Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: Senators drill into California water bill

Chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, [Sen. Lisa] Murkowski convened the two-hour hearing Thursday primarily to consider significantly different House and Senate versions of California water legislation. The morning hearing was the first to be held specifically on the bills.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California to phase out microbeads used in soaps, toothpaste

Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Thursday requiring California to phase out the use of microscopic exfoliating beads in personal care products sold in the state starting in 2020 to protect fish and wildlife.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Massive El Niño is now ‘too big to fail,’ scientist says

A massive El Niño is among the strongest on record as it gains strength in the Pacific Ocean, and climate scientists say California is likely to face a wet winter.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

New forecast says El Niño could help Northern California, ease drought

In a revised forecast Thursday, the National Weather Service said Northern California stands a decent chance of getting significant precipitation from this winter’s El Niño weather pattern, a development that could help ease the state’s four-year drought.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun Washington Bureau

Drought relief legislation proves challenging in D.C.

Thursday’s Senate committee hearing on legislation to provide drought relief in the West showed why passing anything on this issue is so difficult.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Plastic microbeads and state coal investments banned as Gov. Jerry Brown signs new laws

Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed 23 new environmental bills into law, banning tiny plastic beads in cosmetics that scientists say are polluting the ocean and San Francisco Bay, toughening oil pipeline laws and requiring the state’s massive pension funds to sell off their coal stocks.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Rain no help for California reservoirs (with audio)

A fifth year of drought is likely in California, and El Niño won’t end it, say water scientists and forecasters.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

This year’s El Niño still looks like a whopper

Federal forecasters on Thursday reinforced expectations of a strong El Niño this winter, saying there’s a 95 percent chance the burly weather phenomenon, often linked to rain in California, sticks around until spring.

Aquafornia news PBS NewsHour

Why is California sinking? (with video)

California’s four-year drought is causing the state to sink. Many of the state’s farmers have turned to drilling deeper and deeper down in order to find groundwater for their crops, resulting in a higher risk of flooding.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Johns Hopkins study links fracking and premature births

New research from Johns Hopkins University suggests pregnant women living near fracking wells in Pennsylvania are more likely to give birth prematurely or have high risk pregnancies. 

Aquafornia news Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting

Playing politics with people’s water along US-Mexico border

Two years ago, the discovery of dangerous bacteria in the drinking water of two working-class communities along the Rio Grande in Texas set off alarms among state regulators and investigators. Their arrival sparked hope among residents that perhaps, finally, something might be done about longstanding problems with their water.

Aquafornia news Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting

High and dry: A deep dive into the water crisis (with audio)

From the parched California coast to soaring water bills in New York, this episode of Reveal takes an in-depth look at water issues around the country.

Aquafornia news Daily Breeze

Hyperion Treatment Plant officials queried over medical waste spill along South Bay beaches

As an investigation continues into September’s massive sewage spill off the South Bay coast, Hyperion Treatment Plant officials Thursday fielded questions from community members and environmentalists concerned that it could happen again.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Blue sky and red ice at Pluto, NASA spacecraft discovers

The sky over Pluto may not be sunny but it’s undoubtedly blue. … In another finding Thursday, scientists have uncovered numerous ice patches on Pluto’s surface.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

In Memoriam: Biologist was Delta advocate

Dan Odenweller, a Delta defender who promoted the original peripheral canal but later grew skeptical, has died after a lengthy illness.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Blog: While South Carolina floods, U.S. wrestles with urban stormwater

Among the devastating effects of the low pressure storm system that pummeled South Carolina over the weekend was the heavy damage the record-breaking rains caused to water transport and treatment infrastructure, and the release of a tide of contaminated stormwater.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Blog: Lawsuit asks for regulations to address underwater oil pipeline spills

Spurred by concern over an oil pipeline crossing beneath the Straits of Mackinac, the National Wildlife Federation on Thursday filed a lawsuit claiming that the federal agency responsible for regulating pipelines has failed to comply with the Clean Water Act. The suit, filed in the United States District Court for Eastern Michigan, says the U.S. Department of Transportation has not reviewed or approved response plans for oil spills from pipelines that cross rivers and lakes.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Blog: This just in … DWR releases proposed rules for modifying groundwater basin boundaries

From the Department of Water Resources: “The Department of Water Resources (DWR) today [Oct. 8] released the Proposed Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) Basin Boundary Emergency Regulations in a step toward meeting the first major SGMA deadline for DWR and providing the rules that establish an important process for local agencies to continue their implementation of this historic groundwater law.

Aquafornia news U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

News Release: U.S. EPA recognizes 2015 WaterSense Partners of the Year in California and Nevada

Today [Oct. 8] the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized the Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership, the Municipal Water District of Orange County, KB Home, Energy Inspectors Corporation, and 13 other winners as WaterSense Partners of the Year for creating, rebating, communicating and educating consumers about WaterSense labeled products, homes and programs. EPA Region 9 is working with all levels of government, tribes, and NGOs to expand and scale-up improved and sustainable water management in response to the ongoing severe drought in the Pacific Southwest.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Scientists question twin tunnels report

An independent team of scientists renewed its criticism of Gov. Jerry Brown’s twin tunnels plan this week, saying that the massive documents justifying the project are “incomplete and opaque.”