The biggest blizzards are over. But as state water officials head into the Sierra Nevada on Thursday for the annual April 1 snowpack reading — the most important of the year for planning summer water supplies — California still has a huge amount of snow covering its highest mountain peaks, an avalanche that has buried the state’s punishing drought.
Fears of West Nile Virus are prompting local officials to plan significant renovation work in a Southeastern San Diego stream bed where concrete channel lining has created a stagnant water breeding ground for mosquitoes.
What a difference a year makes, I’m [Kirsten James] thinking as I head to Sacramento for meetings with legislators and company members of Connect the Drops, a campaign my organization spearheaded to drive smart water use in California. Last year, more than 90 percent of the state was experiencing some level of drought – today, just 8 percent is.
This winter’s storms and flooding toppled trees, tore up trails and roads, and caused millions of dollars in damage in Shasta County alone. All that has to be cleaned up and repaired — which means new, temporary jobs will likely come to the area.
Two years after it was closed due to low water levels, plans are in place to re-open Lake San Antonio starting next month. According to a joint announcement by Monterey County and resort manager CalParks, the lake is now about half full due to the winter rains.
In a scathing response to fingerpointing from San Jose about last month’s devastating Coyote Creek floods, Santa Clara Valley Water District leaders say city officials failed to heed multiple warnings about the rising waters from several agencies.
After millions of dollars of flood damage and mass evacuations this year, California is grappling with how to update its aging flood infrastructure. That has some calling for a new approach to flood control – one that mimics nature instead of trying to contain it.
Levee engineer Dominick Gulli, who is suing to block the proposed Smith Canal flood-control gate, told officials recently that he has also started a citizens petition. He told the San Joaquin Area Flood Control Agency’s board of directors that the petition concerns the way in which the agency is collecting an assessment from property owners to pay for the $37 million gate.
It was spitting snow as four U.S. Forest Service workers took snow samples and took snowpack measurements Monday at two remote areas within the Lassen National Forest where snowfall is somewhat of a rarity.
As snow continued to fall on the eastern Sierra Nevada on Monday, platoons of earth movers, cranes and utility trucks fanned out across the Owens Valley, scrambling to empty reservoirs and clean out a lattice-work of ditches and pipelines in a frantic effort to protect the key source of Los Angeles’ water.
The operators of Oroville Dam acknowledged Monday they might not be able to permanently repair the dam’s battered main spillway in time for the next rainy season, but said they’re confident the fractured structure will be usable.
California’s top water manager said Monday that the problem-plagued Oroville Reservoir will have a new spillway in place to prevent potentially dangerous outflows of water in time for the next rainy season.
Outside the window of Helen Dahlke’s office, at the University of California at Davis, the clouds hang low, their edges seeming to brush against the building. It’s raining intensely, an unusual event in a perpetually parched state suffering from a five-year drought. … As a hydrologist and professor who studies how water flows over and through rock, soil, fields, and farms, she is something of an H2O whiz.
California has entered a “yo-yo” reality, where climate change-driven drought and flooding have become real challenges that will reshape consideration of state water issues. Drought and flood “can’t be taken separately. We need to consider both,” said Fran Spivy-Weber, a stalwart presence for decades in the state’s water world.
Outside the Big Sur Taphouse, a little before 9 p.m., the hint of marijuana is in the air. A country-psychedelic-surf rock band from Monterey plays on an iPhone propped on a stone ledge, and Blake Cusack is skipping rope in the parking area just off Highway One.