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Bay Area Rainfall: When Is It Coming And When Should We Start To Worry?

Normally between Oct. 1 and mid-November, if historical averages are any guide, the Bay Area has received nearly 2 inches of rain, and Los Angeles and Fresno each have received about an inch.

But so far this year? None.

To be sure, there was one-hundredth of an inch recorded in San Jose and San Francisco — about the thickness of a few sheets of paper — over the past six weeks. But nearly every city from Sacramento to Silicon Valley to San Diego is showing lots of zeros in the rainfall column for the first two months of California’s winter rainy season.

 

At Least 1,680 Dams Across The US Pose Potential Risk

On a cold morning last March, Kenny Angel got a frantic knock on his door. Two workers from a utility company in northern Nebraska had come with a stark warning: Get out of your house.

Just a little over a quarter-mile upstream, the 92-year-old Spencer Dam was straining to contain the swollen, ice-covered Niobrara River after an unusually intense snow and rainstorm. The workers had tried but failed to force open the dam’s frozen wooden spillway gates. So, fearing the worst, they fled in their truck, stopping to warn Angel before driving away without him.

Volunteer Opportunities At Water Agency Reservoirs In San Diego County

People around the world know the San Diego region for its beautiful setting along the Pacific Ocean. But visitors, and even many local residents, aren’t aware of the recreational activities available year-round at area reservoirs.

There are 24 reservoirs in San Diego County. Of these, there are 18 fishable lakes and some offer overnight camping. Popular activities also include boating, kayaking, hiking, and picnicking.

Lake Jennings Reservoir, east of El Cajon, is called a “hidden jewel.” Lake Jennings Recreation Manager Kira Haley admits she didn’t know much about the lake even though she grew up in nearby La Mesa.

Sonoma County Drills Wells To Study Groundwater Sustainability

The shallow wells Sonoma County’s water agency is drilling near 11 waterways have nothing to do with delivering water to 600,000 residents of Sonoma and Marin counties.

Instead, the 21 wells will serve as measuring sticks to determine whether pumping groundwater in the county’s three basins — the Santa Rosa Plain, Petaluma Valley and Sonoma Valley — is curbing the flow in creeks inhabited by federally protected fish and other species.

The $300,000 project is the latest consequence of a state law, enacted during California’s five-year drought, requiring long-term sustainability of underground water supplies that were heavily tapped during the prolonged dry spell.

California Says San Diego County Could Undermine State’s Landmark Plan to Rein In Greenhouse Gases

The stakes are rising in a legal battle over whether San Diego County will be able to approve thousands of new housing units in wildfire-prone areas far from urban job centers using carbon offsets.

The Sierra Club spearheaded the legal challenge last year with support from a host of environmental groups, such as the Center of Biological Diversity, as well as the San Diego-based Climate Action Campaign and Cleveland National Forest Foundation.

While county governments across the state came out early this month in support of San Diego County’s offset plan, Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s office simultaneously blasted the idea — saying it could undercut California’s internationally lauded strategy to reduce planet-warming emissions.

Orange County’s Pioneering Wastewater Recycling System Embarks on Major Expansion

Orange County’s wastewater recycling program, a pioneering idea that’s already touted as the largest of its type in the world, is about to get bigger.

Big enough, in fact, to serve the tap water needs of about 1 million residents, according to the Orange County Water District and Orange County Sanitation District. Dubbed the Groundwater Replenishment System, the project produces water that is half the price of imported water, and is virtually immune to both drought and reductions in imports.

Water Year 2020 Begins With Robust Reservoir Storage

Last winter was a bountiful one in terms of water supply for California, but it’s still too early to tell whether 2020 will be as generous. The 2018-19 winter was one for the record books, with above-average precipitation. Snow continued to fall in late-spring, with several inches or more in the Sierra Nevada and the Southern California mountains. Ski seasons were extended into May and June, delighting skiers and resort operators.

Tijuana and Rosarito to Ration Water Supply for the Next Two Months

Starting Monday, authorities in Tijuana and Rosarito will ration water for the next two months because of a limited supply, according to the Baja California Public Service Commission. Roughly 140,000 households and businesses in the border cities will go without water service for up to 36 hours every four days. The service disruptions will be spread throughout seven districts. Customers will receive a 24-hour notice whenever water services are shut off in their district, officials said.

Feds Set To Lock In Huge Water Contract For Well-Connected Westlands Water District

Westlands Water District, a sprawling San Joaquin Valley farm district with ties to the Trump administration, is poised to get a permanent entitlement to a massive quantity of cheap federal irrigation supplies.

Westlands is the first in line to permanently lock in its contract for Central Valley Project deliveries under a 2016 law. Other valley farm districts are expected to follow, but as the project’s biggest customer, Westlands arguably has the most to gain.

The deal would entitle Westlands to annual deliveries that are roughly double what the entire city of Los Angeles uses in a year.

2 Years After Spillway Crumbled, Lessons Learned At Oroville Dam

It is the tallest earthen dam in the country, standing at 770 feet. The central feature standing over the town of Oroville, the dam brings water and electricity to parts of the state using water from the Feather River.

Today, construction crews are still busy doing some final grading on work that has spanned more than two years. It all began in February 2017 when the main and emergency spillways were damaged. More than 180,000 people were forced to evacuate downstream from the dam.