While fire officials tell SCV residents they’re not out of the woods when it comes to brush fires, water officials are saying the SCV isn’t out of the woods when it comes to drought, either. Castaic Lake Water Agency board members are expected to receive an update on the status of Santa Clarita Valley’s water resources when they meet Wednesday night.
The worst drought in California’s history ended in April when Gov. Jerry Brown declared it officially over after an especially wet winter. But one city isn’t backing down on water conservation. Santa Monica, a progressive town on the Southern California coast, is proceeding as if the drought were still under way, and it still requires residents to meet water conservation targets.
About 7,000 firefighters from 11 western states have poured into Ventura and Santa Barbara counties to try to contain the Thomas fire. Firefighting efforts have cost about $48 million. In the last week, helicopter crews alone have dumped 1.7 million gallons of water on the blaze. That’s enough water to fill roughly 70 backyard pools.
Academics, advocates and activists met for a panel discussion at UC Irvine to hash out the pros and cons of a proposal to build a desalination plant in Huntington Beach, with environmentalists once again warning it would damage marine environments and raise water bills.
The scene from this month’s Thomas fire is all too familiar in the Los Padres National Forest, where jagged ridges and steep canyons of chaparral have been tinder for some of the state’s biggest wildfires. … As of Monday, federal, state and local fire agencies had spent more than $38 million battling the Thomas, which was 20% contained and had destroyed more than 600 homes, most of them in the Ventura area.
A landmark agreement on the Santa Margarita River Conjunctive Use project between the Fallbrook Public Utility District and Camp Pendleton Marine Base promises to be signed Dec. 11, after 66 years of litigation in the U.S. courts and could be good news for the 10-year-old water rights settlement case that is hindering development along state Route 371 in the Valley.
Hot, dry Santa Ana winds will likely whip up the unseasonably fierce wildfires ravaging Southern California on Thursday, forecasters said. The gales have come at the worst time, at the end of a long dry spell.
Even before the dramatic Southern California wildfires began their harrowing path this week, California was already experiencing its deadliest and most destructive fire season ever. And it’s only getting worse. … For Californians who welcomed one of the wettest, drought-busting winters early in 2017, the fury of the fires is startling.
As firefighters battled a destructive wildfire that swept through neighborhoods in Ventura, they were stymied by some fire hydrants that didn’t work. Officials said power outages caused by the fire and heavy winds left some water pumping stations inoperable, meaning water couldn’t reach the fire hydrants.
The Thomas fire started in a known wind corridor on the first day of dry Santa Ana winds that are expected to buffet Southern California for nearly a week. What’s more, it has been a good eight months since a decent rainfall soaked the chaparral hillsides.
The same vicious winds that turned three Southern California wildfires into destructive dynamos were also making the firefight more difficult. … Fires are not typical in Southern California this time of year but can break out when dry vegetation and too little rain combine with the Santa Ana winds.
On December 4, the California Supreme Court ruled that groundwater pumping charges levied to fund a basin-wide conservation and management program were not property-related fees subject to Proposition 218. The decision, City of San Buenaventura v. United Water Conservation District (Cal. Supreme Court Case No. S226036), will reverberate through water management and public agency circles for years to come.
The California Supreme Court concluded today [Nov. 4] that a local water agency’s groundwater pumping charges are not property-related charges subject to the substantive and procedural requirements of California Constitution article XIII D, section 6 (commonly referred to as Proposition 218). … In City of San Buenaventura v. United Water Conservation District, the City challenged groundwater pumping charges imposed on it by the United Water Conservation District.
A bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday, July 21, clears the way for two water districts to extend their systems to a neighborhood on the Wildomar-Menifee border that has been plagued by a poor quality, unreliable water supply.
From The Sacramento Bee, in a commentary by Linda S. Adams and Karen L. Hathaway:
As early as next month, the State Water Resources Control Board could take up the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board’s recommendation for the maximum level of copper particulates allowed in Marina del Rey, one of the largest man-made harbors in the world.
On the same day the state approved mandatory outdoor watering restrictions with the threat of $500 fines, the Southern California couple received a letter from their city threatening a $500 penalty for not watering their brown lawn.
Talk about mixed messages: While Gov. Jerry Brown is warning that California faces its worst drought since record-keeping began and regulators have approved fines of up to $500 for wasting water, some Southern California cities are continuing to issue warnings and citations to residents who let their lawns go brown.