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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. Send any comments or article submissions 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 Los Alamitos, CA Patch

Rain returns to Orange County as oil spill cleanup continues

While the ongoing California drought may make the most of this high chance of precipitation, the changing weather poses many problems for the U.S. Coast Guard, the department being tasked with cleaning the 144,000-gallon oil spill that has been creeping down Orange County’s coast since last weekend. … According to the U.S. Coast Guard, storms in Orange County earlier this week may have contributed to the dispersal of the oil as it moves south. Erratic weather can make “skimming” ocean water for crude oil that much more challenging…

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Aquafornia news VC Reporter

Efforts continue to create a sustainable Ventura River Watershed

Can we live within our watershed?  Human beings used to easily live within their watersheds, only habitating where there was enough water to sustain themselves. Today, we have the technology and money to put water where it is needed. But climate change is forcing a hard truth to seep to the surface: Water is a limited resource and we may not have enough for all. 

Aquafornia news GV Wire

Fresno Unified trustee moves into Westlands Water District gig

Fresno Unified Trustee Elizabeth Jonasson Rosas is embarking on a new career as the public affairs representative for the Westlands Water District, which identified her in its announcement Wednesday as Elizabeth Jonasson. Jonasson Rosas says she’s fine being identified either way.

Aquafornia news Arizona Mirror

Colorado River drought conditions spur calls for better water infrastructure

Experts in government, agriculture, water management and the environment stressed during a U.S. Senate hearing on Wednesday the danger that droughts fueled by climate change pose in the West, including the Colorado River Basin.  During a hearing before an Energy and Natural Resources Committee panel, witnesses said long-term solutions and an investment in water infrastructure are needed to combat the effects of climate change.

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Aquafornia news Streetsblog Los Angeles

Blog: Southern California doesn’t have to choose between housing and the environment

Amid a historic drought, the ever-present threat of wildfires and worsening heat waves, a little-known controversy is pitting environmental conservation against housing production, potentially threatening progress in building a thriving Southern California that can also withstand the challenges that are coming with climate change.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Bay Times

Small California farms hurting during drought and water shortages

Farming has always been dependent on varying weather patterns. With a water shortage and fear of wildfires, farming has become an even riskier occupation. These circumstances are beyond their control and small farmers are having an especially tough time because they don’t have the many resources available to them that larger farms do. As the drought continues to worsen, many water-use limitations and regulations will be enforced upon all California residents and businesses—including mandatory water restrictions.

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Aquafornia news San Rafael, CA Patch

Proposed Marin water pipeline capacity scrutinized

If what is already a historic drought goes on much longer, a proposed water pipeline could help Marin avert disaster, but it likely won’t be enough, The Marin Independent Journal reports. The proposed $90 million, 8-mile pipeline that would stretch across the San Francisco Bay across the length of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge could potentially provide as much as 13.5 million gallons of water each day, according to the report.

Aquafornia news KCRA - Sacramento

Drought campaign aims to avoid repeat of deadly lesson for trees

A new campaign online, on billboards and over the airwaves is aimed at urging California residents to avoid a deadly mistake involving trees that has been learned from previous droughts. The new campaign from the Regional Water Authority and the Sacramento Tree Foundation is titled “Stress your lawn, save your trees.” The focus of the campaign is to educate the public that lawns can handle less water but that drought‐stressed trees can be lost forever if they do not receive enough moisture.

Aquafornia news Desert Sun

Opinion: Conserving water saves money, helps future Coachella Valley residents

Extended droughts broken up by rainy years are part of a natural cycle here in California. Our state is once again in another dry period, with areas of Northern California already experiencing a significant impact. It is not a question of if, but when the Coachella Valley faces a similar fate. Thanks to decades of targeted projects and careful planning, Mission Springs Water District will have enough water to serve our 40,000 customers in and around Desert Hot Springs.
-Written by Arden Wallum, general manager at Mission Springs Water District.

Aquafornia news CBS San Francisco

Thursday Top of the Scroll: Drought emergency – San Jose Mayor Liccardo proposes outdoor watering limits to 2x/week, renews calls to conserve

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo renewed calls for residents to conserve water and proposed outdoor watering restrictions Wednesday as California’s ongoing drought deepens. … The mayor announced he will introduce a memorandum to the City Council in the next few days that would restrict outdoor watering to two days a week… Liccardo said he was also looking at updating the city’s Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance to only allow for drought-tolerant landscapes.

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Aquafornia news Cronkite News - Arizona PBS

Experts: No short-term answers to problem of drought, water shortages

State and federal officials told a Senate panel Wednesday that there may be long-term solutions to the historic drought gripping the West, and the water shortages that come with it, but that the short-term outlook remains grim. The hearing comes against the backdrop of a 20-year-long drought has left about 90% of the West affected. Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., said tree-ring and soil evidence indicates that the region may be going through the worst drought in 1,200 years – certainly the worst in the 100 years or so that records have been kept.

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Aquafornia news TheHill

UN agency warns of looming global water crisis

Climate change is poised to result in a worldwide water crisis, and international institutions and governments have not done enough to prepare, according to a report released Tuesday by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The report determined that as of 2018, some 3.6 billion people did not have sufficient access to water at least one month every year. … The report follows a summer that, in the U.S. alone, laid bare the threat of climate change to water supply and infrastructure. Lake Mead and the Colorado River saw their first-ever federal water shortage declaration in August, two months after its water levels hit an all-time low.

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

Announcement: Visit Oroville and Shasta dams, rice farms, wetlands and more during our online Northern California Tour

Register now for next week’s virtual Northern California Tour on Oct. 14 to explore the Sacramento River and its tributaries and learn about issues associated with a key source for the state’s water supply, including the drought now gripping California. During the afternoon online event, you’ll visit rice farms and wetlands in the Sacramento Valley and hear from farmers and environmentalists about efforts to restore runs of endangered chinook salmon and help birds along the Pacific Flyway.

Aquafornia news NPR

Limits on water use are shaking up California agriculture

California’s agricultural empire is facing a shakeup, as a state law comes into effect that will limit many farmers’ access to water. The seven-year-old law is supposed to stop the over-pumping from depleted aquifers, and some farmers — the largest users of that water — concede the limits are overdue. … The limits on that water use will force many farmers to scrap practices that relied on unfettered access to that shrinking underground reservoir.

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Aquafornia news SJV Water

Kern River lawsuit “unleashed” public’s rights

A new player has entered the fray over forfeited Kern River water rights, bolstering the position that the public has a right to a flowing river. The state Department of Fish and Wildlife argues in a legal brief filed recently that the state Water Resources Control Board is absolutely obligated to consider the public trust doctrine in all water decisions, including whether there’s “loose” water on the Kern River. That doctrine states California holds all natural resources, such as rivers, in trust for the public.

Aquafornia news Water Technology

Companies to pay for groundwater cleanup at California Superfund site

Three settlement agreements were recently approved by the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Under the agreements, Montrose Chemical Corporation of California, Bayer CropScience Inc., TFCF America Inc., and Stauffer Management Company LLC have agreed to pay $77.6 million for cleanup of contaminated groundwater at the Montrose Chemical Corp. Superfund and the Del Amo Superfund Sites in Los Angeles County, California.

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Aquafornia news Modesto Bee

Ag secretary talks about drought, trade, other Valley topics

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack talked Tuesday about Central Valley farmers’ role in a climate-safe future, and about families stressed by food costs. He took part in a Zoom call with Rep. Josh Harder, D-Turlock, and leaders in California agriculture. Vilsack discussed his department’s response to the current drought and the barriers to exports of dairy foods, nuts, citrus and other products. And he plugged the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill now before Congress. It would improve roads, rail, ports and other modes of transportation, along with rural broadband and water supplies.

Aquafornia news Water News Network

Blog: Dinner table lessons launch water industry careers

Jobs in the water and wastewater industry provide stable employment in meaningful careers, delivering a vital resource families and businesses depend on. With half of all current employees expected to retire in the next 15 years, recruitment efforts hope to fill many of these essential positions. Family ties provide a positive influence in filling these roles with the next generation of water professionals in several water agencies in San Diego County.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Community Fuels, Stockton, director sentenced for illegal dumping

The former director of a Stockton biofuel company was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison Monday for unlawful discharge of industrial wastewater, tampering with monitoring equipment and conspiracy. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Christopher Young, director of operations at Community Fuels from 2011 to 2016, is charged with participating in the dumping of hundreds of thousands of gallons of polluted wastewater into Stockton’s sewers after tampering with water sensors.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Rain in Sacramento, California: humidity, air quality, drought

According to the National Weather Service, Sacramento can expect a 30% chance of rain Thursday and Friday. But it’s probably not enough for an umbrella. Thursday morning is expected to be mostly cloudy with a chance of showers after midnight extending into Friday morning before noon. Scott Rowe, the lead meteorologist of the National Weather Service in Sacramento, said valley communities will largely remain dry if not completely dry.

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