As the first significant rain of the season fell on Northern California the other day, the state Department of Water Resources issued an ominous water supply estimate that makes it clear that much more precipitation is needed this winter. The DWR projects that it will be able to fill only 5 percent of the water requests it has received from the 29 water agencies it contracts with.
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy says the lingering dirty drinking water in many rural San Joaquin Valley towns would surprise people from other parts of the country. Saying she is serious about the agency’s role as a watchdog over federal funding, McCarthy said people shouldn’t have to wait years for money that’s already available for fixes.
And large groundwater withdrawals are causing land in the Central Valley to sink. It’s a phenomenon called subsidence, and it’s historically been a problem in the Central Valley. But satellite maps show the problem is much worse. It’s become so serious that it’s threatening flood control and water deliveries.