In the Sierra Nevada, snowpack levels are running below even the darkest days of the drought, with cross-country ski resorts closed and mountain biking becoming the sport of choice until the snow returns. In the Bay Area, cities like San Francisco, San Jose and Santa Rosa are experiencing the hottest starts to a year on record. And Southern California remains in the grip of unprecedented dry and hot conditions, despite a weak storm that moved in Monday. February is historically a wet month, but not this year. And the long-term forecast offers little hope for relief.
Archive for date: February 13th, 2018
You are now in San Diego County category.
The Bay Area has experienced February dry spells before, including twice from 2013 to 2016 during California’s historic drought when rainfall totals were drastically below the monthly average. But this February could close with a distinction most in the Bay Area would like to avoid. This could become the first February in more than 150 years with no rainfall. The only major Bay Area city to go the entire month of February without rain is San Francisco in 1864. San Francisco has the longest set of weather data in the Bay Area, going back to 1850.
Free copies of a popular guidebook for environmentally friendly landscaping upgrades are available to residents countywide, thanks to a second printing of the “San Diego Sustainable Landscape Guidelines” by the San Diego County Water Authority. Residents can pick up the 71-page, spiral-bound books at the front desk of the Water Authority’s Kearny Mesa headquarters, and at approximately 15 other locations in San Diego, Chula Vista, El Cajon, Oceanside, San Marcos, Bonita and Spring Valley. A list of pickup locations is at sustainablelandscapessd.org/guidelines, as is an electronic version of the guidebook.
In 2014, I asked you to support Proposition 1, $7.5 billion water bond written during one of the worst droughts in the state’s modern history. It certainly wasn’t perfect. I would have preferred significantly more than the $2.7 billion it provided for water storage, while others would have eliminated water storage funding entirely. But Prop 1 was a product of compromise and negotiation – something we need a lot more of in today’s political climate. In typical Sacramento fashion, we had ignored a problem until it became so large that we could not possibly ignore it anymore.
More than six years after critics began calling for a full economic study of the Delta tunnels plan, the Brown administration released one on Tuesday, finding that the benefits outweigh the costs — albeit by a slim margin for some water users. Delta interests immediately dismissed the study as skewed and speculative. The new study looks only at the first of the two tunnels, which now are expected to be built in phases after officials couldn’t get water districts to commit to the full $17 billion cost.
The failure of the spillway wasn’t just a scary experience for Oroville, but also a costly one for a city that was already struggling financially. Right now, costs are up by millions of dollars, but it’s crucial to repair the dam which provides water for more than 25 million Californians. Kiewit construction crews continue to be hard at work making repairs on the Oroville Dam Spillway. Construction is being done in two phases, with the first completed in November.
The $11 billion first leg of California’s plan to divert water from its largest delta will pay dividends for cities and farmers and improve water quality, according to a state-sponsored study released Tuesday. The long-awaited cost-benefit analysis, conducted by a University of California, Berkeley professor, concludes that it’s worth it for water suppliers to foot the bill for the ambitious public works project touted by Gov. Jerry Brown. It finds “under all scenarios analyzed” that the California WaterFix or “delta tunnels” would benefit stakeholders and provide billions in net benefits.
In a dramatic twist on the Delta tunnels saga, Southern California’s powerful water agency is exploring the feasibility of owning the majority stake in the controversial project, a move that raises fears of a “water grab.” Under the plan floated Monday by three board members, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California would pour an extra $6 billion or more into the tunnels plan beyond what it has already pledged, enabling the twin tunnels to get built at the same time.
Atmospheric conditions that helped create the recent multiyear California drought have returned, leaving the state dry and exceptionally warm this winter and its residents wondering if another long dry spell is on the way. A ridge of high-pressure air off the West Coast has persisted for much of the past three months, blocking many Pacific storms from reaching California and weakening others that do get through. Normally such ridges tend to come and go, but they also lingered during the 2012-16 drought, the worst in the state’s history.
In the Sierra Nevada, snowpack levels are running below even the darkest days of the drought, with cross-country ski resorts closed and mountain biking becoming the sport of choice until the snow returns. In the Bay Area, cities like San Francisco, San Jose and Santa Rosa are experiencing the hottest starts to a year on record. And Southern California remains in the grip of unprecedented dry and hot conditions, despite a weak storm that moved in Monday.