An increase in temperatures has the ability to reduce the flow of water in the Colorado River by 20 to 30 percent by mid-century, according to new research done by Colorado State University and the University of Arizona. The research done by Bradley Udall, a senior water and climate scientist for CSU, and UA professor Jonathan Overpeck, found that loss of water is driven by higher temperatures arising from an increase in greenhouse gas emissions.
Archive for date: March 21st, 2017
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The San Diego County Water Authority lowered the level of Lake Hodges Tuesday as another big winter storm approached San Diego. The reservoir, which had been filled to within four feet of capacity, was lowered at the request of the City of San Diego, which owns the facilility. Some 7,500 acre-feet of water was pumped to the nearby Olivenhain Reservoir, allowing Lake Hodges to capture runoff from the storm forecast to begin Tuesday night and last into Thursday
The first wet storm of the spring is moving into the Sierra where record snowfall already has reservoirs releasing water early to guard against potential flooding in northern Nevada well into the summer. The National Weather Service says 4 to 8 inches of snow is possible Tuesday on the highest mountain passes, including the Mount Rose Highway southwest of Reno and Donner Pass on Interstate 80, west of Truckee, California.
San Diego is in for some light showers this week. The rain comes as California’s drought continues to wane thanks to a wet season that could turn out to be a record breaker — if storms leading up to April 1st bring enough rain. A Tuesday morning update from the KPBS Drought Tracker puts California’s statewide rainfall at 167 percent of normal for the entire wet season. It’ll need to reach 184 to break the record set on April 1st, 1983.
The rain this winter has improved the City’s water supply situation, allowing us to avoid the peak demand shortage that had been projected for summer 2017. With this updated water supply news, the Santa Barbara City Council lifted the mandatory lawn watering ban on March 21st and reduced the Citywide conservation target from 40 percent to 30 percent while encouraging residents and businesses to continue conservation, including minimized lawn watering. All other drought water use regulations remain in effect, including but not limited to, watering times, irrigation runoff and overspray, and more. Information on drought regulations may be found by visiting www.SantaBarbaraCA.gov/Drought.
California will be soaked with more rain and heavy mountain snow after a more than two-week respite from one of the wettest winters on record in the Golden State. A pattern change in the upper atmosphere this week will bring a return to conditions that have been more familiar this winter, compared to the weather so far in March. An upper-level ridge of high pressure that was responsible for the mainly dry and warm conditions in the West has now moved east.
Heavy rain in California could lead to emptier salad plates this year. Two months of precipitation this winter have threatened almond, celery, strawberry and other crops in the Salinas Valley, the latest in a string of increasingly erratic weather events to hurt farmers. Farmers say the record rains could damage and delay some crops, leading to shortages and higher prices. The Salinas Valley produces most of the leafy greens for the U.S. during this stretch of the season until cooler areas supplement supply, and some grocers say the winter conditions have forced them to brace for disruptions in supply.
When it rains, it pours … and when it doesn’t, it doesn’t. This is the essence of Southern California’s water conundrum. A year ago, who would have thought golden-brown Los Angeles would be complaining about too much rain?Then, a record five-year drought wreaked havoc on Angelenos and our environment, causing us to think long and hard about how we use water. Now, the pendulum has swung to the opposite extreme, with torrential rains this winter flooding roadways, causing chaos and washing a toxic stew of polluted runoff into our rivers and ocean.
California is getting a dose of spring showers as the first in a series of storms moves ashore. Drivers experienced a wet morning commute Tuesday in the San Francisco Bay Area, where several inches of rain is expected before the week’s out. The system will push snow levels down to 5,000 feet and add to the already stuffed snowpack in the Sierra Nevada. A band of heavy rain soaked the Central Coast overnight before moving into Southern California with winds gusting more than 40 mph.
In the years before California’s civil engineers got around to confining the Sacramento River, it often spilled over its banks, inundating huge swaths of the Central Valley. Sometimes the floodwater would stand for a hundred days at a time. The botanist William Henry Brewer, writing in 1862, after a season of torrential rains, described the valley as “a lake extending from the mountains on one side to the coast range hills on the other.”