Infrastructure

Overview

Infrastructure

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

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

Aquafornia news Outside Online

Video: The Klamath River is the lifeblood of the Yurok tribe

Guardians of the River, produced by American Rivers and Swiftwater Films, focuses on the hard-won efforts of leaders of the Yuroks. Frankie Joe Myers, vice chair of the tribe; Sammy Gensaw, director of the Ancestral Guard; Barry McCovey, fisheries biologist with the tribe; and members of the Ancestral Guard and Klamath Justice Coalition share why removing four dams across southern Oregon and Northern California is vital to restoring clean water, food sovereignty, and justice for the Klamath River.

Aquafornia news PV Magazine USA

Drought conditions could impact power generation in the West

Ongoing drought in parts of the West could trigger water conservation measures across seven states this year. It would mark the first time that cutbacks outlined in drought contingency plans drafted two years ago have been put in place. Everything from hydroelectric power generation to agricultural production to the bubbling fountains at Las Vegas casinos could be impacted. Impacts on hydro generation could have ripple effects across the Southwest, including solar and energy storage.

Aquafornia news Lost Coast Outpost

Trinidad to consider joining feasibility study for a pipeline extension from Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District

The Trinidad City Council on Tuesday will consider whether to participate in a feasibility study for a project that would bring a steady flow of water to the city from the Mad River via a new pipeline. The Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District (HBMWD), which supplies water to Eureka, Arcata, McKinleyville, Blue Lake and other area communities, is in the early stages of researching the possibility of expanding its service area north via a waterline extension at least as far north as the Trinidad Rancheria…

Aquafornia news Modesto Bee

Backers of higher Tuolumne flows welcome latest ruling

A federal agency has ruled that the state can continue to seek higher flows on the Tuolumne River than planned by the Modesto and Turlock irrigation districts. The Jan. 19 ruling drew cheers from environmental and fishing groups that have long sought larger releases from Don Pedro Reservoir into the lower river. 

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Environmental turnaround — 8 issues that will pivot in California’s favor under Biden

As wildfires, heat waves, water scarcity and threats to wildlife intensify in the West, California’s effort to confront these environmental crises now has support in Washington, a stark change from the past four years. Even as former President Donald Trump spent his final days in office on the sidelines, lamenting his election loss, his administration continued to roll back environmental conservation and gut climate regulations. 

Related article: 

Aquafornia news Regional Water Authority

News release: Michelle Banonis selected as RWA manager of strategic affairs

The Regional Water Authority (RWA) is delighted to announce that Michelle Banonis has been selected as the organization’s new Manager of Strategic Affairs. Banonis has over two decades of experience in water, ecosystems, engineering, policy, and law, and most recently served as the Assistant Chief Deputy Director of the California Department of Water Resources where she worked on water-related issues of statewide significance with multiple interests.

Aquafornia news The Colorado Sun

Record low Lake Powell and bad 2021 drought forecast sets stage for water cuts

The dry 2020 and the lack of snow this season has water managers in seven states preparing for the first time for cutbacks outlined in drought contingency plans drafted two years ago.  A sobering forecast released this week by the Bureau of Reclamation shows the federally owned Lake Mead and Lake Powell — the nation’s two largest reservoirs and critical storage for Colorado River water and its 40 million users — dipping near-record-low levels.

Aquafornia news The Pagosa Springs SUN

Opinion: When water dries up, it can be deadly

In Oregon, the Klamath Basin wildlife refuges have fallen into their winter silence now. The huge, clamorous flocks of geese that fill the sky during migration have moved south.  This summer, a different silence gripped the basin. A dead silence. The 90,000 acres of marshes and open water that make up the Lower Klamath and Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuges are a small remnant of vast wetlands that once filled this region on the Oregon-California border.
-Written by Pepper Trail, a contributor to Writers on the Range and a conservation biologist in Ashland, Ore.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

At dawn of Biden administration, opportunities for water systems

President Joe Biden has made his priorities clear: subduing the pandemic, economic recovery, climate action, and racial equity. … Climate has received top-billing within the president’s environmental agenda, but water infrastructure and water systems could also see their status lifted. Some observers are hopeful that the new administration and the Democratic Congress will uncork federal water spending that has been steady but flat in recent years. 

Aquafornia news Albuquerque Journal

New Mexico water lawyer appointed to Interior Department

Tanya Trujillo, who was appointed to the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission in July 2019, has joined the Biden administration’s Interior Department. The water lawyer and native New Mexican will serve as the principal deputy assistant secretary for water and science. The position oversees the work of the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Geological Survey.

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

Blog: A Swiss cheese model for fish conservation in California

California water issues are notoriously complicated by a massive diversity of users, ecosystems, applications and futures. Indeed, water in the Delta has been described as a “wicked problem” indicating that these problems cannot be ignored and defy straightforward characterization and solutions. Below we highlight how a Swiss cheese model might be applied to vexing long-term declines in native fish populations in California.

Aquafornia news U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

News Release: Reclamation releases water reliability in the West report

The Bureau of Reclamation released a summary report providing an assessment of climate change impacts to water uses in the West, including adding a new set of West-wide information based on paleohydrology. The Water Reliability in the West – 2021 SECURE Water Act Report discusses changes and innovative actions across the eight basins identified in the SECURE Water Act.

Aquafornia news NBC Bay Area

Lightning Complex Fires also seriously damaged drinking water systems

As the CZU Lightning Complex fire bore down on Gail Mahood’s tree-shrouded Felton neighborhood last August, she gathered what possessions she could and fled. … Thankfully, fire crews saved the little community of 20 or so houses, stopping the blaze within a half-mile of Mahood’s home in the Santa Cruz Mountains, but the pipes that delivered drinking water from a spring just up the hill were completely destroyed.

Related article: 

Aquafornia news CBS Denver

Pipeline dream: Ambitious proposal to bring Utah water to Colorado

A Fort Collins man is pressing forward with a proposed 325-mile-long pipeline which would transfer water from northeastern Utah into the northern part of Colorado’s Front Range. It could cost Aaron Million a billion and a half dollars to build. He claims to have sufficient support from private investors to make his pipeline dream a reality.

Aquafornia news KUNC

Thursday Top of the Scroll: Upper Colorado River drought plan triggered for first time

Increasingly bleak forecasts for the Colorado River have for the first time put into action elements of the 2019 upper basin drought contingency plan. The 24-month study released in January by the Bureau of Reclamation, which projects two years of operations at the river’s biggest reservoirs, showed Lake Powell possibly dipping below an elevation of 3,525 feet above sea level in 2022. That elevation was designated as a critical threshold in the agreement to preserve the ability to produce hydropower at Glen Canyon Dam. 

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Desert Sun

Imperial Valley water chief, writer and pianist Kevin Kelley dies

Kevin Kelley, the elegant, whip-smart and fierce former general manager of the Imperial Irrigation District, who fought to preserve the Salton Sea and his rural county’s water rights, died Tuesday at 61. He passed away at home, said his brother, Ryan Kelley, an Imperial County Supervisor. The cause of death is still being determined. As top executive from 2011 to January 2019 of the powerful but often overlooked IID, Kelley regularly took on state, federal and urban water officials to remind them of the valley’s importance. 

Aquafornia news Market Screener

California Water Service completes water infrastructure upgrade to support Stockton customers

California Water Service (Cal Water) has completed a multiphase infrastructure project in the Magnolia area of Stockton that will keep critical water infrastructure in the area safe and reliable. The upgrade will ensure customers, firefighters, and nearby medical facilities continue to have the water they need for their everyday and emergency needs.

Aquafornia news Western Slope Now

Colorado River District funds first Western Slope water project after passage of 7A

The Colorado River District’s Board of Directors finalized a new program that will fund Western Slope water projects and approved funding for the program’s first-ever project. The Partnership Project Funding Program will fund multi-purpose water projects on the Western Slope in five project categories: productive agriculture, infrastructure, healthy rivers, watershed health and water quality, and conservation and efficiency. 

Aquafornia news CalMatters

Opinion: After COVID-19, drought threat still looms

California is enveloped in balmy weather that’s more like spring than mid-winter — and that’s not a good thing. We have seen only scant rain and snow this winter, indicating that the state may be experiencing one of its periodic droughts and adding another layer of crisis to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recession. The all-important Sierra snowpack, California’s primary source of water, is scarcely half of what is deemed a normal depth.
-Written by Dan Walters, CalMatters columnist.

Related article:

Aquafornia news CalMatters

Opinion: Water partnerships between cities and farms would help prepare for a changing climate

San Joaquin Valley farms and Southern California cities are facing different but equally daunting water challenges.  For Valley farmers, the requirement to achieve groundwater sustainability in coming years has heightened interest in expanding water supplies to reduce the need to fallow irrigated farmland. For Southern California, falling demands since the early 2000s have reduced water stress during normal and wet years, but a warming climate makes future droughts a major concern. Both regions’ water futures could be more secure if they jointly developed and managed some water supplies.
-Written by Alvar Escriva-Bou, a research fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California 

Aquafornia news AgAlert

Coalition seeks water funding in infrastructure bill

Describing federal investment in Western water management as “essential,” a coalition of more than 200 organizations has urged the incoming Biden administration and the new Congress to include water facilities in any future infrastructure or economic-recovery package. The coalition, including a number of national and regional organizations plus farm groups and water districts from 15 states, sent separate letters last week to President-elect Biden and the Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate. The letter included specific recommendations for the types of water investments the coalition said could have the greatest impact.

Aquafornia news The Daily Sentinel

Opinion: Lasting Colorado River solutions come from Main Street, not Wall Street

Sensational headlines, like those speculating that Wall Street will make billions off the Colorado River or that West Slope farmers should pack it in now, certainly attracts readers. Unfortunately, these articles wholly fail to convey the reality of the water challenges facing the Colorado River Basin. … The Colorado River is certainly in bad shape. Last year was marked by extremely hot temperatures, low flows and massive fires.

Written by Dan Keppen, executive director of Family Farm Alliance; Scott Yates, director of Trout Unlimited’s Western Water & Habitat Program; and Taylor Hawes, Colorado River Program director for The Nature Conservancy.

Aquafornia news Western Farm Press

Farm groups prod Biden, Congress on Western water

More than 200 farm and water organizations from 15 states are urging President-elect Joe Biden and congressional leaders to address aging Western water infrastructure in any economic recovery package. Groups including state Farm Bureaus, the Family Farm Alliance and Western Growers issued letters to Biden and lawmakers Wednesday saying existing canals and reservoirs were built more than 50 years ago and are in desperate need of rehabilitation. 

Aquafornia news Ceres Courier

Opinion: Serious dam issues, aqueduct sinking but we’ll have high-speed rail from Merced to Bakersfield

Has California overshot the runway? …  There was a time when our dams and aqueducts that allowed us to change the course plotted by nature by not letting water be restricted to water basins by physical barriers were considered a candidate for of their wonders of the world. When it came to freeways, we were the envy of the land. That was then and this is now. The list of aging infrastructure that needs addressing is staggering.

Aquafornia news LA Progressive

Blog: Klamath dam removal historic result of local activism

The Yurok people have lived in the 15,700 square miles Klamath River Basin, in what is now called Northern California, for millennia. They are among the key organizers in a coalition of Indigenous groups, environmentalists, concerned citizens and commercial fishers that have joined forces in a decades-long movement to Un-dam the Klamath. 

Aquafornia news Pacific Institute

Blog: Water recommendations for the Biden administration

With so much going on in the world right now, why should water be a priority for the Biden administration? The fact is that water challenges in the U.S. are severe and worsening. In November, we hosted a webinar on our recommendations for the next administration, taking audience questions on topics ranging from the nation’s outdated infrastructure to the threat to national security from rising international conflict over water. Read on for our answers to some of these questions.

Aquafornia news The Porterville Recorder

ETGSA board approves settlement with Friant Water Authority

The Eastern Tule Groundwater Sustainability Agency took another step on Thursday to contribute to all the funding that’s needed for much needed repairs of the Friant-Kern Canal. The ETSGA Board unanimously approved a settlement with the Friant Water Authority that oversees the Friant-Kern Canal at its meeting on Thursday. The board met in closed session to discuss the matter the resumed the open session of its meeting on Thursday to approve the settlement. 

Aquafornia news The Silicon Valley Voice

Work on Santa Clara Valley Water’s largest reservoir moves forward

With the water levels lowered at Anderson Reservoir, construction is expected to begin on an outlet tunnel in spring 2021. A 1,700 foot-long tunnel will be built, 24-feet in diameter to the left of the dam when facing the reservoir. The new tunnel along with the existing outlet will allow for five times more water to be released from the reservoir and permit greater control on water levels. The work is expected to take two to three years.

Aquafornia news Agri-Pulse

Thursday Top of the Scroll: Federal funding bill boosts California water priorities

Members of California water and agricultural communities have been applauding a number of provisions related to water infrastructure within the omnibus funding bill President Trump recently signed into law. More than $200 million in the bill will go to repairing parts of the Friant-Kern Canal. Friant Water Authority CEO Jason Phillips attributed the provision to the work of several California lawmakers, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Republican Rep. Devin Nunes and Senator Dianne Feinstein. Phillips said the funding allows the water agency to begin construction early this year.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Pasadena Now

Arroyo Seco Foundation opposes canyon project

In a letter to the city’s Hearing Officer, the Arroyo Seco Foundation said it opposes plans by the Pasadena Water and Power Department to upgrade facilities in the Upper Arroyo Seco damaged by the 2009 Station Fire. Damage to the structures has greatly reduced the city’s capacity to divert water from the Arroyo Seco for spreading and pumping.

Aquafornia news The San Jose Mercury News

Price tag nearly doubles for huge new Bay Area dam to $2.5 billion

In a major and potentially fatal setback for plans to build the largest dam in the Bay Area in more than 20 years, the price tag to construct a new reservoir in southern Santa Clara County near Pacheco Pass has nearly doubled, from $1.3 billion to $2.5 billion.

Aquafornia news Woodland Daily Democrat

Sites Reservoir receives $13.7 million in federal spending bill

The Sites Reservoir was awarded $13.7 million in the 2021 federal spending bill. The 2021 federal spending bill … included $1.4 trillion to fund government agencies and a $900 billion pandemic relief package. Sites Reservoir is proposed for construction in remote ranch lands in Colusa County, about 70 miles north of Sacramento. It was originally given a $5.1 billion price tag, but the Sites Project Authority reduced it to $3 billion in May.

Related article:

Aquafornia news The Sun-Gazette

Water authority and GSA to settle on sagging Friant-Kern Canal resolution

The Friant Water Authority cleaned up some of the most important work in the last month of the year hashing out a legal settlement with farmers in southern Tulare County. Represented by the Eastern Tule Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) farmers agreed to contribute at least $125 million to repair the significant subsidence-caused sag in the gravity-fed canal that has cut water deliveries by 60%.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Bureau of Reclamation

News release: Reclamation and San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority finalize plan to increase water storage in San Luis Reservoir

The Bureau of Reclamation and San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority finalized the B.F. Sisk Dam Raise and Reservoir Expansion Project’s Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report. This joint proposed project would create an additional 130,000 acre-feet of storage space in San Luis Reservoir, producing additional water supply for 2 million people, over 1 million acres of farmland and 200,000 acres of Pacific Flyway wetlands. 

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

California officials vow to collaborate on sea level rise

Local and state officials in California vowed Thursday to serve as a united front as they seek state funding to mitigate the anticipated devastating impacts of sea level rise on the Golden State’s coast in the years to come. 

Aquafornia news SJV Water

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: Proposed agreement could boost funds to fix Friant-Kern Canal

In what was hailed as a “landmark agreement,” farmers in an area of southern Tulare County blamed for sinking the Friant-Kern Canal from excessive groundwater pumping will chip in a hefty amount to help pay for a fix. How hefty could be decided by their payment choice.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Klamath Falls Herald and News

Does Klamath dam removal even need an extra $45 million?

After the signatories to the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement officially recommitted to removing four dams on the Klamath River last month, local politicians brought up concerns with Oregon, California and PacifiCorp committing more funds to the project…Much of the skepticism has centered around the ability of the Klamath River Renewal Corporation, a dam removal entity created to carry out the KHSA, to complete the project.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Thursday Top of the Scroll: California’s water wars have created a dilemma in the Delta: fishing or fresh water?

Bass fishing is a pillar of the delta. But, as with many things in this vast estuary at the edge of the Bay Area, the sport and its cottage industry of marinas, bait shops, boat showrooms and bars are threatened by converging forces: climate change, drought, development and California’s escalating water wars. The fishing community — alongside farming, boating, tourism and other livelihoods in these rural lowlands — is caught up in the unsparing effort to boost the delta’s freshwater exports.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Law

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: California’s $16 billion climate-hardy water tunnel moves ahead

California’s plans to build a new tunnel to move water from the northern Delta to the thirsty, populous south of the state advanced a step Tuesday, when a key partner agreed to help fund some of the effort.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Rep. John Garamendi

News release: House passes Garamendi wins for Delta and Central Valley in Water Resources Development Act

Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA)… secured key provisions in the “Water Resources Development Act of 2020” (S.1811) for the California Delta and Central Valley. The legislation passed the House today and is expected to pass the Senate with strong bipartisan support and become law this year. 

Related article:

Aquafornia news Somach Simmons & Dunn

Blog: Comment Period Opens for the State Water Commission’s Proposed Rulemaking Giving Applicants to Water Storage Investment Program a Second Opportunity at Early Funding

The [California Water] Commission adopted emergency regulations in mid-August allowing WSIP applicants who did not previously receive early funding to apply for early funding to assist with completing environmental documents and permits.

Aquafornia news AgNet West

Challenge brought against proposed Del Puerto Canyon Reservoir

A coalition of conservation groups is working to prevent the development of a dam in the Del Puerto Canyon. The proposed Del Puerto Canyon Reservoir [in Stanislaus County] would reportedly store more than 80,000 acre-feet of water…. In a lawsuit filed on November 20, the plaintiffs assert that the project would negatively impact the habitat of several species.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Editorial: After COVID-19 ends, will Californians go thirsty?

In the midst of drought yet again, and two decades into the 21st century, California continues to operate with a water infrastructure engineered and constructed for 20th century climate conditions and populations. That’s true not only of the state’s physical network of dams and aqueducts, but of its legal and financial infrastructure as well — the pricing rules that allocate the state’s precious liquid resources among its 40 million thirsty people. The coronavirus emergency has highlighted some of the most serious stresses in the system.

Aquafornia news Pasadena Now

Metropolitan Water District COO to Discuss Making System More Resilient to ‘Catastrophic Scenarios’ at Virtual Pasadena Rotary Meeting

The COO and assistant general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, where Pasadena sources a significant amount of its water, will be discussing ways to strengthen the water system against “catastrophic scenarios” ranging from earthquakes and floods to climate change and shifting regulations.

Aquafornia news Woodland Daily Democrat

Opinion: A second chance for Eel River salmon and steelhead?

In 2019 the Two-Basin Solution Partnership filed a Notice of Intent to apply for relicensing and ownership of the [Potter Valley] project, followed in the spring of 2020 by a feasibility study and project plan that includes removal of Scott Dam, and a commitment to provide water to Potter Valley and the Russian River…. Many questions remain, starting with impacts on local recreational users and cabin owners. By Victoria Brandon, board president of Tuleyome, a nature-based environmental organization based in Woodland.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Eroding coast paves way for ‘managed retreat’ in California

With the realities of climate change looming ever closer, California transportation officials are now moving a key stretch of highway more than 350 feet inland — one of the first major efforts by the state to relocate, or “manage retreat,” critical infrastructure far enough from the coast to make room for the next 100 years of sea level rise.

Aquafornia news Livermore Independent

Zone 7 to spend $2.8M on Delta Conveyance Project

In a 5-2 vote, the Zone 7 Water Agency Board approved the expenditure of $2.8 million as the agency’s share for the next phase of planning on the Delta Conveyance.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Orange County Breeze

California Water Commission hosting water conveyance workshops in December, January

As it explores a potential state role in funding conveyance projects, the Commission seeks public input on criteria for assessing resilience, public benefits of conveyance, and financing mechanisms. The workshops are not associated with the proposal to improve conveyance through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Aquafornia news Bakersfield Californian

Hatchery closes down again following three years of renovations

A Kernville hatchery that has served local anglers for almost a century will soon close down again 20 months after it reopened following three years of renovations. The Kern River Hatchery … must close for repairs Dec. 1 mainly because a 50-year-old pipeline that delivers water to the facility needs to be replaced…

Aquafornia news Water Finance & Management

EPA receives 67 new requests for WIFIA financing

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has received 67 letters of interest in response to the agency’s 2020 Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act Notice of Funding Availability. A total of $9.2 billion was requested this year — the largest amount ever requested through the WIFIA program.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Major changes to Poway’s water system in works

The improvement program, if completed, would be the largest capital improvement program Poway has ever undertaken, said Shadi Sami, principal civil engineer for the city. The program … would ultimately replace the city’s existing, decades-old clear well with new storage reservoirs. It would also connect the city with the San Diego Water Authority’s treated water, creating treated water pipelines, a pump station and forebay.

Aquafornia news Sonoma West Times & News

‘Kicking the can down the road:’ Deferred maintenance at root of Cloverdale water rate increases

This Wednesday, Nov. 11, the Cloverdale City Council’s lone new agenda item is a costly one to Cloverdale residents — a proposed hike in the city’s water and sewage rates. The increases in both water and wastewater rates … is something that city officials say is needed to help start capital improvement projects related to the city’s water and wastewater systems.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Opinion: What California can learn from Cape Town about water policy

Two years ago, Cape Town, South Africa, a city of 4 million people, informed its shocked citizens that the city was just a few months away from running out of water due to drought. It was a wake-up call for all of us to become much better stewards of our own water. … California of course continues to have its own foreboding water challenges.

Aquafornia news Chemical & Engineering News

Pipes could release toxic chromium into tap water

A new study shows that the carcinogen hexavalent chromium can slip into drinking water when commonly used chlorine disinfectants corrode cast-iron water distribution pipes.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Review of Books

The dark history of Eastern California: A conversation with Kendra Atleework

Kendra Atleework’s new memoir Miracle Country, published in July by Algonquin Books, maps the region of Eastern California where William Mulholland stole the water and terraformed the SoCal landscape into the place we now know.

Aquafornia news Hi-Desert Star

Joshua Basin will pay off pipeline debt soon

After nearly 30 years the Joshua Basin Water District will soon close out its payment agreement with the Mojave Water Agency for the Morongo Basin Pipeline. … The Morongo Basin Pipeline is a 71-mile underground pipeline built by the Mojave Water Agency that brings water from the California aqueduct in Hesperia to the Mojave River in south Apple Valley…

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Desal, public buyout at center of Monterey Peninsula Water District board race

It’s little surprise California American Water’s proposed desalination project and the fate of a public buyout effort aimed at acquiring the company’s local water system are at the core of the contests for two seats on the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District board of directors…

Aquafornia news Water Finance & Management

‘Imagine a Day Without Water’ advocacy day returns this week

The sixth annual ‘Imagine a Day Without Water,’ advocacy day returns Wednesday, Oct. 21, with likely thousands of individuals, companies and organizations expected to take part… Imagine a Day Without Water is a national education campaign that takes place one day a year and brings together diverse stakeholders to illustrate how water is essential, invaluable and in need of investment.

Aquafornia news Water Finance & Management

Opinion: Resetting the mission for WIFIA

The WIFIA Loan Program recently announced that it has reset the interest rates on two undrawn loan commitments originally made in mid-2018. The fixed rate on a $135 million loan to Orange County Water District and a $614 million loan to San Diego Public Facilities Financing Authority (PFFA) were reset downward from about 3.1 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively, to around 1 percent… Is this a big deal?

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Opinion: We need to rethink our San Diego coast to deal with sea level rise before it’s too late

The solutions are not just about spending money, but changing how we do coastal development — fewer expensive seawalls and roads, and more “living shorelines” and coastal parks that can temporarily flood.

Aquafornia news E&E News

Big infrastructure bill ‘isn’t dead’ as WRDA talks heat up

A high-stakes Supreme Court confirmation and COVID-19 negotiations may be the focus on Capitol Hill, but a sprawling water infrastructure bill is still advancing quickly behind the scenes.

Aquafornia news CBS San Francisco

Santa Rosa neighborhood faces water crisis after fire evacuations

The flames were coming over a ridge when a group of men, led by a retired Cal Fire firefighter, saved more than 35 homes in the Stonegate neighborhood on Brand Road just off Hwy 12. They held off the flames until a full strike team arrived to take over. What they could not save was the water well pump and holding tank at the top of the hill which supplied water to the entire subdivision. It was all destroyed and must be now replaced.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Blog: Ensuring water equity and utility solvency: Lessons from Phoenix

Water utilities increasingly face a dilemma in these recessionary times: the challenge is to take in enough money to operate and maintain complex water systems while also providing safe and affordable water to all their customers—even those who have trouble paying. We talked to Kathryn Sorensen of Phoenix Water Services about Phoenix’s equity innovations.

Aquafornia news MyMotherLode.com

Pipeline replacement to wrap up with water shutdowns all month

Some Calaveras County Water District customers will have a disruption in their water service throughout the month as the main water transmission pipeline replacement project wraps up.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Can steelhead trout return to the L.A. River?

Biologists and engineers are setting the stage for an environmental recovery effort in downtown Los Angeles that could rival the return of the gray wolf, bald eagle and California condor. This time, the species teetering on the edge of extinction is the Southern California steelhead trout and the abused habitat is a 4.8-mile-long stretch of the L.A. River flood-control channel that most people only glimpse from a freeway.

Aquafornia news Escalon Times

Multimillion dollar tunnel to increase water reliability

The SSJID board has been pursuing a replacement tunnel after sorting through options to substantially increase the reliability of water flows as well as reducing costly annual maintenance work that puts crews at risk. … The 13,000-foot tunnel is now projected to cost more than $37 million. SSJID would cover 72 percent of the cost and Oakdale Irrigation District 28 percent…

Aquafornia news The Business Journal

Feds release environmental review for Friant-Kern Canal project

The project would restore capacity from 1,600 cubic-feet-per second to the original 4,000 cubic-feet-per second at what the Bureau has determined to be the most critical area — the Deer Creek check structure in Tulare County. … Estimates to fix the canal range from $400 million to $500 million, according to the Bureau of Reclamation.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Livermore Independent

Zone 7 considers flood control system overhaul

Zone 7 Water Agency’s failed flood control system needs a total revamp from the ground up, according to a consultant hired by the agency. The system can’t be saved by adding touches here and there. It will need a whole new rethinking, and will be expensive, said Eric Nagy, a principal with the firm Larsen, Wurzel & Associates in Sacramento.

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

San Lorenzo Valley Water District rebuilds after ‘most expensive disaster in history’

Emergency repairs are underway after a historic fire in the Santa Cruz Mountains wreaked havoc on the San Lorenzo Valley’s water infrastructure. The CZU August Lightning Complex fire caused an estimated $11 million in damage to pipes, meters, mains, tanks and other San Lorenzo Valley Water District infrastructure and equipment, according to District Manager Rick Rogers.

Aquafornia news East Bay Municipal Utility District

News release: EBMUD completes $49 million in community infrastructure projects

 Between February and July 2020, the East Bay Municipal Utility District completed work on more than 20 community infrastructure projects totaling $49 million. The projects include rehabilitated neighborhood water storage tanks, miles of new water distribution pipelines designed to withstand earthquakes, and a new photovoltaic system to generate energy from the sun.

Aquafornia news Pacific Institute

Report: How distributed water infrastructure can boost resilience in the face of COVID-19 and other shocks

Here, we summarize the financial impacts of COVID-19 on water utilities, examine how this may reduce or delay water infrastructure investments, and explore how investments in innovative distributed water infrastructure can address some of these issues while also fostering economic recovery, system flexibility, and long-term resilience.

Aquafornia news AgAlert

Opinion: It’s time to re-envision the California water system

Recent research looking at projected global temperature increases and large-scale oceanic and atmospheric processes contains alarming news for California water and flood planners. According to this emerging science, intense precipitation and flooding from “pineapple express”-style winter storms could both shift eastwardly landward and intensify by up to 40% by the latter half of the century.

Aquafornia news Sierra Club Angeles Chapter

Blog: Water a public resource: How privatization happens Pt. 2

The water system owned by the city of Montebello is primarily made up of old concrete pipes made with asbestos, a once-common part of water and drainage systems. This system has not been properly maintained, and is now in need of $50 million worth of health and safety repairs and improvements. Why has this been allowed to occur you may ask?

Aquafornia news EasyReaderNews.com

$39 million Peck Reservoir rebuild will begin in October

After nearly a decade of planning, the City of Manhattan Beach will begin a $39 million rebuild of Peck Reservoir, its 63-year-old water storage and filtration facility. The project was unanimously approved by City Council at its August 20 meeting.

Aquafornia news The Hill

Green groups fight EPA rollback limiting states from blocking projects

The Clean Water Act previously allowed states to halt projects that risk hurting their water quality, but that power was scaled back by the EPA in June, a move Administrator Andrew Wheeler said would “curb abuses of the Clean Water Act that have held our nation’s energy infrastructure projects hostage.” The latest suit argues the Trump administration is inappropriately denying states veto power over major projects that pose risks to their waterways.

Aquafornia news Engineering News-Record

Water groups call for more funding as way to pull nation out of COVID recession

Decades of inadequate investment in water infrastructure has exacerbated the economic challenges faced by water and wastewater utilities in the era of COVID-19, according to a new report released Aug. 26 by the American Society of Civil Engineers and the U.S. Water Alliance’s Value of Water Campaign.

Aquafornia news Santa Clarita Valley Signal

Opinion: What works in the Santa Clarita Valley: Our water supply

The consolidation of multiple agencies into SCV Water makes local coordination in emergencies much easier than in the past. Partnerships with other agencies to the north and south of us mean there are backup plans for dry years and places to store excess water in wet years.

Aquafornia news KSBW TV

Wildfire destroys water pipeline in San Lorenzo Valley

A main water pipeline in the San Lorenzo Valley was destroyed by a wildfire burning in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties. The San Lorenzo Valley Water District lost 4.5 million gallons of water after this 5-mile long pipe melted from intense heat. The district shut off its water supply throughout the Valley except to Boulder Creek.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

California says Delta tunnel project will cost $15.9 billion

After months of relative quiet, Newsom’s administration released a preliminary cost estimate for the scaled-back project Friday: $15.9 billion for a single tunnel running beneath the estuary just south of Sacramento. That’s nearly as much as the old $16.7 billion price tag put on the larger, twin-tunnel plan…

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Westwood and UCLA area again flooded by water line break

The break occurred not far from a July 2014 rupture that spewed an estimated 20 million gallons of water across the UCLA campus and flooded numerous buildings, including Pauley Pavilion, the Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center, J.D. Morgan Center and the John Wooden Center. … LADWP officials reported that Sunday’s water main break was not the same trunk line that ruptured in 2014.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news SJV Water

Proposed single Delta tunnel could cost $15.9 billion

A single tunnel proposed to take water under the sensitive Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and deliver it to farms and cities in the south could cost $15.9 billion, give or take, according to an initial assessment discussed at the Delta Conveyance Authority meeting on Thursday.

Aquafornia news University of Arkansas

News release: Sea-level rise linked to higher water tables along California coast

In the new study, researchers modeled the effects of rising sea level along the entire California coastline. While results varied with local topography, the study indicates rising sea levels could push inland water tables higher, resulting in damage to infrastructure and increased severity of flooding.

Aquafornia news East Bay Times

Berkeley, Emeryville besieged by water main breaks

East Bay Municipal Utility District crews and first-responders were at the scene of at least sixteen separate water main breaks in two cities Wednesday night, affecting several hundred customers, authorities said.

Aquafornia news Business Wire

News release: Los Angeles Waterkeeper prevails in historic wastewater recycling suit

The Los Angeles Superior Court issued a historic ruling, in favor of Los Angeles Waterkeeper, that compels the State Water Resources Control Board to analyze whether it is “wasteful” and “unreasonable” to dump billions of gallons of wastewater uselessly into the sea, when it could instead be used productively to ensure the sustainability of California’s water resources.

Aquafornia news Water Finance & Management

An update on the WIFIA loan program

The U.S. EPA’s Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act Loan Program (WIFIA) … has now completed three solicitation rounds over the period 2017-2019, generating 90 competitively selected applications totaling $13.6 billion of loan volume. This indicates WIFIA has had an excellent start. But beneath the surface, what’s actually happening? How is the program working as intended to improve U.S. water infrastructure?

Aquafornia news Fontana Herald News

West Valley Water District announces facility expansion project

Due to local population growth and rising peak summer usage, the West Valley Water District announced that it will expand treatment capacity for the region by 16 million gallons per day through the Oliver P. Roemer Water Filtration Facility Expansion Project.

Aquafornia news Pacific Institute

Report: An assessment of urban water demand forecasts in California

Failure to account for the long-term trend of declining per capita water demand has led to routine overestimation of future water demand. This can lead to unnecessary and costly investment in unneeded infrastructure and new sources of supply, higher costs, and adverse environmental impacts.

Aquafornia news U.S. Department of Agriculture

News release: Trump administration invests $462 million to modernize water and wastewater infrastructure in rural communities

The Trump Administration Monday announced that the United States Department of Agriculture is investing $462 million to modernize critical drinking water and wastewater infrastructure across rural America.

Aquafornia news LAist.com

A small city wants to unload a leaky water system, but regulators say not so fast

The city of Bellflower wants to sell its aging water system to a big for-profit water company that is better able to manage it. But the deal could fall through. That’s because state regulators say the price is so high, it could hurt water customers across Southern California.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: California high court sides with small town in water rate hike fight

The rural Northern California town of Dunsmuir can impose a water rate hike on residents to fund a $15 million system upgrade, the California Supreme Court ruled Monday.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news KXTV Sacramento

Folsom investigating why copper pipes are leaking inside many homes

Andre White who lives in Folsom’s Prarie Oaks neighborhood described the moment when he discovered his house was being filled with water due to a mysterious leak in his kitchen.

Aquafornia news The Mountain Democrat

Tank recoating, water line replacement on tap for El Dorado Irrigation District

The El Dorado Irrigation District Board of Directors opened the utility’s checkbook at the July 13 meeting and unanimously voted to spend close to $9.5 million on a long list of capital improvement projects. Leading the way, the most expensive project approved was $4.56 million to recoat and inspect Reservoir 2 and 2A water tanks.

Aquafornia news Engineering News-Record

Spellmon confirmed as Army Corps next chief

The Senate has confirmed Maj. Gen. Scott A. Spellmon as the Army’s 55th Chief of Engineers and commanding general of the Corps of Engineers, elevating him to one of the most crucial infrastructure-related positions in the federal government.

Aquafornia news The Hill

Federal agencies warn foreign hackers are targeting critical infrastructure

The agencies specifically warned that internet-connected operational technology assets, used throughout U.S. defense systems, were often the targets of malicious cyber actors attempting to hit critical infrastructure, such as systems providing water, gas and electricity. As a result, the agencies recommended that critical infrastructure operators and owners take “immediate action” to secure their systems.

Related article:

Aquafornia news WaterWorld

Transitioning to a remote work program

Historically, Mesa Water District’s staff has performed all their day-to-day operational tasks from its headquarters in Costa Mesa, Calif. … The pandemic required the water district to quickly transition to a nearly 100 percent remote workforce almost overnight, without disrupting providing clean, safe and reliable water to their many customers.

Aquafornia news KXTV Sacramento

Highway 99 at 12th Avenue in Sacramento flooded following water main break, officials say

A water main break has caused major flooding on part of southbound Highway 99 at 12th Avenue in Sacramento, California Highway Patrol officials confirmed Monday evening. … Tim Swanson, a spokesperson for the City of Sacramento, said the break started as a leak that was expected to be repaired in the evening…

Related articles:

Aquafornia news San Diego County Water Authority

Blog: Pipelines assessed in record time with latest technology
water news network

The San Diego County Water Authority’s asset management team recently celebrated the completion of a comprehensive condition assessment of more than 27 miles of the agency’s oldest pipelines. The assessment was performed in record time over just 16 months.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Redlands water supply in jeopardy after massive leak

Thousands of Redlands residents are being urged to cut their water consumption and fill tubs and other containers for emergency use as crews work to repair a major leak in the city’s system, officials said Tuesday. The leak, which was reported Monday and occurred in a 16-inch transmission line at a pumping station near Ford Park, could spill as much as 5 million gallons of water a day…

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

Nixon signed this key environmental law. Trump plans to change it to speed up pipelines, highway projects and more

The president’s plan to streamline the National Environmental Policy Act … would make it easier to build highways, pipelines, chemical plants and other projects that pose environmental risks. … But the proposed changes also threaten to rob the public, in particular marginalized communities most affected by such projects, of their ability to impact decisions that could affect their health, according to many activists.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

Blog: Fremont Weir upgrade successfully balances need for infrastructure and ecosystem preservation

The Fremont Weir Adult Fish Passage Modification Project, which began modified operations in January of 2019, successfully allowed thousands of migrating fish to pass between the Sacramento River and Yolo Bypass in its first year of operations.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Weekly

Water main break on Aguajito Road in Monterey prompts a ‘boil water’ alert

Don’t drink the water in the Del Monte area of Monterey, the Monterey County Health Department and California American Water announced this morning, Wednesday, July 8. A water main break on Aguajito Road on Tuesday evening is the culprit, according to notifications from Monterey County and California American Water.

Aquafornia news AgNet West

Water resilience projects receive nearly $84 million from DWR

A total of $83.9 million grant funding has been issued to communities in San Diego, San Joaquin, Sacramento, Sierra and Central Coast regions. The funding is aimed at supporting projects to address infrastructure needs, depleted groundwater levels, flood control issues, and other water issues of critical importance.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Thursday Top of the Scroll: Money to repair Central Valley canal in House bill. A large funding gap remains

South San Joaquin Valley farmers have a reason to celebrate this week: Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives appropriated $200 million to fix the Friant-Kern Canal. The bill also includes funding to repair the Delta-Mendota Canal and for two Northern California reservoirs.

Aquafornia news Yuba Water Agency

News Release: Yuba Water Agency approves about $14 million for water supply and infrastructure improvements

Yuba Water Agency’s Board of Directors committed approximately $14 million in grants and loans for water infrastructure upgrades, levee maintenance and Yuba County’s annual California Public Employees’ Retirement System payment. 

Aquafornia news Rep. TJ Cox

Press Release: Rep. TJ Cox Scores Funding for Friant-Kern Canal Repair, Other California Water Projects in House Appropriations Bill

Rep. TJ Cox announced the inclusion of several water infrastructure projects critical to the Central Valley in the House Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill, including funding for the repair of the Friant-Kern Canal and $7.8 million for an expansion of the Los Vaqueros Reservoir. 

Aquafornia news CalMatters

Opinion: Social justice argument on Delta tunnel project doesn’t hold water

Every single Californian deserves access to clean, reliable, affordable water. Contrary to statements in the column, the most disadvantaged communities in California, will not be helped by a tunnel. This massively expensive, environmentally destructive conveyance project won’t provide additional water to water-starved communities in this unpredictable climate-change era; nor can it promise safe, low-cost water supplies. 

Aquafornia news E&E News

House passes massive infrastructure package

The House passed a massive $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill that would help the nation rebuild its crumbling roads and bridges, combat climate change, and promote clean energy and clean drinking water.

Related article:

Aquafornia news The Sun-Gazette

More funds may flow to Friant-Kern Canal fix

More federal funds may be flowing to fix the Friant-Kern Canal. On June 22, the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) sent a letter to Congress requesting $134 million for water storage projects be funded through the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. More than half of the funding, $71 million, was requested for preconstruction and construction of the Friant-Kern Canal Capacity Correction project.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Pacific Institute

Report: Incorporating Multiple Benefits into Water Projects: A Guide for Water Managers

Adapting to climate change, coupled with the need to address aging infrastructure, population growth, and degraded ecosystems, requires significant investment in natural and built water systems. These investments present a significant opportunity to support not only water, but to provide economic, social, and environmental benefits.

Aquafornia news Porterville Recorder

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: Moving Forward Act provides funding for Central Valley water, Friant-Kern Canal

The U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure has approved H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act. The legislative package would provide $1.5 trillion for the nation’s infrastructure needs. Included in the bill is funding for Central Valley water needs and Friant-Kern Canal repairs. The package is expected to be passed by the U.S. House of Representatives next week.

Related article:

Aquafornia news San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

News release: SFPUC to resume work on critical infrastructure upgrade

The work, which begins June 29, will complete critical improvements to the North Shore Force Main (NSFM), a pressurized sewer pipeline that transports wastewater in northern San Francisco to the Southeast Treatment Plant in the Bayview, which treats 80 percent of the City’s wastewater.

Aquafornia news ABC30 Fresno

Worker doing maintenance atop iconic Fresno State water tower dies

A man working atop the iconic Fresno State water tower died after being rushed to the hospital on Thursday after being overcome with heat, eventually going into cardiac arrest. … The man, 27-year-old Jason Peters of Palm Coast, Florida, was one of three divers scheduled to do maintenance work on the inside of the water tower on the Fresno State campus.

Aquafornia news MyValleyNews.com

Eastern Municipal Water District approves San Jacinto Basin groundwater monitoring equipment

The June 17 meeting of the Eastern Municipal Water District included approving the purchase of groundwater monitoring equipment for the West San Jacinto Basin, approving a consultant contract for the final design of the Hemet Water Filtration Plant sodium hypochlorite tank replacement, and awarding Pacific Hydrotech Corporation a contract to replace the booster engines at the Pat Road facility.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

Blog: LADWP and the community of Bishop recognize Clarence Martin for decades of service as he steps down as aqueduct manager

After almost 32 years with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) Clarence Martin will be stepping down as Aqueduct Manager. Deputy Aqueduct Manager Adam Perez will be taking over, come July 1.

Aquafornia news Voices of Monterey Bay

Opinion: Cal Am is blocking the Pure Water Monterey expansion

It seems some are willing to wait forever for a new water supply. After 25 years of failure, they still trust Cal Am to come up with a solution. But the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District is clearly done waiting. Last Monday, the district board withdrew its support for Cal Am’s proposed desal plant.

Aquafornia news Porterville Recorder

$71 million would be allocated for Friant-Kern Canal

The Department of Interior has requested $71 million be spent on improvements for the Friant-Kern Canal for the 2021 fiscal year. The funding for the Friant-Kern Canal accounts for most of the $108.7 of funding for water storage projects in California the Department of Interior is requesting. Congress will now consider approving the funding in the 2021 fiscal year energy and water appropriations bill.

Aquafornia news YourCentralValley.com

Firefighters rescue 3 inspectors from 120-foot Fresno State water tower

Three divers were rescued from the Fresno State water tower Wednesday after Fresno Fire says one of them became unresponsive due to heat exhaustion. The three divers were taking part in a regular inspection and cleaning of the tower…

Aquafornia news Valley Public Radio

In letter to Congress, water agencies call for drinking water relief funding

Earlier this week, a broad coalition of water agencies delivered a letter to Congress advocating for more funding. The letter, submitted Monday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other California Congressional delegates, argues that billions of federal dollars are still needed for water infrastructure maintenance and assistance with water bills.

Related article:

Aquafornia news The Mountain Democrat

El Dorado Irrigation District kicks off big project

It was a big day for the El Dorado Irrigation District as members of the board, staff and other officials gathered above Folsom Lake to celebrate the kick-off of a major infrastructure project. … In February the board unanimously approved spending $42 million to replace critical components of the Folsom Lake water intake and restore needed reliability and capacity that has been lost to mechanical failure over the years.

Aquafornia news San Joaquin Valley Sun

Opinion: How Friant Water Authority recaptured its water destiny

The issue of subsidence on the Friant-Kern Canal, the attention it has garnered, and accompanying solutions are apparently void of the usual partisanship experienced in California’s water world as both state and Federal legislation has been introduced to authorize significant funding for the project.

Aquafornia news E&E News

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: Proposals to watch in Democrats’ infrastructure behemoth

House Democrats attached a provision to the bill that would look to introduce additional dam and hydropower safety inspections and analysis to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission permitting process. … House Democrats included various provisions that would boost drinking water protections and infrastructure, harden water systems against the threat of climate change, and provide a financial lifeline for tribal water and wastewater systems.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Mad River Union

Trinidad Rancheria makes McKinleyville pipeline plea

A proposal by the Trinidad Rancheria to connect to McKinleyville’s water system received a mostly chilly reception from the public during a meeting last week of the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District. A majority of more than three dozen written comments submitted to the district were in opposition to the pipeline, with many saying they are against the rancheria’s proposed hotel.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Preparing California’s water system for climate extremes

In October 2019, the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) released the report, Priorities for California’s Water, which outlined California’s water management challenges and their top priorities for addressing those challenges. At the May meeting of the California Water Commission, Alvar Escriva-Bou, a PPIC research fellow, gave a presentation on the findings and how they align with the actions of the draft water resilience portfolio.

Aquafornia news WaterOperator.org

The Lytton Tribe manages government-to-government wastewater agreements

The Tribe has been working with Sonoma County to develop 147 housing units as well as a resort and winery. Now that this ongoing development can be performed on land officially held in trust by the U.S. federal government, the Tribe is no longer subject to local land use restrictions. As such, the Lytton Tribe must assess all potential options to best meet future wastewater needs. Collaboration with their Windsor neighbors as well as an environmental assessment identified two primary options…

Aquafornia news Santa Clara Valley Water News

Blog: Palo Alto Tide Gates, which prevent flooding in low-lying areas on Peninsula, to be replaced

Driving on Highway 101 from the South Bay, up the Peninsula, commuters zoom by nearly invisible infrastructure keeping the highway and nearby communities dry. Beyond the highway, at the edge of the San Francisco Bay, are levees and tide gates protecting roads and neighborhoods against high tides and storm flooding. Unless you visit the bay lands to walk the levee trails, you might never know these important structures exist.

Aquafornia news San Diego County Water Authority

Blog: Draft study highlights region’s water conveyance options

A draft report released today by the San Diego County Water Authority shows that building a new conveyance system to transport regional water supplies from the Colorado River Quantification Settlement Agreement is cost-competitive with other long-term options for meeting the region’s water needs.

Aquafornia news Manteca Bulletin

The $120m question: Paying for flood work

Existing residents in the 200-year-flood zone are not off the hook when it comes to paying for more robust protection. … That’s because fees assessed on new growth — homes, commercial and industrial concerns — being built in the flood zone only will cover a third of the bill.

Aquafornia news Scientific American

Green infrastructure can be cheaper, more effective than dams

Hundreds of studies on nature-based solutions to extreme events show that “green infrastructure” is often cheaper and more effective than engineered projects like dams, levees and sea walls, according to a new analysis. Experts say federal and state governments should heed those findings and increase funding for natural landscapes and systems to reduce climate disaster risk. Solutions include floodplain restoration and “living shorelines” along vulnerable coasts and rivers.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Friday Top of the Scroll: Small, Central Valley community finally gets clean water

For years — too many, residents say — Seville households teetered with unpredictable conditions. Using too much water in the day meant having none at night. One flush too many, and everyone relying on a single well in town was thrown into a dry spell. … The coming summer, however, promises to be a new one altogether for residents in Seville.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Law

Trump uses ‘emergency’ to speed up infrastructure projects

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday calling on federal agencies to use emergency powers to “accelerate” infrastructure projects on federal lands as a response to the coronavirus pandemic. The order urges the Interior, Agriculture, and Defense departments to use emergency powers under the Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act and National Environmental Policy Act to speed projects through the approval process.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Epidemic of wipes and masks plague sewers, storm drains

While drain clogs aren’t new, most of the more than 15 cities contacted by The Associated Press said they’ve become a more costly and time consuming headache during the pandemic. Home-bound Americans are seeking alternatives to bathroom tissue because of occasional shortages, while stepping up efforts to sanitize their dwellings and themselves.

Aquafornia news AgNet West

Legislation seeks to address San Joaquin Valley canals

New legislation was recently introduced that will address several issues facing San Joaquin Valley canals. The Restoration of Essential Conveyance Act was introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein as a means for repairing water conveyance damaged by subsidence.

Aquafornia news California American Water

News release: California American Water recommends building operators and schools to flush pipes to maintain water quality

Extended periods of inactivity in buildings can cause lead leaching or legionella growth in water pipes and taking proper steps can help minimize potential exposure to both these contaminants. … Proper reopening procedures help in verifying that water systems and equipment are in safe working order.

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: EPA limits states and tribes’ ability to protest pipelines and other energy projects

The Environmental Protection Agency finalized a rule Monday curtailing the rights of states, tribes and the public to object to federal permits for energy projects and other activities that could pollute waterways across the country. The move … upends how the United States applied a section of the Clean Water Act for nearly a half century.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news The Sun-Gazette

Feds say Tule groundwater could continue to sink

The gravity-fed Friant-Kern Canal that is key to survival for 15,000 east side San Joaquin Valley farms continues to be impacted by subsidence. Land near Porterville appears to be most worrisome where the land has sunk so much due to adjacent water pumping that the canal has lost 60% of its capacity. As of July 2018, it was estimated the canal is approximately 12 feet below the original constructed elevation.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Pure Water Monterey expansion remains afloat

A Pure Water Monterey expansion proposal has narrowly survived another attempt to shelve it indefinitely even as the main recycled water project struggles with operational and cost issues that have further postponed its water delivery date and hampered its capacity.

Aquafornia news The Log

Poseidon Water’s desalination plan: Are there cracks in the armor?

Marine life mitigation, the need for desalinated water in Orange County and the overall merits of Poseidon Water’s plan to build a $1 billion desalination plant in Huntington Beach were some of the main talking points of a 10-hour virtual workshop, held on May 15. Highlighting the marathon of a workshop: pointed questions about the merits of Poseidon’s proposal…

Aquafornia news Monterey County Weekly

Activists’ plan to filibuster Monterey One Water meeting is scuttled by a leak

Over email, local water activists concocted a secret plan to derail a vote that would potentially kill one water project and bolster the prospects of another. The idea was to stage a “filibuster” of the Monterey One Water board meeting scheduled for Tuesday, May 26.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Environment

Water, highway bills among must-pass legislation, Hoyer says

House Democrats will focus this summer on passing essential legislation, including the Water Resources Development Act, a highway reauthorization bill, and appropriations measures, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Tuesday. … In early May, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee advanced two major water infrastructure bills (S. 3591 and (S. 3590) that are awaiting floor action.

Aquafornia news San Diego County Water Authority

Blog: Essential repairs completed on Pipeline 5 in north county

The San Diego County Water Authority and its contractors have completed essential repairs on a section of Pipeline 5 in North San Diego County between Fallbrook and Escondido. The repairs included installing 156 feet of carbon fiber liner inside the 96-inch pre-stressed concrete cylinder pipe to extend its service life.

Aquafornia news The Salt Lake Tribune

Opinion: The tale of two pipelines for desert cities

Nevadans and Utahns won a major economic and environmental victory in mid-April that will help protect air quality along the Wasatch Front and the Great Basin’s fragile water supply –– including Great Salt Lake.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Law

Senate panel moves major water bills, adding PFAS actions

The Senate’s environment panel pushed through two major water infrastructure bills Wednesday, rejecting a GOP member’s attempt to give Western states more authority over water supplies but agreeing to direct the EPA to set drinking water limits for “forever chemicals” known as PFAS.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Water rate hike in rural town becomes tax battle royale

A referendum challenging a rural northern California town’s water rate hike rests on whether the California Supreme Court considers it a tax or a fee. Since 1911, California’s constitution has exempted “tax levies” from the people’s referendum. It’s an exemption that Dunsmuir, a town of about 1,600 residents in Siskiyou County, is trying to apply to its aging water system.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Central Valley Flood Protection Board: Yolo Bypass salmonid habitat restoration and fish passage project

At the April meeting of the Central Valley Flood Protection Board, Board members heard an informational briefing on the Yolo Bypass Salmonid Habitat Restoration and Fish Passage Project being planned for the Fremont Weir. Referred to as the Big Notch, this project will construct a gated notch at Fremont Weir to create seasonal floodplain habitat for juvenile fish as well as to improve migration for adult fish.

Aquafornia news UCLA News

News release: UCLA students take first place in national EPA stormwater treatment design competition

A team of UCLA undergraduate students has won a national competition sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency seeking innovative plans for stormwater management. The team proposed to redesign elements of a Los Angeles elementary school to improve its environmental sustainability.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Law

Major water infrastructure bills move ahead in Senate, House

The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works gathered the last few comments on Friday on its plans to move two mammoth water infrastructure packages this year. … At the same time, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is gearing up to introduce its own big water bill, which should come by month’s end and be marked up over the summer, according to a committee aide.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Water restrictions to be lifted Tuesday while pipeline repairs in Moreno Valley continue

Work to restore a damaged 9-foot diameter water pipeline in Moreno Valley continued Monday, May 4, and outdoor watering restrictions will be lifted for Western Municipal Water District customers starting Tuesday. … The reduced-use directive had been in place since Thursday after a contractor punctured the Santa Ana Valley Pipeline.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Irrigation restrictions to be lifted Monday for some while pipeline repairs continue in Moreno Valley

The reduced-use directive was put in place after a contractor punctured the 9-foot-diameter Santa Ana Valley Pipeline on Thursday. The water flow in the line has been stopped while repairs take place, and the moves by the districts were to help ensure reserves are not depleted.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Moreno Valley residents, others asked to halt using outdoor water after pipeline fails

Emergency repairs to a state-operated water pipeline prompted officials Friday morning to ask 250,000-plus customers in Moreno Valley and western Riverside County communities to immediately stop outdoor water use. … Customers were asked to not water plants or grass, wash cars or fill pools until repairs on the Santa Ana Valley Pipeline, which brings water to the region from Northern California, are completed, the MWD said.

Related article:

Aquafornia news New Times San Luis Obispo

County allocates $4.2 million for Nacimiento pipeline fix

The Lake Nacimiento water pipeline, which delivers supplemental drinking water to several local communities including the city of San Luis Obispo, has been out of commission since September after leaks were discovered in a segment of the 45-mile pipe that traverses the Salinas River.

Aquafornia news Highland Community News

Sterling mid-project update

As of March, the East Valley Water District’s Sterling Natural Resource Center construction project reached the halfway point to scheduled completion⎯about 18 months in and 18 months left to work. The water recycling plant will be capable of treating up to 10 million gallons per day, depositing the clean water into percolation ponds in order to recharge the Bunker Hill Basin groundwater.

Aquafornia news Redding Record-Searchlight

California ranks small water agencies for drought vulnerability

To develop the rankings, the state took into account numerous factors, including each water system’s vulnerability to climate change and projected temperature changes, projected sea level rise, recent water shortages, whether the system is in an overdrafted groundwater basin or was located in an area with underlying fractured rock.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

San Diego plans to spend $70M upgrading sewer, water pipes near San Diego State

Several streets in neighborhoods near San Diego State will be torn up for short periods over the next four years so the city can widen and upgrade sewer and water lines that lead to the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Weekly

The coming battles over Monterey Peninsula water will be fought on Zoom

From the safety of their coronavirus shelters, the water warriors of the Monterey Peninsula carry on the fight, and so can you. … The environmental merits of removing the local water system from private ownership and placing it under the control of a government agency will be discussed in a virtual public scoping meeting on April 21 at 5pm, via Zoom video conference. 

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Coronavirus: More members of Congress support water aid

The number of supporters in Congress for utility assistance in the next Covid-19 package continues to grow. One hundred ten Democratic members of the House and Senate sent a letter today to congressional leaders, requesting financial aid to utilities and the people they serve during the coronavirus pandemic.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Brookings Institution

Blog: COVID-19 is a chance to invest in our essential infrastructure workforce

As federal, state, and local leaders look to provide economic relief, they must pay special attention to the support and protection of our current infrastructure workforce. Additionally, this moment offers an opportunity that we may not see again anytime soon: the chance to jumpstart long-term infrastructure careers for millions of prospective workers nationally.

Aquafornia news The Revelator

Blog: Pandemic shines a light on critical water issues — Will Congress fund solutions?

We know one thing for sure: We need to wash our hands well and often. And for that we need clean, running water. But so far the federal legislative responses to the novel coronavirus crisis have not included financial support for water utilities, most of which are public agencies. And there’s been no federal mandate to prevent water shutoffs for households unable to pay their bills.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Water Finance & Management

The economics of water main failures

Most municipalities that have been maintaining aging infrastructure for decades simply absorb the effort and costs required to repair water main pipeline breaks when they occur. Seldom do many municipalities make the efforts required to track the costs and evaluate the cost benefit of proactively rehabilitating the existing pipe line versus continuing to repair emergency breaks.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

San Onofre sewage spill linked to blocked line, worn out pump switch

Southern California Edison, the operators of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, is still investigating what caused the release of 7,000 gallons of sewage into the ocean last month but it appears the culprits were a blockage in the facility’s sewage treatment plant and a worn out pump switch.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: What if California faces a disaster during the pandemic?

California has evacuation plans for earthquakes, floods, mudslides and, of course, wildfires, but what if one of those disasters occurs as the state is dealing with the coronavirus outbreak when everyone is being urged to stay home? State and local officials are trying to figure that out.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Napa Valley Register

Napa Sanitation District to repair an essential sewage-carrying pipe

Napa Sanitation District is planning a $15 million project to rehabilitate a deteriorating pipe that carries 90 percent of local sewage to the wastewater treatment plant and has no backup. … The half-century-old, 66-inch-diameter concrete pipe transports raw sewage three miles from the city of Napa to the wastewater treatment plant near the airport industrial area. A district report calls it the “backbone” of the sewer system.

Aquafornia news Futurity.org

When buildings reopen, will the water be safe?

It’s possible that water left sitting for long periods of time could contain excessive amounts of heavy metals and pathogens concentrated in pipes nationwide, say [Purdue University] researchers who have begun a field study on the impact of a pandemic shutdown on buildings.

Aquafornia news The Mountain Democrat

Save the Canal lawsuit denied by judge

A lawsuit over the El Dorado Irrigation District’s plan to pipe the Upper Main Ditch was denied by Superior Court Judge Dylan Sullivan in a final ruling issued March 27. The lawsuit filed by a Pollock Pines-based group called Save the Canal challenged approval of the project and certification of the project’s Environment Impact Report…

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Coronavirus: How water agencies plan to keep drinking water plants running

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, water agencies across the Bay Area and California are taking unprecedented steps to keep the water flowing that millions of people need for drinking and washing their hands, but which is also critical for fighting fires, serving hospitals, running sewer systems and other vital uses. The main goal: Preventing the workers who run the drinking water treatment plants from getting sick.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Bay Area Monitor

The future of water: Onsite desalination for hyperlocal reuse

The basics of the relationship between water and energy are well known, but California’s recent drought revealed something surprising about this connection. When the state mandated a 25 percent drop in water use, the resulting energy savings turned out to be even higher than expected. This prompted the Department of Energy to find ways of making water more energy efficient.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

No running water. No electricity. On Navajo Nation, coronavirus creates worry and confusion as cases surge

Here on the largest Native American reservation, one that spans portions of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, politicians and health officials are mounting a frantic effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The impact could be especially devastating, officials fear, in an extremely rural area larger than West Virginia, with roughly 175,000 residents and only four inpatient hospitals.

Related article:

Aquafornia news KUNC

Thurday Top of the Scroll: Coronavirus outbreak tests resilience of Western water workforce

Water agencies throughout the West are changing their operations during the coronavirus outbreak to make sure cities and farms don’t run dry. Their responses range from extreme measures to modest adjustments to ensure their most critical workers don’t succumb to the virus.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news The Willits News

Mendocino County moving forward with Redwood Valley Water Infrastructure Project

The Infrastructure Retrofit Project would mitigate earthquake hazards currently threatening the Redwood Valley County Water District and protect infrastructure against significant damage in the future. The 2017 Redwood Complex fire also destroyed parts of the water infrastructure in the valley and increased the need for the reconstruction project.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: Coronavirus: Worker at San Jose wastewater plant tests positive

Highlighting the threat that coronavirus poses to basic public health systems around California and the nation, a worker at San Jose’s wastewater treatment plant — a facility that treats the sewage from 1.5 million people in San Jose and seven other cities — has tested positive for COVID-19. The employee is a janitor working as part of a contract company.

Related article:

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Americans coping with the coronavirus are clogging toilets

Many are then tossing the disinfectant wipes, paper towels and other paper products they used into the toilet. The result has been a coast-to-coast surge in backed-up sewer lines and overflowing toilets, according to plumbers and public officials, who have pleaded with Americans to spare the nation’s pipes from further strain.

Related article:

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

It’s official: Two North County districts want out of County Water Authority

The water agencies that serve the Fallbrook and Rainbow areas of North County have officially filed applications to detach from the San Diego County Water Authority, an unprecedented move with potential financial implications for almost all water customers in the county.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino City News

Water and school district partner on new career pathway

The Water and Wastewater Pathway at Indian Springs High School is strategically located near East Valley Water District’s new state-of-the-art wastewater treatment facility. The Sterling Natural Resource Center (SNRC) will provide a sustainable new water supply to boost the region’s water independence.

Aquafornia news The Ukiah Daily Journal

Ukiah’s Purple Pipe performs well during ‘mock frost event’

Likely just in time for the real thing, a “Mock Frost” event was held this week to test the capacity of the city of Ukiah’s recycled Water System, also called the Purple Pipe. … “It went well,” Ukiah grape grower David Koball said of the test. “There was lots of water pressure and we had no issues.”

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Coronavirus: California issues warning about disinfecting wipes

Wipes and paper towels do not break down like toilet paper does in water. They are stronger, and many wipes include plastics and materials like nylon. That means bad news for sewer systems, some of which already are experiencing problems during the coronavirus crisis.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Sacramento Business Journal

El Dorado Irrigation District awards Granite Construction Folsom Lake Intake contract

The intake, a pump house at the edge of the lake in El Dorado Hills, was built in 1958, and got additional pumps installed in 1994. Both systems are at the end of their useful life and have become unreliable in recent years. The intake … plays a critical role in supplying drinking water to El Dorado Hills.

Aquafornia news Natural Resources Defense Council

Blog: NRDC’s response to the climate resilient water portfolio

While the first draft of the governor’s draft Water Resilience Portfolio wasn’t the transformational vision many had hoped it would be, there is still time to deliver on a plan that will help us rise to the challenges ahead.

Aquafornia news The Guardian

UK’s sewage system in danger of gridlock from toilet paper substitutes

Innocent consumer substitutions due to shortages caused by fears about the spread of coronovirus could create serious consequences which are critical to society and life, according to leading supply chain academic Prof Richard Wilding. The warning comes amid panic buying sweeping UK supermarkets…

Related article:

Aquafornia news Inside Science

Researchers look to improve leak detection for the world’s aging water pipes

“It’s a huge problem, especially in the cities,” said Daniel Tartakovsky, a professor of energy resources engineering at Stanford University in California. Tartakovsky and his former student Abdulrahman Alawadhi from the University of California, San Diego have proposed a way to improve a traditional method of detecting these leaks.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Somach Simmons & Dunn

Blog: DWR CEQA proceeds with tunnel proposal independent experts deem “impractical”

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) is soliciting public comment on the scope of environmental review for a revised Delta tunnel project despite prior findings of independent technical experts that a key project proposal is “impractical,” stating that it “does not recommend” further study.

Aquafornia news The Ukiah Daily Journal

Mendocino County moving forward with Redwood Valley Water Infrastructure Retrofit Project

The Retrofit Project would mitigate earthquake hazards currently threatening the Redwood Valley County Water District… The county said the project would replace approximately 10,577 feet of main water lines, include installation of around 3,300 feet of new water main lines, and replace 146 water services lateral connections. The project will cost an estimated $6,200,000, including construction support and contingency.

Aquafornia news Treatment Plant Operator Magazine

COVID-19 guidance for wastewater workers

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently released guidance for wastewater workers, reporting that coronaviruses are vulnerable to the same disinfection techniques used currently in the health care sector.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Treatment Plant Operator Magazine

California district partners with other utilities to meet all of its customers’ irrigation needs

In a part of the country where freshwater supplies are often scarce, the Olivenhain (California) Municipal Water District is doing its part. The 4S Ranch Water Reclamation Facility recycles some 1 million gallons of high-quality effluent each day for irrigation and shares even more with neighboring communities.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Newsom administration envisions a new role for California Water Commission

At the February meeting of the California Water Commission, Secretary of Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot addressed the Commission, tasking them with assessing and prioritizing the infrastructure needs around the state and helping to determine the state role in rehabilitating that infrastructure.

Aquafornia news WaterWorld

Advocating for clean water

As the nation’s water and wastewater treatment systems of pipes, pumps, and plants reach the end of their intended lifespan, investing in water infrastructure has taken the spotlight.

Aquafornia news Benicia Herald

Delta residents speak out against Newsom’s controversial tunnel project

Over the past month, DWR has been holding scoping meetings in the Delta and select locations throughout the state. At meetings in Walnut Grove, Stockton, Clarksburg and Brentwood, a diverse group of farmers, fishermen, elected officials, climate/social justice activists, economists and engineers came out in force to oppose what is often referred to as the “boondoggle” project.

Aquafornia news Las Vegas Review-Journal

Water bills might increase in Southern Nevada if $3B plan approved

A $3 billion package of water projects recommended for approval by the Southern Nevada Water Authority this month could raise average residential bills by $10, while providing a boost to the Apex Industrial Park in North Las Vegas.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Did a water commissioner violate the Brown Act? County’s lawyer says no

During the Feb. 25 Butte County Board of Supervisors meeting, supervisors Debra Lucero and Tami Ritter called to remove Matthew Tennis from the Water Commission. … The reason for proposing the removal, Lucero said, was that she believed Tennis violated the Brown Act when he allegedly voiced support for the pipeline from Paradise to Chico while talking in front of a community group in Chico.

Aquafornia news Colusa County Sun-Herald

Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District celebrates 100 years

The Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District celebrated its 100-year anniversary in February, according to a press release. The district’s water rights were established in 1883, one of the earliest and largest water rights on the Sacramento River, and it was formally organized on Feb. 21, 1920.

Aquafornia news U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Blog: Sacramento River levee improvements next step in $1.5 billion plan to modernize Sacramento-area flood infrastructure

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District awarded a $64 million construction contract on February 14 … for nearly three miles of levee improvements along the Sacramento River East Levee. This project will kick off major construction in the region to complete approximately $1.5 billion of work to upgrade levees along the American and Sacramento Rivers as well as widening the Sacramento Weir and Bypass.

Aquafornia news FishBio

Blog: Don’t be salty: Operating the Suisun Marsh tidal gates to benefit Delta smelt

As Delta smelt continue to decline throughout the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, novel approaches are being implemented to open up additional habitat for these imperiled fish. … The Department of Water Resources, in collaboration with other stakeholders, has been conducting a pilot research study to investigate how operational changes at the Suisun Marsh Salinity Control Gates affect Delta smelt habitat conditions.

Aquafornia news UC Irvine News

Blog: Driven for desalinization

Fresh water shortages have made desalination a possible solution for supplementing the overall water supply. To address this issue, a team of industry professionals and researchers have formed National Alliance of Water and Innovation to jointly examine the critical technical barriers and research needed to lower the energy cost of desalination and other water processing methods.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Contractors get reprieve in effort to block San Diego’s Pure Water recycling system

Legal wrangling over San Diego’s proposed Pure Water sewage recycling system continued Friday, when a judge gave a temporary reprieve to a group of local contractors fighting for the ability of non-union workers to help build the system.

Commands