Reach California

Few landfalling atmospheric rivers in the current water year have reached California, now in the third year of a statewide drought. The latest update from the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes, Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, shows that Water Year 2022 started strong in October, but weaker storms did not […]

California drought-snowpack survey-DWR-snow survey

California Drought Now in Third Year

California officials have urged residents to prepare for a third year of drought and urged people to conserve water. “With only one month left in California’s wet season and no major storms in the forecast, Californians should plan for a third year of drought conditions,” said California Department of Water Resources Director Karla Nemeth. “A […]

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Atmospheric River Storm Observations Take Flight Over Pacific Ocean

Research on atmospheric rivers takes flight as UC San Diego’s Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes taps “Hurricane Hunter” aircraft for specialized scientific missions. The aircraft will fly for a 13-week period (that began January 5) to glean critical data for improving forecasts of atmospheric river storms over the Pacific Ocean. Those storms, or […]