Feds want to raise dam, expand reservoir to improve water reliability State officials, environmental groups say plan violates California law A plan to raise and expand California’s largest reservoir is on hold as federal officials look for partners to share in the $1.4 billion cost. The federal Bureau of Reclamation also must grapple with opponents who have sued, saying the Shasta Dam project violates state law. The bureau has long-pushed to raise its 602-foot Shasta Dam by 18.5 feet and enlarge the reservoir by 630,000 acre-feet, saying it would increase water supply reliability and reduce flood risks. An acre-foot is about 326,000 gallons of water.
Archive for date: August 12th, 2019
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Six talented elementary school students were recognized on August 7 by the Otay Water District Board of Directors as the winners of the District’s “Water is Life” Student Poster Contest. As one of the Otay Water District’s educational programs, the contest offers an opportunity for students to showcase their creativity while reflecting on the importance of using water efficiently in their daily lives. Students were encouraged to illustrate the value of water used both inside and outside the home as an informational poster intended to educate others. “We’re proud to offer students this opportunity to have fun and be creative, while at the same time thinking and learning about water conservation,” said Otay Water District General Manager Mark Watton.
A six-man crew from East County will be making a trek to help the Paradise Irrigation District in northern California. Four field employees from Helix Water District and two from Padre Dam Municipal Water District will leave Aug. 18 and spend five days in the Butte County town of Paradise, which was gutted last November when the Camp Fire scorched more than 150,000 acres and burned down nearly every building in town, about 19,000 structures. At least 85 people died with dozens more injured in the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history. As it recovers and rebuilds, safe drinking water is one of Paradise’s major challenges.
A hot spell will bring warm temperatures Tuesday throughout San Diego County, with even hotter temperatures expected in the deserts in the next few days. A high pressure system moving in from Texas will bring a rise in temperatures through Wednesday in coastal and inland valley areas and through Thursday in the county mountains and deserts, according to the National Weather Service. The weather service issued an excessive heat warning that will last from 11 a.m. Wednesday through 9 p.m. Thursday for desert areas. A heat advisory will also be in effect during that same time period for the inland valleys, including El Cajon, Santee and Escondido.
After more than a year of meetings with government officials from communities around the region, the city of San Diego has invited seven cities and unincorporated areas of the county to join forces and create a community choice energy program that would offer an alternative to San Diego Gas & Electric. The city made the offer earlier this month in a memo to city governments in Chula Vista, La Mesa, Santee, Encinitas, Carlsbad, Del Mar and Solana Beach as well as the County of San Diego. The memo included an attachment that contained a detailed look at how the area’s first foray into what is called Community Choice Aggregation, or CCA, would be established and how it would run.
At his inaugural Speaker Series on July 15, California Secretary for Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot led a discussion on restoring local wildlife species and habitats by reactivating floodplains. The Secretary’s Speaker Series provides a public discussion on emerging ideas and priorities in the natural resources arena. It is an opportunity for Secretary Crowfoot and a diverse panel of experts to inform the public on plans to improve the environment through science and policy. “So much in water policy in the state can be characterized as conflict; fish versus farm, urban versus rural, north versus south. One important priority of Governor Newsom is to try to break through that old paradigm to find ways that work across different stakeholder groups,” Crowfoot said…
The Colorado River has experienced decades of over-allocation of its waters, making it harder to address the added challenges that climate change is bringing. The recently adopted Drought Contingency Plan (DCP) was an important step toward addressing the basin’s chronic water shortages, but more work is needed to prepare for a hotter, drier future. We talked to Doug Kenney—director of the Western Water Policy Program at the University of Colorado and a member of the PPIC Water Policy Center research network―about managing the basin for long-term water sustainability. Kenney organized a conference in June that covered these issues in depth.
Del Mar is optimistic that its rejection of “managed retreat” for adapting to sea-level rise will be accepted by the state Coastal Commission, City Councilman Dwight Worden said last week.
“Rejecting managed retreat is central to our plan, and having the coastal staff agree with our position is very significant and encouraging,” Worden said by email.
Managed retreat can take several forms. In some cases, a public agency will buy coastal structures and move or demolish them to leave open space for the advancing ocean.
The water beneath a large swath of Phoenix isn’t fit to drink. A plume of toxic chemicals has tainted the groundwater for decades, and it’s now at the center of a bitter fight over how the aquifer should be cleaned up and what should happen to the water in the future. At issue are questions about why the cleanup has proceeded slowly, which government agency should lead the effort, and whether the polluted water, which isn’t flowing to household faucets, is releasing chemicals into the air at levels that may pose health risks for people in the area.