The rivers that once poured from the Sierra Nevada, thick with snowmelt and salmon, now languish amid relentless pumping, sometimes shriveling to a trickle and sparking a crisis for fish, wildlife and the people who rely on a healthy California delta. A state plan to improve these flows and avert disaster, however, has been mired in conflict and delays.
It was another bad year on the Colorado River, and the numbers prove it. … “We had a pretty good year in 2017, with an inflow into Powell of 110 percent of average. But unfortunately we lost that storage and a little bit more in 2018,” said Dan Bunk, a U.S. Bureau of Reclamation hydrologist.
Mitt Romney took up the question of water shortage this week in Utah, one of the driest states in the country, during a debate as he runs for a U.S. Senate seat in his adopted home state against Democrat Jenny Wilson. But federal water managers say he oversimplified a complex issue when he said Utah’s unused water allotment goes to California.
A series of programs is under way to restore wetlands, the newest starting this week. The Department of Water Resources will break ground Wednesday at Dutch Slough in Oakley for what DWR calls its largest tidal wetlands restoration project — nearly 1,200 acres — in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. Other projects by other agencies are transforming salt ponds to wetlands in the Napa-Sonoma Marsh and along South San Francisco Bay.
The setting was a 14-acre grape vineyard, but the mismatched background noise was that of a babbling brook. The roots of some of the old-vine Zinfandel plants were submerged in foot-deep water pumped in from the Mokelumne River, a half-mile away. Other old-vine Zinfandel plants were bone dry.
Within a little more than a year, Santa Cruz is due to decide how best to weather future droughts that last multiple years. The city is set in the next few months to begin test driving several water projects, including top favorites where the city sends extra river and stream water to neighboring jurisdictions, rather than letting it pour out into the ocean.
After seven years at the helm of the county Water Resources Agency, general manager David Chardavoyne will leave at the end of the year. In a news release issued on Friday, county officials announced that Chardavoyne’s contract would not be renewed after it expires Dec. 31.
While water supplies have rebounded for much of California, Santa Barbara County is still suffering from the worst drought in recent history, officials said. Following significant winter rains last year, Gov. Jerry Brown issued an executive order in April 2017 declaring the drought state of emergency over in most counties, including Santa Barbara County.
A request from the state Department of Water Resources to temporarily make more than 50 miles of trails in Oroville open to multiple user groups has been denied by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. DWR proposed this with backing from the Oroville Recreation Advisory Committee, or ORAC, as a compensation for trail closures as a result of the 2017 Oroville Dam spillway emergency.
Orange County health officials barred ocean water-contact sports in Sunset Aquatic Marina and Portofino Cove in Huntington Beach due to a 1,000-gallon sewage spill on Sunday, Oct. 14. The contaminants originated from a sewer line blockage in Anaheim, according to a news release from the Orange County Health Care Agency’s Environmental Health division.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is moving forward with a flood control project along Corte Madera Creek in Ross and Kentfield. A draft environmental impact report on the project was released Friday. Comments are being accepted on the findings through Nov. 27.
Humboldt County and most of northwest California will be either “completely dry or all wet” for the next two weeks as the National Weather Service provided an “uncertain” forecast for the coming days through the end of October.
The ease with which residents can rebuild depends on resources such as time and money, of course, but also location. … In Fountaingrove, most of the homes sat on large lots with uneven topography, making them tricky to clear and more expensive to rebuild. On top of that, the neighborhood was plagued with water contamination issues after the fire, which melted plastic pipes and leaked benzene and other contaminants into the water supply.
In June and September of 2017, two heat waves killed at least 14 people in the Bay Area, and sent hundreds more to the hospital. San Francisco was caught off guard, says the city’s deputy director of public health, Naveena Bobba.
Colorado and Wyoming residents woke up Sunday to find that an early season snowstorm had blanketed their homes and roadways with up to a foot (30 centimeters) of snow and sent temperatures plunging overnight.
Since March 2015, a deadly civil war between Houthi rebels and a Saudi-led military coalition has ravaged Yemen. Throughout the conflict, water and electrical infrastructure have been targeted repeatedly, leaving millions of Yemenis without clean water.
Voters will elect directors for the boards of three Coachella Valley water agencies on Nov. 6 in races that have focused on water quality, different user classes and even a legal fight between competing utilities.
IN 2012, the California Legislature passed a law stating that it is a human right to have safe drinking water. But it provided only meager funds for that purpose. Proposition 3, a water bond on the November ballot, includes $750 million for safe drinking water and safe wastewater disposal in disadvantaged communities, and to eliminate lead from water fountains in schools.
Call it a Christmas tree or a candy shop, Proposition 3 has a nice gift for almost everyone, especially eastern San Joaquin Valley farmers. The Nov. 6 ballot initiative would authorize the largest water bond in California history, $8.9 billion. Add in $8.4 billion for interest payments and the total reaches $17.3 billion. That’s $430 million annually for 40 years.