Amid heavy winter rains, recovering reservoirs and improving groundwater, the San Jose Water Company — which provides drinking water to 1 million people in San Jose and neighboring communities — has dropped its drought surcharges. The private company announced the change Wednesday, making it the last large water provider in the Bay Area to suspend fines and penalties for excessive water use.
Archive for date: February 2nd, 2017
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Two years ago, as the Sierra snowpack would normally be peaking, Gov. Jerry Brown stood on a barren mountain slope near Lake Tahoe and announced statewide emergency drought measures. Standing in the same spot today, he’d be buried under more than seven feet of snow. “It’s a transformed landscape,” observed Tom Painter, a snow hydrologist and principal investigator at the NASA Airborne Snow Observatory.
Titled “Raindance,” this drone-shot video provides images that begin at Lake Clementine Dam on the Middle Fork American River in the foothills east of the Sacramento Valley and brings viewers down to the confluence with the heavy-flowing Sacramento River at the capital’s flooded Discovery Park to Tower Bridge and beyond.
The State Water Resources Control Board staff is formally proposing that the state’s emergency conservation regulation be extended another 270 days! A draft resolution to amend and readopt the emergency regulation will be taken up after 1 p.m. on February 8, 2017 at the State Board meeting in Sacramento. Comments on the proposed resolution will only be accepted through noon Monday, February 6, 2017!
A state Initiative would establish in the California Constitution that the highest priorities of beneficial water use are: first, domestic use, and second, irrigation use. The California State Water Resources Control Board is now the greatest threat facing water users in the state, a threat that can best be overcome by returning power to the People of California. The Board claims that double the current environmental flows from the San Joaquin River and tributaries must be taken for fish. The Board, with complete indifference, calls the resultant community and economic devastation an “unavoidable impact.”
California is the snowiest place on earth right now. This is after it experienced record snowfalls since November. Prior to this, it had statewide drought problems for years.In the California resort of Mammoth, which is near Yosemite National Park, the record on snowfall has been broken. More powder fell in January compared to any month in its history. Last January 25, more than 6 meters of snow fell, breaking the record by 1 meter, according to Telegraph Co UK. What’s more, it was expected that more snow would fall during the succeeding days.
California water managers say Sierra Nevada snow drifts are at a drought-busting 173 percent of average, with the most snow recorded since 1995. State water managers poked rods into drifts as high as tree branches Thursday to measure the snowpack. The overall snowpack is vital to the state, providing a third of water supplies year-round. This year’s bountiful snowpack came thanks to one of the stormiest Januarys in decades. The storms brought three-fourths of the state’s normal yearly precipitation in just a few weeks.
The average snowpack across California hit 173% above average Thursday thanks to eagerly awaited drought relief from several strong storms, according to a report from state water monitors. The news is welcome relief for officials in a state that has spent the last five years combatting the effects of an intense drought. Drought stretched across the entire state at this point last year, according to data from federal drought monitors. New figures released this week show 70% of the state drought free.
Our urban areas have lost their ability to naturally recycle stormwater due to the impervious nature of infrastructure engineering over the past 100 years. We have been building roadways and streets to capture the runoff and send it somewhere else, usually to the river or ocean. For decades in California, controlling stormwater was the main goal but today, with more water scarcity, we are beginning to see this same water more as an asset and less as a liability.
California’s “exceptional drought” isn’t exceptionally bad any more. Winter storms have been good for the state, pulling it out of the worst rating from the U.S. Drought Monitor. However, this “huge improvement” barely registered with the broadcast networks that had blamed “climate change” for the crisis.