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Browsing the archives for the California water category.

California wants millions to fund water project

CA Farm Water Coalition, California water

California wants millions to fund water project

Associated Press

Dozens of water agencies and millions of families and farmers would be on the hook for building two giant tunnels to carry Northern California’s water southward under new plans to shore up funding for Gov. Jerry Brown’s $16 billion project.

The proposal that expands who pays for the state’s biggest water project in more than a half-century could mean higher rates for millions of Californians who already get the precious resource through the complex state and federal systems of aqueducts, pumps, canals and dams. (Coalition note: This is a slightly updated version of the AP article that appeared in yesterday’s News Line.)

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L.A. took their water and land a century ago. Now the Owens Valley is fighting back

Agriculture - California, California Rivers, California water, Water rights, Water, Resources & Quality

L.A. took their water and land a century ago. Now the Owens Valley is fighting back

Los Angeles Times

A century ago, agents from Los Angeles converged on the Owens Valley on a secret mission.

They figured out who owned water rights in the lush valley and began quietly purchasing land, posing as ranchers and farmers.

Soon, residents of the Eastern Sierra realized much of the water rights were now owned by Los Angeles interests. L.A. proceeded to drain the valley, taking the water via a great aqueduct to fuel the metropolis’ explosive growth.

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California water bill passes House, but Dems vow to fight it in the Senate

California water, Water, Resources & Quality

California water bill passes House, but Democrats vow to fight it in the Senate

Los Angeles Times

Some of California’s decisions about how to use its water would be relegated to the federal government under a bill passed by the House on Wednesday.

Republicans say the bill will bring more water to the parched Central Valley. California’s Democratic senators have promised to fight the bill in the Senate because it weakens California’s ability to manage its own resources.

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Did a mistake by the Army Corps of Engineers lead to the Kings River flooding?

California Rivers, California water, Federal gov & land grabs

PNP comment: Gee, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers could have been wrong? Yep, very likely! — Editor Liz Bowen

Fresno Bee

Flooding along the lower Kings River might have been avoided if the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had not miscalculated the rush of snowmelt into Pine Flat Lake during the triple-digit heat wave.

Fresno County Supervisor Buddy Mendes, whose district includes parts of the river, said the corps was slow to boost releases when the heat wave started.

Did a mistake by the Army Corps of Engineers lead to the Kings River flooding?

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California: Funding for damaged levee repairs denied

California Rivers, California water, Dams other than Klamath

Funding for damaged levee repairs denied


Governor Jerry Brown and democratic lawmakers are getting closer to a finalized budget, with a deadline next Thursday. One thing missing from the budget is a proposal from Northstate lawmakers to add $100 million to repair levees damaged this winter. which includes the Oroville Dam spillway.

Instead, Democratic lawmakers decided to include $111 million for flood control projects and $6 million for dam safety. However, none of that money is for repair work.

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Salmon: rice fields and 2017 high water flows

California Rivers, California water, Salmon and fish, Water, Resources & Quality

Flooded rice fields offer good place to grow native salmon

Woodland Daily Democrat

A new study offers a beacon of hope for a cease-fire in the Golden State’s persistent water wars. “Floodplain Farm Fields Provide Novel Rearing Habitat for Chinook Salmon,” published in the journal PLOS-ONE, is based on the work by scientists from nonprofit group California Trout, UC Davis, and the California Department of Water Resources.

The study reaffirms what has been a growing body of evidence that Central Valley farm fields that remain in active agricultural production can have environmental benefits for the state’s salmon populations.


Fishing for answers on what high flows of 2017 do for salmon on Modesto-area rivers

Modesto Bee

This year has brought the mighty river flows that environmental and fishing groups say are vital to salmon. A farmer or city water user might disagree: Yes, the fish need high water at times, but not at the 2017 volume. And we should be adding reservoir space to carry over the excess for dry years ahead.

The Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced rivers have near-record runoff from their mountain watersheds after five years of drought. It started in fall, when above-average storms provided more water for salmon returning to spawn after a few years in the Pacific Ocean. The skies truly let loose in January and February, forcing reservoir operators to ramp up releases to prepare for the spring snowmelt.

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California would be an unrecognizable ‘parallel universe’ without Oroville Dam

California Rivers, California water

California would be an unrecognizable ‘parallel universe’ without Oroville Dam

Western Farm Press

A Sacramento Bee article questions the “lethal arrogance” of late Gov. Pat Brown when pushing to build Oroville Dam in the 1960s. The article paints former Gov. Brown – his son is the current governor for those not familiar with California politics – as a pushy politician looking for a legacy. Sound familiar?

The lens of hindsight might be clearer, but it’s only such because we see things through the history that predecessors did not have, nor could they imagine.

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Agriculture has been hammered by environmental water regulations

Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather, California water, Endangered Species Act

New report shows thousands of California jobs lost due to water cuts


A report released today by the Southern California Water Committee and the Committee for Delta Reliability exposes the unintended consequences of nearly two decades of water cuts caused by environmental regulation – showing the hardest hit are those who rely on agriculture to survive, such as farmworkers, food processors, truck drivers and warehouse workers, among many others.

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Sierra Snowpack is larger than previous 4 years combined

Air, Climate & Weather, California water

Sierra Nevada Mountain Snowpack Is Larger Than Previous 4 Years Combined


The monster snowpack in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains is larger than it has been in the four previous years combined, new NASA data shows.

The measurements in the Tuolumne River Basin were made with NASA’s Airborne Snow Observatory, a plane with an advanced set of research equipment that can collect measurements over a widespread area. On April 1, the snowpack was at 1.2 million acre-feet, which is enough snow to fill the Rose Bowl in Pasadena about 1,600 times.

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State awards $275 million contract for Oroville Dam repairs

Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather, California Rivers, California water

Sac Bee.com

Kiewit Corp., a construction giant with extensive experience in dam projects, was awarded the massive repair job at troubled Oroville Dam on Monday.

The California Department of Water Resources announced that Kiewit, based in Omaha, Neb., beat two competitors for the job with a $275.4 million bid.

Kiewit had the low bid, although its offer was still higher than DWR’s internal estimate that the project would cost $231 million. (DWR said on Saturday that it estimated the project would cost $220 million, but released a corrected estimate Monday.)

Repairs are expected to began in late May or early June. Fixing Oroville Dam’s two spillways will be a daunting project, so complicated that it won’t be completely finished until sometime in 2018. DWR officials have said, however, that they expect the first year’s worth of repairs will leave the structures serviceable for the upcoming rainy season.

Oroville’s main spillway cracked in two Feb. 7 during a heavy rainstorm, prompting dam operators to reduce outflows as they contemplated repairs. Five days later, as the lake filled up and water flowed over the nearby emergency spillway for the first time ever, officials ordered a mass evacuation when they feared the emergency structure would fail because of erosion on the hillside just below the concrete lip. The evacuation was rescinded two days later.

Kiewit’s dam projects include the $900 million auxiliary spillway set to open this fall at Folsom Dam.

The company beat out Barnard Ames JV, an affiliate of Barnard Construction Co. of Bozeman, Mont., which offered to do the job for $277 million; and Oroville Dam Constructors, a joint venture between Teichert Construction of Sacramento and Granite Construction of Watsonville, which bid $344 million.

The contract calls for repairs to both spillways.

State officials have said they expect customers of the State Water Project to pay for the repairs, although they intend to ask the Federal Emergency Management Agency for financial help.

Lake Oroville is California’s second largest reservoir and the linchpin of the State Water Project. The SWP’s largest customer is the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which serves 19 million customers.

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