New Melones Reservoir nears 10 percent capacity

California's New Melones Reservoir is merely a puddle of its former self. As the lake nears 10 percent capacity in early September, a raging wildfire about 30 miles north was quickly moving towards the dwindling body of water, claiming everything in its path.

10 must-read drought stories for Sept. 17

Will the drought not seen in 500 years be broken by an equally epic El Niño?

An epic, 500-year snow fail in California’s iconic mountains California’s Sierra Nevada snowpack wasn’t this low in 2014 and 1977, hence the reason lakes continued to dry when they should have filled.

Scientists say California hasn’t been this dry in 500 years As dry and out-of-water as California is, Gov. Jerry Brown is now predicting a mass influx of migrants to California because of – wait for it – climate change.

A monster El Niño is likely, but there are ‘no guarantees’ As scientists point to sea surface temperatures not seen before in much of the Pacific Ocean speculation grows as to just how influential El Niño will be on West Coast weather patterns this winter.

California citrus farmers pull up trees, dig reservoirs to survive drought Kern County citrus grower John Gless didn’t just replant trees after pulling groves; he continued digging to build a reservoir to mitigate the effects of future droughts to his operation.

Almonds are no longer villains – or scapegoats – of the drought Almond Board of California advertising campaign “seemed to hush the almond haters” after news got out about the water needs of the tree to produce the tasty nut and its two byproducts.

2015 drought’s direct costs to California agriculture: $1.84 billion Study pegs direct impacts of drought to farming at under $2 billion and to the state’s economy in whole at nearly $3 billion.

California lawmakers want special session to tackle drought Despite the fact that California has a fulltime legislature and the drought has been ongoing now for several years; a group of legislators want Gov. Brown to declare a special session to address the drought.

Creating a smart market for California water California has a convoluted way of making water available to users in some cases, even after the Governor decreed that water transfers need to be smoother and streamlined during a drought science is now saying hasn’t been seen in 500 years.

A San Joaquin Valley irrigation drainage settlement is reached, but questions remain California’s favorite water whipping boy – Westlands Water District – inks a deal with the federal government that angers some and is publicly hailed by at least one politician as “a reasonable compromise.” The fight is far from over as Congress must now weigh in on and bless the deal through legislation.

The forgotten students of California’s drought It’s not just fish and wildlife suffering in California’s drought, children who live in homes without running water or doubled-up in dwellings with other relatives because mom and dad are unemployed, eke out an existence in rural schools throughout the Central Valley.

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