The South San Joaquin Irrigation District season is starting March 10 although board members added an asterisk to that decision. Restrictions on water allocation as the irrigation season unfolds loom as a possibility especially if March ends up being mostly dry. The board last week was guided by the conservative outlook the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration posted for its California and Nevada River Forecast that includes the Stanislaus River watershed that the SSJID relies on to make deliveries to farmers irrigating 52,000 acres around Manteca, Ripon, and Escalon as well as deliver drinking water to Manteca, Lathrop, and Tracy.
California water managers are pinning their hopes on the month of March to turn around a below-average water year. Many California reservoirs are still well below average as we start, what typically is, the last big wet month of the season. Folsom Lake has 345,609 acre feet of water between its shores — just 64% of where it should be for this time of year and just over a third of the lake’s capacity.
January 28, 2021 – A major construction project to improve drinking water supply reliability in North County will start in February after the San Diego County Water Authority’s Board of Directors today approved an $11.4 million contract for the work to Pacific Hydrotech Corporation of Perris, Calif.
A valve at the base of the Loveland Dam near Alpine was opened Monday, allowing billions of gallons of water to thunder down the valley toward Sweetwater Reservoir in Spring Valley. “It’s a spectacle that is hard to forget,” said Hector Martinez, Chairman of the Sweetwater Authority “Very powerful! I almost feel the ground shaking when the water is being released.” The gushing valve is a sight to behold, and thanks to the massive transfer, South Bay water customers might be looking at their water bills with similar amazement.
Sweetwater Authority began a controlled transfer of water between its two reservoirs Monday to bolster a low water level in one of them. Water that leaves Loveland Reservoir south of Alpine will be transferred over the next several weeks through the Sweetwater River channel and captured at Sweetwater Reservoir where it can be treated and distributed to authority customers at a lower cost than importing water. Loveland Reservoir is more than 70% full, while Sweetwater Reservoir’s level is at 20% of capacity.
The Santa Clara Valley Water District has been lowering the water level on the Anderson Dam since Oct. 1 to keep the region safe from potentially catastrophic flooding in the event of a major earthquake.
The Anderson Reservoir can hold up to 90,000 acre-feet of water and is now at three percent capacity, which is the lowest feasible level given the position of the existing outlet tunnel. At its current level, even a heavy rainy season would not pose dam failure and flooding risk; keeping some water in the reservoir helps preserve some wildlife habitat. Beyond immediate safety, one of the main reasons for lowering the water level is to allow for construction to begin on a major seismic retrofit project for the dam. The reservoir has been closed for recreational use since October and is expected to remain shuttered for the duration of the project.
A $3 billion pumped-water energy storage project has been proposed along Isabella Lake that would help even out power delivery from California solar and wind farms at a volume and longevity dwarfing the large battery installations envisioned for eastern Kern.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is reviewing a Walnut engineering company’s plan to create a new reservoir above the lake then use pumps and underground pipes to turn it into a rechargeable dam and hydroelectric generator putting out a whopping 2,000 megawatts of power for up to 12 hours at a time.
After the signatories to the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement officially recommitted to removing four dams on the Klamath River last month, local politicians brought up concerns with Oregon, California and PacifiCorp committing more funds to the project.
For 60 years, Miramar Reservoir has been an integral part of the City of San Diego’s drinking water system and offers San Diegans a popular recreational area. Now, the reservoir is being called into service to play a vital part in San Diego’s future Pure Water system to sustain a reliable water supply.
The City of San Diego is commemorating the 60th anniversary of Miramar Reservoir, its role in the region’s history, and the part the reservoir will play in the future.
Lake Jennings, the Helix Water District reservoir in Lakeside, is one of San Diego County’s hot spots for trout fishing, ranked second in the county by SDFish.com. The 2020 fall trout fishing season got underway on November 20, with enthusiastic anglers enjoying safe outdoor recreation with pandemic precautions in place.
“It’s one of those family activities people can do right now,” said Kira Haley, Helix Water District recreation manager.