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Environment & Science

California Drought News: Legislation, a Delta Smelt legal conflagration, and hydroelectricity



Louvers at the Skinner Fish Facility in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta divert most fish away from pumps that lift water into the California Aqueduct. Decades of fights among government and water agencies, environmentalists and farmers, in courtrooms and conference rooms have culminated in the Bay Delta Plan, which will soon be open to public debate.
Louvers at the Skinner Fish Facility in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta divert most fish away from pumps that lift water into the California Aqueduct. Decades of fights among government and water agencies, environmentalists and farmers, in courtrooms and conference rooms have culminated in the Bay Delta Plan, which will soon be open to public debate.
Mae Ryan/KPCC

Friday's news asks whether you're absolutely certain you turned off the garden hose all the way this time.

Swapping in natural gas for hydro means higher emissions and higher procurement costs for utilities, which would be reflected in electricity bills next year. During the drought of 2007-09, California utilities burned more natural gas to make up for hydropower shortages—a switch that the Pacific Institute says resulted in 13 million extra tons of CO2 emissions and some $1.7 billion in additional costs on energy bills. (National Geographic)

And now, a special mini-roundup about fish!

#FollowFriday: Tweet o' the Day offers you a fun fact you'll never see on the side of a Dixie cup:

Seen any aquatic hitchhikers along the highway, headed west? Let us know in the comments.