Infrastructure

Overview

Infrastructure

“Infrastructure” in general can be defined as the components and equipment needed to operate, as well as the structures needed for, public works systems. Typical examples include roads, bridges, sewers and water supply systems.Various dams and infrastructural buildings have given Californians and the West the opportunity to control water, dating back to the days of Native Americans.

Water management infrastructure focuses on the parts, including pipes, storage reservoirs, pumps, valves, filtration and treatment equipment and meters, as well as the buildings to house process and treatment equipment. Irrigation infrastructure includes reservoirs, irrigation canals. Major flood control infrastructure includes dikes, levees, major pumping stations and floodgates.

Aquafornia news The Packer

Western senators moving to drought-proof future water supply

A group of senators has introduced the Support to Rehydrate the Environment, Agriculture and Municipalities, or STREAM, Act. The bill would increase water supply and modernize water infrastructure throughout the West. The three senators, all from states affected by the current drought, include Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.). … Infrastructure improvements and additions work toward a long-term solution. And it’s important to think urgently, said the release.

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Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

How California’s drought caused entire towns to sink

The ground is sinking in parts of California as the continued drought strains reservoirs, increasing reliance on the state’s already precarious groundwater reserves depleted by years of well-pumping. In just one year, from October 2020 to September 2021, satellite-based estimates showed entire towns in the Central Valley, including in Kings and Tulare counties, sinking by nearly a foot. The maximum loss recorded during that time was 1.1 feet on the northwestern edge of Tulare County. The sinking, known as land subsidence, happens when excessive pumping dries out the water reserves underground and collapses the space where water used to be.

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Aquafornia news & the West

Weighing the consequences of losing carbon-free energy in California

Old environmental arguments over the consequences of nuclear power had seemed almost resolved in California. Antinuclear sentiment was intensified by the 33-year succession of accidents, from Three Mile Island in 1978 to Chernobyl in 1986 to Fukushima in 2011, severely diminished their appeal. California was getting ready to wave goodbye to its last nuclear plant. Up Close We explore the issues, personalities, and trends that people are talking about around the West. The political realities of 2022 and the need to reduce carbon emissions might change things.

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

Announcement: Agenda now posted for special June 9 workshop in Southern California on precipitation forecasting & drought management

California’s vast network of surface water reservoirs is designed to hold carryover storage from year to year to ensure water is available for urban, agricultural and environmental purposes during dry months and years. But climate change has begun to affect our reliance on historical weather patterns to predict California’s water supply, making it even more difficult for water managers to manage drought conditions and placing a greater emphasis on better precipitation forecasting at longer lead times. Learn about efforts being made to ‘get ahead of the storms’ through new science, models and technology at our special one-day workshop June 9 in IrvineMaking Progress on Drought Management: Improvements in Seasonal Precipitation Forecasting.

Aquafornia news Colorado Sun

Residents question collateral from Unaweep Canyon hydropower plan

A few months ago, [Paul] Ashcraft and several of his neighbors at the highest point in Unaweep Canyon saw a plan proposed by Xcel Energy to build a hydro power plant that will help the company reach its renewable energy goals. The plan put a 75-foot dam holding back the edge of an 88-acre reservoir in Ashcraft’s front yard. The proposal also puts his neighbors’ homes and Colorado 141 underwater. The plan would move water between a reservoir on BLM land on top of the cliffs and a reservoir on private land on the valley floor.

Aquafornia news California Water Research

Blog: California Senate proposes $2 billion program to balance water supply and water rights

The California Senate has proposed a $2 billion reconciliation framework to rebalance water supply and water rights, as part of proposed investments of $7.5 billion in state and federal funds spread over three years for climate resiliency. It is the most sweeping land retirement proposal since the landmark 1992 Central Valley Project Improvement Act.

Aquafornia news Congressman John Garamendi

News release: Garamendi secures wins for Bay Area and Delta infrastructure in Water Resources Development Act of 2022

Today, Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA), who represents Solano Country and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta in the 3rd Congressional District, released the following statement on the passage of the “Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2022” (H.R.7776) in the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure: “The biennial Water Resources Development Act strengthens flood protection, water resources, precious ecosystems, and more in communities across California and the nation”…

Aquafornia news The Associated Press

Explainer: How cities in the West have water amid drought

As drought and climate change tighten their grip on the American West, the sight of fountains, swimming pools, gardens and golf courses in cities like Phoenix, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Boise, and Albuquerque can be jarring at first glance. Western water experts, however, say they aren’t necessarily cause for concern. Over the past three decades, major Western cities — particularly in California and Nevada — have diversified their water sources, boosted local supplies through infrastructure investments and conservation, and use water more efficiently. 

Aquafornia news Palm Springs Life

Pacific Ocean plays key role to restoring beleaguered Salton Sea

Annette Morales Roe learned how to waterski off the north shore of the Salton Sea in the 1960s. … Her family stopped visiting in the early 1970s, around the same time scientists began warning that the Salton Sea would shrink and become inhospitable to wildlife without a sustainable water source. … Now, Roe is certain that she knows how to fix the problem — and has the team to do it. As managing partner and chief strategy officer of Online Land Planning LLC, she is advocating for a plan that would reroute recycled water that’s currently flowing into the Pacific Ocean to the Salton Sea …

Aquafornia news Manteca Bulletin

Opinion: New Melones modeling & megadroughts: Setting stage for state’s water Armageddon

New Melones Reservoir is the proverbial canary in the mine when it comes to where state water policy wedded with the return of megadroughts is taking California. Using historical hydrology data on the Stanislaus River basin between 1922 and 2019: *Based on current regulatory rules New Melones Reservoir would fall below 250,000 acre feet of storage in 3 out of the 98 years. 
-Written by Dennis Wyatt, editor of The Manteca Bulletin.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Readers photo challenge: The bridges that connect the California Delta

This month’s Reader Photo Challenge assignment was “bridges.” Being situated in the California Delta, Central Valley residents know all too well the importance of bridges. Without them communities would be stranded from each other and cities would be split into sections by the network of rivers, canals and sloughs that are ubiquitous to the area. Bridges help to connect us to our neighbors and to each other. Eight readers sent in 31 photos. Here are some of the best examples.

Aquafornia news E&E News

The West, reliant on hydro, may miss it during heat waves

When California suffers a heat wave, it leans heavily on hydropower from the Pacific Northwest to keep the lights on. But that hydropower may not always be available when it’s most needed, as climate change is shifting the ground on which the West’s dams sit. Higher temperatures means snowmelt occurs earlier in the year and leaves less water available for power generation during the depths of summer. 

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Aquafornia news ABC7 Los Angeles

CA water and energy crisis: New plan wants to install solar panel canopies over parts of Turlock Irrigation District’s canals

California needs more water and renewable energy, and Solar AquaGrid CEO Jordan Harris is trying to help. … A big idea is starting with a small stretch of canals in the Turlock Irrigation District, located just south of Modesto. This fall, groundbreaking will begin on a pilot project to build solar panel canopies over existing canals. … A study from UC Merced concluded that shading all of the roughly 4,000 miles of California canals with solar panels could save 63 billion gallons of water every year by reducing evaporation, while potentially creating about one sixth of the state’s current power capacity.

Aquafornia news KneeDeep Times

Cruising the San Pablo SPINE — a green streets test lab

From tattoo parlors to senior housing, and ethnic-food vendors to world-famous record shops, it’s been said that if you can’t find what you’re looking for on San Pablo Avenue, then it doesn’t exist.  And now, the busy thoroughfare, which runs north-south through the heart of the East Bay, is also a testbed for a distributed network of rain gardens. The project, known as the San Pablo Avenue Green Stormwater “SPINE”, began nearly ten years ago (the caps are used for emphasis, not as an acronym). In the fall of 2012, the U.S. EPA issued a $307,000 portion of a larger green-infrastructure grant for the design of seven garden sites in seven different cities.

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Aquafornia news Ukiah Daily Journal

Mendocino County mulling sales tax to fund water projects, fire services

Despite two board members expressing doubts that a new spending measure would be approved by voters, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to move forward with a possible sales tax ordinance to fund projects protecting local water supply and boosting local fire services.

Aquafornia news E&E News

Grid monitor warns of U.S. blackouts in ’sobering report’

The central and upper Midwest, Texas and Southern California face an increased risk of power outages this summer from extreme heat, wildfires and extended drought, the nation’s grid monitor warned yesterday. In a dire new assessment, the North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC) described regions of the country pushed closer than ever toward energy emergencies by a combination of climate change impacts and a transition from traditional fossil fuel generators to carbon-free renewable power.

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Aquafornia news Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

Friday Top of the Scroll: Newsom pushes Water Commission to accelerate Sites Reservoir

As the drought deepens and an election nears, Gov. Gavin Newsom is taking extra steps to increase pressure—and responsibility—on the Water Commission for the Sites Reservoir Project proposal. During a Senate budget subcommittee hearing on Tuesday, Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot said the governor has tasked him with ensuring the commission “isn’t slowing down the progress of getting those [Proposition 1] projects online.” Newsom also charged Crowfoot with finding ways to remove regulatory barriers and accelerate the approval process for those projects.

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Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press-Democrat

North Bay agencies seek $83 million to expand water recycling amid drought

Petaluma, one of the driest corners of Sonoma County during the past two years of drought, is making a multimillion-dollar advance into recycled water. Operator of a wastewater treatment plant that serves about 65,000 people and treats about 5 million gallons of effluent a day, Petaluma is seeking grants for four projects with a total cost of $42 million. Six other North Bay agencies — including Sonoma Water and the Sonoma Valley County Sanitation District — are proposing a dozen projects totaling $41.2 million, bringing the total to $83.2 million, as Gov. Gavin Newsom is backing water reuse as an antidote to drought.

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Aquafornia news Law 360

States, green groups look to restart water rule challenge

Blue states, green groups and tribes that are challenging a Trump-era Clean Water Act rule are trying an unusual procedural move that could allow them to restart their case in federal district court and bypass an appeal that’s currently underway in the Ninth Circuit. The coalition is suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to overturn a 2020 rule that restricted states’ and tribes’ authority to deny permits for projects such as pipelines under section 401 of the Clean Water Act.

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Aquafornia news Fox 13 - Salt Lake City

More reservoirs may run dry and the Great Salt Lake will continue to decline, state officials warn

More reservoirs across Utah may run dry and the Great Salt Lake will continue to decline, state officials warned lawmakers on Wednesday. During a briefing before the Utah State Legislature’s Natural Resources Interim Committee, lawmakers were told that 99% of Utah remains in severe or extreme drought…. A legislative commission [is] requesting a study on the idea of a pipeline to take water from the Pacific Ocean across California and Nevada into the Great Salt Lake.

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Aquafornia news Reuters

Severe drought could pose problems for US power grid this summer

The organization responsible for North American electric reliability warned energy shortfalls were possible this summer in California, Texas and the U.S. Midwest where extreme heat from a severe drought could cause power plants to fail. 

Aquafornia news Record Searchlight

Planned Colusa County reservoir draws concerns of ‘harmful’ water quality

Most people have never heard of Sites, California. It’s just a tiny dot on maps, little more than an intersection in the road on the remote west side of rural Colusa County in Northern California. But the surrounding Antelope Valley, where wildflowers bloom and cattle graze on spring grasses, is one of the next battlegrounds in California’s water wars. Under plans endorsed by state, federal and local officials, the valley would be flooded by the Sites Reservoir, a 14,000-acre lake that would take in water pumped from the Sacramento River and store it for agricultural and municipal use during dry periods.

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Aquafornia news Grist

Congress is routing climate policy through the Army Corps of Engineers

Even as President Biden’s signature climate change bill languishes in the Senate, Congress is poised to spend billions of dollars on ambitious new projects that would help the U.S. adapt to climate change. A bill that would authorize the Army Corps of Engineers to build infrastructure to protect against climate impacts is quietly sailing through Congress, demonstrating bipartisan support for measures to protect against flooding and sea-level rise. … The bill also allows the Corps to undertake drought response efforts in the West …

Aquafornia news Sen. Dianne Feinstein's Office

News release: Feinstein, Kelly, Sinema introduce bill to increase, modernize water supply

Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) yesterday introduced S.4231, the Support to Rehydrate the Environment, Agriculture and Municipalities Act or STREAM Act, a bill that would increase water supply and modernize water infrastructure in California and throughout the West.

Aquafornia news The Pew Charitable Trusts

Blog: Water shortages threaten development in more western cities

As the Western United States endures an ongoing megadrought that has spanned more than two decades, an increasing number of cities, towns and water districts are being forced to say no to new growth. There’s just not enough water to go around. Last month, the California Coastal Commission urged San Luis Obispo County to stop all new development requiring water use in the communities of Los Osos and Cambria. 

Aquafornia news SJV Water

Tiny Allensworth on the front lines of bad water and innovative solutions

When it comes to finding innovative solutions to drinking water problems, the tiny community of Allensworth in Tulare county has long been on the front lines. This spring, community began testing a new technology that would “jolt” arsenic out of its groundwater. And since 2021, Allensworth has also been home to another new technology that “makes” water out of thin air. Both technologies are currently being field-tested in Allensworth. If successful, they could become viable paths to clean water for residents of Allensworth and other small, rural San Joaquin Valley communities …

Aquafornia news Fox 13 - Salt Lake City

Utah lawmakers consider pipeline from Pacific Ocean to Great Salt Lake

A legislative commission is floating the idea of a pipeline to bring water from the Pacific Ocean into the Great Salt Lake. “There’s a lot of water in the ocean and we have very little in the Great Salt Lake,” said Sen. David Hinkins, R-Orangeville, who co-chairs the Legislative Water Development Commission. … The study would look at the cost to actually create a pipeline from the Pacific Ocean, across California and the Sierra-Nevada mountains, across the deserts of Nevada and ultimately into the Great Salt Lake in Utah.

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Aquafornia news Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

Interior authorizes $240 million for water infrastructure repair

The Interior Department is doling out more than $240 million for repairs to aging water infrastructure in the drought-ridden West, one of the first investments with ramifications for agriculture in the $1.5 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law enacted last year.

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Aquafornia news Bureau of Reclamation

News release: Reclamation selects 22 projects to receive $17.3 million to improve water efficiency in West

The Bureau of Reclamation selected 22 projects to share $17.3 million in WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grants. These competitive projects improve water use efficiency, increase renewable energy production, reduce the risk of water conflicts, and provide other benefits that will enhance water supply sustainability in the Western United States…. The Bard Water District, located in southern California near the Arizona border, will line a 1/2 mile section of the currently earthen upper Mohave Canal with concrete….

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

Announcement: Save the date for our fall tours exploring California’s two largest rivers

Mark your calendars now for our upcoming fall 2022 tours exploring California’s two largest rivers – the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers!  On our Northern California Tour, Oct. 12-14, participants can learn about key reservoirs and infrastructure that transports vital water resources statewide. Our San Joaquin River Restoration Tour Nov. 2-3 returns this year to tell the story of bringing back a river’s chinook salmon while balancing water supply needs. Registration is coming soon!

Aquafornia news Comstock's magazine

The lasting agreement: California’s long legacy of trying to solve its water problem

If there’s one thing people in the West know how to fight over, it’s water. California was built on scarcity, whether it be gold or silver, land or water. In the mid-1800s, when European Americans arrived to the land where Indigenous people had lived for at least 10,000 years, they wasted no time staking their claims. A big head-scratcher for those early colonizers was how to get water to sustain burgeoning towns. 

Aquafornia news National Review

California environmentalists battle reservoir project amid drought

Jamie Traynham has spent nearly half a century in and around the lush Northern California valley, about 70 miles north of Sacramento, that is home to her family’s ranch. As a girl, she and her sister rode their horses through Sites Valley, and helped build the barn stalls where they raised livestock to show in local 4-H competitions. As an adult, Traynham and her husband rent the ranch from her mother and use the land — typically a sea of green in the rainy season — as a key winter-feeding location for their cattle.

Aquafornia news Press Telegram

8.5 million gallon Carson sewage spill caused by corroded pipe, sewer cover, report says

Five months after 8.5 million gallons of raw sewage spilled from a ruptured mainline in Carson, an independent engineer’s report has pinpointed its cause and offered practical advice for the county agency responsible. … The rupture was primarily caused, the report said, by corrosion of both a 48-inch diameter, 1960s-era concrete pipe and a sewer cover at the intersection of 212th Street and South Lynton Avenue. … Another contributing factor in the failure, the report said, was a rain event on Dec. 30. 

Aquafornia news ACWA News

Monday Top of the Scroll: Governor Newsom’s proposed budget includes funding for drought

Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled his revised state budget for the 2022-’23 Fiscal Year. The $300.7 billion budget includes several priorities of interest to ACWA members, including funding for drought, climate change, forest management and more. Building upon last year’s three-year, $5.2 billion allocation to support drought response and long-term water sustainability, the governor’s revised budget includes an additional $2 billion for drought response and water resilience. This is part of the governor’s larger $47.1 billion climate package.

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Aquafornia news Los Angeles Daily News

Opinion: High time for SCOTUS to clarify what constitutes ‘waters of the United States’

The 1972 Clean Water Act established federal authority over the “waters of the United States.” Congress did not offer further explanation of what was covered under that term, but the two federal agencies given authority by the Clean Water Act asserted broad power. The federal Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers required farmers, homeowners, commercial and industrial concerns and developers to obtain permits before digging a ditch for water run-off, shoring up existing erosion protection structures, or draining swampy land.
-Written by columnist Tom Campbell. 

Aquafornia news Times of San Diego

San Diego Mayor Gloria plans major fixes for water, sewer, roads in his $4.89 billion budget

Mayor Todd Gloria Thursday highlighted infrastructure funding in his proposed $4.89 billion budget for the city’s 2023 fiscal year, including major investments in water, sewer and stormwater infrastructure…. A total of $349 million of the $808.9 million capital improvements program is earmarked for Phase 1 of Pure Water — the water recycling program touted by the city as being able to supply nearly half of San Diego’s drinking water by 2035 while cutting in half the amount of treated sewage discharged into the ocean.

Aquafornia news The Santa Barbara Independent

Blog: Floodplain restoration: In response to climate change, California is looking to nature’s patterns

Water policy in the Western U.S. has always been a contentious issue. Changes in water management, however, are slowly happening. For example, an increasing number of dams are being deconstructed where environmental, safety, and Indigenous-cultural impacts outweigh the benefits of hydropower, flood control, irrigation, or recreation…. More recently, the issues of water wastage and flood control from dam removal are being offset by allowing rivers to return to more natural flow patterns.

Aquafornia news Valley Water News

Blog: A groundbreaking effort to protect the San Francisco Bay from sea-level rise

Sea levels in San Francisco Bay have risen nearly 8 inches in the last 100 years and continue to rise. The sea level in this area could rise as much as 3 feet over the next 50 years, and this project will help protect future generations. In December 2021, Valley Water and its partners broke ground on the first portion of the South San Francisco Bay Shoreline Phase 1 Project. … Once completed, this project will help reduce coastal flood risk for about 5,500 residents, commuters and businesses within the vicinity of Alviso and North San José.

Aquafornia news U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

News release: EPA announces $441 million WIFIA loan to modernize wastewater infrastructure in Los Angeles County, California

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $441 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts (Sanitation Districts) to support the Joint Water Pollution Control Plant Effluent Outfall Tunnel Project (“Clearwater Project”). With this WIFIA loan, EPA is helping modernize infrastructure while creating local jobs in Los Angeles County. 

Aquafornia news Somach Simmons & Dunn | Attorneys at Law

Blog: Court of Appeal sides with parties seeking attorneys’ fees for challenge to California WaterFix project

Siding with public agencies and environmental groups who filed numerous legal challenges to the “twin tunnel” Delta conveyance project known as California WaterFix, the Third District Court of Appeal today unanimously held that the trial court improperly denied the appellants’ attorneys’ fees motions when it ruled that their legal challenges were not a “catalyst” for the State’s 2019 decision to rescind the WaterFix project approvals and decertify the project environmental impact report (EIR). 

Aquafornia news Press Telegram

Long Beach injection well designed to increase groundwater supply

Construction recently began on a well designed to inject water back into the groundwater basin beneath Long Beach. The groundbreaking last week took place at the Water Replenishment District’s advanced water treatment facility, on the southeastern border of Long Beach, next to the San Gabriel River. The plant further treats sewer effluent from the Los Angeles County Sanitation District to create purified recycled water. Recycled water already is used for irrigation and in other wells to form a barrier against salt water so it won’t get into the ground water basin.

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Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Far from Lake Powell, drought punishes another Western dam

The electricity generated [at Flaming Gorge Dam], in northern Utah near the Wyoming state line, helps keep the lights on across 10 states. It’s made possible by a dam that interrupts the Green River, which meanders into the Colorado River at Lake Powell hundreds of miles downstream before flowing southwest to Lake Mead — meaning as an Angeleno, I’ve been drinking this water my whole life. … The Biden administration said this month it would release an extra 500,000 acre-feet of water from Flaming Gorge Reservoir over the next year, as part of a desperate effort to stop Powell from falling so low that Glen Canyon Dam can no longer generate power.

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Aquafornia news SF Gate

Thursday Top of the Scroll: California got snow in April and May. What does it mean for the snowpack?

After California saw extended periods of dry weather in the middle of winter, a series of late-season storms swept the Golden State in April and May, dusting the Sierra Nevada with fresh snow. Did those spring snow showers help bolster the dwindling snowpack that historically provides about a third of the state’s water supply? The short answer is that every little bit helps, but the snow did not come close to making up for almost no precipitation in January through March …

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Aquafornia news Ag Alert

Local solutions central to water forum

Facing a third year of drought, leadership from county Farm Bureaus, spanning all regions of California, gathered in Sacramento last week to engage with state water officials about all things water. A changing climate, shrinking snowpack, water rights, aging infrastructure, groundwater regulations and solutions to the state’s water crisis were among the topics discussed at the California Farm Bureau Water Forum. The event brought together state water officials and county Farm Bureau leaders from the Mountain, North Coast, Central Valley, Central Coast and Southern California regions.

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Aquafornia news The New Yorker

The biggest potential water disaster in the United States

The Delta is crucial because, if it ever failed as a hub, the resulting water crisis in California would increase existing tensions with the Colorado’s other parched dependents. … The Delta’s problems are as dire, but they receive far less public attention. The main threat to the Delta is saltwater intrusion. If an earthquake caused a major levee failure, the sunken islands would flood, drawing salt water from the Pacific into waterways that are now kept fresh by the pressure of inflows from the Sacramento.

Aquafornia news California Globe

Opinion: The abundance choice, part one

In October, and then again in December 2021, as the third severe drought this century was entering its third year, not one but two atmospheric rivers struck California. Dumping torrents of rain with historic intensity, from just these two storm systems over 100 million acre feet of water poured out of the skies, into the rivers, and out to sea. Almost none of it was captured by reservoirs or diverted into aquifers. Since December, not one big storm has hit the state. After a completely dry winter, a few minor storms in April and May were too little too late.
-Written by Edward Ring, a contributing editor and senior fellow with the California Policy Center.

Aquafornia news ABC30 Fresno

California Senate Bill 559 pushes for canal repairs to save water amid drought

Central California lawmakers, growers and advocates are calling on the state to invest in canal repairs that they say will help improve water security. The call for funding comes as the state experiences the third year of drought. SB 559, known as the State Water Resiliency Act, aims to fix canals that deliver water across Central California fully. Currently, $200 million has been allocated in the 2021 and 2022 budgets. But the bill’s author, State Senator Melissa Hurtado of Sanger, said that funding would only cover limited repairs.

Aquafornia news WaterWorld

Calif. district breaks ground on drought resiliency project

The Water Replenishment District (WRD) of Southern California celebrated the groundbreaking of its Inland Injection Well Project at the WRD Leo J. Vander Lans Advanced Water Treatment Facility in the City of Long Beach. When the WRD Inland Injection Well Project is complete, it will yield up to 2 million gallons of purified recycled water per day from the WRD Leo J. Vander Lans Advanced Water Treatment Facility (LVL AWTF) and inject it into the groundwater aquifers for storage and future use.

Aquafornia news Ventura County Star

Ventura agrees to lease its State Water Project supply. Here’s why

Ventura has struck a 20-year deal with a Riverside County water wholesaler that would save the city millions of dollars in costs to maintain its rights to imported state water. Under the agreement approved last month, the city would lease its share of imported water to the San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency in Beaumont, an arrangement that would reap $1.1 million this year and cover nearly half of the $2.27 million it will owe to keep its state water entitlement. San Gorgonio would increase its share of the costs starting next year. 

Aquafornia news San Bernardino Sun

Havasu Water Co. fined for leaving residents without drinkable water

State regulators have fined a Havasu Lake water company that has failed to provide potable water to its customers for more than a month and been accused of allowing its equipment to fall into a state of disrepair. The California State Water Resources Control Board issued the $1,500 fine on Friday, May 6, after the Havasu Water Co. failed to meet state-imposed directives and deadlines. The state has given a new list of directives and deadlines for the water company to meet by May 20 or it could face additional penalties. The Havasu Water Co.’s system has fallen into a state of disrepair over the years …

Aquafornia news CalMatters

Opinion: California crises abound, but they won’t be debated

Throughout the state, water agencies are telling Californians that they must seriously curtail lawn watering and other water uses. We can probably scrape through another dry year, but were drought to persist, its impacts would likely be widespread and permanent. … It didn’t have to be this way. We could have built more storage to capture water during wet years, we could have encouraged more conservation, we could have more efficiently captured and treated wastewater for re-use and we could have embraced desalination.
-Written by Dan Walters, CalMatters columnist.  

Aquafornia news Desert Sun

California water agencies get $100 million for aging dams, canals

Southern California desert water districts with aging or failing infrastructure won big federal funding Monday, with more than $100 million allocated for major dam and irrigation canal upgrades that will benefit the Coachella Valley and Imperial County. The projects are part of $240 million awarded from Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds by the U.S. Department of the Interior on Monday. Among the biggest beneficiaries is the Coachella Valley Water District, which will get $60 million for lateral replacement irrigation pipelines and more for work on the Coachella Canal.

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Aquafornia news San Bernardino Sun

Devore residents battling water company over multimillion-dollar tank on board member’s land

The rural hillside community of Devore has erupted in a dispute pitting a tiny local water company against a group of residents opposed to construction of a potential $7 million reservoir on a board member’s property. At issue with some residents is a 99-year land lease agreement, ratified in July 2021, between the Devore Water Co. and Doug Claflin, a member of the company’s board of directors. It would allow the water company to build a 610,000-gallon water tank on Claflin’s property to treat nitrate-contaminated water by blending it with clean water to reduce nitrate levels. 

Aquafornia news Law Street Media

Blog: Orange County Coastkeeper sues owner of metal finishing facility under Clean Water Act

On Thursday, the Orange County Coastkeeper filed a complaint in the Central District of California against Hixson Metal Finishing, FPC Management, LLC and Reid Washbon alleging violations of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act and Clean Water Act.  According to the complaint, the Orange County Coastkeeper is a California nonprofit public benefit corporation dedicated to the preservation, protection and defense of the environment, wildlife and natural resources of Orange County. 

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Federal money to help Sacramento update water, sewage system

Aging subterranean infrastructure in Sacramento will get a boost from $3.5 million in federal funding that will pay for future underground reservoirs to harden parts of the combined storm and sewage system within the city’s core. The funding was celebrated Friday during a news conference in Land Park to outline the project with Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Sacramento, and city leaders including County Supervisor Patrick Kennedy and City Councilman Rick Jennings. 

Aquafornia news Insurance Journal

Blog: Secrecy over condition of U.S. dams tied to security concerns, missing data

Americans wondering whether a nearby dam could be dangerous can look up the condition and hazard ratings of tens of thousands of dams nationwide using an online database run by the federal government. But they won’t find the condition of Hoover Dam, which impounds one the nation’s largest reservoirs on the border of Nevada and Arizona. Nor is there any condition listed for California’s Oroville Dam, the country’s tallest, which underwent a $1 billion makeover after its spillway failed.

Aquafornia news The Press/Stacker

Blog: See how many historic sites in California are at risk of flooding

Rising sea levels. Runoff from rapidly melting snow and ice. Rivers and streams overflowing their banks. As climate change continues to wreak havoc on the environmental norms humans widely take for granted, the frequency and severity of extreme weather has increased on a global scale. Floods, the most common and fatal natural disasters in the U.S., continue to get more destructive. Catastrophic flooding events once thought to occur every 100 years could become annual happenings. And the nation’s floodplains are projected to grow by roughly 45% by the end of the century. 

Aquafornia news The Associated Press

California prepares for energy shortfalls in hot, dry summer

California likely will have an energy shortfall equivalent to what it takes to power about 1.3 million homes when use is at its peak during the hot and dry summer months, state officials said Friday. Threats from drought, extreme heat and wildfires, plus supply chain and regulatory issues hampering the solar industry will create challenges for energy reliability this summer, the officials said. … Large hydropower projects generated nearly 14% of the state’s electricity in 2020, according to the independent system operator. 

Aquafornia news Arizona Republic

Opinion: Lake Mead and Lake Powell need drastic action to be saved

For weeks, we’ve been seeing media reports regarding conditions in the Colorado River Basin – specifically with regard to our country’s largest reservoirs, Lake Powell and Lake Mead, which have dropped to record low elevations. The media have been reporting it accurately. 
-Written by Tom Buschatzke, director of Arizona Department of Water Resources; and Ted Cooke, general manager of Central Arizona Project.

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Aquafornia news Stanford Magazine

Dams help us. Dams harm us. Now, longtime adversaries are coming together to bridge that uncomfortable divide

From its headwaters in the Sierra Nevada, the Feather River flows some 3,600 feet downhill, where, in Oroville, it meets the tallest dam in the nation. Its path shows exactly why California geology is ideal for the production of hydropower. It’s physics. The higher the mountains, the faster the water falls. Hydropower dams capture this power and divert it through spinning turbines in nearby powerhouses that activate generators to produce electricity. But all this hydropower comes at a cost.

Aquafornia news The Business Journal

Blog: Doubling down on Diablo Canyon nuclear plant could ease energy, water woes

[D]esalinization … draws in saltwater and, utilizing reverse osmosis, purifies the water to a consumable standard. Around the globe, countries have adopted desalinization as a considerable part of their water portfolio. … California is shockingly behind the curve when it comes to embracing the practice. .. Rather than removing [Diablo Canyon Power Plant] from the region, we should double down on production and build an additional site to power a mega-sized desalinization plant.
-Written by Assemblymember Devon J. Mathis. 

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Friday Top of the Scroll: AP analysis finds growing number of poor, high-hazard dams

Constructed four generations ago, the massive rock and clay dam at El Capitan Reservoir is capable of storing over 36 billion gallons of water, enough to supply every resident in San Diego for most of a year. Today, it’s three-quarters empty, intentionally kept low because of concerns it could fail under the strain of too much water. … Seismic instability and a spillway in need of “significant repair” led El Capitan to be added to a growing list of dams rated in poor condition or worse that would likely cause deaths downstream if they failed.

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Aquafornia news The Nevada Independent

Warming is making the West thirstier, researchers say. And it’s stressing water supplies

Over the past four decades, the Western U.S. has demanded more water. And the landscapes — the valleys and mountains and lakes — that make up the region’s arid ecosystems have borne the impacts of increasing water needs in more ways than one. It’s not only fast-growing cities, searching for faraway supplies, that have affected these landscapes. The atmosphere itself has become thirstier, using up, and potentially evaporating, more water from the land beneath it. Researchers describe this as increased evaporative demand …

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Aquafornia news Water News Network

Water authority awarded patent for pipeline inspection tool

The San Diego County Water Authority has been granted its first ever utility patent for a device that inspects interior sections of water pipelines that are inaccessible or not safe to inspect without expensive specialized gear and training. Water Authority Operations and Maintenance Manager Martin Coghill invented the tool to save time, reduce costs and improve safety during ongoing aqueduct inspections. The Water Authority’s industry-leading Asset Management Program includes a proactive search for pipeline weaknesses that can be addressed before they become large and costly problems.

Aquafornia news Eos

Assessing water infrastructure investments in California

With water scarcity increasing around the globe, arid regions are striving to develop more flexible and diversified water supplies. For example, California’s 2020 Water Resilience Portfolio Initiative recommends improving and expanding the state’s conveyance and storage infrastructure as well as developing groundwater banking and other means of more flexibly sharing water. The success of such initiatives depends in large part upon the ability of water providers to collaboratively finance and build new infrastructure.

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Aquafornia news NBC - Klamath Falls

Klamath Irrigation District says canals are in bad shape due to lack of water

The ongoing drought conditions only continues to make matters worse for Klamath irrigators and farmers. The Klamath Irrigation District says the canals it operates and maintains, haven’t seen water in over 18 months. Executive Director Gene Souza, says that on March 1st it opened the valve for the A Canal, a primary diversion point for Upper Klamath Lake. That allowed water to go into the system very slowly.

Aquafornia news E&E News

As Colorado River shrinks, pain of drought to spread

Rolf Schmidt-Petersen knows what can happen when a water shortage hits: Reservoirs shrink and tempers flare. “We had people literally throwing rocks, tomatoes when Elephant Butte went down,” recalled Schmidt-Petersen, director of the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission. He was talking about a 2003 deal to release water from a reservoir in southern New Mexico and drop the lake by about 33 feet to assist farmers in the state and neighboring Texas. … Decades later, the 2.2-million-acre-foot reservoir, part of the Rio Grande Basin, contains only about 260,000 acre-feet of water, according to the Bureau of Reclamation. 

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Aquafornia news The Conversation

Western river compacts were innovative in the 1920s but couldn’t foresee today’s water challenges

In the early 1900s, there was plenty of water to go around. But there weren’t enough dams, canals or pipelines to store, move or make use of it. Devastating floods in California and Arizona spurred plans for building dams to hold back high river flows. … Today the West faces conditions that [water law expert Delph] Carpenter and his peers did not anticipate. In 1922, Hoover imagined that the basin’s population, which totaled about 457,000 in 1915, might quadruple in the future. Today, the Colorado River supplies some 40 million people – more than 20 times Hoover’s projection.

Aquafornia news NBC Bay Area

Watch: State water agencies executive discusses latest on California drought

State water leaders begin the second day of a three-day conference to address the drought and lack of water in California. NBC Bay Area’s Laura Garcia spoke with the executive director of the Association of California Water Agencies about the issue.

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Aquafornia news Los Angeles Daily News

New LA reservoir ultraviolet disinfection plant opens in Granada Hills

Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilman John Lee visited the newly-completed Los Angeles Reservoir Ultraviolet Disinfection Plant in Granada Hills on Monday, May 2, which the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power said will treat up to 650 million gallons of water each day, more than enough to fill the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum twice. The new plant will be the last stop in a complex water treatment processes. It is the second ultraviolet facility in the network…

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Repair costs for San Francisco’s Stern Grove balloon to $20 million, 5 times initial estimates

The cost to repair flood-damaged Stern Grove in San Francisco ballooned to $20 million, according to a recent report from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission — five times more than the $4 million city officials initially estimated. The concert venue’s hillside was washed out after an air release valve failed during maintenance of a 54-inch diameter water line last August.

Aquafornia news East County Magazine

Estimate for cost of advanced water purification skyrockets

A new estimated cost for the Advanced Water Purification project, a system of recapturing sewage and transforming it to drinkable water for about 500,000 East County residents, escalated to about $850 million, an increase of more than $300 million above the estimate three years ago. Allen Carlisle, general manager of the Padre Dam Municipal Water District, revealed the number at a public forum held April 24 in Santee, saying the project should begin construction this summer.

Aquafornia news Arizona Public Radio

Bill introduced to ratify Hualapai Tribe water settlement

Congress will consider a bill finalizing a water rights settlement for the Hualapai Tribe in Arizona. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports, it will resolve the tribe’s longstanding claims to the Colorado, Bill Williams, and Verde rivers. Arizona Representative Tom O’Halleran introduced the bill to a House committee last week. It allows the Hualapai Tribe to divert 3,414 acre feet of water from the Colorado River each year. It also establishes a trust fund of $180 million to construct a project to convey the water to the Hualapai Reservation. A separate fund of $5 million will be set aside for carrying out the terms of the agreement.

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Aquafornia news Pleasanton Weekly

Zone 7 directors vote 5-2 to continue in Delta Conveyance Project planning

A divided Zone 7 Water Agency Board of Directors voted to continue participating in the planning phase for the ambitious and long-discussed Delta Conveyance Project, following discussions about intricacies and concerns related to the matter last month. The directors’ 5-2 vote on April 20 comes with an a commitment of an additional $4.75 million in funding by Zone 7 for environmental planning for the proposed project.

Aquafornia news SJV Sun

Seat for sale? Kings Co. Supervisor emerges as pricey proxy fight over water

Has a seat on the sleepy Kings County Board of Supervisors become a proxy fight for control of water flows in the southern San Joaquin Valley? It sure looks that way as political youngster Martín Chavez, a member of the Stratford Public Utilities District, has received unprecedented financial backing from Bay Area native and controversial water giant John Vidovich and affiliates. Vidovich … is currently locked in a fight with the Tulare Lake Canal Company over a water pipeline that he is trying to construct in Kings County to connect to a larger interconnected conveyance system. 

Aquafornia news University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Blog: How mermaids in the desert launched the career of Bureau of Reclamation commissioner

We are screen to screen – the 21st century twist on face-to-face interviews. Truth time: What led this UNLV graduate all the way up to a post requiring an appointment by the president of the United States and a confirmation by the Senate?  That’s a no-brainer, she said.  Mermaids. Of course.

Aquafornia news NBC News

Watch: Consequences of severe drought and climate change ripple across California

Water officials believe the past three years could end up as the driest in California’s history. State reservoir levels are alarmingly low, and measurements of the Sierra Nevada snowpack are “grim,” the state’s natural resources secretary tells Lester Holt. The drought is impacting the water supply for residents and farms, which supply critical crops for the nation.

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Aquafornia news Colorado Sun

Additional Flaming Gorge releases could be good for endangered fish

A plan to release an additional 500,000 acre-feet of water from Flaming Gorge reservoir is welcome news to biologists conducting research to recover four species of endangered fish in the Colorado River Basin. … The extra water set to come out of Flaming Gorge reservoir in Wyoming during the next 12 months is part of a 2022 Drought Response Operations Plan agreed on last week by the Upper Basin states — Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico. The water is intended to help prop up low levels at Lake Powell.

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Aquafornia news CNN

Lake Powell officials face an impossible choice in the West’s megadrought: water or electricity

Lake Powell, the country’s second-largest reservoir, is drying up. The situation is critical: If water levels at the lake were to drop another 32 feet, all hydroelectricity production would be halted at the reservoir’s Glen Canyon Dam. The West’s climate change-induced water crisis is now triggering a potential energy crisis for millions of people in the Southwest who rely on the dam as a power source. Over the past several years, the Glen Canyon Dam has lost about 16% of its capacity to generate power. The water levels at Lake Powell have dropped around 100 feet in the last three years.

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Aquafornia news Water News Network

Repair work on Hodges Dam to begin

As part of continuing efforts to maintain and invest in City of San Diego infrastructure, repair work starts within the next two weeks on Hodges Dam, at the Hodges Reservoir north of Rancho Bernardo. … During a recent inspection, staff identified areas in the dam wall that require repair and need to be sealed. To access these areas, the water level of the reservoir needs to be lowered by approximately 18 feet from its current level to an elevation of 275 feet.

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Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

Blog: Government spending on stormwater management in California

Stormwater infrastructure in cities is highly visible and serves to mitigate flooding and reduce pollution that reaches local waterbodies. Being so visible, it might be reasonable to assume that stormwater is adequately funded both in infrastructure and water quality management. Yet, stormwater infrastructure and water quality improvement are notoriously difficult to fund.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino Sun

Prado Dam patriotic mural near Corona loses legal protection, but could be repainted

A colorful, widely visible, but graffiti-marred mural on a flood-control dam near Corona that celebrated the nation’s bicentennial no longer enjoys the protection of a court order. But officials say a plan is in the works to replace the patriotic image on Prado Dam, which was originally created with toxic lead paint. The fate of the mural near the 91 and 71 freeways has been uncertain since the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which controls the dam, announced plans to begin removing the gigantic painting in spring 2015.

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Aquafornia news KPBS Public Media

American Experience: Flood in the desert

Just before midnight on March 12, 1928, about 40 miles north of Los Angeles, one of the biggest dams in the country blew apart, releasing a wall of water 20 stories high. Ten thousand people lived downstream. The St. Francis Dam disaster not only destroyed hundreds of lives and millions of dollars’ worth of property; it also washed away the reputation of William Mulholland, the father of modern Los Angeles, and jeopardized larger plans to transform the West.

Aquafornia news Time

California sunshine could be key to combating drought

Some ideas are so satisfying that you wonder how they haven’t been done before. Solar canals, which will get their first U.S. pilot later this year in California, fit that mold. Western states are crisscrossed by thousands of miles of irrigation canals, some as wide as 150 feet, others just 10 feet across. By covering those channels with solar panels, researchers say, we could produce renewable energy without taking up precious land. At the same time, the added shade could prevent billions of gallons of water loss through evaporation.

Aquafornia news Porterville Recorder

Hurtado’s ag, water bills advance in Senate

Two bills authored by Democratic State Senator Melissa Hurtado, who represents the 14th district that includes Porterville, advanced in the Senate on Wednesday. SB 1219, Hurtado’s State Water Resiliency and Modernization Act passed the Senate Environmental Quality Committee.  Hurtado’s bill to prevent foreign purchases of agricultural property, SB 1064, the Food and Farm Security Act also passed the Senate Agricultural Committee 4-0.  

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

New release: DWR awards $22 million to address drought impacts and support small communities statewide

Following the driest three-month stretch in the state’s recorded history and with warmer months ahead, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced its seventh round of grant awards for local assistance through the Small Community Drought Relief program. In coordination with the State Water Resources Control Board, DWR has selected 17 projects … 14 will directly support disadvantaged communities, including three Tribes, and will replace aging infrastructure, increase water storage, and improve drinking water quality and supply.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Desperate for water, Wine Country grape growers build expensive pipelines to cities’ recycled sewage

Justin Seidenfeld’s vineyard ran out of water last year. The area of Petaluma where his Parliament Hills Vineyard is located received just 4.5 inches of rain throughout 2021, not nearly enough sustenance for his vines of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. … This year, however, Seidenfeld’s grapevines are healthy and happy, with plenty of water to drink. It’s not because of rainfall, but rather because of a newly constructed pipeline bringing recycled water from Petaluma’s water treatment plant to vineyards along Lakeville Highway.

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Aquafornia news ABC7 San Francisco

San Francisco building brings water efficiency to low-income tenants

Mark Puchalski is the director of facilities with the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation. The nonprofit is integrating a wide range of water-saving technologies into its buildings, which serve low-income residents in San Francisco. … “This building uses 50% less water, 51% to be exact, less water than a building of comparable size and community … ,” says Puchalski. … Their water conservation model is so successful it’s being highlighted in a new sustainability report by the nonprofits SPUR and the Pacific Institute.

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Aquafornia news Mercury News

Opinion: CEQA attacks come as our planet most needs the law

If the recent attacks on California’s landmark environmental law sound tired, that’s because they are. Ever since the California Environmental Quality Act went into effect in 1970, there have been calls to tweak, reform or completely throw it out. … In Napa, where hillside forests are being razed for vineyards, CEQA was used to limit the size of a massive winery conversion project to save as many carbon-sequestering trees as possible.
-Written by John Buse, senior counsel for the Center for Biological Diversity. 

Aquafornia news Mercury News

New Alameda Creek fish ladder to aid spawning migration

For the first time in half a century, ocean-going fish will soon be able to migrate up Alameda Creek to spawn, now that a second fish ladder has been completed in the lower portion of the creek in Fremont. Alameda County Water District and Alameda County Flood Control District officials on Monday celebrated the completion of the fish ladder, which was finished earlier this month, according to Sharene Gonzales, a water district spokesperson. The ladder, which consists of a series of steadily elevating pools, allows migratory fish such as Chinook salmon and threatened steelhead trout to get around human-made barriers in the lower creek …

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Aquafornia news Yale E360

A quiet revolution: Southwest cities learn to thrive amid drought

In the rolling hills around San Diego and its suburbs, the rumble of bulldozers and the whine of power saws fill the air as a slew of new homes and apartments rise up. The region is booming, its population growing at a rate of about 1 percent a year. This, in spite of the fact that Southern California, along with much of the West, is in the midst of what experts call a megadrought that some believe may not be a temporary, one-off occurrence, but a recurring event or even a climate change-driven permanent “aridification” of the West.

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Aquafornia news U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

News release: Reclamation announces virtual public negotiations for Truckee Canal extraordinary maintenance repayment contract

The Bureau of Reclamation today announced virtual public negotiation sessions for a repayment contract with the Truckee-Carson Irrigation District for extraordinary maintenance on the Truckee Canal. The extraordinary maintenance will restore safe long-term operation of the Truckee Canal and includes lining 3.5 miles of the canal and improvements to two check structures. The canal is owned by Reclamation as part of the Newlands Project and operated and maintained by the Truckee-Carson Irrigation District since 1926.

Aquafornia news U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

News release: Miguel Rocha named Reclamation’s chief of dam safety

Miguel Rocha, P.E., was selected as the Bureau of Reclamation’s chief of dam safety. Rocha will oversee the Dam Safety Program, which evaluates existing dams for safety concerns and implements proactive solutions for dams across Reclamation. In this new role, Rocha oversees responsibility for Reclamation’s 360 high hazard potential dams. Failure or improper operation of a high hazard potential dam could result in loss of life or significant economic loss.

Aquafornia news Arizona Republic

Feds try to slow quagga mussel spread using science and nature

For the past 15 years, federal agencies have tried to subdue growing populations of quagga mussels, an invasive species that interferes with water infrastructure and threatens ecosystems. Crews tried scrubbing the mollusks off equipment, power washing them off boats and deploying chlorine and UV lights to prevent them from settling in pipes. But the tiny mussels have not only resisted all deterrents, they’ve clogged cooling equipment, reduced water flow to hydropower and even changed the water quality, making it less suitable for native species.

Aquafornia news Tri County Sentry

Groundwater desalter improvement project amended

The city council, Tuesday, April 19, approved amendment agreement A-8332 with SPI (Separation Processes Inc) for the Groundwater Desalter Improvement Project. THE approval executes a first amendment to the agreement in the amount of $263,702 for a new contract not to exceed $1.064 million for additional design work required for the groundwater desalter improvement project. The deal also approves a $263,703 budget appropriation transfer from the Water Appropriations to the Capital Water Project.

Aquafornia news KCRA Sacramento

Sea level rise is a threat to all Californians, whether they live near the coast or not

Sea level rise is one of the many threats we face as Earth’s climate changes. … The worry there is obvious for coastal communities in California. But the sea-level rise is something that could affect all Californians because of where that rising seawater would end up: the Central Delta. … The Delta’s complex network of waterways is home to a diverse ecosystem. It also serves 750,000 acres of farmland with fresh water. Drinking water is also sent through the Delta to the State Water Project system in Southern California.

Aquafornia news Long Beach Post

Long Beach commission may further limit watering yards amid drought

The Long Beach Water Commission may upgrade the city’s water shortage level next week, which would bring with it new restrictions on when residents can water landscaping. Updating the city’s water shortage stage comes as California heads toward its third straight year of drought. The proposal to go to Stage 2, which would limit landscape irrigation to two days per week year-round, would take the city back to water conservation rules not seen since June 2016.

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Aquafornia news High Country News

Why rural communities struggle to bring in much-needed federal grants

When overlaid with data about flood and wildfire risk, Headwaters’ analysis reveals areas with stark capacity barriers, often exacerbated by historical injustices, as well as high vulnerability to the impacts of climate change. … In theory, the $47 billion the infrastructure bill designates for climate resilience can help communities prepare for floods, fires, storms and droughts. But Headwaters’ analysis suggests that areas with low capacity might not submit requests in the first place.

Aquafornia news Delta Stewardship Council

Report: Delta Science Program: 2022 – 2026 Science Action Agenda

The Delta Science Program is excited to release the 2022-2026 Science Action Agenda (SAA). Developed by and for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta science community, the 2022-2026 SAA builds on the progress of the 2017-2021 iteration to prioritize and align science actions to meet management needs, foster collaboration and coordination, and guide science funding. It will serve as a roadmap for the allocation and integration of investments through research, time, and resources. 

Aquafornia news Audubon

Blog: Stumbling toward “day zero” on the Colorado River

The Colorado River Basin is inching ever closer to “Day Zero,” a term first used in Cape Town, South Africa when they anticipated the day in 2018 that taps would run dry. Lakes Powell and Mead, the Colorado River’s two enormous reservoirs, were full in 2000, storing more than four years of the river’s average annual flow. For more than two decades water users have been sipping at that supply, watching them decline. Long-term drought and climate change is making this issue potentially catastrophic.

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Aquafornia news Nevada Independent

Monday Top of the Scroll: Colorado River states agree to federal request to hold back water in Lake Powell

In a letter sent Friday, the seven states that use the Colorado River agreed with the U.S. Department of Interior and recommended that federal water managers take an emergency action aimed at stabilizing a dwindling Lake Powell, one of the main storage reservoirs on the river. Earlier this month, federal water managers warned the states, including Nevada, that they were considering an emergency action to hold water back in Lake Powell, an attempt to stabilize the reservoir at serious risk of losing the ability to generate hydropower and deliver water to Page, Arizona, a city with roughly 7,500 residents, and the LeChee Chapter of the Navajo Nation.

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Aquafornia news Thousand Oaks Acorn

City crews get first glimpse inside damaged reservoir

It will be months before Thousand Oaks has full access to its normal water supply, but the city is one step closer after raising the roof last week. A 50-year-old reservoir, which held 3.4 million gallons, or roughly 10% of the city’s water storage capacity, was examined last week for structural soundness. While members of the city’s public works department await a final analysis, public works Director Cliff Finley said things look promising.

Aquafornia news Eos

Uranium detected in Latinx communities’ water systems

Unsafe uranium levels have been detected in more than 14,000 community water systems across the United States, and 63% of water records reported at least a trace amount of the contaminant, according to a new nationwide analysis. Concentrations of uranium, along with arsenic, barium, chromium, and selenium, were the highest in community water systems that serve semiurban Latinx communities.

Aquafornia news Palo Alto Weekly

A defense against drought: District eyes water-purification plant as key to recycling increasingly scarce water

Valley Water is looking for ways to not only conserve but also reclaim the precious crystal-clear liquid. In December, the agency’s board of directors approved an agreement to work with the city of Palo Alto to build an advanced water-purification facility in Palo Alto. The 6.4-acre plant would be located at the old Los Altos Regional Wastewater Plant at the eastern end of San Antonio Road.

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Aquafornia news The New York Times

Can we solve drought by piping water across the country?

The idea of taking water from one community and giving it to another has some basis in American history. In 1913, Los Angeles opened an aqueduct to carry water from Owens Valley, 230 miles north of the city, to sustain its growth. … [B]uilding a pipeline that spanned a significant stretch of the country would be astronomically more difficult. The distance between Albuquerque, for example, and the Mississippi River — perhaps the closest hypothetical starting point for such a pipeline — is about 1,000 miles, crossing at least three states along the way.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

California’s radical plan to defend homes from sea level rise: move them

As Gleason Beach’s last homes cling to the edge of the bluff, Highway 1 itself is threatened at several other points along Sonoma County’s 55-mile coastline. Now, after decades of studies and debates, Gleason Beach has become the guinea pig for California’s foray into a bold and controversial strategy: to remove buildings and infrastructure from the coast and relocate them farther inland. The $26 million project, headed by Caltrans, involves moving nearly a mile of roadway several hundred feet inland and erecting a new, 850-foot concrete bridge.

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Aquafornia news Associated Press

California hikes costs for flood protections in farm country

Climate change is worsening the already significant threat of flooding in California’s farm country, and state officials said Thursday that as much as $30 billion may be needed over three decades to protect the region, an increase from five years ago. Every five years, flood protection plans are updated for the Central Valley, where about 1.3 million people live at risk in floodplains. State officials released a draft of the latest update that calls for investing in levees, maintenance and multi-benefit projects that recharge aquifers and support wildlife while enhancing flood protection.

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Aquafornia news Engineering News-Record

California eyes solar canals as clean energy source

As part of a broader research effort to conserve California’s scarce water resources, a $20-million pilot project in the state will investigate the use of solar canals as a major source of renewable energy. Known as Project Nexus, the state-funded venture is expected to demonstrate how covering canals with solar panels can reduce water delivery system costs and generate enough electricity to meet ambitious clean power goals.

Aquafornia news CA Department of Water Resources

Blog: Big storms, dry spells, demonstrate the need for improved infrastructure and the Delta Conveyance Project

California is immersed in a third year of drought, with January, February and March of 2022 experiencing the lowest precipitation on record. Weather whiplash of big storms followed by dry spells makes every drop of rain, every flake of snow, and every water molecule vital this year for families, farms, the environment and the economy. But outdated infrastructure and the orientation of the pumping facilities in the south Delta limits our ability to capture available water from storm events. The Delta Conveyance Project would help resolve this limitation.

Aquafornia news NBC 7 San Diego

The new 5-million-gallon water tank in Mission Trails you’ll never see again

A multimillion-dollar construction project is almost done on a massive water tank in Mission Trails Regional Park. Once construction is complete, it will likely be forgotten because no one will be able to see it. The San Diego County Water Authority is wrapping up construction on its newest flow regulatory structure on the western edge of the park. Work began in earnest at the beginning of 2021 on the five-million-gallon water tank and it’s expected to wrap up next month.

Aquafornia news The Union

‘How we get the water’: NID takes on management of South Yuba Canal, Deer Creek Powerhouse

The Nevada Irrigation District will begin managing the South Yuba Canal and the Deer Creek Powerhouse this month. The purchase technically helps NID diversify Nevada County’s energy sources, but the district’s purchase of the powerhouse is “ancillary more than anything” to the acquisition of the canal itself, Hydroelectric Manager Keane Sommers said. The canal services the residents of Grass Valley, Nevada City, their fire hydrants, the air attack base and Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital — over 30,000 customers.

Aquafornia news Arizona Public Media

Ducey desalination proposal carries hefty price tag

This Friday marks Earth Day. This year the drought and dwindling water supplies top the list of environmental challenges here in the southwest. Scientists remain at odds over Gov. Doug Ducey’s plan to help solve Arizona’s water issues by desalinating water from the Sea of Cortez. Ducey unveiled the idea in his State of the State address earlier this year. He proposed a $1 billion project to draw treated water to Morelos Dam near Yuma, but the challenges to the idea remain difficult to solve.

Aquafornia news SJV Sun

Controversial water pipeline takes center-stage in Kings Co. election

The controversial Kings County water pipeline saga pitting two of the region’s largest water players has turned into a campaign issue for Kings County elections.  Water giant Sandridge Partners, led by John Vidovich, began installing a sprawling water pipeline system that would be part of a larger interconnected conveyance system that will run from north of Highway 198, west of Lemoore, to the Blakeley Canal, south of Stratford.  

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Natomas CA levee project gets millions, could get more money

Hundreds of millions of new federal dollars are headed to the region to help fund the massive Natomas levee project. President Joe Biden has signed legislation that includes $157 million for an existing project in the Natomas Basin, as well as $17.9 million to begin construction in West Sacramento. In addition, Biden’s budget proposal for fiscal 2023, the 12 month period that begins Oct. 1, includes another $172 million for the levee project and $79.7 million to help the West Sacramento project.

New EPA Regional Administrator Tackles Water Needs with a Wealth of Experience and $1 Billion in Federal Funding
WESTERN WATER Q&A: Martha Guzman says surge of federal dollars offers 'greatest opportunity' to address longstanding water needs, including for tribes & disadvantaged communities in EPA Region 9

EPA Region 9 Administrator Martha Guzman.Martha Guzman recalls those awful days working on water and other issues as a deputy legislative secretary for then-Gov. Jerry Brown. California was mired in a recession and the state’s finances were deep in the red. Parks were cut, schools were cut, programs were cut to try to balance a troubled state budget in what she remembers as “that terrible time.”

She now finds herself in a strikingly different position: As administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 9, she has a mandate to address water challenges across California, Nevada, Arizona and Hawaii and $1 billion to help pay for it. It is the kind of funding, she said, that is usually spread out over a decade. Guzman called it the “absolutely greatest opportunity.”

MWD’s Jeff Kightlinger Reflects On Building Big Things, Essential Partnerships and His Hopes For the Delta
WESTERN WATER Q&A: Veteran Water Boss, Retiring After 25 Years With SoCal Water Giant, Discusses ‘Permanent’ Drought, Conservation Gains & the Struggling Colorado River

Jeff Kightlinger, longtime general manager of Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.When you oversee the largest supplier of treated water in the United States, you tend to think big.

Jeff Kightlinger, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California for the last 15 years, has focused on diversifying his agency’s water supply and building security through investment. That means looking beyond MWD’s borders to ensure the reliable delivery of water to two-thirds of California’s population.

Pandemic Lockdown Exposes the Vulnerability Some Californians Face Keeping Up With Water Bills
WESTERN WATER IN-DEPTH: Growing mountain of water bills spotlights affordability and hurdles to implementing a statewide assistance program

Single-family residential customers who are behind on their water bills in San Diego County's Helix Water District can get a one-time credit on their bill through a rate assistance program funded with money from surplus land sales.As California slowly emerges from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic, one remnant left behind by the statewide lockdown offers a sobering reminder of the economic challenges still ahead for millions of the state’s residents and the water agencies that serve them – a mountain of water debt.

Water affordability concerns, long an issue in a state where millions of people struggle to make ends meet, jumped into overdrive last year as the pandemic wrenched the economy. Jobs were lost and household finances were upended. Even with federal stimulus aid and unemployment checks, bills fell by the wayside.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: Red alert sounding on California drought, as farmers get less water

A government agency that controls much of California’s water supply released its initial allocation for 2021, and the numbers reinforced fears that the state is falling into another drought. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said Tuesday that most of the water agencies that rely on the Central Valley Project will get just 5% of their contract supply, a dismally low number. Although the figure could grow if California gets more rain and snow, the allocation comes amid fresh weather forecasts suggesting the dry winter is continuing. The National Weather Service says the Sacramento Valley will be warm and windy the next few days, with no rain in the forecast.

Related articles: 

In the Heart of the San Joaquin Valley, Two Groundwater Sustainability Agencies Try to Find Their Balance
WESTERN WATER SPECIAL REPORT: Agencies in Fresno, Tulare counties pursue different approaches to address overdraft and meet requirements of California’s groundwater law

Flooding permanent crops seasonally, such as this vineyard at Terranova Ranch in Fresno County, is one innovative strategy to recharge aquifers.Across a sprawling corner of southern Tulare County snug against the Sierra Nevada, a bounty of navel oranges, grapes, pistachios, hay and other crops sprout from the loam and clay of the San Joaquin Valley. Groundwater helps keep these orchards, vineyards and fields vibrant and supports a multibillion-dollar agricultural economy across the valley. But that bounty has come at a price. Overpumping of groundwater has depleted aquifers, dried up household wells and degraded ecosystems.

Western Water Douglas E. Beeman Layperson's Guide to Groundwater Douglas E. Beeman

Water Resource Innovation, Hard-Earned Lessons and Colorado River Challenges — Western Water Year in Review
WESTERN WATER NOTEBOOK-Our 2019 articles spanned the gamut from groundwater sustainability and drought resiliency to collaboration and innovation

Smoke from the 2018 Camp Fire as viewed from Lake Oroville in Northern California. Innovative efforts to accelerate restoration of headwater forests and to improve a river for the benefit of both farmers and fish. Hard-earned lessons for water agencies from a string of devastating California wildfires. Efforts to drought-proof a chronically water-short region of California. And a broad debate surrounding how best to address persistent challenges facing the Colorado River. 

These were among the issues Western Water explored in 2019, and are still worth taking a look at in case you missed them.

Western Water Douglas E. Beeman Layperson's Guide to Climate Change and Water Resources Gary PitzerDouglas E. Beeman

As Wildfires Grow More Intense, California Water Managers Are Learning To Rewrite Their Emergency Playbook
WESTERN WATER IN-DEPTH: Agencies share lessons learned as they recover from fires that destroyed facilities, contaminated supplies and devastated their customers

Debris from the Camp Fire that swept through the Sierra foothills town of Paradise  in November 2018.

By Gary Pitzer and Douglas E. Beeman

It’s been a year since two devastating wildfires on opposite ends of California underscored the harsh new realities facing water districts and cities serving communities in or adjacent to the state’s fire-prone wildlands. Fire doesn’t just level homes, it can contaminate water, scorch watersheds, damage delivery systems and upend an agency’s finances.

Western Water California Water Map Gary Pitzer

Often Short of Water, California’s Southern Central Coast Builds Toward A Drought-Proof Supply
WESTERN WATER NOTEBOOK: Water agencies in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo counties look to seawater, recycled water to protect against water shortages

The spillway at Lake Cachuma in central Santa Barbara County. Drought in 2016 plunged its storage to about 8 percent of capacity.The southern part of California’s Central Coast from San Luis Obispo County to Ventura County, home to about 1.5 million people, is blessed with a pleasing Mediterranean climate and a picturesque terrain. Yet while its unique geography abounds in beauty, the area perpetually struggles with drought.

Indeed, while the rest of California breathed a sigh of relief with the return of wet weather after the severe drought of 2012–2016, places such as Santa Barbara still grappled with dry conditions.

Western Water Colorado River Basin Map Gary Pitzer

‘Mission-Oriented’ Colorado River Veteran Takes the Helm as the US Commissioner of IBWC
WESTERN WATER Q&A: Jayne Harkins’ duties include collaboration with Mexico on Colorado River supply, water quality issues

Jayne Harkins, the U.S. Commissioner of the International Boundary and Water Commission.For the bulk of her career, Jayne Harkins has devoted her energy to issues associated with the management of the Colorado River, both with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and with the Colorado River Commission of Nevada.

Now her career is taking a different direction. Harkins, 58, was appointed by President Trump last August to take the helm of the United States section of the U.S.-Mexico agency that oversees myriad water matters between the two countries as they seek to sustainably manage the supply and water quality of the Colorado River, including its once-thriving Delta in Mexico, and other rivers the two countries share. She is the first woman to be named the U.S. Commissioner of the International Boundary and Water Commission for either the United States or Mexico in the commission’s 129-year history.

Announcement

A Bounty of San Joaquin Valley Crops on Display During Central Valley Tour
Act now, our April 3-5 tour is almost sold out!

The San Joaquin Valley, known as the nation’s breadbasket, grows a cornucopia of fruits, nuts and other agricultural products.

During our three-day Central Valley Tour April 3-5, you will meet farmers who will explain how they prepare the fields, irrigate their crops and harvest the produce that helps feed the nation and beyond. We also will drive through hundreds of miles of farmland and visit the rivers, dams, reservoirs and groundwater wells that provide the water.

Western Water California Water Map Layperson's Guide to the State Water Project Gary Pitzer

As He Steps Aside, Tim Quinn Talks About ‘Adversarialists,’ Collaboration and Hope For Solving the State’s Tough Water Issues
WESTERN WATER Q&A: Tim Quinn, retiring executive director of Association of California Water Agencies

ACWA Executive Director Tim Quinn  with a report produced by Association of California Water Agencies on  sustainable groundwater management.  (Source:  Association of California Water Agencies)In the universe of California water, Tim Quinn is a professor emeritus. Quinn has seen — and been a key player in — a lot of major California water issues since he began his water career 40 years ago as a young economist with the Rand Corporation, then later as deputy general manager with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, and finally as executive director of the Association of California Water Agencies. In December, the 66-year-old will retire from ACWA.

Western Water Douglas E. Beeman Douglas E. Beeman

What Would You Do About Water If You Were California’s Next Governor?
WESTERN WATER NOTEBOOK: Survey at Foundation’s Sept. 20 Water Summit elicits a long and wide-ranging potential to-do list

There’s going to be a new governor in California next year – and a host of challenges both old and new involving the state’s most vital natural resource, water.

So what should be the next governor’s water priorities?

That was one of the questions put to more than 150 participants during a wrap-up session at the end of the Water Education Foundation’s Sept. 20 Water Summit in Sacramento.

Western Water California Water Map Gary Pitzer

As Decision Nears On California Water Storage Funding, a Chairman Reflects on Lessons Learned and What’s Next
WESTERN WATER Q&A: California Water Commission Chairman Armando Quintero

Armando Quintero, chair of the California Water CommissionNew water storage is the holy grail primarily for agricultural interests in California, and in 2014 the door to achieving long-held ambitions opened with the passage of Proposition 1, which included $2.7 billion for the public benefits portion of new reservoirs and groundwater storage projects. The statute stipulated that the money is specifically for the benefits that a new storage project would offer to the ecosystem, water quality, flood control, emergency response and recreation.

Western Water Layperson's Guide to the Colorado River Colorado River Basin Map Gary Pitzer

As Colorado River Levels Drop, Pressure Grows On Arizona To Complete A Plan For Water Shortages
WESTERN WATER IN-DEPTH: A dispute over who speaks for Arizona has stalled work with California, Nevada on Drought Contingency Plan

Hoover Dam and Lake Mead

It’s high-stakes time in Arizona. The state that depends on the Colorado River to help supply its cities and farms — and is first in line to absorb a shortage — is seeking a unified plan for water supply management to join its Lower Basin neighbors, California and Nevada, in a coordinated plan to preserve water levels in Lake Mead before they run too low.

If the lake’s elevation falls below 1,075 feet above sea level, the secretary of the Interior would declare a shortage and Arizona’s deliveries of Colorado River water would be reduced by 320,000 acre-feet. Arizona says that’s enough to serve about 1 million households in one year.

Announcement

Central Valley Tour Offers Unique View of San Joaquin Valley’s Key Dams and Reservoirs
March 14-16 tour includes major federal and state water projects

Get a unique view of the San Joaquin Valley’s key dams and reservoirs that store and transport water on our March Central Valley Tour.

Our Central Valley Tour, March 14-16, offers a broad view of water issues in the San Joaquin Valley. In addition to the farms, orchards, critical habitat for threatened bird populations, flood bypasses and a national wildlife refuge, we visit some of California’s major water infrastructure projects.

Western Water Excerpt Jenn Bowles

Enhancing California’s Water Supply: The Drive for New Storage
Spring 2017

One of the wettest years in California history that ended a record five-year drought has rejuvenated the call for new storage to be built above and below ground.

In a state that depends on large surface water reservoirs to help store water before moving it hundreds of miles to where it is used, a wet year after a long drought has some people yearning for a place to sock away some of those flood flows for when they are needed.

Aquapedia background

One Hundred Year Flood

Risk Assessment, Not a Timeline

Contrary to popular belief, “100-Year Flood” does not refer to a flood that happens every century. Rather, the term describes the statistical chance of a flood of a certain magnitude (or greater) taking place once in 100 years. It is also accurate to say a so-called “100-Year Flood” has a 1 percent chance of occurring in a given year, and those living in a 100-year floodplain have, each year, a 1 percent chance of being flooded.

Western Water Excerpt Jenn Bowles

Outdated Dams: When Removal Becomes an Option
Summer 2016

Mired in drought, expectations are high that new storage funded by Prop. 1 will be constructed to help California weather the adverse conditions and keep water flowing to homes and farms.

At the same time, there are some dams in the state eyed for removal because they are obsolete – choked by accumulated sediment, seismically vulnerable and out of compliance with federal regulations that require environmental balance.

Video

A Climate of Change: Water Adaptation Strategies

This 25-minute documentary-style DVD, developed in partnership with the California Department of Water Resources, provides an excellent overview of climate change and how it is already affecting California. The DVD also explains what scientists anticipate in the future related to sea level rise and precipitation/runoff changes and explores the efforts that are underway to plan and adapt to climate.

Maps & Posters

Water Cycle Poster

Water as a renewable resource is depicted in this 18×24 inch poster. Water is renewed again and again by the natural hydrologic cycle where water evaporates, transpires from plants, rises to form clouds, and returns to the earth as precipitation. Excellent for elementary school classroom use.

Maps & Posters Colorado River Bundle

Colorado River Basin Map
Redesigned in 2017

Redesigned in 2017, this beautiful map depicts the seven Western states that share the Colorado River with Mexico. The Colorado River supplies water to nearly 40 million people in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming and the country of Mexico. Text on this beautiful, 24×36-inch map, which is suitable for framing, explains the river’s apportionment, history and the need to adapt its management for urban growth and expected climate change impacts.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to Water Recycling
Updated 2013

As the state’s population continues to grow and traditional water supplies grow tighter, there is increased interest in reusing treated wastewater for a variety of activities, including irrigation of crops, parks and golf courses, groundwater recharge and industrial uses.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to the State Water Project
Updated 2013

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to the State Water Project provides an overview of the California-funded and constructed State Water Project.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to Integrated Regional Water Management
Published 2013

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) is an in-depth, easy-to-understand publication that provides background information on the principles of IRWM, its funding history and how it differs from the traditional water management approach.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to the Colorado River
Updated 2018

Cover page for the Layperson's Guide to the Colorado River .

The Colorado River provides water to 40 million people and 4 million acres of farmland in a region encompassing some 246,000 square miles in the southwestern United States. The 32-page Layperson’s Guide to the Colorado River covers the history of the river’s development; negotiations over division of its water; the items that comprise the Law of the River; and a chronology of significant Colorado River events.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to California Water
Updated 2021

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to California Water provides an excellent overview of the history of water development and use in California. It includes sections on flood management; the state, federal and Colorado River delivery systems; Delta issues; water rights; environmental issues; water quality; and options for stretching the water supply such as water marketing and conjunctive use. New in this 10th edition of the guide is a section on the human need for water. 

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to the Central Valley Project
Updated 2021

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to the Central Valley Project explores the history and development of the federal Central Valley Project (CVP), California’s largest surface water delivery system. In addition to the project’s history, the guide describes the various CVP facilities, CVP operations, the benefits the CVP brought to the state and the CVP Improvement Act (CVPIA).

Western Water Magazine

Ante Up: Funding California’s Water
May/June 2014

This printed issue of Western Water looks at how water use is paid for and the push to make public financing more flexible.

Dams

Folsom Dam on the American River east of Sacramento

Dams have allowed Californians and others across the West to harness and control water dating back to pre-European settlement days when Native Americans had erected simple dams for catching salmon.

Western Water Magazine

Are We Keeping Up With Water Infrastructure Needs?
January/February 2012

This printed issue of Western Water examines water infrastructure – its costs and the quest to augment traditional brick-and-mortar facilities with sleeker, “green” features.

Western Water Excerpt Gary Pitzer

Are We Keeping Up With Water Infrastructure Needs?
January/February 2012

Everywhere you look water infrastructure is working hard to keep cities, farms and industry in the state running. From the massive storage structures that dot the West to the aqueducts that convey water hundreds of miles to large urban areas and the untold miles of water mains and sewage lines under every city and town, the semiarid West would not exist as it does without the hardware that meets its water needs.

Western Water Magazine

Mimicking the Natural Landscape: Low Impact Development and Stormwater Capture
September/October 2011

This printed issue of Western Water discusses low impact development and stormwater capture – two areas of emerging interest that are viewed as important components of California’s future water supply and management scenario.

Western Water Magazine

Saving it For Later: Groundwater Banking
July/August 2010

This printed issue of Western Water examines groundwater banking, a water management strategy with appreciable benefits but not without challenges and controversy.

Western Water Magazine

A ‘New Direction’ for Water Decisions? The California Water Plan
May/June 2010

This printed issue of Western Water examines the changed nature of the California Water Plan, some aspects of the 2009 update (including the recommendation for a water finance plan) and the reaction by certain stakeholders.

Western Water Magazine

Changing the Status Quo: The 2009 Water Package
January/February 2010

This printed issue of Western Water looks at some of the pieces of the 2009 water legislation, including the Delta Stewardship Council, the new requirements for groundwater monitoring and the proposed water bond.

Western Water Excerpt Gary PitzerRita Schmidt Sudman

Dollars and Sense: How We Pay For Water
September/October 2009

It’s no secret that providing water in a state with the size and climate of California costs money. The gamut of water-related infrastructure – from reservoirs like Lake Oroville to the pumps and pipes that deliver water to homes, businesses and farms – incurs initial and ongoing expenses. Throw in a new spate of possible mega-projects, such as those designed to rescue the ailing Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, and the dollar amount grows exponen­tially to billion-dollar amounts that rival the entire gross national product of a small country.

Western Water Magazine

Dollars and Sense: How We Pay for Water
September/October 2009

This printed issue of Western Water examines the financing of water infrastructure, both at the local level and from the statewide perspective, and some of the factors that influence how people receive their water, the price they pay for it and how much they might have to pay in the future.

Western Water Excerpt Gary PitzerRita Schmidt Sudman

Small Systems, Big Challenges
May/June 2008

They are located in urban areas and in some of the most rural parts of the state, but they have at least one thing in common: they provide water service to a very small group of people. In a state where water is managed and delivered by an organization as large as the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, most small water systems exist in obscurity – financed by shoestring budgets and operated by personnel who wear many hats.

Western Water Magazine

Pumps, Pipes and Plants: Meeting Modern Water Infrastructure Needs
July/August 2006

This issue of Western Water looks at water infrastructure – from the large conveyance systems to the small neighborhood providers – and the many challenges faced by water agencies in their continuing mission of assuring a steady and reliable supply for their customers.

Western Water Excerpt Gary Pitzer

Pumps, Pipes and Plants: Meeting Modern Water Infrastructure Needs
Jul/Aug 2006

Chances are that deep within the ground beneath you as you read this is a vast network of infrastructure that is busy providing the necessary services that enable life to proceed at the pace it does in the 21st century. Electricity zips through cables to power lights and computers while other conduits move infinite amounts of information that light up computer screens and phone lines.

Western Water Magazine

Does California Need More Surface Water Storage?
September/October 2003

This issue of Western Water explores the question of whether the state needs more surface storage, with a particular focus on the five proposed projects identified in the CALFED 2000 ROD and the politics and funding issues of these projects.