Following nine years of research, a California agency has proposed to increase water flows in the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary. But the decision is causing contention between farmers and fisheries. The California State Water Resources Control Board says the proposal will prevent an ecological crisis, including the total collapse of fisheries. About 70,000 fall-run Chinook salmon adults returned to the San Joaquin Basin in 1984, but that number fell to just 8,000 in 2014.
Archive for date: July 31st, 2018
The way environmental activists in California’s Delta region tell it, there is no part of government in this state more arrogant than the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. The huge MWD, supplier of water to the majority of the state’s populace, is certainly acting the part as it pushes for a project Gov. Jerry Brown is trying to make an irreversible fait accompli before he leaves office at the end of this year.
The calendar says it’s the first of August. But an unforgiving early wave of heat means that California’s landscape feels as dry as September, igniting a deadly wildfire season up and down the state. Hot and dry as a powder keg, recent weather has accelerated the normal drying of western landscapes, turning vegetation into kindling, say weather experts. Even nights are warm. “Fuels are really really dry. It’s closer to what we should get by late summer or early fall,” said professor Craig Clements, director of the Fire Weather Research Lab at San Jose State University.
San Diego County didn’t escape the extreme weather happening around the planet in July that produced massive fires above the Arctic Circle, a deadly heat wave in Japan, and a 124 degree day in Algeria believed to the highest temperature ever recorded in Africa. The county had it’s own set of remarkable temperatures that stressed both plants and people. The city of San Diego had its hottest July in a dozen years and its fifth hottest since 1874. The month was 5 degrees warmer than normal, and the 96 degrees recorded on July 6 was the third highest reading ever seen in July.
The northern Sacramento Valley was well on its way to recording the hottest July on record when the Carr fire swept into town Thursday. It was 113 degrees, and months of above-average temperatures had left the land bone-dry and ready to explode. Within a few hours, hundreds of structures were lost and six people killed.