“With the state extremely dry, the farmers fear federal officials could effectively seize for other purposes the water set aside primarily in San Luis Reservoir on the valley’s west side. Affected farmers say that would be wrong. Unfortunately for them, it might also be legal.”
“California’s two behemoth water deliverers — the State Water Project and the federal Central Valley Project, perhaps the best known water purveyors in the world – are poised to join together to move water quickly around the state in the face of an unprecedented drought.”
“Early this morning, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation was expected to cut water releases from Folsom Dam into the river from 1,100 cubic feet per second to 800 cfs. This will drop the river’s elevation within its bed by about 6 inches.
“It won’t stop there. Each night this week until Friday, dam releases will be cut in stages until flows reach 500 cfs.
“The Bureau of Reclamation announces reduced releases from Nimbus Dam to the lower American River. Beginning January 7, Reclamation will reduce flows in the lower American River from 1,100 cubic feet per second to 800 cfs, then gradually to 500 cfs by January 10. With the extended dry runoff conditions, flow reductions are needed to protect steelhead that will be spawning in the river in January and February. Flows need to be lowered now to a rate that can be sustained into spring with the limited storage available behind Folsom Dam.
“Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor has announced that Donald R. Glaser has retired after more than 30 years of federal government service. Most recently, Glaser served as the Mid-Pacific Regional Director and Director of the Technical Service Center.
“For Shasta Dam, 2013 was a year of looking forward and back.
“While Shasta County residents celebrated 75 years since work started on the dam, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation continued to move forward with plans to make significant changes to the concrete structure.”
“Folsom Lake’s historically low water level has exposed remnants of the Gold Rush mining town of Mormon Island, the last to be razed in anticipation of the flooding of the American River Canyon upon completion of Folsom Dam. The town was buried by water in 1955.”
“A proposal to enlarge a key reservoir south of the Delta would also make the dam less likely to fail during an earthquake, a disaster that would flood portions of Stockton and south San Joaquin County.”
“Sally Jewell would rather scale the Washington Monument than sit in one more meeting about cutting her budget. This is not just hyperbole. The secretary of the interior has done both and clearly prefers the former.
“An independent science panel convened by the Delta Stewardship Council’s Delta Science Program has released its annual review of the implementation of actions required under the Endangered Species Act for the prior year’s operations of the State/Federal Water Projects.”
“On a summer day in 1962, President John F. Kennedy helicoptered into the hot, dusty grasslands between Gilroy and Los Banos and pushed a dynamite plunger in a ceremony with California Gov. Pat Brown. …
“Now, half a century later, the federal government is proposing to expand the reservoir, a key source of water for Central Valley farmers and Silicon Valley — albeit with less fanfare.
From The Fresno Bee, in a commentary by Tom Nassif:
“A federal report last week called attention to land subsidence in the San Joaquin Valley as a result of excessive pumping of groundwater. It is true that groundwater is being used to irrigate farms at an unsustainable rate. It is also true that something needs to change. …
“Farmers who were promised an adequate and reliable supply of water delivered through a system they pay for are being told to expect no water at all in 2014.
From The Fresno Bee’s Earth Log blog by Mark Grossi:
“Federal authorities last week released a draft appraisal of enlarging San Luis Reservoir, the major watering hole in the center of the state. San Luis already had been hot news this year. Now it’s hotter.”