On Tuesday, California senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer launched a third effort by introducing legislation in the Senate. U.S. Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, also introduced a bill in the House.
Senate Bill 385, introduced by Sen. Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, would extend the July 1 deadline for complying with the new chromium 6 standard until 2020 while requiring water suppliers to show progress toward implementation.
Snowpack—which essentially serves as a water tower for the western United States—produces vital meltwater that flows off the mountains each spring. … But the snowpack is becoming more like a snow gap, as temperatures in the Cascades and Sierra Nevada become too warm for the snow that replenishes the ecosystem each winter.
Surveys by the Department of Water Resources showed the snowpack across the entire mountain range at 19 percent of average for early March, a level deemed “alarmingly low” by officials. … On March 17, the State Water Board will consider extending emergency drought regulations and adding more stringent conservation measures.
Just a few months ago the state announced that new local groundwater sustainability plans will be required throughout California. … About 85 people gathered in Orland Thursday night for the first of what will be many meetings on groundwater.
Attorneys for a Santa Ana contractor have asked a judge to block a $114 million sewer contract awarded to Teichert Construction, arguing that the regional Sacramento sewer district violated state law by rejecting a bid that was $14 million cheaper.
Initial efforts implementing the state’s new Sustainable Groundwater Management Act must focus on getting local and state agencies organized and able to communicate with each other. Having common expectations for the contents of the law’s required “Groundwater Sustainability Plans” will save the agencies and stakeholders considerable grief and confusion.
Earlier this year, the Public Policy Institute of California brought together water interests from all corners to discuss how the state responded to the exceptional drought conditions last year, and how those operations might be improved in the coming year. …
More data and research are necessary to best understand the potential risks to water quality associated with unconventional oil and gas development in the United States, according to a recent U.S. Geological Survey study. “We mined the national water-quality databases from 1970 – 2010 and were able to assess long-term trends in only 16 percent of the watersheds with unconventional oil and gas resources,” said Zack Bowen, USGS scientist and principal author of the article that appears in American Geophysical Union’s Water Resources Research.