Debris From Homeless Camps Ending Up In Local Waterways After Storms

CBS Sacramento – The first big rain of the year is flushing massive amounts of debris from homeless camps down the American River in Sacramento County, and into California waterways. The storm hit just as the state’s Water Quality Control Board begins to look at the pollution problem along the river. The rising water is pushing more waste into the river in an area that is also home to Read More…

Evacuations ordered below Santa Barbara burn zones as area braces for…

Los Angeles Times – Ahead of a strong winter storm that could trigger flash flooding and mudslides, authorities have ordered evacuations of Santa Barbara County neighborhoods that sit below areas recently burned by wildfires. Residents who live in the following areas were told to evacuate by noon Monday: north of Highway 192, east of Cold Springs Road, and west of Highway 150/the county Read More…

A dense blob has kept California weather dry. Here’s how it works

The Sacramento Bee – Think of it as a dense blob of air. When it parks itself over the Pacific Ocean, it can act like a wall – and prevent rain and snow from reaching Northern California. When meteorologists say a “high pressure system” or a “ridiculously resilient ridge” is keeping the West unseasonably dry, this is what they mean. A series of persistent high pressure Read More…

Outlook 2018: The Biggest Water Topics in the West This Year

News Deeply – For the next few months much of the talk around water issues in California and the rest of the Western United States will be about how much precipitation falls, the water content of the snowpack and how temperatures will impact runoff in the spring. So far, we know we’re off to a slow start in terms of snow accumulation in much of the West. Snowpack in the Upper Read More…

Report: Systemic failures caused crisis at California dam

Times Standard – "Long-term and systemic failures" by California officials and regulators to recognize inherent construction and design flaws caused last year's near-disaster at the tallest U.S. dam, an independent panel of dam safety experts said Friday. Members of the Association of State Dam Safety Officials and the U.S. Society on Dams carried out an independent investigation into the Read More…

Flood Prevention 101: Stay Out of the Floodplain

PPIC – What did the catastrophic hurricane season of 2017 tell us about how we’re managing flood risk? We talked to Nicholas Pinter—a flood and floodplains expert at the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences and a member of the PPIC Water Policy Center research network―about improving flood management. PPIC: Why did Hurricane Harvey result in so much damage to Houston? Nicholas Read More…

Sparse Sierra snowpack has officials worried about a long, dry summer

San Francisco Chronicle – The giddiness that California water resources officials felt last winter as storms dropped record amounts of rain and snow has melted away under a relentless barrage of blue sky and sun. Now the question is, does the state have enough stored-up water to survive a dry year? The first Sierra snow measurement of the season Wednesday did nothing to ease concerns. Read More…

Earthquake Resilience of Southern California’s Water Distribution…

Maven's Notebook – California is earthquake country, renowned for being one of the most seismically active regions in the world. There are more than 300 faults criss-crossing the state that we know about, and an untold number we know nothing about.  Every year, there are more than 10,000 quakes in Southern California, most too small to be felt.  The USGS says there is a 99.7% chance a Read More…

Interior secretary nixes water agreement: Tribes, Upper Basin…

Herald and News – An agreement created in 2014 between the Klamath Tribes and Upper Basin landowners that was contingent on the former Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement has dissolved. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke issued a negative notice in the Federal Register, effective Dec. 28, for the Upper Klamath Basin Comprehensive Agreement (UKBCA), essentially the final step in Read More…

As fish disappear, Trump administration seeks to pump more California…

The Sacramento Bee – The Trump administration, teeing up a fight with California regulators, is trying to pump more water through the fragile Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to the southern half of the state despite fresh evidence of the estuary’s shrinking fish population. A proposal by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to “maximize water deliveries” represents the administration’s Read More…