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 Matt Weiser

Opinion: Rivers of life: Russian River watershed

Over the last two decades most urban creeks have been reverted from straight, lifeless channels back to more naturalized streams that still provide flood protection but are now abundant with trees, grasses and wildlife. … Despite these tremendous advances, the 150 creeks in the Russian River watershed and the critters that live in them are vulnerable.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California Matt Weiser

Blog: The Russian River: Managing at the watershed level

Water managers across the state face new and more extreme challenges as the climate warms—from balancing the sometimes conflicting needs of urban, agricultural, and environmental water users to reducing risks from fires, floods, and droughts. We talked to Grant Davis, general manager of the Sonoma County Water Agency, about how his agency is approaching these challenges comprehensively, at the scale of the entire watershed.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle Matt Weiser

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: ‘Blob’ of warm Pacific water is back — could be trouble for marine life and weather

The mass of unusually warm water, known officially as the Northeast Pacific Marine Heatwave of 2019, is the second largest in 40 years. Experts say it is behaving in the same way and is on a trajectory to be as strong as the infamous blob that disrupted the entire West Coast ocean ecosystem from 2014 to 2016.

Aquafornia news USA Today Matt Weiser

California’s wildfire season is off to a quiet start. That could change this week

Forecasts of strong winds in Southern California this week have heightened concerns that the state’s fire season, tame in its early stages compared to the devastation of last year, could swing into destructive, even deadly mode.

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Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times Matt Weiser

California law would block Trump expansion of oil drilling and fracking

California on Monday sought to block the Trump administration from allowing new oil and gas wells in national parks and wilderness areas in the state. Any new oil or gas projects approved in federally protected areas would be prohibited from having their pipelines or other essential infrastructure cross state lands, under legislation approved by California lawmakers.

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation Matt Weiser

Northern California Tour explores water resources across Sacramento Valley to Shasta Dam

Get an up-close look at some of California’s key water reservoirs and learn about farming operations, salmon habitat restoration, flood management and wetlands on our Northern California Water Tour Oct. 2-4.

Aquafornia news Fox 5 San Diego Matt Weiser

EPA updates residents on efforts to reduce cross-border pollution

A representative from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday evening updated San Diego residents on the EPA’s efforts to reduce transboundary pollution in the water between Mexico and the United States.

Aquafornia news Siskiyou Daily News Matt Weiser

Harmful algal blooms found in north Siskiyou waterways

After performing testing on nearly 60 state waterways with a history of harmful algal blooms, the State Water Board last week put out a “danger” advisory for Iron Gate Reservoir and Copco Reservoir.

Aquafornia news Fox 26 News Matt Weiser

No simple fix for Sanger’s leaking water tower

Sanger’s water tower at Academy and Fifth has stood tall for 105 years. Recently it started showing its age. Public works director John Mulligan says the base plate where the water climbs up the pipe into the tank is leaking.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources Doug Beeman

News release: Pyramid Dam modernization project kicks off: DWR assesses spillways this fall

Today, the California Department of Water Resources began assessment work on Pyramid Dam’s spillways in Los Angeles County as part of a statewide effort to reduce seismic and hydrologic risk to State Water Project facilities spanning 705 miles throughout California.

Aquafornia news Oroville Mercury-Register Matt Weiser

Editorial: Chico, Paradise problems may have single solution

Of all the chicken-or-the-egg dilemmas that will determine Paradise’s recovery from the Camp Fire, water may be the most critical. To rebuild, the town needs water from the Paradise Irrigation District. To survive, PID needs the town to rebuild. One can’t happen without the other, and it’s been tough to figure out how it’s going to work.

Aquafornia news CALMatters Matt Weiser

Opinion: In going after Trump, California is going too far with environmental legislation

We cannot advance the fight for environmental quality by declaring that all science stopped on a specific date. If it’s dumb for the President to close his eyes to science, it’s dumber for us to follow him down that rabbit hole.

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Aquafornia news Davis Enterprise Matt Weiser

Opinion: Residential graywater for outdoor irrigation

When the next drought rolls around, and it will, we could be sitting pretty with healthy trees and landscapes using less water from the Sierra than we do now. How could we accomplish this? The answer is graywater, defined in California as the discharge from laundry wash water, showers, and bathroom sinks.

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog Matt Weiser

Blog: The good, the bad, and the ugly of California’s state-mandated urban water conservation

The state’s drought response was seen by some as an overwhelming success and by others as an unprecedented, and possibly illegal, invasion of local water suppliers’ management… Through analyzing the practical outcomes of the state’s drought response, the overall experience can be distilled into what worked and what didn’t.

Aquafornia news Union of Concerned Scientists Matt Weiser

Blog: The world is in a water crisis and climate change is making it worse

Presently, three (Los Angeles, Phoenix, and San Diego) of the top ten most populous cities in the US–home to about 7 million people–are within ‘extremely high’ water stress regions. … Twenty years from now, another four cities (New York, Chicago, San Antonio, and San Jose) may experience such conditions.

Aquafornia news American Rivers Matt Weiser

Blog: A programmatic approach to dam removal and river restoration

Removing one obsolete dam is an accomplishment. Removing more than 30 in one year is unheard of. Yet, that’s exactly what Cleveland National Forest did in 2018. They removed 33 dams, which accounted for more than 40% of all dam removals in the United States in 2018.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Monday Top of the Scroll: Water users fight California’s anti-Trump environmental bill

Senate Bill 1 has strong support from some of California’s most influential environmental and labor organizations, including some that helped get Gov. Gavin Newsom elected. But several of California’s water suppliers and agricultural interests … oppose the measure. This includes the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which has made SB 1 a top lobbying priority.

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Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Could wildfires be good for water availability?

Wildfires in California leave behind acres of scorched land that make snowpack formation easier and more water runoff downstream from the Sierra Nevada to basins in the Central Valley, increasing the amount of water stored underground. That’s the finding from researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, who discovered that blazes in some parts of the state could result in more water availability.

Aquafornia news Redding Record-Searchlight

Shasta Dam case appealed to California Supreme Court

Westlands Water District has filed an appeal with the California Supreme Court in an attempt to overturn a lower court ruling and get on with assessing the effects of raising the height of Shasta Dam.

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

FLASH SALE: Save 50% Today Only On Book That Chronicles Water’s Role in Shaping California

Here’s a golden deal to celebrate the Golden State’s Admission Day into the Union: Get 50 percent off the paperback Water & the Shaping of California, a treasure trove of gorgeous color photos, water literature and famous sayings about water.