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Can Desalination Plants Quench California’s Thirst For Water In A Clean Way?

California is expected to officially start up its second desalination plant in April, which takes seawater and makes it potable. The first one opened in December 2015 in Carlsbad that is near San Diego while the next one will be in Santa Barbara that is north of Los Angeles. And 15 more are on the table there. Is this a global solution for the billions without access to potable or sanitized water? Can desalination be done in a way that is minimizes harm to the ocean and that uses clean energy to run its operations?

Live Updates: Mass Evacuation Below Oroville Dam As Officials Frantically Try To Make Repairs Before New Storms

“This is not a drill. Repeat this is not a drill,” the National Weather Service said Sunday, urging people living below Oroville Dam to evacuate. More than 100,000 people were told to evacuate because of a “hazardous situation” involving the Northern California dam’s emergency spillway. At one point, the NWS warned that the auxiliary spillway was expected to fail and could send an “uncontrolled release of flood waters from Lake Oroville.” However, by late Sunday night, officials said the immediate threat had passed because water had stopped washing over the emergency spillway.

Water Level Drops Behind California Dam, Easing Flood Fears

The water level dropped Monday behind the nation’s tallest dam, reducing the risk of a catastrophic spillway collapse and easing fears that prompted the evacuation of nearly 200,000 people downstream. As the day began, officials from the California Department of Water Resources prepared to inspect an erosion scar on the spillway at the dam on Lake Oroville, about 150 miles northeast of San Francisco. Authorities ordered evacuations Sunday for everyone living below the lake out of concern that the spillway could fail and send a 30-foot wall of water roaring downstream.

California Towns Flee As Oroville Dam Threatens To Release ‘Wall Of Water’

Oroville, California (CNN)A massive crevasse that formed in a spillway at Northern California’s Oroville Dam has spurred mass evacuations, with nearby residents fleeing the worst-case specter of a three-story wall of water rushing downstream. In all, about 188,000 people, mostly in Butte, Sutter and Yuba counties, evacuated from the area, some being given only minutes to gather their things. “Everyone was running around; it was pure chaos,” Oroville resident Maggie Cabral told CNN affiliate KFSN on Sunday.”

California Today: Flood Risk Causes 100,000 to Evacuate. Here’s What We Know.

Thousands of people fled areas downriver from Lake Oroville on Sunday after a secondary spillway at the swollen reservoir was compromised, raising fears of a collapse that might unleash disastrous flooding. By late Sunday, after whole towns had emptied out, officials said the immediate danger appeared to have passed. Evacuation orders, however, remained in place until they could be sure. “There are still a lot of unknowns,” Sheriff Kory L. Honea of Butte County said at a news conference.

OPINION: See The dangerous Flooding At Oroville Dam For Yourself

The Oroville reservoir spill forced nearly 200,000 people to evacuate and Gov. Jerry Brown to issue a state of emergency, and officials are hurrying to make repairs before the next storms. Water overwhelming a failing retaining wall at the massive dam has raised questions and calls for action about California infrastructure. News reports are everywhere. By now, you’ve heard about it, but have you seen it? The video and photographs are wild. It’s a complicated scenario that can best be described in images. So here’s a look at the situation from those watching it unfold in person.

Inspections Underway At San Diego Dams After Oroville Scare

A comprehensive condition assessment of nine dams owned by the city of San Diego has been underway for the past year, the Public Utilities Department said Monday. Asked about the condition of San Diego dams after Sunday’s mass evacuation in Oroville in Northern California, department officials told City News Service that they hired independent experts in dam design, construction and safety to perform detailed inspections of the dams in February of last year.

As California Waits On Trump, FEMA Gets Going Around Oroville Dam

As California waited Monday night to see if President Donald Trump would grant Gov. Jerry Brown’s request for emergency funding for 10,000 evacuees who lived in the shadow of the Oroville Dam, FEMA began preparing for the worse. The federal disaster-management agency’s Region 9, which oversees California and other Western states, has mobilized a 24-hour task force to coordinate its response with state and local agencies, said Mary Simms, a spokeswoman.

San Joaquin Valley Continues To Sink Because Of Groundwater Pumping, NASA Says

California’s San Joaquin Valley continues to sink at an alarming rate because of groundwater pumping and irrigation, according to a new study by NASA. Ground levels in some areas have dropped 1 to 2 feet in the last two years, creating deeper and wider “bowls” that continue to threaten the vital network of channels that transport water across Southern California, researchers say. The findings underscore the fact that even as record rain and snow have brought much of California out of severe drought, some parts of the state will probably struggle with water problems for years to come.


Endangered, Threatened Species Could Benefit From Congressional Redlands Bill

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a bill reintroduced in the U.S. Senate Monday, Feb. 13, would show some love to local endangered species, restoring mining-degraded habitat in the Upper Santa Ana River Wash in Redlands. The bill proposes a land swap that would move mining operations to protect plants and animals where the wash joins Mill Creek. Those include three endangered species – the San Bernardino kangaroo rat, slender-horned spineflower and Santa Ana woolly-star; the threatened California gnatcatcher; and the cactus wren.