While the 2017 fire season was a perfect storm culminating five years of drought, a heavy rain year and a hot summer, the 2018 fire season has already begun. This year, with the relatively light snowpack, CalFire officials are keeping a close eye on elevations above 6,500 feet that have already begun to dry out.
Archive for date: June 19th, 2018
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Don’t call them the weather gods, but this company can actually make it rain. North Dakota-based Weather Modification International uses planes to target clouds and draw out more rain from them. The concept, called cloud seeding, has been around for decades. But there is new urgency due to climate change and a rapidly growing global population, which have disrupted global water supplies.
A project underneath Long Beach Airport that will transform stormwater runoff into drinking water received $7.5 million Tuesday, June 19, from Los Angeles County supervisors. “Every time it rains, we lose millions of gallons of drinkable water by allowing it to run into the ocean,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “Innovative projects like this mean we can capture rainwater and use it to replenish our local water supply.”
A new map-based tool was released Monday allowing parents of students in California public schools to see if their child’s school has been tested for unsafe lead levels in drinking water.
On June 23, 1988, a sultry day in Washington, James Hansen told Congress and the world that global warming wasn’t approaching — it had already arrived. The testimony of the top NASA scientist, said Rice University historian Douglas Brinkley, was “the opening salvo of the age of climate change.” Thirty years later, it’s clear that Hansen and other doomsayers were right. But the change has been so sweeping that it is easy to lose sight of effects large and small — some obvious, others less conspicuous.
California irrigation districts that supply water to farms are required by state law to annually report to the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) the amount of water actually delivered to farmers’ fields. However, as of 2017, only 12 percent of the state’s largest irrigation districts had turned in all of the required reports, and 28 percent never turned in any report. What’s more, DWR has not monitored or enforced compliance with this reporting requirement. There is effectively no accurate or complete documentation of drought response from the agricultural sector during California’s driest consecutive years in the historical record, stretching from 2012 to 2016.
West Sacramento’s recent decision to accept greater responsibility for maintaining levees and drainage systems along the Sacramento River has some residents worried that the city could be swamped financially if the area floods. The West Sacramento City Council voted 4-1 last month to begin a process that would convert an independent district in charge of levee management into a subsidiary of West Sacramento, and allow the council to replace the district’s board of directors with appointees or the council members themselves. Reclamation District 900 has operated independently since 1911, managing 13.6 miles of levees that provide flood protection along the Sacramento River.
The California budget doesn’t include it, but Gov. Jerry Brown is not done pushing for a new charge on water users, which would fund clean drinking water in rural areas of the state that currently have unsafe tap water. About a dollar a month for most users would help pay for clean tap water for 200,000 Californians in such communities. Passage of the charge would require approval by two-thirds of state lawmakers.