Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: State gathers up data on number of wells that have gone dry

How many domestic wells are having trouble throughout the state? More than 2,500. That’s not an exact figure, but its better than the smattering of reports that had been collected before the most recent statewide summary. 

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Clean water rule frightens farmers

For better than a decade, farmers, environmentalists and the courts have tussled over what constitutes “waters of the United States” under the federal Clean Water Act.

Aquafornia news NPR

Fight to save sage grouse finds friends in all corners of the West (with audio)

A recent study by Pew Charitable Trusts found that greater sage grouse numbers decreased by 56 percent from 2007 to 2013. Because of that decline, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been tasked with determining whether the greater sage grouse needs protections under the Endangered Species Act by the end of the month, a deadline that’s led to hand-wringing across the West.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

UN: This El Niño to be among the strongest since 1950

The current El Niño weather pattern may be on track to become one of the strongest in more than half a century, experts at the World Meteorological Organization said Tuesday.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Desalination plant opponents rail against Huntington Beach location

Two weeks ago, an expert panel weighed in against the economic feasibility of burying water intake pipes under the sand at a proposed desalination plant in Huntington Beach.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Sonoma Valley residents offered free recycled water for irrigation use

A new recycled water fill-up station opened in Sonoma Valley this week, becoming the second facility in the county where residents can go to get highly treated wastewater to irrigate their gardens and ornamental landscaping.

Aquafornia news AgAlert, the Weekly Newspaper for California Agriculture

State board drops planned grazing rule

After hearing from ranchers across the state about their different grazing practices and the numerous environmental benefits of grazing, the State Water Resources Control Board has decided to scrap efforts to regulate grazing on a statewide basis to address potential water-quality impacts.

Aquafornia news Contra Costa Times

Bay Area vineyards withstanding impacts of drought, for now

While the 2015 vintage appears to be of excellent quality, vintners around the Bay Area who turn grapes into wine could use some divine assistance — El Niño-driven rains, perhaps — to avoid a potentially crippling fifth year of drought.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Modesto, MID put costly legal fight on hold

Modesto and the Modesto Irrigation District have agreed to put on hold their costly legal dispute over which one has to pay $9 million in extra costs for the botched expansion of the Modesto Regional Water Treatment Plant, which is operated by the MID and provides the city with drinking water.

Aquafornia news NPR

Huge fish farm planned near San Diego aims to fix seafood imbalance (with audio)

The largest fish farm in America could be built 4 miles off San Diego’s coast. … The Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, the nonprofit research arm of SeaWorld, is partnering with a private investment firm to create the aquaculture project.

Aquafornia news Whittier Daily News

Whittier accused of illegal sewer spills in environmental group’s lawsuit

A Sonoma-County-based environmental group has sued Whittier in federal court, accusing it of illegally allowing 248 spills from its sewer system during the last five years.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

National forest blazes nearing containment

Firefighters were still making progress on containment lines of fires in nearby national forests on Tuesday — but despite this past weekend’s rains, drought-stricken grasses, plants and trees are expected to dry out soon.

Aquafornia news Northwest Public Radio

Wildfires reveal gaps in emergency planning for thousands of migrant farmworkers

Thousands of farm workers living in wildfire country are particularly vulnerable in times of emergency. One problem is that warnings in Spanish don’t reach everyone that needs to hear them.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

What a school does when it’s ‘kind of running out of water’

The drought, and the possibility of an impending El Niño, are offering schools such as King [Thomas Starr King Middle School] the opportunity to expand their outdoor science lessons beyond observing how fruits and vegetable grow. With the hugelkultur garden, students and their teachers are learning to manage resources in California. 

Aquafornia news Whittier Daily News

Central Basin Municipal Water District programs for K-12 schools could help with drought

With California mired in the fourth year of a drought, Central Basin Municipal Water District officials say their free programs for K-12 schools can serve as another tool to reduce water consumption. The district offers nine programs about water, energy and the need to conserve for teachers to use in their classrooms.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Terra Linda students set to study climate change in Miami

They’re cleaning up Marin creeks, writing energy-conserving apps, harvesting organic tomatoes, and, in a few weeks, students at Terra Linda High’s Marin School of Environmental Leadership will be meeting Al Gore at a Miami climate science conference.

Aquafornia news Red Bluff Daily News

Sacramento River Discovery Center end of summer report

The Sacramento River Discovery Center had a busy and successful summer season thanks to the assistance of the members of the community. … The Summer Camps program provided environmental education to the largest number of students ever.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Las Vegas’ new ad campaign pushes ’sexy’ watering habits

Another part of the drought-ridden West is attempting to make water conservation sexy, this time with funny ads in Las Vegas.

Aquafornia news Redding Record Searchlight

Editorial: Drought shamers miss the biggest target

In a somewhat perverse twist, the city’s [Redding] average reduction in use was blown up by a factor almost completely out of its control — Redding Electric Utility’s power generation. In a normal year, REU would expect to get 30 percent of its power from hydroelectric generation through the Central Valley Project.

Aquafornia news Downey Brand LLP

Legal Commentary: ESWR Update — WOTUS rule blocked by federal judge in North Dakota

In the week that the new Waters of the United States Rule (“WOTUS Rule”) was scheduled to take effect on August 28, 2015, three Federal District Courts issued rulings reaching opposite conclusions on the question of whether District Courts have jurisdiction to hear these cases: one court ruled it has jurisdiction and took the additional step of issuing a preliminary injunction against the rule; two courts dismissed challenges for lack of jurisdiction.  Several other challenges remain pending in both Federal District Courts and Courts of Appeal.