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Wild Winds, Low Humidity, Could Spread Wildfires Across This Week

The National Weather Service has issued a red flag fire weather warning for the coast and a wind advisory for the rest of San Diego County due to the onset of four days of Santa Ana winds and low humidity. Forecasts say the winds will peak Monday night into Tuesday morning and Wednesday night into Thursday morning. The winds will blow 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 55 mph, and isolated gusts of 70 to 80 mph at a few of the county’s highest peaks.

OPINION: A Test Of California’s Commitment To Groundwater Sustainability

Throughout California, access to water and how it is distributed is a perennial issue. Water conflicts are often nuanced and take on a life of their own. In some cases, a local conflict can have statewide implications — the City of Marina, a small city along the shores of Monterey Bay, finds itself in such a conflict. In 2009, the California State Water Resources Control Board ordered the private, for-profit California American Water Company to end its illegal water diversions from the Carmel River.

California Water Districts Don’t Need Voter Approval On Fees

The state’s water conservation districts don’t need the approval of property owners or voters to charge their customers fees to fund programs aimed at protecting groundwater, the California Supreme Court ruled on Monday. But the justices in a unanimous decision also said the districts cannot charge cities disproportionately more than farmers for conservation efforts. The decision ensures the water districts have a source of funding to undertake projects to replenish ground water — a key irrigation source for farmers that became even more vital during California’s historic drought.

Longest And Strongest Santa Ana Winds Bring Fire Danger To Southern California

Dry and gusty Santa Ana winds sweeping through Southern California are predicted to bring days of critical fire weather conditions. Red Flag warnings by the National Weather Service began late Sunday and will last through Thursday. Meteorologists say relative humidity levels will plunge into the single digits and teens. Officials have dedicated extra resources to fire-prone areas. Forecasters say it could be the strongest and longest Santa Ana wind event so far this season, with gusts capable of bringing down tree branches and power lines.

Metropolitan Water District Approves Repair Of Lake Mathews’ Forebay Lining And Outlet Tower

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California approved the repair of the forebay lining and outlet tower at Lake Mathews. The Nov. 14 MWD board vote awarded a $3,248,000 contract to J.F. Shea Construction for the work while appropriating $4,570,000 for the project. The board action also found the project categorically exempt from California Environmental Quality Act review.

Baby Endangered California Salmon Use Different Rivers Than Expected, Research Shows

Biologists assumed baby winter-run Chinook salmon hung out in the Sacramento River where they hatched until they grew large enough to make the trip downstream to the Pacific Ocean. A recently released scientific study challenges that assumption – and may have implications in how fisheries agencies manage Sacramento Valley waterways to protect the critically endangered fish.

Environment Report: The Plan To Build A Giant Water Battery In San Diego County

The city of San Diego and the San Diego County Water Authority are closing in on a deal to construct a giant new hydroelectric facility in East County. Together with a private company, the city and the Water Authority would build what amounts to a water battery. The project is designed to make money off daily changes in energy prices and provide enough green energy to power 325,000 homes.