Pacific Swell

Southern California environment news and trends

California Drought News: Drying up school attendance

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41302 full

Thursday's drought fortune cookie says, "Dry times bring rare unity." But since that's not very predictive, we crack open another which reads, "You will someday water your ficus with water from your whites."

In the meantime...

  • Meet one of the only places in California that isn't hurting for water. The Imperial Valley benefits from being an early adopter of taking water from the Colorado River. And man, do they benefit:

In water law, one rule is supreme: “First in time, first in right.”

As a result, Imperial County, with a population of 175,000, gets 3.1 million acre-feet of water a year. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, serving 19 million people, gets about 1.1 million acre-feet. (Seattle Times)

  • Our own Molly Peterson looks to a future when we'll all be using grey water to water our trees and plants (but not our lawns). (KPCC)
  • The State Water Resources Control Board approves $800 million in cheap loans for water recycling projects. (Lake County News)
  • Many farming families are moving from their parched lands. That's making some rural towns lose school attendance.  Normally, that'd mean less money for schools, but state superintendent Tom Torlakson says he'll work to stabilize funding. (SF Gate Blog)
  • Droughts make for strange political bedfellows. Republican and Democratic representatives introduced legislation to build a new large-scale reservoir in Northern California:

The Sites reservoir (technically known as the North of the Delta Offstream Storage project) would be capable of holding up to 1.9 million acre-feet of water, yielding 470,000 to 640,000 acre-feet of water for various uses. LaMalfa and Garamendi’s bill would accelerate a feasibility study years in the making and automatically authorize the project once the U.S. Department of the Interior reviews the study. (Sacramento Bee)

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