Representatives from seven states along with federal water managers met at the Hoover Dam Monday to sign a historic agreement on how to deal with the ongoing drought in the West. The Drought Contingency Plan has been years in the making – and it’s not been an easy road. Negotiations were difficult, especially for the states who will have to cut back their use of this most precious resource. Brenda Burman is the commissioner for the Bureau of Reclamation. She admitted there were times where it seemed an agreement wasn’t going to happen, but water managers eventually came together.
Archive for date: May 20th, 2019
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The Colorado River just got a boost that’s likely to prevent its depleted reservoirs from bottoming out, at least for the next several years. Representatives of seven Western states and the federal government signed a landmark deal on Monday laying out potential cuts in water deliveries through 2026 to reduce the risks of the river’s reservoirs hitting critically low levels. Yet even as they celebrated the deal’s completion on a terrace overlooking Hoover Dam and drought-stricken Lake Mead, state and federal water officials acknowledged that tougher negotiations lie ahead
For many of us in Southern California, the marine layer is a lifesaver. Those low decks of clouds — you might know them as June Gloom or May Gray — roll in off cool, ocean waters, shading coastal regions and cooling beaches and West Side cities even as the Inland Empire scorches. Now, we may be losing them. A new study by a Caltech climate scientist and two colleagues suggests those familiar low decks of stratus clouds could eventually become a casualty of the increasing CO2 emissions that are warming the planet.
“It was surreal.” As an unseasonal winter storm blanketed Yosemite with snow Sunday, people took to social media to share their awe. Photos from the Yosemite Conservancy’s webcam show El Capitan shrouded in fog and a dusting of snow atop Half Dome. Videos and photos posted to social media show thick snowflakes coming down and conditions that look out of place for late spring. “Sometimes Mother Nature has a plan of her own. Like snowmen in May in your hiking vacation in Yosemite!” said one Instagram user, who posted a photo of her child making a snowman near Tenaya Lodge.
California plans to reach 60% renewables by 2030 and a zero emissions economy by 2045 as its investor-owned utilities (IOUs) face wildfires and bankruptcy, new and unproven electricity providers proliferate and customers demand a decentralized energy system. What could go wrong? The key to success is eliminating natural gas as an electricity resource, stakeholders told Utility Dive. To do that, the state must make one fundamental change at the local level and another at the transmission system level.
Just a month before the official start to summer, some mountain residents awoke Monday morning to a wintry scene, and snow and rain showers are predicted for much of the week. But just how rare is this late-in-the-season dusting? “We weren’t shocked,” said Brenda Norton, co-owner of the Broadway Cafe, 1117 W. Big Bear Blvd., on Monday morning. “We always get snow usually around Mother’s Day, so this is pretty normal.”According to the National Weather Service, the Big Bear area saw a dusting of snow in early May last year May 2, to be exact. About an inch and a half fell at that time.
Water is a currency in California, and the low-income farmworkers who pick the Central Valley’s crops know it better than anyone. They labor in the region’s endless orchards, made possible by sophisticated irrigation systems, but at home their faucets spew toxic water tainted by arsenic and fertilizer chemicals. “Clean water flows toward power and money,” said Susana De Anda, a longtime water-rights organizer in the region. She is the daughter of lechugueros who worked in lettuce fields and helped make California one of the agricultural capitals of the world. “Homes, schools and clinics are supposed to be the safest places to go. But not in our world.”
The Moulton Niguel Water District has agreed to pay $4.8 million to settle a 3-year dispute with South Orange County Wastewater Authority, which processes a portion of the district’s wastewater, according to a settlement agreement released Monday. Moulton Niguel wanted to terminate funding obligations for a treatment plant run by the wastewater authority, the Coastal Treatment Plant, because the water district has rarely needed the sewage capacity since signing a use-agreement in 1999. Instead, it has been able to rely on other plants and has said its customers shouldn’t have to pay for something they didn’t use.
The Trump Administration has withdrawn the previous administration’s support for the removal of four dams on the Klamath River in Southern Oregon and Northern California. Recently-appointed Interior Secretary David Bernhardt has rescinded a letter of support that Obama-era Interior Secretary Sally Jewell wrote in 2016. Jewell’s letter threw the agency’s weight behind the plan to take out four Klamath River dams to help threatened salmon and other fish. Matt Cox is with the Klamath River Renewal Corporation, the non-profit formed to implement the dam removal agreement. He says rescinding Jewell’s letter has no legal effect.