California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced this week his plan to downsize the Delta twin tunnels project, a controversial $17 billion water conveyance system aimed at diverting water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to the Central Valley and Southern California. The tunnels are intended in part to reduce the impacts that massive pumps at the south end of the Delta currently have on Delta hydrology and ecosystems.
Archive for date: February 14th, 2019
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In satellite images, the farm fields in central Arizona stand out like an emerald green quilt draped across the desert landscape. Seeing it from the ground level, the fields of alfalfa, corn and wheat are interspersed with the furrows of freshly plowed fields. After the cotton harvest, stray fluffy bolls lie scattered on the ground like patches of snow. A large share of the water that flows to these fields comes from the Colorado River, and the supply of water is about to decrease dramatically.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s effort to distance himself from his predecessor’s priorities sowed confusion about the fate of the state’s bond-funded high-speed passenger train project. In his first State of the State speech Tuesday, Newsom took aim at high-speed rail and water tunnel projects championed by former Gov. Jerry Brown. He created confusion about high-speed rail when he said he wanted to prioritize construction on the already underway Bakersfield to Merced segment in the state’s Central Valley. The initial impression was that Newsom planned to scrap the San Francisco and Los Angeles ends of the project to leave the shortened Bakersfield-Merced line.
San Diego’s Sustainable Landscapes Program ranked among the most effective landscape transformation programs in the nation in a study released today by the Chicago-based Alliance for Water Efficiency. The “Landscape Transformation Study: 2018 Analytics Report” compiled data from 14 similar landscape conservation programs in the U.S. and Canada. The Alliance for Water Efficiency concluded that San Diego program participants reduced water use by an average 114.8 gallons per day, or 34.8 percent. “The Water Authority has established a high benchmark for landscape transformation programs that include rigorous program requirements that result in the achievement of multiple benefits,” according to the report.
A fierce winter storm packed with subtropical moisture continued its destructive path across California on Thursday, triggering widespread flooding that prompted evacuations and unleashing a mudslide that sent one home sliding into another in Marin County. Southern Marin fire officials said the mudslide dislodged the home from its foundation and pushed it down a hill before it slammed into another residence shortly before 3 a.m.
A Pacific storm supercharged by moisture from the subtropics slammed San Diego County on Thursday, flooding streets, snapping trees, closing schools, causing rock slides and delaying commercial airline traffic. The “atmospheric river” streamed ashore from east of Hawaii and dropped more than 10 inches of rain on Palomar Mountain, more than 6 inches in Julian and close to 3.5 inches in Oceanside. The system produced one of wettest winter days in decades, breaking daily rainfall records in seven communities, including Palomar. The mountain received 10.10 inches, snapping the record of 9.58 inches, set on Feb. 14, 1991. Ramona got 4.05 inches, nearly 2 inches higher than a record set in 1995.
Riverside County officials Thursday urged residents in Idyllwild and surrounding areas to shelter in place due to “unsafe” road conditions as torrential rain inundated Southern California, turning tunnels into lakes and streets into rivers. Anyone living in the areas of Idyllwild, Mountain Center, and Pine Cove were urged to shelter in place or head to Idylllwild School at 26700 Highway 243, according to Cal Fire. Highway 243 near Lake Fulmore, north of Idyllwild, was “washed away” by the storm, according to California Highway Patrol.
The worst of the rain, snow, and winds carried by the so-called Pineapple Express, a river of warm air loaded with moisture, will hit California on Thursday and stick around at least through Friday, forecasters said. The weather system, headed east from near Hawaii, is the wettest storm on the U.S. West Coast this season. It has swamped cars, flooded vineyards and forced hundreds of Californians to evacuate their homes Wednesday to escape the threat of mudslides. Three Delta Air Lines passengers suffered minor injuries when severe turbulence shook a flight headed from southern California to Seattle on Wednesday, according to authorities.
A big plume of moisture from the sub-tropics has dropped nearly 6 inches of rain on Palomar Mountain, caused flooding in the Fashion Valley Mall area, and generated strong winds that are shaking commercial jets during takeoffs and landings at San Diego International Airport. Through 6 a.m. Thursday, the winds had hit 37 mph at the airport, 48 mph at Scripps Pier and 69 mph on Palomar Mountain. SeaWord will remained closed throughout the day. The storm intensified before dawn and is unleashing heavy rain countywide, causing hazardous driving and bringing a regional flood advisory that will be in effect until 10:30 p.m.