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Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

BREAKING NEWS UPDATE: Trump orders quicker environmental review of California water projects

President Trump on Friday directed federal agencies to speed up their environmental review of major water projects in California and to develop plans to suspend or revise regulations that hamper water deliveries. The directive will have little immediate practical effect. But it comes a bit more than two weeks before a midterm election in which some Central Valley Republicans are in close races to hold on to their congressional seats.

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Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

BREAKING NEWS: Can Trump force California to drain its rivers? He’s about to try

President Donald Trump was expected to intervene in one of California’s most contentious water wars Friday by signing a memorandum designed to scuttle state regulators’ plans to keep more water in the rivers at the expense of farms and cities. 

Trump was expected to sign the memo Friday afternoon in Arizona, alongside Rep. Jeff Denham, a Republican from the San Joaquin Valley, according to Politico. Denham, R-Turlock, has been pleading with the Trump administration for weeks to block the state’s plan. 

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Aquafornia news Western Water

Friday’s Top of the Scroll:California leans heavily on its groundwater, but will a court decision tip the scales against more pumping?

In 1983, a landmark California Supreme Court ruling forced Los Angeles to cut back its take of water from Eastern Sierra creeks that fed Mono Lake. Some 35 years later, an appellate court concluded the same public trust doctrine that applied in the Mono Lake case also applies to groundwater that feeds a navigable river in a picturesque corner of far Northern California. But will this latest ruling have the same impact on California water resources as the historic Mono Lake decision?

Aquafornia news Redding Record Searchlight

State officials ‘racing’ to prevent Carr Fire erosion before rains

State officials said today [Oct. 18] they are “racing” to implement erosion control measures before the start of the rainy season on hills left bare by the Carr Fire. … [Clint] Snyder [assistant executive officer, Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board] said the erosion control is focused on protecting human life and property, preserving drinking water sources in the Sacramento River and wildlife.

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Aquafornia news Associated Press

Wet and mild: Warm winter predicted for much of the US

Winter looks wet and especially mild for much of the country, thanks to a weak El Nino brewing, U.S. meteorologists said. The National Weather Service on Thursday predicted a warmer than normal winter for the northern and western three-quarters of the nation. The greatest chance for warmer than normal winter weather is in Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, Montana, northern Wyoming and western North Dakota.

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Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

Agricultural history and habitat restoration come to life on San Joaquin River Tour


The San Joaquin River was the focus of one of the most contentious legal battles in California water history related to providing in-stream flows for fish, leading to the creation of the San Joaquin River Restoration Program. On our San Joaquin River Restoration Tour, Nov. 7-8, we will visit all five reaches of the project and meet with restoration specialists, water managers, environmentalists, farmers and fish biologists to gain a deeper understanding of this complex issue and see the program’s progress firsthand.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco water safe to drink — tests after scare in Sunset show no pesticides

Independent lab tests ordered by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission found no evidence of pesticides in San Francisco’s drinking water, the agency announced Thursday. The SFPUC collected and analyzed 21 water samples following a minor panic last week after several residents in the Sunset District complained that their store-bought water-testing kits yielded positive results for the herbicides Atrazine and Simazine. Their concerns were amplified over social media.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Community leaders celebrate removal of deadly, ugly Dennett Dam in Modesto

Community leaders on Thursday gathered along the shore of the Tuolumne River in Modesto to celebrate the removal of Dennett Dam, an eyesore that created blight, damaged the ecosystem and presented a safety hazard for decades. … The Tuolumne River Trust has been working on plans to remove the dam since 2009. 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

New seismic era begins as earthquake warnings are readied to ring in California

Tom Heaton thought it was crazy when, back in the 1970s, he first heard about the concept of an earthquake early warning system. Japan’s high-speed rail system already was using the technology to slow down trains before shaking from a distant earthquake hit. But the more the young Caltech scientist did his calculations, the more he dreamed of bringing the system to California.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Environmental groups file suit to block waivers for Texas border wall

A coalition of environmental groups has sued to stop the Trump administration from speeding construction of the first phase of southern border wall construction by waiving dozens of landmark environmental laws meant to protect air and water quality, public lands and wildlife.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Environmental group condemns GOP panel’s foreign agent probe

An environmental group has denounced a House oversight committee for suggesting the organization’s efforts to block construction of a U.S. military base on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa may require it to register as foreign agent. … The environmental group has been part of a long-running fight to protect an endangered marine mammal.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

AP FACT CHECK: Trump misses on storms, science, clean air

President Donald Trump in his interview with The Associated Press said he has “a natural instinct for science.” But what he said about hurricanes, clean air and climate doesn’t quite get the science right. More than a dozen scientists, economists and climate negotiators pointed out where his comments didn’t fit with the reality of human-caused climate change, hurricanes and air pollution.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Marin moves to upgrade Santa Venetia flood berm

The county has assembled a prospective plan to upgrade the timber-reinforced berm that protects some 900 homes in Santa Venetia from flooding. The Board of Supervisors set aside $840,000 from the county’s general fund on Tuesday for possible use in helping to fund the $5 million project.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Chula Vista bayfront gets a literal boost as port prepares for climate change

Chula Vista is rising — literally. To account for potential sea level rise, the Port of San Diego is elevating a portion of the city’s bayfront by as much as 8 feet in preparation for a $1-billion hotel and convention center.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Marina Coast board race could mean continued shift

A relatively small entity at the center of key Monterey County water issues for about a decade, the Marina Coast Water District is at a significant point, and the race for three seats on its five-person board of directors could help determine the district’s future. Five candidates are running for the board, including three incumbents and two challengers making it inevitable at least one of the incumbents will win.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Mayor returns home to try to lift town plagued by poverty

“It’s completely new to have somebody [Huron Mayor Rey Leon] who has this kind of a vision,” [Caroline] Farrell [executive director of the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment] said. “Rey is really thinking about the just transition that needs to happen in the valley if we’re going to be dealing with climate change and if we’re going to be dealing with water issues and extreme heat and all of this.”

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Tule elk are eating too much grass in Pt. Reyes. Should they be shot so dairy cows can graze?

The last several years, about 20 tule elk have taken up residence on Nunes’ historic “A Ranch,” one of a handful of private dairy farms and cattle ranches that sit inside the federally-owned Point Reyes National Seashore.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

Fishing groups sue harbor district

A lawsuit was filed against the Humboldt Bay Harbor Recreation and Conservation District by the Humboldt Fishermen’s Marketing Association and Trinidad Bay Fishermen’s Association. The two fishing groups are suing over a long list of allegations that include alleged dredging failures and money management issues among other things.

Aquafornia news KQED Science

Where have all the critters gone? Blame climate change.

Insect populations in the tropics are facing a crisis as global warming drives up temperatures, causing a 98 percent decline in their numbers over the last four decades. Those are the findings of a new study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which suggests that climate change is disrupting the global ecosystem at an accelerating pace.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Two South Korean men convicted of poaching Mendocino Coast succulents ordered to leave the US

Two South Korean men involved in a black-market scheme to uproot native succulent plants from Mendocino Coast cliffs to ship to clients in Asia were handed this week two-year prison terms, a sentence they’ll avoid serving by agreeing to leave the country, prosecutors said.