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‘The Storm Door is Open,’ Bay Area Weather Officials Warn

On-and-off rain for the better part of a week is expected to continue Tuesday and Wednesday in the Bay Area, but a larger storm will likely swamp the region starting Thursday, officials said.

A weather system from the Northwest and coast is expected to bring rain to areas that have not been affected as much by the recent storm, such as San Jose and Redwood City, according to the National Weather Service.

Fresno Ties Rain Record, Merced Hit Even Harder – and More Wet Weather is on the Way

Fresno tied an almost 70-year-old single-day rainfall record Sunday — while areas north of the city like Merced were hit even harder, according to the National Weather Service.

Sunday’s rainfall in Fresno exactly matched the Dec. 1, 1952, high of .78 inches of rain.

“They tied it to the hundredth,” said Jim Dudley, a NWS meteorologist. “Right on the nose.”

New Agricultural Water Rate Program Benefits San Diego County Growers

The San Diego County Water Authority Board of Directors Nov. 21 approved a new and permanent Special Agricultural Water Rate program structure that offers lower water rates to farmers in exchange for lower water supply reliability.

Unlike the current temporary program, the structure of the new water rate program will let new participants join as a way to strengthen the region’s multi-billion-dollar agriculture industry.

San Diego County Water Authority Special Agricultural Water Rate program

New Agricultural Water Rate Program Benefits San Diego County Growers

The San Diego County Water Authority Board of Directors Nov. 21 approved a new and permanent Special Agricultural Water Rate program structure that offers lower water rates to farmers in exchange for lower water supply reliability.

Unlike the current temporary program, the structure of the new water rate program will let new participants join as a way to strengthen the region’s multi-billion-dollar agriculture industry.

New ag water program rates will be determined in the spring of 2020 as part of the Water Authority’s annual rate-setting process. The program will take effect January 1, 2021, replacing the current program that sunsets at the end of 2020. Additional program details, such as the signup process and qualifying criteria, also will be developed early next year.

Special water rate program supports regional farm economy

Farmers and growers who participate in the new program will continue to receive a lower level of water service during water shortages or emergencies, allowing the Water Authority to reallocate those supplies to commercial and industrial customers, who pay for full reliability benefits.  In exchange, participating farmers are exempt from fixed water storage and supply reliability charges. Under the current temporary program in 2020, participants will pay $1,231 per acre-foot for treated water, while municipal and industrial users will pay $1,686 per acre-foot.

“Creating a permanent program will benefit all regional water users,” said Water Authority Board Chair Jim Madaffer. “It helps farmers sustain their operations – and thousands of jobs – while providing a benefit to residential and commercial water customers in the event of future water supply reductions.”

San Diego County leads nation in production of nursery crops and avocados

“Every farmer in the county supports the special rate,” said Hannah Gbeh, executive director of the San Diego County Farm Bureau. “The agriculture community stands ready to provide significant water cutbacks in times of need, such as drought or emergency repairs.”

San Diego County is unusual among major metropolitan areas in the United States because it includes one of the nation’s most valuable and productive farm sectors adjacent to one of the nation’s largest cities.The region sustains 3.3 million people and a $231 billion economy thanks to decades of regional investments in water supply reliability projects, including the nation’s largest seawater desalination plant and the biggest conservation-and-transfer agreement in U.S. history.

Input from growers and farmers for agricultural water rate program

The Water Authority has provided lower-cost water to growers in exchange for lower reliability since October 2008, when the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California phased out a similar program. Since that time, the temporary Water Authority program has continued with a series of extensions set to expire at the end of 2020.

The new program was developed by the Water Authority’s Fiscal Sustainability Task Force, which is assessing a variety of issues to ensure the agency’s long-term financial health. Regional farming leaders provided input to the task force on the parameters of the new program.

Colorado Rethinks Dam Safety as Climate Change Heightens Risk for State’s 27 “Unsatisfactory” Structures

A climate-driven shift toward extreme storms has compelled Colorado officials to rethink the safety of hundreds of dams across the state that hold water and mine waste, including 27 high-hazard structures near people that already are listed as deficient.

They’re trying to calculate the potential for sudden hard rain resulting in flooding and accelerated erosion that could trigger fatal collapses.

What is an Atmospheric River and Why Should Southern Californians Keep Their Umbrellas Handy?

A new storm fed by the first atmospheric river of the season is expected bring rain to Northern and Central California beginning Saturday, and cause significant travel delays and hazards for Thanksgiving travelers returning home on Sunday, the National Weather Service said.

Based on predictions of its water vapor transport capacity, this atmospheric river is classified as moderate to strong.

New General Manager Appointed by San Diego County Water Authority Board of Directors

After serving for eight months as the acting general manager of the San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA), Sandra L. Kerl has been appointed as the new general manager of the water agency following a national search by the SDCWA’s Board of Directors (BOD). The water agency’s BOD approved Kerl’s contract last week during its regular monthly meeting.

Storm to Set Up ‘Firehose Effect’ With Rain, Mountain Snow in California

A storm currently along the California coast is loaded with moisture and will slam the northern part of the state with inches of rain and yards of snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains during the first couple of days of December.

The storm will be double-barreled in nature with the first part set to slam Northern California into Monday afternoon. The second phase is likely to focus on Southern California during Tuesday night and Wednesday.