#Drought news: D0 (Abnormally Dry) reduced in N. #Colorado

Click here to go to the US Drought Monitor website. Here’s an excerpt:


This week was marked by torrential rains and flooding in cities such as New Orleans, Houston, Kansas City, and Las Vegas. Heavy rainfall over the Gulf Coast and into the Mid-South kept drought conditions at bay while scattered showers and thunderstorms over the southern Rockies erased pockets of abnormally dry conditions. In the drought-afflicted Plains, rains brought relief to a few areas, slowed deterioration in others, and had minimal impact on areas suffering from long-term impacts. Once again, rain bypassed the Pacific Northwest, where record-breaking high temperatures and the prolonged dry spell deteriorated drought conditions…

High Plains

Hit-and-miss rainfall throughout the High Plains brought changes in this week’s Drought Monitor to every state. In east central North Dakota, abnormally dry conditions (D0) were expanded because of continued rainfall deficits and reports of crops showing signs of drought stress. The entire state now has some level of dry/drought depiction. While other parts of the state received beneficial rainfall, it was typically just enough to “string crops along” and keep drought conditions from further deterioration in these areas. The only exception was a small area of improvement to the extreme drought (D3) conditions in the south central part of the state along the South Dakota border. This area has consistently received above-average rainfall and has 30-day totals in excess of 200 percent of normal.

South Dakota also saw a mix of improvements and degradations due to the spotty nature of last week’s rains. Locally heavy rainfall brought a full category improvement to an approximate one-to-two county wide band extending from northeast to central South Dakota. Counties along the southwestern edge of South Dakota’s drought-afflicted region missed out on the rains and saw an expansion of moderate and severe drought. The tri-state area of South Dakota, Nebraska, and Iowa also saw an expansion of severe drought (D2) conditions as rainfall deficits grew and crops began to see stress. However, Nebraska saw improvements on this week’s map. Locally heavy rainfall of 3-plus inches brought improvements to the abnormally dry (D0) areas in the northwest and southeast part of the state and the moderate (D1) and/or severe drought (D2) in the southwest and north central regions. Counties in eastern Kansas received a month’s worth of precipitation in one week, erasing abnormally dry conditions. Central Kansas saw an expansion of moderate drought (D1) as continued rainfall deficits dried out soils, lowered streamflow, and stressed vegetation…


Scattered showers and thunderstorms over the southern Rockies and Southwest brought improvements to abnormally dry (D0) regions of Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona and the removal of moderate drought (D1) in southeastern Wyoming.

Much of the Northwest saw a degradation in conditions as the region’s hot, dry weather continued to dry out soils, stress vegetation, and cause fire restrictions to be put in place. In Washington and Oregon, abnormally dry conditions (D0) were expanded to cover the majority of both states. Montana saw an introduction of moderate drought (D1) in the northwest part of the state, which has seen increased temperatures and precipitation deficits, high wildfire activity, low surface water supplies, and fishing restrictions. The central part of Montana also saw an expansion of moderate (D1) and severe (D2) drought. Rains in the eastern part of the state primarily kept conditions from additional deterioration…

Looking Ahead

Since the Tuesday morning cutoff for this week’s map, rain has continued to fall on the central and southern High Plains and over a swath from south central Texas to the mid-Atlantic. For August 9-15, the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center forecasts more rain across the drought-stricken regions of the upper Midwest and Great Plains. The upper Midwest and northern Plains can expect to see about an inch of rain while locations in the southern Plains and Mid-Atlantic may see amounts approaching 3 inches. Rainfall should keep temperatures in these regions near or below normal. Conditions in the Pacific Northwest are not expected to show considerable improvement over the coming week with the forecast of minimal rainfall amounts and continued warm temperatures.

@NOAAClimate” The 2016 “State of the Climate” report is hot off the presses

Here’s the release from NOAA:

A new State of the Climate report confirmed that 2016 surpassed 2015 as the warmest year in 137 years of recordkeeping. Last year’s record heat resulted from the combined influence of long-term global warming and a strong El Niño early in the year.

History of global surface temperatures since 1900

Yearly surface temperature since 1900 compared to the 1981-2010 average, based on four independent data sets. NOAA Climate.gov graphic, adapted from Figure 2.1a in State of the Climate in 2016.

These key findings and others are available from the State of the Climate in 2016 report released online today by the American Meteorological Society (AMS).

The 27th annual issuance of the report, led by NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, is based on contributions from nearly 500 scientists from more than 60 countries around the world and reflects tens of thousands of measurements from multiple independent datasets (full report). It provides a detailed update on global climate indicators, notable weather events and other data collected by environmental monitoring stations and instruments located on land, water, ice and in space.

The report’s climate indicators show patterns, changes and trends of the global climate system. Examples of the indicators include various types of greenhouse gases; temperatures throughout the atmosphere, ocean, and land; cloud cover; sea level; ocean salinity; sea ice extent; and snow cover.

Report highlights include these indications of a warming planet:

Greenhouse gases were the highest on record. Major greenhouse gas concentrations, including carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and nitrous oxide, rose to new record high values during 2016. The global annual average atmospheric CO2 concentration was 402.9 parts per million (ppm), which surpassed 400 ppm for the first time in the modern atmospheric measurement record and in ice core records dating back as far as 800,000 years. This was 3.5 ppm more than 2015, and it was the largest annual increase observed in the 58-year record.

Global average carbon dioxide each month since 1980. NOAA Climate.gov graphic, based on data provided by NOAA ESRL. Photo of Cholla power plant in Arizona by John Fowler available through a Creative Commons license.

Global surface temperature highest on record. Aided by the strong El Niño early in the year, the 2016 annual global surface temperature observed record warmth for a third consecutive year, with the 2016 annual global surface temperature surpassing the previous record of 2015. Many places experienced record numbers of extremely hot days.

The number of extremely warm days (temperature above the 90th percentile in 2016 compared to the 1961-1990 average. NOAA Climate.gov graph adapted from Figure 2.1c in State of the Climate in 2016. Based on data provided by Robert Dunn.

Increasing frequency of very hot days

As the global average temperature has risen, so has the number of extremely hot days that occur each year. This graph tracks the changing frequency of days on which the temperature was in the 90th percentile of the historical record since 1950. Graph by NOAA Climate.gov, adapted from Plate 1.1g in State of the Climate in 2016. Background photo by Bob James via a Creative Commons license.

Global lower tropospheric temperature highest on record. In the region of the atmosphere just above the Earth’s surface, the globally averaged lower troposphere temperature was highest on record. Meanwhile, sea surface temperatures were also highest on record. The more recent global sea surface temperature trend for the 21st century-to-date (2000-2016) of +2.92°F (1.62°C) per century is much higher than the longer term (1950-2016) warming trend of +1.8°F (1.0°C) per century.

2016 ocean temperatures set new record high

Ocean surface temperature in 2016 compared to the 1981-2010 average. NOAA Climate.gov map, adapted from Figure 3.1a in State of the Climate in 2016.

History of sea surface temperatures since 1900

Sea surface temperature each year since 1900 compared to the 1981-2010 average. NOAA Climate.gov graphic, adapted from Figure 2.1e in State of the Climate in 2016.

Global upper ocean heat content near-record high. Globally, upper ocean heat content saw a slight drop compared to the record high set in 2015, but reflected the continuing accumulation of thermal energy in the top 2,300 feet (700 meters) of the ocean. Oceans absorb more than 90 percent of Earth’s excess heat from global warming.

Near record high ocean heat storage in 2016

Heat energy in the global ocean in 2016 compared to the 1981-2010 average. Map by NOAA Climate.gov, adapted from Figure 3.4a in State of the Climate in 2016.

Upper ocean heating faster than deep ocean

Yearly ocean heat storage compared to the 1993 average from a variety of data sets. The upper ocean (surface–2,300 feet; red lines) is picking up heat from the atmosphere more quickly than the deeper ocean (2,300–6,600 feet; orange lines)—consistent with heating from the atmosphere above. NOAA Climate.gov graph adapted from Figure 3.16a-b from State of the Climate in 2016.

Global sea level highest on record. Global average sea level rose to a new record high in 2016 and was about 3.25 inches (82 mm) higher than the 1993 average, the year that marks the beginning of the satellite altimeter record. This also marks the sixth consecutive year, global sea level has increased compared to the previous year. Over the past two decades, sea level has increased at an average rate of about 0.13 inch (3.4 mm) per year, with the highest rates of increase in the western Pacific and Indian Oceans.

Sea level patterns in 2016

Global sea level in 2016 compared to the 1993-2016 average. NOAA Climate.gov graphic, adapted from Figure 3.16a in State of the Climate in 2016.

Meltwater and thermal expansion driving sea level rise

Global sea level since the start of the satellite record in 1993 (black line). Independent estimates of the amount of the trend due to thermal expansion (water volume increasing due to warming) are shown in red. The blue line shows an independent estimate of the amount of water being added to the ocean by melting of ice sheets and glaciers. The purple line shows the sum of the two contributions and how well the estimate matches the satellite observation. NOAA Climate.gov graphic, adapted from Figure 3.15a in State of the Climate in 2016.

Extremes were observed in the water cycle and precipitation. A general increase in the water cycle (the process of evaporating water into air and condensing it as rain or snow), combined with the strong El Niño, enhanced the variability of precipitation around the world. In addition to many parts of the globe experiencing major floods in 2016, for any given month at least 12 percent of global land was experiencing at least “severe” drought conditions, the longest such stretch in the record. Drought conditions were observed in northeastern Brazil for the fifth consecutive year, making this the longest drought on record in this region. The increased hydrologic cycle was also reflected, as it has been for more than a decade, by patterns of salinity (saltiness) across the globe’s ocean surface.

Extensive drought in 2016

Areas experiencing drought in 2016 compared to average conditions for that region from 1901-2016. NOAA Climate.gov map, adapted from Figure 2.1q in State of the Climate in 2016.
Percent of the global land area experiencing moderate, severe, or extreme drought each month from 1950–2016. NOAA Climate.gov graph adapted from FIgure 2.29 in State of the Climate in 2016.

The Arctic continued to warm; sea ice extent remained low. The average Arctic land surface temperature was 3.6°F (2.0°C) above the 1981-2010 average, breaking the previous record of 2007, 2011 and 2015 by 1.4°F (0.8°C), representing a 6.3°F (3.5°C) increase since records began in 1900. Average sea surface temperatures across the Arctic Ocean during August in ice-free regions ranged from near normal in some regions to around 13° to 14°F (7° to 8°C) above average in the Chukchi Sea and eastern Baffin Bay off the west coast of Greenland, and up to 20°F (11°C) above average in the Barents Sea.

Increasing temperatures have led to decreasing Arctic sea ice extent and thickness. On March 24, the smallest annual maximum sea ice extent in the 37-year satellite record was observed, tying with 2015 at 5.61 million square miles, 7.2% below the 1981-2010 average. On September 10, Arctic sea ice annual minimum extent tied with 2007 for the second lowest value on record, at 1.60 million square miles, 33 percent smaller than average. Arctic sea ice cover remains relatively young and thin, making it vulnerable to continued extensive melt.

Arctic sea ice concentration on the date of the 2016 minimum extent, September 10, 2016. NOAA Climate.gov image based on NOAA and NASA satellite data from NSIDC.

Antarctic sees record low sea ice extent. During August and November, record low daily and monthly sea ice extents were observed, with the November average sea ice extent significantly smaller (more than 5 standard deviations) than the 1981-2010 average. These record low sea ice values in austral spring 2016 contrast sharply with the record high values observed during 2012-2014.

Ice and snow declining. Preliminary data indicate that 2016 was the 37th consecutive year of overall alpine glacier retreat across the globe, with an average loss of 2.8 feet (852 mm) for the reporting glaciers. Across the Northern Hemisphere, late-spring snow cover extent continued its trend of decline, with new record low April and May snow cover extents for the North American Arctic. Below the surface, record high temperatures at the 20-meter (65-feet) depth were measured at all permafrost observatories on the North Slope of Alaska and at the Canadian observatory on northernmost Ellesmere Island.

Ice loss from mountain glaciers

Glacier mass balance—the difference between ice lost through melting and ice gained through new snowfall—each year since 1980 (blue bars) for the 44 glaciers in the World Glacier Monitoring Service’s reference network. Data from 2016 are preliminary. The orange lines shows the running total ice mass loss between 1980–2015. These glaciers have lost 18.8 m water equivalent (w.e.), the equivalent of cutting a 21-m (nearly 70-foot) thick slice off the top of the average glacier. NOAA Climate.gov graph adapted from Figure 2.13 in State of the Climate in 2016.

Northern Hemisphere snow cover below average

Monthly snow cover extent over the Northern Hemisphere relative to their 1981-2010 averages. NOAA Climate.gov graphic, adapted from Figure 2.12 in State of the Climate in 2016.

Tropical cyclones were well above average overall. There were 93 named tropical cyclones across all ocean basins in 2016, well above the 1981-2010 average of 82 storms. Three basins—the North Atlantic and eastern and western North Pacific—experienced above-normal activity in 2016. The Australian basin recorded its least active season since the beginning of the satellite era in 1970.

The State of the Climate in 2016 is the 27th edition in a peer-reviewed series published annually as a special supplement to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. The journal makes the full report openly available online.

Opinion: What [#Utah] State Water Strategy got right … and wrong — @AmeliaNuding

Lake Powell pipeline map via the City of St. George.

Here’s a guest column from Amelia Nuding that’s running in The Spectrum:

The new State Water Strategy has important implications for St. George as well as all of Utah’s public health, economy and environment. Utah’s population is expected to nearly double over the next 50 years, and the way water is managed will impact the future we create.

The State Water Strategy, released July 19 by the Water Strategy Advisory Team, is a significant step in addressing this critical issue, and offers many sound and actionable strategies that are important for St. George, as well as the rest of the state.

The strategy’s focus on water conservation and better data management are spot-on, laying the foundation for affordable, responsible stewardship of Utah’s most precious natural resource. Being increasingly efficient with every drop of water in homes and businesses is absolutely necessary.

Agriculture also has a role to play in our water future, as over 80 percent of Utah’s water is used for agriculture. The State Water Strategy gets it right again by committing to maintain a robust agricultural economy while also exploring ways to facilitate the voluntary transfer of water from agriculture to other users.

However, there is a major cart-before-the-horse problem with the plan. Two proposed water projects that would tap into the Colorado and Bear rivers — the Lake Powell Pipeline and the Bear River Development Project, respectively — received plan support, in spite of the fact that the state acknowledged it does not have the data to justify the projects are needed. Good data should be a prerequisite for any proposed water project, a point which is articulated in the strategy but has yet to be rigorously applied to the Lake Powell Pipeline.

These unnecessary water diversion projects will cost billions of ratepayer and taxpayer dollars, take years to build, and threaten Utah’s recreation-based economy. While planning for the Lake Powell Pipeline is already well underway, it hasn’t been built yet, and it should be held to the same rigorous standards articulated in the strategy, ensuring that:

  • It’s actually needed by St. George and other communities.
  • Adheres to the highest fiscal responsibility standards.
  • Would be a viable, long-term source of water.

There is still progress yet to be made in achieving full and efficient use of existing water supplies, through conservation and reuse and purchasing water from irrigators. Cheaper and safer water management alternatives should be utilized first, so that St. George residents and other Utah citizens who would be footing the bill know their water is being managed well.

It is up to state policymakers, water utilities, and every individual to make sure we are good stewards of our water. The good news is there are literally dozens of cost-effective water-saving measures that can be implemented to reduce water waste without sacrificing our quality of life.

As a first step, all water providers should install water meters to measure water used on landscapes — because you can’t manage what you don’t measure.

Second, homes and businesses can install smart irrigation controllers to ensure that sprinklers are not watering when it’s raining or snowing, which will greatly reduce water waste while keeping landscapes beautiful.

We’d like to thank Gov. Gary Herbert for convening this advisory team and for the hard work the team put into this very important process. Now is the time to take action on the strategy’s best elements to ensure that the cheapest, fastest, and best water management options for meeting our water future are fully realized before making St. George residents and all Utah taxpayers build unnecessary, expensive projects such as the Lake Powell Pipeline.

#Utah #GoldKingMine lawsuit lacks details

This image was taken during the peak outflow from the Gold King Mine spill at 10:57 a.m. Aug. 5. The waste-rock dump can be seen eroding on the right. Federal investigators placed blame for the blowout squarely on engineering errors made by the Environmental Protection Agency’s-contracted company in a 132-page report released Thursday [October 22, 2015]

From the Associated Press (Dan Elliot):

Utah’s $1.9 billion claim against the Environmental Protection Agency for a multi-state mine waste spill says Utah’s water, soil and wildlife were damaged, but it offers no specifics.

The Utah Attorney General’s Office provided a copy of the claim to The Associated Press Wednesday…

Utah’s claim from the spill is believed to be the largest of 144 filed under the Federal Tort Claims Act, which allows people to seek government compensation without a lawsuit. The claims seek payment for lost crops, livestock, wages and income and other damages.

The Navajo Nation filed a claim for $162 million and the state of New Mexico for $130 million. Both have also filed lawsuits against the federal government.

Utah also filed suit, but it named mine owners and EPA contractors as defendants, not the government.

The EPA said January it was prevented by law from paying any of the damages under the Tort Claims Act, angering many. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who took over after President Donald Trump assumed office, has said the agency will reconsider at least some of the claims.

Utah’s claim cites damage to the San Juan River and Lake Powell, a vast reservoir on the Colorado River which the San Juan feeds into. It also cites damage to other waterways, underground water, soil, sediment, wildlife and other, unspecified natural resources.

It does not say how state officials arrived at the $1.9 billion figure.

Dan Burton, a spokesman for Attorney General Sean Reyes, said the state’s lawyers came up with the number after consulting with Utah Department of Environmental Quality scientists and others.

10 states file lawsuit to overturn 9th district appeals court decision for Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians groundwater rights under Winters Doctrine

From The Palm Springs Desert Sun (Ian James) via USA Today:

Ten states from Nevada to Texas have weighed in to support two water agencies in their fight with an Indian tribe over control of groundwater in the California desert.

The states filed a brief Monday before the U.S. Supreme Court, which will soon decide whether to take up an appeal by the Desert Water Agency and the Coachella Valley Water District.

The water agencies are challenging a decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians has a federally established right to groundwater dating to the creation of its reservation in the 1870s.

If the Supreme Court agrees to hear the case, it would have a rare opportunity to settle the question of whether tribes hold special federal “reserved rights” to groundwater as well as surface water, and to define more clearly the boundaries between state-administered water rights and federal water rights.

The 10 states joined the case in a “friend-of-the-court” brief, saying every state “has an obvious stake in the preservation, maintenance and allocation of their most precious natural resource.”

The states argued the appeals court’s ruling that the tribe has a priority right to groundwater “is literally a watershed opinion washing away the authority and control that states have traditionally exercised over groundwater resources.”

Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt led the coalition of 10 states, saying the case is about defending state governments’ authority over the regulation of groundwater…

Other states that signed on in support of the water agencies included Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin and Wyoming. California was not among them and has not formally taken a position on the case.

The Agua Caliente tribe sued the water agencies in 2013, seeking to assert rights to groundwater beneath its reservation in Palm Springs and surrounding areas.

The tribe accuses the agencies of imperiling the aquifer by allowing its levels to decline over the years and by using saltier, less pure Colorado River water to replenish the aquifer. The agencies defend their efforts to combat groundwater overdraft and insist that Colorado River water meets all drinking water standards.

Managers of the water agencies argue groundwater is a public resource and the tribe has the same rights under California law as all other landowners to use water pumped from the aquifer.

The Supreme Court hears a small percentage of the cases that are petitioned for review, and the court is expected to announce in the fall whether it will take up the case.

The states’ involvement in the case, and their stance that it presents an important unresolved legal issue, could increase the odds of the court hearing the case.

If the Agua Caliente tribe prevails, the lawsuit would set a powerful precedent for other tribes across the country, strengthening their claims to groundwater.

The U.S. Department of Justice joined the suit in support of the tribe in 2014, saying the federal government has an interest in ensuring water rights for the tribe.

The Supreme Court has never ruled on the question of whether tribes have a federally established right to groundwater.

Groundwater and surface water have long fallen under separate, different water-rights systems.

The case is pushing the courts to sort out how groundwater fits into laws drawn up more than a century ago, before the widespread use of mechanical pumps that enabled people to easily tap underground water supplies.

One of the central legal questions in the case centers on state and federal courts’ varying interpretations of a 1908 Supreme Court decision, Winters v. United States, which affirmed that Indian tribes are entitled to sufficient water supplies for their reservations.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said the so-called Winters doctrine applies to both surface water and groundwater on federally reserved land – including Indian reservations as well as other lands set aside by the government, such as national forests, national parks and military bases.

The states’ attorneys general pointed out in their legal brief that “as a general matter, water rights must be acquired under state law, even for federal lands.”

They argued that if a reservation created by the federal government “can assert absolute preemption over state groundwater allocation laws and regulations, a state’s effort to effectively manage those limited water resources will be thrown out of balance.”

In a state like Nevada – which has more of its land under federal ownership or control than any other state – the states’ attorneys said the appeals court’s ruling would have “potentially devastating consequences” if it stands. They said claims of priority federal rights would lead to over-allocation of the limited water supplies in western states.

The attorneys said the Ninth Circuit’s decision leaves states “facing a possible tide of federal reserved water right claims,” which they argued creates great uncertainty.

In explaining Nevada’s stance, Laxalt said he has shown throughout his tenure as attorney general that “my office stands ready to defend our state from unlawful federal overreach regardless of the source.”

That position resonates with conservatives in other states. All of the 10 states that sided with the water agencies are led by Republican governors.

Four organizations also submitted briefs supporting the water districts. One of them, the Pacific Legal Foundation, advocates “limited government and the strong protection of private property rights.” It said the Ninth Circuit’s decision could have harmful effects for landowners’ water rights.

The other organizations include the National Water Resources Association, which represents water agencies; the Western Coalition of Arid States, which is comprised of municipal entities; and the Irrigation and Electrical Districts’ Association of Arizona, whose members supply water and power to much of Arizona, including cities as well as most of the state’s farmland.

Those organizations echoed the California water agencies’ concerns, saying if it the appeals court’s decision isn’t overturned, it will threaten established water rights throughout the West, create widespread uncertainty in a region where water is scarce and “force water users to engage in unnecessary litigation.”

The Agua Caliente tribe has until Sept. 6 to submit its argument to the court.

If the tribe wins, the case would continue with other phases to determine whether the Agua Caliente own storage space in the aquifer, whether their rights include a water-quality component and how much groundwater they would be entitled to.

The tribe has about 485 members. Its reservation spreads across more than 31,000 acres in a checkerboard pattern that includes parts of Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage and surrounding areas.

The tribe owns two golf courses, the Spa Resort Casino in Palm Springs and the Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa in Rancho Mirage, and has plans to build new subdivisions and another casino. Thousands of homes stand on leased tribal land.

The tribe buys its water from the local water agencies, which operate wells across the Coachella Valley.

Tribal Chairman Jeff Grubbe has said the case is about securing a “seat at the table” for the tribe to have a formal say in decisions about how the aquifer is managed.

“Having a right to govern that water and decide what to do with that water is a right that every tribe should have,” Grubbe told The Desert Sun in an interview last week. He said if the tribe wins, one of the first priorities would be to start treating the Colorado River water that flows to the Coachella Valley and is used to replenish the aquifer.

He said the tribe’s leaders are concerned about the quality of the water and the aquifer’s long-term sustainability, and would be willing to help pay for building treatment facilities to remove dissolved solids and contaminants from the imported water.

The agencies’ managers say the water they get from the Colorado River meets all state and federal drinking water standards. They say treating the water would be expensive and unnecessary. They worry that if the tribe prevails, its privileged rights could drive up water costs for customers and complicate efforts to manage groundwater.

“Our groundwater has been a shared local resource that the public and the tribe can access equally,” said James Cioffi, president of the Desert Water Agency board. He said in a statement that with the tribe now trying to secure special rights, “frankly, we don’t know what exactly they want or how much that could impact our community.”

Leaders of other Native American tribes across the West are closely watching the case.

A list of 35 tribes and five tribal organizations filed a brief in support of the Agua Caliente tribe last year. They included the Spokane Tribe of Indians in Washington and the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe in Nevada, as well as other tribes in California.