Environment, Issues, News, Water and the Drought »

Drought stricken trees are posing a huge fire risk

Posted June 24, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
dyingtree

Millions of trees have died during California’s four-year drought and millions more are in distress because of a lack of water. And all those dead and dying trees are increasing the state’s fire risk.
Now the state Board of Forestry and Fire Protection has taken the unprecedented step of recommending that landowners be able to cut and remove dead and dying trees of any size …

Environment, Issues, News, Water and the Drought »

State isn’t sure who’s on board with new water rules

Posted June 23, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
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Californians continue to show a lack of urgency when it comes to new water restrictions.
Individually, we’ve repeatedly fallen short of the 25 percent reductions sought by Gov. Brown and state water officials.
And now, there’s word that more than two-thirds of the most senior water rights holders in the state haven’t even reported if they are complying with new restrictions on diverting water from river …

Food, Santa Barbara, Water and the Drought »

Meet at the market: Let it rain!

Posted June 12, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
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Each week we meet up with Katie Hershfelt of Cultivate Events as she chats with farmers, chefs and shoppers at the Santa Barbara Farmers’ Market.
This week, she couldn’t contain her excitement about the weather. On Tuesday, downtown Santa Barbara embraced over a half inch of rain. It was nowhere near enough to stock Lake Cachuma or end the drought, but it was cause for celebration among water-deprived farmers.

Rain revelry:

Robert “BD” Dautch …

Environment, Water and the Drought »

Pioneering drought tolerance at a California cemetery

Posted May 28, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
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Cemeteries are synonymous with lush, green and well-watered lawns – even in drought-ridden Southern California. But the state’s first mandatory water restrictions are starting to have an effect on all that green. Rosemead’s Pioneer Cemetery in Savannah Memorial Park is experiencing the challenge of cutting down on water firsthand.

Savannah Memorial Park board member Beverly Morten is on a mission to save water by bringing …

Environment, Issues, News, Power and Water, Water and the Drought »

Long-term forecast is for more very hot days in L.A.

Posted May 14, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
The sun rises over electric power lines in Encinitas, California.

If you think Southern California has a lot of hot days now, just wait.
That’s the upshot of a new report from climate experts at the UCLA Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.
The report, published in the Journal of Climate, says that if nothing is done to control greenhouse gas emissions, the number of extreme heat days – over 95 degrees – could triple or …

Water and the Drought »

Does a cemetery have to be green?

Posted May 12, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Photo of Glenwood Cemetery by < a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/urbanhoustonian/15465704809/in/photolist-adaqj8-a4329Z-a45QAb-a45HoS-dssBhN-dsjEKJ-bTMex8-p6DVat-bK9tpH-bwepCG-fErUSi-gWkVhU-gWkV1m-gWkZjT-gWkXg4-fND9j4-dryUAd-p6GTQZ-9JtWXp-p15QQa-ryFCEk-pdEhS6-96Us1p-gTvngB-oCbyHj-qLtXMs-gWkX65-gWm1WF-gTtXQU-gTtRMQ-gTtRJJ-gTtXmY-gTu1iP-gTtXND-6w9eHu-7sLCd-7BkHYF-qWdnx2-rP8xUa-axjdVk-dssq7e-pqoZ7s-qk6QX9-pyDMdV-drkt3W-pgwHij-hpzPJu-bZr9mA-6vYZo8-cTqhXA">urban.houstonian/CC/Flickr

We’re looking at how the drought is affecting the way we think about our burial rituals and we want your help!

Environment, Issues, News, Water and the Drought »

California sets environmental rules for desal plants

Posted May 7, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
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Desalination – turning ocean water into drinking water – is getting a lot of attention as California struggles through the fourth year of drought. Desalination plants have the appeal of tapping into a seemingly limitless source of water. But they can take a heavy toll on the environment, killing fish and other marine life as the suck in ocean water. They also spew greenhouse …

Environment, Water and the Drought »

The California drought crisis is everyone’s fault

Posted May 5, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
The drought at the  Uvas Reservoir. Via Flickr/CC

My grandfather used to tell the story of traveling from Bakersfield to San Francisco by boat as a boy in about 1910. First up the Tulare Lake, then up the San Joaquin River, and through the Delta. In those days, water in California’s San Joaquin Valley must have seemed inexhaustible.
Then, the lakes were drained and the rivers dammed; the valley floor was plowed and …

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

Local water districts are fighting for every drop

Posted May 4, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
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Scores of water agencies in California are lobbying for last-minute changes to the conservation goals set down by state officials. They’re trying to reduce the severity of the cuts they’re facing before the final numbers are announced later this week.
Local water districts in California are being asked to reduce their water use by anywhere from 8 to 36 percent, depending on their average use …

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

California downsizing Delta habitat restoration plan

Posted May 1, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
deltasalmon

California officials are dramatically scaling back a habitat restoration plan for the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, with possibly major implications for reworking the state’s water delivery system.
The Delta project now calls for restoring 30,000 acres for wetlands and wildlife habitat – down from 100,000.
The larger restoration was supposed to coincide with the construction of two massive tunnels that would send water to Central Valley …

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

Santa Barbara residents prepare to pay price of desal

Posted April 28, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
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As drought conditions continue throughout most of California, water officials in Santa Barbara are getting closer to renovating and reactivating their aged desalination plant. Earlier this month, the City of Santa Barbara chose a desal contractor to go into negotiation talks with. IDE Technologies and Kiewit Corporation, the same duo responsible for the Carlsbad desal plant, set to open this fall, are at the table talking price …

Environment, Water and the Drought »

California farmers struggle during the drought

Posted April 27, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
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“Last year our holding pond dried up for the first time,” said Dawn Birch farmer in 3 rivers California, “and we went for eight weeks without a drop of water.” She said that they had to take out a bunch of their apple trees, because they drink so much water. She now buries their drip lines, so the water goes directly to the roots. “I think …

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

Santa Barbara landscape architect offers drought busting tips

Posted April 15, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
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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, Summer, Water and the Drought, Zocalo Public Square »

Mixer: Will California’s economy dry up?

Posted April 10, 2015 by | 19 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 | ]
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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, 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 …

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