- Feb 12:
- Contra Costa Times editorial: Water districts should impose conservation measures now
- Oakland Tribune editorial: Water districts should impose conservation measures now
- Feb 7:
- California Drought: Desperately needed rain, courtesy of "Pineapple Express" slamming into California
- Feb 6:
- Drought doesn't mean doom for your plants
- Rain soaks Bay Area, another storm coming
- California drought: Big rain headed toward Bay Area could double dismal rainfall totals
- Feb 5:
- California drought: How bad is it?
- California drought: House water bill exposes deep partisan divide
- Feb 4:
- Fremont district urges conservation, offers water-saving program as drought persists
- Gov. Jerry Brown calls congressional Republican drought bill 'divisive'
- Feb 3:
- North Bay homeowners slash water usage through creative conservation
- California drought: Biggest rainfall of 2014 soaks Bay Area
- Jan 31:
- California drought: State Water Project will deliver no water this summer
- Gov. Brown says flush less as California struggles with drought
- Drought shakes off winter for perilous early spring
- Jan 30:
- Obama pledges support amid California drought
- California wine industry reports robust 2013, but worries loom about drought
- Drizzle brings hope to thirsty California but does nothing to deter drought
- Jan 29:
- Bay Area wakes up to drizzle as light rain appears for first time in more than a month
- Zone 7 Water Agency seeks 20 percent voluntary water reduction from customers
- Jan 28:
- California drought: 17 communities could run out of water within 60 to 120 days, state says
- Jan 27:
- Water oak trees if needed, but not too much
- Rain expected this week won't put dent in the drought, forecasters say
- Gold prospectors take advantage of California drought
- California drought: Bay Area water districts start asking urban residents to conserve
- Jan 26:
- After decades of payments, EBMUD may finally use its emergency water supply
- Jan 25:
- California drought: Past dry periods have lasted more than 200 years, scientists say
- Jan 23:
- Around Dublin: Do your part now to get ahead of drought
- Jan 22:
- Drought: California is a red state, if you're talking weather
- Jan 21:
- California drought: Tips for conserving water
- Jan 18:
- Snow makers rescue big Sierra resorts as drought bakes smaller ones
- Jan 17:
- Governor Jerry Brown declares drought: Social media reaction
- Document: Gov. Jerry Brown's declaration of drought emergency
- Brown declares California drought emergency
- California drought: Three more months of dry weather likely, National Weather Service announces
- Jan 16:
- Drought declared a natural disaster in California, 10 other states
- Jan 14:
- Drought imperils California salmon, steelhead
- California drought: What's causing it?
- Jan 10:
- Despite California drought, chances for water bond are evaporating
- Jan 8:
- Timm Herdt: Learning to adapt to droughts
- Jan 3:
- Barnidge: California droughts aren't nearly as scary as they used to be
- Dec 29:
- California drought deepens as another year's rains stay away
Q I just finished driving south on Highway 101 through Salinas and noticed that Caltrans was watering the ice plant along the freeway. After resetting all my landscape sprinklers to save 20 percent of my usage, I was extremely peeved to see this. Doesn't Caltrans listen to the governor? Can you enlighten me?
Mary Lou Strathmeyer
A I'll try. Caltrans reset the start times on all controllers to come on at 9 a.m. in this area to avoid water getting on the ramps and freezing overnight. Watering days have also been reduced from three days to one day a week. If it ever rains this winter, the system will be shut down completely.
Statewide, Caltrans is looking at various strategies to reduce water use, including adjusting schedules to water at night, using non-potable water for dust control and delaying nonessential landscaping projects until the next rainy season. But some sprinklers must be turned off manually and that requires dispatching maintenance workers to get to each one.
Q My daughter, who has two small children, and I have wondered why they don't include diaper-changing stations inside the otherwise nice Caltrans rest stops. On several trips to Reno she has had to change the baby in a cold car that is also packed for vacation. It would be so nice to have a diaper-changing table in the heated building. Why aren't these available? They seem pretty common and not especially complicated to install.
A Not a bad idea, but the state has no plans to install baby-changing stations at its 87 rest areas, citing concerns about safety, maintenance, sanitation, diaper disposal and a lack of on-site workers.
Q Why is the women's bathroom at the DMV Los Gatos office so filthy? The walls had not been painted in a long time. The floor was filthy. Black dirt on the floor. The sink was extremely dirty. It was really, really horrible.
A Better news here. Custodians will spend more time cleaning restroom floors after hours, but there is no midday cleaning done at this office. The DMV will also paint its restrooms in Los Gatos.
Q A few weeks ago, a reader wrote about the unacceptable lack of signage and markings at the Embarcadero/Oregon Expressway exit off Highway 101 in Palo Alto. Your response was that Caltrans was going to fix it. It has not been fixed.
A Signs should be installed in a week or so. Also, Caltrans will remove about 20 percent of the cement barriers along the widening project that aren't needed anymore.
Q I'm looking at buying a new car and need your help. I notice that three cars seem to get away with anything, usually high end -- Audi, Mercedes and Porsche. These drivers are the worst. Using the carpool lane, speeding, cutting people off and reckless driving. Of these, which one gets fewer tickets?
A Whew. I'm just relieved you left the Prius off your list.
Look for Gary Richards at Facebook.com/mr.roadshow, follow him at Twitter.com/mrroadshow or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 408-920-5335.