Southwest states will not reach a new agreement to avert major cutbacks in Colorado River water before the Trump administration takes over. Even after months of negotiations, Arizona, California and Nevada will come up short of finalizing a deal on how to leave more water in the Lake Mead reservoir. State water officials in concert with the federal government had hoped to nail down the new so-called “drought contingency plan” by the end of the year.
Archive for date: January 6th, 2017
The United States imports vehicles, equipment, fresh produce and other goods from Mexico. That list may soon include water too, now that a San Diego County water district is looking south for help to diversify its supply. The Otay Water District serves a population of 220,000 people in southeastern San Diego County, in a service area spanning 125 square miles, from the border city of Chula Vista to the unincorporated areas in Jamul. It currently buys potable water from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the San Diego County Water Authority and the Helix Water District.
The first of two atmospheric rivers, a long stretch of moisture that builds up from the tropics, brought rain to Southern California, snow to the Sierra Nevada region and the threat of flooding in Yosemite National Park and other parts of the state.The express train of wet and snowy conditions slammed the state Thursday morning, and another system is expected this weekend and possibly into next week.
In the simplest terms, California’s drought has a lot to do with the weather, which is why, despite a not-too-stellar initial snowpack reading, there is still a lot of optimism about this year’s wet season. But as seasoned water veterans know, there’s a lot more to the story that just the weather. When Water Deeply started in the summer of 2015, California was in dire straits, having just had its worst snowpack year in recorded history. Warm waters were decimating salmon runs, farm fields were being fallowed and wells were going dry.
The drought no longer exists, at least in parts of California. According to the National Drought Mitigation Center, which releases the Drought Monitor each week, just over 18 percent of the state is no longer in drought. The drought-free area is in Northern California and includes Crescent City, Eureka and Redding. Central and Southern California remain in extreme or exceptional drought, while other areas in the interior portion of the state are in the process of recovery.
California was bracing for an epic series of storms this weekend that could bring flooding, avalanches, blizzards and road closures. Northern California is expected to be hit Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Up to 12 inches of rain below 8,500 feet is expected, and massive amounts of snow — up to 6 feet — above that elevation. A fourth, colder storm two days behind will drop yet more heavy snow. “It’s a once-in-10-year event,” said Zach Tolby, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Reno.
The San Diego County Water Authority and the City of San Diego on Wednesday took a step toward the possibility of helping the region meet its future energy needs through a new pumped storage opportunity at the San Vicente Reservoir site. The potential project would create a new, up to 500-megawatt source of renewable energy that could provide electric grid stability to the region during peak times for energy use or other days when demand for electricity is high and renewable energy supplies are scarce.