Sen. Dianne Feinstein filed her long-awaited legislative response to California’s water crisis on Wednesday, hoping to broker a compromise that has eluded Congress through four years of fallow fields and brown lawns.
The federal government will not pay the nearly $1.3 billion to raise the height of Shasta Dam up to 18 1/2 feet, according to a report released Wednesday on the feasibility of the project. While the final feasibility report says raising the height of the dam would be feasible, it stops short of recommending approval because of cost and financing issues.
With recent fish counting surveys on two Klamath River tributaries showing alarmingly low numbers for one of the last wild Chinook salmon runs, local fisheries experts are growing increasingly concerned about the effects of the ongoing statewide drought and the possibility of a devastating fish kill in the near future when fall-run salmon begin to enter the system.
As the state suffers through its fourth year of drought, most Californians say the lack of water is the single most important environmental issue facing the state, a dramatic increase over the number who expressed similar concerns a year ago. A survey by the nonprofit Public Policy Institute of California reported that 58 percent of Californians ranked the drought as the top issue — up 23 points from July 2014 and up 50 points from July 2011.
Nearly two-thirds of Californians say global warming is contributing to the state’s drought, but there’s a distinct partisan divide, according to a survey released Wednesday. … When it comes to drought-fighting measures that hit closer to home, the survey found strong support …
Water officials insist a pilot program designed to save Colorado River water and boost Lake Mead and Lake Powell is off to such a promising start that they are already looking to pour more money into it.
Call it a first step. … The Imperial Irrigation District has released a 260-page document that provides short, medium and long-term plans to avert a health crises and spur the development of up to 1,700 megawatts of new geothermal energy at the Salton Sea.
SMUD’s big bet on a system to store energy by pumping water uphill just got a little more complicated. The state wants the Sacramento Municipal Utility District to monitor groundwater at the site, a remote spot near Camino, for an entire year before moving ahead.
In the eons prior to the turn of the 20th century, the Whitewater and San Gorgonio rivers and their tributaries sent flood and storm waters rushing into the Coachella Valley, spreading tremendous volumes of water harmlessly across the desert floor.
This year’s crop includes Pima cotton, wheat, almonds, cantaloupes and onions. The most common question I [Paul Betancourt] get is some variation of, “How are you doing with the drought?” … My point is not to pick a fight over last year’s groundwater bill.
Almost 40 years after it began operation, California’s four-year drought has turned the state’s fourth largest reservoir, capable of storing 2.4 million acre-feet of water, into a shallow brown pool that holds 343,000 acre-feet, less than 15 percent of its capacity.
The KRCD [Kings River Conservation District] general manager [Dave Orth] is the third water leader to leave a high-profile post this year in the San Joaquin Valley. The other departing executives are Ron Jacobsma, general manager of Friant Water Authority, and Dan Nelson, executive director of the San Luis & Delta Mendota Water Authority.