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Aquafornia news Associated Press

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: Flint water crisis prompts call for more federal oversight

A federal watchdog is calling on the Environmental Protection Agency to strengthen its oversight of state drinking water systems nationally and respond more quickly to public health emergencies such as the lead-in-the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

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Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Threatened species could lose habitat protections under Department of the Interior proposal

The Department of the Interior announced Thursday controversial plans to roll back core provisions of the Endangered Species Act, a move aimed at reducing the burdens of such safeguards on landowners, industry and governments.

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Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Water war along California-Oregon border pits growers against tribes

As one of the tensest fights for water in the West closes in, residents in this town along the rural California-Oregon border are moving out. The sidewalks are emptier. The downtown is a ghostly strip of vacant storefronts, struggling lunch spots and liquor stores. The highway nearby is flanked by abandoned silos and crumbling produce warehouses.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Here’s how the largest dam removal project in the US would work

No one is popping the champagne corks just yet, but the process to remove four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River just took a big step forward. On June 28, the Klamath River Renewal Corporation released the Definite Plan for the Lower Klamath Project, a 2,300-page detailed analysis of how the reservoirs would be drawn down, the dams removed, the materials disposed of and the formerly inundated land restored.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

US prosecutors: Water company illegally dumped toxic waste

The California company that sells Crystal Geyser bottled water has been charged with illegally disposing of arsenic-tainted wastewater, federal prosecutors said Thursday. The charges don’t allege that CG Roxane LLC sold tainted water, but that it illegally shipped and disposed of the toxic waste filtered from well water.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Desert cities are saving water. Farms and golf courses, not so much.

Every day, millions of gallons of water flow through pipes across the Coachella Valley and pour out to nourish lawns, artificial lakes, farmlands and a total of 121 golf courses. This lush oasis in the desert owes its existence to groundwater pumped from the aquifer and an imported supply of water from the Colorado River.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

New technology turns food waste to water at Rancho Mirage resort

The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians is taking additional steps toward reducing its carbon footprint, installing machines that convert roughly 624 tons of solid food waste into water, rather than send it to local landfills, at the casino resort spa in Rancho Mirage.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Judge tosses out another lawsuit against oil companies but Imperial Beach won’t withdraw

A federal judge on Thursday tossed out a lawsuit filed by New York City that wanted to force oil companies such as ExxonMobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips to pay for damages related to global warming. The decision comes a little more than three weeks after a federal judge in California dismissed suits filed by the cities of San Francisco and Oakland.

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Santa Cruz County to miss deadline on Privates Beach access

Santa Cruz County acknowledged it will miss a deadline to respond to the California Coastal Commission regarding public access at Privates Beach, setting up what figures to be an intense and prolonged dispute between the state agency and the Opal Cliffs Recreation District.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

Cyanobacteria warning issued for Humboldt County waters

The following is a press release issued by the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services: Local Public and Environmental Health officials are warning recreational users of all bodies of fresh water to avoid contact with cyanobacteria (also known as blue-green algae).

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Sacramento Valley almond harvest down about 10 percent

The number of almonds per tree is down about 10 percent this year in the Sacramento Valley, but statewide almond production is expected to increase because there are more trees bearing nuts.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Fed environmental leader visits Fresno for forum, tour

Linda Birnbaum, director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, held a community forum with regional environmental advocates, and toured sites of environmental concern.

Aquafornia news KQED Science

A sea urchin army is mowing down California’s kelp forests — but why?

Kelp forests are the marine mirror images to the towering redwoods onshore, the scaffolding that supports the image of the classic northern California coastline. But these oceanic forests are currently under siege from a potent mix of climate anomalies, disease, and predation that have led to declines in kelp forests not seen in decades.

Aquafornia news Mountain West News Bureau

National monument law gets attention from both sides of the aisle in Washington

Separate bills are active in Congress to alternately strengthen or weaken the law used to create national monuments.

Aquafornia news Las Vegas Review-Journal

Nevada water chief amends Pahrump well ban to exempt some landowners

Pahrump property owners already in the process of developing their land have been exempted from a state ban on new domestic groundwater wells in Nye County’s largest town. Nevada State Engineer Jason King has amended the unprecedented ban he issued last year to effectively grandfather in certain property owners in the town of about 39,000 people 60 miles west of Las Vegas.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Oregon wheat farmers try to stop fire that’s consuming crops

Farmers rushed to save their livelihoods as a wildfire roared through vast Oregon wheat fields Thursday and crushed their hopes at the peak of what was expected to be one of the most bountiful harvests in years. Farmers used water tanks on the backs of pickup trucks and tractors to battle flames whipping across fields for the third straight day.

Aquafornia news St. George Spectrum

Zion National Park preps for more rain; popular trails remain closed

Several popular trails inside Zion National Park remain closed Thursday after they were damaged by flash floods, mudslides and rockfalls in a July 11 thunderstorm.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Commentary: State Water Board’s Delta plan is no fix for fish and hurts farms

In announcing its new Bay-Delta Water Quality plan, the California State Water Resources Control Board said it wanted to “change the channel” on California’s water debate. We completely agree it’s time to move away from outdated thinking and embrace new, collaborative, science-based solutions and therefore are puzzled that the board is stubbornly clinging to the same failed approach of the past.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

News Release: San Luis Reservoir algal bloom at ‘warning’ level

Today [July 19], the Department of Water Resources (DWR) urged people to avoid physical contact with the water at San Luis Reservoir in Merced County until further notice due to blue-green algae (cyanobacteria). Boating is allowed, but swimming and other water-contact recreation and sporting activities are not considered safe under a warning advisory due to potential adverse health effects. A caution level advisory had been in place at the reservoir since June 14. Today’s announcement upgrades that advisory to a warning.

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.