Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti believes his city is poised for a “second Mulholland moment.” William Mulholland was responsible for the construction, over a century ago, of the 200-mile-long aqueduct to Owens Valley that helped drive L.A.’s growth. In a recent op-ed, Garcetti wrote, “we have launched a second opportunity to reimagine our water infrastructure.” But this time it will take place closer to home. The city announced a plan in 2015 to reduce imported water 50 percent by 2025 and produce half of the city’s water supply locally by 2035.
Archive for month: March, 2018
You are now in San Diego County category.
Despite a dismal start to the rainy season, recent storms have helped to ease fears of water shortages across California during the upcoming drier months. The extended fire season and unusually dry start to the winter may have worried many residents about the state’s water supply for the dry season. California has a distinct wet and dry season. After the wet season typically peaks between December and March, the state relies on reservoirs and melting snow from the mountains for its water supply in the drier months that span late spring to the fall.
California’s drought-to-deluge cycle can mask the dangers Mother Nature can have in store. During one of the driest March-through-February time periods ever recorded in Southern California, an intense storm dumped so much rain on Montecito in January that mudflows slammed into entire rows of homes. Hundreds of homes were damaged or destroyed, and at least 21 people died.
There was not a cloud in sight on this winter morning as surfers rode the waves south of the U.S. border fence, off of Playas de Tijuana. Anna Lucía López Avedoy stood on the street above, focusing instead on the stream pouring from a storm drain, splashing down a small rocky cliff, trickling down the sand and finally into the Pacific Ocean.
Two tunnels, one or none? The question continues to swirl around plans to perform major surgery on the sickly heart of California’s water system. Confronted with a shortage of funding, state officials announced last month that they would move ahead with the construction of one giant water tunnel under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta rather than two. But the announcement did little to settle the fate of the project, which Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration considers vital to sustaining water deliveries to one of the country’s richest agricultural regions and the urban sprawl of Southern California.
Saying desalination will guarantee the drinking water supply for future generations of Baja California residents, Gov. Francisco Vega de Lamadrid on Friday celebrated a groundbreaking ceremony for a desalination plant envisioned as the largest in the Western Hemisphere.
A series of supercharged storms that blasted the Sierra in March has bolstered the snowpack that was alarmingly low before the start of the month. The National Weather Service (NWS) in Sacramento tweeted Saturday that the water content of the snowpack has more than tripled in the past month. On Feb. 22, an average of 4.6 inches was measured and on March 23 an average of 15.5 inches was recorded, going from 16 percent to 56 percent of the April 1 average.
The Trump administration is pushing for a $1.3 billion expansion of the 602-foot Shasta Dam in Northern California even though state officials are dead set against it, according to the Los Angeles Times. Plans include a vertical expansion the equivalent of two stories, although California state law prohibits an increase to the dam’s current height. The dam is on federal land, but similar projects in the past have deferred to state law in the permitting and construction processes.
The San Diego County Water Authority is planning to co-sponsor a nationwide contest to advance leak- and corrosion-detection technologies for large-diameter pipelines. The competition runs through May 8 and includes a $75,000 prize provided by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. The Water Authority is helping to design the competition and providing judges to identify new approaches to detecting problems with pipelines. Corrosion and leaks result in billions of gallons of wasted water annually, the authority said.
The State Water Board is updating the water quality plan for the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta. This plan sets flow and water quality standards for the Delta and its watershed, affecting water supply to more than 25 million Californians and millions of acres of Central Valley farmland. Parties that would be affected by this plan – water suppliers, fish and wildlife managers, environmental nonprofits – are negotiating voluntary agreements to present to the board for consideration.