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.
The bitter drought validated scientists’ warnings that despite
longstanding endangered species protections, the state’s
outdated and overtaxed water management plans are failing in
the face of climate change. … A report released Thursday by
the Public Policy Institute of California recommends the state
stop prioritizing individual species recovery plans and adopt
holistic management methods that improve entire freshwater
The state is moving to ramp down oil production while
Washington is expediting it. State officials are taking a
closer look at the environmental and health threats —
especially land, air and water contamination — posed by energy
extraction, while Washington appears to have concluded that
existing federal regulations sufficiently protect its sensitive
landscapes as well as public health.
Unfettered pumping has taken a toll on the state’s aquifers for
many years, but just as experts are calling for Arizona to
develop plans to save its ancient underground water, pumping is
accelerating and the problems are getting much worse. Big
farming companies owned by out-of-state investors and foreign
agriculture giants have descended on rural Arizona and snapped
up farmland in areas where there is no limit on pumping.
Unlike Wednesday’s system, the heaviest rainfall from this
storm is expected in Northern California, where several inches
of rain is expected, particularly north of Interstate 80 in the
coastal ranges and Sierra foothills below snow level. This
could lead to flash flooding and debris flows, especially in
recent burn areas.
The Supreme Court today will weigh in a closed-door conference
whether to take up a dispute over states’ role in water
permitting for pipelines, hydroelectric dams, and other
projects. … The question in the case is whether states
unlawfully extended their review time for a hydropower project
on the Klamath River. It’s an issue that has cropped up in
litigation over pipelines and other projects.
Water suppliers across the nation could be required to sample
for manmade “forever chemicals” in an attempt to gauge just how
prevalent the contaminants are in drinking supplies. … Every
five years the Environmental Protection Agency can order large
water suppliers and a sampling of smaller districts to test for
up 30 chemicals that aren’t currently regulated by the Safe
Drinking Water Act.
The Feather River Recovery Alliance has filed a motion to
intervene with the Department of Water Resources’ pending
application to re-license operation of the Oroville Dam. …
The motion requests that the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission reopen the licensing process that was conducted over
a decade ago, and prior to the community becoming aware of
safety concerns at the Oroville Dam.
The planned downtown Palm Springs entertainment arena, like
many desert projects, is a thirsty one, requiring almost 12
million gallons of water each year to accommodate an American
Hockey League affiliate team and other visitors.
With the Delta lagging behind the Bay on four of the State of
the Estuary Report’s five indicators, the last long-range plan
for restoring its ecological health abandoned, and the threats
from climate change becoming ever more alarming, the need for a
new regulatory vision for the region may never have been
Homeless volunteers collect so much trash in the Russian River
watershed — 150,000 pounds as of October this year — that the
state Water Resources Control Board sees it as a model for the
rest of California.
In recent years though, biologists and fisherman noticed
something was wrong. On sections of the Clinch and other
waterways in the Pacific Northwest and Midwest, dead mussels
were turning up on shores and could be seen glinting from the
river bottom. … “The loss is really huge and it’s
happening really quickly,” says Emilie Blevins, a conservation
biologist with the Xerces Society for Invertebrate
Conservation. “It’s a major concern for the future and for the
future of our fresh water.”
After a dry fall, the first storms of the winter kicked off the
annual migration of coho salmon from the Pacific Ocean to the
streams where they spawn. Over 10 inches of rain fell on Lake
Lagunitas last week… Streamflows are now high enough to allow
endangered central California coast coho to migrate.
The city mailed notices to Simi Valley property owners (not
renters) proposing raising sewer rates about 40% over the next
five years to pay for much-needed upgrades to the city’s sewer
system. The sewer treatment plant and many of the underground
pipes are nearly 50 years old. The plant must be upgraded and
many sections of pipe replaced.
Vandenberg Air Force Base is among the U.S. military
installations most at risk for water scarcity, according to a
new federal government report. Of the 102 military bases
identified as at risk for water scarcity in the Government
Accountability Office report published on Nov. 27, Vandenberg
was the only one that was identified in all six climate-related
assessments that sought to identify such installations.
The report by the Environmental Integrity Project released on
Thursday showed some 30 states have reduced funding for
pollution control programs, 16 of them by more than 20%. Forty
states, meanwhile, have cut staffing at environmental agencies,
half of them by at least 10%, the report showed.
To find out more about how major floods, fires and droughts
played a role in past climates, Stephanie Hernandez, an earth
science major, and fellow Cal State Fullerton faculty and
student researchers are working on a first-ever study focusing
on California’s precipitation history and comparing it with the
past 10,000 years.
In a study published Wednesday in Science Advances, researchers
found that from 1978 to 2017, atmospheric rivers accounted for
$42.6 billion in flood damage in 11 Western states — 84% of the
estimated total water-related damage of $50.8 billion. That’s
roughly $1.1 billion in damage done by atmospheric rivers every
Rather than physically move water hundreds of kilometers across
earthquake country between Northern California and San
Bernardino, the plan involves reallocating water virtually,
just as you would electronically transfer funds from one bank
account to another. Once the Chino Basin Program is
operational, in times of drought the southern region can draw
water from the new reserve instead of from the State Water
Project… That will mean water impounded by Oroville Dam can
be released into the Feather River, benefitting endangered
The rising sea might feel like a slow-moving disaster, they
said, but this is a social, economic and environmental
catastrophe that the state cannot afford to ignore. By the end
of this century, the sea could rise more than 9 feet in
California — possibly more if the great ice sheets collapse
sooner than expected.