Environmental groups and scientists are gripped with anxiety about the prospect of President-elect Donald Trump, who has denied the existence of climate change, slashing government money for climate research, gutting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s staffing and authority, and pulling out from international agreements to curb greenhouse-gas emissions. On the other end, skeptics of climate change and those who believe the Obama administration has wrongly prioritized efforts to curb global warming at the expense of the U.S. economy are eyeing Trump’s presidential victory as a chance to give their views high-profile credence.
Archive for date: November 20th, 2016
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Even from 38,000 feet in a jet, Hoover Dam is a remarkable achievement. The giant plug in the Colorado River about 30 miles outside Las Vegas, the cause of the swathes of blue in the tan desert landscape, stands as a testament to 20th century American ingenuity, stubbornness, and political will. From the crest of the dam, the achievement looks more flawed. Lake Mead has dropped 130 feet since 2000, when it was full. It’s now at 37 percent of capacity and declining rapidly enough to capture the full attention of water managers from Los Angeles to Denver.
A generation ago the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta tunnel project might have made a certain kind of sense. California’s lakes and rivers had been so thoroughly replumbed by dams, drains, pumps, canals and aqueducts that the state already contained the world’s most engineered water system — so why not add one more megaproject to the labyrinth? Water from the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers flows into the delta, where some of it is directed into pumps that send it south to farmers on the San Joaquin Valley’s west side and to municipal users in Southern California.
One by one, wet weather systems will march into the Bay Area through the week, giving the region a much-needed soaking, but complicating things for the multitudes who are traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday. It was boots-and-umbrella weather as rain showers washed through the Bay Area over the weekend, giving drought watchers a reason to be optimistic as yearly rainfall totals near or surpass normal levels. After a brief drying period Monday, things will get wet again as Californians take to the skies and roadways during one of the busiest travel weeks of the year.
President-elect Donald Trump has stated his commitment to helping California’s farmers attain more water, as the Golden State prepares to enter its historic sixth year of a crippling drought, with a federal water policy in place that favors fish over agriculture. However, the authority of California’s state agencies over the allocation of its water supply — which includes the federal Central Valley Project — remains a staggering obstacle the nation’s 45th president must confront. Particularly, as the Sacramento Bee points out, when it comes to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, which is where the endangered Delta smelt primarily reside.