Our 2020 Water Leaders class
completed its year with a report outlining policy recommendations
for adapting California water management to climate change.
The class of
23 up-and-coming leaders from various
stakeholder groups and backgrounds – engineers, attorneys,
planners, farmers, environmentalists and scientists - had
full editorial control to choose recommendations.
California’s tussle with federal authorities over water
operations will get a second look under the new administration
of President Joe Biden. The 46th president plans to sign a
number of executive orders, including one that instructs agency
heads to review actions taken under President Donald Trump that
“were harmful to public health, damaging to the environment,
unsupported by the best available science, or otherwise not in
the national interest.” On the list for both the departments of
Commerce and Interior is a review of new biological opinions
adopted in 2019 governing water delivery in California.
California’s wildfire threat could ease over the next few
weeks, with a series of storms bringing much-needed moisture
after heat and drought torched record acreage in the state. The
first downpour is already spreading across Northern California
Friday, and that will be followed by progressively stronger
systems through next week …
3M Co. and E.I. DuPont de Nemours Inc. shook off a California
water utility’s claims that they contaminated the state water
supply with PFAS after the Central District of California found
the utility failed to establish jurisdiction. Golden State
Water Co. alleges that the companies “directed and instructed”
intermediaries and end users of their products to dispose of
them in a way they should have known may cause
To help you learn more about the importance of groundwater, the
Water Education Foundation has an array of educational
materials on this vital resource. And next week, the
Foundation’s online magazine, Western Water news, will
publish a special report examining how two local groundwater
agencies are taking different approaches to achieve
sustainability in the San Joaquin Valley, one of the most
critically overdrafted regions in the state.
Wetlands are among the most important ecosystems in the world.
They produce high levels of oxygen, filter toxic chemicals out of
water, sequester carbon, 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
As part of the historic Colorado River Delta, the Salton Sea
regularly filled and dried for thousands of years due to its
elevation of 237 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.
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.
During California’s most recent drought, from 2012–2016, much of
the state experienced severe drought conditions – significantly
less precipitation and snowpack, reduced streamflow and higher
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.