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All Hope Dries Up

Again, it came down to fish, specifically Chinook salmon, that forced the proposed Temperance Flat Dam out of the race for Proposition 1 funding for building new water storage projects. For more than 20 years, the Temperance Flat Dam proposal was passionately advocated with unwavering support by Central Valley cities and the San Joaquin Valley Infrastructure Authority (SJVIA) who were behind the application. Temperance Flat came crumbling down Wednesday at the California Water Commission (CWC) meeting in Sacramento on the second day of discussion.

Santa Clara Valley Water District Delays $650 Million Vote On Brown’s Delta Tunnels Project

After a five-hour packed public hearing, the board of Silicon Valley’s largest water provider postponed a decision on whether to provide up to $650 million toward a $17 billion plan to build two giant tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to move water south. Although it appeared there might be four votes on the seven-member Santa Clara Valley Water District board in favor of Gov. Jerry Brown’s so-called WaterFix project, board members late Wednesday night were divided and continued the issue until 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Congressman: State Put Delta Tunnels Ahead Of Oroville Dam Spillway

Just days before the last repair work begins on the Oroville Dam spillway, the federal government is balking at whether or not it will pay for the repairs. Rep. John Garamendi (D-Davis) and Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Oroville) have been speaking with the Federal Emergency Management Agency for months to cover up to 75 percent of the repair costs, but have little to show for it. The agency is conducting a forensics study of the spillway but says it doesn’t have the legal precedent to reimburse repair costs from damage caused by deferred maintenance and design deficiencies.

Temperance Flat Reservoir Project Far From Key State Funding Despite Valley Backing

The California Water Commission on Thursday put in serious doubt the future of building a reservoir at Temperance Flat in east Fresno County. Meeting in Sacramento, the commission appeared to be headed toward preventing the massive water storage project to move forward. Commission members spent three days reviewing the public benefit portion of all 11 water projects seeking funding. Consideration of Temperance Flat began Wednesday and continued into Thursday evening. Commissioner Armando Quintero sympathized with the project organizers, but he said the project did not meet the technical requirements necessary.

‘Fairy Garden’ Makeover For Drought-Ravaged Yard

The front yard of the Point Loma home owned by Nina Ronstadt and Ken Klestinec once had a lush lawn and a cottage garden. But years of drought and limits on water use killed most of the plants. What was left, said Ronstadt via email, was “dried-up lawn and ugly dead landscaping.” She wanted to replace it with a meadow of drought-tolerant ground covers and a curving path, “but our 10-year-old daughter asked, ‘Where will I have a tea party?’ and ‘Where will our dog Cleo play ball?’” So, a circular patio area was added to the plan.