The Colorado River has for years been locked in a pattern of chronic overuse, with much more water doled out to cities and farmlands than what’s flowing into its reservoirs. The river basin, which stretches from Wyoming to Mexico, has been drying out during what scientists say is one of the driest 19-year periods in the past 1,200 years.
“We had a slow start to the water year, but several late spring storms greatly improved conditions and have left us in a good position heading into the summer,” said Scott Matyac, water resources manager for the Yuba County Water Agency. Along the Yuba River, New Bullards Bar Reservoir was at 94 percent of its capacity as of Wednesday, or 111 percent of its historical average for the date. Englebright Lake was at 95 percent of its capacity, or 99 percent of its historical average.
The Legislature created the Department of Water Resources in 1956 for the purpose of managing the State Water Project, then in its early stages of planning. … AB 3045 would create a new State Water Project Commission under the state’s Natural Resources Agency to run the project – the agency, whose secretary serves in the governor’s cabinet, has broad authority over DWR.
The California Department of Water Resources announced Monday this year’s allocation has been raised to 35 percent of full distribution, or 1.48 million acre-feet of water statewide. (One acre foot is enough to cover one acre of land with a foot of water.) As of last month, the agency planned to distribute only 30 percent of normal.
The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) today [May 21] increased the State Water Project (SWP) allocation for 2018 to 35 percent – up slightly from the 30 percent allocation announced in April. In December, SWP contractors were notified of an initial 15 percent allocation that was later raised to 20 percent in January. “Late season rain and snow in March and April salvaged what would have been a severely dry year, which allows us to make this slight increase in allocation,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth.
Lassen Peak had been rumbling for days. Glowing hot rocks bounded down the slopes. Lava was welling up into a freshly created crater. Then, on this day 103 years ago, it exploded in a way California would never forget.
Two water districts have hammered out an agreement to help Nicasio residents whose wells sometimes go dry. While the community of Nicasio is near the Marin Municipal Water District’s massive Nicasio Reservoir, it does not draw water from it.
The California Water Commission – the entity responsible for awarding $2.7 billion in Proposition 1 funds to water storage projects in a few months – didn’t quite see eye-to-eye with officials pushing for Sites Reservoir, primarily on the benefits to salmon the project would provide.
“Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated” is a quote made famous by Mark Twain upon hearing rumors that he had died in 1897. This is the same thought that we had in reaction to news that the most important project for securing a long-term water supply for the Central Valley, the construction of Temperance Flat Dam, was not fully funded by the California Water Commission.
Water will be flowing higher and faster than normal on a stretch of the North Fork of the Feather River starting Monday. PG&E said flows from Belden Reservoir on Caribou Road to the Belden Powerhouse on Highway 70 in Plumas County will rise for a few weeks.
As a result of California’s highly variable climate, the practice of storing water predates statehood. And for more than a century, storage projects in California have generated heated controversy. A century ago, John Muir led a famous and unsuccessful effort to stop the damming of Yosemite’s Hetch Hetchy Valley.
Despite what you may have gleaned from television and the movies, zombies aren’t always constituted of flesh and blood. Sometimes they come in concrete and rock. Exhibit A is a $3-billion dam proposal on the San Joaquin River known as Temperance Flat.
California’s Salinas Valley, one of the world’s most productive farming areas, faces a groundwater emergency. The problem is seawater intrusion into freshwater aquifers, which are the region’s lifeblood. The issue has been understood for a long time.
In order to get boaters and swimmers back to Lake Oroville after the Oroville Dam spillway was damaged in 2017, state agencies have announced they will waive fees for the recreational area on select days over the summer.
Imagine the snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains as a giant reservoir providing water for 23 million people throughout California. During droughts, this snow reserve shrinks, affecting water availability in the state.
This issue of Western Water discusses the challenges facing the Colorado River Basin resulting from persistent drought, climate change and an overallocated river, and how water managers and others are trying to face the future.
[Lars] Mitchell, 52, a contractor, has succinctly hit upon twin facts that have driven San Diego County water policy for 70 years: the region does not own most of its water supply, and water is often a zero-sum business — for every winner there must be a loser.
When the San Vicente Dam opened in 1943, engineers were already thinking about how to make it higher — a vision celebrated Wednesday by many who came to dedicate a new version of the venerable structure that’s 117 feet taller than the original.
Imperial Irrigation District staff was accused of trying to sell the IID’s invaluable assets short when they formally presented the broad terms of a water storage proposal at Tuesday’s IID Board of Directors meeting.