Infrastructure

Overview

Infrastructure

“Infrastructure” in general can be defined as the components and equipment needed to operate, as well as the structures needed for, public works systems. Typical examples include roads, bridges, sewers and water supply systems.Various dams and infrastructural buildings have given Californians and the West the opportunity to control water, dating back to the days of Native Americans.

Water management infrastructure focuses on the parts, including pipes, storage reservoirs, pumps, valves, filtration and treatment equipment and meters, as well as the buildings to house process and treatment equipment. Irrigation infrastructure includes reservoirs, irrigation canals. Major flood control infrastructure includes dikes, levees, major pumping stations and floodgates.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

Klamath dam removals heavily supported by community

Close to 100 people showed up to speak for the removal of the four dams on the Klamath River at a public meeting put on by the California State Water Resource Control Board in Arcata on Thursday evening.

Aquafornia news Sacramento Bee

California lawmakers tour proposed Sites Reservoir

Assemblyman James Gallagher, R-Yuba City, is leading a troupe of lawmakers today on a tour of the Sites Reservoir, a $4.4 billion proposed water storage project four decades in the making.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Commentary: With prudent budget crafting, Brown shows again that he’s the adult in the Capitol

It isn’t entirely true that [Gov. Jerry] Brown’s new $179.5-billion budget proposal ignores infrastructure. The state is moving toward helping to finance probable construction of a major reservoir called Sites in the Sacramento Valley. 

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

New California dam proposed to combat climate change concerns

Americans have had one primary reason for building dams over the past century: capturing water for growth, whether on farms or in cities. Now a new dam proposed on California’s Bear River offers another reason: adapting to climate change.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Obama administration aids giant California water project

The outgoing Obama administration on Wednesday tried to nudge forward Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to build two giant north-south water tunnels for California.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Should Los Angeles County have a huge desalination plant? A battle looms in the South Bay

On a a picturesque summer afternoon, West Basin Municipal Water District officials chose to woo regulators with a stroll by the beach in El Segundo, stopping to admire an unadulterated strip of California coastline. … A few hours later, environmental advocates held a town hall two miles away in Manhattan Beach. 

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Environmental documents for replumbing California water system released (with audio)

California Governor Jerry Brown’s administration has released a 97,000 page environmental document on a plan to re-engineer the state’s water delivery system. 

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Jerry Brown’s controversial tunnel project moves forward

Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to build two giant tunnels to send Northern California water southward moved a step closer Thursday to final state and federal decisions, with the state’s release of a 90,000-page environmental review supporting the $15.7 billion project.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

‘On the brink’ of Delta tunnels

Saying that his Delta tunnels proposal has been subject to “more environmental review than any other project in the history of the world,” Gov. Jerry Brown and his administration on Thursday released 97,000 pages of final reports.

Aquafornia news Sacramento Bee

With environmental review finalized, could construction on the Delta tunnels begin in 2018?

After years of planning, officials have finalized all 97,000 pages of environmental documents to support Gov. Jerry Brown’s controversial plan to build two massive tunnels through the heart of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: State releases report on disputed twin tunnels water plan

It takes a while to get to the point, but an 80,000-page environmental opus released Thursday makes the case that Gov. Jerry Brown’s $15.7 billion twin tunnels project is the best way to fix California’s water woes.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Feds to pour $225 million into water projects around US

The federal government will be pouring nearly a quarter-billion dollars into several dozen projects aimed at tackling the effects of drought in the West and restoring watersheds that provide drinking water to communities around the nation.

Aquafornia news Yuba-Sutter Appeal-Democrat

Sites Reservoir ‘one step closer’ with Prop. 1 regulations

The California Water Commission recently adopted regulations that outline in greater detail the process water storage projects such as Sites Reservoir will have to go through to receive state funding.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Will Trump live up to his infrastructure promises?

Trump or his campaign also mentioned schools, hospitals, pipelines, water treatment plants and the electrical grid as part of a job-creation strategy that would make the U.S. “second to none.”

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Proposed desalination plant in Huntington Beach will test California’s environmental rules

Poseidon Water hopes to help quench Orange County’s thirst, but first the company’s proposed desalination project must slake a thirst of its own. That’s why Poseidon has long eyed a coastal power plant that has, for more than a half-century, sucked up seawater to cool its massive generators. 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Commentary: Everyone is at odds over Gov. Brown’s Delta tunnels plan — here’s a compromise that could stop the fighting

When enemies are in face-to-face combat, they’re often blind to an obvious path to potential compromise. That’s certainly true of water warriors, who have been battling over California’s most valuable and limited resource since statehood. Fights don’t get any more ferocious than over water in this state.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

U.S. dam safety improves but faces evolving risks

All was quiet at the Fehring house before the flood came. It was before dawn on March 14, 2006. The family was asleep, unaware of trouble upstream. The Ka Loko Dam, strained by six weeks of heavy tropical rain, was coming unhinged.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Long-sought flood control projects eased passage of California water bill

Flood control concerns in the Sacramento area and Merced County helped drive a big water bill that won overwhelming congressional approval despite heated conflict over other California provisions.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Project to retrofit one of Bay Area’s largest dams doubles in cost, faces long delays

Reflecting problems at other aging reservoirs, a $200 million project to drain and repair one of the Bay Area’s largest dams to reduce the risk of it collapsing in a major earthquake will double in cost and be delayed by at least two more years.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

After years of drama, farmers score a big win in California water battle

The California water bill now ready for the president’s signature dramatically shifts 25 years of federal policy and culminates a long and fractious campaign born in the drought-stricken San Joaquin Valley.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: A problem ‘too big to ignore’ — how years of congressional wrangling led to a water compromise

Few people expected a California water fight in the final days of a lame-duck Congress, and fewer still expected landmark water legislation to pit the state’s U.S. senators against each other in the last moments of their 24-year partnership.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Early spending proposals from Senate, Assembly Democrats (with audio)

Senate Democrats introduced a $13 billion package of measures that would provide money for street and bridge repair, urban parks, transit systems, trade corridors, water infrastructure and affordable housing.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

House to clear stopgap spending, water projects measures

Also on deck is separate legislation to authorize water projects that has sparked a major battle between environmentalists and agricultural interests over legislation to allow more of California’s limited water resources to flow to Central Valley farmers hurt by the state’s lengthy drought.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: White House voices opposition to California water measures added to big bill

The White House on Tuesday voiced doubts about controversial California water legislation that has already caused an unusually public split between the state’s two Democratic senators.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Boxer, Feinstein in angry split over new California water bill plan

A controversial California water bill that’s sparked years of fighting has been added to a fast-moving measure, boosting the chance the water measures will pass Congress but sharply dividing the state’s U.S. senators.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Last-minute push for California drought legislation creates friction between Feinstein and Boxer

House Republican leaders and California’s senior senator announced Monday a new attempt to pass legislation that would increase water deliveries to San Joaquin Valley agribusiness and Southern California. 

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Boxer slams water bill rider backed by Feinstein

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, teamed up Monday to slip a legislative rider into a giant end-of-year water infrastructure bill that would override endangered species protections for native California fish for the purpose of sending water to San Joaquin Valley farmers.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino Sun

Why the Rialto water district is building a different type of perchlorate-eating plant

Having made environmental clean-up history with a specialized plant that breaks apart perchlorate using bacteria, management at West Valley Water District is now focused on creating another type of plant to attack this harmful water pollutant.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino Sun

Stock sale nets Cadiz Inc. $9 million to move forward with controversial groundwater plan

Cadiz Inc. has raised more than $9 million in a public stock offering held Thursday, said Andy Moore, president of B. Riley & Co., of Los Angeles, which underwrote the offering on the NASDAQ Global Market.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Mega-earthquake on San Andreas fault would damage 3 million homes, cost $289 billion in California, study finds

A sobering new report on California’s seismic vulnerabilities said that up to 3.5 million homes could be damaged if an 8.0 earthquake ruptured on the San Andreas fault.

Aquafornia news Desert Sun

Eagle Mountain hydropower gets boost from NextEra

NextEra Energy Resources is working to build a massive hydropower plant just outside Joshua Tree National Park, bringing the weight of one of the country’s biggest renewable energy companies to a controversial project that critics say would harm wildlife and diminish an underground water supply critical to the park.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California voters reject threat to governor’s megaprojects

California voters narrowly voted to reject a ballot initiative that could have threatened two of Gov. Jerry Brown’s megaprojects, the latest results showed Tuesday.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Voters narrowly reject Proposition 53 and future votes on big infrastructure projects

Proposition 53, an effort that sought to force statewide votes to fund a major water project and the future of high-speed rail, failed in a late count of ballots Tuesday.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Proposition 53 to restrict bonds for Delta tunnels fails

California voters have rejected Proposition 53, a November measure to limit the state’s use of revenue bonds to pay for large public works projects that could have undermined Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed twin water tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Aquafornia news Capitol Weekly

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Delta tunnels — A steady trickle of progress

California Water Fix faces one less obstacle, following voters’ rejection of Proposition 53, which would have required a statewide vote for any state project financed by more than $2 billion in revenue bonds. It’s unclear how a Donald Trump presidency will impact the twin tunnels. 

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Is Sites Reservoir a savior for the Sacramento Valley – or a Delta tunnels project in disguise?

An hour north of Sacramento, in a ghost town tucked into a remote mountain valley, California is poised to build a massive new reservoir – a water project of a size that hasn’t been undertaken since Jerry Brown’s first stint as governor in the 1970s. Sites Reservoir, all $4.4 billion of it, represents an about-face in a state where drought has become the norm and water users are told to scrimp and save.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Cortopassi not about to give up on Proposition 53

Stockton native Dino Cortopassi refused to concede on Wednesday, holding onto hope that vote-by-mail and provisional ballots will give his Proposition 53 a comeback win.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: California measure on state mega-projects trailing slightly

A California ballot measure on funding state mega-projects that Gov. Jerry Brown had thrown his time and campaign money into defeating was trailing — but barely — in the vote count early Wednesday.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Cortopassi measure behind by slim margin

Proposition 53, the brainchild of Stockton agricultural icon Dean Cortopassi, was trailing early Wednesday morning, the closest of all the propositions on the ballot.

Aquafornia news Politico

Gov. Brown presses hard to stop Proposition 53 as supporter cries foul

Gov. Jerry Brown has been appearing on the air and on the campaign trail all over California to defeat one of the state’s most hotly contested ballot measures — Proposition 53. It would require voter approval on expensive infrastructure projects that are considered linchpins in Brown’s legacy, including high-speed rail and the Delta water tunnels, a plan to divert water around the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to Southern California.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Reservoir expansion could store water for millions in Bay Area

Millions of Bay Area residents could get extra drought insurance against water shortages and quality problems from a proposed $800 million expansion of the Los Vaqueros Reservoir that may have up to 10 water suppliers as partners.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Cortopassi’s race nears finish line as showdown with Gov. Brown draws big bucks

Under certain circumstances, Proposition 53 would require a public vote on very expensive bond-funded projects — including, potentially, high-speed rail and the Delta tunnels.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Gov. Jerry Brown slams Prop 53, omits analysis on mega-project measure (with video/audio)

Gov. Jerry Brown is no fan of California’s Proposition 53. The measure would require the state to place a public works project of $2 billion or more up for a statewide vote before using revenue bonds to pay for it.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

This man is bankrolling a California ballot measure to force voter approval on big bonds

[Dean] Cortopassi insists that no particular public works project inspired Proposition 53 but admits he thinks two particular proposals should have a statewide vote if they end up relying on big revenue bonds: California’s plans to build a high-speed train system and the sweeping proposal to build twin underground tunnels to transport water through the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta region.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California farmer’s measure takes on Jerry Brown’s legacy

Wealthy farmer Dino Cortopassi has a lot in common with Gov. Jerry Brown. Both are in their late 70s. … And both have a lot riding on Proposition 53, which would force state leaders to get voters’ approval before undertaking massive state building projects needing $2 billion or more in revenue bonds.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Governor’s ads pan measure requiring vote on big projects

A nonpartisan state analysis has said [Gov. Jerry] Brown’s proposals to spend $15.7 billion to build two giant tunnels to help haul water across the state and $64 billion on a high-speed rail system are the two projects that would most likely be affected.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Sites Reservoir has a new website, logo and more than enough investors

Last week, folks who are in the inner circle of the plans for Sites Reservoir held a get-together in Maxwell to show off the group’s new office and new logo. Also new is a website, that talks about all things Sites Reservoir — a construction schedule, facts sheets and a list of interested participants (see sidebar).

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

Secretary of Interior urges approval for Klamath dams removal

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell penned a letter this week to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission urging it to approve a plan to remove four dams from the Klamath River to protect the interests of fish and farmers.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Interior Department supports Klamath Dam removal

Four dams on the Klamath River in California and Oregon are a step closer to being taken down. In an October 17 letter to federal dam regulators, the Department of the Interior signaled its approval of a multi-party agreement that would result in dismantling the Copco No. 1, Copco No. 2, Iron Gate, and J.C. Boyle dams, which stand along a 30-mile stretch of the Klamath.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Jerry Brown, allies spend millions to kill measure that could doom high speed rail, Delta tunnels projects

With less than three weeks until Election Day, Gov. Jerry Brown and his political allies are suddenly pumping money into the campaign to defeat Proposition 53, a previously low-profile measure that could be the death knell of Brown’s high-speed rail and Delta tunnels projects.

Aquafornia news Center for American Progress

Aging dams and clogged rivers: an infrastructure plan for America’s waterways

U.S. infrastructure is in bad shape. … A new report from the American Society of Civil Engineers, or ASCE, quantifies how the United States’ chronic underinvestment in infrastructure—spending only half of what is needed—has created an investment gap that affects the economy, safety, jobs, communities, and health. 

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Proposition 53 aims to give voters say on big projects (with audio)

The measure is about revenue bonds, but its outcome at the polls could throw a roadblock in front of the state’s plans to build a high-speed rail system or its biggest water project in decades. 

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Prop 53 would give California voters bigger say on mega-projects

A proposition that a prosperous farmer brought to the California ballot would threaten two ambitious water and rail projects that Gov. Jerry Brown is pushing, requiring voters’ OK before launching any state building project requiring $2 billion or more in revenue bonds.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Energy storage is saving water utilities money and easing grid demand

A new frontier in the energy-water nexus is being forged in Southern California. Teaming up with Advanced Microgrid Solutions, Irvine Ranch Water District will be using an energy storage system to reduce its costs and help ease demand on the grid during peak hours.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Deal reached to keep US government running, help Flint

The Flint measure, set for a vote Wednesday as an amendment to a separate water projects bill, would authorize $170 million to help Flint and other cities with water emergencies.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

California projects fill water resources bill

Flood control efforts in California’s Central Valley get a boost in sprawling water legislation that reaches the House floor Tuesday. 

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Why it matters — Infrastructure

Politicians generally agree the nation’s infrastructure is in need of improvement. … To hear either candidate talk, a staggering amount of money is going to be spent on infrastructure – if Congress goes along.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Study: Delta tunnel plan would require federal funding (with audio)

California Governor Jerry Brown’s plan to build two tunnels to carry water across the state is only economically feasible if the federal government pays for nearly a third of it, according to a previously unreleased economic analysis.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California water tunnels would need US funding, analyst says

Giant tunnels that Gov. Jerry Brown wants to build to haul water across California are economically feasible only if the federal government bears a third of the nearly $16 billion cost because local water districts may not benefit as expected, according to an analysis that the state commissioned last year but never released.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Senate boosts bill for water projects, $220 million for Flint

The Senate voted to move forward Monday on a $10 billion water projects bill that includes $220 million in emergency funding for Flint, Michigan, and other communities beset by lead-contaminated water.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

With nod to Flint crisis, Senate weighs a $9 billion water infrastructure bill

With senators in a standoff over annual spending bills, the chamber is expected as soon as Wednesday to take up a bipartisan, $9 billion measure that would authorize spending on the nation’s water infrastructure.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

Benbow Dam demolition on schedule

The demolition of the Benbow Dam — the second largest such undertaking in state history — is on schedule and is set to be completed by October, according to California State Parks Engineering Geologist Patrick Vaughan.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Does California’s environmental protection law impede development? Five things to know about CEQA

In a competing study, a pro-environmental group pushed back at the notion that CEQA is impeding growth and driving up home prices. … Californians have been skirmishing over CEQA reform for over a decade.

Aquapedia background

One Hundred Year Flood

Risk Assessment, Not a Timeline

Contrary to popular belief, “100-Year Flood” does not refer to a flood that happens every century. Rather, the term describes the statistical chance of a flood of a certain magnitude (or greater) taking place once in 100 years. It is also accurate to say a so-called “100-Year Flood” has a 1 percent chance of occurring in a given year, and those living in a 100-year floodplain have, each year, a 1 percent chance of being flooded.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Q&A: What you need to know about California’s $17 billion water project

Water, or the lack of it, has emerged as one of the greatest sources of stress for California, its people and its native species. … But state officials have proposed a solution – a massive hydroengineering project dubbed California WaterFix. Its two giant tunnels will divert water from the Sacramento River toward Silicon Valley, Los Angeles and farms in the San Joaquin Valley.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Italy and California share earthquake risks, although geology differs

In the Bay Area, more than $22 billion in infrastructure upgrades since Loma Prieta have built a metropolitan area that is far safer and far more resilient than before. Major water pipes are now designed to bend, not break.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

Klamath River dam removal plan delayed

A plan to remove four Klamath River dams to improve water quality and habitat for fish and river communities will likely be submitted to the federal government in September, according to plan proponents.

Western Water Excerpt Gary Pitzer Jennifer Bowles

Outdated Dams: When Removal Becomes an Option
Summer 2016

Mired in drought, expectations are high that new storage funded by Prop. 1 will be constructed to help California weather the adverse conditions and keep water flowing to homes and farms.

At the same time, there are some dams in the state eyed for removal because they are obsolete – choked by accumulated sediment, seismically vulnerable and out of compliance with federal regulations that require environmental balance.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: New questions over California water project

Critics and a state lawmaker say they want more explanations on who’s paying for a proposed $16 billion water project backed by Gov. Jerry Brown, after a leading California water district said Brown’s administration was offering government funding to finish the planning for the two giant water tunnels.

Aquafornia news The Orange County Register

CEQA doesn’t stunt economic growth, study says

The study, sponsored by Oakland-based Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment, found there’s no evidence that the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA, has a retarding effect on the state’s economic prospertity.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Legislators approve audit of Gov. Jerry Brown’s water tunnel plan

The political conflict over Gov. Jerry Brown’s high-priority plan to place twin water tunnels beneath the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta moved to a new venue Wednesday.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg BNA

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Water bill may navigate 2016 congressional rapids

If a Water Resources Development Act of 2016 is passed by Congress this year, it will be accompanied by sighs of relief at seeing the infrastructure legislation successfully get back on a two-year schedule.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

California unveils environmental blueprint for Delta tunnels

California officials Tuesday released a detailed environmental blueprint for Gov. Jerry Brown’s controversial Delta tunnels project, saying the $15.5 billion plan “minimizes potential effects” on endangered fish species whose populations have dwindled following decades of water pumping.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Federal, state leaders pitch for California water tunnels

Representatives of California Gov. Jerry Brown and the Obama administration began making their pitch for approval Tuesday to build a pair of massive water tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Dissent brews over governor’s $16 billion water project

By the time the Sacramento River winds its more-than-400-mile course from the slopes of Mount Shasta past the state capital, it’s well into its leisurely stride, running slowly by fields of sweet corn, tomatoes and alfalfa. But this lazy stretch of river, just south of Sacramento, is a metaphorical whitewater.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Remedy, or boondoggle? Hearings launch on Delta tunnels proposal

Marking the first full-scale public examination of the [California WaterFix] proposal, the hearings before the State Water Resources Control Board are focused on a comparatively narrow issue: whether California’s giant water-delivery projects should be allowed to carve three new intake points in the north Delta to pull water from the Sacramento River and feed into the proposed tunnels.

Aquafornia news KQED

About that $17 billion water project: Delta Tunnels 101

This week, Governor Jerry Brown’s controversial water project is back in the public eye. State officials are launching a marathon series of hearings for the “twin tunnels,” as they’re known, that will ultimately decide the fate of the project.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

San Diego accelerates water recycling

San Diego is accelerating construction of its landmark water recycling system and making other changes that will save money, benefit the environment and make pipeline construction less disruptive. 

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Will the Delta tunnels get built? Plan enters critical make-or-break phase

Still swirling in controversy, Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed $15.5 billion re-engineering of the troubled Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is heading into a critical phase over the next year that could well decide if the project comes to fruition. Crunch time starts Tuesday.

Aquafornia news Redding Record Searchlight

Sites Reservoir likely years down the road

Plans to build the Sites Reservoir have been in the works since 1957, and if it is eventually approved, work on the project probably would not be complete for another 10 to 12 years, according to Jim Watson, the Sites Reservoir Project general manager.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Court ruling could boost cost of California water project

The California Supreme Court is set to issue a ruling Thursday that could add millions of dollars to the cost of the governor’s $15.7 billion plan to build two giant water tunnels in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Sewage spill in Los Angeles grows to 2.4 million gallons, prompting bans on swimming in Seal Beach and Long Beach

A damaged sewage line spilled a total of about 2.4 million gallons of untreated waste into the Los Angeles River and has forced the closure of all beaches in Long Beach and Seal Beach, officials said Tuesday.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Why this is the perfect time to invest in infrastructure, and why it probably won’t happen

Boken water mains, creaking subway systems, tens of thousands of rickety bridges and countless miles of shoddy, traffic-clogged roads. America’s infrastructure is crumbling.

Aquafornia news San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Why Los Angeles County wants to risk an endangered bird to clean Devil’s Gate Dam

The Los Angeles County Flood Control District needs permission from a state environmental agency to destroy an endangered bird and its habitat in order to remove 2.4 million cubic yards of sediment from behind Devil’s Gate Dam.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

The ‘Holy Grail’ for earthquake scientists has been accidentally destroyed

For nearly half a century, thousands trekked to Rose and Prospect streets to behold a slice of sidewalk that, by conventional standards, had no curb appeal.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: San Joaquin Valley groups, feds seek funds to build Temperance Flat dam

A coalition of local elected officials, water districts, tribal members and the federal government will gather Friday to launch the application process to help build Temperance Flat Dam and Reservoir project.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

$250 million plan to treat drinking water approved

The Coachella Valley Water District has approved a plan to start building treatment plants to remove the potentially hazardous heavy metal chromium-6 from drinking water. … But the district’s managers have also questioned the science behind the regulation and have said they will consider joining a lawsuit to challenge the state’s limit.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Ballot measure threatens bullet train, Delta tunnels

Two of Gov. Jerry Brown’s favorite projects — building a high-speed rail system and a pair of massive tunnels under the Delta — face a serious threat if California voters pass a measure heading for the November ballot.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Analysis finds higher flood risk from dam in Los Angeles County

The Army Corps of Engineers has raised its estimation of flood risk from the Whittier Narrows Dam in eastern Los Angeles County.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Historic dam removal project celebrated in Carmel Valley

About 100 people, from stakeholders and supporters to dignitaries and politicians, came out to the former site of the San Clemente Dam on Monday to celebrate the removal of the dam and Carmel River Reroute Project.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Old irrigation pipe under freeway cause of Interstate 5 sinkhole

A deteriorating abandoned irrigation pipe below the pavement of Interstate 5 is being blamed for a sinkhole that has detoured motorists near Tracy this week.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Fight over LGBT rights scuttles energy spending bill

A $37 billion bill to fund the Energy Department and water projects has crashed in the House, scuttled by a fight over LGBT rights.

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

America’s vanishing West: California losing most land to development

The natural landscape of the American West is gradually disappearing under a relentless march of new subdivisions, roads, oil and gas production, agricultural operations and other human development, according to a detailed mapping study released Tuesday.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino County Sun

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Drought, water department delay threaten endangered Santa Ana sucker fish

Unless the Santa Ana sucker is returned to a healthy population, water agencies planning for the needs of more than 600,000 people between Yucaipa and Rialto will not be able to rapidly move ahead with needed water recapture projects and wastewater recycling plants like the proposed $128 million Sterling Natural Resource Center in Highland, which officials say will create 1,400 jobs.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

California quake warning system could start sending public alerts by 2018

In a major reversal, Gov. Jerry Brown is seeking state funds for a fledgling earthquake early warning system for California, which would allow for a limited rollout of alerts by 2018.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

San Francisco proposes $8 million to find a fix for quake-vulnerable sea wall

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has proposed spending $8 million to find a solution to the earthquake-vulnerable sea wall that holds up the city’s famed Embarcadero waterfront.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

San Andreas fault ‘locked, loaded and ready to roll’ with big earthquake, expert says

Southern California’s section of the San Andreas fault is “locked, loaded and ready to roll,” a leading earthquake scientist said Wednesday at the National Earthquake Conference in Long Beach. … Other areas of focus have included strengthening Los Angeles’ vulnerable aqueduct systems and its telecommunications networks.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Mining residue in Gold Rush town of Jackson remains a threat

In the Gold Rush-era foothills community of Jackson, the worst-case scenario painted by the Environmental Protection Agency last year about a 100-year-old dam there held a chilling warning.

Aquafornia news Desert Sun

Joshua Tree can’t stop Eagle Mountain hydropower plant

Joshua Tree National Park is working to annex more than 25,000 acres of important wildlife habitat to protect it from potential development, even as it appears increasingly likely those lands will surround a massive hydropower plant.

Aquafornia news Voice of San Diego

After a rush to build costly water treatment plants, they’re now sitting unused

Over a decade ago, Southern California water officials rushed to build or expand treatment plants so they could keep up with the demand for drinkable water. That cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Butte County supervisors back Proposition 1 funding for Sites Reservoir

Despite some reservations, the Butte County Board of Supervisors unanimously backed a conditional letter of support for the Sites Reservoir project. The letter, to be sent to the California Water Commission and the Sites Joint Powers Authority, called for using Proposition 1 money to further investigate the off-stream project west of the Sacramento River in Colusa and Glenn counties.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: California water board denies bias claims in Delta tunnels dispute

Two members of the state board that will play a crucial role in the fate of Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to build two giant tunnels through the heart of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta rebuffed demands from a south state water agency that they disqualify themselves from upcoming hearings on the issue.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Blog: Klamath Dam removal could boost water supplies

It doesn’t seem possible that removing four dams could actually improve water supplies. But that is one potential result of the recently approved deal to remove dams on the Klamath River. The agreement, announced on April 6 by the U.S. Department of Interior, will likely become the largest dam removal project ever undertaken in the United States. 

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

Moraga sinkhole: Gov. Brown declares state of emergency response to storm-related damage

Gov. Jerry Brown issued a state of emergency Tuesday for 11 counties, including Contra Costa where Moraga will be able to fix their gaping El Niño-induced sinkhole.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Federal government to probe state spending on Delta tunnels

The Interior Department’s inspector general has opened an investigation into possible funding irregularities involving the proposed delta tunnels, a $15 billion plan to dig giant twin pipes to siphon water directly from the Sacramento River and send it underground to farms and cities in the southern part of the state.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Temecula Valley: Vail Dam may fail in large earthquake

The Rancho California Water District is looking into the feasibility of building a new dam at Vail Lake to augment the existing structure, a 68-year-old mass of concrete that has been deemed “deficient” by a state agency.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

States, federal agencies will seek removal of Klamath dams

Oregon, California, the federal government and others have agreed to go forward with a plan to remove four hydroelectric dams in the Pacific Northwest without approval from a reluctant Congress, a spokesman for dam owner PacifiCorp said Monday.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Gov. Brown’s $17 billion Delta tunnels plan faces new hurdle — a leading taxpayers organization

In a development that casts significant doubt on whether Silicon Valley’s largest water district will help pay for Gov. Jerry Brown’s $17 billion Delta tunnels plan, a majority of Santa Clara Valley Water District board members now say they want to put the issue to a public vote.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

California Water Alliance ballot measure that could have derailed the bullet train project is put on hold

California’s bullet train dodged a major threat Friday as critics delayed a proposed ballot measure that would have taken $8 billion in high-speed rail bonds and reallocated them for water projects.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Proponents put brakes on California proposal to divert high-speed rail money

Proponents of a proposed initiative to divert high-speed rail funding to water projects said Friday that they are pulling their petitions from the street and instead will pursue a place on the 2018 ballot.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

White House water summit focuses on climate threat

The White House held its first national water summit on Tuesday, seeking to put a greater focus on water challenges ranging from climate change to the old, leaky pipes that waste billions of gallons across the country every day.

Aquafornia news Brookings Institution

A surefire strategy to improve water infrastructure in Flint and beyond

As Flint’s water crisis continues to reverberate nationally, policymakers have turned their attention to the fundamental infrastructure challenges at hand. From Los Angeles to New York, many regions are not only contending with aging, overburdened water facilities—including areas with lead pipes similar to Flint—but are also confronting an enormous backlog of costs, severe financial constraints, and difficulty in coordinating action across thousands of individual community water systems.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Things to know about California’s giant twin tunnels project

California is proposing its most ambitious water project in a half-century.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: Decision time for California governor’s big water project

Promoted by Gov. Jerry Brown, the $15.7 billion project would run giant twin pipes, each four stories high, underground for 35 miles and eventually pull thousands of gallons of water a second from the stretch along the Sacramento River where [Russell] van Loben Sels farms to cities and farms to the south.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

State highway collapses, hillside crumbles from Northern California storms

Days of rain caused a hillside to collapse and part of a state highway through Trinity County to crumble and wash away this week, cutting off a main pass for locals, Caltrans officials said.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco selling off spare parts for emergency water system

San Francisco is having a fire sale on spare parts for the city’s 100-year-old emergency water supply system — the network of high-pressure pipes and hydrants designed to help firefighting efforts should city water mains fail in a major earthquake.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: Bond jitters spread after Westlands investigation

Jitters over a federal investigation of Westlands Water District bled over into the proposed delta tunnel project Thursday as a bond rating agency placed a negative watch on a $29.8-million bond helping to fund the controversial water diversion plan.

Aquafornia news NPR

National parks have a long to-do list but can’t cover the repair costs (with audio)

Today, the total backlog of needed maintenance at U.S. national parks is $11.9 billion. … Grand Canyon National Park needs $330 million, due largely to outstanding wastewater and water system upgrades.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Critics of Calif. revenue bond initiative warn of unintended consequences

The initiative, sponsored by wealthy Stockton-area farmer Dean Cortopassi, is widely seen as an attempt to derail the Brown Administration’s Delta Tunnel project, which would be funded by revenue bonds.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

California bond vote measure takes a beating

Democratic legislators and officials, business and labor representatives, and water suppliers took turns Wednesday flailing a November ballot measure that would require voter approval of major state revenue bond issues.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Failure of key water pipeline into Silicon Valley may have exposed wider problems

Like a car owner whose transmission unexpectedly breaks down and results in a huge bill, Silicon Valley’s largest water provider will have to spend at least $20 million to drain, test and repair a critical water pipeline that failed last summer and may have more hidden problems.

Aquafornia news Appeal-Democrat

‘Murky’ rail measure could hurt Sites

At first glance, a proposed initiative to reallocate bond funds from the controversial high-speed rail project to fund water storage projects seems tailor-made for Northern Californian water leaders who have been pushing for such projects, particularly Sites Reservoir, for decades.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: San Joaquin Valley farmers, others come out against rail-water initiative

A group of central San Joaquin Valley agriculture, government and Latino leaders is raising an alarm about a proposed ballot initiative to take money away from high-speed rail and use it instead for water-storage projects in California.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Fact check: Gavin Newsom stretches impact of bond initiative

The immediate effect of the measure is the impact it could have on Gov. Jerry Brown’s $15.5 billion plan to build two tunnels to divert water southward under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Global list of water-related conflicts grows

Violent conflicts over water have been flaring in places from Yemen to Peru, and an updated global list shows a sharp rise in the number of water-related clashes reported over the past three decades.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Proposal would shift bullet train funding for use on new water projects

The state’s powerful agriculture industry and its political allies are gathering signatures for a November ballot initiative that would grab bond money earmarked for California’s bullet train and use it instead for new water projects.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Quake early warning system for California is delayed by fight over who will pay

When a magnitude 6.0 earthquake hit Napa in 2014, an earthquake alert system gave researchers in San Francisco about eight seconds of warning before the shaking began.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Quake early warning system gets $3.6 million, but it’s still a long way from goal

With officials still struggling to find money to create an earthquake early warning system for the West Coast, a private foundation, Intel Corp. and an arm of Amazon.com Inc. said they will pitch in money or other support, officials said at a White House summit Tuesday.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

State regulators consider Delta tunnels plan

Opponents and supporters were at a California Water Resources Control Board meeting Thursday.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: California starts decisive year on governor’s water tunnels

State regulators launched Thursday into a year of pivotal decisions on Gov. Jerry Brown’s quest to build two giant tunnels to ferry water from Northern California for Central and Southern California, a $17-billion project that would be one of the largest in decades in the state.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: EPA announces $182 million for California water projects

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials were in Carlsbad on Wednesday to announce more than $182 million in federal funding that will be funneled to drinking water and wastewater infrastructure improvements throughout California.

Aquafornia news Redding Record Searchlight

Siskiyou residents debate Klamath River dams

The debate about whether four Klamath River dams should be removed raged on Tuesday evening.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Lead pipes lurk in older neighborhoods across the nation

Lead pipes like the ones that led to contamination of the tap water in Flint, Michigan, carry water into millions of older homes across the U.S. every day, a legacy of an era before scientists realized the severe long-term health consequences of exposure to the heavy metal.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: Obama says budget includes more money for water systems

The federal government is investing more money this year to help local governments improve their water systems, and about $80 million will go to Michigan next week, President Barack Obama told the nation’s mayors on Thursday.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Cofferdam leak at Folsom Lake spillway project stabilized

A temporary cofferdam that kept crews and construction areas dry during the construction of a new spillway at Folsom Dam began leaking Wednesday, forcing crews to evacuate.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

In survey, mayors say they worry about aging infrastructure

Among the findings of the survey: — Mayors say aging and underfunded infrastructure is their most pressing challenge. Mass transit, roads and water top the list of priorities.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Emergency planners work on playbooks for the deadly big one

Seismologists say a full rupture of a 650-mile-long offshore fault running from Northern California to British Columbia and an ensuing tsunami could come in our lifetimes, and emergency management officials are busy preparing for the worst.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Another step toward the twin tunnels

State officials on Friday announced a tentative agreement with water agencies on the design and construction of the $15 billion twin tunnels beneath the Delta.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Is the era of dam-building over? Backers of several major projects say it shouldn’t be.

Drought, climate change and environmental curbs on water deliveries are fueling campaigns for more water storage in California.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Damage from sinking land costing California billions

A canal that delivers vital water supplies from Northern California to Southern California is sinking in places.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Extreme weather poses increasing threat to U.S. power grid

An Associated Press analysis of industry data found that severe weather is the leading cause of major outages on the nation’s power grid.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

California wants to store water for farmers, but struggles over how to do it

This state, forward-looking on other environmental issues, has been stymied for decades over how to upgrade its plumbing system, an immense but aging network of reservoirs and canals that move water from the mountainous north to the drier south.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: State high court clarifies environmental law’s impact on development

The California Supreme Court ruled Thursday that public agencies reviewing a development proposal generally do not have to consider the effects of environmental conditions on future occupants unless the project itself would worsen those conditions.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Corps of Engineers to get $1.3 billion funding boost in budget bill

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will receive a 27 percent spending boost in a $1.1 trillion budget bill working its way through Congress this week.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles DWP board approves water rate hike to fix aging pipes

The board that oversees the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power on Tuesday approved the utility’s plan to increase water rates about 4.7% each year over the next five years. … Utility officials have said they need the approximately $330 million in additional revenue to repair aging water pipes and other infrastructure.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Brown considers using his campaign war chest in 2016 initiative battles

Gov. Jerry Brown said he is preparing to wade into next year’s crowded field of ballot battles, which could include proposing a new effort on climate change or fighting off an initiative to restrict infrastructure projects.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Jerry Brown preparing to engage in 2016 ballot measure fight

Gov. Jerry Brown said Thursday he is considering placing a measure on the 2016 ballot, possibly related to climate change, or engaging in an effort to defeat a threat to his Delta water project.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: With Klamath bill uncertain, dam relicensing moves forward

The process to relicense the hydroelectric dam system on the Klamath River will likely move forward if Congress fails to act by the end of the year on historic settlement agreements to remove four of the dams.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Project to drain largest reservoir in Santa Clara County a year behind schedule

State regulators ordered a few years ago that the vast lake near Morgan Hill in Santa Clara County — which holds more water than the other nine reservoirs in the county combined — could not be filled any more than 68 percent full because geologic tests found that in a major earthquake, its 240-foot high earthen dam could slump, releasing a wall of water that could generate a trail of death and destruction all the way to San Jose.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

4 arrested in vandalism of Bay Area dam that caused loss of 50 million gallons of water

Under the cover of darkness, a group of vandals this spring slashed an inflatable dam in the Bay Area, sending millions of gallons of water into San Francisco Bay.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Ballot measures aim to cut funding for Delta tunnels, high-speed rail

Gov. Jerry Brown could have a huge battle on his hands next year against ballot-measure proponents asking voters to essentially kill his two most-beloved public works projects — the bullet train and his proposed twin water tunnels under the Delta.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: Ballot proposal would divert high-speed rail money to water

Two well-known Republican state lawmakers submitted language Thursday for a ballot initiative that would ask California voters to redirect about $8 billion in bond money from the state’s high-speed rail project to build water storage.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

New ballot measure moves high-speed rail bonds to water projects

Two Republican elected officials have submitted a 2016 ballot measure that would shift $8 billion in unspent high-speed rail bond funds to water storage projects.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Human cost rises as old bridges, dams and roads go unrepaired

From coast to coast, the country’s once-envied collection of bridges, dams, pipelines, sewage treatment plants and levees is crumbling.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

McCarthy: Use high-speed rail funds to quench California’s drought

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a persistent critic of California’s high-speed rail program, said that the funds for the project should be diverted to quench the state’s severe drought.

Aquafornia news PBS NewsHour

Why dams are at the heart of California’s water wars

California is soul searching right now on how to deal with the drought. Should it build more dams? Or are there already enough dams — more than 1,400 — in the state, and not enough water to fill them up anyway?

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Measure that imperils Delta tunnels plan qualifies for 2016 ballot

A constitutional amendment that would erect a significant political hurdle for Gov. Jerry Brown’s plans to build twin tunnels to carry water south around the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is poised to qualify for the November 2016 ballot.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Ballot measure is new obstacle to diverting water to Southern California

Californians will act on a ballot measure next year that would require voter approval of many large public works projects, including Gov. Jerry Brown’s twin-tunnel plan to divert water south around the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

New Delta tunnel plan spurs familiar criticisms

Republicans fight taxes, business groups fight labor, and Delta lawmakers fight the tunnels. … Backers, meanwhile, are marshaling a big show of support for a project rebranded as the “California Water Fix,” …

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Opponents expect 30,000 comments against Delta tunnel plan (with audio)

California officials expect an earful from opponents of the Bay Delta tunnel plan, as the public comment period comes to a close Friday.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Los Angeles Aqueduct flows after dam built for drought is dismantled

With little mountain runoff due to a historic drought, water managers made the unprecedented decision to try to meet legal obligations to keep the Owens River flowing, control dust from a dry lake bed and irrigate pastures where cattle graze instead of sending water to the city.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: South state storms show no easy remedies for California drought

An epic rainstorm brought mudslides, flooding and road closures to Southern California recently, but it did little to ease the state’s four-year drought. … The problem revolves around El Nino’s typical behavior and the lopsided nature of California’s mostly man-made plumbing system.

Aquafornia news East Bay Express

Commentary: Damning California’s future

Few places in California are more remote from urban life than Round Valley, but the watershed and [Richard] Wilson are central to understanding why Governor Jerry Brown and other powerful interests are avidly pursuing several multibillion-dollar dam projects and two massive water tunnels that are strikingly similar to plans laid out in economic and engineering charts in California in the early-1950s.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

San Joaquin County remains opposed to ‘Water Fix’

The San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors voted 3-0 on Tuesday to adopt a resolution affirming the county’s opposition to the BDCP [Bay Delta Conservation Plan]/Water Fix, as well as to approve the county’s comments on a revised draft environmental impact report and supplemental environmental impact statement.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Temperance Flat Dam dominates California Water Commission meeting in Clovis

As members of the California Water Commission convened Wednesday night in Clovis to update the public on the Water Storage Investment Program, conversation centered on one topic: Temperance Flat Dam. … Water bond money is seen as competitive.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Cities and private equity firms fight over ownership of water systems

The fight in San Bernardino County is part of a wider tug of war between cities and private owners over water systems. More broadly, the controversy is over the degree to which Wall Street and other private parties should be controlling basic municipal infrastructure such as water systems and parking meters.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Drinking water systems imperiled by failing infrastructure

Around the country, scores of decaying drinking water systems built around the time of World War II and earlier are in need of replacement. … The challenge is deepened by drought conditions in some regions and government mandates to remove more contaminants.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Millions remain unspent in federal water-system loan program

The largest federal aid program for improving the nation’s drinking water systems has struggled to spend money in a timely fashion despite demand for assistance that far exceeds the amount available, a review by The Associated Press shows.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Does water district’s dam blocking salmon violate state law?

This spring, state fisheries officials sent a letter to the Nevada Irrigation District alleging it was in violation of two sections of the state’s Fish and Game Code over a small dam near Lincoln that blocks fall-run Chinook salmon as they migrate up Auburn Ravine Creek.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Plans for Sites Reservoir move ahead; new manager hired to lead project

A group of Northern California water users, and now investors, have taken the next big step in the plans to build a new reservoir in Northern California. Jim Watson has been hired as the new and first general manager of the Sites Reservoir Joint Powers Authority, sitesjpa.net.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

How a 1930s water war between California and Arizona delayed Parker Dam

In 1934, the Metropolitan Water District began construction on Parker Dam, which was opposed by Arizona. The resulting Lake Havasu would feed the new Colorado Aqueduct.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

A future of dams — Floodgates open to add barriers to combat drought

Driven by drought, California stands ready to build a water system for the 21st century. Ideas are flowing: conservation, recycling, desalination, aquifer recharge, floodplain restoration, storm water capture. But the biggest, most expensive, most popular item of all is the foundation of the 20th century water system — dams.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Blog: East Bay earthquake ruptures more than a dozen water lines

More than half a dozen water mains ruptured in the East Bay on Monday, mostly in and around the areas affected by a magnitude 4.0 earthquake Monday morning, according to the East Bay Municipal Water District.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Price, risk weigh heavily on farmers who would draw from Delta water tunnels

Sometime over the next year or so, [Mike] Stearns and several thousand other farmers from Tracy to Bakersfield will decide the fate of a project that’s supposed to resuscitate their parched San Joaquin Valley farms while stabilizing the delivery of drinking water to 25 million Southern Californians.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Blog: Sites Reservoir in Northern Calif. is 20th-century idea trying to fit the 21st

Almost 40 years after it began operation, California’s four-year drought has turned the state’s fourth largest reservoir, capable of storing 2.4 million acre-feet of water, into a shallow brown pool that holds 343,000 acre-feet, less than 15 percent of its capacity.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Q&A: Calif. is falling apart; here’s why

Steven P. Erie, a political science professor at UC San Diego, says that if California infrastructure were a student in his class, he’d give it an “F.” 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Drought now Californians’ top concern, poll finds

Voter concern over California’s drought is “extremely high and intensifying,” according to a new poll, while a majority of respondents said they would willingly pay “a few more dollars a month” to improve state water infrastructure.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

I-10 bridge collapse might not be California’s last (with audio)

Flash flooding washed out a stretch of I-10 near Desert Center in southeastern California. And with a potential El Niño coming later this year, there could be a lot more flash floods up and down the state.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Turlock, Ceres, south Modesto take key step toward water plant

A vote Thursday secured the raw water supply for a treatment plant proposed for Turlock, Ceres and south Modesto. … The long-delayed project would reduce reliance on wells, as has happened for 20 years with a similar plant for the rest of Modesto.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Strong El Niño could cause more Interstate 10 bridges to collapse

If a potentially historic El Niño brings powerful floods to Southern California this winter, Sunday’s rain-induced bridge collapse could be a preview of highway hazards to come. Across California, state officials list about 450 bridges as potentially unstable during intense floods. 

Aquafornia news KPCC Southern California Public Radio

CA water agencies resist bill to report water losses from leaky, broken infrastructure (with audio)

While water consumers are pressed to save every drop in the continuing drought, water utilities keep poor track of how much of their supply is lost before it ever reaches faucets – and at least some are resisting a bill to make them report those loses more frequently.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Tunnels plan pushes forward

Construction on Gov. Jerry Brown’s twin tunnels could begin in 2018, though a top state official said Monday that it remains unclear how much water the tunnels would convey to justify their $15 billion cost.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Fresno County aims to push Temperance Flat agency

Fresno County supervisors want to lead an effort to get bond money to build Temperance Flat Dam on the San Joaquin River when funding becomes available in early 2017. … The county is being pressed into action after the splintering of the Friant Water Authority, said Supervisor Brian Pacheco.

Aquafornia news Victorville Daily Press

Pricey pipes

While water pipelines are judged to have a useful life of 50 to 100 years, much of America’s infrastructure is falling behind recommended replacement and upgrade benchmarks, civil engineers say. … ‘Aging infrastructure illustrates what some see as the failure of many agencies, particularly municipalities, to have properly invested in replacing infrastructure or even regular replacement programs,’ the Sacramento-based Water Education Foundation wrote in its Western Water magazine in 2012.”

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Commentary: Will local water projects lose out to Brown’s tunnel vision?

San Diego water officials have some cogent questions for Gov. Jerry Brown. First, about those costly, monster tunnels he wants to dig under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta: Wouldn’t it be smarter to use that money — at least a good chunk of it — to build local water projects?

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Reforming CEQA still vital work

The California Environmental Quality Act, signed into law more than 40 years ago, is a perfect example of how a political decree meant to do one thing can transmogrify into something else entirely.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Development deals tied to state budget sidestep ‘green’ rules

The piecemeal approach to the 45-year-old California Environmental Quality Act, a law that has been a lightning rod for controversy, has frustrated defenders and critics alike.

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Soquel Creek Water District unveils new $6 million well (with video)

Celebrating the completion of the multimillion-dollar construction of the O’Neill Ranch Well, Soquel Creek Water District officials gathered under auspicious storm clouds Wednesday.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Commentary: Brown’s water quest taps forebears’ inspiration, if not their flexibility

If his dad [former Gov. Edmund G. “Pat” Brown] more than half a century ago could lead California into building a world-class water project over fierce northern opposition and southern apathy, the son [Gov. Jerry Brown] believes, certainly he can complete that troubled system with the delta tunnels. 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Daily News

Commentary: California needs to modernize its major water projects

Say you built a new house. A big, sturdy house, designed to meet the needs of your family for generations to come. After 30 years, the roof starts leaking. The furnace breaks. The paint peels, and wood trim begins to rot. Would you make repairs?

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles DWP takes first step toward possible rate increases

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power took a first step Tuesday toward possible rate increases as it tries to address aging infrastructure that has resulted in spectacular water pipe breaks and other problems.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: A better alternative to Delta tunnels

The way we move water from Northern California to the south is the worst of all worlds. … California needs a better conveyance system – one that is reliable, protects the environment, can be used to supply more water and anticipates climate change.

Commands