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One Of California’s Most Important Assets Is Off To Great Start This Year

California’s Sierra Nevada, the state’s increasingly crucial reservoir, is off to a well-above-normal snowpack to begin the wet season. Many of the peaks are seeing double the normal amount of snowpack compared to early-December averages. Several systems, including the disturbance that became Winter Storm Carter, have dumped feet of snow in the Sierra since late November. Snowfall totals ranged from three to five feet of snow in Carter alone. You can see the difference between a rather wimpy late November snowpack and the early December blanket of slow from the Sierra eastward below.

Jerry Brown’s New Water Deal Is Not Certain

Water supply is clearly the most important long-term issue affecting California’s future. It’s also the most politically complicated. Incremental changes in California water policy typically take years, if not decades, to work their way through seemingly infinite legal, regulatory and political processes at federal, state and local levels — and the conflicts often are over the processes themselves.

The Surprise Reincarnation Of Owens Lake

A century ago, Los Angeles pulled a sensational swindle. Agents from the city posed as farmers and ranchers and strategically bought up land in the lush Owens Valley, 200 miles to the north. Water rights in hand, the thirsty metropolis proceeded to drain the region via a great canal.

Series Of Pacific Storms Raises Hopes For A Wet El Niño Season

Southern California was in the midst of its fourth rain event of the season this week and with another expected next week, some experts believe the arrival of the weather phenomenon known as El Niño could be imminent. While it may be too early to link the Pacific storms to El Niño, the federal Climate Prediction Center’s El Niño “diagnostics discussion” could make the call next week on Dec. 13.

Tiny Salamanders Could Stand In The Way Of Massive Dam Raising Project

A trio of tiny salamanders could stand in the way of a massive $1.4 billion project to raise the height of Shasta Dam. An environmental organization has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, asking a judge to force the federal agency to make a determination on whether three salamander species living around Lake Shasta should be protected under the Endangered Species Act.

San Diego County Crews Prepare For Next Bout Of Rainfall

More rain arrived in San Diego Wednesday, less than a week after a storm swept through the county, leaving some areas flooded and city crews preparing for the wet weather. In Coronado, on First Street, crews worked to clear pipes near the shoreline. This is a large reason for flooding in the area. Public Services Director, Clifford Maurer, says flooding comes after sand and sediment gets into the storm drain from the high tides.