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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 Pacific Institute

Blog: The COVID crisis is slashing California’s state budget. What does it mean for water management?

Governor Newsom’s May Revisions to the 2020-2021 state budget reflect … a $54.3 billion budget deficit and propose $18 billion in cuts to state expenditures. … This blog post provides a short summary of the proposed budget changes and their impacts on California water management.

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Aquafornia news Public News Service

Dry year, court decision disappoint Klamath salmon advocates

The Yurok Tribe and commercial fishing groups tried to convince a federal court that an emergency motion to increase flow in the river was necessary for the fish species. But Judge William Orrick of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California denied that motion last week. Frankie Myers, the Yurok Tribe’s vice chairman, says ocean conditions already are bad for the salmon.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Stanford News

Mapping dry wildfire fuels with AI and new satellite data

Anticipating where a fire is likely to ignite and how it might spread requires information about how much burnable plant material exists on the landscape and its dryness. Yet this information is surprisingly difficult to gather at the scale and speed necessary to aid wildfire management. Now, a team of experts in hydrology, remote sensing and environmental engineering have developed a deep-learning model that maps fuel moisture levels in fine detail across 12 western states

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

American River in Sacramento tainted with E. coli, feces

Over the scorching hot Memorial Day weekend, hundreds of people headed to Tiscornia Beach near the confluence of the American and Sacramento rivers, one of the region’s most popular swimming areas. A few days earlier, state scientists had collected water samples with rates of E. coli bacteria that reached the highest limits the testing equipment could detect.

Aquafornia news Escalon Times

Delta smelt on the verge: Efforts to save smelt have far-reaching impact

Two factors are believed to weigh heavily on the Delta smelt’s fate. The biggest is the reduction in fresh water in the Delta since water started flowing southward via the California Aqueduct in the 1960s. … The other threat to Delta smelt are larger fish particularly non-native striped bass and largemouth bass that were introduced to the Delta by man.

Aquafornia news The Log

Poseidon Water’s desalination plan: Are there cracks in the armor?

Marine life mitigation, the need for desalinated water in Orange County and the overall merits of Poseidon Water’s plan to build a $1 billion desalination plant in Huntington Beach were some of the main talking points of a 10-hour virtual workshop, held on May 15. Highlighting the marathon of a workshop: pointed questions about the merits of Poseidon’s proposal…

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Pure Water Monterey expansion remains afloat

A Pure Water Monterey expansion proposal has narrowly survived another attempt to shelve it indefinitely even as the main recycled water project struggles with operational and cost issues that have further postponed its water delivery date and hampered its capacity.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino Sun

Top officials at West Valley Water District kept quiet about HR director’s criminal charges, report says

For more than two months, top officials at the embattled West Valley Water District in Rialto knew their human resources director was fighting felony tax fraud charges, yet allowed her to continue working anyway, according to a confidential report obtained by the Southern California News Group.

Aquafornia news The Conversation

Gold rush, mercury legacy: Small-scale mining for gold has produced long-lasting toxic pollution, from 1860s California to modern Peru

The extraction methods that these operations use today are not drastically different from processes that miners employed in the California gold rush in the mid-1800s. Today we see history repeating itself in places like the Peruvian Amazon, where small-scale gold mining threatens to leave behind long-lasting social, economic and environmental consequences.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

Blog: DWR unveils new benchmark toward reducing carbon emissions

The metric identifies the amount of carbon dioxide per acre-foot of water transported by the State Water Project. Water districts receiving water from the SWP can use this metric to understand the emissions of their water supply chains, and customers can better understand the ‘carbon intensity’ of the water they purchase.

Aquafornia news San Diego County Water Authority

Blog: San Diego region on track to receive $15 million for water projects

Several regional water supply projects in San Diego County are on track to receive more than $15 million from the California Department of Water Resources, pending a final decision this summer. Money for the projects has been recommended by DWR, which will make the awards after a public comment period. In San Diego County, the funds would support local agencies to advance conservation, environmental enhancements, water purification and other initiatives.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: SF ordered downtown office buildings shut. Now it worries about safety of the water within them

Before San Francisco office workers start streaming back to downtown high-rises again, property owners and managers need to make sure those buildings are safe. Not just from the threat of coronavirus circulating among cubicles, but from medical problems that can be caused when water in buildings sits stagnant for months.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Environment

Water, highway bills among must-pass legislation, Hoyer says

House Democrats will focus this summer on passing essential legislation, including the Water Resources Development Act, a highway reauthorization bill, and appropriations measures, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Tuesday. … In early May, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee advanced two major water infrastructure bills (S. 3591 and (S. 3590) that are awaiting floor action.

Aquafornia news KRCR TV

Northstate lawmakers urge Newsom to reconsider proposed cuts to Paradise Irrigation District

Northstate lawmakers and local leaders gathered in Paradise, Tuesday, urging Governor Gavin Newsom to reconsider proposed state budget cuts that would impact the Paradise Irrigation District. … Earlier this month, Newsom proposed cutting the second year of backfill funding to the district meant to help them stay afloat after the Camp Fire decimated the ridge’s water infrastructure.

Aquafornia news Comstock's Magazine

Lean but still green

Drive through new developments across the Capital Region like East Sacramento’s McKinley Village or Folsom’s Folsom Ranch … and one will see a distinctly different landscape than ones installed just 10 years ago. Low- to medium-water-use plants are surrounded by bark mulch with little or no grass, irrigated primarily with a drip system.

Aquafornia news Fairfield Daily Republic

Putah Creek Accord, now 20, remains key to habitat restoration, water flows

It was during the drought in the late-1980s that Robin Kulakow and her fellow birdwatchers began noticing that Putah Creek was running dry. The same observation was being made at places such as Camp Davis, a popular site near the university where youth paddled their canoes and participated in other activities.

Aquafornia news E&E News

States lead court fight against Trump. They’re winning

The Trump administration’s aggressive deregulatory agenda has run full-speed into a blockade set by Democratic attorneys general. Led by New York and California, the states have challenged virtually every effort by EPA and other agencies to walk back Obama-era rules like the Clean Power Plan and Clean Water Rule.

Aquafornia news Data Center Dynamics

Floating data center firm Nautilus secures $100m loan from Orion Energy Partners

The $100m debt facility will cover the costs of finishing projects including the Stockton data center which is expected online in late 2020. The barge-borne data center will use the company’s signature cooling system, cold water, and a system of heat exchangers that use the water surrounding the building as a reservoir.

Aquafornia news Inkstain.net

Blog: 2020 is a dry year on the Colorado River. What happens next year will be more important

This winter’s decent snowfall has turned into an abysmal runoff on the Colorado River, thanks to the dry soils heading into the winter, along with a warm spring. … Our bigger concern is what happens next year. Are we headed for a multi-year drought?

Aquafornia news AgDaily

CRISPR a tool for conservation, not just gene editing

The gene-editing technology CRISPR has been used for a variety of agricultural and public health purposes — from growing disease-resistant crops to, more recently, a diagnostic test for the virus that causes COVID-19. Now a study involving fish that look nearly identical to the endangered Delta smelt finds that CRISPR can be a conservation and resource management tool, as well.

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