Sierra Snowpack Withering in California’s Dry Winter. New Satellite Image Shows the Bad News

The image is disturbing and leaves little doubt about California’s growing predicament: The snowpack in the Sierra Nevada is a sad whisper of it was a year ago, a withering testament to the lack of precipitation in the state’s increasingly dry winter.

The National Weather Service tweeted satellite images of the Sierra on Tuesday, showing the stark difference between this year and the above-average snowfall from 2019. The mountain snowpack — a crucial element in the state’s annual water supply — is 53 percent of normal for this time of year, according to the Department of Water Resources.

California is Dry With no Rain in Sight. Should We Start Worrying About Drought and Wildfire?

California’s alarmingly dry winter continues, with no meaningful snow or rain in sight. Although it’s far too soon to predict a drought, experts said wildfire risks could worsen this summer as a result of the shortage of precipitation.

And while the rainy season still has more than two months left, a persistent high-pressure ridge over the Pacific is keeping wet weather at bay, just as it did during the five-year drought, said Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLA. Swain said it’s possible parts of Northern California “could go completely dry in the month of February.”

California Canals Damaged by Sinking Soil, Groundwater Pumping. New Bills aim to Help

Democratic congressmen from Fresno introduced two pieces of legislation that aim to repair aging canals and water infrastructure in California that’s been damaged by sinking ground levels – called subsidence, caused by groundwater pumping.

“The canals on the eastside and the westside are experiencing dramatic subsidence and therefore their capacity to move water has greatly diminished,” said Rep. Jim Costa during a news conference Monday before the backdrop of the central San Joaquin Valley’s Friant Dam, just outside Fresno.

Opinion: California’s Water Department Must Face The Reality of Climate Change and Diverse Needs

As we enter a new decade, California faces increasing environmental challenges caused by climate change, creating an uncertain future for our water resources. We need bold leadership to address these impacts. It is time for California’s Department of Water Resources (DWR) to implement water policy for the state that shores up our precious waterways and diversifies water supplies in the face of these imminent threats.

Myth About Huge California Fines For Shower And Laundry Usage Won’t Die. Here’s What’s True

California will impose new limits on water usage in the post-drought era in the coming years — but a claim that residents will be fined $1,000 starting this year if they shower and do laundry the same day isn’t true.

It wasn’t true when the state’s new conservation laws were enacted in 2018, and it isn’t true now — despite a recent report on a Los Angeles television station that riled up conservatives on social media and prompted the state Department of Water Resources to issue a statement debunking the claim.

Is The Wildfire Season Over? Rain, Snow Headed To California Bring Hope After Brutal Year

High winds Monday prompted warnings of more wildfires in parts of the north state, and a small grass fire threatened homes near Roseville.

But the prospect of rain and snow in the immediate forecast means the California wildfire season is likely nearing its end.

Southern California has already been soaked, and the north state is set to have more than a foot of snow just in time for the Thanksgiving travel rush. Despite one of the driest starts to the rainy season in years, the heavy soaking expected this week will likely mark the unofficial end to the fire season, experts said.

Is Rain Done In 2019? Is California In A Drought? What To Know As Weather Stays Dry

It’s been warmer than normal. It’s been drier than normal. For most of the region, it hasn’t rained more than a sprinkle or a brief thunderstorm here or there in about six months.

Northern California weather has done a relatively quick 180 in 2019. Heavy rain coming via “atmospheric river” systems drenched the Sacramento Valley, created some flood concerns and filled reservoirs to healthy levels this January through March.

But what spring 2019 had plenty of, fall 2019 has had nearly zilch.

Northern California Cities, Water Districts Urge Conservation As PG&E Blackout Continues

Cities, counties and regional water districts throughout the Sacramento Valley and Bay Area are urging users to cut down on water use during Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s public safety power shutoff, which has blacked out hundreds of thousands of customers since the early morning hours of Wednesday.

Fairfield authorities are urging residents to conserve water use after the city experienced a treatment plant issue that it is attributing to the PG&E shutoff.

A New California Fight Against Trump Over Water, Fish, The Delta And The Environment

California is fighting a plan by President Donald Trump’s administration to push more water through the Delta – a move state officials say would harm endangered fish species and deprive millions of Southern Californians of water.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife, in a letter to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, said the federal plan would harm the nearly-extinct Delta smelt and other species. The state said the plan would also hurt the mostly urban water agencies that belong to the State Water Project, which might have to surrender some of its supplies to compensate for the federal plan.

Gravel Project Aims To Replenish Critical Nursing Areas Of The American River For Fish

thousands of tons of gravel is being laid in the American River this month, re-establishing a crucial spawning area for hundreds of native salmon and steelhead trout.

On Friday, crews used rocks and stones dredged up from the river more than a century ago during Gold Rush to create opportunities to find shelter and food for the fish at Sailor Bay.

The project will ultimately add 14,000 tons from the floodplain to the flowing water near Fair Oaks before Chinook salmon begin to make the grueling trek from the Pacific Ocean up to the American River starting in October.