Check out this neat vector map of American rivers by Nelson Minar.

These three photos taken from the same spot chronicle the ups and downs that Lake Oroville has experienced over the past year. (Dan Brekke/KQED)Read the full story on the ups and downs of this important reservoir. These three photos taken from the same spot chronicle the ups and downs that Lake Oroville has experienced over the past year. (Dan Brekke/KQED)Read the full story on the ups and downs of this important reservoir. These three photos taken from the same spot chronicle the ups and downs that Lake Oroville has experienced over the past year. (Dan Brekke/KQED)Read the full story on the ups and downs of this important reservoir.

These three photos taken from the same spot chronicle the ups and downs that Lake Oroville has experienced over the past year. (Dan Brekke/KQED)

Read the full story on the ups and downs of this important reservoir.

In light of the ongoing drought, state officials have asked Californians to cut their water use by 20 percent. One technique getting more attention these days is recycling so-called graywater. California passed one of the first laws to allow home graywater use — but obstacles have slowed widespread adoption.

Read the full story at californiareport.org.

A tag on orange farmer Matt Fisher’s irrigation spigot reads, “No irrigation water is available this year. Illegal use of irrigation water is subject to penalties. Your meter has been sealed.” 

The Terra Bella Irrigation District says they will charge $10,000 if farmers cut the seal. Some say the price may be worth it to keep their crops alive. 

Read the full story on how citrus farmers have been impacted by a cold snap this winter, followed by the drought.

Photo by Sasha Khokha/KQED

“Normally at this time of year, I have honey coming out of my ears,” says Spencer Marshall of Marshall’s Farm Natural Honey, who has about 80 apiaries in the Bay Area and beyond. In recent years, the Marshalls have been noticing a steady decline in their honey production as local nectar sources dry up in the drought.

Read the full story on how the drought is affecting beekeepers and honeybees.

Despite rains, drought worsens


Two-thirds of CA is now in “extreme drought,” compared to one-quarter of the state three months ago.  And whereas three months ago none of CA was in “exceptional drought,” now one-quarter of the state is in this condition.

The recent storms blowing through Northern California pelted the Bay Area with a rare mix of hail and rain this weekend. They’ve also given a much-needed boost to the Sierra snowpack.

But — just as surveyors expected — when they measured the snowpack yesterday, it wasn’t nearly enough to quench the statewide drought.

Reporter Charla Bear spoke with KQED Science Editor Craig Miller about what this means for the state’s water supply and efforts to respond to the drought.

Drought Tip: Spray inside your “mellowing” toilets

I’ve found spraying my “mellowing” toilet with a few squirts of Citrus Magic Stain and Odor Eliminator (an enzyme-based product) extends how long I can go between flushes. I find the spray in the pet department at any big box store. It prevents any lingering odor!

Also, I keep a 5-gallon bucket in the kitchen. I do my dishes in a dish pan, and then empty the dish water into the bucket. Depending on how dirty the water is, and what kind of soap or cleaner I’ve used, I use the water on fruit trees in the yard or to flush the toilet.

Hope this helps others think outside of the bucket!

- Submitted by Ali from Arizona

How are you saving water during the drought? We want to hear your Drought Diary. Submit yours here or email ohubertallen@kqed.org

Mint plants. I love mint plants.

It’s being a child of Oregon, wandering out to pick mint leaves in the angled morning sun and chewing them while wild rabbits hop around the yard.

But here in the California drought, my mint plants are getting thin and spindly. I refuse to water the plants we keep on the back porch, since I believe farmers and salmon deserve the water more than my plants. The whole house is in on this; we’re turning off the shower when we soap up, we’re letting it mellow, the landlord is even researching rainwater catchment.

Every time I use water I ask myself how I can use less, and that’s how I came up with the answer for my mint plants.

It always takes five or 10 seconds for the shower water to heat up. How about we capture that water in a bucket and use it to water the plants? Even with just five seconds’ worth of water a day, we get enough for all the houseplants, front and back porch plants and the lettuces I’m about to plant.

Read Kat Snow’s full Drought Diary. 

How are you saving water during the drought? We want to hear your Drought Diary. Submit yours here or email ohubertallen@kqed.org