“The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted unanimously to declare a local emergency ‘and imminent threat of disaster’ from drought conditions, and appointed two of its members to an ad-hoc committee to come up with a plan to keep local communities from going dry.”
“The Bureau of Reclamation, in partnership with the State of California Department of Water Resources, today [Dec. 30] released a progress report on the North-of-the-Delta Offstream Storage Investigation. The proposed project would be located about 10 miles northwest of Maxwell, Calif.
“The progress report is being distributed as a status update summarizing the Investigation from 2001 to present.
“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.”
“The Yuba County Water Agency is filing to renew its operating license with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the first time since the agency’s creation almost 50 years ago, and it will dictate how the YCWA will run the Yuba River Development Project for the next 50 years.”
From the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA):
“The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has released a progress report on feasibility studies for plans to construct an off-stream storage reservoir near Sites.
“The report presents results to date of studies evaluating the potential benefits and impacts of three alternative plans for the reservoir, formally known as the North-of-Delta Offstream Storage project.”
“December is usually not the time of year to discuss water rationing. But this holiday month has been so dry that mandatory water conservation orders are beginning to sweep across the Sacramento region. …
“In some cases, these will be the strictest water rationing orders the region has seen since the drought of 1976-77, one of the worst in history.”
“Farmers, ranchers and onetime loggers were among those who packed a church community room here in August to listen to a former state lawmaker convey his vision of a cleaved — and more governable — California. …
“The menu of grievances includes a proposal to remove Klamath River dams, a crackdown on gold dredging and a fire prevention fee for rural areas that has been challenged in the courts as a tax.”
“While some groups are excited about the what the Yuba County Water Agency’s FERC relicensing applications contains, other groups are lamenting what is missing — namely, provisions that address removing barriers to native spawning habitat for endangered fish.”
“A federal judge has rejected legal claims by environmental groups that sued Caltrans and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in hopes of stopping construction of a controversial freeway bypass in Willits, Calif.
“As an example of the kind of thing that strikes independent-minded North State residents as an overly intrusive law that tries to micromanage ordinary Californians’ lives, you couldn’t do much better than the new state plumbing mandates.
“Starting this January, homeowners who make substantial improvements will be required to install water-saving low-flow showerheads, taps and toilets as part of the building permit. And this is just the warmup.
“Several weeks ago, as California emerged from its second consecutive dry year, Yuba County Water Agency General Manager Curt Aikens was withholding judgment about the possibility of the local drought stretching into its third year.
“But after looking at the long-term forecast and examining New Bullards Bar storage levels, Aikens is withholding judgment no more.”
“To reduce the impacts of a third straight dry year in 2014, the Department of Water Resources has mobilized a new drought management effort that, among other things, will look into voluntary water transfers to drought-stricken areas, such as the western San Joaquin Valley.”
“As state and federal officials gather input on the controversial Bay Delta Conservation Plan, Yolo County’s leaders are answering loud and clear that they’re worried the plan will harm Yolo’s agricultural sector.
“The plan is to install three water intakes on the Sacramento River that feed an underground tunnel system carrying water to pumps in the south Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.