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The Marin Water District has a New Drought Plan

The Marin Water District has a new plan to deal with California’s worsening drought.

As of Oct. 24, Marin reservoirs have more water than normal, but the county said they’re not waiting for things to get worse.

Marin’s seven reservoirs hold 80,000 acre feet of water, the new plan would kick in when levels fall below 70,000 acre feet. The prior conservation plan didn’t go into effect until levels fell to 50,000.

The West’s Biggest Source of Renewable Energy Depends on Water. Will it Survive the Drought?

Reports of low water levels at a few big hydropower plants in the West over the last few years have made it seem like hydropower is becoming less reliable. Last summer, officials in California were forced to shut down the Edward Hyatt Powerplant when water levels in Lake Oroville, the reservoir that feeds the plant, dropped below the intake pipes that send water into its turbines.

Safe Drinking Water Resources are Underway for Tribes in the Coachella Valley

Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia and local tribes celebrate the passage of Safe and affordable drinking water for Native American tribes, also known as AB 2877. “One of the goals is to help prevent future situations like what occurred at oasis mobile home park but ensure tribal lands, specifically underserved tribal areas, can receive and be prioritized to receive state water infrastructure grants,” says An official from the office of Assemblymember Garcia’s office.

California Approves Desalination Plant as Historic Drought Hits Water Supplies

California regulators this week approved a $140 million desalination plant that could convert up to 5 million gallons of seawater each day into drinking water, as the state grapples with a persistent megadrought and plummeting water supplies.

The state’s Coastal Commission on Thursday voted 11-0 to approve the Doheny Ocean Desalination Project in Orange County in Southern California. The plant could be functioning within the next five years and supply water for thousands of people in the South Coast Water District.

Shasta Lake Helped Water California; Now its Dryness is a Threat to the State

Few places are more critical to the water supply in California than this immense northern reservoir in the foothills of the Cascade Range.

Fed by runoff from 14,163-foot Mount Shasta and other peaks, California’s largest reservoir opened in 1945 as part of the federal Central Valley Project, an elaborate system of man-made dams, pumps and aqueducts that aims to reduce flood risks and deliver water to farms and cities in the heart of the semiarid state.

Opinion: The Feds Can Curb a Foolish California Water Giveaway

About 15 miles north of Fresno sits Millerton Lake, a reservoir created in the 1930s when the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation built Friant Dam on the San Joaquin River. The dam provides irrigation water for fields and groves in much of the San Joaquin Valley, but it wiped out the Chinook salmon migration that had existed on the river for tens of thousands of years.

It also threatened the rights of landowners to divert naturally flowing San Joaquin River water for their fields. Instead of losing their rights, though, farmers who had land near the river agreed to trade their water to the federal dam project in exchange for “substitute water,” delivered to them from the Sacramento River.

Los Angeles is Running Out of Water, and Time. Are Leaders Willing to Act?

On a clear afternoon recently, Mayor Eric Garcetti looked down at the Hollywood Reservoir from 1,200 feet in the air.

“It’s as low as I can ever remember it being,” Garcetti said of the reservoir from the back seat of a Los Angeles Department of Water and Power helicopter. “You can see the bathtub ring.”

Amid Historic Drought, California Expected to Approve $140 Million Desalination Plant

A $140 million desalination plant is expected to be approved by California regulators on Thursday as the U.S. state contends with how to convert ocean water into drinking water amid the worst drought in 1,200 years.

Just five months ago, the Coastal Commission by an 11-0 vote rejected a privately owned plant that would have been 10 times the size of the proposed South Coast Water District’s Doheny Ocean Desalination Project in Orange County, just south of Los Angeles.

Marin Municipal Water District to Preview New Supply Options

As part of its study of new water supplies, the Marin Municipal Water District is planning a public workshop later this month to review how it will rate and compare the various options it is considering.

The online meeting at 5 p.m. Oct. 25 will provide an opportunity for the public to ask questions of district staff and its consultants who are drafting the water supply report.

Expect More ‘Climate Surprises’ With California’s Water Supply

Water managers are preparing for a warm winter, a worse drought and a chance of biblical floods. As California discovered last year, the weather can swing wildly from one extreme to the next each month—offering little reliability for farmers planting winter crops or planning for the next irrigation season.

Conditions are lining up for a rare third year of La Niña, which tends to bring heavier precipitation to the Pacific Northwest and drier weather to most of California. Last year two atmospheric rivers delivered the bulk of the water supply in October and December, with total precipitation adding up to 76% of average for the water year that ended last month. But the last two winters have demonstrated that an adequate snowpack can disappear in just weeks under spring heat waves.