water

On the July 13th edition of Your Call, we’ll kick of a weeklong series on solutions to California’s water crisis by exploring how the world's most water-efficient cities have reduced demand.

Daily news roundup for Thursday, June 25, 2015

Jun 25, 2015
Johanna Varner / KQED Science

Here's what's happening in the Bay Area, as curated by KALW news:

Reductions to bail rates divide S.F. legal community // SF Chronicle

"An attempt by San Francisco Superior Court judges to bring bail amounts into line with surrounding Bay Area counties has set off a firestorm of controversy in the legal community.

Daily news roundup for Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Jun 24, 2015
Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group

Here's what's happening in the Bay Area, as curated by KALW news:

Ominous new cracks found on Bay Bridge rods// SFGate

"Tiny cracks found on some of the rods on the new Bay Bridge tower potentially endanger the rest of the more than 400 remaining fasteners that secure the tower to the foundation in an earthquake, Caltrans officials said Tuesday.

Lisa Morehouse

Water is the defining feature of the Delta, and recreation on the water is a big part of the economy and culture of this place. There are about 8 million visits to the Delta each year for activities like fishing, wind-surfing, water-skiing, and house-boating. The population just outside the Delta interior has grown significantly over the last 20 years, so it would make sense that the boating and fishing industries would have grown a lot, too. But they haven’t.

Tony George

Pretend you’re looking at a map of the Bay Area. Now scroll out a little bit. Find Martinez and Benicia, and draw a line east to Stockton. From there, go north to Sacramento, then back to Martinez. Look closely at that triangle, and you will see a puzzle of waterways and islands that make up the California Delta.

Witching to find water

May 12, 2015

The lack of rain has forced California farmers and wine makers to turn from the sky to the ground to find water. It’s down there, but you have to know exactly where it is in order to drill a well.  

There are a couple of options for how to do this: you can have a geologist use mapping and scientific data to get a lay of the land; or you can can hire a water witch. These are people who search for water using two thin sticks or iron rods that they say cross each other when there’s water  under the earth.

Reuters / Nacho Doce

One the May 8th edition of Your Call, it’s our Friday media roundtable. This week, we’ll discuss media coverage of California’s drought.

  

On the May 6th edition of Your Call, we continue our weeklong series on California’s water crisis by talking about the $110 billion bottled water industry.

On the May 5th edition of Your Call, we’ll continue our weeklong series on California’s water crisis by discussing the agriculture and its heavy reliance on water.

Your Call: Who are California’s water power brokers?

May 3, 2015

On the May 4th edition of Your Call, we’ll kick off a weeklong series on California’s water crisis by discussing the forces that are controlling access to water in California.

Tapped Out: Thirsting for Fresh Water

Apr 27, 2015
Ansel Adams, Boulder Dam. Wikimedia Commons

During a recent press event, Governor Jerry Brown said:

“As Californians, we have to pull together and save water in any way we can.”

He spoke near Echo Lake – it’s south of Lake Tahoe where the government measures snowpack. This year, when they took the April measurement, there was no snow there at all. That makes it, of course, an historic low. The Governor said we could deal with that, except for this:

Dry farming: a technique for a water scarce future

Apr 27, 2015
Photo by Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis, 2014

 

Earlier this month, Governor Jerry Brown stepped up to a podium in a dry, grassy field in Eastern California. He took a deep breath, and made a landmark statement.

"We’re in a historic drought, and that demands unprecedented action. It’s for that reason that I’m issuing an executive order demanding substantial water reduction across our state."

Daily News Roundup for Monday April 6, 2015

Apr 6, 2015

California drought: Woodside, Fremont on opposite ends of water-saving spectrum // Mercury News

"Faced with tough new state water restrictions, lush towns like Woodside are going to have to start behaving a lot more like golden-hued Fremont.

The LA Times recently published an editorial that reported that California’s reservoirs are currently storing only about a year’s worth of water supply. Significant storms could still add to that supply, but it’s daunting data, coming at the tail end of the traditional wet season.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/matt_hintsa/

Twice a week, the Heart of the City Farmers Market transforms San Francisco’s gritty United Nations Plaza with dozens of white canopies and truckloads of fresh produce. But on a recent sunny winter Wednesday, the abundance of sweet-smelling fruits and vegetables are contrasted by a gloomy point.

It didn’t rain once here last January. Not in this spot, nor in all of San Francisco.

Flickr user toyzrus8

The Hetch Hetchy Regional Water system, operated by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (PUC), carries water to 2.6 million customers in the Bay Area. How it does that is remarkable – remarkably simple, says PUC Water Resources Manager, David Briggs.

What do you want to know about California’s new groundwater law? On the next Your Call, we’ll continue our weeklong series on California’s water crisis by talking about the state’s first-ever rules for pumping groundwater in California. Nearly 40 percent of California’s water comes from underground sources. About 30 million Californians rely on groundwater for their drinking water. But areas are being pumped faster than they are being replenished. How is groundwater managed now? And what changes should we expect? It’s Your Call with Rose Aguilar, and you.

Guests:

The lifecycle of toilet water at the PUC

Mar 12, 2015
Hana Baba

You may have walked by the beautiful green plants growing outside the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission on Polk Street and not thought much about them. But these plants get their nourishment from our waste.

Along the outer perimeter of the building, there are rectangular planters that are irrigated by reused waste water, or ‘black water’. Black water includes toilet water, urinal water, bathroom and sink water.

Under CC license from Flickr user Janet Ciucci

California is entering its fourth year of drought – and it’s really starting to show in some of the state’s most vital water resources. The Central Valley Project, which supplies water for about a third of California’s farmland, recently announced it had no water to give. That means those farmers will have to seek water elsewhere or let fields go fallow. About six percent of available farmland went unplanted last year due to the drought, resulting in more than $1 billion in lost revenue. The dire situation has left farmers and regular folks alike wondering when’s it going to end.

KALW’s Audrey Dilling has been looking into how much water it would take to get us out of this drought. She joined KALW’s Hana Baba in studio to talk about what she learned.

Todd Whitney


Turning on your faucet may be easy, but the process of getting you that water is anything but. Water has a long journey to get to your tap, often starting in the mountains, traveling through aqueducts, and stopping over in reservoirs along the way. The reservoirs that hold our water can sometimes take on a life of their own, supporting whole ecosystems of animals and plants. 

All week long we've been playing this sound, and asking you to guess what exactly it is and where exactly in the Bay Area we recorded it.

This auditory guessing game is part of Audiograph, a crowd-sourced collaborative radio project mapping the sonic signature of each of the Bay Area’s nine counties. By using the sounds of voices, nature, industry, and music, Audiograph tells the story of where you live, and the people who live there with you. Every Thursday, we reveal the origins of that week's sound on Crosscurrents, and here in weekly blog posts.

Wikimedia commons user Gazebo

 

The Searsville Dam is causing big trouble on the peninsula. The 122-year-old, 65-foot-tall dam is closed to the public, hidden away on 1,200 acres owned by Stanford University.

On the November 12th, 2014 edition of Your Call, we’re discussing the current state of the drought. A dozen communities across the state are at risk of running out of water, and at least 700 households already lack access to running water. Farmers have left nearly a half-million acres of land unplanted. How will new groundwater regulations and Proposition 1 impact water usage? What do you want to know about the drought? Is it affecting your area? It’s Your Call, with Rose Aguilar, and you.

Guests:

Your Call: How should we cope with extreme drought?

Aug 7, 2014
(Holly Bailey/Yahoo News)

  

 

 

On the August 7th, 2014 edition of Your Call, we'll have a conversation about the most severe drought in California's history. Nearly 60 percent of the state is in exceptional drought. Groundwater reserves are being depleted at record rates as wildfires break out north and south. What can the media and governments do to increase understanding of the severity of this drought? What is the state doing to conserve water, and how much is left? Join us on the next Your Call, with Rose Aguilar, and you.

 On the July 23rd, 2014 edition of Your Call, we’ll have a conversation with biologist Wallace Nichols about his new book, Blue Mind. Nichols explores how we are beginning to learn that our brains are hardwired to react positively to water and that being near it can calm and connect us, increase innovation and insight and even heal what’s broken. What do we need to know about the power of water? On the next Your Call, with Rose Aguilar.

Guests:

Wallace Nichols, scientist, wild water advocate, community organizer and author

Reveal 3, the latest pilot from the Peabody Award-winning program produced by The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX.

In this episode: an investigation into accidents and equipment failures in the military; a collaborative investigation into US water standards; and another in CIR's series of investigations into the treatment of military veterans.

Friday, July 4th at 11am and Monday, July 7th at 7pm.

Fighting the Mission Bay blaze

Mar 13, 2014
Kenneth Smith

Two days ago, the San Francisco skyline was covered in thick black smoke. It came from a fire that tore through a construction site in the Mission Bay neighborhood. 

Tuesday’s five alarm fire was the biggest the city has seen since 2012. Ultimately, 150 firefighters responded, with almost 50 vehicles, and they used a lot of water. 

KALW’s Ben Trefny spoke with Mindy Talmidge, the Public Information Officer at the San Francisco Fire Department, to get a sense of how they take on a blaze this big, where the water had to come from, and and how much water it took to fight it.

Courtesty of the Pacific Institute

As California faces an extreme drought, water politics are under a microscope now more than ever. Oakland-based Pacific Institute is a leader in research on the impacts of climate change on water. Its director, Peter Gleick, was awarded a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship for his work on water resources.

Even though 38 million Californians cook, clean and bathe with water, the Central Valley is still the largest user by far, taking up 75 percent of the state's water supply. Gleick sat down with KALW's Ben Trefny to decipher the state's water issues. 

  


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