Topic: Energy and Water

Overview

Energy and Water

Water and energy are interconnected. A frequent term to describe this relationship is the “water-energy nexus.”

Energy for Water: Energy is needed to store water, get it where it is needed and also treat it to be used:

*  Extracting water from rivers and streams or pumping it from aquifers, and then conveying it over hills and into storage facilities is a highly energy intensive process. The State Water Project (SWP) pumps water 700 miles, including up nearly 2,000 feet over the Tehachapi Mountains. The SWP is the largest single user of energy in California. It consumes an average of 5 billion kWh per year. That’s about 2 to 3 percent of all electricity consumed in California
*  Water treatment facilities use energy to pump and process water for use in homes, businesses and industry
*  Consumers use energy to treat water with softeners or filters, to circulate and pressurize water and to heat and cool water
*  Wastewater plants use energy to pump wastewater to treatment plants, and also to aerate and filter it at the plant.

Different end uses require more electricity for delivery than others. Water for residential, commercial and industrial end-use needs the most energy (11 percent), followed by agricultural end-use (3 percent), residential, commercial and industrial supply and treatment (3 percent), agricultural water supply and treatment (1 percent) and wastewater treatment (1 percent), according to the California Energy Commission.

Water for Energy: Water is used to generate electricity

*  Water is needed either to process raw materials used in a facility or maintaining a plant,or to just generate electricity itself.

Overall, the electricity industry is second only to agriculture as the largest user of water in the United States. Electricity production from fossil fuels and nuclear energy requires 190,000 million gallons of water per day, accounting for 39 percent of all freshwater withdrawals in the nation. Coal, the most abundant fossil fuel, currently accounts for 52 percent of U.S. electricity generation, and each kWh generated from coal requires withdrawal of 25 gallons of water.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Trump’s Interior Department pick has some California family and fundraising roots

Coastal California has claims, of a sort, on Rep. Ryan Zinke, the Montana Republican named Thursday as the Trump administration’s pick to head the Interior Department. 

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Perry would bring oil industry ties to Energy Department

Rick Perry, President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for Energy secretary, has close ties to the Texas oil industry and has corporate roles in two petroleum companies pushing to get government approval for the proposed 1,200-mile crude oil pipeline that has stoked mass protests in North Dakota.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Monterey poised to become state’s first oil-producing county to ban fracking

With the passage of Measure Z, which has captured nearly 56 percent of the vote so far, Monterey County would become the first oil-producing county in California to ban fracking and expansion of risky oil operations. … Monterey County, which ranks fourth statewide in oil production, becomes the sixth county in California to ban fracking.

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

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: With hopes fading, lawmakers meet on energy bill

Prospects for the energy bill have dimmed amid partisan disputes over oil drilling, water for drought-stricken California and potential rollback of protections for the gray wolf and other wildlife, among other issues.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Judge puts hold on plan to open California lands to fracking

A federal judge on Tuesday tentatively rejected a plan by the federal Bureau of Land Management to open more than 1,500 square miles of lands in central California to oil drilling and fracking.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

U.S. hydropower grows by going small

Hydropower in the United States is primed for a shakeup. On one hand, utilities and governments are tearing down old dams with increasing frequency. … On the other hand, lawmakers and officials are keen to wring more power from rivers.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Popularity of big hydropower projects diminishes around the world

Earlier this year, in an announcement that has become more routine around the world, Suy Sem, Cambodia’s minister of mines and energy, declared a moratorium on the construction of big hydropower dams until at least 2020. … Cambodia joins a lengthening list of nations around the world that are reassessing big hydropower dams in an era when wind and solar power are less expensive, much easier to build, less damaging, and far less vulnerable to droughts and floods.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Will water sector help or hurt on climate change?

California has been diligently trying to reduce use of fossil fuels and cut greenhouse gas emissions. Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 350, which requires 50 percent of the electricity from utilities to come from renewable sources by 2030. But it’s not just energy utilities that can add more renewables to their portfolios – water suppliers can, as well, although they aren’t mandated to do so.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Water conservation has saved energy, cut greenhouse gas emissions, study finds

As debate continues in San Diego County and around the state over how aggressively to conserve water amid a historic drought, a new study finds that reductions in urban water use have saved significant amounts of electricity and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: U.S. Senate approves $37.5 billion measure to fund energy, water

The Senate on Thursday approved a $37.5 billion measure to fund energy and water programs next year, the first of the 12 spending bills lawmakers must approve to keep the government operating.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Colorado court strikes down local bans on fracking

Colorado’s Supreme Court on Monday struck down local government prohibitions on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, handing oil and gas companies a victory in a lengthy battle over energy production in the environmentally conscious state.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Senate nears approval of wide-ranging energy bill

The Senate is poised to pass a wide-ranging energy bill that would promote a variety of energy sources and speed federal approval of projects to export liquefied natural gas to Europe and Asia.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Modesto Irrigation District critics welcome class-action lawsuit over electricity subsidy

News of a class-action lawsuit against the Modesto Irrigation District brought similar reactions from its most frequent critics, all of whom said it’s about time.

Aquafornia news The Orange County Register

Focus: California’s energy and water are in short supply (graphics)

California needs energy and water equally, and residents are being asked to cut back on both.

Western Water Magazine

Tapping the Ocean: What is the Role of Desalination?
Winter 2016

This issue looks at the role of ocean desalination in meeting California’s water needs today and in the future.

Aquafornia news Merced Sun-Star

Feds ease water requirements for Merced County farmers in dam relicensing

Farmers depending on irrigation water from the Merced Irrigation District heard better-than-expected news Thursday about the future of their water supplies.

Aquafornia news KQED News

Solar surges past wind, hydro as California’s No. 1 renewable energy source

Not only did solar beat wind power for the first time, but it also topped drought-depleted hydropower, the long-standing leader in California electricity generation outside fossil fuels and nuclear.

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 Desert Sun

On Salton Sea and energy, it’s Imperial Irrigation District versus the world

At least at the Salton Sea, the district’s [Imperial Irrigation District] hardball tactics seem to be working: There’s been more political progress this year than ever before. Gov. Jerry Brown has asked for a plan of action, and several long-stalled pilot projects are finally getting underway.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Study: No fracking bonanza for California’s Monterey Shale

A U.S. Geological Survey report out Tuesday downgrades the fracking potential of California’s vast Monterey Shale oil deposits.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Biological opinion slows Oroville Dam facilities relicensing process

What’s holding up the relicensing of Oroville Dam facilities? Fish. Specifically, an opinion on how three threatened species might be affected, according to local Department of Water Resources officials.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Felicia Marcus: Amid drought, no simple solutions on California water

Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther, Jimmy Carter, Rahm Emanuel: All of them were quoted at the Southern California Energy and Water Summit in Palm Springs on Thursday. But the quote that best summarized the summit came from Felicia Marcus’ father.

Aquafornia news San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Drought is killing California’s hydroelectric power. Can solar make up the difference?

Although the state’s electrical grid has taken a punch from the drought and record-high summer month temperatures, it has remained standing. A state mandate to convert from burning oil, coal and natural gas, which release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and contribute to global warming, to solar, wind and geothermal energy has helped.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Less water might be plenty for California, experts say, and conservation is only the start

Across California this summer, residents have been racking up water conservation numbers that defy expectations — a 27% reduction in June, followed by 31.3% in July. … The conservation performance raises a host of possibilities, and profound questions, for water policy analysts and managers … 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

California fines oil companies for failing to report water use data

The state fined 30 oil companies on Thursday for failing to meet a deadline to report information about the source, volume and disposal of water used in oil and gas production.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

How Edison uses water to store excess power

Nestled high in the Sierra mountains among the pine and fir trees, a little-known man-made wonder may help resolve a pressing energy concern: how to store wind and sun power that the grid increasingly can’t handle.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino County Sun

Salton Sea remedy document draft is released

Call it a first step. … The Imperial Irrigation District has released a 260-page document that provides short, medium and long-term plans to avert a health crises and spur the development of up to 1,700 megawatts of new geothermal energy at the Salton Sea.

Aquafornia news Sacramento Business Journal

Environmental hurdle adds a year to SMUD’s massive $800 million Iowa Hill hydroelectric project

SMUD’s big bet on a system to store energy by pumping water uphill just got a little more complicated. The state wants the Sacramento Municipal Utility District to monitor groundwater at the site, a remote spot near Camino, for an entire year before moving ahead.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Blog: Your faucet as power switch — Water’s hidden energy cost

Most of us hardly think about it, but when we turn on the tap, we’re not just using water — we’re also using energy. And you may be surprised to learn just how much. … It takes a lot of power to get water to our taps — conveyance from the source, treatment, and distribution — not to mention cleaning the wastewater we send down drains.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino County Sun

Inland Empire irrigation district sues state grid operator

The Imperial Irrigation District has filed an antitrust lawsuit against the manager of most of the state’s electricity grid, alleging that it is using its monopoly power to limit options for the district, which is a major player in the effort to mitigate the shrinking Salton Sea.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Summer power supply ‘looking good’ (with audio)

The California Independent System Operator, or CAL-ISO, which manages the state’s energy grid, releases its summer assessment Thursday. 

Aquafornia news Bloomberg News

Commentary: California’s doomsday water cycle

Even as [Gov. Jerry] Brown rations water for urban lawns, computer manufacturing and toilets, California continues to dedicate enormous amounts of water to producing energy. This year, 1.3 billion gallons of water are being injected into oil fields to extract heavy crude — 320 gallons for every barrel of oil pumped. 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

State launches push to accelerate drought innovation

The Brown administration’s effort to speed innovation to address the state’s endemic droughts was launched to little fanfare Tuesday.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Water and power agencies sharing drought plans (with audio)

John Sweigard is General Manager of the Merced Irrigation District. He says the district will file a petition with the State of California next week regarding the operation of the dam and the lake.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Blog: Does California’s water use drive climate change?

The link between delivering or treating water and expending energy will be the topic of a Senate Select Committee on Climate Change hearing in Calabasas today.

Aquafornia news Pacific Institute

The Water Footprint of California’s Energy System, 1990–2012

A new article by Julian Fulton and  Heather Cooley  evaluates the amount of water consumed in meeting California’s energy needs – also referred to as the water footprint of energy. The article, published in Environmental Science and Technology, examines how the water footprint of energy changed between 1990 and 2012 – finding that the amount of water consumed substantially increased over recent decades without utilizing more of the state’s water resources, but rather by relying more heavily on water resources from outside the state.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Sonoma Clean Power inks deal for floating solar panel project

Sonoma County’s new public electricity supplier is turning to the sun and water — the airspace over treated sewage ponds, specifically — to generate power for local homes and businesses.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Cooling upper Feather River is centerpiece of plan for thermal curtain

In an environmental study nine years in the making, the State Water Resources Control Board has proposed lowering the temperature of the [Feather] river 40 miles below Lake Almanor through enormous devices known as thermal curtains. … The thermal curtain project is part of PG&E’s application to renew licenses on its Feather River hydroelectric projects at Rock Creek and Cresta.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

MID drought strategy pondered

Modesto Irrigation District leaders Tuesday morning could revive last year’s drought-combating measures, which enjoyed only marginal success, for the coming season. … The MID board Tuesday morning also will continue discussing a historical inequity in rates that has electricity customers subsidizing farmers’ water prices.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Lawmakers take step toward fulfilling state climate change goals

State lawmakers are preparing a sweeping package of bills that would fulfill several of Gov. Jerry Brown’s climate change objectives by increasing California’s reliance on renewable energy and alternative transportation fuels.

Aquafornia news U.S. Department of the Interior

News Release: President proposes $13.2 billion budget for Interior Department

President Obama’s fiscal year (FY) 2016 budget request of $13.2 billion for the Department of the Interior continues the Administration’s strong support for Interior’s core missions, protecting the nation’s cultural and natural heritage, responsibly managing energy development on public lands and waters, investing in science, and honoring the nation’s trust responsibilities to Native Americans and Alaska Natives and our special commitments to affiliated island communities.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

MID subsidy will come under microscope

Fairness of prices charged by the Modesto Irrigation District for its two core services – water and power – will be examined at public workshops starting Tuesday morning.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Sacramento State launching environmental research institute

Sacramento State plans to launch a new institute that will merge environmental science and policymaking, particularly concerning climate change and water-related issues that challenge California and the world.

Aquafornia news Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA)

State Water Project now using solar power to meet pump loads

The Department of Water Resources announced on Jan. 8, 2014, that it has begun using renewable power purchased from a Dominion Solar Holdings’ solar project to help move water through the State Water Project.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Editorial: California’s bold attack on climate change

California is moving toward its goal of generating a third of its electrical power from solar, wind and other renewable sources by 2020, as promised five years ago by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Aquafornia news Appeal-Democrat

Rice may become first crop in cap-and-trade program

Rice could soon become the first crop in California’s cap-and-trade program, but it is unclear if the program provides enough incentives to motivate farmers to change their growing practices.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Mary Nichols has ‘rock star’ influence as top air quality regulator

A meeting with Gov. Jerry Brown and Chevron executives was ending when an oil company official turned to Mary Nichols, California’s top regulator for air pollution. … The October conversation, recalled by Nichols in a recent interview, echoed many others in her decades-long career as an environmental lawyer and regulator.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Rice growers could help reduce greenhouse gases

Growing rice requires flooding fields, which produces methane, a potent greenhouse gas. The California Air Resources Board is discussing allowing growers to obtain greenhouse gas “offsets” that could then be sold on the state’s cap and trade market.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Turlock Irrigation District power rates will rise 2 percent overall

Electricity customers of the Turlock Irrigation District will get a rate increase averaging 2 percent as of Jan. 1, following a 5-0 vote by its board Tuesday morning. … TID also has proposed a far larger increase – more than double – in farm water rates.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Editorial: Modesto Irrigation District, Stanislaus supervisors are moving in right direction

Two actions taken Tuesday – one by the Modesto Irrigation District Board of Directors and one by the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors – show that our elected officials are not only listening, they are responding.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Modesto Irrigation District’s culture of imbalance: Farmers coddled, power customers gouged

An intriguing public debate over electricity customers subsidizing farmers has focused on what the farmers get: irrigation water at bargain basement prices. Somewhat lost in the dialogue is how much more power customers are paying – not just to benefit agriculture, but to keep afloat the Modesto Irrigation District’s entire operation.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Dutch seek to harness energy from salt water mix

Dutch researchers are seeking to add a new, largely untapped renewable energy source to the world’s energy mix with the opening of a “Blue Energy” test facility on Wednesday.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Editorial: Modesto Irrigation District must make water pay its own way

Modesto Irrigation District needs to divorce its two primary functions, ending once and for all the relationship that has required power customers to subsidize water customers.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino County Sun

Editorial: Planning for California desert’s renewable-energy and conservation future makes sense

It’s not surprising there are quite a few objections to and reservations about California’s massive Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan.

Aquafornia news Appeal-Democrat

Yuba River flows may drop

With storage in New Bullards Bar Reservoir dwindling, the Yuba County Water Agency wants to reduce releases into the Lower Yuba River.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Imperial Irrigation District considers rate hike

The Imperial Irrigation District is poised to raise electricity rates for the first time in 20 years — a move that is sure to anger ratepayers, but that district officials say is long overdue.

Aquafornia news Bureau of Reclamation

News Release: WaterSMART grants available from Reclamation to conserve water and improve energy efficiency

Reclamation is inviting States, Tribes, irrigation districts, water districts and other organizations with water or power delivery to apply for a funding opportunity to cost-share on projects that conserve and use water more efficiently, increase the use of renewable energy and improve energy efficiency. The projects should support water sustainability in the west.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: De León says ‘green jobs’ will be priority as Senate leader

In his first policy speech as California’s Senate leader, Kevin de León said one of his key priorities will be combating climate change by setting policies that promote energy efficiency. … In his speech to the water officials Thursday, de León also stumped for Proposition 1 …”

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Geothermal power industry lost steam but may be poised for comeback

Geothermal power was once king of California’s renewable energy. So many companies were clamoring to transform steam into electricity that they sucked the world’s largest geyser field dry.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Receding Salton Sea could make room for geothermal

The shrinking of the Salton Sea might pose a serious public health hazard, but it could also boost renewable energy development in the region, officials said Thursday at the Southern California Energy Summit.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Public can comment on La Grange Dam studies

The public will get another chance Monday to weigh in on La Grange Dam, erected on the Tuolumne River decades before the far larger Don Pedro Reservoir came along.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Blog: Western U.S. governors begin drought discussions

In the midst of a record-smashing dry cycle in the United States, the organization with the most influence over state and federal drought policy wants to do a better job managing the crisis. … On September 18 and 19, the Western Governors’ Association, a forum for state leaders, will welcome to Norman, Oklahoma, agency officials, industry representatives, and technical experts who will offer insight on how a multi-year drought in the western United States is challenging the energy sector.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Glen Canyon Dam marks 50 years as power source

U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and other officials on Saturday marked the 50th anniversary of power generation by Glen Canyon Dam, a structure that helped usher in a new era in the Southwest.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Renewable energy plan hinges on huge Utah caverns

A proposal to export twice as much Wyoming wind power to Los Angeles as the amount of electricity generated by the Hoover Dam includes an engineering feat even more massive than that famous structure:

Video

Restoring a River: Voices of the San Joaquin

This 30-minute documentary-style DVD on the history and current state of the San Joaquin River Restoration Program includes an overview of the geography and history of the river, historical and current water delivery and uses, the genesis and timeline of the 1988 lawsuit, how the settlement was reached and what was agreed to.

Video

A Climate of Change: Water Adaptation Strategies

This 25-minute documentary-style DVD, developed in partnership with the California Department of Water Resources, provides an excellent overview of climate change and how it is already affecting California. The DVD also explains what scientists anticipate in the future related to sea level rise and precipitation/runoff changes and explores the efforts that are underway to plan and adapt to climate.

Video

Stormwater Management: Turning Runoff into a Resource

20-minute DVD that explains the problem with polluted stormwater, and steps that can be taken to help prevent such pollution and turn what is often viewed as a “nuisance” into a water resource through various activities.

Video

Drinking Water: Quenching the Public Thirst (60-minute DVD)

Many Californians don’t realize that when they turn on the faucet, the water that flows out could come from a source close to home or one hundreds of miles away. Most people take their water for granted; not thinking about the elaborate systems and testing that go into delivering clean, plentiful water to households throughout the state. Where drinking water comes from, how it’s treated, and what people can do to protect its quality are highlighted in this 2007 PBS documentary narrated by actress Wendie Malick. 

Video

Drinking Water: Quenching the Public Thirst (30-minute DVD)

A 30-minute version of the 2007 PBS documentary Drinking Water: Quenching the Public Thirst. This DVD is ideal for showing at community forums and speaking engagements to help the public understand the complex issues surrounding the elaborate systems and testing that go into delivering clean, plentiful water to households throughout the state.

Video

Water on the Edge (30-minute VHS)

A 30-minute version of the 2005 PBS documentary Water on the Edge. This video is ideal for showing at community forums and speaking engagements to help the public understand the complex issues surrounding the New River.

Video

Water on the Edge (60-minute VHS)

Water truly has shaped California into the great state it is today. And if it is water that made California great, it’s the fight over – and with – water that also makes it so critically important. In efforts to remap California’s circulatory system, there have been some critical events that had a profound impact on California’s water history. These turning points not only forced a re-evaluation of water, but continue to impact the lives of every Californian. This 2005 PBS documentary offers a historical and current look at the major water issues that shaped the state we know today. Includes a 12-page viewer’s guide with background information, historic timeline and a teacher’s lesson.

Video

Water on the Edge (60-minute DVD)

Water truly has shaped California into the great state it is today. And if it is water that made California great, it’s the fight over – and with – water that also makes it so critically important. In efforts to remap California’s circulatory system, there have been some critical events that had a profound impact on California’s water history. These turning points not only forced a re-evaluation of water, but continue to impact the lives of every Californian. This 2005 PBS documentary offers a historical and current look at the major water issues that shaped the state we know today. Includes a 12-page viewer’s guide with background information, historic timeline and a teacher’s lesson.

Video

Groundwater Quality: Managing the Resource

This 15-minute video explains in an easy-to-understand manner the importance of groundwater, defines technical terms, describes sources of groundwater contamination and outlines steps communities can take to protect underground aquifers. Includes extensive computer graphics that illustrate these groundwater concepts. The short running times makes it ideal for presentations and community group meetings. Available on VHS and DVD.

Maps & Posters

Klamath River Watershed Map
Published 2011

This beautiful 24×36 inch poster, suitable for framing, displays the rivers, lakes and reservoirs, irrigated farmland, urban areas and Indian reservations within the Klamath River Watershed. The map text explains the many issues facing this vast, 15,000-square-mile watershed, including fish restoration; agricultural water use; and wetlands. Also included are descriptions of the separate, but linked, Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement and the Klamath Hydroelectric Agreement, and the next steps associated with those agreements. Development of the map was funded by a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Maps & Posters

Carson River Basin Map
Published 2006

A companion to the Truckee River Basin Map poster, this 24×36 inch poster, suitable for framing, explores the Carson River, and its link to the Truckee River. The map includes Lahontan Dam and Reservoir, the Carson Sink, and the farming areas in the basin. Map text discusses the region’s hydrology and geography, the Newlands Project, land and water use within the basin and wetlands. Development of the map was funded by a grant from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Mid-Pacific Region, Lahontan Basin Area Office.

Maps & Posters

Colorado River Water Map
Reprinted in 2002

Reprinted in 2002 to include the Colorado River Delta region south of the border, the 32×38 inch Colorado River Water Map depicts the seven Western states that share the Colorado River. The Colorado River supplies water to nearly 25 million people and in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming and the Republic of Mexico. Text on this beautiful map, suitable for framing, explains the river’s apportionment and history.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to Groundwater
Updated 2011

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to Groundwater is an in-depth, easy-to-understand publication that provides background and perspective on groundwater. The guide explains what groundwater is – not an underground network of rivers and lakes! – and the history of its use in California.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to the Colorado River
Updated 2013

The Colorado River provides water to more than 35 million people and 4 million acres of farmland in a region encompassing some 246,000 square miles in the southwestern United States. The 32-page Layperson’s Guide to the Colorado River covers the history of the river’s development; negotiations over division of its water; the items that comprise the Law of the River; and a chronology of significant Colorado River events.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to California Water
Published Dec. 2015

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to California Water provides an excellent overview of the history of water development and use in California. It includes sections on flood management; the state, federal and Colorado River delivery systems; Delta issues; water rights; environmental issues; water quality; and options for stretching the water supply such as water marketing and conjunctive use.

Aquafornia news Modesto Bee

MID, TID Boards Vote to File Don Pedro License Application

From The Modesto Bee:

“The Modesto and Turlock irrigation districts took a key step Tuesday morning toward using Don Pedro Reservoir for perhaps another half-century.”

Read more from The Modesto Bee

 

Aquafornia news Modesto Bee

MID, TID Consider Next Step on Relicensing of Don Pedro Reservoir

From The Modesto Bee:

“The Modesto and Turlock irrigation districts could take another step Tuesday morning toward a new federal license for Don Pedro Reservoir.”

Read more from The Modesto Bee

 

Aquafornia news Best Best & Krieger LLP

Legal Alert: CPUC Issues Decision to Protect Solar Customers for 20 Years

From Best Best & Krieger LLP:

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) recently ruled to protect all existing solar, biogas and wind customers under their current net-energy metering (NEM) contracts for a 20-year grandfathering period.
Aquafornia news

Commentary: Water Conservation’s Other Benefit: It’s a Power Saver

From the Los Angeles Times, in a commentary by Catherine Wolfram and David Zetland:

“Our conservation efforts, even the tiniest ones, have a second overlooked benefit: They also save energy. Water is essentially liquid energy. We don’t think about it that way. But every drop must be moved, treated and heated. Each step takes energy.”

Read more from the LA Times

 

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

New Sonoma Utility Promises Cleaner, Cheaper Power

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

“On Thursday, the governing board of Sonoma’s new public power agency plans to set rates for its electricity service, which will begin in May. Most customers will save money, compared to what they currently pay Pacific Gas and Electric Co.”

Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle

 

Aquafornia news Sacramento Bee

Folsom Park History Trail Hike is Hit

From The Sacramento Bee:

“This is the third year California State Parks has participated in the nationwide movement of offering First Day Hikes. … “At the 17-acre Folsom Powerhouse State Historic Park, docents expected five to 10 people to show for the hike along the old canal route leading from the powerhouse to Folsom Dam.”

Read more from The Sacramento Bee  

Aquafornia news [Marysville] Appeal-Democrat

Yuba County Water Agency Bids to Renew License

From the [Marysville] Appeal-Democrat:

“The Yuba County Water Agency is filing to renew its operating license with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the first time since the agency’s creation almost 50 years ago, and it will dictate how the YCWA will run the Yuba River Development Project for the next 50 years.”

Read more from the Appeal-Democrat

 

Aquafornia news [Marysville] Appeal-Democrat

Conservation Groups Decry Lack of Protection for Fish

From the [Marysville] Appeal-Democrat:

“While some groups are excited about the what the Yuba County Water Agency’s FERC relicensing applications contains, other groups are lamenting what is missing — namely, provisions that address removing barriers to native spawning habitat for endangered fish.”

Read more from the Appeal-Democrat

 

Aquafornia news Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA)

What Water Can Learn from Energy Sector’s Efficiency Programs

From the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA):

“This week [Dec.
Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Sonoma Clean Power Projects Rates that Beat PG&E’s

From the Santa Rosa Press Democrat:

“Customers enrolled next year with Sonoma County’s startup public power agency could see some savings on their electricity compared to rates proposed by PG&E for 2014. …

The public venture is seeking to displace Pacific Gas and Electric Co.

Aquafornia news Pacific Institute

News Release: Energizing Water Efficiency — California Energy Sector Experiences Can Advance State’s Water Conservation and Efficiency

From the Pacific Institute:

“As a dry December accentuates the stress on California’s limited water supplies, the success of the state’s energy sector in implementing efficiency programs offers valuable lessons to the water sector. A new report from the Pacific Institute examines the rules, regulations, and policies that promote energy efficiency and finds models for water management in drivers like the energy sector’s appliance standards, building codes, pricing policies, and utility-sponsored efficiency programs.
Aquafornia news Modesto Bee

Modesto Irrigation District Board Looks at Electricity Rate Hikes, Ponders Report on Drought Conditions

From The Modesto Bee:

“Whether area electricity customers could face higher rates in 2014 was called into question at Tuesday’s Modesto Irrigation District board meeting, with no clear answer. …

“Also Tuesday, staff presented potential reactions to drought, and the board continued taking steps to correct mistakes in expanding a water treatment plant that will cost taxpayers an extra $24 million.”

Read more from The Modesto Bee

 

Aquafornia news Modesto Bee

New Modesto Irrigation District Leaders Told of Legal Issues Involving Rates

From The Modesto Bee:

“A different legal interpretation could make it easier for the Modesto Irrigation District to raise electricity prices, the utility’s lawyer told leaders Monday in their first gathering since three men were elected to the five-member board. …

“MID leaders last year declined to raise power rates, a departure from sharp increases every year since 2000, noting that prices had stabilized for natural gas used to produce energy.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Foreign Staff

Technology Giving New Nations a Shot as Energy Producers

From McClatchy Foreign Staff:

“New technologies to unlock energy below the earth’s surface could transform the global energy picture, allowing a handful of nations not ordinarily thought of as energy producers to emerge.”

Read more from McClatchy

 

Aquafornia news New York Times

Shale’s Effect on Oil Supply Is Forecast to Be Brief

From The New York Times:

“The boom in oil from shale formations in recent years has generated a lot of discussion that the United States could eventually return to energy self-sufficiency, but according to a report released Tuesday by the International Energy Agency, production of such oil in the United States and worldwide will provide only a temporary respite from reliance on the Middle East.”

Read more from The New York Times

Aquafornia news Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA)

EPA Report Examines Water’s Importance to U.S. Economy

From the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA):

“A new informational report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency details just how important water is to the U.S. economy.

“Synthesizing recent studies on the topic, ‘The Importance of Water to the U.S. Economy’ report released this week finds that energy production, water supply and food production together account for over 94% of water withdrawals from the nation’s groundwater, streams, rivers, and lakes.

Aquafornia news Imperial Valley Press

IID Begins Presentations on Newly Changed Residential Energy Efficiency Rebates Program

From the Imperial Valley Press:

“Recent changes to the Imperial Irrigation District’s Residential Energy Efficiency Rebates program has an IID representative going to all the city councils in the Imperial Valley to make presentations on the changes.”

Read more from the Imperial Valley Press

 

Aquafornia news Imperial Valley Press

IID Board Takes First Look at Budget

From the Imperial Valley Press:

The Imperial Irrigation District Board of Director s reviewed the energy department’s budget in La Quinta on Monday.
Aquafornia news Imperial Valley Press

Dippy Duck Takes Energy Safety Message to Schools

From the Imperial Valley Press:

“Dippy Duck is growing up. The Imperial Irrigation District recently revamped its iconic mascot’s appearance and safety program to include an older audience. …

“Like the Dippy Duck canal safety program, the energy program’s message is simple and vital: electricity can kill.”

Read more from the Imperial Valley Press

 

Aquafornia news Modesto Bee

Modesto Irrigation District Decides to Kick the Can Down the Road on Electricity Rate Hike

From The Modesto Bee:

“The Modesto Irrigation District’s power customers will have to wait until after the Nov. 5 election to learn whether they’ll pay more next year.

“Board members this morning will consider a $442.7 million proposed budget for 2014, but will punt on the politically sensitive question of raising electricity rates.”

Read more from The Modesto Bee

 

Aquafornia news Imperial Valley Press

IID Works to Reach Students With Energy Safety Message

From the Imperial Valley Press:

“In honor of the 27th annual anniversary of Public Power Week, Imperial Irrigation District officials began rolling out a new energy safety campaign to reach seventh- and eighth-grade students in the Imperial and Coachella valleys on the importance of indoor and outdoor electrical safety.

“A newsletter, the ‘Safety Surge,’ has been distributed to junior high schools, according to a press release from the district.”

Aquafornia news Modesto Bee

Modesto, Turlock Irrigation Districts’ Deadline Nears for Don Pedro Reservoir Documents

From The Modesto Bee:

“A milestone is approaching for the effort by the Modesto and Turlock irrigation districts to renew their federal license for Don Pedro Reservoir.

“They plan late next month to file their draft application, a huge set of documents on how the reservoir and its powerhouse affect the Tuolumne River and nearby resources.”

Read more from The Modesto Bee

 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

California’s Alternative-Energy Program Under Scrutiny

From the Los Angeles Times:

Even as California has scaled back education, law enforcement and assistance to the disabled in this era of financial stress, the energy program has continued unrestrained and is expected to grow significantly in coming years.

“State agencies have invested in milk trucks that run on cow manure, power plants fueled by ocean tides and artificial photosynthesis for powering vehicles and buildings.

“The spending is drawing increasing scrutiny.”

Read mo

Aquafornia news Pacific Institute

News Release: River-Friendly Landscaping Calculator Adds New Benefits for Sacramento

From the Pacific Institute:

“Sacramento County is promoting ‘River-Friendly Landscaping’ as a way for residents and businesses to beautify the county while saving water, energy, and money, and even reduce their carbon footprint.
Aquafornia news Associated Press

Federal Regulators: Columbia River Treaty Should Be Renegotiated

From The Associated Press:

“A U.S.-Canada treaty that governs operations of the fourth-largest river in North America — affecting everything from power prices and water supplies to grain shipments and recreation in the Pacific Northwest — should be renegotiated to make the system more flexible amid climate change and to aid threatened and endangered species that weren’t considered when the treaty was created decades ago, federal regulators recommended in a draft document released to The Associated Press.”

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

State PUC’s Proposal for Utilities to Store Energy

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

“This month, California energy regulators proposed requiring the state’s utility companies to buy more than 1.3 gigawatts of electricity storage by 2020 – enough electricity to supply 993,750 typical homes at any given instant.

“The storage would help ensure that the lights stay on as California adds large amounts of solar and wind power – both highly variable – to its grid. Big energy storage projects would also cut the number of new fossil-fuel power plants built in the state.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Power Plant Possible for Anaheim Basin

From the Orange County Register:

The Orange County Water District’s board on Thursday will consider whether to launch negotiations with a company that wants to build a power plant capable of generating up to 300 megawatts of energy on the same plot of land where Anaheim city officials want to open a park that would serve community sports leagues.”

Read more from the Orange County Register

 

Aquafornia news Pacific Institute

News Release: Electricity Pricing Practices Offer Lessons for Water Sector in Promoting Conservation and Efficiency

From the Pacific Institute:

“Because water utilities are dependent on the sale of water to recoup costs, reduced sales can result in deficits – and per capita water demand in California has been stagnant or decreasing for the past several decades. Over the coming years, California municipal water utilities are required to reduce water use by 20%. Thus, the ‘new normal’ or an era of declining demand and rising costs is a trend that is likely to continue.
Aquafornia news Water in the West

News Release: Report Reveals Missed Opportunities to Save Water and Energy

From Water in the West:

“Water and wastewater managers are missing substantial opportunities to save energy and money, according to a report published Wednesday (Sept. 4) by Water in the West, a research center at Stanford University.

“The report, ‘Water and Energy Nexus: A Literature Review,’ also identifies the amount of water used to extract resources such as natural gas, oil and coal, and to generate electricity.

Aquafornia news KCET ReWire blog

Blog: Report — Saving Water Saves Energy, And Vice Versa

From the KCET ReWire blog:

“Savvy Californians know that cutting down the amount of water we use saves lots of energy. It takes a huge amount of electrical power to pump water to our thirsty cities, and when it gets there we burn natural gas to heat it. But did you know that saving energy also saves water?”

Read more from the KCET ReWire blog

Aquafornia news Pacific Institute

News Release: Study Shows Untapped Potential for Coordinating Efficiency Programs in California to Save Both Water and Energy

From the Pacific Institute:

“All forms of energy – from hydropower to solar panels – use water to extract and process the fuels, construct the processing facilities, or generate the electricity. Likewise, water supply, treatment, use, and disposal use considerable amounts of energy.
Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Yosemite Fire: San Francisco Power Plant Back On Line

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

“One of two San Francisco-owned hydroelectric power plants damaged in a huge wildfire that continues to scorch Sierra timberland was back on line Tuesday, with the other plant expected to be running in a few weeks. …

“The fire burned to the shoreline of Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, the source of drinking water for 2.6 million people in the Bay Area.”

Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle

 

Aquafornia news Monterey County Herald

This Time, Water Agency Officials Keeping Power Price Tag Secret

From the Monterey County Herald:

“After losing out on a deal to sell hydroelectric power at double the price they were getting from PG&E, county Water Resources Agency officials aren’t taking any chances.

“This time around, they’re not telling anyone what kind of a price they’re getting for power from the newly repaired Lake Nacimiento power plant.”

Read more from the Monterey County Herald

 

Aquafornia news Sacramento Bee

Hydro Firm to Repay State $750 Million

From The Sacramento Bee:

“It was called ‘megawatt laundering,’ a scheme invented by Enron to maximize profits during the California energy crisis. On Friday, one of its most aggressive practitioners agreed to give the state a $750 million refund.

“Powerex, a government-owned hydroelectricity supplier from British Columbia, cut a deal with California officials to settle years of litigation over alleged market manipulation.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Power Grid Increasingly Vulnerable to Severe Weather, Report Says

From the Los Angeles Times:

“A decade after a vast power outage shut down the Northeast, the electricity grid remains ‘highly vulnerable’ to blackouts because of extreme weather fueled by climate change, a report by the White House and the Energy Department concludes.”

Read more from the Los Angeles Times

 

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources (DWR)

DWR Water Plan eNews: This Week’s Update

From the California Department of Water Resources (DWR):

This week’s Water Plan eNews includes:
  • Desalination is next in the lineup of workshops for the Water Plan;
  • Stakeholder input at IRWM workshops is detailed in new report;
  • Research council report gives federal agencies guidance on sustainability issues;
  • DWR posts guidelines and PSP for Delta flood emergency response projects;
  • Watershed University offers information on flood risk and hazard mitigation; and
  • Toolkit helps build on relationship between water and en
Aquafornia news Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) Voices on Water blog

Blog: Spreading the Word on Water-Energy Connection this Summer

From the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) Voices on Water blog:

“A statewide education and outreach campaign urging Californians to save water and energy this summer has launched through a partnership among ACWA, representatives of the Governor’s Office, the California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE) and electric utilities, ACWA Deputy Executive Director for External Affairs and Operations Jennifer Persike writes in the latest entry in the Voices on Water blog.”

Aquafornia news Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA)

‘Save Water & Save Energy’ Outreach Tools Available in Spanish, English

From the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA):

“A statewide outreach campaign that launched earlier this month to remind consumers to use water and energy wisely this summer now has public education tools available in both Spanish and English.

“The ‘Save Water & Save Energy This Summer’ outreach campaign has developed numerous communications tools for water agencies and utilities to use to educate their customers about the importance of conserving both water and energy.”

Aquafornia news Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Switchboard blog

Blog: DOE Says Climate Impacts, Especially Water Scarcity, Pose Threat to Energy Resources

From the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Switchboard blog:

“The Department of Energy (DOE) released a study last week that, in my opinion, reads a little bit like an ironic B-level horror movie screenplay. …

“The report identifies several climate change vulnerabilities of oil and gas production, electric power generation and fuel transport – many due to climate impacts on water resources.”

Read more from the NRDC Switchboard blog

 

Aquafornia news Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA)

Outreach Effort Reminds Public to Save Water, Energy this Summer

From the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA):

“A statewide public outreach campaign is launching this week to remind consumers about the need to use water and energy wisely this summer.
Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Commentary: California, Catch the Next Big Energy Wave

From the Los Angeles Times:

“The first U.S. offshore wind turbine hooked into the U.S. power grid in June, but not in the ‘green’ state of California. …

“California is the state most associated with alternative energy development, yet the state’s greatest potential source of clean power (and its main geographic feature), the Pacific Ocean, is largely ignored.”

Read more from the Los Angeles Times

 

Aquafornia news Imperial Valley Press

IID, State Grid Reach Energy Transmission Agreement

From the Imperial Valley Press:

“The Imperial Irrigation District has reached an agreement with the California Independent System Operator that allows the IID to control the interconnection and transmission of renewable energy projects in its service territory that bypass the district’s grid.”

Read more from the Imperial Valley Press

 

Aquafornia news Imperial Valley Press

IID Modifies Attic Insulation Rebate Program to Benefit More Customers

From the Imperial Valley Press:

“In an effort to extend energy savings benefits to more Imperial Irrigation District customers, the IID Board of Directors on Tuesday, approved modifications to the district’s attic insulation Energy Rewards Program, according to a press release from the district.”

Read more from the Imperial Valley Press

 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Study: Geothermal Plants Trigger Small Quakes Near San Andreas Fault

From the Los Angeles Times:

“The geothermal power plants at Southern California’s Salton Sea don’t just produce electricity, they also trigger thousands of temblors not far from one of the West Coast’s most dangerous earthquake faults, a new study says.
Aquafornia news KCET Rewire blog

Blog: Study – Renewable Energy Production Causing Earthquakes in California

From the KCET Rewire blog:

“A study published Thursday in the journal Science has linked geothermal energy production in the Salton Sea area with an increase in local earthquakes.”

Read more from the Rewire blog

 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Climate Change Report: Weather, Rising Seas Imperil Power Plants

From the Los Angeles Times:

“Power plants across the country are at increased risk of temporary shutdown and reduced power generation as temperatures and sea levels continue to rise and water becomes less available, the Energy Department said Thursday.
Aquafornia news Associated Press

Northern Californians Urged to Conserve Power

From the Associated Press:

“Northern Californians sweltering in a heat wave are being urged to reduce power consumption for the next two days to maintain electrical reserves and avoid the possibility of outages.

“The California Independent System Operator, which manages most of the state’s grid, said a so-called Flex Alert will be in effect from Monday through Tuesday evening.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Sonoma Clean Power Expected to Tweak Policies at Meeting

From the Santa Rosa Press Democrat:

“Sonoma County officials are set to debut a fledgling public power agency next week by taking on several key decisions in the first open meeting of the Sonoma Clean Power Authority.”

Read more from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat

 

Aquafornia news New York Times

Obama Readying Emissions Limits on Power Plants

From The New York Times:

“President Obama is preparing regulations limiting carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants, senior officials said Wednesday.”

Read more from The New York Times

 

Aquafornia news Tehachapi News

Bear Valley Planning for Solar to Power Water Pumps

From the Tehachapi News:

“A plan to develop solar power for water pumps that serve Bear Valley Springs is under consideration by the Bear Valley Community Services District.”

Read more from the Tehachapi News

 

Western Water Magazine

Hydraulic Fracturing and Water Quality: A Cause for Concern?
September/October 2012

This printed issue of Western Water looks at hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” in California. Much of the information in the article was presented at a conference hosted by the Groundwater Resources Association of California.

Western Water Excerpt Gary PitzerRita Schmidt Sudman

Making the Connection: The Water/Energy Nexus
September/October 2010

The connection between water and energy is more relevant than ever. After existing in separate realms for years, the maxim that it takes water to produce energy and energy to produce water has prompted a re-thinking of management strategies, including an emphasis on renewable energy use by water agencies.

Western Water Magazine

Making the Connection: The Water/Energy Nexus
September/October 2010

This printed issue of Western Water looks at the energy requirements associated with water use and the means by which state and local agencies are working to increase their knowledge and improve the management of both resources.

Western Water Magazine

Desalination: A Drought Proof Supply?
July/August 2009

This printed issue of Western Water examines desalination – an issue that is marked by great optimism and controversy – and the expected role it might play as an alternative water supply strategy.

Western Water Magazine

A Significant Challenge: Adapting Water Management to Climate Change
January/February 2008

This printed copy of Western Water examines climate change – what’s known about it, the remaining uncertainty and what steps water agencies are talking to prepare for its impact. Much of the information comes from the October 2007 California Climate Change and Water Adaptation Summit sponsored by the Water Education Foundation and DWR and the November 2007 California Water Policy Conference sponsored by Public Officials for Water and Environmental Reform.

Western Water Magazine

Turning Water into Power: Hydropower Projects Under Review
September/October 2005

Hydropower generation is prevalent in the West, where rapidly flowing river systems have been tapped for generations to produce electricity. Hydropower is a clean, steady and reliable energy source, but the damming of rivers has exacted a toll on the environment, affecting, among other things, the migration of fish to vestigial spawning grounds. Many of those projects are due to be relicensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Western Water Magazine

Dealing with the Shock: Shedding Light on the Link Between Water and Power in California
September/October 2001

The California power crisis has made international headlines. But what is the link between water and power in California? How is the state’s dry spell affecting its hydropower generation? How has the electric crisis affected water users in the state? These questions and others are addressed in this issue of Western Water.

Commands