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California drought: State's water restrictions face court tests

Wednesday, July 01, 2015
Four lawsuits over restrictions for 'senior' water users in the Sacramento and San Joaquin River watersheds, as well as a lawsuit by the city of Riverside, challenge state control over local water rights amid the California drought. 

Four years into a record-breaking drought, California is suddenly awash in lawsuits challenging the state's water-saving directives, especially the 25 percent mandatory statewide cutbacks ordered by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown.

Less than a month after those mandatory restrictions went into effect, one city about 50 miles east of Los Angeles is the first municipality to challenge state control over local water rights in the courts. 

Riverside is suing the state, claiming that the new restrictions unfairly affect the community. 

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Free recycled water programs expanding throughout East Contra Costa

Wednesday, July 01, 2015


With mandatory water restrictions in place throughout California, "brown is the new green" has become the slogan of the day. But residents in East Contra Costa -- among the driest regions in the Bay Area -- will no longer have to chose between conserving water and keeping their lawns or gardens green.

That's because officials throughout the region have been working to put in place a series of separately operated recycled water fill stations that will be available to residents from Bay Point through Oakley and the far eastern regions of the county.

Recycled water is nonpotable, and officials make it clear that it's to be used only for irrigation, and not for drinking, filling backyard pools, bathing or cooking. But it will keep your lawn green and your garden alive.

In California, Water Restrictions Above Ground and Leaks Below

Friday, June 26, 2015

Californians have been ordered to save water because of the drought. But one of the best ways to save it is to not lose it in the first place. That is why many cities in this thirsty state have declared a war on leaks.

Here on Whitsett Avenue in the San Fernando Valley — or rather about 20 feet below it — the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is replacing much of the Coldwater trunk line, a major artery more than 100 years old.

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Stormwater Capture: California's Untapped Water Supply

Friday, June 26, 2015
When it rains in California, millions of gallons of water runs down city streets, into storm drains and out to the Pacific Ocean. But with the state in its fourth year of drought, it can’t afford to waste it. Some cities are capturing that rain by soaking it up like a sponge. Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento on what may be California’s next big “untapped” water supply.

California Bill Would Ban Fines For Dry Lawns

Friday, June 26, 2015
The California Legislature has sent the governor a bill to protect residents who let their lawns go brown during the drought.

The Assembly on Thursday advanced AB1 unanimously with 70 votes. It will prohibit local governments from penalizing residents who conserve water by not watering their lawns.
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