Safe drinking water remains out of reach for many Californians

An estimated 370,000 Californians rely on drinking water that may contain high levels of arsenic, nitrate or hexavalent chromium, and contaminated drinking water disproportionately impact communities of color in the state, finds a new analysis led by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of California, Los Angeles.

Because this study is limited to three common contaminants, results likely underestimate the actual number of Californians impacted by … [more…]

Not your average California drought…

California water districts to get 0% of requested supplies in unprecedented decision

Lake Oroville in August [2021]. Water levels remain low, about half what they usually are at this time of year. Photograph: Ethan Swope/AP

California water districts to get 0% of requested supplies in unprecedented decision

Only water required for health and safety will be allowed as drought continues to grip the state

Water agencies in drought-stricken California that serve 27 million residents and 750,000 acres of farmland won’t get any … [more…]

California’s Central Valley may never recover from past and future droughts

Groundwater in California's Central Valley may be unable to recover from past and future droughts

Water in the San Luis reservoir, which was constructed as a storage reservoir in California’s Central Valley. Groundwater in this region may never be able to recover from past and future droughts, according to new research published in Water Resources Research. Credit: Fredrick Lee

Groundwater in California’s Central Valley is at risk of being depleted by pumping too much water during and after droughts, according to a new study … [more…]

Drought: California farms destroy crops rather than pay for water

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Photo: Stuart Woolf stands near piles of almond tree wood chips that will get spread out on the his ranch. Caroline Champlin

When Stuart Woolf was growing up on his dad’s ranch in Huron, California, he never liked working the tomato harvest.

“I thought, ‘I am never going to do this.’ Everything was kind of wet, hot and stinky,” Woolf said.

These days, though, now as president of the 20,000-acre … [more…]

Colorado basin drought sparks water limits at huge US reservoir

Colorado basin drought sparks water limits at huge US reservoir

The level of Lake Mead – as seen in July 2021 from Boulder City, Nevada – has been steadily declining due to a chronic drought.

A huge reservoir that supplies water to tens of millions of people in the Western United States is at such low levels that populations it feeds must reduce their usage next year, the government said Monday.

A chronic drought has left huge swathes of the … [more…]