Water prices likely will double for most families over the next five years, city leaders decided Tuesday after a lively hearing lasting nearly three hours. Several people objected, citing pain in the pocketbook and the prospect of losing the great taste of Turlock well water as it’s mixed with Tuolumne River water.
At the Indian Wells Valley Water District monthly board meeting on Monday evening, the board voted to approve an advance of up to $500,000 from the IWVWD’s future alternative water supply funds to the IWV Groundwater Authority. IWVGA will likely pay back this amount either with funds from future grants or through a credit on IWVWD’s account.
While fire officials tell SCV residents they’re not out of the woods when it comes to brush fires, water officials are saying the SCV isn’t out of the woods when it comes to drought, either. Castaic Lake Water Agency board members are expected to receive an update on the status of Santa Clarita Valley’s water resources when they meet Wednesday night.
The Bureau of Reclamation has finalized documents to award water conservation grants to North Kern Water Storage District for construction of multiple water conservation projects. Through three separate grants, Reclamation will provide $2.25 million to the district for a total project cost of $5.8 million.
After 66 years of litigation and more than 50 years of settlement talks, the longest-running federal civil case in San Diego has ended. The Fallbrook Public Utility District board of directors voted unanimously Monday to end a water dispute with the U.S. government and Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base over rights to water that flows from the Santa Margarita River.
An Imperial Irrigation District attorney said there have been “legitimate issues” surrounding California’s conflict-of-interest law at the public utility, and that he’ll make recommendations to the board of directors “to correct any problems that we have.”
Santa Rosa is open to a large-scale composting operation on city-owned property near the Laguna Road wastewater treatment plant, an option that could provide curbside garbage customers some monthly savings. The Sonoma County Waste Management Agency has been looking for a new site for an organic composting facility since a longtime operation atop the Central Landfill west of Cotati was shut down by regulators in 2015 over water pollution concerns.
A landmark agreement on the Santa Margarita River Conjunctive Use project between the Fallbrook Public Utility District and Camp Pendleton Marine Base promises to be signed Dec. 11, after 66 years of litigation in the U.S. courts and could be good news for the 10-year-old water rights settlement case that is hindering development along state Route 371 in the Valley.
Ed McCormick, hailed as a superstar of the industry, was chosen this week as the general manager of the West County Wastewater District, pending the drafting of a mutually agreeable contract. Hired in April as the district’s interim GM, McCormick currently is paid at the rate of $250,950 a year, not counting benefits, after an almost $22,000 raise last month.
Yesterday [Dec. 6], partners collaborating in efforts to enhance the habitat values of lands contributing to the Pacific Flyway in the Sacramento Valley gathered at the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area to recognize the work that had occurred during the past year. For the first time in several years, the Flyway was not suffering from conditions related to the most recent drought.
California’s management of water for is not working for anyone. Environmental advocates argue that state and federal regulators have set water quality and flow standards that do not adequately protect fish and wildlife, and have not enforced these requirements when they are most needed. Farm and urban interests claim that these regulations have been ineffective and cause unnecessary economic harm.
The Coachella Valley’s biggest water district recycles wastewater at three of its six sewage treatment plants, churning out water to irrigate golf courses, parks and lawns at housing developments. Now it’s proposing to reuse more water by converting a sewage plant in Thermal to a water-recycling plant.
Gary Kremen—the founder of Match.com, former owner of Sex.com, and serial investor—is into water. The entrepreneur started investing in water tech startups a few years ago. Today he’s an elected member of Silicon Valley’s water district, an agency that manages water and flood control for 2 million people.
Although the Oakland Unified School District is addressing high lead levels in water taps at several schools, consumer group CalPIRG says more needs to be done to keep children safe. Fourteen Oakland Unified schools have been found to have at least one drinking fixture with lead levels exceeding the federal recommended cap of 15 parts per billion, according to the district’s website, where test results are posted as they are received.
With the number of fires in the West growing due to climate change, and a recent decision by the state Public Utilities Commission to require that a utility — not ratepayers — pick up the costs for fires caused by its power lines, it’s likely that Californians are going to see more deliberate, pre-planned power outages when there is extreme wildfire risk, experts say. … Among the problems from planned blackouts … Water pumps may not work.
The Santa Margarita Water District board has approved a $19.5 million plan to eliminate the foul smell from the Chiquita Ridge Treatment Plant that has plagued residents of Rancho Mission Viejo’s Esencia neighborhood for more than a year. … Board members acknowledged the odor issue and assured residents they are committed to doing what is necessary to fix the problem before voting unanimously to approve the plan.
There is a sense of urgency regarding how the overallocated Colorado River is managed amid looming shortages and a grim climate change forecast. People who have dealt with river management issues for decades are girding for a heightened degree of activity that calls upon years of trust and collaboration to compose a plan for equitably sharing a vital resource.
The chairman of the Yuba County Water Agency’s board of directors will now also head the Association of California Water Agencies for at least two years, following an election last week in Anaheim. Brent Hastey was elected by association members on Nov. 29 to be ACWA’s newest president, starting in January 2018.