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California politics caused drought

Evil or Very Mad    California save the minnow caused drought

DONT PITY CALIFORNIA!  California man-made drought
Feb, 2014  Calipornia drought caused by politics

Nearly 40,000 farmers in the San Joaquin Valley are unemployed because a judge ordered their irrigation system turned off to save a small fish.
Calipornia Drought?  Voters caused it!  The lunatic environ mental cases!

Calipornia values a minnow more than humans!
No water means no crops and no jobs.
There has been enough rain if the water was properly managed - for humans.
California is on an ocean!  There is plenty of water, and desalination for drinking and use is excellent.
Calipornia repeatedly valuing SIN has caused its judgments.

Obama meets Jordan king in California desert‎
Feb. 14, 2014
 Barack Obama and Jordan King Abdullah meet in California desert oasis Palm Springs.
Meeting between leaders to involve discussion of Syrian civil war, Israeli-Palestinian peace talks
On March 3 Obama to meet Netanyahu at the White House.  Hope Obama treats him civilly this time.


DROUGHT, Water rationing, * USA Drying Up

Obama meets Abdullah, Bibi

Parched California Pours Mega-Millions Into Desalination Tech

. By John Roach .

Besieged by drought and desperate for new sources of water, California towns are ramping up plans to convert salty ocean water into drinking water to quench their long-term thirst. The plants that carry out the high-tech "desalination" process can cost hundreds of millions of dollars, but there may be few other choices for the parched state.

Where the Pacific Ocean spills into the Agua Hedionda Lagoon in Carlsbad, Calif., construction is 25 percent complete on a $1 billion project to wring 50 million gallons of freshwater a day from the sea and pour it into a water system that serves 3.1 million people.

Desalination was a dreamy fiction during the California Water Wars of the early 20th century that inspired the classic 1974 movie "Chinatown." In the 1980s, however, the process of forcing seawater through reverse osmosis membranes to filter out salt and other impurities became a reliable, even essential, tool in regions of the world desperate for water.

"I think it will turn out that it is very affordable compared to not having the water here in Southern California, particularly with the drought that we are facing."

The process, however, is energy intensive and thus expensive, making it practical only in places where energy is cheap, such as the oil-rich Middle East. But recent technological advances in membrane materials and energy recovery systems have about halved the energy requirements for desalination, giving the once cost-prohibitive technology a fresh appeal in a state gripped with fear that it may be in the early stages of a decades-long mega-drought.

"I think it will turn out that it is very affordable compared to not having the water here in Southern California, particularly with the drought that we are facing and the fact that the governor has just cut off the flow of water from north to south in the aqueduct, the State Water Project," Randy Truby, the comptroller for the International Desalination Association, an industry advocate, told NBC News.

The multibillion dollar State Water Project is a complex conveyance system that brings water from the wetter northern part of the state to farms, industry, and people in the thirsty south. In times of drought, such as now, banking on that water is a risky bet.

San Diego's $1 billion bet

In the early 1990s, fears that a drought-induced limit to imported water could leave San Diego County with just a trickle from its scarce local supply prompted the regional water agency to include desalination as part of its long-term strategy, according to Bob Yamada, a planning manager with the San Diego County Water Authority.

Today, the county's Carlsbad Desalination Project under construction is the largest seawater desalter in the Western Hemisphere. When it comes online in 2016, the $1 billion facility will produce enough water to meet the daily needs of 300,000 area residents, which is about 7 percent of the county's water requirements.

That's water, the project backers say, that will no longer have to be imported via the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, a wholesaler of imported water based in Los Angeles that has a testy relationship with its southern neighbor.

But that dash of independence comes at a cost. The water authority is locked into a 30-year deal with the plant's developer, Poseidon Water, to purchase desalted water for about $2,000 an acre foot in 2012 dollars. That's nearly twice as expensive as the current rate for imported water and will add $5 to $7 per month to ratepayers' bills, which is about a 10 percent hike.

The county is making the bet "that even though there is a significant difference right now, those costs will converge in the future [and] that convergence could happen as soon as the early 2020s," Yamada told NBC News. He added that water authority studies found that 68 percent of ratepayers are willing to pay more for a drought-proof water supply.

Cost and environmental concerns

"The trend of imported water (pricing) is definitely going up," Heather Cooley, co-director of the water program at the Pacific Institute, an Oakland-based environmental think tank, told NBC News. "We have some major infrastructure investments needed for imported water in California. I don't have a crystal ball for what it is going to look like, but no doubt it will raise the price of imported water."

The pending price hikes for imported water as well as its uncertain reliability, she explained, are compelling reasons for municipalities to consider desalination. But, she noted, "we can't look at these issues in a vacuum; we have to look at all the options that are available."

The sentiment is echoed by the San Clemente, Calif.-based Surfrider Foundation, which has opposed several desalination projects, including Carlsbad, on environmental grounds. For example, sucking up large amounts of seawater can kill fish and other creatures as water passes through intake screens.

"Our general position is there is just a lot more that can be done on both the conservation side and the water recycling side before you get to [desalination] and we feel, in a lot of cases, that we haven't really explored all of those options," Rick Wilson, the organization's coastal management coordinator, told NBC News.

Mothballed in Santa Barbara

A reconsideration of desalination is underway in Santa Barbara, about 185 miles north of Carlsbad, where planners are in the early discussions about investing around $20 million to upgrade and restart a $34 million desalination plant that was constructed there in the early 1990s as a hedge against an ongoing drought, according to Joshua Haggmark, the interim water resources manager for the city.

The Charles Meyer Desalination Facility in Santa Barbara, Calif. is something of a time capsule from the early 1990s when it was completed at a cost of $34 million. It only operated for a few months and has remained dormant for over twenty years. Now the city of Santa Barbara is considering restarting the aging desalination plant to deal with the state's drought.

Although the plant was permitted and constructed in just two years, it was never brought online. The rains returned and filled area reservoirs just as the desalter was completed. "It was really a challenge to continue and run and operate the facility given the much cheaper surface water," he told NBC News. "The facility was mothballed." In fact, part of it was disassembled and sold to Saudi Arabia.

Bringing it back on line will require a massive overhaul. What's more, "Santa Barbara is a pretty topographically challenged community; there are quite a few different elevations," Haggmark said. Most of the coastal city's water comes via gravity from higher elevation reservoirs. Desalination "comes in at the bottom. You have to lift this water and move this water further up into the system, which is expensive."

"I don't have a crystal ball for what it is going to look like, but no doubt it will raise the price of imported water."

Once infrastructure is factored in, the desalinated water would cost Santa Barbara about $3,000 per acre foot. The facility currently has permits to operate at 3,125 acre-feet per year, which "would basically replace what we are currently getting out of the State Water Project," Haggmark said.

Gauges remain idle at the Charles Meyer Desalination Facility in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Sand City Independence

Limited water resources on the Monterey Peninsula hindered master development plans for the small town of Sand City, Calif., which was restricted from any new construction until the city increased its water supply. Regional efforts to find solutions ran into financial and political constraints for more than 20 years. Frustrated, the city struck out on its own to develop a desalination plant.

The city partnered with California American Water for the $14 million project, which started producing 300 acre feet of freshwater a year in 2010. The plant draws brackish water from wells, which is less salty than seawater, meaning its energy requirements are less. The salt content of the leftover brine is about equal the ocean's, so it can be discharged without damaging the marine environment.

The city currently uses about a third of the annual output; the rest is shared among other cities on the water-short peninsula. This allows the water company to reduce its reliance on the stressed Carmel River, which is under state protections.

"Our plant has two benefits, we brought our own water and also we allow the water company to reduce pumping from the illegal source," Sand City Mayor David Pendegrass explained to NBC News. To further alleviate pressures on the river, American Water is pursuing a larger desalination plant on the Monterey Peninsula.

Ultimately, she said, seawater desalination will become part of the solution to California's ongoing water woes — something to consider along with other supply options, including increased wastewater recycling. "The key questions," Cooley said of the desalination plants, "are when do you build them and how large do you build them?"

First published February 17th 2014, 8:22 am

California farmers exporting water to China
Why is this valuable farming state using billions of gallons of water to grow alfalfa which is then shipped to China, drought?
Because the US owes China a debt we can never repay
Health experts warn of water contamination from California drought

SACRAMENTO, California (Reuters) - California's drought has put 10 communities at acute risk of running out of drinking water in 60 days, and worsened numerous other health and safety problems, public health officials in the most populous U.S. state said on Tuesday.

Rural communities where residents rely on wells are at particular risk, as contaminants in the groundwater become more concentrated with less water available to dilute them, top state health officials said at a legislative hearing on the drought.

"The drought has exacerbated existing conditions," said Mark Starr, deputy director of the California Department of Public Health.

The state has helped about 22 of 183 communities identified last year as reliant on contaminated groundwater to bring their supplies into conformance with environmental guidelines, but the rest are still building or preparing to build systems, he said.

The contamination warning comes days after President Barack Obama announced nearly $200 million in aid for the parched state, including $60 million for food banks to help people thrown out of work in agriculture-related industries as farmers leave fields unplanted and ranchers sell cattle early because the animals have no grass for grazing.

The California Farm Bureau estimates the overall impact of idled farmland will run to roughly $5 billion, from in direct costs of lost production and indirect effects through the region's economy.

Last month, Democratic Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency, as reservoir levels dipped to all-time lows with little rain or snow in the forecast.

On Tuesday, the state's top public health officials said they were targeting 10 communities for immediate relief, trucking in water when necessary and helping to lay pipes connecting residents with nearby public water systems.

Worst hit is the small city of Willits in the northern part of the state, public health director Ron Chapman said. Also targeted for priority help included tiny water systems throughout the state, one so small it serves 55 people in a community listed simply as Whispering Pines Apartments.

"Small drinking water systems are especially vulnerable to drought conditions," the public health department said on its website. "They have fewer customers, which can mean fewer options in terms of resources like funding and infrastructure."


Linda Rudolph, co-director for the Center for Climate Change and Health in Oakland and a former state health official, said millions of Californians rely on wells and other sources of groundwater where the concentration of contaminants is growing because of dry conditions.

"Many groundwater basins in California are contaminated, for example with nitrates from over application of nitrogen fertilizer or concentrated animal feeding operations, with industrial chemicals, with chemicals from oil extraction or due to natural contaminants with chemicals such as arsenic," Rudolph said.

In addition, as dry conditions turn ponds and creeks into stagnant pools, mosquitoes breed, and risk increases for the diseases they carry, she said at the hearing. Residents with asthma and other lung conditions are also at risk as dry conditions create dust.

The state's firefighters put out 400 blazes during the first three weeks of January, normally the state's wettest season and its slowest for wildfires, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

"We are experiencing conditions right now that we would usually see in August," its website quoted Chief Ken Pimlott as saying.
California farmers hire dowsers to find water

With California in the grips of drought, farmers throughout the state are using a mysterious and some say foolhardy tool for locating underground water: dowsers, or water witches.


ST. HELENA, Calif. — With California in the grips of drought, farmers throughout the state are using a mysterious and some say foolhardy tool for locating underground water: dowsers, or water witches.

Practitioners of dowsing use rudimentary tools — usually copper sticks or wooden "divining rods" that resemble large wishbones — and what they describe as a natural energy to find water or minerals hidden deep underground.

While both state and federal water scientists disapprove of dowsing, California "witchers" are busy as farmers seek to drill more groundwater wells due to the state's record drought that persists despite recent rain.

The nation's fourth-largest wine maker, Bronco Wine Co., says it uses dowsers on its 40,000 acres of California vineyards, and dozens of smaller farmers and homeowners looking for wells on their property also pay for dowsers. Nationwide, the American Society of Dowsers, Inc. boasts dozens of local chapters, which meet annually at a conference.

"It's kind of bizarre. Scientists don't believe in it, but I do and most of the farmers in the Valley do," said Marc Mondavi, a vineyard owner whose family has been growing grapes and making wine since the mid-20th century in the Napa Valley.

Mondavi doesn't just believe in dowsing, he practices it.

On a recent afternoon, standing in this family's Charles Krug vineyard holding two copper divining rods, Mondavi walked slowly forward through the dormant vines.

After about 40 feet, the rods quickly crossed and Mondavi — a popular dowser in the world famous wine region— stopped. "This is the edge of our underground stream," he said during the demonstration. Mondavi said he was introduced to "witching" by the father of an old girlfriend, and realized he had a proclivity for the practice.

After the valley's most popular dowser died in recent years, Mondavi has become the go-to water witch in Napa Valley. He charges about $500 per site visit, and more, if a well he discovers ends up pumping more than 50 gallons per minute.

With more farmers relying on groundwater to irrigate crops, Mondavi's phone has been ringing often as growers worry about extended years of dryness.

He had six witching jobs lined up over a recent weekend, three homes whose springs were running dry and three vineyards. It's so popular that he's even created a line of wines called "The Divining Rod" that will be sold nationwide this year.

While popular, scientists say dowsers are often just lucky, looking for water in places where it's already known to likely exist.

"There's no scientific basis to dowsing. If you want to go to a palm reader or a mentalist, then you're the same person who's going to go out and hire a dowser," said Tom Ballard, a hydrogeologist with Taber Consultants, a geological engineering firm based in West Sacramento

"The success is really an illusion. In most places you're going to be able to drill and find some water," he said.

Still, the consistent interest in water witches nationwide even spurred The U.S. Geological Survey to officially weigh in on the fairly harmless practice.

Dowsing has not held up well under scientific scrutiny, the USGS said, adding that dowsers are often successful in areas where groundwater is abundant.

"The natural explanation of 'successful' water dowsing is that in many areas water would be hard to miss. The dowser commonly implies that the spot indicated by the rod is the only one where water could be found, but this is not necessarily true," the survey said in its report.

Christopher Bonds, senior engineering geologist for the state Department of Water Resources, said his agency does not advocate using witchers.

"DWR is an advocate for having qualified and licensed water professionals locate groundwater resources using established scientific methods," Bonds said in an email.

Don't tell that to John Franzia, co-owner of Bronco Wine Co., the nation's fourth-largest wine producer based on sales. It makes wine under hundreds of labels, including the famous "Two Buck Chuck."

Bronco also owns more vineyard land in California than anyone else, and when it needs a new well there's a good chance a dowser will be employed.

Franzia said the company uses many technologies to find water on its 40,000-acres, but turns to dowsers often and with great success.

"I've used witchers for probably the last 15-to-20 years," Franzia said. "Seems like the witchers do the better job than the guys with all the electrical equipment. I believe in them."

The Last U.S. President

by C. Alan Martin, 1971 vision

George W. Bush is House 11
In the yard of house #11 is a large weeping willow tree. This tree represents mourning and sorrow.
But under the draping limbs of this tree are children playing.  Bush kept America safe.

House 12 President ? This is the last house that I saw in this vision of the night.
After this house was a dirt path that lead toward a collection of boulders arranged in a semi circle which reminded me of a place where a trial was held and judgment rendered.
In another dream which took place during the millennial age,
I was standing among these rock looking at the ruins of a world rocked by the tribulation.

In the ruins of these boulders I found a witch doll.   I knew immediately that one of the reasons that
the USA was judged was because she had gone after the occult and witchcraft.  

I heard a voice say "Look to the east". As I turned I saw the clouds part and I saw the blood moon and the dark sun.
Both of these are symbolic of judgment being levied on a nation and the fall of a nation.
I saw the ancient army approaching from the east through the yards of all the houses of the presidents.
It was then that I ran down to join this army in the yard of the house of Nixon.

This was 1971, the year I was saved. Immediately the scene changed and I was in the middle of a city in gray ruins.
I saw a man emerge from what I perceived to be a "temple fortress" who was dressed in a diplomatic suit and carrying a briefcase.
A voice said "He claims to be God, but is of devil". (Barak Hussein Obama)  Then the dream ended.

Indeed.  G W Bush was the last true U.S. President.
Remember Obama stepped out of a temple fortress

This old vision is coming to pass NOW
In 2008  junior senator and presidential candidate Barack Obama gave his Democrat Party acceptance speech from a stage resembling a Greek temple.  Obama said we are the ones we have been waiting for, essentially declaring himself god.
Indeed.  G W Bush was the last true U.S. President.

Congress focuses on dams amid California's drought

California's drought prompts Congress to look anew at expanding or building new reservoirs

WASHINGTON (AP) -- California's drought has sparked a new push by federal lawmakers to create or expand a handful of reservoirs around the state, ramping up a political battle that former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger once referred to as a "holy war in some ways."

Government agencies have been studying five major water storage projects for nearly two decades, with nothing to show for the effort so far.

Meanwhile, the state's water problems have only grown worse. California has had its third relatively dry winter in a row and court rulings have mandated that more water be released from reservoirs to sustain fish species in Northern California's delta. At the same time, the nation's most populous state, now at 38 million residents, continues to grow beyond the capacity of a water storage and delivery system that was mostly completed in the late 1960s.

This winter is among the driest on record, forcing some communities to ration water and leading farmers to fallow thousands of acres that otherwise would be producing vegetables, fruits and nuts for the nation.

The state Legislature is expected to debate water storage options later this year as it seeks compromise on a multibillion dollar water bond for the November ballot. But California's congressional delegation has provided a jumpstart.

Bills proposed in Congress would authorize a number of projects to expand or create reservoirs. Among the projects are raising the dam at Shasta Lake to store more water in California's largest reservoir, creating a new reservoir in the Sierra Nevada along the upper San Joaquin River east of Fresno and damming a valley north of Sacramento.

Other storage options include expanding the dams at the San Luis Reservoir in the central part of the state and at Los Vaqueros Reservoir in the eastern San Francisco Bay Area.

Authorizing such projects through federal legislation would be a prerequisite for dedicating money to a project in the future.

Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein said those who oppose new or expanded dams are hoping that doing so will deter growth and development, but it's a losing battle.

"Growth comes anyway," she said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "Then you don't have enough water."

Feinstein acknowledges that conservation also is critical to meeting the state's water needs but said some new or expanded reservoirs must be allowed so more water can be captured during wet years and stored for use during the dry ones.

"They have a certain prior, I don't know how to put it, stigma to them," she said of dams. "But this is a different day now. And it's a day that's been coming for a long time. Somehow, we've got to measure up to it."

In California, water often is a shared commodity between the federal government, the state and local users.

Feinstein is urging the state Legislature to modify the bond measure on the November ballot to prioritize both water storage and conservation. She would like to see $3 billion dedicated in the bond to developing storage, with an additional $2 billion set aside for restoring the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, the heart of California's water-delivery system.

Doing so would be intended to appease both farmers and the environmentalists.

No doubt there will be opposition. The $1 billion proposal to raise the dam at Shasta, for example, would flood part of the McCloud River, one of the most picturesque rivers in the state. It also would inundate several sacred sites of the Winnemem Wintu, a small tribe that is not federally recognized.

In general, creating and expanding reservoirs are among the most expensive and environmentally harmful ways to address California's water issues, said Doug Obegi, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council. He said investing in water recycling, storm water capture in urban areas and similar projects provides a greater return on investment.

He said he failed to see how the current storage projects would help California's overall water supply, with so many reservoirs already far below their capacity.

"It just doesn't add up to a lot of water," he said.

Peter Gleick, director of the Pacific Institute and one of California's leading water experts, said major dam projects "worked fine when there was new water to be had and when we didn't care about the environment. But those days are over."

Republicans already have pushed through legislation in the House that would authorize construction for four of the storage projects. But the main thrust of the bill, sponsored by Republican Rep. David Valadao and co-sponsored by every GOP member of California's delegation, would cease the implementation of a lawsuit settlement designed to restore salmon populations on the San Joaquin River.

Water dedicated to maintaining fish and wildlife would instead go to farmers and communities who receive water through the federal Central Valley Project. That bill has no chance to pass the Senate in its current form.

As an alternative, Feinstein and fellow California Sen. Barbara Boxer, also a Democrat, are pushing legislation that would give state and federal agencies more flexibility to pump water out of the delta to aid farmers, as long as the pumping does not violate the Endangered Species Act.

But one aspect of the House bill Feinstein endorses is the call for more major storage projects.

"We should have some federal authorization of dam projects that have a positive cost-benefit ratio," she told the AP.

The sharpest difference between the House bill and what Democrats seek is that the House version relies strictly on the state to pay for new or larger dams. Democrats say the federal government should help cover some of the costs.

Rep. Jim Costa, a Democrat from the Central Valley farming region, said he doubts the projects will get off the ground without federal money.

He has sponsored three bills — to authorize expanding the dams at Shasta Lake and San Luis Reservoir, and to build the Temperance Flat dam on the San Joaquin River. Cost-sharing arrangements, which he called crucial to the projects eventually getting built, would be negotiated later.

Costa rejected the sentiment that conservation and recycling should be relied upon instead. He said the drought is so severe that every tool is needed.

"You cannot recycle in enough quantities to irrigate half the nation's fruits and vegetables," he said. "It's really that simple."

He said he believes prospects for more storage are better now because more parts of the state are feeling the pain from the drought.

Others are more pessimistic. During a congressional hearing last week in Fresno, Republican Rep. Tom McClintock, who represents a vast district in Northern California, said a "radical ideology" has made its way into California water policy.

"Translation: That means these dams will not get built," he said.

Southern California wildfire forces evacuations

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A wind-driven brush fire burning out of control in a drought-parched Southern California wildland on Wednesday forced the evacuation of hundreds of residents in the northern part of suburban Rancho Cucamonga, officials said.

The wildfire, which sent smoke billowing down the foothills toward large suburban houses, comes amid hot weather and fierce Santa Ana winds blowing in the region that had already prompted the National Weather Service to issue a wildfire-related "red flag" warning for much of the area.

The so-called Etiwanda Fire marks one of the first major wildfires of the year in Southern California, and comes just ahead of the hotter months between, May and October, when the blazes most frequently break out.

The blaze broke out in the San Bernardino National Forest at about 8 a.m. and quickly spread across 800 acres, driven by winds of up to 80 miles per hour (129 km/h), which is extremely gusty for the region, officials said.

Television news footage showed bright orange flames in the brush, near towers for power transmission lines. Parents and students rushed away from local schools enveloped in smoky air, their hair and shirts flapping in the wind.

The blaze east of Los Angeles prompted authorities to issue mandatory evacuation orders for an area in northern Rancho Cucamonga that has 1,100 homes and 2,500 people living in them, said U.S. Forest Service spokesman Chon Bribiescas. Rancho Cucamonga is a largely middle class suburban city.

Officials have deployed 30 fire engines against the blaze, according to wildfire tracking site InciWeb. But because of the high winds, officials have not been able to deploy aircraft to fight the fire.

California officials have kept staffing levels for wildland firefighters at elevated levels since last year because the state is in the midst of its worst drought in decades.

Governor Jerry Brown has issued emergency proclamations related to the drought, calling on residents to avoid washing their cars and watering their lawns.

"The drought has absolutely set the stage for a potentially very busy and very dangerous fire season," said California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Daniel Berlant.

"As we move into the summer months, conditions are only going to get hotter, they're only going to get dryer, and so the likelihood of large and damaging fires increases," he said.
Southern California wildfire grows to 800 acres

A Southern California wildfire that forced the evacuation of at least 1,100 homes has grown to 800 acres.


RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California wildfire that forced the evacuation of at least 1,100 homes has grown to 800 acres.

Fire officials said Wednesday winds gusting to 60 mph are pushing the flames through the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains east of Los Angeles, although no homes are in immediate danger.

Officials said earlier that 200 acres had been charred.

Mandatory evacuations were ordered due to the smoky conditions in parts of Rancho Cucamonga, a city of 165,000 people east of Los Angeles.

Several neighborhoods and at least seven schools have been evacuated.

There's no word on what sparked the blaze, but it comes in the midst of a heat wave that's created extreme fire danger.

California Drought Threatens Food Supply
May 23, 2014
 Collapsing Aquifer in California Central Valley, American breadbasket, where fruit, nuts and vegetables are grown which feed us.
Now, for the first time this century, the entire state is in severe to exceptional drought.
Its really depressing for growers to leave ground out, unplanted.  They still pay taxes and payments on everything.  Its a breadbasket of our whole country, and so much ground being fallowed is not good!

Global Famine * The Black Horseman Cometh

Israel desalination
May 30, 2014
 Desalination plants are prime Hellzballah targets in Israel.
After experiencing its driest winter on record, Israel is responding just like California, by doing nothing.
Previous droughts promped an aggressive desalination program that transformed this perennially parched land into perhaps the most well-hydrated country in the region.
Israel has all the water they need, even in the worst year ever regarding precipitation.
Since 2005, Israel has opened 4 desalination plants, with a fifth set to go online later this year.
Los Angeles college evacuated after report of man with gun

(Reuters) - A Los Angeles college and nearby occupational center were being evacuated and locked down on Friday after reports that a missing and suicidal man could be armed and in the vicinity, police said.

A Los Angeles Police Department spokeswoman said officers were searching for the missing 22-year-old man near Pierce College, a community college located in Woodland Hills in the San Fernando Valley. The school issued an "emergency alert" on Twitter telling students not to come to campus.

The West Valley Occupational Center was also placed on lockdown, police spokeswoman Norma Eisenman said. The missing man was described as wearing all black clothing and carrying a backpack and a skateboard, she said.

The incident comes a week after 22-year-old Elliot Rodger shot and killed three students near the University of California, Santa Barbara, campus. Rodger had earlier stabbed three people to death in his apartment.

California mandatory water restrictions
April 2, 2015
-  Gov. Jerry Brown ordered cities and towns across California to cut water use by 25% as part of a sweeping set of mandatory drought restrictions, the first in state history.
Brown asked for a 20% voluntary cut in water use a year ago, which was ignored.
The Sierra Nevada measured the lowest April 1 snowpack in 60 years.

California governor orders mandatory water restrictions
The move will affect residents, businesses, farmers and other users.
"We're in a historic drought and that demands unprecedented action," Brown said.
January 2014 Brown declared a drought emergency and urged all Californians to cut water use by 20%.

The order requires campuses, golf courses, cemeteries and other large landscapes to significantly cut water use etc.  The order also prohibits new homes and developments from using drinkable water for irrigation if the structures lack water-efficient drip systems. In addition, the watering of decorative grasses on public street medians is banned.

Critics said his order does not go far enough to address agriculture, the biggest water user in California.  The order contains no water reduction target for farmers, who have let thousands of acres go fallow as the state and federal government slashed water deliveries from reservoirs.  California farmers have already suffered deep cutbacks in water supply during the current drought.

USA Drought, fracking, and the food supply

DROUGHT USA, Water rationing
Mississippi, Colorado Rivers

Cal state news
California delta's water mysteriously missing amid drought

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — As California struggles with a devastating drought, huge amounts of water are mysteriously vanishing from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta — and the prime suspects are farmers whose families have tilled fertile soil there for generations.

A state investigation was launched following complaints from two large agencies that supply water to arid farmland in the Central Valley and to millions of residents as far south as San Diego.

Delta farmers don't deny using as much water as they need. But they say they're not stealing it because their history of living at the water's edge gives them that right. Still, they have been asked to report how much water they're pumping and to prove their legal rights to it.

At issue is California's century-old water rights system that has been based on self-reporting and little oversight, historically giving senior water rights holders the ability to use as much water as they need, even in drought. Gov. Jerry Brown has said that if drought continues this system built into California's legal framework will probably need to be examined.

Delta farmer Rudy Mussi says he has senior water rights, putting him in line ahead of those with lower ranking, or junior, water rights.

"If there's surplus water, hey, I don't mind sharing it," Mussi said. "I don't want anybody with junior water rights leapfrogging my senior water rights just because they have more money and more political clout."

The fight pitting farmer against farmer is playing out in the Delta, the hub of the state's water system. With no indication of the drought easing, heightened attention is being placed on dwindling water throughout the state, which produces nearly half of the fruits, nuts and vegetables grown in the U.S.

A large inland estuary east of San Francisco, the Delta is fed by rivers of freshwater flowing down from the Sierra Nevada and northern mountain ranges. Located at sea level, it consists of large tracts of farmland separated by rivers that are subject to tidal ebbs and flows.

Most of the freshwater washes out to the Pacific Ocean through the San Francisco Bay. Some is pumped — or diverted — by Delta farmers to irrigate their crops, and some is sent south though canals to Central Valley farmers and to 25 million people statewide.

The drought now in its fourth year has put Delta water under close scrutiny. Twice last year state officials feared salty bay water was backing up into the Delta, threatening water quality. There was not enough fresh water to keep out saltwater.

In June, the state released water stored for farmers and communities from Lake Oroville to combat the saltwater intrusion.

Nancy Vogel, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Water Resources, said "thousands of acre-feet of water a day for a couple of weeks" were released into the Delta. An acre-foot is roughly enough water to supply a household of four for a year.

The fact that the state had to resort to using so much from storage raised questions about where the water was going. That in turn prompted a joint letter by the Department of Water Resources and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation calling for an investigation into how much water Delta farmers are taking — and whether the amount exceeds their rights to it.

"We don't know if there were illegal diversions going on at this time," said Vogel, leaving it up to officials at the State Water Resources Control Board to determine. "Right now, a large information gap exists."

Some 450 farmers who hold 1,061 water rights in the Delta and the Sacramento and San Joaquin river watersheds were told to report their water diversions, and Katherine Mrowka, state water board enforcement manager, said a vast majority responded.

State officials are sorting through the information that will help them determine whether any are exceeding their water rights and who should be subject to restrictions.

"In this drought period, water accounting is more important to ensure that the water is being used for its intended purpose," said U.S. Bureau of Reclamation spokesman Louis Moore.

Mussi, a second-generation Delta farmer whose family grows tomatoes, wheat, corn, grapes and almonds on 4,500 acres west of Stockton, said Central Valley farmers have long known that in dry years they would get little or no water from state and federal water projects and would need to rely heavily on groundwater.

"All of a sudden they're trying to turn their water into a permanent system and ours temporary," Mussi said. "It's just not going to work."

Shawn Coburn farms 1,500 acres along the San Joaquin River in Firebaugh about 100 miles south of the Delta. As a senior rights holder, he figures he will receive 45 percent or less of the water he expected from the federal water project. On another 1,500 acres where he is a junior water rights holder, he will receive no surface water for a second consecutive year. Forum Index -> America NEWS
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