The Department of Defense recently awarded a $266,589 grant to a California State University Monterey Bay professor to continue his research into fog. Reporter Michelle Loxton spoke with Daniel Fernandez about how this grant will take his research to the next level.

SLO County

Residents in the San Luis Obispo County town of Santa Margarita are facing a rise in their water bills, after the county board of supervisors held a hearing Tuesday to hear protests to the proposed increase. Since the county received just 23 written protests out of 500 water customers, the increase went through.

Courtesy of FlumeTech.com

A group of Cal Poly students created a device that helps people monitor how much water they use and identify leaks. It’s called the Flume Smart Home Water Monitoring System. Right now, water customers in San Luis Obispo can buy the device at a steep discount as part of a study on water usage.


In California, it is a persistent challenge making water supply and water demand match up. A report being released Wednesday outlines how much water California’s coastal wastewater treatment plants dump into the ocean, and how much of that could be saved through better water management.

Krista Almanzan/KAZU

Californians are used to the idea of recycling cans, bottles and paper. But the idea of recycling water is a little hard for some to swallow. In fact, the process is sometimes dubbed “toilet to tap.” That’s a phrase the people at Pure Water Monterey quickly dismiss when talking about the new advanced water purification facility being built in Marina. 

Bree Zender

Horacio Amezquita has lived at the San Jerardo Cooperative, just southeast of Salinas, since 1979, when he was 18 years old.

He had immigrated to the United States from Mexico about five years earlier. Amezquita, his parents, and his 8 brothers and sisters were excited to move into house that had more than two bedrooms when they moved to San Jerardo. 

Greta Mart/KCBX

Water advocacy leaders in California are calling for the state government to permanently invest in water infrastructure--noting that over 300 California communities are affected by unsafe drinking water. 

Final environmental docs for state water tunnel project released

Dec 22, 2016

California Governor Jerry Brown’s administration has released a 97,000-page environmental document on a plan to re-engineer the state’s water delivery system. Brown said it’s essential in maintaining a reliable water supply.

KCBX News - Randol White

A Cal Poly professor is headed to Washington D.C. on Tuesday to help shape national policy on water issues.


Morro Bay is moving forward with plans to build a water reclamation facility, which would be the largest project in the city's history.


Central Coast residents saw record-breaking temperatures on Tuesday as a high pressure system remained parked overhead, not unlike the atmospheric conditions of the past few winters.

Google Maps

The State of California is preparing to update residents of San Luis Obispo County who have well water that recently tested positive for the industrial solvent trichloroethylene, or TCE.

State of California

Several San Luis Obispo County communities will receive nearly $3.7 million in state grant money to fund future water projects. 

Local desalinization research could change the future of California facilities

Jan 7, 2016
City of Santa Barbara

The face of California desalinization may change in the next decade thanks to technology being developed locally.

Lifewater International

San Luis Obispo-based Lifewater International recently brought clean, accessible drinking water to a remote village in Ethiopia and will soon do the same thing for another village in Uganda. There are also operations going on in the Congo and Malawi.

Study: water quality suffers during California's ongoing drought

Jul 21, 2015
Flickr member HereStanding

California's drought is not only affecting the quantity of drinking water available, but also the quality.

City of Arroyo Grande Facebook Page

Residents of Arroyo Grande are facing major water cuts after the City Council unanimously declared a Stage I Water Shortage Emergency Tuesday night.

Low water levels at Lopez Lake, the city's primary source of water, is a big reason for the emergency declaration. Currently about 95 percent of the city's supply comes from Lopez, in an effort to protect the city's groundwater source from saltwater intrusion.

Nipomo Community Services District (NCSD)

Residents of the Nipomo Community Services District (NCSD) will soon experience some changes to their local water supply. The chemical used to treat the water will switch from chlorine to chloramine to match what's already used in neighboring Santa Maria.

The reason: starting in July, Nipomo is expected to throw the switch on its new water project bringing in water from Santa Maria.

NCSD Manager Michael LeBrun said there will be a noticeable, positive change in odor and taste.

Alex Ullrich, KCBX News

The largest brewery on the Central Coast, Firestone Walker in Paso Robles, is working to solve an odor problem that has plagued the brewery and local neighbors for days.

Brewing requires a lot of water, and much of that water can be collected and saved, so Firestone Walker Brewery decided to build water retention ponds for that purpose. The problem is that once the ponds started to fill up with water from the brewery, bacteria started to grow and put off a foul odor. 

Adam Firestone, one of the company's founders, says this clearly wasn't part of the plan.

City of Arroyo Grande Facebook Page

The City of Arroyo Grande will soon consider moving into Stage I drought conservation status according to Mayor Pro Tem Kristen Barneich. She said Wednesday night that staff is working on a proposal for the council to consider at an upcoming meeting.

Barneich said she believes the report will be recieved by council either at the next meeting on April 28, or the following meeting on May 12.

Tuesday night, the council approved new measures to help meet the governor's water reduction demands of 25 percent.

Randol White - KCBX News

The latest water conservation statistics show the people of Montecito are among the best in the state when it comes to taking the drought seriously.

Numbers released this week by the State Department of Water Resources show Californians, as a whole, cut year-over-year water usage this past December by roughly 22 percent. However, in Montecito that number hit nearly 64.19 percent—the second highest rate in California according to a tool from Southern California Public Radio.

Flickr member jchants

Water purveyors in Los Osos released an updated basin plan Monday that details strategies for protecting the groundwater basin's resources.  

Kathy Kivley is the general manager of the Los Osos Community Services District. She said the plan is "vital" for the community. 

KCBX News - Randol White

With record drought conditions on the Central Coast, several neighborhood lakes have either dried up or are nearly dry. One of the most visible is San Luis Obispo's Laguna Lake, where neighbors are pushing the city to dig a deeper lakebed. It's a process already underway up the road in Atascadero.

There is heavy equipment in the bottom of the 27- acre, Atascadero Lake, removing soil and transferring it to trucks. This process of dredging to deepen the lake, can improve its overall health.

Flickr member Damian Gadal

A group hoping to change the course of a water project in the Cambria area is taking their argument to court. LandWatch of San Luis Obispo filed a lawsuit this week against the Cambria Community Services District (CCSD) in the county's Superior Court.

Deborah Sivas is with the Stanford Environmental Law Clinic, a pro-bono student law group that is representing LandWatch. She says the group wants the district to follow the proper environmental review for a project of this scope, and to consider financial aspects as well.

Flickr member HereStanding

The City of San Luis Obispo is out with updated water usage numbers for the month of August.

Last week, inaccurate totals sent to the state showed a surprising spike of 26 percent. Ron Munds, the city's Utilities Services Manager, says it was a simple data entry issue that threw off the calculations. The source of the problem was found Monday, and the new numbers now show San Luis Obispo saw a cut in water usage of 9 percent.

Munds says he's happy the August numbers now reflect conservation and wants to send the message for people to continue using the resource wisely.

Randol White

The ongoing project to bring an emergency water supply to the Cambria area got unanimous support from the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

Fees totaling $13,293 were waived for a Coastal Development Permit, needed by the Cambria Community Services District (CCSD) to move forward with their plans for a permanent solution to the area's ongoing water woes.

The possibility that the Cambria area could run completely out of water this fall is looking less likely according to the Cambria Community Services District (CCSD).

The District says well levels are looking good thanks to a major conservation effort by local residents and businesses. In fact, some of the well levels are near normal for this time of year and others are low, but not dangerously so.

The Sacred Cow

Sep 19, 2014

Broadcast date: 9/15/14

How much are we willing to sacrifice for our next fast-food hamburger?

Acres of land, gallons of water, and our health are at risk.  Dr. Brian Moench, president of the Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, says it’s time to reassess our destructive diet.


UPDATE: October 15, 2014 at 3:41 p.m.

LandWatch of San Luis Obispo, a group working to change the course of the Cambria Community Services District (CCSD) water project, filed a lawsuit in San Luis Obispo County Superior Court on Tuesday.

The suit is an effort to address environmental and financial concerns over the project.


The residents of Cambria are among the most severely impacted by the ongoing drought conditions on California's Central Coast.

Santa Barbara Department of Public Works

New City of Santa Barbara statistics show its water customers are increasing their conservation rates as we move closer to the end of summer.

Joshua Haggmark is the Acting Water Resources Manager and says revised numbers for July show a 20 percent reduction—on target with what the city was asking. August was even better with a 25 percent.

"Whater the community is doing, keep doing it," says Haggmark. "I know for each individual property owner it's a little bit different, but in general if folks can keep up with what they're working on, it's exactly what we need."