Scientists say it would have been a catastrophe of unprecedented proportions. If the Glen Canyon Dam had failed, it would have changed the lives of millions of people and reshaped the history of the American West.
From The Modesto Bee, in a commentary by Jeff Jardine:
“DELUGE DEFINED – In February, I wrote about retired Bay Area meteorologist Leon Hunsaker and geologist (and Oakdale native) Claude W. Curran, who were summoned by the Tuolumne County Historical Society to settle the rainfall totals of 1862 once and for all.”
“Monday’s high temperature of 106 in downtown Sacramento broke the previous record of 103 degrees for June 9, which was set in 1883. … the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is letting water flow out of Folsom Dam this month about twice as fast as it is flowing in from the American River watershed upstream.”
From the Los Angeles Times, in a commentary by David Horsey:
“One of the great environmental success stories of our time is how the air in L.A. has gotten dramatically better over the years, thanks to auto emissions standards. … There are other good stories … It should be noted that every one of these positive outcomes resulted from government action.”
“Highlighting archeological and other historical sites in Florida, California and several other states, a report released Tuesday by the Union of Concerned Scientists said that rising waters and raging flames could undermine some of the nation’s most-cherished locations.”
“Today [May 15], for the first time this century, the entire state of California is in a severe drought — or worse. That’s according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, a federal website that has tracked drought across the country since 2000.”
“Not long after El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles was founded in the late 1700s, the pueblo’s early inhabitat dug a route for water to move from the Los Angeles river to the new settlement. … And earlier this month, workers in Los Angeles’ Chinatown unearthed a section.”
“Workers excavating the site of a $100-million Chinatown development have discovered a 100-foot section of Los Angeles’ first municipal water system, an ancient maze of brick and wooden pipes and conduits that once fed the city.”
“The first USGS streamgage in the country is turning 125 years old, and the U.S. Geological Survey, along with many partner agencies, is commemorating the event on Tuesday, April 22, with a celebration at the Embudo streamgage near Espanola.
“Another day beckons as the only postal worker in California who still delivers mail by boat heads out on the Delta to complete his appointed rounds. … Although mail delivery by water existed as far back as the early 1900s, overland routes gradually became the norm as communities grew and roads were built or improved.”
From the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Climatic Data Center (NCDC):
“Drought is a unique climate event, which often begins with subtle effects but can end up being incredibly costly and devastating. Paleoclimatology, or the study of past climate prior to instrumental records, allows scientists not only to collect evidence of past climate conditions, such as drought, but also provides them with a means to investigate the climate processes underlying these conditions.
“In a March 8, 1977, article, staff writer W.B. Rood reported: With Southern Californians wondering whether he will eventually favor rationing of their water, Gov. Brown Monday stepped up his appeal for voluntary conversation at the opening of a two-day drought conference here.”
“Thanks to seniority, powerful Central Valley irrigation districts that most Californians have never heard of are at the head of the line for vast amounts of water, even at the expense of the environment and the rest of the state.
“The list of the water-rich includes the Glenn-Colusa, Oakdale, South San Joaquin and Turlock districts.”