Topic: Water Quality

Overview

Water Quality

Water quality in California is regulated by several state agencies, including the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) and its nine regional boards, which enforce clean water laws and the Department of Public Health.

Water quality concerns are also often involved in disputes over water rights, particularly in situations involving endangered species or habitat.

The State Water Board administers the Clean Water Grant Program that funds construction of wastewater treatment facilities. The State Water Board also issues general permits for municipalities and construction sites that try to prevent contaminants from those sources from entering municipal storm sewers.

Drinking water standards and regulations are developed by federal and state agencies to protect public health. In California, the Department of Public Health administers the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, which regulates drinking water quality in the United States.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Tahoe transportation plan works to improve lake clarity and end gridlock (with audio)

The population at Lake Tahoe swells by up to five times its year-round population on busy summer weekends. The influx of tourists taxes an infrastructure designed for fewer people.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Feds OK new mercury protections in California waters (with audio)

The rules were approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. They’re intended to help inform people about levels of mercury in salmon, bass, sturgeon, trout and other fish.

Aquafornia news NBC Bay Area

State Water Board sets limit for cancer-causing chemical

California took its first step Tuesday toward addressing a dangerous, cancer-causing chemical that 1 million residents across the state could be drinking in harmful amounts. The State Water Resources Control Board voted unanimously to implement a maximum contaminant level in drinking water for a chemical known as 1,2,3-TCP, used primarily as a degreasing solvent and pesticide ingredient.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Point Reyes ranching threatened in lawsuit settlement

A settlement in a lawsuit that targeted dairy and beef cattle operations in the Point Reyes National Seashore now threatens the future of ranching in West Marin. … The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, also asserted that cattle were causing erosion, polluting waterways with manure and harming endangered salmon and other species, while blocking public access.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Trump’s ‘drill, baby, drill’ energy policies are being met by ‘sue, baby, sue’

Since [President] Trump took office, environmental groups and Democratic state attorneys general have filed more than four dozen lawsuits challenging his executive orders and decisions by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Interior Department and other agencies.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Getting to the roots of California’s drinking water crisis

If you ask Californians who live in communities with unsafe drinking water how bad things are, they will tell you in no uncertain terms that the situation is a crisis. But unlike the nation’s most visible water crisis in Flint, Michigan – where 98,000 people were drinking water tainted with high lead levels for two years before the full story came to light – California’s drinking water problems do not exist in one central location or involve one culprit contaminant. 

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: California hones drinking water affordability plan

Nearly five years ago, the California Legislature declared that the state’s residents have a right to “safe, clean, affordable, and accessible water.” Passage of the landmark law provoked a practical question that has always dogged the noble ideals of the right-to-water movement: how does a state government or municipal utility ensure clean and affordable water for all? … Staff members at the California Water Resources Control Board are now taking a full swing at the affordability component of the right-to-water legislation.

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 The Washington Post

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: EPA remains top target with Trump administration proposing 31 percent budget cut

Under the White House’s latest budget proposal, released Tuesday, the EPA would fare worse than any other federal agency. … The White House also proposes nearly halving categorical grants, which support state and local efforts to address everything from pesticide exposure to air and water quality, to $597 million.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Agency-by-agency look at Trump’s budget

How President Donald Trump’s proposed $4.1 trillion federal spending plan would affect individual government agencies.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Congress budget deal protects water programs

The Trump administration’s talk of slashing environmental programs in fiscal year 2018 did not translate into big cuts in a 2017 spending agreement negotiated by Congress. President Trump signed a budget deal on May 5 that keeps the government operating through September 30. Notably, the agreement does not include huge cuts to water and environment programs — elimination of rural water grants, for instance, or a one-third cut to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — that the president targeted in his 2018 budget proposal. 

Aquafornia news The Associated Press

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: EPA asks what rules to cut, gets earful about dirty water

The Trump administration got an earful Tuesday from people who say federal rules limiting air and water pollution aren’t tough enough, even as it was seeking suggestions about what environmental regulations it should gut.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

23 environmental rules rolled back in Trump’s first 100 days

President Trump, with help from his administration and Republicans in Congress, has reversed course on more than a dozen environmental rules, regulations and other Obama-era policies during his first 100 days in office.

Aquafornia news KQED Public Media for Northern California

California proposes strict limit on toxic chemical in drinking water

California regulators are proposing a strict limit on a toxic man-made chemical that has contaminated water supplies throughout the state, particularly in its vast agricultural heartland. California would be the second state, after Hawaii, to establish a threshold for the former pesticide ingredient and industrial solvent known as TCP (1,2,3-trichloropropane) in drinking water.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

What IS that in Modesto-area canals?

Water has been turning red in Modesto Irrigation District canals, thanks to a dye that tracks aquatic herbicides. The sight might be jarring — a crimson tint to this life-sustaining resource — but MID said it’s a safe way of dealing with algae and weeds that could clog the system.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Trump stumbled on healthcare and immigration, but on the environment he’s been ‘a wrecking ball’

In a Trump administration beset by lost opportunities, muddled strategies and frequent missteps in its first 100 days, one area stands out for its disciplined approach and early successes: the multi-front assault on environmental regulations. … Planned action on climate change has been shelved, national monuments are imperiled, clean air and water rules have been eroded. 

Aquafornia news Modesto Bee

Rain, snowmelt have filled Tuolumne River with debris

Modesto and Turlock farmers are thankful that record storms have boosted to capacity Don Pedro Reservoir, which holds water needed for crops. But excessive rain and snowmelt also have washed huge amounts of debris into the Tuolumne River upstream from the reservoir.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Trump budget would gut science, environment programs

President Donald Trump’s proposed budget would gut programs for science and the environment, reflecting the Republican’s rejection of mainstream science.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

From arts to prisons, Trump budget means big cuts for California

The conservative California farmers who have long sought to eliminate the Legal Services Corp. would get their wish fulfilled under the Trump administration’s bare-bones budget outline made public Thursday.

Aquafornia news Fresno Bee

EPA says Fresno water complies with federal lead rules

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has notified the city of Fresno that its water system continues to comply with state and federal rules over lead in the drinking water supply.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Trump’s EPA budget cuts would eliminate funding for some California programs (with audio)

The White House is proposing to slash a quarter of the EPA budget and eliminate grants to programs that help protect clean air and water in California.

Aquafornia news San Diego Union-Tribune

Huge sewage spill was perhaps far bigger: 230 million gallons?

Standing next to the [Tijuana] river valley for a news conference Monday, Rep. Scott Peters said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency now suspects that discharges may have totaled 230 million gallons, up from an initial figure of 143 million gallons.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Clean water rule repeal cannot come at a pen stroke

When he ordered two federal agencies to review an Obama administration rule that defined which water bodies are regulated by the Clean Water Act, President Trump inserted himself into a debate that has churned for more than three decades. If the president hopes for a quick resolution through an executive order, he is mistaken, according to law experts.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

California set to regulate carcinogen in water for decades

Carlos Arias is asked by many residents in the small town of Del Rey, California, if the water is safe to drink. He is the district manager of Del Rey’s community services district, which is tasked with providing drinking water and other services to its 2,000 residents. … Del Rey, in Fresno County, is one of dozens of communities in the San Joaquin Valley with wells that contain 1,2,3-trichloropropane.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Climate, other programs get deep cuts in EPA budget proposal

The Trump administration would slash programs aimed at slowing climate change and improving water safety and air quality, while eliminating thousands of jobs, according to a draft of the Environmental Protection Agency budget proposal obtained by The Associated Press.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Water rule rollback gives growers what they wanted from Trump

To hear John Duarte tell it, farmers knew the cavalry was coming to their rescue on election night. … On Tuesday, Trump ordered his new head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, to scale back the agency’s interpretation of the Clean Water Act.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Trump orders review of Obama rule protecting small streams

President Donald Trump has signed an executive order mandating a review of an Obama-era rule aimed at protecting small streams and wetlands from development and pollution, fulfilling a campaign promise while earning the ire of environmental groups.

Aquafornia news New York Times

Trump plans to begin EPA rollback with order on clean water

President Trump is expected to sign an executive order on Tuesday aimed at rolling back one of former President Barack Obama’s major environmental regulations to protect American waterways, but it will have almost no immediate legal effect, according to two people familiar with the White House plans.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Trump ordering review of Obama rule protecting small streams

President Donald Trump will sign an executive order Tuesday mandating a review of an Obama-era rule aimed at protecting small streams and wetlands from development and pollution.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

New EPA chief delays mining rule after industry objects

The Trump administration has delayed consideration of a proposal to require companies to prove they have the financial wherewithal to clean up polluted mining sites after a pushback from industry groups and Western-state Republicans.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

California lawmakers vow to protect federal environmental laws (with audio)

California senate Democratic leaders announced proposed legislation aimed at strengthening environmental regulations that they say President Donald Trump could weaken.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

State Sen. McGuire pushes environmental protections for state

On Thursday, North Coast state Sen. Mike McGuire was part of a group leading the way in state environmental protection measures it hopes will counter potential changes to federal law.

Aquafornia news Sacramento Bee

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: Lawmakers propose adopting federal environmental protections they fear President Trump will drop

Fearing a federal rollback of longstanding protections for air quality, clean water, endangered species and workers’ rights, California Democrats are pursuing legislation that would cement those environmental and labor regulations in state law.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Senate OKs Pruitt at EPA: How deeply will he scale back agency he sued?

The U.S. Senate on Friday confirmed President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, giving Trump a lieutenant poised to make deep cuts to the EPA and transfer some if its enforcement responsibilities to states and localities.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Winter storms pour pollution into San Francisco Bay, Delta

The heavy storms that washed away California’s drought this season have come with a side effect: large slugs of pollution and sewage washing into San Francisco Bay and the Delta.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

After controversy, Stockton’s water safer

In the end, the much-maligned chloramines did their job. One year after the city of Stockton began treating the north side’s drinking water with the new chemical, levels of a cancer-causing byproduct have plummeted nearly 70 percent, on average, and are now well within federal standards.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Advocates consider nitrate fees to fund clean water (with audio)

Clean water advocates want state leaders to create a safe and affordable drinking water fund for hundreds of communities throughout California.

Aquafornia news Fresno Bee

Worrying and still waiting for safe drinking water after cancer claimed her daughter

For years, Rebecca Quintana had been a highly visible activist in the fight for safe drinking water, speaking regularly with reporters, rallying residents and helping to spark an unprecedented United Nations inspection in northern Tulare County. … Across a wide, rural swath of the San Joaquin Valley, people have long been unnerved about drinking the sporadically contaminated tap water.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

AP explains: what is the EPA, and why is it in the hot seat?

The former head of President Donald Trump’s transition team at the Environmental Protection Agency says he expects the new administration to seek significant budget and staff cuts for the department.

Aquafornia news Sacramento Bee

Sacramento State shuts off water fountains, sinks after high lead levels found

The high lead levels were found by students and professors working on a research project during their tests of 449 sinks and fountains on the campus over a three-day period earlier this month.

Aquafornia news Best Best & Krieger

Legal Commentary: WOTUS rule on hold in sixth circuit; Challenge to EPA’s Waters of the U.S. rule delayed pending Supreme Court review

Today [January 25], the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals granted a request to hold the pending challenge to EPA’s Waters of the United States rule in temporary suspension. The case will be on hold while the Supreme Court decides whether challenges to the WOTUS rule should be brought first in the federal District Courts or whether the Sixth Circuit has jurisdiction to hear the case.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Gag order, freeze put on EPA, other federal agencies

The Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Interior are among the agencies reportedly facing at least temporary gag orders, as the new administration takes over and begins what is expected to be a dramatic remaking of policy and an easing of environmental regulations.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

EPA contract freeze, media blackout leave states confused

A Trump administration freeze on new Environmental Protection Agency contracts and grant awards raised fears that states and other recipients could lose essential funding for drinking water protection, hazardous waste oversight and a host of other programs — while a communications blackout left them dangling in uncertainty.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

California announces voluntary lead testing in schools

California schools can receive free lead testing for their drinking water under a new short-term initiative meant to address safety concerns. … The  initiative announced by the State Water Resources Control Board keeps lead testing at schools voluntary.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

California schools can now ask water supplier to test for lead on campus (with audio)

California schools can now ask their water supplier to test for lead on campus. … Flint, Michigan served as a warning to everyone on the dangers of lead in the water system.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Livermore oil driller seeks larger underground disposal area

Amid greater scrutiny of oilfield contamination threats to California’s groundwater, state officials will hold a hearing Wednesday on a proposal to expand the aquifer area where a Livermore driller is permitted to dispose of oily wastewater.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

EPA: 540 tons of metals entered Animas River in Colorado mine spill

Nearly 540 tons of metals – mostly iron and aluminum – contaminated the Animas River over nine hours during a massive wastewater spill from an abandoned Colorado gold mine, the Environmental Protection Agency said Friday in a new report on the 2015 blowout that turned rivers in three states a sickly yellow.

Aquafornia news Whittier Daily News

There’s still a lot we don’t know about blue-green algae toxins in California

No patterns, lots of blooms and more to learn. … For the first time, the state tracked outbreaks of cyanobacteria, commonly known as blue-green algae, confirming reports of blooms in approximately 40 different lakes, rivers, streams and other water bodies across the state, including Lake Elsinore, Pyramid and Silverwood lakes and lakes at the El Dorado East Regional Park in Long Beach.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

EPA turns away from CAFO water pollution

Federal inspections of cattle and hog feedlots, turkey houses, and other animal feeding operations dropped for a fourth consecutive year, according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data. The number of fines and orders to change management practices for those same facilities fell for a fifth consecutive year. 

Aquafornia news Fresno Bee

Clovis wins $22 million against Shell Oil over toxic drinking water

The city of Clovis won its more than three-month-long civil trial against chemical manufacturing giant Shell Oil Co. over the cleanup of a toxic chemical found in drinking-water wells around the city of 108,000 people. The chemical is 1,2,3-trichloropropane, or TCP, which is a waste product from making plastic.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Orange County children’s dental clinic closed after bacteria found in new water system

Orange County health officials have ordered the closure of a children’s dental office in Anaheim after lab tests found bacteria in its new internal water system, which had replaced a system blamed for an earlier outbreak of bacterial infections.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

California illegal marijuana grows killing wildlife, damaging environment (with audio)

The environmental damage from illicit marijuana operations in California is getting worse. Experts say illegal growers are killing wildlife by diverting water from streams, using pesticides, fertilizers and poisons.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

California’s small water utilities struggle with safety

Californians relying on small water utilities to bring drinking water into their homes, or who work or go to school in places providing their own water, are far more likely to be exposed to lead, according to a new analysis of Environmental Protection Agency data by The Desert Sun and USA TODAY.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Trump names climate change skeptic and oil industry ally to lead the EPA

Donald Trump picked Oklahoma Atty. Gen. Scott Pruitt to run the Environmental Protection Agency, signaling the president-elect will deliver on his vow to disassemble President Obama’s landmark effort to fight climate change.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

House, Senate leaders reach deal on California drought, Flint

House and Senate leaders reached agreement Monday on a bipartisan bill to authorize $170 million for Flint, Michigan, and other cities beleaguered by lead in drinking water, and to provide relief to drought-stricken California.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino Sun

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

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

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Tunnels spawn algae worries

The governor’s proposed Delta tunnels could worsen toxic algae blooms like the one that stunk up Stockton’s downtown waterfront this year, according to testimony last week from an expert offered by San Joaquin County.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Dungeness crab season to start Saturday – with one caveat

Although the crabs have been cleared for consumption by the California Department of Public Health, it has issued a warning against eating the internal organs of crab caught north of Point Reyes.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Appeals court upholds review of Lake Tahoe development plan

An environmental review of a development plan for the Lake Tahoe region adequately addressed concerns about the lake’s water quality, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Water district to test cheaper treatment to remove chromium-6 from drinking water

Four months ago, the Coachella Valley Water District’s managers approved a plan they described as their costliest infrastructure project ever: the construction of small water treatment plants at nearly a third of the district’s 92 wells.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Discolored water: Testing of Fresno pipes underway at Virginia Tech

A university professor in Virginia is conducting tests on pipe and water samples from Fresno in search of solutions to discoloration and lead contamination issues in tap water in northeast Fresno.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

San Luis Reservoir toxin advisory goes from ‘caution’ to ‘warning’

A cautionary notice on the water toxicity in San Luis Reservoir has become more severe, the California Department of Water Resources reported Tuesday.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Watchdog: EPA delayed for 7 months in Flint water crisis

The Environmental Protection Agency had sufficient authority and information to issue an emergency order to protect residents of Flint, Michigan, from lead-contaminated water as early as June 2015 — seven months before it declared an emergency, the EPA’s inspector general said Thursday.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Supervisor seeks to clear out abandoned boats littering Sacramento-area waterways

On a quiet stretch of the Sacramento River – a short ride from downtown – a decaying houseboat serves as a homeless man’s weekend getaway.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Experts test idea for keeping pesticides from drifting

Pesticides can drift off the edges of orchards and end up in streams that provide drinking water and fish habitat. A promising solution: Use a fan to blow the chemical back into the trees as the spray rig moves along.

Aquafornia news U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

News Release: U.S. EPA to oversee $4 million groundwater study in northern Orange County water basin

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today [Oct. 5] announced it has reached an agreement with the Orange County Water District to conduct a remedial investigation and feasibility study to address a large area of groundwater contamination in Northern Orange County known as the “North Basin.” The work required by the agreement is expected to take up to two years to complete and is estimated to cost up to $4 million.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

EPA announces national wastewater nutrient pollution census

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency calls nutrient pollution the “single greatest challenge to our nation’s water quality.” Rising concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus in waterways, the agency reports, are a significant threat to human health, ecosystems, and local economies.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

‘Extensive’ toxic algae bloom found in south Delta

Tests have confirmed the presence of toxic cyanobacteria — also known as “blue-green algae” — in south Delta waterways, state officials said Thursday. The “extensive” bloom is present in Old River and Grantline Canal, along Fabian Tract not far from Tracy and Mountain House, the State Water Resources Control Board announced.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Warm Pacific Ocean ‘blob’ facilitated vast toxic algae bloom

A new study finds that unusually warm Pacific Ocean temperatures helped cause a massive bloom of toxic algae last year that closed lucrative fisheries from California to British Columbia and disrupted marine life from seabirds to sea lions.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

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

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

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Fresno wants to pay two experts to tackle its rusty-water problem

The city of Fresno wants to hire two national experts on corrosion in municipal water systems to reduce the odds that discolored-water problems now plaguing northeast Fresno will repeat themselves when a new water treatment plant opens in 2018.

Aquafornia news KQED Science

Drinking water of some Californians exceeds limit for ‘Erin Brockovich’ chemical

When Erin Brockovich went after PG&E for poisoning groundwater in the desert town of Hinkley, California — a campaign that later became a film starring Julia Roberts — the toxic chemical was a heavy metal called hexavalent chromium.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

State official: Growth potential for toxic algae getting worse

Cooler temperatures seem to have finally subdued Stockton’s stinky algae monster for 2016, but an expert warned the Delta Protection Commission this week that, in general, toxic blooms are getting worse.

Aquafornia news East Bay Times

Monterey Bay red tide and accompanying foam not toxic, expert says

The good news for humans and other mammals, said UC Santa Cruz professor Raphael Kudela, is that the stink and clingy nature of the foamy water at beaches around Monterey Bay is the worst of it, because the algal bloom is not producing a toxin.

Aquafornia news East Bay Times

Toxic algae troubles many California lakes and waterways

California’s five-year drought created ideal conditions for brewing toxic levels of the naturally occurring bacteria, which multiplies rapidly in hot temperatures, low water flows and stagnant water choked with fertilizers and nutrients.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Too many California towns have arsenic in tap water, group says

An environmental group said Monday that 55,000 people statewide are at risk of drinking tap water contaminated with arsenic, and many of the communities are poor, mostly Latino towns in the San Joaquin Valley.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

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

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

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.

Aquapedia background

Potable Water

Potable water, also known as drinking water, comes from surface and ground sources and is treated to levels that that meet state and federal standards for consumption.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Primary Drinking Water Regulations establish maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) for various contaminants

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Annual Lake Tahoe Summit puts spotlight on water quality (with audio)

President Barack Obama will shine a national spotlight on environmental issues facing Lake Tahoe at the 20th Annual Lake Tahoe Summit.

Aquafornia news ProPublica

California and EPA poised to expand pollution of potential drinking water reserves

As the western United States struggles with chronic water shortages and a changing climate, scientists are warning that if vast underground stores of fresh water that California and other states rely on are not carefully conserved, they too may soon run dry.

Aquafornia news KQED Public Media for Northern CA

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Poisonous algae blooms threaten people, ecosystems across U.S.

Serious algae outbreaks have hit more than 20 states this summer. … And water managers are rattled.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: California high court upholds ban on dredges to extract gold

California’s ban on the use of suction dredges to extract gold from rivers is legal and not overridden by a 19th century federal law that allows mining on federal land, the California Supreme Court ruled Monday.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California court to decide fight over gold mining technique

The [California Supreme] court is set to rule Monday on the legality of the state’s ban on the use of suction dredges to extract gold from rivers.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Expert: Red water part of galvanized pipe; some lead fears overblown

One of the nation’s leading experts in corrosion problems in public water supplies said that despite considerable concern over discoloration of water coming from galvanized pipes in a growing number of northeast Fresno homes, “at present there’s really no indication at all that there’s a lead problem” in the city’s water under federal law.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

No oil leaks reported in Lake Tahoe boat fire

Firefighters protected Lake Tahoe’s famously clear water as they quickly snuffed out flames shooting from a docked tourist cruise boat, preventing any fuel or oil leaks, the U.S. Coast Guard said Wednesday.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Wary residents hear Fresno’s update on water problems

A noted national expert in water-system engineering said Fresno still has considerable work ahead of it as it deals with persistent water problems in the northeast part of the city.

Aquafornia news Whittier Daily News

See where harmful algae toxins have been detected in California this summer

A new interactive map on the California Water Quality Monitoring Council’s website shows the more than 30 lakes and rivers across the state where blooms of cyanobacteria, commonly known as blue-green algae, have developed.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

California’s summer of slime: Algae blooms muck up waterways across state

Surrounded by barren brown hills and cracked, dry clay, San Luis Reservoir was so empty this week that the nearly milelong, meandering path from the old high-water mark to the waterline could have doubled as a set in the post-apocalyptic “Mad Max” film franchise.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

No toxic algae in Russian River, latest tests show

Kelly Bertoli debated Thursday whether to take her dog to the Russian River, where signs at beaches warn visitors about potentially toxic blue-green algae lurking in the water.

Aquafornia news NPR

Where lead lurks and why even small amounts matter (with audio)

Lead problems with the water in Flint, Mich., have prompted people across the country to ask whether they or their families have been exposed to the toxic metal in their drinking water, too.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Fresno water complaints were hidden from city officials, Mayor Ashley Swearengin says

A former Fresno water plant operator used a private email server and cell phone to hide complaints of discolored or tainted water from his bosses, city officials said Thursday. … The complaints also were not made public to the state, which is required under state law.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Fresno enlists experts to investigate northeast water concerns

Two recognized experts in drinking water contamination and water chemistry – including the professor who led the investigation into lead contamination in Flint, Mich. – are working with the city of Fresno to find solutions to the corrosion of galvanized residential plumbing in the northeast part of the city.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Report: California agriculture is largest source of nitrogen pollution in state (with audio)

Nitrogen is essential for growing crops and producing food, but too much of it pollutes the water and air. 

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Study: Chemicals from firefighting foam in drinking water (with audio)

A study by UC Berkeley and Harvard University researchers finds a firefighting foam containing highly fluorinated chemicals is contaminating drinking water supplies around many of the nation’s military bases, airports and industrial sites.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Algae outbreaks — Fed by drought, climate change, pollution

From the Klamath River in the north to Lake Elsinore in the south, aquatic algae blooms seem to be hitting every part of California this year.

Aquafornia news Sierra Sun

Scientists seek old photos after Lake Tahoe report admits uncertainty about algae before 1980

Last week, University of California Davis Professor Geoff Schladow broke the news gently before a crowd of residents and scientists that Lake Tahoe is still getting warmer, regional winters are still getting shorter, and overall snowfall is still on the decline. 

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: California agencies warn of harmful algal blooms across state (with audio)

The algal blooms are occurring all over the state – in San Luis Reservoir, Lake Shasta and Oroville, coastal and inland areas and even in the Sierra. 

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Lawsuit — California failed to study oil well impact on water

Environmentalists sued state agencies Wednesday to halt oil well injections into a federally protected aquifer near California’s Central Coast.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Algae bloom forces Lake Elsinore closure

Swimming, boating and fishing are prohibited in Lake Elsinore after water quality officials Friday detected harmful levels of toxins related to blue-green algae. … Algae blooms have also recently forced the closure of Pyramid Lake in Los Angeles County, Lake Temescal in Oakland and Discovery Bay in the Delta.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: State officials want these California reservoir owners to warn people not to eat the fish

One hundred and eighty reservoirs statewide are contaminated with excessive levels of mercury, according to studies of fish samples from more than 300 reservoirs conducted by the State Water Resources Control Board.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Stockton goes green, but not in a good way

Either there’s been a spill at the local pea soup plant, or Stockton is suffering another nasty algae outbreak at the downtown waterfront. … The algae problem also has come up this week in Sacramento as state water officials begin extensive hearings that may determine the fate of the proposed Delta tunnels.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Fresno advances ban on galvanized water pipes, tougher reporting rules

The city of Fresno is banning the use of galvanized pipe for plumbing in new construction and remodeling projects as signs point to the venerable material as a prime culprit in concerns over discoloration and lead contamination of water in homes across northeast Fresno.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Lee Brand wants loans, rebates to aid Fresno residents with tainted water

Fresno City Councilman Lee Brand, who is campaigning to be the city’s next mayor, is proposing two major policy initiatives after a large number of residents, almost exclusively in his northeast district, have complained about discolored and tainted water.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Fresno places water chief on administrative leave; probes reporting discrepancies

The chief of Fresno’s water operations has been placed on administrative leave over discrepancies in the reporting of water quality issues. … The action is related to an ongoing controversy over problems with discolored water in several hundred homes in northeast Fresno and issues of lead contamination in water coming from residents’ faucets in several dozen homes.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Algae in drinking water causes Santa Clara Valley water officials to scramble

On most sunny summer weekends, Coyote Lake, a 4-mile-long reservoir in the hills east of Morgan Hill, would be busy with people boating, water skiing and fishing for bass and blue gill.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Ocean sample tests clean after Los Angeles sewage spill

The first test of ocean water following a massive California sewage spill came back clean Wednesday, suggesting stinky sludge that drained into the Los Angeles River didn’t flow 20 miles to the coast, officials said.

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 The Fresno Bee

Public workshops planned for toxic chemical found in Valley drinking water

As California regulators plan to set a legal limit on a cancer-causing chemical found in Valley water systems, clean water advocates are urging residents to attend coming public workshops on the issue.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: California to set legal limit on probable carcinogen in water (with audio)

The California State Water Resources Control Board will soon set a maximum contaminant level for 1,2,3 Trichloropropane, or 1,2,3 TCP.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino County Sun

People got sick at Pyramid Lake before state reported toxic algae bloom

After watching her 13-year-old son throw up everything he ate when they got home from a day of jet skiing at Pyramid Lake, Sharyn Martinez was angered to learn last week that the state is now urging the public to avoid the water there because of a toxic algal bloom.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Fresno broadens notifications for discolored-water investigation

The pounding of a jackhammer rattled through an otherwise quiet northeast Fresno neighborhood Monday morning as plumbers dug up one resident’s water line.

Aquafornia news Whittier Daily News

Toxic algae is blooming more often in lakes, reservoirs. Does that threaten drinking water?

In California, cyanotoxins have become more of a problem amid the drought and the same toxin that shut down Toledo’s water supply has been detected in lakes, reservoirs and streams across the state. But because standard treatment processes usually get rid of cyanotoxins, water officials say it’s unlikely a similar crisis would unfold here.

Aquafornia news Redding Record Searchlight

Water board: Avoid water in Pit River arm of Lake Shasta

Visitors to Lake Shasta should take care because a blue-green algae species has broken out on the Pit River Arm and it could sicken visitors, the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board reported Thursday.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Study: Pipe-corroding well water prevalent in half of states

Half of U.S. states have a high prevalence of well water that’s corrosive enough to leach lead from pipes, the U.S. Geological Survey said Wednesday.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Capitol officials find lead in 2nd House office building

U.S. Capitol officials have found elevated levels of lead in the water at a second House office building.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Fresno searches for answers on discoloration, lead in water

A vocal and growing number of residents in northeast Fresno are convinced water from the city’s Surface Water Treatment Facility is primarily responsible for corrosion in their pipes, causing discolored water – and in several dozen instances, lead contamination – to flow from their household faucets. 

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Tainted water prompts Capitol officials to offer blood tests

Lead-contaminated water in the drinking fountains at a U.S. Capitol office building has prompted officials to offer blood testing to lawmakers and staff, according to information provided to congressional offices.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Fresno expands investigation for lead, discoloration in city water

Fresno leaders will be sending direct-mail fliers this week to every water customer in the northeastern area of the city, substantially expanding the scope of an investigation into discolored water coming from faucets in hundreds of homes as well as lead contamination in about 40 homes.

Aquafornia news U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

News Release: U.S. EPA proposes greater protection from selenium in San Francisco Bay and Delta

Today [July 1], the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed a federal Clean Water Act rule to tighten the current selenium water quality criteria for the waters of San Francisco Bay and Delta. The proposed change would better protect aquatic species, including salmon, smelt, and diving ducks, that are dependent on the Bay and Delta ecosystem, from harmful exposure to elevated levels of selenium.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Northeast Fresno water issues confound city, state investigators

Hundreds of homes in northeast Fresno have discolored water – and, in some cases, excessive levels of toxic lead – coming from their faucets. And while homeowners clamor for answers about why and what to do about it, those answers are in painfully short supply.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Watch out for faster, colder flows on the American River

Starting Friday, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation will increase flows below Folsom and Nimbus dams from 4,000 cubic feet per second to 4,500. The flows will increase to 5,000 cfs on Tuesday.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

$250 million plan to treat drinking water approved

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

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

California fresh groundwater reserves triple in new assessment

California’s breadbasket has more water than once thought. … To be a viable source, however, the deep water need not be degraded more than it already is. 

Aquafornia news CNN

5,300 U.S. water systems are in violation of lead rules

Eighteen million Americans live in communities where the water systems are in violation of the law. Moreover, the federal agency in charge of making sure those systems are safe not only knows the issues exist, but it’s done very little to stop them, according to a new report and information provided to CNN by multiple sources and water experts.

Aquafornia news ProPublica

The Dig: Investigating the safety of the water you drink

I’ve [T. Christian Miller] received a lot of questions about applying investigative reporting techniques to figuring out whether your water is safe — the stuff in your taps, the stuff in your rivers, the stuff at the beach. … The difficulty is partly due to the complexity of the topic. Water is not simple.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Drinking water warning issued for nonstick chemical

Teflon and related brands Gore-Tex, Scotchgard, and Stainmaster — all prized for their water-repelling, stain-protecting, and mess-preventing attributes — seem to contain magical properties. … Last month, seven years after it issued the first health guidelines for PFOA/PFOS in drinking water, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lowered the recommended level in drinking water to 0.07 parts per billion combined.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Water district approves controversial rate increase

The board of the Coachella Valley Water District voted on Tuesday to raise rates after hearing an outpouring of opposition from dozens of people who protested the increase as excessive.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: USGS map reveals long-term changes in America’s groundwater quality

Chloride and nitrate concentrations are rising and arsenic levels are holding steady or falling. Those are two of the conclusions from a U.S. Geological Survey assessment of changes in the nation’s groundwater quality in the last two decades. 

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: High court sides with property owners in wetlands case

The Supreme Court is making it easier for landowners to bring a court challenge when federal regulators try to restrict property development due to concerns about water pollution.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

The story behind EPA’s contaminated water revelation

Last week 5.2 million Americans learned that their drinking water is contaminated with man-made chemicals linked to cancer.

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

The birthplace of North American surfing ranked dirtiest beach, again

Heal the Bay released its 2015-2016 Beach Report Card Thursday.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Santa Cruz beach ranked worst in water quality in California

Sign postings leading to the surf of Cowell Beach, just west of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, ban all the usual transgressions: diving, fires, litter, smoking, feeding the birds and sea lions.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Border fence impact on wetland mixed: Water quality remains top concern in Tijuana River Valley

As birds sing and lizards scuttle in the lush vegetation of the Tijuana River Valley, helicopters circle overhead, and Border Patrol agents on all-terrain vehicles comb the area looking to stop illegal border-crossers.

Aquafornia news Tahoe Daily Tribune

Tahoe Lake clarity: fine sediment reduction programs showing promise

Projections for Lake Tahoe’s future clarity continue to show potential, according to Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board senior environmental scientist Bob Larsen.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

California irrigation-drainage disputes targeted in new bill

California’s tireless water warriors have something fresh to fight over, with the introduction of a bill to resolve an irrigation drainage dispute that affects three modest-sized San Joaquin Valley water districts, as well as the much bigger Westlands Water District.

Aquafornia news KPCC Southern California Public Radio

Los Angeles DWP to investigate murky tap water in Watts (with audio)

In response to a number of community complaints and a request from a Los Angeles city councilman, the Department of Water and Power said Tuesday that it will investigate why murky brown water has been intermittently flowing from taps in and around Watts in recent months.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Students receive bottled water after South Los Angeles schools report murky tap water

Teachers handed out bottled water to hundreds of students at Grape Street Elementary School on Wednesday amid concerns about murky, discolored water flowing from taps and fountains at that school and four others in South Los Angeles.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: EPA sued over fracking waste-disposal rules amid worry over earthquakes

Environmental groups sued the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday to force new regulations on the disposal of waste generated by hydraulic fracturing.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Mining residue in Gold Rush town of Jackson remains a threat

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

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Most states do bare minimum on fire-foam contamination

The military is checking U.S. bases for potential groundwater contamination from a toxic firefighting foam, but most states so far show little inclination to examine civilian sites for the same threat.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

With El Niño danger passed, focus shifts on homeless river dwellers

Hidden in the brush of the Santa Fe Dam basin on the San Gabriel River, the homeless camp was littered with heaps of broken furniture, disgorged computers, bicycle frames, televisions, disassembled motorcycles, pieces of exercise machines, rotting food, empty containers and half-buried clothes.

Aquafornia news San Gabriel Valley Tribune

On Earth Day, take a moment to consider these 10 local environmental issues

Earth Day, celebrated today across the globe, reminds us of the fragile state of our planet. From land contaminated with toxic chemicals to bad air spewed into the atmosphere, the most of us have been affected by pollution in some way. To bring all of this closer to home, we’re listing the 10 most critical environmental problems in Southern California.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: Republican Senate effort again fails to block water rule

Democrats have again blocked a Republican proposal that would have forced the Obama administration to withdraw a federal rule to protect small streams and wetlands from development and pollution.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Global trash problem reaches crisis level

As nations around the globe observe Earth Day, one of the most daunting issues facing the world is the mounting waste problem, which impairs public health, pollutes the environment and threatens to drown some poor countries in toxicity. … Pollution runs into rivers and seeps into ground water.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Companies agree to spend $78 million in groundwater cleanup

Hundreds of companies have agreed to spend around $78 million on cleaning up groundwater contaminated by toxic chemicals from a Southern California Superfund site, it was announced Wednesday.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Federal fracking rule in hands of federal judge in Wyoming

The future of federal rules aimed at protecting land, water and wildlife from energy-production practices including hydraulic fracturing now rests with a judge in Wyoming.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Lack of snow made Lake Tahoe murkier last year

The pristine blue waters of Lake Tahoe were murkier last year and researchers say a lack of mountain snow was likely to blame.

Aquafornia news Valley Public Radio NPR for Central California

New state law to bring arsenic-free drinking water to Tulare County community (with audio)

Many [Central] valley residents struggle to access drinking water—some don’t have enough, while others face contamination. Now, a new law allows the state to step in and help those in need.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Storms raised some pollutants after mine spill, not others

Runoff from autumn storms kicked up the levels of some contaminants in a southwestern Colorado river after a massive spill of toxic mine waste, but concentrations of other pollutants declined or didn’t change, researchers said Friday.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Schools buying water filters even though fountains are fine

A growing distaste and distrust of tap water has prompted many school districts to spend thousands of taxpayer dollars on heavily marketed filters — some of which use a process that discards some water as waste — even though the schools say there’s nothing wrong with what’s currently flowing from their pipes.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: Northern California lawmakers question huge Westlands Water District deal

Northern California lawmakers are turning up the heat on the Westlands Water District, with coordinated calls for congressional hearings and tougher Obama administration scrutiny.

Aquafornia news NPR

How do we get our drinking water in the U.S.?

Before you take a gulp of water, try to mentally trace where that water that just gushed out of your taps has been: How did it go from that weird-tasting raindrop to the clear, odorless water that is sitting in your glass now?

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Feds — EPA fails to protect water from oilfield contamination

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is failing in its mandate to protect underground drinking water reserves from oilfield contamination, according to a federal review singling out lax EPA oversight in California, where the state routinely allowed oil companies to dump wastewater into some drinking water aquifers.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Contaminated Tijuana River reopened after blockage kills sharks, floods streets

Some streets in Imperial Beach were flooded over the weekend with sewage-contaminated water after the mouth of the Tijuana River was blocked by sand.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino County Sun

Los Angeles, Inland water systems are no Flint, Mich.

In 2014, for the first time since lead testing began in the 1990s, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Plant No. 1 violated the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s action-level for lead in drinking water with a reading of 16 parts per billion (ppb). 

Aquafornia news Associated Press

US water systems repeatedly exceed federal standard for lead

This railroad town promotes its ties to Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan and the poet Carl Sandburg. But Galesburg’s long history also shows in a hidden way: Aging pipes have been leaking lead into the drinking water for decades.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Drought woes continue at New Melones

In another sign that the drought isn’t over in this neck of California, state officials are considering temporarily loosening water quality standards on the Stanislaus and San Joaquin rivers for the third year in a row. 

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Hazardous metal found in Coachella Valley’s Westside Elementary School water

Officials have detected levels of chromium-6 in the drinking water at Westside Elementary School [Coachella Valley] above the level deemed safe by the California Department of Public Health.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Water issue could cost Coachella millions of dollars

The presence of a metallic element that at high levels has been linked to kidney and liver damage in Coachella’s drinking water could cost the city millions of dollars a year as it works to comply with new state regulations.

Aquafornia news KPCC Southern California Public Radio

Los Angeles Unified declares 60 schools’ water fountains lead-safe in first phase of district-wide cleanup

[Los Angeles Unified School District] LAUSD’s effort to eliminate lead contamination in tens of thousands of school water fountains is complete at 60 schools, while District officials say it will take another year-and-a-half to finish the process on all 986 L.A. Unified campuses.

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 KCRA Sacramento

Nevada County reservoir littered with butane cans, irrigation officials say (with video)

Volunteers with the Nevada Irrigation District came to the Rollins Reservoir Saturday to canvas it for butane cartridges that had been spotted throughout the water.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

So far, so good on Stockton water quality

An initial round of testing for toxic lead in north Stockton’s drinking water has revealed levels far below federal standards and nowhere near what experts found in Flint, Michigan. … Environmental activist Erin Brockovich compared Stockton to Flint during her visit here in early February.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

State admits misreading Menlo Park’s water quality test

An error in a state database on water quality got Menlo Park in some hot water last week.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Blog: World Water Day rises to international prominence (with multimedia)

For almost all of its 240-year history, with only episodic interference from nature (the 1930s Dust Bowl) and one big intervention from man (the clean water campaigns of the 1960s and 1970s), the United States has been a place that largely took its water supply and quality for granted. 

Aquafornia news NPR

What makes water unsafe? Not the color, taste or smell: #WorldWaterDay

What is safe drinking water? Is it water that’s clear? Smells clean? Tastes good? Comes from a trusted source, like a well or a pipe?

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: In first-of-a-kind summit, White House rallies corporate investment in water supplies

The White House on Tuesday unveiled several billion dollars’ worth of corporate commitments to water research and development during a high-level summit. Pegged to World Water Day, the summit was intended to draw attention to specific state and corporate pledges as well as new Obama administration initiatives prompted in part by Western states’ drought and the Flint, Michigan, drinking water scandal.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Is the water safe in Indian Country? EPA says it often doesn’t know

The Obama administration is sounding alarms over potential dangers in the water supplies on the nation’s Indian reservations, saying the vast majority of tribal members live on reservations that haven’t adopted federally approved standards.

Aquafornia news Brookings Institution

A surefire strategy to improve water infrastructure in Flint and beyond

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

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Shasta County pot farm owner fined $100,000 for fouling watershed

A Virginia man who leased out property for a marijuana farm in Shasta County has agreed to pay a $100,000 penalty and complete an extensive environmental cleanup for fouling tributaries with sediment from illegal grading.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Don’t drink the water — Lead found in California schools

For two years, the students at Orange Center Elementary School outside of Fresno have been told not to drink the water. … This week US Senator Barbara Boxer, a Rancho Mirage Democrat, introduced a bill to add lead-contaminated drinking water to the federal government’s definition of a disaster, allowing the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other federal agencies to become involved in the Flint response. 

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

Groups file suit in Elk River watershed dispute

The Environmental Protection Information Center announced Tuesday that it has filed to intervene in a lawsuit to defend the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board’s decision to not authorize sediment discharge and other associated waste from logging operations into the Elk River watershed.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Groundwater at March Air Reserve Base to be tested

The Department of Defense has announced that it is testing military sites nationwide to determine if perfluorooctane sulfonate and perfluorooctanoic acid – both chemicals used in foams that extinguish flammable liquids – are in sediments and groundwater around runway areas.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Activists demand action against industrial chemical in water

Now, with the suspected cancer-causing chemical PFOA being phased out in the U.S., it is still very much around, turning up in the water in factory towns across the country — most recently in upstate New York and Vermont — where it is blamed by residents for cancers and other maladies.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Tomato plant owner in $1.5-million battle with water regulators over waste and odors

Chris Rufer, 66, never has been keen on big government and always liked an underdog fight. … That perseverance has Rufer entangled in a $1.5-million battle with water regulators over waste and odors from his tomato processing plant in the Sacramento Valley town of Williams, the largest facility of its kind in the country.

Aquafornia news KQED Public Media for Northern California

Blog: There’s a cancer-causing chemical in my drinking water, but California isn’t regulating it (with audio)

I [Sasha Khokha] have to admit, after the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, I’m a little freaked out about what’s in my tap water. So when I opened my water bill from the city of Fresno recently, I decided to actually read the “consumer confidence report” for drinking water.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: AP poll — Americans divided on safety of US drinking water

When it comes to water, only about half of Americans are very confident in the safety of what’s flowing from their tap, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll, which found that trust is even weaker among minorities and people with lower incomes.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Sewage plants are failing to kill lethal superbugs unleashed from hospitals

Every day Southern California hospitals unleash millions of gallons of raw sewage into municipal sewers.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Bill aims to give crab industry $138 million in disaster relief

The bill proposed by [Rep. Jackie] Speier and [Rep. Jared] Huffman — the Crab Emergency Disaster Assistance Act of 2016 — seeks to appropriate about $138 million in disaster funds to fishermen and small businesses, including restaurants, that were banking on the commercial season. Sen. Barbara Boxer is expected to introduce its companion bill on Monday.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

Lawsuit claims post-fire logging project would impact local salmon

A federal lawsuit filed Thursday by a local tribe and environmental groups claims the U.S. Forest Service’s recently approved wildfire protection plan for communities near the Klamath National Forest will do just the opposite by increasing fire danger and impacting threatened coho salmon.

Aquafornia news Tahoe Daily Tribune

Tahoe Keys water quality plan under review

How the Tahoe Keys can help reduce the amount of clarity-reducing pollutants entering Lake Tahoe is the subject of a plan being reviewed by Lake Tahoe water quality regulators. 

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Healdsburg school’s water was tainted by lead, town learns

Fears of lead contamination swept through the town of Healdsburg this week after parents and officials learned that water at an elementary school contained elevated levels of the toxic metal late last year.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

High levels of lead in Healdsburg Elementary water

High levels of lead have been discovered in drinking fountains at Healdsburg Elementary School’s main building, county school and public health officials said Wednesday. The lead contamination first was detected over Thanksgiving break.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

Humboldt marijuana growers lead in water program participation

Humboldt County accounted for the majority of 51 medical marijuana growers who have chosen to enroll in the North Coast’s mandatory water quality protection program that hopes to serve as a model for California.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

California’s commercial Dungeness crab season to stay closed

Crab lovers — keep waiting. State officials decided Wednesday to keep the commercial Dungeness season shuttered until more of the coast is clear of a deadly neurotoxin that stubbornly continues to be found in some of the spindly sea creatures.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Point Reyes: Lawsuit challenges historic ranching operations at iconic park

A year after an oyster farm was forced to shut down at Point Reyes National Seashore, sparking a bitter controversy over the role of farming in national parks, a coalition of environmentalists on Wednesday filed a lawsuit over a bigger and more explosive target: thousands of dairy and beef cattle in the park.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

House backs bill to require EPA notification in lead cases

The House on Wednesday approved legislation to clarify the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to notify the public about danger from lead in their drinking water – the first action by Congress to respond to the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Brockovich brings controversy

She received a hero’s welcome in Stockton, was lauded on social media and gave a passionate speech before a huge crowd. … But as good as she is at rallying the people, some critics say [Erin] Brockovich falls short when it comes to science.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Power of persuasion — Traveling consultant preaches against chloramines

The Tulsa City Council meeting was already an hour and a half old when out-of-town water consultant Bob Bowcock stepped to the podium and gave his spiel on the dangers of chloramines in the drinking water.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Mercury, DDT and other contaminants in fish are at a four-decade low

Fish in today’s oceans contain far lower levels of mercury, DDT and other toxic substances than at any time in the last four decades, according to a major review by scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla.

Commands