Opinion: When Flooding Season Runs Into Fire Season

The state’s first notable wildfire of the year broke out a week ago in the San Bernardino National Forest, signaling the start of the fire season and creating an odd juxtaposition.

At about the same time, some 300 miles to the north, Yosemite National Park announced it was temporarily closing because of the threat from anticipated melting of the vast Sierra snowpack.

California, which has been battered by extreme weather for some time, is used to being whipsawed by the elements — though not quite like this past year.

Two Key Projects to Give Full Water Supplies to Farms

After a series of winter storms boosted California’s reservoirs and snowpack, state and federal officials are pledging full water deliveries, increasing 2023 allocations for farmers and water districts to 100% of requested supplies for the year.

With snowmelt occurring, the California Department of Water Resources said last week it expects to deliver 100% of requested water supplies from the State Water Project. That is up from a 75% allocation announced in March.

California’s Water Use Jumps 19% in March, the Highest Since 2015

A recent report shows Californians aren’t doing enough to conserve water, despite Governor Gavin Newsom’s request to reduce use by 15%. Newsom made that request in July of 2021.

Fast forward to now, and according to the State Water Resources Control Board, total water usage statewide decreased by just 3.7% between July and March compared to the same period two years ago.

DWP Customers in L.A. Face Two-Day-a-Week Water Restrictions, With Eight-Minute Limit

Nearly 4 million Angelenos will be reduced to two-day-a-week watering restrictions on June 1 under drought rules released by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power on Tuesday.

The highly anticipated announcement came two weeks after the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California called for the strictest-ever water cuts in the region due to worsening drought conditions and reduced supplies from the California State Water Project. The MWD action left many to wonder just how the rules would be applied in L.A.

Why Some SoCal Neighborhoods Face Dire Water Cuts While Others Escape Restrictions

Major water restrictions are about to take effect in areas ranging from Rancho Cucamonga to Thousand Oaks, and Baldwin Park to North Hollywood. But many nearby areas will escape the mandatory one-day-a-week watering limits — among them Santa Monica, Long Beach, Torrance and Beverly Hills. Why? The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California has targeted these first-ever water restrictions for areas that rely heavily or entirely on the State Water Project — a Northern California water supply that officials say faces a real risk of running dry. Areas that receive water from the Colorado River and other sources will be spared — at least for now.

With Dry Winter, California Readies Next Drought Actions

The Department of Water Resources plans to soon drop State Water Project allocations to 0%, following a temporary 15% bump after December storms. DWR Director Karla Nemeth outlined for the State Water Resources Control Board on Tuesday this and other coming actions.

DWR will resubmit a temporary urgency change petition (TUCP) to the board on Friday, after withdrawing the proposal in February. If approved, the emergency regulation will preserve stored supplies for critical human health and safety needs.

Los Angeles Is Building a Future Where Water Won’t Run Out

A helicopter whisks off a rooftop in downtown Los Angeles, climbs above a thin layer of haze and soars over barren mountains past the city’s edge. Soon, scars of climatic stress are evident to L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and Martin Adams, general manager and chief engineer of the city’s water and power department, as they peer out the windows. Trees torched years ago by wildfire. Flats parched by sun and little precipitation.

How Western Water Markets Are Changing Under Pressure

Water has been traded in the Western U.S. for decades, but as the region faces intensifying regulations, shifts in crops and drought concerns, water markets are evolving to reflect the changes.

“The idea of water moving between uses and large distances has changed over the last 30 years. In the last five years especially, there have been big changes,” said Matt Payne, principal with WestWater Research, a Boise-based economic consulting firm specializing in water market research, pricing and trading.

SWP Water Allocation Increased After December Storms

Last week the Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced it will be increasing allocations for the State Water Project. In a press release, DWR Director Karla Nemeth said that December storms have allowed the Department to convey and store water in the San Luis Reservoir. Those storms and additional water have enabled a modest increase in deliveries. The State Water Project (SWP) allocation has been increased to 15 percent of requested supplies for 2022.

Opinion: The Power of Water

Water made California.

The statement is often made about what is arguably the largest and most complex water transfer systems ever created by mankind — the California State Water Project — and its kissing cousin the federal Central Valley Project.