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Aquafornia news KQED Public Media for Northern California

Fish blood in their veins—but few salmon in their river (with audio)

This fall, the number of chinook salmon making their way from the ocean up the Klamath River in the far northwest corner of California is the lowest on record. That’s devastating news for the Yurok tribe, which has lived along and fished the Klamath for centuries.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

How much should new homes buyers pay to assure water supply?

Buyers of newly built homes in Fresno could be on the hook for a fee of more than $4,000 to ensure they have enough water coming to their residences. But a trio of major home builders is challenging the city’s fees in court, contending they’re too high, are unfair and amount to a tax that violates state law.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Common reasons FEMA denies money after major disasters

Local governments and nonprofits trying to recover from major disasters have sometimes learned the hard way that money spent on protective measures, cleanup and rebuilding is not always reimbursed by the U.S. government.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

US, states struggle to pay spiraling cost of fighting fires

In California, firefighting costs have already chewed through more than half of the state’s $469 million emergency fund for big fires just three months in — and that doesn’t include the costs of the recent catastrophic fires that have claimed dozens of lives and thousands of buildings.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California firefighters say they finally ‘turned a corner’

Sonoma County officials said they will not let people return home until it is safe and utilities are restored. Crews have been working around the clock to connect water and power, in some cases putting up new poles next to smoldering trees, the sheriff said.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Sonoma County parks ravaged by fires

North Bay fires that have killed dozens in four counties have also punished public parklands across Sonoma County.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Muir Beach election pits old guard against new

In the political arena of Muir Beach, with its electorate of about 300 registered voters, a few votes can be the difference between victory and failure. … The [Muir Beach Community Services] district says water rates have been static for seven years and it needs money to compensate for deferred maintenance.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

American flags a ‘beautiful sight’ but dangerous to Modesto Irrigation District workers

If you drove on Ladd Road last Monday, Columbus Day, you couldn’t miss dozens of American flags, waving in the wind. They were affixed to every electric pole on the four miles of Ladd Road and a few adjoining streets.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

At Napa vineyards untouched by wildfires, the grapes must still be picked

[Mario] Maldonado, a Guatemalan immigrant with U.S. residency, focused on the task at hand: harvesting some of the last Cabernet Sauvignon grapes of the wine harvest at Slinson Vineyard, owned by C. Mondavi and Family. This particular fruit would go to make prized reserve wine — which is picked by hand only, said Judd Wallenbrock, the winery’s president and chief executive.

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

Interior looks at behind-the-scenes land swap to allow road through wildlife refuge

The Interior Department is preparing to set aside a decades-old ban on development in federally protected wilderness areas by pursuing a controversial proposal to build a nearly 12-mile road through a wildlife refuge in ­Alaska.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Commentary: Brown should compromise and settle for just one Delta tunnel

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein recalls Gov. Jerry Brown pitching her to support his costly twin-tunnels water plan. He showed her the environmental analysis and she was shocked. Shocked not at the contents, but at the documents’ size.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: When is it a wetland? When a state board says.

A single word, in the right context, has power. The State Water Resources Control Board is engaged in a wholesale reclassification of millions of acres of public and private lands by choosing a new definition for the word “wetland.”

Aquafornia news UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences

Blog: Meet Dr. Andrew Rypel, our new fish squeezer

This year, we have the pleasure of welcoming Dr. Andrew Rypel to UC Davis and the Center for Watershed Sciences to his appointment as the new Peter B. Moyle and California Trout Endowed Chair in Coldwater Fishes. Dr. Rypel shares some of this thoughts about fish, science, and his new position:

Aquafornia news Bureau of Reclamation

News Release: Central Valley Project begins 2018 water year with 8.9 million acre-feet of storage

The Bureau of Reclamation’s Central Valley Project began water year 2018, which runs from Oct. 1, 2017, to Sept. 30, 2018, with 8.9 million acre-feet of water in six key CVP reservoirs (Trinity, Shasta, Folsom, New Melones, Millerton, and the federal share of the joint federal-state San Luis Reservoir). This is 145 percent of the 15-year average annual carryover of 6.2 million acre-feet and 4 million acre-feet more than the amount with which the Mid-Pacific Region began WY 2017.

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

Apply for our 2018 Water Leaders Class

Applications are now being accepted for the 2018 William R. Gianelli Water Leaders Class. The one-year program fosters a deeper knowledge of water issues and leadership skills. Criteria for acceptance include a commitment to understanding water issues and an interest in seeking leadership roles on public boards and commissions, or key staff positions. … The program began in 1997 and class alums have gone on to achieve top positions at the state Legislature, government agencies, nonprofit organizations and leading private companies involved in water.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: Group of San Joaquin farmers says they’re willing to pay for Delta tunnels project

A bloc of San Joaquin farmers tentatively endorsed the Delta tunnels project Thursday, becoming the first significant agricultural group to support the struggling plan. But the level of support from members of the Kern County Water Agency, which serves much of the $7 billion-a-year farm economy at the southern end of the valley, was less than wholehearted.

Aquafornia news The Orange County Register

Feinstein lends support to Huntington Beach desalination project

As supporters and opponents of a proposed Huntington Beach desalination project gear up for a key meeting before the State Lands Commission, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein has weighed in.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

California mobile home park residents face barriers to clean water

Many of the more than one million Californians who live in mobile home parks drink water that is more polluted and more likely to be cut off than residents who get water from other municipal utilities, according to the most detailed research to date on water access in California trailer parks.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Freeing up fish: How barriers to spawning sites are being removed

When Bay Area steelhead were listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act in 1997, [Jeff] Miller suddenly had a lot of help realizing his dream of restoring migratory fish in the Bay Area. … Since then, local, state and federal agencies and organizations have collaborated on restoring steelhead in Alameda Creek.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

House passes big disaster aid bill but there’s political trouble ahead

Thursday’s package, which the Senate could take up when it returns next week, includes money for Federal Emergency Management Agency’s nearly empty Disaster Relief Fund and for the financially-struggling National Flood Insurance Program.