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Calif. governor brings out big gun on delta tunnels: Bruce Babbitt

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) is turning to a prominent former Clinton administration official to help forge consensus on a plan to revamp the state’s central water hub.

Federal Department: Arizona’s Excess Water Safe From California

California will not be able to take Arizona’s unused water in Lake Mead. That was the take home message in a letter from a federal water official to Sen. Jeff Flake on Wednesday. As the drought on the Colorado River has lingered on, Arizona has voluntarily foregone some of its water and left it in Lake Mead instead. By 2017, that will total more than 300,000 acre feet. The goal is to keep enough water in the reservoir to stave off much more severe cutbacks for Arizona in the next year or so.

California needs better account of groundwater

California’s prolonged drought has driven home the need to improve our balance sheet for water – determining how much there is, who has claims to it and what is actually being used.

Our research, which was released Wednesday, has identified major gaps in the collection, management and use of water information. Compared to 11 other western states, Australia and Spain – places that also struggle with water scarcity – California’s systems have significant room for improvement.

 

Plan to Save Delta Smelt Faces Tough Road

When a coalition of California and federal agencies announced a new Delta Smelt Resiliency Strategy last week, the ambitious plan to save the region’s nearly extinct fish grabbed headlines.

But whether most, or even parts, of the comprehensive program can realistically put in place the changes needed to rescue this endangered native species is another question.

 

Court ruling could boost cost of California water project

The California Supreme Court is set to issue a ruling Thursday that could add millions of dollars to the cost of the governor’s $15.7 billion plan to build two giant water tunnels in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. At issue is whether California officials must pay landowners to access thousands of acres of private property to conduct preliminary environmental and geological tests for the project. California officials insist no payments are needed because the tests would not significantly interfere with or damage the land, which is mostly used for farming, cattle ranching and recreation.

Weeklong heat wave in Southern California is expected to peak Saturday

A heat wave that’s expected to push temperatures into the triple digits will bake Southern California through the weekend, the National Weather Service said.

The high temperatures will come filled with monsoonal moisture from a system sweeping over Arizona and Texas, giving the heat wave a humid, sticky feel, NWS meteorologist Kathy Hoxsie said.

“This is a reminder that we’re in summer, and this is exactly the time of year to expect our hotter temperatures,” Hoxsie said. Temperatures will continue to climb until they peak Saturday, when forecasters predict it could hit 106 degrees in Lancaster and 105 in Palmdale.

Weeklong heat wave in Southern California is expected to peak Saturday

A Heat wave that’s expected to push temperatures into the triple digits will bake Southern California through the weekend, the National Weather Service said.

The high temperatures will come filled with monsoonal moisture from a system sweeping over Arizona and Texas, giving the heat wave a humid, sticky feel, NWS meteorologist Kathy Hoxsie said. “This is a reminder that we’re in summer, and this is exactly the time of year to expect our hotter temperatures,” Hoxsie said.