Making the Best of the Poor Conditions in this Critically Dry Year

By Jessica Law | July 23, 2021 | Sacramento Water Forum

Severe drought conditions are back in California. Unfortunately, that means the Lower American River is headed into what may be some of the worst summer conditions we’ve seen on the river in recent memory.

I won’t sugarcoat it. Conditions in the river will be bad. However, the Water Forum and our partners are working hard to ensure conditions are as good as they can possibly be, and to minimize harm to fish and habitat.

What to expect in the coming months

PHOTO CREDIT: DWR, Lower American River 2014

As you may have seen on the news, we began this year with a near-normal snowpack. In most years, the snowpack melts and feeds our lakes and rivers. This year, the snowpack disappeared in the span of several weeks, soaking into the dry soil or evaporating—perhaps foreshadowing what may turn out to be the case study for climate change impacts on our water supplies and environment.

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Dramatic photos from NASA highlight severity of California’s drought

By Hayley Smith | July 19, 2021 | The LA Times

As the West descends deeper into drought, climate and water experts are growing increasingly alarmed by California’s severely shriveling reservoirs.

On Monday, Shasta Lake — the largest reservoir in the state — held a scant 1.57 million acre-feet of water, according to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, or about 35% of its capacity.

A series of satellite images captured by NASA show just how dramatically the water level has fallen.

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Folsom, what are you doing?

By By Tony Bizjak, Dale Kasler, and Phillip Reese | July 18, 2021 | The Sacramento Bee

As ECOS has been trying to raise attention about for years, Folsom doesn’t have the water supply it needs to add as many residents as it is with new housing developments.

The increasingly dire situation has rekindled a simmering debate about one of the Sacramento area’s fastest-growing suburbs: Are Folsom’s lofty growth ambitions putting residents at risk of becoming water poor as climate change reduces the region’s already tight water supply?

Folsom has added roughly 9,000 residents in the last six years. And California’s latest drought arrives as the city is in the early stages of building a subdivision that some day will include 11,000 homes: Folsom Ranch south of Highway 50. State officials have already questioned the city’s ability to supply that development.

Click here to read the article in full (available to subscribers of the newspaper only).

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