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Western Water Gary Pitzer Colorado River Bundle By Gary Pitzer

Milestone Colorado River Management Plan Mostly Worked Amid Epic Drought, Review Finds
WESTERN WATER SPOTLIGHT: Draft assessment of 2007 Interim Guidelines expected to provide a guide as talks begin on new river operating rules for the iconic Southwestern river

At full pool, Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in the United States by volume. but two decades of drought have dramatically dropped the water level behind Hoover Dam.Twenty years ago, the Colorado River Basin’s hydrology began tumbling into a historically bad stretch. The weather turned persistently dry. Water levels in the system’s anchor reservoirs of Lake Powell and Lake Mead plummeted. A river system relied upon by nearly 40 million people, farms and ecosystems across the West was in trouble. And there was no guide on how to respond.

Joe Del Bosque, a former member of the California Water Commission, at his San Joaquin Valley farms stand, speaks.
Announcement

Last Chance to Sign Up for Virtual Water Journey Across the Central Valley, Today’s Q&A Session on 2021 Water Leader Applications

It’s your last chance to sign up for a few events this week:

Today at 3 p.m.: Are you considering applying for our 2021 Water Leaders class or supporting an applicant as their boss?

Sign up for a 30-minute Q&A session at 3 p.m. with Executive Director Jenn Bowles, who will offer details on the one-year program and tips for completing a solid application. The program deepens knowledge on water, enhances individual leadership skills and prepares class members to take an active, cooperative approach to decision-making about water resource issues. Get more info on the free Zoom event and learn how you can sign up to attend.

Water News You Need to Know

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: Is California heading for a multi-year drought? The odds aren’t in our favor, experts say

With no rain in the forecast for the rest of 2020 — thanks to a La Niña weather pattern pushing storms north of the state — the probability of California entering a multi-year drought is increasing. 

Related article:

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Blog: Addressing water affordability in urban California

In the midst of the pandemic and recession, the cost of delivering safe drinking water continues to rise across California, creating a crisis of affordability for water users and a revenue problem for water suppliers. PPIC talked to Robert Shaver—board chair for the California Urban Water Agencies (CUWA) and general manager of the Alameda County Water District—about how the state’s largest public water agencies are thinking about this issue.

Aquafornia news InsideClimate News

If aridification choked the Southwest for thousands of years, what does the future hold?

The past could also become the future, science tells us. In fact, thanks to global warming, regional climate patterns linked to extended periods of heat and drought that upended prehistoric life across the Southwest thousands of years ago are setting up again now. 

Aquafornia news SF Gate

Army ends plan to dredge regional waterways for oil tankers

A four-year battle over a plan to dredge 13 miles of waterways to clear San Francisco Bay for larger oil tankers ended Monday, with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers announcing it was scuttling the project.

Online Water Encyclopedia

Restored wetlands in Northern California
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Wetlands

Wetlands are among the most important ecosystems in the world. They produce high levels of oxygen, filter toxic chemicals out of water, sequester carbon, reduce flooding and erosion, recharge groundwater and provide a diverse range of recreational opportunities from fishing and hunting to photography. They also serve as critical habitat for wildlife, including a large percentage of plants and animals on California’s endangered species list.

Salton Sea
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Salton Sea

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

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Drought

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 most recent drought, from 2012–2016, much of the state experienced severe drought conditions – significantly less precipitation and snowpack, reduced streamflow and higher temperatures.

No portion of the West has been immune to drought during the last century and drought occurs with much greater frequency in the West than in any other regions of the country.

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Important People in California Water History

Read about the history people who played a significant role in the water history of California.

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