Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Summer bummer

Melting snow, water releases and La Niña complicate California's drought picture, new DWR estimates reveal

The sun lights up a slightly diminished Yosemite Falls. LEAH MILLS / San Francisco Chronicle

SF Chronicle

Sacramento Bee & San Francisco Chronicle

First, the good news: This winter, much of the Sierra had near-average snowpack. Now, the bad news: It has melted early. The El Niño-fueled storms that coated the Sierra this winter brought blasts of hope to drought-weary California. But after the flurries stopped and the seasons changed, the melt-off from the high country has been swift and disappointingly scant, according to new water supply estimates from the state.

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Should state limit its small, new water systems?

Bay Area News Group

California's drought has revealed that when it comes to water, not every community is equal. Areas served by smaller systems, from farm towns to forest hamlets have struggled and, in some cases, nearly run out of water entirely. Now, a bill by a Bay Area state lawmaker aims to slow the spread of little "mom and pop" water providers by making it very difficult to create new ones.

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Assembly bill targets secrecy in state water data

Palm Springs Desert Sun

Farms and golf courses rank among the biggest water users in the Coachella Valley, but detailed information about how much water each of those businesses use is kept secret. That would change under a bill before the Legislature, which would clarify previous legislation by specifying that while residential customers' data may be kept confidential, the public is entitled to information about how much water and energy is used by businesses and institutions.

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