Opinion: California’s Water Usage was Built on a Historic Lie. The Cost is Now Apparent

It’s human nature to mark big-number anniversaries, but there’s a centennial looming just ahead that Californians — and other Westerners — might not want to celebrate.

It’s the 100th anniversary of the Colorado River Compact, a seven-state agreement that was signed Nov. 24, 1922.

Temporary Watering Ban Lifted in Los Angeles County as Pipeline Repair Completed Early

Southern California water officials on Monday lifted a temporary ban on outdoor watering in portions of Los Angeles County after completing emergency repairs on a critical pipeline two days early.

The 36-mile Upper Feeder pipeline, operated by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, is a major conduit for supplying water to the region from the Colorado River. Officials shut it down Sept. 6 so they could address a leak, and called on nearly 4 million residents to halt all outdoor irrigation — including sprinkling and hand watering — for 15 days while they did the work.

California’s Drought Touches Everyone, But Water Restrictions Play Out Unevenly Across Communities

Raúl Monterroso of San Fernando knows that he can do little to help the struggling garden patio in front of his house. After all, he takes the new water restrictions seriously.

“Here, everything is dry, we have the entire irrigation system closed, my poor wife is crying over her plants,” said the Guatemala native, who stopped watering the grass on June 1 when instructions to cut outdoor watering to once a week were issued.

They Wanted Their Drought-Tolerant Yard to Spark Conversations. But Not on Nextdoor

Susan and Steve Matloff are doing what they do most days when they are at home: spending time in their front yard with their kids, talking with neighbors, playing with their dog Blue and passing home-grown onions to random passersby.

When they installed raised vegetable beds alongside the sidewalk, they fantasized about living off the land despite warnings from friends that people might steal their produce.

“If someone wants to take a bell pepper, good on them,” says Steve, 49. “My office overlooks the garden, and every day I see people stop and look at our garden. Sometimes I run out there and talk to them. Our daughter Isabelle has been known to pull out a carrot and hand it to people walking by. The conversations start there. It’s part of what we wanted for our yard: to be a statement and community builder.”

15-Day Watering Ban Begins for Parts of L.A. County

A 15-day outdoor watering ban took effect for 4 million Los Angeles County residents on Tuesday as crews make emergency repairs to a pipeline that delivers water to Southern Californians, according to the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

When It Comes to Fighting Climate Change, California Says Consider the Beaver

As California grapples with drought, a record heat wave and persistent wildfires, one state agency is turning to the beaver in its battle against climate change.

The large rodents, according to researchers, are resourceful engineers capable of increasing water storage and creating natural firebreaks with their dams.

How (and When) To Plant a Winter Garden During the Worsening Drought

When Yvonne Savio talks, savvy SoCal gardeners listen. And her message for fall is big: Despite a long tradition of planting during the “mild” days of September, her counsel this week is to put off any planting — even starting seeds — until late October or November, because folks, it’s just too darn hot these days, especially with the drought-induced restrictions on outdoor watering.

“We may or may not have enough water to keep them sufficiently watered to thrive. I’m talking thrive, not survive,” said Savio about cool-season plants, such as leafy greens, arugula, broccoli and peas. “It’s basically a waste for you to start seeds this month or next month, since you can’t put them outside, so I’m giving you a good excuse to put it off until November.”

Dangerous Heat Predicted to Hit 3 Times More Often in Future

What’s considered officially “dangerous heat” in coming decades will probably hit much of the world at least three times more often as climate change worsens, according to a new study.

In much of Earth’s wealthy mid-latitudes, spiking temperatures and humidity that feel like 103 degrees or higher — now an occasional summer shock — statistically should happen 20 to 50 times a year by mid-century, said a study Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Northern California Ranchers Told to Stop Diverting Water, Defying Rules Amid Drought

California has warned a group of farmers and ranchers near the Oregon state line to stop diverting water from an area already wracked by extreme drought and a wildfire that killed tens of thousands of fish.

The State Water Resources Control Board issued a draft cease-and-desist order Friday to the Shasta Water Assn., warning it to stop taking water from the Shasta River watershed.

California’s Water from Colorado River Could Be Crippled by a Big Earthquake. Drought Makes Fixes Vital

As drought, global warming and chronic overuse push the Colorado River to perilous new lows, water officials are hoping to prevent an earthquake from severing a critical Depression-era aqueduct that now connects millions of Southern Californians to the shrinking river.

Recently, officials from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California celebrated as crews lowered a section of earthquake-resistant pipeline into a portion of the Colorado River aqueduct — the 242-mile system of pumps, tunnels, pipelines and open canals that carry water from Lake Havasu to Southern California.