water

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. 

Pages