Californians were recently warned that water levels in the San Luis Reservoir were dangerously low and that water deliveries from the project would likely be shut down as early as this weekend.
The San Luis Reservoir supplies water to the Santa Clara Valley, San Benito County as well as farmers in the Central Valley. As of July 22nd, the reservoir stood at 11% of total capacity (226k AF) which puts storage well below the levels recorded during the driest season recorded in 1976-1977. This news comes in spite of a robust rainy season in California with YTD precipitation roughly 16% higher than the long-term average and over 200% higher than the driest 1976-1977 season.
So, why are California’s reservoirs drying up in spite of a solid rainy season? The answer lies in the environmental regulations implemented to protect the Delta Smelt, a 5-7cm fish and endangered resident of the California Delta. Regulations designed to protect the non-native species have prevented pumping of water from the California Delta in Northern California leaving many reservoirs in Southern California empty. So rather than take advantage of a solid rainy season the State of California has opted to squander the opportunity to refill its water infrastructure and pump the water through the San Francisco bay and into the Pacific Ocean instead.
The hopes of an El Nino-driven refill from last summer’s plunging levels of the nation’s largest reservoir have been dashed as AP reportsLake Mead water levels drop to new record lows (since it was filled in the 1930s) leaving Las Vegas facing existential threats unless something is done. Las Vegas and its 2 million residents and 40 million tourists a year get almost all their drinking water from the Lake and at levels below 1075ft, the Interior Department will be forced to declare a “shortage,” which will lead to significant cutbacks for Arizona and Nevada. As one water research scientist warned, “this problem is not going away and it is likely to get worse, perhaps far worse, as climate change unfolds.”
As USA Today reports,the nation’s largest reservoir has broken a record, declining to the lowest level since it was filled in the 1930s.
Water tankers are being sent to the worst-affected areas as a severe drought is accompanying the intense heat.
A record temperature has been set in India, where the mercury rose to 51 degrees Celsius (123.8 Fahrenheit) in the north-western town of Phalodi.
The previous record of 50.6 Celsius had stood for 60 years.
When we last checked in on everyone’s favorite Latin American socialist paradise, Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro’s opponents “had gone crazy.” Or at least that’s how Maduro described the situation in a “thundering” speech to supporters at what he called an “anti-imperialist” rally in Caracas in mid-March.
Meanwhile, thousands of demonstrators had been holding counter-rallies calling for the President’s ouster. Maduro angered the opposition – which dealt Hugo Chavez’s leftist movement its worst defeat at the ballot box in history in December – the previous month when he used a stacked Supreme Court to give himself emergency powers he says will help him deal with the country’s worsening economic crisis.
There’s a global sugar shortage and it’s even bigger than we expected
The global sugar shortage expected to hit in 2016 will be even more severe than expected because of droughts caused by El Nino.
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Folsom Lake in drought-stricken northern California has risen ~90 feet in the same time, says reader H.B. Schmidt.
“The website, cdec.water.ca.gov, maintains daily, monthly, and annual reservoir records going back at least to 1985,” says H.B. “It is extremely interesting what the data reveals if you’re willing to search for it.
“For example, the last El Niño in 2010-11 replenished virtually all the major reservoirs managed by the state water board after the droughts began in 2007. Yet at Trinity Lake in northwestern California, from 1986-93 there was an equally impressive drought and decline in lake levels as seen today, and in 1977 there was a catastrophic decline to its lowest level in the past 30 years — which matches with the lowest seasonal snowfall on record at Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort (94.0″, or 26.9% of average).
Their permit to extract water expired 27 YEARS AGO, but the corporation just kept on going. Finally, activists hope justice will be served…
As we reported earlier this morning, at the “request” (whatever that means in the context of Russian politics) of Vladimir Putin, Russian lawmakers have approved airstrikes in Syria and unlike the rather deliberate pace of Washington’s efforts to rout ISIS, Moscow doesn’t appear to be wasting any time.
As CNN reports, Russia has conducted its first strikes near Homs after effectively warning the US to stay out of the sky.
Nothing to see here.
From CBS Sacramento:
FOLSOM LAKE (CBS13) — A Northern California reservoir ran dry overnight, killing thousands of fish and leaving residents looking for answers.
While a $3.5 million drought safety net at Folsom Lake finishes, a lake in another part of the state is left high and dry.