Send Mississippi River Water to Southwestern Reservoirs? New Analysis Casts Doubts.

As an environmental scientist, Roger Viadero had to scratch his head over news reports last summer of the thirsty demand in Palm Springs and Las Vegas, among other western cities, for water from the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes.

The letters pages of the Palm Springs Desert Sun newspaper broke their own records for online traffic last June with readers’ proposals to siphon some 22 billion gallons of water per day from the Midwest. To solve the Southwest’s water crisis, the desert denizens wrote, a series of canals and reservoirs could pipe water from the flood-prone Mississippi River to the Colorado River, a supposed win-win for everyone.

Opinion: Restore California’s Salton Sea to its Role in the Ecosystem

California’s largest inland body of water is in trouble. Inflows to the Salton Sea have decreased, salinity is growing, the ecosystem is collapsing, and neighboring communities are suffering high rates of respiratory illnesses caused, many believe, by contaminants in dust blowing off the exposed former seabed.

It’s not possible to import enough water quickly enough to save the ecosystem and cover the contaminants. The solutions must be more practical: Fixing the salinity will be the key to saving this crucial habitat. A targeted approach can also reduce dust.

La Niña: What it Means for California’s Drought and the Upcoming Winter Rainy Season

The day before the state’s “water year” ended, Silicon Valley leaders gathered on Google’s campus in Mountain View and urged residents to continue conserving water as California’s drought drags on.

“It’s the third straight year of a bad and worsening drought,” said Wade Crowfoot, secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency, on Thursday. “Our scientists and climatologists predict that as we move into the winter, we can expect another, fourth dry year.”

See how Sparse the Sierra Nevada Snowpack Looks Compared to Last Year

Two NASA satellite images released late Monday by the National Weather Service office in Sacramento starkly illustrate how much less snow is covering the Sierra Nevada this week compared to the same time a year ago.

The images, taken from roughly 438 miles above Earth, show California’s Sierra Nevada range. In the first, from Feb. 18, 2019, the region is blanketed with snow. On that day, the snowpack, which is the source of about one-third of the state’s annual water supply, was at 147% of its historical statewide average for that date.

Opinion: Westlands Backs Governor’s Delta Water Strategy

The Mercury News and East Bay Times editorial “Newsom is being played by Big Ag on Delta water” asserted: “Gavin Newsom is being played by Big Ag interests as he tries fruitlessly to negotiate a truce in California’s water wars.” Gov. Newsom has proven that he will not be played by anyone or any interest group – be it an agricultural, urban, or environmental interests.

How The Atmospheric River Storm Affected Bay Area Rain Totals

Remember fire season and power outages? They seem so long ago now.

The cold storms that suddenly doused the Bay Area over the past week instantly flipped a switch from summer to winter weather conditions. But so far, they have brought radically different amounts of rain to communities across Northern California.

“We basically went from fire season to rain season in a matter of 48 hours,” said Matt Mehle, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Monterey. “We’re making progress, but we could still use some more rain.”

OPINION: Trump’s Assault On Delta Threatens Bay Area Water Supply

State Legislature should block president’s attempt to undermine federal Endangered Species Act.

The death of the twin-tunnels project hasn’t stopped Central Valley farmers’ efforts to send more water south to irrigate their fields at the expense of the health of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

The latest assault on the Delta, which supplies roughly one-third of the Bay Area’s water, is the Trump administration’s efforts to gut the federal Endangered Species Act. Removing protections in existence for nearly 50 years threatens not only the Delta’s wildlife but also the quality of its fresh water.

Environment Report Out On New $1 Billion Dam Proposed For Santa Clara County

A plan to build a huge new $1.1 billion dam and reservoir near Pacheco Pass in southeastern Santa Clara County is taking a significant step forward with the release of hundreds of pages of environmental studies. The project, which would be the first new large dam built anywhere in the Bay Area since Los Vaqueros Reservoir in Contra Costa County in 1998, grew out of California’s recent five-year drought. Environmentalists have raised concerns about the project’s costs, and the fact that it would submerge 1,245 acres of oak woodlands on the north side of Highway 152 near Casa de Fruta — an area equal to about 943 football fields.

$50 Billion Worth Of Bay Area Homes At Risk Of Rising Seas By 2050, Says Report

ens of thousands of Bay Area homes worth about $50 billion are at grave risk of chronic coastal flooding by 2050, according to a new analysis by Zillow and Climate Central.

By 2100, the crisis deepens. As the ice caps continue to melt in the wake of global warming, experts project that 81,152 Bay Area homes with a current value of more than $96 billion, may be swamped. If greenhouse gas emissions go unchecked and seas continue to rise as expected, a wide swath of Bay Area real estate will be endangered. Coveted beach houses may well turn into disasters.

California Pledges Millions To Battle Enormous, Destructive Swamp Rats

A growing menace in the form of 15-pound swamp rodents is threatening Delta waterways, and the state is throwing money, hunting dogs and birth control at the invasive pests which have the potential to destroy crops and wetlands.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has received $10 million in new funding for the eradication of nutria, or coypu, which are native to South America and have found their way to the Golden State after wreaking havoc in Louisiana and other places. Louisiana has lost hundreds of thousands of acres of wetlands to the rodent, a voracious herbivore with a largely indiscriminate palate