KQED Radio Staff
Science and Environment Reporter
Lauren is a radio reporter for KQED Science, specializing in water, energy and the environment. 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. She has been recognized by the Society of Environmental Journalists and the National Edward R. Murrow Awards and is a recipient of the Harold Gilliam Award for Excellence in Environmental Reporting. Lauren has a degree from Cornell University and is originally from the Bay Area. She is also a regular contributor to NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered.
Stories (156 archives)
The recent rainstorms were welcome relief from the dry winter weather but they didn't come close to saving California from a serious drought this year. And the window is quickly closing on this year's rainy season. But scientists are trying to understand why some storms unload lots of rain and snow in California -- and others don't. As KQED science reporter Lauren Sommer tells us, they're finding it could be linked to dust storms thousands of miles away.
Despite concerns about mudslides in Southern California, this weekend's rain is welcome relief from the drought. Among other things, the state's tight water supplies have put environmental restoration projects in the spotlight, especially the effort to bring salmon back to the state's second longest river, the San Joaquin. Republican House Speaker John Boehner is pushing a bill to kill that project. KQED Science reporter Lauren Sommer looks at how this lack of rain is affecting one of the most ambitious restoration efforts in the state.
Governor Jerry Brown's emergency drought declaration allows for easing some environmental rules in the face of low water supplies. That makes environmentalists, and fishing groups, nervous about water being held upstream.
With California's snow pack at just 17 percent of normal, Governor Brown is under growing pressure to declare an official statewide drought. As he noted this week, "governors can't make it rain." But governors can propose massive public works projects -- and the Brown administration is pushing a $25 billion water plan for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Officials say it would help secure the state?s water supply. But even in a dry year with little rain, finding the money for it is no sure thing.
California water officials have released a $25 billion, 34,000-page draft plan to restore the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Now comes the public comment period. But there's already been a lot of comment, especially from environmentalists who don't believe the Brown administration is as interested in restoring the Delta as it is in delivering water to the rest of the state.