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Water news you need to know

A collection of top water news from around California and the West compiled each weekday by veteran journalist Matt Weiser.

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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.

Aquafornia news Western Water

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: California’s New Natural Resources Secretary Takes on Challenge of Implementing Gov. Newsom’s Ambitious Water Agenda

One of California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s first actions after taking office was to appoint Wade Crowfoot as Natural Resources Agency secretary. Then the governor laid out an ambitious water agenda that Crowfoot is now charged with executing. In a Western Water Q&A, Crowfoot discussed what he expects to tackle, including scaling back the conveyance plan in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and finding ways to make California more resilient to the extremes of drought and flood that are expected to come with climate change. 

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Josh Harder unveils water plan for Central Valley

Rep. Josh Harder, D-Turlock, thinks there is a better way to find water solutions for California’s Central Valley and to stop squandering water in wet years that’s needed in dry years. His bipartisan water legislation unveiled Wednesday promises federal support for storage and innovation projects to address shortages that too often plague Valley agriculture and communities.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Dozens of dead fish next to Brown’s $6.3 million project

Dozens of fish carcasses — 13 of them Chinook salmon protected by the Endangered Species Act — rotted in the sun Tuesday a couple hundred yards from a new $6.3 million structure that state officials built specifically to keep that grisly scenario from happening.

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

Join Us on Upcoming Water Tours Across the Santa Barbara Region, Sierra Nevada and the Bay-Delta

Our upcoming tours will explore diverse areas of California where attendees can learn about the water-related issues in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the headwaters in the Sierra Nevada and the coastal areas around Santa Barbara. Registration is now open for our newest tour, called Edge of Drought, which will travel through Southern California and the Santa Barbara region Aug. 27-29.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

How ski resorts in California are preparing for warmer winters

North America is not a snow globe, and as the real globe warms, one trend is clear: winter is shrinking and snow is melting. In the last 50 years alone, the frozen mantle that caps the Northern Hemisphere in the dark months has lost a million square miles of spring snowpack. …Coastal ranges like the Sierras and Cascades, where winter temperatures hover close to the freezing point, are most at risk.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Disturbing levels of carbon dioxide likely to increase ocean acidity fast, scientists say

Unusually high concentrations of carbon dioxide have been blowing out to sea from Bay Area cities and agricultural areas, raising concerns that the previously unknown infusions could increase ocean acidity faster than climate change experts have predicted, Monterey Bay scientists said this week.

Aquafornia news The Denver Post

Colorado River basin reservoirs benefit from heavy snowpack

Reservoirs around the Colorado River basin are in good shape after an exceptionally wet winter. The largest reservoirs, Lake Mead and Lake Powell, are expected to be more than half full this year. They haven’t been near capacity since 1999 when drought took hold of the region.

Aquafornia news Merced Sun-Star

Stockton prison begins treating contaminated water

California prison officials have started treating water with chlorine following tests that showed a dangerous bacteria was present in water throughout several facilities in Stockton.

Aquafornia news E&E News

Court limits landmark tribal groundwater case

A California court has sided with a Southern California water district in a high-stakes case with a Native American tribe over access to groundwater.

Aquafornia news Inside Climate News

Saving ecosystems to protect the climate, and vice versa: A global deal for nature

For years, experts in conservation and climate science have urgently pursued two parallel paths—one to interrupt a large-scale extinction event, the other to avert a runaway climate crisis. Now, an international group of scientists is proposing a third way that marries the two in an ambitious plan they hope will save the species that make our planet so rich—including ourselves.

Aquafornia news Santa Barbara Independent

Rebranding wastewater: Turning waste to water

Santa Barbara’s wastewater treatment facility has officially rebranded as El Estero Water Resources Center in a move to change public perceptions about the reuse of wastewater. The facility, previously known as El Estero Wastewater Treatment Plant, celebrated the name change on Monday with a host of speakers and a tour of the facility.

Aquafornia news Sacramento News & Review

Blog: On extinction’s edge

For the first time ever, a fish survey that’s conducted every autumn by the state turned up zero Delta smelt, considered an indicator species that demonstrates the health of the entire Delta ecosystem. Once the most abundant fish in the entire estuary, the smelt population has collapsed to the point where not one fish was found in the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s 2018 Fall Midwater Trawl, the lowest in history.

Aquafornia news San Diego County Water Authority

News Release: Cooperation Preserves Pauma Valley Groundwater

Instead of waiting for Yuima Valley’s precious groundwater supplies to dry up, the Yuima Municipal Water District and local farmers are working cooperatively to create a sustainable long-term strategy for maintaining the region’s economy and quality of life by proactively managing the valley’s aquifer.

Aquafornia news CALmatters

Opinion: Gavin Newsom brings different view to Delta water issue

By rejecting the twin tunnels proposal, Gov. Gavin Newsom has sent an important message that new thinking is required to address California’s complex water issues.

Aquafornia news San Joaquin River Restoration Program

News Release: A Big First: Spring-run Chinook return!

For the first time in over 65 years, threatened Central Valley spring-run Chinook adult salmon have completed their life cycle and returned to the [San Joaquin River] Restoration Area. While spring-run have been placed as adults in the river previously, this is the first time Program fish have migrated out of the system as juveniles and returned as adults years later.

Aquafornia news Futurity

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Can sensor data save California’s aquifers?

In California, the amount of water exiting aquifers under the state’s most productive farming region far surpasses the amount of water trickling back in. That rampant overdraft … has ignited interest in replenishing aquifers in California’s Central Valley through managed flooding of the ground above them. But until now there has been no reliable way to know where this type of remedy will be most effective.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

How an ‘unripe snowpack’ will impact Lake Tahoe this summer

For the third year in a row, Lake Tahoe is expected to fill. This is noteworthy for the sixth-largest lake in the United States that flirted with record-low levels amid a five-year drought that ended in 2017.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

As Bay Area heats up, Gov. Gavin Newsom warns of coming wildfire danger

As temperatures soared to summertime levels across the Bay Area, Gov. Gavin Newsom was at Tilden Regional Park in the East Bay hills Tuesday to warn that wildfires don’t only threaten California’s rural regions.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

The inequalities of climate change: Rich nations get richer, poor get poorer

As the oceans rise and the weather warms, climate change will have its winners and losers. But already it has created a sobering patchwork of economic inequality across the globe, according to researchers at Stanford University.

Aquafornia news KFSN

Kings River officials prepared for warmer temperatures and melting snowpack

 A warm up to 90-degree temperatures right in the middle of spring is something officials with the Kings River Water Association prepared for back in the winter. Water releases on the Kings River from Pine Flat Dam began in early March to accommodate spring storms and runoff from warmer temperatures. 

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