Californians with unhealthy drinking water pleaded for help from lawmakers this week but opposition quickly developed to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposal to pay for system improvements with a new fee. “We just upped our water rates, and to turn around and give them a tax on their meter is just not feasible,” said Maxine Israel, director at the Cabazon Water District, which serves about 2,500 customers near Palm Springs.
Archive for date: February 7th, 2019
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On Wednesday, NASA and NOAA announced that 2018 was the fourth hottest year on record. But the impacts of a warming planet extend beyond just warming air; the feverish state of the planet is also changing when, where, and how intensely rain and snow fall. And 2018, the reports say, was the third-wettest year since 1895, when steady record-keeping began. Overall, the U.S. got 4.68 inches more precipitation in 2018 than the 20th-century average, but that rain and snow was not anywhere close to evenly distributed across the country. In the eastern half, several states, like North Carolina and Virginia, blew past their previous precipitation records, while most of the western U.S. remained mired in drought.
Thursday marks two years since the first hole opened up in the Oroville Dam Spillway, triggering an emergency that forced the evacuation of nearly 200,000 people. The crisis started on February 7, 2017. The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) had been releasing 60,000 cubic feet of water per second, when they noticed the concrete on the spillway began to disintegrate. That first day, the hole was 30 feet deep by 180 feet wide.
From the Bay Area to Los Angeles, it was a day to gaze upon snow-capped peaks, acknowledge that yes, California does have a winter, and share a photo or two on social media. And don’t expect the alpine glory — caused by a series of cold storms that dropped snow levels dramatically — to disappear soon. Wet weather will kick back up again Friday for large swaths of the state, which could bring hazardous conditions for drivers.
Low-income Californians can get help with their phone bills, their natural gas bills and their electric bills. But there’s only limited help available when it comes to water bills. That could change if the recommendations of a new report are implemented into law. Drafted by the State Water Resources Control Board, the report outlines the possible components of a program to assist low-income households facing rising water bills.
A notice published recently in the Federal Register is not sitting well with Imperial Irrigation District. That notice, submitted by the Department of Interior through the Bureau of Reclamation and published on Feb. 1, calls recommendations from the governors of the seven Colorado River Basin state for protective actions the Department of Interior should take in the absence of a completed drought contingency plan. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman set a deadline of Jan. 31 for states to complete and approve a DCP.