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Lauren Sommer

Lauren is a radio reporter covering environment, water, and energy for KQED Science. 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. Her work has appeared on Marketplace, Living on Earth, and NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered. You can find her on Twitter at @lesommer.

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Lauren Sommer's Latest Posts

In California Drought, Desperation May Make Water Flow Uphill

KQED Science | April 22, 2014 | 0 Comments

In California Drought, Desperation May Make Water Flow Uphill

A 47-mile section of the California Aqueduct, the main artery of the state's water system, could be engineered to flow backward this summer.

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During Long, Dry Summer of Drought, Nobody Wins

KQED Science | April 9, 2014 | 0 Comments

During Long, Dry Summer of Drought, Nobody Wins

Water managers are walking a tightrope this year, balancing three competing needs: how much water to deliver to people and agriculture, how much to provide for wildlife and how much to save for next year, in case it’s just as dry.

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California Farmers Look to Oil Industry for Water

KQED Science | April 7, 2014 | 6 Comments

California Farmers Look to Oil Industry for Water

As water supplies tighten for California farmers, some are looking to an unlikely new source: a water recycling project in one of the state's oldest oil fields.

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How Water and Oil Mix in California

KQED Science | March 31, 2014 | 0 Comments

How Water and Oil Mix in California

California is the third-largest oil producing state in the country. To produce oil, companies deal with massive amounts of water. They need it for hydraulic fracturing, and they produce a lot from underground.

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With Drought, New Scrutiny Over Fracking’s Water Use

KQED Science | March 31, 2014 | 5 Comments

With Drought, New Scrutiny Over Fracking’s Water Use

The drought is putting a spotlight on water use around California, including for hydraulic fracturing. How much water does fracking use and will it increase as companies tap into the Monterey Shale, estimated to be the largest oil resource in country?

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Why Distant Dust Storms Matter to California Rainfall

KQED Science | March 10, 2014 | 1 Comment

Why Distant Dust Storms Matter to California Rainfall

Scientists are finding that dust storms in Asia and Africa influence how much snow falls in the Sierra Nevada. The research could help make weather forecasting more accurate and improve how California manages its water supply.

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Bay Area: Do You Know Where Your Water Comes From?

KQED Science | February 28, 2014 | 3 Comments

Bay Area: Do You Know Where Your Water Comes From?

No matter where you live in the Bay Area, the answer might surprise you.

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California Drought One More Setback for River That Runs Dry

KQED Science | February 24, 2014 | 0 Comments

California Drought One More Setback for River That Runs Dry

Just as salmon are being returned to the San Joaquin River, the extreme drought is bringing political heat to one of the most ambitious environmental restoration efforts in the state.

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Drought Leads to Tough Tradeoffs for California Salmon

KQED Science | February 12, 2014 | 1 Comment

Drought Leads to Tough Tradeoffs for California Salmon

State officials are trying to do damage control to help endangered salmon during the drought, but helping some fish could hurt others.

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Record Drought Could Hurt Water Quality

KQED Science | February 11, 2014 | 1 Comment

Record Drought Could Hurt Water Quality

With low water levels in rivers, water quality could suffer, creating toxic algae blooms and causing concerns for water districts.

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California Drought Loosens Some Environmental Rules

KQED Science | January 20, 2014 | 4 Comments

California Drought Loosens Some Environmental Rules

Governor Jerry Brown's emergency drought declaration allows regulators to relax some water quality standards, as the state tries to balance the needs of wildlife and people.

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Icebergs and Green Paint: Lessons from California’s Big Droughts

KQED Science | January 16, 2014 | 1 Comment

Icebergs and Green Paint: Lessons from California’s Big Droughts

Importing an Arctic iceberg for freshwater? Painting brown lawns green? California has had some creative ideas for droughts in the past.

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Want to Save Water? Try Some Neighborly Competition

KQED Science | January 14, 2014 | 0 Comments

Want to Save Water? Try Some Neighborly Competition

Utilities find that nothing drives water savings quite like giving you a peek at your neighbors' habits.

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Money, Environmental Concerns Could Sink Governor’s Delta Water Plan

KQED Science | December 13, 2013 | 1 Comment

Money, Environmental Concerns Could Sink Governor’s Delta Water Plan

Governor Jerry Brown's Bay Delta Conservation Plan is now open for public comment. State officials say the water supply for 25 million Californians from the Bay Area to San Diego is at stake, as is the health of the largest estuary on the West Coast. But before it can move forward, the project needs money and buy-in from wary water district managers and skeptical federal regulators.

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With California’s Water Future at Stake, Delta Plan Inches Ahead

KQED Science | December 9, 2013 | 0 Comments

With California’s Water Future at Stake, Delta Plan Inches Ahead

California's $25 billion fix for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta depends on making wildlife groups and water users happy. With the latest release of the state's plan, it's looking harder to do both.

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What California’s New Fracking Rules Would Do (And Not Do)

KQED Science | November 15, 2013 | 5 Comments

What California’s New Fracking Rules Would Do (And Not Do)

The debate over hydraulic fracturing in California is heating up as oil and gas regulators release draft rules for the controversial oil extraction technique.

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Crab Season Kicks Off With New Limits for Fishermen

KQED Science | November 13, 2013 | 0 Comments

Crab Season Kicks Off With New Limits for Fishermen

A new cap on the number of crab traps could help Bay Area fishermen--and maybe keep fresh crab in your local market a bit longer.

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Silicon Valley in Race for Battery Breakthrough

KQED Science | November 1, 2013 | 2 Comments

Silicon Valley in Race for Battery Breakthrough

The global battery race is on and the Bay Area is in it to win.

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It’s Geek Week – Bay Area Science Festival Kicks Off

KQED Science | October 24, 2013 | 0 Comments

It’s Geek Week – Bay Area Science Festival Kicks Off

The Bay Area’s proving to be a trendsetter in yet another way: events that celebrate science. The annual Bay Area Science Festival is getting underway with 50 events over 10 days.

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<a href=http://science.kqed.org/quest/audio/road-kill-or-road-crossing-california-slow-to-protect-wildlife/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=road-kill-or-road-crossing-california-slow-to-protect-wildlife target=_blank >Road Kill or Road Crossing: California Slow to Protect Wildlife</a>

QUEST | October 18, 2013

Road Kill or Road Crossing: California Slow to Protect Wildlife

Drivers hit thousands of animals every year on California freeways, often killing the wildlife, and sometimes killing or injuring the human, too. Several western states have built fencing and other infrastructure to help wildlife cross freeways safely, and critics say California could be doing a lot more of the same.

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