As state agencies push for approval of the waterfix plan in September, Bob Wright, the senior counsel for Friends of the River, on June 14 sent an email to the Delta Independence Science Board members criticizing the “content and tone” of their public review draft for “defending the Final EIR/EIS” for the Delta Tunnels/California WaterFix project “instead of addressing such serious deficiencies as the complete failure of the EIR/EIS to include any alternatives finally beginning to restore through-Delta flows by reducing exports.”
Archive for date: June 20th, 2017
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Colorado Faces an estimated water deficit of 560,000 acre-feet by 2050, due in part to an expected population increase. But it has a long-term plan to address that looming shortage. The Colorado Water Plan – the first-ever statewide water strategy in Colorado – was ordered up by Gov. John Hickenlooper in 2013 and finalized at the end of 2015. This May, the state legislature allocated a first slug of dedicated funding to meet objectives in the plan. The goal is to bring water demand into balance with supply while maintaining existing urban and agricultural values and also improving stream health throughout the state.
The persistent heat wave – rising temperatures, advisories and all – will usher in the summer season in San Diego. The National Weather Service (NWS) San Diego said a heat advisory remains in effect for San Diego’s inland valleys and foothills – including Santee, El Cajon, and Escondido – through 9 p.m. Wednesday. In those areas, temperatures are expected to hit between 95 and 103 degrees.
It’s been decades since a major water storage reservoir has been built in California. Now the August deadline for the Sites Reservoir Project is closing in. As feet of snow melt under intense heat, supporters of the Sites Reservoir are pushing for a way to save more water. “We feel prepared to submit an application and all the documentation that goes along with it,” said Thad Bettner of the Glenn Colusa Irrigation District.
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.
The heat wave is melting snow in the Sierra, which is bringing freezing cold water into the valley’s lakes, streams and rivers. The effects of the snowmelt can also be deadly and proved so on Tuesday. “With this fast moving water it does not take long for someone to get in trouble,” said State Parks Ranger Scott Liske. Liske says a group of friends from Sacramento was swimming in the main channel of the North Fork when one of them drowned.
Every year for almost half a century, California snow surveyor Pat Armstrong has trekked the rugged Sierra Nevada with three simple tools: a snow core tube, a scale and a notebook. For as long as he can remember, state water officials have relied on the accuracy of those tools to deliver crucial data on the size of the Sierra snowpack and its ability to sustain a growing population. “It hasn’t changed in a hundred years,” Armstrong said of the survey.
The pass is best known for the spinning wind turbines that line it. But for geologists, the narrow desert canyon is something of a canary in the coal mine for what they expect will be a major earthquake coming from the San Andreas Fault. The pass sits at a key geological point, separating the low desert from the Inland Empire, and, beyond that, the Los Angeles Basin. Through it runs an essential aqueduct that feeds Southern California water from the Colorado River as well as vital transportation links. It’s also the path for crucial power transmission lines.
After years of drought, the state of California is bracing for water. Lots of it. Maybe even a rerun of the havoc caused by the failure of the Oroville Dam this winter. As the record snows in the Sierra Nevada mountains begin to melt, there’s concern this spring and summer that the state will have more water than it can handle. Earlier this year, heavy winter rains forced evacuations near the Oroville Dam, where repairs are now underway on the damaged flood-control spillway.
In Death Valley, the heat brought even the roadrunners to a stop. They stood arched to the sky with their beaks wide open, as if in a stupor, or indignant at what the sun was up to. The landscape blurred and undulated. People moved as if they were walking through glue. When a light breeze came in the afternoon, it stung their faces so badly they had to turn away from it. Water mains burst in the baking dirt, while the “cold” tap water came out of faucets the temperature of a Jacuzzi.