Water Bond Not Designed to Fund Cutting Edge Projects, Officials Say

An NBC Bay Area analysis of projects funded by California’s $7.5 billion water bond found little high-tech, innovative projects that some say are needed to upgrade the State’s aging water infrastructure. NBC Bay Area’s analysis also discovered that no money has, so far, gone to fund drought solutions included in the bond such as desalination projects, direct stormwater management and efforts to fund integrated regional water management among 13 different regions.

Rising Temperatures, Warm Air and Water, and Western Pacific Storms Kept El Nino Out of Southern California

A mix of rising global temperatures, mysteriously warmed waters off Baja California and unusually far-reaching storms in the western Pacific Ocean blocked this year’s El Nino storms from hitting Southern California, the National Weather Service said.

Despite plenty of indicators suggesting that the 2015-16 El Nino rains would be as strong, if not stronger, than previous Southland El Ninos, heavy precipitation failed to materialize. Instead, the storms flowed north from the Bay Area to Washington, drenching the Northern Sierra Nevada and refilling some of the state’s biggest reservoirs.

OPINION: Forest Service Must Get Nestle Action Right This Time

Nestle Waters is pushing back against the U.S. Forest Service’s proposed rules for the five-year permit the agency is considering for the international conglomerate’s water bottling operation in the San Bernardino National Forest.

The Forest Service’s affront? Suggesting a management plan that would require the company – which last year drew 36 million gallons to bottle as Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water from the forest under a $524 annual permit that expired in 1988 – to modify its operation if it was shown that it was affecting the flow of Strawberry Creek.

Steep Rate Hike Ahead for ‘Excessive’ Residential Use of Water in Delaware County

Delaware County residents who saturate their lawns or refill their pools could see a dramatic jump in their water bills this summer.

Del-Co Water Co. announced a new rate structure to begin next month that will target those who use an excessive amount of water during the peak summer months. “Excessive” is defined as more than 25,000 gallons per month. The average homeowner uses about 5,000 gallons per month and will see an increase of less than 2 percent on a typical $35 bill.

OPINION: Brown Gets It About Conservation

I just love Gov. Brown, don’t you? Okay, that’s more than a slight exaggeration, but he did endear himself to me with his executive order regarding water conservation.

Those of you who care about such things might recall Jerry (he calls me Harry — yeah, right) standing in a mountain meadow in spring 2015, staring at bare ground where there should have been several feet of snow. It was the photo op to back up his executive order back then to force urban water users to cut the amount of water they used by 25%.

 

OPINION: El Niño in the Rearview Mirror

I often ask an audience — what’s the difference between climate and weather? And the short answer is climate is what we predict and weather is what we get. This last winter is a good example of the difference.

One of the largest El Niño events in recent history was predicted for this winter, based on the very large and warm body of ocean water moving towards South America from the western Pacific during summer and fall.

BLOG: Don’t Punish Taxpayers for Smart, Water Efficient Choices

As Americans across the country scrambled to get their taxes filed before the midnight deadline last month, many homeowners found themselves with a new reason to feel frustrated.

Their complaint: they may have been hit with a higher tax bill just for working with their local water utility to reduce their water footprint over the last year.

Why Did El Niño Miss SoCal? It’s Complicated, National Weather Service Says

A mix of rising global temperatures, mysteriously warmed waters off Baja California and unusually far-reaching storms in the western Pacific Ocean conspired to block this year’s El Niño storms from hitting Southern California, the National Weather Service said this week.

Despite plenty of indicators suggesting that the 2015-16 El Niño rains would be as strong — if not stronger — than previous Southland El Niños, heavy precipitation failed to materialize. Instead, the storms flowed north from the Bay Area to Washington, drenching the Northern Sierra Nevada and refilling some of the state’s biggest reservoirs.