“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
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
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has determined that the
60-year-old Whittier Narrows Dam is structurally unsafe and
poses a potentially catastrophic risk to the working-class
communities along the San Gabriel River floodplain. According
to an agency report based on research conducted last year,
unusually heavy rains could trigger a premature opening of the
dam’s massive spillway.
The wonky words infrastructure and resilience have circulated
widely of late, particularly since Hurricanes Harvey and Irma
struck paralyzing, costly blows in two of America’s
fastest-growing states. … A national civil engineering group
has surveyed the nation’s bridges, roads, dams, transit systems
and more and awarded a string of D or D+ grades since 1998.
A number of challenges facing the proposed Interlake Tunnel
project, including resistance from landowners near Lake
Nacimiento, have delayed the proposal again by about six
months. … The tunnel proposal calls for connecting
Nacimiento and neighboring Lake San Antonio, in Monterey
County, to allow water diversion from the former to the latter
during higher flow periods.
In a potential setback for the controversial Delta tunnels,
federal auditors say $50 million in taxpayer funds were used to
improperly subsidize San Joaquin Valley irrigation districts as
they helped plan the project.
Tommy Williams rips through an Alka Seltzer packet,
dropping the antacids into a bucket of water teeming with
juvenile steelhead trout. He has several minutes to
work before the anesthetizing effect wears off and the fish
Faulty design, construction and repairs of the main Oroville
Dam spillway allowed water to seep under its floor and build
up, lifting a concrete slab Feb. 7 into the water flowing down
the chute, starting a chain of events that largely wrecked the
Sites Reservoir has been talked about for decades, but now that
project officials — and backed by 70 major allies — have
formally submitted an application for state bond money, the
question arises: Will this $5 billion project actually come to
For years, scientists have drawn up terrifying scenarios of
widespread destruction and chaos that would come to Southern
California when a catastrophic earthquake hits. … While epic
flooding is different from a powerful temblor, both natural
disasters fundamentally alter daily life for months or years.
Taxpayers have spent billions of dollars on dams, levees and
bypasses to keep Sacramento and other Central Valley towns and
cities from flooding, but experts say the infrastructure would
prove no match for a megastorm like the one that pummeled
Houston this week.
It’s been six months since a failure of the Oroville Dam
Spillway led to the evacuation nearly 200,000 people, including
hundreds who took refuge at an evacuation center at the Nevada
County Fairgrounds as well as hotels in the Grass Valley and
Nevada City area.
A dozen water storage projects in California are now officially
in the running for a share of $2.7 billion in state bond funds.
But experts are cautioning that taxpayers shouldn’t get their
hopes up that these projects will solve chronic water shortages
in the state. The money comes from Proposition 1, a
bond measure approved by state voters in 2014.
They have one of the most powerful legal weapons found in any
courtroom – the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA.
But environmental groups, local governments and others face an
uphill climb in their fight against the controversial Delta
Ancient bones and abundant artifacts lie along Pacheco Creek,
just north of Highway 152 at Pacheco Pass, where generations of
Native Americans lived, died and now rest in peace. But the
site is also where Silicon Valley’s largest water provider
plans to expand a reservoir, storing more water for our
region’s ever-growing thirst.
Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers are considering five proposals
that would finance new homes for low-income residents, build
parks in neighborhoods without them and restore rivers, streams
and creeks among dozens of other projects.
President Donald Trump said Tuesday he has signed a new
executive order intended to make more efficient the federal
permitting process for construction of transportation, water
and other infrastructure projects without harming the
During the drought, Californians often asked why the state
wasn’t building more reservoirs. On Tuesday, the state finally
began taking a major step toward that goal, unveiling a list of
12 huge new water projects — from massive new dams in the north
to expanded groundwater banks in the south — that will compete
for $2.7 billion in state bond funding for new water storage
California voters in 2014 approved a ballot measure that
allocates $2.7 billion for water storage projects. It’s likely
there will be hot competition for the money when the California
Water Commission gets around to awarding it next year.
A $914 million plan to expand the Los Vaqueros Reservoir as
drought insurance for millions of Bay Area residents picked up
endorsements Monday from six conservation groups in a rare
display of environmental support for new water development.
Decision time is approaching for the agencies that will have to
pick up the nearly $17-billion tab for building two massive
water tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the heart
of the state’s water works.
Federal and state water-quality regulators have cleared the way
for the city of San Diego to avoid costly upgrades to an
outdated wastewater treatment plant, as long as local officials
continue to pursue a $3 billion water recycling program.
The deadline is Aug. 14 to apply for water storage funding from
the Proposition 1 bond measure voters approved in 2014, and
while the folks working to build Sites Reservoir will be
applying, they don’t need the money. Enough water agencies have
agreed to invest in the reservoir near Maxwell that it can be
built without taxpayer funds, according to Sites Project
Authority General Manager Jim Watson.
California officials have ordered owners of 93 dams to
reinspect their flood-control spillways following the Oroville
Dam crisis, including seven in eastern Fresno County…. Large
dams on the list include New Exchequer, which creates Lake
McClure on the Merced River, and Don Pedro Dam on the Tuolumne
River, which contains the sixth-largest reservoir in
California officials have ordered owners of 93 dams to
reinspect their flood-control spillways following the Oroville
Dam crisis, saying the spillways need a closer look following a
preliminary review. The list released by the Department of
Water Resources includes some of the largest dams in
California, such as the New Exchequer Dam on the Merced River,
New Bullards Bar on the Yuba River, and Lake Almanor Dam on the
Feather River in Plumas County.
Seaside cities are starting to prepare for the worst,
conducting vulnerability studies and considering a suite of
options. Among other measures, they can try to armor their
coastlines using seawalls, move critical infrastructure and
even retreat farther inland. Elected officials could update
zoning rules to discourage future building along the water.
More than six months into the Trump presidency, uncertainty
still surrounds any potential federal infrastructure plan.
Instead, the only formal movement is from Congress, where the
annual appropriations process includes proposed eliminations or
significant cuts to major programs within the U.S. Department
of Transportation (DOT), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),
and many other agencies.
As a candidate, President Trump billed himself as a new breed
of think-big Republican, pitching a $1 trillion campaign pledge
to reconstruct the nation’s roadways, waterworks and bridges —
along with a promise to revive the lost art of the bipartisan
The Environmental Protection Agency is considering a dozen
proposed water and sewer projects for a program that uses $25
million in federal funds to help secure billions in additional
public and private financing.
One of the biggest backers for building new dams and reservoirs
in California is House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of
Bakersfield. … As part of his push for the bill, H.R. 23,
McCarthy made a claim about the dearth of water storage
construction in the state in recent decades.
The federal government is poised to invest as much as $492
million to get Pure Water, the city of San Diego’s effort to
turn sewage into drinking water, off the ground. Today, the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is expected to announce
that San Diego is one of a dozen applicants chosen to
participate in a low-interest loan program under the
Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act.
With California’s drought fresh on voters’ minds, a longtime
water activist is asking their approval for a veritable wish
list of water and other environmental projects costing billions
– from fixing Oroville Dam’s cratered spillway to improving the
watershed of the Tijuana River.
In a significant step toward construction of the Bay Area’s
first major new reservoir in nearly two decades, Silicon
Valley’s largest water provider has begun negotiations to buy
more than 12,000 acres of rural ranch land — an area nearly
half the size of San Francisco.
Marin County sued 37 oil, gas and coal companies Monday
asserting the companies knew their fossil fuel products would
cause sea level rise and coastal flooding but failed to reduce
their greenhouse gas pollution. The lawsuit was part of a
coordinated litigation attack by Marin, San Mateo County and
the city of Imperial Beach.
A giant Southern California water district that could decide
whether to invest in the Delta tunnels as soon as September has
released the first of three “white papers” which are expected
to address some unresolved issues.
Agricultural leaders and farmers pressed their case for a
reliable water supply, immigration reform and their fair share
of the Farm Bill during a roundtable discussion with Sen.
Kamala Harris on Wednesday. Harris is the former attorney
general who won election last November in the race to replace
outgoing Democrat Barbara Boxer.
The meeting between [U.S. Sen. Kamala] Harris and nearly two
dozen agriculture and water officials was meant to ease what is
typically a fraught relationship between the state’s Democratic
leaders — all of whose power bases are in metropolitan areas —
and the mostly Republican Central Valley powers that
traditionally look at them with skepticism.
Using GPS and sonar equipment, it didn’t take [Kevin] Flora
[state Department of Transportation engineer] long to find what
he was looking for: holes up to 10 feet deep and 30 feet wide
in the riverbed and around the foundations of the bridge that
carries an average of 282,000 vehicles a day just north of the
Orange County line.
Working to expand water supplies for California’s next drought,
a coalition of 12 Bay Area water agencies took a
significant step Monday toward an $800 million expansion
of one of the largest reservoirs in the Bay Area — Los Vaqueros
Reservoir in the rolling hills near the Alameda-Contra Costa
Gov. Jerry Brown’s ambitious plans to build two massive
tunnels, reengineering the hub of California’s water system,
would destroy native fish species already on the brink of
extinction, lawsuits filed Thursday said.
Kicking off what are expected to be years of legal battles, a
coalition of environmental and fishing groups on Thursday filed
the first major lawsuits over California Gov. Jerry Brown’s $17
billion plan to build two massive, 35-mile-long tunnels under
the Delta to make it easier to move water from Northern
California to the south.
A rush-hour delay caused by flooded tracks at the Powell Street
Station in San Francisco — in the middle of summer — points up
a BART issue that doesn’t get nearly the attention that
overcrowded trains, finicky air-conditioning and the seemingly
daily “equipment problems” command: a steady supply of
EPA, Interior and Energy all have influence over
infrastructure, but possibly the most influential agency is one
that many Americans have never heard of — the Federal Energy
Regulatory Commission. … For years, energy industry CEOs
have complained about FERC’s slow pace, partly caused by
multiple public hearings and comment periods, so affected
landowners can express their concerns.
With Baja California pushing forward on its plan for a massive
desalination plant in Rosarito Beach, a ground-breaking
proposal to pipe some of that water to the United States has
overcome a key hurdle. The U.S. State Department’s approval of
a presidential permit marks a step forward for the Otay Water
District and its vision for a cross-border pipeline to import
the desalinated water from Mexico.
From hundreds of fish annually to nearly 9,000 per year, Butte
Creek salmon are thriving, thanks to a project begun 20 years
ago. That project was celebrated Thursday at Gorrill Ranch on
the Midway. … Bruce Babbitt, Secretary of the Interior for
the Clinton administration, helped bring the players to the
negotiating table to get the Butte Creek Salmon Recovery
Project, completed in the late 1990s.
There may be no more potent reminder of California’s humongous
snowfall than the plows still clearing roads that snake across
the state’s highest mountains as summer approaches.
… The snowpack presented an additional challenge this
year because it was heavily saturated with water.
Water infrastructure, for both drinking and irrigation, is
especially in need of improvement in the arid West. Amid a wave
of aging reservoirs, treatment plants and pipelines, and a
Congress unwilling to pony up funding to fix them, the Bureau
of Reclamation is considering private investment as a possible
solution. While some municipalities in the U.S. have partnered
with private companies on water projects, such deals are almost
non-existent on the federal level.
This weekend the water level in Isabella Lake is expected to
reach — and maybe even exceed — the restricted pool allowed by
the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. And that means it might be
time for residents who reside below the lake’s troubled dam to
review their risks.
Regional Climate Centers, a little-known network of weather
data gathering and processing centers, face an existential
threat in the form of a recommended 82 percent budget cut in
[President Donald] Trump’s proposed budget. Centers manage
weather information that helps fire managers battle wild land
fires, helps farmers decide where and when to plant crops and
helps engineers design dams and bridges that can
stand up to extremes.
State Public Utilities Commission officials are seeking input
on whether to conduct new hearings on California American
Water’s proposed Monterey Peninsula desalination project to
address a number of issues, potentially including an updated
project demand forecast and desal plant sizing evaluation that
could lead to a smaller initial plant that could be more easily
expanded as demand grows in the future.
Concerned Trinity Dam could suffer the same fate as Oroville
Dam — which had a near catastrophic failure this past
winter — the Trinity County Board of Supervisors on
Tuesday agreed to continue to pursue getting an emergency
spillway built on the dam.
Many of President Donald Trump’s campaign promises have sparked
controversy, but one of his proposals – spending $1 trillion
to fix the nation’s decrepit infrastructure – has broad,
bipartisan support, according to numerous public
opinion surveys. Water projects are only expected to be a
small part of that potential infrastructure spending, but
polling data suggests that the public is willing to pay for
such improvements – up to a point.
California’s powerful regional water districts are working
alongside Gov. Jerry Brown to take on more responsibility for
designing, building and arranging financing for a $15.7 billion
twin tunnel project that would ship water southward from
Northern California as they push to finally close the deal on
the controversial plan, two officials working closely on the
project told The Associated Press.
President Trump will lay out a vision this coming week for
sharply curtailing the federal government’s funding of the
nation’s infrastructure and calling upon states, cities and
corporations to shoulder most of the cost of rebuilding roads,
bridges, railways and waterways.
After facing criticism for a budget proposal that hung his
rural voters out to dry with huge cuts to crop insurance,
Medicaid, rural loan programs and air services, [President
Donald] Trump will release details of the infrastructure plan
in a speech on Wednesday that White House officials say will
stress his commitment to rural communities.
A massive landslide that went into the Pacific Ocean is the
latest natural disaster to hit a California community that
relies heavily on an iconic coastal highway and tourism to
survive, and it adds to a record $1 billion in highway damage
from one of the state’s wettest winters in decades.
President Donald Trump made rebuilding the nation’s
infrastructure a major job-creating campaign pledge. But while
his first big federal budget proposal has $200 billion for that
purpose, most of it won’t be available until late 2018 and
Eminent domain is often used by governments to gain
right-of-way for projects such as highways or government
buildings. But state and federal regulators who authorize
pipeline projects also typically grant the private companies
that are building them the right to use eminent domain to
secure needed right-of-way.
Federal dam regulators are reevaluating how they conduct dam
inspections in the wake of the Oroville Dam spillway crisis,
and they’ve ordered the nation’s dam operators to thoroughly
inspect their facilities to see “if they have a potential
Oroville waiting to happen,” a federal dam inspector said
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said Monday that the Trump
administration’s infrastructure plan will be out in a few weeks
and will call for $200 billion in taxpayer money to generate $1
trillion in private investment.
One of the wettest years in California history that ended a
record five-year drought has rejuvenated the call for new storage
to be built above and below ground.
In a state that depends on large surface water reservoirs to help
store water before moving it hundreds of miles to where it is
used, a wet year after a long drought has some people yearning
for a place to sock away some of those flood flows for when they
From the very first night of his election win, President Trump
was clear about his intention to usher in a new era in American
infrastructure. Since assuming office, the president and his
cabinet continue to use the figure of $1 trillion over ten
years to demonstrate the scale of their vision. By any measure,
one trillion dollars is a lot of money. … But just how
historic would a $1 trillion federal infrastructure program be?
The California Courts of Appeal has 90 days to decide the fate
of a water rate dispute between a Los Angeles-based water
wholesaler and San Diego County water managers. At issue is the
cost of moving water through the Metropolitan Water District’s
California is borrowing up to $500 million to pay for the
crisis at Oroville Dam, although it expects to be reimbursed
for its costs. … Kiewit Corp. of Omaha, Neb., has won a
$275.4 million contract for the repairs, which are expected to
take two years.
Proposed changes to a plan that is supposed to guide the Delta
through the 21st century have advocates on red alert, as they
worry that the new language locks in Gov. Jerry Brown’s $15
billion twin tunnels. The revised plan does not explicitly
endorse the California Water Fix, as the tunnels proposal is
Federal officials have concluded that infrastructure for
a proposed hydropower project — which would tap
billions of gallons of groundwater in the California
desert, just outside Joshua Tree National Park — wouldn’t be
especially harmful to the environment.
Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration is using federal security
regulations written to thwart terrorism to deny public access
to records that experts say could guide repairs to the Oroville
Dam and provide insight into what led to the near catastrophic
failure of its emergency spillway.
The water agency that supplies drinking water to Los Angeles
agreed Tuesday to contribute $1.5 million toward the planning
of Sites Reservoir in the Sacramento Valley, giving the agency
a toehold in a potentially valuable storage project.
Southern California’s most powerful water agency is prepared to
invest in Sacramento Valley’s proposed Sites Reservoir, a move
that could broaden support for the $4.4 billion project but
also raise alarms about a south state “water grab.”
A California American Water official argued the company’s
desalination project can secure key permits and approvals
within six months of certification of the final project
environmental review document and start construction shortly
afterward, despite a series of delays involving the draft
report and the prospect of seeking a critical permit from the
city of Marina.
President Donald Trump’s infrastructure plan won’t be ready
until later this year, delaying one of his signature campaign
promises and depriving his administration of a big policy
achievement in the first months of his presidency.
When Donald Trump and Mike Pence met this month to discuss a
promised $1 trillion infrastructure plan, the Cabinet Room was
filled with half a dozen billionaire executives … One person
who wasn’t there? The man who worked for months to line up
priority infrastructure projects for the Trump transition team.
Among the projects listed by the unions is the $1 billion
Huntington Beach Desalination Plant in California. … Also in
Southern California, the Cadiz water project aims to tap
groundwater from the Mojave Desert to supply roughly 100,000
More than a month after Coyote Creek spilled its banks and
flooded surrounding neighborhoods, city leaders Thursday said
some 500 families remain unable to return home and pleaded with
property owners to help house them.
Californians are more likely to favor beefing up the state’s
flood control infrastructure than building Gov. Jerry Brown’s
Delta tunnels, according to the latest poll from the Public
Policy Institute of California.
Among the governor’s priorities, including several with their
own revenue streams, are creating an express lane network he
says will relieve Bay Area congestion, extending BART to San
Jose, raising Folsom Dam to improve flood protection, building
a hydroelectric energy storage facility in Riverside County and
purifying Los Angeles water now being discharged to the ocean
in order to recharge groundwater basins.
While a nearly record-breaking rainy season has battered
California’s dams and stretched the limits of local levees, the
storms that began to hit Sacramento on Tuesday aren’t expected
to put much additional strain on the state’s flood-control
In the nearly 50 years since the Oroville Dam was completed,
construction methods have changed. Chico State University
construction management professor Chris Souder consulted on the
Folsom Dam auxiliary spillway project which began construction
in 2008 and is on pace to be completed in October.
[Los Angeles] Mayor Eric Garcetti proclaimed a state of
emergency Monday, citing concerns that melting snowpack in the
eastern Sierra Nevada could flood homes and highways in the
Owens Valley and damage the Los Angeles Aqueduct.
President Donald Trump on Thursday declared a major disaster
for California because of damage caused by heavy rains that hit
the state from Jan. 18 to Jan. 23, making available federal
assistance to state and local agencies as well as some
President Donald Trump, fashioning himself the
builder-in-chief, promised to invest $US 1 trillion to make
America’s potholed highways, unstable bridges, leaky water
systems, strained ports, and brittle levees whole again. The
pledge is more a slogan at this point. Still, Trump and his
advisers are adamant that such a big bet on the nation’s
arteries of commerce, health, and safety come with a large role
for investor-owned companies and equity firms to form
public-private partnerships, or P3s.
California water officials, still struggling with fixes at
Oroville Dam, will have to temporarily shut down the pumping
station that delivers water to much of Southern California and
Silicon Valley after discovering damage at another key state
Two years ago, the Los Angeles Rams did something unheard of in
California development politics: In just six weeks, the team
went from unveiling plans for an 80,000-seat stadium to earning
final approval from the Inglewood City Council.
Baja California’s governor is preparing to declare a state of
emergency in the coming days, hoping to draw financial aid for
Tijuana’s strained and underfunded sewage system following a
massive spill that sent millions of gallons of untreated
wastewater from Tijuana across the border and into San Diego
The nation’s roads, bridges, airports, water and transit
systems are in pretty bad shape, according to the civil
engineers who plan and design such infrastructure. The new
report card from the American Society of Civil Engineers gives
the infrastructure of the United States a D-plus.
Southern California could be overdue for a major earthquake
along the Grapevine north of Los Angeles, according to a
sobering new study by the U.S. Geological Survey. The research
found earthquakes happen there on average every 100 years.
To protect pond levees and its water treatment infrastructure,
the city of Modesto began releasing partially treated
wastewater into the San Joaquin River on Thursday afternoon.
… Working with the California Department of Water
Resources’ dam-safety division, there was a shared concern that
increased elevation in treatment ponds, combined with wind and
wave action, could erode levees, he [city Utilities Director
Larry Parlin] said.
California faces an estimated $50 billion price tag for roads,
dams and other infrastructure threatened by floods such as the
one that severely damaged Oroville Dam last month, the state’s
natural resources secretary said Wednesday.
California Natural Resources Secretary John Laird told the U.S.
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on Wednesday that
further deterioration of the nation’s aging flood control and
water infrastructure systems will put lives at risk.
The plan to remove four hydroelectric dams to improve fish
passage and water quality on the Klamath River is proceeding on
schedule for a 2020 demolition time, according to plan
proponents. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will
ultimately have to approve or deny the plan, and the change in
administration in Washington, D.C., has led to three of the
five seats on the commission being vacated.
Until a few weeks ago, the McCormack-Williamson Tract in the
California Delta was an island of low-lying farmland, more than
two square miles protected from the surrounding rivers and
sloughs by earthen levees.
A Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary representative said
the latest delay involving California American Water’s proposed
Monterey Peninsula desalination project — a 30-day extension of
the public comment period on the project’s draft combined state
and federal environmental review document — could push back
finalization of the report by a month.
President Trump said again Monday that he was preparing to
spend big on infrastructure. But even as he spoke,
administration officials and congressional leaders were telling
governors to expect little new federal investment in roads,
bridges, transit systems, dam repairs and other water works.
A day after rescuers boated hundreds of people to safety during
San Jose’s worst flooding in decades, city officials Wednesday
let many of the 14,000 evacuated residents return home and
blamed the sudden overflow of Coyote Creek on bad information
about its capacity.
The spillway gates opened at Don Pedro Reservoir at 3 p.m.
Monday, and over the next four or more days could nearly triple
the flow of the Tuolumne River as it comes through Stanislaus
County and Modesto.
The frantic effort over the last few days to lower water levels
at Oroville Dam after the structure’s two spillways became
damaged is part of a larger drama playing out as California
rapidly shifts from extreme drought to intense deluges.
When operators of Oroville Dam suddenly ordered evacuations on
Sunday, it focused a big spotlight on a crucial piece of
California’s flood-control infrastructure – spillways.
… Some of these dams are getting upgrades, albeit
Shock over the emergency evacuation downriver from the Oroville
Dam has given way to serious questions about how California is
coping with its aging infrastructure — which the American
Society of Civil Engineers says would cost the state a
staggering $65 billion per year to fix and maintain after years
As the nation’s 84,000 dams continue to age, a growing number
of people downstream of these structures are at risk,
according to experts and data of the nation’s dams.
… California has 1,585 dams, according to the National
Inventory of Dams database. Fifty-two percent of those dams are
considered a high hazard, the fourth-most of any state.
One day after the deterioration of an Oroville Dam
spillway forced the evacuation of more than
180,000 people in the Sacramento Valley, a reservoir
at the southern end of Santa Clara Valley flirted with an
With President Trump pledging $1 trillion for
infrastructure, California officials on Wednesday took a break
from their feud with the new administration to propose a list
of $100 billion in projects for possible federal funding to
help rebuild the Golden State’s system of crumbling roads and
bridges and improve transit and water storage.
California’s recovery from drought has been so remarkably quick
that reservoirs on the verge of record lows just a year ago are
now too full to handle more rain, prompting dam operators
across the state to unleash surpluses of water not seen in
The nation’s governors will submit a list of more than 300
infrastructure projects to President Donald Trump’s
administration this week, aiming to share billions he’s urging
for nationwide construction projects.
Ocean rise already is worsening the floods and high tides
sweeping California this stormy winter, climate experts say,
and this month’s damage and deaths highlight that even a state
known as a global leader in fighting climate change has yet to
tackle some of the hardest work of dealing with it.
President Donald Trump’s team has compiled a list of about 50
infrastructure projects nationwide, totaling at least $137.5
billion, as the new White House tries to determine its
investment priorities, according to documents obtained by
McClatchy’s Kansas City Star and The News Tribune.
A document purportedly leaked from the Trump administration
indicates that the proposed desalination plant in Huntington
Beach is among 50 infrastructure projects nationwide that the
president has designated as a priority.
Overhauling the environmental law, the California Environmental
Quality Act, is a perennial issue at the Capitol, and the
measure benefiting the Warriors arena was one of the most
high-profile CEQA reforms in recent years.
Close to 100 people showed up to speak for the removal of the
four dams on the Klamath River at a public meeting put on by
the California State Water Resource Control Board in Arcata on
It isn’t entirely true that [Gov. Jerry] Brown’s new
$179.5-billion budget proposal ignores infrastructure. The
state is moving toward helping to finance probable construction
of a major reservoir called Sites in the Sacramento
Americans have had one primary reason for building dams over
the past century: capturing water for growth, whether on farms
or in cities. Now a new dam proposed on California’s Bear
River offers another reason: adapting to climate change.
On a a picturesque summer afternoon, West Basin Municipal Water
District officials chose to woo regulators with a stroll by the
beach in El Segundo, stopping to admire an unadulterated strip
of California coastline. … A few hours later,
environmental advocates held a town hall two miles away in
Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to build two giant tunnels to send
Northern California water southward moved a step closer
Thursday to final state and federal decisions, with the state’s
release of a 90,000-page environmental review supporting the
$15.7 billion project.
Saying that his Delta tunnels proposal has been subject to
“more environmental review than any other project in the
history of the world,” Gov. Jerry Brown and his administration
on Thursday released 97,000 pages of final reports.
After years of planning, officials have finalized all 97,000
pages of environmental documents to support Gov. Jerry Brown’s
controversial plan to build two massive tunnels through the
heart of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
It takes a while to get to the point, but an 80,000-page
environmental opus released Thursday makes the case that Gov.
Jerry Brown’s $15.7 billion twin tunnels project is the best
way to fix California’s water woes.
The federal government will be pouring nearly a quarter-billion
dollars into several dozen projects aimed at tackling the
effects of drought in the West and restoring watersheds that
provide drinking water to communities around the nation.
Poseidon Water hopes to help quench Orange County’s thirst, but
first the company’s proposed desalination
project must slake a thirst of its own. That’s why
Poseidon has long eyed a coastal power plant that has, for more
than a half-century, sucked up seawater to cool its massive
When enemies are in face-to-face combat, they’re often blind to
an obvious path to potential compromise. That’s certainly true
of water warriors, who have been battling over California’s
most valuable and limited resource since statehood. Fights
don’t get any more ferocious than over water in this state.
All was quiet at the Fehring house before the flood came. It
was before dawn on March 14, 2006. The family was asleep,
unaware of trouble upstream. The Ka Loko Dam, strained by six
weeks of heavy tropical rain, was coming unhinged.
Reflecting problems at other aging reservoirs, a $200
million project to drain and repair one of the Bay Area’s
largest dams to reduce the risk of it collapsing in a major
earthquake will double in cost and be delayed by at least two
The California water bill now ready for the president’s
signature dramatically shifts 25 years of federal policy and
culminates a long and fractious campaign born in the
drought-stricken San Joaquin Valley.
Few people expected a California water fight in the final days
of a lame-duck Congress, and fewer still expected landmark
water legislation to pit the state’s U.S. senators against each
other in the last moments of their 24-year partnership.
Senate Democrats introduced a $13 billion package of measures
that would provide money for street and bridge repair,
urban parks, transit systems, trade corridors, water
infrastructure and affordable housing.
A controversial California water bill that’s sparked years of
fighting has been added to a fast-moving measure, boosting the
chance the water measures will pass Congress but sharply
dividing the state’s U.S. senators.
House Republican leaders and California’s senior senator
announced Monday a new attempt to pass legislation that
would increase water deliveries to San Joaquin Valley
agribusiness and Southern California.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and House Majority Leader
Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, teamed up Monday to slip a
legislative rider into a giant end-of-year water infrastructure
bill that would override endangered species protections for
native California fish for the purpose of sending water to San
Joaquin Valley farmers.
Having made environmental clean-up history with a specialized
plant that breaks apart perchlorate using bacteria, management
at West Valley Water District is now focused on creating
another type of plant to attack this harmful water pollutant.
Cadiz Inc. has raised more than $9 million in a public stock
offering held Thursday, said Andy Moore, president of B. Riley
& Co., of Los Angeles, which underwrote the offering on the
NASDAQ Global Market.
NextEra Energy Resources is working to build a massive
hydropower plant just outside Joshua Tree National Park,
bringing the weight of one of the country’s biggest renewable
energy companies to a controversial project that critics say
would harm wildlife and diminish an underground water
supply critical to the park.
California voters have rejected Proposition 53, a November
measure to limit the state’s use of revenue bonds to pay for
large public works projects that could have undermined Gov.
Jerry Brown’s proposed twin water tunnels under the
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
California Water Fix faces one less obstacle, following voters’
rejection of Proposition 53, which would have required a
statewide vote for any state project financed by more than $2
billion in revenue bonds. It’s unclear how a Donald Trump
presidency will impact the twin tunnels.
An hour north of Sacramento, in a ghost town tucked into a
remote mountain valley, California is poised to build a massive
new reservoir – a water project of a size that hasn’t been
undertaken since Jerry Brown’s first stint as governor in the
1970s. Sites Reservoir, all $4.4 billion of it, represents an
about-face in a state where drought has become the norm and
water users are told to scrimp and save.
Gov. Jerry Brown has been appearing on the air and on the
campaign trail all over California to defeat one of the state’s
most hotly contested ballot measures — Proposition 53. It would
require voter approval on expensive infrastructure projects
that are considered linchpins in Brown’s legacy, including
high-speed rail and the Delta water tunnels, a plan to divert
water around the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to Southern
Millions of Bay Area residents could get extra drought
insurance against water shortages and quality problems from a
proposed $800 million expansion of the Los Vaqueros Reservoir
that may have up to 10 water suppliers as partners.
Gov. Jerry Brown is no fan of California’s Proposition 53. The
measure would require the state to place a public works project
of $2 billion or more up for a statewide vote before using
revenue bonds to pay for it.
[Dean] Cortopassi insists that no particular public
works project inspired Proposition 53 but admits he thinks
two particular proposals should have a statewide vote if they
end up relying on big revenue bonds: California’s plans to
build a high-speed train system and the sweeping
proposal to build twin underground tunnels to transport
water through the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta region.
Wealthy farmer Dino Cortopassi has a lot in common with Gov.
Jerry Brown. Both are in their late 70s. … And both have a
lot riding on Proposition 53, which would force state leaders
to get voters’ approval before undertaking massive state
building projects needing $2 billion or more in revenue bonds.
A nonpartisan state analysis has said [Gov. Jerry] Brown’s
proposals to spend $15.7 billion to build two giant tunnels to
help haul water across the state and $64 billion on a
high-speed rail system are the two projects that would most
likely be affected.
Last week, folks who are in the inner circle of the plans for
Sites Reservoir held a get-together in Maxwell to show off the
group’s new office and new logo. Also new is a website, that
talks about all things Sites Reservoir — a construction
schedule, facts sheets and a list of interested participants
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell penned a letter
this week to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission urging it
to approve a plan to remove four dams from the Klamath River to
protect the interests of fish and farmers.
Four dams on the Klamath River in California and Oregon are a
step closer to being taken down. In an October 17 letter to
federal dam regulators, the Department of the Interior signaled
its approval of a multi-party agreement that would result in
dismantling the Copco No. 1, Copco No. 2, Iron Gate, and J.C.
Boyle dams, which stand along a 30-mile stretch of the Klamath.
With less than three weeks until Election Day, Gov. Jerry Brown
and his political allies are suddenly pumping money into
the campaign to defeat Proposition 53, a previously low-profile
measure that could be the death knell of Brown’s high-speed
rail and Delta tunnels projects.
U.S. infrastructure is in bad shape. … A new report from
the American Society of Civil Engineers, or ASCE, quantifies
how the United States’ chronic underinvestment in
infrastructure—spending only half of what is needed—has created
an investment gap that affects the economy, safety, jobs,
communities, and health.
A proposition that a prosperous farmer brought to the
California ballot would threaten two ambitious water and rail
projects that Gov. Jerry Brown is pushing, requiring voters’ OK
before launching any state building project requiring $2
billion or more in revenue bonds.
A new frontier in the energy-water nexus is being forged in
Southern California. Teaming up with Advanced Microgrid
Solutions, Irvine Ranch Water District will be using an energy
storage system to reduce its costs and help ease demand on the
grid during peak hours.
Politicians generally agree the nation’s infrastructure is in
need of improvement. … To hear either candidate talk, a
staggering amount of money is going to be spent on
infrastructure – if Congress goes along.
California Governor Jerry Brown’s plan to build two tunnels to
carry water across the state is only economically feasible if
the federal government pays for nearly a third of it, according
to a previously unreleased economic analysis.
Giant tunnels that Gov. Jerry Brown wants to build to haul
water across California are economically feasible only if the
federal government bears a third of the nearly $16 billion cost
because local water districts may not benefit as expected,
according to an analysis that the state commissioned last year
but never released.
With senators in a standoff over annual spending bills, the
chamber is expected as soon as Wednesday to take up a
bipartisan, $9 billion measure that would authorize spending on
the nation’s water infrastructure.
The demolition of the Benbow Dam — the second largest such
undertaking in state history — is on schedule and is set to be
completed by October, according to California State Parks
Engineering Geologist Patrick Vaughan.
Contrary to popular belief, “100-Year Flood” does not refer to a
flood that happens every century. Rather, the term describes the
statistical chance of a flood of a certain magnitude (or greater)
taking place once in 100 years. It is also accurate to say a
so-called “100-Year Flood” has a 1 percent chance of occurring in
a given year, and those living in a 100-year floodplain have,
each year, a 1 percent chance of being flooded.
Water, or the lack of it, has emerged as one of the greatest
sources of stress for California, its people and its native
species. … But state officials have proposed a solution – a
massive hydroengineering project dubbed California WaterFix.
Its two giant tunnels will divert water from the Sacramento
River toward Silicon Valley, Los Angeles and farms in the San
In the Bay Area, more than $22 billion in infrastructure
upgrades since Loma Prieta have built a metropolitan area that
is far safer and far more resilient than before. Major water
pipes are now designed to bend, not break.