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How Severe Is Sacramento’s Drought? This Interactive Map Shows the Outlook Is Bleak

It is unlikely the Sacramento area will receive a substantial amount of rain anytime soon, according to the National Weather Service.

Forecasts for this weekend show temperatures climbing above the average for this time of year which is around 94 degrees, weather service spokesman Craig Shoemaker said.

And it’s expected to remain dry in the area for awhile.

 

Desalination Can Now Be Owned and Operated by Private Entities in Monterey County

With an extreme drought tightening its grip, drawing concerns about the future of water in Monterey County and throughout California, the county’s Board of Supervisors overturned a 33-year-old law to allow the private ownership and operation of desalination facilities within the county.

Previously, desalination facilities were limited to public ownership, a rule that was criticized as more of a political decision than anything else.

As Drought Hammers Mono Lake, Thirsty Los Angeles Must Look Elsewhere for Water

With a third year of drought shrinking the creeks that cascade down the eastern Sierra Nevada, the level of Mono Lake has fallen so low it has triggered a 72% reduction in the amount of water Los Angeles can divert from area streams this year.

On April 1, Mono Lake’s level measured just under 6,380 feet above sea level — about 1 inch below a threshold set in the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s licenses for diverting alpine runoff from streams that feed the lake east of Yosemite National Park.

California Could Shrink Water Use in Cities by 30% or More, Study Finds

Green lawns, old appliances and leaky pipes all consume significant amounts of California’s water, and researchers have calculated in a new study that the state could reduce water use by more than 30% in cities and suburbs by investing in measures to use water more efficiently.

The study by the Pacific Institute, a water think tank in Oakland, also found big untapped potential for urban areas to reduce strains on overused rivers and aquifers by investing in local projects to recycle more wastewater and capture more stormwater.

Can California’s Agriculture Survive Extreme Drought? Should It?

California is in its third year of extreme drought. Given that, is it time to rethink California’s role as the breadbasket of the country? Agriculture brought in $49.1 billion to the state, nearly half of which was money made from exporting crops. But agriculture also uses 80% of the state’s water. Last year the industry lost 87,000 jobs, and crop land totaling an area bigger than Los Angeles went unplanted.

Californians Urged to Save Water as State Faces Dismal Snowpack in Sierra Nevada

California is going into spring with a minuscule amount of snow in the Sierra Nevada, leaving the state in a third year of extreme drought and with depleted reservoirs to draw on during what’s likely to be another hot, parched summer.

The mountain snowpack, as measured by snow sensors across the Sierras, now stands at just 38% of the long-term average.

Colorado Hits a “Hard Pause” on Water Demand Management as It Waits for Other States to Catch Up

Colorado is taking a “hard pause” on investigating the viability of demand management, a program that would allow the state to pay water users to temporarily and voluntarily conserve water and store what’s saved in Lake Powell for future use.

“No more energy spent on this right now,” Colorado Water Conservation Board chair Jaclyn Brown said this week. “Until the facts change; until someone brings us new information.”

People Haven’t Just Made the Planet Hotter. We’ve Changed the Way It Rains.

You probably noticed a lot of weird weather in 2021.

From record-breaking deluges and tropical storms to drought-stricken landscapes that erupted in wildfire, the nation seemed to lurch from one weather-related disaster to the next.

You’re forgiven if you dismiss these events as unrelated, albeit unfortunate, phenomena. But they actually share a common bond – they’re all part of a new climate reality where supersized rainfalls and lengthening droughts have become the norm.

Scientists See a La Niña Coming. What Does That Mean for the Dry American Southwest?

The wet winter the American south-west has hoped for as it battles extreme drought and heat is increasingly unlikely to materialize as scientists now predict that a phenomenon known as La Niña will develop for the second year in a row.

The weather system could intensify the worst effects of the drought that much of the region already finds itself in, including higher wildfire risks and water shortages through 2022.

Photos: Drone Views of EBMUD Reservoirs as California Faces Extreme Drought

After a very dry winter and spring, all of California is now in some level of drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. One year ago, just 58 percent of California was in drought.

In the East Bay, the East Bay Municipal Utility District’s reservoirs total system capacity is currently at 61% full, which is 73% of average. The district is in decent shape for now, but is encouraging its customers to conserve water as much as possible. The Upper San Leandro Reservoir (63% full) and the Briones (93% full) and San Pablo Reservoirs (55% full) are fed from the Pardee Reservoir (87% full) in Calaveras County, which provides 90% of EBMUD water. From Pardee, the water travels 95 miles through the Mokelumne Aqueduct to the East Bay, where it’s treated and stored until needed, serving 35 municipalities and 1.4 million customers.