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Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Oroville Dam, other flood-safety projects would be fast-tracked under new bill

Work to strengthen Oroville Dam, shore up downstream levees and other types of flood-prevention projects would be eligible for fast-tracked state approval under new California legislation lawmakers will consider when they return from summer recess next month.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Sonoma County issues toxic algae warning for Russian River beaches

Sonoma County officials posted caution signs at beaches up and down the Russian River on Wednesday alerting visitors to positive test results for a potentially dangerous, naturally occurring neurotoxin linked to harmful algae, a problem surfacing around Northern California this summer.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

As Interior secretary swaggers through parks, his staff rolls back regulations

… as the [Interior] secretary [Ryan Zinke] hopscotches across millions of acres of Western parks, monuments and wilderness with his Stetson-sporting swagger, a crew of political appointees in Washington has begun rolling back the conservation efforts put in effect over the eight years of the Obama administration. … Mr. Zinke’s staff on Tuesday filed a legal proposal to rescind the nation’s first safety regulation on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Unlikely allies push bill to solve California drinking water crisis

As the summer sun was warming up on a July morning, a crowd of nearly 100 people gathered on the north steps of the California Capitol, many having arrived stiff-legged after a four-hour bus ride. … Most were San Joaquin Valley residents, including children as young as 5, who woke up before dawn to travel to the state capital to voice their support for Senate Bill 623, the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund.

Aquafornia news Appeal-Democrat

Oroville Dam update: It’s almost time for concrete to be poured at spillway

Officials in charge of repairing the damaged spillways at Lake Oroville said they’ve received the needed authorization from state and federal agencies for 2017 construction plans.  The plan now is to continue preparing the demolished main spillway for concrete to be poured over the next few weeks.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Lawsuit challenges secrecy of White House advisers on infrastructure

A nonprofit group filed suit against President Trump on Tuesday, claiming that he illegally convened an advisory council to develop a plan to overhaul the nation’s infrastructure without the required public disclosures.

Aquafornia news Valley Public Radio

Clean drinking water fight focuses on gaps in funding (with audio)

This is the third installment in our series Contaminated, in which we explore the 300 California communities that lack access to clean drinking water. When we began the series, we introduced you to the community of Lanare, which has arsenic-tainted water while a treatment plant in the center of town sits idle. 

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Poll: Californians support climate change policies

Since the state’s drought officially ended earlier this year, there’s also been a precipitous drop in Californians worrying about having enough water. Last July, 62 percent said water supply was a big problem for the state.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Californians put high priority on environment, poll shows

As California emerges as a force on climate change and a counterweight to President Donald Trump, residents of the green-minded state widely support environmental actions taken by leaders in Sacramento, according to a survey released Wednesday.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

San Diego Unified to test all campus water for lead in coming years

San Diego Unified School District will test every drinking fountain and kitchen sink on campuses for lead in the water over the next few years, greatly expanding on tests previously conducted by the City of San Diego.

Aquafornia news The Orange County Register

A Rancho Santa Margarita resident installed a drought-tolerant lawn, and now he could face HOA fines

Jeff Armbruster was just looking to replace his dying lawn and save a little money in the process. In April, the widowed father of three switched out the scraggly brown turf at his Rancho Santa Margarita home with rocks and succulents in an effort to earn a rebate through the Santa Margarita Water District and save on his monthly water bill.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

California survey shows high cost of sewer service for small utilities

Customers of the smallest utilities in California pay more than twice as much for sewer service than residents of the state’s largest cities, according to a rates survey conducted by the State Water Resources Control Board, a state agency. … The highest charge in the survey is $US 188.17 per month for the Malibu Water Pollution Control Plant, which serves four condominium complexes in Malibu, an upscale coastal community near Los Angeles where median annual income is $US 130,565.

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

San Lorenzo water district to answer rate increase questions

San Lorenzo Valley Water District customers can bring questions and concerns regarding the proposed rate increase over the next five years to a brown bag lunch at noon Aug. 3 at The Satellite Felton, 6265 Highway 9.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Jack Johnson donates thousands to Tahoe environmental groups

[Singer-songwriter Jack] Johnson recently announced he would make matching donations up to $2,500 to The League to Save Lake Tahoe, Tahoe Rim Association. Sugar Pine Foundation and Sierra Watershed Education Partnerships.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Life in fire country: Mountain resident builds home protection system

Santa Cruz Mountain resident Scott Jamar has seen the devastation of roaring fires — he narrowly avoided losing a previous home to the 1991 Oakland conflagration — so he’s built an ambitious home fire protection system: a 4,995-gallon water tank, a concrete-anchored fire hydrant hook up, a 150-foot stretch of fire hose with a strong pistol-grip nozzle, and a propane-fueled pump, to power it all.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

After a century, gates open to Sierra paradise

For the first time in a century, the gates have been unlocked and the road open to Webber Lake, a higher Sierra gem. … Five years ago, the Truckee Donner Land Trust purchased the property with plans to preserve the hotel, the meadows, wetlands and the headwaters of the Little Truckee River, and provide public access for camping, fishing, low-speed boating and hiking.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Fresno County grower gets into hop farming for beer

Fowler Packing, one of the region’s largest farming companies, is getting into the craft beer business. Well, sort of. The Parnagian family is jumping into hop farming.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

High temperatures expected to top 100 degrees for as many as next 11 days

The last two months have already seen 16 days over 100 degrees in Chico, and 18 in Oroville. The high temperature hasn’t been below 90 since June 13. Last year there were 13 days when it didn’t get out of the 80s in July.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Jumbo airtanker gets approval to fight US wildfires

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Interagency Airtanker Board issued the 17-month interim approval on Tuesday for the aircraft capable of carrying 19,200 gallons (72,700 liters) of liquid.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

After a wet and snowy winter, wildfires rage across the West

Thousands of firefighters across 10 states west of the Mississippi River are battling massive fires that have destroyed homes and displaced hundreds of people and, in some cases, continue to burn out of control. The unusual amounts of snowfall and rain across the West this last winter helped facilitate tall grass and more vegetation — creating conducive conditions for large fires once the hot and humid months of summer rolled around.