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100-Year-Old Shasta County Dam Creating Conditions of ‘Extreme Peril’

With winter rains on their way, officials worry a dam that creates a small lake 17 miles west of Redding could collapse, inundating downstream homes with up to 20 feet of water if sediment and debris clogging two outlet pipes is not cleared.

Two 30-inch outlet pipes at Misselbeck Dam have been clogged with silt and debris since last summer, forcing water from Rainbow Lake to flow over the top of a deteriorated 100-year-old spillway, said Charles Tucker, president of the Igo-Ono Community Services District, which owns the dam.

Heavy Rains May Prompt San Diego to Lower Water Level in Lake Hodges

San Diego officials announced Friday that they may release water from the Lake Hodges Reservoir near Rancho Bernardo this winter if rainfall pushes the water level above where it is permitted under state regulations.

The California Division of Safety of Dams has determined that the water level in the reservoir should no longer go above 295 feet, which is 20 feet below the spillway elevation — a formal term for the top of the dam.

Water Authority Moves to Advance Settlement Over MWD Rates

The San Diego County Water Authority’s Board officers Thursday thanked the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California for making a public offer to settle litigation over MWD’s rates, and directed staff to take the following actions:

  • Schedule special Board meetings in December and January to expedite the process in hopes of reaching a conclusion in early 2020; and
  • Draft a durable, public and mutually beneficial settlement offer for review by the Water Authority Board; and
  • Invite MWD General Manager Jeff Kightlinger to discuss settlement with the Water Authority Board and schedule a reciprocal visit by Water Authority General Manager Sandy Kerl to MWD’s Board.

Reservoir Project in California Aims to Store Recycled Water

A reservoir and water dam project aiming to store recycled water is on track, according to water management officials.

The Santa Margarita Water District gave a tour of the Trampas Canyon Reservoir and Dam on Saturday, Nov. 16. Construction began in January 2018 and is expected to finish by 2020.

The dam and reservoir are south of Ortega Highway on land acquired from Rancho Mission Viejo. The reservoir is intended to hold 1.6 billion gallons of recycled water.

Sandra L. Kerl Appointed General Manager of San Diego County Water Authority

The San Diego County Water Authority Board of Directors approved a contract with Sandra L. Kerl to be the new general manager of the region’s wholesale water agency, following a months-long national search. The Board approved the contract in open session during its regular monthly meeting Nov. 21 at Water Authority headquarters.

Kerl fills the position vacated by longtime General Manager Maureen Stapleton, who retired in March. She has served as the agency’s acting general manager since Stapleton’s departure, working closely with the Board to lead a staff of approximately 250 employees at offices in Kearny Mesa, Escondido, the Imperial Valley and Sacramento.

After Wet Winter, Why is Tijuana Running Low on Water?

Water shutoffs aren’t uncommon in the growing cities of Tijuana and Rosarito. But they’re rarely announced beforehand, and they’re often isolated to certain neighborhoods after pipes or pumps fail.

Earlier this month, however, Tijuana officials announced that it was planning wide-ranging shutoffs for the next two months, in an attempt to replenish a vital reservoir that is perilously low.

Opinion: California Rejects Federal Water Proposal, Lays Out its Vision for Protecting Endangered Species and Meeting State Water Needs

California’s water policy can be complex, and—let’s be honest—often polarizing.

Water decisions frequently get distilled into unhelpful narratives of fish versus farms, north versus south, or urban versus rural. Climate change-driven droughts and flooding threats, as well as our divided political climate, compound these challenges.

We must rise above these historic conflicts by finding ways to protect our environment and build water security for communities and agriculture. We need to embrace decisions that benefit our entire state. Simply put, we have to become much more innovative, collaborative and adaptive.