Hyatt Powerplant Not Expected to Go Offline This Year

Back in 2021 the Hyatt Powerplant was taken offline because of historically low water levels.

DWR announced that the plant is expected to stay online through 2022. On Monday, the lake level was at 693 feet elevation whereas the level had dropped to 628 in September 2021.

The plant is capable of generating 714 megawatts when the lake is at full capacity.

California Drought Pits Farmers vs. Cities. But Neither is the Biggest Water Victim

As California fast approaches what is likely to be a fourth year of punishing drought, residents are being asked to cut their water use to historic lows. But while city dwellers are rising to the occasion — including record reductions in Los Angeles in August — urban consumption still represents only a small fraction of total water use in the state.

Where the rest of it goes depends on whom you ask. The California Department of Water Resources says 50% of the state’s water goes toward environmental purposes, 40% toward agriculture and 10% toward urban areas.

UCSB Scientists See the End of ‘Normal’ Climate

In August, Governor Gavin Newsom and officials from the Department of Water Resources released a new Water Supply Strategy, saying that because of California’s “hotter, drier climate,” the state needed to find at least 10 percent more water to supply its farms, cities, and industry by 2040.

“We are experiencing extreme, sustained drought conditions in California and across the American West caused by hotter, drier weather,” states the plan. “Our warming climate means that a greater share of the rain and snowfall we receive will be absorbed by dry soils, consumed by thirsty plants, and evaporated into the air.”

OPINION: Gavin Newsom Can Stop Water Projects From Drowning In Red Tape

Earlier this month, the California Department of Water Resources announced a new round of funding for desalination projects in the state. Six million dollar grants will be made available for new projects that help expand the Golden State’s fresh water supply. The move comes on the heels of a new water initiative Governor Gavin Newsom has launched to address California’s historic drought.

Desalination is the process of removing salts and other minerals from ocean or brackish water, thereby making water safe to be consumed or used for agriculture or other needs. A 2019 study estimated there are just under 16,000 desalination plants in operation worldwide, spread across 177 countries. It’s a rapidly growing industry, with reverse osmosis technology in particular behind much of the capacity growth in recent years (see figure).

What the Western Drought Reveals About Hydropower

The relentless Western drought that is threatening water supplies in the country’s largest reservoirs is exposing a reality that could portend a significant shift in electricity: Hydropower is not the reliable backbone it once was.

Utilities and states are preparing for a world with less available water and turning more to wind and solar, demand response, energy storage and improved grid connections. That planning has helped Western states keep the lights on this summer even in severe drought conditions.

California’s Water Year is Nearly Over. Here’s Where Our Reservoirs Stand Amid Drought

With California about to experience perhaps the hottest and driest start to September in its modern history, 16 of the state’s 17 major reservoirs entered the month below their historic average levels — several of them well below average, in another daunting reminder of California’s extraordinary ongoing drought and water concerns.


Opinion: California Can’t Waver on Water Regulation

Over the past decade, California has gone from being the state with the least groundwater regulation to adopting a law that serves as an international model. How the state implements its landmark groundwater law during California’s worst drought on record could inform global climate change adaptation practices for generations.

The Golden State has one shot over the course of the next 20 years to bring its depleted aquifers into balance and achieve sustainability. Californians are counting on the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act to get the state there.

World Water Week is an annual event focusing on water issues hosted by the Stockholm International Water Institute. It focuses on exploring new ways of managing water and addressing challenges facing agriculture, technology, biodiversity, and climate change. Graphic: Stockholm International Water Institute World Water Week 2022

World Water Week 2022: Partnership Video Illustrates Value of Groundwater

A new video illustrating the role and the value of groundwater has been released by the Vallecitos Water District.

“The Value of Water: Groundwater” was produced for World Water Week 2022 through a collaboration with the Vallecitos Water District, the California Department of Water Resources, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency WaterSense.

World Water Week is from August 23 through September 1. World Water Week is an annual event focusing on water issues hosted by the Stockholm International Water Institute. It focuses on exploring new ways of managing water and addressing challenges facing agriculture, technology, biodiversity, and climate change. This year’s theme is “seeing the unseen, and the value of water.”

Vallecitos Public Information Representative Alicia Yerman, who produced the video, said the goal was to depict the 2022 World Water Week theme. DWR provided photography, and both DWR and EPA WaterSense experts advised on the video and reviewed it for accuracy.

Groundwater is a vital resource

“California’s groundwater basins are a critical part of the state’s water supply, especially during a severe drought like the one we’re currently experiencing,” said Paul Gosselin, Deputy Director of the Sustainable Groundwater Management office at the California DWR. “However, since groundwater is out of sight, it tends to be out of mind for most people. We appreciate Vallecitos Water District’s efforts to educate the public about this vital resource during World Water Week.”

Use water wisely

“It’s so important for people to understand where their water comes from because it helps motivate them to value and use it wisely,” said Veronica Blette, EPA WaterSense program manager.  “This new Vallecitos Water District video highlighting the hidden treasure of groundwater and other videos they have produced do a great job of showing why water is important and how people can preserve and protect it.”

 World Water Week 2022 video   

Groundwater helps sustain California’s ecosystems, supports agriculture, fuels the economy, and reduces the impacts of drought and changing climate. Groundwater accounts for 40% of the state’s total annual water supply in normal years and almost 60% in drought years. DWR developed California’s Groundwater Live featuring the latest groundwater information, live statistics, and a series of interactive dashboards accessed through its website.

In 2019, VWD began using video to document the district’s workforce and infrastructure improvements on its social media platforms. The water district has also engaged the public with discussions of critically important water management issues. It has won multiple awards for its work. The Vallecitos Water District also offers live video of its board meetings and other public discussions on its YouTube channel.

(Editor’s note: The Vallecitos Water District is one of the San Diego County Water Authority’s 24 member agencies that deliver water across the metropolitan San Diego region.)

California County Sees 11 New Dry Wells Reported in Past Month

As summer begins to wind down, the dry weather that has plagued California this year continues, leading to a number of new drought-related issues.

Over the course of the past 30 days, 11 new dry well reports in Butte County have been sent to the California Department of Water Resources. That comes out to 39 in the past year and 98 total.

Additionally, Glenn County has seen 105 total dry well reports and Tehama County has reported 229, according to data from DWR.

Vallecitos District Logo

Vallecitos Board Declares Level 2 Drought Alert

San Marcos, Calif. – California’s drought, which seemed to be retreating after soaking storms in both October and December, is now all but certain to continue into a third year after the driest January and February in recorded history. The record-breaking dry period and the absence of significant rains in March have required the State Department of Water Resources to reduce anticipated deliveries from the State Water Project to 5 percent of requested supplies. While the state continues to take necessary actions to help extend the state’s existing water supply, state agencies are asking all Californians to do their part now to conserve as much water as possible to make it last.