California’s Bay-Delta is facing ongoing drought and declining fish populations. The water in the Delta arrives primarily from the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers, supplying water for more than 22 million people. This water source supports California’s trillion-dollar economy—the sixth largest in the world—and its $27 billion agricultural industry.
Long before a fractured spillway plunged Oroville Dam into the gravest crisis in its 48-year history, officials at a handful of downstream government agencies devised a plan they believed would make the dam safer: Store less water there.
Last summer it was a jarring symbol of California’s historic five-year drought. San Luis Reservoir — the vast lake along Highway 152 between Gilroy and Los Banos, the state’s fifth-largest reservoir and a key link in the water supply for millions of people and thousands of acres of Central Valley farmland — was just 10 percent full.
Baja California’s governor is preparing to declare a state of emergency in the coming days, hoping to draw financial aid for Tijuana’s strained and underfunded sewage system following a massive spill that sent millions of gallons of untreated wastewater from Tijuana across the border and into San Diego last month.
[Jimmy] Marchini, 68, retired from farming 10 years ago, and until Monday he had not been to the [Fresno] slough in a couple of years. He took visitors on a tour of the earthen levee, whose structural integrity has been tested by ever-increasing releases of water from Pine Flat Reservoir, the result of this winter’s abundant rain and snow.
Everyone with property in Oakdale pays taxes to the Oakdale Irrigation District, which delivers no water to any property in the city. The fact that city dwellers are subsidizing outlying farms – at more than $1 million a year – goes largely unnoticed.
The Marin Municipal Water District is looking to raise water rates July 1 and again in 2018, an increase of 14 percent. … The work is needed to improve the district’s aging water system, parts of which date back more than 100 years.
San Diego may accelerate plans to preserve its climate data due to growing concerns among faculty members that the Trump administration could interfere with their work. Campus officials intend to discuss what they should do during a March 21 meeting at the school’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography, whose research has been used for decades to shape climate agreements.
Don’t be fooled by all the rain and snow this winter. Historically, another drought is likely around the corner. As “Water & Power: A California Heist,” a National Geographic documentary, airing Tuesday, makes clear, the state is facing problems that go deeper than filling its reservoirs.
Director Marina Zenovich refers to her new film as “Chinatown,” the documentary. The filmmaker’s latest work “Water & Power: A California Heist” shines the spotlight on modern-day water barons in California’s San Joaquin Valley and the backroom deals that have helped pad their pockets. Stewart and Lynda Resnick, owners of the Wonderful Company, feature prominently, as does the Kern County Water Bank they partially control, and the Monterey Amendments, which helped make that possible.