In this episode of “Deeply Talks,” Tara Lohan, the managing editor of Water Deeply, discusses emerging water markets in California with Maurice Hall, the associate vice president of water for the Ecosystems Program at the Environmental Defense Fund, and Michael Kiparsky, the director of the Wheeler Water Institute at the Center for Law, Energy & the Environment at the University of California, Berkeley.
The state of California is asserting landownership rights along a proposed pipeline’s path that would help carry groundwater from a remote part of the Mojave Desert in San Bernardino County to Orange County and other communities.
In Living Rivers Council v. State Water Resources Control Board (“Living Rivers Council”), a California court of appeal held that evidence of the low likelihood and severity of a potential indirect significant effect was permissible evidence to support a determination that a potential mitigation measure was infeasible under CEQA.
Groundwater was the hot topic during the third annual meeting of the UC Water research initiative held in Davis in mid-September. There were thought-provoking presentations from a variety of groundwater experts including Helen Dahlke from UC Davis, Michael Kiparsky from UC Berkeley, and Andrew Fisher from UC Santa Cruz.
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.
Five years from now, Turlock residents will be paying twice as much for water if the City Council approves recommended increases. The city is considering the increases to pay for a system that would draw water from the Tuolumne River.
In 2015, Albuquerque delivered as much water as it had in 1983, despite its population growing by 70 percent. In 2016, Tucson delivered as much water as it had in 1984, despite a 67 percent increase in customer hook-ups. The trend is the same for Phoenix, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, said longtime water policy researcher Gary Woodard, who rattled off these statistics in a recent phone interview.
The Redding Area Groundwater Basin underlies south central Shasta County. It is a healthy basin with minimal water elevation changes over the past fourteen years as you can see from the four locations shown on the graph below.
Something monumental happened on August 25 in California water management that received almost no media attention: It became official policy to reconnect the state’s major rivers with their floodplains. The action by the Central Valley Flood Protection Board, an obscure panel appointed by the governor, clears the way for the state to embrace projects that allow floods to recharge groundwater. … The timing coincides with two other major state programs.
A state commission is throwing a new hurdle in front of Cadiz Inc.’s plans to turn a remote desert valley into a lucrative water source for Southern California. In a Sept. 20 letter to Cadiz, the State Lands Commission informed the company that its proposed water pipeline crosses a strip of state-owned land and therefore requires a state lease.
The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) presents many new challenges and opportunities. One challenge is accounting for ‘interbasin flow,’ or subsurface groundwater movement between subbasins, a piece of the overall water budget required in Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs). Interbasin flow as part of the groundwater budget. The Department of Water Resources is tasked with evaluating whether groundwater management in one subbasin will undermine an adjacent subbasin’s ability to reach sustainability.
The 150 residents in the Sugarloaf subdivision of Shasta County can safely drink from their community well again. … The State Water Resources Control Board provided a $176,000 grant allowing TICO Construction to upgrade the well.
Planned hiring into 2018 covers a range of state agencies: Fifty people are bound for the Public Health Department, 65 are slated to join the Water Resources Control Board … Environmental scientists will be responsible for developing standards for pot grows near streams, to make sure fertilizer or pesticides do not taint the water or harm fish.
If you want a new well in California, you might have to let your neighbors know how much water you plan to pump. That’s if it’s tapping a critically overused aquifer, and if a bill on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk survives calls for a veto.
As the Cadiz project seems increasingly likely to go forward, Sen. Dianne Feinstein issued a statement contending the underground desert water could ultimately contaminate much of Southern California’s water supply.
During the recent drought, there were many stories about declining groundwater levels throughout California, which is expected when less surface water is available. What has not been covered as much is that in most areas groundwater returns to levels that existed before the extended dry years.
What lies beneath March Air Reserve Base could threaten the future of one of the Inland Empire’s biggest employers, local officials warn. Groundwater levels under and around the base have risen to the point where it makes construction more expensive and could limit the base’s ability to handle certain aircraft, said Paul Jones, general manager of the Eastern Municipal Water District.