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California’s groundwater is a great natural resource and has contributed to the state becoming the nation’s top agricultural producer and a leader in high-tech industries. Groundwater is an asset that is increasingly relied upon by municipalities, industry and agriculture and it will play an important role in the future sustainability of California’s overall water supply.
With a theme focusing on “Wave of Change: Breaking the Status Quo,” the Water Education Foundation’s 34th annual Executive Briefing was held March 23 in Sacramento. The event examined new approaches to water management, tools to extend supplies, plans to prepare for drought, and the intersection between politics and policy.
This premiere water conference offered participants the opportunity to hear from top policymakers and leading stakeholders on key water topics:
Brenda Burman, the director of water policy for Salt River Project who previously worked for the U.S. Department of the Interior, has been confirmed as the nation’s first female commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Burman, who was nominated for the post in June by President Donald Trump, was confirmed on a unanimous voice vote by the U.S. Senate on Thursday, according to the Senate record.
For as long as agriculture has existed in the Central Valley, farmers have pumped water from the ground to sustain their livelihood and grow food consumed by much of the nation. This has caused the ground in certain places to sink, sometimes dramatically, eliminating valuable aquifer storage space that can never be restored. The damage by subsidence extends to the California Aqueduct, the 700-mile artificial river that conveys water from Northern California to the valley and beyond as the principal feature of the State Water Project.
Salmon crowded in and around the Mokelumne River Fish Hatchery on Thursday, offering leaping and squiggling proof of what so far is a near-record return of the big pinkish delicacies after several years of low breeding numbers. … The Mokelumne, one of California’s major salmon-producing rivers, flows from the Sierra foothills through the Central Valley.
The thousands of miles of concrete channels diverting street water from the San Gabriel and Los Angeles rivers represent the last major water project in Los Angeles County, built almost 100 years ago. On Thursday, Dave Sorem, owner and vice president of Mike Bubalo Construction Co., showed off the first of a second wave of street-water projects that elevate what is essentially water pollution into a drinkable water source.
The endangered Delta smelt is a 3-inch fish found only in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. It is considered especially sensitive because it lives just one year, has a limited diet and exists primarily in brackish waters (a mix of river-fed fresh and salty ocean waters that is typically found in coastal estuaries).