Over a dozen California cities, water agencies and environmentalists sued the state late Tuesday, alleging that state regulators have been secretly plotting and discussing a contentious $16 billion water project. The petitioners, led by Sacramento and San Joaquin counties, have uncovered public records that they claim prove that State Water Resources Board staffers discussed technical reviews and other documents regarding the California WaterFix with the project’s lead agencies.
Archive for date: February 27th, 2018
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A cold winter storm battered the San Diego region Tuesday, hitting the county with heavy rain and pouring snow in the mountain areas. The storm was active Tuesday morning, bringing with it widespread rain during the morning commute. The subsequent slick roads led to several crashes on San Diego’s freeways, with some involving big rigs. According to the California Highway Patrol, there were 156 vehicle collisions on San Diego roadways from midnight to 9:59 a.m. this morning. The CHP says there are about 140 crashes reported on what they would call a normal “good weather” day.
At this time of year, temperatures in the Arctic circle usually linger around the -22°F (-30°C) mark, with the region still cloaked in perpetual darkness. However, the region is experiencing one of the warmest Februarys on record, with temperatures for the area north of 80 degrees latitude currently averaging 17.6°F (-20°C)–more than 36°F (20°C) above normal, Ruth Mottram, a climate scientist at the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI), told Reuters.
California currently provides two-thirds of the country’s fruits and nuts, but according to a new study published Tuesday, by the end of the century California’s climate will no longer be able to support the state’s major crops, including orchards. The report, published in “Agronomy,” warns that the increased rate and scale of climate change is “beyond the realm of experience” for the agricultural community, and unless farmers take urgent measures, the consequences could threaten national food security.
A weak storm system brought little rain to Ventura County on Monday and Tuesday, providing a disappointing end to a typically wet month. According to the Ventura County Watershed Protection District, most communities in the county got less than one-tenth of an inch of precipitation between Monday night and Tuesday morning. The exception was in Thousand Oaks, where a Tuesday afternoon storm left the city with 0.31 inch of rainfall. “People need to realize we are always on a drought footing,” said Arne Anselm, deputy director of water resources for Ventura County Public Works.
California has been blessed with the distinction of being home to some of the richest and the poorest income-earning Americans, according to a 2015 report by the Social Science Research Council. This stark division of wealth between the extravagantly rich and the destitute is displayed vividly in how the state’s residents consume water. On the one hand, some estate owners have been publicly shamed for watering their lawns during extreme drought with thousands of gallons per day – sometimes five or 10 times the average household rate.
The first of two storms predicted this week brought some snow to the mountains and mostly modest amounts of rain as it moved through California on Monday, but some authorities were cautious about the potential for mudslides and debris flows. The storm descended through the San Francisco Bay Area in the morning and dropped snow in the Sierra Nevada, where travel was hobbled on Interstate 80 and U.S. 50. The relatively narrow storm band continued southward along the coast and also brought rain to the state’s Central Valley agricultural heartland.
Facing pressure from Gov. Jerry Brown, Southern California’s largest water agency could vote as soon as April on whether to take a majority stake in the twin-tunnels project Brown plans for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The fast-track timeline was disclosed Tuesday at a committee of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which heard a report from staff members about the benefits, risks and financing possibilities of the agency agreeing to pay the majority of the costs in a twin tunnels system.
A major storm system is forecast to slam into California from Alaska and Canada starting Wednesday night, bringing soaking rain to the Bay Area on Thursday and dumping up to seven feet of new snow to the historically dry Sierra Nevada by Saturday. But as welcome as the snow is during a very dry winter so far, it won’t be enough to return the Sierra Nevada — the source of 30 percent of California’s water supply — back to its average for the year, experts said Tuesday.
A cold winter storm that brought overnight rain and snow to Southern California had mostly cleared out by Tuesday morning but still presented a chance of brief showers and thunderstorms throughout the day, forecasters said. Parts of Los Angeles County received more than half an inch of rain late Monday, including the Puddingstone Reservoir in San Dimas, which received 0.57 inch, and the San Gabriel Dam in Azusa, which received 0.51 inch.