Golden State Water Company (Golden State Water) Vice President of Environmental Quality William C. Gedney has been appointed to the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s (Metropolitan) Board of Directors, representing the 46 water providers and nearly 2 million customers served by the Central Basin Municipal Water District (Central Basin). Gedney began a two-year term on the Central Basin Board of Directors in February 2017. Metropolitan’s 38-member Board of Directors represents the District’s 26 member agencies and is responsible for establishing and administering Metropolitan’s policies and upholding the articles in the MWD Act.
Archive for date: March 14th, 2017
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While this winter’s precipitation was good news for Northern California, that story doesn’t translate to much of the Inland Empire, area water managers said Tuesday. “The precipitation that refills our underground storage basins is actually below average, so far,” said Bob Tincher, manager of water resources for San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District. “So if it were to stop raining today, even with the wet year in Northern California, our groundwater storage levels could actually decrease again this year.” The Inland Empire needs three consecutive above-average precipitation years to refill local groundwater basins, he said.
Mitch Brown jammed the blade of his loader into a two-story pile of snow outside Donner Ski Shop, the sports rental store he runs. From there, Old Highway 40 toward bustling ski resorts was lined with walls of snow more than 20 feet high. “It snowed nearly 24 feet in 12 days,” Brown said recently. “We’ve been working 18-hour days to clear it. This winter’s bumper crop of snow — on the heels of the worst drought in 500 years — underscores the threat to this central source of water for western Nevada County and most of California.
The extraordinary volume of water pouring through California’s rivers and reservoirs this winter appears to be behind more damage to the state’s water infrastructure. State officials said Tuesday that an intake structure at Clifton Court Forebay, a 2½ mile-wide reservoir in eastern Contra Costa County, would be shut down because it needs repairs after heavy inflows.
San Diego Coastkeeper welcomed a new member to its board of directors, long-time environmental advocate Samantha Murray, J.D. Murray brings the water watchdog group deep experience in state and federal ocean policy, playing a key role in the design and implementation of California’s network of Marine Protected Areas, which now covers 16 percent of state waters. San Diego Coastkeeper also announces the unanimous election of its 2017 board of director’s executive committee.
Although it’s a bit of a surprise that precipitation in the Sacramento River watershed is running more than 200 percent of average, the fact that we have returned to wetter than average years after a run of drier than average years is not. This has been the pattern in California for over 150 years, and this pattern is unlikely to change in the next 150. But the State Water Project and the federal Central Valley Project were not designed to accommodate this climate variability.
Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale) issued the following statement after sending a letter, along with many of his colleagues in the California congressional delegation, urging President Trump to take immediate action to facilitate the work required to repair the two Oroville Dam spillways that were damaged in the February 2017 storm events. The damage forced the mandatory evacuation of nearly 200,000 residents, and President Trump responded by declaring a Major Emergency and authorizing the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist local and state officials and provide aid to evacuees.
California water officials, still struggling with fixes at Oroville Dam, will have to temporarily shut down the pumping station that delivers water to much of Southern California and Silicon Valley after discovering damage at another key state reservoir. The state Department of Water Resources confirmed Tuesday that operators discovered damage to the intake structure at the Clifton Court Forebay, a nearly two-mile-wide reservoir that stores water for the State Water Project pumping plant in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta near Tracy. Repairs will begin Wednesday. It’s not clear how long they will last.
Land subsidence from overpumping groundwater in the San Joaquin Valley has been called the largest human alteration of the Earth’s surface. When the last comprehensive surveys were made in 1970, subsidence in excess of one foot had occurred over more than 5,200 square miles (13,000 sq km) of irrigable land – half the entire valley. Southwest of Mendota, a town that prides itself on being the cantaloupe center of the world, maximum subsidence was estimated at 28 feet (8.5m). By this time, however, massive infusions of surface water were being delivered to the valley, and subsidence was slowing or had been “arrested.”
After five years of increasing drought, the level of Santa Barbara County’s thirst on Monday finally climbed from “severe drought” to “moderate drought,” according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, which began keeping track of the statewide situation in December 2011. Santa Barbara County didn’t fall into drought until the eighth week of 2012 when it hit the monitor’s chart at “abnormally dry” before climbing through two additional levels until about September 2013, when along with San Luis Obispo and parts of Kern counties it became the first area in the state to reach “extreme drought.”