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Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Few California school districts have tested water for lead, even though it’s free

As students head back to class across California this month, many will sip water from school fountains or faucets that could contain high levels of lead. That’s because two-thirds of the state’s 1,026 school districts have not taken advantage of a free state testing program to determine whether the toxic metal is coming out of the taps and, if so, whether it exceeds federal standards.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Blue-green algae at a dangerous level at San Luis Reservoir

The Department of Water Resources issued a warning on Friday for those visiting San Luis Reservoir in Merced County: Don’t go in the water. This is based on the potential health risks associated with cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, blooms that accumulate into mats of scum and foam floating on the surface and along the shoreline.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Toxins turning up in dozens of public water systems

Lauren Woeher wonders if her 16-month-old daughter has been harmed by tap water contaminated with toxic industrial compounds used in products like nonstick cookware, carpets and fast-food wrappers. … Tim Hagey, manager of a local water utility, recalls how he used to assure people that the local public water was safe. That was before testing showed it had some of the highest levels of the toxic compounds of any public water system in the U.S.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

‘The president’s right’: Interior chief pushes thinning forests to cut fire risk

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, touring neighborhoods devastated by the Carr Fire, stepped up the Trump administration’s push Sunday to remove more trees from national forests as a means of tamping down fire risks. “We need to manage our forests, we need to reduce the fuels,” Zinke said as he overlooked Whiskeytown Lake in the vicinity where the Carr Fire began July 23.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Sacramento judge to determine court locations for Oroville Dam crisis cases

The presiding judge of the Sacramento Superior Court will be determining where seven lawsuits filed against the state Department of Water Resources over the Oroville Dam spillway crisis will be heard.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Tomato fight divides growers in Florida and the West Coast. Will it trip up NAFTA?

Florida and Mexico are having a food fight over tomatoes and other fresh produce. Will farmers in California and Washington get caught in the crossfire? That’s one question that swirls around the final negotiations between the Trump administration and Mexico on a revamped North American Free Trade Agreement.

Aquafornia news E&E News

Zinke’s deputy: Civil, self-confident and under the radar

Deputy Interior Secretary David Bernhardt drew no crowd when he quietly entered a Capitol Hill room recently. The No. 2 man at an agency that employs some 70,000 workers and spends about $11.7 billion annually arrived with neither fanfare nor palace guard. When he exited the Cannon House Office Building room after about 45 minutes with several lawmakers, he amiably declined to blab to a waiting reporter.

Aquafornia news ProPublica

What happens when a pipeline runs afoul of government rules? Authorities change the rules.

A week ago, the federal government halted work on a massive pipeline project that runs from Northern West Virginia through Southern Virginia. The government said it had no choice but to order work on the multibillion-dollar Mountain Valley Pipeline stopped after a federal appeals court ruled that two federal agencies had neglected to follow important environmental protections when they approved the project.

Aquafornia news Cronkite News

Decades-long court battle over water rights impedes economic investment in rural Arizona

The “growth” industry has fueled Arizona’s economy – growth in houses, offices, and places to have fun. Consistent growth is possible, in part, because of prudent water management in the more populated areas of the state. But outside the population hubs, some water rights still are tied up in court, making it hard for developers to plan.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Drought forces hard choices for farmers and ranchers in the Southwest

It’s only the beginning of August – typically the height of the farming season – but the irrigation ponds here in Sanpete County [Utah] ran dry a month ago. They are now filled with brush and desperate waterfowl while the land surrounding them lies barren, local farmers having already stripped up most of their crops to glean what little profit they can.

Aquafornia news Tahoe Daily Tribune

South Lake Tahoe clears out homeless camps near Upper Truckee River

City personnel have removed a group of homeless encampments along the Upper Truckee River. The abandoned homeless camps, which according to the city consisted of trash and other debris, were located in the Truckee River Meadow area behind Motel 6.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Firefighters, engine to assist with California wildfires

The vehicle can deliver as much as 50 gallons of water per minute. It also can deliver water to areas difficult to access by larger firefighting equipment.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Most recreational facilities escape damage from wildfires

The worst fire damage to recreation infrastructure is in Redding and at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area in Shasta County. On the renowned Sacramento River Trail, the Carr Fire destroyed four bridges, according to the city of Redding.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Marin water district signs emphasize e-bike ban

Electric bike enthusiasts are not happy the Marin Municipal Water District is not allowing them to ride on Mount Tamalpais fire trails and are seeking a change in the agency’s code. The district has erected signs in the past several weeks underscoring that the bikes are not allowed. That has raised the hackles of those who ride the bikes. While the signs are new, the policy is not.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Crop report sets record straight for San Joaquin County production

The local agricultural commission released its 2017 crop report last week, a manifesto that quantifies the annual productivity of the farms that remain the backbone of San Joaquin County’s economy.

Aquafornia news Las Vegas Review-Journal

Death Valley worker has seen some of Earth’s highest, lowest temps

Thousands of tourists descend on Death Valley each summer to experience one of the world’s most extreme places at its most extreme. Compared with Terry Eddington, these people are amateurs. The National Park Service custodian is about halfway through her first summer in Death Valley, and she has already lived and worked through a July that may go down as the hottest month recorded on Earth.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

At UC Santa Cruz, a housing shortage pits the need for beds against a much-loved meadow

The road to UC Santa Cruz winds past old lime kilns, assorted barns and storage sheds. Then a vast meadow opens. Its wild prairie grasses, baked golden on toasty summer days, add a vivid layer of color to the vista of redwood forests beyond and bright blue sky above.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Endangered condors to be released in northern Arizona

Arizona’s Game and Fish Department is inviting the public to witness the release of endangered California Condors at Vermilion Cliffs National Monument next month. The state agency says the release of several young captive-bred condors is planned for 11 a.m. on Sept. 22.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Wildfires still rage. They also shine light on California’s environmental challenges.

Readers who responded to a Your Voice question this week about their top environmental concerns last week wanted to know whether the state will run out of water and how to combat global warming. They also wanted to know what the state can do to prevent so many wildfires.

Aquafornia news KQED Science

Watch: Television show cautioned viewers about climate change … in 1958

As the conflagration of California continues, the 17 blazes that have cumulatively burned an area the size of Delaware have also gotten people thinking about the connection between climate change and wildfires like never before.