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 Chico Enterprise-Record

Cal Water installs new water pipe

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

Aquafornia news The Press

East County residents weigh in on Delta Conveyance Project

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

Aquafornia news Laguna Beach Independent

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

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

Aquafornia news Tehachapi News

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

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

Aquafornia news Phys.org

Study reveals hidden risks of estuary development for young salmon

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

Aquafornia news SFGate.com

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

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

Aquafornia news The Mountain Democrat

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

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

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Aquafornia news KGET

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

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

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Subsidence of the California Aqueduct in the San Joaquin Valley

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

Aquafornia news Fairfield Citizen

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

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

Aquafornia news Longreads.com

The ancient waterways of Phoenix, Ariz.

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

Aquafornia news WaterWorld

Presidential candidates talk water infrastructure at Las Vegas forum

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

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Cal Am rate increase proposal set for local public hearings

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

Aquafornia news U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

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

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

Aquafornia news The New York Times

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

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

Aquafornia news E&E News

Trump proposes deep energy, environmental cuts

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

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Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

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

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

Aquafornia news Sierra Wave

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

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

Aquafornia news GVWire.com

Extra $11M coming for Friant-Kern Canal repairs

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

Aquafornia news KRCR TV

Redding City Council approves rate increase after heated meeting

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

Aquafornia news Capital Press

District helps make desert bloom

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

Aquafornia news Phys.org

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

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

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

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

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

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Aquafornia news Natural Resources Defense Council

Blog: Moving forward with infrastructure climate solutions

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

Aquafornia news Santa Clara Valley Water News

Blog: How the Almaden Lake Project will help the environment

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

Aquafornia news The Pajaronian

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

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

Aquafornia news Poway News Chieftain

Poway water customers may be getting credits

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

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Environment

AI startup digs up business opportunity in aging water pipes

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

Aquafornia news Axios

Mayors: Water tops city infrastructure needs

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

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

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

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

Aquafornia news The Log

Newport Beach water wheel project moving forward

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

Aquafornia news CALmatters

Opinion: California must include desalination in water portfolio

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

Aquafornia news Action News Now

North State lawmakers introduce legislation to help save Paradise water

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

Aquafornia news Manteca Bulletin

Lathrop replacing 3,506 residential water meters

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

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

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

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

Aquafornia news E&E News

Trump riffs on modern appliances, and pundits see a pattern

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

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

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

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

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Aquafornia news MyValleyNews.com

Lake Elsinore area residents organize to oppose hydroelectric project

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

Aquafornia news The Capistrano Dispatch

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

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

Aquafornia news Los Altos Town Crier

Opinion: Valley Water partners to expand water supply

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

Aquafornia news Valley Economy

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

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

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

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

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

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Aquafornia news Highland Community News

East Valley Water District purchases additional generators

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

Aquafornia news Mountain View Voice

More delays, higher costs as flood protection projects near finish

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

Aquafornia news Natural Resources Defense Council

Blog: California can make lowly water heaters mighty climate tools

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

Aquafornia news Bakersfield Californian

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

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

Aquafornia news Windsor Times

Larkfield sewer project groundbreaking

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

Aquafornia news Capitol Weekly

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

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

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Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

No one injured in blast at water treatment plant in Corona

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

Aquafornia news City Watch LA

Ways to win the water wars

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

Aquafornia news Sonoma West Times & News

Sebastopol water, sewer rates to rise

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

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

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

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

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

Aquafornia news Manteca Bulletin

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

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

Aquafornia news Environmental Defense Fund

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

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

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

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

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

Aquafornia news Gilroy Dispatch

Opinion: District to update water charge zones

Because zone changes have the potential to impact many well users, Valley Water conducted extensive stakeholder engagement on the preliminary study recommendations. … The board of directors agreed and directed our team to prepare the survey description to modify the two existing zones, and create two new zones in South County. The board will consider these changes in a public hearing later this year.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

King tides threaten roads and cover beaches in preview of sea level rise

On a stretch of Sunset Beach where the overfull Huntington Harbour is higher than Pacific Coast Highway, a pump is ready to keep the road from flooding. In Long Beach, seawater has overtaken Bayshore Beach. The water laps against Balboa Island’s recently elevated seawall and it crashes onto the boulders protecting beachfront homes in Capistrano Beach.

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Aquafornia news Aptos Times

Pajaro Valley to expand delivered water service area

The F-Pipeline Project will construct pipelines to provide supplemental water service to approximately 700 acres of coastal farmland on the seaward side of San Andreas Road. … The purpose is to further reduce groundwater pumping to halt seawater intrusion and groundwater overdraft while keeping agriculture viable in the Pajaro Valley.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Pure Water Monterey finishes key water tests, delivery date delayed again

According to Monterey One Water general manager Paul Sciuto, the best-case scenario now is the much-anticipated $126 million recycled water project would be able to start delivering water to the basin by early February, about a month later than the most recent previous estimate…

Aquafornia news Hi Desert Star

Hi-Desert Water District looks at raising rates for Yucca Valley customers

Without raising rates to make 3 percent more revenue each year starting in 2020, Hi-Desert Water District would not have enough revenue to recover expenses in the next five years. … For residential customers who are in tier one (those who use the least amount of water), rates would go from $3.65 per hundred cubic feet in 2020, gradually up to $4.11 in fiscal year 2024.

Aquafornia news Fox 5 San Diego

Imperial Beach residents weigh in on potential water rate hikes

Water rates are set to rise next year for at least some parts of San Diego County, including Imperial Beach, Coronado and some sections of San Diego served by the California American Water Company. The rates are renegotiated every three years, but it’s about an 18-month process to determine just how much those rates will climb.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Friday’s Bay Area king tides offer a hint of what rising sea levels look like

King tides, a naturally occurring phenomenon that received a common name only a decade ago, are heading to California shorelines this weekend — and with them, a series of public events intended to show people the dangers posed by sea level rise.

Aquafornia news Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory

Blog: Polluted wastewater in the forecast? Try a solar umbrella

Evaporation ponds, which are commonly used in many industries to manage wastewater, can span acres, occupying a large footprint and often posing risks to birds and other wildlife. … Now researchers at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have demonstrated a way to double the rate of evaporation by using solar energy and taking advantage of water’s inherent properties.

Aquafornia news CALmatters

Opinion: Coastal Commission should approve CalAm desalination plant

Nobody likes to look out to the Pacific Ocean and see oil derricks on the horizon. That’s why California wisely banned new offshore oil drilling 50 years ago. But in Monterey County, coastal views are limited by a relic of a bygone era: a giant, industrial sand plant right on the dunes between Highway One and the ocean.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Rope ‘inexplicably’ caused Poway water problems; claims filed seeking compensation

A piece of rope “inexplicably” became lodged in a valve separating a 10-million gallon reservoir from a storm drain in late November, causing a nearly week-long, costly boil-water advisory in Poway, a report prepared by the city for the state concludes.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Santa Rosa wastewater quandary linked to Kincade fire could get worse as rainy season ramps up

Nearly two months after the Kincade fire was fully contained in northeastern Sonoma County, Santa Rosa is struggling with an after-effect of the massive blaze: its wastewater disposal pipeline at The Geysers was disabled for six weeks, backing up the Sebastopol-area plant with about 400 million gallons of treated wastewater.

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Aquafornia news Long Beach Post

Can you fight fires while saving water? Long Beach reclaims millions of gallons per year

Until recently, any time Long Beach firefighters practiced using their high-powered hoses, the water they sprayed ended up in the drain. … That changed in March 2019 when the Long Beach Fire Department started using something called a Direct Recycling Apparatus Firefighter Training & Sustainability Unit, or DRAFTS Unit, for short.

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Pajaro Valley water project balances ag and saltwater intrusion

The nearly $4 million project, assisted with $3.4 million in state grants and a $1 million match from Pajaro Valley Water, is expected to further reduce groundwater pumping in the area, so as to halt seawater intrusion and groundwater overdraft while keeping agriculture viable in the Pajaro Valley.

Aquafornia news Mountain View Voice

With recycled water deal signed, attention shifts to contentious Baylands site

Hailing it as a “historic” agreement, Santa Clara County’s primary water supplier, Valley Water, enthusiastically approved on Dec. 10 a 76-year deal with Palo and Mountain View to construct a water purification plant in the Baylands with the intent of greatly expanding use of recycled water.

Aquafornia news The Business Journal

Blog: Business interests form Delta tunnel coalition

A broad coalition that includes the California Chamber of Commerce and labor, business, environmental, community and water leaders recently announced the formation of Californians for Water Security (CWS). The mission is to support the construction of a single tunnel to funnel water from Northern California through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to users south.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Blog: Providing safe drinking water in the face of disasters: Lessons from Lake County

Climate change is already affecting water management across the state. Small rural communities with ongoing drinking water challenges are especially vulnerable to greater extremes brought on by a warming climate. We talked to Jan Coppinger, a special district administrator from Lake County, about how the county’s small water systems have dealt with an especially devastating string of natural disasters.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Water district board to take next step on public water buyout effort

Monterey Peninsula Water Management District officials have agreed to move forward with detailed analysis and planning for a potential public acquisition and ownership of California American Water’s local water system. On Monday, the water district board unanimously approved spending up to $1.24 million on work by a team of consultants to prepare the district to make a formal offer for the Cal Am system…

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Aquafornia news Pacific Institute

Blog: Insights from COP25: The (Interconnected) Pillars of Water System Transformation

Transforming water systems to be climate resilient is a critical component of the needed change. This means urgent action to plan for and adapt to climate impacts on water systems; it also means urgent action to minimize the contribution of water systems to the climate crisis.

Aquafornia news Antelope Valley Press

Replacing asbestos concrete water pipes

The Rosamond Community Services District will replace the last large areas of asbestos concrete water pipes in a project slated to start early next year. On Wednesday, the Board of Directors awarded a contract to California Compaction for $2.3 million to complete the pipe replacement project.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Environment

EPA lead proposal, derided as weak, may be sneakily strong

A provision tucked within the EPA’s proposal to overhaul the way it regulates lead in drinking water—initially derided as toothless—could have far-reaching consequences for public health, municipal policies, and even real estate transactions, water industry insiders now say. The proposal would require all water utilities across the country to inventory the location of all of their lead pipes and then make that information public.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

More public water buyout spending to be considered

On Monday, the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District board is set to consider approving $1.24 million on consultants to prepare for a potential vote by the summer on a resolution of necessity to acquire Cal Am’s local system.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Opinion: Who pays for the Friant-Kern repairs? It should be farmers, but most likely, taxpayers

I understand the need to convey water via canals in our Central Valley within a systematic, well-regulated and properly managed system. But there are so many unanswered questions…

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Federal cost analysis bolsters Pajaro River flood control efforts

During the 2019 Flood Prevention Authority Legislative Conference, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers presented a cost-benefit analysis in support of what is estimated to be about a $394 million project, an effort which would reduce significant flood risk to the city of Watsonville, Pajaro in Monterey County and adjacent agricultural areas…

Aquafornia news The Ceres Courier

Water project one more step closer to reality

The cities of Ceres and Turlock formed the Stanislaus Regional Water Authority which is in the process of hiring a design-build consultant to oversee the project to build the facility along the Tuolumne River west of the Fox Grove Fishing Access. Water will be drawn from the river, filtered and piped to both Turlock and to Ceres. Plans call for the water to be stored in a large aboveground water storage tank. The surface water will then be comingled with groundwater for use throughout the two cities.

Aquafornia news Antelope Valley Press

A model for the future of water

With a low rumble from a large pipe, water began flowing into a dirt basin at 25th Street West and Elizabeth Lake Road Thursday morning, christening the Upper Amargosa Creek Recharge Project and marking the debut of a new water storage endeavor in the Valley. Inside the basin, water flowed from holes in a round structure to begin flooding the bottom, where it will begin to percolate through the soil to the aquifer beneath.

Aquafornia news New Times San Luis Obispo

Opinion: Don’t go into the tunnel

Votes of support by local jurisdictions bring the project one step closer to reality. Reality is a costly giant tunnel that would divert Sacramento River water bound for the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta and transport the water directly to Central Valley farms and urban users in the Bay Area and Southern California.

Aquafornia news Petaluma Argus-Courier

At Petaluma wastewater plant, the future is now

During its 10 years, the Ellis Wastewater Treatment Facility has reshaped itself to take in waste produced by a rapidly changing city, factoring in an increased population and new industries like large-scale beer production. Recently-completed projects costing roughly $9 million have changed the face of the wastewater facility by expanding treatment capacity, tackling hard-to-process industry waste and building a system that will provide biofuel to city vehicles.

Aquafornia news ABC News San Diego

Inspection found 12 flaws in Poway’s water delivery system

A state inspection found 12 flaws in Poway’s drinking water delivery system less than three months before the city’s precautionary boil water advisory. City officials remain adamant that the issues raised by the inspection had nothing to do with the nearly week-long advisory that ended Dec. 6.

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Aquafornia news ABC News San Diego

Members of different water districts blame the mayor and city of Poway for water problems

Members representing different water districts set up a news conference Tuesday to collectively show they weren’t happy with how the mayor and City of Poway handled last week’s water situation.

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Aquafornia news Pacific Institute

Blog: Managing urban flooding in the San Francisco Bay Area: From a concrete bowl to a green sponge

Urban flooding is increasing in the Bay Area for four main reasons: California’s naturally variable precipitation patterns, climate change increasing precipitation extremes, population growth, and aging and insufficient infrastructure.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Huntington Beach desalination plant eyes approval, but foes turn out in force

With Poseidon Water’s plans for a Huntington Beach desalination plant approaching the homestretch, critics were as adamant as ever at a Friday workshop, where dozens complained the proposal is environmentally flawed, unneeded and would jack up water rates.

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Aquafornia news Bakersfield Californian

Progress on canal repairs sparks hope but funding questions loom

It was welcome news for Kern County farmers, but word last week that the process of fixing the Friant-Kern Canal has finally begun may have obscured the fact that a great deal of work lies ahead — including finding money to complete the job.

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Aquafornia news San Luis Obispo Tribune

San Simeon could lift ban on new water connections

When will the San Simeon services district end its 31-year ban on issuing new water connections? Members of the San Simeon Community Services District board of directors took initial steps toward that goal on Nov. 13, unanimously authorizing the preparation of a major report about lifting the longtime moratorium on new water connections in the tiny town.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Poway’s water woes due to out-of-compliance infrastructure, state official says

A state official said Wednesday he intends to notify the city of Poway that its water storage reservoir is out of compliance, a situation he said directly contributed to last week’s storm water overflow that has left the entire community under a boil-water advisory and temporarily shuttered nearly 200 businesses.

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Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Lead in drinking water may go beyond California schools

California authorities are addressing the problem of lead in drinking water at public schools through a statewide program to test pipes and upgrade plumbing, but experts warn the threat goes well beyond schools – and nearby homes and businesses may unknowingly be affected.

Aquafornia news Bay Area Monitor

Let there be light: Creeks gain visibility through restoration

As land around the Bay was developed, creeks were rerouted underground through pipes called culverts for flood protection. But in some spots, these hidden waterways can be brought back up to the surface to provide habitat for wildlife and respite for people. The Bay Area is a national leader in this type of restoration, which is aptly called daylighting. And now we’re undertaking our most ambitious such project yet.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Lead in drinking water may go beyond California schools

California authorities are addressing the problem of lead in drinking water at public schools through a statewide program to test pipes and upgrade plumbing, but experts warn the threat goes well beyond schools – and nearby homes and businesses may unknowingly be affected.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

California should take over PG&E and possibly other utilities, former top regulator says

Following a string of utility-sparked wildfires that have killed scores of Californians and destroyed billions in property, the former top regulator of California’s electric grid says it’s time for sweeping change — a public takeover of Pacific Gas & Electric and possibly other private utilities, which would be transformed into a state power company.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Dirty water too pricey to fix for many Central Valley cities. Is this idea the answer?

Cities like Huron, with a population of 6,926 and a $22,802 median household income, are often too small to expand water access projects that could lower utility rates. While cities like Delano are too big to qualify for rural development projects from the federal government. But a new proposal could soon alleviate those pains.

Aquafornia news KPBS

Backed-up storm drain caused Poway’s water contamination

Rains caused storm drains to back up into Poway’s water treatment facility, officials said. Crews are working around the clock to clean and flush the system, which may take two to five days before the water is declared safe. The county health department ordered the closing of all restaurants in the city and residents are being advised to boil their tap water before drinking it or using it for cooking, city officials said.

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Aquafornia news KSBY

California red-legged frog delays sanitary district remodel

Frogs are delaying another wastewater treatment facility project, this time at the South San Luis Obispo County Sanitation District in Oceano. The South SLO County Sanitation District members are working to upgrade the nearly 50 year old facility, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is concerned construction could impact the California red-legged frog, a species on the verge of being endangered.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Weekly

With the future of the Monterey Peninsula’s water supply—and water utility—on the line, we take a look back at how we got here

There’s a war over the future of water on the Monterey Peninsula and it’s taking place in the board chambers of half a dozen state and local government entities. It’s also taking place on social media and in the press.

Aquafornia news Curbed LA

Giant water wheel will churn L.A. River water just like the 1860s

Called Bending the River Back Into the City, the project will churn with water from the river, siphoning a fraction of it out of the waterway, cleaning that water via “an artificial treatment wetland” … and then piping it to Los Angeles State Historic Park and the recently opened Albion Riverside Park and Downey Recreation Center so it can water plants and other landscaping there.

Aquafornia news KCRA TV

Crews build Sacramento’s McKinley Park water vault

Water in the vault will go the Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant in Elk Grove. This new system is designed to stop flooding on East Sacramento streets.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Pioneertown residents now have clean tap water — for the first time in decades

For three years, residents of the unincorporated San Bernardino County desert town have used twice-a-month shipments of bottled water because local wells were no longer meeting state standards for drinking water. … That changed in September, when work finished on a new pipeline that pulls clean water from a well 4 miles away in Yucca Valley.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

New LADWP commissioner works for a company that markets water and power

Nicole Neeman Brady serves as principal and chief operating officer at L.A.-based Renewable Resources Group, which … is in the business of developing energy and water projects, raising the potential for conflicts of interest if the company seeks to do business with LADWP while Neeman Brady serves on the board.

Aquafornia news Champion Newspapers

Chino Hills wells could be offline three more years

It will be two years in December that the city of Chino Hills shut down its wells because of a new contamination level set by the state for the chemical 1,2,3-TCP (TCP) and it could take another three years before a filtration system can be built to treat the chemical and put the wells back in service, according to public works officials.

Aquafornia news Daily Pilot

Opinion: Huntington Beach Seawater Desalination Plant will receive $585 million in credit assistance

Orange County has long been recognized as a worldwide leader for developing state-of-the-art, environmentally sensitive new water supply technology, and we are not resting on our laurels. … This month, it was announced that the Huntington Beach Seawater Desalination Plant will receive $585 million in credit assistance under the EPA’s WIFIA program.

Aquafornia news Hanford Sentinel

Lemoore breaks ground on ‘life-changing’ drinking water project

City officials gathered Thursday afternoon in Lemoore to break ground on construction of a new groundwater treatment plant project. … The City obtains all of its drinking water from local groundwater resources that are challenged by naturally-occurring water quality issues. These issues include elevated levels of arsenic, iron, ammonia, total organic carbon and color…

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Opinion: San Joaquin Valley’s water solution? Look north to the mighty Columbia River

Central Valley agriculture faces a looming existential water crisis from the interlocking problems of drought, climate change, and falling underground water tables. Yet the potential answer to this problem is incredibly simple and only a lack of political will may defeat it. The solution is to send south to California the abundant waters of the Columbia River.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Trio of Monterey Peninsula water projects delayed, again

In what has become an all-too-familiar occurrence, three water projects designed to serve the Monterey Peninsula have again experienced delays, including the Pure Water Monterey recycled water project and its proposed expansion, and California American Water’s proposed desalination project.

Aquafornia news The Capistrano Dispatch

Reservoir project in California aims to store recycled water

A reservoir and water dam project aiming to store recycled water is on track, according to water management officials. The Santa Margarita Water District gave a tour of the Trampas Canyon Reservoir and Dam on Saturday, Nov. 16. Construction began in January 2018 and is expected to finish by 2020.

Aquafornia news Patch.com

San Francisco’s emergency water system to expand

San Francisco Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously declared a State of Urgency, calling on the city to expand its Emergency Firefighting Water System to ensure the entire city is protected in the event of a major earthquake or fire. Currently, the water system only covers about one third of the city, leaving neighborhoods in the city’s west and south sides vulnerable.

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Soquel Creek Water District recycled water project awarded $50M state grant

The pricetag for recycled drinking water just got less expensive for Mid-County customers. The State Water Resources Control Board unanimously approved a $50 million grant for Soquel Creek Water District’s pending Pure Water Soquel Groundwater Replenishment and Seawater Intrusion Prevention Project.

Aquafornia news Fairfield Daily Republic

Water release to attract salmon into Putah Creek begins

The extra 90 cubic feet per second are designed, in part, to attract salmon up the creek – and the flows start a little later than in recent years due to the failure of state Department of Fish and Wildlife pumps in the Yolo Bypass. Rich Marovich, streamkeeper for the Solano County Water Agency and Lower Putah Creek Coordinating Committee, said because it has been so dry this fall, the later release may be beneficial.

Aquafornia news Torrance Daily Breeze

West Basin approves desalination-plant impact report — while dozens of foes stand against it

West Basin Municipal Water District took the next steps Monday toward building a desalination facility in El Segundo, a project that has drawn fierce opposition from conservation groups — including some who staged a rally before the meeting.

Aquafornia news Napa Valley Register

Caltrans hopes to keep Highway 37 from flooding this winter

State transportation crews are wrapping up paving and drainage improvement work along Highway 37 ahead of winter rains in an attempt to avert flooding, which in two of the past three years led to multiday closures of the critical North Bay commuter artery.

Aquafornia news Palo Alto Online

With new deal, Palo Alto banks on recycled water for drought protection

Seeking to fortify the city against future droughts, the Palo Alto City Council endorsed on Monday a long-term agreement with Santa Clara Valley Water District and Mountain View to build a salt-removal plant in the Baylands and then transfer the treated wastewater south.

Aquafornia news Redlands Daily Facts

Poop to power: Highland sewer plant to generate electricity, opportunity

A $32.6 million addition to a water treatment facility rising out of the ground under giant cranes will turn waste into electricity, and provide education, jobs and more to an underserved community, according to the East Valley Water District. A co-digester added to the Sterling Natural Resource Center project will turn sewage and food waste into three megawatts of power per year, enough to power about 1,950 houses.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Coachella water district approves $40 million loan for Oasis farm water pipeline

The Coachella Valley Water District on Monday approved taking on outside financing for what is believed to be the first time in its 101-year history for a $40 million pipeline to bring more Colorado River water to the region’s farmers, freeing up valuable groundwater for other uses.

Aquafornia news San Luis Obispo Tribune

Sewage spills from California Men’s Colony prison

Thousands of gallons of partially treated wastewater was released from California Men’s Colony into Chorro Creek Thursday morning, the San Luis Obispo County Public Health department said… Approximately 33,000 gallons of wastewater were released from the prison north of San Luis Obispo…

Aquafornia news Voice of Orange County

Newport Beach set to consider water rate hike

Water rates have not increased in Newport Beach since 2014. If approved, starting Jan. 1, water rates will increase 7.4% each year until 2024. After 2024, the proposal calls for water rates to rise by 2.5% each year until 2029. The average household … can expect a $3.38 per month increase in its water bill for the first year, according to a staff report.

Aquafornia news The Nevada Independent

Water district linked to developer will consider reforms after eminent domain action revealed web of conflicts

After blurring the line between a private and public utility for nearly two decades, the water district that serves the world’s largest industrial park is looking to part ways with a developer. That action comes after The Nevada Independent reported this month that the public water district … is operated by a private entity and governed by three board members who report income from companies connected to Lance Gilman, the face of the industrial park. The board members also reside at Gilman’s brothel, the Mustang Ranch.

Aquafornia news Torrance Daily Breeze

West Basin Municipal Water District to weigh proposed desalination plant in El Segundo

A proposed desalination plant in El Segundo could soon be one step closer to reality. The West Basin Municipal Water District will hold a special meeting in Carson on Monday, Nov. 18, where the board will weigh whether to certify an Environmental Impact Report for the proposal. … The board has not yet selected a company to build the proposed plant, which could cost more than $400 million.

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Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

Arcata city officials say they want to use the wetlands for wastewater treatment for as long as possible

The treatment plant isn’t only at risk from rising sea levels … but also from rising groundwater and tectonic forces causing the land to sink, according to the 2018 assessment compiled by local sea level rise expert Alderon Laird. Laird has said to expect .9 feet of sea level rising by 2030, 1.9 feet by 2050 and 3.2 feet by 2070. … Arcata city officials are discussing moving the treatment … but that’s too expensive to do right now.

Aquafornia news Santa Clarita Valley Signal

Opinion: Water in Santa Clarita Valley: Success in a New Era

The newest water agency in California, the Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency, or SCV Water, has been one big success story. Formed on Jan. 1, 2018, it’s hard to believe this new agency is approaching its second anniversary. It was not easy!

Aquafornia news Monterey County Weekly

Opinion: Now that a public buyout of Cal Am has been declared feasible, is it doable?

According to a 111-page analysis by a group of financial consultants and bankers released on Nov. 6, not only is a buyout of the behemoth Cal Am feasible, it would also cause the cost of water to drop significantly if the water utility was replaced by a public agency.

Aquafornia news San Luis Obispo Tribune

Paso Robles water main break blocks road, closes Cuesta College

A water main break in Paso Robles flooded a roadway and forced Cuesta College to cancel classes at its North County campus Wednesday night.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Living shorelines: Linking estuary habitats and building capacity to adapt to rising seas

A living shoreline is an alternative to ‘hard’ shoreline stabilization methods like rip rap or seawalls, and can provide numerous benefits such as nutrient pollution remediation, habitat, and buffering of shorelines from storm erosion and sea level rise. … At the 2019 State of the Estuary conference, Marilyn Latta from the Coastal Consevancy and Katharyn Boyer from San Francisco State University gave a presentation on living shoreline projects in the San Francisco Bay.

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Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Consultant: Cal Am purchase can be paid for with rate savings

It will cost Monterey Peninsula ratepayers about $574.5 million, all in, to acquire California American Water’s local water system, but that cost can be covered in rate savings under public ownership with some leftover to lower local customers’ water bills.

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Aquafornia news Reno Gazette Journal

Opinion: As the Vegas pipeline fight persists, remember Owens Valley

The Southern Nevada Water Authority’s Las Vegas water grab and pipeline –– which has been in various stages of development since 1989 –– would forever tarnish public lands and waters in Eastern Nevada and Western Utah. The idea is a direct descendant to the Los Angeles Aqueduct.

Aquafornia news Treatment Plant Operator Magazine

A clean-water plant’s ponds become a top five bird-watching destination in its county

Ponds at wastewater treatment plants are like magnets for birds and bird-watchers, especially those along the migration flyway in California’s Central Valley area. Among them is the Clear Creek plant in Redding, along the Sacramento River, which serves as its receiving stream.

Aquafornia news NBC Southern California

Woolsey Fire crippled Boeing water safety system at toxics site

Boeing worked with the state and installed a massive system of plastic pipes, treatment systems and holding ponds meant to filter and manage potentially toxic rainwater before it poured downhill…  Then the giant Woolsey Fire ignited at the old laboratory… Flames destroyed plastic piping and tore through the storm water system before ravaging another 94,000 acres as the fire stormed west to the sea, according to state and Boeing records.

Aquafornia news Brookings Institution

Blog: As fire ravages California, our infrastructure is still not equipped to handle climate change

Here’s the scariest part: What’s happening in California is not an isolated problem. From saltwater-ravaged tunnels in New York to flooding in Houston to water loss along the Colorado River, it is clear that we did not design our infrastructure and communities to manage our new climate realities. While Congress and statehouses across the country debate how much to spend on traditional repairs and maintenance, we ignore a more fundamental question: What will it take to redesign our entire approach to infrastructure for an era of climate insecurity?

Aquafornia news Voices of Monterey Bay

Coastal Commission staff wants more study of desal impact

Cal Am Water’s experts may have seriously underestimated the potential impact the company’s proposed desalination plant would have on the existing water supply nearby, the staff of the California Coastal Commission concluded in a report released this week as a supplement to its exhaustive report on the overall project.

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Aquafornia news Patch.com

JPA formed to govern East County water purification program

The creation of the JPA marks a key milestone in moving forward the project that will create a new, local, sustainable and drought-proof drinking water supply using state-of-the-art technology to purify East San Diego County’s recycled water.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Tijuana and Rosarito to ration water supply for the next two months

Starting Monday, authorities in Tijuana and Rosarito will ration water for the next two months because of a limited supply, according to the Baja California Public Service Commission. Roughly 140,000 households and business in the border cities will go without water service for up to 36 hours every four days.

Aquafornia news The Mountain Democrat

Opinion: Long-term reliability and resilience requires investment

El Dorado Irrigation District has been making preparations for these power shutoffs since 2018. After analyzing areas in our system that would need to be bolstered in the event of large-scale power outages — pump stations or other facilities without backup power — we asked the EID Board of Directors to approve $800,000 to purchase generators that could be utilized across our 220-square-mile service area.

Aquafornia news Western Water

Friday Top of the Scroll: As wildfires grow more intense, California water managers are learning to rewrite their emergency playbook

The lessons gained from the 2018 wildfires that swept through Paradise, in Northern California, and along the Los Angeles-Ventura County border in Southern California are still being absorbed by water managers around California as they recognize that the old emergency preparedness plans of yesterday may not be adequate for the new wildfire reality of today.

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Aquafornia news Antelope Valley Press

Rosamond treatment plant gets upgrade

The revamped and expanded plant is expected to be operational in spring 2021 and will do so with a new name — The Rosamond CSD Water Reclamation Plant — to better describe its ultimate purpose. In addition to handling the community’s wastewater disposal, the plant will recharge the underlying groundwater basin, providing additional groundwater for the District to pump.

Western Water Gary Pitzer Douglas E. Beeman Layperson's Guide to Climate Change and Water Resources Gary PitzerDouglas E. Beeman

As Wildfires Grow More Intense, California Water Managers Are Learning To Rewrite Their Emergency Playbook
WESTERN WATER IN-DEPTH: Agencies share lessons learned as they recover from fires that destroyed facilities, contaminated supplies and devastated their customers

Debris from the Camp Fire that swept through the Sierra foothills town of Paradise  in November 2018.

By Gary Pitzer and Douglas E. Beeman

It’s been a year since two devastating wildfires on opposite ends of California underscored the harsh new realities facing water districts and cities serving communities in or adjacent to the state’s fire-prone wildlands. Fire doesn’t just level homes, it can contaminate water, scorch watersheds, damage delivery systems and upend an agency’s finances.

Aquafornia news KAZU

Public takeover of Cal Am appears feasible

A newly released study finds a public takeover of California American Water’s local system is feasible. Voters ordered this study with the approval of a local ballot measure, Measure J, one year ago. The Monterey Peninsula Water Management District released the study Wednesday.

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Aquafornia news Reno Gazette Journal

Nevada tribes oppose removal of American Indian site history document

The Goshute, Ely and Duckwater Shoshone tribes all consider the site, known as the swamp cedars, sacred and believe the trees are threatened by a proposal to pipe groundwater to Las Vegas. … Tribal members are pushing for greater recognition of the site in order to strengthen their case against Southern Nevada Water Authority’s proposal to pipe groundwater from the area to Las Vegas. 

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

PUC struggles to regulate PG&E on California wildfire safety

Gov. Gavin Newsom has taken to making public statements almost daily about PG&E’s shortcomings. Yet some elected officials and other experts believe the state itself — specifically the Public Utilities Commission, which regulates the company — should take some blame for the PG&E crisis. These critics say the commission hasn’t been aggressive enough about cracking down on PG&E’s safety flaws.

Aquafornia news KSBW TV

Editorial: Desal – No sale

Now is the time to focus on Pure Water Monterey and scrap the desal plans. If 10 years from now the recycled water project doesn’t do the trick, and there’s still a need for a desal plant, we can be optimistic that future advances in technology will make any desal option more environmentally-friendly and less expensive.

Aquafornia news Discover Magazine

Why desalinating water is hard — and why we might need to anyway

In places like San Diego and Dubai, where freshwater is scarce, humans turn to machines that pull the salt out of seawater, transforming it into clean drinking water. … Many researchers are working to improve the technology so it can reach more people — and address climate change without contributing to it.

Aquafornia news Paso Robles Daily News

Ribbon-cutting celebrates completion of tertiary treatment plant

The City of Paso Robles recently celebrated the completion of one of the largest and most complex infrastructure projects in the city’s history, new Tertiary Treatment Facilities at the City’s Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Aquafornia news Sierra Wave

LADWP may sell land now used for discharge

In the long run, the biggest news from Monday’s Bishop City Council meeting may be that Los Angeles Department of Water and Power could consider selling the land being used for waste water discharge by both the City of Bishop and the Eastern Sierra Community Service District.

Aquafornia news Santa Clara Valley Water News

Blog: Valley Water adopts new policy to address encroachment concerns

In order to take care of environmental concerns and maintain our facilities in a safe and effective manner, we have identified about 900 encroachments on public lands managed by Valley Water that require resolution. … Valley Water has implemented a new process to resolve these encroachments by working with our community.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Friday Top of the Scroll: No heat, no light? Not so bad. No water? Much worse

When the lights went out this week, Susan Illich of Sebastopol didn’t just lose power. She also lost water. That’s because, like thousands of residents in Sonoma County, she relies on a private well that operates with an electric pump. … “Water puts out fire,” she said. “My basic rights to fend off fire that could have killed me and my pets and damaged my home was obstructed.”

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Aquafornia news University of Southern California

Blog: Researchers discover antibiotic-resistant genes in recycled wastewater

A team led by USC Viterbi’s Adam Smith has found that purified water returned to Southern California aquifers often becomes contaminated with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, a realization that could have major implications on the global water supply.

Aquafornia news Deseret News

Bureau of Reclamation takes up review of Lake Powell Pipeline

The elimination of the major hydropower components of the proposed Lake Powell Pipeline means a new federal agency will review the project and determine if it is environmentally sound to move forward.

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Aquafornia news Stanford School of Engineering

Q&A: How do we develop new sources of usable water?

Late last month, the U.S. Department of Energy announced a $100 million research grant to the National Alliance for Water Innovation (NAWI) to lead an Energy-Water Desalination Hub. Meagan Mauter explains how this very large and potentially transformative project will work, and Stanford’s role in the work.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Mexico pledges to fight cross-border sewage spills

Mexico says it will rehabilitate five pumping stations in the border city of Tijuana to prevent cross-border sewage spills that have angered U.S. communities in the San Diego area.

Aquafornia news Ventura County Star

As deadline looms, Casitas sets Monday start date for diversion project

The Ojai Valley agency planned a roughly $1 million project to clear part of a 9-foot pile of silt, sand and gravel from its Robles diversion facility. … Without the work, Casitas officials said they could face emergency shutoffs, clogged fish screens and lost water this winter.

Aquafornia news Lamorinda Weekly

Orinda park gets $4M in state funds for largest creek daylighting project in Bay Area

Working with the East Bay Regional Park District, Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan has secured $4 million in state funding to daylight and restore an over 2,000-foot culverted section of creek in the upper San Leandro watershed.

Aquafornia news Livermore Independent

Zone 7 settles on minor boost to ag water price

Zone 7 Water Agency directors have voted 5-2 to raise the price of agricultural water by 3%, a relatively minor hike that one vineyard owner said is affordable. … The 3% bump was in stark contrast to the 30% cost for 2020 recommended by staff, which referred to a study by consultant Raftelis about actual costs incurred by Zone 7.

Aquafornia news Western Water

Friday Top of the Scroll: Understanding streamflow is vital to water management in California, but gaps in data exist

California is chock full of rivers and creeks, yet the state’s network of stream gauges has significant gaps that limit real-time tracking of how much water is flowing downstream, information that is vital for flood protection, forecasting water supplies and knowing what the future might bring. … Nearly half of California’s stream gauges are dormant.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Popular campground at Doheny State Beach will be closed for months

The California Coastal Commission last week approved a project proposed by the California Department of Parks and Recreation to replace and reline about 6,500 feet of sewer line within Doheny State Beach.

Aquafornia news Sierra Club

Blog: Santa Fe Dam: A hidden jewel of Southern California

Santa Fe Dam is an element of the Los Angeles County Drainage Area (LACDA) flood control system. Watersheds are more than just drainage areas in and around our communities. They are necessary to support habitat for plants and animals, and they provide drinking water for people and wildlife.

Aquafornia news California Globe

Is water and power rationing California’s future?

Tuesday, another text message warning came in from Pacific Gas & Electric that power outages are imminent. Again. Couple that with a same-day heads-up message from the El Dorado Irrigation District that when the power is out, they cannot pump water to homes and businesses, and California is feeling more like an emerging market economy in a developing nation.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

The world can make more water from the sea, but at what cost?

Desalinated seawater is the lifeblood of Saudi Arabia, no more so than at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, an international research center that rose from the dry, empty desert a decade ago. … Desalination provides all of the university’s fresh water, nearly five million gallons a day. But that amount is just a tiny fraction of Saudi Arabia’s total production.

Aquafornia news Vox.com

A year after the Camp Fire, Paradise wonders: Will it ever be the same?

Last year, the worst wildfire in California history nearly leveled a town called Paradise. Since then, residents have scattered and a lawsuit simmers. Can recovery efforts ever return a community to its old self? 

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Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Area elected officials back anti-desal project letter

Touting a shift in local politics and a preferable alternative, more than two dozen area elected officials signed on to a letter to the Coastal Commission calling for denial of the California American Water desalination project.

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Aquafornia news Camarillo Acorn

Big-ticket infrastructure costs pump up rates

Sewer rates are scheduled to go up in January for Camarillo Sanitary District customers, who already pay some of the highest wastewater rates in the county.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Alameda storm drain fee could more than double

Alameda property owners are being asked whether they are willing to pay more to maintain and upgrade the city’s aging stormwater system. … The reason? The city’s stormwater fund is running a $1 million annual deficit and the system needs about $30 million in upgrades, including at its pipe stations, some of which date to the 1940s…

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Editorial: Curious secrecy endangers pipeline project

The California Water Service Co. may have just shot itself in the foot, with tens of thousands of residents in Paradise, Chico and northwestern Butte County as collateral damage.

Aquafornia news Torrance Daily Breeze

West Basin Municipal Water District presents El Segundo desalination plant to Manhattan Beach leaders for the first time

The final environmental study for a proposed desalination plant in El Segundo will soon be released, the City Council for adjacent Manhattan Beach learned this week, when it received its first formal presentation on the potential project — even though the West Basin Municipal Water District first pitched the plant in 2015.

Aquafornia news Axios

The water crisis U.S. cities don’t see coming

Aging water treatment systems, failing pipes and a slew of unregulated contaminants threaten to undermine water quality in U.S. cities of all sizes. … Still, with only a handful of exceptions, “water systems aren’t designed to focus on health, they’re focused on cost-containment,” says Seth Siegel, whose book “Troubled Water,” released this month, examines the precarious state of water infrastructure in the U.S.

Aquafornia news The Mountain Democrat

Utility District approves ditch lining

A capital improvement project that’s been on the table for 17 years was finally approved at the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District’s Oct. 8 meeting. The project consists of removing vegetation and debris from the canal and lining three sections of the Main Canal with gunite. The canal takes water from Stumpy Meadows Reservoir to the Auburn Lake Trails Water Treatment Plant.

Aquafornia news ABC7 News

State of California could leave community without water after earthquake

Valley of the Moon is a small community of 27,000 people tucked away not far from Sonoma. It’s quiet normally, but the general manager of their water district has become quite the opposite. “I will not be the guy who didn’t say he did everything he could to get water to his people,” said Alan Gardner, general manager of Valley of the Moon Water District.

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

Latest Western Water explores potential for managed aquifer recharge to aid California’s groundwater basins

To survive the next drought and meet the looming demands of the state’s groundwater sustainability law, California is going to have to put more water back in the ground. But as other Western states have found, recharging overpumped aquifers is no easy task.

Aquafornia news New Times San Luis Obispo

A citizen group’s repeal could come at a cost to Morro Bay residents

Morro Bay pushed through discussions about 17 possible locations before it finally pinned down the South Bay Boulevard and Highway 1 site for its water reclamation facility. But the location is unacceptable to a group of residents who are petitioning the city’s decision to purchase the site of the future facility.

Aquafornia news Santa Clarita Valley Signal

Santa Clarita Valley Water opens six new wells near Bakersfield, uncorking “banked” water

Under an agreement to “bank” water outside of the Santa Clarita Valley, local water officials … and their water banking partners, Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District and Irvine Ranch Water District, opened six new groundwater wells and a conveyance system to the Cross Valley Canal in Kern County.

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Aquafornia news Bloomberg Environment

White House nears infrastructure permitting changes

The White House has begun reviewing a plan to change the way it issues environmental permits for infrastructure projects. If the proposal is finalized, it could speed up National Environmental Policy Act reviews for roads, bridges, ports, pipelines, power lines, Internet trunks, and water systems.

Aquafornia news Ventura County Star

Ventura approves $200 million wastewater recycling plan

The Ventura City Council approved a $200 million-plus plan Monday that will give the city more drinking water and greatly reduce the treated wastewater its sewer plant releases into the Santa Clara River estuary. The big-ticket item in the city’s plan is a new plant that will take wastewater that once went into the estuary and treat it to drinking water standards…

Aquafornia news Sonoma Index Tribune

Grand Jury report raises alarms about water security following an earthquake

The 2018-2019 Sonoma County Grand Jury report, issued in July, addresses several areas of concern that county residents and governments should be aware of, and prepare for. One of them is found in the “water report,” a 17-page document that poses the question, “Will there be water after an earthquake?”

Aquafornia news Daily Pilot

Mesa Water tweaks pipe replacement policy, cutting estimated cost

The Mesa Water District board took a step Thursday to reduce the estimated cost of replacing its pipeline system. With newly adopted methodology, district staff estimates the 100-year replacement cost at $131 million — down from $200 million under the former standards.

Aquafornia news Napa Valley Register

Napa County working toward a solution for Berryessa water, sewage finances

Napa County is taking a hard look at two small, remote Lake Berryessa-area communities to try to keep their aging utility services from once again falling into dire straits.

Aquafornia news Times of San Diego

Governor signs two bills crucial for San Diego’s transit and water plans

On Friday night the governor signed Assemblyman Todd Gloria’s Assembly Bill 1413, which will support local referendums on transit funding, and Assembly Bill 1290 by Gloria and Sen. Toni Atkins that clears the way for the pioneering Pure Water project.

Aquafornia news Sacramento Business Journal

California American Water seeks Air Force reimbursement for contamination cleanup

A provider of drinking water in Sacramento County is seeking reimbursement from the U.S. Air Force for a filtration system it installed to take contaminants out of groundwater near the former Mather Air Force Base.

Aquafornia news Business Insider

A floating plastic island in the San Francisco Bay may offer a new way to protect coasts from floods. It could even house people

A tiny fiberglass island is bobbing up and down in the San Francisco Bay right now. From far away, it looks like a beluga whale poking through the water. Up close, it looks like a misshapen raft. In reality, it’s a buoyant structure known as the “Float Lab,” which is designed to foster a floating ecosystem.

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Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Court ruling pauses Cal Am desal plant project

A Monterey County Superior Court judge has called a halt to work on the California American Water desalination plant project, at least temporarily, while a California Coastal Commission appeal challenging the project’s source wells is pending.

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Aquafornia news Highland Community News

East Valley Water District adds renewable energy to Sterling project

Working to “Make Every Source a Resource” and striving toward a more sustainable future, East Valley Water District Board of Directors approved the addition of state-of-the-art co-digester technology at the Sterling Natural Resource Center during the Sept. 11 board meeting.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

New EPA lead standards would slow replacement of dangerous pipes

The draft plan … includes some provisions designed to strengthen oversight of lead in drinking water. But it skips a pricey safety proposal advocated by public health groups and water utilities: the immediate replacement of six million lead pipes that connect homes to main water pipes. The proposed new rule would also more than double the amount of time allotted to replace lead pipes …

Aquafornia news University of California, Irvine

News release: UCI-led team to study socioeconomic effects of coastal flooding in California

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine are leading a new project with three other UC campuses to study the impact of coastal flooding on disadvantaged communities in California. … The effort will employ advanced simulation systems to deepen understanding of increasing flood risks within the state’s two most imperiled areas: Greater Los Angeles and the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

Aquafornia news Times of San Diego

San Diego Foundation awards $364,000 for local projects to address climate change

The San Diego Foundation has awarded $364,000 to six nonprofit programs that promise to strengthen regional resilience in the face of diminishing water supplies due to climate change.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Wastewater project could create drought-proof drinking water for 500,000 Southern California homes

In its effort to establish a new, drought-proof source of water that could serve a half-million Southern California homes, the Metropolitan Water District on Thursday, Oct. 10 unveiled a $17 million pilot plant that will bring wastewater to drinkable standards.

Aquafornia news KRCR TV

Here’s how to know if your water is safe to drink after a power outage

The largest Public Safety Power Shutoff by PG&E is affecting so many in the Northstate in a number of ways – one of them being private water wells.

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Aquafornia news Western Water

Friday Top of the Scroll: Recharging depleted aquifers no easy task, but it’s key to California’s water supply future

To survive the next drought and meet the looming demands of the state’s groundwater sustainability law, California is going to have to put more water back in the ground. But as other Western states have found, recharging overpumped aquifers is no easy task.

Aquafornia news Coastalview.com

Opinion: Getting ready for winter rains

Drainage in Southern California was built around getting storm water to the ocean quickly, but we now know that slowing down these flows and encouraging water to soak into the groundwater basin is preferable.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Thursday Top of the Scroll: Water conservation urged during PG&E power shut off

Cities, counties and regional water districts throughout the Sacramento Valley and Bay Area are urging users to cut down on water use during Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s public safety power shutoff, which has blacked out hundreds of thousands of customers since the early morning hours of Wednesday.

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Aquafornia news Santa Clarita Valley Signal

Opinion: Updated water supply info needed

As CO2 levels rise more rapidly than predicted, we need to re-assess infrastructure needs, from sewage plants and roads located along the coasts as the sea level rises, to our water supply and delivery system. “Infrastructure” might sound like a boring word, but it won’t be so boring to any of us if water doesn’t come out of the tap or untreated sewage is spilled into our bays…

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: Loss of power can hinder firefighters, but it’s a situation they plan for

The preemptive power outages, set to begin early Wednesday and extend for several days, could hamper firefighting efforts if blazes were to erupt in a blacked-out Bay Area community. That danger prompted fire departments and water districts on Tuesday to fill their tanks and water tenders, put backup generators in place and prepare for the worst.

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Aquafornia news Times of San Diego

Learn about a new source of water coming to Oceanside

The city of Oceanside is offering tours to experience Pure Water Oceanside, an innovative program that will purify recycled water to create a new local source of high-quality drinking water that is clean, safe, drought-proof and environmentally sound. Pure Water Oceanside will produce enough water to provide more than 32% of the city’s water supply, or 3-5 million gallons per day.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Stockton breaks ground to modernize water treatment facility

On Tuesday, city officials broke ground on a project to modernize Stockton’s wastewater treatment facility in order to meet stricter federal and statewide regulations and potentially foster business and residential growth.

Aquafornia news Business Insider

Orange County’s pure drinking water comes from filtered sewage

Whenever I visit my hometown of Orange County, California, I get to sip some of the purest drinking water in the US. The quality is sometimes hard to spot, since many drinking-water contaminants are odorless, tasteless, and invisible to the human eye. Even in cities where the water is contaminated with lead, residents have reported that their taps are crystal clear. But in Orange County, the water is actually as clean as it looks.

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