In the middle of a severe drought in November 2014, California voters approved Proposition 1, a $7.5 billion water bond that set aside $2.7 billion for the public benefits of new water storage projects.Now, project proponents have less than two months to finalize applications for bond funds, which can be used for attributes such as ecosystem improvements, water quality improvements, flood control, emergency response and recreation. Among the projects competing for bond funding is the proposed Sites Reservoir, an offstream storage project that has been studied for close to 40 years.
Archive for date: June 14th, 2017
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Sunshine and extreme heat, that’s what is in store for much of California and other areas of the western U.S. during the last stretch of Spring. After some cool rainy weather days in many areas of the West, with daytime temperatures 10 to 20 degrees below average, a drastic change in the weather pattern is on the way. Between mid-week and the weekend, the jet stream configuration will experience a noticeable change, and while it pushes well to the north high pressure will build into much of the southwest increasing sunshine and heat.
A state of the art scientific field station planned for the California Delta is getting closer to reality with the finalizing of the project’s environmental documents by the California Department of Water Resources. The proposed field station in Rio Vista would be home to scientists from nine state and federal agencies who are now scattered in offices across the region. All are involved in the decades-long effort to monitor conditions in the California Delta, the largest estuary on the west coast of the western hemisphere.
When Southern California needs water, it takes a big gulp from the streams and waterways of Northern California. One of those is the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, and a multi-billion dollar plan years in the making could overhaul how we get our water from there. And officials have announced that it will make a decision on that plan by September. Jeffrey Mount, senior fellow of the Water Policy Center at the Public Policy Institute of California, joins Take Two to explain what’s at stake.
Arizona risks losing water rights because of a lingering, nearly two-decade long drought in the Colorado River that could restrict water use ranging from farmers’ crops to how many households receive water, state water experts say. Calcium rings around Lake Mead tell the story of declining water levels, with cream markings permanently decorating the canyon walls that shows high levels that haven’t been seen since 1983. Current surface elevation is at 1,081 feet. If it drops another six feet, water to Arizona will likely be cut, according to an Arizona budget document.
While winter rains have refilled California reservoirs and dumped near-record snow on the mountains, communities across the state are wisely seeking ways reduce their vulnerability to future droughts. One option some are considering is seawater desalination. Tapping the vast ocean seems like a promising solution, and proponents often tout Australia and Israel, which have adopted this technology. We agree that California should look at experiences in other parts of the world. But we need to have all the facts and make the right decisions for our communities.
The twin tunnels would take water from the Sacramento River and transport it under the Delta. See which islands and rivers they would cross.
California is ordering immediate spillway inspections at about 70 aging dams that it believes might not be sound enough to protect downstream communities in a flood, a state dam regulator said Wednesday. The engineering and on-site reviews are part of stepped-up inspections following February’s surprise failures of both spillways at California’s 770-foot-high (230-meter-high) Oroville Dam, the nation’s tallest. Authorities ordered nearly 200,000 people to evacuate in that crisis. Since then, regulators at California’s dam-safety division began reviewing their records on the 1,250 dams they monitor, focusing on 100 big, aging dams that have people downstream, supervising engineer Daniel Meyersohn said.
Fresno Bee columnist Dan Morain recently conflated the proposed Delta tunnels with a project that offers a solution for managing California’s water in our changing climate. This argument misses the mark. Gov. Jerry Brown is correct when he says that President Trump’s decision to leave the Paris Climate Agreement is disastrous for the environment and will have negative consequences for California. California just experienced a five-year drought and climate scientists predict more weather extremes in the decades to come.