With days to go before the end of the legislative session, the California Senate passed a groundwater management plan Wednesday. Katie Orr reports from Sacramento.
Forty percent of California’s water comes from groundwater, yet the state has never had a plan to manage it. That could soon change if a measure approved in the Senate makes it through the rest of the legislative process.
The bill would require local governments to set up groundwater management agencies. The agencies would have five years to implement a management plan.
The saying goes that whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting over. But a California Legislature that rarely shies away from a fight found itself in near unanimous agreement last night on a new water bond to replace the $11 billion measure on the November ballot. Ben Adler has more from Sacramento.
It was an issue that held the Capitol in suspense day after day. A deal was in doubt even into yesterday afternoon and a key election deadline loomed at midnight. But the end was surprisingly anticlimactic.
Fresno County is warning residents that mosquito-borne illnesses are on the rise.
At a press conference earlier this week, Joe Prado of the Department of Public Health reported that so far this year, Fresno County has already seen three times as many cases of West Nile Virus as in all of 2013.
Prado: “We are now up to 23 cases to date. If this trend continues we will exceed our highest year, which was back in 2005, where we had 68 cases.”
Governor Jerry Brown and California lawmakers are already living on borrowed time as they negotiate a measure to replace the $11 billion water bond on the November ballot. The official deadline under state law passed six weeks ago. Any deal would have to waive election laws, and be signed by the end of this week. But two huge sticking points are clogging up the water talks, as Capital Public Radio’s Ben Adler reports.
Governor Jerry Brown wants to scrap the 11 billion dollar water bond scheduled for California’s November ballot and replace it with a smaller proposal of his own. Capital Public Radio’s Ben Adler reports. --- Six billion dollars. That’s what the governor says he’s willing to spend. Not 11, like the existing bond; not eight or nine billion, like some of the proposals floating around the Legislature. Six billion. In an interview with Capital Public Radio, Brown put forth an argument of fiscal prudence for a state already 30 billion dollars in debt.
California lawmakers are back from their summer break and facing pressure to craft a deal on a new water bond. But, as Katie Orr reports from Sacramento, time is running out. ---- Legislative Democrats and Governor Jerry Brown want to replace the $11 billion bond currently on the November ballot with a smaller bond. Senate President Darrell Steinberg says the exact amount is still up for debate. Another big sticking point: which state agency will manage the restoration of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta ecosystem.
The Fresno City Council voted Thursday to repeal a city water plan they introduced in 2013, after a referendum petition known as Measure W threatened to put the repeal before voters.
Measure W began as a grassroots campaign and eventually collected 5500 signatures, enough to become a ballot measure. The water plan it helped repeal involved increasing Fresno residents' water bills to pay for a $410 million-upgrade to the city's water infrastructure. City Councilmember Steve Brandau:
Despite constant warnings about California's drought, people across the state are actually using more water this year than last. Angst over water is nothing new, but the pressure to conserve is pitting neighbor against neighbor in something the New York Times has called “drought shaming.”
If you drive through Central California, it might be easy to forget the state is in the midst of a drought of historic proportions. Almond orchards and vineyards are green and full with crops awaiting harvest, and in cities green lawns still outnumber brown ones.
Federal and state agencies Tuesday announced their plans for restoring endangered salmon and steelhead populations in California’s Central Valley.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration plan will include re-introducing winter-run Chinook at cold water pools in Northern California and monitoring the water temperature to make sure it’s safe.
Chuck Bonham with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife says the ecosystem restoration plans could take 50 years or more to achieve the desired result.
California is enacting tough water restrictions after voluntary conservation efforts failed to work. But, as Katie Orr reports from Sacramento, the restrictions won’t be uniformly enforced.
Some communities already have strict local penalties in place. Others are just beginning to implement water shortage plans. In some cities a police officer may fine you for wasting water, in others water department employees might cite you.
California homeowners who have seen their wells fail during the drought are getting some assistance from the federal government. FM89's Joe Moore reports on today's announcement from U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
The well at Carlen Overby's rural Tulare County home went dry on July 4th, when she was taking a shower.
Conserving water could cost some California water agencies. Katie Orr reports from Sacramento on a notice issued today from Moody’s Investors Service.
Moody’s says state-wide water restrictions approved this week could eventually lead to lower credit ratings for California water agencies. That’s because less water use means lower water sales, which in turn means less revenue.
An overwhelming majority of likely California voters say they favor a statewide groundwater management plan over the status quo. The results are part of a new survey released today. Capital Public Radio’s Max Pringle reports.
The survey was commissioned by the non-profit California Water Foundation. It finds the prolonged drought has focused public opinion on the need to regulate groundwater. Pollster David Metz says few Californians think the state is doing an adequate job of managing.the resource.
A state agency took a major step to encourage water conservation Tuesday. As Katie Orr reports from Sacramento, it voted to allow large fines for wasting water.
The State Water Resources Control Board has adopted emergency regulations that allow local water agencies to levy fines up to $500 a day for people who waste water outdoors. Board Chair Felicia Marcus says collecting money isn’t the goal. Convincing urban water users to conserve is.
Research from UC Davis suggests California farmers are mostly able to maintain production during the drought because of their use of underground water– but environmentalists, scientists and farmers agree the practice is not a long term solution. Pauline Bartolone has more from Sacramento.
California farming will take a financial hit because of the drought. But for the most part, the UC Davis drought study says groundwater will supply what’s lacking in surface water. Peter Gleick of the Pacific Institute says pumping groundwater can’t continue to go unregulated.
A new report finds local water agencies need to do a better job managing groundwater in California. Amy Quinton has the details from Sacramento.
The California Water Foundation looked at 120 groundwater management plans adopted by local water agencies. In a nutshell, the results aren’t good. Almost 30 percent were written in 2002 or earlier. Many lacked objectives and an implementation strategy.