Academics, advocates and activists met for a panel discussion at UC Irvine to hash out the pros and cons of a proposal to build a desalination plant in Huntington Beach, with environmentalists once again warning it would damage marine environments and raise water bills. “There is nothing simple about desalination,” said panelist Ray Hiemstra, associate director of Orange County Coastkeeper, an environmental organization focused on water quality. Coastkeeper went to court in November to challenge approval for the project granted in October by the State Lands Commission. Additional approvals still need to be secured for construction to begin.
Archive for date: December 11th, 2017
You are now in San Diego County category.
Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada will continue to see dry conditions for the next week, and possibly longer, according to the National Weather Service. Sunshine and clear skies are in the forecast for the Tahoe Basin through the week. Some clouds could move into the region Friday evening, but they are not expected to bring precipitation. Low temperatures in the region will range from single digits to the high teens, with the exception of Friday, when the low could range from 20 to 30 degrees. High temperatures will range from the mid 40s to low 50s.
Winter is off to a dry start across the West, raising the specter of ongoing drought in many locations. The culprit could be La Niña – a periodic cooling of Pacific Ocean waters near the equator that often brings drought. And not just any La Niña, but a “double whammy” effect, which latest research concludes may cause even worse water shortages.
The California Department of Water Resources has released a technical memorandum laying out its detailed explanation for widespread cracking that has appeared in concrete placed this year during the Oroville Dam spillway rebuilding project. The report, embedded below recounts measures taken to prevent cracking in the massive slabs intended to serve as the final, finished concrete surface in two large sections of the spillway. The document was compiled after an Oct. 2 Federal Energy Regulatory Commission letter asked DWR to explain the cracks and document their extent.
California’s dam inspectors appear to be doing their jobs well. Unfortunately, too many dam operators are falling down on the job, and could be placing the public at risk. That’s the message of a report by The Sacramento Bee’s Ryan Sabalow and Dale Kasler. It’s also a part of life in California. As vast swaths of Southern California smolder from the unusual late-season fires this dry December, people naturally are focusing less on rain, potential flooding or dam safety.
States, federal and Mexican officials hailed a binational agreement this fall that they said could lead to a radical shift in how the region prepares for and responds to drought. But three months later, they appear no closer to a drought contingency plan, as negotiations have pitted states and water districts against one another, as the U.S. tries to hammer out details of the plan.
Even as charred hillsides smoldered from a series of wildfires that tore through Los Angeles County, state and local officials were planning last week to head into burn areas to assess slopes and culverts, in an effort to prevent flash floods and mudslides that can occur after a massive blaze.