Drought Drive-ups, Town Hall Meetings Set

Apr 21, 2014
Sonoma County Water Agency

  The landscape around us is still green, but the drought is still on, too. It will be the focus of a series of four Town Hall meetings beginning Wednesday in Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park. Here’s a preview.

The schedule for the Town Hall Meetings is:

Santa Rosa

Wednesday, April 23, 6 – 8 pm

Santa Rosa Finley Center, 2060 W College Ave.

Rohnert Park

Wednesday, April 23,  6:00 – 8:00 pm

City Council Chambers, 130 Avram Ave.


Wednesday, April 29, 6 – 8 pm

Expanding Graywater Use in Marin

Apr 17, 2014

  Wider use of waste water--from sinks, showers and laundry-- for landscape irrigation can preserve diminished freshwater supplies. A pilot program in Marin is out to make that both easier and more common.

  As this chart indicates, more than half of a typical home's water use could be recycled through a graywater system.

Indigenous People's Group Seeks Wider Support

Apr 9, 2014

  The conservative leadership in Canada is pushing for greater extraction of that country’s oil and natural gas resources, and has taken steps to curtail the rights of native tribes in the process. As you might expect, those actions are getting some push-back from the indigenous people. Today we hear from a leader of one of those groups, the woman-led grassroots movement called Idle No More.

The Economics of Rainwater Catchment Systems

Mar 20, 2014

Capturing rainwater for yard and garden use is practical and environmental. But it’s not an investment that will pencil out anytime soon.

Below, students at Healdsburg High School installed an eight-barrel catchment system on their campus with support from Guerneville's Blue Barrel Systems.

Rainwater Catchment Systems

Mar 19, 2014

It’s fairly simple to capture and collect rainfall from rooftops, and use it for watering yards and gardens. But it’s a limited antidote to drought.

Cost breakthrough for water desalination

Mar 19, 2014
Water FX

  In California’s Central Valley, a small water district is pioneering the use of solar energy to power water desalination through distillation. An extensive article on the pilot project in yesterday’s San Francisco Chronicle reported that this approach cuts the power requirements for desalination by as much as three-fourths, which is a breakthrough in cost-effectiveness. We learn more in this conversation with the article’s author.

Marin's Water Shortage Eases

Mar 13, 2014
Marin Municipal Water Distric

The drought has eased a bit for much of Marin County, even as traffic congestion is getting worse. And overall optimism in the business community is increasing. All this and more from the annual Impact Marin conference in San Rafael Thursday morning.

Drought Threatens Wildlife, Too

Feb 24, 2014

Drought affects far more than human endeavors—it also poses some severe consequences for wildlife in our region, which in turn can have impacts on us.

  WildCare maintains a clinic for wildlife, and they are getting ready for an extra busy season between April and August. This is the time each year, notes the Marin County non-profit’s Allison Hermance, when animal young are born and maturing—and when getting enough water is critical to their survival.

Call for Increased Water Conservation

Feb 4, 2014

Drought is becoming the dominant topic in California now, as reservoirs dwindle, and weather forecasts offer little likelihood of replenishing them. Locally, the Sonoma County Water Agency is calling on everyone to cut their water usage significantly.

Chinook numbers down from last year in Russian River

Jan 29, 2014

Each fall and winter the Sonoma County Water Agency tracks chinook salmon returning to the Russian River watershed. Water Agency spokeswoman Ann DuBay says the 2013-14 season is poorer than last year, owing, in part, to a lack of rain. The agency is requesting residents near the Russian River's headwaters conserve water to aid the returning fish.

Commercial Fishing Fears the Drought

Jan 28, 2014

While farmers and residential water users watch reservoirs drop lower and lower, commercial fishermen are already bracing for poor catches in the coming years, as low river flows and dry streambeds devastate spawning runs. 

   Agriculture is not the only competitor for the water that salmon need for spawning, notes Chuck Cappotto, President of the Bodega Bay Fishermen’s Marketing Association. He fears another, potentially more voracious water use.

Defending Your Yard Against Drought

Jan 27, 2014

  Vineyards and other agricultural operations are bracing for a very dry growing year in California, and homeowners with landscaping or gardens will need to do likewise. We get some tips for residential water management on today’s segment.

Documenting Eco-activists

Nov 19, 2013
ElementalThe Movei.com

What do a young Canadian tribal leader, an Australian inventor and the man dubbed India’s “water Gandhi” have in common?  All three are dedicated eco-activists, and are featured in the current documental titled, Elemental.

Choosing the name for a film is often a complicated process. In the case of Elemental, co-director Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee explains there were three interlocking meanings behind the title.


You can find our earlier interview with Jay Harman here.

Debunking Fracking

Oct 1, 2013

Fracking is not the fossil fuel panacea the oil industry paints it as, says skeptic and peak oil analyst Richard Heinberg. He calls those claims “Snake Oil.”

An Overview of Underground Water

Jul 10, 2013
Sonoma County Water Agency

A newly completed report on the water that lies beneath the Santa Rosa Plain says that aquifer is in generally good health.

Another use for the groundwater study, suggests USGS research hydrologist Tracy Nishikawa, could be to monitor and measure any changes attributable to climate change.

KRCB previously reported on the draft version of this report when it was presented at a workshop in Santa Rosa in February, 2012. You'll find that earlier story here.

Trina Wood

At times during the winter and early spring it looks like a vast inland sea between Sacramento and Davis. This is the Yolo Bypass, which shunts Sacramento River floodwater around the state capital during high flows. You drive over the bypass on a three-mile-long elevated stretch of Interstate 80 known as “the Causeway” (the Blecher-Freeman Memorial Causeway). The bypass is also the site of a lot of innovative fish and wildlife work.

County Moves Forward on Fluoride Study

Mar 4, 2013
Flickr user OiMax

Last week the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors voted to fund the needed engineering and financial studies for adding fluoride to municipal water. The decision provoked an outcry from some area residents, deeply suspicious about fluoride's proposed benefits. However, public health advocates say fluoride is a safe, clearly effective way to promote healthy teeth.

Appreciating Beavers

Feb 21, 2013
Occidental Arts & Ecology Center

Every schoolchild learns that beavers gnaw down trees, build dams, and keep… busy. Less widely known is just how useful all that activity can be. On today’s North Bay Report, Bruce Robinson takes a closer look.

For a close-up look at beavers in action, restoring a winter storm-damaged home, see the video at the bottom of this page.

Battling Bottled Water

Feb 10, 2013

Civic and national freshwater advocates are reminding us not to take tap water for granted. Instead, they say, we should take it as our drink of choice.