California’s 2012-2016 drought revealed vulnerabilities for water users throughout the state, and the long-term record suggests more challenges may lie ahead. An April 19 workshop in San Pedro will highlight new information about drought durations in Southern California watersheds dating back centuries. Registration is now open for the Paleo Drought Workshop, Using the Past to Improve Drought Preparedness Now.
Today the melting Northwest Passage — along the North Slope of Alaska, through the maze of Canadian Arctic islands, then back down along Greenland’s west coast, to the Atlantic — is regularly in the news. A holy grail for generations of explorers is now finally open, because of climate change.
Just how bad was California’s last drought? For most of Southern California, it was either the worst or second worst since the century Columbus landed in the New World, the Ottoman empire was started and Joan of Arc was burned at the stake.
The annual ritual of cleaning acequias, typically before the start of spring, remains alive in communities big and small, from Chama to Alcalde and Gallina to Sombrillo. But the practice has evolved and adapted as times have changed, from a lack of interest in farming to the purchase of agricultural lands by newcomers who don’t participate in the yearly cleanup.
On the 90th anniversary of the catastrophic failure of the St. Francis Dam, dam safety experts worry that the Oroville Dam crisis showed that some of those crucial lessons have been forgotten — or were never retained in the first place.
This year’s dry winter in Southern California is a reminder of the need for ongoing drought planning and preparedness. A workshop on April 19th in San Pedro is intended to help Southern California water agencies and others who want to gain information for improving drought preparedness and updating Urban Water Management Plans. The workshop is sponsored by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the Water Education Foundation.
Most people see the Grand Canyon from the rim, thousands of feet above where the Colorado River winds through it for almost 300 miles. But to travel it afloat a raft is to experience the wondrous majesty of the canyon and the river itself while gaining perspective about geology, natural beauty and the passage of time.
Half a lifetime for a person, 40 years is negligible for a 760,000-year-old lake. As an old timer (or the “OG”—Original Gangster—as I [Sally Gaines, chair, Mono Lake Committee Board of Directors] was recently called by a young staff member), here’s my brief summary of the first four decades of the Mono Lake Committee—our story, as I will someday tell my grandkids.
This March marks the 150th anniversary of John Muir’s travels to California and pioneering trip in Yosemite. The outdoorsman and author is considered by many to be a pioneer of the environmental movement in the Golden State.
The Chronicle archives overflow with photos documenting the downstream journey of Hetch Hetchy’s water — an engineering marvel that feeds power stations and fills reservoirs. So here’s a follow-up to our previous column on O’Shaughnessy Dam and Hetch Hetchy Valley.
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.