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Overview

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.

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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 San Luis Obispo Tribune

After years of fighting, Morro Bay sewer gets final OK by Coastal Commission

The commission voted unanimously Thursday to proceed with the new infrastructure plans. Project advocates said the site, located more than 3 miles inland, was the type of plan the commission wanted to see because it will keep the plant away from the sea where it’s vulnerable to flooding, tsunamis and sea-level rise.

Aquafornia news Manteca Bulletin

Work continues to reinforce Lathrop levees

While elected officials in Sacramento work to secure funding to ensure that the levees along the San Joaquin River are reinforced to be able to withstand a 200-year flood, the City of Lathrop has been performing the work necessary to continue development within the floodplain while that work is completed. … The city has received financial backing from a number of developers that don’t want to see development stop until the costly repairs are mad.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

Humboldt Bay is retaking the land as the sea level rises

Between 1890 and 1910, almost 90% of Humboldt Bay’s salt marshes, about 8,100 acres, were diked and drained for agricultural uses or walled off from tidal inundation with the construction of the Northwest Pacific Railroad. Now … the earthen dikes are beginning to fail, both because they haven’t been maintained and because they aren’t tall enough to hold back the rising tides brought on by rising sea levels.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Stockton biofuel firm fined $401K for dumping industrial wastewater into city sewers

American Biodiesel also admitted to tampering with monitoring devices and methods that are designed to detect clean water standards. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, employees’ tampering was done with the purpose of underreporting acid and pollutant levels and volumes that otherwise would have exceeded figures allowed by the city’s regulations.

Aquafornia news Santa Clarita Valley Signal

Public Health raises septic tank costs in unincorporated areas, sends ‘confusing’ letter

In a letter recently distributed to a number of residents in the unincorporated areas of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced a new fee on septic tank users, leaving some confused and others surprised.

Aquafornia news Colorado Public Radio

‘Greywater’ could help solve Colorado’s water problems. Why aren’t we all using it?

Colorado was the last Western state to legalize greywater usage in 2013. Officials say that by 2050, our water supply could fall short for over one million people. … Colorado’s Water Plan wants to close the gap and recognizes greywater as one tool to help make that happen. However, not a single state-approved greywater system has been built since it was legalized.

Aquafornia news Photographic Museum of Humanity

The illusion of limitless water

In black and white, John Trotter documents the use of water from the Colorado River, tackling the social, political, and environmental impact of the way it’s dealt with. Spanning over years and kilometres, his ongoing essay is a dire political outcry.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Editorial: Sweetwater water agency needs more, not less, transparency

The authority said it’s legal to keep the public in the dark on committee meetings. No, not in a democracy.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Forbes

Opinion: Megadroughts and desalination — another pressing need for nuclear power

Only 15 out of the thousands of desalination plants operating today worldwide are powered by nuclear. A small one is at the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant in California, slated to be closed soon. The plant could power several huge desalination plants for decades that could desalinate its own cooling water, removing the most commonly stated problem with the plant.

Aquafornia news FishBio

Blog: Invertebrates with altitude: Effects of drought in mountain streams

Benthic macroinvertebrates, including insect larvae, worms, snails, and other backbone-lacking creatures, often rule the alpine waterways. However, their high-altitude homes put them on the front lines of climate change, which threatens to have major impacts on mountain streams. This is particularly true of streams in the Sierra Nevada of California…

Aquafornia news Somach Simmons & Dunn

Blog: Five things you need to know about SB-200: california’s proposed clean drinking water fund

The California Legislature recently passed SB-200 that will create an annual fund of $130 million to tackle the state’s drinking water problems. Here are five things you need to know about SB-200…

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Friday Top of the Scroll: California lawmakers seek to slow desert water project

A project to pump billions of gallons of water out from under the Mojave Desert and sell it to people in Southern California could be slowed by a bill approved for the first time on Thursday by the Democratic-controlled Legislature.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news San Joaquin Valley Sun

Feds seek comment on tweaks to California water operations

Seeking to implement updated scientific methods to its operations in the Golden State, the Bureau of Reclamation released a draft environmental impact report on the coordinated operations between the federal Central Valley Project and California’s State Water Project on Thursday.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

Your don’t-miss roundup of summer reading from Western Water

In the weekly sprint through work, it’s easy to miss interesting nuggets you might want to read. So while we’re taking a publishing break to work on other water articles planned for later this year, we want to help you catch up on Western Water stories from the first half of this year that you might have missed.

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

Explore a scenic but challenged California landscape on our Edge of Drought Tour

New to this year’s slate of water tours, our Edge of Drought Tour Aug. 27-29 will venture into the Santa Barbara area to learn about the challenges of limited local surface and groundwater supplies and the solutions being implemented to address them.

Aquafornia news E&E News

Climate, NIMBY concerns drive move to floating power plants

Climate-conscious local and state officials are increasingly embracing electricity sources that float on water, as they seek ways to convert their least-coveted spaces into hubs of electricity. This summer alone, developers broke ground on California’s largest floating solar project, located on a wastewater treatment pond in Sonoma County.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Fly fishing for ‘sewer salmon’ in the L.A. River

People who fish for carp have a love for them, as I learned when I joined my guides at the middle of the river in Long Beach. Lauren Mollica, a former pro skateboarder who now works primarily as a carpenter, has been fishing the L.A. River for about a year, and she waxes rhapsodic about the scent freshly caught carp leaves on one’s hands.

Aquafornia news KTVU

Water company replacing aging pipes in face of earthquakes

The East Bay Municipal Utility District is replacing an aged and faulty 3,000-foot water pipeline that would most likely rupture during a major earthquake and cut off water service to residents for weeks, if not months. The current pipeline has averaged a major break each year for the last 30 years, with increasing regularity, as this land has continued to shake and shift.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

‘A floodier future’: Scientists say records will be broken

Government scientists predict 40 places in the U.S. will experience higher than normal rates of so-called sunny day flooding this year because of rising sea levels and an abnormal El Nino weather system. A report released Wednesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts that sunny day flooding, also known as tidal flooding, will continue to increase.

Related article:

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Groups urge Newsom to fire oil and gas regulators, citing conflicts

Two consumer groups are calling on California’s governor to freeze all new oil drilling permits and to clean house at the agency that issues them, after the organizations uncovered records showing that top state regulators and engineers held investments in Exxon Mobil, Chevron, BP, Valero and other petrochemical giants.

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