A must-watch video by a geologist explaining how the California water problems are getting worse due to population and farming.
Yes, the snow melt plus another very wet storm is going to menace the people living below this huge watershed. I would imagine this would be big, big news. IT IS NOT. I am amazed at the deterioration in news ability of our mainstream news. Fake news is like an infectious disease: it spreads socially and it kills huge populations.
So, the right wing press is trying to cover this literal life and death story. The snow will melt in California and do this while it is raining really hard! As California suddenly warms up, here on the East Coast, we will have very bitter cold starting tonight, below zero here on my mountain, the high tomorrow will be around 10 F. So much for ‘global warming’.
Oroville Dam’s unstable and partially destroyed spillway has been closed since February 27 as dredging contractors at the bottom of the dam desperately try to carve a 1,500-feet-long by 150-feet-wide and 30-feet-deep emergency trench in the diversion pond to clear the Edward Hyatt power plant’s water intake pipes.
Although heavy equipment operators have completed about 40 percent of the trench and opened two intake pipes that are now discharging 13,000 cubic feet of water per second, the water level rose in the last two days by 22 feet to within six feet of forcing an emergency reopening of the dam’s main spillway.
Sheriff-Coroner Kory L. Honea has declared evacuation warnings for 11 zones in Butte County, including areas south of Lincoln Blvd for the towns of Oroville and Thermalito; all low-lying areas around the Feather River that include Gridley, Biggs, Yuba City and Loma Rica; and anywhere south of Butte County along the Feather River towards Sacramento.
The National Weather Service is predicting that temperatures will jump from a high of 60 degrees earlier this week to an expected high of 78 degrees over the weekend, about 14 degrees higher than the average for this time of year. Then by mid-week, the Weather Service predicts a two-days of warm “Pineapple Express” monsoon rains will hit Oroville and the local mountains.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has rated over 90 percent of California as experiencing an “Extreme Water Year.” Although Merced is the only river that is currently above flood stage, numerous points and contributories along the Sacramento and San Joaquin are already in the warning stage.
My family came to California well before the Civil War. And they also lived in Old Arizona, too, back when it was a battlefield, my great grandpa being a cavalry officer and all that. We have a long, long memory of the weather. The Western deserts and valleys have this drought/downpour cycle. All droughts end with downpours.
My family ended up being scientists and one topic of greatest interest was the drought/rain cycles where we all lived. It was life and death, of course. So it was interesting. Modern farming and modern cities grew up because of DAMS. Period.
Otherwise, they could not exist at all. Back in my great grandpappy’s days, there were zero dams. But the rivers ran! You could go boating in streams that are now bone dry. Due to pumping out the ground water during the 1950’s-1970’s, the water table of Tucson dropped so that the streams only ran if we had downpours. Rivers where my grandfather used to fish fell to the point, the fish ceased to exist.
When I was a child, my grandfather would talk bitterly about all the people pouring in over his long, long life (born in the 1870s, he was). He predicted, ‘Eventually, they will run out of water and all die.’ I grew up in a world where one took a bath once a week or less and in between, washed vital parts at a bowl of water. You never, ever let a faucet just run.
I lived on a mountain where I had to get all my water in tubs and drag this to my tent complex…for ten years. I know the value of ‘water’. The dams in California are all very dangerous because of the drought/flood cycles and on top of that, earthquakes. This state is highly dangerous to humans who insist on living in fancy houses and use lots and lots of water.
Normally, the highpoint for California’s 24 major reservoirs and lakes is during the peak snowmelt in late May to early June. The water levels in all but three are currently rated as “extreme above” their historic averages for this time of year. The combination of a snowmelt and storms will create river flooding and could unleash flood waters going over the dams.
I recall when the rains stopped briefly, the people running California, nearly all of whom have not been there for over 150 years like mine, and thus have no stories about the weather in the past, were claiming the danger was all over and everyone was going back to ‘normal’. But there is no ‘normal’ in California.
And it was obvious a fast snowmelt would be a disaster. As it will be, now. What a surprise…not.