Hopes for Delta Smelt Rebound Dashed by Record-Low Survey

A tiny fish caught in California’s tug of war over water has become harder to find than ever, a state survey found, despite a very wet winter last year that had raised hopes for a bounce back after five years of drought. Environmentalists say the record-low fall survey for the Delta smelt bolsters the case for protecting salmon and other wild fish with sharper limits on water exported from the Sacramento San Joaquin River Delta to San Joaquin Valley farms and many cities in California

Soaking Storm May End Southern California Wildfire Season Next Week

The first significant storm of the winter season may bring drenching rain and heavy mountain snow to the southwestern United States, including Southern California, next week. The weather pattern began to change across the region during the first few days of 2018 as a small amount of moisture began to flow in from the Pacific Ocean and into California.

Final Verdict on Oroville Dam: ‘Long-Term Systemic Failure’ at the State

Citing a “long-term systemic failure” at the California Department of Water Resources, independent forensic investigators released their final report Friday on the nearly-catastrophic emergency last February at Oroville Dam. In a 584-page report on the disaster at America’s tallest dam, the investigative team blamed a “complex interaction of relatively common physical, human, organizational and industry factors” for the failure of the dam’s main flood-control spillway Feb. 7. The giant crater that erupted in the concrete chute set off a slow-motion emergency that culminated five days later with the evacuation of 188,000 downstream residents.

Human Error Played A Role In Oroville Dam Spillway Failure, Report Finds

Complacency, bureaucracy and an inadequate safety culture led to the failure last year of the Oroville Dam spillway, according to an independent investigation report released Friday. The findings point to human error by a number of organizations but say that the dam’s owner, the California Department of Water Resources, was “significantly overconfident and complacent about the integrity of its State Water Project civil infrastructure, including dams.”

OPINION: The Delta Smelt Heads For Extinction, Marking A Half-Century Of Failed California Water Policy

You might wish you had as much power to affect the environment and the economy as the delta smelt. Enemies have blamed the tiny freshwater fish for putting farmers out of business across California’s breadbasket, forcing the fallowing of vast acres of arable land, creating double-digit unemployment in agricultural counties, even clouding the judgment of scientists and judges.

Final Verdict On Oroville Dam: ‘Long-Term Systemic Failure’

Citing a “long-term systemic failure” at the California Department of Water Resources, independent forensic investigators released their final report Friday on the nearly-catastrophic emergency last February at Oroville Dam. In a 584-page dissection of the disaster at America’s tallest dam, the investigative team said Oroville Dam was designed and built with flaws from the beginning, which were exacerbated by inadequate repairs in the years that followed.