Groundwater depletion is a big problem in parts of California. But it is not the only groundwater problem. The state also has many areas of polluted groundwater, and some places where groundwater overdraft has caused the land to subside, damaging roads, canals, and other infrastructure. Near the coast, heavy groundwater pumping has caused contamination by pulling seawater underground from the ocean.
Archive for date: October 10th, 2018
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If temperatures increase in California because of climate change, snow could melt earlier in the Sierra Nevada — and you might only find it at higher elevations. In a study released this week a UC Irvine team found that if winter temperatures increase by 1 degree Celsius, it will lead to a 20 percent jump in the likelihood of below-average snow accumulation in the high country.
After years of stop-and-go talks, California and two other states that take water from the lower Colorado River are nearing an agreement on how to share delivery cuts if a formal shortage is declared on the drought-plagued waterway. Under the proposed pact, California — the river’s largest user — would reduce diversions earlier in a shortage than it would if the lower-basin states strictly adhered to a water-rights pecking order. California’s huge river take would drop 4.5% to 8% as the shortage progressed.
Gov. Jerry Brown has named four San Diegans to various boards, including three to the San Diego River Conservancy Governing Board. The three are Benjamin Clay of San Diego, Clarissa Falcon of Bonita and Elsa Saxod of San Diego, the governor’s office said Wednesday. The state Legislature created the San Diego River Conservancy in 2002 to preserve the San Diego River area and, in turn, the residents and wildlife that are directly affected by the river’s conservation. The governing board is composed of local, state and federal officials and currently has 13 members, 11 of whom vote on board matters.
Hemet has filed a federal lawsuit against Dow Chemical and Shell Oil seeking reimbursement for the cost of removing a cancer-causing chemical from the city’s water wells. According to its Sept. 21 suit, the contaminated wells have been tainted by TCP, a “highly toxic substance” used until the 1980s to fumigate soil where crops were grown. The solvent’s chemical name is “1,2,3-trichloropropane.” Hemet Mayor Michael Perciful said low levels of the chemical were discovered in two wells during routine tests at least six months ago.
There’s going to be a new governor in California next year – and a host of challenges, both old and new, involving the state’s most vital natural resource, water. So what should the next governor’s water priorities be? That was one of the questions put to more than 150 participants during a wrap-up session at the end of the Water Education Foundation’s Sept. 20 Water Summit in Sacramento.
California voters may be feeling a sense of deja vu when they consider Proposition 3, an $8.9 billion water bond on the November ballot to fund a long list of water projects — from repairing Oroville Dam to restoring Bay Area wetlands to helping Central Valley farmers recharge depleted groundwater. Didn’t the voters recently approve a big water bond? Maybe two of them? Yes. And yes.