California Ends Some Water Limits After Storms Ease Drought

California Gov. Gavin Newsom ended some of the state’s water restrictions on Friday because a winter of relentless rain and snow has replenished the state’s reservoirs and eased fears of a shortage after three years of severe drought.

He also announced local agencies that supply water to 27 million people and many farmers would get much more from state supplies than originally planned. But Newsom did not declare an end to the drought, warning much of the state is still suffering from its lingering effects.

“Are we out of a drought? Mostly — but not completely,” Newsom said Friday from a farm northwest of Sacramento that has flooded its fields to help replenish groundwater.

Newsom said he would stop asking people to voluntarily cut their water use by 15%, a request he first made nearly two years ago while standing at the edge of a nearly dry Lopez Lake in the state’s Central Coast region — a lake that today is so full from recent storms it is almost spilling over. Californians never met Newsom’s call for that level of conservation — as of January the cumulative savings were just 6.2%.

California Had a Watershed Climate Year, But Time is Running Out

California made historic investments in climate measures this year, as state leaders warned of current and escalating climate risks. “We’re dealing with such extremes that all our modeling, even updated modeling, needs to be thrown out,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom when he signed more than 40 bills to fight climate change in September. “The hots are just so much hotter. The dries are so much drier.”

What Historic Klamath River Dam Removal and Restoration Project Aims to Accomplish

A decision to demolish four dams and restore the Klamath River, which crosses the California-Oregon border, was celebrated Thursday by officials from both states, Native American tribes and the federal government. The plan approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will open up hundreds of miles of salmon habitat. It will be the largest dam removal and river restoration project in the world.


Annual Average Air Temps Have Increased About 2.5 Degrees Statewide, Report Says

The effects of climate change are already quite prevalent in the state, as seen by the all-time record-high temperatures and devastating wildfires experienced in recent years. A new report, released by California state scientists, shows that the effects of climate change are rapidly accelerating in California. The report from the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment found that since 1895, annual average air temperatures have increased by about 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit statewide and cases of heat illness have tripled in the past 30 years.

Newsom Pushes Private Seawater Desalting Plant Over Local and Environmental Opposition

When Gov. Gavin Newsom was photographed dining at an opulent Napa Valley restaurant during a surge in coronavirus cases, many Californians saw it as hypocrisy. For opponents of a planned $1-billion desalination plant along the Orange County coast, however, the optics were menacing.

The unmasked Newsom was celebrating the birthday of a lobbyist for Poseidon Water, which is close to obtaining final government approval for one of the country’s biggest seawater desalination plants.

Newsom Taps New Head of Powerful California Air Board

California Gov. Gavin Newsom tapped a veteran regulator Wednesday as the next chair of the powerful Air Resources Board, which implements the state’s ambitious climate change goals.

Newsom Vetoes Friant-Kern Canal Fix Bill

California Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill that would have provided funding to fix the ever-sinking Friant-Kern Canal.  State Sen. Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger) introduced the bill back in 2018 and had strong bipartisan support, especially among her fellow Valley lawmakers.  SB 559 would have required the Department of Water Resources to report to the legislature by March 31, 2021, on federal funding approved by the federal government for the Friant Water Authority or any other government agency to restore the capacity of the Friant-Kern Canal.

Opinion: Governor Newsom Must Clarify His Delta Tunnel Plan

Gov. Gavin Newsom recently released his Water Resilience Plan, a platform of 142 proposals gathered from state agencies to manage and improve California’s  water future.

The big ticket items are two infrastructure projects: the Delta conveyance tunnel and Sites Reservoir, alongside the Sacramento River.

Newsom Declares Statewide Emergency as Fires Burn Across California

Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a statewide emergency in order to help California respond to the fires burning across the state amid an extreme heat wave that brought more warnings about power outages on Tuesday.

Newsom Lays Out Big Dreams for California’s Water Future

Touting ways to shield California’s most precious resource from climate change, Governor Gavin Newsom released strategies Tuesday to improve drinking water quality, revive a stalled multibillion-dollar tunnel and build new dams.