If two water diversion tunnels could help solve California’s water delivery woes, can one tunnel be even better? Over the past decade, state officials have designed a massive plumbing solution for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Known as California WaterFix, it involves building two giant tunnels to divert a portion of the Sacramento River’s flow underneath the estuary and directly to existing diversion pumps and canals near Tracy. The cost is estimated at more than $15 billion.
Archive for date: December 19th, 2016
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New rules floated by California water regulators would force utilities to sell less water at a time when it is becoming more difficult for them to raise customer rates, credit ratings agency Fitch said on Monday. “Water rates have risen faster than incomes. If this trend continues, Fitch would expect that overall rate flexibility – the ability for utilities to raise rates – could be tested,” it said in a note. California has been in the grip of a drought since 2013 that has cost the state’s agricultural economy billions.
A few weeks ago, Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration released draft recommendations to develop water use targets for water suppliers and to improve drought planning as part of a new statewide framework to permanently use our state’s precious water supplies more wisely. The draft report identified statewide measures to eliminate water waste, strengthen local drought planning and resilience, and improve agricultural water use efficiency. The plan represents a shift from statewide mandates to the new water use targets and takes into account local conditions.
Twenty-six million people in California, Nevada and Arizona rely on the Colorado River, but this magnificent source of water that carved a continent is drying up. Representatives of the three states have been huddling behind closed doors and, for the first time ever, California water officials are offering to give up some of the state’s strongest claims to the river – at least temporarily. The thermometer of the river’s health is Lake Mead — the lake formed behind Hoover Dam. The lake is now lower than it’s been since it was first filled back in the mid-1930s.
Merced elected officials and community members alike gave the State Water Resources Control Board a tongue lashing Monday during a public hearing on the board’s Bay-Delta Plan. Officials called the state board members “the grim reaper,” “the assassin squad” and “domestic terrorists” for their proposal to send 40 percent of Merced River’s water into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to boost salmon populations, which critics have characterized as a “water grab.” “Water is life in this region, and you appear to have no other purpose than to take that life away,” Assemblyman Adam Gray, D-Merced, said.
A professor of chemistry at Sierra College in Rocklin, Calif., shared images on Facebook of the extraordinary “needle ice” that formed outside his home when temperatures dropped to a chilly 20 degrees in the Sierra foothills Sunday night. “It’s everywhere at my place,” wrote Michael C. Brelle, who lives in Alta. “This is the result of some really cool geochemistry.