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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

Risk Level Raised On Integrity Of Dam In Southern California

Federal engineers are raising alarms that a “significant flood event” could compromise the spillway of Southern California’s aging Prado Dam and potentially inundate dozens of Orange County communities from Disneyland to Newport Beach. After conducting an assessment of the 78-year-old structure this month, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it is raising the dam’s risk category from “moderate” to “high urgency.” “Our concern right now is about the concrete slab of the spillway and how well it will perform if water were to spill over the top of the dam,” said Lillian Doherty, the Army Corps’ division chief. “We will determine whether or not it is as reliable as it should be.”

Siren Songs Of The Salton Sea: Ideas Abound To Fix State’s Largest Lake. But some say It’s Too Late

Wade Crowfoot, California’s new secretary of Natural Resources, remembers the first time he saw the Salton Sea. He was in his early 30s, headed south to visit his cousin in El Centro, when he saw “this huge body of water next to this stunning, stark landscape, with great mountains to the west. It captivated me.” Jeff Geraci’s impressions of California’s largest inland water body are quite different. For 14 years, as the Regional Water Quality Control Board’s senior environmental scientist, he’s coordinated Salton Sea inspections. “The sea is a repository for sewage, industrial and slaughterhouse discharges and agricultural wastewater,” he wrote in an email, describing wading through rotting fish and partially dissolved bird carcasses, all while pesticide-tainted water still pours in.

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: 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.

Late Spring Storm Drops Snow On Southern California Mountains, More On The Way

Just a month before the official start to summer, some mountain residents awoke Monday morning to a wintry scene, and snow and rain showers are predicted for much of the week. But just how rare is this late-in-the-season dusting? “We weren’t shocked,” said Brenda Norton, co-owner of the Broadway Cafe, 1117 W. Big Bear Blvd., on Monday morning. “We always get snow usually around Mother’s Day, so this is pretty normal.”According to the National Weather Service, the Big Bear area saw a dusting of snow in early May last year May 2, to be exact. About an inch and a half fell at that time.

 

Rain Returns To Southern California And Another Storm Is Coming Tuesday

Pay no mind to the fact that Memorial Day is around the corner — winter is here again. Across California, yet another May storm on Sunday brought cool temperatures and rainfall throughout Southern California, hail in the Bay Area and even snow in the Sierra. “This is May gray on steroids,” said Bill Patzert, a local weather expert and former climatologist with Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “Usually by this time of year, we’re done, but this meandering jet stream has been persistent through the spring, and it’s given us four times our normal rainfall.”