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Browsing the archives for the California water category.

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

KERO

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

KNBC

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.

Read it here:

http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article145144129.html#storylink=cpy

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Big L.A. water agency antes up for a share of Valley’s Sites Reservoir

California water, Dams other than Klamath

Sac Bee.com

Read more here:

http://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/water-and-drought/article143994694.html#storylink=cpy

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Central Valley Project water allocations hit 100 percent – first time since 2006

Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather, California water, Federal gov & land grabs, State gov

Read more here:

http://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/water-and-drought/article144007699.html#storylink=cpy

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Editorial: Get serious about more California water storage

Air, Climate & Weather, California water

EDITORIAL: Drought’s over for most in California. Now let’s get serious about more water storage.

Fresno Bee

April 7, 2017

Friday, while the heavens were drenching the Valley with heavy rains, Gov. Jerry Brown lifted his emergency drought declaration for most of California.

If you’re thinking that means it’s perfectly OK to take extra-long showers, saturate your lawn with water this summer or stop planting drought-resistant shrubs and flowers, you’d be wrong.

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Did this year feel like the wettest ever? In California’s northern Sierra, it’s about to be

Air, Climate & Weather, California water

Sac Bee.com

April 8, 2017

The northern Sierra Nevada, which supplies water for much of the rest of California, is poised to surpass its wettest year in recorded history well before the rainy season comes to a close.

As of Saturday morning, the region had accumulated an average of 87.5 inches of water across eight northern Sierra stations since the beginning of the season on Oct. 1, according to data from the California Department of Water Resources.

Erick Kurth, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service, said rain and snow predicted for the upcoming week could help bring the extra water needed to exceed the 1982-1983 record. Areas throughout the Sierra mountains saw snowfall into Saturday afternoon. Rain is expected to shower the region again beginning Tuesday and and last through Thursday.The current record for the northern Sierra was established when the water year running from Oct. 1, 1982 through Sept. 30, 1983 saw a total of 88.5 inches.

Kurth said a fairly wet fall season paired with rain and snowfall brought on by a series of atmospheric rivers this January and February fed current high water levels.

“I think it’s notable that we could beat the record now,” Kurth said. “We’re really only about half way through the water year.”

Saturday’s year-to-date average sits at 205 percent above normal for this time in the water year, according to Department of Water Resources data. A typical water year in the northern Sierra comes in at an average of 50 inches of precipitation.

Read more here:

http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article143554154.html#storylink=cpy

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Brown says California’s drought is over. But some restrictions will remain.

California water

The drought officially ended in most of California on Friday, but state officials vowed to clamp down on wasteful water use and impose a long-term conservation program that could create friction with urban water users.

Following a deluge of wet weather that left reservoirs brimming and the Sierra snowpack bulging, Gov. Jerry Brown declared an end to a drought that brought California some of the driest periods in recorded history.

But the governor warned the state’s groundwater supplies remain perilously low in some areas, and the state will continue to forbid Californians from hosing off sidewalks, watering their lawns during or immediately after rainfalls, and other wasteful practices. Municipalities will have to keep reporting their monthly water usage. With climate change threatening to make future droughts worse, Brown and others called on Californians to remain cautious about water usage.

“The next drought could be around the corner,” Brown said in a prepared statement.

Dry weather began in earnest in early 2012. It wasn’t until January 2014, with conditions worsening, that Brown declared a state of emergency and the drought officially began. Friday’s decision rescinds that declaration, as well as most drought-related executive orders he issued when the drought reached its zenith in 2015.

Brown lifted the drought order in every county except Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Tuolumne, where the governor said emergency drinking water projects will continue to help communities where wells have gone dry. The state will also continue fighting the bark beetle outbreak that has killed millions of trees weakened by drought.

In practical terms, the lifting of the drought order will have little effect on most Californians. After imposing mandatory cutbacks of an average of 25 percent in 2015, the state went to a more relaxed system last spring that imposed no restrictions on urban water agencies that could show they had at least three years’ worth of water in reserve. The vast majority of urban agencies passed that test.

Local officials had pushed Brown to end the restrictions altogether, saying it was getting increasingly difficult to preach conservation as the rains pounded. Brown held off for months, however, and state officials said they were heartened that Californians by and large kept conserving water over the past year, even with the stiff mandatory curbs out of the way.

“We … have learned how much less we can use,” said Felicia Marcus, chairwoman of the State Water Resources Control Board.

Even with Friday’s decision, California isn’t getting out of the conservation business. In response to an earlier order from Brown, five state agencies unveiled a long-range plan to rein in water use, called “Making Water Conservation a California Way of Life.” Among other things, the plan will require all 410 urban agencies to meet new targets, based on their local climates, land-use characteristics and other factors. The urban agencies would set the targets themselves, based on parameters set by the state.

Read more here:

http://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/water-and-drought/article143321754.html#storylink=cpy

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Trump administration boosts Mojave Desert water project

Agriculture - California, California water, Dams other than Klamath

The Trump administration has removed a major roadblock to plans by a Santa Monica company to pump ancient groundwater from below the Mojave Desert and sell it to urban areas of Southern California.

The federal Bureau of Land Management has rescinded a 2015 administrative finding that Cadiz, Inc. needed to obtain a federal right of way permit and thus had to complete comprehensive environmental studies before it could build a water pipeline within 43 miles of railroad right of way owned by the Arizona & California Railroad.

The move follows a January decision by the Trump transition team to put Cadiz on a list of priority infrastructure projects, and a state appellate court’s rejection last year of a lawsuit filed by environmental groups challenging the project.

The $225 million Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project still needs approval from the powerful Metropolitan Water District to use the Colorado River Aqueduct to ferry the water to urban Southern California.

Cadiz company officials said in statement that they are pleased with the Trump administration’s decision. The statement said they have always believed “the BLM’s 2015 evaluation was contrary to law and policy.”

In 2008, Cadiz entered into a lease agreement with the railroad company to build a pipeline in between the wells it owns in the Mojave Desert area, west of Needles and south of Interstate 40, to the Colorado River, using the railroad’s right of way over federal land.

From the river area, the water could be ferried to urban Southern California using the aqueduct and reservoir system operated by the Metropolitan Water District.

“Our discussions are continuing about what would be required before they can put water in the Colorado River Aqueduct,” said water district spokesman Bob Muir.

In 2002, the water district’s board voted down an earlier version of the Cadiz project that also needed to use the aqueduct.

The project is staunchly opposed by environmental and desert advocates, who say it would rob the desert of the water that plants and wildlife need to survive.

“Many of the springs and seeps are going to dry up because of groundwater extraction,” said Ileene Anderson, a biologist with the Center for Biological Diversity.

She is particularly concerned that the pumping would harm the Mojave National Preserve and recently created Mojave Trails National Preserve.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said in a statement that the new administration was muscling through the project without proper reviews. Feinstein is an ardent desert supporter who authored the California Desert Protection Act that created the preserve and other protections more than 20 years ago.

“The Trump administration wants to open the door for a private company to exploit a natural desert aquifer and destroy pristine public land purely for profit,” her statement said.

“The administration is completely undermining federal oversight of railroad rights-of-way.“

http://www.dailynews.com/environment-and-nature/20170405/trump-administration-boosts-mojave-desert-water-project

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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