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Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Breaking News: Let the lawsuits begin: Delta tunnels get official state green light

Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration gave the official go-ahead Friday for his controversial plan to bore two huge tunnels through the heart of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: Catastrophic engineering expert asks: Is Oroville Dam leaking?

One of the country’s foremost experts on catastrophic engineering failures released a new report Thursday on the troubled Oroville Dam that asks a disturbing question: Is the country’s tallest dam leaking?

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

The drought is over. Why are Republicans in Congress fighting for more water for farmers?

The drought may be over and Central Valley farmers are getting more water than they have in years, but that hasn’t stopped congressional Republicans from resurrecting a bill that would strip environmental protections for fish so more water can be funneled to agriculture. … Some version of [Rep. David] Valadao’s bill has been introduced off and on since 2011 without success. 

Aquafornia news Aspen Public Radio

Colorado rivers receive mostly poor marks on ‘report card’

Major diversions, dams and low flows lead to the D grade for the the Colorado River.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

After 10 years of delays on dam relicensing, these groups want more time

More groups have signed on to an effort to delay the relicensing of the Oroville Dam project. … The office of Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-Richvale, has also issued a letter requesting a delay.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Engineering expert blasts management failures at Oroville Dam

State water resources officials and federal regulators caused the failure of the Oroville Dam spillway in February by ignoring long-established guidelines and neglecting their duty to manage risks and detect flaws, a scathing report by a Berkeley engineering expert concluded Thursday.

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

Visit Oroville Dam and its damaged spillway in October on Northern California Water Tour

On our upcoming Northern California Tour (Oct. 11-13), we will spend time at the Oroville Dam visitor’s center and meet with California Department of Water Resources staff. You’ll see drone footage from February’s flood incident, learn the engineering background on what led to it, and hear about plans to stabilize the spillway before the next winter storms and to finalize repairs by 2018.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Daily News

Los Angeles restores historic water tunnel to turn Sierra snow runoff into drinkable water

An unused water system known as the Maclay Highline is being restored from the L.A. Aqueduct Cascades in Sylmar to a group of meadows in Pacoima as an innovative means to create more Los Angeles drinking water. For the first time in decades, a torrent of water from melting snow from the Sierras is slaking the thirst of Los Angeles homes and businesses.

Aquafornia news Tahoe Daily Tribune

Tahoe Keys Marina without running water as dispute over bills continues

It’s been over a week since the Tahoe Keys Property Owners Association Water Department shut off Tahoe Keys Marina’s running water for alleged unpaid bills totaling around $80,000.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

As California’s labor shortage grows, farmers race to replace workers with robots

AgroBot is still more John Deere than C-3PO — a boxy contraption moving in fits and starts, with its computer-driven sensors, graspers and cutters missing 1 in 3 berries. Such has been the progress of ag-tech in California, where despite the adoption of drones, iPhone apps and satellite-driven sensors, the hand and knife still harvest the bulk of more than 200 crops.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Daily News

Los Angeles DWP retirees bring in bigger pensions than city, county workers, audit says

Workers who retire from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power enjoy a higher monthly pension, on average, than retired public employees from the city and county, according to an audit released this week by City Controller Ron Galperin. LADWP retirees received an average monthly pension payment of $5,212 in the fiscal year ending July 1, 2015, the audit said.

Aquafornia news East Bay Times

Hayward to raise water, sewer rates an average 3 percent

Water and sewer service rates will go up an average 3 percent for most Hayward customers starting in October, and another 3 percent the following year. But for the first time in many years, the city is not increasing water usage rates, said Alex Ameri, head of Hayward utilities services.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Marin marine wildlife group cheers suit against Trump action over gill nets

The ocean protection group Oceana has filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the National Marine Fisheries Service’s decision to withdraw a proposed rule that would have further regulated the use of drift gill nets off the state’s coast used to catch swordfish.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Palo Alto, East Palo Alto could be hit hard by sea level rise

Palo Alto and East Palo Alto are among several regional bayside cities that could flood 26 times a year by 2060 if the global sea level rises by a “moderate” 4 feet, according to a new study by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

The fight to save the gold-mining town of Mariposa from a monster fire

The Detwiler fire, which has forced more than 4,000 residents to flee, swelled to more than 70,000 acres Thursday and was 10% contained, according to Cal Fire. Officials said the fire was burning in an area littered with dead trees, killed by bark beetles and years of drought. … [Theresa] Loya said fire helicopters were frequently making water drops, protecting not only the hospital but the rest of Mariposa County as well.

Aquafornia news Reno Gazette-Journal

Scorching summer: Wildfires surge in Western US

Wildfires are surging across the western U.S. with more than four million acres charred this year. That’s almost double the rate from last season and more than 40 percent above the five-year average for mid-July. 

Aquafornia news Associated Press

New Orleans official warns of lead threats in tap water

The New Orleans inspector general says the city hasn’t adequately warned residents that ongoing street repairs and water system improvements could result in temporarily high lead levels in some buildings’ tap water.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Hanoi sinks as it grows

Hanoi’s population growth — twice as high as the national average — combined with a strong textile industry and a manufacturing sector that supplies the world with electronics and information technology are drawing down the region’s water reserves. Aquifers are being pumped at an alarming rate, which threatens the city’s water supplies and its physical stability, experts say.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

China to import rice from U.S. for first time

Sonny Perdue, the U.S. Department of Agriculture secretary, made the announcement Thursday, saying that not only is China the largest consumer of rice, but it’s also the largest importer.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Commentary: Why new infrastructure is a smart investment for the Colorado River

Through the Walton Family Foundation’s Colorado River basin initiative, my colleagues and I [Ted Kowalski] seek creative solutions to ensure the Colorado River basin has the water supply it needs. … To elevate water infrastructure in these ongoing discussions, we developed a white paper on the Colorado River’s Critical Infrastructure Needs.