The citizens of Cape Town, South Africa are breathing a sigh of relief. “Day Zero,” when water taps for citizens and businesses shut off, had been projected to arrive in April. Restrictions on personal and agricultural water use have bought the city a reprieve. Yet a delay is not a solution. The city’s 4 million people, already constrained to 90-second showers and a meager 13 gallons of water a day, will eventually face a day of reckoning when the taps run dry.
Archive for date: June 7th, 2018
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A historic vote on the Delta tunnels project is getting a do-over. Southern California’s powerful water agency — the Metropolitan Water District — said Thursday its board will vote again in July on whether to pay for the lion’s share of the project, known officially as California WaterFix. The announcement comes after environmentalists and an open government group complained that Metropolitan directors violated the Brown Act before voting in April to support the tunnels. The Brown Act sets rules intended to prevent government boards from making decisions behind closed doors.
A judge denied a request Thursday by a federal water management agency for more time to evaluate the environmental impacts of California’s water transfer program that allows some water rights holders to sell water to parched farms in the southern part of the state. U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence O’Neill ordered the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to come up with its full environmental analysis of a 10-year water transfer program by the end of June.
Most Californians agree that clean drinking water is a human right, and that it is a fundamental function of state government to ensure access to safe drinking water. However, there is disagreement in the Legislature on how to pay for it. Some members believe that a new water tax should be passed to fund this effort, as supported by the Bee’s editorial board.
Phase two of Oroville Dam’s primary spillway reconstruction is now underway. The California Department of Water Resources conducted controlled blasts to demolish temporary concrete used so the primary spillway could withstand the wet season. With summer now approaching, structural concrete will be placed on the upper part of the 730-foot spillway and the walls. The emergency spillway will also have roller-compacted concrete, as well as a splash pad at the bottom. DWR said it is on schedule for the primary spillway to be complete by the self-imposed Nov. 1 deadline. The emergency spillway will be completed in early 2019.
Record heat returned to the United States with a vengeance in May. May warmed to a record average 65.4 degrees in the Lower 48 states, breaking the high of 64.7 set in 1934, according to federal weather figures released Wednesday. May was 5.2 degrees above the 20th century’s average for the month. Weather stations in the nation broke or tied nearly 8,600 daily heat records in May, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported. It hit 100 in Minneapolis on May 28, the earliest the city has seen triple digits. “The warmth was coast-to-coast,” said climate scientist Jake Crouch at NOAA’s Centers for Environmental Information.
Governor Jerry Brown signed two bills Wednesday that will place new restrictions on the amount of water you can use each day. KUSI was joined by Jeff Stephenson, a principal water resources specialist for San Diego County Water Authority with specifics on the laws and what it means for San Diego.
Water officials and members of Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration rushed to seal the deal on a multibillion-dollar plan to build two tunnels to move water south from Northern California partly out of fear that Gavin Newsom could undo the whole plan if he becomes governor, newly released documents show. In fact, the jockeying was so intense, watchdog groups have alleged the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California broke state open meeting laws when it approved the project two months ago, and now Metropolitan is planning to re-vote.
Is it suddenly illegal for Californians to take a shower and do laundry on the same day? And are Californians fleeing the state because of these “limits”? No. Seriously — no. A conservative columnist drew pushback and other reactions on social media on Wednesday when she made the declaration about ex-Californians in a column and tied it to a bogus claim that a new state law makes it illegal for people to shower and do their laundry on the same day.
San Diegans are you ready for a WaterFix? Maybe you’d like water that is more reliable and tastes better? It’s on its way, but there are a few more approvals needed before this can happen, according to Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s General Manager Jeffrey Kightlinger. The project, called California WaterFix, is expected to modernize the state’s decades-old water delivery system by building three new water intakes in the northern Delta and two tunnels to carry the water under the Delta to the existing aqueduct systems in the southern Delta that delivers water to cities and farms.