Australia offers policy changes to aid California water crisis

California lawmakers have looked ‘Down Under’ for potential solutions to the state’s water crisis. Australia is an expert on the topic, having endured a 13-year drought that ended in 2010. During that time, the country made revamped its water policies to cut back water use, find more sustainable water resources and build an efficient infrastructure.

Read more here: Lawmakers look Down Under to help state get over the drought

California in Overdraft – from the Desert Sun

PASO ROBLES, California – Two decades ago, the rolling hills of Paso Robles were mostly covered with golden grass and oak trees. Now the hills and valleys are blanketed with more than 32,000 acres of grapevines.

Surging demand for wine has brought an explosion of vineyards, and along with it heavy pumping of groundwater. With the water table dropping, many people have had to cope as their taps have sputtered and their wells have gone dry.

Read more here: California in overdraft

From NBC Bay Area News – State regulations prevent new technology from helping California’s water crisis

A three-month-long NBC Bay Area investigation into California’s water crisis found several Silicon Valley technology companies and venture capitalists ready to design, produce and manufacture innovative high-tech solutions to the state’s drought. But the investigation also discovered that California’s labyrinth of rules, regulations, and the multiple agencies that oversee water policy have become serious barriers to those innovations and their large-scale adoption.

Climate scientists warn the California drought could last for decades. With the prospects of global warming, population growth, and disappearing snowpack on the horizon, dozens of water policy experts say it’s time for California and its hundreds of separate, independent water agencies to aggressively approach technology in a fashion similar to the state’s approach to energy, climate change and transportation.

Read more here: Bureaucratic Barriers Stand in the Way of Innovation That Could Help Solve California’s Water Crisis

It’s raining in California, but will it be enough?

El Nino is finally bringing rain to California. The weather phenomenon has brought rainfall to much of the state and snow to the Sierra Mountains. Will it be enough to alleviate the state’s four-year drought?State officials are scrambling to develop resources to preserve the rainwater and bring an end to the state’s water crisis.

Read more here: California Is Finally Getting Rain. Now if It Could Just Hold on to It


Water-saving 101: San Diego universities share important lessons during water crisis

San Diego’s three major universities are sharing important lessons from the California water crisis. San Diego State University, UC-San Diego and the University of San Diego are promoting water conservation across campus. The schools have been honored for their eco-friendly efforts, including the installation of low-flow sinks and toilets,  waterless urinals and water-efficient sprinklers.

Read more here: Water-saving lessons from San Diego universities


The Water Investment

Investors are seeing the potential for high returns in the water industries. As California suffers through a four-year drought with no relief in sight, many investors are looking into water technology and new alternatives to provide immediate (and long-term) solutions. Is water the next hot commodity?

The New York Times reports here: Investors are mining for water, the next hot commodity

Sierra Nevada snowpack at lowest levels in 500 years

A new study by Nature Climate Change suggests snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountain range is the lowest it has been in 500 years. Minimal snowfall and unusually high temperatures have contributed to the problem.

Considering that the Sierra Nevada mountains provide nearly a third of California’s fresh water supply and you here a critical source for California’s four-year drought.

Read more here: California’s Historic Drought Is Now Officially Even More Historic


As reservoirs dry up, Hydroelectric power production slows during California drought

Across California, hydroelectric power production has been dramatically reduced. A four-year drought fueled by a lack of snow and rain fall has dried up reservoirs and lake basins that once fueled hydroelectric production facilities. Now, many of these facilities are scrambling to utilize solar and wind power.

High temperatures this summer have not helped. In early July, California residents were asked to conserve electricity by turning off appliances and minimizing air conditioner use.

Read more here: Drought is killing California’s hydroelectric power. Can solar make up the difference?

Californians cut water use by 31 percent in July

The latest state report indicates California cities cut water use by a combined 31 percent in July, continuing a trend to conserve water statewide. In June, Californians cut water use by 27 percent (compared with 2013 totals from the same month). State officials are hoping the statistics show that Californians understand the water crisis and the importance of water conservation.

Read more of the NBC News article here: California Drought: State Cut Water Use by 31 Percent in July


Growing up in a drought

Children in California are growing up in a drought. Water is considered a luxury, a precious resource and it is not to be wasted. For these children, there is no such thing as bath time, drinking water is never to be wasted and the concept of outdoor water play is a luxury.

In ‘Crying over spilled water: Raising toddlers during a drought,’ CBS News reports on one family’s effort to educate their young children on the importance of water during the California drought. Read more here