The Seven Key Things That Happened in California Water in 2016
1. Disappointing El Nino
The much-heralded El Nino that many hoped would lift California out of drought didn’t live up to expectations.
2. Conservation Mandate Ends
The statewide conservation mandate policy was disbanded in May. The State Water Resources Control Board instead decided to let water agencies set their own conservation standards.
3. Diminishing Lake Mead
4. Toxic Algae Outbreaks
The summer was marked by several outbreaks of toxic algae blooms in waters across the state, fueled by low water flows, warm temperatures and high levels of nutrients.
5. Tree Mortality on the Rise
One of the most visible signs of California’s drought has been patches of red amid the typically green hillsides of California’s conifer forests in the Sierra Nevada.
6. Federal Water Infrastructure Bill Signed in December
reporting for McClatchy
, called it “the biggest federal reset of California water use in a generation, setting the stage for easier dam-building, more recycling and potentially happier Central Valley farmers.”
7. Delta Tunnels Inch Forward
With just over a week to go before the end of 2016, California took another step forward on California WaterFix, the plan to build twin tunnels in the Delta.