Endangered Species Found in Central Calif. Creek for First Time After Dam Removal

It’s been just over a year since a century-old dam was removed from Mill Creek, a tributary that runs through the Santa Cruz Mountains in Central California. Now, scientists say the creek is already beginning to show signs of revitalization — including an unexpected discovery.

Aquatic ecologists with the Sempervirens Fund, one of the conservation groups that co-owns the 8,532-acre forest known as San Vicente Redwoods, found 12 juvenile steelhead trout and 15 federally endangered coho salmon fry swimming in the creek last month. It was the first time the latter species had ever been recorded there. v

Threat Of Drought Wiped Off California Map After Soaking Storms

What a difference a couple storms make.

The recent onslaught of soaking rains and snowy days has wiped the threat of drought off the California map.

The latest federal Drought Monitor Map, a way to measure drought that’s mainly used in agriculture, shows only 3.5 percent of the state as “abnormally dry” with a tiny sliver of yellow on the California-Oregon border. Only a week ago, 85 percent of the state was yellow.

Even Though The Rain Felt Endless This Winter, It Actually Wasn’t That Wet

It’s official: This week, San Francisco surpassed what’s normal for the water year, and the rainy season isn’t over yet. The city measures 23.65 inches of rain on average in a water year, which runs from October 1 to September 30. After a round of light showers on Monday, the downtown gauge’s water-year total hit 23.69 inches. With more unsettled weather in the forecast, that number is bound to inch up even more in April and May, before holding steady through the summer months. While this season has stood out in many people’s minds as noteworthy and painstakingly rainy, “it’s just a normal year,” said Jan Null, a consulting meteorologist with Golden Gate Weather Services.

California’s Water Infrastructure To Be Tested This Spring As Massive Winter Snowpack Melts Away

As waterlogged storms repeatedly pounded California this winter, social media was filled with variations on a distinct photo theme. The subject was a freshly-plowed road, wedged in between towering white walls of snow measuring 10, 20 feet tall. As long as vehicles had safe passage, a wintry trench would be fine – that snow had to go somewhere, after all. But with an early-spring heatwave in the forecast, it’s time to start thinking about what a massive amount of snowmelt will mean for the state – that water has to go somewhere, after all.

Details Of Newsom’s Drinking Water Tax Plan Revealed

California Gov. Gavin Newsom revealed new details of his plans to charge water customers in the state a new tax to fund safe drinking water for disadvantaged communities. He announced Wednesday his plans to charge water customers an extra amount ranging from 95 cents to $10 a month — money that, combined with fees on animal farmers, dairies and fertilizer sellers, he projects would raise $140 million a year that could be put toward testing wells, aiding public water systems and treating contaminated water. The amount paid would depend on the size of one’s water meter.

California’s Largest Reservoir Shot Up 39 Feet In Elevation In February

The storms hitting California in February have left their mark on California’s largest and most important water reserve. Shasta Lake jumped 39 feet in elevation since February 1 and as of Tuesday it was at 85 percent of capacity and only 25 feet from its crest. Amid a wet winter, dramatic lake level rises have been common this year. Folsom Lake east of Sacramento rose 30 feet in January, while Lake Oroville shot up 75 feet in February.

Winter Storms Wash Drought Almost Completely Off California Map

Back-to-back storms hammering California this winter have nearly washed drought off the California map. After the recent atmospheric river, only a lingering sliver of “moderate drought” conditions remains near the Oregon border. The federal Drought Monitor Map, one way to measure drought that’s mainly used in agriculture, shows two percent of the state with “moderate drought” conditions and 13 percent abnormally dry in its Feb. 28 report.

Are We Safe From A Drought This Year? Here’s What We Know So Far

The rain and even a bit of snow keep on coming. Except for a 10-day dry spell at the end of January, the San Francisco Bay Area has seen a series of drenching winter storms that have watered gardens, fueled waterfalls, recharged reservoirs, and diminished the possibility of the ever-dreaded drought. In fact, all of California has been slammed with an onslaught of unsettled weather unleashing heavy snow and rain. There are some areas in Southern California such as Ventura and Kern counties where more rain has fallen in the past week than in all of last year.

With Colorado River Water Shortage Looming, U.S. Threatens to Impose Cuts

The federal government has moved closer to imposing water delivery cuts along the drought-depleted Colorado River after California and Arizona failed to meet a deadline for inking a broad agreement on how the seven states that depend on the river would cope with shortages. The federal official who manages the lower Colorado River had set Thursday as the deadline for the states to agree on a drought plan. Without a deal, the Interior Department would step in and begin to develop its own shortage plans, Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman had warned.

People Will Be Saying ‘Atmospheric River’ A Lot On Wednesday. Here’s What That Means.

A so-called “atmospheric river” is poised to barrel into the Bay Area Wednesday afternoon, delivering a drenching of rain that forecasters say could add up to 3 to 6 inches in the hills and 1 to 3 inches in the valleys in a matter of two days. “The city is likely to see in excess of two inches,” says Ryan Walbrun, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Monterey. “Even places like Livermore where you don’t usually get heavy rain will likely receive more than an inch, so it’s going to be a good soaking for everybody.”