At the final public hearing on a disputed plan to benefit fish in the lower San Joaquin River system, government fishery agencies said the plan doesn’t go far enough, water agencies said alternative plans would help fish more without requiring as much water, and a member of the State Water Resources Control Board requested more information about the plan’s potential impacts.
Archive for date: January 11th, 2017
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Flooding concerns intensified in the the Delta on Wednesday as huge volumes of water surged down creeks and streams into the low-lying river estuary. Higher than expected water levels had crews patrolling levees and watching carefully for any sign of trouble. An estimated 245,098 cubic feet of water per second was pouring into the Delta, the equivalent of nearly three Olympic-sized swimming pools every second.
The rain-soaked California community of Morgan Hill may face more flooding on Wednesday, January 11. The National Weather Service issued a flash-flood warning, though officials said the flooding was not expected to be the same as what happened on Sunday, according to a report. Heavy rain on Sunday pushed the Little Llagas Creek over its banks, flooding the downtown area and some residential neighborhoods.
As a result of the nearly weeklong deluge, water is flowing into California lakes and reservoirs, prompting dam operators to release supplies in advance of a storm expected next week. But it’s too early to say if the series of storms is a drought-buster. “Very generally, the storms are very beneficial to reservoir storage,” said Ted Thomas, spokesman for the California Department of Water Resources. But dam operators are watching the skies, he said.
How much has the California snowpack grown this month? On Jan. 3, the statewide “snow water equivalent,” a measure of the water content of the snow provided the California Cooperative Snow Surveys, stood at 70 percent of normal. By Wednesday morning, the number had more than doubled, to 158 percent of normal. The number could top 170 percent of normal today after Wednesday’s Sierra storm.
As we wait to see if President-elect Donald Trump upholds his campaign pledge to tear up the Paris climate change agreement, one of his close to home constituencies is already struggling on the frontline of the climate struggle. CEO’s who may publicly doubt climate change can readily see what is happening to their bottom line as pressure mounts on our most precious resource – water.
Californians may be getting all the precipitation they wished for, and then some. A wet October followed by a series of big rain- and snowstorms kicking off the new year has made for one of the wettest rainy seasons so far in California’s record-keeping. “It’s undoubtedly in the top five,” said Doug Carlson, an information officer with the state’s Department of Water Resources. As of Tuesday, the rainfall for Northern California was just over 200 percent of average, according to the Department of Water Resources. And the water content of the snowpack statewide was 135 percent of average.
Leaning against a wooden rail, environmental activist Geoffrey McQuilkin took stock of a parched geological wonderland that had been altered by a weekend deluge. The air was still thick with moisture, and this lake’s tributaries were cascading down from surrounding mountains, swollen by cargoes of fresh snowmelt and rain. Frothy whitecaps and wavelets lapped over grass meadows that had been dry ground only a week ago. The lake’s famous tufa formations — for so long a symbol of California’s lack of water — were capped with snow.
A tornado briefly touched down in South Natomas, a Rio Linda church was flooded and the Sacramento River reached its highest point in 20 years Wednesday as the effects of a multiday storm continued to ripple through the region. But the heavy rain and snow that had pounded Northern California since Saturday mostly stopped, several highways and local roads reopened and the region largely avoided major flooding or widespread property damage.