Cuyamaca College is set to begin construction on a Center for Water Studies aimed at training the next generation of industry professionals to manage and operate California’s complex water and wastewater system. A groundbreaking ceremony for the first component of the project – the Field Operations Skills Yard – is scheduled Nov. 9. When completed, the yard will include a fully operational, above-ground water distribution and an underground wastewater collection system that students will utilize for hands-on learning.
Archive for date: November 1st, 2017
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After considering cutting ties with The Water Conservation Garden, the Helix Water District Board has agreed to keep supporting the venue in Rancho San Diego for the next five years but at a declining rate. Earlier this year, Helix board member Dan McMillan questioned the need for the district to continue to fund the xeriscape demonstration garden on the Cuyamaca College campus, citing budgetary concerns and accountability to ratepayers.
Last week I attended a town hall meeting in Fresno where the topic was new dams and, more importantly, water in general. The five-member panel included two California assemblymen and one state senator, all from the San Joaquin Valley. The politicians were all on their game with answers and non-answers depending upon the questions.
A recent study by NASA and several partners has estimated, for the first time, the global impact of atmospheric rivers on floods and droughts, as well as the number of people affected by these atmospheric phenomena. Atmospheric rivers are relatively long, narrow, short-lived jets of air that transport water vapor across significant portions of Earth’s mid-latitude oceans, onto the continents and into Earth’s polar regions.
The California Department of Water Resources announced Wednesday it has completed the first phase of its massive reconstruction of Oroville Dam’s shattered main spillway — just in time for the first significant rainfall of the season. The agency also announced that in the wake of the spillway’s failure last February — and several reports that found the concrete chute appeared to have been poorly designed, built and maintained — it will conduct a “comprehensive needs assessment” for the dam and its reservoir.
California’s five-year drought taxed the state’s water supplies like never before, especially its groundwater. Many areas of the state saw huge drops in aquifer water levels, with resulting surface subsidence and even damage to infrastructure such as roads and canals. As a result, water agencies and scientists began looking for ways to monitor groundwater more closely. One that emerged uses sensors mounted on Earth-orbiting satellites.
Additionally, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission said it has earmarked some $700 million to invest in expanding sewer infrastructure over the next 15 years. Ahead of rain expected this weekend, various department heads gathered at Chan Kajaal Park, located near one of The City’s most flood-prone intersections at 17th and Folsom streets, to announce a new strategy that focuses on working with residents and business owners around flood prevention.
The Oroville Dam flood control spillway has been fixed. Eight and a half months after the gravest emergency in the dam’s history forced 188,000 residents to flee, state officials said Wednesday that Oroville’s structures have been largely rebuilt and can withstand a rainy Northern California winter. A second phase of work will be completed next year. “Lake Oroville’s main spillway is indeed ready to safely handle winter flows if needed,” said Grant Davis, director of the Department of Water Resources, in a conference call with reporters.
California is launching an overall safety review of the nation’s tallest dam to pinpoint any needed upgrades in the half-century-old structure, water officials said Wednesday, launching the kind of overarching review called for by an independent national panel of experts in September following the collapse of two spillways at Oroville Dam. Experts from the national Association of State Dam Safety Officials and the U.S. Society on Dams concluded that state officials would have been able to catch the problems that led to the collapses if they had reviewed the 1960s’ design and construction of the dam using modern engineering standards.
After a massive construction effort, the main flood control spillway at Oroville Dam is up and running in time for the rainy season and on point for its Nov. 1 target for repair, officials with the California Department of Water Resources announced today. DWR set Nov. 1 as its goal for repairing and reconstructing more than 2,270 feet of the 3,000-foot-long main, gated flood control spillway at Lake Oroville so it could handle flows of 100,000 cubic-feet per second this winter.