Topic: Stormwater

Overview

Stormwater

Stormwater runoff has emerged as a primary water quality issue. In urban areas, after long dry periods rainwater runoff can contain accumulations of pollutants. Stormwater does not go into the sewer. Instead, pollutants can be flushed into waterways with detrimental effects on the environment and water quality.

In response, water quality regulators use a range of programs to reduce stormwater pollution including limiting the amount of excess runoff and in some cases recapturing freshwater as well.

Typical stormwater runoff pollutants include:

  • Fertilizer
  • Pesticides/Herbicides
  • Heavy Metals
  • Oil and grease
  • Bacteria/viruses
  • Sediment
  • Construction Waste
  • Trash
Aquafornia news Los Angeles Daily News

Los Angeles awarded $4 million to capture more rainwater on streets

Bioswale projects on medians and other surfaces along a handful of the east San Fernando Valley’s major roadways could be pulling double-duty soon to help conserve rainwater, while adding more greenery, thanks in part to a $4 million grant from the state’s coastal and waterway conservancy.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Oakland targeted in bid to cut trash flow into San Francisco Bay

Despite spending millions of dollars over the years on garbage cleanup, Oakland has the Bay Area’s worst record for limiting the rubbish that pollutes creeks, lakes and the bay, according to the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board. The flow of waste violates mandates set by the board to reduce storm drain litter this year by 70 percent compared with 2009, a goal that Oakland is far from meeting.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Daily News

With just a drip of funding for stormwater capture, Los Angeles County weighs property tax

Looking to tap property owners, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved moving forward with a plan to consider a parcel tax to help fund an ambitious stormwater capturing system to bolster local drinking water supplies. … The county and its 85 cities are required to develop programs to build stormwater capture and clean-up projects as part of Federal Clean Water Act compliance. 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

When it rains, Los Angeles sends billions of gallons of ‘free liquid gold’ down the drain

During one of this winter’s frequent storms, sheets of rainwater spilled from roofs, washed across sidewalks and down gutters into a sprawling network of underground storm drains that empty into the Los Angeles River channel.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Why water regulations are spurring action on tackling homelessness

California has nearly one quarter of the nation’s homeless people – the most of any state by far – and thousands of them live in the Bay Area. … Under a new resolution by the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, trash from homeless encampments now falls under the stormwater permit that requires Bay Area cities and counties to get storm drains virtually trash-free by 2022.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

The race to turn stormwater from gray to green

Newly passed bills in California are helping turn attention to green infrastructure projects that can help cities take advantage of stormwater to replenish groundwater, increase water supply and decrease water pollution.

Aquapedia background

Runoff

Runoff is the water that is pulled by gravity across land’s surface, replenishing groundwater and surface water as it percolates into an aquifer or moves into a river, stream or watershed.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Tujunga Spreading Grounds will soon store 5 billion of gallons of stormwater

Under the $29-million expansion plan launched Monday, officials said the groundwater recharge facility will double in capacity by 2018, helping ween Angelenos off increasingly expensive and unreliable imported water.   

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

San Diego facing $4.6 million water pollution fine

Local water quality officials proposed on Tuesday fining San Diego $4.6 million for allegedly allowing private construction sites to pollute sensitive waterways, including the Los Peñasquitos Lagoon.

Aquafornia news Sierra Sun

Lake Tahoe marina remains closed after 15-plus years of violations

Another Memorial Day came and went this year, but the marina at Meeks Bay Resort didn’t open for a third straight season — this time due to a high concentration of pollutants, an issue that apparently has been a concern for more than a decade.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Nevada settles EPA stormwater complaint (with audio)

The state of Nevada will pay $120,000 to settle a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency complaint about storm water runoff pollution in Reno.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Los Angeles looks for extra water down its alleys

Of the roughly 300,000 acres in the city of Los Angeles, more than 2,000 are alleyways that cut through city blocks. And because they’re mostly paved, they do little to capture one of the city’s most prized resources: water.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Stockton port seeks grant for ditch project

Stockton port officials hope to turn a storm water ditch into a native plant wetland that will help clean the runoff before it reaches the San Joaquin River.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Yolo County groundwater recharged by March Miracle storms

With this year’s storms helping to refill the Sacramento region’s lakes and reservoirs, local water district officials and state regulators are diverting and percolating stormwater from Cache Creek into the Yolo County canal system to recharge groundwater supplies used by local farmers, city residents and UC Davis.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

San Jose agrees to $100 million pollution cleanup program to reduce trash, sewage spills

Settling a major lawsuit from environmentalists, San Jose city officials on Tuesday agreed to spend more than $100 million over the next decade and beyond to reduce tons of trash that flows into creeks and San Francisco Bay, repair miles of leaking underground sewage pipes and clean stormwater contaminated with harmful bacteria.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles County moves toward water fee for new developments, looks at stormwater funding

Los Angeles County will consider new water-saving requirements for developers and look at tax options to pay for future drought planning under a pair of measures adopted Tuesday.

Aquafornia news San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Los Angeles County cities have a $20 billion storm water cleanup bill but they want help

For nearly four years, cities in Los Angeles County have voiced complaints that permits required to rid toxic chemicals and bacteria from storm water imposed staggering costs that could bankrupt smaller cities. On Tuesday, two state senators from Sacramento heard their cries.

Aquafornia news KQED Public Media for Northern California

Catching storm runoff could ease droughts, but it’s no quick fix (with audio)

Stormwater is starting to get some serious attention in California, as the state’s drought enters a fifth year. … In Walnut Creek, behind a ranch-style home, landscape designer Ryan Kelsey is helping people do that—at least in the short term, and on their own properties.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

A behind-the-scenes battle to divert L.A.’s storm water from going to waste

[Eric] Batman reveled in El Niño’s long-overdue rumbling. His job, as senior civil engineer for the [Los Angeles] county Department of Public Works, is to keep as much rain as possible from escaping to the ocean.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Storm Water, long a nuisance, may be a parched California’s salvation

After a year in which Californians cut water use by 25 percent, storm water has become the next front in what amounts to a fundamental restructuring of Southern California’s relationship with its intricate water network.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Daily News

Booms turn back trash from stormwater runoff in Long Beach waters

A long arm across Rainbow Harbor prevented piles of detritus from landing on local shores and floating into the sea earlier this month, when heavy rains soaked the region and sent tons of trash and debris downstream from cities along the Los Angeles River and into Long Beach.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Stormwater floods Modesto almond orchard in experiment to restore aquifer

In an effort to restore California’s desperately depleted ancient aquifers, scientists are testing an approach that seizes surplus winter rain and delivers it to where it’s most useful: idle farms and fields.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Capturing every drop of EL Niño runoff

With recurring drought and the promise of a wet winter, water officials have a new appreciation for storm runoff.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

As rain pummels California, some see a way to fight drought

The State Water Resources Control Board approved a broad plan Wednesday for capturing more rain. The regulator is launching a road show this month to explain how it will dole out $200 million for projects to collect rain, part of a $7.5-billion water bond voters approved in November 2014.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Looming rains could turn L.A.’s roadside trash into safety hazard

[Los Angeles] City officials say the flood that hit Bernal Avenue on Oct. 19 was triggered, in part, by a mattress, plastic bags and other garbage that clogged nearby catch basins.

Aquafornia news San Diego Union Tribune

Controversy over new stormwater pollution program

At a meeting that lasted all day, the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board adopted a new program focused on incentivizing jurisdictions to create innovative plans for cleaning up local watersheds.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Blog: While South Carolina floods, U.S. wrestles with urban stormwater

Among the devastating effects of the low pressure storm system that pummeled South Carolina over the weekend was the heavy damage the record-breaking rains caused to water transport and treatment infrastructure, and the release of a tide of contaminated stormwater.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Editorial: Little drops of stormwater could add up

By some estimates, hanging onto more stormwater—as opposed to just cleaning it so it doesn’t wash pollutants into rivers, aquifers and the ocean—could supply a city such as Los Angeles with a third to half of the water it needs annually – and reduce demand for water from up here.

Aquafornia news KQED Public Radio for Northern California

Plants really do clean pollution from stormwater

You might have seen them around new buildings and roadways: little basins and ditches, planted with various small growing things. They’re designed to stop crud from washing into the gutters and down the storm drains. 

Aquafornia news The Orange County Register

Orange County’s plans to turn rainwater into a resource (with video)

With California four years into a drought and water sources scarce, engineers, environmentalists and water officials today see stormwater not as a threat, but as a wasted resource.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles DWP to unveil plan to capture storm runoff

It may not rain much in Los Angeles County, but when it does, a single storm can send up to 10 billion gallons of water surging into a vast network of storm channels with a single destination: the Pacific Ocean.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Stormwater capture: California’s untapped supply (with audio)

The Paseo is an alley at the end of the street. She [Eileen Alduenda] and ecologist Chris Solek know a lot about how water moves through this [San Fernando] valley when it rains.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Drought keeps Bay Area beaches cleaner, for now

California’s drought has a silver lining: Water is cleaner at beaches all over the state because there’s little pollution runoff, according to a new report released Wednesday.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles County’s plan to capture stormwater could be state model

Amid a worsening drought, California water officials adopted new rules Tuesday aimed at capturing and reusing huge amounts of stormwater that have until now flowed down sewers and concrete rivers into the sea.

Aquafornia news Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Switchboard

Blog: Now or never — It’s time for State Board to require stormwater capture and help California mitigate the drought

California is at a critical moment in deciding how we’ll deal with stormwater in Los Angeles … and beyond. Next Tuesday, June 16, the State Water Resources Control Board (State Board) will consider whether or not it will uphold the current stormwater permit for Los Angeles County, which was last renewed in 2012.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

$40-million stormwater project targets polluted runoff at LAX

Millions of gallons of polluted stormwater runoff from Los Angeles International Airport will be treated and cleaned before washing into the Pacific Ocean or working its way into L.A.’s groundwater basin, according to an agreement signed Thursday by city and airport officials.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

From the gutter: How your litter ends up in the ocean

Even on a dry day, tens of millions of gallons of dirty water dumps into the ocean through the [Los Angeles County] region’s vast storm drain system.

Aquafornia news U-T San Diego

San Diego’s creeks and rivers have unhealthy levels of bacteria and other pollutants

The region’s creeks and rivers had unhealthy levels of pollutants last year, the environmental group San Diego Coastkeeper said in a report Wednesday. … To analyze water quality, the organization took 3,301 measurements from nine of the 11 watersheds in the county.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC)

Blog: Drought Watch — Treating stormwater as a resource

This weekend, the Southland got some much needed rain. … Unfortunately, too much of this stormwater simply ran straight into local rivers and the ocean, picking up numerous pollutants along the way. 

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

California lawmakers will examine ways to capture stormwater (with audio)

Recycling stormwater runoff could help provide more water during the drought.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

Survey seeks to reduce storm water pollution

The North Coast Stormwater Coalition is seeking input regarding public knowledge of storm water and water pollution.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Cleaning up water by running it through dirt

Storm runoff can be toxic to aquatic life, but a new study suggests a simple and relatively inexpensive solution …

Aquafornia news U-T San Diego

First-ever comprehensive report details huge San Diego infrastructure funding gaps

The areas with the largest gaps between needed and available funding are stormwater upgrades, street lights and sidewalks.

Aquafornia news NPR

Building Sponge City: Redesigning Los Angeles for long-term drought (with audio)

For thousands of years, city planners have engineered water into submission — think aqueducts. …And so there’s a call now to build cities like sponges.

Aquafornia news U-T San Diego

San Diego beaches close to swimmers after polluted runoff from heavy rains

The Silver Strand State Beach and Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge is closed to water contact activities because of polluted runoff after heavy rains, authorities announced Sunday.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Using rocks to let the water flow

When water hits pavement and blacktop, the water is whisked away to storm drains and does not soak into the soil. Also, these quick flows contribute to pollution in rivers and streams, the State Water Board explains in a series of seven short videos …

Aquafornia news KPCC Southern California Public Radio

4 things Southern California is doing to capture stormwater, and 1 we’re not (with audio)

Billions of gallons of water have fallen on Los Angeles County since last week. And much of that  kept right on going — out into storm drains, lost to the sea. Couldn’t we actually use that water? Yes, and we do.

Aquafornia news U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

News Release: Federal agencies support Virginia’s innovative market-based approach to improving water quality in Chesapeake Bay

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy today [Dec. 16] joined U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary (USDA) Tom Vilsack, Mike Boots of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), Commonwealth of Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, a private investor and an Appomattox, VA, farmer to recognize an innovative, market-based nutrient trading program run by Virginia to improve the water quality of Chesapeake Bay.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Stormwater floods wastewater system in Sonoma Valley and Penngrove

Thursday’s deluge caused sewage spills in four areas of Sonoma Valley as well as one location in Penngrove, Sonoma County Water Agency officials said.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Cause identified in big San Francisco sinkhole

A day after heavy rains opened up a massive sinkhole in San Francisco’s Richmond District, the city on Thursday continued with efforts to repair the 20-by-20-foot crater, while revealing it was caused by water flowing from a broken storm drain line.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Storm runoff: Stay out of the ocean, health officials warn

Public health officials in Los Angeles and Orange counties are asking surfers and swimmers to stay out of the ocean because of the bacteria, debris and trash that washed into the water from this week’s storms.

Aquafornia news U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

News Release: Organizations pledge support, align resources with Urban Waters Federal Partnership

A broad coalition of 27 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) including The Sierra Club, The Nature Conservancy, and The Conservation Fund has pledged to support the Urban Waters Federal Partnership as it works to restore waterways and revitalize communities across the country. … Many urban waterways have been polluted for years by sewage, runoff from city streets, and contamination from abandoned industrial facilities.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Rain drops for a second day on parched California

Hours of downpours brought California some relief from a devastating drought and produced few of the problems such as flooding and mudslides that the long-awaited storm had threatened – at least so far.

Aquafornia news San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Los Angeles leaders learn water-saving lessons from Australia

When TreePeople’s Andy Lipkis returned from Australia last week, he couldn’t get out of his head the response people had when he told them most of the rain that falls in Los Angeles escapes to the sea.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Scientists study stormwater, deadly to salmon

Just hours into the experiment, the prognosis was grim for salmon that had been submerged in rain runoff collected from one of Seattle’s busiest highways. … The research being conducted by scientists with NOAA, Washington State University and U.S. Fish and Wildlife offers a promising solution to stormwater pollution, a major problem for Puget Sound and other streams and lakes in the nation.

Aquafornia news Capitol Weekly

Commentary: Plastic bag ban under well-funded attack

These out-of-state interlopers are pouring millions of dollars into the effort to undo what the Governor and Legislature have just accomplished to reduce the plastic bags littering our neighborhoods, clogging our waterways and polluting our beaches and oceans and harm wildlife.

Aquafornia news San Luis Obispo Tribune

26-home sustainable community to break ground in San Luis Obispo

Construction is under way on a 26-home sustainable community in San Luis Obispo. … The site has been built with local water issues in mind as well: There will be an on-site storm water management and “rain-store” retention system …

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Commentary: Just how bad is your dog for the environment?

Dog poop does contain nutrients — the kind that, when washed down storm drains into streams and the ocean, fuel toxic algae blooms that suck up oxygen and turn coastal habitats into dead zones.

Aquafornia news Natural Resources Defense Council Switchboard

Blog: Legislation introduced to address the rising impacts of urban flooding

The impacts of urban flooding are also on the rise, which is why Rep. Mike Quigley (D – IL) and Rep. Peter King (R – NY) introduced the bipartisan Urban Flooding Awareness Act of 2014 (H.R. 5521) in Congress earlier last month. … Urban flooding refers to the flooding of basements, backyards, and streets of homes and businesses caused by too much rain overwhelming drainage systems and waterways.

Aquafornia news San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Dry-weather runoff — A new source of water for drought-stricken California?

Even without rainfall, the gutters, channels and storm drains of Los Angeles County pulse with about 330 million gallons of water every day.

Aquafornia news U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

News Release: EPA provides technical assistance to five communities for integrated planning of stormwater and wastewater projects

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is providing $335,000 in technical assistance to five communities to help them develop components of integrated plans for wastewater and stormwater management.

Publication

Stormwater Management: Turning Runoff into a Resource
Published 2007

Problems with polluted stormwater and steps that can be taken to prevent such pollution and turn what is often viewed as “nuisance” runoff into a water resource is the focus of this publication, Stormwater Management: Turning Runoff into a Resource. The 16-page booklet, funded by a grant from the State Water Resources Control Board, includes color photos and graphics, text explaining common stormwater pollutants and efforts to prevent stormwater runoff through land use/ planning/development – as well as tips for homeowners to reduce their impacts on stormwater pollution.

2014 Santa Ana River Watershed Conference

The 6th Annual Santa Ana River Watershed conference was held October 14, 2014 at the Riverside Convention Center in Riverside.

The event was convened by the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority (SAWPA) and coordinated by the Water Education Foundation.

What is One Water One Watershed (OWOW)?

OWOW is an innovative Integrated Regional Water Management Plan (IRWMP) planning process being developed within the Santa Ana River Watershed.

Product

Colorado River Facts Slide Card

This card includes information about the Colorado River, who uses the river, how the river’s water is divided and other pertinent facts about this vital resource for the Southwest. Beautifully illustrated with color photographs.

Video

Overcoming the Deluge: California’s Plan for Managing Floods (DVD)

This 30-minute documentary, produced in 2011, explores the past, present and future of flood management in California’s Central Valley. It features stories from residents who have experienced the devastating effects of a California flood firsthand. Interviews with long-time Central Valley water experts from California Department of Water Resources (FloodSAFE), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation, Central Valley Flood Management Program and environmental groups are featured as they discuss current efforts to improve the state’s 150-year old flood protection system and develop a sustainable, integrated, holistic flood management plan for the Central Valley.

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.

Product

Go With the Flow: A Storm Water Pollution Prevention Message

This 7-minute DVD is designed to teach children in grades 5-12 about where storm water goes – and why it is so important to clean up trash, use pesticides and fertilizers wisely, and prevent other chemicals from going down the storm drain. The video’s teenage actors explain the water cycle and the difference between sewer drains and storm drains, how storm drain water is not treated prior to running into a river or other waterway. The teens also offer a list of BMPs – best management practices that homeowners can do to prevent storm water pollution.

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

Delta Sustainability Map
Published 2006

This beautifully illustrated 24×36 inch poster, suitable for framing and display in any office or classroom, focuses on the theme of Delta sustainability.

The text, photos and graphics explain issues related to land subsidence, levees and flooding, urbanization and fish and wildlife protection. An inset map illustrates the tidal action that increases the salinity of the Delta’s waterways. Development of the map was funded by a grant from the California Bay-Delta Authority.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to Water Rights Law
Updated 2013

The 28-page Layperson’s Guide to Water Rights Law, recognized as the most thorough explanation of California water rights law available to non-lawyers, traces the authority for water flowing in a stream or reservoir, from a faucet or into an irrigation ditch through the complex web of California water rights.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to Integrated Regional Water Management
Published 2013

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) is an in-depth, easy-to-understand publication that provides background information on the principles of IRWM, its funding history and how it differs from the traditional water management approach.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Environmental SWAT Team Tests Runoff to Nab Polluters

From the Los Angeles Times:

“[Lara] Meeker, who heads the environmental group’s DrainWatch program, is overseeing a special corps of volunteers called Storm Water Assessment Teams — or SWAT — who fan out across the region to collect water samples in an effort to force polluters to clean up.”

Read more from the LA Times

 

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Lake Elsinore: Flood Control Construction In Progress

From The Riverside Press-Enterprise:

“When Bob Cullen took a job with the Riverside County Flood Control District, his supervisors put him to work immediately on the proposed Arroyo del Toro channel in Lake Elsinore.
Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Editorial: Want to Buy in a Flood-prone Area and Still Get Insurance? Thank Uncle Sam.

From the Los Angeles Times:

“We all — well, most of us — know that global warming means a higher risk of coastal flooding, particularly in low-lying areas susceptible to increasingly intense storm systems.
Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources (DWR)

DWR Spotlight: Safeguarding Fish and Agriculture

From the California Department of Water Resources (DWR):

“To preserve agriculture, flood protection and wildlife habitat, the Knaggs Ranch project completed this month will help determine if floodplains doing double duty growing rice and other crops can also be used as nurseries for salmon.”

Read more from the DWR Spotlight, and view photos

 

Aquafornia news Associated Press

No Easy Fix on Flood Insurance, But Options Exist

From the Associated Press:

“There’s no easy fix for the National Flood Insurance Program, now drowning in a $24 billion sea of red ink.

“But experts and advocates say Congress does have some options that could make the troubled program financially stable, more affordable and more effective at motivating change in communities built too close to the water.”

Read more from AP

 

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Flood Insurance Still on the Rise Despite New Law

From the Associated Press:

“Earlier this month, Congress sought to ease their fears of sky-high premiums by rolling back a 2012 reform ending the government’s costly practice of offering subsidized insurance for older homes and businesses in flood zones. The president signed the bill Friday.”

Read more from AP

 

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

California Drought Dilemma: Drain Anderson Reservoir to Make Dam Safe in Earthquakes?

From the San Jose Mercury News:

“As California’s historic drought worsens by the day, Silicon Valley’s main water provider faces a difficult choice: Risk catastrophic flooding if a major earthquake strikes its largest dam — or drain billions of gallons of water from the reservoir behind it to make repairs.”

Read more from the San Jose Mercury News

 

Aquafornia news Salinas Californian

Cannella Pushes Salinas River Bill

From The Salinas Californian:

“A bill introduced into the California Legislature on Monday by a state senator would streamline the regulatory process for Salinas River channel-clearing projects.”

Read more from The Salinas Californian

 

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Many a Rain will Come and Go Before Flood Control Project Along Sacramento River is Complete

From the Chico Enterprise-Record:

“Glenn County residents are in a celebratory mood after recent approval of $8.6 million in federal funds for the J Levee.

“However, it will still be years until the estimated $52 million project is complete.”

Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record

 

 

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Consultant Hired to Plan Phoenix Lake Expansion Project

From the Marin Independent Journal:

“A $600,000 consultant will conduct geotechnical studies and preliminary design work for expansion of Phoenix Lake into both a reservoir and runoff retention basin as part of ambitious plans to control flooding in the Ross Valley.”

Read more from the Marin Independent Journal

 

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Obama to Sign Relief from Flood Insurance Hikes

From the Associated Press:

“President Barack Obama is set to sign into law a bipartisan bill relieving homeowners living in flood-prone neighborhoods from big increases in their insurance bills.

“The legislation, which cleared Congress on Thursday, reverses much of a 2012 overhaul of the government’s much-criticized flood insurance program after angry homeowners facing sharp premium hikes protested.”

Read more from the Associated Pres

Aquafornia news Washington Post's Post Politics blog

Blog: U.S. Senate Passes Flood Insurance Bill

From the Washington Post’s Post Politics blog:

“The Senate voted 72 to 22 Thursday to pass a flood insurance bill that will roll back sharp premium increases to homeowners that were implemented as part of a federal overhaul of the flood insurance program.”

Read more from the Washington Post blog

 

Aquafornia news Stockton Record's Alex Breitler Environment blog

Blog: Failure to Fund

From the Stockton Record’s Alex Breitler Environment blog:

“California is failing to provide adequate funding for small rural drinking-water systems, flood protection projects, and stormwater and wastewater services, the PPIC concludes in its latest study, released tonight [March 12].”

Read more from the Stockton Record’s Environment

Aquafornia news Contra Costa Times West County Times

El Cerrito’s Rain Garden Concept Will Be Sprouting Elsewhere

From the Contra Costa Times West County Times:

“An innovative project installed by the city to cleanse storm water naturally before it reaches San Francisco Bay is serving as an inspiration for a similar, but larger project planned for El Cerrito and six other East Bay cities.”

Read more from the West County Times

 

Aquafornia news Salinas Californian

Salinas River: a Flowing Mish-mash of Needs

From The Salinas Californian:

“Two things became clear halfway through a Regional Water Board meeting in Salinas Thursday morning: Everybody wants to cooperate but factions often have differing and passionate views on how to clear the Salinas River channel to prevent flooding.

“Presentations by the Regional Quality Control Board staff, The Nature Conservancy and a coalition of farmers and farming interests all complemented each other in seeking collaboratively to find ways to address flood protection along the 94-mile stretch of river while providing safe habitat for endangered

Aquafornia news [Marysville] Appeal-Democrat

Editorial: Farming Deserves Special Consideration for Flood Insurance

From the [Marysville] Appeal-Democrat:

“We’re getting there, but there should still be extra consideration for farms and agriculture infrastructure in floodplains. …

“What you should have in floodplains is not cities, but farms. And of course, if you have farms, you have to have equipment, some structures, some homes.

Aquafornia news

House Votes to Curtail Flood Insurance Rate Hikes

From the McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau:

“The House of Representatives, in a bipartisan vote of 306-91 Tuesday night, agreed to limit premium rate increases under the National Flood Insurance Program.

“The bill must still pass the Senate or be reconciled with a version of flood insurance legislation that the chamber approved in January.”

Read more from McClatchy

 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Three Days After Rain, Beach Water Can Still Make Swimmers Ill, Study Says

From the Los Angeles Times:

“Wait three days after it rains before going into the ocean.
Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Editorial: On Los Angeles River Restoration, It’s Time to Think Bigger

From the Los Angeles Times:

“Over a period of several decades, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers encased the Los Angeles River in concrete to protect the region against the kind of flooding that had surprised and damaged the city in the 1930s — but also, crucially, to withstand the rare but even more torrential floods that were known to sweep across the basin every generation or so.”

Read more from the LA Times

 

Aquafornia news

House Plans Vote to Limit Flood Insurance Increases

From the McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau:

“House Republican leaders have cleared the way for a floor vote on a bill that would roll back portions of a 2012 overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, offering hundreds of thousands of property owners relief from sharp premium hikes.”

Read more from McClatchy

 

Aquafornia news [Marysville] Appeal-Democrat

2014 Levee Work Will Be ‘Unprecedented’

From the [Marysville] Appeal-Democrat:

The 2014 levee construction season is shaping up to be like nothing the region has ever seen.

“And the main event of the summer will be the Feather River West Levee Project.”

Read more from the Appeal-Democrat

 

Aquafornia news

Commentary: San Diego’s Stormwater Bill — $4 Billion

From U-T San Diego, in a commentary by Dan McSwain:

“California’s quest for clean water is about to get very, very expensive.

“Last week San Diego officials alerted Wall Street that regulations designed to scrub pollution from urban runoff could cost $4 billion over the next 17 years. …

“Nobody really knows the price tag of California’s new standards, which some experts say are impossible to meet at any cost.”

Read more from U-T San Diego

 

Aquapedia background

Stormwater

For all the benefits of precipitation, stormwater also brings with it many challenges.

In urban areas, after long dry periods rainwater runoff can contain heavy accumulations of pollutants that have built up over time. For example, a rainbow like shine on a roadway puddle can indicate the presence of oil or gasoline. Stormwater does not go into the sewer. Instead, pollutants can be flushed into waterways with detrimental effects on the environment and water quality.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Every Last Drop — Drought Has More People Exploring Idea of Harvesting Rainwater

From the Stockton Record:

“Twenty-one billion gallons of rain fall on Stockton any given year, and most of us are content to let it green up our lawns and then swirl down our storm drains.

“Not Eric Firpo, who has connected a series of improvised rain barrels to the roof of his midtown Stockton home.”

Read more from the Stockton Record

 

Aquafornia news

U.S. Senate OKs Reversing Flood Insurance Hikes, But Obama Opposes, House Prospects Uncertain

From the McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau:

“The Senate on Thursday passed legislation to delay steep increases in homeowners’ federal flood insurance premiums, which were put in place less than two years ago to stabilize the federal flood insurance program.”

Read more from McClatchy

 

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Frustrated Watsonville Homeowners Find Little Relief at Flood Insurance Presentation

From the Santa Cruz Sentinel:

“A large crowd of homeowners came to a meeting with a federal flood insurance representative armed with questions.

“Few appeared to like the answers.”

Read more from the Santa Cruz Sentinel

 

Aquafornia news

Blog: A High-Tech Approach to Watershed Management

From Greenversations, An EPA Blog About Science Matters, in a post by Marguerite Huber:

“EPA researchers studying green infrastructure (using vegetation, soil, and other naturalistic techniques to reduce stormwater runoff) collaborated with colleagues in the Agency’s New England office (EPA Region 1) to develop a new public-domain software app called the Watershed Management Optimization Support Tool (WMOST).

“The goal of the tool is to help water resource managers and planners identify cost effective, sustainable green infrastructure options for their local jurisdictions.

Aquafornia news Sacramento Bee

Federal Officials Announce Lower Flood Risk for 3,500 South Sacramento Area Homes

From The Sacramento Bee:

“About 3,500 south Sacramento area homes considered to be at high risk for flooding will shed that designation in May because of flood control projects on two creeks, federal and local officials announced Wednesday.”

Read more from The Sacramento Bee

 

Aquafornia news Salinas Californian

Urban Runoff Assessment Waits for Rains

From The Salinas Californian:

“Garden patches at the Boronda Crossing Shopping Center have a big job. Beyond their aesthetic appeal, the plants and rock form a bioswale — in effect, a filter — intended to reduce pollutants in rainwater runoff from entering creeks, estuaries and the Monterey Bay.”

Read more from The Salinas Californian

 

Aquafornia news Sacramento Bee Capitol Alert blog

Blog: House Approves Bill with Funds for Sacramento Flood Protection

From The Sacramento Bee Capitol Alert blog:

“The massive spending bill the House of Representatives passed Wednesday includes $72 million for Sacramento flood-protection efforts.”

Read more from Capitol Alert

 

Aquafornia news the Ukiah Daily Journal

New Stormwater Rules Take Effect in Mendocino County

From the Ukiah Daily Journal:

“New regulations designed to reduce the amount of construction waste polluting local waterways are being imposed this year in Mendocino County.”

Read more from the Ukiah Daily Journal

 

Aquafornia news

Blog: Buyouts — A Solution for Flood-Prone Neighborhoods?

From Alex Breitler’s Environment blog, the Stockton Record:

“The Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank, says we should buy out flood-prone properties threatened by climate change.”

Read more from Breitler’s Environment blog

 

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Sonoma Valley Residents Asked to Weigh In On Flood Work

From the Santa Rosa Press Democrat:

“The region may be in the grip of an epic drought, but the Sonoma County Water Agency wants people to think about the possibility of flooding.”

Read more from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat

 

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Public Adds Its Muscle to Keep Oakland Storm Drains Clear

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

“[Veronica] Tril, who lives in the city’s Fruitvale neighborhood, is one of dozens of Oakland residents who have signed up for a new city program to ‘adopt’ their neighborhood storm drain and keep it spick-and-span, said Kristine Shaff, a spokeswoman for the city’s Department of Public Works.”

Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle

 

Aquafornia news Contra Costa Times

Bethel Island Couple Reeling From National Flood Insurance Reforms

From the Contra Costa Times:

“Thousands of people in the Bay Area and roughly 1 million Americans are experiencing the effects of a law Congress enacted in July 2012 to stabilize the cash-strapped federal agency that provides flood insurance for properties in high-risk areas.”

Read more from the Contra Costa Times

 

Aquafornia news

Commentary: Power Play by Area Legislators, Farmers Could Intensify Salinas River Flooding

From The Salinas Californian, in a commentary by Steve Shimek:

“It is ironic that Friday’s press conference by Senator (Anthony) Canella, Assemblyman Luis Alejo, Supervisor (Simon) Salinas, and some area farmers was held on the bank of the Salinas River at Hilltown Road (near Highway 68).
Aquafornia news

Blog: Moving Coastal Communities Out of Crosshairs of Climate Change

From the Center for American Progress blog, in a post by Shiva Polefka:

“In June, the consulting firm AECOM published a report for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, comprehensively analyzing the change in America’s flood risks due to climate change. Its study found that sea-level rise is projected to increase the flood-hazard area in our nation’s coastal floodplain by 55 percent by 2100.
Aquafornia news Best Best & Krieger LLP (BB&K)

News Release: Nation’s Mayors, Cities, Counties, California Water Agencies File U.S. Supreme Court Amicus Brief In Permit Controversy

From Best Best & Krieger LLP (BB&K):

“Associations representing the nation’s mayors, counties, cities, stormwater agencies and major California water agencies filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, supporting efforts by a coal mining company to prevent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from having the power to retroactively revoke Clean Water Act permits.
Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington Bureau

Congress Balks at Finding a Fix for Looming Flood Insurance Hikes

From the McClatchy Washington Bureau:

“Amid intense political jockeying and behind-the-scenes finger pointing, it appears that Congress will adjourn for the year without agreeing on action to curb steep hikes in flood insurance premiums for thousands of homeowners now and many more beginning in October 2014.”

Read more from McClatchy

 

Aquafornia news Salinas Californian

Farmers: Disastrous Salinas River Flood May Loom

From The Salinas Californian:

“With regulators having put the kibosh on allowing farmers to cut trees and brush and remove debris and sediment, the Salinas River channel is estimated to accommodate only half the water volume of recent years, a situation farmers underscore by recalling the disastrous flood of 1995.”

Read more from The Salinas Californian

 

Aquafornia news U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Blog

Blog: Jointly Developed Watershed Assessment Model Being Used in Yosemite National Park

From the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Blog:

“An award-winning watershed assessment tool, the Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment (AGWA), was deployed to assess potential Rim Fire threats in Yosemite National Park in California. …

“BAER (Burned Area Emergency Response) is a multi-agency group that includes USDA’s Forest Service and others, and is responsible for identifying potential threats such as downstream flooding and developing plans to rehabilitate and restore burned areas.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Natomas Hopes Bill Before Congress Will Help Remove Moratorium, Need for Flood Insurance

From Capital Public Radio:

“Different versions of a Water Resources Development Act bill have passed both houses of Congress and are awaiting reconciliation.
Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Occidental still struggling with sewer problems

From the Santa Rosa Press Democrat:

“The latest in a series of efforts to clean up Occidental’s sewage discharge has stalled, ironically, over environmental concerns.
Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources (DWR)

DWR Spotlight: Flood Response Exercise Video

From the California Department of Water Resources (DWR):

“To prepare for the winter season, DWR’s Division of Flood Management teamed up with the California Conservation Corps, the Sacramento Office of Emergency Services, and Local Maintaining Agency Reclamation District 1601 to practice response operations on Twitchell Island. New techniques were explored using Muscle Walls to better protect levees from overtopping damage.”

Watch the DWR video

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources (DWR)

News Release: Advance Conservation Project in San Joaquin Valley Will Boost Flood and Giant Garter Snake Protection

From the California Department of Water Resources (DWR):

“The Department of Water Resources (DWR) has begun an innovative program in the San Joaquin Valley to help local levee-maintaining agencies implement flood control projects while preserving habitat for the endangered giant garter snake.

“The ‘advance conservation’ program identifies and sets aside habitat, in this case snake habitat, before agencies begin work that could result in the taking of threatened or endangered species or their habitat.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Lake Tahoe Seeks Private Funding for Public Projects

From Capital Public Radio:

“The U.S. Department of Interior has just announced nearly $9 million in grants for conservation projects around Lake Tahoe and in Nevada. The money comes from federal land sales, but such funding is quickly disappearing. …

“The TRPA [Tahoe Regional Planning Agency] is highlighting business investment in the environment from plant restoration to storm water management.”

Read more from Capital Public Radio

 

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

After Floods, Some Colorado Rivers Aren’t Where They Used to Be

From Capital Public Radio:

“The historic Colorado floods actually changed the course of some rivers and creeks. That has left many agricultural irrigation ditches and diversion dams useless. Farmers and irrigation companies now find themselves footing the bill to reroute these waterways before spring planting season.”

Read more from Capital Public Radio, or listen to the story

 

Aquafornia news Sacramento Bee

Steep Hike in Flood Insurances Rates Strikes Rural Areas

From The Sacramento Bee:

“Big changes in federal flood insurance policy are beginning to strike in the Sacramento area, in some cases quadrupling the cost of coverage and threatening local real estate markets.

“The changes are not expected to affect urban areas such as the city of Sacramento. But rural areas are already feeling the pain, and it is expected to worsen.”

Read more from The Sacramento Bee

 

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Backlash Over Changes in U.S. Flood Insurance

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

“A complex new federal insurance law is having so many unintended consequences that some of its original sponsors and backers are now trying to delay it. …

“It’s the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources (DWR)

DWR Spotlight: Enhancing Wildlife Habitat and Reducing Flood Risk

From the California Department of Water Resources (DWR):

“Private conservation group River Partners recently acquired 497-acre Hidden Valley Ranch near the confluence of the San Joaquin and Tuolumne rivers using $6.3 million in DWR grants and another $3 million from the Wildlife Conservation Board.

“DWR’s Flood Corridor Program and FloodSAFE Environmental Stewardship and Statewide Resources Office targeted the funding to improve non-structural flood management and wildlife habitat protection in the region.”

Read

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Baby Steps for Smith Canal Residents

From the Stockton Record:

“It won’t happen overnight, but flood-control officials took steps Wednesday toward helping Country Club residents escape the burden of mandatory flood insurance.

“The San Joaquin Area Flood Control Agency approved a $3.5 million contract with a Folsom-based engineering firm to design a large gate to be built near the mouth of Smith Canal.”

Read more from the Stockton Record

 

Aquafornia news Sacramento Bee

Editorial: Al Gore Keeps Telling Us Inconvenient Truths

From The Sacramento Bee:

“Former Vice President Al Gore gave a talk Tuesday at the Sacramento Community Center Theater. It was a spirited extension of his 2006 film, ‘An Inconvenient Truth,’ the jeremiad about climate change. …

“Anyone who lives in Sacramento has the nagging knowledge that we are the second-most vulnerable to flooding city in the United States.

Aquafornia news Modesto Bee

Habitat Project Expands Along Tuolumne, San Joaquin Rivers

From The Modesto Bee:

“State agencies this week paid $9.3 million to buy a 466-acre dairy and farm in Stanislaus County near the confluence of the Tuolumne and San Joaquin rivers.

“The so-called Hidden Valley Ranch is about 10 miles southwest of Modesto. It will be taken out of agricultural production and used to provide floodplain habitat along with the adjacent 1,603-acre Dos Rios Ranch, which was acquired last year for the same purpose.”

Read more from The Modesto Bee

 

Aquafornia news Sacramento Bee

Delta Training Exercise Marks Flood Preparedness Week

From The Sacramento Bee:

“State and local flood-control officials on Thursday held a training exercise on Twitchell Island in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta as part of California Flood Preparedness Week.”

Read more from The Sacramento Bee

 

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Easing Stockton’s Flood Woes

From the Stockton Record:

“The San Joaquin River has a bit more room to breathe upstream of Stockton after a nonprofit conservation group on Wednesday purchased a 497-acre dairy ranch west of Modesto. …

“The organization secured voter-approved bond money from the state Department of Water Resources and the state Wildlife Conservation Board.

Aquafornia news Appeal-Democrat

Yuba-Sutter Flood Memories

From the Appeal-Democrat:

The sputter of whirling blades was the soundtrack for the days following the 1986 flood for Chuck Smith, now spokesman for Sutter County, who was then a reporter at the Appeal-Democrat. Smith worked through the night on Feb. 20 after the flood waters burst through the levee into Linda. …

“The stories are part of the legacy of life in a floodplain, where the strength of structures — the levees, dams, bypasses and weirs — bends the natural flow of water to people’s unnatural whims. Every so often, that strength fails.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources (DWR)

DWR Spotlight: California Flood Preparedness Week Nov. 4-9

From the California Department of Water Resources (DWR):

“In 2012, a handful of federal, state and local agencies launched California Flood Preparedness Week. This year, more than 25 federal, state and local agencies and governments are participating in California Flood Preparedness Week (November 4-9, 2013).
Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources (DWR)

DWR Underscores Risk, Promotes Awareness During Flood Preparedness Week

From the California Department of Water Resources (DWR):

“California’s vulnerability to flooding creates significant risk to public safety, the environment and the economy. During California Flood Preparedness Week (CFPW), Nov. 4-9, the Department of Water Resources and state, federal and local partners aim to educate Californians about flood risk in their communities and ways to prepare for flooding.

To kick off this week-long educational effort, California was today inducted into the Silver Jackets program at a letter signing ceremony in Sacramento.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources (DWR)

News Release: Hidden Valley Ranch Purchase Strengthens Region’s Floodwater Overflow, Wildlife Enhancement Goals

From the California Department of Water Resources (DWR):

“Two state agencies have collaborated on grants totaling $9.3 million to purchase 497-acre Hidden Valley Ranch on the San Joaquin River near its confluence with the Tuolumne River in Stanislaus County.

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) contributed $6.3 million and $3 million respectively toward the purchase, which was finalized today [Nov.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

In Rim Fire’s Aftermath, a New Worry Emerges: Water

From the Los Angeles Times:

“As autumn turns to winter and rain falls over the charred landscape left behind by the Rim fire, forest rangers and emergency planners have a new worry: water.

“Over 90% of the blaze burned in the Tuolumne River watershed, where more than 2,600 miles of streams cut through steep, now-burned slopes of the Sierra Nevada. Those mountains are primed for flooding and debris flows in a big storm.”

Read more from the LA Times

 

Aquafornia news

Commentary: Not Enough Water, L.A.? Look Up.

From the Los Angeles Times, in a commentary by Andy Lipkis:

“On Nov. 5, 1913, William Mulholland stood before a crowd of 40,000 people near San Fernando and unfurled an American flag, signaling the official opening of the Los Angeles Aqueduct. As water from the Owens Valley rushed through the spillway for the first time, Mulholland exulted to the assembled onlookers: ‘There it is. Take it.’”

“It was a good line.

Aquafornia news

Blog: CitiesAlive Provides Glimpse Into Future of Stormwater Management

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

“As pollution from stormwater runoff increasingly threatens our lakes, rivers, and oceans, it is becoming clear that distributed solutions like permeable pavement, rain gardens, and green roofs will play a key role in addressing the issue. These ‘green infrastructure’ technologies can be installed on and around buildings, from single-family homes to skyscrapers, and can significantly reduce the amount of stormwater that reaches our waterways.
Aquafornia news Appeal-Democrat

Flood Insurance Bill’s Prospects Unclear

From the Appeal-Democrat:

“Bipartisan legislation that would delay hefty flood insurance increases for some local farmers and other rural residents may be part of a January resolution to halt another government shutdown.

“The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act introduced in Congress on Tuesday would in effect delay for four years the implementation of the Biggert-Waters Insurance Reform Act.”

Read more from the Appeal-Democrat

 

Aquafornia news California Farm Bureau Federation Ag Alert weekly newspaper

Permit Not Needed for Stormwater Runoff, Court Says

From the California Farm Bureau Federation Ag Alert weekly newspaper:

“Threatened with huge fines and possible imprisonment, West Virginia poultry producer Lois Alt decided to stand up to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in court. In a case with implications for livestock producers in California and nationwide, Alt tried to sort out whether stormwater discharges from her farm actually require a federal permit.
Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington Bureau

Lawmakers Hope to Delay Flood Insurance-Rate Hike They Triggered

From the McClatchy Washington Bureau:

“Republican and Democratic members of the House of Representatives and the Senate unveiled a bill Tuesday, the anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, that would delay the flood insurance rate increases that are starting to go into effect under a law passed last year.”

Read more from the McClatchy Washington Bureau

 

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Lawmakers Push to Delay Huge Flood Insurance Hikes

From the Associated Press:

“A bipartisan group of lawmakers Tuesday unveiled legislation that would delay for about four years several changes to the federal government’s flood insurance program that are threatening to sock thousands of people with unaffordable premium hikes.”

Read more from AP

 

Aquafornia news Fresno Bee

Editorial: Congress Must Find Balance on Flood Insurance

From The Fresno Bee:

“There’s little doubt that reform is needed of a flood insurance program created in 1968. …

“Yet it’s also clear that Biggert-Waters moves too quickly in reducing federal liability and transferring it to individual property owners.”

Read more from The Fresno Bee

 

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

San Jose Halts Student Carwashes Unless Rules About Discharge Into Storm Drains Met

From the San Jose Mercury News:

“While carwashes have become a favorite tool for school clubs, teams, cheerleaders and classes to raise funds for trips, uniforms or supplies, the city of San Jose is now saying stop. …

“On Oct.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Herald

Pacific Grove, Monterey Team Up On Stormwater Project

From the Monterey County Herald:

“Pacific Grove and Monterey are embarking on a project to reduce Monterey Bay pollution from storm drain runoff and save always precious water for reuse.

“The cities’ proposed stormwater project is the subject of a public meeting on Thursday at Pacific Grove City Hall to allow for comment on the project’s upcoming environmental review.”

Read more from the Monterey County Herald

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Editorial: Time to Rethink Smith Canal

From the Stockton Record:

“Residents of the Smith Canal area, an area that’s been identified as a flood zone, can be forgiven if they feel they’ve been had. They voted to tax themselves to construct a floodgate at the head of the canal, but until it’s finished five to seven years from now, they will be required to purchase flood insurance. And pay the tax assessment to build the flood gate.
Aquafornia news

Blog: Innovations in Floodplain Modeling — A Test-Drive on Yolo Bypass

From the California WaterBlog, in a post by William Fleenor and Robyn Suddeth:

“The Yolo Bypass presents one of the most promising opportunities to restore floodplain habitat for native fish in the Central Valley. The 57,000-acre floodway protects Sacramento and the southern Sacramento Valley from floods in wet winters and is farmed each summer.
Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Campus May Get Help With Drainage

From the Chico Enterprise-Record:

“Marsh Junior High School could be getting rid of a problem the Humboldt Road campus has suffered with since it opened, and get a facility it has needed for just as long. … The school is built on shallow soil over a lava cap. Water flowing over the surface drains into the soil about as effectively as water running over a paved parking lot would.
Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Questions Remain on Flood Insurance Increase

From the Stockton Record:

“The federal government’s revamped flood-insurance program is starting to take effect, but the first question for homeowners in Stockton and across the country is yet to be answered: Exactly how much will flood insurance rates go up?

“Congress passed legislation last year requiring the debt-laden National Flood Insurance Program to phase out subsidized and discounted rates in favor of rates that reflect the actual risk for any one property, should a flood occur.”

Aquafornia news New York Times

In Bound Brook, New Jersey, Reaching a Truce With Floodwaters

From The New York Times:

“In the foothills of the Watchung Mountains, where tributaries from Green Brook and Middle Brook spill into the Raritan River, Bound Brook [NJ] lies in one of the state’s lowest floodplains. [Hurricane] Floyd left Main Street under 12 feet of water and sent about a third of its 10,400 residents to emergency shelters.

“Bound Brook has spent the ensuing years taking protective action. Its Green Brook Flood Control Project, a $130 million system of movable walls, was about 85 percent complete when Hurricane Irene put it to the test in 2011.

Aquafornia news Sacramento Bee

Roseville Aims to Have Bigger Voice In Sacramento, D.C.

From The Sacramento Bee:

“The successful navigation of the sometimes impenetrable federal bureaucracy is one example cited by Roseville officials of their stepped-up efforts to influence state and federal issues and, if needed, assist local businesses entangled in red tape. …

“Last year, facing stiff new state regulations for handling stormwater, the city recruited other local governments to oppose the rules.”

Read more from The Sacramento Bee

 

 

Aquafornia news [Marysville] Appeal-Democrat

Flood Insurance Rate Changes Coming to Yuba, Sutter Counties

From the [Marysville] Appeal-Democrat:

“When it comes to upcoming changes to flood insurance rates, landowners in Yuba and Sutter counties are in the same boat.

“Both areas will be impacted by the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, a controversial piece of legislation designed to close a $28 billion funding gap in the National Flood Insurance Policy through drastic insurance rate increases.”

Read more from the Appeal-Democrat

 

Aquafornia news [Marysville] Appeal-Democrat

Editorial: Local Governments Should Vocalize About Floodplain Regulations

From the [Marysville] Appeal-Democrat:

“We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again — and we wish that more public figures would say it and say it louder: It makes no sense to treat agricultural interests located in floodplains the way you’d treat residential, commercial and/or industrial areas located in floodplains.”

Read more from the Appeal-Democrat

Aquafornia news Desert Sun

Coachella Council Approves Flood Repair Contract

From The Desert Sun:

“The [Coachella] City Council approved 4-0, with no discussion, two emergency construction contracts to repair extensive flood damage at Shady Lane and Avenue 52 caused by thunderstorms that hit the Coachella Valley in August. …

“The storms brought chaos to the eastern part of the valley, where heavy rain flooded several streets, prompting road closures and even inundated some neighborhoods. At the city’s retention basins at Avenue 52 and the intersection of Shady Lane, underground pipes were exposed because of severe erosion during a storm on Aug.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

All Lanes Opened on 5 Freeway in Sun Valley Area, CHP says

From the Los Angeles Times:

“All lanes of the 5 Freeway in the Sun Valley area were opened Wednesday night after heavy debris flows spilled across the lanes and forced a shutdown that lasted for several hours, the California Highway Patrol said. … Water apparently overflowed from a nearby storm drain as the first storm of the season brought rain and high winds to the area.”

Read more from the LA Times

 

Aquafornia news BB&K

Legal Alert: New California Law Establishes Additional Requirements for Conducting Elections Involving Stormwater and Flood Control Service Fees

From BB&K:

“Public agencies that handle water, sewer, and solid waste services in California are required to comply with certain mailed notice and majority protest public hearing procedures in order to impose a new service fee or to increase an existing fee.For the adoption of all other property-related fees, including stormwater and flood control service fees, a public agency must also comply with an additional voter approval process.This voter approval process is referred to as an ‘election’ in California Constitution article XIII D, section 6(c).

“Assembly Bill 553, recently

Aquafornia news Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA)

Prop. 84 Stormwater Grant Proposals Due Oct. 17

From the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA):

“The State Water Board is accepting concept proposals through Oct. 17 for Proposition 84 Stormwater Grant Program (SWGP) funding.

“The program is awarding matching grants to local public agencies for projects designed to reduce and prevent stormwater contamination of rivers, lakes, and streams.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Farmers Protest New Rules on Water Quality

From the Stockton Record:

“Farmers protested new water-quality regulations Thursday, saying the proposed rules would bury them in paperwork and chisel away at their profits without necessarily improving pollution.

“Close to 300 people, most of them growers, showed up at the Robert J. Cabral Agricultural Center for a meeting with state officials.”

Read more from the Stockton Record

 

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Marin Residents Living Near Bay Face Higher Federal Flood Insurance Rates

From the Marin Independent Journal:

“A new federal program will lead to higher flood insurance rates for some Marin residents living near the bay, but those hoping to find out more will have to wait until the government shutdown ends.

“Meetings planned for next week in Sausalito and Larkspur on a new Federal Emergency Management Agency flood mapping program were canceled Thursday because of legislative gridlock in Washington, D.C.”

Read more from the Marin In

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Big Dig ‘Blessing’ to Low-Income Area

From the Stockton Record:

“It may look muddy and messy, but a gash torn right down the middle of a south Stockton levee should help some of the city’s most disadvantaged residents avoid the threat of mandatory flood insurance in the future.

“Construction workers are using an enormous mud-soaked excavator to dig a 38-foot-deep trench for more than a quarter-mile along the San Joaquin River, just south of the Highway 4 bridge.”

Read more from the Stockton Record

Aquafornia news Delta Protection Commission

News Release: Delta Protection Commission Kicks Off Delta Flood Preparedness Week

From the Delta Protection Commission:

“The Delta Protection Commission recently declared November 4-9, 2013, as Delta Flood Preparedness Week, part of a statewide effort by federal, state, and local flood emergency response agencies to increase public awareness of flooding and improve public safety for all Californians. …

“As part of Delta Flood Preparedness Week, the Delta Protection Commission is preparing educational materials regarding flood preparedness that will be distributed to Delta residents.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Marin County: Creek Plan Requires Study, Public Relations Campaign

From the Marin Independent Journal:

“After years of study, legal turmoil, public debate and legislative uncertainty, county planners say it’s going to take another year of staff work, an ombudsman and a citizens committee to figure out how to regulate creekside lots in Marin.

“Development rules that have proven politically elusive are up for another round of review at the Civic Center Tuesday morning as the Board of Supervisors reconsiders a controversial ’stream conservation area’ zone program that affects what happens near creek banks.”

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources (DWR)

News Release: A View of Folsom Dam’s Expanding Flood Protection

From the California Department of Water Resources (DWR):

“The Central Valley Flood Protection Board refreshed its mission earlier this year and created its first-ever strategic plan as a road map to achieve the Board’s goal of reducing the risk of catastrophic flooding in the Central Valley. On that map is the Folsom Dam Joint Federal Project, which the board visited on September 27 for a briefing on a new auxiliary 2,400-foot spillway, a control structure with submerged gates and a 1,100-foot approach channel. … Led by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S.
Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Editorial: Butte County Gets an ‘F’ on Grading

From the Chico Enterprise-Record:

“Our view: Butte County proved it’s no better than the state government at enforcing environmental rules. When Butte County railed at the state Department of Water Resources for not enforcing water runoff rules against industrial marijuana farmers carving up the foothills, the state agency responded in a way that cast itself in a poor light.

“But recent revelations about the county’s grading ordinance indicated the ineptitude in dealing with pot factories doesn’t just emanate from Sacramento.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources (DWR)

News Release: DWR Announces Award of $91.8 Million in Proposition 1E Stormwater Flood Management Grants

From the California Department of Water Resources (DWR):

“Reducing and preventing damage from California’s future floods are the goals of 10 new grants to local public agencies by the Department of Water Resources (DWR). Director Mark Cowin approved $91.8 million in Proposition 1E Stormwater Flood Management (SWFM) Grant Program funding awards on September 20, 2013.
Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

With Previous Tragedy in Mind, Boulder, Colo., was Ready for Flood

From the Los Angeles Times:

“Like communities up and down the Front Range, Boulder has long been known to be at high risk for flooding because it sits at the mouth of a canyon and is threaded with creeks. And officials here prepared for the inevitable.
Aquafornia news Tahoe Daily Tribune

TRPA Announces Lake-Friendly Business Program

From the Tahoe Daily Tribune:

“The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Stormwater Management Program has announced the launch of a new Lake-Friendly Business Program designed to encourage Tahoe businesses to complete and maintain their Best Management Practices.”

Read more from the Tahoe Daily Tribune

 

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Groups Ask Public to Adopt-A-Channel

From the Orange County Register:

“For the past year, Disney has funded a project to remove trash and graffiti along a two-mile stretch of the channel closest to its theme parks.

“On Thursday, Disney joined with OC Public Works to ask others to do the same.”

Read more from the Orange County Register

 

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Possible Salinas Water Deal Could Help Monterey Peninsula

From the Monterey Herald:

“A deal may soon be in the works that would send agricultural wash water and stormwater runoff from Salinas to a recycled water project for the Monterey Peninsula.”

Read more from the Monterey Herald

 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

High Cost of Fighting Urban Runoff Examined in Report

From the Los Angeles Times:

“California communities spend close to half a billion dollars each year trying to prevent litter from mucking up the sensitive ecosystems of rivers, lakes and coastal waters, according to a report released recently by the Natural Resources Defense Council.”

Read more from the Los Angeles Times

 

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Pajaro River Flood Protection Project Benefits Elkhorn Slough

From the Santa Cruz Sentinel:

“One after another in a constant parade Thursday, the trucks dumped their loads at the edge of Elkhorn Slough.

“They’ve been shuttling dirt dug from the benches of the Pajaro River levee down Highway 1 to the site near Moonglow Dairy for two weeks at a rate of about 175 loads a day.

Aquafornia news Union [western Nevada County]

Increased Water Standards for Grass Valley Could Dampen Development

From The Union [western Nevada County]:

“Officials in Grass Valley are looking to the state for help on costly water-handling mandates they say will impact customers and dampen development.

“In February, Grass Valley’s state-issued water standards were increased so that the city falls in line with the expectations and requirements of much larger, more dense urban areas, said Grass Valley’s Public Works Director and City Engineer Tim Kiser.”

Read more from The Union

 

Aquafornia news [Yuba-Sutter] Appeal-Democrat

Editorial: Garamendi at Least Understands Flood Insurance

From the [Yuba-Sutter] Appeal-Democrat:

“We’re not only concerned with improving our local system of levees to protect our cities and farmlands from flooding; we’re also worried about the cost of flood insurance, mandatory for many parts of our two counties. An act approved by Congress last year will phase out subsidies that have made flood insurance affordable for communities like ours. …

“During a ceremony last week to kick off construction work on the west Feather River levee, our reporter asked U.S. Rep.

Aquafornia news a Best Best & Krieger Legal Alert

Legal Alert: Ninth Circuit Says Los Angeles County Flood Control District is Liable for River Pollution

From a Best Best & Krieger Legal Alert:

“The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled yesterday [August 8] that elevated pollutant levels in the Los Angeles and San Gabriel rivers represent a violation of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit issued under the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) and are attributable to the Los Angeles County Flood Control District. The Court of Appeals’ decision in Los Angeles County Flood Control District v. Natural Resources Defense Council follows a remand from the U.S.
Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles County Liable for Stormwater Pollution, Court Rules

From the Los Angeles Times:

“A federal appeals court dealt Los Angeles County a blow on Thursday in a long-running lawsuit over storm-water pollution when it issued an opinion that the county is liable for excessively high levels.”

Read more from the Los Angeles Times

 

Aquafornia news Healthy Waters for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Mid-Atlantic Region blog

Blog: Calculating the [Stormwater] Impact

From the Healthy Waters for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Mid-Atlantic Region blog:

“What happens when all of the rain from a storm can’t soak into the ground on my property? Where does it go? Is that runoff causing any problems? …

“A new tool from EPA, the National Stormwater Calculator, has made it much easier to figure out.

Aquafornia news Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA)

Applicants Sought for 2014 Clean Water Act Grants

From the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA):

“A total of $4 million in grants is available statewide for projects that restore surface water impaired by non-point source pollution.

“The State Water Board’s Division of Financial Assistance is seeking qualified applicants for competitively awarded funding through the Clean Water Act Section 319(h) NPS Grant Program.”

Read more from ACWA

 

Aquafornia news Imperial Valley Press

Water-Transfer Agreement May Hinder Imperial County Economy

From the Imperial Valley Press:

“Wednesday’s court ruling upholding the validity of the Quantification Settlement Agreement is a setback to local government efforts to ensure that the Salton Sea does not become an environmental and public health disaster as a result of the water transfer.”

Read more from the Imperial Valley Press

Learn more about the Salton Sea on the Wa

Aquafornia news Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA)

EPA Releases National Stormwater Calculator

From the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA):

“A new desktop tool from the U.S.
Aquafornia news Sacramento Bee

In Butte County, Suit Against Junkyards Reinstated

From The Sacramento Bee:

“U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. in Sacramento threw out the [California Sportfishing] alliance’s Clean Water Act lawsuit against Chico Scrap Metal Inc. … A three-judge appellate panel reversed Burrell on Monday, ruling that the alliance’s focus is different from any of the others, and therefore its suit can proceed. The panel sent the matter back to Burrell for further proceedings.”

Read more from The Sacramento Bee  

Aquafornia news Tahoe Daily Tribune

Commentary: Planning a Remodel Gets Easier, Helps Save Lake Tahoe

From the Tahoe Daily Tribune:

“Before the first nail is pounded, before the first coat of paint goes on, many simple home improvement projects have already started helping protect Lake Tahoe. That’s because water quality Best Management Practices to minimize stormwater pollution and erosion are required with every significant remodel or house addition project.
Aquafornia news American Rivers' The River Blog

Blog: Holding Polluters Accountable for Stormwater Runoff

From American Rivers’ The River Blog:

“When it rains in cities or suburban areas with lots of roads and rooftops, rainwater is unable to soak into the ground.
Aquafornia news Sacramento Bee

Sacramento Easement Preserves Farmland, Improves Flood Safety

From The Sacramento Bee:

“A farm north of downtown Sacramento has a new purpose beyond growing walnuts, wheat and tomatoes. Now, it also has a role in the capital city’s long-term flood protection.”

Read more from The Sacramento Bee

 

Aquafornia news Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Environmental Shift is Needed Toward Solutions

From The Sacramento Bee:

“California needs a new environmentalism to set a more effective and sustainable green bar for the nation and even the world.”

Read more from The Sacramento Bee

 

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Contra Costa, San Mateo County Beaches Rife with Bacteria, Report Says

From the San Jose Mercury News:

“San Mateo County beaches are the second-worst in California when it comes to a key measure of bacterial pollution, according to a report released Wednesday by the Natural Resources Defense Council.”

Read more from the San Jose Mercury News

 

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Beach Survey Shows Santa Cruz Has Room to Improve

From the Santa Cruz Sentinel:

“The [Natural Resources Defense Council] national report found California’s beach water quality ranked 20th among 30 states included in the report, with Santa Cruz’ famed shoreline ranking in the middle of the pack statewide.”

Read more from the Santa Cruz Sentinel

 

Aquafornia news Reno Gazette-Journal

Strategies Adopted to Protect Tahoe’s Clarity

From the Reno Gazette-Journal:

“California water quality officials have approved strategies designed to reduce the amount of fine sediments discharged into Lake Tahoe, and new rules also prepared to avoid pollution of the landmark alpine lake are now in place, officials said Thursday.”

Read more from the Reno Gazette-Journal

 

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

EPA Relaxes Tahoe Rules

From Capital Public Radio:

“The Clean Water Act requires the Lake Tahoe region to have a water quality plan – and that plan says only a small portion of a property’s land can be developed.”

Read more from Capital Public Radio or listen to the story

 

Aquafornia news Sacramento Bee

Sacramento: Local Officials to Lobby for Extreme-Weather Projects

From The Sacramento Bee:

“Mayor Kevin Johnson and other local officials on Tuesday announced a new campaign that will lobby the state and federal governments to provide more funding to local infrastructure projects that defend cities from extreme weather.”

Read more from The Sacramento Bee

 

Aquafornia news Stockton Record's Alex Breitler Environmental Blog

San Joaquin County: Smith Canal – An ‘Emergency’ Project?

From The Stockton Record’s Alex Breitler Environmental Blog:

“Flood control officials have been saying that it could take seven years to design, permit and construct that $36 million flood gate at the mouth of Smith Canal.”

Read more from The Stockton Record

 

Aquafornia news Sacramento Bee

Flood Plan Would Pile Tons of Rocks at Brannan Island State Park

From The Sacramento Bee:

“California water officials are moving to store large piles of rock and sand in key locations throughout the Delta, including Brannan Island state park, as part of a broader effort to improve flood response.”

Read more from The Sacramento Bee

 

Aquafornia news Napa Register

County Worries Stormwater Compliance Will Carry New Costs

From the Napa Register:

“Napa County will be complying with new state regulations designed to keep pollutants out of stormwater runoff and the Napa River, but fears they’ll bring increased costs over time.

The county Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to pursue a new permit, effective July 1, for the unincorporated areas from the State Water Resources Control Board.”

Read more from the Napa Register

Aquafornia news Discovery News

Investments in Clean Beaches Pay Off

From Discovery News:

“A 10-year-long study of 26 beaches in southern California found that beach attendance increased after systems to divert storm runoff were put into place. The research was published in Marine Pollution Bulletin.”

Read more from Discovery News

 

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