Central Valley Project customers receive more water

The Bureau of Reclamation announced April 13 that it was going to be increasing its water supply allocation to Central Valley Project contractors as a result of improved snow pack conditions.

The revised projected deliveries are expected to increase both project use and net project generation, which means more hydropower to sell for Western’s Sierra Nevada region.

“The snow water content ranges from 81 percent of the April 1 average for the Northern Sierra to 32 percent for the Southern Sierra,” stated the press release.

Western “holds on” during earthquake drill

Western employees hold on during Utah earthquake drill

Catherine Anderson, a contracted administrative technician, ducks, covers and holds on during a state-wide earthquake drill in Utah April 17 at 10:15 a.m.

Colorado River Storage Project Management Center employees in Salt Lake City, Utah, dropped, covered and held on with nearly 1 million other Utahns during a state-wide earthquake drill at 10:15 a.m. April 17.

“It was a great success with a lot of interest created in taking additional steps within the office toward better preparedness,” said CRSP Financial Analyst David Welker, who headed up the exercise for the office. After the drill, employees “had a brief group discussion on earthquake safety and general preparedness.”

 The Great Utah ShakeOut, the largest earthquake in Utah’s history, simulated a 7.0 magnitude earthquake where residents, businesses, schools and others took cover for about 60 seconds in shelters or other protected areas.

The exercise was meant to encourage emergency preparedness and educate citizens about earthquake safety, including making a disaster kit, having a plan and mapping out safe places to go during and after the quake.

“Utah is overdue for a major earthquake,” said Welker. “Utah has conducted small-scale drills in towns and such, but this is the first time it’s been done on a state-wide level. It’s important to keep the information fresh so you know what to do if there is a quake.”

Workshop participants get hands-on experience ‘seeing’ energy loss

Brad Riser presenting to workshop participants

Brad Riser with FLIR presents operation of infrared cameras

Cosponsoring the Infrared Thermography: Hands-on Training for Utility Systems & Customer Service Applications, Western joined the Clean Energy Ambassadors and Montana State University in Billings to teach MSUB students and other professionals about infrared cameras.

Twenty students who came in on their school holiday joined by 20 employees of publicly-owned electric cooperatives from around Montana to learn about infrared cameras.

The cameras can be used in home energy audits to indicate air leaks or uneven insulation. The cameras also can be used to show hot spots along utility lines or at substations that might indicate a problem to repair.

California releases fourth snowpack survey

The California Department of Water Resources announced that the results from the fourth of five surveys confirming below-normal water year conditions.

“An unusually wet March improved conditions, but did not make up for the previous dry months,” said DWR Director Mark Cowin.

The average water content of California’s snowpack was still only 55 percent of the expected April 1 normal. The relative composition of the Sierra Nevada snowpack, from which Western’s Central Valley Project receives snowmelt, was 78 percent of April 1 normal for the northern Sierras, 55 percent of the April 1 normal for the central Sierras and 39 percent of the April 1 normal for the southern Sierras. At the same time last year, the snowpack water content showed 173 percent of the April 1 average for the northern Sierras, 161 percent in the central Sierras, and 155 percent for the southern Sierras.

Both the State and Federal water projects have announced reduced deliveries for the upcoming water year.

“The reduced water deliveries are expected to result in reduced hydropower generation output for the Central Valley and State Water Projects,” said Western’s Sierra Nevada Region Power Marketing Manager Sonja Anderson. “However, the impact of reduced water deliveries is somewhat mitigated by last year’s above-normal precipitation, which has resulted in higher than average starting reservoir storage levels.”

Web team seeks support for usability review – vote today!

Western’s website is in need of usability testing so that we can “tweak” our website to meet customer needs.

As a Federal agency, every dollar counts and saving visitors time online finding what they need is the primary mission for our web team.  See our video on Challenge.gov seeking assistance from GSA staff asking for their help reviewing our website.

It’s a challenge so popularity is the game and we need more votes before 9 p.m., Eastern time today!

If we win the contest, you—our customer—are guaranteed to see some improvements on our website!

How you can help

Watch our video on Challenge.gov and vote for us. You’ll have to sign up for a Challenge.gov account, but it will only take a few minutes.

Wish us luck!