Gov. Brown Takes Action to Bolster Dam Safety, Repair Infrastructure after Winter Storms

With extreme weather putting increasing stress on California’s roads, bridges and flood control system, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced a series of immediate and longer-term actions to bolster dam safety, improve flood protection and fix the state’s aging transportation and water infrastructure. “Recent storms have pounded the state of California resulting in a … Read more

Disturbing Deficiencies Seen in California’s Dam Safety Efforts

The dam burst on a warm afternoon, unleashing nearly 300 million gallons of muddy water on a Los Angeles neighborhood. Five people died and dozens of homes were swept off their foundations and destroyed. In the aftermath of the 1963 Baldwin Hills Dam catastrophe, the state strengthened inspection regulations, helping establish California as a modern … Read more

Has This Year’s Record Rain Finally Ended California’s Epic Drought? Not Really.

After praying for rain over five dry years, Californians are now praying for a break. The state is being soaked. Its biggest reservoirs, once at record lows, are at capacity or overflowing from record-setting rain and snow. That includes the Oroville Lake reservoir behind the Oroville Dam, where nearly 200,000 Northern California residents were evacuated … Read more

After Frantic Night, Officials say Lake Oroville May Not Top Emergency Spillway

With a break in the weather and increased outflow from Oroville Dam’s heavily damaged spillway, state officials said Friday morning they no longer believe the swollen reservoir will breach the dam’s emergency spillway. After a grim assessment late Thursday, officials announced Friday morning they think they can avoid using the dam’s emergency spillway, which they’ve … Read more

California Has About One Year of Water Left. Will You Ration Now?

Op-Ed published in LA Times March 12, 2015 By: Jay Famiglietti Given the historic low temperatures and snowfalls that pummeled the eastern U.S. this winter, it might be easy to overlook how devastating California’s winter was as well. As our “wet” season draws to a close, it is clear that the paltry rain and snowfall … Read more

Groundwater Ruling Has Rippling Effects

Decision could lead to unprecedented state regulations Amid concerns of costly and unregulated use of California’s groundwater, a Sacramento Superior Court judge has ruled groundwater pumping that impairs waterways violates the public’s right to use those waterways, which one group states could set the stage for making counties responsible for implementing regulations. “What we have … Read more

Pot Economics: What's the Future of the American Marijuana Market?

Situated on the coastline of the notorious marijuana-farming Humboldt County, Greacen’s organization has witnessed firsthand some of the highs and lows for this new industry as it’s blossomed from a small handful of ex-hippies and cartel affiliates to a full-blown source of regional livelihood. “We see that there are big groups waiting in the wings, … Read more

Growers of Thirsty Pot are Under Fire in Drought-Struck California

In drought-hit California, marijuana growers are feeling the heat, accused of using too much water for their thirsty plants and of polluting streams and rivers with their pesticides and fertilizers. … Nevedal and other pot backers said the ultimate solution was for Congress to fully legalize the drug, which she said would eliminate the need … Read more

Drought Resources

Learn more about our current drought, its historic and scientific context, the impact on our environment, and how state and federal policymakers are handling the situation. Drought History Graphic reprinted from the North Coast Journal  California Drought: 17 Communities Could Run Out of Water Within 60 to 120 Days, State Says Paul Rogers, San Jose … Read more