The second and final phase of reconstruction continues at the Oroville Dam spillways. This year, contractor Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. is rebuilding the top 730-foot portion of the main spillway and using structural concrete to rebuild the walls and resurface the chute in the middle. A flight over the location last week during a break in Butte County Sheriff’s Office helicopter training exercise, showed that much original concrete at the top of the chute has been removed, along with the walls.
Archive for date: May 21st, 2018
Chris Sayer pushed his way through avocado branches and grasped a denuded limb. It was stained black, as if someone had ladled tar over its bark. In February, the temperature had dropped below freezing for three hours, killing the limb. The thick leaves had shriveled and fallen away, exposing the green avocados, which then burned in the sun. Sayer estimated he’d lost one out of every 20 avocados on his farm in Ventura, just 50 miles north of Los Angeles, but he counts himself lucky.
The high-ranking lawmaker who wants to block judicial review of a massive California water tunnels project calls his maneuver something close to standard operating procedure. And, like it or not, he’s right. In the latest example of a controversial tactic, the chairman of a key House panel included language blocking judicial review of California’s WaterFix project in a fiscal 2019 Interior Department funding package. The bill would also block court scrutiny of several gray wolf decisions.
“Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated” is a quote made famous by Mark Twain upon hearing rumors that he had died in 1897. This is the same thought that we had in reaction to news that the most important project for securing a long-term water supply for the Central Valley, the construction of Temperance Flat Dam, was not fully funded by the California Water Commission.
The last time California voters passed a statewide ballot measure to provide funding for parks, beaches, wildlife and forests, it was 2006. Arnold Schwarzenegger was in his first term as governor, Twitter was a fledgling app, and the iPhone hadn’t been invented yet. Since then, California’s population has grown from 36 million to 39.5 million — the equivalent of adding a new San Francisco, San Jose and San Diego.
Farmers receiving allocations from the State Water Project can expect a bigger allotment this year than they anticipated as recently as last month, thanks to late-season precipitation. The California Department of Water Resources announced Monday this year’s allocation has been raised to 35 percent of full distribution, or 1.48 million acre-feet of water statewide. (One acre foot is enough to cover one acre of land with a foot of water.)
A San Diego City Councilmember is looking to build a bridge of trust over the troubled water meter controversy. This after hundreds of customers came forward, claiming they were overcharged, some by hundreds of dollars for water they never used. In addition to complaints, NBC 7 Responds obtained public records showing property owners who filed claims for damages from the city, stating they were overcharged for water services.
As it tries to find ways to get more green energy, San Diego is studying spots to install new solar arrays across the city. Clean Coalition, a Menlo Park-based nonprofit, is spending the next year and a half looking for places that can host “meaningfully-sized” solar projects. The effort is paid for by a federal grant meant to help the city reach its goal of receiving only clean energy by 2035. Environmentalists have argued that smaller, local solar projects can help the city wean itself off power from big companies with big projects, like San Diego Gas & Electric.
A new threat to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and the San Francisco Bay is coming not from the governor’s mansion but from the U.S. House of Representatives. Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Corona (Riverside County), inserted language into the Interior and Environment Appropriations bill that would prohibit legal challenges to anything related to California WaterFix — the governor’s name for the twin tunnels project to move water from the delta to Southern California — not just retroactively but in perpetuity.
A congressman set off a legislative bomb in California’s water wars last week. Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Corona) inserted a rider into an Interior Department appropriations bill that would exempt from all judicial review the intensely contested Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta twin tunnels project. Passage of the rider — it’s scheduled for a House committee vote Tuesday — would mean that the water diversion scheme wouldn’t have to follow federal or state law. The project, known formally as California WaterFix, would bury two 35-mile-long, 40-foot-diameter tunnels beneath the delta.