Vexed by Salt And Nitrates In Central Valley Groundwater, Regulators Turn To Unusual Coalition For Solutions
SPOTLIGHT: Left unaddressed, salts and nitrates could render farmland unsuitable for crops and family well water undrinkable

An evaporation pond in Kings County, in the central San Joaquin Valley, with salt encrusted on the soil. More than a decade in the making, an ambitious plan to deal with the vexing problem of salt and nitrates in the soils that seep into key groundwater basins of the Central Valley is moving toward implementation. But its authors are not who you might expect.

An unusual collaboration of agricultural interests, cities, water agencies and environmental justice advocates collaborated for years to find common ground to address a set of problems that have rendered family wells undrinkable and some soil virtually unusable for farming.


Water Summit Panel to Address State Plan Aimed at Increasing Freshwater Flows into Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta
State Water Board Chair Felicia Marcus joins environmental, agricultural and water user stakeholders to discuss challenges and solutions

Controversial flow requirements for the lower San Joaquin River designed to meet ecological needs of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta will be among the topics addressed during the Water Education Foundation’s Sept. 20 Water Summit in Sacramento.

The Foundation’s 35th annual Water Summit, Facing Reality from the Headwaters to the Delta, will feature panels on the Delta, the Sierra Nevada headwaters and the state’s human right to water law. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman will be the keynote speaker at lunch. 

Water News You Need to Know

Aquafornia news The Orange County Register

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Poseidon desalination plant OK’d for preliminary contract terms

Concerns over the cost and environmental impacts of desalinated water were overridden by the desire to fortify water supplies when the Orange County Water District board voted 6-2 Wednesday to approve non-binding contract terms with Poseidon, which has spent 20 years on the desalination plant proposal for Huntington Beach.

Aquafornia news Valley Public Radio NPR for Central California

Fresno, Clovis plan to mix recycled sewer water for drinking

If you’ve been to Disneyland, Cambria, many parts of Los Angeles, then you most likely had a swig of highly treated recycled water. Recycled water meaning, yes, it was once in a sewage treatment plant. For many years this recycled water has helped Orange County meet the needs of its growing population and reduce the toll on its declining aquifers. Soon, the same kind of water may be coming to Clovis and Fresno’s drinking water.

Aquafornia news Herald and News, Klamath Falls

Klamath Tribes oppose irrigators’ $50 million bond request

A federal lawsuit that could determine access to water in the Klamath Basin this summer has taken a new turn as parties argue whether the Klamath Tribes should post a $50 million bond to protect irrigators. According to parties intervening in the suit, at least $50 million is needed to cover financial losses for agricultural producers who would lose access to water if the court rules in the Tribes’ favor.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Pentagon objects to GOP rider blocking protection of birds

The Pentagon is objecting to a Republican proposal in a defense policy bill that would bar the Fish and Wildlife Service from using the Endangered Species Act to protect two chicken-like birds in the western half of the U.S.

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Online Water Encyclopedia

Project WET Event

Help Children Understand Water
For A Sustainable Future

Location: Atwater Elementary School District, Atwater

Sponsored By: UC Merced Extension Programs, Merced County Office of Education

Special Note:  $15  light breakfast and lunch, light breakfast & lunch. Participants can apply for graduate credit through UC Merced Extension for an additional $40.

Register: Please contact Rosanna Ayers at Merced County Office of Education to register or for more information.  

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Wetlands are among the most important ecosystems in the world. They produce high levels of oxygen, filter toxic chemicals out of water, reduce flooding and erosion, recharge groundwater and provide a diverse range of recreational opportunities from fishing and hunting to photography. They also serve as critical habitat for wildlife, including a large percentage of plants and animals on California’s endangered species list.

Salton Sea
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Salton Sea

As part of the historic Colorado River Delta, the Salton Sea regularly filled and dried for thousands of years due to its elevation of 232 feet below sea level.

The most recent version of the Salton Sea was formed in 1905 when the Colorado River broke through a series of dikes and flooded the seabed for two years, creating California’s largest inland body of water. The Salton Sea, which is saltier than the Pacific Ocean, includes 130 miles of shoreline and is larger than Lake Tahoe

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Drought— an extended period of limited or no precipitation— is a fact of life in California and the West, with water resources following boom and-bust patterns.

No portion of the West has been immune to drought during the last century and drought occurs with much greater frequency in the West than in any other regions of the country.