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Storm Drops Another Foot Of Snow Around Tahoe; Many Crashes

The latest storm to hit the Sierra Nevada region dropped a foot of snow on ski resorts around Lake Tahoe on Wednesday, with a couple of inches in the valleys and freezing fog that caused dozens of crashes on slippery roads from Reno to Fallon about 60 miles east.


The only potentially serious injury reported involved a man who was hospitalized Wednesday after his truck slid off Interstate 80 near the Nevada-California line and plunged several feet below into the Truckee River. His name was not released, and his condition was not immediately known, the California Highway Patrol said.

2015 Biggest Trends: Water Scarcity Rises to Top Global Concern

In the last days of 2015, the Famine Early Warning System Network, a forecasting tool, reported that the deepest drought experienced by South Africa in over a decade could lead to grain shortages and spiking food prices. South Africa’s corn harvest, which normally yields a 3 million metric ton surplus that helps feed other African nations, is projected to finish in April with a 500,000 to 600,000 metric ton deficit.


The warning network, an interagency data gathering system established in 1985 by the U.S. Agency for International Development, reported that moisture conditions are even more perilous in mid-continent Africa, where record flooding is occurring in East Africa while the most dangerous drought since the 1960s scorches Ethiopia.

Effectively Monitor Water Use in Your Home with Calliope

It’s estimated that nearly 18 percent of the water used in a person’s home is lost to leaks. Annually that can amount to a staggering 13,000 gallons of water. Whether all of that is coming from the toilet that won’t stop running or a catastrophic burst pipe, oftentimes you find out far too late that there’s a problem or an accident has occurred.


Calliope Waterworks, launching today from TechCrunch’s CES Hardware Battlefield, is aiming to make home plumbing a bit smarter and help save you money on your utilities and costs associated with water damage while also helping protect the planet.



Not Just California: El Niño Blamed For Weather Woes around Globe

The impacts of this season’s “El Niño” — now tied as the strongest on record — have been felt across the country in the form of record breaking warmth across the Midwest and Northeast, the deadly tornadoes and flooding in the Midwest and Southeast, and now the conveyor belt of storms slamming into southern California.


But the El Niño effect isn’t limited to the United States — it’s a worldwide phenomenon.

In South America, for example, heavy rains are to blame for some of the worst flooding in 50 years for parts of Paraguay, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil.

Pacific Warm-Water ‘Blob’ Weakens, NOAA Reports

The mysterious warm-water “blob” in the Pacific Ocean has weakened a bit, scientists reported in mid-December.


Strong winds dominating the West Coast during much of November brought “cold air and some new upwelling of deep, cold water that weakened the warm patches that made up the blob,” said Nathan Mantua of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center.

The blob’s above-normal ocean water temperatures dropped to within 0.5-1.5 degrees Celsius above average.

Scientists have hypothesized a link between the unusual warm-water expanse and climate change or the California drought.


Lodi Council Moves to Form Water Agency

At Wednesday’s meeting, the Lodi City Council unanimously voted to adopt a resolution to form a groundwater sustainability agency (GSA) in Lodi city limits.


This resolution will ensure that the city of Lodi has declared to form an agency within the 90-day window required under the state Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA).

Wet Weather Continues To Loom For Northern California

With a little help from El Niño, Mother Nature has turned on the spigot for California, though the North State so far has avoided the downpours that caused flooding elsewhere.


But that could change as a series of storms will continue to hit Redding and the surrounding mountains, said Nathan Owen with the National Weather Service’s office in Sacramento.


“Most of these storms are consistent with the El Niño pattern that’s been settling in the Pacific,” he said Wednesday.


About three-quarters of an inch had fallen Wednesday at the Redding Municipal Airport, he said.

Groundwater Supply Needs More Rain Despite Recent Storms

Water experts in Yolo County are actively monitoring water wells to measure the groundwater supply.



“It’s certainly going to have an impact,” said Tim O’Halloran, general manager of Yolo County’s Flood Control and Water Conservation District.


O’Halloran monitors 150 wells daily and 11 of them on a real-time basis using remote cameras from his Woodland office.

He said that while the recent rains have helped, many more storms are needed to make a dent in California’s four-year drought.

“The groundwater is depleted,” O’Halloran said.

El Niño Season Doesn’t Mean Stop Conserving Water

The rain and snow Kern County has seen so far, has been a step in a positive direction, but definitely is not enough to end California’s drought.


Kern River Watermaster Dana Munn said what we see in the coming months will give us a better perspective on drought impacts.


“You almost have to look at it as an annual operation, of how the storms come in, how much water you’re able to keep in the reservoirs, how much water you’re able to recharge into the basin to replenish the groundwater,” said Munn.

Beverly Hills City Council Postpones Water Rate Increase

The Beverly Hills City Council last night rejected a water rate increase presented by the city’s Public Works staff that would have had a major impact on residents of West Hollywood’s Westside.


But a rate increase is not off the table. The council asked the staff to make a number of changes in the proposed increase including devising a different rate structure. It also raised concerns about how water charges would be allocated among residents of multi-unit buildings where individual condos or apartment don’t have their own water meters.


The Beverly Hills Drinking Water Enterprise (BHDWE) supplies water to West Hollywood residents and businesses in an area whose approximate boundaries are Doheny Drive on the west, Sunset Boulevard on the north, Flores Street on the east and Beverly Boulevard on the south. The rest of West Hollywood is served by the L.A. Department of Water and Power (DWP).