From CBS Sacramento (CBS13) – Giant river rodents are damaging water projects and infrastructure in the San Joaquin Delta, officials say. The Department of Fish and Wildlife is now asking for nearly $2 million to track and kill the rodents, known as nutria or coypu. Native to South America, nutria first showed up in Merced County in 2017 before making their way north. The creatures look a lot like a large rat, but they are more closely related to guinea pigs. It is not clear how they got into the state. Being a semi-aquatic rodent, nutria are now being found in wetlands, rivers canals and other freshwater habitats in Merced, Fresno and Stanislaus counties, according to the CDFW. Along with damaging habitat and infrastructure, officials are also concerned about degraded water quality as a result of nutria infestations.
From ACWA – The Little Hoover Commission on Feb. 7 released the 2017-2018 edition of its biennial Economy and Efficiency Report, which includes a summary of past recommendations, implementation progress during the past two years and follow-up recommendations.
In the category of Natural Resources and Water, the commission reiterates its recommendation from 2010 that California remove the State Water Project from the Department of Water Resources and state government control. It further recommends that DWR be converted into a broader-scale Department of Water Management that retains all functions of DWR, plus oversees water rights. (more)
From AccuWeather – One of the more potent storms of the winter will hit California with heavy rain, excessive high country snow and gusty winds from Tuesday night to Thursday night. The worst of the storm is forecast to focus on Central and Northern California with a heightened threat of flooding, mudslides, erosion, power outages and avalanches and road-closing snowfall in the mountains. (more)