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Water Officials Say Aggressive Pipeline Inspections Saved Millions Of Dollars

Regional water officials in San Diego County announced Tuesday that an innovative pipeline-inspection regime has saved ratepayers more than $200 million to date. During the last two decades, the San Diego County Water Authority has routinely been an early adopter of the latest pipeline-maintenance technology, officials said. Investments in such tools have made it possible to pinpoint small leaks and prevent costly replacement projects.


In Six Months, L.A. Went From High And Dry To Wet And Wild. Here’s How It Happened

At the end of June, Los Angeles had recorded its driest five-year period since record-keeping began almost 140 years ago. The announcement seemed like an ominous milestone, especially after an El Niño-fueled weather pattern that was supposed to drench the region had failed to materialize. But just six months later, L.A. has seen a major turnaround. Los Angeles is experiencing its wettest winter in years, with 14.33 inches of rain since October — more than 200% of average. That’s nearly as much rain as the city gets in a typical year.

NASA Measures ‘Dust On Snow’ To Help Manage Colorado River Basin Water Supplies

When Michelle Stokes and Stacie Bender look out across the snow-capped mountains of Utah and Colorado, they see more than just a majestic landscape. They see millions of gallons of water that will eventually flow into the Colorado River. The water stored as snowpack there will make its way to some 33 million people across seven western states, irrigating acres of lettuce, fruits and nuts in California, generating enormous amounts of electricity and ultimately flowing from taps in seven states.

California Objects To Trump’s Potential Freeze of EPA Grants

A freeze on some new grants and contracts at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency prompted strong criticism in California on Tuesday as Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom accused President Donald Trump of putting communities at risk by holding up critical funding. The temporary suspension of grants, which states rely on for a variety of pollution-control and water infrastructure programs, came as the new administration also ordered EPA employees to halt posts on social media and communications with the news media on Tuesday.

Wet Weather Adding Up: Precipitation Over 300% Of Normal For January

It has been a month for the record books in terms of wet weather. According to the National Weather Service, the past few weeks of storm after storm is adding up. Precipitation is over 300% of normal for January in most of California.Earlier in the month, federal officials released numbers that showed more than 40 percent of California had emerged from a five-year drought. This was before even more wet weather rolled through.

OPINION: Should California Call Off Drought Emergency?

As California mops up after the recent rainstorms, the state faces a decision. Is it time for state leaders to lift the emergency policies meant to encourage water conservation during the multi-year drought? That’s our Question of the Week for readers. If you haven’t had time to keep track of the rainfall statistics while trying to keep the roof on, here are the basics: Several storms this winter have brought various areas of California two to four times the average rainfall for this time of year.

BLOG: California Declares State Of Emergency As Winter Storm Leo Hampers Search For Missing; At Least 4 Dead

California Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for 50 California counties that have been drenched by storms, including ongoing Winter Storm Leo, which have caused tens of millions of dollars in damage. In this latest round of storms to pound the state, at least four people died, three were missing and others were rescued from raging floodwaters. Anguished relatives gathered along a creek in Alameda County southeast of San Francisco as searchers looked for an 18-year-old woman whose car plunged into the rushing waterway after a collision late Saturday.

Rarely Seen Spill Could Be Coming To Lake Hodges Dam

The unusually wet winter now hitting San Diego County and California could bring a sight that’s been witnessed only twice in the past 13 years – water cascading over the Lake Hodges dam. “If the weather pattern we have continues through February, in all likelihood Lake Hodges will fill and spill this spring,” said Mike Bardin, general manager of the Santa Fe Irrigation District, which supplies water to Rancho Santa Fe, Solana Beach and Fairbanks Ranch.


Storms Boost California Snowpack to Nearly Double Average Level

California’s vital Sierra Nevada snowpack measured 197 percent of average on Tuesday in the aftermath of three weeks of storms — the highest level in more than a decade. Automated measuring stations showed 161 percent in the northern section, 195 percent in the central area and 240 percent in the south. Doug Carlson, a spokesman for the Department of Water Resources, said it’s too early to call the California drought over, but said the recent storms will do “quite a bit toward alleviating the drought impacts” in the hardest hit parts of the state


Massive Rainfall Only Putting A Dent In The Drought

One week and three storms later, you would think the drought would be over. “At this point, it’s not enough,” hydrologist Jayme Labor with the National Weather Service Oxnard said. Labor says while the past week’s storms are short-term relief, we would need a lot more rain to say goodbye to the drought. “I think we need to have another year like this following it to see the drought completely go away in Southern California,” said Labor.