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Aquafornia
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. Send any comments to Foundation News & Publications Director Doug Beeman.

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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 PR Newswire

News release: Longfin smelt return to Tule Red tidal restoration site

After only 6 months post-construction completion and levee breach at the Tule Red Tidal Restoration Project, longfin smelt have returned. The 420-acre restoration site converted wetlands managed primarily for waterfowl to tidal wetlands for the benefit of dwindling native fish populations including Delta smelt, longfin smelt, Chinook salmon and the food web that supports them.

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Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

News release: DWR awards $65.8 million in grants to support local water resilience projects

The $65.8 million in grants will help fund projects such as groundwater replenishment and habitat restoration within the Colorado River, Lahontan, San Francisco Bay Area and Santa Ana Proposition 1 funding areas. More than $12 million of this amount targets projects that also help disadvantaged and underrepresented communities, including Tribal governments.

Aquafornia news California American Water

News release: California American Water recommends building operators and schools to flush pipes to maintain water quality

Extended periods of inactivity in buildings can cause lead leaching or legionella growth in water pipes and taking proper steps can help minimize potential exposure to both these contaminants. … Proper reopening procedures help in verifying that water systems and equipment are in safe working order.

Aquafornia news Capitol Weekly

Opinion: Time to reconfigure Dept. of Toxic Substances Control?

With our massive size, talented population and innovative institutions, the Golden State is uniquely positioned to build back better. … One example is the state Department of Toxic Substances Control … charged with regulating hazardous wastes and overseeing cleanup of contaminated sites. Increasingly, it has come under scrutiny and even withering criticism from a range of stakeholders – from environmental advocates to the industries that it regulates.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

News release: San Luis Reservoir algal bloom at warning advisory

The Department of Water Resources urged people to avoid physical contact with the water at San Luis Reservoir in Merced County until further notice due to blue-green algae. Boating is allowed, but swimming and other water-contact recreation and sporting activities are not considered safe under the warning advisory due to potential adverse health effects.

Aquafornia news CALmatters

Opinion: Our community will have a voice in proposed hydro-electric storage project near Joshua Tree

The proposed Eagle Mountain project went through nearly 10 years of regulatory review, mostly under the Obama administration, with deep investigations of potential impacts and subsequent requirements for some of the most stringent mitigations ever placed on a project. … The one hitch for us? We, the very communities who will be impacted by this project have no real voice.

Aquafornia news Pagosa Daily Post

Opinion: Concerning the Colorado River

While Imperial Irrigation District has the largest right within California, it was not the Imperial Valley that was responsible for California’s overuse. That was the Metropolitan Water District. We are among the very oldest users on the Colorado River and have built a community, ecology, and way of life here in the desert dependent upon the waters of the Colorado that have sustained us since 1901.

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: EPA limits states and tribes’ ability to protest pipelines and other energy projects

The Environmental Protection Agency finalized a rule Monday curtailing the rights of states, tribes and the public to object to federal permits for energy projects and other activities that could pollute waterways across the country. The move … upends how the United States applied a section of the Clean Water Act for nearly a half century.

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Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

Blog: Seasonal maps provide snapshot of state groundwater levels

The Department of Water Resources produces groundwater level change maps which show groundwater levels in wells throughout the state. When looked at together, these reports give a statewide picture of groundwater conditions and how they change over time – through wet periods or droughts.

Aquafornia news The Nevada Independent

In Nevada, investors eye underground water storage as a path to profits

Across the Southwest, investors are banking on water scarcity. They are buying up farms and ranches as states explore new programs that could make it easier to sell and transfer water. … Today a new type of investor has started eyeing water in the basin, less intent on building a new community than on supporting existing ones within one of the nation’s fastest growing states.

Aquafornia news High Country News

Bay Area towns need to address sea-level rise. Will they?

The water keeps rising, shrinking the window for implementing solutions. Sea-level rise already threatens the bay shore, which, at about 500 miles, is half the length of the entire California coast. The worst is yet to come: The Bay Area needs to plan for a 2-foot rise by 2050 and up to 7 feet by 2100.

Aquafornia news Water Well Journal

Action on revised lead and copper rule scheduled for this summer

The proposed rule revision represents the first major overhaul of the Lead and Copper Rule since 1991. The proposal includes changes for lead tap sampling, corrosion control treatment, lead service line replacement, consumer awareness and public education, new requirements for community water systems to conduct lead in drinking water testing, and public education in schools and childcare facilities.

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

Blog: Black lives matter

We have elected to suspend our regular CalifornaWaterBlog.com posts for this week. Institutional racism is urgent and real, and should divert us from topics of California water at this time… At the Center for Watershed Sciences, we acknowledge that while we strive for equity and inclusion in our science in line with our Principles of Community, we have a long way to go to address racism and unconscious bias. 

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

COVID-19 resources for water quality monitoring programs and watershed stewards

To assist monitoring programs in staying informed and learn how to adjust their programs, especially conducting field activities during this time of COVID-19, the State Water Board’s Clean Water Team has compiled this list of resources. Few clear guidelines exist for water quality monitors, but we can learn from other fields like wastewater management and keep everyone safe & healthy.

Aquafornia news The Hill

Trump administration looks to fast track logging on public lands

The proposals from the Bureau of Land Management would eliminate a 15-day protest period afforded to the public to comment on timber sales and other forest management decisions. BLM said the comment period they are proposing to cut is repetitive, as people can already submit their thoughts when a project is undergoing review under the National Environmental Policy Act.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Law

States, Democrats want federal help to clean up old oil wells

Fossil fuel companies going bankrupt in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic are expected to leave behind thousands of abandoned oil and gas wells, and some congressional Democrats are calling for a federal program to ensure they’re cleaned up. There are 56,000 known abandoned oil and gas wells in the U.S., leaking methane and other air and water pollutants, said Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.) …

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

Opinion: San Diego and Tijuana’s shared sewage problem has a long history

U.S. policymakers understand quite well the impact of Mexico’s wastewater management on American communities. What they fail to comprehend is that the ongoing border sewage crisis is rooted in a longer history of U.S. imperialism and private enterprise in the San Diego-Tijuana region.

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Aquafornia news Las Vegas Sun

Las Vegas water use dropped when businesses closed. Now, it’s going back up

Las Vegas water use decreased rapidly starting in mid-March, around the same time that Gov. Steve Sisolak instituted a stay-at-home order and closed most nonessential businesses. But since late April, it has gradually been increasing to more typical levels, Las Vegas Valley Water District data shows.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Disaster experts develop COVID-19 guidelines for water-related emergencies

In May, Cyclone Amphan made landfall in Bangladesh and eastern India. The category 5 storm forced around 3 million people to flee their homes. With this scenario in mind, a group of disaster experts published guidelines for political leaders and emergency managers so that they can prepare before the storms hit.

Aquafornia news The Daily Nexus

UCSB researchers investigate the “untapped gold mine” of wastewater testing for COVID-19

The lab aims to understand not only the current circulation of the novel coronavirus, but also project what capacity must be built in the future to combat a potential second wave, according to Laurie Van De Werfhorst, a senior staff scientist who’s worked with Dr. Patricia Holden for almost 19 years.

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