I vote for him

University of California hydrologist Jay Famiglietti is calling, loudly, for a national science policy to map, model and understand fresh water reserves to enable coherent planning for the future.

Long Beach is groovy

If Los Angeles Department of Water & Power buildings were landscaped like the people inside believed in water conservation, Southern California would be a far better place. We residents have a way to go for that, unless you live in a city as progressive as Long Beach, whose water department, headquarters pictured above, walks its talk about outdoor water conservation.

As if further proof were needed that Long Beach is groovy, this week the City College is holding a sale of many drought tolerant plants, co-sponsored by the Water Department. Add to this, the Los Angeles Times has a dispatch from Jeff Spurrier about a thriving urban garden there.

Maybe it’s the city’s proximity to the Pacific, or simply that Long Beach selects for sanity, but unlike just about every other water agency in the region, Long Beach Water Department also gives a damn about fish.

That is reflected

The weatherman’s sure

December 18, 2010 National Weather Service icons for Altadena sum up forecasts for heavy rains across Greater Los Angeles and Southern California this weekend. Click on the image to be taken to the National Weather Service and latest flood advisories.

High good, low bad: Mead in September 2010

Source: Boulder City Historical Assn. Click on the image to be taken to its website.

Seventy five years ago, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt dedicated Hoover Dam. The concrete is looking good. The thing showing its age is the Colorado River water impounded behind it. The elevation of Lake Mead, the storage reservoir serving California, Arizona, Nevada and the Republic of Mexico, dropped last night to 1,083.83 feet, the lowest closing elevation for September since 1937. That year, the world’s then largest reservoir was still filling. Now its over-allocated water is steadily disappearing. Elsewhere in the Bad News Department, the river serving it is unlikely to be flush this coming winter according to a new study comparing drought stress evident from tree rings and ocean currents. Rather, in Long-Term Relationships Between Ocean Variability and Water Resources in Northeastern Utah, RAND Corp researcher Abbie Tingstad and UCLA geographer Glen MacDonald suggest

The Dry Garden: Wet policy for a dry year

Source: NOAA. Click on the maps to be taken to composite graphics of precipitation trends during La Niña years.

We’ve been getting mixed messages about whether or not we need to conserve water. On one hand, we had a decent local rain year. Last week, the state legislature pulled a water bond from the November ballot that would have driven state-wide conservation. This week, the Los Angeles City Council amended the two-day lawn sprinkler ordinance to a three-day version.

Crisis over?

Not by a long shot. Local rain doesn’t fill our pipes. Of the three main sources that do, Lake Mead, the Colorado River storage reservoir serving Southern California, shrank in July to its lowest level since 1956. Last month, the State Water Resources Control Board concluded that the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is overdrawn by 50%. Southern California could do its part to fix that by reducing water use from

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