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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. 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 JD Supra

Blog: How California’s oil industry may help preserve agriculture in San Joaquin Valley

A study conducted by researchers at Duke University and RTI International found that reusing oil field produced water that has been mixed with surface water to irrigate crops in Kern County’s Cawelo Water District does not pose any major health risks.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Friday Top of the Scroll: Gavin Newsom’s environmental budget cuts escalate tensions with California activists

Administration officials said the state must make painful choices to keep funding intact for core environmental regulatory and safety programs. They also point out that the governor is proposing to boost spending for wildfire preparedness by $90 million and would preserve funding to enforce new clean drinking-water rules.

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Aquafornia news The Aggie

Almond orchard recycling a sustainable and beneficial strategy for growing almonds

This practice entails on-site grinding of whole, removed trees and the incorporation of the wood chips back into the almond fields before the next replanting. … In terms of soil health, the [University of California] researchers found a 58% increase in soil carbon as well as a 32% increase in water holding capacity compared to conventional burning practices. Overall productivity of the trees increased by 20% as well.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Santa Clara Valley Water District names new CEO

Rick Callender, former president of the San Jose-Silicon Valley NAACP and a longtime water executive, has been named CEO of Silicon Valley’s largest water provider, the Santa Clara Valley Water District. The district, also known as Valley Water, provides drinking water and flood protection to 2 million residents in Santa Clara County.

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Aquafornia news CNET

Can coronavirus spread through lake and pool water? Here’s what we know

The CDC says there’s no evidence the coronavirus can spread to people through pool water and that proper cleaning with chlorine or bromine should inactivate the virus if it’s in the water. So why are pools remaining closed if there’s no evidence of the virus spreading through the water? Because of human behavior.

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Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

California Water Commission: 2019 State Water Project review

At the May meeting of the California Water Commission, Assistant Executive Officer Jennifer Ruffolo presented the draft of the 2019 Annual Review of the Construction and Operation of the State Water Project for the Commission’s consideration and possible approval. Once approved, Commission staff will distribute the review to DWR and the Legislature.

Aquafornia news The Press Democrat

Sonoma County health officer reveals three business sectors recently hit by coronavirus

Under pressure to release more details about recent outbreaks of the coronavirus in the local business community, Sonoma County’s top public health official on Thursday revealed three industries in which workers recently contracted the virus. Dr. Sundari Mase, the county’s health officer, said recent infections have been found among workers at a local winery, a water filtration plant and among a group of farmworkers.

Aquafornia news The Guardian

US Southwest in grip of historic ‘megadrought’, research finds

A recent study published in the journal Science helps explains why, revealing that the south-western US is in the grip of a 20-year megadrought – a period of severe aridity that is stoking fires, depleting reservoirs and putting a strain on water supplies to the states of the region.

Aquafornia news Coastalview.com

Trump administration seeks uranium mining near Lake Casitas and approves oil drilling in Carrizo Plain National Monument

The report could revive past attempts to mine uranium in the Los Padres National Forest in San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties, including a tract of land near Lake Casitas in the Ojai Valley, a source of drinking water for Carpinteria Valley Water District. Many of the report’s recommendations will require additional action before taking effect, such as changes to agency rules or regulations, or passage of legislation.

Aquafornia news AgNet West

NRCS partnership to enhance San Joaquin Valley water efficiency

The Natural Resources Conservation Service is working with American Farmland Trust to help enhance San Joaquin Valley water efficiency. The San Joaquin Valley Land and Water Conservation Collaboration is being made possible through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program from NRCS, in coordination with state and local partners.

Aquafornia news Escalon Times

Environmental projects funded by Wildlife Conservation Board

At its May quarterly meeting, the Wildlife Conservation Board approved approximately $36.2 million in grants to help restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat throughout California. Some of the 31 approved projects will benefit fish and wildlife — including some endangered species — while others will provide public access to important natural resources.

Aquafornia news ScienceDaily

Substantial quantities of tire particles contaminating rivers and ocean

A major UK government-funded research study suggests particles released from vehicle tyres could be a significant and previously largely unrecorded source of microplastics in the marine environment. The study is one of the first worldwide to identify tyre particles as a major and additional source of microplastics.

Aquafornia news Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

Inland Empire water agency gets $196 million loan from EPA

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday, May 28, gave a $196.4 million loan to the Inland Empire Utilities Agency to expand its wastewater treatment plant in Chino. … More wastewater treatment capacity is needed as Chino and neighboring cities served by the plant add residential and commercial development.

Aquafornia news The Grunion

Review begins for Los Cerritos Wetlands restoration’s environmental impact

Restoration of the 500-plus acres of wetlands has been a goal for literally decades of both city officials and environmental advocates. Since the discovery of oil there in 1926, combined with the channelization of the San Gabriel River, the once 2,400-acre wetlands complex has been landfilled, graded and activated as a working oil field. Much of the remaining wetlands is controlled by Beach Oil Minerals Partners (BOMP).

Aquafornia news The Grass Valley Union

Nevada Irrigation District general manager to resign in July

Nevada Irrigation District General Manager Remleh Scherzinger announced Thursday he will resign from his position, effective July 11, an emailed letter states. Scherzinger did not give a reason for his departure, nor did he indicate plans about what he’ll do next.

Aquafornia news Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes

Blog: The hydrometeorological observation network in California’s Russian River watershed: Development, characteristics and key findings

This network has been built up over 20+ years during several epochs, including most recently in support of Forecast-Informed Reservoir Operations with USACE and Sonoma Water, and with an eye toward developing knowledge of what observations would be needed in the future to support California’s needs for hydrometeorological information related to drought and flood monitoring and mitigation across the state.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

Blog: Pyramid Dam modernization program team completes spillways investigations

As part of an effort to modernize Pyramid Dam located in Los Angeles County, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) recently completed assessments for the dam’s gated and emergency spillways. The Pyramid Dam Modernization Program is now entering the investigations phase, which includes structural and hydraulic analyses for the gated spillway and erodibility analysis for the emergency spillway.

Aquafornia news Agri-Pulse

Thursday Top of the Scroll: Budget cuts for SGMA funding could hurt farmers later

The governor’s administration in January pitched ambitious proposals to help fund implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) and cushion its impacts on farmers and local communities. In the May Revision of the budget, however, all but one funding allocation from an earlier proposition have been withdrawn.

Aquafornia news CalMatters

Blog: What’s at the heart of California’s water wars? Delta outflow explained

The latest dustup In California’s water wars, as noted in Dan Walters’ commentary, revolves principally around the federal government’s efforts to increase the amount of water supplied to farms and cities by the Central Valley Project, and a breakdown in cooperation between the state and federal government. It seems like everyone is suing each other. But what are they really fighting over?

Aquafornia news The Sun-Gazette

Feds say Tule groundwater could continue to sink

The gravity-fed Friant-Kern Canal that is key to survival for 15,000 east side San Joaquin Valley farms continues to be impacted by subsidence. Land near Porterville appears to be most worrisome where the land has sunk so much due to adjacent water pumping that the canal has lost 60% of its capacity. As of July 2018, it was estimated the canal is approximately 12 feet below the original constructed elevation.

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