A drive around the north state these days shows how remarkably fast the fragile water picture can change. It can be confusing as well. Just three months ago, at the end of an El Niño rainy season, the state’s two largest reservoirs — Shasta and Oroville — looked blissfully the same. They were full for the first time in years, to the point that houseboats on the lakes could tie up to trees on the bank rather than pound a stake into the dirt bathtub ring.
Archive for date: August 5th, 2016
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Water agencies across California are relaxing the water use restrictions they imposed last year. But what does that mean for you? In San Diego County, there was basically enough water despite the drought to meet the region’s demands, but people still obeyed Gov. Jerry Brown’s mandate to cut water use by 25 percent. Now that winter snow and rain prompted the state to ease drought regulations, the biggest benefit may be to homeowners with lawns.
The controversial $15.7 billion plan to build two giant water tunnels in California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is moving closer to reality though huge financial and legal challenges loom.
Scientists from two federal agencies are about to overhaul the rules governing the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, potentially increasing protections for endangered fish populations and limiting the amount of water pumped to Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley. The National Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will re-examine the nearly decade-old environmental regulations covering the Delta water pumps – rules that some experts say have been rendered nearly obsolete by drought and the devastation of endangered species. The old rules will remain in effect during the review, which could take two years or longer.
Ongoing attention to the Colorado River emphasizes its crucial role as the “lifeblood” that sustains millions of Americans across dozens of cities and countless farms in the American West. For the seven states that comprise the Colorado River Basin—Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming—the Colorado River has stimulated growth and opportunity for generations. Today it is as important as ever for leaders, residents and visitors to this beautiful and dynamic region of the country.