California’s wet winter eased the immediate water shortages that affected most of the state, giving lawmakers and water agencies a bit of a breather as they craft new policies and design new infrastructure to weather the next big drought (which, for all we know, may already be underway).
Ancient bones and abundant artifacts lie along Pacheco Creek, just north of Highway 152 at Pacheco Pass, where generations of Native Americans lived, died and now rest in peace. But the site is also where Silicon Valley’s largest water provider plans to expand a reservoir, storing more water for our region’s ever-growing thirst.
A planned joint meeting between the Monterey Peninsula mayors water authority and the Peninsula water management district boards is expected to address a number of issues ranging from progress on a new water supply and the odds of meeting current state cutback order milestones to the likelihood of litigation challenging California American Water’s proposed desalination project and potential water supply alternatives.
Tom Steyer, the San Francisco billionaire and environmentalist, promised his support Tuesday for a proposed safe and affordable drinking water fund to help communities with contaminated water in the San Joaquin Valley. … Steyer met with about a dozen water advocates at the nonprofit Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability in downtown Fresno who urged him to throw his clout behind Senate Bill 623.
During the drought, Californians often asked why the state wasn’t building more reservoirs. On Tuesday, the state finally began taking a major step toward that goal, unveiling a list of 12 huge new water projects — from massive new dams in the north to expanded groundwater banks in the south — that will compete for $2.7 billion in state bond funding for new water storage projects.
Heavy winter snows in the Rocky Mountains have rescued the thirsty Western U.S. for another year. U.S. water managers said Tuesday there will be no water cutbacks in 2018 for millions of residents and farmers served by the Lake Mead reservoir on the Colorado River that lies behind the Hoover Dam.
A $914 million plan to expand the Los Vaqueros Reservoir as drought insurance for millions of Bay Area residents picked up endorsements Monday from six conservation groups in a rare display of environmental support for new water development.
More than 6 million Southern Californian households could pay $3 more a month to help cover the costs of Gov. Jerry Brown’s controversial plan to bore two huge tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
A new trial has been ordered in a lawsuit that seeks to hold a fertilizer company financially liable for contaminating a California city’s groundwater. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled the case should be retried because a federal judge’s decision to exclude certain expert testimony was prejudicial to the plaintiff, the City of Pomona.
Homeowners who want to cultivate their allotment of six marijuana plants indoors could face thousands of dollars in costs to create a separate water connection for their grow. Remleh Scherzinger, general manager of the Nevada Irrigation District, told the community advisory group at its Tuesday meeting that people who grow cannabis in their homes must have another connection.
Cancer causing compounds in drinking water for 1.4 million East Bay residents declined in the past three months due to treatment changes and a break from Mother Nature, the East Bay Municipal District said. … Meanwhile, a different and smaller water district serving Dublin and part of San Ramon reported positive tests for coliform and E. coli bacteria in two places a couple miles apart last week.
A bill making its way through the state Legislature is seeking to improve quality and access to drinking water quality by creating a new state fund, but some local entities are opposing how the bill plans to raise money for this goal.
Federal and state water-quality regulators have cleared the way for the city of San Diego to avoid costly upgrades to an outdated wastewater treatment plant, as long as local officials continue to pursue a $3 billion water recycling program.
California’s Tulare Lake was once the largest body of freshwater west of the Mississippi River. Located at the southern tip of the San Joaquin Valley, it collected snowmelt from dozens of Sierra Nevada streams. Today, the giant lake is long gone: In the decades after the Gold Rush, it was drained and transformed into farmland.
California’s drought appears over, at least above ground. As of April 2017, reservoirs were around 2 million acre feet above normal with record breaking snowpack. This is great news for the 75% of Californians that get their drinking water from large, urban surface water suppliers. Groundwater, however, takes longer to recharge and replenish. What does this mean for the more than 2,000 small community water systems and hundreds of thousands of private well-reliant households that rely on groundwater?
The California National Guard on Monday joined more than a dozen other agencies to help the Yurok tribe combat rampant marijuana grows that have threatened the reservation’s water supply, harmed its salmon and interfered with cultural ceremonies. …
The breakthrough came in April when governor’s office staff was discussing the drought with tribal officials.
The plan won’t help with the immediate drought crisis, but the document is important in the long run because it states the county’s case for a share of state bond money – not only what’s left of voter-approved Proposition 84, but also whatever funds are available should a new water bond pass in November.
From the H2outlook blog, in a post by Metropolitan Water District of Southern California General Manager Jeffrey Kightlinger:
The state/federal effort to improve the reliability of water supplies from Northern California and restore the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is now in its seventh year, a testament to the time and hard work necessary to come up with a lasting solution. From the outside, it may be difficult to gauge progress of the Bay Delta Conservation Program at any given time.