A 1990s documentary uses archival footage to detail the construction of the Oroville Dam, an earthfill embankment dam on the Feather River east of the city of Oroville, California, in the United States that was built during the period 1961 to 1968.
The early settlers snatched up the rich, loamy land along the Feather River to grow grapes and orchards. Edward Mathews, an Irishman who fled the potato famine, was peddling vegetables and didn’t have the cash for that kind of soil.
The St. Francis Dam was a proud symbol of California’s engineering might and elaborate water system — until just before midnight on March 12, 1928, when it collapsed, killing more than 400 people in a devastating wall of water. Ever since, the state has had a reputation of diligent inspections as it has built the largest network of major public dams in the nation.
A year ago, politicians and experts were predicting a near-permanent statewide drought, a “new normal” desert climate. The most vivid example of how wrong they were is that California’s majestic Oroville Dam is currently in danger of spillway failure in a season of record snow and rainfall.
The first six months of 2014 were the hottest January-through-June on record in California, the National Weather Service said Monday — nearly five degrees warmer than the 20th century average and more than a degree hotter than the record set in 1934.
Just how fast the state’s climate is changing became apparent Monday when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released figures showing the first six months of this year were the hottest the state has ever recorded — breaking the mark by a single degree after 80 years.
The U.S. Geological Survey joins its many partners in other federal agencies, at universities, and in state and local governments in recognizing the importance of the Water Resources Research Act (WRRA) of 1964.
Signed into law 50 years ago by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 17, 1964, the WRRA established a Water Resources Research Institute in each state and Puerto Rico.
Rainy seasons over the last two years were the driest in downtown Los Angeles since record-keeping began in 1877, and forecasters now say the El Niño that had been predicted to bring some relief may not materialize.
With reservoirs headed for historic lows, the [California Archaeological Site Steward] program has taken on added importance. … As water levels gradually drop across the state, cutting grooves into the slopes like bathtub rings, archaeological sites are becoming more accessible — offering a chance for new knowledge as well as temptation for looters.
[Jim] Walker and construction crews building a new 220-foot-high dam at Calaveras Reservoir in the remote canyons east of Milpitas have been digging up a prehistoric treasure trove: the teeth of an extinct hippopotamus-like creature called a Desmostylus, clams, barnacles and the giant teeth from a 40-foot-long shark — and what could turn out to be an entire whale skeleton.
Yosemite National Park, in California’s Sierra Nevada, is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the law that preserved it — and planted the seeds for the National Park system. At the same time, the park faces the challenge of protecting the natural wonders from their own popularity.
This is the same river route Lewis and Clark took 200 years ago, a 1,000-mile journey along the Columbia and Snake rivers and right up the musket of the American West. … For eight days we make shore visits to waterfalls, wineries, dams, fish ladders, museums and forts along the way.