“Despite recent rains, the great parching of California continues, with much of Folsom Lake still resembling Burning Man’s craggy Black Rock Desert and Central Valley farmers preparing for a dust-bowl spring and summer.
“But Mark McKenna of Amador County’s Andis Wines isn’t sweating the drought. In fact, he’s welcoming the lack of wet weather.”
“Environmental groups suing the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency over its proposals for future development presented their arguments in a federal court Wednesday. The Sierra Club and Friends of the West Shore want the court to stop the plan.”
“Low water levels have led to a mini gold rush in the same Sierra Nevada foothills that drew legions of fortune seekers from around the world in the mid-1800s, as amateur prospectors dig for riverbed riches in spots that have been out of reach for decades.”
From the Lake Tahoe News, in a commentary by Joanne Marchetta:
“When the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and partner agencies started inspecting Lake Tahoe watercraft in 2008, all we knew was that we needed to protect our waters from the growing threats of aquatic invasive species. We took the necessary steps, but did not know then that the watercraft inspection program would one day help protect other water bodies as well.
“These are just a few of the questions we’ve received recently about Auburn dam, probably the most well-known unbuilt water project in California history. The project is laden with complexities and controversy, and these are just two reasons it has not been built.”
“Because of its great depth (1,645 feet), Lake Tahoe holds enough water to cover the entire state of California to a depth of about 14 inches, according to the U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. But if that somehow were to happen, the lake would remain depleted for a very long time.”
“The East Bay Municipal Utility District is lining up a second emergency water supply in the drought. The water board agreed Tuesday to exercise an option to buy up to 20,000 acre feet of water from the Placer County Water Agency.”
From The Modesto Bee, in a column by Jeff Jardine:
“Two of the Sierra’s most prominent rivers, the Stanislaus and Tuolumne, run right through Tuolumne County. …
“And the county’s water agency, the Tuolumne Utilities District, owns rights to none of it. The city and county of San Francisco own senior rights on the Tuolumne River, with the Turlock and Modesto irrigation districts controlling Don Pedro Reservoir.”
“Considering the uncertainty of long-term weather patterns, the Northstar district, Truckee Donner Public Utility District and Placer County Water Agency — which all depend on Martis Valley and deep groundwater wells for water — are encouraging customers to meet the 20 percent request.
“The drought is very visible to Calaveras County residents. They see the enormous bathtub ring at New Melones Reservoir every time they cross the lake on Highway 49. They see the still-brown hillsides where green grass is normally thick by mid-winter.”