Overview Jenn Bowles

Water news you need to know

A collection of top water news from around California and the West compiled each weekday by veteran journalist Matt Weiser.

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Please Note: The headlines below are the original headlines used in the publication cited at the time they are posted here, and do not reflect the stance of the Water Education Foundation, an impartial nonprofit that remains neutral.

Aquafornia news Doug Beeman

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day from Aquafornia!

Dear Aquafornia readers,

Aquafornia is off Monday (Jan. 20), the federal holiday honoring civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. We will return with a full slate of water news on Tuesday.

In the meantime, follow us on Twitter where we post breaking news, and on Facebook and LinkedIn, where we post Foundation-related news.

Aquafornia news Capitol Weekly Matt Weiser

Friday Top of the Scroll: State just starting to grapple with climate change

California’s vulnerability to climate change — from deadly fires to sea level rise — has been well documented. But the Legislature’s nonpartisan fiscal adviser says the state, with rare exceptions, has only just begun to assess the risk climate change poses to roads, dams, parks and schools.

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Aquafornia news Orange County Register Matt Weiser

‘Forever chemicals’ in Orange County drinking water to force widespread well closures

The Orange County Water District, which serves 2.5 million county residents, expects to see nearly a third of its 200 groundwater wells shut down by year’s end because of the presence of toxic PFAS, a chemical family linked to cancer, liver and kidney damage, low birth weight and other health problems.

Aquafornia news Western Water Matt Weiser

Water resource innovation, hard-earned lessons and Colorado River challenges: Western Water year in review

Innovative efforts to accelerate restoration of headwater forests and to improve a river for the benefit of both farmers and fish. Hard-earned lessons for water agencies from a string of devastating California wildfires. Efforts to drought-proof a chronically water-short region of California. And a broad debate surrounding how best to address persistent challenges facing the Colorado River. These were among the issues Western Water explored in 2019, and are still worth taking a look at in case you missed them

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee Matt Weiser

Legionella in California prison water can’t be eradicated

A bacteria that can cause deadly infections has become an ongoing problem requiring permanent staffing at California’s newest state prison, according to state budget documents. California Health Care Facility, a Stockton prison that houses some of the state’s sickest inmates, wants to hire 15 permanent positions and spend about $4.4 million per year to fight the bacteria, known as legionella…

Aquafornia news Siskiyou Daily News Matt Weiser

Klamath River Renewal Corp. to foot bill for new Yreka city water line

To ensure a steady water supply if and when the Klamath Dams are removed, Klamath River Renewal Corporation is paying to replace a $4 million water line for the City of Yreka. The city’s water comes from Fall Creek, located approximately 23 miles north, near the Oregon border, which is pumped at one point on its journey through a 24-inch pipe that runs along the bottom of Iron Gate Reservoir.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle Matt Weiser

Disappointing numbers for annual coho salmon run in western Marin County

Fewer than 90 coho have made their way up meandering, forested Lagunitas Creek and laid eggs on the northwest side of Mount Tamalpais, one of California’s last great strongholds for embattled wild salmon that have never mingled with hatchery-bred fish.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald Matt Weiser

Monterey County dam repair, maintenance tax bid on fast track

A proposed $160 million tax assessment for dam repairs and deferred maintenance at two Monterey County-owned reservoirs is moving ahead, with a pair of public workshops planned in the next several weeks and a vote tentatively set to start in late March if the Board of Supervisors ultimately gives the go-ahead, according to a county water official.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook Matt Weiser

State of the Estuary: Understanding microplastics in the Bay and recommended actions

To develop critical baseline data and inform solutions, the San Francisco Estuary Institute and the 5 Gyres Institute completed a three-year $1 million comprehensive regional study of microplastic pollution of the San Francisco Bay. At the 2019 State of the Estuary conference, Dr. Diana Lin from the San Francisco Estuary Institute gave a presentation on the study results.

Aquafornia news Gilroy Dispatch Matt Weiser

New fees to affect private water wells

When Valley Water announces new wholesale water rates this spring, the new rate structure will include new fees for non-water-district wells. This could boost water rates in July for municipal system customers in Morgan Hill and Gilroy, and for hundreds of mostly residences with private wells.

Aquafornia news KRON TV Matt Weiser

New radar system in San Jose will make more accurate weather predictions

Inside the dome on top of the Penitencia Water Treatment plant in San Jose is the first permanent x-band weather radar system in the Bay Area. “The radar system that you see up there is collecting crucial data as we speak,” said Norma Camacho, CEO of Valley Water.“ Camacho joined the San Francisco P.U.C., Sonoma Water and other partners in unveiling the new system, which will improve weather forecasting across the region.

Related article:

Aquafornia news KPBS Matt Weiser

State: Poway ‘failed to protect’ water system from contamination

The California Water Resources Control Board cited the city of Poway this week with three violations after storm water contaminated already treated water, leaving the entire town without water for a week in December.

Aquafornia news Red Bluff Daily News Matt Weiser

Salmon habitat projects completed along the Sacramento River at Anderson River Park

The project re-established an historic side channel through Anderson River Park providing year-round flow through the channel for juvenile salmon rearing habitat. The Yurok Tribe served as construction contractor, excavating one-half mile of side channel. Total new habitat established is a nearly one-mile long side channel flowing year-round.

Aquafornia news Brentwood Press

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration seeks input on water plan

As Gov. Gavin Newsom and his administration attempt to establish a comprehensive and cohesive water policy for the state, officials are seeking public input on the draft water resilience portfolio released earlier this month. The document was issued in response to Newsom’s April 2019 executive order directing his administration to inventory and assess a wide range of water-related challenges and solutions.

Aquafornia news Windsor Times

Larkfield sewer project groundbreaking

On Jan. 11 homeowners, administrators and local officials broke ground on the sewer project for the Larkfield neighborhoods, which had been leveled by the 2017 fires. The project has been a source of conversation and negotiation, as the homes had previously been on individual septic systems.

Aquafornia news City Watch LA

Ways to win the water wars

The Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant, located just south of LAX, purifies water and injects it into the ground to act as a barrier between seawater and fresh groundwater. … But the idea is to one day recycle wastewater into drinking water and put it right back into the system. The industry is moving cautiously, though, given what you might call a considerable “ick” factor for the public.

Aquafornia news Sonoma West Times & News

Sebastopol water, sewer rates to rise

In order to provide ongoing funding for Sebastopol’s water and sewer system, the Sebastopol City Council unanimously approved an increase to water and sewer rates at its Jan. 7 meeting. … The average ratepayer’s bill is expected to increase by $3 or $4 per month, according to Mayor Patrick Slayter.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

No one injured in blast at water treatment plant in Corona

An explosion rocked a portion of a Corona wastewater treatment facility Friday but no injuries or chemical releases were reported, city officials said in a news release. The cause of the explosion is under investigation by the Corona Fire Department and the Department of Water and Power.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Pajaro flood agency proposal considered by county board

Praising progress on a long-awaited Pajaro River flood prevention project, the Monterey County Board of Supervisors reviewed a proposed regional flood prevention agency that would oversee construction and operation of the $393.7 million initiative. By a unanimous vote, the county board directed staff to finalize a joint powers agreement at the center of the proposed Pajaro Regional Flood Management Agency.

Aquafornia news Highland Community News

Opinion: Imported water helps the valley endure another year of drought

Even though water districts and cities throughout the San Bernardino Valley rely on local rainfall and mountain runoff for about 70 percent of their water supply, local supplies are not enough. The region relies on Sierra snowmelt from Northern California to meet the remaining 30 percent.