Water & Drought

Water watch: Turning points, policy decisions for California drought

Official measures taken at governmental levels from local to state to federal are meant to battle effects of California’s drought and further the state’s ability to keep green that which must be kept green in defiance of nature’s determined drying.
Official measures taken at governmental levels from local to state to federal are meant to battle effects of California’s drought and further the state’s ability to keep green that which must be kept green in defiance of nature’s determined drying. TNS

The water spigot was turned off in 2012, marking the beginning of a drought that has dried Sacramento and much of the rest of California in a way that is changing habits of the people who live here as well as laws and regulations that govern use of the the state’s most-precious resource.

From Gov. Jerry Brown’s unprecedented order to reduce water use to individual household initiatives, measures large and small are being taken to help the once-lush Golden State weather its rain- and snow-starved present and create ways of doing business that anticipate future droughts.

The following are stories and other content representing significant policy or regulatory decisions and changes, as well as key mileposts relative to state’s relentless dry spell.

Policy/regulatory changes

▪ Governor issues mandatory water cuts as California snowpack hits record low

▪ California board approves emergency drought rules for toilets, faucets sold after Jan. 1

▪ Sacramento region faces new round of hefty water cuts

▪ Water restrictions hit golf courses, cemeteries, homebuilders

▪ California agriculture, largely spared in new water restrictions, wields huge clout

▪ California warns of deep water rights curtailments amid drought

▪ See how water cuts might look in your Sacramento community

▪ California restricts yard watering as drought persists

Watershed events/moments

▪ Sacramento’s last year of above-average rainfall: 2011-12, 24.83 inches, well above the city’s annual average of 18.52 inches.

▪ Drought threatens American River fish

▪ Drought prompts truck and release of salmon smolts in Rio Vista

▪ Drought alters the face of Tahoe tourism

▪ Conservationists say thinning Sierra forests may help state water supply

Related content

▪ Editorial: Water rules mandate a different world

▪ Opinion: With new thinking, flood control projects can ease drought

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