With another potential government shutdown on the horizon, President Donald Trump remains coy about whether he’ll declare a national emergency to fund the border wall he promised during his 2016 campaign. This week, he told reporters that he could use that power and divert money from the Army Corps of Engineers. Democrats worry that could mean taking money away from ongoing projects in Northern California, like raising Folsom Dam.
They are giant conveyor belts of water in the sky, moisture-rich storms that roll in from the Pacific Ocean a few times a year to fill California’s reservoirs… But distinguishing a good atmospheric river storm — a modest one that can help end a drought — from a catastrophic one that can kill people has been elusive. On Tuesday, that changed, as scientists published the first-ever scale to rank the strength and impact of incoming atmospheric rivers, similar to the way hurricanes are classified.
While campaigning for president in 2016, Donald Trump promised a cheering Fresno crowd he would be “opening up the water” for Central Valley farmers… Trump took one of the most aggressive steps to date to fulfill that promise Tuesday by proposing to relax environmental regulations governing how water is shared between fish and human uses throughout the Central Valley.
On Tuesday, the Democratic members of the House Committee on Natural Resources elected Huffman to serve as chair for the newly established Water, Ocean and Wildlife Subcommittee. The chair is the result of a long career championing environmental protections and, for Huffman, it’s both an honor and a welcome added responsibility.
The growing leadership of women in water. The Colorado River’s persistent drought and efforts to sign off on a plan to avert worse shortfalls of water from the river. And in California’s Central Valley, promising solutions to vexing water resource challenges.
These were among the topics that Western Water news explored in 2018.
We’re already planning a full slate of stories for 2019. You can sign up here to be alerted when new stories are published. In the meantime, take a look at what we dove into in 2018:
The Bureau of Reclamation and the California Department of Water Resources have scheduled a negotiation session with seven Cross Valley Contractors on long-term conveyance contracts for the delivery of federal Central Valley Project water conveyed through state-owned facilities.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Reclamation will hold a public Open House on Thursday, July 31, 2014, to present and solicit comments on the Central Valley Project Improvement Act Annual Work Plans for Fiscal Year 2015.
For the first time in the more than half a century that the federal government had been diverting Sierra Nevada water to farmers, there would be no deliveries to most Central Valley irrigation districts. In the third year of drought, there wasn’t enough water to go around.
Late-hour motorists on Interstate 5 should expect long delays between Cottage Grove and Sutherlin tonight while an oversize load carrying a massive [Folsom] dam gate is transported through the area, the state Department of Transportation said Tuesday. …
“The Bureau of Reclamation has scheduled a meeting to update the public on the current status of the ongoing Cost Allocation Study for the Central Valley Project. The focus of the meeting will be to discuss the methodology on calculating the economic benefits for irrigation and municipal and industrial water supply.”
From the California Department of Water Resources (DWR):
“Located next to San Luis Reservoir along Highway 152 in Merced County, the [Romero Visitors] center features exhibits of the area’s history, dam construction and State Water Project construction and operations.”
“Farmers, water district officials and city leaders expressed frustration Thursday over the decision by federal managers to tap water from Friant Dam to meet a long-standing obligation with west-side landowners.”
2014 is one of California’s driest years on record, creating challenging hydrologic conditions for operations of the state and federal projects that move water across the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and to much of California.
Attend this free briefing on Wednesday, June 4, at the Sacramento Convention Center and learn about water project challenges.
“The Challenges of the 2014 Drought: Water Project Operations,” is sponsored by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the Water Education Foundation.
“Reclamation will begin increasing releases from Friant Dam near Fresno into the San Joaquin River on Thursday to help meet contractual obligations to deliver Central Valley Project water to the San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors Water Authority on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley.”