Capitol Alert

AM Alert: California water officials lead briefing on state drought response

Warm winter weather has sped up the closure of several Tahoe-area ski resorts, and the drought is forcing resort operators to find new attractions to lure tourists.
Warm winter weather has sped up the closure of several Tahoe-area ski resorts, and the drought is forcing resort operators to find new attractions to lure tourists. The Sacramento Bee file

When Gov. Jerry Brown last week implemented the first mandatory water restrictions in state history, it was a stark reminder of the severity of California’s drought, now in its fourth year.

But just how bad is the drought? What is the state doing about it? How will it impact the environment, wildfires and farming? What is California doing for its hardest-hit communities?

The Association of California Water Agencies is holding a half-day briefing to address those and other questions, starting at 9 a.m. at the Crest Theater on K Street. California Secretary for Natural Resources John Laird, State Water Resources Control Board Chair Felicia Marcus, Department of Fish and Wildlife director Charlton Bonham and California Farm Bureau Federation President Paul Wenger are among those scheduled to present.

GIRL POWER: As part of the effort to close the professional gender gap in science, technology, engineering and math fields, Assemblywomen Ling-Ling Chang, R-Diamond Bar, and Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, will join representatives from the tech industry and educators to launch California Women and Girls in STEM Week, 11 a.m. on the south steps of the Capitol.

RIDE ON: California is preparing itself for driverless cars on the roads some day, but does reality live up to all the hype? Steve Shladover of UC Berkeley’s Institute of Transportation Studies discusses the history of road vehicle automation and the implications of this latest push for California, noon at the UC Center Sacramento on K Street.

NEXT STEP: What is a Senate Republican leader to do once he’s termed out? Perhaps run for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Sen. Bob Huff of Diamond Bar will announce his candidacy for the board’s 5th district, 3 p.m. at the Doubletree Hotel in Monrovia.

Call The Bee’s Alexei Koseff, (916) 321-5236. Follow him on Twitter @akoseff.

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