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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 Arizona Republic

Cleanup of cancer-causing toxins in Phoenix has been delayed for years

The water beneath a large swath of Phoenix isn’t fit to drink. A plume of toxic chemicals has tainted the groundwater for decades, and it’s now at the center of a bitter fight over how the aquifer should be cleaned up and what should happen to the water in the future.

Aquafornia news St. George News

Utah water managers seek public input on regional water conservation plans

According to a draft of the Utah Regional Water Conservation Plan, the Lower Colorado River South region … is slated to reduce water use 14%, to 262 gallons per capita by 2030 and ultimately 22%, with 237 gallons per capita by 2065. … New laws and ordinances may be passed to help enforce reduced water use.

Aquafornia news Capitol Weekly

Opinion: Why California needs another water bond in 2020

Many Californians might ask, “Didn’t we already pay for that?” The answer is that while California has indeed started to make critical investments in these crucial areas,we’re still playing catch-up after failing for decades to adequately invest in basic infrastructure.

Aquafornia news San Joaquin Valley Sun

Opinion: On two critical water bills, we can hear praise and silence

Why would a Valley lawmaker who authored a bill to save jobs, irrigate farms, and ensure communities receive clean water, then vote to pass a different bill which denies all of that?

Aquafornia news Pasadena Star-News

Opinion: Science shunned by Trump once more

When the salmon are healthy, the world is healthy. That means the waters are clean and fast-running and the bottom gravel is clean. It means the rivers … are pouring as they should into our oceans, bringing nutrients and sediments into the salt- and fresh-water interplay.

Aquafornia news Inkstain.net

Blog: All I want is an accurate Colorado River map

I’ve spent half a day tormented by a problem that has already tormented me many times before in my career: Where can one find a Colorado River Basin map that is accurate? It seems like such a simple task, but as others have noted before, it is an ongoing problem. The list of problem areas is long, and many seem to have a strong political motivation.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News Doug Beeman

Friday Top of the Scroll: ‘The Blob’ is back: New ocean heat wave emerges off West Coast

A massive marine heat wave that caused record warming of ocean waters off the West Coast five years ago, sending salmon numbers crashing and malnourished sea lions washing up on beaches across California and other Pacific states, is back, scientists said Thursday.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook Matt Weiser

Droughts, tunnels & clean water: A conversation on California water policy

Recently, the Sacramento Press Club hosted a panel discussion on the future of California water featuring Secretary Wade Crowfoot, Metropolitan General Manager Jeff Kightlinger, and State Water Contractors General Manager Jennifer Pierre.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record Matt Weiser

First step taken toward pipe bringing water from Paradise to Chico

An idea to pipe water from Paradise to Chico took its first step Wednesday, when the Paradise Irrigation District board signed off on a feasibility study for the proposal. The plan might seem far-fetched at first glance, but it would solve a couple of problems.

Aquafornia news Arizona Public Media Matt Weiser

New border wall could further deplete groundwater supplies

According to a Customs and Border Protection spokesperson, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument has identified existing groundwater wells construction contractors can use. In addition, the contractor has proposed drilling new wells along the border for the wall project. Currently, the construction contractor estimates needing about 84,000 gallons of water per day for the project.

Aquafornia news Audubon

Blog: Water to flow in Colorado River delta again

However, this is brackish water. For a few months we will see it in the Colorado below Morelos Dam, reminding us of the river that once flowed there. It is agricultural drainage that comes from farms in southwestern Arizona that use the Colorado River to irrigate in the desert.

Aquafornia news SFGate.com

The story of a California Delta island selling for less than a San Francisco condo

A 10-acre island in Isleton, an hour south of Sacramento in the California Delta’s fresh-water Seven Mile Slough, is changing hands for $1.195 million. (SF’s median condo price is about $1.25 million.) The buyer is Thai Tran, who owns a mini-chain of Vietnamese pho restaurants in Sacramento, and listing agent Tony Wood of KW Commercial says Tran and his family plan to transform the property into a destination.

Aquafornia news Tri County Sentry Matt Weiser

Groundwater workshop causes concern for Oxnard

Groundwater in Ventura County had a severe talk about reductions as the Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency held its fourth workshop about the future. The proposed new plan will commence in 2020 and will start slow but will ramp up and reduce groundwater pumping in the area significantly.

Aquafornia news Ventura County Star Matt Weiser

Here’s a look inside Ventura’s wastewater operations

There’s a lot of confusion and concern about what will happen once the city of Ventura no longer discharges millions of gallons of water into the Santa Clara River Estuary. … To help residents get a better understanding of how Ventura’s wastewater operations work, and to help answer those questions, city officials opened up its facility to the public last week.

Aquafornia news Gilroy Dispatch

Llagas Creek flood control project is underway

Construction has begun on the first phase of a five-year, $180 million flood control protection project for the historic Upper Llagas Creek watershed, from Gilroy to north Morgan Hill. … Funds for the project are from Measure B, the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program, as well as other state and federal sources.

Aquafornia news Arizona Daily Star Matt Weiser

Below-average rainfall this summer could push Tucson into short-term drought

Tucson’s below average rainfall for August, which is typically the wettest month during monsoon season, might mean it’s time to face the music and prepare for a potential short-term drought, according to local weather experts.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal Matt Weiser

Editorial: Here’s hoping salmon habitat is finally being protected

Hopefully, the Board of Supervisors’ approval of a study on construction in the San Geronimo Valley watershed is a strong step forward to ending more than a decade of costly studies and lawsuits.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Opinion: Regional effort creates water solutions for the Coachella Valley

Behind the scenes, the valley’s public water agencies have been working together to earn grants and improve water management for our entire region.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources Matt Weiser

Blog: Coming home: Helping endangered fish return to suisun marsh

DWR is currently overseeing five habitat restoration projects in Suisun Marsh. In October 2019, one of these projects, the Tule Red Tidal Habitat Restoration Project – which converts approximately 600 acres of existing managed wetland into tidal habitat – is expected to finish construction.

Aquafornia news U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Matt Weiser

Blog: Marsh of Dreams

Over the past 200 years, California has lost 97% of its wetland habitat. The Carpinteria Salt Marsh Reserve, part of the UC’s Natural Reserve System, represents about 3% of what remains of California’s coastal wetlands. Due to a century of draining for land use and land development, the marsh has dwindled to 230 acres.

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