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 Manteca-Ripon Bulletin

Opinion: Of rising oceans, 200-year floods & the California double standard

The California Natural Resources Agency in 2009 and again in 2013 issued reports on existing and anticipated climate change impacts based on peer reviewed science. Assessments from those reports have become part of the foundation as to why the California Legislature has established policies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and therefore the projected impacts of climate change.
-Written by Dennis Wyatt, Columnist for the Bulletin.

Aquafornia news North Bay Bohemian

Filmmaker Emmett Brenner focuses on California water stewardship

On a bright, blustery October day, a day that felt almost like normal fall weather, I had a conversation with filmmaker Emmett Brenner about his latest film, Reflection: A Walk with Water. In the film, Brenner and fellow environmental advocates walk the length of the Los Angeles Aqueduct to raise awareness about the misuses of water in California and the acute effects it’s having on the land.

Aquafornia news Patch, Murrieta, CA

$37M wastewater reclamation project in Murrieta completed

A celebration event held Wednesday commemorated the recent completion of a $37 million, three-year construction project at the Santa Rosa Water Reclamation Facility on Washington Avenue in Murrieta. Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District, Rancho California Water District, and Western Municipal Water District hosted the event. The three agencies are partners with the Santa Rosa Regional Resources Authority, which owns and manages the reclamation facility that serves portions of Murrieta, Temecula, Wildomar, and surrounding communities.

Aquafornia news USA Today

Hackers targeting US water facilities hit California, Maine in 2021

The nation’s top civilian cybersecurity agency issued a warning Thursday about ongoing cyber threats to the U.S. drinking water supply, saying malicious hackers are targeting government water and wastewater treatment systems. Authorities said they wanted to highlight ongoing malicious cyber activity “by both known and unknown actors” targeting the technology and information systems that provide clean, drinkable water and treat the billions of gallons of wastewater created in the U.S. every year.

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Aquafornia news The Sun-Gazette Newspaper

FWA awards contract to begin phase 1 of canal fix

Subsidence by groundwater extraction has all but led to a conveyance failure for parts of the Friant-Kern Canal. After years of vying for funding to fix its most impacted 33-mile stretch, the Friant Water Authority announced they have awarded a contract to Brosamer & Wall/Tutor Perini Joint Venture for phase one of the project. Brosamer & Waller, based in Walnut Creek, was awarded a $177 million contract to perform the construction aspects of the first phase of work to repair the Friant-Kern Canal along the significant stretch.

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Aquafornia news World Economic Forum

New research: Ancient water management techniques inspire current practices

This year witnessed one of the hottest and driest summers in recent history for Western Canada and the American Southwest. The resulting droughts adversely affected food supply and helped send meat prices rising three times faster than inflation. Despite the severity of these droughts, the worst may be yet to come. … [L]essons can also be drawn from low-tech solutions developed by ancient societies that flourished in arid climates.

Aquafornia news Colusa Sun Herald

Gallagher bill to fast-track Paradise sewer and water projects becomes law

Governor Newsom has signed Assembly Bill 36 authored by Assemblyman Gallagher (R-Yuba City) and co-authored by Senator Nielsen (R-Tehama).  The legislation helps fast-track construction of the Paradise Irrigation District (PID) water intertie and the Paradise sewer project, and is supported by the Town of Paradise, the Paradise Irrigation District and the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California. 

Aquafornia news CA Department of Water Resources

Blog: Q&A – Building the tunnel, part 1: Nothing boring about boring technology

There is absolutely nothing boring about a tunnel boring machine (TBM). Today’s TBMs resemble massive subterranean factories, capable of cutting through harder rock and against higher water pressures than ever before. TBMs can now operate in mixed ground conditions and in a host of other environments that would have been impossible as recently as the 1970s and 1980s.

Aquafornia news WaterWorld

California treatment plant expansion to address PFAS in drinking water

Plans to expand a California Domestic Water Company (Cal Domestic) treatment facility have been finalized … The new treatment system will include six ion exchange vessels and piping on a 3.5-acre property on Valley Boulevard in the city of El Monte for the removal of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from the groundwater supply. Currently, PFAS have been prioritized by both State and Federal regulatory agencies to better understand the effects of these chemicals and to reduce the potential risks to public health.

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

Blog: Episode 2 – “Unraveling the knot” Water Movement in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta – Tidal Forces

Tides are the biggest driver of Delta flows, and in Episode 2 we look at their impacts in different locations under a variety of inflow conditions.  Tides have a twice-daily cycle in the region, with a range of about six feet at Martinez.  In the first part of the animation, we remove all in-Delta controls and diversions and fix inflows at a common moderate early summer level to isolate effects of tidal forces from those of inflows, gates, and export diversions.  

Aquafornia news Regional Water Authority

News release: Regional Water Authority receives national WaterSense® Partner of the Year Award for water-efficiency outreach

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today honored the Regional Water Authority (RWA) with the national 2021 WaterSense® Partner of the Year Award for its dedication to helping consumers and businesses save water, even with the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. This is the second WaterSense Award for RWA, which in 2016 earned a WaterSense® Excellence in Education and Outreach Award for its outstanding efforts to educate Sacramento-area residents about water efficiency and the WaterSense brand.

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Aquafornia news San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Opinion: New ballot measures target the right problems

We also learned last week of two new ballot measures for the 2020 ballot … The first proposal would ban collective bargaining for government workers. The second measure would require 2 percent of the state’s general-fund revenue each year to fund water projects until the state amasses an additional 5 million acre-feet of available water supplies.
-Written by Steven Greenhut, Western region director for the R Street Institute and a member of the Southern California News Group editorial board.

Aquafornia news Grist

The Colorado River is drying up. Here’s how that affects Indigenous water rights

Lake Mead is considered full when its stores reach 1,220 feet above sea level or more, but the reservoir is projected to sink to 1,066 feet above sea level by the end of the year, revealing rock that has been submerged since it began filling in the 1930s. With every foot that Lake Mead falls, the basin comes closer to triggering substantial cutbacks for certain water users along the river. … [I]f lake levels continue to decline, future cutbacks could impact the 30 Native American tribes with lands in the basin.

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Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

San Rafael flood risk prompts Canal insurance project

Activists and researchers have teamed up to seek an affordable flood insurance program for residents in the low-lying Canal area of San Rafael. Stephanie McNally of Canal Alliance said she is working on a pilot program with Jeffrey Rhoads of Resilient Shore; Kathleen Schaefer, a researcher for the University of California, Davis; and Stuart Spiegel, interim manager of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. Their idea is in its early stages, and the team has submitted a grant proposal to set up the program and find an insurance funding source.

Aquafornia news The Inquirer (Diablo Valley College)

New study shows California’s water usage is contributing to rise of greenhouse gas emissions

Bay Area environmental research groups Pacific Institute and Next 10 paired up in a webinar on Sept. 28 to discuss a new study focused on water usage, sourcing and the ways that both are impacting greenhouse gas emissions. Colleen Dredell, director of research at the San Francisco-based nonprofit Next 10, emphasized that the goal of the collaborative report, entitled “The Future of California’s Water-Energy-Climate Nexus,” was to come up with solutions that would help California meet its targeted energy and greenhouse gas goals by 2030. Currently, California is not on track to meet these goals.

Aquafornia news Friant Water Authority

News release: Reclamation awards construction contract for first phase of Friant-Kern Canal repairs

Today, the Bureau of Reclamation and Friant Water Authority announces the selection of a construction contractor to begin work on the Friant-Kern Canal Middle Reach Capacity Correction Project. Brosamer & Wall/Tutor Perini Joint Venture, based in Walnut Creek, was awarded a $177 million contract to perform the construction aspects of the first phase of work to repair the Friant-Kern Canal along a portion of the 33-mile stretch. This portion of the canal has lost more than half of its capacity due to subsidence—a sinking of the earth from groundwater extraction. 

Aquafornia news Arizona Mirror

Colorado River drought conditions spur calls for better water infrastructure

Experts in government, agriculture, water management and the environment stressed during a U.S. Senate hearing on Wednesday the danger that droughts fueled by climate change pose in the West, including the Colorado River Basin.  During a hearing before an Energy and Natural Resources Committee panel, witnesses said long-term solutions and an investment in water infrastructure are needed to combat the effects of climate change.

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Aquafornia news San Rafael, CA Patch

Proposed Marin water pipeline capacity scrutinized

If what is already a historic drought goes on much longer, a proposed water pipeline could help Marin avert disaster, but it likely won’t be enough, The Marin Independent Journal reports. The proposed $90 million, 8-mile pipeline that would stretch across the San Francisco Bay across the length of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge could potentially provide as much as 13.5 million gallons of water each day, according to the report.

Aquafornia news Cronkite News - Arizona PBS

Experts: No short-term answers to problem of drought, water shortages

State and federal officials told a Senate panel Wednesday that there may be long-term solutions to the historic drought gripping the West, and the water shortages that come with it, but that the short-term outlook remains grim. The hearing comes against the backdrop of a 20-year-long drought has left about 90% of the West affected. Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., said tree-ring and soil evidence indicates that the region may be going through the worst drought in 1,200 years – certainly the worst in the 100 years or so that records have been kept.

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Aquafornia news Modesto Bee

Ag secretary talks about drought, trade, other Valley topics

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack talked Tuesday about Central Valley farmers’ role in a climate-safe future, and about families stressed by food costs. He took part in a Zoom call with Rep. Josh Harder, D-Turlock, and leaders in California agriculture. Vilsack discussed his department’s response to the current drought and the barriers to exports of dairy foods, nuts, citrus and other products. And he plugged the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill now before Congress. It would improve roads, rail, ports and other modes of transportation, along with rural broadband and water supplies.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Corps of Engineers considers nature-based flood control

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is known for damming rivers and building levees to keep waterways at bay. But a new initiative seeks natural flood control solutions as climate change brings increasingly frequent and severe weather events that test the limits of concrete and steel. … In Northern California near the state capital Sacramento, the Corps built the Yolo Bypass nearly a century ago to divert floodwaters. Its 59,000 acres (24,000 hectares) have also become habitat for native and endangered species, including Chinook salmon and steelhead.

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Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Congress approves $80 million for Sites Reservoir

Congress approved a government funding bill last week that threw $80 million at the Sites Reservoir in California in order to keep the project on track. The project is meant to hold 1.5 million acre-feet of water for the state to be used during droughts for agriculture, community usage and environmental need, said a press release issued Tuesday by the organization behind the Sites Reservoir.

Aquafornia news San Mateo Daily Journal

San Mateo Sunnybrae pipe project requires water runoff

A California Water Service project replacing 4,500 feet of old pipe and the subsequent dechlorination of the new pipes has led to water runoff in the Sunnybrae area of San Mateo, with Cal Water workers noting most runoff inconvenience should be done in a week. 

Aquafornia news Pasadena Now

Pasadena City Council votes unanimously to adopt 25-year water main upgrade plan

The Pasadena City Council on Monday unanimously voted to adopt the 2020 Water System and Resources Plan (WSRP) which creates a 25-year framework for future water related programs and projects in the city. The WSRP, which will be reviewed and updated every five years, recommends implementing a number of projects worth approximately $430 million over the 25 year period, with $130 million anticipated over the first five years. 

Aquafornia news U.S. Department of Energy

News release: DOE announces $8.5 million to increase hydropower flexibility

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a new $8.5 million funding opportunity to improve the operational flexibility of the U.S. hydropower fleet. Under this solicitation, DOE’s Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) will fund up to six awards to advance  hydropower technologies to enhance grid reliability.

Aquafornia news Antelope Valley Press

California City might alter water buys

The [California City] City Council, on Tuesday, discussed the possible benefits and pitfalls of ending its practice of purchasing supplemental water from the Antelope Valley-East Kern Water Agency and relying solely on its own wells for water. Councilmember Kelly Kulikoff requested the discussion, speaking in favor of ending the relationship with the agency which supplies water from the State Water Project.

Aquafornia news The Guardian

Out of thin air: can hydropanels bring water to parched communities?

On the dusty, often unpaved roads that cross the Navajo Nation, pickup trucks hauling water are a common sight. Navajo Nation residents are 67 times more likely than other Americans to lack running water in their homes. But outside more than 500 homes on the Navajo reservation in Arizona and New Mexico are devices that aim to help tackle this plumbing poverty. These “hydropanels” absorb water from the air and deliver it straight to a dispenser inside the house. Each one produces around five liters (1 gallon) daily … 

Aquafornia news Fortune

Opinion: Big Tech needs to tackle its water addiction

Skeptics (including me) assembled when Facebook, Google and Microsoft made respective pledges to replenish more water than they use within the next fifteen years. The main reason: private companies are beholden to shareholders, boards, bottom lines, and customers–not pledges. …For context, Google accessed 2.3 billion gallons of water for use in three America-based data centers (out of 21 data centers in operation total) in 2019 alone. Facebook withdrew roughly 3.7 million cubic meters of water in 2020, with the majority of that water applied to cooling data centers and being lost to evaporation.
-Written by David Lynch, CEO of Klir, headquartered in Reno, Nevada.

Aquafornia news Stanford News

Blog: New climate risk disclosure recommendations explained

What are the climate risks to California’s state spending? Alicia Seiger: Every sector of the economy will be impacted by climate change, but the industries with the greatest exposure overlap a lot with state spending, like infrastructure. Construction projects near the coast can be delayed by flooding amid rising sea levels. Should those projects be moved inland? Are there alternative solutions to the same infrastructure need? If not, do the state’s counterparties have the ability to manage the costs of potential delays or rebuilds? 

Aquafornia news NBC Bay Area

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: East Bay MUD begins drawing water from Sacramento River as part of drought response

As drought conditions persist statewide, officials with the East Bay Municipal Utility District said on Monday the agency has begun tapping into water from the Sacramento River to boost local supplies. EBMUD, which delivers water to some 1.4 million people across Alameda and Contra Costa counties, typically draws from the Mokelumne River for its water supply. The agency said the latest move is part of its drought response.

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Aquafornia news Press Democrat

Lake Mendocino level now about 75% of what water managers had hoped

The storage level in Lake Mendocino was on pace to drop below 15,000 acre feet on Saturday, meaning a quarter of the supply water managers had hoped to keep in store by Oct. 1 already has been released. The rapid shrinkage of the reservoir after two years of historic drought raises unsettling questions about the future for a range of consumers along the upper Russian River, whose supplies already are heavily restricted.

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Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Fresno reverses course on lawsuit over Friant-Kern Canal

The Fresno City Council voted Thursday to drop its lawsuit against Friant Water Authority. The council voted 5-1 to drop the suit, filed earlier this month in Fresno County Superior Court. Councilmember Garry Bredefeld cast the lone “no” vote, and Councilmember Mike Karbassi was absent. The council previously voted to sue the water authority so Fresno water ratepayers wouldn’t be on the hook to pay for repairs to the Friant-Kern Canal needed because Tulare County farmers pumped too much groundwater, causing subsidence.

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Aquafornia news Good Times Santa Cruz

New bill will help fund Pajaro River levee project

A new bill authored by state Sen. John Laird and Assemblymember Robert Rivas will fund all of the state’s share of the design and construction phase of the Pajaro River Flood Risk Management Project, which will help move forward the long-awaited work. SB 496 directs the Department of Water Resources to pay 100% of the State’s cost-share for reconstruction—a total of $140 million—of the Pajaro River Flood Risk Management Project. Gov. Newsom signed the bill on Sept. 24. 

Aquafornia news North Coast Journal

‘A moment of opportunity’

A multi-county, regional coalition of organizations bidding to take over Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s Potter Valley Project didn’t get what it was asking for, but some believe that may be a good thing for the Eel River and the fish that depend on it. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Sept. 23 rejected a request from the Two Basin Partnership [a group of stakeholders]… that sought more time to form a singular entity to take over the project from PG&E with an operating agreement that would benefit both Eel River and Russian River basin interests.

Aquafornia news Sacramento News & Review

Opinion: The window dressing of environmental justice in the state’s Delta tunnel planning

If the California Department of Water Resources says it, it must be official: “Most of the Delta qualifies as an environmental justice community,” said DWR environmental program manager Carrie Buckman at a recent Delta Conveyance Project Environmental Justice webinar. It was a welcome statement of a fact that Restore the Delta documented five years ago.  The event was sponsored by the DWR and was the last of four such webinars this summer. More than 100 people attended mid-program, and there were still about 75 by the start of the Q&A portion of the agenda ninety minutes in.
-Written by Tim Stroshane, Restore the Delta’s policy analyst.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Congress passes funding bill, aid for California wildfires, drought

Congress passed a government funding bill in a down-to-the-wire vote on Thursday in the face of a looming shutdown. The continuing resolution bill, a short-term spending resolution that will keep the government funded through early December, delegates $28.6 billion to disaster relief efforts, including for wildfire prevention and response and the consequences of drought. Here’s some of what the bill addresses on wildfires and drought.

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Aquafornia news Pasadena Now

Planning guide for future water-related projects green lighted by Pasadena city committee

Pasadena’s Municipal Services Committee unanimously approved a 25-year planning guide for future water-related programs and projects in the city during its Tuesday meeting. The plan’s objective is to ensure the provision by the city of high quality and affordable water services to the public. The 2020 Water System and Resources Plan (WRSP), developed by the Pasadena Water and Power Department, (PWP) provides the City with a framework to evaluate future water supply programs and infrastructure investment.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

Humboldt Bay Symposium focuses on sea-level rise, adaptation

Researchers and environmental scientists from across the nation kicked off the 2021 Humboldt Bay Symposium on Tuesday. … Tom Suchanek, marine ecologist at the University of California, Davis, … predicted that much of the West Coast would experience nearly one foot of sea-level rise in the next 10 years and approximately two feet by 2050. By 2100, he predicted California would see a five-foot rise.

Aquafornia news WaterNow Alliance

Blog: New report recommends financing and policy pathways for full scale adoption of localized water infrastructure

It is no secret that in order to tackle its ongoing and future water challenges spanning drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater systems, the nation needs to significantly increase its investments in water infrastructure and management solutions. Facing ever-increasing stressors on water systems—aging infrastructure, drought, flooding, contaminated runoff—communities are looking for ways to build sustainability, create resilience to climate change, protect water quality, and equitably secure local water supplies for everyone.

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Aquafornia news Northern California Water Association

Blog: Advancing ridgetop to river mouth water management in the state budget

The first year of the 2021-22 legislative session recently concluded and the Legislature and the Governor took significant action on various elements to support and provide robust funding for Ridgetop to river mouth water management, including the immense benefits of Healthy Forests, Reactivating Floodplains, Sustainable Groundwater Management, Vital Rivers and Streams, and Healthy Soils and Farms, and Safe Drinking Water.

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Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

State amps up funding commitment to rebuild Pajaro River levees

The State Department of Water Resources will bolster funding the long-anticipated Pajaro River levee system rebuild after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 496 on Friday — a move critical in protecting residents from frequent floods, officials say. The levees — built in 1949 — haven’t stacked up to heavy rainfall events. For Pajaro Valley residents and farmers it’s been a decades-long saga of evacuations, property damage, and safety risks. In 1995 the river flooded, killing two people, and leaving more than $95 million in damages in its wake. 

Aquafornia news The Guardian

Almost half a million US households lack indoor plumbing: ‘The conditions are inhumane’

Almost half a million American households lack basic indoor plumbing, with renters and people of color in some of the country’s wealthiest and fastest growing cities most likely to be living without running water or flushing toilets, new research reveals….The full analysis…reveals how so-called plumbing poverty has gotten markedly worse in San Francisco and Portland – two booming ostensibly progressive West Coast tech hubs with a growing wealth gap and homelessness crisis.

Aquafornia news MSN

Pelosi says infrastructure bill will pass this week — but hedges on timing

The House last month voted for a Sept. 27 deadline to bring the bipartisan infrastructure plan to the floor. On Sunday, Pelosi didn’t specify when this week it would be voted on. … Along with the infrastructure bill, Democratic leadership is also hoping to push through the $3.5 trillion social spending package this week, in part to retain the support of progressives who might otherwise not vote for the infrastructure bill.

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Aquafornia news Arizona Capitol Times

Importing water for drought fix a huge project

Importing muddy water from the Mississippi River to save Arizona from drought could be as simple as landing a man on the moon. As droughts force local communities to find alternative solutions to water shortages, Arizonans could turn to importing flood water in the future. An interstate pipeline would be a lengthy project in terms of time and effort that in a race against time isn’t an immediate answer, rather a commitment that would test the resolve of the state Legislature and Arizonans. 

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Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Editorial: Southern California has a water shortage emergency too

So Southern Californians didn’t decrease their water usage in July, despite Gov. Gavin Newsom’s request for a voluntary 15% cutback? Well, of course not. The dusty lake beds, the dry spigots, the serious water-use cutback orders and the most frightening wildfires (so far, anyway) have been in Northern California, and that’s where Newsom focused his most dire warnings.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Ever wonder where your drinking water comes from? A reader asked and we answer

Why doesn’t L.A. pump its underground water up, process it to remove the impurities and distribute it locally in the L.A. area? The answer: L.A. does pump and use local groundwater — but other water sources are important for replenishing the supply. Until the first half of the 20th century, some areas in Los Angeles County had very high groundwater and springs that residents could use as a water source, said Madelyn Glickfeld, co-director of the UCLA Water Resources Group.

Aquafornia news Newsweek

California Mojave Desert town of 1,700 people could be left dry in water war

Trona, a town in California’s Mojave Desert, is at risk of being left dry amid an ongoing water war that erupted after legislation was passed in 2016 to sustain groundwater sources. The town, which lacks its own clean source of water, has been getting its water from wells located 30 miles away in the Indian Wells Valley for decades, The Los Angeles Times reported. The water is delivered through two pipelines to Searles Valley Minerals, a mining company that uses the water to produce soda ash, boron, and salt. 

Aquafornia news ABC7 San Francisco

Valley Water hopes plan to expand wastewater purification can lead Santa Clara County out of drought

Could wastewater be the solution to our drought problems? Valley Water thinks so and they are doubling down on it by expanding their North San Jose advanced water purification center and planning on building a new plant in Los Atos to produce millions of gallons of purified drinking water. In the heart of Silicon Valley, Valley Water is technology to lead the county out of the drought.

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Aquafornia news Orange County Water District

News release: Orange County Water District partners on historic water storage program

The Orange County Water District (OCWD, the District) and regional water agencies worked together with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) to reach a historic agreement, the Santa Ana River Conservation and Conjunctive Use Program (SARCCUP), to better prepare the region for future droughts and promote water use efficiency in Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties—an area serving millions of customers.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Monterey Peninsula water officials reach agreement on Cal Am water purchase

Key staff from three water organizations along the Monterey Peninsula have apparently reached an agreement on a deal that will send hundreds of acre-feet of new water to California American Water Co. for distribution up and down the Peninsula. Monterey One Water, the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District and Cal Am reached an agreement at a joint meeting Wednesday whereby Cal Am agreed to purchase water from Monterey One’s Pure Water Monterey expansion project.

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Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

San Diego looks for partner to build $1.5B San Vicente hydro energy project

The project is on the drawing board. Now the San Diego County Water Authority and the city of San Diego are looking for a private partner to build and operate a pumped energy storage facility at the San Vicente Reservoir. The Water Authority and the city have issued a request for proposal to find a suitable team to develop one of the state’s largest “pumped hydro” projects that would add megawattage and flexibility to California’s electric grid. Proposals from potential partners will remain open until Nov. 3.

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Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

During drought, massive rock wall spanning Delta channel wards off the salty sea

The creeks are desert-dry, the reservoirs are frighteningly low, and now 150,000 tons of rock have been dumped into the Delta. During a typical summer, carefully coordinated releases from upstream dams help keep saltwater from intruding too far into the interior Delta, where it could threaten the state’s water supply. But this is not a typical year, and by early May state water managers realized they wouldn’t have enough storage to maintain the standard hydraulic salinity barrier. So they resorted to rocks instead. 

Aquafornia news KBAK - Bakersfield

State allocates $50M to fund water conservation projects in agricultural centered areas

Today local lawmakers toured the Kern Water Bank to see drought impact firsthand. $50 million from the state budget is going to fund Assembly Bill 252, which calls for land repurposing all to focus on the drought and getting water flow back to where it matters. … Farmers are faced with the harsh reality of choosing to grow a crop on land that may not have enough water to maintain it or keeping up fallow land that will sit empty for the crop season.

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Aquafornia news ASU News

Simulating a sustainable future of water, energy and food in Phoenix

Phoenix is a rapidly growing metropolitan area in a desert. As the population increases, it will be more and more challenging to supply water, food and energy — three essential resources that are interconnected in complex and competing ways.

Aquafornia news NPR

Book review: The complex and surprising history of humanity and water

NPR’s Ari Shapiro speaks with author Giulio Boccaletti about his new book Water: A Biography, which takes readers through the complex and surprising history of humanity and water. What is the one thing that has shaped the course of human civilization more than any other? Well, according to the author Giulio Boccaletti, the answer is water. The title of his new book is “Water: A Biography.” It travels over centuries, across continents to show how humans have built their lives around this fickle, precious resource.

Aquafornia news Malibu Times

New climate change problems predicted for coastal cities

California Coastal Commission staff presented two important items regarding sea level rise in coastal cities like Malibu at the commission’s September meeting last week. The commission is urging local communities to get proactive in planning how they are going to deal with sea level rise and adapt to its effects on infrastructure like roads, wastewater systems and stormwater drainage. Some of these changes and the funding for them need to be planned out years in advance.

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Aquafornia news Water Forum

Blog: Drought report offers sobering assessment and call to action

The Water Forum has been working closely with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to coordinate a response to drought conditions and reduce impacts to regional water supplies and the health of the Lower American River. We recently welcomed Kristin White, Operations Manager for Reclamation’s Central Valley Project, to provide an update on drought conditions in California and across the Western United States at the Water Forum Drought Plenary. What she shared was both stark and sobering. It was a glimpse into the problems facing federal and state water managers during this extraordinarily challenging water year.

Aquafornia news SJV Sun

Fresno votes to fight share of Friant-Kern Canal repairs, possibly jeopardize water supply

Following months of hydrologic saber-rattling, Fresno lawmakers voted 4-2 to sue Friant Water Authority over a request for payment to fund repairs to the Friant-Kern Canal in the south Valley. The legal brinkmanship, which centers on a relatively small sum – roughly $2.5 million, could have far-reaching consequences by putting the water supply of California’s fifth-largest city in jeopardy. During Thursday’s Fresno City Council meeting, Fresno City Attorney Doug Sloan announced the body voted to approve litigation seeking declaratory relief from the cost-sharing measure proposal to fund subsidence repairs.

Aquafornia news County of Sonoma

News release: Two-basin partnership requests more time to address regional water crisis

The Two-Basin Partnership, comprised of California Trout, the County of Humboldt, the Mendocino County Inland Water & Power Commission, the Round Valley Indian Tribes, and Sonoma County Water Agency, on September 2 asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to allow additional time to re-evaluate the proposed plan to take over the Potter Valley Hydroelectric Project (Project).  The Partnership specifically requested that the time delay continue until May 31, 2022, at which time the Partnership will provide further notice regarding its plans.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Opinion: Dangers of pulling more water from Central Valley are obvious

For the Marin Municipal Water District directors to suggest we build a $65 million pipeline across the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge to harvest water from the Central Valley tells me they are walking around with blinders on. We can’t keep expecting to get water from somewhere else. You don’t have to go far to see the impacts of the drought in the Central Valley. The water is so low at Lake Oroville, the hydro plant may have to close.
-Written by independent filmmaker Kristi Denton Cohen, a Mill Valley resident. 

Aquafornia news U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

News release: Reclamation announces Notice of Funding Opportunity for agricultural water conservation and efficiency projects

The Bureau of Reclamation is collaborating with Natural Resources Conservation Service to make federal funding available to improve the efficiency of agricultural water use throughout California. The projects funded through this partnership will help communities build resilience to drought through the modernization of water infrastructure and efficient use of water resources.

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Aquafornia news Village News

Opinion: California lawmakers waste water

Here we go again. We are being told California water supplies are at risk and we need to start using less water under threat of more mandatory water use restrictions. In 2019, we had one of the wettest years on record. At the end of the 2019 water year, major water storage reservoirs in California were at 125% of average capacity. That was just two years ago. In 2019, California had enough rainfall and snow pack to satisfy several years of water supply demands if we had dams and reservoirs of sufficient capacity to capture this life-giving resource.
-Written by Steven Smith, Village News contributor.

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Aquafornia news ABC7 San Francisco

California drought: Marin County’s reservoirs dip to just 36% capacity

With 88% of California in extreme or exceptional drought conditions, counties across the Bay Area are preparing for what could be several more dry years to come. The Bay Area Council hosted a panel Thursday to discuss the current conditions, and solutions. … Reservoirs across the Bay Area, which supply water for millions of residents, are increasingly depleting. In Marin County, images of the Nicasio Reservoir show it shockingly low.

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Aquafornia news Foothills Sun-Gazette

Assembly ends SB 559 hopes this year

The Valley’s best hope to renovate its water infrastructure has been put on the shelf for now. Senate Bill (SB) 559, the State Water Resiliency Act of 2021, was moved to the state Assembly’s “inactive file” on Sept. 8. … As written SB 559 offered a holisitic, statewide approach to help restore the conveyance capacity by created a fund to provide up to $785 million to repair key parts of the state’s water infrastructure.

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Aquafornia news Spectrum News 1

Kern County farmers say water infrastructure is needed

On Aug. 3, the State Water Resources Control Board completely eliminated 2021’s surface water supplies for farms in much of the state. It has impacted farmers like John Moore III, who grows pistachios at Moore Farms in Arvin. … While California is prone to drought, the last reservoir in the state was completed in the 1980s. The state’s population has grown tremendously since then. Moore says the state wouldn’t be in this situation if more infrastructure was built.

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Aquafornia news Nature Climate Change

Opinion: Climate change and the future of western US water governance

Water management in the western United States is rooted in an adversarial system that is highly sensitive to climate change. Reforms are needed to ensure water management is efficient, resilient and equitable moving forward.
-Written by Dylan R. Hedden-Nicely, Associate Professor of Law and Director, Native American Law Program, University of Idaho College of Law.

Aquafornia news Water Finance & Management

Bay Area district launches strategic sewer system improvement project

The Oro Loma Sanitary District Board of Directors recently approved low-cost financing to replace old sewer collection system infrastructure serving its customers and communities while protecting the environment. With this financing, the Board maintains its 10-Year Strategic Plan and implements priorities to maintain its infrastructure in a pro-active manner to avoid any impacts to customer service.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Hauling out mud and toppled trees, estimated $4 million in Stern Grove flood repairs starts this week

When 700,000 gallons of water from a broken pipe valve flooded into Stern Grove, the onrush pushed the dirt from beneath 50 or so eucalyptus trees, seriously weakening the hillside they had anchored. The next day, Stern Grove Festival’s executive director, Bob Fiedler, stepped into 4 feet of fresh mud and his mind shifted from the prospect of canceling the finale concert of the 2021 series to whether the 2022 season could happen.

Aquafornia news Popular Science

Google and Facebook want to cut down their water use

Corporate America is making a new kind of climate pledge. In recent months, multiple tech giants have pledged to use their reach and resources to join the fight for water conservation. Facebook made an announcement at the end of August declaring their efforts to “be water positive by 2030.” And just this week, Google made a similar announcement to make its data centers more efficient and support water security in the communities it operates in. 

Aquafornia news Las Vegas Review-Journal

Infrastructure bill includes billions for Western water projects

A $1 trillion infrastructure bill that received bipartisan support in the Senate last month includes billions of dollars for Western water projects and programs. The Biden administration has called the infrastructure bill, which includes $8.3 billion for Western water infrastructure, “the largest investment in the resilience of physical and natural systems in American history.” Of the $8.3 billion dedicated to Western water, $450 million is set aside for a competitive grant program to fund large-scale projects that advance water recycling….That program could help pay for a massive recycling project in California that would leave Nevada with access to more water in Lake Mead.

Aquafornia news Mercury News

Opinion: Protect Bay Area shorelines for future generations

It’s clear the climate crisis is washing away an integral piece of our California life. Sea level rise, coastal flooding and erosion pose major threats to our state — where nearly 85% of people live and work in coastal counties such as San Francisco. Left unchecked, the climate crisis jeopardizes our health, homes, safety and economy. In San Francisco alone, for example, sea levels are projected to rise up to 55 inches by the end of the century. This increase could put nearly half a million people at risk of flooding and threaten $100 billion in property and infrastructure.
-Written by Amelia Fortgang, chair of the Bay Area Youth Climate Summit, a Youth Leadership Council member at EarthEcho, and a senior at Lick-Wilmerding High School. 

Aquafornia news U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

News release: Reclamation selects Levi Johnson for Central Valley Operations Deputy Manager

The Bureau of Reclamation’s California Great-Basin Region announces the selection of Levi Johnson as the Deputy Manager for the Central Valley Operations Office. CVO oversees water and power operations of Reclamation’s Central Valley Project, one of the world’s largest and most complex water storage and delivery systems. The CVP comprises 19 dams, 18 reservoirs, 11 powerplants, and over 500 miles of canals and aqueducts within California’s Central Valley.

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

Opinion: Lakes Powell and Mead may never recover

This whole reservoir system along the Colorado River Basin was designed to get us through the drought years. Why isn’t it working? A glimpse into the history of the system, how it was designed and the impacts of climate change sheds light on why it was destined to fail — and why it may never recover.

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Aquafornia news The Verge

Google sets new water goals as droughts worsen

With drought sucking the Western US dry, Google announced new plans to protect vital water resources. Google guzzles up water to cool its data centers, three of which are in the drought-stricken West. To offset its thirst, the company said that by 2030, it wants to replenish 120 percent of the water it consumes. … The company has faced pushback from communities near its data center in South Carolina and a new one to be built in Arizona. 

Aquafornia news Pleasanton Weekly

Pleasanton council approves water rate hikes for PFAS treatment funding plan

Pleasanton water ratepayers can expect a bigger water bill in the future after the Pleasanton City Council unanimously approved a funding plan for final design of the city’s per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) treatment and wells rehabilitation project on Tuesday. … City officials are currently proceeding with the estimated $46 million project’s final design to address the detection of PFAS — synthetic chemicals found in common household items like paint and known to be harmful to humans — in the city’s wells. 

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

How to save southern part of S.F.’s Ocean Beach – less roadway and a lot more sand

For the past two weeks, a 375-foot dredge ship has been cruising off the coast of San Francisco, ferrying thousands of tons of sand from the seafloor to Ocean Beach and marking the city’s latest effort to confront climate change. The ambitious $7 million project is designed to anchor the city’s rapidly eroding southern shoreline with a 3,000-foot-long, 30-foot-tall sand berm. … Roads, underground infrastructure and a major city wastewater treatment plant are at risk of being swallowed by the sea.

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Aquafornia news Sacramento Bee

Friday Top of the Scroll: California lawmakers shelve plan to fix state’s water supply canals

The major arteries of California’s water-delivery system are crumbling, but a proposal in the state Legislature to spend $785 million fixing them is dead for the year. The legislation, SB 559 was pulled off the table this week by its chief author, state Sen. Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger), after an Assembly committee stripped the funding and made other changes to the legislation. Hurtado’s decision turns SB 559 into a two-year bill that could be revived next year.

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Aquafornia news Treehugger

Is American hydropower in jeopardy?

The visible signs of America’s lingering drought are obvious at reservoirs across the American West. Drive from Las Vegas and step out of your car at Hoover Dam and Lake Mead in Nevada or peek out at Lake Powell on the Arizona-Utah border, and you’ll see the stone-stained “bathtub rings” indicating the high-water marks of better times. … [A]s water levels drop, the unseen effect of these drastic reservoir declines is that hydroelectric power is decreasing. 

Aquafornia news Storm Water Solutions

LAX benefits from storm water management efforts

The initial phase of a $5.5 billion transportation improvement initiative at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) showcases Oldcastle Infrastructure’s storm water management products. Key to the sustainability and effectiveness of Intermodal Transportation Facility-West, a new parking structure deemed the face of LAX, is the Oldcastle Infrastructure StormCapture detention system. This system and accompanying products provided an efficient on-site solution to facilitate storm water drainage and treatment.

Aquafornia news High Country News

‘Deadbeat dams’ and their impact on cold-water ecosystems

As drought-stricken California considers constructing new dams, a new study finds that many of the state’s existing structures— despite efforts to prioritize healthy water temperatures— are failing the cold-water ecosystems that depend on them. The study, published in PLOS One, crunched data from 77 cold-water streams across California to characterize their “thermal regime” — that is, their annual temperature fluctuations over an eight- to 12-year period. 

Aquafornia news American Society of Civil Engineers

Blog: Desalination offers great promise, requires further research, panelists say

With much of California and other western U.S. states experiencing significant drought, the need to pursue further advancements in desalination has never been greater. This was a central theme of an Aug. 11 webinar, titled “Discussion on Desalination — Treatments, Research, and the Future,” conducted by the WateReuse Association. Historically, desalination has been viewed as a separate component within the water sector, but that perception is changing, said Peter Fiske, Ph.D., the executive director for the National Alliance for Water Innovation and one of three presenters featured during the webinar. 

Aquafornia news KJZZ

Projects on Colorado keep coming despite shortage

The Bureau of Reclamation recently declared a water shortage on the Colorado River, but that hasn’t stopped states from proposing new water projects. Just about every drop on the Colorado River is accounted for. But climate change has reduced the amount of water in the system. Gary Wockner is with Save the Colorado, a conservation group that is tracking new projects.

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Aquafornia news CNN

Telosa: Plans for $400-billion new city in the U.S. desert unveiled

The cleanliness of Tokyo, the diversity of New York and the social services of Stockholm: Billionaire Marc Lore has outlined his vision for a 5-million-person “new city in America” and appointed a world-famous architect to design it. Now, he just needs somewhere to build it — and $400 billion in funding. The former Walmart executive last week unveiled plans for Telosa, a sustainable metropolis that he hopes to create, from scratch, in the American desert. The ambitious 150,000-acre proposal promises eco-friendly architecture, sustainable energy production and a purportedly drought-resistant water system. 

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

S.F. to pay $600 million to keep low-lying neighborhoods from flooding. It will probably take seven years

San Francisco has pledged to invest another $600 million into the city’s sewer system in an effort to prevent chronic flooding in low-lying areas as part of an agreement with state water quality officials. The San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board announced the tentative pact, which was negotiated with city officials but needs final approval from the Board of Supervisors and Mayor London Breed. The city’s Public Utilities Commission has recommended approval.

Aquafornia news The Press

Antioch launches the region’s first water desalination project

The city of Antioch’s water supply has been challenged in recent years by a variety of factors. But the Brackish Water Desalination Project, the first desalination project of its kind in the five-county Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta region, is intended to improve the reliability of the city’s water. The city filed its notice of preparation for the project just over four years ago and then broke ground on the plant in February of this year.

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Aquafornia news Porterville Recorder

Initiative would allocate two percent of state budget to water

There have been all kinds of efforts and money allocated to trying to solve California’s water woes. Now an organization states it has the solution — the 2 percent solution. In what it’s calling the 2 percent solution More Water Now is working to place an initiative on the November 2022 ballot that would require 2 percent of the state budget to be allocated to the state’s water resources. If placed on the ballot and approved the water abundance ballot initiative would set aside 2 percent of the state budget to water.

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Aquafornia news U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

News release: Reclamation awards $3.1 million in grants to develop water data, modeling and forecasting tools and information for water managers

The Bureau of Reclamation selected 20 projects to share $3.1 million in applied science grants to develop tools and information to support water management decisions. These projects in 11 western states include improved water data, modeling and forecasting capabilities.

Aquafornia news U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

News release: Public Notice – Delta Cross Channel gates to close weekdays after Labor Day

Until further notice, the Bureau of Reclamation plans to close the Delta Cross Channel gates during weekdays, beginning Tuesday, September 7 at 10 a.m. The gates are expected to reopen Fridays around 10 a.m. to facilitate weekend recreation and close on Mondays around 10 a.m. Opening or closing gates can be made on short notice and boaters are advised to check the status of the gates, especially around holidays. The process takes about one hour.

Aquafornia news Mercury News

Opinion: Why California needs to build Sites Reservoir project

As reservoirs across California meet historic lows, we are again faced with the reality of not enough water for the environment, farms and people. … As our climate continues to change, we can expect more of the same, and possibly worse if we don’t make some meaningful changes to how we manage water in California. We need to advance water recycling projects, increase conservation and develop more capacity to store water. One key part of the solution is the construction of Sites Reservoir.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Editorial: Creek work in Ross key to county’s flood plan

More than 50 years and millions of dollars of damage later — and after spending hundreds of thousands more on studies and plans — Marin County and the town of Ross are moving forward on improving flood protection along Corte Madera Creek. The two have reached a consensus on a $14 million plan that is headed to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for its approval and funding. For too long, reaching a constructive consensus seemed an erstwhile political exercise. 

Aquafornia news Porterville Recorder

Friant-Kern Canal repairs scheduled to begin in November

The first phase of much-needed repairs of the Friant-Kern Canal is set to begin late this fall. It was reported at Tuesday’s Tulare County Board of Supervisors meeting construction on the first phase of the project is set to begin in November. As part the process to move the project along the board unanimously approved a Memorandum of Understanding for the project to move forward.

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Aquafornia news CBS San Francisco

Marin Water District revisiting possible water pipeline over Richmond-San Rafael Bridge

A pipeline stretching all the way across the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge could partly address the water shortage. It hasn’t been fully approved, but millions of dollars are being spent to see if it could be a viable solution. Nearly 200,000 Marin County residents rely on the Mount Tamalpais watershed for drinking water and other needs. But lack of rainfall for years, and maybe many more, is drying up its reservoirs.

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Aquafornia news American Society of Civil Engineers

Private entity sought to develop San Diego pumped-storage energy facility

As part of its recently enacted budget for 2021-22, California included funding to help foster the development of one such storage method, known as pumped-storage hydropower. In particular, the budget provided $18 million to the city of San Diego and the San Diego County Water Authority for use in advancing their planned joint project known as the San Vicente Energy Storage Facility. The funding will enable the two entities to issue a request for proposals in September for a private partner willing to develop the project at its own expense.

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Aquafornia news AgNet West

Hopes that dry year will prompt action on water management and storage

There is hope that the unfortunate conditions of California’s water supply this year will prompt decisive action on water management and storage. President and CEO of Western Growers, Dave Puglia noted that his conversations with growers have been disheartening. There is significant concern that if California gets another dry year, many farmers will not be able to recover. The dire circumstances of the current water year underscore the imperative need for an updated approach to water management.

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Aquafornia news The Associated Press

California moves slowly on water projects amid drought

In 2014, in the middle of a severe drought that would test California’s complex water storage system like never before, voters told the state to borrow $7.5 billion and use part of it to build projects to stockpile more water. Seven years later, that drought has come and gone, replaced by an even hotter and drier one that is draining the state’s reservoirs at an alarming rate. But none of the more than half-dozen water storage projects scheduled to receive that money have been built.

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Aquafornia news SJV Sun

Faulconer gets briefed on Calif. drought – “a human crisis by design”

The San Joaquin Valley is quickly become home to another ignominious superlative: greatest number of water outages per community. The state’s ever-worsening drought conditions are pushing Valley communities to the brink on the precipice of a statewide recall election. As the Sept. 14 election nears, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer returned to the San Joaquin Valley on Friday for a briefing with members of the Latino Water Coalition, Fresno County Supervisors, and an assemblage of some of the top water experts in the region.

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Aquafornia news Bakersfield Californian

Editorial: Wake-up call – California’s water is running out

Mandatory limits on water use are likely to be imposed in the near future on California residents, businesses and farms. Get ready. You can’t change the weather, which has deprived the state of its necessary rain and snowfall. But you can change your response. After examining the state’s shockingly low reservoirs, Gov. Gavin Newsom told reporters recently that a statewide limit on water use may be needed to head off a supply crisis caused by California’s historic drought, which continues to worsen.

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Aquafornia news Sierra Club

Blog: Help California’s drought by preparing to collect rainwater this winter

One fifth of electrical output in California is consumed by pumping and processing water. By collecting rainwater, we can reduce our carbon footprint, conserve California’s water resources, and decrease our water bill. … In Bermuda, every residence is required by law to have and maintain a cistern capable of storing enough rainwater to sustain a family of four for a year. The states of New South Wales and Victoria in Australia require all new construction to be plumbed for rainwater catchment and grey water recycling. As of 2017, 26 percent of the homes in Australia capture rainwater. 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Opinion: A pipeline to the Mississippi? Silly as the recall

The award for dumbest idea of the recall election goes to the rookie Democrat who proposed building a water pipeline from California to the Mississippi River. It’s nutty economically and politically. … The wacky proposal seems emblematic of the nonsensical recall effort itself — the notion of wasting $276 million in tax money on a special election because opportunistic Republicans want to oust the Democratic governor one year before his term expires and he must run for reelection anyway.
-Written by George Skelton, LA Times columnist.

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Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

A water pipeline to the Mississippi River? Democrat stirs up recall debate with unusual ideas

There was an unusual twist at Wednesday’s gubernatorial recall debate in Sacramento: A Democrat participated for the first time. And that Democrat, 29-year-old millionaire Ventura County real estate investor Kevin Paffrath, jump-started the hour-long debate with some unusual ideas. Paffrath, who has never held elective office, proposed to solve California’s water shortages by building a pipeline to the Mississippi River…. As California falls deeper into an extraordinary drought, all three GOP candidates threw shade on Newsom approach of encouraging conservation. It was one of their most detailed debate exchanges about water policy to date, yet yielded few ideas for immediate action.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Pipe bursts in East Bay, spilling 12,500 gallons of raw sewage

A collapsed underground pipe leaked at least 12,500 gallons of raw sewage into Martinez storm drains and residents are being cautioned to avoid surface water in the area, authorities said. The leak, first noticed on Monday by oil refinery workers, was blamed on the deterioration of a municipal sewer line just south of the PBF oil refinery, formerly known as the Shell refinery.

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

Announcement: Explore California’s vital water hub during Sept. 9 virtual journey

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the largest estuary on the West Coast, is a vital hub in California’s complex water delivery system as well as a rich farming region, an important wetlands area – and often, a source of conflict. Join us for an engaging online journey on Sept. 9 to go deep into the Delta and its 720,000-acre network of islands and canals that supports the state’s two large water systems - the State Water Project and the federal Central Valley Project.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

S.F.’s Stern Grove Festival finale canceled after water main break causes ‘catastrophic’ damage

San Francisco’s Stern Grove will remain closed at its east end “until further notice,” the city’s Recreation and Park Department said, because of a ruptured water main on Sloat Boulevard. As a result of flooding, Sunday’s series finale for the 84th annual Stern Grove Festival has been canceled. The free concert, featuring the always popular Oakland funk band Tower of Power and the rapper Too Short, will not be rescheduled.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Democrat recall candidate Kevin Paffrath wants filter systems

In his first debate, the top-polling Democrat running in the recall, Kevin Paffrath, called for filtration systems in California buildings to protect against COVID-19 and proposed a pipeline to the Mississippi River to address California’s drought. Paffrath, who has made his name providing financial advice on YouTube, argued that vaccine mandate decisions should be left to individual businesses and schools, and promised to protect Californians from COVID-19 by increasing availability of N95 masks and HEPA filtration in schools and buildings.

Aquafornia news NPR

Residential developments and the risk of rising sea levels

NPR climate correspondent Lauren Sommer talks with Emily about a dilemma facing many local governments now. Should they develop in areas vulnerable to rising sea levels? On today’s episode, we look at Sunnyvale, California, in the San Francisco Bay Area. It’s a situation complicated by a landowner that really wants to continue expanding there, Google. In an episode last week, we asked who should be paying for climate change — taxpayers or private landowners with waterfront property?

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Editorial: Recall candidates have shallow takes on California’s water problems

California is suffering from extremely dry conditions, so it stands to reason that the candidates trying to oust and replace Gov. Gavin Newsom have latched onto persistent but extremely shallow and woefully outdated claims about the management of the state’s water supply.

Aquafornia news Gizmodo

California approves 5 temporary gas plants as drought cripples hydropower

Wildfires and declining water levels at reservoirs have threatened California’s power supply at various points this summer. Desperate to avoid blackouts amid the compounding crisis, California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom is eyeing the construction of five “temporary” gas-fueled plants in the coming months. According to Bloomberg, California’s Energy Commission approved licenses for the emergency gas generators on Tuesday for up to five years, each of which reportedly has an individual capacity to generate 30 megawatts of energy.

Aquafornia news E&E News

As the West bakes, Utah forges ahead with water pipeline

As drought and climate change strangle the Colorado River, a small county in Utah nevertheless continues forging ahead with a billion-dollar pipeline to suck more water from it to sustain its growing population. The proposed Lake Powell Pipeline, a 140-mile straw from one of the country’s largest reservoirs to Washington County in southwestern Utah, has sparked backlash from other states in the Colorado River basin and environmentalists, and now has the Biden administration in a difficult position. 

Aquafornia news Merced County Times

Opinion: Dreadful drought can show us a thing or two about our past

Does time travel exist? Probably not, but let’s take a shot. The California drought may give us a unique chance to go back to 1955. That’s when the Folsom Dam was built, during they heydays of dam building from the 1950s to the ’70s. California, along with the rest of the United States, experienced major population growth with the “Baby Boomer” era following World War II. Agencies seeking to meet water demands constructed most of the major dams in California including Oroville, Don Pedro, San Luis, and Trinity Dams — all of which are over 2 million acre-feet.
-Written by Tom Frazier, a Merced writer, columnist, photographer and supporter of the arts.

Aquafornia news E&E News

Biden moves to blunt Trump water permitting rule

EPA laid out a path for states and tribes to take more time to negotiate and tackle challenges before signing off on water permits — an attempt to defang a controversial Trump-era rule that allows only a year to approve or deny permits for utilities and oil and gas pipelines. Sources say the move is an attempt by the Biden administration to mitigate the adverse effects of the Trump water rule finalized last year that’s still on the books while showing sensitivity to advocates fighting the proliferation of fossil fuel projects.

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Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

San Diego launching Pure Water, largest infrastructure project in city’s history

San Diego formally launched Friday the largest infrastructure project in city history, a sewage recycling system that will boost local water independence in the face of more severe droughts caused by climate change.  Dubbed “Pure Water,” the multibillion-dollar project is the culmination of a lengthy process featuring thorny lawsuits, complex labor deals and an aggressive public education campaign to fight the derogatory early nickname “toilet to tap.”

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Aquafornia news Porterville Recorder

Woodville PUD awarded $2.2 million grant to improve quality of drinking water

The Woodville Public Utilities District will receive a state grant of more than $2.2 million to improve the quality of drinking water for its community. The grant was recently announced by the State Department of Water Resources as part of a program to support communities facing water supply challenges. The department announced the first round of funding which will eventually total $200 million through the Small Community Drought Relief Program. In the first round, 10 small water systems in Tulare, Siskiyou, Shasta, Lake and Kern Counties were chosen to receive $25 million. 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

These California lawmakers have big ideas for sea level rise

In a year marked by record-breaking wildfires, extreme heat and unprecedented water shortages, California lawmakers say there’s another — seemingly distant, but just as urgent — climate catastrophe the state cannot afford to ignore: sea level rise. This oft-overlooked threat is the focus of more than a dozen new bills and resolutions this year — a remarkable political awakening mobilized by years of research and piecemeal efforts across the state to keep the California coast above water.

Aquafornia news KMPH

Senator Hurtado not satisfied with money allotted for canal restoration projects

California’s water infrastructure is decades old and drastically needs to be fixed. Valley Senator Melissa Hurtado just got water repair money from the Governor but it’s far less than what she wanted. Senator Hurtado got $100-million from Governor Newsom in her water bill. But it’s $685-million short of what she was seeking. The money will go to four water projects, the San Joaquin and San Luis Divisions of the California Aqueduct, Delta-Mendota Canal and the Friant-Kern Canal.

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Aquafornia news Turlock Journal

Opinion: It’s too bad Josh Harder isn’t in Sacramento instead of Congress

Not only does the Turlock-native Congressman refrain from partisan politics for the most part, although those who don’t understand why a Democrat would vote for Nancy Pelosi as House Speaker as opposed to Kevin McCarthy will argue that point, but Harder knows a drought when he sees one. The second term 10th District congressman in late July noted that California is in dire straits. Harder pointed out the reservoirs we rely on are at a lower point now than they were at the depth of the last drought that ended in 2019.
-Written by Turlock Journal columnist Dennis Wyatt. 

Aquafornia news Ag Alert

Water projects in West benefit from infrastructure bill

With vast swaths of the West experiencing exceptional or extreme drought conditions and more than 90 active wildfires, a national coalition led by the California Farm Bureau has helped secure Senate approval for major federal investments in critical water projects. California Farm Bureau President Jamie Johansson applauded the Senate’s passage of legislation to fund $550 million in infrastructure spending over the next five years. As drought conditions continue to worsen throughout the West, he said, “now is the time to invest and make timely improvements in our nation’s water management portfolio.”

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Aquafornia news SJV Water

The face of California’s water world is changing

In California’s water world, long dominated almost exclusively by men, women are blazing a path — sometimes straight to the top. … Karla Nemeth [director of California’s Department of Water Resources] … said law and engineering backgrounds used to be strictly prioritized in water, but the field is opening up to other disciplines and collaborative skills. Nemeth, arguably one of the state’s most powerful water leaders, helms DWR, which manages California’s water resources, infrastructure and systems. 

Aquafornia news Reuters

Droughts shrink hydropower

Severe droughts are drying up rivers and reservoirs vital for the production of zero-emissions hydropower in several countries around the globe, in some cases leading governments to rely more heavily on fossil fuels. The emerging problems with hydropower production in places like the United States, China and Brazil represent what scientists and energy experts say is going to be a long-term issue … In California, the State Water Project was forced to shut down a 750-MW hydroelectric power plant at Lake Oroville this month for the first time since it was built in 1967 because of low water levels.

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Aquafornia news The Associated Press

Western water projects in infrastructure deal

Included in the sweeping $1 trillion infrastructure bill approved by the Senate is funding for Western water projects that farmers, water providers and environmentalists say are badly needed across the parched region. … The plan would provide $1.15 billion for improving water storage and transport infrastructure such as dams and canals. Groundwater storage projects, which replenish underground aquifers that aren’t vulnerable to evaporation, would also get funding. 

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco Bay’s tides are going to rise. Should we dam the Golden Gate first?

Experts studying the issue agree that sea level rise in coming decades could pose an enormous threat to San Francisco Bay’s shoreline. So perhaps it’s no surprise that there’s now talk of looking into an equally enormous response. Why not build a barrier to keep rising tides outside the Golden Gate? Researchers in the past have dismissed this seemingly straightforward concept on environmental grounds. Engineers are skeptical, too. But the enormity of the challenge has some Bay Area leaders saying it should at least be studied. 

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Opinion: Water district board vice president makes case for bridge pipeline

We are carefully assessing long-term options like desalination, and weighing a myriad of factors including cost, timing, environmental issues and how much additional water supply each project may provide. During all of this careful consideration, the Board of Directors has not lost the sense of urgency. Reliably providing high-quality water to our customers is our charge, and it is a charge not taken lightly. As we continue to evaluate projects to secure additional water supply, constructing a pipeline across the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge has emerged as a strong option to increase Marin Water’s supply long-term.
-Written by Larry L. Russell, vice president of the Marin Municipal Water District Board of Directors.

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Aquafornia news Oceanside Patch

Oceanside awarded $1.6m for Watersmart projects

The City of Oceanside is being awarded $1.06 million for its planned Well Expansion and Brine Minimization Project from the Federal Bureau of Reclamation under the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act Desalination Program. The City previously received $2.623 million from the Bureau of Reclamation in 2018 and combined with this latest award, the total grant funding for this project totals $3.683 million. 

Aquafornia news Sacramento Bee

Water? Housing? Sewers? Debate over which Stanislaus pocket-area projects to fund

As Stanislaus creates a framework to spend millions of dollars on improving county islands and urban pockets, there’s disagreement among residents on how and where the money should be invested. Some community leaders want housing to be the priority, others are desperate for water. … People living in unincorporated county islands in Stanislaus have long gone without basic needs. Dark streets, unpaved sidewalks, lack of sewer and potable water systems are everyday realities for many residents.

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Aquafornia news KCRA

Inside look at McKinley Park’s water vault project as it nears completion

A controversial construction project at McKinley Park in East Sacramento is expected to be finished in early October. The city built a 6-million gallon water vault underground at the park to hold stormwater during heavy rain. The $32 million project is supposed to prevent stormwater from going into East Sacramento’s combined sewer system and cause flooding.

Aquafornia news CleanTechnica

Blog: Can water megaprojects save the US desert West? (Part 1)

In the American West, water has always been a challenge. Prior to the arrival of European explorers and settlers, there’s broad evidence that droughts and water cycles heavily affected Native Americans. For example, the people who built the Gila Cliff Dwellings may have left the area when water supplies dwindled. Later settlements by the descendants of Europeans also followed water, with settlements placed near rivers so there would be something to drink and grow food with.

Aquafornia news CleanTechnica

Opinion: Can water megaprojects save the US desert West? (part 2)

In part one of this article, I covered the American West’s water problems, as well as some of the ways they have been solved with big engineering projects so far. Now, with climate change and growth both pushing the limits of water supplies, people are asking for even bigger projects, like a pipeline from the Mississippi River to somewhere in the Colorado River’s basin. Let’s talk about those ideas, even bigger ones, and why none of them might be a good idea.
-Written by Jennifer Sensiba, a long time efficient vehicle enthusiast, writer, and photographer. 

Aquafornia news VC Reporter | Times Media Group

Why not dynamite? Dam project illustrates value of watershed

No matter where you live in Ventura County, recent progress on removal of the Matilija Dam may be inspiring to you because it reveals the relationships inside our local watersheds. … Funding needs in the Ventura River watershed have included millions of dollars for removal of the Matilija Dam, which reduces the health of the Ventura River by restricting flow, limits the replenishment of beaches by holding back sediment, and excludes fish from access to 17 miles and 491 acres of potential headwaters habitat.

Aquafornia news ABC 10

Why isn’t there desalination facilities near drought cities?

[A]s we sit squarely in the middle of another drought, adding more seawater desalination facilities has become a louder discussion. Right now, California has 12 desalination facilities in operation, but there are calls for more.  There are three in the Northern California area near Monterey and San Francisco. As for proposed desalination facilities, there are 15 in all, including seven in Northern California. Construction is underway in nearby Antioch on a brackish water desalination facility that’s the first of its kind in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Aquafornia news Farm Progress

Historic infrastructure bill clears full Senate

In a strong bipartisan vote Tuesday of 69-30, the Senate advanced the bipartisan infrastructure bill and sent it back to the House. The INVEST in America Act spends roughly $1 trillion including $110 billion for roads and bridges, $65 billion to expand broadband access, and $17 billion for ports and inland waterways. In the days leading up to the vote the American Farm Bureau Federation as well as members of the Agricultural Transportation Working Group urged lawmakers to support the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which would increase infrastructure spending by $550 billion over five years.

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Aquafornia news Modesto Bee

Opinion: Glimmer of hope for Stanislaus-area water storage in federal infrastructure deal

Whenever politicians are asked about the California water wars that threaten our well-being in Modesto and Stanislaus County, eventually the talk gets around to something like, “Well, you know what we really need is more water storage.” As in dams, mostly, and also off-stream reservoirs holding water captured in wet years for use in dry ones.  They say something similar when reporters ask about drought, and sometimes about wildfires and climate change.  
-Written by Garth Stapley, Modesto Bee columnist.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

News release: State agencies announce first round of commitments for $200 million in drought funding to support small communities

Moving to provide immediate support to communities facing water supply challenges, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) Wednesday announced the first round of funding commitments for $200 million available through the Small Community Drought Relief Program. DWR, in coordination with the State Water Resources Control Board, is directing $25 million to 10 small water systems in Tulare, Siskiyou, Shasta, Lake and Kern Counties.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Senate passes Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure bill

The Senate on Tuesday approved an expansive bill to rebuild the nation’s aging roads and bridges, with $8.3 billion specifically targeted to water infrastructure projects in the West and billions more to fund national projects to mitigate the impact of wildfires. … That includes $1 billion for water recycling systems and more than $1 billion for water storage and groundwater storage projects to take advantage of wet years.

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Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Opinion: Voters played role in Marin Municipal Water District shortage

The welcome arch across Modesto’s main street proclaims, “Water, wealth, contentment, health.” In essence, water, the first word, directly leads to the following benefits. The same formula applies to Marin. Now it’s the scarcity of water that endangers our county’s ability to enjoy the benefits of wealth, contentment and health. The entire American West is enduring a drought of epic proportions. The globe’s climate will only get warmer in the next 50 years. Marin is late preparing for that eventuality. Doing so isn’t impossible but it comes with a hefty price tag and can’t happen overnight.
-Written by Dick Spotswood, Marin IJ columnist.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Opinion: Sites Reservoir a generational opportunity to tackle California’s drought challenges

The circumstance we find ourselves in today is a prime example of why we need to build Sites Reservoir now. Just a few years ago, in 2017 and 2019, we experienced a series of atmospheric river events that produced so much runoff that it overtopped our flood control system … If Sites Reservoir had been in place during that time, not only could we have avoided many of those flooding impacts, but we also would have captured and stored much of this excess runoff for use in a dry year like we are currently experiencing.
-Written by Robert Cheng, assistant general manager of the Coachella Valley Water District, and Charley Wilson, executive director of the Southern California Water Coalition.

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Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Late nights, early mornings await Senate on infrastructure

Senators were laboring Sunday toward eventual passage of a  $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package, resigned to stay as long as it takes to overcome Republican holdouts who want to drag out final votes on one of President Joe Biden’s top priorities. The bill has won widespread support from senators across the aisle and promises to unleash billions of dollars to upgrade roads, bridges, broadband internet, water pipes and other public works systems undergirding the nation. 

Aquafornia news Water Foundation

Blog: No easy scapegoats when drinking water systems fail

While recent commentary saddled the state with all the blame for the lack of drinking water in Teviston, local jurisdictions in the San Joaquin Valley must also accept responsibility. Small water systems are caught between the historic legacy of discriminatory policy, dropping groundwater levels caused by overpumping, and chronically failing water systems. Local governments have long resisted providing aid to these communities or initiating processes that could require nearby systems to provide water, particularly when those solutions may impact wealthier neighbors.

Aquafornia news Senator Alex Padilla

News release: Padilla secures over $71 million for water resiliency, fire and other local california infrastructure projects in senate appropriations bills

Today, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) announced that he secured over $71 million in federal funding for 20 projects across California in the Senate’s Agriculture, Energy and Water, and Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee bills. The bills were approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee this week and now await passage by the full Senate. 

Aquafornia news WaterWorld

Researchers develop more efficient desalination with solar energy

Ural Federal University (UrFU) engineers have developed a new desalination technology. It will significantly reduce the cost of desalination and quadruple the volume of production. The results of the research are published in the journal Case Studies in Thermal Engineering. Today one of the most popular and simple ways of desalination is the distillation of water with the help of solar energy. UrFU scientists, together with colleagues from Iraq, have developed a hybrid technology to increase the efficiency of evaporation inside a solar distiller by means of a rotating hollow cylinder and a solar collector.

Aquafornia news CA Department of Water Resources

News release: Seismic work underway on Castaic Dam’s tower access bridge

The California Department of Water Resources begins construction on Castaic Dam’s tower access bridge in Los Angeles County to reduce seismic risks during a major earthquake. … Work on the over 500-foot-long bridge consists of strengthening the three bridge piers and installing various components to the bridge superstructure to allow for controlled movement during a seismic event. Each pier will be encased with a reinforced fiber wrap compound, which requires the temporary drawdown of Castaic Lake that began in early May. 

Aquafornia news National Law Review

Blog: Water law – Tension within the doctrine of beneficial use

In the western United States, water law developed around two main principles: (l) the goal of full beneficial use of water, and (2) the need to afford vested water right holders certainty as to their rights. At the time western water codes developed, these goals were seemingly in harmony—rewarding those who needed the water and invested in infrastructure for water use with rights that were enforceable against subsequent appropriators.

Aquafornia news Porterville Recorder

Friant-Kern Canal repair process continues with repayment contract

Another hurdle has been cleared in the pending and much needed repairs of a 33-mile stretch of the Friant-Kern Canal. Known as the Friant-Kern Canal Middle Reach Capacity Project, repairs will be done on the 33-mile stretch of the canal form between Lindsay and Strathmore to North Kern County. When the federal government provided $206 million in funding for the project last year that meant the project would finally become a reality. 

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Aquafornia news Office of Senator Dianne Feinstein

News release: California water, energy priorities well-represented in funding bill

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, applauded the inclusion of California water priorities in the Energy and Water funding bill for fiscal year 2022, which was advanced out of committee today.

Aquafornia news U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

News release: Reclamation announces 30-day comment period for Friant-Kern Canal Middle Reach Capacity Correction Project repayment contract

The Bureau of Reclamation and the Friant Water Authority announced today a 30-day public comment period for a repayment contract related to costs of extraordinary operation and maintenance work on the Friant-Kern Canal Middle Reach Capacity Correction Project. This project will restore a 33-mile stretch of the canal that has lost over half of its original capacity to subsidence. 

Aquafornia news Manteca Bulletin

Opinion: The Tuolumne

The waters of the Tuolumne River flow through Modesto two ways. One is in the natural riverbed that cuts through the city just south of downtown. The other is in the original “Delta bypass tunnel” — the 46.7 mile pipeline across the San Joaquin Valley beneath the Hetch Hetchy Trail that moves water diverted from the reservoir the urban trail is named after.
-Written by Dennis Wyatt, columnist for the Manteca Bulletin.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Monday Top of the Scroll: Drought is pushing more saltwater into the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. California built a wall to keep it out

Drought conditions have prompted the building of a 750-foot wide rock barrier to prevent saltwater intrusion into the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. The California Department of Water Resources constructed the temporary barrier with 110,000 cubic yards of rock off West False River in Contra Costa County. Principal engineer Jacob McQuirk said that without the barrier, saltwater would endanger freshwater supplies in the Delta and water exports to the south. … McQuirk said 27 million people are dependent upon those water supplies and that the barrier will be taken down by November. 

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

Blog: The California water model – Resilience through failure

A review of 170 years of water-related successes in California suggests that most successes can be traced directly to past mistakes.  California’s highly variable climate has made it a crucible for innovations in water technology and policy.  Similar water imperatives have led to advances in water management in other parts of the world.  A close look at California’s water model suggests that “far-sighted incrementalism” is a path to progress. 

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Biden rallies public-private sector to thwart infrastructure hacks

Confronting the rise of attacks on major American infrastructure and industry, the White House released an executive order Wednesday in which President Joe Biden will ask companies to layer on more cybersecurity protections. The order follows up on a series of cybersecurity directives prompted this year when the nation suffered a series of fuel shortages after Russian-tied cybercriminals launched a ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Infrastructure talks leave Biden’s entire agenda at risk

President Joe Biden’s latest leap into the Senate’s up-and-down efforts to clinch a bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure deal comes with even more at stake than his coveted plans for boosting road, rail and other public works projects. The outcome of the infrastructure deal, which for weeks has encountered one snag after another, will affect what could be the crown jewel of his legacy. That would be his hopes for a subsequent $3.5 trillion federal infusion for families’ education and health care costs, a Medicare expansion and efforts to curb climate change.

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Aquafornia news Associated Press

Infrastructure talks hit snags as Senate pressure rises

Senators ran into new problems Monday as they raced to seal a bipartisan infrastructure deal, with pressure mounting on all sides to show progress on President Joe Biden’s top priority. Heading into a make-or-break week, serious roadblocks remain. Disputes have surfaced over how much money should go to public transit and water projects. 

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Aquafornia news Patch

Livermore would get $20M under infrastructure bill

The House of Representatives approved a $715 billion infrastructure plan, and if the Senate passes it, it will mean $20 million for the Valley Link project to connect Bay Area Rapid Transit to the Altamont Corridor Express commuter train. … California would be a big winner under the proposed law. The bill includes more than $900 million for projects throughout the Golden State. They include bridges, bike lanes and express lanes … wastewater and drinking water projects and other infrastructure to prepare for rising sea levels.

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Aquafornia news California Sportfishing Protection Alliance

Blog: Court ruling finds FERC 401 waiver not justified – important implications for California hydropower project licenses

On July 2, 2021, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals issued an important decision regarding Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, overturning an Order by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).  FERC’s Order had found that the state of North Carolina had unlawfully “coordinated” with the license applicant to delay the state’s certification that a new FERC license for the Bynum hydroelectric project complied with state water quality laws.  FERC found that North Carolina’s participation in the delay meant that the state had “waived” its authority under Section 401 to issue the certification.

Aquafornia news Sierra Institute for Community and Environment

New research: Aging water infrastructure problems and disadvantaged communities miss out on funding due to inadequate measuring tool

Rural communities suffering from failing infrastructure and low capacity often miss out on important funding opportunities because the methods used by state agencies to determine eligibility are inadequate for rural forested areas, new study finds. Pockets of wealth (around a lake shore or golf-course development, for example) raise the median household income (MHI), which can mask the poverty of nearby communities.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

California senators press Congress for $1 billion to prep for future drought

With rural wells running dry and reservoir levels dwindling amid the Western drought, California senators are pressing Congress for an infusion of cash to renovate the state’s collapsing drinking water system. But instead of new dams or desalination plants, Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla want … to boost stormwater capture, groundwater recharge and water recycling efforts in the Golden State and throughout the U.S.

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Aquafornia news SJV Sun

Fixing sinking Friant-Kern Canal is unprecedented task. The latest hurdle? Scheduling payments.

After some negotiation, the Friant Water Authority Board of Directors will vote on a repayment contract with the Bureau of Reclamation regarding the repair of a portion of the Friant-Kern Canal.  The Friant Water Authority and the Bureau of Reclamation held its second round of negotiations Thursday morning, which was a two-hour process hammering out contract language in the repayment deal. … At the center of the issue is a 33-mile stretch of the Friant-Kern Canal that has lost over half of its original capacity to subsidence. 

Aquafornia news The Hill

Officials warn of cybersecurity vulnerabilities in water systems

Lawmakers and experts on Wednesday warned of gaping cybersecurity vulnerabilities in the nation’s critical water sector amid escalating attacks against a number of U.S. organizations. … [C]oncerns came during a committee hearing on cybersecurity vulnerabilities in critical infrastructure that zeroed in on concerns around water and wastewater treatment facilities. Cyber threats have soared in recent years, including recent ransomware attacks on critical infrastructure such as Colonial Pipeline, and the water sector has not been immune.

Aquafornia news ABC10 News

San Diego gets state funding for Ocean Beach Pier repairs, energy storage, Pure Water program

A windfall of state funding is coming to San Diego, including money for Ocean Beach Pier repairs, an energy-storage project at San Vicente Reservoir, and the city’s Pure Water program. Money from California’s state budget, signed last week, will fund the series of San Diego projects and programs.

Aquafornia news Western Farm Press

California’s Delta an oasis amid arid farmland

As California has imposed severe water cutbacks throughout the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta’s vast watershed, most growers in the Delta region itself are still getting enough water to bring their crops to harvest. With a majority of landowners in the region holding pre-1914 riparian water rights, the state has not curtailed their ability to pump water from the Delta’s labyrinth of canals and waterways – at least yet. In fact, growers whose land is on islands below sea level have been pumping water off, San Joaquin County Agricultural Commissioner Tim Pelican said.

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Aquafornia news Christian Science Monitor

Seas are rising. Will California’s ‘managed retreat’ ease fears?

Surrounded on three sides by the San Francisco Bay, residents of Richmond are used to being near the ocean. But as rising seas threaten to bring it even closer, Mayor Tom Butt is candid about the risks. … Parts of Richmond are estimated to be at risk from a three-foot increase in sea levels, even as the waters of the Pacific Ocean along California’s coast are projected to rise by more than twice that due to climate change this century.

Aquafornia news Ripon Advance

Valadao water amendments to appropriations bill nixed by Democrats

U.S. Rep. David Valadao (R-CA) last week introduced three amendments to the Energy and Water Development Appropriations fiscal year 2022 bill that aimed to alleviate California’s ongoing drought, but House Appropriations Committee Democrats voted down all three of them during a July 16 markup. The congressman’s first amendment would have extended California water storage provisions of the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act for one year …

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Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Thursday Top of the Scroll: House votes to order EPA to limit chemicals in water

The House on Wednesday approved a bill setting deadlines for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to implement drinking water regulations for so-called forever chemicals. Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, commonly called PFAS, are widely used, man-made compounds that are found in manufacturing and consumer products like Scotchguard, flame-resistant materials, nonstick cooking surfaces and firefighting foam used on military bases since the 1940s.

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Aquafornia news Ag Alert

Fix aging water infrastructure, Senate told

California Farm Bureau, as part of a national coalition representing thousands of western farmers, ranchers, water providers, businesses and communities, urged leaders of the U.S. Senate to take action to address the shortcomings of aging water infrastructure. Citing an “acute and critical need” magnified by another all-too-familiar drought, the coalition sent a letter last week to Chairman Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Ranking Member John Barrasso, R-Wyo., of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. It called for increased federal investment in water infrastructure.

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Aquafornia news PV Magazine USA

Pumped storage project gets seed money… now the work begins

A 500 MW pumped energy storage project proposed jointly by the City of San Diego and the San Diego County Water Authority received $18 million in the California state budget. The support will help fund the San Vicente Energy Storage Facility through initial design, environmental reviews, and the federal licensing process. The project … could generate revenue to help offset the cost of water purchases, storage, and treatment.

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Aquafornia news U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

News release: Michael Norris named as Bureau of Reclamation’s Yuma Area Manager

The Bureau of Reclamation announced the selection of Michael Norris as the Area Manager of its Lower Colorado Basin Region Yuma Area Office. He has served as the Deputy Area Manager for seven years. In his new capacity, Norris is responsible for delivery of Colorado River water to the Yuma area and Mexico, groundwater and salinity management, resource management, engineering and construction.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: New CA dams, water reservoirs move slowly as drought worsens

It doesn’t look like much now, a dry and dusty valley surrounded by the modest mountains of California’s Coast Range. These barren, brown hills an hour northwest of Sacramento will be the future home of Sites Reservoir, one of the few major water projects to be built in California since the 1970s. California taxpayers are helping pay for Sites, which would hold more water than Folsom Lake, through a $7.1 billion bond they approved during the 2014 election.

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Aquafornia news ABC 10 San Diego

San Diego homeowner: Removing a water meter in Mira Mesa could cost thousands

Jet Martin wanted to stop service to a water meter to save money for the homeowners in his Mira Mesa HOA. It turns out the city said doing that will cost thousands of dollars. … Martin’s HOA consists of 15 homes. There used to be sprinklers that watered a once-grassy area that sits between two houses. It was a space where residents in the HOA could sit, eat, and enjoy the outdoors. They stopped watering the grass a couple of years ago, but still pay a base fee to the city of nearly $30 per month.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Blog: Cultivating optimism as drought cripples the Colorado River

A historic drought has desiccated much of the American West, bringing reservoir levels to record lows and stoking fears of catastrophic wildfires across the region. We spoke with two members of the Water Policy Center research network and experts on the Colorado River: Dr. Bonnie Colby of the University of Arizona (she’s also a member of the Colorado River Research Group) and John Fleck of the University of New Mexico. Prepare to be surprised: we encountered some delightful optimism in this wide-ranging conversation.

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

How to reduce your water use at home

Each day, it seems, a new climate-related catastrophe makes headlines. Salmon are dying in California, because the water they inhabit has been heated to the point that it’s inhospitable to life. The Hoover Dam reservoir is at record-low levels, potentially affecting the water supply to the West Coast. And California is, once again, in a drought. States and municipalities across the country are asking residents to conserve water as the precious resource is threatened with impending scarcity. … We asked experts for some easy ways to cut back on water usage. Here are their suggestions.

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Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Needles, California fights drought along the Colorado River

Rick Daniels lies awake at night worrying about a rusty contraption in a forlorn field, littered with discarded pipes and fire hydrants. It is the only water pump in Needles that meets state water quality standards, running 23 hours a day to keep up with demand, according to Daniels, the city manager. That’s a thin margin in one of America’s hottest cities, an urban speck in the desert near California’s border with Arizona. If this lone pump fails, 5,000 residents face the ultimate risk of taps running dry, as temperatures soar past 120 degrees …

Aquafornia news U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

News release: Reclamation announces contract repayment negotiations for the Friant-Kern Canal Middle Reach Capacity Correction Project

The Bureau of Reclamation and the Friant Water Authority scheduled a teleconference contract repayment negotiation session for costs of extraordinary operation and maintenance work on the Friant-Kern Canal Middle Reach Capacity Correction Project. The date and time of the teleconference-only negotiation session are: July 22, 2021, from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. PDT Call 1-202-640-1187 and, when prompted, type in participant passcode 523 487 550# The public is welcome to listen during the session and comment after the negotiations close. 

Aquafornia news CalMatters

Opinion: Secure California’s future water supply and invest in recycled water

Climate change is forcing our state to reimagine our water supply future. How do we do that? Easy — we reuse water.   Just like recycling a plastic bottle, we can safely use recycled water to drink, irrigate parks, support environmental uses, grow crops, produce energy, and much more. More than just a new source of water, water recycling projects provide a degree of local water independence.  
-Written by Jennifer West, managing director of WateReuse California.​

Aquafornia news SJV Water

State ponies up $200 million toward $2.35 billion repair bill for major canals

Several of the state’s key canals will get a sprinkle of state money this year and next toward fixing more than $2 billion in damage caused by sinking land from excessive groundwater pumping. On July 12, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a massive budget “trailer” bill, which authorizes actual funding for programs and services outlined in the state budget that was passed June 15. The trailer bill included $200 million for the Department of Water Resources to spend over the next two years on the California Aqueduct, Delta-Mendota Canal and Friant-Kern Canal. Together, repairs for those canals are estimated at $2.35 billion.

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Aquafornia news GV Wire

In first Valley visit, U.S. senator gets pushed on farm water

Alex Padilla made his first official visit to the Central Valley as U.S. Senator, holding several discussions about water. Padilla, along with other elected officials, held a media availability at his only public event of the day — a tour of the Dos Palos water treatment plant. There, he spoke about the need to upgrade infrastructure for drinking water, as well as water for farmers. Padilla says the infrastructure bill being debated in the Senate will help with water, especially in underserved areas.

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Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Blog: Cheap cybersecurity defenses exist, but they’re not reaching water utilities who need them

Super Bowl weekend was the headline event last winter in Tampa, Florida, where the mood was giddier than usual, given that the hometown Bucs had advanced to the championship. But two days before the big game, an incident just a few miles west of Raymond James Stadium temporarily stole the show. A hacker gained remote access to a water treatment plant in the town of Oldsmar. The intrusion on February 5 lasted only a few minutes — just long enough for the hacker to raise the concentration of lye in the water by a factor of 1,000. 

Aquafornia news CBS News

NASA: Moon “wobble” in orbit may lead to record flooding on Earth

Every coast in the U.S. is facing rapidly increasing high tide floods. NASA says this is due to a “wobble” in the moon’s orbit working in tandem with climate change-fueled rising sea levels. The new study from NASA and the University of Hawaii, published recently in the journal Nature Climate Change, warns that upcoming changes in the moon’s orbit could lead to record flooding on Earth in the next decade. … They expect the flooding to significantly damage infrastructure and displace communities.

Aquafornia news Valley Water News

News release: Governor Newsom signs bill to allow Valley Water to select “best value” contractor for project to strengthen Anderson Dam

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a state bill on July 9 that will allow Valley Water to use a method known as “best value” to select a contractor for the Anderson Dam Seismic Retrofit Project. Under current California law, Valley Water must select the contractor with the lowest bid, regardless of their experience. But Assembly Bill 271, signed by Gov. Newsom and overwhelmingly passed by the California Legislature, authorizes Valley Water to use a method known as “best value” to select a contractor for the Anderson Dam Seismic Retrofit Project.

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

Announcement: Save the dates for our fall events, join our team, check out our drought page and moving sale

Dear Friends and Supporters of the Water Education Foundation … we are busy preparing to move to a new office near the confluence of the Sacramento and American rivers, planning a blend of virtual and in-person programming for the fall and offering a sale on our beautiful water maps and guides so we don’t have to move them. We’re also looking to hire a programs and communications manager who is passionate about all things water in California and across the West. Resumes are due July 23.

Aquafornia news Arizona Republic

Water and transit infrastructure key topics in Kate Gallego meeting with President Joe Biden

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego said water infrastructure and transit investments in Arizona were two key items discussed during a meeting with President Joe Biden on Wednesday. Gallego was part of a bipartisan group of three governors and four other mayors who met with Biden at the White House to build support for a proposed $1.2 trillion infrastructure package under consideration in the U.S. Senate…. The group also talked about… the state’s long-term drought and its effects on the Colorado River…  

Aquafornia news Mountain View Voice

Protecting Google’s future development from sea level rise is expected to cost $122 million

The city of Mountain View is planning for a surge in new offices and homes in North Bayshore, placing dense new development just a short jaunt away from the baylands. But new sea level rise estimates show that future development could very well end up underwater without flood protection, and it’s unclear who is going to pick up the costly bill. Earlier this year, Google announced its proposal to build 7,000 homes in North Bayshore alongside 3 million square feet of offices less than a mile from the bay.

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Aquafornia news CalMatters

State should help fund local water resilience projects

On July 8, Gov. Gavin Newsom expanded two earlier drought emergency declarations to cover 50 of the state’s 58 counties. In May, he directed state agencies to consider easing requirements for reservoir releases to conserve water upstream, and to make water transfers easier. Both are needed. Notably, the governor’s emergency proclamation did not impose water conservation mandates. Instead, Gov. Newsom is leaving water conservation to each region — a smart and necessary approach that incentivizes regional investments in water supply.
-Written by Sean Bigley, chair of the Sacramento Regional Water Authority Board, and Gary Croucher, chair of the San Diego County Water Authority Board.​

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Aquafornia news CalMatters

Opinion: Californians will adapt to living with drought, as we always have

Climate change is exacerbating droughts and accelerating the transformation and decline of California’s native forest and aquatic ecosystems. As a state, we are poorly organized to manage these effects, which need extensive focused preparation. We need to adapt (and we will make mistakes in doing so). Our human, economic and environmental losses will be much greater, however, if we manage poorly because of delay, complacency or panic.
-Written by Jay Lund, professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of California at Davis. 

Aquafornia news Mountain View Online

Valley Water presents $16M check for small salt-removal facility

With drought on everyone’s mind, city leaders from Palo Alto and Mountain View held a brief summit on June 18 at the Regional Water Quality Control Plant to highlight a project that both cities hope will help make water consumption more sustainable for decades to come. Mayors Tom DuBois and Ellen Kamei met with Valley Water board member Gary Kremen at the Palo Alto facility to accept a $16 million check from the water district. 

Aquafornia news Stanford University Natural Capital Project

Sea-level rise solutions

Communities trying to fight sea-level rise could inadvertently make flooding worse for their neighbors, according to a new study from the Stanford Natural Capital Project. The research, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows how seawalls constructed along the San Francisco Bay shoreline could increase flooding and incur hundreds of millions of dollars in damages for communities throughout the region.

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Aquafornia news Engineering News-Record

California expands floodwater capacity

For more than 60 years, California officials and experts have discussed expanding the Sacramento River bypass and levee system. … In summer 2020, contractors broke ground on the first project to expand that capacity, the Lower Elkhorn Basin Levee Setback (LEBLS) project. The California Dept. of Water Resources is leading the design, construction and permitting of the $103-million project, which will widen the Sacramento Bypass and the east side of the Yolo Bypass. 

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Key players in California water confront drought, fish and more at Modesto summit

A key message emerged when California water leaders gathered in Modesto: Stop grumbling about drought, and get cracking on real fixes.  Rep. Josh Harder, R-Turlock, convened the Thursday afternoon summit at the Stanislaus County Farm Bureau.  Several speakers called for new reservoirs and groundwater recharge to hold wet-year surpluses for use in dry times like 2021. The manager of a West Side irrigation district invited others to follow her lead in using water recycled from city sewage plants. 

Aquafornia news The Associated Press

Bill aims to spend billions to fix nation’s aging dams

Lawmakers in Congress on Friday introduced a bill that would pump tens of billions of dollars into fixing and upgrading the country’s dams. The Twenty-First Century Dams Act, introduced by Democratic U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster of New Hampshire, proposes to spend nearly $26 billion to make the repairs that would enhance safety and increase the power generation capacity of the country’s 90,000 dams. It also calls for removing any dams that have outlived their usefulness.

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Aquafornia news ABC7 Los Angeles

Diamond Valley Lake: SoCal’s largest water reservoir filled to 80% capacity despite drought

Southern California’s largest reservoir is filled to more than 80% of its total capacity, despite the fact the state as a whole is in the second year of a severe drought. And Diamond Valley Lake near Hemet is proving to be a key asset in making up for the shortfall in water from other sources after another year of below-normal precipitation.

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Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Fault system that produced 6.0 quake poses big dangers

While much of California’s earthquake risk has been historically focused on the San Andreas fault and places like Los Angeles and San Francisco, quakes are capable of causing significant destruction in the state’s Sierra Nevada and Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta … UCLA experts warned in 2014 that a major earthquake sending destructive shaking to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta could potentially destroy aging levees, causing flooding and drawing in saline water from San Francisco Bay — which would contaminate one of the state’s key water supply systems.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Surplus money delays CA budget deal between Newsom, lawmakers

California’s fiscal year started more than a week ago, but lawmakers and Gov. Gavin Newsom still don’t have a budget deal. They’ve enacted placeholder legislation to keep the government running while they hash out the final details, but the delay leaves Californians waiting for details on how money for critical areas including wildfires and infrastructure will be spent. It’s a different situation than the budget stalemates of past decades, when state government had to cut deals with banks to ensure state workers were paid even as budget negotiations dragged into the fall.

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Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

San Lorenzo Valley Water District outlines future plans

Slowly but surely, the San Lorenzo Valley community is rebuilding itself after the CZU Lightning Complex fire. Its water district is no exception. The San Lorenzo Valley Water District lost all of its water intake infrastructure at the Lyon Water Treatment Plant in Boulder Creek, built in 1994 with the purpose of treating surface water coming from many streams on the Empire Grade mountain. About 50% of the water stored at the plant was lost as well. All of the 1,600 acres of the watershed were affected by the wildfire.

Aquafornia news LA Department of Water and Power

News release: LADWP hires first-ever chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer 

As part of the ongoing initiatives to advance diversity and equity, Monique Earl has been named to lead the newly-created Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.  Earl will become part of the senior management team reporting to General Manager Martin Adams, and will be responsible for the oversight of policies, practices and programs designed to improve diversity and opportunities throughout LADWP and position the agency to better serve communities with the highest needs. 

Aquafornia news Pleasanton Weekly

Bathroom byproduct will supplement DSRSD irrigation water supply

Dublin San Ramon Services District’s new temporary supplemental recycled water supply project not only aims to boost their irrigation water, but it also doesn’t let anything go to waste — especially human waste. Putting a new spin on the old adage “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” DSRSD recently launched a program to divert one to two million pounds of sewage a day for three years from its sister agency Central Contra Costa Sanitary District to the Jeffrey G. Hansen Water Recycling Plant in Pleasanton, according to a statement from DSRSD.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Opinion: Environmental consequences of pipeline, desalination plans must be considered

How can Marin County effectively address the severe drought we’re in? Right now, many are reasonably urging the Marin Municipal Water District to explore desalination and a water supply line on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. Apparently our water district is proceeding expediently with this exploration, so they can implement those measures as quickly as possible if needed. However, we should recognize that with urgent competition for water throughout the southwestern U.S., these measures have uncertainties, will take time and require very large expense and energy use.
-Written by Tom Flynn, team lead at GreenChange.net.