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Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: Plans to build new huge dams and reservoirs in California hit hurdle

Signaling trouble for nearly a dozen landmark water storage projects to help California cope with its next drought, state water officials on Thursday announced none of the proposals — including raising Contra Costa County’s Los Vaqueros Dam and building a new Santa Clara County dam near Pacheco Pass — provide the public benefits that their supporters claim, potentially putting their state funding at risk.

Aquafornia news Las Vegas Review-Journal

‘Historically bad start’ to winter not reflected in Lake Mead projections

Winter is off to an alarmingly dry start across the Colorado River Basin, but you wouldn’t know it from the latest federal projections for Lake Mead.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

A silver lining from California’s drought: Water conservation led to reduced energy use and less pollution

In April 2015, Gov. Jerry Brown called on the people of the most populous state to reduce their water use by 25% in response to a punishing four-year drought. It was an audacious goal, and Californians came close to meeting it.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

EPA official speaks on risk of climate change to toxic sites

A top manager who supervises the Environmental Protection Agency program responsible for cleaning up the nation’s most contaminated properties and waterways told Congress on Thursday that the government needs to plan for the ongoing threat posed to Superfund sites from climate change.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Huffman letter protests Trump’s offshore oil drilling plan

Rep. Jared Huffman and two other members of Congress have taken the lead in a letter to Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke protesting the Trump administration’s offshore oil drilling plan. … The letter, which is signed by 36 members of the California congressional delegation, urges Zinke to withdraw the plan and highlights Zinke’s subsequent decision to remove Florida’s coasts from the plan.

Aquafornia news Yuba-Sutter Appeal-Democrat

$100,000 project will connect Yuba City waterline to Barry Elementary

The Yuba City City Council this week authorized a $100,000 waterline extension project at Barry Elementary School, which has been plagued for years by water quality issues.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

Weather, quality testing snag commercial crabbing season

Yes, commercial crabbing season is open. But no, you can’t go out to a local seafood shop and go pick up a couple crabs for dinner. Not quite yet. It’s a frustrating situation for crabbers, vendors and consumers.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Two storm systems for San Joaquin Valley and mountains

Two storm systems that will pass through Modesto over the next five days could bring as much as a half an inch of rain, the National Weather Service has predicted. The low end of the precipitation forecast shows the area receiving less than a quarter inch through Monday.

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Sempervirens Fund property purchase bridges protected Santa Cruz County North Coast land

The Sempervirens Fund purchased a 106-acre property north of Davenport that bridges 17,500 acres of protected North Coast land, the land trust announced Wednesday.

Aquafornia news The Union, Serving Western Nevada County

Land trust moves to ensure public access at Nevada County’s Lindsey Lakes

Bear Yuba Land Trust this month secured 857 acres of land in Nevada County’s Grouse Ridge area as a conservation easement, permanently protecting the parcel from any future development.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Sacramento finishes new link of Two Rivers Trail along American River

[Sacramento] City leaders will gather Friday along the American River to celebrate what may seem to be an odd little civic project – a paved trail that starts at a little-known parking lot and essentially goes nowhere, coming to an abrupt end less than a mile away.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Before & After: A massive front lawn is transformed into an inviting, low-water landscape

Amber Denker thinks like an artist when it comes to gardening, spending countless hours in her Toluca Lake backyard planting exotics and tropical plants. … After hearing about the DWP turf removal rebate during the California drought in 2015, she was prompted to turn a critical eye to the massive lawn in front too.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Q&A: With a flooding disaster in its past, Utah takes dam safety seriously

The disaster at Oroville Dam in California last winter put questions about dam safety in the headlines for the first time in many years. … The state of Utah went through its own disaster in 1989 that prompted big changes in the state’s dam safety program.

Aquafornia news KJZZ, Rio Salado College/Maricopa Community Colleges

Arizona governor water proposals likely to address excess water (with audio)

Drought conditions persist in Arizona. At the same time, people in the water policy world are trying to keep the Colorado River at healthy levels. The Colorado is considered a lifeline for the Southwest.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Washington state lawmakers pass water bill, $4 billion in construction

The [Washington] state Legislature approved more than $4 billion in construction projects across the state after reaching a deal on a contentious water issue that had stalled the capital budget for months. The Senate and the House passed legislation Thursday night aimed at addressing issues in the state Supreme Court decision known as Hirst involving the use of domestic wells in rural areas.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Editorial: A single tunnel might make sense for California

Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to drill two enormous tunnels to divert water to the Central Valley and Southern California should have been buried a long time ago.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: The issues Gov. Jerry Brown shouldn’t gloss over

On opposite ends of Highway 101, Sonoma County was wracked by fire and Santa Barbara County was buried in mud. … [Gov. Jerry] Brown could use the two tales of disaster to raise questions about land development, affordable housing, environmental stewardship and – one of his nemeses and near-impossible in today’s Sacramento – CEQA reform.

Aquafornia news East Bay Times

Commentary: Fracking decision empowers California communities to fight

David beat Goliath last year when Monterey County voters passed a ballot initiative that bans fracking and new oil and gas wells, and phases out wastewater injection. Despite a $5.4 million oil-industry campaign against it, ballot initiative Measure Z won with over 56 percent of the vote.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Commentary: Another lesson from Montecito — even in semi-arid Southern California, we need flood insurance

You might suppose that insurance for fire loss would automatically cover the loss of those homes and their contents. You would suppose wrong. Mudslide usually is excluded from typical home insurance. Instead, it is covered by flood insurance.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Commentary: If a megaphoned voice tells you to evacuate, go — and other lessons from California’s season of fire and flood

The odds are, you will never be chased from your home by flames or mud; you will probably never lose everything, right down to your favorite mug. But for those who worry and wonder, here are some field notes from disaster and its aftermath.