“The historic drought this year has pushed California’s twice-delayed water bond to the top of the public agenda, water experts told lawmakers Thursday.
“Now is the time for a ballot measure to fix the state’s aging water system, nurture the ecosystem and help rural communities get healthy drinking water, the experts said. A new dam on the San Joaquin River must be part of the equation, most said.”
“Pointing to cost overruns with California’s high-speed rail project, lawmakers on Wednesday pressed state officials on the funding sources and ultimate price tag for the governor’s water tunnel plan.”
“After six years of construction, a momentous event is expected later this month at the new flood-control spillway being built at Folsom Dam: The steel flood-control gates – the mechanical heart of the project – will begin to arrive for installation.”
“If lawmakers could send voters a November bond measure that would guarantee 150 inches of winter snow in the Sierra every year, Californians would certainly pass it, even if it cost a few billion dollars.”
From the San Francisco Chronicle, in a column by Jon Carroll:
“Several readers have suggested that the solution to the drought problem would be to build a long pipe from Canada to Northern California, where it would replace the water we routinely send to the desert kingdom to the south of us.”
“Gov. Brown said today that California, facing an unprecedented drought, needs to “make investments in safe drinking water” and that “recycling, expanded storage and serious groundwater management must all be part of the mix.” But the governor did not endorse multibillion-dollar bond plans to build water infrastructure projects.”
“The San Diego City Council unanimously approved $163.9 million in new or replaced fire stations, libraries, water and sewer lines and road and sidewalk repairs Tuesday, as it nibbled away at a multi-billion backlog in infrastructure needs.”
“In a case study of dams on the upper Missouri River, USGS researchers have demonstrated that an upstream dam is still a major control of river dynamics where the backwater effects of a downstream reservoir begin. In light of this finding, the conventional understanding of how a dam can influence a river may have to be adjusted to account for the fact that effects of river dams can interact with one another.
“For Shasta Dam, 2013 was a year of looking forward and back.
“While Shasta County residents celebrated 75 years since work started on the dam, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation continued to move forward with plans to make significant changes to the concrete structure.”
From the California Department of Water Resources (DWR):
“DWR engineers oversaw the repair of a section of the California Aqueduct near Palmdale. … DWR engineers and the contractor worked 24 hours a day, seven days a week in order to complete the repairs in December.”
“One of the games that politicians and interest groups play is called ‘economic impact.’ …
“We are seeing a lot of other ‘economic impact’ hype these days from sponsors of public and semi-public projects, such as the north-south bullet train, a twin tunnel water project in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, a football stadium in Los Angeles and new basketball arenas in Sacramento and San Francisco.”
“Big multimillion-dollar water projects, once a favorite target of good-government reformers who made them a poster child of political pork, are back in vogue as a rare force of concord in a dysfunctional Congress. …
“The last time Congress enacted a water projects bill was 2007, and it took two-thirds majorities in both houses to override President George W.