Archive: Water

Entries in this category going back awhile

Mass evacuation below Oroville Dam

oroville-dam-warning.jpg An estimated 188,000 people fled areas downstream from Lake Oroville after a hole was spotted Sunday in the giant dam's emergency spillway. LA swift-water rescue teams are headed north.

The Mighty Los Angeles (River) was roaring on Sunday

LARiver-Lindley-withwater.jpg Two views of the river: Sunday's rain-swollen racetrack and the big concrete ditch we usually see.

Time for some weather geeking

science-of-atmos-rivers.jpg A line of storms is coming toward California — just like they used to before the drought.

El Niño is doing its job nicely — up north

total-accum-moisturejan172016.jpg Rivers are high, snow pack is deep and new storms are coming. Los Angeles, however, remains one of the driest places in the state.

California's secret water blogger is a she

calif-aqueduct-stay-out.jpg The writer of On the Public sat down with Peter H. King of the LA Times after seven years of anonymity.

Sierra snowpack is more than double last year at this time

mammoth-snow-122215.jpg The first media op of the season was today. Water content across the range is at 108 percent of normal.

Mammoth gets 3 feet of snow, plans to open Thursday

mammoth-snow-11215.jpg Looks like California will have a ski season and maybe even a winter snowpack.

Hunting the water guzzlers of Bel Air

moraga-vineyard.jpg The Center for Investigative Reporting got the story rolling. Now Steve Lopez is on the case.

Los Angeles River with water in it

lariver-rain-91515.jpg The drought has gone on so long there may be new Angelenos who have never seen the concrete Los Angeles River raging. Hola, El Niño.

Sierra snowpack was probably the worst in 500 years

yosemite-no-snow-nws.jpg A new study looks at blue oak tree rings in the Sierra Nevada. "The 2015 low is unprecedented in the context of the past 500 years," says a journal report.

As Mono Lake drops, land bridge is emerging again

monolake-southtufa-jg.jpg An echo from the recent past at the scenic brine lake on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada range.

Mojave's Joshua trees are in bad shape

joshua-wind.jpg Climate change, the drought and development pressure are all taking a toll on the symbolic succulents that grow only in the Mojave Desert.

Mormon temple finally embraces the brown

mormon-temple-brown-grass.jpg My post last week on the Mormon lawn in Westwood had a weird, short life as a media drought nugget. After hedging, the landmark temple now says, yes, the lawn is going dry to help out.

Mormon temple lawn goes brown

mormon-temple-brown-grass.jpg I don't know if this a drought measure or what, but the big expanse of green grass on Santa Monica Boulevard in Westwood is mostly brown.
nyt-reviews-alissa-walker.jpg Tim Egan, Dana Goodyear, Mark Arax, Grace Peng and others weigh in on the drought and California's future, while the New York Times style editors again give Angelenos something to wag their tongues about.

Vanity Fair's flow chart of California drought shaming

drought-shaming-vf.jpg First came the almond farmers, then the cantaloupes, then the golf courses — and so on.

Rain and snow coming this week

nws-rain-4-6-15.jpg Expect a day of rain on Tuesday with snow above 4,500 feet. NWS expects about up to an inch of rain.

California snowpack hits 'terrifying new record low'

04-01-15-Snow_Survey_5.jpg Gov. Brown orders the state's first-ever 25% cut in water use as the winter ends with essentially no snowpack. "This is the new normal,” Brown says. “We will learn how to cope with this.”

KCET launches web series on California's crucial delta

bay-delta-landing-page-dwr.jpg Roughly half of California's fresh water arrives in this quirkily engineered, mis-named place, writes Emily Green. 25 million Californians depend on freshwater from the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta.

SoCal offering to pay its highest price ever for water

calif-aqueduct-sign-lao.jpg With this drought year starting to look like the worst yet, the Metropolitan Water District is offering rich deals and Northern California rice farmers are selling.

Finally, an atmospheric river flows toward California

pineapple-express-dec2014.jpg Heavy rain and snowfall, blizzards above 6,000 feet and more are expected this week -- in Northern California. But that's good enough for us in the south. The Ridiculously Resilient Ridge has moved out of the way for now.

California mega-drought is the worst in 1,200 years

CA-drought-12042014.jpg As the drought deepens, a new study finds, the year 2014 has been the worst single year since 800 AD — and rising temperatures mean it could yet get worse.

Rain is falling and should continue into the week

rain-clouds-malibu-vdt.jpg The big rain should arrive Tuesday. In the meantime, Northern California is getting a reminder of what "normal" looks like.

DWP and Owens Valley agree to finally agree on the dust

keeler-beach-tight-lao.jpg I first wrote about negotiations between the Owens Valley and Los Angeles over the noxious dust that blows off of Owens Lake 25 years ago. So it seems a little bizarre that they finally have a deal both sides can live with.

Water the grass less -- but don't forget the trees

jacaranda-mar-vista.jpg Drought gardener and blogger Emily Green wants people to remember that they need to deep-water their trees or the drought can have a worse effect than necessary.

Sylmar Cascades open to visitors again this weekend

Thumbnail image for cascades-in-spray.jpg If you missed last year's rare opening of the gates to the historic Cascades in Sylmar, the DWP is allowing visitors on Sunday.
noaa-grab-drought-101614.jpg It's still a crapshoot, but NOAA's seasonal outlook sees a good chance of at least a normal precipitation winter in California.

This drought's impact on the West is already big

ca-drought-monitor-82114.jpg So much water is missing that the tectonic plate on which the West sits is rising. And that's not the worst news.

Final layer of asphalt goes on Sunset Boulevard sinkhole*

paving-sunset-sinkhole.jpg The sinkhole created by that water main break near UCLA has been filled in and as of 20 minutes or so ago was being paved. Update: Sunset reopened early Monday morning.

Water lost in Sunset break doubles to 20 million gallons

dwp-sinkhole-balloon.jpg Enough water to sustain 100 families for a year was lost in the pipeline break that flooded parts of UCLA. More than 900 cars are stranded in underground garages and half of those may have been submerged.

World Cup halftime flush registers on LA city water meter

WorldCupFlush3-law.jpg So many fans went to the bathroom as play stopped between the U.S. and Germany that water use spiked. It then spiked again at the end of Thursday's match.

What to expect when you’re expecting El Niño

jetstream-elnino-hcn.jpg Credit for the headline to the High Country News, which notes that "with each passing day it seems more certain: 2014 is going to be an El Niño year, and probably a big one."

Gotta love the Pacific Ocean

noaa-wx-map-calif-22714.jpg Awesome weather map. The free water will be here Friday morning.

Law of averages brings a wet storm this week

nws-rainfall-fcast-map.jpg The blocking ridge of high pressure over the Pacific Ocean off North America couldn't last forever. It just seemed that way. An explanation.

Tim Egan on the folly of California's 'nature-defiance'

calif-aqueduct-122612.jpg He gets that "the whole fantasy of modern California has long been dependent on an audacious feat of engineering." This time is different, he argues.

Red tells the story: California drought still big and bad

Even after last week's heavy rainfall up north, the drought maps are still a dry sea of red. And oh by the way, it looks as if the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge may be re-forming out in the Pacific.

Reservoirs rise a little after week of rain, but so what?

water-grafic-bang.jpg Folsom Lake is six feet higher, but that only means the reservoir is at 19% of capacity instead of 17%. Nice graphic shows how water use differs around the state.

County nearly finished updating dams for earthquakes

big-tujunga-dam-after-station.jpg Since the deadly Sylmar earthquake in 1971 it has been recognized that the flood control dams in the San Gabriels were not built sufficiently strong to hold up if a severe regional quake hit while the dams retained a full load of water.

Garcetti taps a former assistant GM to run DWP

Marcie-Edwards-mayor.jpg Marcie Edwards, Mayor Eric Garcetti's choice to become general manager of the Department of Water and Power, worked at the utility for 24 years before taking a senior job in Anaheim. Most recently she has been the Anaheim city manager.

Still believe the California drought isn't real?

jacobellis-b&w.jpg Check out to the NOAA satellite pictures and a release from Mono County. Plus: Olympic hopefuls like Lindsey Jacobellis (video) are in Mammoth this weekend.
weather-records-2013.jpg State hydrologists report today they found more bare ground than snow in the first Sierra snowpack measurement of the year. That's bad. Here's why no storms are getting through to California.

You can visit the cascades through Saturday

cascades-in-spray.jpg Have you ever wanted to see and hear (and get sprayed by) the Sylmar cascades up close? The Department of Water and Power is leaving the gates until the end of the day on Saturday.

LA Aqueduct observances can wind down now

cascades-whitewater.jpg For months now, Los Angeles media, historians and civic officials have been thinking and talking about the city's water link to the Eastern Sierra and what it all means. It has been a good and useful exercise. Tuesday's reenactment was itself pretty cool.

Book excerpt: The Valley rises as Mulholland falls

water-comission-lapl.jpg Part 2 of an excerpt adapted from "San Fernando Valley: America's Suburb" for the 100th anniversary of the Los Angeles Aqueduct.

Part one: LA and its Owens Valley water

cascades-crowd-watches.jpg A couple of the chapters in my book on the San Fernando Valley deal with the Los Angeles Aqueduct and how abundant water changed the city and the valley. It holds up, I'm pleased to say. For this week's anniversary, here's an adapted version.

Aqueduct bomber talks: he now works for DWP

Thumbnail image for alabama-spillway-sign.jpg Mark Berry was 17 when he and a friend stole some dynamite and, in Sept. 1976, blew up the Alabama Spillway gate on the Los Angeles Aqueduct in the Owens Valley.

Learning to love Los Angeles, the essay

boom-dioramas-sipchen.jpg The editors of Boom: A Journal of California asked writer Bob Sipchen and his son Rob to defend LA’s right to exist. Which they did.

Boom magazine goes impressively deep on LA water *

owens-river-nr-manzanar.jpg The quarterly magazine from UC Press devotes its entire fall issue to water, the aqueduct from the Sierra Nevada and the Mulholland legacy. The issue will be a keeper for anyone with an ounce of water geekdom in them, and for many others who just like LA's layered backstories.

The case of the missing underground water

las-posas-basin-map.jpg AP reporters Michael Blood and Elliot Spagat investigated what happened when state water was stored in an underground aquifer in Ventura County — the water vanished.

Mike Taugher, water reporter and spokesman was 50

mike-taugher-cct.jpg One of the state's top water journalists until he joined the Brown Administration, Taugher was spokesman for the Department of Fish and Wildlife. He died while snorkeling off Maui.

Abandoned waterpark in Mojave Desert

water-park-sign-egreen.jpg Emily Green, the water journalist and gardening writer who blogs at Chance of Rain, took some pictures this week at the defunct “Rock-a-Hoola Waterpark“ at Newberry Springs in the eastern Mojave. The derelict park, which used groundwater from the Mojave Aquifer, has also operated as Lake Dolores and the Discovery Waterpark.

Phoenix lamely objects to LA Times talking about its water

phoenix-dust-storm.jpg The editorial board of the Arizona Republic newspaper didn't care for last week's LA Times op-ed essay in which a New Mexico environmental author argued that Phoenix, already a pretty sucky place, is in the cross-hairs of Southwest climate change. Instead of refuting the guy's case, they go after LA.

California Aqueduct running high

calif-aqueduct-wire.jpg Photos: The California Aqueduct near Littlerock, moving Northern California water across the Mojave Desert on Wednesday afternoon.

Naked Echo Park Lake

echo-park-lake-dirt-eastsider.JPG The lake bed is currently exposed and the dirt is being pushed around to form habitat for fish to thrive and plants to grow. "The lake bed has to be lined to keep the water from seeping into the ground. What would that look like, I wondered?," Judy Raskin writes at The Eastsider LA.

Cadiz project to mine Mojave Desert water is back

cadiz-valley.jpg The plan cooked up by politically connected investors to deliver water from a remote corner of the Mojave to thirsty Southern California cities refuses to die after more than two decades. How the LA Times can do a new story on Cadiz without mentioning Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa or Arnold Schwarzenegger (and barely mentioning their pal who is at the center of things, Keith Brackpool) is a mystery. Note: No time for the Morning Buzz today.

3rd Street to remain closed at Fairfax all day *

The DWP, which is scrambling to repair a flurry of water main breaks it blames on work at the distant Lower Franklin Canyon reservoir, says that West 3rd Street will remain closed between Fairfax Avenue and Ogden Drive until 7 p.m.

Exploring the bottom of Echo Park Lake

lat-ad-echoparklake.jpg KPCC ventures into the mud with the local councilman, Eric Garcetti.

Local journo picks a bone over Vegas water tale

lake-mead-ktar.jpg Emily Green reported and wrote (and apparently went through editing hell to finally publish) a long seres in the Las Vegas Sun on a big Nevada water grab. And she's miffed to find a lot of parallels between her reporting and a chapter on Nevada in "The Ripple Effect" by Alex Prud’homme.

Catherine Mulholland, historian was 88

CMulholland.jpg The author and granddaughter of one of Los Angeles' most discussed historical figures, the water legend William Mulholland, died today of natural causes at her home in Camarillo.

L.A. Flood, the emerging narrative

la-flooded-image.jpg The first stages of a "narrative experience" about a fictional flood hitting Los Angeles will be unveiled at this weekend's Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at USC.

'Rango' as watery homage to 'Chinatown'

rango-0591.jpg The animated movie is set in the fictional town of Dirt. There's a character, a desert tortoise named Mayor, who dreams of imported water turning Dirt into a green paradise.

Happy centennial, Van Nuys

flooding-van-nuys.jpg On Feb. 22, 1911, trains from Los Angeles delivered the first buyers of vacant lots to the new town of Van Nuys.

Here's an enviro idea: forget those DWP 'reforms'

Heal the Bay president Mark Gold isn't a fan of the Department of Water and Power reform measures that may appear on the March ballot in Los Angeles.

DWP's final insult: cafeteria closed to public

dwp-building.jpg ow they have gone too far. The Department of Water and Power, already in the running for least popular city agency, has closed its cafeteria to the public,

Los Angeles newspaper of 1907 skewers Supes

la-herald-cartoon-1907.jpg The design isn't much to brag about, and they were partisan to the max, but one thing about the newspapers of Los Angeles a hundred years: they were chock full of news.

Floyd Dominy, dam builder was 100

lake=powell.jpg Floyd Dominy changed the map of the West as commissioner of the federal Bureau of Reclamation from 1959 to 1969. It was on his watch that Glen Canyon Dam was built, forming giant Lake Powell on the upper Colorado River.

Rationing back as top theory in water main breaks

SingingMain-thumb-350x296-1259.jpg Illogical as it sounds, a panel of experts convened by the city has concluded that last year's siege of water main breaks was triggered by the DWP's Monday-Thursday watering restrictions creating higher pressures on aging pipes.

Why the rain is likely done and June gloom happens

ecliptic.gif We can probably close the books on this year's local rain season, JPL meteorologist Bill Patzert says in an email exchange picked up by Emily Green, the ace water blogger at Chance of

'Best architecture of decade' includes OC's waterworks

OC-GWRS.jpg Switzerland's Large Hadron Collider is also on the list, along with Norway's seed vault and the iPhone. No, it's not your typical architecture list.

California water on '60 Minutes'

A segment of "60 Minutes' on CBS will focus on the California water situation, with reporter Lesley Stahl talking to Governor Schwarzenegger, farmers and others. It's scheduled to air Sunday,...

Pork and the water bond

Patrick McGreevy likely wrote about Keith Brackpool and the Cadiz water scheme in the Mojave Desert when he was a City Hall reporter for the L.A. Times, given that Brackpool...

LA Sketchbook: Water politics as usual

qqxsgArnoldPlumber.jpg Click on the cartoon to view it bigger, as always. More by Steve Greenberg....

Water main break in Van Nuys *

watermainbreak11209.jpg Dramatic geyser is blowing higher than the rooftops on Van Nuys Boulevard near Sherman Way. Screen cap is from CBS 2. * Noon update: DWP says the main, which broke...

LA Sketchbook: Singing in the main

SingingMain.jpg I just heard interim DWP chief S. David Freeman say on Patt Morrison that the rash of water main breaks is all perception: the result of a quicker news cycle,...

MWD, LAT and Marathon Communications

The San Diego editorial writer who is upset that the L.A. Times blew off coverage of the Metropolitan Water District pensions controversy is intrigued by a new angle — that...

Details of Nahai's deal

Former DWP chief David Nahai would be paid up to $27,300 a month from Oct. 7 through Dec. 31 to "provide consulting services and provide knowledge transfer" about the job...

MWD tables big hikes in pensions, pay

The giant Metropolitan Water District buckled to public and media pressure and yanked off its board agenda for today new five-year contracts that "would have hiked employee pensions 25 percent,...

Do you smell chlorine?

There's too much chlorine smell in the L.A. tap water lately, blogs Atwater Village Newbie. He has collected Twitter reports from others as well. OK, maybe it's not the mysterious...

America clouds over

noaanatlmap101209.jpg Nice image of the national weather picture — clouds almost everywhere but the Southwest — at the Chance of Rain blog. The blog also has a take on Gov. Schwarzenegger's...

Where's the Times on MWD?

That question is being asked by San Diego Union-Tribune editorial writer Chris Reed, who can't believe the L.A. Times has written repeatedly about the $82,000 David Nahai will get after...

Snowfall in the Sierras

tiogapics10509.jpg Eight inches fell on Mammoth Mountain over the weekend with a "generous delivery of powder" in the Lake Tahoe area, and with that the winter snowpack watch begins. The start...

Nahai separation sounds messy *

hdavidnahai.jpg In the media follows to Friday's exit of DWP chief H. David Nahai, the L.A. Times noted that his "support within Villaraigosa's office had eroded dramatically, and Brian D'Arcy, the...

Daily News says Free the sprinklers

Today's Daily News editorial endorses Valley city councilmember Greig Smith's flouting of the city's water law by irrigating his lawn three times a week instead of two. In a city...

Brackpool gets a gig

Gov. Schwarzenegger today named Keith Brackpool to the state horse racing board. Brackpool is the friend-of-Antonio and water speculator who employed Mayor Villaraigosa as a consultant when he was between...

Water scofflaw

City Councilman Greig Smith defies the city's rules on use of sprinklers at his home, and insists he saves water by doing so....

Times: Bratton to leave, head security firm

Police chief William Bratton and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa have a 12:15 p.m. media availability in the mayor's office. The Los Angeles Times' Joel Rubin reports "Bratton is expected to announce...

Replacing newspaper sports coverage

L.A. Times coverage of the Los Angeles Kings is the poster child in a Sports Business Journal examination of waning sports reportage in newspapers and how worried pro sports teams...

Cadiz water project is alive

You remember Cadiz — that was the venture to bank water beneath the distant Mojave Desert, then pipe it into urban Southern California, envisioned by Friend-of-Antonio (and many other Democrats)...

LA Observed on KCRW

When you're woken up by a downpour in June, the same week that Los Angeles imposes mandatory water cutbacks, the subject of today's commentary became almost a no-brainer. It airs...

Resnicks' land and water an issue

An investigative series in the Contra Costa Times up north says that an environmental program to benefit the delicate Sacramento-San Joaquin delta instead provided cash and cheap water for wealthy...

Lewis and Clark and Antonio

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa put on his jeans and outdoor boots and helicoptered up to the Eastern Sierra this morning to all but apologize to the locals for Los Angeles stripping...

Silver Lake and Elysian water to be dumped

The DWP has decided to dump all the water in Silver Lake and the Elysian reservoir because of unusually high traces of the carcinogen bromate, which formed in the water...

Lessons for California?

The largest pre-industrial metropolis in the world, in today's Cambodia, relied on elaborate waterworks — and died away in the 16th century after "overpopulation and deforestation filled the canals with...

A river runs through it — sort of

Benett Kessler lives 225 miles from Los Angeles but has been covering the Department of Water and Power as a local story for more than 25 years.

Los Angeles is not a desert

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Professor emeritus Ralph Shaffer has been trying without success to get Times writers to stop referring to Los Angeles as a desert, climate-wise. Simply put, he says it rains too much for the coastal plain to qualify as a desert.
New at LA Observed
Clinton fundraises in LA
kermit-la-brea-closer.jpg Jim Henson Studios on La Brea became a presidential campaign stop on Thursday.
Brown declares disaster area
porter-ranch-sign.jpgThe natural gas leak above Porter Ranch now qualifies for various government actions. Story
Wet coyote
wet-coyote-vdt.jpgSpotted between the storms at Here in Malibu.
Performing arts with cheer
guys-dolls-kevin-parry.jpgDonna Perlmutter closes out 2015 with productions downtown and on the Westside.
Junkyard down
upick-firetruck-560.jpgAfter 53 years, Sun Valley's Aadlen Brothers and U-Pick Parts cleans out. Photos