State officials Wednesday adopted emergency regulations to streamline enforcement of water-rights curtailments during the drought. But the State Water Resources Control Board agreed to exempt senior water rights from the new rules.

Pregnant women who live near areas where agricultural pesticides are applied experience a higher risk of delivering children with autism or other developmental delays, a UC Davis study has found.

The White House and federal officials are coming to the rescue of the lowly honeybee, pumping money and extra resources in an attempt to avert continued, major losses among the nation’s buzzing pollinators.

A proposal to the California Air Resources Board, up for approval in September, would allow Sacramento Valley rice farmers to sell carbon emission offsets as part of the state’s effort to combat climate change. Rice farmers would flood their fields for shorter periods to reduce the decomposition process that emits methane – a potent greenhouse gas.

A proposal that federal officials said was intended to simplify federal water laws has instead been interpreted to do the opposite – and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is scrambling to defend itself to agriculture and other industries.

The No. 2 official at the U.S. Department of Agriculture came to UC Davis on Monday and announced the launch of a website and other measures to help beginning farmers.

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