The State Water Resources Control Board’s proposal to impose permanent conservation rules – such as prohibiting hosing down driveways, watering lawns less than two days after it rains and washing a car without attaching a shut-off nozzle to the hose – ran into a cascade of opposition.
Under the rules of the Endangered Species Act, once a species is discovered to be at risk of extinction, government agencies are required by law to take steps to save it. For years, critics have challenged that mandate, arguing that it undercuts the ability to weigh a species’ value or to consider the economic impact of its preservation — for instance, the cost of prohibiting logging in a valuable tract of forest.
Safe and affordable drinking water is essential for all Californians, including those who live in the Rio Linda Elverta Community Water District in Sacramento County. The district has responded aggressively to hexavalent chromium in a small number of wells, dedicating more than $3.9 million.
On the 90th anniversary of the catastrophic failure of the St. Francis Dam, dam safety experts worry that the Oroville Dam crisis showed that some of those crucial lessons have been forgotten — or were never retained in the first place.
For the first time, school districts statewide are being required to test their water supplies for lead under a new law that went into effect this year. It’s a huge endeavor that could mean further testing and expensive repairs if lead is discovered.
When it rains, it pours — and that has San Francisco water officials looking into charging property owners a new “storm-water fee” to help with the upkeep of the city’s aging sewer system. … A state bill signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in October opened the gate for other cities across California to start adding storm-water costs to tax bills without going to the voters.
Less than 1 percent of recent drinking water samples at California’s public schools showed elevated lead levels. But thousands more campuses still need to be tested, state officials said last week. A new law, AB 746, took effect in January requiring those tests at public schools over the next 16 months.
Washington state legislators want to do whatever they can to save water. As a result, the Washington State House of Representatives has passed ESHB 2327, a bill that would reduce plumbing flow rates below federal WaterSense levels. The state’s Senate is now considering the bill, with a vote expected soon.
Joaquin Arambula was a student at Edison High when the state of California backed the concept of a recreational parkway between Friant Dam and Highway 99. Twenty-six years later, the San Joaquin River Parkway remains mostly that: a noble concept that has yet to be realized.
This November, California voters will almost certainly vote on whether to authorize billions of dollars of taxpayer spending for a water bond. But crucially, the next few weeks will determine what water bond will be on the ballot in November – how much borrowing it authorizes, what it spends that money on – and whether it is a good investment in California’s water future.
A bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday, July 21, clears the way for two water districts to extend their systems to a neighborhood on the Wildomar-Menifee border that has been plagued by a poor quality, unreliable water supply.
In signing this year’s budget, Gov. Jerry Brown dedicated $832 million from California’s burgeoning cap-and-trade program to affordable housing and mass transit, including his embattled high-speed rail project. Also tucked into the legislation are directions to set aside agricultural land on the periphery of cities.
If Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers want voters to weigh in this year on a multibillion-dollar water bond – a big if – they will need to compromise on what may seem like an arcane point: Who controls the money earmarked for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta?
From the Los Angeles Times, in the Capitol Journal column by George Skelton:
So let me get this straight: The state government is telling us we can’t hose down the driveway and should feel guilty about watering the lawn. But it’s OK for somebody to pump all the groundwater he wants?
From the Los Angeles Times, in a commentary by Jon Healey:
As much as Republicans might yearn for deep-blue California to fall into the deep blue ocean, the GOP-led House Appropriations Committee agreed this week to provide $5 million to support the development of an earthquake early warning system that could help reduce the injuries and damage caused by a big quake.