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Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Dismal snowpack hampers efforts to save endangered Rio Grande

What a difference a year makes. This time last year, people working to protect the endangered Rio Grande silvery minnow were guardedly optimistic about the little fish. A heavy 2017 winter snowpack led to a large spring runoff that allowed water managers along the middle Rio Grande in New Mexico to “overbank” water into the bosque – a riparian woodland – that borders the river.

Aquafornia news The Arizona Republic

After outbreak, stocking of Apache trout resumes in Arizona waterways

Snow fell by the river’s rushing water before giving way to rain and the rain fell before giving way to the sun. … A herd of bighorn sheep stared at the men in a big truck, who were driving through the pristine sliver of nature to bring a new tenant to the Black River water dammed by beavers. After a costly disease outbreak, Apache trout are back.

Aquafornia news Las Vegas Sun

Careful planning, conservation helps Las Vegas delay critical water shortages suffered elsewhere

Facing a water crisis toward the end of the last millennium, the Southern Nevada Water Authority in 1999 began offering to pay valley residents and businesses to trade in their water-consuming natural grass lawns for more sustainable landscape.

Aquafornia news San Gabriel Valley Tribune

John W. Robinson, legendary author of hiking guides, histories of Southern California mountains, dies at 88

The boy who left the streets of Long Beach for the flowing rivers and dark canyons of the San Gabriel Mountains and who, as an adult, led millions down a similar path of discovery through his 26 hiking guides and historical books has died.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Commentary: Temperance Flat Dam is dead

The Temperance Flat dam died last week, a symbolic stake driven through its concrete heart. Hard as this might be for our elected representatives to accept, there’s really only one course of action left: Let it go.

Aquafornia news Bureau of Reclamation

News Release: Another dry year in the Colorado River Basin increases need for additional state and federal actions

2018 has brought record-low snowpack levels to many locations in the Colorado River Basin, making this the driest 19-year period on record. With the depressed snowpack and warming conditions, experts indicate that runoff from the Rocky Mountains into Lake Powell this spring will yield only 42 percent of the long-term average. With drought and low runoff conditions dating back to 2000, this current period is one of the worst drought cycles over the past 1,200 plus years.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

News Release: Oroville spillways construction update

DWR is again using November 1 as a milestone to complete major construction work and placement of all concrete on the main spillway. Additional work, including dry finishing and curing of concrete, sealing joints, connecting drainage systems, backfilling side walls, and site clean-up, will continue after November 1.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

News Release: DWR announces new deputy director

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) today announced the appointment of Kristopher A. Tjernell as Deputy Director of the Integrated Watershed Management Program. In this newly created executive position, Tjernell will be responsible for advancing policies and programs that integrate and provide multiple benefits including flood management, local water supply and ecosystem restoration elements.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

California Water Plan eNews

Includes: Summit for groundwater sustainability agencies set for next month in Sacramento; Working lands workshop will explore ways to reduce emissions in California; Groundwater Resource Hub adds database for groundwater dependent ecosystems; There is still time to register for Sierra Meadows Partnership’s three-day workshop; Headwaters in peril? Auburn symposium will look at the question; California Invasive Species Action Week activities get started on June 2 …

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Silicon Valley water agency votes to give $650 million to governor’s tunnel project

The South Bay’s largest water agency gave a big lift to Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan for a pair of water conveyance tunnels through the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta on Tuesday, committing $650 million to the effort. The $17 billion tunnels project, which would help move water from Northern California to the drier south, has been among the governor’s top priorities but has lacked the necessary funding to move forward.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

California lawmakers want expedited action on Salton Sea restoration

California leaders who represent the shrinking Salton Sea want the same kind of expedited action taken on restoring it as the Oroville spillway crisis had in 2017. … Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia questioned the agencies in charge of the project Tuesday at an oversight hearing over why it’s behind schedule.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

EPA’s move to fast-track Orange County groundwater cleanup questioned

When a contaminated aquifer in Orange County made U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s list of top-priority sites for “immediate, intense action,” the local water district was quick to highlight the announcement. But questions of political favoritism are swirling over Pruitt’s decision in December to prioritize cleaning the Orange County North Basin groundwater pollution plume beneath Anaheim and Fullerton using the federal Superfund program.

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

A few seats left on Bay-Delta Tour, a don’t-miss opportunity to explore California’s vital water hub

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is the West Coast’s largest estuary and a vital hub in California’s complex water delivery system. It’s also a rich farming area, an important wetlands – and an ecologically troubled region.  On our Bay-Delta Tour, May 16-18, participants will hear from a diverse group of experts, including water managers, environmentalists, farmers, engineers and scientists who will offer different perspectives on the proposed tunnels project, efforts to revitalize the Delta, and risks that threaten its delicate ecological balance.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

‘The drought is not over’: Residents still getting water from temporary tanks fear cutoff

For Fresno County resident Anne Schmidtgall the California drought never ended. Two years ago, the well on her property east of Del Rey went dry when the casing caved in. … Two weeks ago, Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula, D-Fresno, testified before an Assembly budget subcommittee requesting $23.5 million be added to the state budget for water needs.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Climate change ruining California’s environment, report warns

Bigger, more intense forest fires, longer droughts, warmer ocean temperatures and an ever shrinking snowpack in the Sierra Nevada are “unequivocal” evidence of the ruinous domino-effects that climate change is having on California, a new California Environmental Protection Agency report states.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Governor’s Delta tunnels get $650 million boost from Bay Area water agency

A Bay Area water agency agreed Tuesday to pump $650 million into Gov. Jerry Brown’s Delta tunnels project, providing a meaningful boost for the controversial $16.7 billion plan. The 4-3 vote by the Santa Clara Valley Water District brings the tunnels project, which would overhaul the troubled heart of California’s aging water delivery network, a step closer to being fully funded.

Aquafornia news The Orange County Register

Controversial EPA chief part of long-running Orange County contamination dispute

A long-contaminated Orange County site is getting increased federal attention after the court-ordered release of emails showing that conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt set up a meeting between controversial EPA chief Scott Pruitt and attorneys for the Orange County Water District, which is seeking federal oversight of the cleanup process.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

District looks ahead at Salt River work this year

In the coming construction season, the Humboldt County Resource Conservation District hopes to restore about 2,500 feet of waterway during the latest phase of the Salt River Restoration Project. The end goal of the $34 million project is to reduce flooding impacts and restore wildlife habitat along a 7-mile stretch of the Salt River and 330 acres of tidal marsh.

Aquafornia news Davis Enterprise

Yolo Habitat Conservation Plan heads for final approval

Western burrowing owls, valley elderberry longhorn beetles and giant garter snakes are among the dozen species protected under the 50-year conservation plan local governments will consider for approval over the next two months.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Nearly a year after massive Mud Creek slide, project intensifies

Nearly a year after the largest landslide ever on the Big Sur coast dumped more than 6 million cubic yards over Highway 1, Mud Creek was a bustling work site Monday as crews worked on multiple projects with an eye on the projected opening of mid-September.