Monday, February 3, 2014

Drought news for Groundhog Day from KPBS

It's time for the next weekly update on California's drought from the perspective of KPBS in San Diego.  Here is all the drought and water policy news since California drought emergency begins to reverberate.

Following my policy of "if it moves, it leads," I present two video stories, one about the drought and another about water policy that is being affected by the drought.  First, Mountain Community In San Diego Finds Abundance Of Water Underground.

As some cities and counties across drought-stricken California scramble to find other water sources, a mountain community in San Diego County is relishing in an abundance of supply.
Also see the accompanying article by Susan Murphy from Thursday, January 30, 2014.
Water supplies are a growing concern across drought-stricken California -- especially as the second snow survey out this week from the Sierra Nevada, where San Diego gets a third of its supply, is expected to be even more dismal than the first.

But as some cities and counties are scrambling to find other water sources, a mountain community in San Diego County is relishing in an abundant supply.

"Pine Valley is blessed with an unbelievable supply of water," said Flip Boerman, manager of Pine Valley Mutual Water Company, which supplies water to nearly all of the town's businesses and 1,500 residents.
Next, Environmental Group Challenges San Diego County Water Authority's Master Plan Update.

The San Diego County Water Authority went through a months-long process to update its master plan for supplying water to the county through 2035, but a group says the master plan's environmental impact study is flawed.
Also read the accompanying article by Megan Burke, Maureen Cavanaugh and Peggy Pico originally published January 29, 2014 at 11:30 a.m., updated January 30, 2014 at 1:11 p.m.
How will San Diego County manage its water needs through 2035? That's what the updated San Diego County Water Authority master plan outlines.

The water authority says the 2013 Master Plan is a comprehensive evaluation of infrastructure requirements needed to to keeping supplying water to its member agencies.
Follow over the jump for more news about the drought's environmental and political effects.

Good news, bad news in Snow Brings Relief To California Ski Resorts But Snow Survey Dismal by California Capitol Network and Amy Quinton / Capital Public Radio Network on Friday, January 31, 2014.
Snow finally has fallen on the Sierra Nevada Mountains, bringing some relief to ski resorts, but it's not enough to put a dent in California's drought.

The second snow survey of the winter has found water content statewide at just 12 percent of average for this time of year. To put it in perspective, statewide records go back to 1960. The lowest water measurement ever was 21 percent in 1991. Donner Ski Ranch hasn't been able to open its trails yet. But general manager Lincoln Kauffman says he remains hopeful.
Next, some political efforts at relief in California Leaders Working On Urgency Bill To Combat Drought by Ben Adler of Capital Public Radio on Friday, January 31, 2014.
California Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders are preparing an urgency measure that would authorize more than half a billion dollars in short-term anti-drought actions. They met Thursday at the state Capitol to discuss the legislation.

According to Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg's office, the $588 million proposal would fund shovel-ready water projects, clear away some regulations and help water agencies use existing supplies more efficiently. More specifically, it would increase the use of clean recycled water, encourage conservation programs and expand the use of captured storm-water.
Finally, the environmental effects extend beyond water, as Drought Impacts Air Quality Across California by Susan Murphy on Monday, January 27, 2014.
San Diego County's overall air quality remains in 'good' to 'moderate' levels

Warm and dry weather is being blamed for worsening air pollution in some areas of California, but overall air quality in San Diego County remains in the good to moderate range, according to the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District (APCD).

A storm-blocking high pressure dome that has hovered over the state the past 37 days has caused a buildup of pollution particles in regions like Los Angeles County and the Central Valley, posing a health risk.

"Without the winds and things that come with the storm to blow it away and move it out, we get what we call stagnation periods, said Bill Brick, senior meteorologist with San Diego County Air Pollution Control District.

"And we get a strong inversion setup that keeps the pollutants down at low levels."
An inversion layer with smog in southern California during the winter?  Unheard of.  Then again, all kinds of things have been happening lately with California weather that never happened when I was living out there.

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