Environment, News, Santa Barbara, Water and the Drought »

Santa Barbara landscape architect offers drought busting tips

Posted April 15, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
romaine_acer

With water rates climbing along the South Coast and California’s drought in its fourth year, many Californians are considering making landscaping changes at home. Among other cities, Santa Barbara offers cash incentives to make the switch to drought-friendly yards.
Billy Goodnick was the city of Santa Barbara’s landscape architect for more than 20 years. Now he writes and consults on low-water landscaping. He stopped by our …

Environment, Interviews, Santa Barbara, Water and the Drought »

Dealing with the drought in Santa Barbara: are there options beyond desal?

Posted April 14, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
farms-drought

Only two months before Santa Barbara’s city council decides whether or not to reactivate the desalination plant, some locals think it’s wise to consider other options. One environmental community group, Sweetwater Collaborative, suggests studying Australia’s multi-year drought could provide clues as to what might work in California, which has similar climate conditions. KCRW’s Morning Edition host Lisa Osborn spoke with Brad Smith, a member of …

Issues, LA Noir, News, Politics, Power and Water, Summer, Water and the Drought, Zocalo Public Square »

Mixer: Will California’s economy dry up?

Posted April 10, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

Governor Jerry Brown has ordered cities throughout California to cut their water use by 25 percent – or more – as the state struggles with a fourth year of an historic drought.
Meanwhile, state residents cut their water use by less than three percent in February. It’s the lowest reduction since last July.
Are people getting the message, or do they not care? And can California’s economy continue …

Environment, Issues, News, Water and the Drought »

Water guzzling cities looking at mandatory 35% cuts

Posted April 8, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
watering

What’s the most equitable way to decide how much water California cities must conserve? The state Water Resources Control Board says it’s by looking at the recent water use history of those cities.
Gov. Jerry Brown has ordered a 25 percent reduction in urban water use – but getting to that target won’t mean uniform cuts across the state.
For example, folks in Los Angeles are …

economy, Environment, Issues, News, Politics, Water and the Drought »

Brown defends decision to give farmers a water break

Posted April 6, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
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Gov. Jerry Brown has been taking some heat since he announced California’s first mandatory water restrictions last week. That’s because he let farmers largely off the hook – focusing the cutbacks in urban areas.
Critics say that California’s efforts to conserve water will be ineffective without major contributions from agriculture.
But the governor isn’t suffering the criticism silently. During an interview with the ABC news program …

Environment, Santa Barbara, Water and the Drought »

Wildflowers abloom in Santa Barbara

Posted April 3, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
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As Easter weekend and the beginning of spring hits, wildflowers are popping out in Santa Barbara. Although many people drive up to Figueroa Mountain to check out the poppies, you don’t have to go far for a flower fix. Local Sierra Club hike leader Stephen Dougherty stopped by our Santa Barbara studio to speak with Morning Edition host Lisa Osborn about how and where to find these …

News, Politics, Santa Barbara, Water and the Drought »

Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider’s State of the City speech

Posted March 20, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
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A few hundred people attended Friday’s public State of the City breakfast, at the Fess Parker Hotel in downtown Santa Barbara.  With two large screens on either side of the stage, displaying complementary info-graphics, photos and videos, Mayor Helene Schneider began her speech by celebrating partnership projects underway.
“The level of civic involvement here in Santa Barbara is unparalleled, and together we’ve built an incredible community through a …

Environment, News, Politics, Power and Water, Santa Barbara, Water and the Drought »

The 90s are back: Aged desalination plant gets dusted off in Santa Barbara

Posted March 12, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Water Resources Manager Joshua Haggmark

The Charles E. Meyer Desalination Plant in Santa Barbara hasn’t seen use in over two decades, but that might change soon. According to the city’s Water Resources Manager Joshua Haggmark, the plant is crucial for Santa Barbara to survive the drought.
“I don’t think desalination should be our only source of water, but in California I think it should be a small portion of the water supply. At least …

Environment, Issues, News, Water and the Drought »

Threat to drinking water is the pits in Central Valley

Posted March 4, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
OILDRILLING

A dozen oil and gas wells in the Central Valley have been ordered to shut down over concerns that they could contaminate underground drinking water.
The operators of 10 of the wells voluntarily flipped the switch, but state officials issued cease-and-desist orders for two others.
The orders came just as California’s Environmental Protection Agency issued a report saying that lax oversight and years of confusion among overlapping …

Environment, Issues, News, Water and the Drought »

Do humans have a role in the California drought?

Posted March 3, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
sierras

A new measurement of the Sierra Nevada snowpack will be made today, and the results are not expected to be encouraging.
The state’s first two surveys of the season indicated that water content in the snowpack was less than 20 percent of where it should have been. The news is not anticipated to be much better in survey No. 3.
Officials with the Department of Water …

Arts & Culture, economy, Environment, Issues, News, Water and the Drought »

Climate trumps traffic, crowds for California residents

Posted March 2, 2015 by | 2 Comments | ]
big-sur-california-coastline

Yes, we have traffic, a high-costing living and a historic drought. But more than seven in 10 Californian voters say the Golden State is still the best place to live.
A new USC Dornsife-L.A. Times poll finds that state residents remain smitten with California’s weather, its beaches and its cultural offerings. But especially the weather. Sixty-nine percent of people said the state’s mild climate was …

Environment, Issues, News, Water and the Drought »

Support for mandatory water cutbacks is growing

Posted February 26, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
watering-lawn

More than a third of Californians now believe the state should put into place mandatory water restrictions – instead of the voluntary cutbacks that are currently being urged.
The last time California had a major drought – back in the 1970s – just 51 percent of state voters described the situation as “extremely serious.” A new Field Poll says that nearly 70 percent of California …

economy, Environment, Food, News, Water and the Drought »

Vintners finding sweet solace in California drought

Posted October 13, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
napa-VINEYARD

The drought is beginning to take a heavy toll on California’s agriculture industry – but one group of growers is grateful for a silver lining.
The Wall Street Journal reports the drought will help make some of the best wine that Napa and Sonoma counties have produced for some time.Vintners say the dry weather has led to smaller and tastier grapes. It’s also triggered earlier …

California Elections, economy, Environment, Issues, News, Politics, Water and the Drought, Zocalo Public Square »

Mixer: Cashing in on political popularity

Posted October 10, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

President Obama exited Los Angeles just as he came in: making money for Democrats, and migraines for West LA drivers.
In his 24 hours here, the president toured a business in Santa Monica, speaking about an economic recovery for millennials, designated as national monument 340,000 acres of San Gabriel Mountains land and attended two separate fundraisers.
One of which was at actress Gwyneth Paltrow’s home.
Obama has attended 30 fundraisers in Los …

economy, Environment, Issues, Water and the Drought »

Drought taking a bigger toll on California agriculture

Posted September 29, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
farms-drought

Harvest time is starting to arrive at farms across California. And many of the state’s key crops are expected to be smaller this year than usual because of the drought.
The water shortage has led to shrinking yields of everything from rice, corn and hay to almonds, pistachios and oranges. The drought already prompted an early harvest of the state’s grape crop, which is expected …

Environment, Issues, News, Water and the Drought »

Tumbleweeds ready to roll in Southern California

Posted September 25, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
TUMBLEWEED

The Los Angeles area is seeing something it hasn’t seen for some time: an infestation of tumbleweeds.
L.A. agriculture officials say the unusually high number of tumbleweeds blowing through the county is drought related. Dry conditions have allowed the plants to crowd out other vegetation like mustard and castor bean. Fire officials worry that the traveling weeds will lodge against homes and other structures and …

News, Water and the Drought »

Are you ready to give up your green lawn?

Posted September 24, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Photo by Ton Rulkens/ CC/ Flickr

The drought is starting to take its toll on the Metropolitan Water District, the agency responsible for making sure that water keeps flowing from faucets throughout Southern California. Jeffrey Kightlinger, head of the agency, announced that its billions of gallons still in reserves could run out in 18 months.
Consumers need to start conserving, said Director of the Center for Sustainable Communities at UCLA, Stephanie Pincetl. …

Arts & Culture, Environment, Water and the Drought »

How does a cemetery stay green during a drought?

Posted September 22, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
mtsinai

Mt. Sinai Memorial Park is a Jewish cemetery nestled between Griffith Park and Forest Lawn Memorial Park. Like most American cemeteries, it is lush and green. “It’s a concept that was introduced in the 1920s to have these lawn-type cemeteries in Southern California,” Len Lawrence, general manager of Mt. Sinai, told Press Play.
“Really it’s a place for the living,” Lawrence told Press Play. “It’s a place of …

Environment, Food, Water and the Drought »

Why are California’s organic dairy farmers switching to almonds?

Posted September 22, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Photo by USDA via Flickr/CC

California has the highest concentration of organic dairies in the entire country, but the drought is starting to have an impact.
Madeleine Thomas, a fellow at Grist.org has written a two part series looking at the consequences of the drought on the Central Valley. She spent several weeks traveling between the valley and the Bay Area to examine the state of organic dairy farms, and the …

economy, Environment, Issues, News, Politics, Water and the Drought »

Are we facing a megadrought?

Posted September 12, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Some government buildings have stopped watering their lawns. Photo via Flickr/ CC/ Kevin Cortopassi

California is three years into what some are saying could become a megadrought, a dry spell lasting several decades.
The drought is so dire that a certain golf course in the Montecito area is shipping in nearly $90,000 of water per month for its grass, and one-third of the town itself is shipping in bottled water. Meanwhile, those living in towns like the working-class, farm community of …

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