The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation announced today [July 21] that it has selected 57 Small-Scale Water Efficiency Projects in 15 states to receive a total of $3.6 million as part of the WaterSMART grants program. The WaterSMART grants are leveraged with local and state funding to support $7.47 million in efficiency improvements. “This funding provides essential tools for stretching limited water supplies by helping 57 communities conserve and manage them more efficiently,” said Secretary Ryan Zinke.
One of the country’s foremost experts on catastrophic engineering failures released a new report Thursday on the troubled Oroville Dam that asks a disturbing question: Is the country’s tallest dam leaking?
The drought may be over and Central Valley farmers are getting more water than they have in years, but that hasn’t stopped congressional Republicans from resurrecting a bill that would strip environmental protections for fish so more water can be funneled to agriculture. … Some version of [Rep. David] Valadao’s bill has been introduced off and on since 2011 without success.
State water resources officials and federal regulators caused the failure of the Oroville Dam spillway in February by ignoring long-established guidelines and neglecting their duty to manage risks and detect flaws, a scathing report by a Berkeley engineering expert concluded Thursday.
On our upcoming Northern California Tour (Oct. 11-13), we will spend time at the Oroville Dam visitor’s center and meet with California Department of Water Resources staff. You’ll see drone footage from February’s flood incident, learn the engineering background on what led to it, and hear about plans to stabilize the spillway before the next winter storms and to finalize repairs by 2018.
An unused water system known as the Maclay Highline is being restored from the L.A. Aqueduct Cascades in Sylmar to a group of meadows in Pacoima as an innovative means to create more Los Angeles drinking water. For the first time in decades, a torrent of water from melting snow from the Sierras is slaking the thirst of Los Angeles homes and businesses.
AgroBot is still more John Deere than C-3PO — a boxy contraption moving in fits and starts, with its computer-driven sensors, graspers and cutters missing 1 in 3 berries. Such has been the progress of ag-tech in California, where despite the adoption of drones, iPhone apps and satellite-driven sensors, the hand and knife still harvest the bulk of more than 200 crops.
Workers who retire from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power enjoy a higher monthly pension, on average, than retired public employees from the city and county, according to an audit released this week by City Controller Ron Galperin. LADWP retirees received an average monthly pension payment of $5,212 in the fiscal year ending July 1, 2015, the audit said.
Water and sewer service rates will go up an average 3 percent for most Hayward customers starting in October, and another 3 percent the following year. But for the first time in many years, the city is not increasing water usage rates, said Alex Ameri, head of Hayward utilities services.
The ocean protection group Oceana has filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the National Marine Fisheries Service’s decision to withdraw a proposed rule that would have further regulated the use of drift gill nets off the state’s coast used to catch swordfish.
Palo Alto and East Palo Alto are among several regional bayside cities that could flood 26 times a year by 2060 if the global sea level rises by a “moderate” 4 feet, according to a new study by the Union of Concerned Scientists.
The Detwiler fire, which has forced more than 4,000 residents to flee, swelled to more than 70,000 acres Thursday and was 10% contained, according to Cal Fire. Officials said the fire was burning in an area littered with dead trees, killed by bark beetles and years of drought. … [Theresa] Loya said fire helicopters were frequently making water drops, protecting not only the hospital but the rest of Mariposa County as well.
Wildfires are surging across the western U.S. with more than four million acres charred this year. That’s almost double the rate from last season and more than 40 percent above the five-year average for mid-July.
The New Orleans inspector general says the city hasn’t adequately warned residents that ongoing street repairs and water system improvements could result in temporarily high lead levels in some buildings’ tap water.
Hanoi’s population growth — twice as high as the national average — combined with a strong textile industry and a manufacturing sector that supplies the world with electronics and information technology are drawing down the region’s water reserves. Aquifers are being pumped at an alarming rate, which threatens the city’s water supplies and its physical stability, experts say.