OPINION: Creating new sources of water

Since agriculture in our region depends largely on imported water, I have long supported initiatives to increase local supplies, including the use of recycled water.

As many of you know, as a member of the Escondido City Council, I was an early supporter of a plan to use treated wastewater to irrigate citrus and avocado groves on the city’s outskirts.

This year I introduced Assembly Bill 2438 to help speed construction of recycled water pipelines along existing rights of way by streamlining costly, time consuming regulations that have delayed or prevented these projects statewide.

OPINION: Must Fight Metropolitan Water’s Purchase of Islands

Predictions that La Nia conditions may deepen the drought in California this winter would be more alarming if the results of a Field poll released last week had been different.

Fortunately, the poll showed an overwhelming majority of Californians continue to believe that the state faces an extremely serious water shortage and are continuing to conserve water. With two notable exceptions: Los Angeles and San Diego. They’re failing to do their part.

 

Plan Would Pipe Alaska Water to California

A Juneau entrepreneur is asking the state to approve his plan to collect fresh water from the Pacific Ocean south of Ketchikan and transport it to drought-stricken California.

Steven Bowhay’s application to the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, which he filed four years ago, has gone through two public comment periods. The second ends Wednesday, The Ketchikan Daily News reported. Under Bowhay’s River Recycler System plan, a system of buoys, anchors and sheeting would be deployed to trap fresh water on the ocean surface in Boca de Quadra, an inlet between the Ketchikan and Canadian border.

Putting Every Drop of Water to Use

As El Nino was producing some powerful storms this winter, officials from a water district serving farms just outside of Sacramento got an idea.

They opened the gates of a swelling Cache Creek and let the flood waters flow into the Yolo County Flood Control and Water Conservation District’s system of irrigation canals. The canals’ dirt lining is porous enough to allow the water to seep into the aquifers, recharging a groundwater supply that’s becoming more and more important to growers.

 

Extreme and Exceptional Drought Decline in California

The U.S. Drought Monitor says extreme and exceptional drought was reduced slightly in California last week and for the first time since the week of July 2013, there is no exceptional drought in Nevada.

“Little or no precipitation fell on the areas of dryness and drought in the Far West from the southeastern fringes of Washington southward through Oregon, California, and Nevada, but with the wet season winding down (especially in California), its impact on the long-term drought situation and the conditions being set up for the summer dry season are coming into better focus,” according to the report released April 21.

Water watchdogs sue

Local nonprofit water advocates AquAlliance filed a lawsuit on Friday (April 15) against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed multibillion-dollar water-tunnel system under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, now branded California WaterFix.

The lawsuit alleges that the Army Corps violated the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by withholding records requested by AquAlliance—first by failing to “conduct a reasonable search for records,” the document reads.

Big Improvement in California’s Drought Status

The 4 year historic drought in California has seen some major improvement this rainy season and millions of people are seeing slow but steady recovery. An update to the U.S. drought monitor came out this morning and declared a large area of Central California, from roughly Sacramento to Fresno, slightly improved regarding the drought.

They have many classifications of drought, but the top level drought is called D4-Exceptional drought.  At the beginning of the water year for California in October, 46 percent of the state was in top level drought.  With the latest update, we are now down to 21 percent.

State Drought Driving Longer Wildfire Season

There was once a time when fire season in California started in May and went to September. The state’s long-standing drought has turned the season into a year-round issue. “This time, now, we see the vegetation is ready to burn,” said Paul Lee, Battalion Chief for CAL FIRE.

Fire crews battled blazes on Thursday in Los Osos and Gaviota. Vegetation off Los Osos Valley Road caught fire around 1 p.m., burning eight acres before crews contained it. “The fire was a result of an escaped control burn that spread quickly with the strong winds,” said Lee.

 

State Ups Its Water Allocation for Southern California

In another sign that the so-called “Miracle March” storms in Northern California helped ease the state’s drought, farms and cities reliant on the State Water Project learned Thursday that they’ll likely get 60 percent of the water deliveries they requested from the state, an increase from a month ago.

As water rushed into northern reservoirs last month, state officials said contractors would receive 45 percent of what they requested for 2016 from the state-run delivery network that includes the California Aqueduct. They upped that estimate Thursday to reflect the continued strength of reservoir storage.

Is California’s Drought Finally Over? Officials Call for an End to Emergency Cuts in Water Use After ‘March Miracle’ Rainfall

Officials in California are calling for an end to emergency drought restrictions requiring residents to make steep cuts in their water use after better-than-expected winter rains.

Local water suppliers said that ‘it doesn’t feel like an emergency anymore’ after rainfall arriving off the back of a record-breaking El Nino left many reservoirs at levels not seen since 2011. While regulators at the Association of California Water Districts admit some parts of the state are still badly in need of more rain, they say a sweeping state-wide order on water use is no longer needed.