From PPIC–California has made great strides in preparing for a drier, hotter future, but it remains a challenge to harness the bounty of wet years while also reducing flood risk. How did California’s water sector manage the unusually wet conditions of the 2023 water year—and what lessons can we glean for the future? We will speak with three panels of experts to find out. CVFPB’s President Jane Dolan will be a panel participant.
Panel Programs: Preparing for Floods of the Future, Harnessing More Water for the Dry Times, and Policies for California’s Changing Water Fortunes. (more)
From Escalon Times – California.com – On Friday, Oct. 20 the Department of the Interior and San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority approved plans to implement the B.F. Sisk Dam Raise and Reservoir Expansion Project. The joint project will create an additional 130,000 acre-feet of storage space in San Luis Reservoir, the nation’s largest offstream reservoir, producing additional water supply for two million people, over one million acres of farmland and 135,000 acres of Pacific Flyway wetlands and critical wildlife habitat. Friday’s signing of the Record of Decision and Notice of Determination is the first approval of a major water storage project in California since 2011. Through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Reclamation is investing a total of $8.3 billion over five years for water infrastructure projects, including water storage and conveyance, dam safety, water purification and reuse, and desalination. A $25 million investment to the project under the Law was announced in October 2022 and an additional $10 million in July 2023. An additional $60 million was authorized for project construction from the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act, for a total of $95 million in federal contributions to date in construction costs. (more)
Climate Reality Check with UCLA’s Dr. Daniel Swain
From River Partners – Californians have a long history of hoping and praying for water to end the state’s ongoing cycle of drought. Then, this year’s unprecedented wet winter ended the worst drought on record. And now, we face a potentially even warmer and wetter El Niño winter. We wanted water, but are we ready for the storms ahead? In addition, the threat of the “Big One” looms on the hopefully distant horizon: a worst-case-scenario megastorm that could cause catastrophic flooding statewide. We know it’s going to happen, but we don’t know when. Should we be scared? Is California prepared? For this two-part blog series, River Partners sat down with extreme-weather researcher and climate scientist Dr. Daniel Swain, author of the Weather West blog, to share insights into the realities of a changing climate.
- Part 1 – Climate Reality Check with UCLA’s Dr. Daniel Swain
- Part 2 – Coming in November. We Can’t Build Our Way Out: Nature-Based Solutions to Adapt to a Changing Climate
In part one we dive into the forces shaping California’s extreme weather, the potential impacts of another wet winter, and the risk of a megaflood event. (more)