California Gov. Jerry Brown (D), one of the sharpest gubernatorial critics of President Trump, will travel to Washington this week for meetings on foreign policy and other matters. Brown will be in Washington starting tomorrow to attend the board meeting of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a group founded by Ted Turner and former Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.) that is focused on nuclear, biological, cyber and other risks. Brown joined the group in January. He’ll also meet with “government leaders and others,” his office said in a statement, but those meetings haven’t been scheduled yet.
Archive for date: March 20th, 2017
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There are over 500 wells pumping water from the same source — the Eastern San Joaquin Groundwater Sub-Basin. That includes municipal wells in Manteca, Ripon, Lathrop, Stockton, and Lodi as well as agricultural wells and domestic wells serving rural homes. You may consider that irrelevant information given water comes out of your tap when you turn the faucet on. But what local agencies are doing in the next few years to create a framework to manage the water basin to meet a pending state mandate requiring groundwater basin sustainability will impact how freely water flows and determine who gets how much water.
Winter weather is coming back to the Bay Area — just in time for spring. Starting Monday, the day of the vernal equinox, a week-long system of cool storms will swing through Northern California, bringing several inches of rain to the Bay Area and more snowfall in the snow-stuffed Sierra, according to the National Weather Service. The pattern follows two weeks of mostly sunshine around the region in what now appears to be a limited break from one of the wettest rain seasons in years.
After slowing to a trickle during the past five years of punishing drought, hydroelectric power in California is poised to make a major comeback this spring and summer, thanks to the wet winter. Across Northern California, hydroelectricity producers say their reservoirs are brimming at levels not seen in decades. Together, their dams should produce as much as 21 percent of the state’s total electricity output this year, according to projections from the California Energy Commission. That would be the highest percentage for hydropower since 2011, according to the commission’s Energy Almanac. That was the last wet winter before the drought.
The National Weather Service has a new report and video out on the extreme winter weather. It’s official – October 2016 to February 2017 was the wettest winter in California since 1900, with a whopping 27.81 inches of precipitation. The San Diego River crested at the third highest level ever recorded. Big Bear got over 60 inches of snow. Roads washed out and the Oroville Dam, the highest dam in the U.S., threatened to overflow, forcing use of a spillway that crumbled under the torrent.
Mayor Eric Garcetti proclaimed a state of emergency Monday, citing concerns that melting snowpack in the eastern Sierra Nevada could flood homes and highways in the Owens Valley and damage the Los Angeles Aqueduct. The proclamation, which takes effect immediately and lasts seven days, is designed to help the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power protect its pumps, pipes and reservoirs in the Owens Valley and surrounding areas.
A bill to expand protections for California’s wild and scenic rivers is working its way through the state legislature. The measure approved by an Assembly committee Monday would bring state rules in line with more expansive federal laws. Supporters say California needs to step in now in case the federal government relaxes its rules under the new administration. Republican Assemblyman Travis Allen voted against the bill and based his position on the state’s water needs.
A month after floods devastated a San Jose neighborhood, rain returned to the Bay Area, but no overflows are expected this time around, officials say. On Monday, rainfall was relatively light, but by Tuesday, the William Street area of San Jose will see its first significant rain since flood waters quickly overtook homes, cars, streets and parks after Coyote Creek overflowed. The good news this time: Flooding is not expected. The city, however, is moving forward in case another storm arises where it would need to warn people.
The threat of destructive flooding from a monstrous Sierra Nevada snowpack that supplies Los Angeles with its water led Mayor Eric Garcetti to declare an emergency Monday to protect the city’s aqueduct system and the people who live nearby. Flooding is not a threat in the nation’s second-largest city. But it could swamp the rural Owens Valley hundreds of miles north, which has long had a fraught relationship with the metropolis that surreptitiously bought rights to its water and channeled it south more than a century ago.
The winter’s welcome wet spell has brought at least an unofficial end to California’s drought. But has the rain washed away the most obvious lesson of the Golden State’s dry weather? Quite possibly. The Democrats who control state government say the right things about continuing to push water conservation and to move away from unmetered water systems. But when it comes to perhaps the drought’s most obvious lesson — the need to sharply increase water storage capacity — their silence is deafening.