Don’t miss March 17 gardening seminar

Don’t miss March 17 gardening seminar

The Master Gardener Association of San Diego County is hosting an all-day Spring Seminar on March 17, with classes on gardening basics, citrus, succulents, pest management, tree selection, raising chickens, drought tolerant landscapes, drip irrigation and more.

If you are looking for landscaping advice, ask a Master Gardener. They receive intensive horticultural training and then volunteer in their communities by giving lectures, creating gardens and conducting research — to help other gardeners accomplish their goals.

The goal of the Spring Seminar is to improve the gardening practices of San Diego County residents who grow ornamental and edible plants by providing practical information on non-commercial home horticultural and pest management related topics. Proceeds from the seminar are used to pay related expenses and to support Master Gardener public education activities.

The event runs from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the San Diego County Operations Center located at 5520 Overland Avenue in Kearny Mesa. There will be three class sessions — with a myriad of classes offered in each session — and the Marketplace, where you can browse and buy plants, books and “all things gardening”,

Learn more and register early(!) on the association’s website

 

How to manage forest to protect water

How to manage forest to protect water

Have you ever been to Ashland, Oregon? It’s a small town of just 21,000 people, but it has an international reputation as the home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Today, Ashland is developing a new reputation — as a leader in forest management and a model for other cities that need to protect their water resources against the ever-growing risk of wildfire.

Wildfires drop ash on to rivers and reservoirs and leave behind a burn area vulnerable to erosion. Adding sediment to water reduces water quality and increases treatment costs. And, over decades, sediment builds up behind dams, reducing the amount of water they can store.

Read more about Ashland’s solution

MWD exploring $10B investment in Delta tunnels

MWD exploring $10B investment in Delta tunnels

Photo: Sacramento River, just south of Sacramento, flowing into the Delta. (Source: USFW)

From the Sacramento Bee —
In a dramatic twist on the Delta tunnels saga, Southern California’s powerful water agency is exploring the feasibility of owning the majority stake in the controversial project, a move that raises fears of a “water grab.”

Under the plan floated Monday by three board members, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California would pour an extra $6 billion or more into the tunnels plan beyond what it has already pledged, enabling the twin tunnels to get built at the same time. Last week, facing a significant funding shortfall, the Brown administration announced it was scaling back the project to just one tunnel for now.

Read the Sacramento Bee Story

Map Below
Map shows proposed route of twin tunnels to transport water from the Sacramento River under the Delta to the California Aqueduct, which transports the water to Southern California. (Source: KQED)

Running Out of Water: Cape Town, the U.S., and Drought

Running Out of Water: Cape Town, the U.S., and Drought

Photo: Cape Town, South Africa residents filling water containers (CNN)
From Stanford University —

The recent news that Cape Town, South Africa—a modern city of nearly 4 million residents (plus over 1.5 million tourists yearly)—was on the brink of running out of water, the taps about to run dry, put water back into the headlines.

After years of drought in several American states, could this happen closer to home? In the Q&A that follows, water law expert Buzz Thompson (who has spent time in South Africa, including teaching “South African Water Policy” at the Stanford program in Cape Town in 2015, right as the drought was starting) discusses our most important resource—water.

Read the Interview

Time to get rid of two outdated words: ‘drought’ and ‘normal’

Time to get rid of two outdated words: ‘drought’ and ‘normal’

Photo: The Colorado River Basin has been in a continuous drought since 1999.
From NewsDeeply.com —

If we are adequately to talk about the weather this century, we are going to need a new lexicon that better captures the current reality, writes Tom Philp of Metropolitan Water District.

Water policy is becoming a prisoner of its own limited vocabulary, particularly when it comes to the weather. Here is a case that “drought” and “normal” belong in the dustbin of history, for their overuse can lead to the wrong conversation. These words are not so sinister as to be banned from the dictionary. But they tend to miss the mark as to what seems to be happening with our weather this century. Take a look at the chart below: annual precipitation in California has been below average in 11 of the last 17 years.

Read the article on newsdeeply.com

February Update: Our Water Resources

February Update: Our Water Resources

Photo: The California Department of Water Resources’ Frank Gehrke (left) talking with reporters while measuring the depth and water content of the snow on February 1, 2018.

 

“Hoping for a March Miracle to bail out California’s dry winter? It’s not likely,” says today’s issue of the San Jose Mercury News. They analyzed more than 100 years of rainfall records of the major cities in California, including San Diego, and the data showed, “That none have ever finished the rainy season with normal rainfall totals after ending January with the amount of rain they’ve had so far this winter.”

The good news is that most of California’s reservoirs are full — of last year’s record-breaking statewide precipitation.  One exception, however, is Lake Oroville, which is at just 41 percent of capacity. Lake Oroville is the water supply for the State Water Project, which transports water from the northern Sierra to Southern California. Note, too, that Lake Cuyamaca, Helix’s reservoir in our local mountains, is nearly empty.

61%

Snowpack
Upper Colorado River Basin
(% of avg. for this date)

22%

Snowpack
Northern Sierra
(% of avg. for this date)

5.36"

Precipitation
Lake Cuyamaca
(Dec 2017 – Jan 2018)

41%

Reservoir Level
Lake Mead
(% Full)

41%

Reservoir Level
Lake Oroville
State Water Project
(% Full)

7%

Reservoir Level
Lake Cuyamaca
(% Full)

What’s causing warm, dry weather across the state? The Ridiculously Resilient Ridge — that high pressure ridge that forms over the eastern Pacific Ocean and western U.S. and remains in place for weeks, or months (see image below). The ridge was the primary cause of California’s five year drought. Stanford University’s Daniel Swain wrote on February 1 that the ridge will “probably stick around for the foreseeable future (certainly for the next 10 days, and plausibly for the next 2-3 weeks).”

Below: The Ridiculously Resilient Ridge (Feb 1 2018)

Take a look at the U.S. Drought Monitor map below. Moderate to severe drought conditions are pervasive across central and southern California, and across the Colorado River Basin.
High schoolers — win $1,000 in CSDA video contest

High schoolers — win $1,000 in CSDA video contest

Create a one to two minute video answering the question, “What’s so special about special districts?” and you could win the 2018 High School Student Video Contest sponsored by the San Diego Chapter of the California Special Districts Association (CSDA).
The objective of the contest is for high school students to create four public service announcements for CSDA that raise awareness about special districts and the services they provide in San Diego County. Do the whole project — shooting and editing — on your smartphone. Or use a drone! And take advantage of all the free tutorials and tips on video production on the web.

PRIZES

$1,000

1st Place

$750

2nd Place

$500

3rd Place

$250

To each winner’s school
MORE INFORMATION

Entries are due by April 1, 2018 and you must attend a high school in San Diego County to enter. Winners are announced in May.

2018 San Diego Chapter CSDA Video Contest Flyer

2018 San Diego Chapter CSDA Video Contest Rules

2018 San Diego Chapter CSDA Video Contest Application

For more information, go to www.sandiegocsda.weebly.com