A wrap-up of posts published on Maven’s Notebook this week …
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DELTA SCIENCE UPDATE: Juvenile Chinook salmon antipredator behavior; Science Action Agenda, Review of the Delta monitoring enterprise
At the April meeting of the Delta Stewardship Council, Delta Lead Scientist Dr. Laurel Larsen highlighted research on juvenile salmon behavior in the presence of predators, and updated the Council on the activities of the Delta Science Program, the 2022-2026 Science Action Agenda was accepted by the Council, and the Delta Independent Science Board presented the results of their review of the Delta monitoring enterprise.
URBAN WATER INSTITUTE: SGMA implementation in the San Joaquin Valley: The farmers’ perspective
The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, or SGMA, was passed in 2014 during a period of critically dry years; the legislation was intended to stop the adverse impacts occurring due to the severe overpumping of groundwater basins. SGMA required groundwater basins to form a local groundwater sustainability agency and develop a groundwater sustainability plan to achieve sustainability in their groundwater basins within 20 years. Eight years into implementation, all GSAs have submitted the first groundwater sustainability plans and are beginning to implement them. For SGMA, the rubber is just now starting to hit the road.
The law will most impact the San Joaquin Valley, as most groundwater basins in the valley have been designated as critically overdrafted. At the Urban Water Institute’s annual spring meeting, a panel discussed the challenges that San Joaquin Valley farmers face and how they are responding.
Seated on the panel were Jason Phillips, CEO of the Friant Water Authority; Dr. David Sunding, an economist and professor at UC Berkeley; and Jack Rice, farmer and consultant.
A salty dispute: California Coastal Commission unanimously rejects desalination plant
“The California Coastal Commission tonight rejected the proposed construction of a desalination plant in Huntington Beach, sealing the controversial project’s fate after more than 20 years of debate. The unanimous decision about the $1.4-billion plant in Huntington Beach is pivotal because it sets a high bar for the future of turning seawater into drinking water in California, which can help buffer its vulnerable water supply against drought. The Coastal Commission staff had advised the commission to deny approval — citing, among other factors, the high cost of the water and lack of local demand for it, the risks to marine life and the possibility of flooding in the area as sea levels rise. ... ” Read more from Cal Matters here: A salty dispute: California Coastal Commission unanimously rejects desalination plant
How bad is water use in California? March is the worst so far, up 19%
“Californians emerged from the driest January, February and March on record with the biggest jump in water use since the drought began: a nearly 19% increase in March compared to two years earlier. Despite the urgent pleas of water officials, California’s water use in March is the highest since 2015, standing in stark contrast to February, when residents and businesses used virtually the same amount of water in cities and towns as two years ago. The massive increase shrank conservation gains since last summer, according to data released today by the State Water Resources Control Board: During the period from last July through March, Californians used 3.7% less water than during the same stretch in 2020. … ” Read more from Cal Matters here: How bad is water use in California? March is the worst so far, up 19%
California drought: Which regions are saving the most — and least — water
“This year is shaking out to be another dry year as the winter months, when the state records much of its precipitation, did not deliver as much rain and snow as hoped. The continuing drought means water providers across California — and their consumers — must conserve more water to avoid running out. Gov. Gavin Newsom called for a 15% decrease in water use, but only a small portion of the suppliers met that goal. Statewide, water use soared by about 19% in March 2022 compared to the same month in 2020. … ” Continue reading at the San Francisco Chronicle here: California drought: Which regions are saving the most — and least — water
California braces for extreme summer drought after dismal wet season
“California’s water officials on Tuesday continued topaint a grim picture of the state’s sapped water supplies as it endures a third year of severe drought. April storms that brought welcome rain and snow did little to alter that trajectory and were not nearly enough to overcome a record dry start to the year. Despite erratic bursts of precipitation since October, snowpack on April 1 was the fifth-lowest on record since 1950, state climatologist Michael Anderson said. It sits at just 22 percent of average as of May 10. “We used to get these monster snowpacks above 200 percent of average — the last one was in 1983,” Anderson said Tuesday. “Since then, they haven’t made an appearance.” … ” Continue reading from the Washington Post here: California braces for extreme summer drought after dismal wet season
The Delta: The biggest potential water disaster in the United States
” … Most precipitation in California falls in the north, while the biggest users, including all the major metropolitan areas and the immense farms of the San Joaquin Valley, are farther south. Devising ways to move water from wet places to dry places has been the labor of generations. During the past century and a half, miners, farmers, politicians, engineers, conservationists, and schemers of all kinds have worked—together and against one another—to create one of the most complex water-shifting systems in the world. In mid-February, I ate lunch at Bethany Reservoir State Recreation Area, a ninety-minute drive south of Sacramento, with Jay Lund, who is a co-director of the Center for Watershed Sciences at the University of California, Davis, and Peter Moyle, an emeritus professor at the same university. Lund is in his sixties, and Moyle is almost eighty. Spring was well under way—on our drive to Bethany, we’d passed hundreds of acres of blossoming almond trees with neat stacks of beehives spaced at intervals along the rows, for pollination—but the weather was still cool enough for jackets. … ” Read the full story at the New Yorker here: The Delta: The biggest potential water disaster in the United States
‘A race to the bottom’: New bill aims to limit frenzy of well drilling on California farms
“In farming areas across the Central Valley, a well-drilling frenzy has accelerated over the last year as growers turn to pumping more groundwater during the drought, even as falling water levels leave hundreds of nearby homes with dry wells. Counties have continued freely issuing well-drilling permits in the years since California passed a landmark law, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014, which is intended to address the problem of excessive pumping over the next two decades to preserve groundwater. Some state legislators are now supporting a bill that they say would strengthen oversight and limit the well-drilling frenzy by requiring a review of permits for new wells by the same local agencies that are charged with managing groundwater. … ” Read more from the LA Times here: ‘A race to the bottom’: New bill aims to limit frenzy of well drilling on California farms
Water Commission white paper on groundwater trading considers ways to protect vulnerable users and potential next steps for state agencies
“As part of the California Water Commission’s assessment of how to shape well-managed groundwater trading programs with appropriate safeguards for vulnerable water users, Commission staff will present a final draft of its white paper containing its findings and the potential next steps for State engagement at the May 18, 2022, meeting. The Commission will be asked to approve the paper. If the paper is approved, it will be shared with the Secretaries for Natural Resources, Environmental Protection, and Food and Agriculture, who requested the Commission’s engagement on this topic. ... ”
Click here to read the full press release from the California Water Commission.
Federal and state agencies submit the 2022 Sacramento River Temperature Management Plan
“After the driest January, February, and March ever recorded, state and federal agencies, water users, communities, and others are pulling together to make the most of extremely limited water supplies in one of the driest years on record in California. The Sacramento River Temperature Management Plan and efforts to manage water this year on the Sacramento River reflect unparalleled collaboration, sacrifice, and innovation to help fish, wildlife, and farms survive what may be the most difficult water year we have ever faced. Current drought conditions called for difficult decisions to be made this year with far reaching impacts. We are now joining together to implement innovative strategies for fish and wildlife to promote survival across different watersheds, as well as working together to address the unprecedented dry year impacts to farmers, water suppliers, and the communities in the Sacramento Valley dependent upon these water supplies.” The joint efforts include the Bureau of Reclamation, NOAA Fisheries, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California Environmental Protection Agency, California Department of Water Resources, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Sacramento River Settlement Contractors.
Click here to view/download the 2022 Sacramento River Temperature Management Plan.
Court of Appeal sides with parties seeking attorneys’ fees for challenge to California WaterFix project
“Siding with public agencies and environmental groups who filed numerous legal challenges to the “twin tunnel” Delta conveyance project known as California WaterFix, the Third District Court of Appeal today unanimously held that the trial court improperly denied the appellants’ attorneys’ fees motions when it ruled that their legal challenges were not a “catalyst” for the State’s 2019 decision to rescind the WaterFix project approvals and decertify the project environmental impact report (EIR). After nearly two years of litigation, and several years in proceedings before the State Water Board and the Delta Stewardship Council, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) withdrew the WaterFix approvals following Governor Newsom’s issuance of an executive order directing DWR to “inventory and assess” planning efforts for a Delta conveyance project. ... ” Continue reading at Somach Simmons & Dunn here: Court of Appeal sides with parties seeking attorneys’ fees for challenge to California WaterFix project
Letter to Governor Newsom: Drought-driven voluntary agreements and legal loopholes threaten our salmon heritage, the environment, and community health
Coalition of conservation and fishing groups writes to Governor Newsom saying, “We are gravely concerned about the environmental and socio-economic impacts of the Voluntary Agreements and the growing lack of compliance with CEQA and other water protections. These actions implemented under the guise of the drought emergency will increase risks of irreversible damage to our natural heritage and our communities. We object to any taxpayer funding for the proposed Voluntary Agreements (VAs). These back-room VAs do not meet legal protections for the environment, fail to protect the health of the Bay-Delta estuary, its native fish and wildlife, and the jobs and communities that depend on its health and exacerbate economic inequality. … ”
Letters to legislators: Environmentalists, Environmental Justice groups, and fishing groups send letters in opposition to state funding for Bay-Delta voluntary agreements
“Dear President pro Tempore Atkins, Speaker Rendon, Senator Skinner and Assemblyman Ting: We are writing on behalf of the above environmental and environmental justice organizations to urge you to oppose funding to support the recently released Bay-Delta voluntary agreement (VA) proposal, in the upcoming state budget. The Bay-Delta ecosystem is in a state of severe crisis. This crisis can be seen in endangered fish species on the brink of extinction, declining salmon runs that are critical to commercial, recreational and tribal interests, worsening harmful algae blooms in the Delta, and more. This crisis has been worsening for more than three decades. The primary cause is the failure of the State Water Resources Control Board to adopt and implement science-based flow standards to replace inadequate existing Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan requirements, which were adopted in 1995. The new VA outline fails to propose adequate flow standards. In fact, if implemented, the new outline would provide less protection than in the recent past. In addition, this outline is likely to be used to argue – yet again – for more delay by the State Board. ... ”
Click here to read the letter from environmental and environmental justice groups.
The Abundance Choice, Part One: California’s Failing Water Policies
Edward Ring, contributing editor and senior fellow with the California Policy Center, writes, “In October, and then again in December 2021, as the third severe drought this century was entering its third year, not one but two atmospheric rivers struck California. Dumping torrents of rain with historic intensity, from just these two storm systems over 100 million acre feet of water poured out of the skies, into the rivers, and out to sea. Almost none of it was captured by reservoirs or diverted into aquifers. Since December, not one big storm has hit the state. After a completely dry winter, a few minor storms in April and May were too little too late. California’s reservoirs are at critical lows, allocations to farmers are in many cases down to zero, and urban water districts are tapping their last reserves. In some areas of Southern California, water agencies are now penalizing residential “water wasters” by coming onto their property and installing flow restrictors. ... ” Read more from the California Globe here: The Abundance Choice, Part One: California’s Failing Water Policies
The abundance choice, part 2: The problems with indoor water rationing
Edward Ring, a contributing editor and senior fellow with the California Policy Center, writes, “Perhaps the biggest example of misguided water policy in California are the escalating restrictions on indoor water consumption. As will be seen, the savings these restrictions amount to are trivial in the context of California’s total water consumption, yet are imposed at tremendous cost both in quality of life and in the required economic sacrifice. Despite alternatives that are objectively more cost-effective, California’s water policy continues to go down the path of rationing indoor water use. In 2018 the California Legislature enacted laws to restrict residential water consumption, in the form of Senate Bill 606 and Assembly Bill 1668. For urban water districts, the laws “establish a standard of 55 gallons per person per day until January 2025, and then to 50 gallons per person per day in 2030.” It is fair to point out that some of the more alarmist reactions to these mandates are unfounded. … ” Read more from the California Globe here: The abundance choice, part 2: The problems with indoor water rationing
Advocates urge action to tackle Big Ag water abuse as drought worsens, voluntary conservation fails
Dan Bacher writes, “Domestic water use in California rose by 19 percent in March, exposing what Food & Water Watch describes as the “clear failure” of Governor Gavin Newsom’s repeated pleas for voluntary reductions in household water consumption, as well as California’s failure to rein in Big Ag and other corporate water abusers. … Food & Water Watch and other environmental advocates have long urged mandatory action to curb excessive urban water use and the need to rein in some of the biggest corporate water abusers such as Beverly Hills billionaires Stewart and Linda Resnick, which they say Newsom has thus far ignored. “Research from the nonprofit environmental advocacy group Food & Water Watch lays out the enormous scale of corporate water abuse among fossil fuel interests and agribusiness in California’s San Joaquin Valley,” according to a press statement from Food & Water Watch. … ” Continue reading at the Daily Kos here: Advocates urge action to tackle Big Ag water abuse as drought worsens, voluntary conservation fails
Collaborative junk science is the core of the Delta voluntary agreements
Doug Obegi, Director of California River Restoration for the NRDC, writes, “After years of exclusionary backroom negotiations over Bay-Delta voluntary agreements, earlier this week the State made a ham-fisted attempt to greenwash these proposed voluntary agreements, sending this email inviting a handful of people who had participated in VA conversations years ago to participate in “two workshops to finalize the governance and decision-making process for the implementation of the VA program.” (DWR subsequently sent a revised email to NRDC and several other organizations, while still excluding numerous Tribes, conservation groups, and other stakeholders.) Inviting previously excluded groups to join a meeting to “finalize” the voluntary agreements is not a legitimate collaborative process. … ” Read more from the NRDC here: Collaborative junk science is the core of the Delta voluntary agreements
CA water rights: An unfair foundation yields unfair results
Kate Poole, NRDC’s Senior Director, Water Division, writes, “California’s system of water rights is undeniably built on a violent and racist foundation. The most valuable “senior” water rights with the highest claim of priority were snatched up by white European immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th century, while Native Americans, blacks, Asians, and other people of color were systematically excluded from laying claim to water rights during the era when priority status was established. This shameful history manifests today in unfair allocation of water in California, and will continue to do so until water rights are reformed. Sadly, the inequity of this system has not diminished with time but is glaringly apparent in drought years like this one. ... ” Read more from the NRDC here: CA water rights: An unfair foundation yields unfair results
Restore the Delta: The late invitation
“Dear Director Nemeth, Thank you for your email regarding the upcoming voluntary agreement governance meetings. At this time, Restore the Delta is respectfully declining your invitation. I would like to share a few reasons behind our decision to forego participation. First, we feel this invitation has come too late within the voluntary agreement process, unless the process started over with representatives from all the impacted parties at the table from the beginning — a redo so to speak. Restore the Delta has been asking for a seat at the table since 2019. We offered you and DWR staff tours. We wrote a report around our concerns regarding climate resiliency that we shared with DWR and the Resources Agency. We offered extensive comments around the Water Portfolio, HABs issues, DSC processes and planning, and comment letters to the State Water Resources Control Board regarding Delta management in relation to drought and the need for a Bay-Delta Plan, or at least an inclusive voluntary agreement process rooted in equity. We have been quite prolific in communicating our views, concerns, and recommendations. ... ” Read more from Restore the Delta here: Restore the Delta: The late invitation
On sowing doubt about extinction risks for Chinook salmon in 2022
Deirdre Des Jardins writes, “A decade ago, Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway wrote the seminal book, Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming. Oreskes and Conway documented how scientists paid by the tobacco industry sowed doubt about the links between smoking and lung cancer, and how the same strategy has been used with climate change, acid rain, the ozone hole, and asbestos. Similar tactics have been used to sow doubt about the causes of the collapse of native fish populations in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and its watersheds. ... ” Read more at the California Water Research blog here: On sowing doubt about extinction risks for Chinook salmon in 2022
2022 Sacramento River Operations – Temperature Management Plan
Tom Cannon writes, “So much is at stake in this water year 2022: water supplies, water quality, agricultural production, hydropower production, as well as the future of salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, smelt, and other native fishes of the Klamath and Sacramento-San Joaquin watersheds. Despite the lessons of the 1976-1977, 1987-1992, 2007-2009, and 2013-2015 droughts, the choices and tradeoffs are more difficult, and effects more significant and consequential to the fish, in 2022, the third year of the 2020-2022 drought. The State Water Resources Control Board is about to approve 2022 water operation plans for Central Valley Project (CVP) and the State Water Project (SWP). Among the most immediate effects of these plans will be the fate of iconic fisheries resources of the Sacramento and Klamath Rivers, in 2022 and beyond. … ” Read more from the California Fisheries blog here: 2022 Sacramento River Operations – Temperature Management Plan
Why the West is running out of water and can’t get more
The Las Vegas Review-Journal editorial board writes, “When beavers make a dam that redirects a river, they don’t wait for an environmental permit. When a volcano erupts, the Hawaiian goddess Pele doesn’t first fret over carbon emissions. A hungry cat doesn’t care if the bird it’s eating is endangered or not. At some point, the environmental movement needs to remember that humans are part of nature, too. … Increasingly, it seems that modern-day greens aren’t interested in more sustainable human progress but in blocking that progress regardless. It speaks volumes that Gov. Newsom now represents the voice of reason on his state’s water dilemma. Desalination plants hold tremendous potential for addressing water shortages. … ” Read the full editorial at the Las Vegas Review-Journal here: Why the West is running out of water and can’t get more
Divers pulled 25,000 pounds of trash from Lake Tahoe. Now they want to clean more Sierra lakes
“A first-of-its-kind project to remove underwater litter and junk along Lake Tahoe’s 72-mile shoreline concludes on Tuesday as scuba divers complete the final leg of their garbage-collecting circuit in the waters near Stateline, Nev., where they began a year ago. The amount of trash collected: 25,200 pounds, which will increase slightly with the final haul today. And divers hope to repeat the feat for more lakes in the region, including Fallen Leaf, a small lake adjacent to Tahoe, and June Lake, a popular fishing and camping destination in the Eastern Sierra. … ” Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: Divers pulled 25,000 pounds of trash from Lake Tahoe. Now they want to clean more Sierra lakes
Continuing droughtpromptsreadoption ofemergency curtailmentregulation in Russian River
“WithCalifornia experiencing one of the driestwinterson record andwater in the Russian Riverexpectedtoagain reachcritically low levelsdue to a thirdconsecutive year of drought,the StateWater Resources Control Board today readoptedan emergency regulation authorizing the Division of Water Rights to curtaildiversionsinSonoma and Mendocino countiestoprotectthreateneddrinking water suppliesandmigratingfish.Per the renewedregulation, curtailment orders will be issuedbased onwater supplyshortageor when insufficient flows imperil fish in the Lower Russian River watershed.As of May 5, both Lake Mendocino and Lake Sonoma were below 60 percent of storagecapacity.Approximately2,000 right holdersare expected toreceivetheordersalthoughsomemight not be directed to curtail their diversions until later in the summer.Water users willbe required totrack their water availability and curtailment status on the“CurtailmentStatus List”on the Russian River Drought website. … ” Continue reading this press release from the State Water Board here: Continuing drought prompts readoption ofemergency curtailment regulation in Russian River
“Water cops” likely this summer as Santa Clara County misses drought goal by large margin
“If you waste water in Santa Clara County, water cops could soon be on the way. Since last summer, Santa Clara County residents have been asked to cut water use by 15% from 2019 levels to conserve as the state’s drought worsens. But they continue to miss that target — and by a growing amount. In March, the county’s 2 million residents not only failed to conserve any water, but they increased use by 30% compared to March 2019, according to newly released data. Now, faced with the alarming prospect of water shortages, the Santa Clara Valley Water District — a government agency and the county’s largest water provider — is proposing to hire water enforcement officials to issue fines of up to $500 for residents watering so much that it runs into the street or watering lawns too many times a week or wasting water in other ways. … ” Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here: “Water cops” likely this summer as Santa Clara County misses drought goal by large margin
San Lorenzo Valley Water Districts move closer to consolidation with fire-damaged systems
“The CZU August Lightning Complex fire continues to impact Santa Cruz County water reliability more than one and a half years after the fire erupted, but some customers are getting closer to relief. On Thursday, the San Lorenzo Valley Water District Board of Directors accepted a legal document during a meeting that further solidifies a consolidation between the purveyor and two small community water systems that suffered serious fire damage. Big Basin Water Co. was particularly hard hit in the blaze, losing nearly all its crucial water infrastructure. The company has served some 500 customers off of a single well as result, meaning erratic water service and weeks-long outages. … ” Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here: San Lorenzo Valley Water Districts move closer to consolidation with fire-damaged systems
Monterey: If we need desal for the region’s future water supply, how could it possibly get approved?
” … The California Public Utilities Commission approved the environmental impact report for Cal Am’s project in 2018, but when it came to the Coastal Commission, its staff twice recommended denying a permit—both in 2019 and 2020—in part because of the potential harm it could cause to local aquifers, and for social justice concerns regarding the water’s cost. (Cal Am withdrew its application before the commissioners voted on it.) And therein lies a paradox: On one hand, the state is putting a premium on marine life, yet subsurface intake wells – which state policy prefers – are too expensive. Instead, a cheaper, less energy-intensive project – the recycled water project Pure Water Monterey – is where the money and water ultimately flowed. Yet the widespread consensus among local water professionals is that, at some point in the coming years, the region will require a desal project to meet future demand. But given the permitting hurdles, how will that happen? … ” Read the full story at Monterey Weekly here: If we need desal for the region’s future water supply, how could it possibly get approved?
San Joaquin Valley: SGMA meeting brings varying interests together to work towards common action
“A recent event in Visalia brought together a wide array of interests to discuss the impact of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). More than 400 people attended the SGMA meeting, entitled “Save Our Communities.” Several San Joaquin Valley mayors, lawmakers, sheriffs, and representatives from banking and educational institutions were all in attendance. The implementation of SGMA is expected to have far-reaching effects in various sectors of valley communities. President and CEO of the Western Agricultural Processors Association (WAPA), Roger Isom said these types of meetings are an important step in presenting a unified voice in seeking solutions. … ” Read more from Ag Net West here: SGMA meeting brings varying interests together to work towards common action
Ventura agrees to 20-year deal to lease its state water supply. Here’s why
“Ventura has struck a 20-year deal with a Riverside County water wholesaler that would save the city millions of dollars in costs to maintain its rights to imported state water. Under the agreement approved last month, the city would lease its share of imported water to the San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency in Beaumont, an arrangement that would reap $1.1 million this year and cover nearly half of the $2.27 million it will owe to keep its state water entitlement.San Gorgonio would increase its share of the costs starting next year. Ventura has had rights to State Water Project supplies since the early 1970s, paying up to $1.5 million annually, but it has no inter-tie to access the project, a network of dams, pumps and aqueducts that draws snow and rain runoff from Northern California. … ” Read more from the Ventura County Star here: Ventura agrees to 20-year deal to lease its state water supply. Here’s why
DWP customers in L.A. face two-day-a-week water restrictions, with eight-minute limit
“Nearly 4 million Angelenos will be reduced to two-day-a-week watering restrictions on June 1 under drought rules released by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power on Tuesday. The highly anticipated announcement came two weeks after the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California called for the strictest-ever water cuts in the region due to worsening drought conditions and reduced supplies from the California State Water Project. The MWD action left many to wonder just how the rules would be applied in L.A. Unlike some water agencies affected by the district’s order for a 35% reduction, the DWP opted not to scale back to one-day-a-week watering rules. Instead, it will focus on staying at or below a monthly volumetric allocation, top officials said. … ” Read more from the LA Times here: DWP customers in L.A. face two-day-a-week water restrictions, with eight-minute limit
Devore residents battling water company over multimillion-dollar tank on board member’s land
Imperial Irrigation District preparing water apportionment plan
“The Imperial Irrigation District is preparing a water apportionment plan for Imperial Valley growers to rein in a projected water overrun after the federal government declared a water shortage, reducing the amount of water that Arizona, Nevada and Mexico can claim from the Colorado River. The IID holds the largest and most secure federal entitlement on the Colorado River, but current Bureau of Reclamation projections show the district exceeding its allocation by more than 92,000 acre-feet of water this year as grain prices reach record highs following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The IID’s senior water rights protect it from planned water cuts, but they don’t cushion the Valley’s growers if the district uses more water than it is allocated during a drought. IID officials worry that if there is an inadvertent overrun, the Bureau of Reclamation will shut off the tap. … ” Read more from the Calexico Chronicle here: IID Preparing Water Apportionment Plan
The Colorado River needs a big moisture boost. Runoff forecasts suggest it won’t come from spring snowmelt
“Spring snowmelt likely won’t deliver the big water supply bump the drought-stricken Colorado River and its reservoirs need, data from the latest federal river forecast shows. The May to July season is a crucial time for the river, which is replenished by snowmelt running off the mountains on the Western Slope, and the system is in need of a major moisture boost amid a 20-year drought fueled by climate change. Lake Powell is expected to get only 59 percent of the amount of water that usually flows into the reservoir between May and July, according to the National Weather Service’s Colorado River Basin Forecast Center. That’s not great for the vital reservoir and hydropower source, which is sitting at its lowest level on record. … ” Read more from Colorado Public Radio here: The Colorado River needs a big moisture boost. Runoff forecasts suggest it won’t come from spring snowmelt