The state government’s decision to provide $18 million to fund preliminary work on state and federal approvals for the long-anticipated San Vicente Energy Storage Facility — advocated by the San Diego County Water Authority and the city of San Diego — makes the $1.5 billion project significantly more likely to come to pass. The great news is that the “pumped hydro” facility at the San Vicente Reservoir near Lakeside will strongly shore up available energy supplies at night after solar power is no longer directly available.
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In Fort Bragg on the Mendocino Coast, city leaders are rushing to install an emergency desalination system. In Healdsburg, lawn watering is banned with fines of up to $1,000. In Hornbrook, a small town in Siskiyou County, faucets have gone completely dry, and the chairman of the water district is driving 15 miles each way to take showers and wash clothes.
As drought conditions continue throughout Butte County, the Department of Water Resources is currently projecting that the surface water level of Lake Oroville could reach an all-time low of 640 feet above sea level by October or November.
As of Thursday, Lake Oroville’s surface water level was 648.47 feet above sea level. When full Lake Oroville’s surface water level is 900 feet above sea level.
Concerning news about Utah’s extreme drought keeps coming. On Wednesday, Utah’s Department of Natural Resources said the drought continues to have “a stranglehold on the state,” despite wild weather swings that dumped rain in some areas. Washington Post Columnist David Von Drehle recently wrote an opinion piece about the drought gripping the West. He spoke with KUER’s Pamela McCall about the situation.
Climate change projections show the Central Valley will see more hot, dry years like 2021, but also some dangerously wet years as well.
This year has already seen high temperatures, drought and high fire risk for Central Valley residents, and Jordi Vasquez, environmental scientist for the California Department of Water Resources, said climate models show the Central Valley heating up 6 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century.
Well-known local radio DJs Geena the Latina from Channel 93.3, Beto Perez from Jam’n 95.7 and Tati from Star 94.1, are teaming up with the San Diego County Water Authority this summer to thank San Diegans for using water wisely and are encouraging residents to keep our region drought-safe.
The City of Oceanside announced the Oceanside Ratepayer Relief Program in response to financial hardships of the pandemic. The program will launch Monday, August 2, 2021, and will offer a one-time credit to eligible customers who are behind on their utility bill.
At the start of the global pandemic, Oceanside suspended late fees and water shutoffs; the Ratepayer Relief Program is going one step further to support customers. Funding for the program comes from a $2.3 million settlement received by the City as a result of litigation between the San Diego County Water Authority and the Metropolitan Water District that challenged rates charged for the delivery of water from 2011 to 2014.
In Santa Clara County, lawns are dry, a reservoir is nearly empty, and water restrictions are mandated. After two winters with very little rain — and San Jose’s driest year in 128 years of record keeping — the county is marked by one of the worst droughts in modern history.
Santa Clara County’s experience of drought is set apart from the rest of the state by a myriad of issues — less water from the Sierra Nevada, the effect of human-caused climate change on water supplies, and a case of incredibly bad luck.
The state’s severe drought is transforming the landscape of our streams, lakes and reservoirs as the supply of water is depleted day by day.
The changes at Uvas Reservoir in the hills above Morgan are readily apparent. The waterline has receded significantly as the footprint of the reservoir shrinks.
Officials with jurisdiction over about 80% of California’s power grid say the state faces a grim outlook as summer heat, wildfires and a severe drought intensify.
“When you step back, I think many of us are really recognizing now that climate change and these extreme heat waves happening in the earlier parts of the summer now have forced all of us to do things that we really never imagined just a few years ago,” Elliot Mainzer, president and CEO of California’s Independent System Operator, said recently.