Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017

Outdated model

State's water system built for climate we no longer have

Heavy winter storms have stressed thousands of miles of levees and flood infrastructure downstream of the major dams. KQED San Francisco


KQED San Francisco

Many Californians are still in disbelief that after five years of too little water during the drought, now the problem is too much water. California's water system was designed a century ago, around having a predictable snowpack in the Sierra Nevada. Although drought and floods aren't new for California, climate change could make them both more extreme. Some say it's a wake-up call because the state's warming climate could mean more of the same.


Oroville power plant may be operational Thursday

Sacramento Bee & Mercury News

After flows down Oroville Dam's fractured spillway were dialed back to nothing Monday afternoon, heavy equipment operators worked throughout the night on the massive debris pile at the bottom of the badly damaged concrete structure. Those efforts to open up the channel below, which would allow engineers to start firing up the dam's critical power plant, already appear to be paying off.


Sinking land stunts groundwater storage capacity

Circle of Blue

Unbridled pumping of aquifers in the San Joaquin Valley is severely reducing the land's capacity to hold water, according to a Stanford University study. The study, which provides the first estimate of the permanent loss of groundwater storage space that occurred during a drought from 2007 to 2010, also shows that California lost natural water storage capacity equal to a medium-sized reservoir.