Los Angeles is looking into whether it should spend an estimated $3 billion on a massive, 20-mile underground pumped hydropower storage system that would be connected to the iconic Hoover Dam on the Colorado River outside of Las Vegas. If it does get built, this system would essentially serve as a giant battery to store power.
The federal agency that had been handling the permitting process for the Lake Powell Pipeline announced Thursday it doesn’t have jurisdiction to handle the entire project on its own. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission submitted an order indicating it would only consider permitting for the hydroelectric facilities proposed for the project, and not the remaining 89 miles of connecting water delivery pipelines, although it would continue as the lead agency in charge of environmental analysis.
In a ceremony in the City of Industry with the San Gabriel Basin Water Quality Authority, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today [Sept. 20] announced the start of construction of a groundwater treatment system in Puente Valley as part of ongoing cleanup at the San Gabriel Valley Superfund Site. The new $40 million treatment system, expected to be completed by 2020, will capture and remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs), 1,4 dioxane, perchlorate, and hexavalent chromium from groundwater.
The St. Francis Dam Disaster National Memorial Act, a bill by Rep. Steve Knight, R-Santa Clarita and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., would honor the dead and tell their stories as well of those of the survivors. S.B.1926 has passed the House and awaits approval by the Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Senate.
After toiling away in the remote hills east of Interstate 680 on the Alameda-Santa Clara county line for seven years, hundreds of construction workers have finally finished the largest dam built in the Bay Area in 20 years. The 220-foot tall dam at Calaveras Reservoir — as high as the roadway on the Golden Gate Bridge soars above San Francisco Bay — replaces a dam of the same size, built in 1925.
Gavin Newsom and John Cox both drive zero-emission Teslas. That’s about where the common ground ends between California’s candidates for governor when it comes to the environment. … Cox opposes as a “boondoggle” [Gov. Jerry] Brown’s $17 billion proposal to move water from Northern California to Southern California through twin tunnels in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. … Newsom backs a one-tunnel option as more cost-effective.
The three-bill bundle includes: … — $44.6 billion for energy and water programs, including programs to ensure nuclear stockpile readiness and spur innovation in energy research. The bill also funds flood-control projects and addresses regional ports and waterways.
Politicians face a perpetual conflict between what’s expedient at the moment and what they should do for the long-term. The tendency, unfortunately, is for expediency to prevail, thus worsening longer-term consequences. … An even more graphic example is what happened in 2017 to Oroville Dam on the Feather River, the centerpiece of the state’s massive water distribution system.
Utah has some difficult financial decisions to make as it considers the Lake Powell Pipeline. The governor-appointed Executive Water Finance Board toured Washington County water facilities Tuesday as part of its second and final day of meetings in Southern Utah. Board members are considering the pipeline and its potential costs to both the St. George area and the state as a whole.
Frank Ruiz sees fewer birds at the Salton Sea these days. As salinity levels climb and kill fish in the giant but receding Coachella Valley lake, there are fewer white pelicans, brown pelicans and cormorants to be found, said Ruiz, the Salton Sea program director for Audubon California. “We’ve also seen a huge decline in other species like eared grebes,” he said.
The appeals are piling up over a recent state decision blocking the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s plans to pipe groundwater from Eastern Nevada. Four days after water authority board members approved a court challenge of State Engineer Jason King’s Aug. 17 ruling, opponents of the controversial pipeline project launched an appeal of their own targeting a specific part of last month’s decision.
California’s system of dams and canals is made of equal parts concrete and injustice. Injustice is baked into the system, which unfairly burdens Stockton and the Delta. A “vast and powerful” constituency of Delta water exporters — the south-valley water districts of Big Ag, southland urban consumers — likes it that way. Their latest baby, the California WaterFix, is more of the same.
The city’s wastewater treatment facility is set to get a huge face-lift in the coming years. A draft environmental impact report for the Regional Wastewater Control Facility Modifications project has been prepared, and the city of Stockton will hold a public meeting on Sept. 24 to review it.
A Canadian energy company will add to its helium operation with more than 3,000 acres of newly leased federal land near Petrified Forest National Park in northeastern Arizona. … Several rivers and streams flow near the leased parcels and empty into the Colorado River, which supplies water to 40 million Americans.
Two days ago a Denver Post front page story warned of water shortages and climate change facing the Colorado River which supplies water to much of Colorado and its 5.6 million residents. Other national stories the past few weeks have focused on the “crisis” and drought facing the Colorado River due to climate change. We [Daniel P. Beard and Gary Wockner] appreciate the attention paid to water issues, but there’s more to these stories than often gets reported.
Devastating flooding in North Carolina in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence has raised concerns about whether dams across the state, some of them already in poor condition, will be able to hold up under the strain.
The House of Representatives unanimously approved America’s Water Infrastructure Act, a sprawling bill that would authorize and fund projects across the country, from bridge repairs to school drinking fountain replacements.
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has determined that removal of John C. Boyle Dam along the Klamath River in Oregon will comply with all water quality standards, limitations and restrictions set by Oregon water law and the federal Clean Water Act. A decision on a similar permit in regards to dams slated for removal on the California side is pending through the California Department of Environmental Department.
Road improvements and other efforts could lead to longer hours at Diamond Valley Lake near Hemet. “We’re making steps forward all the time. It’s another step,” said Linda Krupa, a Hemet City Councilwoman and chair of a committee looking to increase recreational activities around the drinking-water reservoir.
Dave Vogel already knew that levees and dams had devastated the coastal salmon population in California’s longest river. The surprise for the fisheries scientist arrived when he saw the video footage of young salmon clustered beneath bridges in the watery depths.