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Colonias on U.S.-Mexico Border Struggle with Decades-Old Water Issues

Nestor Alaniz didn’t get a permit to build a well in his mother’s backyard, and he didn’t get it inspected. In fact, he didn’t even know how to dig a well. He learned by watching tutorials on YouTube while his brother, a construction worker, helped him drill the 25-foot-deep hole. They built the well after the old one dried up for the fourth time. Their mother, who lives in a “colonia” – an unincorporated community – of about 400 residents outside of Yuma, Arizona, had gone without water to her home for a year.

Here’s the Massive Construction Project to Fix the Oroville Dam

With Harvey and Irma understandably making headlines, it can be easy to be forget the infrastructural crises we’ve already had to deal with this year. Take the overflow of the Oroville Dam spillway in northern California back in February. The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has released a flyover of the spillway in its current form, in the midst of reconstruction.

Study: Rivers Recover Faster Than Expected After Dam Removal

Dam removal is a relatively new area of science. It wasn’t until the mid-1990s that tearing down a dam to restore a river became a regular occurrence across the United States. Most dam removals have been studied and monitored closely to ensure that results meet expectations and to avoid harmful consequences. But there haven’t been many comprehensive reviews of the field of dam removal to answer broader questions, such as: How many dam removals actually helped fish recolonize rivers? How long did that take? What were the effects of releasing sediment stored behind dams?

Will California Mandate New Salton Sea Geothermal Plants at 11th Hour?

As state lawmakers debate far-reaching bills that could reshape the energy landscape in California and across the West, some groups are urging the Legislature to require new geothermal power plants at the Salton Sea before a key deadline Tuesday* night — but those groups can’t agree on what the geothermal mandate should look like.

OPINION: California WaterFix: Let’s Talk Dollars

In the coming weeks, water agencies throughout California will make important decisions about a project that modernizes our state’s water system. About a third of the water used in Southern California comes from Northern California through the State Water Project. But the hub of that water delivery system, the section carrying water to the Southland from the state’s two largest rivers—the Sacramento and San Joaquin—through a region known as the Delta, needs to be modernized.

‘Winter Is Coming’: What Do Climate Scientists Predict For California?

After suffering more than a week under searing, desert-like heat, winter might be the furthest thing from the minds of most Californians. However, to borrow a phrase from TV’s “Game of Thrones,” winter is coming. The only question is whether the gods will allow a rerun of last winter which unexpectedly dumped record amounts of rain and snow throughout the state that filled reservoirs and kept skiers on the slopes through August.


Capitol Roundup: Immigration Deal, Parks Bond, DACA Developments

A “sanctuary state” bill deal, the emergence of a $4 billion parks and water bond, two new California legal fronts against the Trump administration, and the Mexican foreign minister’s visit to the state Capitol – just another Manic Monday as lawmakers begin their final week of work before adjourning for the year.

BLOG: New Study: WaterFix Is Unnecessary For SoCal’s Water Supply

Last week, my colleague published a report entitled Mismatched: A Comparison of Future Water Supply and Demand for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and Its Member Agencies. The report compares the 2015 Urban Water Management Plans prepared by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) and its member agencies. It documents that in average water years, MWD’s plan assumes that demand for imported water is hundreds of thousands of acre feet higher than the local agencies’ plans.