“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 City of Roseville

Roseville gets $8 million grant for two new groundwater wells

In a proactive move to address the challenges posed by climate change and to align with statewide water management objectives, Roseville has received an $8 million grant from the California Natural Resources Agency and Department of Water Resources. This financial infusion, thanks to the efforts of the Regional Water Authority and local water agencies, will help finance the development of two groundwater wells within the city by covering nearly half the cost. Roseville’s share is part of a more extensive regional funding package totaling $55 million, dedicated to supporting essential groundwater infrastructure initiatives spanning the Sacramento region.

Aquafornia news

News release: NIDID invests approximately $2 million to build tribal drought resilience

NOAA’s National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) has announced approximately $2 million in funding for projects to support tribal drought resilience as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. This investment will help tribal nations address current and future drought risk on tribal lands across the Western U.S. while informing decision-making and strengthening tribal drought resilience in a changing climate.  Proposals may request funding of up to $700,000 total to be disseminated in the first year and expended over three years in the form of cooperative agreements. A total of 3–5 projects may be funded depending on the project budget requested. 

Related articles: 

Aquafornia news Politico

‘Green’ buildings face a flood of doubts

More than 800 U.S. buildings certified as “sustainable” are at extreme risk of flooding — and may have to be abandoned as the planet continues to overheat. That’s because the U.S. Green Building Council — an influential nonprofit that works to make buildings more climate-friendly — has for years largely overlooked the impact of extreme weather. Its point-based Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification generally offers new building projects just four points out of a possible 110 for taking steps to protect projects from flooding. LEED certification is a big deal: It’s subsidized or required by more than 350 local and state governments as well as the General Services Administration, which manages the vast federal building stock.

Aquafornia news American Council on Science and Health

Blog: Innovation abounds – Floating cows and vertical farms  

Last week, the U.N. hosted a summit on sustainable development, including access to clean water. I have previously written about declining water levels in the western U.S. and the use of desalination to transform seawater into freshwater. Although over 17,000 desalination plants are operating worldwide, there are only about 325 in the U.S., with 45% in Florida, 14% in California, and 9% in Texas. The reason they have not been more widely adopted is traditionally, they are expensive to build and use a lot of energy. Most of the desalination plants operating today heat the salt water and pump it through specialized membranes that separate the water from the salts. 

Aquafornia news KSBW - Monterey

Water district holds public hearing to consider acquisition of Monterey Water System

The Board of Directors of the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District plans on holding a public hearing to consider the acquisition of the Monterey Water System. The board is considering adopting a Resolution of Necessity for taking by eminent domain in order to convert the privately owned and operated water system to public ownership and control. Currently, the Monterey Water System is privately held by the California American Water Company.

Aquafornia news Tahoe Daily Tribune

South Lake resident continues to fight Tahoe Conservancy, still wants to see project success

The South Lake Tahoe resident who alleges his home was damaged by flooding caused by a California Tahoe Conservancy hopes the lawsuit he filed against the agency is quickly and peacefully wrapped up. The Conservancy acquired the Upper Truckee Marsh land between the Tahoe Keys and the Al Tahoe Neighborhood in the 1980s, although work didn’t begin on the project until the 2000s. The project ramped up in 2021 to dig new waterways through the marsh, place check dams along the waterways and put more water flow into Trout Creek. The goal of this work is to rewet the marshland so it can act as a natural filter for water flowing into Lake Tahoe, helping to increase lake clarity.

Related article: 

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

California’s small dry cleaners face massive bills to clean up toxic chemical

Although [California] supported dry cleaners in the transition away from PCE [perchloroethylene] through grants to buy new cleaning machines and by offering training on how to safely use other cleaning solvents or do wet cleaning with detergents, many cleaners feel they’ve been left out to dry when it comes to cleaning up the pollution often found under their businesses and neighbor’s water supplies. .. A PCE cleanup typically costs about $1 million to more than $10 million. The high costs come from the extensive mapping of groundwater and soil samples required to determine the extent of a PCE plume — which can flow for several miles in groundwater under cities — and the regular monitoring of how effective the remediation efforts are.

Aquafornia news Arizona Capitol Times

Tribal water infrastructure needs more than one-time fix, senators told

The infusion of federal money for infrastructure projects is a welcome first step toward fixing deep problems with water systems on tribal lands, but it’s only a first step, an Arizona official testified Wednesday [Sept. 25]. Brian Bennon, director of the tribal water department at the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, said tribes need to make sure they have funding for operation and maintenance of the systems to keep them going … Bennon was joined by Ken Norton, director of the Hoopa Valley Tribal Environmental Protection Agency, and Jola WallowingBull, director of the Northern Arapaho Tribal Engineering Department, to testify on the problems that come with underfunding of Native water systems.

Aquafornia news The Tyee

Author interview: Why we need a ‘slow water’ movement

In her groundbreaking book Water Always Wins: Thriving in an Age of Drought and Deluge, environmental journalist and National Geographic Explorer Erica Gies observes, “If water were a category in a game of rock, paper, scissors, water would beat them all every time.” At a time when drought, fire and flood threaten countless lives, Gies talks to water experts who are using cutting-edge science and traditional knowledge to show how our relationship to water must change if we want to survive. She takes the reader inside water projects ranging from the marshlands of Iraq to the highlands of Peru, as well as nearer to home in B.C. and California, uncovering a breathtaking complexity we ignore at our peril. The result is a riveting and engaging book that does for water what Suzanne Simard has done for trees.

Aquafornia news NBC 7 - San Diego

More than $1 billion needed to overhaul San Diego’s stormwater system

Engineers with the city of San Diego say local neighborhoods are always one rainstorm away from disastrous flooding. They say it’s because our storm system is decades past its lifetime. And right now, they say, the city doesn’t have enough money to set aside to fix problems that keep them up at night. … Many of the issues we’re experiencing now are connected to the pipe failures.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Weekly

A generational project to restore a mile-long length of the Carmel River is well on its way.

In 1883, two years after he created Hotel Del Monte, railroad baron Charles Crocker facilitated the construction, near Cachagua, of the so-called Chinese Dam – the Carmel River’s first – which aimed to provide 400 acre-feet of water annually to his hotel. … There is a plan in the works, years in the making, though not yet quite near the finish line: the Rancho Cañada Floodplain Restoration Project. The project calls for widening and restoring the riverbed and banks where the river flows through a 40-acre, mile-long stretch of Palo Corona Regional Park through the section that was reclaimed from part of the Rancho Cañada Golf Course in a purchase facilitated by the Trust for Public Land, Trout Unlimited the Santa Lucia Conservancy and the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District.

Related article: 

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Editorial: Santa Venetia flood-control berms should be built to last

There’s no debate whether flooding is a serious risk for Santa Venetia residents. … the county has started work on repairing sections of the timber-reinforced earth berm that is now protecting the area. … The wall, stretching from Meadow Drive to Vendola Drive, is deteriorating. The county is spending $300,000 to repair it. The plan is to finish the work by the end of October, in time to upgrade protection before the rainy season.

Aquafornia news Patch - Pleasanton

Pleasanton council votes to delay proposed water rate hikes

The Pleasanton City Council voted Tuesday to delay a controversial plan to raise water rates by 62 percent over the next three years. Council members voted to conduct further analysis based on numerous resident concerns, and reconsider the hikes at their Nov. 7 meeting. The council voted unanimously to delay the vote, though Councilmember Julie Testa left before the vote due to a family emergency.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

Report: California Water Plan 2023 – Navigating climate challenges with equity and resilience

… To better prepare and plan for a future with climate extremes, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has released the Public Review Draft of California Water Plan Update 2023. … [The plan] focuses on three intersecting themes: addressing the urgency of climate change, strengthening watershed resilience, and achieving equity in water management. … public comments can be made through Oct. 19, 2023.

Related article: 

Aquafornia news Mercury News

The nearly 500 Californians killed in the 1928 St. Francis Dam disaster might finally get a memorial

Phillip Cesena transferred to San Franciscquito Canyon in February 1928 to work as a ranch hand, mucking out stalls and exercising ranch animals. The 15-year-old had just lost his father, Leonardo, and wanted to support his mother, Erolinda, and his 12 brothers and sisters by learning how to break horses and perform trick riding for Hollywood westerns. A month later, Cesena’s fate was sealed. The St. Francis Dam burst, sending 12.6 billion gallons of water 15 stories high racing through Santa Clarita, Saugus, Saticoy, Piru, Fillmore and Santa Paula. The water wiped out villages and killed about 450 people before reaching the ocean near Oxnard some 54 miles away. … Now, one community organizer is leading a push to build a memorial to remember Cesena and all the others who perished in what some call the worst civil engineering disaster in the country’s history.

Aquafornia news E&E News

Thursday Top of the Scroll: Hydropower delays pose grid threat as permits lapse

When the operator of the nation’s tallest dam applied for a new federal permit in 2005, few expected the process to drag on for more than a decade. It’s still not done. California’s Oroville Dam is among a dozen major hydroelectric projects that have been waiting over 10 years to receive a long-term permit from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The sluggish process is fueling uncertainty about the future of a key source of clean power that has bipartisan support in Congress — but that faces new challenges as the climate warms.

Related articles: 

Aquafornia news The New York Times

The summer of 2023 was California’s coolest in more than a decade

The past summer was the hottest ever in the Northern Hemisphere. In fact, scientists announced last week that June, July and August this year were the warmest on record globally, confirming that the horrific heat waves in many places were as awful as they seemed. But, as you’re probably already aware, the summer didn’t bring record-breaking heat to California. Some daily temperature records were broken in July in Palm Springs, Anaheim and Redding, but overall, the Golden State actually enjoyed its coolest summer since 2011.

Related articles: 

Aquafornia news KTLA - Los Angeles

Water district in California floats plan to turn ocean water into drinking water

A local water district is proposing an ambitious plan to turn ocean water into drinking water, and while the idea of a “Blue Water Farm” sounds promising, some environmental groups say that ocean desalination should be a last resort and that more can be done to conserve water in affluent communities.   Over the last two years, customers of the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District (LVMWD) have seen restrictions and fines over how much water they use. [District communications manager Mike] McNutt added that the water district is exploring new ways to keep lawns lush and green in big-money neighborhoods like Calabasas, Westlake Village and Hidden Hills. … Officials are hoping that they can bring in precisely 10 million gallons of fresh water a day to the district. 

Aquafornia news Mercury News

California tops FEMA’s new list of areas vulnerable to weather disasters. What does it mean for the Bay Area?

Despite the name, “Community Disaster Resilience Zones” are not local havens capable of withstanding storms and other extreme weather. But the Federal Emergency Management Agency, better known as FEMA, is spending billions in hopes that they can be. The agency has identified nearly 500 such “zones,” swaths of land generally covering several miles that are ill-prepared to tolerate flooding, earthquakes, heat waves, wildfires, landslides and other natural hazards. As extreme weather is expected to continue shattering expectations and local records — from downpours drenching Death Valley to hurricanes pummeling California’s coastline — these areas will be prioritized for additional funding for protective improvements.

Related article: 

Aquafornia news KQED - San Francisco

Listen: Pajaro residents know permanent fix for levees is still a long way away

It’s been six months since the levee protecting the small Central Coast farming community of Pajaro burst, flooding the town and forcing thousands out of their homes. And while repairs are underway, a permanent fix is still years in the making.

Related article: 

Aquafornia news U.S. Department of Transportation

News release: U.S. Department of Transportation providing $4.575 million in ‘quick release’ emergency relief funding for flood damage repair work at Death Valley National Park and other federal lands in California and Nevada

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) today [9/15] announced the immediate availability of $4.575 million in “quick release” Emergency Relief funds for use by the National Park Service, the Forest Service, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The funds will  offset costs of repair work needed for roads, trails, parking areas, and other infrastructure as a result of flood damage caused by Tropical Storm Hilary in Death Valley National Park and other federal lands in California and Nevada last month.

Aquafornia news Nature Water

New study: Balancing-oriented hydropower operation makes the clean energy transition more affordable and simultaneously boosts water security

Reservoir hydropower offers a compelling combination of stability and flexibility services for modern water and power grids. However, its operating flexibility is poorly characterized in energy system planning, missing opportunities to cost-effectively uptake variable renewable energy (VRE) for a clean energy transition. In this study, we have developed a fully coupled reservoir operation and energy expansion model to quantify the economic and environmental benefits attained from adaptive hydropower operation in a high VRE future. Our case study of the China Southern Power Grid reveals that, in a 2050 net-zero grid, simply adapting hydropower operations to balance VRE can reduce 2018–2050 total system costs by 7% (that is, US$28.2 billion) and simultaneously save 123.8 km3 of water each year …

Aquafornia news Business Wire

News release: California Appellate Court rules in favor of Monterey Peninsula water supply project

On September 9th, 2023 the Sixth Appellate District of California’s Court of Appeals upheld the County of Monterey’s decision to authorize permits for construction of California American Water’s Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project desalination facility.

Aquafornia news Arizona State University

News release: Water sustainability at center of new mixed-reality game

With no end in sight for Arizona’s megadrought, many researchers at Arizona State University are developing innovations to mitigate the drought’s effects on residents, agriculture and industry, and promote water resilience and security. Claire Lauer, a professor of technical communication in the School of Applied Professional Studies, part of the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts (CISA) at ASU’s Polytechnic campus, is applying her knowledge of user experience, or UX, and Arizona’s water landscape to educate the public about the intricacies of water usage because “there’s a lot of misinformation about water out there,” she said. “Educating the public on water management will help communities make informed decisions, which can have a huge effect on Arizona’s water policies and conservation efforts.”

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

A celebrity-studded L.A. water district has a very big drought idea: Seafloor desalination

A water district best known for supplying the celebrity-studded enclaves of Calabasas and Hidden Hills could soon become famous for a very different reason. The Las Virgenes Municipal Water District recently partnered with California-based OceanWell to study the feasibility of harvesting drinking water from desalination pods placed on the ocean floor, several miles off the coast of California. The pilot project, which will begin in Las Virgenes’ reservoir near Westlake Village, hopes to establish the nation’s first-ever “blue water farm.” … The process could produce as much as 10 million gallons of fresh water per day — a significant gain for an inland district almost entirely reliant on imported supplies.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

California lawmakers pass lead-testing bill for schools

California lawmakers have passed a bill that would require kindergarten-to-12th-grade schools in the Golden State to test for brain-damaging lead in all drinking water outlets. Assembly Bill 249 would require community water systems that serve schools built before 2010 to test all potable water outlets for lead, and to report results to the school, educational agency and state water regulators. Outlets exceeding lead levels of 5 parts per billion would have to be shut down immediately. Testing would be required before 2027, and would also apply to preschools and child day care facilities on public school property. The measure, authored by Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena), passed in the Senate and the Assembly this week. It now heads to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk for a final decision.

Aquafornia news Pomerado News

San Diego expected to approve water-rate hikes of almost 20 percent

San Diego water bills would rise nearly 20 percent under a rate-increase proposal the City Council is scheduled to consider Tuesday. The increase, which city officials began studying last fall, would be the first comprehensive rate hike approved by the council in nearly eight years. It would include a 10.2 increase this December and an 8.75 percent jump in January 2025. City officials say they need additional revenue increases to cover rising costs for imported water, upgrades to thousands of aging pipes and a long list of short-term and long-term capital projects. The capital projects include the Pure Water sewage-recycling system, which has been under construction since last year, and upgrades needed to several aging city dams that state officials have deemed in poor condition.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Daily News

Restoration of Bouquet Canyon Creek to help endangered fish and get water to homes

In an eight-mile swath of a damaged creek in unincorporated Santa Clarita, the connections between humans, nature, water supplies and survival of a rare fish are frayed by climate change. … The project recently received a $12 million grant to kickstart planning and design. The money was granted to Public Works last week by the California Wildlife Conservation Board. Construction is expected to begin in late 2024, according to Public Works. … The project has many interrelated objectives: flood control, habitat restoration, and returning safe, reliable water flow into the downstream wells of homeowners who have been cut off from their water source.

Aquafornia news Forbes

Opinion: Dams and flood controls ‘not ready’ for a more extreme climate

More than 11,000 people are now known to have died, with thousands still missing, after Mediterranean storm Daniel made landfall in Libya over the weekend. Inland areas were flooded, as seen in Sentinel 2 images released by the European Union’s space programme on Wednesday. Coastal settlements built near or over alluvial fans and deltas of ancient Wadi — the Arabic term traditionally referring to river valleys — were swept away. In Derna alone, the worst affected city, the flood destroyed two-thirds of all buildings and killed over 2,000 people. … A “grey swan” is what experts describe as a predictable, yet improbable, event with significant and wide-ranging long-term impacts. Modern dams, reservoirs and infrastructure to control floods are build to withstand meteorological conditions as experienced in the last 100 years.
-Written by David Bressan, a freelance geologist working mostly in the Eastern Alps.

Related article: 

Aquafornia news CBS 8 - San Diego

San Diego Pure Water project will reduce need for imported water

California is looking to boost water supply and considering new regulations to recycling wastewater straight to your tap. Some refer to it as toilet to tap, however experts in the field say this phrase is anything but accurate. … CBS 8 visited San Diego’s Pure Water project. It’s in phase one of construction and will supply nearly half of the city’s drinking water by the end of 2035. The water goes through a rigorous recycling process. Our crews got to see it all happen at the Pure Water demonstration site. “Five different treatment steps,” said Dough Campbell, the deputy director of Pure Water operations. Campbell said water is treated at a wastewater plant before it ever arrives to Pure Water. Then the water goes through a five step process of ozone, biologically active carbon filters, membrane filters, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet lighting.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

San Diego spending $9M on repairs to structurally vulnerable dams — El Capitan, Lake Morena

The San Diego City Council approved $9 million Tuesday for short-term repairs to two city dams found to have cracks and other structural problems during state-ordered assessments in 2019.  The repairs will be completed by Orion Construction on the Morena Dam, which is 63 miles east of the city near Campo and the Laguna Mountains, and El Capitan Dam, which is 7 miles east of Lakeside.  While the dams are outside city limits, they are part of San Diego’s vast water network that includes nine reservoirs and dams located across the county. 

Aquafornia news ABC7 - San Francisco

San Francisco water main break sheds light on city’s aging infrastructure where 20% of water pipes are 100 years old

Work is still underway on a sinkhole in San Francisco’s Cow Hollow neighborhood. A section of Fillmore Street remains closed after a water main broke Monday damaging the street and nearby homes and businesses. Repairs to the water main have been fixed, but that’s just the beginning. ABC7 News reporter Luz Pena has been covering this story and on Tuesday went with one of the crews surveying the damage.

Aquafornia news Ventura County Star

Water options improve as treatment plant goes online in El Rio

Iron be gone. Manganese, away. A $14.2 million groundwater treatment facility that scrubs iron and manganese from supplies at a wellfield in El Rio has switched on. The plant will improve drinking supplies for thousands of Ventura County residents, including families living at Naval Base Ventura County. On Wednesday morning, officials and dignitaries celebrated the United Water Conservation District project at its El Rio facility at 3561 N. Rose Ave., north of Oxnard. … Wednesday’s gathering marked completion of the plant’s first phase after construction started around February 2022. The facility treats supplies pumped from deep wells. The first phase will treat up to 3,500 gallons of groundwater per minute. Future phases can expand capacity to about 8,250 gallons per minute.

Aquafornia news Morgan Hill Times

Crews to begin controlled explosions at Anderson Dam site

Residents in the area of Anderson Dam over the next few weeks may hear loud warning horns and explosive sounds as crews continue to excavate a tunnel under construction for the dam’s seismic retrofit project, according to Valley Water.  Water district staff say the impact to residents and passing traffic should be minimal.  Starting on Sept. 12, construction crews will begin the controlled blasting of hard rock for the Anderson Dam Tunnel Project. Scheduled detonations over the next few weeks will take place Monday through Friday, and possibly on Saturdays, from 8am-7pm, Valley Water spokesperson Matt Keller said. 

Aquafornia news Appeal-Democrat

DWR starting maintenance work on Oroville Dam spillway

Officials with the Department of Water Resources (DWR) said maintenance work on Oroville Dam’s main spillway was expected to start this week as construction staging equipment and materials make their way to the worksite. Maintenance work is expected to be performed on localized sections of the spillway to address areas of deteriorated concrete and sealant identified during annual inspections, DWR officials said. … Other planned work includes the replacement of a “joint sealant at select chute slab and wall joints that degrade over time due to the spillway’s environment.” Officials also will inspect 51,000 feet of piping that supports the spillway’s drainage system.

Aquafornia news Vox

Fall weather extremes will be hit hard by El Niño and climate change

The wave of unusual disasters this summer now includes Hurricane Lee, a storm that swelled from Category 1 to Category 5 in just 24 hours as it barreled toward Canada. It’s a prime example of rapid intensification made worse by warming ocean temperatures. It will add to what’s already been an exceptional year of extreme weather. The US has set a new record for the number of billion-dollar disasters in a year — 23 so far — in its history, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). And this doesn’t even include the costs from Tropical Storm Hilary in California or from the ongoing drought in the South and Midwest, because those costs have yet to be fully calculated. 

Aquafornia news KLAS - Las Vegas

Salton Sea obligations cited in letter as government formulates Colorado River plan

California’s largest lake didn’t even exist 120 years ago, but now it looms large over questions about how to manage the Colorado River. Depending on who you ask, the Salton Sea is either an important wildlife ecosystem or an environmental disaster that’s ticking like a time bomb — 50% saltier than the Pacific Ocean and a major source of dust as water recedes. The Salton Sea Authority, an organization created 30 years ago to work with the state of California to oversee comprehensive restoration of the lake, filed an 11-page response to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to lend its voice to decisions about the future of the Colorado River.

Related article: 

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: California ponies up $300 million to prepare groundwater infrastructure for climate change

California will spend about $300 million to prepare a vast groundwater and farming infrastructure system for the growing impacts of climate change. California Department of Water Resources announced Tuesday that it has awarded $187 million to 32 groundwater sub-basins, which store water for future use that mainly flows from valuable snowmelt, through the Sustainable Groundwater Management Grant Program. Governor Gavin Newsom also announced Tuesday that California’s Department of Food and Agriculture will award more than $106 million in grants to 23 organizations, which will design and implement new carbon sequestration and irrigation efficiency projects. 

Related articles: 

Aquafornia news California Trout

Blog: Why nature’s infrastructure works better than ours

On Thursday, August 10, Butte Creek turned orange. The culprit: a failed PG&E canal that caused orange sediment to flood the creek potentially creating deadly conditions for native fish currently inhabiting the watershed including threatened spring-run Chinook salmon. Salmon are a keystone species, and their health is intricately connected with the rest of the ecosystem. Native fish across California are consistently vulnerable to safe and responsible operation of hydroelectric infrastructure such as dams and canals. In some cases, basins like Butte Creek are managed by water-moving infrastructure, guiding flows from the nearby Feather River watershed to Butte Creek.  

Aquafornia news Data Center Dynamics

Microsoft’s water consumption jumps 34 percent amid AI boom

Microsoft said that the company consumed 6.4 million cubic meters of water in 2022, primarily for its cloud data centers. That represents a 34 percent jump over the year before, with generative AI workloads believed to be at least partially to blame. In its annual environmental sustainability report, Microsoft reiterated its goal to be a water positive company by 2030. As part of that effort, it said that it had invested in six new projects that are expected to replenish more than 15 million cubic meters of water over the next decade.

Aquafornia news AP News

Dry states taking Mississippi River water isn’t a new idea. But some mayors want to kill it

Community leaders along the Mississippi River worried that dry southwestern states will someday try to take the river’s water may soon take their first step toward blocking such a diversion. Mayors from cities along the river are expected to vote on whether to support a new compact among the river’s 10 states at this week’s annual meeting of the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative, according to its executive director Colin Wellenkamp. Supporters of a compact hope it will strengthen the region’s collective power around shared goals like stopping water from leaving the corridor. 

Aquafornia news

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: 2023 a record number of US billion-dollar disasters

H​ere is NOAA’s list of these 23 disasters, in chronological order, along with their latest damage estimates. 1. California Flooding ($4.6 billion): A parade of Pacific storms began just after Christmas 2022 and lasted into March, dumping flooding rain in parts of Northern California and the Central Valley, as well as feet of record snowfall in parts of the Sierra and Southern California high country. … 15. Late June Severe Weather ($3.5 billion): This siege of storms from June 21-26 began in the High Plains, including destructive hailstorms in Colorado, one of which injured almost 100 concertgoers near Denver,​ and a deadly tornado in Matador, Texas.

Related articles: 

Aquafornia news Office of Rep. Jared Huffman

News release: New grants given to Humboldt and Mendocino fish culvert projects

Today, U.S. Representative Jared Huffman (CA-02) announced new grants for his district from the FY22 National Culvert Removal, Replacement, and Restoration Grant Program (Culvert AOP Program). Last Wednesday, Huffman visited the site of one of these projects to examine how the award will be utilized and the local impacts. … The grants have been awarded as follows: $470,000 for the Wiyot Tribe Butte Creek Fish Barrier Replacement Design, Humboldt County … $5,000,000 for the Avenue of the Giants Fish Passage, Humboldt County … $15,000,000 for the State Route MEN-1 Fish Passage, Mendocino County…

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Marin water suppliers respond to dam safety criticism

Marin County’s two largest water suppliers say they have dam safety strategies in place but intend to update their hazard mitigation plans in the near future. The utilities were responding to a Marin County Civil Grand Jury report urging the agencies to prepare for more intense “atmospheric river” storms caused by climate change. Both agencies are required to provide responses under state law. The June report said the seven dams managed by the Marin Municipal Water District and the one dam managed by the North Marin Water District are in compliance with regulatory standards. 

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

City of Sacramento plans maintenance on flood infrastructure

Last winter, Sacramento faced a three-week series of atmospheric rivers that brought flooding across the Valley and downed trees and branches. As the region gets closer to another rainy season, Sacramento’s utility department is preparing by shoring up critical flood control infrastructure across the city. The maintenance is similar to work done in years past, according to a news release, and to work done in March. Work will begin Sept. 18 at a ditch near Winters Street, before moving to Strawberry Creek, the 5-B detention basin in North Natomas, Lower and Upper Morrison creeks and ditches near the Sacramento Northern Bike Trail.

Related article: 

Aquafornia news Bloomberg

Tech moguls’ $17 million land offer spurned by California water officials

A historic cattle ranch in California’s Solano County has been a target of a secretive billionaire-backed group that’s been buying up large swaths of land to create a new city northeast of San Francisco. The latest offer of $17 million, made in mid-July, by Flannery Associates LLC was for about 950 acres at a property known as Petersen Ranch, according to term sheets, proposals and emails obtained by Bloomberg News through the California Public Records Act. It was turned down by the local water agency, which owns the land.

Related article: 

Aquafornia news Inside Climate News

As the Colorado River declines, some upstream look to use it before they lose it

With the nation beginning to transition from fossil fuels to clean energy like solar and wind power, oil and gas companies are beginning to plug their wells here. So local leaders are looking for the next economic development opportunity. And they may have found their solution—divert more Colorado River water with a new dam and reservoir that will generate more hydropower, irrigate more agriculture and store more water for emergencies. They’re not alone in that quest. Wyoming ranchers are pushing for a new dam to be used for irrigation. Colorado has some diversions already under construction, with more proposed across the state, to help fuel growth. Across the states of the Upper Basin of the Colorado River—Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico—new dams are rising and new reservoirs are filling …

Related articles: 

Aquafornia news Bloomberg

Climate change means Californians need flood insurance now, too

Californians know wildfires and earthquakes; hurricanes, not so much. So when Tropical Storm Hilary inundated Southern California in normally bone-dry August, it showed just how exposed homeowners are to a growing financial risk from unpredictable climate-driven flooding. Standard homeowners insurance policies don’t cover flooding and fewer than 2% of California households have flood insurance, even as intensifying winter storms overflow rivers and levees, batter the coast and drench the desert. As Hilary, the first tropical storm to strike the Golden State in 84 years, passed over Palm Springs on Aug. 20, it dumped nearly a year’s worth of rain in a day on the desert community, causing widespread flooding in the surrounding Coachella Valley.

Aquafornia news Bay Nature

How do I get my hands on these “Wild Billions,” anyway?

Historic amounts of federal money are flowing into the Bay Area and California thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). How does your organization or agency apply for some of it? … For federal agencies without BIL and IRA announcement pages, we recommend signing up for their newsletters—like “California News Bytes” from the Bureau of Land Management—to help bring possible opportunities to your inbox. Check the bureau or agency websites that fall under the Department of the Interior, such as the National Parks Service (BIL page, IRA page) and the Bureau of Reclamation (BIL funding opportunities here, and WaterSMART grants, a special program dedicated to irrigation or water supply, can be found here), and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIL page).

Aquafornia news Time

Opinion: America should harvest a trillion gallons of rainwater

Over the weekend, Burning Man attendees were forced to shelter in place when the usually-parched Black Rock Desert got roughly 3 months’ worth of rain in 24 hours. … In the U.S., there’s strikingly little mainstream discussion of scaling what’s arguably the simplest, cheapest and most sustainable solution for harvesting water: catching it from the sky. The time is ripe for a national policy agenda to dramatically scale up rainwater harvesting. Around the world, humans have been systematically gathering rainwater since ancient times. The technologies are simple: Collect rainwater from rooftops—on homes, warehouses, factories—and send it down gutters into tanks, where it can be filtered and used for domestic purposes, landscaping, or industrial processes. For farms, harvesting rainwater typically means configuring land with slopes and basins that maximize natural irrigation.
-Written by Justin Talbot Zorn, senior adviser to the Center for Economic and Policy Research; and Israel Mirsky is a New York-based writer and technologist. 

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

News release: DWR joins Stockton East Water District to announce $12.2M investment for water resilience project

On Wednesday, Stockton East Water District and the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) joined local and federal officials to highlight a $12.2 million project that will support groundwater recharge, water quality and habitat restoration project along the Calaveras River. … The event was held at the Bellota Weir Modification Project site on the Calaveras River. Funded by DWR’s Urban Community Drought Relief Program, the project will make conveyance improvements and install a modern fish screen at the Stockton East Water District’s Bellota municipal diversion intake on the Calaveras River. The conveyance improvements would double the amount of groundwater recharge per year and improve water reliability and quality for the city of Stockton’s drinking water. Additionally, the fish screen and new fishways will restore fish habitats along the Calaveras River and allow safe passage through the river for the threatened Central Valley Steelhead and Chinook Salmon.

Related articles: 

Aquafornia news Daily Kos

Blog: Coalition of groups submits protest against water rights application for Sites Reservoir

Friends of the River (FOR) and the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA), along with a coalition of tribes and environmental organizations, on August 31 submitted a protest against the water rights application and petitions of the Sites Project Authority for the proposed Sites Reservoir. FOR and CSPA, two of California’s oldest and most respected water conservation organizations, said this protest is part of a legally required process to ensure public concerns are addressed when granting water rights in California. 

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

10 things to know about Doheny desal plant

It’s been nearly a year since the California Coastal Commission gave an Orange County water district the green light to build a new desalination plant in Dana Point. So I decided to check in to see how the project is coming along. In not surprising news, the plant’s price tag has gotten a bit bigger while its timeline has gotten a bit longer. But the project is still advancing, and it’s serving as a model for water regulators as they develop a new set of guidelines aimed at making the ocean a bigger source of California drinking water going forward. Here are 10 things to know about the Doheny desalination plant. If it’s built, Doheny would be the second largest desalination plant in California, capable of producing 5 million gallons of water each day. There is potential to scale Doheny up down the line, to make as much as 15 million gallons a day. But the biggest plant, in Carlsbad, produces 50 million gallons each day.

Aquafornia news WaterWorld

San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency planning new percolation basins

The San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency (SGPWA), a Southern California State Water Contractor, is planning a new set of percolation basins to support growing demand for water storage. SGPWA is planning the Brookside West Recharge Facility, which would complement the agency’s existing Brookside East Recharge Facility. Brookside West’s 62.5 acres would house approximately 25 acres of recharge ponds.  The ponds, or basins, would import water from the State Water Project and filter the water down through layers of soil and rock to be stored underground. The facility may also be used for local stormwater capture and to recharge treated reclaimed water.

Aquafornia news KCRA - Sacramento

Joe Montana sues San Francisco alleging fecal matter in home

Joe and Jennifer Montana are among the people suing San Francisco, alleging city departments did nothing to prevent “torrents of water and untreated sewage” from flooding their homes. The lawsuit, filed in the San Francisco County Superior Court on Aug. 24, was brought by dozens of families who live, rent or own property in the Marina District. The families allege that the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and Department of Public Works, as well as contractors they hired, knowingly allowed negligent conditions to develop in their neighborhood. … This problem came to a head during winter storms over the past two years, the families say. The suit claims 4.5 million gallons of “untreated wastewater” flooded homes in Oct. 2021, and “torrents of water and untreated sewage” inundated their properties again in the storms of December 2022 and this past January.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: California Senate candidates share a position on the Delta tunnel: no position

Most statewide California candidates blow off the Central Valley. There are more votes and media — and donors, of course — on the coast. But not this year. The Central Valley is up for grabs for Senate candidates vying to replace Sen. Dianne Feinstein. The top three Democrats — who represent coastal districts in Los Angeles, Orange County and the Bay Area and aren’t well known in almond country — made a beeline last Saturday from a major union endorsement interview in Los Angeles to a $25-a-head fundraiser hosted by Rep. Josh Harder along the Stockton waterfront. … But while they’re all showing up to campaign in the Valley, none has crafted a position on a crucial aspect of the issue in America’s breadbasket that could give them an advantage over their rivals: water.  Specifically, the Delta tunnel, the proposed 45-mile conveyance tunnel through the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. 

Aquafornia news Monterey County Weekly

Neglected for decades, the Pajaro levee is finally holding attention of policymakers

On an overcast morning on Friday, Aug. 25, as jets of water from sprinklers rain down on the surrounding fields of lettuce, a gaggle of journalists, politicians and public officials are gathered at a press event along the Pajaro River levee, just more than a stone’s throw from where it breached last March. The breach occurred after weeks of sustained rainfall on the Central Coast, and it wasn’t a surprise – for over 50 years, federal, state and local officials have known the levee was deficient, but there was never enough buy-in, or urgency, to do something about it. Seemingly, that is starting to change, but time will tell if it’s real, or just a public relations band-aid to save face after the flooding in the community of Pajaro, which displaced thousands of residents from their homes and left some of those homes unlivable.

Aquafornia news Water Finance & Management

News release: California water purification facility marks major milestone

The Chino Basin Program (CBP), a program led by the Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA) and partners, has reached a significant milestone as environmental engineering firm Brown and Caldwell completes the preliminary design of a new 13.4 million gallons per day Advanced Water Purification Facility (AWPF), a vital component of the innovative water program. The preliminary design, developed in partnership with Water Systems Consulting, Inc., provides the technical feasibility, planning-level design, and preliminary costs for the AWPF that can produce 15,000 acre-feet per year of purified water (water for approx. 100,000 people) for groundwater replenishment that meets Chino Basin water quality objectives and integrates the flexibility to meet potential future regulations.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Hilary ‘reshaped the landscape’ of Death Valley

Clouds of thick white dust billowed through Death Valley National Park this week as crews maneuvered bulldozers and Big Cats to clear the remnants of a rare and record-breaking tropical storm. On Aug. 20, Tropical Storm Hilary tore through the park near the border of Nevada, dropping more than a year’s worth of rain — 2.2 inches — in one day, forever transforming one of the hottest and driest places on Earth. As Hilary bore down, torrents of water rushed through Death Valley, forging new gullies, displacing heavy rocks and undercutting roadways, including State Route 190, one of the park’s main thoroughfares. Chunks of the highway, including entire lanes, now lay in crumbles, and officials say it could be months before the park reopens.

Related articles: 

Aquafornia news Inside Climate News

Green groups are divided over a proposal to boost the nation’s hydropower. Here’s why

America’s hydropower industry is hoping to reestablish some of its former glory by making itself central to the nation’s transition to clean energy—and it’s turning to Congress for help. … Today, hydropower provides just a small fraction of the nation’s electricity and is quickly being outpaced globally by its clean energy rivals in new development. Now the industry, with help from a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers, hopes to change that trend. … The bill has gained early support from industry, environmental groups, Native tribes and even the Biden administration. But it’s also getting pushback from some advocates who say that expanding or extending the use of hydropower could actually worsen climate change and hasten ecological degradation.

Aquafornia news Lodi News

Local water district continues to modernize delivery system

The North San Joaquin Water Conservation District recently received some help from the federal government to ensure its ratepayers continue to receive water. The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday that the district has been awarded a $1 million grant to make repairs and upgrades to its irrigation system. The investment will help make critical improvements to upstream level control, gates, and flow meters to meet delivery needs and support effective, safe groundwater management, the agency said. Jennifer Spaletta, the district’s attorney, said the grant money will be used to build a lateral off the south distribution system located near Handel Road.

Aquafornia news Northern California Water Association

Blog: The social significance of water infrastructure

When we discuss water infrastructure in our industry, our thoughts naturally gravitate toward its fundamental roles in growing our food, supplying our homes, and powering industries. However, within the depths of lakes and the fast-moving currents of rivers, lies an often-overlooked aspect of water’s importance – its profound social significance. Beyond its utilitarian functions, water plays a vital role in fostering community, recreation, and shared experiences that enrich our lives in ways that extend far beyond basic necessities. Water bodies serve as dynamic hubs for social interactions, acting as gathering places where people come together to swim, boat, and partake in a diversity of activities that enrich bonds among friends and families. I am an avid river rafter, and I have spent many days bobbing down whitewater with friends, old and new, laughter echoing off rocky shores as we navigate the waters and create memories. 

Aquafornia news U.S. Geological Survey

News release: The USGS invests $1.5M in local partnerships to improve urban waterways

The U.S. Geological Survey today announced an investment of $1.5 million to improve urban waterways with science-based projects, which local partners will match with nearly $1.5 million in additional funds as part of the Urban Waters Federal Partnership. … The 11 new projects funded by the USGS and partners in fiscal year 2023 represent a total investment of nearly $3 million. As part of these projects, the USGS and partners will: … Monitor sediment transport in the Los Angeles River in Los Angeles, California. Study water quality to support the Rio Salado Project in Phoenix, Arizona. The project’s goal is to protect, restore and revitalize the Salt and Middle Gila River watersheds. Study groundwater and characterize surface waters to support restoration of native vegetation on the Lower Gila River in Phoenix, Arizona.

Aquafornia news The Hill

California-led AGs okay ‘forever chemicals’ settlement but say 3M should pay more

California Attorney General Rob Bonta and four of his colleagues submitted an amicus letter late Monday night, citing shortfalls in the company 3M’s multi-billion-dollar proposed settlement with contaminated water utilities. The attorneys general said that while they are in favor of moving forward with the settlement, 3M should pay more than the $10 billion to $12 billion the firm has offered — in order to fund the massive remediation efforts public utilities will have to undertake to eliminate “forever chemicals” from their supplies. … Joining Bonta in submitting amicus letter were the attorneys general of Arizona, the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. 3M in a statement said it was pleased with the agreement.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

A California land mystery is solved. Now the political fight begins.

[Jan] Sramek is leading a group of Silicon Valley moguls in an audacious plan to build a new city on a rolling patch of farms and windmills in Northern California was the unofficial beginning of what promises to become a protracted and expensive political campaign. … After that comes a gantlet of environmental rules, inevitable lawsuits and potential tussles with the state’s Air Resources Board, the Water Resources Control Board, Public Utilities Commission and Department of Transportation — not to mention the local planning commission and board of supervisors who oversee land use in Solano County.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

What we know about the new city proposed in the Bay Area

The saga surrounding a group of mysterious investors who have spent more than $800 million to buy up thousands of acres of farmland in rural Solano County has gripped Bay Area residents, local politicians and federal government agencies. Last week, the Chronicle reported that the investors were revealed to be a group of Silicon Valley notables who seem to be gearing up to build a new city. Here is what is known about the effort, according to Chronicle reporting … And a myriad of questions surround the project, including where its water will come from, how developers would address the area’s risk for flooding and extreme heat due to climate change, the impacts to the state’s agriculture distribution chain, and transportation concerns in an area currently serviced by a two-lane highway.

Aquafornia news Lookout Local Santa Cruz

As Pajaro River levee repairs begin, questions remain around the long-sought replacement

About a half-mile off San Juan Road, past the lettuce fields, excavators and tractors have begun moving earth to repair the exact spot along the 12-mile Pajaro River levee that failed on March 11, leading to catastrophic flooding and generational disaster. Elected officials and community leaders from Santa Cruz and Monterey counties and representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers stood against a noisy backdrop of construction Friday to update the community on where this urgent project stands. The emergency repair underway will focus on three sections of the levee. The first section, where the levee burst in March, will finish by Nov. 2, according to Holly Costa, emergency management chief for the corps.

Related article: 

Aquafornia news Mercury News

Monday Top of the Scroll: Could the Chinese government fund construction of huge new dam at Pacheco Pass?

Six years after unveiling plans to build a 320-foot high dam and reservoir at Pacheco Pass in southern Santa Clara County, the largest water district in Silicon Valley still hasn’t found any other water agencies willing to help fund the project. But this week, an unusual potential partner came to light: China. The revelation of interest from one of the United States’ most contentious rivals is the latest twist in the project’s shaky history: The price tag has tripled to $2.8 billion since 2018 due to unstable geology found in the area. The Santa Clara Valley Water District, which is pursuing the plan, has delayed groundbreaking by at least three years, to 2027, instead of 2024 as announced five years ago. And environmentalists won a lawsuit this summer that will require more study of how ongoing geological work will affect endangered plants and animals. 

Aquafornia news Sonoma Index-Tribune

Highway 37 gets federal funding boost to lift it above rising sea levels

Rebuilding State Route 37 to elevate it above water in the face of rising sea levels got a welcome $155 million boost from the $1.2 trillion U.S. infrastructure Law of 2021, the California Transportation Commission announced this week. The two-mile Marin County section of the 21-mile commuter artery that runs alongside San Pablo Bay connecting Marin, Sonoma, Napa and Solano counties marks the beginning of a larger $4 billion project planned for the whole corridor. State transportation officials say work is expected to start in 2027 and end two years later. The $180 million project approved Aug. 18 by the state’s transportation commission will raise the roadway by 30 feet over Novato Creek by 2029, well above the projected year 2130 sea-level rise.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Marin water suppliers monitoring Mendocino water diversion plan

Marin County water agencies are expressing cautious optimism about a new proposal to transfer ownership of a controversial hydropower plant that affects one of the county’s main water suppliers. The proposal centers on the Potter Valley Project, a 110-year-old hydropower plant in Mendocino County that is operated by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. Water diverted by the plant feeds into the Russian River watershed, which is a key part of Marin’s water portfolio. After PG&E announced its intention to surrender and decommission the power facility in 2019, there has been a question of whether water diversions to the Russian River would continue. The new proposal submitted this month by Sonoma Water, the Mendocino County Inland Water and Power Commission and the Round Valley Indian Tribes would transfer parts of the facility to a new entity that would continue Russian River water diversions.

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

Why Hilary didn’t cause more damage in California

Tropical storm Hilary drenched much of Southern California before its remnants moved on to douse several Western states. While some communities suffered severe flooding and mudslides, most got a beneficial soaking. But experts say that given the overall setup, the aftermath could have been much worse — and both luck and preparation played a role in avoiding a more dire outcome. … Thanks to California’s steep terrain, dense population and vast area burned by wildfires over the past several years, it probably takes less rain to cause serious flooding in the state than in other locations typically hit by hurricanes and tropical storms.

Related articles: 

Aquafornia news Times Herald Online

Funding coming to elevate Highway 37

The state received a significant boost to its efforts with State Route 37 and San Pablo Bay last week with the infusion of $155 million in federal funding. The California Transportation Commission announced on Wednesday it formally allocated the funds to elevate a key section of State Route 37 to guard against future flooding on a vital regional corridor connecting Marin, Sonoma, Napa and Solano counties and enhance habitat connectivity for San Pablo Bay. The $180 million project will raise the roadway by 30 feet over Novato Creek by 2029 — well above the projected year 2130 sea-level rise. The $155 million allocation comes from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and is lauded by environmental groups and local leaders who have been calling for investments to support the long-term viability of state route 37.

Aquafornia news Oroville Mercury-Register

Butte County supervisors to discuss potential flood risk study

The Butte County Board of Supervisors will be returning to talks regarding a potential Flood Risk Reduction Feasibility Study on Tuesday based on data gathered by its Public Works Department. Stemming from discussions in both 2020 and 2021, the public works staff was given direction by the board to work with field experts and stakeholders to come up with a draft study regarding Nord, Rock Creek and Keefer Slough. According to the related agenda item, a presentation is planned for Tuesday’s meeting that will go over the draft study, its findings and what measures are possible for the county in reducing the risk for these areas.

Aquafornia news Eos

A holistic approach to hydropower data

In 2021, hydropower contributed 16% to total global electricity production, whereas in the United States it accounted for only about 6% of the total (although it was responsible for 31.5% of electricity generated domestically from renewable sources), according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That small share of U.S. production could be higher: The 2016 Hydropower Vision Report, published by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO), stated that “U.S. hydropower could grow from 101 gigawatts (GW) of capacity to nearly 150 GW by 2050.”

Aquafornia news Times of San Diego

Water authority cites CEQA in lawsuit to stop Fallbrook and Rainbow detachment

The San Diego County Water Authority filed suit Monday to stop the rural Fallbrook and Rainbow water districts from leaving the county system, citing environmental harm under the California Environmental Quality Act. The lawsuit filed in Superior Court challenges a decision by the San Diego Local Agency Formation Commission to allow the two districts to join Riverside County without paying what the Water Authority says is their fair share of water-reliability investments. The “detachment” effort is the first of its kind in California and would shift approximately $140 million in costs to the rest of the Water Authority’s customers.

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

Taliban’s massive canal to bring water to Afghanistan’s parched plains

The morning sun was still rising over the shriveled wheat fields, and the villagers were already worrying about another day without water. Rainwater stored in the village well would run out in 30 days, one farmer said nervously. The groundwater pumps gave nothing, complained another. The canals, brimming decades ago with melted snow from the Hindu Kush, now dry up by spring, said a third. … Two years after its takeover of Afghanistan, the Taliban is overseeing its first major infrastructure project, the 115-mile Qosh Tepa canal, designed to divert 20 percent of the water from the Amu Darya river across the parched plains of northern Afghanistan. The canal promises to be a game changer for villages like Ishfaq’s in Jowzjan province. 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Hilary leaves massive flooding, mudslides, upheaval across Southern California

In the wake of Hilary’s lashing of Southern California, the region awoke Monday to lingering damage from the historic storm.The first tropical storm to hit Los Angeles in 84 years dumped record rainfall and turned streets into muddy, debris-swollen rivers; downed trees and knocked out power for thousands of residents; and closed schools across the Southland. Hilary was downgraded to a post-tropical storm early Monday, the National Hurricane Center said in an advisory. But even in its weakened state, it was still predicted to bring “catastrophic and life-threatening flooding” to parts of the southwestern U.S., the center said.

Related articles: 

Aquafornia news Las Virgenes Municipal Water District

News release: OceanWell and Las Virgenes water district announce partnership to pilot California’s first ‘Blue Water’ farm

OceanWell and Las Virgenes Municipal Water District (LVMWD) announced today their partnership to pilot California’s first-ever Blue Water farm. LVMWD Board of Directors unanimously approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that paves the way for the public/private partnership to research an environment-first approach that addresses the increasing concern of water scarcity and reliability. Blue Water is fresh water harvested from the deep ocean or other raw water sources. This, first-of-its-kind project, will test OceanWell’s proprietary water purification technology to produce safe, clean drinking water without the environmental impacts of traditional coastal desalination methods. 

Aquafornia news Hanford Sentinel

Friant-Kern Canal project makes progress

Decades of land subsidence caused by unregulated and continued groundwater overdraft have caused the Friant-Kern Canal, which is a 152-mile gravity fed canal, to sink as much as 14 feet in the area between Porterville and Delano. This damage has resulted in a 60% loss of carrying capacity along the canal. This water supply impact has caused harm, not only to the farms that make the economic engine in the San Joaquin Valley run, but also to cities and communities, whose primary source of drinking water is from the underground aquifer. Now a fix is underway and progress is being made, says Friant Water CEO Jason Phillips.

Aquafornia news National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

News release: Biden-Harris Administration announces $106 million in recommended funding for West Coast and Alaska salmon recovery

Today, the Department of Commerce and NOAA announced more than $106 million in recommended funding for 16 West Coast and Alaska state and tribal salmon recovery programs and projects under the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund (PCSRF). The funds, including $34.4 million under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and $7.5 million under the Inflation Reduction Act, will support the recovery, conservation and resilience of Pacific salmon and steelhead in Alaska, California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. This funding is part of President Biden’s historic Investing in America agenda, which includes over $2 billion for fish passage investments across the country. 

Aquafornia news Sierra Sun Times

California U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein says her bill would improve local water districts’ access to USDA grants

Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) have announced the EQIP Water Conservation Act to allow local water agencies to access larger U.S. Department of Agriculture grants for water efficiency and conservation projects that benefit multiple farmers. In the 2018 Farm Bill, Congress authorized the secretary of agriculture to support water projects that conserve water, provide fish and wildlife habitat, and combat drought through the USDA’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). However, a subsequent USDA rule effectively nullified this provision by capping EQIP payments for water agencies at $900,000, only twice the funding limit for individual farmers’ projects. Since water agencies can represent hundreds of farmers, the bill would remove that $900,000 cap and allow water agencies to receive EQIP grants proportional to the number of farmers they serve.

Aquafornia news The Associated Press

Federal grants will replace tunnels beneath roads that let water pass but not fish

The Biden administration on Wednesday announced nearly $200 million in federal infrastructure grants to upgrade tunnels that carry streams beneath roads but can be deadly to fish that get stuck trying to pass through. Many of these narrow passages known as culverts, often made from metal or concrete, were built in the 1950s and are blamed in part for declining populations of salmon and other fish that live in the ocean but return to freshwater streams to spawn. By extension, fisheries — including tribal-run operations in the Pacific Northwest — have experienced losses they blame in part on such barriers as culverts and dams. … While the most funding went to Washington and Alaska, Maine was next with $35 million. Other Western states to receive money are California, Oregon and Idaho.

Aquafornia news SF Gate

PG&E canal breach turns Northern California creek bright orange

A breach in a PG&E-operated canal turned a Northern California creek bright orange last week. PG&E discovered a breach in the Butte Canal that was sending orange sediment spilling into the waters of Butte Creek on Aug. 10, PG&E spokesperson Paul Moreno told SFGATE. Upon finding the breach, the utility company opened a side spill gate upstream in order to stop water flowing to the canal.  State and federal resource agencies were then notified after PG&E identified turbidity in the creek, Moreno said. … A survey from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife is needed to determine whether the effects of the breach have affected salmon mortality, Moreno said. 

California Water Agencies Hoped A Deluge Would Recharge Their Aquifers. But When It Came, Some Couldn’t Use It
WESTERN WATER IN-DEPTH: January storms jump-started recharge projects in badly overdrafted San Joaquin Valley, but hurdles with state permits and infrastructure hindered some efforts

An intentionally flooded almond orchard in Tulare CountyIt was exactly the sort of deluge California groundwater agencies have been counting on to replenish their overworked aquifers.

The start of 2023 brought a parade of torrential Pacific storms to bone dry California. Snow piled up across the Sierra Nevada at a near-record pace while runoff from the foothills gushed into the Central Valley, swelling rivers over their banks and filling seasonal creeks for the first time in half a decade.    

Suddenly, water managers and farmers toiling in one of the state’s most groundwater-depleted regions had an opportunity to capture stormwater and bank it underground. Enterprising agencies diverted water from rushing rivers and creeks into manmade recharge basins or intentionally flooded orchards and farmland. Others snagged temporary permits from the state to pull from streams they ordinarily couldn’t touch.

As New Deadline Looms, Groundwater Managers Rework ‘Incomplete’ Plans to Meet California’s Sustainability Goals
WESTERN WATER IN-DEPTH: More than half of the most critically overdrawn basins, mainly in the San Joaquin Valley, are racing against a July deadline to retool their plans and avoid state intervention

A field in Kern County is irrigated by sprinkler.Managers of California’s most overdrawn aquifers were given a monumental task under the state’s landmark Sustainable Groundwater Management Act: Craft viable, detailed plans on a 20-year timeline to bring their beleaguered basins into balance. It was a task that required more than 250 newly formed local groundwater agencies – many of them in the drought-stressed San Joaquin Valley – to set up shop, gather data, hear from the public and collaborate with neighbors on multiple complex plans, often covering just portions of a groundwater basin.

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 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 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.


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

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.