With all the rain recently, San Diegans are wondering whether the severe drought in California is over and if they should continue to conserve. Another big question—will water bills decrease? San Diego County is primarily a water importer, so this year’s wet winter weather is helping our water supply. The snowpack from where the county gets its water from is 140 percent of the average amount, which will replenish the Colorado River Basin.
Archive for date: January 12th, 2017
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As Northern California skies begin to clear, California lawmakers are using the storm that pelted the region over the last week as a catalyst to talk about the state’s water management system. Assemblyman James Gallagher, R-Yuba City, is leading a troupe of lawmakers today on a tour of the Sites Reservoir, a $4.4 billion proposed water storage project four decades in the making.
A new rainstorm moved into Southern California on Thursday, prompting the National Weather Service to issue a flood advisory for much of Los Angeles County through 9:15 a.m. Forecasters said southern and eastern Los Angeles County would be hardest hit by the storm. It’s the latest of a series of storms to dump rain on the region, which has been hard hit by six years of drought. December saw a series of storms, and the weather service said downtown L.A. is now at 150% of rainfall for the season.
As three raging storms pummeled Northern California in early January, the lakes rose, the floodgates opened, the rivers swelled, and the waterfalls roared. The landscape that became dry and parched during five years of drought turned into a wet, soggy mess. Trickles of water became surging flows, and floodplains transformed into massive seas of water. The gallery below of before-and-after images shows the dramatic impact the heavy rains have had on water levels at lakes, reservoirs, dams and rivers across the top half of the state.
Federal monitors announced Thursday that 42 percent of California has emerged from a five-year drought after some of the heaviest rain and snow in decades. The finding marks a dramatic turnaround from this time last year when 97 percent of California was locked in drought. The U.S. Drought Monitor says half of the state, all in the central and southern regions, remains in severe drought or worse.
The state’s biggest reservoirs are swelling. The Sierra Nevada have seen as much snow, sleet, hail and rain as during the wettest years on record. Rainy Los Angeles feels more like London than Southern California. So is the great California drought finally calling it quits? Yes. Or at least maybe. If the storm systems keep coming, state and regional water managers say, 2017 could be the end of a dry spell that has, for more than five years, caused crops to wither, reservoirs to run dry and homeowners to rip out their lawns and plant cactus.
Watching all the water raging in area streams, creeks and rivers, pounding over waterfalls and spilling out of Shasta Dam is a welcome sight after years of drought in Northern California. As an atmospheric river brings feet of snow to the mountains and more rain than the valley has seen in years, the Bureau of Reclamation has opened the floodgates, so to speak, and upped flows from Shasta and Keswick dams to clear out room as it expects even more water to pour into the lake.
After the recent defeat of Proposition 53, a Howard Jarvis backed initiative aimed squarely at Jerry Brown’s Delta Tunnel project (aka WaterFix), matters are moving forward with the project. The CEQA challenges are now finished, and the resulting a 100,000 page document (I kid you not) is on the Governor’s desk. As General Manager of the Metropolitan Water District, Jeffrey Knightlinger quipped at our DWP meeting that the stack of paper is about 40 feet high, roughly the same as the diameter of the Delta tunnels (irony intended).
The San Diego County Water Authority and the city of San Diego on Jan. 5 said they were considering a new pumped storage opportunity at an existing 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, the water authority said in a news release.
After more than a week of snow storms in the Sierra Nevada, Mammoth Mountain has more snow than another ski resort in the country.The popular mountain about five hours north of Los Angeles announced Wednesday that it had the deepest base of snow in North America after receiving 10 to 15 feet of snow since the previous Wednesday. Another foot of snow fell by Thursday morning.