“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
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
Guardians of the River, produced by American
Rivers and Swiftwater Films, focuses on the hard-won
efforts of leaders of the Yuroks. Frankie Joe Myers, vice
chair of the tribe; Sammy Gensaw, director of
the Ancestral Guard; Barry McCovey, fisheries
biologist with the tribe; and members of the Ancestral
Guard and Klamath Justice Coalition share why removing
four dams across southern Oregon and Northern California is
vital to restoring clean water, food
sovereignty, and justice for the Klamath River.
Ongoing drought in parts of the West could trigger water
conservation measures across seven states this year. It would
mark the first time that cutbacks outlined in drought
contingency plans drafted two years ago have been put in place.
Everything from hydroelectric power generation to agricultural
production to the bubbling fountains at Las Vegas casinos could
be impacted. Impacts on hydro generation could have ripple
effects across the Southwest, including solar and energy
The Trinidad City Council on Tuesday will consider whether to
participate in a feasibility study for a project that would
bring a steady flow of water to the city from the Mad River via
a new pipeline. The Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District
(HBMWD), which supplies water to Eureka, Arcata, McKinleyville,
Blue Lake and other area communities, is in the early stages of
researching the possibility of expanding its service area north
via a waterline extension at least as far north as the Trinidad
A federal agency has ruled that the state can continue to seek
higher flows on the Tuolumne River than planned by the Modesto
and Turlock irrigation districts. The Jan. 19 ruling drew
cheers from environmental and fishing groups that have long
sought larger releases from Don Pedro Reservoir into the lower
As wildfires, heat waves, water scarcity and threats to
wildlife intensify in the West, California’s effort to confront
these environmental crises now has support in Washington, a
stark change from the past four years. Even as former President
Donald Trump spent his final days in office on the sidelines,
lamenting his election loss, his administration continued to
roll back environmental conservation and gut climate
The Regional Water Authority (RWA) is delighted to announce
that Michelle Banonis has been selected as the organization’s
new Manager of Strategic Affairs. Banonis has over two decades
of experience in water, ecosystems, engineering, policy, and
law, and most recently served as the Assistant Chief Deputy
Director of the California Department of Water Resources where
she worked on water-related issues of statewide significance
with multiple interests.
The dry 2020 and the lack of snow this season has water
managers in seven states preparing for the first time for
cutbacks outlined in drought contingency plans drafted two
years ago. A sobering forecast released this week by the
Bureau of Reclamation shows the federally owned Lake Mead and
Lake Powell — the nation’s two largest reservoirs and critical
storage for Colorado River water and its 40 million users —
dipping near-record-low levels.
In Oregon, the Klamath Basin wildlife refuges have fallen into
their winter silence now. The huge, clamorous flocks of geese
that fill the sky during migration have moved south. This
summer, a different silence gripped the basin. A dead silence.
The 90,000 acres of marshes and open water that make up the
Lower Klamath and Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuges are a
small remnant of vast wetlands that once filled this region on
the Oregon-California border. -Written by Pepper Trail, a contributor to Writers on the
Range and a conservation biologist in Ashland, Ore.
President Joe Biden has made his priorities clear: subduing the
pandemic, economic recovery, climate action, and racial equity.
… Climate has received top-billing within the president’s
environmental agenda, but water infrastructure and water
systems could also see their status lifted. Some observers are
hopeful that the new administration and the Democratic Congress
will uncork federal water spending that has been steady but
flat in recent years.
Tanya Trujillo, who was appointed to the New Mexico Interstate
Stream Commission in July 2019, has joined the Biden
administration’s Interior Department. The water lawyer and
native New Mexican will serve as the principal deputy assistant
secretary for water and science. The position oversees the work
of the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Geological Survey.
California water issues are notoriously complicated by a
massive diversity of users, ecosystems, applications and
futures. Indeed, water in the Delta has been described as
a “wicked problem” indicating that these problems cannot
be ignored and defy straightforward characterization and
solutions. Below we highlight how a Swiss cheese model might be
applied to vexing long-term declines in native fish populations
The Bureau of Reclamation released a summary report providing
an assessment of climate change impacts to water uses in the
West, including adding a new set of West-wide information based
on paleohydrology. The Water Reliability in the West – 2021
SECURE Water Act Report discusses changes and innovative
actions across the eight basins identified in the SECURE Water
As the CZU Lightning Complex fire bore down on Gail Mahood’s
tree-shrouded Felton neighborhood last August, she gathered
what possessions she could and fled. … Thankfully, fire crews
saved the little community of 20 or so houses, stopping the
blaze within a half-mile of Mahood’s home in the Santa Cruz
Mountains, but the pipes that delivered drinking water from a
spring just up the hill were completely destroyed.
A Fort Collins man is pressing forward with a proposed
325-mile-long pipeline which would transfer water from
northeastern Utah into the northern part of Colorado’s Front
Range. It could cost Aaron Million a billion and a half
dollars to build. He claims to have sufficient support from
private investors to make his pipeline dream a reality.
Increasingly bleak forecasts for the Colorado River have for
the first time put into action elements of the 2019 upper basin
drought contingency plan. The 24-month study released in
January by the Bureau of Reclamation, which projects two years
of operations at the river’s biggest reservoirs, showed Lake
Powell possibly dipping below an elevation of 3,525 feet above
sea level in 2022. That elevation was designated as a critical
threshold in the agreement to preserve the ability to produce
hydropower at Glen Canyon Dam.
Kevin Kelley, the elegant, whip-smart and fierce former general
manager of the Imperial Irrigation District, who fought to
preserve the Salton Sea and his rural county’s water
rights, died Tuesday at 61. He passed away at home, said his
brother, Ryan Kelley, an Imperial County Supervisor. The cause
of death is still being determined. As top executive from
2011 to January 2019 of the powerful but often
overlooked IID, Kelley regularly took on state, federal
and urban water officials to remind them of the valley’s
California Water Service (Cal Water) has completed a multiphase
infrastructure project in the Magnolia area of Stockton that
will keep critical water infrastructure in the area safe and
reliable. The upgrade will ensure customers, firefighters, and
nearby medical facilities continue to have the water they need
for their everyday and emergency needs.
The Colorado River District’s Board of Directors finalized a
new program that will fund Western Slope water projects and
approved funding for the program’s first-ever project. The
Partnership Project Funding Program will fund multi-purpose
water projects on the Western Slope in five project categories:
productive agriculture, infrastructure, healthy rivers,
watershed health and water quality, and conservation and
California is enveloped in balmy weather that’s more like
spring than mid-winter — and that’s not a good thing. We have
seen only scant rain and snow this winter, indicating that the
state may be experiencing one of its periodic droughts and
adding another layer of crisis to the COVID-19 pandemic and
economic recession. The all-important Sierra snowpack,
California’s primary source of water, is scarcely half of what
is deemed a normal depth. -Written by Dan Walters, CalMatters columnist.
San Joaquin Valley farms and Southern California cities are
facing different but equally daunting water challenges.
For Valley farmers, the requirement to achieve groundwater
sustainability in coming years has heightened interest in
expanding water supplies to reduce the need to fallow irrigated
farmland. For Southern California, falling demands since the
early 2000s have reduced water stress during normal and wet
years, but a warming climate makes future droughts a major
concern. Both regions’ water futures could be more secure if
they jointly developed and managed some water supplies. -Written by Alvar Escriva-Bou, a research fellow at the
Public Policy Institute of California
Describing federal investment in Western water management as
“essential,” a coalition of more than 200 organizations has
urged the incoming Biden administration and the new Congress to
include water facilities in any future infrastructure or
economic-recovery package. The coalition, including a number of
national and regional organizations plus farm groups and water
districts from 15 states, sent separate letters last week to
President-elect Biden and the Democratic and Republican leaders
of the House and Senate. The letter included specific
recommendations for the types of water investments the
coalition said could have the greatest impact.
Sensational headlines, like those speculating that Wall Street
will make billions off the Colorado River or that West Slope
farmers should pack it in now, certainly attracts readers.
Unfortunately, these articles wholly fail to convey the reality
of the water challenges facing the Colorado River Basin. …
The Colorado River is certainly in bad shape. Last year was
marked by extremely hot temperatures, low flows and massive
Written by Dan Keppen, executive director of Family
Farm Alliance; Scott Yates, director of Trout Unlimited’s
Western Water & Habitat Program; and Taylor
Hawes, Colorado River Program director for The Nature
More than 200 farm and water organizations from 15 states are
urging President-elect Joe Biden and congressional leaders to
address aging Western water infrastructure in any economic
recovery package. Groups including state Farm Bureaus, the
Family Farm Alliance and Western Growers issued letters to
Biden and lawmakers Wednesday saying existing canals and
reservoirs were built more than 50 years ago and are in
desperate need of rehabilitation.
Has California overshot the runway? … There was a time
when our dams and aqueducts that allowed us to change the
course plotted by nature by not letting water be restricted to
water basins by physical barriers were considered a candidate
for of their wonders of the world. When it came to freeways, we
were the envy of the land. That was then and this is now. The
list of aging infrastructure that needs addressing is
The Yurok people have lived in the 15,700 square miles Klamath
River Basin, in what is now called Northern California, for
millennia. They are among the key organizers in a coalition of
Indigenous groups, environmentalists, concerned citizens and
commercial fishers that have joined forces in a decades-long
movement to Un-dam the Klamath.
With so much going on in the world right now, why should water
be a priority for the Biden administration? The fact is that
water challenges in the U.S. are severe and worsening. In
November, we hosted a webinar on our recommendations for the
next administration, taking audience questions on topics
ranging from the nation’s outdated infrastructure to the threat
to national security from rising international conflict over
water. Read on for our answers to some of these questions.
The Eastern Tule Groundwater Sustainability Agency took another
step on Thursday to contribute to all the funding that’s needed
for much needed repairs of the Friant-Kern Canal. The ETSGA
Board unanimously approved a settlement with the Friant Water
Authority that oversees the Friant-Kern Canal at its meeting on
Thursday. The board met in closed session to discuss the matter
the resumed the open session of its meeting on Thursday to
approve the settlement.
With the water levels lowered at Anderson Reservoir,
construction is expected to begin on an outlet tunnel in spring
2021. A 1,700 foot-long tunnel will be built, 24-feet in
diameter to the left of the dam when facing the reservoir. The
new tunnel along with the existing outlet will allow for five
times more water to be released from the reservoir and permit
greater control on water levels. The work is expected to take
two to three years.
Members of California water and agricultural communities have
been applauding a number of provisions related to water
infrastructure within the omnibus funding
bill President Trump recently signed into law. More than
$200 million in the bill will go to repairing parts of the
Friant-Kern Canal. Friant Water Authority CEO Jason Phillips
attributed the provision to the work of several California
lawmakers, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy,
Republican Rep. Devin Nunes and Senator Dianne Feinstein.
Phillips said the funding allows the water agency to begin
construction early this year.
In a letter to the city’s Hearing Officer, the Arroyo Seco
Foundation said it opposes plans by the Pasadena Water and
Power Department to upgrade facilities in the Upper Arroyo Seco
damaged by the 2009 Station Fire. Damage to the
structures has greatly reduced the city’s capacity to divert
water from the Arroyo Seco for spreading and pumping.
In a major and potentially fatal setback for plans to build the
largest dam in the Bay Area in more than 20 years, the price
tag to construct a new reservoir in southern Santa Clara County
near Pacheco Pass has nearly doubled, from $1.3 billion to $2.5
The Sites Reservoir was awarded $13.7 million in the 2021
federal spending bill. The 2021 federal spending bill …
included $1.4 trillion to fund government agencies and a $900
billion pandemic relief package. Sites Reservoir is proposed
for construction in remote ranch lands in Colusa County, about
70 miles north of Sacramento. It was originally given a $5.1
billion price tag, but the Sites Project Authority reduced it
to $3 billion in May.
The Friant Water Authority cleaned up some of the most
important work in the last month of the year hashing out a
legal settlement with farmers in southern Tulare County.
Represented by the Eastern Tule Groundwater Sustainability
Agency (GSA) farmers agreed to contribute at least $125 million
to repair the significant subsidence-caused sag in the
gravity-fed canal that has cut water deliveries by 60%.
The Bureau of Reclamation and San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water
Authority finalized the B.F. Sisk Dam Raise and Reservoir
Expansion Project’s Supplemental Environmental Impact
Statement/Environmental Impact Report. This joint proposed
project would create an additional 130,000 acre-feet of storage
space in San Luis Reservoir, producing additional water supply
for 2 million people, over 1 million acres of farmland and
200,000 acres of Pacific Flyway wetlands.
Local and state officials in California vowed Thursday to serve
as a united front as they seek state funding to mitigate the
anticipated devastating impacts of sea level rise on the Golden
State’s coast in the years to come.
In what was hailed as a “landmark agreement,” farmers in an
area of southern Tulare County blamed for sinking the
Friant-Kern Canal from excessive groundwater pumping will chip
in a hefty amount to help pay for a fix. How hefty could
be decided by their payment choice.
After the signatories to the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement
Agreement officially recommitted to removing four dams on the
Klamath River last month, local politicians brought up concerns
with Oregon, California and PacifiCorp committing more funds to
the project…Much of the skepticism has centered around the
ability of the Klamath River Renewal Corporation, a dam removal
entity created to carry out the KHSA, to complete the project.
Bass fishing is a pillar of the delta. But, as with many things
in this vast estuary at the edge of the Bay Area, the sport and
its cottage industry of marinas, bait shops, boat showrooms and
bars are threatened by converging forces: climate change,
drought, development and California’s escalating water wars.
The fishing community — alongside farming, boating, tourism and
other livelihoods in these rural lowlands — is caught up in the
unsparing effort to boost the delta’s freshwater exports.
California’s plans to build a new tunnel to move water from the
northern Delta to the thirsty, populous south of the state
advanced a step Tuesday, when a key partner agreed to help fund
some of the effort.
Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA)… secured key
provisions in the “Water Resources Development Act of 2020”
(S.1811) for the California Delta and Central Valley. The
legislation passed the House today and is expected to pass the
Senate with strong bipartisan support and become law this
The [California Water] Commission adopted emergency regulations
in mid-August allowing WSIP applicants who did not previously
receive early funding to apply for early funding to assist with
completing environmental documents and permits.
A coalition of conservation groups is working to prevent the
development of a dam in the Del Puerto Canyon. The proposed Del
Puerto Canyon Reservoir [in Stanislaus County] would reportedly
store more than 80,000 acre-feet of water…. In a lawsuit
filed on November 20, the plaintiffs assert that the project
would negatively impact the habitat of several species.
In the midst of drought yet again, and two decades into the
21st century, California continues to operate with a water
infrastructure engineered and constructed for 20th century
climate conditions and populations. That’s true not only of the
state’s physical network of dams and aqueducts, but of its
legal and financial infrastructure as well — the pricing rules
that allocate the state’s precious liquid resources among its
40 million thirsty people. The coronavirus emergency has
highlighted some of the most serious stresses in the system.
The COO and assistant general manager of the Metropolitan Water
District of Southern California, where Pasadena sources a
significant amount of its water, will be discussing ways to
strengthen the water system against “catastrophic scenarios”
ranging from earthquakes and floods to climate change
and shifting regulations.
In 2019 the Two-Basin Solution Partnership filed a Notice of
Intent to apply for relicensing and ownership of the [Potter
Valley] project, followed in the spring of 2020 by a
feasibility study and project plan that includes removal of
Scott Dam, and a commitment to provide water to Potter Valley
and the Russian River…. Many questions remain, starting with
impacts on local recreational users and cabin owners. By
Victoria Brandon, board president of Tuleyome, a nature-based
environmental organization based in Woodland.
With the realities of climate change looming ever closer,
California transportation officials are now moving a key
stretch of highway more than 350 feet inland — one of the first
major efforts by the state to relocate, or “manage retreat,”
critical infrastructure far enough from the coast to make room
for the next 100 years of sea level rise.
As it explores a potential state role in funding conveyance
projects, the Commission seeks public input on criteria for
assessing resilience, public benefits of conveyance, and
financing mechanisms. The workshops are not associated with the
proposal to improve conveyance through the Sacramento-San
A Kernville hatchery that has served local anglers for almost a
century will soon close down again 20 months after it reopened
following three years of renovations. The Kern River Hatchery
… must close for repairs Dec. 1 mainly because a 50-year-old
pipeline that delivers water to the facility needs to be
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has received 67
letters of interest in response to the agency’s 2020 Water
Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act Notice of Funding
Availability. A total of $9.2 billion was requested this year —
the largest amount ever requested through the WIFIA program.
The improvement program, if completed, would be the largest
capital improvement program Poway has ever undertaken, said
Shadi Sami, principal civil engineer for the city. The program
… would ultimately replace the city’s existing, decades-old
clear well with new storage reservoirs. It would also connect
the city with the San Diego Water Authority’s treated water,
creating treated water pipelines, a pump station and forebay.
This Wednesday, Nov. 11, the Cloverdale City Council’s lone new
agenda item is a costly one to Cloverdale residents — a
proposed hike in the city’s water and sewage rates. The
increases in both water and wastewater rates … is something
that city officials say is needed to help start capital
improvement projects related to the city’s water and wastewater
Two years ago, Cape Town, South Africa, a city of 4 million
people, informed its shocked citizens that the city was just a
few months away from running out of water due to drought. It
was a wake-up call for all of us to become much better stewards
of our own water. … California of course continues to have
its own foreboding water challenges.
Kendra Atleework’s new memoir Miracle Country, published in
July by Algonquin Books, maps the region of Eastern California
where William Mulholland stole the water and terraformed the
SoCal landscape into the place we now know.
After nearly 30 years the Joshua Basin Water District will soon
close out its payment agreement with the Mojave Water Agency
for the Morongo Basin Pipeline. … The Morongo Basin Pipeline
is a 71-mile underground pipeline built by the Mojave Water
Agency that brings water from the California aqueduct in
Hesperia to the Mojave River in south Apple Valley…
It’s little surprise California American Water’s proposed
desalination project and the fate of a public buyout effort
aimed at acquiring the company’s local water system are at the
core of the contests for two seats on the Monterey Peninsula
Water Management District board of directors…
The sixth annual ‘Imagine a Day Without Water,’ advocacy day
returns Wednesday, Oct. 21, with likely thousands of
individuals, companies and organizations expected to take
part… Imagine a Day Without Water is a national education
campaign that takes place one day a year and brings together
diverse stakeholders to illustrate how water is essential,
invaluable and in need of investment.
The WIFIA Loan Program recently announced that it has reset the
interest rates on two undrawn loan commitments originally made
in mid-2018. The fixed rate on a $135 million loan to Orange
County Water District and a $614 million loan to San Diego
Public Facilities Financing Authority (PFFA) were reset
downward from about 3.1 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively,
to around 1 percent… Is this a big deal?
The solutions are not just about spending money, but changing
how we do coastal development — fewer expensive seawalls and
roads, and more “living shorelines” and coastal parks that can
The flames were coming over a ridge when a group of men, led by
a retired Cal Fire firefighter, saved more than 35 homes in the
Stonegate neighborhood on Brand Road just off Hwy 12. They held
off the flames until a full strike team arrived to take over.
What they could not save was the water well pump and holding
tank at the top of the hill which supplied water to the entire
subdivision. It was all destroyed and must be now replaced.
Water utilities increasingly face a dilemma in these
recessionary times: the challenge is to take in enough money to
operate and maintain complex water systems while also providing
safe and affordable water to all their customers—even those who
have trouble paying. We talked to Kathryn Sorensen of Phoenix
Water Services about Phoenix’s equity innovations.
Biologists and engineers are setting the stage for an
environmental recovery effort in downtown Los Angeles that
could rival the return of the gray wolf, bald eagle and
California condor. This time, the species teetering on the edge
of extinction is the Southern California steelhead trout and
the abused habitat is a 4.8-mile-long stretch of the L.A. River
flood-control channel that most people only glimpse from a
The SSJID board has been pursuing a replacement tunnel after
sorting through options to substantially increase the
reliability of water flows as well as reducing costly annual
maintenance work that puts crews at risk. … The 13,000-foot
tunnel is now projected to cost more than $37 million. SSJID
would cover 72 percent of the cost and Oakdale Irrigation
District 28 percent…
The project would restore capacity from 1,600 cubic-feet-per
second to the original 4,000 cubic-feet-per second at what the
Bureau has determined to be the most critical area — the Deer
Creek check structure in Tulare County. … Estimates to fix
the canal range from $400 million to $500 million, according to
the Bureau of Reclamation.
Zone 7 Water Agency’s failed flood control system needs a total
revamp from the ground up, according to a consultant hired by
the agency. The system can’t be saved by adding touches here
and there. It will need a whole new rethinking, and will be
expensive, said Eric Nagy, a principal with the firm Larsen,
Wurzel & Associates in Sacramento.
Emergency repairs are underway after a historic fire in the
Santa Cruz Mountains wreaked havoc on the San Lorenzo Valley’s
water infrastructure. The CZU August Lightning Complex fire
caused an estimated $11 million in damage to pipes, meters,
mains, tanks and other San Lorenzo Valley Water District
infrastructure and equipment, according to District Manager
Between February and July 2020, the East Bay Municipal
Utility District completed work on more than 20 community
infrastructure projects totaling $49 million. The projects
include rehabilitated neighborhood water storage tanks, miles
of new water distribution pipelines designed to withstand
earthquakes, and a new photovoltaic system to generate energy
from the sun.
Here, we summarize the financial impacts of COVID-19 on water
utilities, examine how this may reduce or delay water
infrastructure investments, and explore how investments in
innovative distributed water infrastructure can address some of
these issues while also fostering economic recovery, system
flexibility, and long-term resilience.
Recent research looking at projected global temperature
increases and large-scale oceanic and atmospheric processes
contains alarming news for California water and flood planners.
According to this emerging science, intense precipitation and
flooding from “pineapple express”-style winter storms could
both shift eastwardly landward and intensify by up to 40% by
the latter half of the century.
The water system owned by the city of Montebello is primarily
made up of old concrete pipes made with asbestos, a once-common
part of water and drainage systems. This system has not been
properly maintained, and is now in need of $50 million worth of
health and safety repairs and improvements. Why has this been
allowed to occur you may ask?
After nearly a decade of planning, the City of Manhattan Beach
will begin a $39 million rebuild of Peck Reservoir, its
63-year-old water storage and filtration facility. The project
was unanimously approved by City Council at its August 20
The Clean Water Act previously allowed states to halt projects
that risk hurting their water quality, but that power was
scaled back by the EPA in June, a move Administrator Andrew
Wheeler said would “curb abuses of the Clean Water Act that
have held our nation’s energy infrastructure projects hostage.”
The latest suit argues the Trump administration is
inappropriately denying states veto power over major projects
that pose risks to their waterways.
Decades of inadequate investment in water infrastructure has
exacerbated the economic challenges faced by water and
wastewater utilities in the era of COVID-19, according to a new
report released Aug. 26 by the American Society of Civil
Engineers and the U.S. Water Alliance’s Value of Water
The consolidation of multiple agencies into SCV Water makes
local coordination in emergencies much easier than in the past.
Partnerships with other agencies to the north and south of us
mean there are backup plans for dry years and places to store
excess water in wet years.
A main water pipeline in the San Lorenzo Valley was destroyed
by a wildfire burning in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties. The
San Lorenzo Valley Water District lost 4.5 million gallons of
water after this 5-mile long pipe melted from intense heat. The
district shut off its water supply throughout the Valley except
to Boulder Creek.
After months of relative quiet, Newsom’s administration
released a preliminary cost estimate for the scaled-back
project Friday: $15.9 billion for a single tunnel running
beneath the estuary just south of Sacramento. That’s nearly as
much as the old $16.7 billion price tag put on the larger,
The break occurred not far from a July 2014 rupture that spewed
an estimated 20 million gallons of water across the UCLA campus
and flooded numerous buildings, including Pauley Pavilion, the
Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center, J.D. Morgan
Center and the John Wooden Center. … LADWP officials reported
that Sunday’s water main break was not the same trunk line that
ruptured in 2014.
A single tunnel proposed to take water under the sensitive
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and deliver it to farms and cities
in the south could cost $15.9 billion, give or take, according
to an initial assessment discussed at the Delta Conveyance
Authority meeting on Thursday.
In the new study, researchers modeled the effects of rising sea
level along the entire California coastline. While results
varied with local topography, the study indicates rising sea
levels could push inland water tables higher, resulting in
damage to infrastructure and increased severity of flooding.
East Bay Municipal Utility District crews and first-responders
were at the scene of at least sixteen separate water main
breaks in two cities Wednesday night, affecting several hundred
customers, authorities said.
The Los Angeles Superior Court issued a historic ruling, in
favor of Los Angeles Waterkeeper, that compels the State Water
Resources Control Board to analyze whether it is “wasteful” and
“unreasonable” to dump billions of gallons of wastewater
uselessly into the sea, when it could instead be used
productively to ensure the sustainability of California’s water
The U.S. EPA’s Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act
Loan Program (WIFIA) … has now completed three solicitation
rounds over the period 2017-2019, generating 90 competitively
selected applications totaling $13.6 billion of loan volume.
This indicates WIFIA has had an excellent start. But beneath
the surface, what’s actually happening? How is the program
working as intended to improve U.S. water infrastructure?
Due to local population growth and rising peak summer usage,
the West Valley Water District announced that it will expand
treatment capacity for the region by 16 million gallons per day
through the Oliver P. Roemer Water Filtration Facility
Failure to account for the long-term trend of declining per
capita water demand has led to routine overestimation of future
water demand. This can lead to unnecessary and costly
investment in unneeded infrastructure and new sources of
supply, higher costs, and adverse environmental impacts.
The Trump Administration Monday announced that the United
States Department of Agriculture is investing $462 million to
modernize critical drinking water and wastewater infrastructure
across rural America.
The city of Bellflower wants to sell its aging water system to
a big for-profit water company that is better able to manage
it. But the deal could fall through. That’s because state
regulators say the price is so high, it could hurt water
customers across Southern California.
The El Dorado Irrigation District Board of Directors opened the
utility’s checkbook at the July 13 meeting and unanimously
voted to spend close to $9.5 million on a long list of capital
improvement projects. Leading the way, the most expensive
project approved was $4.56 million to recoat and inspect
Reservoir 2 and 2A water tanks.
The Senate has confirmed Maj. Gen. Scott A. Spellmon as the
Army’s 55th Chief of Engineers and commanding general of the
Corps of Engineers, elevating him to one of the most crucial
infrastructure-related positions in the federal government.
The agencies specifically warned that internet-connected
operational technology assets, used throughout U.S. defense
systems, were often the targets of malicious cyber actors
attempting to hit critical infrastructure, such as systems
providing water, gas and electricity. As a result, the agencies
recommended that critical infrastructure operators and owners
take “immediate action” to secure their systems.
Historically, Mesa Water District’s staff has performed all
their day-to-day operational tasks from its headquarters in
Costa Mesa, Calif. … The pandemic required the water district
to quickly transition to a nearly 100 percent remote workforce
almost overnight, without disrupting providing clean, safe and
reliable water to their many customers.
A water main break has caused major flooding on part of
southbound Highway 99 at 12th Avenue in Sacramento, California
Highway Patrol officials confirmed Monday evening. … Tim
Swanson, a spokesperson for the City of Sacramento, said the
break started as a leak that was expected to be repaired in the
The San Diego County Water Authority’s asset management team
recently celebrated the completion of a comprehensive condition
assessment of more than 27 miles of the agency’s oldest
pipelines. The assessment was performed in record time over
just 16 months.
Thousands of Redlands residents are being urged to cut their
water consumption and fill tubs and other containers for
emergency use as crews work to repair a major leak in the
city’s system, officials said Tuesday. The leak, which was
reported Monday and occurred in a 16-inch transmission line at
a pumping station near Ford Park, could spill as much as 5
million gallons of water a day…
The president’s plan to streamline the National Environmental
Policy Act … would make it easier to build highways,
pipelines, chemical plants and other projects that pose
environmental risks. … But the proposed changes also threaten
to rob the public, in particular marginalized communities most
affected by such projects, of their ability to impact decisions
that could affect their health, according to many activists.
The Fremont Weir Adult Fish Passage Modification Project, which
began modified operations in January of 2019, successfully
allowed thousands of migrating fish to pass between the
Sacramento River and Yolo Bypass in its first year of
Don’t drink the water in the Del Monte area of Monterey, the
Monterey County Health Department and California American Water
announced this morning, Wednesday, July 8. A water main break
on Aguajito Road on Tuesday evening is the culprit, according
to notifications from Monterey County and California American
A total of $83.9 million grant funding has been issued to
communities in San Diego, San Joaquin, Sacramento, Sierra and
Central Coast regions. The funding is aimed at supporting
projects to address infrastructure needs, depleted groundwater
levels, flood control issues, and other water issues of
South San Joaquin Valley farmers have a reason to celebrate
this week: Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives
appropriated $200 million to fix the Friant-Kern Canal. The
bill also includes funding to repair the Delta-Mendota Canal
and for two Northern California reservoirs.
Yuba Water Agency’s Board of Directors committed approximately
$14 million in grants and loans for water infrastructure
upgrades, levee maintenance and Yuba County’s annual California
Public Employees’ Retirement System payment.
Rep. TJ Cox announced the inclusion of several water
infrastructure projects critical to the Central
Valley in the House Energy and Water Development
Appropriations bill, including funding for the repair of
the Friant-Kern Canal and $7.8 million for an
expansion of the Los Vaqueros Reservoir.
Every single Californian deserves access to clean, reliable,
affordable water. Contrary to statements in the column, the
most disadvantaged communities in California, will not be
helped by a tunnel. This massively expensive, environmentally
destructive conveyance project won’t provide additional water
to water-starved communities in this unpredictable
climate-change era; nor can it promise safe, low-cost water
The House passed a massive $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill
that would help the nation rebuild its crumbling roads and
bridges, combat climate change, and promote clean energy and
clean drinking water.
More federal funds may be flowing to fix the Friant-Kern Canal.
On June 22, the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) sent a
letter to Congress requesting $134 million for water storage
projects be funded through the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. More
than half of the funding, $71 million, was requested for
preconstruction and construction of the Friant-Kern Canal
Capacity Correction project.
Adapting to climate change, coupled with the need to address
aging infrastructure, population growth, and degraded
ecosystems, requires significant investment in natural and
built water systems. These investments present a significant
opportunity to support not only water, but to provide economic,
social, and environmental benefits.
The U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
has approved H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act. The legislative
package would provide $1.5 trillion for the nation’s
infrastructure needs. Included in the bill is funding for
Central Valley water needs and Friant-Kern Canal repairs. The
package is expected to be passed by the U.S. House of
Representatives next week.
The work, which begins June 29, will complete critical
improvements to the North Shore Force Main (NSFM), a
pressurized sewer pipeline that transports wastewater in
northern San Francisco to the Southeast Treatment Plant in the
Bayview, which treats 80 percent of the City’s wastewater.
A man working atop the iconic Fresno State water tower died
after being rushed to the hospital on Thursday after being
overcome with heat, eventually going into cardiac arrest. …
The man, 27-year-old Jason Peters of Palm Coast, Florida, was
one of three divers scheduled to do maintenance work on the
inside of the water tower on the Fresno State campus.
The June 17 meeting of the Eastern Municipal Water District
included approving the purchase of groundwater monitoring
equipment for the West San Jacinto Basin, approving a
consultant contract for the final design of the Hemet Water
Filtration Plant sodium hypochlorite tank replacement, and
awarding Pacific Hydrotech Corporation a contract to replace
the booster engines at the Pat Road facility.
After almost 32 years with the Los Angeles Department of Water
and Power (LADWP) Clarence Martin will be stepping down as
Aqueduct Manager. Deputy Aqueduct Manager Adam Perez will be
taking over, come July 1.
It seems some are willing to wait forever for a new water
supply. After 25 years of failure, they still trust Cal Am to
come up with a solution. But the Monterey Peninsula Water
Management District is clearly done waiting. Last Monday, the
district board withdrew its support for Cal Am’s proposed desal
The Department of Interior has requested $71 million be spent
on improvements for the Friant-Kern Canal for the 2021 fiscal
year. The funding for the Friant-Kern Canal accounts for most
of the $108.7 of funding for water storage projects in
California the Department of Interior is requesting. Congress
will now consider approving the funding in the 2021 fiscal year
energy and water appropriations bill.
Three divers were rescued from the Fresno State water tower
Wednesday after Fresno Fire says one of them became
unresponsive due to heat exhaustion. The three divers were
taking part in a regular inspection and cleaning of the
Earlier this week, a broad coalition of water agencies
delivered a letter to Congress advocating for more funding. The
letter, submitted Monday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi,
Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other California
Congressional delegates, argues that billions of federal
dollars are still needed for water infrastructure maintenance
and assistance with water bills.
It was a big day for the El Dorado Irrigation District as
members of the board, staff and other officials gathered above
Folsom Lake to celebrate the kick-off of a major infrastructure
project. … In February the board unanimously approved
spending $42 million to replace critical components of the
Folsom Lake water intake and restore needed reliability and
capacity that has been lost to mechanical failure over the
The issue of subsidence on the Friant-Kern Canal, the attention
it has garnered, and accompanying solutions are apparently void
of the usual partisanship experienced in California’s water
world as both state and Federal legislation has been introduced
to authorize significant funding for the project.
House Democrats attached a provision to the bill that would
look to introduce additional dam and hydropower safety
inspections and analysis to the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission permitting process. … House Democrats included
various provisions that would boost drinking water protections
and infrastructure, harden water systems against the threat of
climate change, and provide a financial lifeline for tribal
water and wastewater systems.
A proposal by the Trinidad Rancheria to connect to
McKinleyville’s water system received a mostly chilly reception
from the public during a meeting last week of the Humboldt Bay
Municipal Water District. A majority of more than three dozen
written comments submitted to the district were in opposition
to the pipeline, with many saying they are against the
rancheria’s proposed hotel.
In October 2019, the Public Policy Institute of California
(PPIC) released the report, Priorities for California’s Water,
which outlined California’s water management challenges and
their top priorities for addressing those challenges. At the
May meeting of the California Water Commission, Alvar
Escriva-Bou, a PPIC research fellow, gave a presentation on the
findings and how they align with the actions of the draft water
The Tribe has been working with Sonoma County to develop 147
housing units as well as a resort and winery. Now that this
ongoing development can be performed on land officially held in
trust by the U.S. federal government, the Tribe is no longer
subject to local land use restrictions. As such, the Lytton
Tribe must assess all potential options to best meet future
wastewater needs. Collaboration with their Windsor neighbors as
well as an environmental assessment identified two primary
Driving on Highway 101 from the South Bay, up the Peninsula,
commuters zoom by nearly invisible infrastructure keeping the
highway and nearby communities dry. Beyond the highway, at the
edge of the San Francisco Bay, are levees and tide gates
protecting roads and neighborhoods against high tides and storm
flooding. Unless you visit the bay lands to walk the levee
trails, you might never know these important structures exist.
A draft report released today by the San Diego County Water
Authority shows that building a new conveyance system to
transport regional water supplies from the Colorado River
Quantification Settlement Agreement is cost-competitive with
other long-term options for meeting the region’s water needs.
Existing residents in the 200-year-flood zone are not off the
hook when it comes to paying for more robust protection. …
That’s because fees assessed on new growth — homes, commercial
and industrial concerns — being built in the flood zone only
will cover a third of the bill.
Hundreds of studies on nature-based solutions to extreme events
show that “green infrastructure” is often cheaper and more
effective than engineered projects like dams, levees and sea
walls, according to a new analysis. Experts say federal and
state governments should heed those findings and increase
funding for natural landscapes and systems to reduce climate
disaster risk. Solutions include floodplain restoration and
“living shorelines” along vulnerable coasts and rivers.
For years — too many, residents say — Seville households
teetered with unpredictable conditions. Using too much water in
the day meant having none at night. One flush too many, and
everyone relying on a single well in town was thrown into a dry
spell. … The coming summer, however, promises to be a new one
altogether for residents in Seville.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday
calling on federal agencies to use emergency powers to
“accelerate” infrastructure projects on federal lands as a
response to the coronavirus pandemic. The order urges the
Interior, Agriculture, and Defense departments to use emergency
powers under the Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act and
National Environmental Policy Act to speed projects through the
While drain clogs aren’t new, most of the more than 15 cities
contacted by The Associated Press said they’ve become a more
costly and time consuming headache during the pandemic.
Home-bound Americans are seeking alternatives to bathroom
tissue because of occasional shortages, while stepping up
efforts to sanitize their dwellings and themselves.
New legislation was recently introduced that will address
several issues facing San Joaquin Valley canals. The
Restoration of Essential Conveyance Act was introduced by
Senator Dianne Feinstein as a means for repairing water
conveyance damaged by subsidence.
Extended periods of inactivity in buildings can cause lead
leaching or legionella growth in water pipes and taking proper
steps can help minimize potential exposure to both these
contaminants. … Proper reopening procedures help in verifying
that water systems and equipment are in safe working order.
The Environmental Protection Agency finalized a rule Monday
curtailing the rights of states, tribes and the public to
object to federal permits for energy projects and other
activities that could pollute waterways across the country. The
move … upends how the United States applied a section of the
Clean Water Act for nearly a half century.
The gravity-fed Friant-Kern Canal that is key to survival for
15,000 east side San Joaquin Valley farms continues to be
impacted by subsidence. Land near Porterville appears to be
most worrisome where the land has sunk so much due to adjacent
water pumping that the canal has lost 60% of its capacity. As
of July 2018, it was estimated the canal is approximately 12
feet below the original constructed elevation.
A Pure Water Monterey expansion proposal has narrowly survived
another attempt to shelve it indefinitely even as the main
recycled water project struggles with operational and cost
issues that have further postponed its water delivery date and
hampered its capacity.
Marine life mitigation, the need for desalinated water in
Orange County and the overall merits of Poseidon Water’s plan
to build a $1 billion desalination plant in Huntington Beach
were some of the main talking points of a 10-hour virtual
workshop, held on May 15. Highlighting the marathon of a
workshop: pointed questions about the merits of Poseidon’s
Over email, local water activists concocted a secret plan to
derail a vote that would potentially kill one water project and
bolster the prospects of another. The idea was to stage a
“filibuster” of the Monterey One Water board meeting scheduled
for Tuesday, May 26.
House Democrats will focus this summer on passing essential
legislation, including the Water Resources Development Act, a
highway reauthorization bill, and appropriations measures,
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Tuesday. … In early
May, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee advanced
two major water infrastructure bills (S. 3591 and (S. 3590)
that are awaiting floor action.
The San Diego County Water Authority and its contractors have
completed essential repairs on a section of Pipeline 5 in North
San Diego County between Fallbrook and Escondido. The repairs
included installing 156 feet of carbon fiber liner inside the
96-inch pre-stressed concrete cylinder pipe to extend its
Nevadans and Utahns won a major economic and environmental
victory in mid-April that will help protect air quality along
the Wasatch Front and the Great Basin’s fragile water supply ––
including Great Salt Lake.
The Senate’s environment panel pushed through two major water
infrastructure bills Wednesday, rejecting a GOP member’s
attempt to give Western states more authority over water
supplies but agreeing to direct the EPA to set drinking water
limits for “forever chemicals” known as PFAS.
A referendum challenging a rural northern California town’s
water rate hike rests on whether the California Supreme Court
considers it a tax or a fee. Since 1911, California’s
constitution has exempted “tax levies” from the people’s
referendum. It’s an exemption that Dunsmuir, a town of about
1,600 residents in Siskiyou County, is trying to apply to its
aging water system.
At the April meeting of the Central Valley Flood Protection
Board, Board members heard an informational briefing on the
Yolo Bypass Salmonid Habitat Restoration and Fish Passage
Project being planned for the Fremont Weir. Referred to as the
Big Notch, this project will construct a gated notch at Fremont
Weir to create seasonal floodplain habitat for juvenile fish as
well as to improve migration for adult fish.
A team of UCLA undergraduate students has won a national
competition sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency seeking innovative plans for stormwater management. The
team proposed to redesign elements of a Los Angeles elementary
school to improve its environmental sustainability.
The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works gathered
the last few comments on Friday on its plans to move two
mammoth water infrastructure packages this year. … At the
same time, the House Transportation and Infrastructure
Committee is gearing up to introduce its own big water bill,
which should come by month’s end and be marked up over the
summer, according to a committee aide.
Work to restore a damaged 9-foot diameter water pipeline in
Moreno Valley continued Monday, May 4, and outdoor watering
restrictions will be lifted for Western Municipal Water
District customers starting Tuesday. … The reduced-use
directive had been in place since Thursday after a contractor
punctured the Santa Ana Valley Pipeline.
The reduced-use directive was put in place after a contractor
punctured the 9-foot-diameter Santa Ana Valley Pipeline on
Thursday. The water flow in the line has been stopped while
repairs take place, and the moves by the districts were to help
ensure reserves are not depleted.
Emergency repairs to a state-operated water pipeline prompted
officials Friday morning to ask 250,000-plus customers in
Moreno Valley and western Riverside County communities to
immediately stop outdoor water use. … Customers were asked to
not water plants or grass, wash cars or fill pools until
repairs on the Santa Ana Valley Pipeline, which brings water to
the region from Northern California, are completed, the MWD
The Lake Nacimiento water pipeline, which delivers supplemental
drinking water to several local communities including the city
of San Luis Obispo, has been out of commission since September
after leaks were discovered in a segment of the 45-mile pipe
that traverses the Salinas River.
As of March, the East Valley Water District’s Sterling Natural
Resource Center construction project reached the halfway point
to scheduled completion⎯about 18 months in and 18 months left
to work. The water recycling plant will be capable of treating
up to 10 million gallons per day, depositing the clean water
into percolation ponds in order to recharge the Bunker Hill
To develop the rankings, the state took into account numerous
factors, including each water system’s vulnerability to climate
change and projected temperature changes, projected sea level
rise, recent water shortages, whether the system is in an
overdrafted groundwater basin or was located in an area with
underlying fractured rock.
Several streets in neighborhoods near San Diego State will be
torn up for short periods over the next four years so the city
can widen and upgrade sewer and water lines that lead to the
Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant.
From the safety of their coronavirus shelters, the water
warriors of the Monterey Peninsula carry on the fight, and so
can you. … The environmental merits of removing the local
water system from private ownership and placing it under the
control of a government agency will be discussed in a virtual
public scoping meeting on April 21 at 5pm, via Zoom video
The number of supporters in Congress for utility assistance in
the next Covid-19 package continues to grow. One hundred ten
Democratic members of the House and Senate sent a letter today
to congressional leaders, requesting financial aid to utilities
and the people they serve during the coronavirus pandemic.
As federal, state, and local leaders look to provide economic
relief, they must pay special attention to the support and
protection of our current infrastructure workforce.
Additionally, this moment offers an opportunity that we may not
see again anytime soon: the chance to jumpstart long-term
infrastructure careers for millions of prospective workers
We know one thing for sure: We need to wash our hands well and
often. And for that we need clean, running water. But so far
the federal legislative responses to the novel coronavirus
crisis have not included financial support for water utilities,
most of which are public agencies. And there’s been no federal
mandate to prevent water shutoffs for households unable to pay
Most municipalities that have been maintaining aging
infrastructure for decades simply absorb the effort and costs
required to repair water main pipeline breaks when they occur.
Seldom do many municipalities make the efforts required to
track the costs and evaluate the cost benefit of proactively
rehabilitating the existing pipe line versus continuing to
repair emergency breaks.
Southern California Edison, the operators of the San Onofre
Nuclear Generating Station, is still investigating what caused
the release of 7,000 gallons of sewage into the ocean last
month but it appears the culprits were a blockage in the
facility’s sewage treatment plant and a worn out pump switch.
California has evacuation plans for earthquakes, floods,
mudslides and, of course, wildfires, but what if one of those
disasters occurs as the state is dealing with the coronavirus
outbreak when everyone is being urged to stay home? State and
local officials are trying to figure that out.
Napa Sanitation District is planning a $15 million project to
rehabilitate a deteriorating pipe that carries 90 percent of
local sewage to the wastewater treatment plant and has no
backup. … The half-century-old, 66-inch-diameter concrete
pipe transports raw sewage three miles from the city of Napa to
the wastewater treatment plant near the airport industrial
area. A district report calls it the “backbone” of the sewer
It’s possible that water left sitting for long periods of time
could contain excessive amounts of heavy metals and pathogens
concentrated in pipes nationwide, say [Purdue University]
researchers who have begun a field study on the impact of a
pandemic shutdown on buildings.
A lawsuit over the El Dorado Irrigation District’s plan to pipe
the Upper Main Ditch was denied by Superior Court Judge Dylan
Sullivan in a final ruling issued March 27. The lawsuit filed
by a Pollock Pines-based group called Save the Canal challenged
approval of the project and certification of the project’s
Environment Impact Report…
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, water agencies
across the Bay Area and California are taking unprecedented
steps to keep the water flowing that millions of people need
for drinking and washing their hands, but which is also
critical for fighting fires, serving hospitals, running sewer
systems and other vital uses. The main goal: Preventing the
workers who run the drinking water treatment plants from
The basics of the relationship between water and energy are
well known, but California’s recent drought revealed something
surprising about this connection. When the state mandated a 25
percent drop in water use, the resulting energy savings turned
out to be even higher than expected. This prompted the
Department of Energy to find ways of making water more energy
Here on the largest Native American reservation, one that spans
portions of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, politicians and
health officials are mounting a frantic effort to curb the
spread of the coronavirus. The impact could be especially
devastating, officials fear, in an extremely rural area larger
than West Virginia, with roughly 175,000 residents and only
four inpatient hospitals.
Water agencies throughout the West are changing their
operations during the coronavirus outbreak to make sure cities
and farms don’t run dry. Their responses range from extreme
measures to modest adjustments to ensure their most critical
workers don’t succumb to the virus.
The Infrastructure Retrofit Project would mitigate earthquake
hazards currently threatening the Redwood Valley County Water
District and protect infrastructure against significant damage
in the future. The 2017 Redwood Complex fire also destroyed
parts of the water infrastructure in the valley and increased
the need for the reconstruction project.
Highlighting the threat that coronavirus poses to basic public
health systems around California and the nation, a worker at
San Jose’s wastewater treatment plant — a facility that treats
the sewage from 1.5 million people in San Jose and seven other
cities — has tested positive for COVID-19. The employee is a
janitor working as part of a contract company.
Many are then tossing the disinfectant wipes, paper towels and
other paper products they used into the toilet. The result has
been a coast-to-coast surge in backed-up sewer lines and
overflowing toilets, according to plumbers and public
officials, who have pleaded with Americans to spare the
nation’s pipes from further strain.
The water agencies that serve the Fallbrook and Rainbow areas
of North County have officially filed applications to detach
from the San Diego County Water Authority, an unprecedented
move with potential financial implications for almost all water
customers in the county.
The Water and Wastewater Pathway at Indian Springs High School
is strategically located near East Valley Water District’s new
state-of-the-art wastewater treatment facility. The Sterling
Natural Resource Center (SNRC) will provide a sustainable new
water supply to boost the region’s water independence.
Likely just in time for the real thing, a “Mock Frost” event
was held this week to test the capacity of the city of Ukiah’s
recycled Water System, also called the Purple Pipe. … “It
went well,” Ukiah grape grower David Koball said of the test.
“There was lots of water pressure and we had no issues.”
Wipes and paper towels do not break down like toilet paper does
in water. They are stronger, and many wipes include plastics
and materials like nylon. That means bad news for sewer
systems, some of which already are experiencing problems during
the coronavirus crisis.
The intake, a pump house at the edge of the lake in El Dorado
Hills, was built in 1958, and got additional pumps installed in
1994. Both systems are at the end of their useful life and have
become unreliable in recent years. The intake … plays a
critical role in supplying drinking water to El Dorado Hills.
While the first draft of the governor’s draft Water Resilience
Portfolio wasn’t the transformational vision many had hoped it
would be, there is still time to deliver on a plan that will
help us rise to the challenges ahead.
Innocent consumer substitutions due to shortages caused by
fears about the spread of coronovirus could create serious
consequences which are critical to society and life, according
to leading supply chain academic Prof Richard Wilding. The
warning comes amid panic buying sweeping UK supermarkets…
“It’s a huge problem, especially in the cities,” said Daniel
Tartakovsky, a professor of energy resources engineering at
Stanford University in California. Tartakovsky and his former
student Abdulrahman Alawadhi from the University of California,
San Diego have proposed a way to improve a traditional method
of detecting these leaks.
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) is soliciting public
comment on the scope of environmental review for a revised
Delta tunnel project despite prior findings of independent
technical experts that a key project proposal is “impractical,”
stating that it “does not recommend” further study.
The Retrofit Project would mitigate earthquake hazards
currently threatening the Redwood Valley County Water
District… The county said the project would replace
approximately 10,577 feet of main water lines, include
installation of around 3,300 feet of new water main lines, and
replace 146 water services lateral connections. The project
will cost an estimated $6,200,000, including construction
support and contingency.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
recently released guidance for wastewater workers, reporting
that coronaviruses are vulnerable to the same disinfection
techniques used currently in the health care sector.
In a part of the country where freshwater supplies are often
scarce, the Olivenhain (California) Municipal Water District is
doing its part. The 4S Ranch Water Reclamation Facility
recycles some 1 million gallons of high-quality effluent each
day for irrigation and shares even more with neighboring
At the February meeting of the California Water Commission,
Secretary of Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot addressed the
Commission, tasking them with assessing and prioritizing the
infrastructure needs around the state and helping to determine
the state role in rehabilitating that infrastructure.
Over the past month, DWR has been holding scoping meetings in
the Delta and select locations throughout the state. At
meetings in Walnut Grove, Stockton, Clarksburg and Brentwood, a
diverse group of farmers, fishermen, elected officials,
climate/social justice activists, economists and engineers came
out in force to oppose what is often referred to as the
A $3 billion package of water projects recommended for approval
by the Southern Nevada Water Authority this month could raise
average residential bills by $10, while providing a boost to
the Apex Industrial Park in North Las Vegas.
During the Feb. 25 Butte County Board of Supervisors meeting,
supervisors Debra Lucero and Tami Ritter called to remove
Matthew Tennis from the Water Commission. … The reason for
proposing the removal, Lucero said, was that she believed
Tennis violated the Brown Act when he allegedly voiced support
for the pipeline from Paradise to Chico while talking in front
of a community group in Chico.
The Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District celebrated its 100-year
anniversary in February, according to a press release. The
district’s water rights were established in 1883, one of the
earliest and largest water rights on the Sacramento River, and
it was formally organized on Feb. 21, 1920.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District awarded a
$64 million construction contract on February 14 … for nearly
three miles of levee improvements along the Sacramento River
East Levee. This project will kick off major construction in
the region to complete approximately $1.5 billion of work to
upgrade levees along the American and Sacramento Rivers as well
as widening the Sacramento Weir and Bypass.
As Delta smelt continue to decline throughout the
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, novel approaches are being
implemented to open up additional habitat for these imperiled
fish. … The Department of Water Resources, in collaboration
with other stakeholders, has been conducting a pilot research
study to investigate how operational changes at the Suisun
Marsh Salinity Control Gates affect Delta smelt habitat
Fresh water shortages have made desalination a possible
solution for supplementing the overall water supply. To address
this issue, a team of industry professionals and researchers
have formed National Alliance of Water and Innovation to
jointly examine the critical technical barriers and research
needed to lower the energy cost of desalination and other water
Legal wrangling over San Diego’s proposed Pure Water sewage
recycling system continued Friday, when a judge gave a
temporary reprieve to a group of local contractors fighting for
the ability of non-union workers to help build the system.