Aquafornia

Overview

Aquafornia
Water news you need to know

A collection of top water news from around California and the West compiled each weekday. Send any comments or article submissions to Foundation News & Publications Director Doug Beeman.

Subscribe to our weekday emails to have news delivered to your inbox about 9 a.m. Monday through Friday except for holidays. Or subscribe via RSS feed.

For breaking news, follow us on Twitter.

Check out our special news feeds devoted to: 

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 New Times San Luis Obispo

State Water Board worries Paso Robles groundwater decline will impact domestic wells

As North County water stakeholders wait for the state’s approval of a 20-year Paso Robles Groundwater Basin sustainability plan, the State Water Resources Control Board recently expressed concerns about whether that plan does enough to reverse the basin’s decline and protect domestic well users.

Aquafornia news Army Corps of Engineers

Blog: Sacramento District quick to adapt in face of COVID

USACE Sacramento District has a proven track record of facing challenges head-on. When 2020 brought with it the Novel Coronavirus, the District responded quickly to address the needs of a rapidly changing work environment…This year marked the start of major construction on the [American River Common Features] project, and the pandemic hit just as crews were mobilizing, meaning both USACE and its contractors faced unexpected public impacts.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: Four water stories to watch in 2021

Now that the calendar has flipped to January 2021, it’s time to say goodbye to the mess of the past year, yes? … The pandemic’s economic dislocation continues to reverberate among those who lost work. Severe weather boosted by a warming climate is leaving its mark in the watersheds of the Southwest [including the Colorado River]. And President-elect Biden will take office looking to undo much of his predecessor’s legacy of environmental deregulation while also writing his own narrative on issues of climate, infrastructure, and social justice….Litigation over toxic PFAS compounds found in rivers, lakes, and groundwater is already active. Lawsuits are likely to continue at a brisk pace…

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: UC San Diego detects coronavirus in wastewater samples from five areas of campus

UC San Diego says it detected traces of the novel coronavirus in five areas of campus over the weekend after it greatly expanded its search for the pathogen in wastewater samples drawn from dozens of buildings.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Association of California Water Agencies

Blog: State water board will survey COVID-19 financial impacts

The intent is to help the State Water Board better understand the financial impacts of COVID-19 on drinking water systems, including details about the amount of money that customers owe to water systems with implementation of the order suspending water service shutoffs.

Aquafornia news EdScoop

UC Berkeley builds pop-up wastewater lab to aid local public health agencies in COVID-19 response

The University of California, Berkeley set up a temporary laboratory where it is testing sewage water to spot signs of COVID-19 in the San Francisco Bay Area. University leaders said the new high-throughput pop-up lab is helping health officials collect data on where the virus may be spreading, circumventing some of the limitations of testing people individually.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Poop may tell us when the coronavirus lockdown will end

From Stanford to the University of Arizona, from Australia to Paris, teams of researchers have been ramping up wastewater analyses to track the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Initial studies show that sewage monitoring, or “wastewater-based-epidemiology,” could not only tell us how much the virus might actually be spreading in a community — but also when the virus has finally gone away.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

California water board collects data on household water debt, utility finances

California regulators sent a survey on Monday to 150 of the state’s largest water providers in an attempt to shed light on the financial fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. The State Water Resources Control Board wants to know how economic slowdowns related to the virus have affected utility finances and, at a household level, how many residents have overdue water bills.

Aquafornia news Water Finance & Management

Non-revenue water: An opportunity for water utilities, now more than ever

Conservative estimates from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies suggest the industry as a whole is expected to lose at least $12.5 billion due to the coronavirus when all is said and done. Revenue concerns are spurring utilities to find new infrastructure investments that can help offset shortfalls. The persistent problem of non-revenue water is a good place to start.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Editorial: After COVID-19 ends, will Californians go thirsty?

In the midst of drought yet again, and two decades into the 21st century, California continues to operate with a water infrastructure engineered and constructed for 20th century climate conditions and populations. That’s true not only of the state’s physical network of dams and aqueducts, but of its legal and financial infrastructure as well — the pricing rules that allocate the state’s precious liquid resources among its 40 million thirsty people. The coronavirus emergency has highlighted some of the most serious stresses in the system.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Blog: Addressing water affordability in urban California

In the midst of the pandemic and recession, the cost of delivering safe drinking water continues to rise across California, creating a crisis of affordability for water users and a revenue problem for water suppliers. PPIC talked to Robert Shaver—board chair for the California Urban Water Agencies (CUWA) and general manager of the Alameda County Water District—about how the state’s largest public water agencies are thinking about this issue.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Friday Top of the Scroll: Just how bad is California’s water debt problem? The state isn’t sure

A statewide water shutoff moratorium has kept the tap on for Californians who haven’t been able to pay their water bill in the midst of the pandemic-driven economic crisis. But ratepayer debt has been accruing for months now, leading to revenue losses for water providers across the state.

Aquafornia news NBC Bay Area

How COVID put a $10 billion emergency on the back burner

COVID-19 has stopped or stalled at least a dozen Bay Area projects designed to prevent damage from rising sea levels. And experts say time is running out, as the latest NASA readings show exponential increases in ocean and bay water levels around the Bay Area.

Aquafornia news Coachella Valley Independent

Two of the valley’s largest water agencies say a statewide moratorium on shutoffs has not caused financial problems—yet

Today, nearly seven months have passed since then, and the state is still mired in the pandemic—so questions are beginning to arise about how much debt is being accumulated, not only by the state’s water providers, but by customers who can’t afford to keep up with payments.