Spotlight Archive / 2012

DWR Helps Water Users Track Weather
Department of Water Resources water use scientists install a Geostationary-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) dish on top of the Department's North Central Region Office building in West Sacramento. The dish receives data collected by the California Irrigation Management Information System (CIMIS) from more than 140 automated weather stations throughout California. The information is primarily used by farmers and urban water users to precisely determine the amount of water needed for crops and landscaping. (12-21-12)
Photo credit: Florence Low / DWR Photography
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Delta Flood Exercise Staged by DWR and CCC
Bill Croyle, DWR Flood Operations Chief, gives advice as members of the California Conservation Corps hone their flood fighting skills in a large-scale, December 12 emergency response exercise on Twitchell Island in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, scene of a major, real-life flood fight on New Year's Day, 2006. During the flood fight simulation, CCC members from Humboldt County to San Diego practiced sandbagging and other techniques to protect Delta levees that protect not only lives and property, but the source of drinking water for more than 25 million Californians. (12-12-12)
Photo credit: John Chacon / DWR Photography
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Clearing the Way for Tidal Habitat Restoration
Environmental scientists Ling-ru Chu and Dan Riordan mark vegetation not to be cleared from Prospect Island levees as an early step toward restoring tidal habitat in the Sacramento - San Joaquin Delta. The plan is to eventually breach Prospect Island levees in areas that will provide ideal water circulation to increase fish habitat and food. After view - blocking, bushy vegetation is removed from the levees, visual inspections will help determine the best areas to breach as the restoration program moves forward. (12-07-12)
Photo credit: Florence Low / DWR Photography
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Rainbow Brightens Stormy Day
A short-lived rainbow breaks through storm clouds Wednesday, November 28, 2012 over rural Sacramento County. Wednesday's storm was the first of three that are predicted to hit Northern California in short succession, a result of what forecasters call an atmospheric river. (11-30-12)

Photo credit: Carl Costas / DWR Photography
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Growing Tules to Curb Carbon
As part of the Department of Water Resources' program to reduce its carbon footprint, Bryan Brock, Program Manager for DWR's Carbon Farming Program, prepares to measure carbon uptake (removal of carbon from the atmosphere by tules and other plants) on Sherman Island in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Concurrent with subsidence research in the Delta, DWR is developing Greenhouse Gas protocols for California's Cap and Trade Program. Additional information on DWR's Carbon Farming Program may be found at:
. (11-27-12)
Photo credit: John Chacon / DWR Photography
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Big Job at Gianelli Pumping-Generating Plant
Workers at DWR's William R. Gianelli Pumping-Generating Plant resurface 156-inch flanges for one of four penstocks that pipe water from San Luis Reservoir to spin the plant's electricity-producing turbines. Next, workers will join the flanges with a refurbished butterfly valve that controls the flow of water through the penstock. Because of its size and weight, the butterfly valve will be installed in three pieces. Gianelli, one of DWR's three Pumping-Generating Plants, sits on the left abutment of San Luis Reservoir's Sisk Dam in Merced County. It pumps State Water Project and Central Valley Project water into San Luis, and generates electricity when penstocks feed reservoir water under head pressure back to its turbines. (11-19-12)
Video credit: Florence Low / DWR Photography
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Sandhill Cranes Return to Delta
Their annual migration has brought thousands of magnificent sandhill cranes – one of nature's most impressive birds – back to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and inland wildlife areas where they will spend the fall and winter months. More than a seasonal attraction, the cranes are a reminder of the Delta's importance for wildlife. They are one of many reasons that state and federal wildlife agencies support the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, an initiative with the co-equal goals of improving water supply reliability and protecting and enhancing the Delta's ecosystem.
Engineering Fish Passage and Flood Protection
Workers do finish work on freshly poured concrete at a new fish ladder under construction at Weir No. 2 along the Sutter Bypass. The new fish ladder and other work at the weir — 27 miles upstream of the confluence of the Sacramento and American rivers — is one of several projects DWR's Division of Engineering is doing for the Division of Flood Management that will improve both flood control and fish passage in the Sutter Bypass. Work is scheduled to be completed next year. (11-02-12)
Photo credit: DWR Photography
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Getting Ready for High Water
DWR's Rick Burnett (center) provides sandbagging instructions while teaching a class on flood fight techniques in Sacramento.
US Army Corps of Engineers Park Rangers Kelly Stock and Joshua Jimerfield participate in a floodfighting preparedness class Wednesday, October 17, 2012 near Cal Expo in Sacramento. For more than two decades, DWR Floodfight Specialist Rick Burnett (center) has been leading such classes to give the public the skills necessary to fight floods. In that time, every single county in California has been a federally declared flood disaster at least once. The state's official flood season started Monday, October 15. (11-01-12)
Seasonal Migrations
Salmon near the Nimbus Hatchery, October 15, 2012. This month, thousands of Chinook salmon return home to California streams and hatcheries, including these in the American River. They migrate through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, where state and federal agencies including the California Department of Water Resources are working to achieve the co-equal goals of protecting the ecosystem and increasing the reliability of water supplies. (10-30-12)
Video credit: Carl Costas / DWR Photography
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Seasonal Reflections
The California State Capitol is reflected in a puddle of rain water collected on L St Monday, October 22, 2012 in Sacramento.
The rains have arrived, sprouting umbrellas throughout much of long-dry California. The early storms are nature's reminder to shut off our outdoor sprinklers, or give the garden hose a rest and turn our energy to clearing the leaves from our eaves and gutters. Letting the rain water our lawns can put a big dent in water use in our drought-prone state, where conservation should be a way of life. To learn how to calculate and reduce your indoor and outdoor water use and spare your budget with water-wise landscaping, click on the "Save Our Water" icon on this page, and check with your local water supplier. (10-25-12)
Photo credit: Carl Costas / DWR Photography
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"Catch a Special Thrill" event at Lake Perris
This year is the 21st anniversary of the "Catch a Special Thrill" (C.A.S.T.) for Kids Foundation. Working with the Department of Water Resources and other agencies, C.A.S.T. gives special needs children a chance to leave their cares on shore for a day of fishing and outdoor education. DWR began co-sponsoring C.A.S.T. events at Lake del Valle and Lake Oroville in 1995. This year, the Department is hosting C.A.S.T. events for boys and girls at seven State Water Project reservoirs. The C.A.S.T. foundation credited DWR for helping it reach hundreds of children.
A young angler's smile is the payoff at DWR's "Catch a Special Thrill" event at Lake Perris Saturday. Other boys and girls will have a day of boating fun and outdoor education this Saturday, October 27, as DWR, other agencies and the non-profit C.A.S.T. Foundation host children with special needs at San Luis Reservoir's O'Neill Forebay in Merced County. (10-22-12)
California Floods - BE AWARE, BE PREPARED!
In the U.S., more people die in flooding than in any other natural disaster. Closer to home, in the past 20 years, every single county in California has been a federally declared flood disaster at least once. California is unusual - we experience eight different types of flooding: from tsunamis to debris flow flooding, from riverine flooding to flash flooding. California even has a designated "Flood Season," which starts Monday, October 15, and DWR is helping launch the first "California Flood Preparedness Week" (October 15 - 20) to promote flood awareness and emergency preparedness activities. For more information about flooding in California, finding your risk of flooding, please visit: (10-15-12)

Archive of Spotlight Stories / 2015 / 2014 / 2013 / 2012