In the end, it wasn’t very controversial. Nineteen years after San Joaquin County water interests overwhelmingly rejected a water-sharing plan with rival East Bay Municipal Utility District, a similar plan earned the unanimous approval of the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.
The top West Coast fishery council has recommended the full closure of the sport and commercial Chinook salmon fisheries near the Klamath River for the 2017-18 season. The Pacific Fishery Management Council’s recommendation Tuesday was expected after it forecast the lowest return of Klamath River Chinook salmon on record, with about 12,000 fish expected to return.
Farmers south of the Delta will receive their fully contracted amount of irrigation water this year for the first time in more than a decade. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced the allocation on Tuesday, following one of California’s wettest winters in years.
California’s climate has long been dominated by cycles of intense dry conditions followed by heavy rain and snow. But never before in recorded history has the state seen such an extreme drought-to-deluge swing.
The 2016-17 rainy season is going into the record books: Marin hasn’t seen this much rain in 121 years. That was back when the county had a total population of 15,000 and San Rafael, Sausalito and Belvedere were the only incorporated cities.
As record rainfall led to flooding and landslides that cut part of the Big Sur community off from the rest of the world, the California condors kept soaring above it all. … It’s a different story for humans on the Big Sur coast.
We were trudging up the side of a mountain on skis to measure California’s massive snowpack when a late blast of winter stopped us in our tracks. I [Brian Melley] started the morning less concerned about strong winds forecast and light snow than keeping pace with veteran snow surveyors in the thin Sierra Nevada air and getting over steep, icy 11,700-foot Kearsarge Pass.
This week on Sea Change Radio, we hear from environmental writer Jeremy Miller who discusses his recent New Yorker article chronicling California’s deep, systemic water problems. Miller talks about the impact of the flooding in Northern California, shares ideas from experts on how to re-charge the state’s stressed groundwater reserves, and posits that California needs a more sustainable model for fresh water that is less dependent on the snow pack in the Sierra Mountains.
George Barber, who recently resigned from Paradise Irrigation District, will take over Cal Water’s Oroville office. Barber has served as general manager of Paradise Irrigation District for over 12 years and will be leaving on April 21.
In an ironic twist, a snowstorm nearly 50 years ago puts a damper on today’s solar industry in Redding. Solar power installation companies say Redding’s highly restrictive code on how much snow a roof can bear can delay and add thousands of dollars to installing solar panels on older homes.
Urban water suppliers would face significant new requirements under water conservation and drought resiliency legislation proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown. The legislation, released in the form of budget trailer bill language late Friday, implements portions of a May 2016 Executive Order issued by Brown to conserve water supplies and make California more drought resilient.
California is a land of extremes – where preparing for extremes must be constant and eternal. The past six years have demonstrated California’s precipitation extremes. From 2012 to 2015, California endured one of its driest periods on record. And 2016 was an additional near-average year, classified into drought because water storage levels were so low.
I’m [Mina Guli] running through a slot canyon in the Grand Canyon, and feeling exhilarated, almost intoxicated. I am on the first leg of a crazy quest that will see me run 1,049 miles (1,688km) to raise awareness about our global water crisis, and I’m having what can only be described as a spiritual moment.
For the first time in its history, the Karuk Tribe will be limiting ceremonial salmon harvests for tribal members because of the record low forecast for returning Chinook salmon on the Klamath River. … The tribe’s announcement came as the Pacific Fishery Management Council met in Sacramento to discuss catch limitations for this year’s salmon season.
The Manteca Unified School District must pay to fund local levee improvements, just like any other property owner in the area, an appeals court has found. One attorney says the decision is good news for the small levee districts across the Delta charged with protecting farms and cities from floods.
In a key ruling released Monday, a judge slammed the Oakdale Irrigation District for skirting state law in last year’s fallowing proposal. The district should have studied whether shipping river water elsewhere might harm local groundwater levels, Stanislaus Superior Court Judge Roger Beauchesne said in a decision issued nearly 11 weeks after a one-day trial in January.