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Four U.S. Water Stories to Watch in 2021

Now that the calendar has flipped to January 2021, it’s time to say goodbye to the mess of the past year, yes? The baggage from 2020 was discarded, left behind at the station when the clock struck midnight, right? Appealing as that might be, the answer is no. Far from being in the rearview, the upheaval of the last year will set the stage for the next 12 months and beyond.

January Outlook: Wetter & Warmer for Most of the Nation

Happy new year! We all know keeping New Year’s resolutions is often a fruitless endeavor, but here’s hoping that Mother Nature will make—and keep—a resolution for a less bonkers climate year in 2021. To kick start 2021 in the United States, the January outlook from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center favors wetter- and warmer-than-average conditions for much of the country, which is particularly good news across drought- and wildfire-stricken parts of northern California.

FEMA Ranks Los Angeles County as Riskiest in the Nation; Riverside, San Bernardino Counties in Top 10

Los Angeles County is the riskiest county in the country according to a new risk index – and Riverside and San Bernardino counties are not far behind.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Risk Index looked at 18 kinds of natural disasters, such as coastal flooding, drought, landslides, tsunamis, earthquakes, wildfires, strong winds, volcanic activity and heat and cold waves. The ranking also takes into account economic damage and the community’s ability to recover from a disaster.

Harnessing Rice Fields to Resurrect California’s Endangered Salmon

California’s salmon populations have been dangerously close to extinction for decades. A new partnership may help tip the scales toward recovery.

TUD Efforts to Acquire PG&E Water Rights and Infrastructure ‘Still On Track’

Tuolumne Utilities District efforts to acquire water rights and infrastructure from Pacific Gas and Electric Co. were slowed by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, but TUD’s general manager said Tuesday that negotiations with the utility giant are “still on track,” and he is optimistic an agreement could be reached this year.

Oceanside Gets Ready to Paint Its Future with General Plan Update

Oceanside is pushing to complete a comprehensive update of its General Plan in 2021, the first overall revision since the plan was created in the 1970s.

San Diego’s Climate Challenges Will Still Be Here in 2021 – and Beyond

Climate concerns took a bit of a backseat in 2020. These are the local plans and problems that policymakers might turn their attention to in 2021.

California is Scrambling to Avoid Blackouts. Your Refrigerator Could Help

Sometime next summer, there’s a decent chance a heat wave will bake the American West, and California’s power grid will again be stretched to its limits. As the sun sets, solar panels will start generating less electricity even as temperatures remain high. Power plants that burn natural gas will fire up as quickly as possible, in a race to keep air conditioners blowing and avert the need for rolling blackouts.

Vanderlaan Named LAFCO Chair, Reappointed to New Term

Bonsall resident Andy Vanderlaan will chair the 2021 meetings of San Diego County’s Local Agency Formation Commission, and he was also reappointed for another four-year term on the LAFCO board.

One 8-0 LAFCO vote Dec. 7 reappointed Vanderlaan as LAFCO’s public member. A separate 8-0 vote elected Vanderlaan as the LAFCO board chair for 2021 while electing County Supervisor Jim Desmond as the vice-chair for the 2021 meetings.