February 9, 2014 |
There are two possible policy outcomes to a severe drought like the one California is experiencing now. One is that the drought focuses the minds of political leaders and water users, prompting them to come together to craft a broad, comprehensive solution to a problem that won't be going away. The other is that the community of water users will fragment and turn on one another, with farmers lining up against environmentalists, suburbanites against farmers, and so on. Which way would you guess things are going?
February 7, 2014 |
Californians used to call it earthquake weather, the unseasonably warm, dry, blue-sky days that pushed deep into this year's rainy season. Now we just call it drought. Unfortunately, the state's water resources are at critically low levels (12% of normal Sierra Nevada snowpack for this time of year) and the crisis is unlikely to go away soon or for long. A report by the U.S. Geological Survey predicts that with changing patterns of rain and snow we will see more frequent and intense droughts and flash flooding in California's future.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 31, 2014 |
Officials Friday said that for the first time ever, the State Water Project that helps supply a majority of Californians may be unable to make any deliveries except to maintain public health and safety. The prospect of no deliveries from one of the state's key water systems underscores the depth of a drought that threatens to be the worst in California's modern history. But the practical effect is less stark because most water districts have other sources, such as local storage and groundwater, to turn to. Officials stressed that the cut did not mean faucets would run dry. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the state project's largest customer, has said it has enough supplies in reserve to get the Southland through this year without mandatory rationing.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 29, 2014 |
SACRAMENTO -- President Obama called Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday to check in on the state's water crisis and told him the federal government will do what it can to help. Brown declared a drought in the state last week, and the president “reinforced his commitment to providing the necessary federal support to the state and local efforts,” according to a statement from the White House. “The agencies are working together to target resources to help California and other impacted states prepare for and lessen the impacts of the drought.” The drought will be on Brown's agenda Thursday as he meets with “more than a dozen water leaders from across southern California” at Metropolitan Water District headquarters, according to a statement from his office.
January 29, 2014
Re "GOP seeks to tap water crisis," Jan. 27 Good of House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) to drop by to help California fix our drought. Regarding reduced water deliveries to farmers to protect an endangered fish species, he claims that people from his part of the world wouldn't understand "how you can favor fish over people. " Neither would we. Perhaps he can help his people understand that it is never that simple. Perhaps he can explain that as a consequence of the changing global climate, the Southwestern part of our country is becoming ever drier, making it more difficult for all species, including people and fish.
January 26, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Beleaguered and outnumbered, California Republicans think they may have found a crucial ally - drought. Up and down the state's increasingly dry Central Valley, Republicans have pounded away at the argument that Democratic policies - particularly environmental rules - are to blame for the parched fields and dwindling reservoirs that threaten to bankrupt farms and wipe out jobs. In his latest campaign video, Republican Doug Ose stands in the middle of dried-out Folsom Lake.