During his first State of the State Address, Governor Gavin Newsom stated that he wants to downsize the Delta Tunnel Water Project along with the California water fix. Jim Madaffer from the San Diego County Water Authority was here to tell us more.
Archive for month: February, 2019
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When 2019 started, California’s snowpack was at 67%. Now it’s at over 136% and rising. The atmospheric rivers that are dumping rain along coastal California are also dumping massive amounts of snow in the state’s Sierra Nevada. Newly released photos from NASA, taken four days and a year apart, show how much snow has fallen. In its news release, NASA singled out Mammoth Mountain, which is now the snowiest ski resort in the United States, having received more than 37 feet since winter began. On its website, Mammoth Mountain says all that snowfall will allow the resort to stay open until the Fourth of July.
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.
Scientists call it California’s “other big one,” and they say it could cause three times as much damage as a major earthquake ripping along the San Andreas Fault. Although it might sound absurd to those who still recall five years of withering drought and mandatory water restrictions, researchers and engineers warn that California may be due for rain of biblical proportions — or what experts call an ARkStorm.
Ventura County’s main water supplier supports Gov. Gavin Newsom’s scaled-down Delta tunnel project, even though it’s been cut in half. Newsom said Tuesday in his State of the State address that he wants the twin-tunnel project — designed to re-engineer the troubled Northern California estuary that’s the hub of the state’s water-delivery system — reduced to a single tunnel. “I do not support the WaterFix as currently configured,” Newsom said. “Meaning, I do not support the twin tunnels. We can build, however, on the important work that’s already been done. That’s why I do support a single tunnel.”
A group of federal legislators from San Diego announced the allocation of $15 million today for water infrastructure improvements along the U.S-Mexico border. Legislators included the funding in a spending bill approved earlier this week and signed today by President Donald Trump. The $15 million will go to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s U.S.-Mexico Border Water Infrastructure program. Reps. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego, Scott Peters, D-San Diego, and Susan Davis, D-San Diego, as well as congressional representatives from border regions of New Mexico and Texas have sought funding for the program since last March.
The Metropolitan Water District last week re-upped its turf-removal program, providing greater incentives for homeowners to replace thirsty lawns with drought-tolerant plants. In Utah, the state’s Division of Water Resources is encouraging residents to use more water so it can justify spending $3 billion on a pipeline that will take more water from Lake Powell, which is fed by the Colorado River, a source of water for Southern California residents. This tale of two states brings up an interesting question: Is water conservation de rigueur or passé?
As water projects go, Sites Reservoir has always been the Sacramento Valley’s baby – a multibillion-dollar reservoir conceived by Valley farmers, carved out of a ghost town an hour north of the Capitol. Around the Valley, “Build Sites Reservoir” signs dot the roads along mile after mile of orchards and rice fields. But a funny thing has happened as the Sites project, designed as the largest reservoir built in California since the 1970s, pulls together its financing: It’s becoming much less of a Sacramento Valley venture. Over the past two years, scared off by the anticipated costs of storing water there, Valley agricultural irrigation districts have steadily reduced their ownership shares of Sites, giving way to water agencies from Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley.
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.
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.