Shasta Lake to Study Whether To Raise Water Rates

Amid California’s worst drought in recent memory, the city of Shasta Lake is eyeing looking into studying whether to raise water utility rates.

 

“The loss of revenue due to decreased water sales coupled with the rapidly increasing cost of water supply cannot be sustained for a prolonged period of time,” said John Duckett, city manager.

 

He will ask the City Council to approve a $66,030 contract with the Los Angeles-based Raftelis Financial Consultants, Inc., for a water rate study at the council’s meeting Tuesday night.

 

Kings River Conservation District Names New General Manager

 

Paul G. Peschel has been named the Kings River Conservation District’s new general manager, agency officials announced Monday.

 

Peschel, the planning and engineering manager for the Imperial Irrigation District Energy Department in El Centro, will begin his new job for the Fresno-based agency on Jan. 25. He replaces David Orth.

 

A registered civil engineer, Peschel has a background in water resources, engineering and management. He was employed by the Imperial Irrigation District for nearly 30 years, starting as an assistant engineer for the district located in southeast California.

Hefty Amounts of Rain and Snow Expected In Central San Joaquin Valley, Sierra

Up to an inch of rain or more could fall on the central San Joaquin Valley on Tuesday, the National Weather Service said, as the first in a series of El Niño-fueled storms arrives in California.

 

Around the Valley, workers were preparing by making sandbags available to residents and pumping water through the basin systems, but the storms are expected to drop large amounts of rain over a long period instead of brief, strong showers that frequently cause flooding.

 

“It will pretty much be a steady rain,” said David Spector, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Hanford.

 

 

New Storms Could Make For Wettest Week in 5 Years in Central California

The kind of rainy weather pattern shaping up for Central California this week has not occurred since 2010, the National Weather Service said Saturday.

 

A series of storms is expected to roll into Central California and will make for the most days with rain since before the drought began.

Three separate storms are on track to hit the central San Joaquin Valley Valley, meteorologist Brian Ochs said. The total expected rainfall for the three systems in the Valley is around 1 to 1.5 inches.

El Niño Hits California: These Maps Tell the Story of Heavy Rains

California is about to be hit by the first El Niño storm of the year. It’s the beginning of what could be a week of rain in the drought-battered state.

 

In Southern California, the heaviest storm is expected Tuesday, when up to two inches of rain is forecast to drop on the coast and valleys and up to four inches could pour onto the mountains and foothills. Forecasters expect four storms to hit the Southland by Friday, but caution that rain is only a part of the story.

 

 

Rain to Last through Evening Rush Hour in San Diego

The North Pacific storm that blew ashore early Tuesday will last until mid-evening and will drop at least an inch of rain at San Diego’s Lindbergh Field, says the National Weather Service.

 

“The system will taper off into scattered showers tonight, but there will be a second wave of rain starting Wednesday night, and it will be even heavier,” said James Thomas, a weather service forecaster. “Lindbergh could get 1.4 inches of rain by early Thursday.

The precipitation from the two storms could easily surpass Lindbergh’s average January rainfall of 1.98 inches.

Could Coastal Desalination Efforts Help Farmers

While San Diego could soon lose its NFL franchise, the county can at least boast the nation’s largest desalination plant in marketing literature.

 

San Diego’s popularity as a destination location is obvious to those of us who’ve been there and witnessed near-perfect weather, regardless of the date on the calendar. I suspect losing its NFL franchise may make some waves, but at least it happened in a year where the football team went 4-12 and arguably has some rebuilding of its own to do.

 

 

 

 

Salton Sea License Plates Not Yet Popular

An effort to create commemorative Salton Sea license plates has been slow to take off.

Last year, the Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau began working with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to sell the specialty plates.

The plates cost $50 to $98, depending on whether the driver wants to keep his old license number. A portion of the money would go to the Salton Sea Authority to benefit environmental restoration of the sea.

How One Man Plans to Make Billions Selling Water from Mojave Desert to Drought-Stricken California

Scott Slater, CEO of Cadiz Inc., has a controversial plan. He wants to pump 814 billion gallons of water from the Mojave Desert to Los Angeles, San Diego and other drought-stricken communities in Southern California—making more than $2 billion in the process.

 

Slater’s company owns the water rights to 45,000 acres of land in the Mojave Desert, and he’s already secured contracts to sell the water for $960 per acre-foot (the amount of water it takes to cover an acre of land in a foot of water), according to The Guardian. At that price, the company stands to make $2.4 billion over the 50-year period of its water extraction deal with San Bernardino County.

Recycled Water in Demand, And Not Just For Parks, Golf Courses

The ongoing drought has driven interest in using recycled water instead of drinking-quality water wherever possible, but making that happen depends largely on where the “purple pipes” run.

 

Wastewater treatment agencies in the East Bay have been selling (or giving away) the water that runs through those purple pipes — essentially wastewater that has been treated to a lesser degree than water purified for drinking and other domestic purposes — for uses ranging from watering home gardens to helping cool down a power plant.