Pacific Swell

Southern California environment news and trends

California Drought News: Salmon catch a break; avocados won't skyrocket; Oakland taps water reserves

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We lead off today's installment of California Drought News with word that fish have won some ground in the "Fish v. Farms" tug-o-war underway in the state. (Farms have also gained ground recently.)

  • Steelhead trout and Chinook salmon in the American River will get a little love from water managers  Wednesday. Federal officials are going to increase flows temporarily from Northern California reservoirs to help the fish migrate downstream. (Sacramento Bee)
  • On the heels of lots of worried blogging over a spike in the price of limes comes word that the price of avocados could be shooting skyward because of the drought. But Inside Scoop SF says the fears are overblown.

Neither of the state’s two biggest avocado-growing regions–north of Los Angeles and San Diego County–are currently hurting for water the way the San JoaquinValley, for instance, is. (SF Gate)

  • Water officials in the East Bay have announced they are tapping their reserve supplies for the first time since they were brought on line. This year, the area of 1.3 million people cannot rely solely on the water from its Sierra Nevada reservoir and pipeline. (Sacramento Bee)

“It’s really what has been planned for over many, many years: the idea of having this diversity of supply,” said [East Bay Municipal Utility District] spokeswoman Andrea Pook. “It’s really the first time we’ve seen it come to fruition in this way.”

  • Meanwhile, Modesto officials have announced they are turning off the "splash fountain" kids use to cool themselves down with on hot summer days. Under a mandate to cut water use by 40 percent, the city parks department has suspended the water features at 10 parks. (Modesto Bee
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