End Times and Current Events
November 27, 2021, 03:15:26 am
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Welcome To End Times and Current Events.
 
  Home Help Search Gallery Staff List Login Register  

Watch California

Shoutbox
August 08, 2018, 02:38:10 am suzytr says: Hello, any good churches in the Sacto, CA area, also looking in Reno NV, thanks in advance and God Bless you Smiley
January 29, 2018, 01:21:57 am Christian40 says: It will be interesting to see what happens this year Israel being 70 years as a modern nation may 14 2018
October 17, 2017, 01:25:20 am Christian40 says: It is good to type Mark is here again!  Smiley
October 16, 2017, 03:28:18 am Christian40 says: anyone else thinking that time is accelerating now? it seems im doing days in shorter time now is time being affected in some way?
September 24, 2017, 10:45:16 pm Psalm 51:17 says: The specific rule pertaining to the national anthem is found on pages A62-63 of the league rulebook. It states: “The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem. “During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.”
September 20, 2017, 04:32:32 am Christian40 says: "The most popular Hepatitis B vaccine is nothing short of a witch’s brew including aluminum, formaldehyde, yeast, amino acids, and soy. Aluminum is a known neurotoxin that destroys cellular metabolism and function. Hundreds of studies link to the ravaging effects of aluminum. The other proteins and formaldehyde serve to activate the immune system and open up the blood-brain barrier. This is NOT a good thing."
http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-08-11-new-fda-approved-hepatitis-b-vaccine-found-to-increase-heart-attack-risk-by-700.html
September 19, 2017, 03:59:21 am Christian40 says: bbc international did a video about there street preaching they are good witnesses
September 14, 2017, 08:06:04 am Psalm 51:17 says: bro Mark Hunter on YT has some good, edifying stuff too.
September 14, 2017, 04:31:26 am Christian40 says: i have thought that i'm reaping from past sins then my life has been impacted in ways from having non believers in my ancestry.
September 11, 2017, 06:59:33 am Psalm 51:17 says: The law of reaping and sowing. It's amazing how God's mercy and longsuffering has hovered over America so long. (ie, the infrastructure is very bad here b/c for many years, they were grossly underspent on. 1st Tim 6:10, the god of materialism has its roots firmly in the West) And remember once upon a time ago when shacking up b/w straight couples drew shock awe?

Exodus 20:5  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
View Shout History
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Watch California  (Read 7316 times)
Boldhunter
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 347


View Profile
« Reply #30 on: February 26, 2013, 04:43:26 pm »

Wow- look at the very first comment posted after the article :

Feb 26, 2013 12:16am EST

Well 64 percent of a pension is better than nothing. And that is exactly how much taxpayer money California will get, nothing! You made your bed California, now lay in it.

Kenyan.Born
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #31 on: March 14, 2013, 09:31:42 pm »

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/15/usa-california-liabilities-idUSL1N0C6GEY20130315?feedType=RSS&feedName=bondsNews&rpc=43
3/15/13
Cost of state employees' unused time off mounts for California

(Reuters) - California's liability for unused vacation and leave time for its state employees reached a 30-year high of $3.9 billion in June 2012 and is likely to grow for the foreseeable future, according to a state report released on Thursday.
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #32 on: April 01, 2013, 03:45:46 pm »

Stockton Becomes Biggest US City To Declare Bankruptcy (It's Official)
04/01/13
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-04-01/stockton-becomes-biggest-us-city-declare-bankruptcy-its-official

A mere nine months after we first discussed the inevitability of Stockton, CA.'s bankruptcy, a judge has ordered today that the city will now become the most populous in the US to be declared bankrupt.

•*STOCKTON CREDITORS DIDN'T NEGOTIATE IN GOOD FAITH, JUDGE SAYS

Creditors are pushing to get the city out of bankruptcy but the judge states that "by any measure" the city was insolvent. So, in summary, yeah, it was broke years ago, it still is broke - despite the best efforts by the Central Planning Reserve to reflate the same housing bubble that was the primary reason for the city's insolvency in the first place. Only this time, it's official!

Via Reuters:

Stockton, California, was ruled eligible for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 9 of the U.S. bankruptcy code, a U.S. judged said on Monday, turning aside creditors' arguments that the city was not truly insolvent when it sought protection last year and had improperly failed to seek concessions.

In a case that has been widely watched by the $3.7 trillion municipal bond market, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Klein said Stockton had established during last week's three-day trial that it had met requirements to be found eligible to proceed with its municipal bankruptcy case.

Officials in the city of nearly 300,000, the largest city so far to have filed for municipal bankruptcy, will now be allowed to start drafting a so-called plan of adjustment for the city's debts.

The case is expected to pit municipal bondholders against the California Public Employee Retirement System, which manages pensions for Stockton and many other California governments.
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #33 on: August 07, 2013, 09:10:00 am »

http://news.yahoo.com/video/california-seeks-move-inmates-private-045442842.html
Video: California seeks to move inmates to private prisons

California will seek to move thousands of inmates to private prisons in a last-ditch attempt to avoid releasing violent offenders to ease prison crowding, the state corrections chief said Monday.
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #34 on: August 28, 2013, 11:59:46 am »

http://blogs.marketwatch.com/encore/2013/08/28/why-california-cities-are-in-fiscal-trouble/
8/28/13
Why are California cities in fiscal trouble?

My colleagues and I at the Center for Retirement Research are beginning a project to figure out why some localities are facing serious financial problems.  Instead of reviewing the finances of the 2,400 cities and towns in the U.S. Census of Governments, we decided to search newspapers, magazines, wire services and other sources for cities or towns that have been cited in the press as financially troubled.  Our search turned up 34 localities.  Nine of those were tiny towns that had lost a major lawsuit.  The other 25 localities had more pervasive problems, and included the expected larger suspects such as Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Providence, R.I.  Others were small, like Prichard, Ala., and Central Falls, R.I.  What I found astounding was that 10 of the 25 financially troubled cities were in California.  I guess the bright side is that, excluding California, American cities are not about to topple over like dominoes.  On the other hand, what is going on in California?

According to the Economist, California’s underlying problems rest with its brand of democracy.  Essentially, Californians have adopted a direct and participatory democracy rather than the representative democracy favored by James Madison and other founders.  The California approach opened the way for a major role for voter initiatives.  These initiatives were used sparingly for much of the 20th century, but then in 1978, Californians passed Proposition 13.  It was an anti-tax measure but had vast implications both for taxes and the power of the legislature to respond to economic shocks, such as the financial crisis and Great Recession.

Proposition 13 was a reaction to a doubling of property tax bills, as assessments soared in the early 1970s.  The initiative cut the property-tax rate from an average of 2.6% to 1% in every county.  It also capped the annual increase in assessed values at 2%.  To make sure that the tax cut was not offset by tax increases elsewhere, Proposition 13 required a two-thirds super-majority in the legislature for any tax hike.

With a huge revenue hole, local services faced enormous cuts.  Instead, the state government, which had a large surplus, bailed the localities out.  That one-time transfer became a permanent financing mechanism.  And even the remaining property tax revenues were allocated by the state legislature.  California now transfers 60% to 70% of its state revenues to localities.

In the wake of Proposition 13, two things have happened.  First, of the hundreds of new initiatives that have passed, many have promised a tax cut or an expanded service without compensating financing, so much of the budget was allocated before the legislature even had a chance to negotiate. Second, the requirement for a super-majority for any tax increase made it almost impossible for policymakers to raise revenues. The consensus appears to be that California has become unmanageable.

On the pension front, I know the story.  California is in trouble because a retroactive expansion of benefits in the late 1990s made the state one of the most generous in the nation.  Although unlike Illinois and New Jersey, it is not guilty of deliberately underfunding its plans, some degree of underfunding and the sheer magnitude of the pension commitments are putting enormous pressure on both state and local budgets in California.  It is also a state where it is particularly difficult to modify public pensions by changing future benefits for current employees.

Finally, California was particularly hard hit by the financial crisis and ensuing recession.  Even today, California has higher foreclosure and unemployment rates than most states.  And local government revenue in California grew between 2007 and 2010 by only 3% compared to 9% for the rest of the nation.  Part of the low growth can be explained by an actual decline in state transfers, which increased elsewhere by 10% over the 2007-10 period.

More recently, California has seen some short-term success in stabilizing its finances through spending restraint and a voter-approved tax increase, but the underlying problems remain.  Combine a dysfunctional state government, which cannot raise revenues on its own and cuts back just when localities need help, with very generous pension promises and the devastating impact of the 2008 financial collapse, and California is batting three for three.  No wonder 10 of the nation’s 25 financially troubled cities are located in California.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post misspelled the name of the town of Prichard, Ala.
Report Spam   Logged
Kilika
Guest
« Reply #35 on: August 29, 2013, 02:09:17 am »

That's a tricky article. Like talking out of both sides of their mouths.

Restricting "raising revenue" is not why California is collapsing! THAT sounds like a politician whining they can't get their hands on even more cash to mishandle.

Notice they admit some success through what? Spending cuts and new tax revenue, which I thought the complaint was that they couldn't raise revenue!

Underlying all this is unions and pensions, added to outright mismanagement of city finds.
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #36 on: January 03, 2014, 04:54:58 pm »

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/12/31/California-New-Laws-for-2014-Effect-Transgender-Rights-to-DUI
12/31/13
California 2014 Laws Affect Transgenders, Smokers, Drunk Drivers

As 2014 is just a day away, new laws have been crafted for Californians to adhere to. Here are just a few blessed laws and regulations that will come into effect in 2014:

Transgender Rights: We will all sleep a little better at night knowing that students in grades K-12 who identify as transgender will be able to use the school bathrooms of their choosing as long as it is “consistent with their gender identity,” even if it is different than their gender at birth. Students will also be able to select whether they want to be on the boys team or the girls team based on their “gender identity.”

On Campus Smoking: Men wearing dresses to class with earrings in their noses is no problem, but don’t get caught inhaling a Camel walking to your next exam. All 10 University of California campuses will be smoke-free starting Jan. 1, 2014. The ban includes all tobacco products. Sorry, e-cigarettes count; they are also banned.

More Room for Bicyclists: This one doesn’t become law until Sept. 16, 2014. Driving a car and passing too close to a bicyclist could result in a fine for the driver, whether there was a crash or not. Drivers must be at least three feet from the cyclist while passing.

Minimum Wage: Based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics, by state California is ranked 46th in the nation in unemployment rates, weighing in at 8.5%. This has not deterred the state from increasing the minimum wage by one dollar to $9.00/hr, which will kick in on July 1, 2014. Critics argue that raising the minimum wage often prompts employers to reduce staff to keep up with labor overhead.

Search Warrants: This might be renamed the vampire law: A driver suspected of DUI who refuses to submit to or fails to complete a blood test can be served a search warrant to draw blood in a “reasonable, medically approved manner.” This law went into effect Sept. 20.
Report Spam   Logged
Kilika
Guest
« Reply #37 on: January 04, 2014, 02:54:42 am »

Quote
Sorry, e-cigarettes count; they are also banned.

So it looks like the anti-smoking lobby made a last second push with politicians voting this junk as they leave office. New York City had something like 20 council members leaving office along with Bloomberg, and as a parting shot by the socialists leaving they passed a bunch of bs laws like banning e-cigarettes.

Why is the the anti-smoking lobby so rabid against tobacco products of any kind? I just can't understand why they are so aggressively against it. I mean these people are in a blind rage against it that goes beyond reason as evidenced by the banning of e-cigarettes that have shown to not be a problem, yet they are still trying to block anything that relates to smoking. Even officials admit in NYC that their ban was mostly based on the government not wanting people to even have the idea that smoking is okay. So they banned them based on the government not wanting people to get the wrong idea!

Ever since the tobacco lawsuits years ago, the anti-tobacco lobby has grown massively. Where were all these non-smokers back then? I personally think there is something going on. None of it make sense that these people are so opposed.

Scripture tells us that the love of money is the root of all evil, so that tells me that the evil behind this must be money related. If nothing else, it may be as simple as the government is using the scare to increase taxes because they know the public has never opposed higher taxes on stuff they don't use. So non-smokers could care less how much smokers are gouged on taxes. It may be it's just an easy tax increase sales pitch. And a recent article spells out how the UN community is cranking up their anti-smoking regulations, wanting to ban e-cigarettes.

The only thing that makes sense is that this is nothing more than an old fashion tax grab.
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #38 on: January 26, 2014, 04:28:32 pm »

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/california-drought-ranchers-selling-cattle-22014689
1/26/14
California Drought Has Ranchers Selling Cattle
AROMAS, Calif. January 26, 2014 (AP)

In January, business at the 101 Livestock Market's cattle auction on California's Central Coast is usually slow. The busy season is normally in June or July, when ranchers have had time to fatten their animals for weeks on spring grasses.

This year, however, business is bustling, with packed pens of moaning cattle and cowboys standing on tip-toe to get a glance at their potential prizes.

Because of historically dry conditions, California's soil moisture — a key ingredient for the forage that cattle graze on — is low throughout the state. With feed costs high and weeks of dry weather in the forecast, ranchers are already selling off parts of their herds as normally green grazing pastures have turned brown.

"We're in the drought now, so a lot of these are going back to Texas," said rancher and auction house co-owner Monty Avery, gesturing to a pen packed full of cows. "We usually sell about 100-150 animals per week. Now we're seeing 800-1,000 per week, so the volume's jumped up."

Gov. Jerry Brown has formally proclaimed a drought in California, a move that codified what farmers and ranchers in the state had known for weeks. The U.S. Drought Monitor has said there are "extreme drought" conditions in central and northern California, where much of the state's ranching is located.

California is now in its third dry year, with little snowfall so far this winter and forecasts suggesting only more sunshine. Precipitation in most of the state is less than 20 percent of normal and reservoirs are dwindling — one town on California's far northern coast says it has fewer than 100 days of drinking water in storage.

The state is the nation's leader in dairy cows, and fourth overall in the U.S. for total number of cattle, trailing Texas, Nebraska and Kansas, according to the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. With little free food available for cattle, some ranchers have already started controlling costs.

Romaldo Martin, a cattle rancher who runs M&M Farms in Hollister, has sold more than 160 cows and calves at 101 Livestock Market over the past two weeks and plans to sell at least 100 more. He said it's too expensive to buy hay to feed his herd, and the water on his land is drying up.

"If the weather doesn't change, I might need to get rid of all of them," said Martin, who is in his 70s and used to run about 600 heads of cattle. "I've never seen anything like this in my life ... It's a disaster."

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Jan. 16 declared a drought disaster in some California counties, which allows farmers to apply for low-interest loans to help them cope. Ranchers are not included in the program.

To help them navigate the historic dry weather, the University of California's Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources is holding workshops.

"From previous droughts we've learned that feeding the whole herd through the drought may spell the end of business," said Glenn Nader, adviser for the program in Sutter and Yuba counties.

Some of California's herd will be headed to Texas, which is recovering from its own severe drought. That state's herd of five million head of cattle has shrunk over the past few years by a quarter, said Jason Cleere, a rancher and beef cattle specialist with Texas AgriLife Extension at Texas A&M University.
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #39 on: January 26, 2014, 04:39:58 pm »

http://www.montereyherald.com/news/ci_24994179/california-drought-past-dry-periods-have-lasted-hundreds?source=rss
California drought: Past dry periods have lasted hundreds of years, scientists say

Past dry periods lasted hundreds of years

1/25/14

California's current drought is being billed as the driest period in the state's recorded rainfall history. But scientists who study the West's long-term climate patterns say the state has been parched for much longer stretches before that 163-year historical period began.

And they worry that the "megadroughts" typical of California's earlier history could come again.

Through studies of tree rings, sediment and other natural evidence, researchers have documented multiple droughts in California that lasted 10 or 20 years in a row during the past 1,000 years — compared to the mere three-year duration of the current dry spell.

The two most severe megadroughts make the Dust Bowl of the 1930s look tame: a 240-year-long drought that started in 850 and, 50 years after the conclusion of that one, another that stretched at least 180 years.

"We continue to run California as if the longest drought we are ever going to encounter is about seven years," said Scott Stine, a professor of geography and environmental studies at CSU East Bay. "We're living in a dream world."

California in 2013 received less rain than in any year since it became a state in 1850. And at least one San Francisco Bay Area scientist says that based on tree ring data, the current rainfall season is on pace to be the driest since 1580 — more than 150 years before George Washington was born. The question is: How much longer will it last?

A megadrought today would have catastrophic effects.

California, the nation's most populous state with 38 million residents, has built a massive economy, Silicon Valley, Hollywood and millions of acres of farmland, all in a semiarid area. The state's dams, canals and reservoirs have never been tested by the kind of prolonged drought that experts say will almost certainly occur again.

Stine, who has spent decades studying tree stumps in Mono Lake, Tenaya Lake, the Walker River and other parts of the Sierra Nevada, said the past century has been among the wettest of the last 7,000 years.

Looking back, the long-term record also shows some staggeringly wet periods. The decades between the two medieval megadroughts, for example, delivered years of above-normal rainfall — the kind that would cause devastating floods today.

The longest droughts of the 20th century, what Californians think of as severe, occurred from 1987 to 1992 and from 1928 to 1934. Both, Stine said, are minor compared to the ancient droughts of 850 to 1090 and 1140 to 1320.

Modern megadrought

What would happen if the current drought continued for another 10 years or more?

Without question, longtime water experts say, farmers would bear the brunt. Cities would suffer but adapt.

The reason: Although many Californians think population growth is the main driver of water demand statewide, it actually is agriculture. In an average year, farmers use 80 percent of the water consumed by people and businesses — 34 million of 43 million acre-feet diverted from rivers, lakes and groundwater, according to the state Department of Water Resources.

"Cities would be inconvenienced greatly and suffer some. Smaller cities would get it worse, but farmers would take the biggest hit," said Maurice Roos, the department's chief hydrologist. "Cities can always afford to spend a lot of money to buy what water is left."


Roos, who has worked at the department since 1957, said the prospect of megadroughts is another reason to build more storage — both underground and in reservoirs — to catch rain in wet years.

In a megadrought, there would be much less water in the Delta to pump. Farmers' allotments would shrink to nothing. Large reservoirs like Shasta, Oroville and San Luis would eventually go dry after five or more years of little or no rain.

Farmers would fallow millions of acres, letting row crops die first. They would pump massive amounts of groundwater to keep orchards alive, but eventually those wells would go dry. And although deeper wells could be dug, the costs could exceed the value of their crops. Banks would refuse to loan the farmers money.

The federal government would almost certainly provide billions of dollars in emergency aid to farm communities.

"Some small towns in the Central Valley would really suffer. They would basically go away," said Jay Lund, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at UC Davis.

"But agriculture is only 3 percent of California's economy today," Lund said. "In the main urban economy, most people would learn to live with less water. It would be expensive and inconvenient, but we'd do it."

Farmers with senior water rights would make a huge profit, he said, selling water at sky-high prices to cities. Food costs would rise, but there wouldn't be shortages, Lund said, because Californians already buy lots of food from other states and countries and would buy even more from them.

Fallback plans

In urban areas, most cities would eventually see water rationing at 50 percent of current levels. Golf courses would shut down. Cities would pass laws banning watering or installing lawns, which use half of most homes' water. Across the state, rivers and streams would dry up, wiping out salmon runs. Cities would race to build new water supply projects.

If a drought lasted decades, the state could always build dozens of desalination plants, which would cost billions of dollars, said law professor Barton "Buzz" Thompson, co-director of Stanford University's Woods Institute for the Environment.

Saudi Arabia, Israel and other Middle Eastern countries depend on desalination, but water from desal plants costs roughly five times more than urban Californians pay for water now. Thompson said that makes desal projects unfeasible for most of the state now, especially when other options like recycled wastewater and conservation can provide more water at a much lower cost.

But in an emergency, price becomes no object.

"In theory, cities cannot run out of water," Thompson said. "All we can do is run out of cheap water, or not have as much water as we need when we really want it."

Over the past 10 years, he noted, Australia has been coping with a severe drought. Urban residents there cut their water demand massively, built new supply projects and survived.

"I don't think we'll ever get to a point here where you turn on the tap and air comes out," he said.

Megadrought now

Some scientists believe we are already in a megadrought, although that view is not universally accepted.

Bill Patzert, a research scientist and oceanographer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, says the West is in a 20-year drought that began in 2000. He cites the fact that a phenomenon known as a "negative Pacific decadal oscillation" is underway — and that historically has been linked to extreme high-pressure ridges that block storms.

Such events, which cause pools of warm water in the North Pacific Ocean and cool water along the California coast, are not the result of global warming, Patzert said. But climate change caused by the burning of fossil fuels has been linked to longer heat waves. That wild card wasn't around years ago.

"Long before the Industrial Revolution, we were vulnerable to long extended periods of drought. And now we have another experiment with all this CO2 in the atmosphere where there are potentially even more wild swings in there," said Graham Kent, a University of Nevada geophysicist who has studied submerged ancient trees in Fallen Leaf Lake near Lake Tahoe.

Already, the 2013-14 rainfall season is shaping up to be the driest in 434 years, based on tree ring data, according to Lynn Ingram, a paleoclimatologist at UC Berkeley.

"It's important to be aware of what the climate is capable of," she said, "so that we can prepare for it."

Report Spam   Logged
Kilika
Guest
« Reply #40 on: January 27, 2014, 04:25:38 am »

Quote
...Without question, longtime water experts say, farmers would bear the brunt. Cities would suffer but adapt.

The reason: Although many Californians think population growth is the main driver of water demand statewide, it actually is agriculture. In an average year, farmers use 80 percent of the water consumed by people and businesses — 34 million of 43 million acre-feet diverted from rivers, lakes and groundwater, according to the state Department of Water Resources.

"Cities would be inconvenienced greatly and suffer some. Smaller cities would get it worse, but farmers would take the biggest hit," said Maurice Roos, the department's chief hydrologist. "Cities can always afford to spend a lot of money to buy what water is left."...

We can see why they could "adapt" by the globalists efforts to make the marketplace international. Can't grow crops in California? No problem, just ship it in from Asia and South America. Florida and other states still has their crops, so they'd still have US-grown products to appease the masses, so I can see how some people would try to reason their socialist/globalist methods.

Just like with manufacturing in the US, it simply got too expensive to do business here, when really cheap labour was widely available in other countries that needs cash. So off shore is where those businesses went, and I think farm crops in a much bigger way are headed that direction too.

They claim 80% is agriculture usage? What would the situation be if California wasn't using water from the Colorado? Not good at all. They couldn't sustain the population the way it is. A massive amount of water is sent to areas that normally doesn't have it. You stop directing water to those areas, where it naturally wouldn't be, California collapses from it's current way of doing things. No way it could sustain a population of any size.
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #41 on: February 01, 2014, 09:41:20 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/amid-drought-california-agency-won-39-t-allot-203406226.html
1/31/14
Amid drought, California agency won't allot water

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Amid severe drought conditions, California officials announced Friday they won't send any water from the state's vast reservoir system to local agencies beginning this spring, an unprecedented move that affects drinking water supplies for 25 million people and irrigation for 1 million acres of farmland.

The announcement marks the first time in the 54-year history of the State Water Project that such an action has been taken, but it does not mean that every farm field will turn to dust and every city tap will run dry.

The 29 agencies that draw from the state's water-delivery system have other sources, although those also have been hard-hit by the drought.

Many farmers in California's Central Valley, one of the most productive agricultural regions in the country, also draw water from a separate system of federally run reservoirs and canals, but that system also will deliver just a fraction of its normal water allotment this year.

The announcement affects water deliveries planned to begin this spring, and the allotment could increase if weather patterns change and send more storms into the state.

Nevertheless, Friday's announcement puts an exclamation point on California's water shortage, which has been building during three years of below-normal rain and snow.

"This is the most serious drought we've faced in modern times," said Felicia Marcus, chairwoman of the State Water Resources Control Board. "We need to conserve what little we have to use later in the year, or even in future years."

State Department of Water Resources Director Mark Cowin said there simply is not enough water in the system to meet the needs of farmers, cities and the conservation efforts that are intended to save dwindling populations of salmon and other fish throughout Northern California.

For perspective, California would have to experience heavy rain and snowfall every other day from now until May to get the state back to its average annual precipitation totals, according to the Department of Water Resources.

"These actions will protect us all in the long run," Cowin said during a news conference that included numerous state and federal officials, including those from wildlife and agricultural agencies.

Friday's announcement came after Gov. Jerry Brown's official drought declaration in mid-January, a decision that cleared the way for state and federal agencies to coordinate efforts to preserve water and send it where it is needed most. The governor urged Californians to reduce their water use by 20 percent.

It also reflects the severity of the dry conditions in the nation's most populous state. Officials say 2013 was the state's driest calendar year since records started being kept, and this year is heading in the same direction.

A snow survey on Thursday in the Sierra Nevada, one of the state's key water sources, found the water content in the meager snowpack is just 12 percent of normal. Reservoirs are lower than they were at the same time in 1977, which is one of the two previous driest water years on record.

State officials say 17 rural communities are in danger of a severe water shortage within four months. Wells are running dry or reservoirs are nearly empty in some communities. Others have long-running problems that predate the drought.

The timing for of Friday's historic announcement was important: State water officials typically announce they are raising the water allotment on Feb. 1, but this year's winter has been so dry they wanted to ensure they could keep the remaining water behind the dams. The announcement also will give farmers more time to determine what crops they will plant this year and in what quantities.

Farmers and ranchers throughout the state already have felt the drought's impact, tearing out orchards, fallowing fields and trucking in alfalfa to feed cattle on withered range land.

Without deliveries of surface water, farmers and other water users often turn to pumping from underground aquifers. The state has no role in regulating such pumping.

"A zero allocation is catastrophic and woefully inadequate for Kern County residents, farms and businesses," Ted Page, president the Kern County Water Agency's board, said in a statement. "While many areas of the county will continue to rely on ground water to make up at least part of the difference, some areas have exhausted their supply."

Groundwater levels already have been stressed, after pumping accelerated during the dry winter in 2008 and 2009.

"The challenge is that in last drought we drew down groundwater resources and never allowed them to recover," said Heather Cooley, water program co-director for the Pacific Institute, a water policy think tank in Oakland. "We're seeing long term, ongoing declining groundwater levels, and that's a major problem."

Many towns and cities already have ordered severe cutbacks in water use.

With some rivers reduced to a trickle, fish populations also are being affected. Eggs in salmon-spawning beds of the American River near Sacramento were sacrificed after upstream releases from Folsom Dam were severely cut back.

The drought is highlighting the traditional tensions between groups that claim the state's limited water for their own priorities — farmers, city residents and conservationists.

Chuck Bonham, director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, urged everyone to come together during the crisis.

"This is not about picking between delta smelt and long-fin smelt and chinook salmon, and it's not about picking between fish and farms or people and the environment," he said. "It is about really hard decisions on a real-time basis where we may have to accept some impact now to avoid much greater impact later."
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #42 on: February 05, 2014, 12:03:59 pm »

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/california-drought-grows-states-may-113555632.html
As California Drought Grows, Some States May Have Too Much Water
2/5/14

A drought that has started to plague some portions of central California seems likely to grow, and it may be close to permanent. The sources of the state's water have become scarce enough that they cannot be easily replaced. Adjacent to California, Nevada has similar problems. At the other end of the spectrum, some states may have more water than they need or can use effectively.

The U.S. Census Bureau issues a report that its management calls "Geography: State Area Measurements." The information contained in the report includes "total land area and water area of each state." Just because part of a state has access to large amounts of water does not mean that every other part does. However, some states have unusually large areas covered by water, which means at least some part of those states is less likely to face shortages than states that have virtually none.

Only 0.7% of Nevada is covered by water. The U.S. average is 7.0%. Likely, whatever water Nevada has needs to be "imported" or taken from deep wells. Only 0.2% of New Mexico is covered by water. The "U.S. Drought Monitor" shows that much of New Mexico suffers from severe drought, or worse. Colorado has a similar drought problem. The area of the mountain state covered by water is 0.4%. Kansas has a drought problem as well. Only 0.6% of it is covered by water. Nebraska has similar water problems, as does Oklahoma.

At the other end of the "water map" by state, several post numbers of more than 15%. This does not guarantee they will never suffer from drought conditions, but at least plentiful amounts of water are close at hand. These states include Rhode Island, Michigan, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Louisiana and Florida. Some of these states have suffered from drought problems. The "U.S. Drought Monitor" maps show that some have small portions that are "abnormally high." However, virtually none have areas that suffer from drought conditions.

Water can be drilled for and imported. In California, importing has been part of the state's supply for years. But it may be better for a state to have its own water nearby. That is, of course, if those states do not suffer from flooding or toxic contamination.
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #43 on: February 08, 2014, 08:24:48 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/forecasters-big-storm-won-39-t-break-calif-075114933.html
Forecasters: Big storm won't break Calif. drought
2/8/14

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Rain and snow, which began to fall in drought-stricken California on Friday, is expected to continue through the weekend in the biggest storm that the area has seen in more than a year.

Still, the big weekend storm is far from enough to break the drought.

The San Francisco Bay Area has received only about 25 percent of the rain it has normally had by this time of year, said National Weather Service forecaster Diana Henderson.

"It's not a drought buster, but it's definitely more than a drop in the bucket," said Steve Anderson, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Monterey.

San Francisco normally would have received 14.5 inches of rain this season by now. That figure is currently at a little more than 3 inches, with up to 3 more inches expected over the weekend.

Before the storm rolls out Monday morning, the northern San Francisco Bay Area could see as much as 9 inches of rain, the weather service said. In the Sierra, up to 4 feet of snow is expected at elevations above 7,000 feet.

The weekend storm is expected to be the first to bring more than an inch of rain to Sacramento in a 24-hour period since December 2012, said Johnnie Powell, another National Weather Service forecaster.

Forecasters are hopeful the storm portends an end to the persistent dry weather that has plagued the state for months and contributed to its drought emergency. Light precipitation is forecast for Wednesday and Thursday and another storm is possible next weekend, although it's not yet clear how strong that would be, Anderson said.

The rain and snow expected over the weekend are part of warm, subtropical storm system known as a Pineapple Express that is strung across the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii, Anderson said.

Forecasters are warning of the possibility of road and stream flooding, as trash and debris that have not been washed away because of a lack of rainfall clog storm drains. Minor mud and rock slides also are possible.

Southern California was expected to be mostly dry. Forecasters said measureable rain over the weekend likely would not fall farther south than San Luis Obispo and northern Santa Barbara counties as a ridge of high pressure pushes up from the south.

Meanwhile, snowpack levels in nearby Oregon on Friday were less than half of normal, and the drought index was still severe to moderate. Dozens of sites in Southern Oregon showed the lowest snowpack since the 1940s, when records were first kept.

The storm was expected to drop a foot or more of snow in mountainous parts of southern Oregon and 2 to 8 inches in western Oregon valleys that got slammed Thursday, the National Weather Service said.

The snow was expected to turn to freezing rain Friday night and Saturday in many areas. That will turn roadways icy and increase the possibility of downed power lines, forecasters warned.

The first storm dropped more than a foot of snow on parts of the Pacific Northwest and left one person dead in an Interstate 5 pileup in southwest Washington. It also closed schools and offices.

Mount Ashland Ski Area remained closed with just 6 inches of snow, but is high enough at 6,000 feet to expect to get snow even as the coming storms bring warmer temperatures.

The storm track wasn't carrying as much rain and snow into Washington, where the snowpack was better but not great. Snowpack levels ranged from 32 percent of normal on the Olympic Peninsula, to 50 percent on the Lower Columbia, 65 percent in southern Puget Sound, to 63 percent on the northern Puget Sound. The Yakima Basin ranged from 57 percent to 62 percent. Spokane was at 78 percent. And the Lower Snake was the highest at 86 percent.

The drought index was at moderate across most of Washington.
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #44 on: February 14, 2014, 10:25:15 pm »

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/drought-threatens-cripple-california-agriculture-industry-n30896
Drought Threatens to Cripple California Agriculture Industry
2/14/14

A withering drought that has turned California rivers and reservoirs to dust now threatens to devastate the agriculture business in the country’s top farming state.

President Barack Obama on Friday pledged millions of dollars in federal assistance to the state during a visit to Fresno, the biggest city in the state's once-lush San Joaquin Valley.

"The truth of the matter is that this is going to be a very challenging situation this year, and frankly, the trend lines are such where it's going to be a challenging situation for some time to come," Obama said Friday during a meeting with local leaders in Firebaugh, Calif., a rural enclave not far from Fresno.

Obama promised to make $100 million in livestock-disaster aid available within 60 days to help the state rebound from what the White House's top science and technology adviser has called the worst dry spell in 500 years.

For the farmers in a state that produces a third of the country’s fruits and vegetables, the help couldn't come soon enough.

"It's really a crisis situation," Kenneth McDonald, city manager in drought-ravaged Firebaugh in Fresno County told NBC News. "And it's going to get worse in time if this drought doesn't alleviate."

The historic drought — which Gov. Jerry Brown has called an "unprecedented" emergency — has imperiled the region's $44.7 billion agriculture business. It could cost the state $2.8 billion in job income and $11 billion in annual state revenue, according to data from the California Farm Water Coalition, an industry advocacy group.

In the state's Central Valley — where nearly 40 percent of all jobs are tied to agriculture production and related processing — the pain has already trickled down. Businesses across a wide swath of the region have shuttered, casting countless workers adrift in a downturn that calls to mind the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.

"A lot of people don't realize the amount of money that's been lost, the amount of jobs lost. And we can't recapture that," Joel Allen, the owner of the Joel Allen Ranch in Firebaugh, told NBC News.

"It's horrible," Allen added. "People are standing in food lines and people are coming by my office every day looking for work."

Allen — whose family has been in farming for three generations — and his 20-man crew are out of work.

He said: "We're to the point where we're scratching our head. What are we gonna do next?"

At the local grocery store, fruit prices are up — but sales are down. The market was forced to lay off three employees — and many more throughout the town are packing their bags and leaving town.

McDonald said farming communities like Firebaugh run the risk of becoming desolate ghost towns as local governments and businesses collapse.

"It's going to be a slow, painful process — but it could happen," McDonald said. "It's not going to be one big tsunami where you're gonna having something get wiped out in one big wave. It's gonna be a slow, painful, agonizing death."

Federal agencies are scrambling to intervene. The White House has said that the millions of federal aid — which was contained in a $956 billion farm bill that Congress passed and Obama signed last week — is a crucial step.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told reporters in a preview of the announcement that Obama will offer "a message of hope and a message that the federal government will do all it can to try to alleviate some of the stress connected with this drought."

The problem is not just in California. Federal agriculture officials in January designated parts of 11 states as disaster areas, citing the economic strain that the lack of rain is putting on farmers. Those states are Arkansas, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah.

Obama on Friday announced $15 million in assistance to help farmers and ranchers institute water conservation practices — a sum that includes $5 million for California and $10 million for parched areas across the Southwest.

He also said that, among other measures, he has called on federal facilities in California to immediately curb water use — including a moratorium on new landscaping projects that are not deemed essential, according to Reuters.

Report Spam   Logged
Kilika
Guest
« Reply #45 on: February 15, 2014, 02:30:43 am »

Quote
including a moratorium on new landscaping projects that are not deemed essential

Aside from planting stuff to reduce erosion, there is no landscaping that is essential. It's all vanity.

Soft winter grass and wildflowers in your Hollywood mansion's yard isn't responsible, it's a waste of money and water.

Ban lawn grass and require gravel or rock instead. No more watering the lawn and no more engines from lawn mowers and weed eaters polluting the air.

And they should stop produce exports as well, seeing all those food items are taking the water from here, and it's going in the food to other countries.
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #46 on: February 19, 2014, 05:13:21 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/health-experts-warn-water-contamination-california-drought-034954936.html
2/18/14
Health experts warn of water contamination from California drought

SACRAMENTO, California (Reuters) - California's drought has put 10 communities at acute risk of running out of drinking water in 60 days, and worsened numerous other health and safety problems, public health officials in the most populous U.S. state said on Tuesday.

Rural communities where residents rely on wells are at particular risk, as contaminants in the groundwater become more concentrated with less water available to dilute them, top state health officials said at a legislative hearing on the drought.

"The drought has exacerbated existing conditions," said Mark Starr, deputy director of the California Department of Public Health.

The state has helped about 22 of 183 communities identified last year as reliant on contaminated groundwater to bring their supplies into conformance with environmental guidelines, but the rest are still building or preparing to build systems, he said.

The contamination warning comes days after President Barack Obama announced nearly $200 million in aid for the parched state, including $60 million for food banks to help people thrown out of work in agriculture-related industries as farmers leave fields unplanted and ranchers sell cattle early because the animals have no grass for grazing.

The California Farm Bureau estimates the overall impact of idled farmland will run to roughly $5 billion, from in direct costs of lost production and indirect effects through the region's economy.

Last month, Democratic Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency, as reservoir levels dipped to all-time lows with little rain or snow in the forecast.

On Tuesday, the state's top public health officials said they were targeting 10 communities for immediate relief, trucking in water when necessary and helping to lay pipes connecting residents with nearby public water systems.

Worst hit is the small city of Willits in the northern part of the state, public health director Ron Chapman said. Also targeted for priority help included tiny water systems throughout the state, one so small it serves 55 people in a community listed simply as Whispering Pines Apartments.

"Small drinking water systems are especially vulnerable to drought conditions," the public health department said on its website. "They have fewer customers, which can mean fewer options in terms of resources like funding and infrastructure."

STAGNANT POOLS, CONTAMINATED WELLS

Linda Rudolph, co-director for the Center for Climate Change and Health in Oakland and a former state health official, said millions of Californians rely on wells and other sources of groundwater where the concentration of contaminants is growing because of dry conditions.

"Many groundwater basins in California are contaminated, for example with nitrates from over application of nitrogen fertilizer or concentrated animal feeding operations, with industrial chemicals, with chemicals from oil extraction or due to natural contaminants with chemicals such as arsenic," Rudolph said.

In addition, as dry conditions turn ponds and creeks into stagnant pools, mosquitoes breed, and risk increases for the diseases they carry, she said at the hearing. Residents with asthma and other lung conditions are also at risk as dry conditions create dust.

The state's firefighters put out 400 blazes during the first three weeks of January, normally the state's wettest season and its slowest for wildfires, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

"We are experiencing conditions right now that we would usually see in August," its website quoted Chief Ken Pimlott as saying.
Report Spam   Logged
Kilika
Guest
« Reply #47 on: February 20, 2014, 02:33:05 am »

Quote
as dry conditions turn ponds and creeks into stagnant pools, mosquitoes breed, and risk increases for the diseases they carry

No worries. Once all that standing water drys up, so will the mosquitoes.

By the way, that statement is a bit dishonest, because mosquitoes only survive in standing water. If there is really ANY kind of movement to the body of water, they won't lay eggs there. Creeks definitely wouldn't produce mosquitoes.
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #48 on: February 20, 2014, 10:06:18 pm »

http://money.msn.com/business-news/article.aspx?feed=AP&date=20140220&id=17370115
2/20/14
Plan to divide California into 6 states advances

LOS ANGELES (AP) - California has reached the breaking point, says Tim Draper. The Silicon Valley venture capitalist is pushing a proposal to crack the nation's most populous state into smaller pieces - six of them.

California has grown so big, so inefficient, it's essentially ungovernable, according to a ballot initiative that could reach voters as early as November.

It has to go, he says.

"Vast parts of our state are poorly served by a representative government," according to Draper's plan, which cleared a key government hurdle this week, part of the process to qualify for the ballot. California residents "would be better served by six smaller state governments."

In an interview Thursday, Draper said he has seen a state once regarded as a model slide into decline — many public schools are troubled, transportation, water and other infrastructure systems are overmatched and outdated, spending on prisons has soared.

A group of states could change that, he said, competing and cooperating with each other.

Without change "it will get worse," he warned. "California is not working."

No one would dispute that California, home to 38 million people, is full of rivalries and squabbling. Dodgers or Giants. Tacos or sushi. Where water goes, and how much of it.

But the state has proven reliably resilient against attempts to split it apart, dating to the era of its founding in 1850. Over the years, proposals have suggested California should be two states, or three, or four.

"It's certainly fun to talk about," said Raphael Sonenshein, executive director of the Pat Brown Institute of Public Affairs at California State University, Los Angeles. But "its prospects are nil."

Even if it were to be approved by voters, Congress would have to endorse the idea of creating six new states — and adding 10 senators to the chamber's political mix (as with all states, California currently has two). Congress, under the U.S. Constitution, must approve the creation or division of any states.

"I don't think anyone is going to give California 12 Senate seats," Sonenshein said.

Draper, in documents he submitted to the Secretary of State's Office, recommends dividing California regionally, including establishing a state called Silicon Valley, which would include San Francisco and nearby counties that are home to technology giants like Facebook and Apple.

Los Angeles would become part of the new state of West California, which also would include the coastal cities of Santa Barbara and Ventura. The state's farming heartland would become Central California. San Diego would be the largest city in the new South California.

Earlier this week, he received approval from the state to begin collecting petition signatures to qualify the proposal for the ballot — he needs about 808,000 by mid-July to make the cut.

It's also possible the proposal could be delayed until 2016. Facing a tight deadline to gather signatures and build political momentum, "I want to make sure there is enough time," Draper said.

The complexities of dividing a state the size of California, by itself among the world's top 10 economies, would be daunting.

What would become of the California State Water Project, which uses aqueducts and pumping stations to disperse water across the state? If the federal government approves the idea, tax collections and spending by the state would end, and its assets and debts would have to be divided.

Draper said the smaller governments would be more responsive to the needs of residents and communities, compared to Sacramento. There would be vigorous competition for residents among them, he predicted, again driving change.

Campaign veteran Matt David doubted the proposal would get far.

"California is as diverse geographically as it demographically, but ultimately we all take pride in the fact that we are Californians," said David, a Republican consultant based in Los Angeles. "Diluting that identity between six states will never happen."
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #49 on: February 25, 2014, 05:17:29 pm »

Prison ‘Lifers’ Being Released At Record Pace
http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2014/02/25/prison-lifers-being-released-at-record-pace/
2/25/14

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Nearly 1,400 lifers in California’s prisons have been released over the past three years in a sharp turnaround in a state where murderers and others sentenced to life with the possibility of parole almost never got out.

Since taking office three years ago, Gov. Jerry Brown has affirmed 82 percent of the parole board decisions, resulting in a record number of inmates with life sentences going free.

Brown’s predecessor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, authorized the release of 557 lifers during his six-year term, sustaining the board at a 27 percent clip. Before that, Gov. Gray Davis over three years approved the release of two.

This dramatic shift in releases under Brown comes as the state grapples with court orders to ease a decades-long prison crowding crisis that has seen triple bunking, prison gyms turned into dormitories and inmates shipped out of state.

Crime victims and their advocates have said the releases are an injustice to the victims and that the parolees could pose a danger to the public. More than 80 percent of lifers are in prison for murder, while the remaining are mostly rapists and kidnappers.

“This is playing Russian roulette with public safety,” said Christine Ward, executive director of the Crime Victims Action Alliance. “This is a change of philosophy that can be dangerous.”

The governor’s office said the overcrowding crisis plays no role in the parole decisions.

Rather, the governor’s office said, each case is addressed individually and Brown is bound by court orders that require state officials to ease the stringent parole requirements that have dramatically increased the time murderers spend in prison.

Today, an inmate convicted of first-degree murders can expect to serve an average of 27 years— almost twice what it was two decades ago before California became the fourth state to give governors the politically fraught final decision on lifer paroles.

Since then, the number of lifers has grown from 9,000 to 35,000 inmates, representing a quarter of the state prison population. But two seminal California Supreme Court rulings in 2008 have significantly eased tough parole restrictions.

The court ordered prison officials to consider more than the severity of the applicant’s underlying crimes. It ruled that inmates’ records while incarcerated plus their volunteer work should count heavily in assessing early release.

State figures show that since the rulings, the board has granted parole to nearly 3,000 lifers, including 590 last year and a record 670 in 2012. In the three decades prior to the 2008 rulings, only about 1,800 such prisoners were granted parole.

California’s parole board decides which prisoners serving life sentences are suitable for release, but governors have veto power.

Davis reversed only two of 232 parole board decisions granting parole between 1999 and 2002 — a rate of 2 percent. Schwarzenegger sustained the board at a 27 percent clip during his seven years in office when he was presented with 2,050 paroles granted by the board.

Brown has allowed 82 percent of the 1,590 paroles granted by the board
.

Brown’s office says he is operating under a different legal landscape than previous governors, and that he is following court rulings and a 23-year-old state law that gave governors the power to block paroles of lifers who the state board found suitable for release.

A Stanford University study of lifer paroles between 1990 and 2010 found that a murderer had a 6 percent chance of leaving prison alive since governors were given the power to veto board decisions.

Gov. Pete Wilson, the first governor vested with veto power, used it sparingly, though the parole board was approving just a few dozen paroles a year compared with the hundreds the board has been approving in recent years.

Between 1991 and when he left office in January 1999, he approved 115 of the 171, or 67 percent, of the lifers the board found suitable for release.

“If an individual is eligible for parole and the board determines they are no longer a threat, the law says they must be paroled unless there is firm evidence indicating they are still a threat,” Brown spokesman Evan Westrup said.

The few studies of recidivism among released lifers including a Stanford University report show they re-offend at much lower rates than other inmates released on parole and none has been convicted of a new murder.

Of the 860 murderers paroled between 1990 and 2010 that Stanford tracked, only five inmates committed new crimes and none were convicted of murder. The average released lifer is in his mid-50s. Experts say older ex-cons are less prone to commit new crimes than younger ones.

Brown has reversed the parole board. On Friday, his office announced it blocked the parole of 100 inmates deemed fit by the board for release and sent two others back to the board for reconsideration.

One of those inmates found fit for release by the board but blocked by Brown was James Mackey, a former University of Pacific football player found guilty of shooting his victim with a crossbow and then strangling him. Brown said Mackey hasn’t sufficiently owned up to the crime.

“Until he can give a better explanation for his actions,” Brown wrote, “I do not think he is ready to be released.”

Ernest Morgan on the other hand, is a lifer Brown did let free.

Morgan, a San Francisco man convicted of the shotgun slaying of his 14-year-old stepsister burglarizing the family home, was turned down for parole five times before the board granted him parole, only to be overruled by Schwarzenegger.

Schwarzenegger wrote that Morgan posed “a current, unreasonable risk to public safety.” And he noted that Morgan had at one point claimed that the shotgun had gone off accidentally, although he later acknowledged his guilt to the parole board.

“So I was devastated when Schwarzenegger denied my release,” said Morgan, who now is majoring in business management at San Francisco State. “I felt I was a political pawn who would never get out.”

In 2011, Brown approved his release after 24 years in prison. Brown made no comment in granting Morgan his release. Instead, the governor signaled his approval by taking no action within 30 days of the parole board’s decision becoming official.

“It’s been a remarkable and unexpected change,” said Johanna Hoffman, Morgan’s lawyer who has represented hundreds of lifers vying for parole since becoming a California lawyer in 2008. “The overcrowding issue has a huge amount to do with it.”

Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #50 on: March 02, 2014, 06:11:35 pm »

http://local.msn.com/california-farmers-hire-dowsers-to-find-water-2
California farmers hire dowsers to find water

With California in the grips of drought, farmers throughout the state are using a mysterious and some say foolhardy tool for locating underground water: dowsers, or water witches.

3/2/14

ST. HELENA, Calif. — With California in the grips of drought, farmers throughout the state are using a mysterious and some say foolhardy tool for locating underground water: dowsers, or water witches.

Practitioners of dowsing use rudimentary tools — usually copper sticks or wooden "divining rods" that resemble large wishbones — and what they describe as a natural energy to find water or minerals hidden deep underground.

While both state and federal water scientists disapprove of dowsing, California "witchers" are busy as farmers seek to drill more groundwater wells due to the state's record drought that persists despite recent rain.

The nation's fourth-largest wine maker, Bronco Wine Co., says it uses dowsers on its 40,000 acres of California vineyards, and dozens of smaller farmers and homeowners looking for wells on their property also pay for dowsers. Nationwide, the American Society of Dowsers, Inc. boasts dozens of local chapters, which meet annually at a conference.

"It's kind of bizarre. Scientists don't believe in it, but I do and most of the farmers in the Valley do," said Marc Mondavi, a vineyard owner whose family has been growing grapes and making wine since the mid-20th century in the Napa Valley.

Mondavi doesn't just believe in dowsing, he practices it.

On a recent afternoon, standing in this family's Charles Krug vineyard holding two copper divining rods, Mondavi walked slowly forward through the dormant vines.

After about 40 feet, the rods quickly crossed and Mondavi — a popular dowser in the world famous wine region— stopped. "This is the edge of our underground stream," he said during the demonstration. Mondavi said he was introduced to "witching" by the father of an old girlfriend, and realized he had a proclivity for the practice.

After the valley's most popular dowser died in recent years, Mondavi has become the go-to water witch in Napa Valley. He charges about $500 per site visit, and more, if a well he discovers ends up pumping more than 50 gallons per minute.

With more farmers relying on groundwater to irrigate crops, Mondavi's phone has been ringing often as growers worry about extended years of dryness.

He had six witching jobs lined up over a recent weekend, three homes whose springs were running dry and three vineyards. It's so popular that he's even created a line of wines called "The Divining Rod" that will be sold nationwide this year.

While popular, scientists say dowsers are often just lucky, looking for water in places where it's already known to likely exist.

"There's no scientific basis to dowsing. If you want to go to a palm reader or a mentalist, then you're the same person who's going to go out and hire a dowser," said Tom Ballard, a hydrogeologist with Taber Consultants, a geological engineering firm based in West Sacramento
.

"The success is really an illusion. In most places you're going to be able to drill and find some water," he said.

Still, the consistent interest in water witches nationwide even spurred The U.S. Geological Survey to officially weigh in on the fairly harmless practice.

Dowsing has not held up well under scientific scrutiny, the USGS said, adding that dowsers are often successful in areas where groundwater is abundant.

"The natural explanation of 'successful' water dowsing is that in many areas water would be hard to miss. The dowser commonly implies that the spot indicated by the rod is the only one where water could be found, but this is not necessarily true," the survey said in its report.

Christopher Bonds, senior engineering geologist for the state Department of Water Resources, said his agency does not advocate using witchers.

"DWR is an advocate for having qualified and licensed water professionals locate groundwater resources using established scientific methods," Bonds said in an email.

Don't tell that to John Franzia, co-owner of Bronco Wine Co., the nation's fourth-largest wine producer based on sales. It makes wine under hundreds of labels, including the famous "Two Buck Chuck."

Bronco also owns more vineyard land in California than anyone else, and when it needs a new well there's a good chance a dowser will be employed.

Franzia said the company uses many technologies to find water on its 40,000-acres, but turns to dowsers often and with great success.

"I've used witchers for probably the last 15-to-20 years," Franzia said. "Seems like the witchers do the better job than the guys with all the electrical equipment. I believe in them."
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #51 on: March 24, 2014, 09:21:05 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/congress-focuses-dams-amid-californias-105624625.html
3/24/14

Congress focuses on dams amid California's drought

California's drought prompts Congress to look anew at expanding or building new reservoirs


WASHINGTON (AP) -- California's drought has sparked a new push by federal lawmakers to create or expand a handful of reservoirs around the state, ramping up a political battle that former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger once referred to as a "holy war in some ways."

Government agencies have been studying five major water storage projects for nearly two decades, with nothing to show for the effort so far.

Meanwhile, the state's water problems have only grown worse. California has had its third relatively dry winter in a row and court rulings have mandated that more water be released from reservoirs to sustain fish species in Northern California's delta. At the same time, the nation's most populous state, now at 38 million residents, continues to grow beyond the capacity of a water storage and delivery system that was mostly completed in the late 1960s.

This winter is among the driest on record, forcing some communities to ration water and leading farmers to fallow thousands of acres that otherwise would be producing vegetables, fruits and nuts for the nation.

The state Legislature is expected to debate water storage options later this year as it seeks compromise on a multibillion dollar water bond for the November ballot. But California's congressional delegation has provided a jumpstart.

Bills proposed in Congress would authorize a number of projects to expand or create reservoirs. Among the projects are raising the dam at Shasta Lake to store more water in California's largest reservoir, creating a new reservoir in the Sierra Nevada along the upper San Joaquin River east of Fresno and damming a valley north of Sacramento.

Other storage options include expanding the dams at the San Luis Reservoir in the central part of the state and at Los Vaqueros Reservoir in the eastern San Francisco Bay Area.

Authorizing such projects through federal legislation would be a prerequisite for dedicating money to a project in the future.

Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein said those who oppose new or expanded dams are hoping that doing so will deter growth and development, but it's a losing battle.


"Growth comes anyway," she said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "Then you don't have enough water."

Feinstein acknowledges that conservation also is critical to meeting the state's water needs but said some new or expanded reservoirs must be allowed so more water can be captured during wet years and stored for use during the dry ones.

"They have a certain prior, I don't know how to put it, stigma to them," she said of dams. "But this is a different day now. And it's a day that's been coming for a long time. Somehow, we've got to measure up to it."

In California, water often is a shared commodity between the federal government, the state and local users.

Feinstein is urging the state Legislature to modify the bond measure on the November ballot to prioritize both water storage and conservation. She would like to see $3 billion dedicated in the bond to developing storage, with an additional $2 billion set aside for restoring the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, the heart of California's water-delivery system.

Doing so would be intended to appease both farmers and the environmentalists.

No doubt there will be opposition. The $1 billion proposal to raise the dam at Shasta, for example, would flood part of the McCloud River, one of the most picturesque rivers in the state. It also would inundate several sacred sites of the Winnemem Wintu, a small tribe that is not federally recognized.

In general, creating and expanding reservoirs are among the most expensive and environmentally harmful ways to address California's water issues, said Doug Obegi, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council. He said investing in water recycling, storm water capture in urban areas and similar projects provides a greater return on investment.

He said he failed to see how the current storage projects would help California's overall water supply, with so many reservoirs already far below their capacity.

"It just doesn't add up to a lot of water," he said.

Peter Gleick, director of the Pacific Institute and one of California's leading water experts, said major dam projects "worked fine when there was new water to be had and when we didn't care about the environment. But those days are over."

Republicans already have pushed through legislation in the House that would authorize construction for four of the storage projects. But the main thrust of the bill, sponsored by Republican Rep. David Valadao and co-sponsored by every GOP member of California's delegation, would cease the implementation of a lawsuit settlement designed to restore salmon populations on the San Joaquin River.

Water dedicated to maintaining fish and wildlife would instead go to farmers and communities who receive water through the federal Central Valley Project. That bill has no chance to pass the Senate in its current form.

As an alternative, Feinstein and fellow California Sen. Barbara Boxer, also a Democrat, are pushing legislation that would give state and federal agencies more flexibility to pump water out of the delta to aid farmers, as long as the pumping does not violate the Endangered Species Act.

But one aspect of the House bill Feinstein endorses is the call for more major storage projects.

"We should have some federal authorization of dam projects that have a positive cost-benefit ratio," she told the AP.

The sharpest difference between the House bill and what Democrats seek is that the House version relies strictly on the state to pay for new or larger dams. Democrats say the federal government should help cover some of the costs.

Rep. Jim Costa, a Democrat from the Central Valley farming region, said he doubts the projects will get off the ground without federal money.

He has sponsored three bills — to authorize expanding the dams at Shasta Lake and San Luis Reservoir, and to build the Temperance Flat dam on the San Joaquin River. Cost-sharing arrangements, which he called crucial to the projects eventually getting built, would be negotiated later.

Costa rejected the sentiment that conservation and recycling should be relied upon instead. He said the drought is so severe that every tool is needed.

"You cannot recycle in enough quantities to irrigate half the nation's fruits and vegetables," he said. "It's really that simple."

He said he believes prospects for more storage are better now because more parts of the state are feeling the pain from the drought.

Others are more pessimistic. During a congressional hearing last week in Fresno, Republican Rep. Tom McClintock, who represents a vast district in Northern California, said a "radical ideology" has made its way into California water policy.

"Translation: That means these dams will not get built," he said.
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #52 on: June 20, 2014, 04:00:52 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/californias-catastrophic-drought-just-got-worse-lot-worse-181115468.html
California's Catastrophic Drought Just Got Worse—a Lot Worse
6/20/14

How bad is California’s devastating drought? Just in the past week, the percentage of the state identified as being in “exceptional drought”—the most severe category—jumped from a quarter to a third.

The government-funded United States Drought Monitor classifies the entire state as in drought, and as of Tuesday, nearly 77 percent of California was in “extreme drought,” which is just one notch below exceptional drought.

Here’s a map of California’s drought-afflicted areas as of June 10.

Here’s the map as of June 17.

This map from June 2013 looks deceptively reassuring—no red spots!—but even a year ago, nearly the entire state was experiencing moderate to extreme drought.

Before the turn for the worse this week, the situation in the Golden State was already dire. “California topped the U.S. with 70 percent of its rangeland and pastures rated in very poor to poor condition on June 1,” stated a June 5 report from the Drought Monitor.

In the last 24 hours, for instance, only two spots in California received any rain—Stockton and Vandenberg each got 0.01 inches, according to the state Department of Water Resources.

So, Californians must be emptying swimming pools, letting their lawns go brown, and forgoing flushing their toilets, right?

Not quite. While farmers have seen their irrigation allotments from state and federal water projects cut to near zero, coastal Californians seem oblivious to the browning of their proudly green state.

Gov. Jerry Brown in January asked Californians to cut their water consumption by 20 percent, a request roundly ignored. Water use fell just 5 percent between January and May, according to a state survey, while water consumption in the environmentally conscious San Francisco Bay Area declined only 2 percent.

It’s not as if Californians don’t know the drought drill: short showers, no car washing, and, yes, don’t flush that toilet every time. Landscaping is one of the biggest water hogs, so rip out the lawn and replace it with native and drought-tolerant plants.

I just did, and my local water district is even paying me to de-suburbanize my Berkeley backyard, though the subsidy appears to be little known.

But as the drought intensifies, a crackdown is looming. Santa Cruz County recently imposed mandatory water restrictions, and the state is considering doing the same.
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #53 on: July 01, 2014, 11:37:33 pm »

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/dry-california-water-fetching-record-182119533.html

In dry California, water fetching record prices
In bone dry California, water fetching record prices as sellers cash in on drought

7/1/14

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Throughout California's desperately dry Central Valley, those with water to spare are cashing in.

As a third parched summer forces farmers to fallow fields and lay off workers, two water districts and a pair of landowners in the heart of the state's farmland are making millions of dollars by auctioning off their private caches.

Nearly 40 others also are seeking to sell their surplus water this year, according to state and federal records.

Economists say it's been decades since the water market has been this hot. In the last five years alone, the price has grown tenfold to as much as $2,200 an acre-foot — enough to cover a football field with a foot of water.

Unlike the previous drought in 2009, the state has been hands-off, letting the market set the price even though severe shortages prompted a statewide drought emergency declaration this year.

The price spike comes after repeated calls from scientists that global warming will worsen droughts and increase the cost of maintaining California's strained water supply systems.

Some water economists have called for more regulations to keep aquifers from being depleted and ensure the market is not subject to manipulation such as that seen in the energy crisis of summer 2001, when the state was besieged by rolling blackouts.

"If you have a really scarce natural resource that the state's economy depends on, it would be nice to have it run efficiently and transparently," said Richard Howitt, professor emeritus at the University of California, Davis.

Private water sales are becoming more common in states that have been hit by drought, including Texas and Colorado.

In California, the sellers include those who hold claims on water that date back a century, private firms who are extracting groundwater and landowners who stored water when it was plentiful in underground caverns known as water banks.

"This year the market is unbelievable," said Thomas Grecie, the general manager of the Madera Irrigation District, which recently made nearly $7 million from selling about 3,200 acre-feet. "And this is a way to pay our bills."

All of the district's water went to farms; the city of Santa Barbara, which has its own water shortages, was outbid.

The prices are so high in some rural pockets that water auctions have become a spectacle.

One agricultural water district amid the almond orchards and derrick fields northwest of Bakersfield recently announced it would sell off extra water it acquired through a more than century-old right to use flows from the Kern River.

Local TV crews and journalists flocked to the district's office in February to watch as manager Maurice Etchechury unveiled bids enclosed in about 50 sealed envelopes before the cameras.

"Now everyone's mad at me saying I increased the price of water. I didn't do it, the weather did it," said Etchechury, who manages the Buena Vista Water Storage District, which netted about $13.5 million from the auction of 12,000 acre-feet of water.

Competition for water in California is heightened by the state's geography: The north has the water resources but the biggest water consumers are to the south, including most of the country's produce crops.

The amount shipped south through a network of pumps, pipes and aqueducts is limited by the drought and legal restrictions on pumping to save a threatened fish.

During the last drought, the state Department of Water Resources ran a drought water bank, which helped broker deals between those who were short of water and those who had plenty. But several environmental groups sued, alleging the state failed to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act in approving the sales, and won.

This year, the state is standing aside, saying buyers and sellers have not asked for the state's help. "We think that buyers and sellers can negotiate their own deals better than the state," said Nancy Quan, a supervising engineer with the department.

Quan's department, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the State Water Resources Control Board have tracked at least 38 separate sales this year, but the agencies are not aware of all sales, nor do they keep track of the price of water sold, officials said.

The maximum volume that could change hands through the 38 transactions is 730,323 acre-feet, which is about 25 percent of what the State Water Project has delivered to farms and cities in an average year in the last decade.

That figure still doesn't include the many private water sales that do not require any use of government-run pipes or canals, including the three chronicled by the AP. It's not clear however how much of this water will be sold via auctions.

Some of those in the best position to sell water this year have been able to store their excess supplies in underground banks, a tool widely embraced in the West for making water supplies reliable and marketable. The area surrounding Bakersfield is home to some of the country's largest water banks.

The drought is so severe that aggressive pumping of the banked supplies may cause some wells to run dry by year's end, said Eric Averett, general manager the Rosedale Rio Bravo District, located next to several of the state's largest underground caches.

Farther north in the long, flat Central Valley, others are drilling new wells to sell off groundwater.

A water district board in Stanislaus County approved a pilot project this month to buy up to 26,000 acre-feet of groundwater pumped over two years from 14 wells on two landowners' parcels in neighboring Merced County.

Since the district is getting no water from the federal government this year, the extra water will let farmers keep their trees alive, said Anthea Hansen, general manager of the arid Del Puerto Water District.

Hansen estimated growers would ultimately pay $775 to $980 an acre-foot — a total of roughly $20 million to $25.5 million.

"We have to try to keep them alive," Hansen said. "It's too much loss in the investment and the local economy to not try."
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #54 on: July 16, 2014, 12:48:39 pm »

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/californias-2014-drought-greatest-water-174446516.html
California's Drought Is 'The Greatest Water Loss Ever Seen,' And The Effects Will Be Severe
7/15/14

California's current drought will cost the state $2.2 billion and 17,000 jobs, researchers announced at a press conference July 15 in Washington, D.C. The findings are from a new report from the UC Davis Center for Watershed Science.

California is one of the U.S.'s biggest food producers — responsible for almost half the country's produce and nuts and 25% of our milk and cream. Eighty percent of the world's almonds come from the state, and they take an extraordinary amount of water to produce — 1.1 gallons per almond.

But this food-rich state is in its third year of drought. In May, 100% of the state was in drought and the food-producing Central Valley was in an "exceptional drought."

Because of this drought, the farmers are getting only one-third of the usual amount of surface water. To keep their crops alive, farmers are switching from using water from rivers and reservoirs to using underground water sources. The problem? This groundwater won't last forever, especially as these droughts continue.

How Bad Is It?

While the drought itself is the third-worst ever seen, it's responsible for the greatest water loss ever seen in the area, likely because farmers are using more water than ever before. The above-ground water available for farms decreased by one-third because of decreased rain, missing snow, and snow caps melting in the mountains.

In total, California will lose including about 3% of the total agriculture value of the state. That includes 17,000 jobs from, according to Jay Lund of UC Davis, "the sector of the population with the least ability to roll with the punches," he said. "You will get your fruits, nuts, vegetables, and wine, but there are pockets of deprivation in the Central Valley who are out of water and out of jobs."

The latest report details the future effects of this lasting drought on our food security are intense. Here are the findings, from the UC Davis press release:

    Direct costs to agriculture total $1.5 billion (revenue losses of $1 billion and $0.5 billion in additional pumping costs). This net revenue loss is about 3% of the state's total agricultural value.
    The total statewide economic cost of the 2014 drought is $2.2 billion.
    The loss of 17,100 seasonal and part-time jobs related to agriculture represents 3.8% of farm unemployment.
    428,000 acres, or 5%, of irrigated cropland is going out of production in the Central Valley, Central Coast, and Southern California because of the drought.
    The Central Valley is hardest hit, particularly the Tulare Basin, with projected losses of $810 million, or 2.3%, in crop revenue; $203 million in dairy and livestock value; and $453 million in additional well-pumping costs.
    Agriculture on the Central Coast and in Southern California will be less affected by this year's drought, with about 19,150 acres fallowed, $10 million in lost crop revenue and $6.3 million in additional pumping costs.
    Overdraft of groundwater is expected to cause additional wells in the Tulare Basin to run dry if the drought continues.
    The drought is likely to continue through 2015, regardless of El Niño conditions.

    Consumer food prices will be largely unaffected. Higher prices at the grocery store of high-value California crops like nuts, wine grapes, and dairy foods are driven more by market demand than by the drought.

What Can Be Done?

California's farmers have made their way through this drought without huge devastation because of the groundwater they're relying on. There's plenty now to make up for the drought, but there won't always be an excess. According to UC Davis:

If the drought continues for two more years, groundwater reserves will continue to be used to replace surface water losses, the study said. Pumping ability will slowly decrease, while costs and losses will slowly increase due to groundwater depletion.

This depletion is a "slow-moving train wreck," according to Richard Howitt of UC Davis. Local action needs to be taken to ensure these groundwater reserves are preserved for future droughts.

The researchers urged a greater investment in preserving groundwater stocks — making sure they allowed to replenish during wet seasons (and making sure they get used responsibly when they are needed) and increasing groundwater storage through reservoirs.
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #55 on: July 27, 2014, 02:27:25 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/california-trying-cut-water-working-152038502.html
California trying to cut water, but is it working?
7/26/14

LOS ANGELES (AP) — When Gov. Jerry Brown called on everyone from residents to businesses in California to curb water usage by 20 percent, he told state government to lead by example.

Six months after his emergency declaration, many agencies and departments can't say whether their efforts to conserve water are sufficient because few have been comparing how much water they are using this year to last.

Here are five things to know about how state agencies are faring as they try to use less water:

CUTS NOT MANDATORY, BUT HAPPENING

Brown's emergency declaration in January didn't make conservation mandatory and there's no penalty if state agencies fail to comply. Still, it's clear that agencies are trying.

One easy way to conserve is to limit — or eliminate — landscape irrigation. Agencies with large campuses, such as the Department of State Hospitals, said such cuts were an important source of savings.

Another obvious source of waste is leaky pipes and faucets. The California State Prison in Sacramento, which loses about 50,000 gallons of water per day due to leaks, is replacing underground pipes. Several other prisons are doing the same.

DATA DILEMMA

Tracking water usage across dozens of agencies and departments in a California government that is larger than that of many countries can be a complex task. Each agency has dozens, hundreds or even thousands of separate accounts for the utilities that serve their buildings. Some are billed monthly, some every two months, some every quarter. Further complicating comparisons, water is measured in various units: gallons, cubic feet and acre feet.

SCANT ACCOUNTING

Of the 11 high-use agencies that The Associated Press requested water data from, only four were able to provide gallons used for the first half of 2013 and the first half of 2014 for all the facilities they manage. Agencies are not required to track this year's usage until early 2015, so it falls on each agency's own initiative to gauge their conservation efforts in real time.

ANSWER IMPOSSIBLE?

Exactly how much water state agencies are using may never be known for sure. That's because the state gets meter readings for buildings it owns — not always for leased or rented sites. The Employment Development Department, for example, provided the AP data for 26 sites it owns, but did not have water usage data on the dozens of other sites where it administers unemployment insurance, collects payroll taxes or compiles labor market statistics.

FEWER EASY CUTS

Even before the current drought, state government had instituted water conservation measures. Because some waste already had been eliminated, finding more savings may be tougher.
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #56 on: August 03, 2014, 03:55:08 pm »

http://local.msn.com/record-setting-drought-intensifies-in-parched-california
8/1/2014
By Andrea Thompson, Climate Central

Record-setting drought intensifies in parched California

The relentless heat that has plagued the western half of the country this summer has ratcheted up California’s terrible drought once again, bringing it to record levels. More than half of the state is in “exceptional” drought, the highest category recognized by the U.S. Drought Monitor, which released its latest update on Thursday.

“The heat has been and continues to be a factor in drought expansion,” Brad Rippey, a meteorologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and this week’s Drought Monitor author, told Climate Central.

New information coming in about reservoir levels, stream flows and groundwater pumping prompted Rippey to increase the amount of California covered by exceptional drought to 58 percent from 34 percent (all of the state is in some level of drought). That is a record amount of the state covered by this level of drought since the Monitor began in 1990, the Los Angeles Times reported.

While the drought can’t be directly linked to climate change, the warming of the planet is expected to make already dry places drier. And future droughts could be even worse.

The current drought — which rivals the terrible drought of the late 1970s — has been 3 years in the making, as three successive winter wet seasons went by with below-normal rainfall. The paltry snowpack this year really intensified matters, and the persistent pattern of heat in the West and cold in the East has kept much of California baking all year. In fact, the state had its warmest first six months of a year on record this year. July has followed suit with, for example, San Francisco registering an uncharacteristic 90°F on July 25, a full 12°F above normal.

“Excessive heat this time of year leads to heavy irrigation demands, deteriorating rangeland and pasture conditions, and higher evaporation rates,” Rippey wrote in an email.

These effects of the heat further reduce reservoir levels and stream flows and can send more towns and farmers in search of groundwater to pump. Reports of such changes can slowly trickle in as the impacts intensify and give the Drought Monitor authors reason to upgrade the level of drought in an area, or in this case, over a large swath of Northern California.

Reservoir storage in the state currently sits at about 60 percent of its normal level, above the record low of 41 percent set in 1977, but short about a year’s worth of reservoir storage. That shortfall is the result of the abysmal rains over the past 3 years: From July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2014, statewide precipitation averaged 45.05 inches, which was a record low.

“Effectively, only about 2 years of precipitation fell in that 3-year period from July 2011 to June 2014,” Rippey said.

With such dismal numbers, water conservation is key.

“Conservation is certainly critical from this point forward, especially if drought-easing precipitation does not materialize during the 2014-15 cold season,” he said.

The state recently enacted mandatory water restrictions after a call for voluntary conservation failed to move the needle. For example, new regulations call for local agencies to fine anyone found wasting water up to $500 per day.

The depth of the drought and the heat have both helped fuel wildfires in the state, including a fire raging in Yosemite National Park that is only 34 percent contained.

Officials have been hoping that a developing El Niño, currently foundering, would bring some relief in the form of winter rains this coming winter. But only strong El Niños are well correlated with rainier-than-normal conditions over Southern California, and this El Niño is looking less and less like it will be a strong one. However, even a weak or moderate El Niño could mean the wet season hits somewhat close to normal rainfall numbers.

For now, Californians can simply limp through the rest of the dry season and hope that the winter is finally wet once again.
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #57 on: August 05, 2014, 06:32:51 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/california-drought-dust-bowl-040440797.html

A modern-day Dust Bowl
As a drought unfolds slowly and devastatingly, California farmers feel desperate and abandoned

8/5/14

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Bob Taylor was barely 2 years old when his parents packed as many belongings as they could into their rickety old car and headed west from New Mexico toward California.

It was 1936, the height of the Dust Bowl, when the worst drought the country had ever seen forced tens of thousands of families to abandon their parched farmlands and head west in the hope of finding jobs and a more stable life.

Taylor’s parents were farm laborers, cotton pickers from Oklahoma and Texas who had slowly inched their way west chasing the crops that had somehow managed to survive the lack of rain. But then came the terrible dust storms, choking black blizzards of dirt fueled by the loose soil of eroded farmlands that swept across the plains, turning the days as dark as night. They were monsters that suffocated the life out of anything the drought hadn’t managed to kill — crops, animals and even people, who began to die from the dust that filled their lungs.

Taylor was too young to remember how bad it was. But he grew up hearing the stories from his parents, of how the land that had once been so rich and lush and healthy had slowly turned cracked and brittle and unwelcoming of life. How a drought that initially seemed like nothing more than a passing dry spell gradually unfolded into a disaster that destroyed the livelihoods of millions of people and deeply scarred the land in ways that never really healed.

“The time was hard,” Taylor said. “People were tough, my parents were tough… But the drought didn’t let up. It had no mercy at all on anything or anyone.”

more
Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #58 on: September 02, 2014, 06:42:15 pm »

http://www.naturalnews.com/046690_drought_water_infrastructure_California.html
California water infrastructure on verge of historic collapse
9/1/14

NaturalNews) Water is increasingly hard to come by in drought-stricken California, where many farmers are struggling to get enough water just to pay the bills. But the situation in the Golden State is far worse than many people realize, according to new reports, as underground aquifers that take decades to recharge are being sucked dry, and water infrastructure that has long sustained the agricultural growing regions of the state continue their collapse.

Writing for The Washington Post (WP), journalist Joby Warrick draws attention to what many scientists say is an unprecedented collapse of California's vast water infrastructure, which is marked by an elaborate system of canals, reservoirs and wells that transfer water from the mountains and other areas to the Central Valley. Altogether, the state contains some 27 million acres of cropland. This system is now failing, say experts, and the consequences will more than likely be unparalleled in California's history.

According to the report, many of California's underground aquifers, which are typically drawn upon as a last resort when all else fails, are now the go-to for watering food crops throughout the state. In some areas, these aquifers have dropped by as much as 100 feet, an unprecedented decline that, even if the drought suddenly ended, would likely take several decades or longer to fully recharge.

"A well-managed basin is used like a reserve bank account," stated Richard Howitt, a professor emeritus of resource economics from the University of California at Davis, to WP. Howitt co-authored a study published back in July that estimates a 5.1 million acre-feet loss of water this year from California's underground reserves, a volume the size of Lake Shasta, the state's largest water reservoir.

"We're acting like the super rich who have so much money they don't need to balance their checkbook."

Thousands of California farmers could lose their land if water runs out

But many farmers have no choice. They either have to pull the water now to save their crops or face potential bankruptcy and the loss of their farms. Because of the immense scarcity of water this year -- some 60 percent of California is now recorded as being at the highest level of drought, dubbed "exceptional" -- many farmers didn't even receive a share from the infrastructure.

One such farmer is Joe Carrancho, who grows rice in Willows, California. The 71-year-old lost 25 percent of his usual water allotment this year -- and he is considered lucky, since some farmers received no water at all -- and is now struggling to make payroll. He is also having to make payments on a $500,000 rice harvester that, despite the water losses, still costs the same every month.

"I have 25 percent less production, but no one is giving me a 25 percent break in my bills," he told WP.

Lawmakers propose drastic water restrictions to avoid collapse
Agriculture is by far the largest water consumer in the state, representing more than 40 percent of California's water usage. Even with about 35 million residents, California's urban areas only account for about 9 percent of overall water usage, which is minimal in the larger scheme of things.

But state lawmakers are moving to impose tighter water restrictions, including a $7.5 million bond measure that, if passed this fall, would expand the state's reservoir system and improve water recycling and other conservation efforts.

"We've reached a tipping point where the surface water is no longer enough, yet there are increasing demands from both agriculture and the environment," added groundwater management expert and hydrologist Graham Fogg to WP.


Report Spam   Logged
Psalm 51:17
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 28357


View Profile
« Reply #59 on: September 02, 2014, 07:36:20 pm »

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-central-california-residents-wells-go-dry-20140826-story.html#
Central California residents rely on bottled water as wells run dry
8/27/14

Extreme drought conditions have become so harsh for the Central Valley community of East Porterville, many of its residents dependent on their own wells have run out of water.

Roughly 300 homes have received a three-week supply of bottled water after Tulare County officials discovered their wells had gone dry.

In all, county officials distributed 15,552 1-gallon bottles of water, and have been filling a 2,500-gallon tank with nonpotable water so residents can flush toilets and bathe.

And the problem could be worse because many believe the number of people whose wells have gone dry is "grossly underreported," said Michael Lockman, manager of Tulare County's Office of Emergency Services.

If it wasn't for a local nonprofit group, county officials probably wouldn't have known that the residents were in dire need of water because they didn't ask for help, said Denise England, senior administrative analyst with the county's Water Resources Department.

"It was really surprising," she said.

County officials say East Porterville residents are typically very private, and for whatever reason, distrust the government.

Lockman said some residents fear their landlord will evict them because their well went dry or are afraid the county's Department of Child Support Services will take their children away because they no longer have water -- a rumor the county has been working to dispel, he added.

"We are really trying to get the message out that we are just here to help," Lockman said.

In one case, county officials found up to 14 people living inside one home with an empty well.

It wasn't until after February that, as the drought wore on, many residents started looking to expand their wells, but the demand created a huge backlog among drilling companies. Now, a typical wait can be 12 to 18 months, Lockman said.
Report Spam   Logged
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by EzPortal
Bookmark this site! | Upgrade This Forum
Free SMF Hosting - Create your own Forum

Powered by SMF | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines
Privacy Policy