In drought-ridden California, many water bills are calculated using a basic principle: The more water a customer uses, the higher the rate. It’s a strategy water districts employ to boost conservation.
This winter, a large sandbar planted itself in front of the Salinas River, not an unusual phenomenon on waterways throughout the Central Coast. But as the waters rose behind it — threatening and, once heavy rains hit, eventually flooding crops — county water officials could not push the wall of sand aside.
The first step toward finding solutions to long-standing groundwater overdraft in the Pajaro Valley was to acknowledge the problem and agriculture’s contribution to it, said Miles Reiter, chairman and CEO of Driscoll’s Strawberry Associates Inc.
A state Public Utilities Commission judge will allow public debate over the proposed regional desalination project settlement agreement between California American Water and Monterey County later this month, delaying the commission’s scheduled review on Thursday.
After resisting disclosure, Monterey Peninsula Regional Water Authority president Jason Burnett released a draft proposal late Tuesday aimed at delaying a state-ordered cutback in pumping from the Carmel River by four years.
This handbook provides crucial background information on the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, signed into law in 2014 by Gov. Jerry Brown. The handbook also includes a section on options for new governance.
The enterprise has been known locally as the California Flats Solar project and Arizona-based First Solar is building the facility. It was given the thumbs up from the county planning commission in January. It is expected to get final approval from Monterey County Supervisors on Tuesday.
After receiving nearly 160 percent of normal rainfall in November and December — thus causing Santa Cruz to suspend mandatory water rationing for residential customers — the driest January on record stands as a stark reminder of how vulnerable the water supply is to nature’s mood swings.
With December’s deluge now a distant memory and a bone-dry, unseasonably warm January coming to a close, even a wet February and early spring likely won’t help the historic drought conditions affecting Monterey County and the rest of the state, according to a National Weather Service expert.
A year after forming a special panel to evaluate future water supply options, the Santa Cruz City Council on Tuesday agreed to extend the group’s timeline for making recommendations and increase spending for a facilitator to guide the work.
From building a tunnel connecting two south county reservoirs to clearing the Salinas River and dealing with its half-century-old river diversion permit to managing the Salinas Valley groundwater basin — not to mention the promise of a recently approved $7.5 billion state water bond — Monterey County and its water resources agency are facing an unprecedented number of crucial water-related issues.
Although Soquel Creek Water District officials pulled the plug last year on a $3 million mandated conservation program, the agency soon will roll out some components of the initiative designed to reverse groundwater overdraft.
Santa Barbara County water agencies announced Friday that they will receive $2 million in state funding for a pumping project at Cachuma Lake — a source of drinking water for 220,000 people on the southern central coast — where water levels have dropped precipitously low.
Residents are getting a sample of Santa Cruz County’s summer-like weather this weekend as temperatures are expected to reach into the 70s. … The weather is the latest stage of the unseasonably warm and dry weather hovering around as California enters its fourth year of drought.
Deadlines for meeting a new state mandate to balance the overdrafted Salinas Valley groundwater basin are years away, but Monterey County water and agricultural industry leaders are calling for the local process to begin immediately.