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Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Plan to recycle water near Salton Sea draws criticism

The Coachella Valley’s biggest water district recycles wastewater at three of its six sewage treatment plants, churning out water to irrigate golf courses, parks and lawns at housing developments. Now it’s proposing to reuse more water by converting a sewage plant in Thermal to a water-recycling plant.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Second La Niña winter could extend drought across the West

Winter is off to a dry start across the West, raising the specter of ongoing drought in many locations. The culprit could be La Niña – a periodic cooling of Pacific Ocean waters near the equator that often brings drought. And not just any La Niña, but a “double whammy” effect, which latest research concludes may cause even worse water shortages.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

17 ways California sued the Trump administration in 2017

California has filed a double-digit number of lawsuits against the Trump administration since January. … In some cases, California is leading the legal battle, taking on the Trump administration on immigration, health care and the environment.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

‘Firefighting at Christmas’ may become normal in California

A week of destructive fires in Southern California is ending but danger still looms. Well into what’s considered the wet season, there’s been nary a drop of rain.

Aquafornia news Appeal-Democrat

Skepticism abounds at DWR meeting in Yuba City

Yuba-Sutter residents voiced concerns to the Department of Water Resources over a variety of issues Thursday night, including the hairline cracks that have appeared on the reconstructed spillway, a need for more transparency moving forward, and the significant amount of sediment buildup in the Feather River brought about by the Lake Oroville incident last February and plans – or lack thereof – to clear it out.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

EPA chief defends spending on travel and soundproof booth

Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt on Thursday defended his frequent taxpayer-funded travel and his purchase of a custom soundproof communications booth for his office, saying both were justified. Pruitt made his first appearance before a House oversight subcommittee responsible for environmental issues since his confirmation to lead EPA in February.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg

Silicon Valley wants to solve our water problems

Gary Kremen—the founder of, former owner of, and serial investor—is into water. The entrepreneur started investing in water tech startups a few years ago. Today he’s an elected member of Silicon Valley’s water district, an agency that manages water and flood control for 2 million people.

Aquafornia news Arizona Public Radio

Decades-long dispute over Arizona tribe’s water rights may soon be resolved

Arizona’s two U.S. Senators have introduced legislation that would allocate Colorado River water to the Hualapai Tribe in northern Arizona and pay for construction of a water pipeline.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

San Joaquin Valley really needed the rain last winter. But did we need the disease that came with it?

What has caused the record number of valley fever cases in California? El Nino and other winter storm phenomena are most likely to blame, according to the best available information on the disease. Stanislaus County’s almond harvest dust is off the hook.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Comanche Creek project to be finished in 2019

Comanche Creek Greenway is called “mini Bidwell Park” for a reason. It’s a welcome respite for many people living and working in a more industrial part of Chico. … Comanche Creek, also known as Edgar Slough, carries water taken from Butte Creek for irrigation.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Board touts GM pick as ‘the Michael Jordan of wastewater’

Ed McCormick, hailed as a superstar of the industry, was chosen this week as the general manager of the West County Wastewater District, pending the drafting of a mutually agreeable contract. Hired in April as the district’s interim GM, McCormick currently is paid at the rate of $250,950 a year, not counting benefits, after an almost $22,000 raise last month. 

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Christmas tree farms branching out amid shortage

Tom Ward plays the long game when it comes to business. As the owners of Ward Ranch, Ward and his family grow Christmas trees year-round for the holiday season. … But the California drought in recent years — and the winter storms that battered much of northern California — cost tree growers.

Aquafornia news The Orange County Register

Santa Ana posts hottest temperature in the U.S., Newport Beach breaks 93-year-old heat record

Sunday was an historically hot day in Orange County. Santa Ana, at 88 degrees, registered the highest temperature in the continental United States, according to the National Weather Service. And Newport Beach, at 85 degrees, broke a nearly century-old heat record for Dec. 10, sizzling past its previous high of 80 degrees set in 1924.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Developer wants to build homes on open space in Sacramento County

Residents of Sacramento County’s Vineyard area are angry about the prospect of losing open space they thought the county had protected permanently more than 25 years ago. It turns out the land, known as Silver Springs Lot P, has been owned all along by developer Angelo Tsakopoulos, whose company now wants to build houses on it.

Aquafornia news Reno Gazette-Journal

8 worst storms in northern Nevada

Northern Nevada has seen its fair share of nasty weather over the years. Winter storms have buried the region in snow and flooded the area.

Aquafornia news NPR

Biologists with drones and peanut butter pellets are on a mission to help ferrets

In central Montana, drones are dropping peanut butter pellets on prairie dog colonies. It’s part of an effort by biologists to save North America’s most endangered mammal — the black-footed ferret (or as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service calls it, the BFF).

Aquafornia news CALmatters

Commentary: The ironic cause of our greenhouse gas decline

Julie Cart, the environmental writer for CALmatters who covered [Gov. Jerry] Brown’s European sojourn, delved into the [Air Resources Board] report’s data and discovered that the major reason for last year’s drop in emissions wasn’t cap-and-trade, or any other state action. Rather, it occurred because unusually heavy winter rain and snow storms allowed utilities to depend less on generating electricity by burning fossil fuels and more on hydroelectric power from dams in California and other states.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Commentary: Exporting Kings River floodwater doesn’t serve needy cities

At the height of our state’s historic drought in 2014, more than two thirds of California voters cast their ballots in favor of Proposition 1, a $7.5 billion water bond to fund water quality, supply, treatment and storage projects. Three years later, the drought has ended – at least for now.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: How California farmers can conserve water and combat climate change

In January and February, no less than 125 million gallons of rain fell upon my 200-acre farm, located off Highway 80 between Dixon and Davis. Our soil, blanketed with an annual winter cover crop of mixed grass and legumes, absorbed all of those 24 inches of rain. Not one single gallon left our property.

Aquafornia news UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences

Blog: A water right for the environment

California’s management of water for is not working for anyone. Environmental advocates argue that state and federal regulators have set water quality and flow standards that do not adequately protect fish and wildlife, and have not enforced these requirements when they are most needed. Farm and urban interests claim that these regulations have been ineffective and cause unnecessary economic harm.