Passed in 1970, the federal National Environmental Policy Act
requires lead public agencies to prepare and submit for public
review environmental impact reports and statements on major
federal projects under their purview with potentially significant
According to the Department of Energy, administrator of NEPA:
Variations in the statistical analysis of the climate on all time
and space scales beyond that of individual weather events is
known as natural variability. Natural variations in climate over
time are caused by internal processes of the climate system, such
as El Niño, and
phenomena such as volcanic activity and variations in the output
of the sun.
Completed in 1979, the New Melones Dam on California’s Stanislaus
River includes a 2.4 million acre-feet reservoir and a
power-generating capacity of 283 megawatts.
The Central Valley Project facility was built to help with
irrigation, flood control and power production. It replaced an
older dam from the 1920s that supplied water for agriculture to
two local irrigation districts.
A part of the federal Central Valley Project, the Nimbus Dam and
its after bay, Lake Natoma, are located 7 miles downstream of
Folsom Dam on the American River.
The dam regulates American River flows. Other associated
facilities are the Nimbus Powerplant, the Nimbus Salmon and
Steelhead Hatchery and the Folsom South Canal. [see also Northern
California Water Tours.]
Nitrate—the oxidized form of dissolved nitrogen— is the main
source of nitrogen for plants. It occurs naturally in soil and
dissipates when the soil is extensively farmed. Thus, nirtrogen
fertilizers are applied to replenish the soil. However, these
nitrates can be toxic, especially when they enter the food chain
via groundwater and surface water.
In California, the State Water Resources Control Board lists
nitrate as one of California’s most challenging and growing water
Large rodents native to South
America, nutria began causing alarm along rivers and other
waterways after being rediscovered in California in 2017.
Most concerning, nutria have the potential to damage levees and
tidal wetland restoration sites
in the Sacramento-San Joaquin
Delta, California’s water hub, from their extensive burrowing
and voracious appetites.