California policymakers are the last line of defense against the federal government’s attempt to facilitate a water heist from beneath our Mojave Desert. Cadiz Inc. seeks to extract 50,000 acre-feet of water from an underground basin in the Mojave each year and pump it to urban users near the coast.
A lawsuit in California’s Imperial Valley could determine who controls the single largest share of Colorado River water in the West — a few hundred landowning farmers, or the elected five-member board of the Imperial Irrigation District.
About 20 parents and others urged the Simi Valley City Council this week not to let the city use groundwater as drinking water for residences, arguing it is contaminated by the nearby Santa Susana Field Laboratory and is likely cancer-causing.
Motorists and residents of the San Jacinto Mountains are being warned that flash floods and debris flows are possible on Wednesday, Aug. 15, in the area of the Cranston fire that burned 13,000 acres near Idyllwild.
Bird populations in the Mojave are plummeting for lack of water, in an imbalance driven by climate change. A new study from UC Berkeley finds shrinking rainfall has led to the loss of more then 40 percent of bird species, in a habitat that relies heavily on birds for basic functions such as pollinating plants and acting as both predator and prey.
Oceanside’s City Council asked staffers this week for a study of ways the city can lead its own project to get more sand out of its clogged harbor and onto its eroded beaches. The city is growing increasingly concerned over the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ failure to dredge the harbor this year, along with the federal agency’s inability to complete other projects that could beef up Oceanside’s beaches.
Using an unprecedented number of satellite radar images, geophysicists at Caltech have tracked how the ground in Southern California rises and falls as groundwater is pumped in and out of aquifers beneath the surface.
In the wake of the Cranston fire near Idyllwild, Caltrans has produced a video warning motorists of those dangers. Caltrans officials and the California Highway Patrol urge motorists not to drive on highways 243 and 74 during storms because of the danger of flash floods.
After previous owners were told by the California Coastal Commission that they couldn’t rebuild their Laguna Beach house in its existing beachfront footprint, new owners performed an extensive remodel — without a commission permit — that they say increased the home’s value by $11 million. … Commission staff is recommending removal of a retroactively approved seawall …
A bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday, July 21, clears the way for two water districts to extend their systems to a neighborhood on the Wildomar-Menifee border that has been plagued by a poor quality, unreliable water supply.
From The Sacramento Bee, in a commentary by Linda S. Adams and Karen L. Hathaway:
As early as next month, the State Water Resources Control Board could take up the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board’s recommendation for the maximum level of copper particulates allowed in Marina del Rey, one of the largest man-made harbors in the world.
On the same day the state approved mandatory outdoor watering restrictions with the threat of $500 fines, the Southern California couple received a letter from their city threatening a $500 penalty for not watering their brown lawn.
Talk about mixed messages: While Gov. Jerry Brown is warning that California faces its worst drought since record-keeping began and regulators have approved fines of up to $500 for wasting water, some Southern California cities are continuing to issue warnings and citations to residents who let their lawns go brown.
From the Los Angeles Times, in a column by Patt Morrison:
Lucy Jones is the U.S. Geological Survey seismologist seconded by Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office to spend a year creating the city’s first seismic resilience plan. Her grandfather worked for William Mulholland’s DWP, and her great-great and great grandparents are buried in a cemetery on the San Andreas fault
A Superior Court judge has ordered the Castaic Lake Water Agency, Santa Clarita Valley’s water retailer, to rescind an illegal “special tax” imposed on Santa Clarita Valley water retailers, who passed that rate on to customers.
Developers citing new scientific evidence are pressing to end federal protections for the California gnatcatcher, whose status as a threatened species has barred development in many areas of prime Southern California coastal real estate for two decades.