Dry and getting drier. That's the potential prognosis for the coming year, according to California Department of Water Resources officials, who have warned that 2014 could continue a recently parched pattern for California.
The repercussions could ripple across the state, from diminished agricultural yields to reduced reservoirs to increased risk of wildfires to heightened conflict over precious and dwindling groundwater. A meeting today jointly administered by the State Board of Food and Agriculture and the California Water Commission will examine the potential implications.
Expected speakers include Mark Cowin of the Department of Water Resources, Randy Record of the Association of California Water Agencies, Mike Wade of the California Farm Water Coalition, Karla Nemeth of the California Natural Resources Agency, and Victoria Whitney of the State Water Resources Control Board. Starting at 10 a.m. at the Department of Food and Agriculture building on N Street.
VIDEO: There are plenty of contingencies and caveats in the prison overcrowding deal struck Monday, Dan Walters says.
SESSION CLOCK: Four business days remain before the bill deadline arrives -- fewer, really, if you account for legislators hoping to end session early to accommodate the holiest evening of the Jewish year. One of the brightly burning issues reached a tentative resolution yesterday as dueling sides struck a deal on reducing prison overcrowding, but ample room for action remains -- including on a list of gut-and-amends covering everything from marijuana regulation to voting rights.
Speaking of that prison agreement, advocates organized by the California Partnership and Californians United for a Responsible Budget will be rallying on the north steps at 11 a.m. today in response to the governor's plan winning out. They want California to focus on alternatives to incarceration, rather than hiking the prison budget.
HIGH-SPEED ALLIANCE: California could be getting a new partner in its quest for high-speed rail. Amtrak would work with the California High-Speed Rail Authority on issuing a request for trains that can reach up to 220 miles per hour under an agreement that the authority will contemplate at a meeting today. At the Secretary of State Auditorium on 11th Street, from 10 a.m.
PHOTO: Dry conditions mean that Folsom Lake, pictured here on July 19, 2013, is expected to drop to extremely low levels this fall. Very low flows are also expected in the American River, prompting concern for salmon runs. The Sacramento Bee/José Luis Villegas