water

Brown Signs Drought Legislation, Calls For Conservation

Mar 27, 2015

Governor Jerry Brown has signed two bills that he and California lawmakers say will help the state endure its fourth year of drought. The billion-dollar aid package moved through the Legislature within a week of its announcement by the governor and leading lawmakers from both parties. But Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler says there isn’t much in this legislation that will tangibly help Californians survive another dry year. Adler: “There is a little bit of...

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Despite the worst drought in recent memory, Central California's table grape growers enjoyed a record crop in 2014. According to numbers released Friday by the California Table Grape Commission, last year's crop was worth $1.76 billion, an all time value record. In terms of volume, it was the second largest crop in history, at 110 million boxes. In a press release, Kathleen Nave, president of the California Table Grape Commission said exports topped 44.5 million boxes. “Overall, 2014 was a...

Poll: Californians Say Their Neighbors Need To Do More In Drought

Mar 26, 2015
Florence Low / California Department of Water Resources

A new poll shows deep concern among Californians over the state’s drought and future water supply. Ben Adler has more from Sacramento. The Public Policy Institute of California survey shows two-thirds of adults believe the water supply in their region is a big problem. The same percentage also say people where they live aren’t doing enough to respond to the drought. And Californians are just as likely to name the drought as the state’s most urgent issue as they are to cite the economy. The...

New State Office Could Help Poor Valley Communities Get Clean Drinking Water

Mar 25, 2015
Valley Public Radio

The emergency drought relief bill that California lawmakers will begin voting on Wednesday would create a new state office. That might sound fairly mundane. But as Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, supporters say it could help disadvantaged communities. Clean water advocates will tell you that it can sometimes take decades for small or poor communities to get clean drinking water. Laurel Firestone is with the Community Water Center. Firestone: “A lot of...

More Money For Drought Aid, But No Mandatory Conservation

Mar 20, 2015
Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

California Governor Jerry Brown and legislative leaders aren’t calling for any mandatory water conservation in this fourth year of drought. Instead, they’re offering emergency drought aid for a second straight year. As Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, the state has yet to spend nearly half of last year’s emergency drought money. The governor did not announce any new water conservation rules. But he hinted that day might come soon if the rain does not. Brown:

San Joaquin River Restoration Program

A new study says the drought in California has forced an increased use of natural gas to produce electricity, as dwindling river flows have reduced hydropower generation. Ed Joyce reports from Sacramento. The Pacific Institute says less hydroelectricity means more expensive electricity. Peter Gleick: "We get a lot of electricity normally from hydropower, which is relatively inexpensive and relatively clean. And during a drought we don't have the water and we don't get the power." Study author...

Endangered Delta Smelt May Be Extinct

Mar 16, 2015
Amy Quinton / Capital Public Radio

A small endangered fish that plays a pivotal role in California’s water wars may well be on its way out. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, populations of the Delta smelt have plummeted to their lowest levels ever. Prepare for the extinction of the Delta smelt in the wild. That’s what UC Davis fish biologist Peter Moyle told a group of scientists with the Delta Stewardship Council. He says the latest state trawl survey found very few fish in areas of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta...

flickr- Justin Chiaratti

California’s Water Resource Control Board could vote tomorrow and expand and continue the state’s emergency conservation regulations. The board is looking to tighten lawn watering. Many of the conservation rules remain the same, but two big changes focus on lawn watering. Instituting a two day a week limit in communities that are currently without a plan and prohibiting watering within 48 hours of rain. Senior environmental scientist Max Gomberg says the restrictions have saved nearly 2...

In Mariposa County, 3,200 People May Soon Run Out Of Water

Mar 13, 2015
Mike Jenson / Merced Irrigation District

A California community that sits between two large reservoirs is running out of water. About 3,200 people in the Sierra Nevada foothill enclave of Lake Don Pedro rely on water from nearby Lake McClure. But the lake level is dangerously low. That’s forcing the community to find another supply. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, so far it’s come up dry. The Lake Don Pedro community is operating in emergency mode. For the last several weeks, work crews have drilled well after well, hoping...

Despite Drought, Some Experts Say It's Too Soon For Drastic Measures

Mar 11, 2015
CA Dept of Water Resources

As the California drought wears on, it might seem like more creative solutions are in order. But as Capital Public Radio’s Katie Orr found out it might not yet be time for drastic measures. Here in California it can be frustrating to see the East Coast and Midwest buried in snow while the west remains bone dry. But the news can be hard to avoid. Snow piling up so high, cities are struggling to get rid of it, while the west remains stormless. Seems like a waste. Surly there’s a way some of...

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