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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.