DAILY DIGEST: Dam handlers made missteps in handling Oroville crisis; DWR responds to report of spillway construction, maintenance defects; Cosumnes River provides model for floodplain restoration in California; Sierra snowpack bigger than last 4 years combined; and more …

In California water news today, Dam handlers made missteps in handling Oroville crisis; Report: Flaws in design, building, and upkeep led to Oroville Dam spillway failure; Expert performed autopsy on Oroville spillway collapse.  Here's what he found; DWR responds to report of spillway construction, maintenance defects; Company that made Folsom Dam safer lands job of fixing Oroville Dam; New report shows thousands of California jobs lost due to water cuts; Cosumnes River provides model for floodplain restoration in California; Continuing storms led to increase in State Water Project allocations, official says; Sierra snowpack bigger than last 4 years combined; As historic drought ends, Californians vow to retain water-saving habits; and more …

On the calendar today …

In the news today …

Dam handlers made missteps in handling Oroville crisis:  “Late in the afternoon of Feb. 12, Sheriff Kory Honea was at the emergency operations center for the tallest dam in America when he overheard someone say something that stopped him in his tracks:  “This is not good.”  Over six straight days, the operators of the Oroville Dam had been saying there was no immediate danger after water surging down the main spillway gouged a hole the size of a football field in the concrete chute. ... ”  Read more from the AP here:  Dam handlers made missteps in handling Oroville crisis

Report: Flaws in design, building, and upkeep led to Oroville Dam spillway failure:  “An independent analysis of the spillway failure at Oroville Dam concludes that extensive sections of the concrete structure disintegrated due to a series of design, construction and maintenance flaws stretching back more than half a century.  The root-cause analysis, by Robert Bea, a retired professor of civil engineering at UC Berkeley and co-founder of the university’s Center for Catastrophic Risk Management, contends that “the gated spillway failures are deeply rooted in pervasive design defects and flaws developed by the California Department of Water Resources” — the agency that built the dam in the 1960s and now owns it. … ”  Read more from KQED here:  Report: Flaws in design, building, and upkeep led to Oroville Dam spillway failure

Expert performed autopsy on Oroville spillway collapse.  Here's what he found:  “As state officials clamp down on records at Oroville Dam, one of the country’s foremost experts on catastrophic engineering failures has used state inspection reports, photographs and historical design specifications to piece together an autopsy detailing why the spillway at the country’s tallest dam failed so spectacularly this winter.  The independent analysis by Robert Bea, of the Center for Catastrophic Risk Management at UC Berkeley, points to design and construction flaws dating back to the spillway’s construction in the 1960s. Bea said the gaping crater that formed in the spillway on Feb. 7 was all but inevitable given that the design problems were compounded by inadequate upkeep and maintenance. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  Expert performed autopsy on Oroville spillway collapse.  Here’s what he found

DWR responds to report of spillway construction, maintenance defects“This week, an engineer for the Center of Catastrophic Risk Management at UC Berkeley released his report detailing numerous design, construction and maintenance defects on the Oroville Dam spillway.  Department of Water Resources officials said they had not yet read the report, but insist that aging infrastructure and a historically heavy rain season are what caused the problem.  “We are dealing with an aged infrastructure that was developed back in the 60's,” said Kristyne Van Skike, research program specialist for DWR. ... ”  Read more from KRCR here:  DWR responds to report of spillway construction, maintenance defects

Company that made Folsom Dam safer lands job of fixing Oroville Dam:  “The company that built one of greater Sacramento’s most important flood-control projects in years will fix the damaged spillways at Oroville Dam, site of a near catastrophe two months ago.  Kiewit Corp. of Omaha, Neb., beat two competitors for the right to repair the Oroville spillways, whose problems triggered the evacuation of 188,000 residents in February amid fears of massive flooding. The California Department of Water Resources announced late Monday that Kiewit will be paid $275.4 million for the project, which is expected to take two years to complete. ... ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  Company that made Folsom Dam safer lands job of fixing Oroville Dam

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.  Acclaimed U.C. Berkeley Professor and Department of Agricultural & Resources Chair David L. Sunding studied the impacts of water cuts since 2000 and found that California is losing an average of 1.3 million acre-feet of water each year – enough water to sustain more than 10 million Southern California residents for a full year or irrigate 400,000 acres of farmland. … ”  Read more from KERO here:  New report shows thousands of California jobs lost due to water cuts

Cosumnes River provides model for floodplain restoration in California:  “With California’s surface drought over, the state can prioritize investing in groundwater recharge and floodplain restoration to help fight one of its biggest lingering problems: groundwater overdraft. As it does so, the relatively unknown Cosumnes River watershed has emerged as a model.  Roughly half of the groundwater basins in California’s Central Valley are critically overdrafted, including the San Joaquin Valley basin to the south of the Cosumnes. Though groundwater levels in the Cosumnes basin have also appreciably declined since the 1950s, cutting edge research at the Cosumnes River Preserve, a 50,000-plus acre public-private partnership in the eastern Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, has shown that floodplain restoration can substantially recharge groundwater as well as provide habitat and improve fish migration. ... ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  Cosumnes River provides model for floodplain restoration in California

Continuing storms led to increase in State Water Project allocations, official says: Continuing rain and snow prompted California to change course and increase State Water Project allocations right away rather than waiting for the Oroville Dam rebuilding project to proceed.  The state announced April 14 that SWP contractors north of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta would get their full allocations for the first time since 2006, while agencies south of the Delta would get 85 percent of normal supplies.  The increase from 60 percent came one day after acting Department of Water Resources director Bill Croyle said it could be May or June before a decision was made on whether to further boost deliveries. ... ”  Read more from the Capital Press here:  Continuing storms led to increase in State Water Project allocations, official says

Sierra snowpack bigger than last 4 years combined:  “New NASA data show that snowpack in the Tuolumne River Basin in California's Sierra Nevada — a major source of water for San Francisco and California's Central Valley — is currently larger than the four previous years of snowpack combined. NASA's Airborne Snow Observatory (ASO) measured the Tuolumne Basin snowpack on April 1, a critical annual measurement of snow for states and their inhabitants, at 1.2 million acre-feet (1.5 cubic kilometers). That's enough snow to fill the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, nearly 1,600 times.  The Airborne Snow Observatory is the only program that measures snow depth, snow water equivalent (the water contained in snow), and how much sunlight snow reflects over an entire basin, using two scientific instruments (a scanning lidar and an imaging spectrometer) on a King Air aircraft. … ”  Read more from NASA here:  Sierra snowpack bigger than last 4 years combined

As historic drought ends, Californians vow to retain water-saving habits: “Cooper Olson was relieved when he first heard that California Gov. Jerry Brown had declared the end of the state’s drought this month. Drought has marked six of the 15 years he’s lived in the state, he says, and it was uplifting to know that the recent rains had restored life to the parched lawns and dusty hillsides.  But Mr. Olson, a creative director at a Los Angeles advertising agency, has no illusions about the new situation. He plans to keep the habits he picked up during the drought, he says. ... ” Read more from the Christian Science Monitor here:  As historic drought ends, Californians vow to retain water-saving habits

In commentary today …

Collaboration really does work, says Norm Groot:  He writes, “Something great is happening in Monterey County. Working together with a broad and diverse coalition of local stakeholders, we took a state mandate that first appeared to be lemons and we made lemonade. And I am proud to be a part of it.  As background, in 2015 California implemented the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, or SGMA for short. The law requires that each groundwater basin deemed as critical establish a groundwater management agency to develop a local sustainable management plan. … ”  Continue reading at the Salinas Californian here:  Collaboration really does work

Lois Henry: 20 years of water restrictions for fish have been hard on humans:  “Farmers have griped for years about how environmental restrictions on the amount of water pumped from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta have pinched their operations.  Now an economic report puts actual numbers to that griping.  The report, by UC Berkeley professor David Sunding, looks at how nearly 20 years of restrictions have affected farmers, cities, jobs and wages.  But it doesn't say how the fish are doing. … ”  Continue reading at the Bakersfield Californian here:  20 years of water restrictions for fish have been hard on humans

In regional news and commentary today …

Ridgecrest: Drilling wells? Selling water?  Tribe says no: The Timbisha Shoshone tribe has no intention of drilling a well on their local property, let alone selling water from such a well.  That was the word from tribal chair George Gholson at the Timbisha Shoshone casino workshop last week.  “The tribe has no plans whatsoever to drill a well. It doesn’t make any sense for us to do that,” said Gholson in response to a question from Peggy Breeden, who said she was speaking as a citizen of the valley and not as mayor. … ”  Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent here:  Drilling wells? Selling water?  Tribe says no

The trees that make Southern California shady and green are dying.  Fast.  “The trees that shade, cool and feed people from Ventura County to the Mexican border are dying so fast that within a few years it’s possible the region will look, feel, sound and smell much less pleasant than it does now.  “We’re witnessing a transition to a post-oasis landscape in Southern California,” says Greg McPherson, a supervisory research forester with the U.S. Forest Service who has been studying what he and others call an unprecedented die-off of the trees greening Southern California’s parks, campuses and yards. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  The trees that make Southern California shady and green are dying.  Fast.

Surfers stoked: Drought's end means beachgoers get showers back: “There is a buzz among the surfers at Doheny State Beach this week, and it isn’t just because a new swell brought fun waves.  Surfers are stoked for another reason: showers at state beaches that had been turned off during the drought are flowing once again, meaning surfers can rinse off that messy sand and sticky salt before leaving the beach. … ” Read more from the OC Register here: Surfers stoked: Drought’s end means beachgoers get showers back

Precipitation watch …

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

Today’s announcements …

 

Sign up for daily email service and you’ll never miss a post …

Daily emailsSign up for free daily email service and you'll get all the Notebook's aggregated and original water news content delivered to your email box by 9AM. And with breaking news alerts, you'll always be one of the first to know …


About the Daily Digest: The Daily Digest is a collection of selected news articles, commentaries and editorials appearing in the mainstream press. Items are generally selected to follow the focus of the Notebook blog. The Daily Digest is published every weekday with a weekend edition posting on Sundays.

 

(Visited 561 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply