Los Angeles is restoring a century-old water tunnel to capture runoff from the Sierra Nevada, which had a record snowfall this winter after years of drought. The Department of Water and Power is spending $4.5 million to repair and reopen a 2-mile-long tunnel that once carried water from the Los Angeles Aqueduct to a now-defunct reservoir, the Los Angeles Daily News reported. The tunnel is part of the Maclay Highline system of channels and tunnels that supplied water to homes and farms in Sylmar and the Sunland-Tujunga area.
Archive for date: July 24th, 2017
The main California agency promoting Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed $16 billion water tunnels gave its expected approval to the project Friday. The move by the Department of Water Resources, which is helping shepherd Brown’s tunnels project over the regulatory and financial hurdles it must clear to break ground, endorsed the tunnels as a sound step environmentally. The Democratic governor wants to remake the state’s water system by tapping two 35-mile tunnels, both of them four-stories high, into Northern California’s Sacramento River, augmenting aging pumps to the south.
California, which has long been a pioneer in fighting climate change, renewed its commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions last week by extending, to 2030, its cap-and-trade program, which effectively puts a price on emissions. It’s a bold, bipartisan commitment that invites similarly ambitious policies from other states, and it sends a strong signal to the world that millions of Americans regard with utmost seriousness a threat the Trump administration refuses to acknowledge, let alone reckon with.
California Gov. Jerry Brown last week appointed Grant Davis as director of the state’s Department of Water Resources. Davis, 54, general manager of the Sonoma County Water Agency, brings an unusual resume to the job. With a degree in political science from the University of California, Berkeley, he had never worked for a water utility until joining the Sonoma County agency in 2007 as assistant general manager. Previously, he spent a decade as executive director of The Bay Institute in Novato.
The San Diego County Water Authority this week issued a Request for Proposals for a potential joint energy storage project with the City of San Diego that could lessen upward pressure on water rates and also increase opportunities for renewable energy penetration throughout the region by leveraging existing infrastructure at San Vicente Reservoir. The potential project would consist of a closed-loop interconnection and pumping system between the existing San Vicente Reservoir (which is owned by the City of San Diego) near Lakeside and a new, smaller reservoir located uphill.
The California Department of Water Resources is seeking validation of $11 billion in bonds to fund Gov. Jerry Brown’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta tunnel project, California Water Fix, which cleared its final environmental hurdle on Friday. In the lawsuit filed Friday, the agency says it’s seeking a judgment that confirms the validity of the bonds to fund capital costs of the tunnel project. The project calls for two tunnels up to 150 feet beneath the delta and three new intakes with 3,000-cubic-feet-per-second capacity and an average annual yield of 4.9 million acre-feet.
In recent years, the California State Auditor’s Office has waded into the affairs of several small water districts and water retailers, including districts in Victorville and Hesperia and the city of Downey’s Public Works Department. This is all well and good. The state auditor’s office purview covers a wide range of government bodies, and the obscure ones certainly merit the same sort of oversight.
As glaciers melt amid the heat of a warming planet, scientists predict that coastal communities in the United States could eventually experience flooding from higher tides. Conservative estimates range from an increase of about one to four feet in sea-level rise by the end of the century. Experts also warn that people should be prepared for unlikely but extreme scenarios of up to eight feet in sea-level rise, which would cause severe and chronic flooding in hundreds of coastal cities. Grappling with this problem would be expensive for local governments.