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Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Tracking a path of destruction from Montecito’s mountains to the ocean

Based on historical data, a half-inch of rain falling in an hour would be enough to start a debris flow in the fire-charred mountains, the U.S. Geological Survey said. But historical examples vastly understated what would come early Tuesday morning.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Consultant had financial conflicts, Imperial Irrigation District says

An influential consultant for the Imperial Irrigation District helped IID make half a dozen contracts in which he had a financial interest, potentially violating California’s conflict-of-interest law, the public agency has concluded after an internal investigation.

Aquafornia news 23ABC News, Bakersfield

Bakersfield wins $82 million in water settlement

Bakersfield is getting $82 million dollars as part of a water settlement. The city sued Dow Chemical Company for releasing a pollutant at levels higher than state standards.

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Oil giant seeks to depose Santa Cruz city, county officials

In December, the city and county of Santa Cruz joined a wave of coastal California communities suing fossil-fuel companies for climate-change related damages. On Monday, ExxonMobil pushed back against what it called “abusive law enforcement tactics and litigation,” threatening to file its own legal action and accusing the local jurisdictions of hypocritically omitting reference to climate change damages from their own bond disclosures.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

199-mph Sierra wind gust sets California record

A gust that blasted the summit of a peak at Alpine Meadows in February was the fastest non-tornado wind recorded in the United States in 2017. The 199-mph gust was also the fastest ever recorded in California, according to the National Climate Data Center’s Extremes Committee, which sanctioned the mark last week.

Aquafornia news The Orange County Register

Discovery of rare, venomous yellow-bellied sea snake in Newport Beach could mean trouble for sea lions

Officials from the Pacific Marine Mammal Center on Thursday, Jan. 11 joined scientists from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles to announce the discovery in Newport Beach of a rare, venomous yellow-bellied sea snake. The 25-inch-long adult female snake, found by a beachgoer who nearly tripped over it near the 18th Street lifeguard tower on Tuesday, has the marine mammal rescue center assessing what it could mean for sea lion strandings this year.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

California’s timber industry was sacrificed for the spotted owl. Now pot farms pose a new threat.

The economy in rural Northern California was crippled in the 1990s when a federal judge shut down logging in old growth forests to protect the northern spotted owl. Now, researchers worry that the underground marijuana industry that sprang up in timber country after the collapse is contributing to the owl’s ongoing demise.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Northern California crab season to open amid scrutiny over whale entanglements

The commercial Dungeness crab fishery will open north of Sonoma County on Monday after several delays needed to allow the crustaceans to mature before the harvest begins. … The North Coast’s iconic Dungeness crab harvest is the state’s second-most valuable ocean fishery but has been disrupted in recent years by naturally occurring biotoxin outbreaks.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Monterey beach closed after sewage spill

Del Monte Beach was closed Thursday morning after a sewage spill estimated at up to 1,500 gallons ran into the sewer drain system on Casa Verde Way at Del Monte Avenue and onto two parking lots Wednesday night.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Erosion is revealing surprising amounts of water ice on Mars

If future astronauts need to mine water on Mars, they may not even have to dig. Thanks to erosion wearing away the Martian surface, scientists using NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have spotted thick deposits of ice in the planet’s mid-latitudes that extend hundreds of feet deep.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Editorial: Oroville Dam debacle shows we cannot tame nature

The six engineers and geologists who studied the debacle at Oroville Dam are at the pinnacle of their professions. They were responsible for reviewing the work of others who also were at the top of their fields. … In a state Assembly hearing on Wednesday, politicians who represent the Oroville area seized on the report to bash the Department of Water Resources.

Aquafornia news Yuba-Sutter Appeal-Democrat

Editorial: We’re encouraged by plans to restore habitat along lower Yuba River

A snarky comment was left online on our story Wednesday concerning an Army Corps of Engineers study of the feasibility of various proposals for restoring the lower Yuba River to something like it should be. The commenter was, tongue in cheek, congratulating the corps for discovering that the problems were caused by hydraulic mining … as if that’s something we haven’t already known for more than a century.

Aquafornia news Northern California Water Association

Blog: Making ’sustainable’ more than a word: Glenn County

The driest years on record since 1895 were recorded between 2011 and 2014 causing a statewide drought of emergency. This was a driving force for the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) which will build upon the coordinated efforts to manage groundwater sustainably in Glenn County. The drought was followed by a historic wet year.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Governor’s budget focuses on climate change, fire, clean water for disadvantaged communities

Gov. Jerry Brown’s 2018 budget continues efforts to combat climate change. A total of $9.8 billion is destined for the Natural Resources Agency for things like groundwater sustainability, flood management and additional funding for expanding the state’s firefighting capabilities.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Department of Water Resources chief ousted after report blames Oroville dam crisis on lax safety culture

Grant Davis, director of the California Water Resources Department, was replaced Wednesday just days after an independent investigation of the Oroville dam spillway incident last year found that a flawed safety culture contributed to the disaster. The agency said Gov. Jerry Brown replaced Davis with Karla Nemeth, who has been deputy secretary and senior advisor for water policy at the California Natural Resources Agency since 2014.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Rat poison from pot farms poisoning owls, study finds

Rat poison from marijuana farms is sickening and killing owls, fouling wildlife habitat and allowing rodents to spread contamination through large swaths of Northern California’s most famous cannabis-growing region, University of California researchers said in a report published Thursday.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Lake Oroville rising, rivers running high as 2018 starts out wet

The storms of January have the north state’s rivers and streams running high, and have raised the level of Lake Oroville 5 feet since the start of the year.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Restaurants in Montecito, Summerland ordered closed over water safety concerns

Public health officials ordered restaurants in Montecito and Summerland to close late Wednesday over concerns about possible water contamination after massive mudflows burst water pipes and sheared fire hydrants

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Court OKs killing a type of owl to see effect on other owls

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Wednesday that the experiment by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service didn’t violate a federal law aimed at protecting migratory birds.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Feds to pause killing of beavers after threat of lawsuit

The U.S. government will temporarily stop killing beavers in Oregon after environmental groups threatened a lawsuit alleging the practice reduces the number of dams that create deep pools that are ideal habitat for young, endangered coho salmon.