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.
If you’ve been to Disneyland, Cambria, many parts of Los Angeles, then you most likely had a swig of highly treated recycled water. Recycled water meaning, yes, it was once in a sewage treatment plant. For many years this recycled water has helped Orange County meet the needs of its growing population and reduce the toll on its declining aquifers. Soon, the same kind of water may be coming to Clovis and Fresno’s drinking water.
A federal lawsuit that could determine access to water in the Klamath Basin this summer has taken a new turn as parties argue whether the Klamath Tribes should post a $50 million bond to protect irrigators. According to parties intervening in the suit, at least $50 million is needed to cover financial losses for agricultural producers who would lose access to water if the court rules in the Tribes’ favor.
The Pentagon is objecting to a Republican proposal in a defense policy bill that would bar the Fish and Wildlife Service from using the Endangered Species Act to protect two chicken-like birds in the western half of the U.S.
The Hoopa Valley Tribe notified federal agencies Wednesday of its intent to file a lawsuit claiming the agencies failed to follow their own protocols that are meant to protect Endangered Species Act-listed coho salmon when they approved this year’s salmon fishing regulations.
The Trump administration on Wednesday eased rules for handling toxic coal ash from more than 400 U.S. coal-fired power plants after utilities pushed back against regulations adopted under former President Barack Obama. … U.S. coal plants produce about 100 million tons annually of ash and other waste, much of which ends up in unlined disposal ponds prone to leak.
The California Supreme Court decided unanimously Wednesday to remove from the November ballot a measure aimed at dividing California into three states. The decision was a defeat for Tim Draper, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist considered an eccentric entrepreneur who spent $1.2 million on the measure.
If the Ferguson Fire currently burning in Mariposa County spreads to Yosemite National Park, a tiny bug resembling a mouse dropping would share some of the blame. An epidemic of bark beetles is devastating billions of pine trees across the West in what has been described as the largest forest insect outbreak ever recorded.
With the reopening of Highway 1 at Mud Creek, Caltrans can close the books on damage inflicted upon this road by the winter storms of 2017. After 17 months and more than $100 million replacing a damaged bridge and rebuilding the highway in two locations, drivers can once again skirt the western edge of the continent, forever burnished by wind, rain, waves and tide.
According to federal prosecutors, Trenton Sargent, 28, rammed his ATV into the gate at Devils Hole and entered the protected National Park Service site 90 miles west of Las Vegas. Once inside, Sargent and two other men shot up signs, locks and parts of the surveillance system before Sargent went into the water, smashing in the process the eggs and larvae of the critically endangered Devils Hole pupfish at the peak of its spawning season.
A fast-moving fire fueled by gusting winds in the Pacific Northwest killed one person, forced dozens of households to evacuate and prompted Oregon Gov. Kate Brown to declare a state of emergency Wednesday. … It comes as other states across the American West, including California and Colorado, have struggled with massive blazes that have torn through land gripped by drought.
The small group of Iranian farmers gathered around their tractors — long idle, parked at the town entrance next to a canal that once irrigated their fields but has been dry for years — and they protested, pleading for help from the government.
Even trusting your local weather announcer is political these days. Take the battle in Congress over the renewal of a grant to help television meteorologists incorporate climate change into their weather reporting.
The image on the computer screen shows our uncertain future. It features a plummeting vector representing Lake Mead. This is where water for Arizona as well as for California and Nevada is stored. As the climate shifts in the Colorado River Basin in ways no model is fully capturing, the river’s flow continues to diminish and the lake lowers.
The public discussion of climate change is often loudest in the aftermath of extreme events, especially those that break records or cause mass destruction. No one forgets Hurricane Katrina or Hurricane Ivan. … But marine heatwaves – extreme warm-water events in the ocean that may last many months and extend over thousands of square kilometers – lack any naming or categorizing conventions.
California’s aquatic ecosystems and the species that depend on them are in trouble. Dramatic changes in water and land use over the past 150 years have transformed the state’s freshwater landscape, and the latest drought brought additional stress. We talked with Lewis Bair, general manager of Reclamation District No. 108, about where we need to go from here
Today [July 18], the Department of Water Resources (DWR) convened the inaugural meeting of a community-led group of local elected officials and stakeholder organizations – known as the Ad Hoc Group – as part of the recently initiated Oroville Dam Safety Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA). The Ad Hoc Group consists of 12 community members appointed by State Senator Jim Nielsen and Assembly Member James Gallagher to provide community perspectives to both DWR and an Independent Review Board (IRB) of dam safety experts throughout the assessment process.
This week’s California Water Plan eNews includes: Flood-MAR’s potential to be discussed during Watershed University webinar; A collaborative plan to deal with the Central Valley’s salt and nitrate problems; Next installment in webinar series on wetlands set for Aug. 15; New date and location set for Environmental Water Resources Institute meeting; Water commission to consider conditional funding for storage investment projects; Report provides guidance for restoring coastal areas near power plants
Critical permits and legal challenges are still pending, and some farming groups still haven’t committed to paying for part of Gov. Jerry Brown’s controversial $17 billion Delta tunnels project. But even with the uncertainty, backers of the project are poised to ask the Trump administration for a $1.6 billion federal loan that millions of Californians ultimately would have to repay through increases in their water bills.