Lauren is a radio reporter covering environment, water, and energy for KQED Science. As part of her day job, she has scaled Sierra Nevada peaks, run from charging elephant seals, and desperately tried to get her sea legs - all in pursuit of good radio. Her work has appeared on Marketplace, Living on Earth, and NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered. You can find her on Twitter at @lesommer.
Starting today, the meter is running for cities trying to meet the governor’s strict new water conservation targets. And the new restrictions are already having “ripple” effects: some businesses are drying up, while others are cashing in on the drought.
The tiny Delta smelt is famous for being a target in California's water wars, but it's dangerously close to extinction. That's bringing attention to anything that could harm the fish, including something rarely discussed: dredging Delta waterways for big cargo ships.
Here’s the thing: Water rights in California are based on who got there first. It’s as if you had to line up with all your coworkers to get a cup of coffee at work, and maybe the pot’s empty when the new guy gets to the front. Some are asking, in a drought like the one we’ve been having, is that really fair?
Solar companies in California have long been able to tell homeowners they can save a lot of money on power bills by going solar. Now PG&E is proposing a rate change the company says will be more fair for everyone. But solar companies say it’s simply an attack on their industry.