Opinion: Climate Change Forces California to Make Long-Term Adjustments, Immediate Water Cuts

Internationally, the polar bear may be the climate-change canary in a coal mine.

Locally, it could be the avocado.

The fruit so identified with San Diego County agriculture has been on the decline for years. Severe weather, water availability and rising water prices — at least in part attributed to climate change — have reduced the yield of the crop and the revenue it generates.

Does the Bay Area Have Enough Water to Build Housing During the California Drought?

When Contra Costa County supervisors last summer signed off on 125 new homes slated for 30 acres of grazing land in the oak-dotted Tassajara Valley, they were warned water was going to be an issue.

Here’s What’s in Biden’s Infrastructure Proposal

Now that his massive coronavirus relief package is law, President Joe Biden is laying out his next big proposal: A roughly $2 trillion plan for improving the nation’s infrastructure and shifting to greener energy over the next 8 years. He is set to unveil the effort, dubbed the American Jobs Plan, on Wednesday at an event in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — the opening move in what’s expected to be a months-long negotiation with Congress.

A Housing Developer and a Powerful Water Utility, are Caught in a Fight: How much Water is There?

Five wells punch the scorching Nevada desert.

Water in this area is locked underneath the ground. It flows silently and invisibly as part of an aquifer stretching roughly 50,000 square-miles. Much of this water collected here thousands of years ago when lakes covered most of Nevada. Now wells are summoning it for human use. The problem is there’s not enough to go around.

At the center of this tension are the five wells.

A housing developer, Coyote Springs Investment, owns four wells, planted to one day pump water for a sprawling new community in the desert, filling the highway stretch about 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas. The remaining well belongs to the Southern Nevada Water Authority.

Major Real Estate Website Now Shows Flood Risk. Should They All?

Millions of people rely on real estate websites when they’re hoping to buy or rent a home. Major sites such as Zillow, Redfin, Trulia and feature kitchens, bathrooms, mortgage estimates and even school ratings. But those sites don’t show buyers whether the house is likely to flood while they’re living there. Now, has become the first site to disclose information about a home’s flood risk and how climate change could increase that risk in the coming decades, potentially signaling a major shift in consumers’ access to information about climate threats.

211 San Diego Offers Help With Food, Housing, Utility Bills and More During Pandemic

The answer to resolving many COVID-19 roadblocks faced by our community members can be found at 2-1-1 San Diego through its Community Information Exchange ecosystem.

Arizona Housing Growth Tees Up Opportunity For Water Investors

Central Arizona has been booming — more people, more houses, more need for water. There’s also a long-term drought, and less water to buy from the Central Arizona Project canal system . It’s leading Phoenix exurbs to cast about, looking for new buckets.

Water is Colorado’s Most Critical Resource. So Why isn’t it Central to Every Local Land-Use Decision?

In the early 1980s, the small city of Woodland Park started strategically planning how to protect its water supply for the future.

“Because we have all junior water rights and a limited water supply, we knew we must be very careful about how we grow,” said Sally Riley, planning director for Woodland Park, which is home to approximately 7,500 people in the mountains west of Colorado Springs. “We’ve pretty much mapped out exactly how our 6.5 square miles are going to grow.”

To ensure that they don’t develop beyond the limits of their water supply, Riley says the city has closely integrated its land-use decisions with local water conservation and efficiency goals that align with the Colorado Water Plan.

SANDAG Board OKs Formula For New Homebuilding

Elected officials from across San Diego County on Friday approved a new long-term home building plan that prioritizes areas rich with public transit and jobs.

Board members of the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) are responsible for determining where 171,000 new homes should be built in the county over the next decade. The process, known as the Regional Housing Needs Assessment, is meant to ensure cities are planning for enough new homes in places where they are needed the most.

SANDAG Housing Needs Methodology Questioned By County Leaders

At the July 26 San Diego Association of Governments board of directors meeting, city and county officials voted to advance the proposed draft methodology that it must send to the California Department of Housing and Community Development for approval. If approved, it could mean tens of thousands of additional housing units built in North County in the next decade. Called the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA), SANDAG’s version of it calls for the building for 171,685 new housing units during the 2021-2028 time period. Yet, not only do some board members see the number as high, some said they viewed the city-by-city allocation of housing requirements as flawed.