Less than a year after Gov. Jerry Brown declared the end of a statewide drought in April 2017, people are conserving less water and California’s water systems are once again vulnerable to drought. Following an unusually dry winter, water conservation this year has fallen far below the mandated levels during the state’s recent multiyear drought, resulting in a combination of factors that may potentially lead to another drought.
Archive for date: March 15th, 2018
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The Trump administration is pushing forward with a colossal public works project in Northern California — heightening the towering Shasta Dam the equivalent of nearly two stories. The problem is that California is dead-set against the plan, and state law prohibits the 602-foot New Deal-era structure from getting any taller. But in these times of unprecedented tension between Washington and California, the state’s objection to this $1.3-billion project near the Sacramento River is hardly proving a deterrent.
Wet roads greeted San Diegans for the morning commute on Thursday as the second in a series of winter storms dumped rain on many parts of the county. The National Weather Service said the showers will be ending this morning with just a few showers lingering along the coastal mountain slopes this afternoon. Additional rainfall amounts will be light, according to the NWS. The storm responsible for the rainfall has brought cooler weather to the region with slightly below-average temperatures expected through Friday.
The San Diego County Water Authority is expecting to save approximately $100,000 per year with commercial-scale batteries installed at the agency’s solar-powered Twin Oaks Valley Water Treatment Plant near San Marcos. The energy storage system is designed to reduce operational costs at the facility by storing low-cost energy for use during high-demand periods when energy prices increase. The batteries were installed at no charge to the agency as part of an agreement with Santa Clara-based ENGIE Storage, formerly known as Green Charge.
The San Diego County Water Authority will save approximately $100,000 per year with commercial-scale batteries installed at the agency’s Twin Oaks Valley Water Treatment Plant near San Marcos. The energy storage system is designed to reduce operational costs at the facility by storing low-cost energy for use during high-demand periods when energy prices increase. The batteries were installed at no charge to the Water Authority as part of an agreement with Santa Clara-based ENGIE Storage, a division of ENGIE North America, formerly known as Green Charge.
Southern California’s soggy week will continue Friday with another rainstorm that is expected to stretch into the weekend, the National Weather Service said. A storm that is expected to drop about a quarter-inch of rain along the coast and up to three-quarters of an inch in the local mountains should arrive Friday night and bring showers through Saturday afternoon, said weather specialist Stuart Seto.
State Parks workers were pulling cable up a launch ramp at Bidwell Marina Thursday because the water level in Lake Oroville is on the rise. March’s storms have brought the lake level up almost 13 feet since the start of the month, according to the Department of Water Resources website. As of 2 p.m. Thursday the surface was just over 738 feet above sea level, up almost 3 feet in the previous 24 hours.
Travel in the upper foothills and mountains is expected to be seriously affected Friday as a snowstorm blankets the Sierra Nevada. Whiteout or near-whiteout conditions are predicted in the mountains until the National Weather Service’s winter storm warning expires at 11 p.m. Friday. Homewood Mountain Resort and Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows each reported 16 inches of snow Wednesday, bringing them up to 34 and 28 inches, respectively, since the first of two storms began Monday night. Kirkwood, Tahoe Donner and Sierra-at-Tahoe have reported 2 feet of so far this week.
It seemed like the sort of thing any drought-wary Californian could support. The state’s water cops were poised last month to pass a set of rules prohibiting what most everyone agrees are wasteful water uses –like letting water from a hose without a nozzle flow into a storm drain. But no change in California water policy ever comes easily. The State Water Resources Control Board’s proposal to impose permanent conservation rules – such as prohibiting hosing down driveways, watering lawns less than two days after it rains and washing a car without attaching a shut-off nozzle to the hose – ran into a cascade of opposition.