More than a dozen years have passed since the U.S Army Corps of Engineers became concerned about water seeping through the auxiliary dam at Isabella Lake — not to mention the possibility of a massive earthquake leveling the earthen structure.
Certainly the Nevada Irrigation District’s board has seen some contested elections around some controversial issues. But the Centennial Dam, and whether the district needs to continue with the multimillion-dollar reservoir project, is arguably the most contentious issue the district has faced in decades.
About 130 private property owners around Lake Shasta could be forced to move if a plan to raise the height of Shasta Dam goes forward. That was just one of the pieces of information that came out of a community meeting about the project Monday night in Lakehead. … About 90 people attended the meeting to hear from U.S. Bureau of Reclamation officials about how Lakehead residents and business owners will be affected if the height of the dam is raised 18½ feet.
When the California Legislature created the “modern” water rights regulatory system more than a century ago, it focused exclusively on surface water, exempting groundwater from the permitting system. Yet in most watersheds, surface water and groundwater are closely linked. Actions that change one often have an impact on the other. The arbitrary legal divide has made it harder to manage the state’s water. But a recent law and a new court decision have done a better job of connecting surface water and groundwater.
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.
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.
More than 500 people packed a Nevada Irrigation District board meeting Tuesday that had been set to discuss a requested moratorium on spending on the controversial Centennial Dam project. The board ended up not voting on that request, instead approving what the board called a compromise spending limit that left most in the audience at the Grass Valley Veterans Memorial Building confused and unsatisfied.
The Bureau of Reclamation is launching a new prize challenge seeking new or improved techniques to remove sediment from reservoirs in a cost-effective manner. … This is a theoretical challenge where solvers can provide ideas on sediment collection, transport, or delivery to the downstream river. In a theoretical challenge the only thing required is a white paper.
After years of stop-and-go talks, California and two other states that take water from the lower Colorado River are nearing an agreement on how to share delivery cuts if a formal shortage is declared on the drought-plagued waterway. Under the proposed pact, California — the river’s largest user — would reduce diversions earlier in a shortage than it would if the lower-basin states strictly adhered to a water-rights pecking order.
Nevada Irrigation District this week will host a special meeting to review a request by the South Yuba River Citizens League to stop work on its proposed Centennial Dam project until the district’s Raw Water Master Plan is complete The request will be discussed 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9, at the Grass Valley Veterans Memorial Building.
Marin County had a dry water year in 2017-18, with some areas recording rainfall levels comparable to recent and historic drought years, according to meteorological data. … The low rainfall didn’t concern local water districts in terms of water supply, at least for now. Local reservoirs and water supply are well-above those that would trigger mandatory conservation measures.
Colorado water managers are saying good riddance to water year 2018. It enters the history books alongside 2002 and 1977 as one of the driest on record for the Upper Colorado River Basin. According to preliminary numbers from the Bureau of Reclamation, water year 2018, which ended Sept. 30, had the third-lowest unregulated inflow into Lake Powell at 4.62 million acre-feet. That’s just 43 percent of average.
Amy Haas recently became the first non-engineer and the first woman to serve as executive director of the Upper Colorado River Commission in its 70-year history, putting her smack in the center of a host of daunting challenges facing the Upper Colorado River Basin.
Yet those challenges will be quite familiar to Haas, an attorney who for the past year has served as deputy director and general counsel of the commission. (She replaced longtime Executive Director Don Ostler). She has a long history of working within interstate Colorado River governance, including representing New Mexico as its Upper Colorado River commissioner and playing a central role in the negotiation of the recently signed U.S.-Mexico agreement known as Minute 323.
This issue of Western Water discusses the challenges facing the Colorado River Basin resulting from persistent drought, climate change and an overallocated river, and how water managers and others are trying to face the future.
[Lars] Mitchell, 52, a contractor, has succinctly hit upon twin facts that have driven San Diego County water policy for 70 years: the region does not own most of its water supply, and water is often a zero-sum business — for every winner there must be a loser.
When the San Vicente Dam opened in 1943, engineers were already thinking about how to make it higher — a vision celebrated Wednesday by many who came to dedicate a new version of the venerable structure that’s 117 feet taller than the original.
Imperial Irrigation District staff was accused of trying to sell the IID’s invaluable assets short when they formally presented the broad terms of a water storage proposal at Tuesday’s IID Board of Directors meeting.