Newsham’s water leaders are perfecting their media game on drought response

The Department of Water Resources held a briefing for the media yesterday to announce the launch of a new data mapping tool called California Water Clock, called the Drought Monitor in California. The real-time website provides information not only on rainfall but also on heat waves that affect evaporation, groundwater levels, water flows, soil moisture and vegetation dryness – factors that played a big role in water losses last year .

Along with the website, new land subsidence data portal shows how the decline continued in 2021, albeit at a slower pace than during the 2012-16 drought. Satellite monitoring recorded about a foot of subsidence in some areas of the San Joaquin Valley, a few inches less in the Sacramento Valley.

New technologies and methods of long-term weather forecasting to better capture rain from atmospheric rivers are also a priority. And through a new partnership with state climatologist DWR will include more climate simulations in its monthly forecast for the water year.

Republican MP Doug LaMalfa of the Sacramento Valley called for joining the conversation. He argued that the state is releasing more water than is needed to control salinity in the delta, and should maintain more storage facilities in the critically low reservoirs of Oroville and Shasta.

Meanwhile, the California Water Commission wrote a long ap-ed in five newspapers ahead of Wednesday’s hearing on next steps to fund Prop. 1, amid the reaction of the commission moving too slowly.

The chairman of the commission and the vice-chairman outlined many parts of the approval process and argued that the commission is ready to promote proposals such as Sites Reservoir, but the initiators of the project control the schedule.

“Things are being done. Progress is coming. The commission is realizing the intention of the voters, ”they write. Newsham’s water leaders are perfecting their media game on drought response

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