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San Diego-Los Angeles Fault Could Produce 7.4 Earthquake

The Scripps Institution of Oceanography on Tuesday raised the attention level for two earthquake faults, saying they’re actually a single system that could produce devastating temblors affecting Tijuana to the Los Angeles region. If offshore segments of the Newport-Inglewood and Rose Canyon fault system ruptured, they could generate a magnitude 7.3 quake capable of damaging much of the Southern California coastline, according to the scientists at Scripps, which is part of UC San Diego.

USGS Updates Forecast Of When A Major Quake Might Strike LA Region

USGS geologist Kate Scharer led a team that investigated the timing of sand, mud and gravel deposits that were episodically ripped apart by earthquakes along the San Andreas Fault over the last 1,200 years. They found evidence of 10 ground-rupturing earthquakes between 800 A.D. and the last rupture in 1857. “In the area of the Grapevine we had a 100-mile or so stretch where we didn’t have good information on the timing of earthquakes back for the last thousand years or so,” Scharer said.

Calif. Tribe Wins Appeal In Landmark Water Case

A federal appeals court sided with the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians on Tuesday in a landmark water case, upholding a ruling that the tribe has federally established rights to groundwater in the Coachella Valley. The decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is likely to set an important precedent for tribes across the country. The three-judge panel upheld a 2015 ruling in which a judge backed the Agua Caliente tribe’s claim that it holds a federally granted “reserved right” to groundwater beneath its reservation in Palm Springs and surrounding areas.


Thousands of Californians Have Contaminated Water Coming From Taps

Some 700,000 Californians are currently being exposed to contaminated water at home or at school, according to the latest data from California’s Water Resources Control Board. NBC 7 discovered more than 3,000 of those residents are living in the San Diego region, often in poorer, rural communities located within areas of Potrero, Pauma Valley and Borrego Springs.


There’s Water, Water Everywhere In California. So Why Isn’t The Drought Over?

For the first time in the nearly six years of significant drought in California, a slew of intense winter storms have overfilled reservoirs, flooded roadways, and returned a sense of possibility to the parched regions of the state. Who could blame any Californian for taking an extra-long shower or two when it’s suddenly so abundant? But on Tuesday morning, NASA’s water scientist Jay Famiglietti wrote in a widely shared Los Angeles Times op-ed that even if the drought is technically declared over (which isn’t exactly the case), California will always be short of water.

OPINION: Cadiz Water Project Poses Grave Threat To California Desert

The recent election may have changed the dynamic in Washington, but the facts on the ground in the California desert remain the same: The Cadiz water mining project poses a grave threat to the California desert and should not be approved. Covering about 35,000 acres of prime desert land, the project sits in the heart of the new Mojave Trails National Monument, described by President Obama as an area that “exemplifies the remarkable ecology of the Mojave Desert, where the hearty insistence of life is scratched out from unrelenting heat and dryness.”


NASA Launches Pilot Project To Measure Snow Pack From The Sky

After five years of drought and now all this precipitation there’s so much snow in the Sierra Nevada that state water officials are preparing for a massive runoff year. But the traditional way of calculating the snowpack has a huge margin of error. A new way to measure it could greatly decrease that inconsistency. Every winter and spring a network of snow surveyors manually tally how much snow is in the Sierra Nevada. They do this by measuring snow depth in the same spots every year.

Failure at One of These 15,000 American Dams Would Be Fatal

It’s not often that a hulking piece of infrastructure makes headlines, but the dam at California’s Lake Oroville did just that when it nearly failed last month. Though 180,000 people who were evacuated during the crisis are back home, people are now asking questions about the condition of the nation’s dams. As E&E News’ Jeremy P. Jacobs reports, there’s reason to worry: Nearly 15,500 of America’s dams could cause loss of life if they fail.

As State Drowns In Winter Storms, California Water Use Is Lowest Since 2014

Officials say Californians are using less water than they have in years, thanks partly to winter rains that are doing the lawn-watering for them. The Water Resources Control Board said Tuesday that the average Californian used just 58.1 gallons of water a day in January. That’s the lowest residential use since the state started tracking water use in summer 2014.

Safe To Drink?: San Marcos Schools Tested For Lead In Water

NBC 7 has learned three schools in the San Marcos Unified School District were involved in testing for lead levels in water provided to students on campus. Of the three schools, one had a water fountain with lead levels higher than acceptable, district officials confirmed Tuesday. The district recently tested the water at three schools including Alvin Dunn Elementary, Richland Elementary, and San Marcos Middle School.