Currently, we are fully immersed in the second winter of a “double-dip” La Niña. Although it will take some time before we can see how this event stacked up with past events, you might have noticed that it has been quite dry over much of the U.S. this winter, with drought expanding across several regions, particularly in the south. Being the big ENSO fans that you are, you might have asked yourself, are these conditions typical in the second winter of a double-dip La Niña?
Archive for date: February 7th, 2018
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San Diego officials are taking on the mystery of why residents from across the city are receiving water bills for thousands of dollars. City Councilwoman Barbara Bry has asked the city auditor to examine the Public Utilities Department to determine the cause. She made the request after getting almost 100 complaints from constituents and hearing from other councilmembers that they had received reports of high water bills as well.
Council President Pro Tem Barbara Bry has called for temporary relief for San Diegans who continue to claim the city has charged them for water they didn’t use. Customers fighting high bills should continue to have access to water as long as they pay an amount equal to their average usage or what they were charged in the previous year during the same time period.
The lack of rain and snow in California has people wondering if we’re headed into another drought. There’s less than 25 percent of the average amount of snow in the Sierra Nevada. That on its own could incite drought panic. Lauren Bisnett with the California Department of Water Resources says the saving grace is last year’s storms, which filled up state reservoirs. For example, Bisnett says, “Shasta Reservoir is at 74 percent of capacity.”
Water policy is becoming a prisoner of its own limited vocabulary, particularly when it comes to the weather. Here is a case that “drought” and “normal” belong in the dustbin of history, for their overuse can lead to the wrong conversation. These words are not so sinister as to be banned from the dictionary. But they tend to miss the mark as to what seems to be happening with our weather this century.
The troubled Delta tunnels project was officially downsized Wednesday, as Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration announced it would attempt to build a single tunnel in its effort to re-engineer California’s elaborate water-delivery system. Unable to secure enough money from California’s water agencies for the original twin tunnels concept, the California Department of Water Resources said it would now try to build the project in phases: one tunnel now and a second tunnel years down the road.
State officials Wednesday said they will press ahead with a smaller version of a long-planned water delivery project, initially building one, instead of two, massive tunnels in the heart of California’s vast waterworks. The decision to downsize California WaterFix boils down to money. The urban and agricultural water districts that are supposed to pay for the multibillion dollar project have only committed to enough funding for one water tunnel that would extend 35 miles under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.