Front Page News:

New Drainage System Solves Flooding Issues In Acampo

From ABC10How it works is rainwater is collected in drains alongside Acampo Road through the heart of town. More than 5,000 feet of underground pipe feeds the water into giant underground storage sump pump facility next to the Highway 99 frontage Road north of Heritage Road.  If necessary, the water is then released into an existing concrete ditch that parallels the frontage road. The hope down the road is to capture and save the water. The project was paid in full with local road district funds and federal grant money. It’s been so successful, it’s actually award-winning. Just last year, it won Project of the Year from the American Public Works Association in the Environment – Flood Control Category. (more)

Drones, Supercomputers And Sonar Deployed Against Floods

From SFGate An arsenal of new technology is being put to the test fighting floods this year as rivers inundate towns and farm fields across the central United States. Drones, supercomputers and sonar that scans deep under water are helping to maintain flood control projects and predict just where rivers will roar out of their banks. Together, these tools are putting detailed information to use in real time, enabling emergency managers and people at risk to make decisions that can save lives and property, said Kristie Franz, associate professor of geological and atmospheric sciences at Iowa State University. (more)

State Senate Confirms Wade Crowfoot as California Secretary for Natural Resources

From The Natural Resources Agency The State Senate today confirmed Wade Crowfoot as California Secretary for Natural Resources in a bipartisan vote of 38-0. “I’m honored to lead the Natural Resources Agency at this important time,” Crowfoot said. “I’m excited to work with my colleagues within the Agency and across the Newsom Administration to manage our resources in a way that allows communities and natural places to thrive, builds our state’s resilience to the challenges of climate change, and strengthens the connection between Californians and nature.” Crowfoot oversees an agency of 19,000 employees charged with protecting and managing California’s diverse resources. This includes stewarding the state’s forests and natural lands, rivers and waterways, coast and ocean, fish and wildlife, and energy development. As a member of the Governor Gavin Newsom’s cabinet, he advises the Governor on natural resources and environmental issues. (more)

Wildlife Conservation Board Funds Stream Flow Enhancement Projects

From the Dept. of Fish & Wildlife The Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) has approved approximately $13 million in grants to help enhance flows in streams throughout California. A total of 11 stream flow enhancement projects were approved at an April 4 meeting of the Stream Flow Enhancement Program Board. The approved projects will provide or lead to a direct and measurable enhancement of the amount, timing and/or quality of water in streams for anadromous fish; special status, threatened, endangered or at-risk species; or to provide resilience to climate change. Funding for these projects comes from the Water Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 (Proposition 1). The Act authorized the Legislature to appropriate funds to address the objectives identified in the California Water Action Plan, including more reliable water supplies, the restoration of important species and habitat, and a more resilient and sustainably managed water infrastructure.

Where can flooded fields help replenish groundwater?

From PHYS ORG In California, the amount of water exiting aquifers under the state’s most productive farming region far surpasses the amount of water trickling back in. That rampant overdraft has caused land across much of the region to sink like a squeezed out sponge, permanently depleting groundwater storage capacity and damaging infrastructure. The trend – and a 2014 mandate for sustainable groundwater management in the state – has ignited interest in replenishing aquifers in California’s Central Valley through managed flooding of the ground above them. But until now there has been no reliable way to know where this type of remedy will be most effective. New research from Stanford University suggests a way to map precisely where and how to use groundwater recharge to refill the aquifers and stop the sinking. (more)

Sierra Snowpack Rocks With 200% Of Average Water Content Measured

From Patch The result of 30 atmospheric rivers slamming California this winter measured up to the hype, with what might have been the last survey of the season in the Sierra Nevada mountains Tuesday coming in at 200 percent of average in snow water content. Even as state Department of Water Resources engineers sampled the snowpack, the snow-and-rain mix hit the South Lake Tahoe region 12 miles from where the manual survey took place. DWR recorded 106.5 inches of snow depth and a snow water equivalent of 51 inches. “It is abnormal. Usually our April survey is nice and sunny,” DWR spokesman Chris Orrock told Patch. The team was pummeled with sleet to the point “we could barely see” during Tuesday’s survey (more)

California Water Board Adopts Statewide Wetland Definition and Procedures

From The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) today adopted rules to protect wetlands and other environmentally sensitive waterways throughout the state. More than 90 percent of California’s historic wetlands have been lost to development and other human activity. Wetlands are a critical natural resource that protect and improve water quality, provide habitat for fish and wildlife, and buffer developed areas from flooding and sea-level rise. (more)

California Wants to Aim Lasers at Snowpack To Better Predict Runoff

From CBS 13 News Lawmakers are considering spending $150 million to fund new high-tech measurements of the snowpack using lasers.

A pilot program with NASA has been in place for several years and results show lasers record snowpack measurements with near perfect accuracy. Up until now, California has measured the snowpack manually, with experts physically sinking a metal pole into the snow at various monitoring locations. Snow survey expert Frank Gehrke has been doing the manual measurements for thirty years and says the manual approach has resulted in measurements that are up to 60 percent incorrect. (more)

Oroville Dam Spillway Back In Use for 1st Time Since 2017 Crisis

From CBS 13 News Officials at the nation’s tallest dam unleashed water down a rebuilt spillway Tuesday for the first time since it crumbled two years ago and drove hundreds of thousands of California residents from their homes over fears of catastrophic flooding. Water will rush down the spillway and into the Feather River as storms this week and melting snowpack are expected to swell the lake behind Oroville Dam in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, said Molly White, principal engineer with the California Department of Water Resources. (more)

PPIC Video, Event Focus On Water Issues In The San Joaquin Valley

From WATER PLAN e-News – The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) has released a video summarizing the key water challenges facing the San Joaquin Valley. The video includes some promising approaches for meeting those challenges. The PPIC is also hosting an event to discuss the water future of the San Joaquin Valley. It will be Wednesday, April 3, in Sacramento. It is a free event, but registration is requested. (more)