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 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The WIFIA Loan Program recently announced that it has reset the interest rates on two undrawn loan commitments originally made in mid-2018.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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 The Mountain Democrat

$42.7 million Folsom Lake intake improvements OK’d

Amidst much anguish and gnashing of teeth, the El Dorado Irrigation District Board of Directors unanimously approved a $42.7 million dollar project on Monday that’s been on EID’s to do list since 2011. Called the Folsom Lake Intake Improvement Project, EID plans to replace the existing pump station that has been in service since the late 1950s and considered to be at the end of its useful life.

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.

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.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Cal Water installs new water pipe

A project that started in early January has been completed in late February by California Water Service of replacing 2,466 feet of 6-inch PVC water main pipes to enhance fire protection in the area. The infrastructure upgrade is meant to strengthen the water system reliability as the main had been originally installed in the 1930s and 1940s. The replacement will aide firefighters and customers’ daily needs.

Aquafornia news The Press

East County residents weigh in on Delta Conveyance Project

A rally before the start of the Department of Water Resources’(DWR) public scoping meeting for the Delta Conveyance Project (DCP) set the tone for the event — residents of East County were in no mood to consider another tunnel project in the Delta.

Aquafornia news Laguna Beach Independent

Laguna Beach moves to hike sewer rates in wake of Thanksgiving spill

A sewage spill that occurred a day before Thanksgiving last year prompted the Laguna Beach City Council to move forward with a one-time sewer rate increase Tuesday that will account for the financial fallout. Pending the result of a protest vote by ratepayers, the 10% increase ups bills for single-family homes to $800 annually, or $66.67 per month. The hike could take effect as early as July 1.

Aquafornia news Tehachapi News

Tehachapi City Council OK’s sewer, water fees for new development

Officials in the city of Tehachapi approved new water and sewer fees — in case new housing developments start moving in — to support the construction of infrastructure that can’t quite support projected growth in the next 10 years.

Aquafornia news Phys.org

Study reveals hidden risks of estuary development for young salmon

A Simon Fraser University-led research team has found significant evidence that human activity in estuaries is impacting juvenile Pacific and Atlantic salmon. The team’s review of 167 peer-reviewed studies (from an initial search of 13,000) identified negative impacts from several stressors, including the effects of flood-protecting tidal gates, pollution and habitat modification.

Aquafornia news The Mountain Democrat

El Dorado Irrigation District to consider $42.7 million project at Folsom Lake

The Folsom Lake Intake Improvement Project delivers district water supplies available at Folsom Lake to the El Dorado Hills Water Treatment Plant and is critical to service reliability for the El Dorado Hills service area. In service since the late 1950s, significant portions of the pump station have reached the end of their useful life.

Related article:

Aquafornia news SFGate.com

See when Bay Area landmarks go underwater due to sea level rise if precautions not taken

The San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission has created an online mapping tool known as the Bay Shoreline Flood Explorer that allows you to see the impacts of rising oceans if precautions aren’t taken. You can see how much of the shoreline is inundated at 12 to 144 inches of rise, as well as the impacts of storm surges and exceptionally high tides that can temporarily cause water levels to rise.

Aquafornia news KGET

Arvin issues boil water notice to all customers due to well failure

The Arvin Community Service District has issued a boil water notice to its customers due to mechanical failures at two of its three active wells. … District General Manager Raul Barraza, Jr. said that the district has contractors working on both wells and hopes to have one or both wells back online as soon as possible. He expects the notice will last at least a few days.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Subsidence of the California Aqueduct in the San Joaquin Valley

Recently, the Department of Water Resources released a report to supplement the 2017 California Aqueduct Subsidence Study that addresses specific issues within a 10-mile-wide study corridor… At the February meeting of Metropolitan’s Water Planning and Stewardship Committee, Ted Craddock, DWR Assistant Deputy Director of the State Water Project, provided an overview of the report.

Aquafornia news Fairfield Citizen

Fairfield spends $4 million on hardening project for wastewater treatment plant

The town of Fairfield is moving forward with a project to better protect its wastewater treatment plant from large storms and sea level rise. According to a press release from First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick, the project will cost a total of $7.4 million but $3.33 million will be funded through a grant from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Developments’ (US HUD) Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery.

Aquafornia news Longreads.com

The ancient waterways of Phoenix, Ariz.

To understand this sprawling desert city, you have to understand its canals, whose routes Indigenous people dug as far back as A.D. 200.

Aquafornia news WaterWorld

Presidential candidates talk water infrastructure at Las Vegas forum

While all presidential candidates, including President Trump were invited to participate in the event, only Joe Biden, Tom Steyer, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Pete Buttigieg took the stage to discuss their outlook on infrastructure issues.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Cal Am rate increase proposal set for local public hearings

Cal Am’s request calls for raising water rates to increase revenue by about $8.4 million in the Monterey district to cover new capital investment, increased labor costs, and higher administrative and operations expenses, driving the “average” local customer’s bill from about $89.40 to about $105.78 over the three-year period from 2021-2023.

Aquafornia news U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

President’s budget and work plan announcements tab $188 million for Sacramento projects

More than $188 million in flood risk management work for Northern California were outlined in two separate budget releases on February 10, adding to an already robust Sacramento District workload. … Continued upgrades to Natomas Basin levees leads the way with $131.5 million.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

A crisis right now: San Francisco and Manila face rising seas

Two sprawling metropolitan areas offer a glimpse of the future. One rich, one poor, they sit on opposite sides of the Pacific Ocean: the San Francisco Bay Area (population 7 million) and metropolitan Manila (almost 14 million). Their history, their wealth, and the political and personal choices they make today will shape how they fare as the water inevitably comes to their doorsteps.

Aquafornia news E&E News

Trump proposes deep energy, environmental cuts

Like last year, the White House wants to cut all non-defense discretionary spending by 5%. Non-nuclear spending at the Department of Energy would be cut 29%, EPA would be reduced by 27%, the Army Corps of Engineers would drop 22% and the Interior Department would fall by 13%.

Related article:

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Buffing up San Francisco’s historic piers to survive sea level rise

When the now-historic finger piers along San Francisco’s Embarcadero were built, you can bet the builders never expected that a century later, there would be engineering studies on how to prepare the gaunt sheds for seas that could rise nearly 7 feet.

Aquafornia news Sierra Wave

Owens Valley Indian Water Commission awards $100,000 to Big Pine Paiute Tribe to upgrade irrigation system

Owens Valley Indian Water Commission is pleased to announce the Commission awarded the Big Pine Tribe a $100,000 Agriculture Assistance Grant torepair segments of the Tribe’s irrigation system to ensure tribal members have access to water for agricultural and general purposes.

Aquafornia news GVWire.com

Extra $11M coming for Friant-Kern Canal repairs

Repair work on the Friant-Kern Canal is getting $11 million in new federal funding, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Tuesday. The funds are coming from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. … McCarthy also announced $8 million in funding for design and other pre-construction work to raise Shasta Dam in northern California by 18.5 feet at a cost of $1.4 billion.

Aquafornia news KRCR TV

Redding City Council approves rate increase after heated meeting

The approval came after a 3-2 vote. Mayor Adam McElvain proposed to table to the plan and vote again next year. … The public works staff says they need the added funding to maintain infrastructure and keep up with inflationary costs. One council member said Redding is still using some infrastructure installed in the early 1900’s.

Aquafornia news Capital Press

District helps make desert bloom

The Coachella Valley Water District faces hefty challenges each day: providing water for more than 1,200 ag customers on 65,000 acres in a desert environment. The water district serves San Diego, Imperial and Riverside counties and nine cities.

Aquafornia news Phys.org

Vast amounts of valuable energy, nutrients, water lost in world’s fast-rising wastewater streams

Vast amounts of valuable energy, agricultural nutrients, and water could potentially be recovered from the world’s fast-rising volume of municipal wastewater, according to a new study by UN University’s Canadian-based Institute for Water, Environment and Health.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: California canals damaged by sinking soil, groundwater pumping. New bills aim to help

Democratic congressman from Fresno introduced two pieces of legislation that aim to repair aging canals and water infrastructure in California that’s been damaged by sinking ground levels – called subsidence, caused by groundwater pumping.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Natural Resources Defense Council

Blog: Moving forward with infrastructure climate solutions

Congressional leaders unveiled a transformative vision of moving America and the environment forward by investing in 21st century infrastructure. The Moving Forward Framework outlines a five-year plan for bold investment in transportation and water infrastructure.

Aquafornia news Santa Clara Valley Water News

Blog: How the Almaden Lake Project will help the environment

As an initiative funded through our Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection program, the Almaden Lake project is locally financed, and it is very important that our community’s voice is heard.

Aquafornia news The Pajaronian

Watsonville’s water system needs more than $100M in upgrades, repairs

The plan, put together with the help of Carollo Engineers, Inc., lays out a 20-year road map of projects needed to maintain and improve the city’s reservoirs, water tanks, wells, underground pipes and pump stations.

Aquafornia news Poway News Chieftain

Poway water customers may be getting credits

Poway water customers may be in line for small credits on an upcoming bill because the recent six-day boil-water advisory late last year.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Environment

AI startup digs up business opportunity in aging water pipes

Fracta combines artificial intelligence with machine learning and measures everything from soil quality to population density of an area, along with historical information on when pipes were installed and what they are made of. The startup says it has already won contracts in 23 states, including cities such as San Francisco and Oakland, which have faced water shortages.

Aquafornia news Axios

Mayors: Water tops city infrastructure needs

Water-related projects topped the list of infrastructure priorities for mayors, according to the 2019 Menino Survey of Mayors released this month. Why it matters: The survey revealed urgency around investments in water, wastewater and stormwater facilities, with mayors 10 percentage points more likely to focus on that issue than four years ago.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Opinion: We must fix the Salton Sea. And, yes, water transfer is one hope

Tests are still finding such deadly pesticides as DDT, despite the ban of its use in farming during the 1970s. There are also untold amounts of ammunition from military testing as well as uranium left over from the Atomic Energy Commission for WWII-era testing. Proponents don’t claim sea water import is a perfect answer; just the most feasible means of containing these toxins as they are heavier than water.

Aquafornia news The Log

Newport Beach water wheel project moving forward

The Newport Beach Harbor Commission got an update on the proposed water wheel project at their Jan. 8 meeting… The water wheel would be a floating stationary solar and hydro-powered trash interceptor in San Diego Creek…

Aquafornia news CALmatters

Opinion: California must include desalination in water portfolio

Understanding why desalination is so critical to California’s water future is a lot like building a personal budget. With a changing climate, growing population and booming economy, we need to include desalination in the water supply equation to help make up an imported water deficit.

Aquafornia news Action News Now

North State lawmakers introduce legislation to help save Paradise water

Assemblyman James Gallagher introduced new legislation Monday that will help expedite construction of the Paradise Irrigation District intertie project. PID said after the Camp Fire, a rough estimate of customers lost was around 9,000, nearly its entire customer base. The District is searching for new revenue streams to sustain itself …

Aquafornia news MyValleyNews.com

Lake Elsinore area residents organize to oppose hydroelectric project

Some local residents are organizing to oppose a twice-rejected proposal for a Lake Elsinore hydroelectric plant. The Lake Elsinore Advanced Pumped Storage project, more commonly known as LEAPS, was tossed aside by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission nearly a decade ago in 2011.

Aquafornia news Manteca Bulletin

Lathrop replacing 3,506 residential water meters

New state-of-the-art water meters that will provide accurate, real-time readings of how much water Lathrop’s residential customers use are on the way. The Lathrop City Council approved a consent calendar item that will allow city staff to purchase the remaining 3,506 water meters in the city that have not yet been updated – approving the expenditure of $436,760 and a contingency of $43,676 to modernize the aging system.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco deal offers water and sewer insurance: What homeowners need to know

San Francisco homeowner Carmen Hermida was suspicious when she got a postcard in the mail this month bearing the logo of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission from a private company selling “protection programs” for water and sewer lines on their property.

Aquafornia news E&E News

Trump riffs on modern appliances, and pundits see a pattern

Americans are flushing toilets 10 times, showers aren’t cleaning people like they used to and dishwashers must run five times to be effective. That’s President Trump’s latest twist on environmental messaging as he makes his pitch for a second term. And it’s one that political strategists said is reflective of so many aspects of Trump’s political career.

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

New water recycling projects will help battle Central Coast’s seawater invasion

For decades, California’s coastal aquifers have been plagued by invading seawater, turning pristine wells into salty ruins. But the state’s coastal water agencies now plan to get more aggressive in holding back the invasion by injecting millions of gallons of treated sewage and other purified wastewater deep underground.

Related article:

Aquafornia news The Capistrano Dispatch

San Juan Capistrano City Council approves annexation agreement with Santa Margarita Water District

An annexation agreement between the Santa Margarita Water District and City of San Juan Capistrano was approved by the San Juan Capistrano City Council during a regular council meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 21. The agreement means the city’s water and sewer utility systems will be transferred to the water district.

Aquafornia news Los Altos Town Crier

Opinion: Valley Water partners to expand water supply

Although water purified at the Silicon Valley Advanced Purification Center is not currently part of Santa Clara County’s supply of drinking water, the goal is to make that a reality within the next decade or so.

Aquafornia news Valley Economy

Blog: As water agencies balk at the tunnel’s price tag, DWR turns to a desperate ransom strategy

Since July, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) and State Water Contractors have engaged in fruitless negotiations over how to pay for a single-tunnel Delta Conveyance Facility. On December 23, right before the holidays, DWR made their 6th proposal to the State WaterContractors with a major shift in approach.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

San Joaquin County supervisors blast plans to move Delta tunnel project forward

Response to Wednesday’s action by the California Department of Water Resources to initiate an environmental impact report for a tunnel project in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta was not popular with the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Highland Community News

East Valley Water District purchases additional generators

The East Valley Water District Board of Directors approved the purchase of three new standby generators in order to better enable the district to continue water service should Southern California Edison exercise its new Public Safety Power Shutoff program as a fire safety measure.

Aquafornia news Mountain View Voice

More delays, higher costs as flood protection projects near finish

Construction projects aimed at providing flood protection to thousands of Mountain View properties is over budget and more than a year behind schedule. The Santa Clara Valley Water District’s board of directors signed off on another round of funding in November for $4.7 million, aimed at offsetting cost overruns that ate through most of the project’s contingency fund.

Aquafornia news Natural Resources Defense Council

Blog: California can make lowly water heaters mighty climate tools

In a groundbreaking vote, California has allocated nearly $45 million toward boosting highly efficient electric heat pump technology that can help avoid burning fossil fuels to heat our water, as well as store California’s abundant pollution-free solar energy to give us piping-hot showers when the sun isn’t shining.

Aquafornia news Bakersfield Californian

Opinion: Nuts getting a bad rap for sinking the California Aqueduct

State water officials are blaming almond and pistachio orchards for sinking the California Aqueduct before all the evidence is in, according to one western Kern County water district manager.

Aquafornia news Windsor Times

Larkfield sewer project groundbreaking

On Jan. 11 homeowners, administrators and local officials broke ground on the sewer project for the Larkfield neighborhoods, which had been leveled by the 2017 fires. The project has been a source of conversation and negotiation, as the homes had previously been on individual septic systems.

Aquafornia news Capitol Weekly

Friday Top of the Scroll: State just starting to grapple with climate change

California’s vulnerability to climate change — from deadly fires to sea level rise — has been well documented. But the Legislature’s nonpartisan fiscal adviser says the state, with rare exceptions, has only just begun to assess the risk climate change poses to roads, dams, parks and schools.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

No one injured in blast at water treatment plant in Corona

An explosion rocked a portion of a Corona wastewater treatment facility Friday but no injuries or chemical releases were reported, city officials said in a news release. The cause of the explosion is under investigation by the Corona Fire Department and the Department of Water and Power.

Aquafornia news City Watch LA

Ways to win the water wars

The Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant, located just south of LAX, purifies water and injects it into the ground to act as a barrier between seawater and fresh groundwater. … But the idea is to one day recycle wastewater into drinking water and put it right back into the system. The industry is moving cautiously, though, given what you might call a considerable “ick” factor for the public.

Aquafornia news Sonoma West Times & News

Sebastopol water, sewer rates to rise

In order to provide ongoing funding for Sebastopol’s water and sewer system, the Sebastopol City Council unanimously approved an increase to water and sewer rates at its Jan. 7 meeting. … The average ratepayer’s bill is expected to increase by $3 or $4 per month, according to Mayor Patrick Slayter.

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

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

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

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

Aquafornia news Manteca Bulletin

Digging into levees: Homeless create unique safety issue for those living in Lathrop

Lathrop — like any other community — has a homeless problem. But unlike other communities, the homeless problem could imperil the community. That’s because a number of homeless in the Lathrop area have taken to digging holes into the base of levees designed to hold back the San Joaquin River at high water levels.

Aquafornia news Environmental Defense Fund

Blog: Newsom administration’s Water Resilience Portfolio puts California on course to climate resilience

While Newsom has been forced to address climate change on many fronts during the past year – think wildfires, blackouts and automobile standards – the state’s myriad water challenges must remain a priority. Our state’s water system is decades old and needs to be re-envisioned for a new era.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Some Riverside residents warned to stop outdoor watering while treatment plant repairs take place

The Henry J. Mills Water Treatment Plant will be out of service for nine days and the Western Municipal Water District will not be able to import water, forcing the agency to rely on its reserves, officials said. The work began Friday, Jan. 10, and Metropolitan Water District of Southern California crews will be fixing and modifying the facility until Jan. 19, according to the agency.

Commands