California and the West

Water news from California and the western United States.

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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 […]

Atmospheric Rivers-atmospheric river-Scripps Institution of Oceanography-drought-weather-aircraft

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 […]

Snow Pack Measurement Reveals We’re Far From Drought Recovery, According to CDWR

The California Department of Water Resources conducted the first Phillips Station snow survey of the season on Thursday, Dec 30 after the basin received over 200 inches of snow, and will potentially see more in the coming week.

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Atmospheric Rivers Left California Mostly Dry in Water Year 2021

The Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes, or CW3E, at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, released its report October 11 on atmospheric rivers during Water Year 2021. The report, “Distribution of Landfalling Atmospheric Rivers over the U.S. West Coast During Water Year 2021: End of Water Year Summary” shows that more atmospheric rivers landed on […]

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Agriculture Tops $1.8 Billion in New SD County Crop Report

Agriculture values topped $1.8 billion for the first time since 2014 and just the third time in 30 years in the County of San Diego’s annual Crop Report that covers the 2020 growing season, overcoming decreases in many crop values and reported mixed effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The total value of all agriculture crops and commodities […]

San Diego County's Climate Future-Atmospheric Rivers-Water Supply

San Diego County’s Climate Future

Climate change and drought will impact San Diego County’s climate future, but regional water supply planning and adaptation measures will ensure a safe, reliable supply for the region. Water supply strategy was one of the key points participants learned about during a Monday panel discussion, “San Diego County’s Climate Future,” hosted online by the San […]

Phillips Station-Mountain Snowpack-Climate Change-DWR Snow Survey

New Study Identifies Mountain Snowpack Most “At-Risk” from Climate Change

As the planet warms, scientists expect that mountain snowpack should melt progressively earlier in the year. However, observations in the U.S. show that as temperatures have risen, snowpack melt is relatively unaffected in some regions while others can experience snowpack melt a month earlier in the year. This discrepancy in the timing of snowpack disappearance—the […]

Atmospheric Rivers-CW3E-Scripps-Rain

Landfalling Atmospheric Rivers Increase in First Quarter of Water Year 2021 Over 2020

A Scripps Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes report shows that more atmospheric rivers have made landfall over the U.S. West Coast in the first four months of Water Year 2021 compared to the previous period in 2020. The four months of Water Year 2021 experienced a total of 35 landfalling ARs over the […]

Precipitation-Snowpack Survey-Sierra Nevada-DWR

Precipitation Below Average in California

Precipitation is below average in California for the current water year. Despite recent storms that increased the statewide Sierra Nevada snowpack to 70% of average to date, the state is experiencing its second consecutive below average year for rain and snow. The water year starts on October 1 and ends September 30. The Department of […]

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Public Workshop on California Water Conveyance Projects

The California Water Commission is holding public workshops as part of its efforts to assess a potential state role in financing conveyance projects that could help meet needs in a changing climate. A workshop in Southern California is scheduled for December 10 on Zoom. The Commission’s goal with the workshops is to hear from diverse […]

Agriculture-Imperial Valley-Face Masks-coronavirus

Imperial County Agencies Deliver 500,000 Face Masks to Agriculture Workers

The Imperial County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office has taken the lead in distributing more than 500,000 face masks to all sectors of the agriculture industry in the Imperial Valley. “This was a positive result of the state understanding our need,” said Imperial County Agricultural Commissioner Carlos Ortiz. “They heard us.” Agriculture is one of the essential […]

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San Diego Regional Water Agencies Help Fight Hunger During Pandemic

An effort to bolster food bank supplies and fight hunger in San Diego County is getting a helping hand from the region’s public water agencies. The San Diego County Water Authority and its member agencies are supporting a virtual food drive in partnership with the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank. The campaign allows donors to select and purchase items such as canned meats, […]

Southern California Edison Wants its New, Huge 770 MW Battery Storage Procurement Online Fast

Southern California Edison signed seven contracts for a total of 770 megawatts of lithium-ion battery-based energy storage — to enhance the regional grid’s reliability and replace four large coastal once-through cooling plants. It’s one of the nation’s largest energy storage procurements and an indication of utility acceptance of massive-scale battery storage. Late last year, the California Public […]

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Water Supply Diversification Overcomes Dry Winter

No ‘March Miracle’ for snow and rain in California, but the San Diego County Water Authority has diversified water supply sources to weather the boom-and-bust cycle of California winters. March brought abundant precipitation throughout California, but not enough to offset a dry February. Most large urban water agencies in the state maintain a reliable water […]