California has many unmet needs in its water system—most notably in the areas of flood protection, safe drinking water, stormwater treatment, and ecosystem support. While dedicated funding over the long term has been hard to come by, water bonds have helped fill some gaps in these areas. Looking at how the 2014 water bond is being spent can give us some insights into how bonds are turned into projects on the ground. This is particularly important as three new bond proposals are floated for 2018.
While you slept snugly in your bed during last winter’s floods, chances are Michael Cockrell’s cellphone was keeping him awake with reports of rising rivers and levee failures. Cockrell, a 35-year veteran of the San Joaquin County Office of Emergency Services, announced last week that he has resigned from his post.
California’s dam inspectors appear to be doing their jobs well. Unfortunately, too many dam operators are falling down on the job, and could be placing the public at risk. That’s the message of a report by The Sacramento Bee’s Ryan Sabalow and Dale Kasler.
The Bee reviewed five years of inspection reports by the California Department of Water Resources for 93 dams that the state identified as potentially problematic in the wake of the Oroville Dam spillway failure. … Use the map to see if a dam near you is on the list.
Northern California residents living in the shadow of the nation’s tallest dam vented decades of frustration with state water managers Wednesday, telling officials they have no credibility when they say hairline cracks in a newly rebuilt spillway are nothing to worry about.
Marijuana growers who plan on growing cannabis on private land next season will encounter new state requirements to address the crop’s impact on California’s creeks and streams. … The State Water Board recently adopted interim policies that will affect the license, including checks on a grower’s water rights, restrictions on the diversion of water for irrigating cannabis crops, and site-specific requirements to control runoff into local streams from growing operations.
The king tide that washed into Marin on Monday didn’t create a lake out of the Manzanita Park-and-Ride lot near Mill Valley as expected, but it did flood parts of a walking and bike trail, and more high water is expected in the coming days.
On the heels of northern California’s wettest year on record — with nearly 90 inches of rain — a team of water agencies and weather researchers is installing a new radar system to upgrade flood prediction in the San Francisco Bay Area. For many, it can’t come soon enough.
“Plastic!” said Dale Huss, gesturing in frustration out the window of his pickup truck at the berry fields sprawling over rolling hills, as strawberry plants peeped out from plastic tarps stretched over raised earthen rows. Strawberries are one of California’s most profitable crops, especially in the Monterey Bay area. But the plastic row covers that protect berries from cold and pests also increase water runoff and erosion on hillside fields.
Ross Valley’s controversial flood fee was hiked 3 percent Tuesday, helping pay for a public relations campaign smoothing the waters for projects that will turn key park areas into flood retention basins.
If 200-year flood protection isn’t secured — or at least a financial and implementation plan in place by July 1, 2016 — development of the Great Wolf Resort and family entertainment zone, The Trails at Manteca, and other residential projects in southwest Manteca won’t take place.
“By recycling more water, capturing storm runoff and boosting efficiency on farms and at home, California would have more than enough water to cover its needs, even during a drought, the authors of a new report said Tuesday.”
“When Rosalinda Cardenas was a kid, her parents warned her often: Stay away from the Pacoima Wash. A few blocks from her home on Laurel Canyon Boulevard, the concrete-encased flood control channel was barricaded by rusty chain-link fences, broken glass and garbage.”
“The House of Representatives, on a vote of 412-4, approved legislation to move an array of Sacramento-area flood control projects forward, concluding [Rep. Doris] Matsui’s nearly four-year quest for the bill.”
“Goodbye Menlo Wash, the submerged dip at the border of San Jacinto and Hemet, and no more cars straddling the Santa Fe Avenue centerline to avoid stalling out in storm runoff in San Jacinto’s Midway area.”