How can California water managers
get ahead of the storms to improve drought management? A special
one-day workshop June 9 in Irvine will highlight some of the
latest research on seasonal precipitation forecasting that could
help water managers across the state plan better for what winter
short course starting Thursday will provide
registrants the opportunity to learn more about how groundwater
is monitored, assessed and sustainably managed.
The class, offered by University of California, Davis and
several other organizations in cooperation with the Water
Education Foundation, will be held May 12, 19,
26 and June 2, 16 from 9 a.m. to noon.
As the drought deepens and an election nears, Gov. Gavin Newsom
is taking extra steps to increase pressure—and
responsibility—on the Water Commission for the Sites Reservoir
Project proposal. During a Senate budget subcommittee
hearing on Tuesday, Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot
said the governor has tasked him with ensuring the commission
“isn’t slowing down the progress of getting those [Proposition
1] projects online.” Newsom also charged Crowfoot with finding
ways to remove regulatory barriers and accelerate the approval
process for those projects.
One hundred years after a landmark agreement divided the waters
of the Colorado River among Western states, the pact is now
showing its age as a hotter and drier climate has shrunk the
river….Former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, who oversaw
management of the river under President Clinton, said it’s
become clear that the 1922 Colorado River Compact should be
revamped to adapt to the reduced amount of water that is
available as global warming compounds the 22-year megadrought
in the watershed.
In a stopgap measure to help struggling spring- and winter-run
Chinook salmon spawn in the face of rising water temperatures
and lower water levels due to climate change, state and federal
wildlife officials in Northern California have begun trucking
adult fish to cooler waters. The spring- and winter-run salmon
are genetically different, with the seasonal labels marking
when adult fish travel from the Pacific Ocean back to the
Sacramento River to spawn. The spring-run Chinook, listed
as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, are being moved
from traps at the base of Keswick Dam to Clear Creek in the
Fire danger is on the rise in California, as warm, dry and
windy weather heralds a potentially long and difficult season.
For several consecutive years, increasingly extreme,
climate-change fueled wildfires have devastated parts of the
state. The area of greatest concern late this week is in
Northern California, where strong northerly winds will combine
with dry vegetation in the Sacramento Valley…. The risk of
fast-spreading blazes may ease this weekend, but officials have
expressed serious concerns about the months ahead as the
entirety of California contends with a historically severe
drought that has turned many areas into a tinderbox.
As part of the historic Colorado River Delta, the Salton Sea
regularly filled and dried for thousands of years due to its
elevation of 237 feet below sea level.
The most recent version of the Salton Sea was formed in 1905 when
the Colorado River broke
through a series of dikes and flooded the seabed for two years,
creating California’s largest inland body of water. The
Salton Sea, which is saltier than the Pacific Ocean, includes 130
miles of shoreline and is larger than Lake Tahoe.
Drought—an extended period of
limited or no precipitation—is a fact of life in California and
the West, with water resources following boom-and-bust patterns.
During California’s 2012–2016 drought, much of the state
experienced severe drought conditions: significantly less
precipitation and snowpack, reduced streamflow and higher
temperatures. Those same conditions reappeared early in 2021
prompting Gov. Gavin Newsom in May to declare drought emergencies
in watersheds across 41 counties in California.