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OPINION: A New Water Tax? California Has A $21 Billion Surplus, Use That Instead

California has a record $21.5 billion surplus. That’s the good news. The bad news is that we have all that money because you are being overtaxed. Earlier this month, Gov. Gavin Newsom released his revised budget proposal, the largest in California history. At a staggering $214 billion dollars, the budget is larger than that of most nations and every other state. The budget also includes a new $140 million tax on water customers to help all Californians have access to clean water.

States Sign Short-Term Colorado River Drought Plan, But Global Warming Looms Over Long-Term Solutions

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

Fresh Rain And Light Snow Expected In San Diego County Tuesday Night

Another unseasonably cold Pacific storm will blow ashore late Tuesday night, bringing showers to the coast, heavier rain to inland foothills and valleys, and about one inch of snow to the top of Mount Laguna, says the National Weather Service. The storm will produce sporadic precipitation at the coast until Thursday, producing roughly 0.25 of rain in San Diego. About twice as much will fall in the upper foothills. It’s also possible that some south-facing slopes will get one inch of rain

 

OPINION: Climate Change Could Wipe Out L.A.’s June Gloom. Losing It Would Be Disastrous

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.

 

Want To Know If California Can Make Zero Emissions By 2045? Here’s What To Watch

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.

They Grow The Nation’s Food, But They Can’t Drink The Water

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.”

Interior Department Pulls Support From Klamath Dam Removal Project

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.

OPINION: When You Dream Of California, Does Water Come To Mind? It Should

On a summer day in the San Joaquin Valley, 101 in the shade, I merge onto Highway 99 past downtown Fresno and steer through the vibrations of heat. I’m headed to the valley’s deep south, to a little farmworker town in a far corner of Kern County called Lost Hills. This is where the biggest farmer in America—the one whose mad plantings of almonds and pistachios have triggered California’s nut rush—keeps on growing, no matter drought or flood. He doesn’t live in Lost Hills. He lives in Beverly Hills. How has he managed to outwit nature for so long?

NorCal Reservoirs Approaching Capacity With More Snow In Sierra

With more rain and snow in the forecast this week, managers continue to release water from Northern California reservoirs. Most lakes in the northern half of the state are approaching capacity with significant runoff still pouring in from the snowcapped Sierra crest. On Tuesday morning, Folsom Lake was at 95% of capacity and 118% of average for this time of year. The lake’s elevation was at 461.63 feet above sea level at 2 a.m. Tuesday, just 4.37 feet below the lake’s rim. Water was being released at nearly the same rate it was coming in to maintain the current water level.

Snow In May: Yosemite Looks Like A Winter Wonderland In The Middle Of Spring

“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.