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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 University Corporation for Atmospheric Research Matt Weiser

Blog: Climate change has altered winter precipitation across the Northern Hemisphere

A team of scientists has successfully teased out the influence of human-caused climate change on wintertime precipitation over the last century, showing that the warming climate altered wintertime rainfall and snowfall across the Northern Hemisphere.

Aquafornia news UCLA

Blog: Prioritizing equity helps ensure poor communities receive benefits of bond measures

In 2014, California voters approved Proposition 1, which set bold goals to fund water quality, supply and infrastructure improvements. In a new paper, UCLA researcher Jon Christensen investigated how it prioritized investments in disadvantaged communities. Christensen wanted to know if Prop. 1 was living up to its goals. We spoke with him about the study and how its findings can inform future environmental funding.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Thursday Top of the Scroll: UCSD discovers surge in plastics pollution off Santa Barbara

Much of the so-called microplastic was carried into the ocean by storm runoff or in the flow from wastewater treatment plants, and became embedded in sea floor sediment, said Jennifer Brandon, a Scripps biologist who specializes in plastics.

Related article:

Aquafornia news AgAlert

Groups work to restore fish populations

In the Sacramento River near Redding this spring, water districts, government agencies and others collaborated to construct the Market Street Gravel Project to benefit fish. … Reclamation District 108 Deputy Manager William Vanderwaal said that to complete the $429,000 project, 12,000 tons of gravel were placed into the river and developed as new spawning habitat for chinook salmon and steelhead trout.

Aquafornia news The Sun-Gazette

Canal plans to bypass subsidence with 30-mile parallel path

As the old saying goes, if you can’t go through something, go around it. And at an estimated cost of $357 million, the Friant Water Authority is contemplating a 30-mile parallel canal to circumvent the portion of the Friant Kern Canal that has been negatively affected by subsidence.

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

Executive Director Jenn Bowles stresses importance of impartiality in Foundation’s work

Bowles explained to Dr. Todd Votteler, host of the Talk+Water Podcast, the importance of remaining impartial as a journalist and how that value carries over into the work of the Foundation, which she described as the Switzerland of the water world. The Foundation, she said, strives for balance in its journalism, tours and conferences by including a range of voices and perspectives.

Aquafornia news Fox News

Farmers concerned over how mandatory water cuts from Colorado River will impact agriculture

Nevada and Arizona, concerned that a 20-year drought has dried up much of the river, are trying to rein in water use in an effort to save the disappearing river. The river’s water levels next year are projected to be just below the threshold of 1,090 feet laid out in the Drought Contingency Plan that was signed earlier this year…

Aquafornia news KLCC

Proposed EPA rules could limit state and tribal power to block infrastructure projects

The rules specifically would restrict these non-federal governments’ authority to review the water quality impacts of projects that require a federal permit or license. These projects range from pipelines to hydropower facilities to dredging — any development that result in “discharge” into U.S. waters.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

Sea level rise looms over Humboldt County’s shoreline, officials warn

As a region, Humboldt County has the “highest rate of relative sea level rise” on the United States’ West Coast, according to data compiled by the county’s planning and building department. The data indicate that even one meter of sea level rise would top nearly 60% of the structures protecting Humboldt Bay’s shoreline.

Related article:

Aquafornia news The Sun-Gazette

Water utilities being held liable for wildfires

At its Aug. 5 meeting, the Visalia City Council unanimously approved a letter of support for California Water Service’s effort to eliminate water suppliers’ liability due to wildfires. California Water Service, which operates Visalia and 22 other municipal water systems throughout the state, says the threat of legal action against water suppliers is “arcane” legal reasoning and could actually put water users at risk.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

A city auditor was investigating DWP contracts. She says she was warned not to be ‘thorough’

As a high-level government auditor, Beth Kennedy has investigated or reviewed the spending of many city of Los Angeles departments without serious incident, she says. But now, Kennedy … is alleging she was warned not to delve too deeply into controversial contracts awarded by the Department of Water of Power, according to a legal claim she filed against the city last month.

Aquafornia news Plumas News

Help sought to track Northern California summer steelhead

As part of the status review process, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife is soliciting information from the public regarding Northern California summer steelhead ecology, genetics, life history, distribution, abundance, habitat, degree and immediacy of threats to reproduction or survival, adequacy of existing management measures, and recommendations for management of the species.

Aquafornia news The Sun-Gazette

City links golf course to recycled water

As the deadline for groundwater sustainability approaches in California, one Tulare County city has taken another step toward eliminating its need for landscape irrigation. At its Aug. 19 meeting, the Visalia City Council approved a notice of completion to replumb the waterlines used to irrigate the Valley Oaks Golf Course to carry recycled water instead of groundwater.

Aquafornia news The Ceres Courier

New Keyes plant filters out arsenic

Keyes’ problems with unacceptable high levels of arsenic arose in late 2006 when the district was issued a Notice of Non-Compliance from the California Department of Public Health. … The quality of Keyes’ drinking water had not deteriorated but the Environmental Protection Agency had lowered the maximum allowable contaminant level for arsenic from 50 parts per billion to 10 parts per billion. Three of four Keyes wells were testing at 12 to 14 parts per billion.

Aquafornia news Colusa County Sun-Herald

Groundwater authority to host public workshops in Colusa and Glenn counties

The Colusa and Glenn groundwater authorities will host a pair of public workshops about local groundwater conditions and areas of concern in portions of Glenn and Colusa counties…

Aquafornia news Las Vegas Sun

County sales tax for water projects is extended indefinitely

A quarter-cent sales tax raising $100 million annually for water and wastewater projects will remain in place indefinitely following a decision Tuesday by the Clark County Commission. … The 6-1 vote removes a sunset clause that would have made the tax expire in 2025.

Aquafornia news Medford Mail Tribune

Ashland project helps migrating salmon

It was only a little dam, a couple feet high, but it blocked juvenile salmon from swimming the upper 2 miles of Ashland Creek. On Tuesday, a powerful excavator tore it out with one bite and soon the stream will be restored to its ancient look, feel and flow.

Aquafornia news Natural Resources Defense Council

Blog: Why SB 1 must ensure that CESA applies to the federal CVP

Now, some are arguing that the bill should be stripped of its longstanding provision applying the State’s own Endangered Species Act to the operations of the federal Central Valley Project. Here’s why that’s a terrible idea.

Aquafornia news The Planning Report

Blog: Katy Young Yaroslavsky unpacks Measure W, LA’s ‘Safe, Clean Water Program’

Passed by voters in November 2018, Measure W—the Safe, Clean Water Program—imposed a 2.5 cent/sq. ft. parcel tax on impermeable surface construction in LA County and is set to provide upwards of $300 million annually to support stormwater and clean water infrastructure projects. TPR spoke with Katy Young Yaroslavsky, on the Board of Supervisors’ recent approval of the Measure W Implementation Ordinance…

Announcement

Happy Holidays From Aquafornia!

Dear Aquafornia readers,

Thanks for being avid readers of Aquafornia in 2018!

Aquafornia is off for the holidays but will return with a full slate of water news on Jan. 2, 2019.

In the meantime, follow us on Twitter where we post breaking water news and on Facebook where we post a weekend water read on most Sundays and Foundation-related news.

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