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Aquafornia news Associated Press

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Congress passes spending deal — Includes energy/water programs

The three-bill bundle includes: … — $44.6 billion for energy and water programs, including programs to ensure nuclear stockpile readiness and spur innovation in energy research. The bill also funds flood-control projects and addresses regional ports and waterways.

Aquafornia news Herald and News, Klamath Falls

$500,000 in Klamath water study funds cut

The Klamath Tribes believe the federal government has taken a “giant step backwards” in the road to a comprehensive, long-term agreement aiming to solve water conflicts in the Basin. That’s because the U.S. government rolled back a federal program in its fifth year of providing $500,000 for a study aimed at testing water quality in Upper Klamath Lake.

Aquafornia news St. George, Utah, Spectrum

Utah board weighs Lake Powell Pipeline financing options

Utah has some difficult financial decisions to make as it considers the Lake Powell Pipeline. The governor-appointed Executive Water Finance Board toured Washington County water facilities Tuesday as part of its second and final day of meetings in Southern Utah. Board members are considering the pipeline and its potential costs to both the St. George area and the state as a whole.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Thirsty cities drill for water

In increasingly dry conditions, cities from Australia and the Middle East to the American Southwest are pursuing groundwater, either as an integral piece of their future water supply or as an emergency stopgap measure. Los Angeles, looking long-term, aims to double the share of its water supply that comes from groundwater by 2040 and cut reliance on distant and shrinking sources like the Colorado River.

Aquafornia news The Riverside Press-Enterprise

Trump policy imperils migratory birds along Pacific Flyway, environmentalists and states say

Frank Ruiz sees fewer birds at the Salton Sea these days. As salinity levels climb and kill fish in the giant but receding Coachella Valley lake, there are fewer white pelicans, brown pelicans and  cormorants to be found, said Ruiz, the Salton Sea program director for Audubon California. “We’ve also seen a huge decline in other species like eared grebes,” he said.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

EPA penalizes Sacramento sanitation district $37,830 for chlorine gas releases

The Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District faces a $37,830 civil penalty as the result of a settlement reached Tuesday with the Environmental Protection Agency in response to three chlorine gas releases and other risk management violations between 2013 and 2014.

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Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Butte County water savings about double state’s rate

The latest water conservation figures released by the state show Butte County saving at about double the statewide rate. The Water Resources Control Board released the number for July last week, and statewide water savings were 13.6 percent lower than in July 2013, the benchmark pre-drought year.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Proposed Monterey County alternative water treatment ordinance draws criticism

A proposed county ordinance aimed at allowing regulated alternative treatment options for contaminated small water systems was delayed Tuesday amid criticism about cost and bureaucratic oversight.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Monsoon storms, key to recharging groundwater, may become less common

Monsoon storms in the desert Southwest are vital for recharging groundwater – but it now appears likely this recharge effect may be compromised by climate change. The major cities of the Southwest – Phoenix, Tucson, Albuquerque, Las Vegas – currently get most of their freshwater from the Colorado River or its tributaries. That river, however, is experiencing its 19th straight drought year, suggesting a new permanent dry state is gripping the giant watershed.

Aquafornia news The Bakersfield Californian

Nuts decline as Kern’s 2017 ag production tops previous year by 1%, again beating Tulare, Fresno counties

Kern apparently retained its title as the nation’s top-grossing farming county as a report released Tuesday showed its 2017 agricultural bounty surpassed 2016’s total by 1 percent despite declines in the value of locally produced almonds and pistachios.

Aquafornia news Las Vegas Review-Journal

Second appeal filed over ruling against Las Vegas pipe water plan

The appeals are piling up over a recent state decision blocking the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s plans to pipe groundwater from Eastern Nevada. Four days after water authority board members approved a court challenge of State Engineer Jason King’s Aug. 17 ruling, opponents of the controversial pipeline project launched an appeal of their own targeting a specific part of last month’s decision.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

EPA’s top watchdog quits amid probes of agency’s leadership

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency’s internal watchdog office announced his retirement Tuesday, leaving subordinates to pursue ongoing ethics probes involving former EPA chief Scott Pruitt and his team.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Environmentalists worry that Florence will leave behind a toxic mess in North Carolina

Rick Dove is an environmental paparazzi operating at more than 1,000 feet above the ground. A senior advisor with the Waterkeeper Alliance, he circles the floodwaters from Hurricane Florence in the back seat of a tiny propeller plane, gripping his camera while searching for toxic problems below.

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Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News/East Bay Times

Editorial: Reject Proposition 3 $8.9 billion pay-to-play water bond

Proposition 3 is a classic “pay-to-play” initiative that California voters should soundly defeat on Nov. 6. The $8.9 billion water bond package points to some serious water issues that demand the Legislature’s attention. But loading up an initiative with giveaways to special interests and local public agencies is no way for the state to conduct its business.

Aquafornia news CALmatters

Commentary: Political expediency worsens long-term consequences

Politicians face a perpetual conflict between what’s expedient at the moment and what they should do for the long-term. The tendency, unfortunately, is for expediency to prevail, thus worsening longer-term consequences. … An even more graphic example is what happened in 2017 to Oroville Dam on the Feather River, the centerpiece of the state’s massive water distribution system.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Commentary: To manage future water shortages, California must update its water grid

California’s climate is changing, and droughts are becoming more intense. Five climate pressures will seriously stress the state’s water system: warming temperatures; shrinking snowpack; shorter and more intense wet seasons; more volatile precipitation; and rising seas. While California is making good progress in addressing some areas of climate vulnerability, a more focused plan of action is needed.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Commentary: How WaterFix hurts the poor

California’s system of dams and canals is made of equal parts concrete and injustice. Injustice is baked into the system, which unfairly burdens Stockton and the Delta. A “vast and powerful” constituency of Delta water exporters — the south-valley water districts of Big Ag, southland urban consumers — likes it that way. Their latest baby, the California WaterFix, is more of the same.

Aquafornia news Audubon

Commentary: Shortage on the Colorado River is imminent, but a catastrophic one is not

The new Lake Mead forecast is out… and it isn’t pretty. The Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) now predicts a 57% likelihood that Lake Mead will drop below 1,075 feet in 2020. The risk has grown an additional 5% since the last update.

Aquafornia news Water in the West

The Groundwater Exchange: A new online platform consolidates groundwater resources and tools

To help Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) move forward with drafting and implementing their sustainability plans under California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), Maven’s Notebook, in partnership with Stanford’s Program on Water in the West (WitW) and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), launched a new website, The Groundwater Exchange, to provide a central hub of science-based information related to SGMA.

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Aquafornia news Weather West

Blog: Record summer heat across much of state retreats; some deeper thoughts on El Niño

After a truly searing start to summer across most of California, especially in the south, the last several weeks have felt rather mild by comparison. The record-breaking heatwaves of July, followed by record warm ocean temperatures later in the summer in SoCal, made for very uncomfortable conditions across some of California’s most densely populated regions for much of the summer.