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KQED Public Media for Northern CA

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    As California plods into its fourth year of drought, critics say the latest round of statewide water restrictions are too little -- and possibly too late.

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    The State Water Resources Control Board is California's top arbiter of water supply conflicts. Lately it's been caught in a tug of war between those who would have it tread lightly with local water agencies and those calling for aggressive statewide rationing.

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    Governor Jerry Brown orders the state Water Resources Control Board to implement mandatory reductions to cut water use by 25 percent.

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    The latest figures on water conservation in California would seem to bear out the need for more strict, mandatory measures, such as the governor recently announced.

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    Meager river flows may not be enough to stem the tide of salt water that threatens freshwater supplies.

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    Water agencies win some relief valves in the latest version of draft water regulations designed to achieve the governor's 25 percent statewide savings.

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    The governor offers help with enforcement but no easing of conservation targets for local water suppliers.

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    The state-mandated water conservation "tiers" assigned to local water agencies don't tell the whole story. Some cities are already there, some have a lot more work to do.

    IMG_2962Water CutsIMG_2962Water Cuts

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    State officials officially hand the ball to local water agencies to squeeze 25 percent more water savings out of their customers. And ultimately, it is up to those customers to respond -- or not.

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    Representatives of a dozen state and provincial governments add a little pressure to the "do-or-die" world climate talks coming up in Paris. But can "subnational" deals like this really make a difference?

    climateclimate

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    Newest Earth science mission could extend the accuracy range of weather forecasts, fine-tune flood forecasts.

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    'Frozen reservoir,' source of a third of California's water, is far below historical average.

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    Despite initial objections, most national monuments have withstood the test of time. We get some perspective from a leading authority on public lands law.

    Coast DairiesNational Monuments mapCoast DairiesNational Monuments map

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    There's buried treasure here for tsunami hunters, but scarce funding may mean Hawaii remains vulnerable.

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    Fog and clouds are vital in keeping coastal temperatures down. But that benefit could be disappearing.

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    The warm ocean conditions often associated with rain in California are building -- and scientists say there's a 90 percent chance that they'll hang in there until fall or longer. Now forget that you read this.

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    As boosters and critics wait -- and wait -- for word on a proposed national monument for Northern California, it remains unclear what lands would actually be included.

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    Scientists say they're seeing the strongest El Nino signal since the "Godzilla" event of 1997-98, when San Francisco got double its usual rainfall.

    ElNino_NOAA_150701ElNino_NOAA_150701

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    Environmentalists call the vast expanse of lands a "hotspot for biodiversity" and an "undiscovered national treasure." It's about to be discovered.

    Berryessa_mapBerryessa_map

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    The drought eclipses all other environmental concerns by a wide margin -- and many say mandated water cuts aren't stringent enough.

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