States that rely on the Colorado River for their water supplies are currently unable to finish a series of agreements that would keep its biggest reservoirs, Lake Mead and Lake Powell, from dropping to levels not seen since they were filled decades ago. Five states — Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming and Nevada — are done. The country of Mexico has also completed its portion. But California and Arizona failed to meet a Jan. 31 federal government deadline to wrap up negotiations and sign a final agreement.
Archive for date: February 6th, 2019
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Water from drinking fountains at a local elementary school tested for lead levels higher than district-mandated limits, officials announced. Parents at Juarez Elementary School in the Serra Mesa area were notified of the test results in a letter this week. District officials noted that the lead levels discovered actually fell below state and national legal requirements, but failed to meet the more stringent standard enforced by San Diego Unified School District. Federal law requires lead levels under 15 parts per billion, while the district enforces a limit of less than 5 parts per billion. Six different water outlets at Juarez Elementary, including five drinking fountains and one faucet, tested above the 5 ppb requirement.
When you hear about a category five hurricane, you know it can be deadly. Now meteorologists have created a new scale to track the strong winter storms that slam the west coast. The new system could help give more people warning and ranks some of our past storms. Northern California is no stranger to strong storms that cause flooding, levee breaks, and mudslides. In the past, they’ve been known as a pineapple express, and more recently they’ve been dubbed atmospheric rivers. Now scientists have developed a new scientific scale to track them.
During a town hall meeting in November 2017, the Delta Caucus co-chairs state Sen. Bill Todd (D-Napa) and Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-Discovery Bay) opined for more legislative oversight pertaining to the California WaterFix project. Last week they took a step in that direction. Todd introduced Senate Bill (SB) 204, which would require the Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the Delta Conveyance, Design and Construction Authority (DCDCA) to submit information about pending State Water Project contracts to the legislature for public review prior to those agencies moving forward with work on the Delta Tunnels.
Imagine Lake Tahoe with no snow year round. Every winter storm that reaches the basin brings only rain. No skiing. No snowboarding. No winter sports of any kind. As unpleasant and uncomfortable a thought it is, Tahoe is staring at a drastically different future. A dramatic decline in the Sierra Nevada snowpack will be felt the most in Northern California by mid century, according to a study published in December 2018 by the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).
Valley Center Municipal Water District (District) has been advised by its wholesale supplier, that from 8 a.m. February 23, through 8 p.m. March 5, the treated water aqueduct that delivers water to the majority of the District will be shut down to accommodate inspections, maintenance and repairs by the San Diego County Water Authority. As a result, water flow to the District will be severely restricted and the water remaining in storage will be the only water available only for domestic use and fire protection during the shut-down.
The Bureau of Reclamation released the Biological Assessment for the re-initiation of consultation on the coordinated long-term operation of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project. The document was transmitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service for consideration in developing new biological opinions covering CVP and SWP operations. Reclamation and the California Department of Water Resources re-initiated consultation in 2016 based on new information related to multiple years of drought and ongoing science efforts.
At the Carmel Valley Community Planning Board’s Jan. 24 meeting, the board approved a large-scale storm flow storage and multi-pollutant treatment system in the Ashley Falls neighborhood as part of the city’s water quality improvement strategies. The project, located at the corner of Carmel Knolls and Pearlman Way, includes the construction of three reinforced concrete storm drain pipes for low-flow collection and a shallow biofiltration basin.The system will capture pollutants and stormwater runoff to protect the Los Peñasquitos Creek subwatershed.
The rain and even a bit of snow keep on coming. Except for a 10-day dry spell at the end of January, the San Francisco Bay Area has seen a series of drenching winter storms that have watered gardens, fueled waterfalls, recharged reservoirs, and diminished the possibility of the ever-dreaded drought. In fact, all of California has been slammed with an onslaught of unsettled weather unleashing heavy snow and rain. There are some areas in Southern California such as Ventura and Kern counties where more rain has fallen in the past week than in all of last year.
Snowcapped mountains are pretty typical in California — just not the peaks that got dusted this week. A series of storms has brought a rare wet winter to the state, sending snow levels plunging and creating some surreal scenes Californians won’t soon forget: blankets of white covering vineyards in Napa Valley. Plows clearing California 17 between Santa Cruz and San Jose. Peaks in the San Francisco Bay Area with an alpine feel. Even San Francisco’s Twin Peaks got a light dusting.