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:
Amy Haas recently became the first non-engineer and the first woman to serve as executive director of the Upper Colorado River Commission in its 70-year history, putting her smack in the center of a host of daunting challenges facing the Upper Colorado River Basin.
Yet those challenges will be quite familiar to Haas, an attorney who for the past year has served as deputy director and general counsel of the commission. (She replaced longtime Executive Director Don Ostler). She has a long history of working within interstate Colorado River governance, including representing New Mexico as its Upper Colorado River commissioner and playing a central role in the negotiation of the recently signed U.S.-Mexico agreement known as Minute 323.
The Santa Cruz City Council on Tuesday will hear a plan to increase sharply water rates and create a drought-recovery fee for funding infrastructure projects, stabilizing revenue and boosting reserves.
When the San Vicente Dam opened in 1943, engineers were already thinking about how to make it higher — a vision celebrated Wednesday by many who came to dedicate a new version of the venerable structure that’s 117 feet taller than the original.
From the Los Angeles Times, in a commentary by Jon Healey:
As much as Republicans might yearn for deep-blue California to fall into the deep blue ocean, the GOP-led House Appropriations Committee agreed this week to provide $5 million to support the development of an earthquake early warning system that could help reduce the injuries and damage caused by a big quake.
From the Los Angeles Times, in a column by Patt Morrison:
Lucy Jones is the U.S. Geological Survey seismologist seconded by Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office to spend a year creating the city’s first seismic resilience plan. Her grandfather worked for William Mulholland’s DWP, and her great-great and great grandparents are buried in a cemetery on the San Andreas fault
Eric Ward went to one of his regular fishing spots near the Oroville Dam Friday morning, and the scene was far from serene. … The word from the Department of Water Resources is that the rubber booms were deployed to capture any hydraulic oil that spilled into the water when a valve was tested, explained Mark Anderson, assistant State Water Project deputy director.
Aquafornia’s Water Word of the Week from sister site Aquapedia, the Water Education Foundation’s vetted, interactive online water encyclopedia, is Dams.
According to an excerpt: “Dams have allowed Californians and the West to harness and control water dating back to the days of Native Americans. At that time, Native Americans erected simple dams for catching salmon.
The ever-changing thermal geology of Yellowstone National Park has created a hot spot that melted an asphalt road and closed access to popular geysers and other attractions at the height of tourist season, officials said Thursday.
[Jim] Walker and construction crews building a new 220-foot-high dam at Calaveras Reservoir in the remote canyons east of Milpitas have been digging up a prehistoric treasure trove: the teeth of an extinct hippopotamus-like creature called a Desmostylus, clams, barnacles and the giant teeth from a 40-foot-long shark — and what could turn out to be an entire whale skeleton.
A bill to help streamline a project to connect Lake San Antonio and Lake Nacimiento with an underground pipeline has passed out of a key state Senate committee. Assembly Bill 155, authored by Salinas Assemblyman Luis Alejo, cleared the Local Government and Finance Committee with bipartisan support, Alejo’s office said Wednesday in a news release.
Bureau of Reclamation Acting Commissioner Lowell Pimley announced that Reclamation will provide $1.29 million to nine projects for Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Feasibility Studies. These nine projects are located in California, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas.