With longtime general manager Richard Solbrig retiring in January, South Tahoe Public Utility District was in need of a new leader. Now, the district believes it has found its man. John Thiel, a 26-year veteran of the utility district, has been tapped to take the reigns at STPUD following Solbrig’s retirement.
The Trump administration’s top environmental official for the Southeast was arrested Thursday on criminal ethics charges in Alabama reported to be related to a scheme to help a coal company avoid paying for a costly toxic waste cleanup.
The federal government and the state of California seem to love suing each other, and have done so dozens of times in the past two years without causing anyone much damage. But President Donald Trump is now threatening to sue the state over control of water. This could harm a lot of people, because water is the source of the most contentious and enduring battles in America’s largest state.
In the universe of California water, Tim Quinn has seen — and been a key player in — a lot of major California water issues since he began his water career 40 years ago. In December, the 66-year-old Quinn will retire as executive director of the Association of California Water Agencies. In a Q&A with Western Water, Quinn talked about his “rather unusual” career, “adversarialists” and the continuing water wars, and what he sees as the challenges and opportunities ahead in California water.
This month’s elections may have mortally wounded California’s chances for a long-delayed $23 billion water tunnel project. … The project’s biggest cheerleader, Gov. Jerry Brown (D), is leaving office because of term limits and his successor, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), lacks’ Brown’s enthusiasm for the tunnels.
The Mission Springs Water District’s newest board member, Steve Grasha, has tweeted at Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, that the senator should shoot himself in the head and that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio should be beheaded.
Seven candidates are poised to make their case next week to replace retiring Monterey Peninsula Water Management District director Bob Brower Sr., a position that could play a key role in influencing the future of the water district’s public buyout effort involving California American Water’s Monterey-area water system as mandated by Measure J.
The California Supreme Court begins its landmark 1983 Mono Lake decision with these powerful words: “The public trust is an affirmation of the duty of the state to protect the people’s common heritage of streams, lakes, marshlands and tidelands…” … The focal point of the [Defense Trust] weekend was the presentation of the Defender of the Trust Award, which celebrates individuals who champion Mono Lake and advocate for the public trust. This year’s recipient was hydrologist and hydrogeographer Peter Vorster.
It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of our partner and friend, Russell Behrens, on Nov. 2. He was 82. “Russ was an amazing human being and a fantastic lawyer,” said Best Best & Krieger LLP Partner Alisha Winterswyk, a friend and colleague in the firm’s Irvine office and in the Environmental Law & Natural Resources practice group. … “When Russ joined BB&K in 2012 he had already been practicing for more than 50 years, but he brought us some key clients and stayed active for several years while transitioning them,” said Managing Partner Eric Garner.
Department of Interior official Alan Mikkelsen — who spent the week in Klamath Falls and Medford — said he will return to the Basin next month to continue water talks, but that he has no plans to reach out to the Klamath Tribes based on their last interaction. Mikkelsen, senior adviser to Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke on water and western resources, said he’s met with a group of stakeholders at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) office in Medford on Monday for what he calls a “coalition of the willing.”
Imperial County voters re-elected Norma Sierra Galindo to the Imperial Irrigation District’s board of directors, rejecting a bid from Carlos Zaragoza, who was backed by a handful of farmers seeking greater control over the region’s Colorado River water. Galindo’s victory assures a continued majority of IID board members who have pledged to fight a lawsuit from local farmer Mike Abatti.
Under pressure from Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration, state regulators once again postponed a vote on a contentious plan to force San Francisco and several big San Joaquin Valley irrigation districts to give up some of their water supplies for environmental protection. On the eve of Wednesday’s scheduled vote, Brown and the man who will succeed him next year, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, asked for a month’s delay and promised to get involved in ongoing settlement negotiations.
Challenger Angelo Spandrio and incumbent Mary Bergen are vying for a seat on the Casitas Municipal Water District. … In the race for Division 4, the drought and shrinking water supply have been the focus and those issues have generated more than usual attention to campaigns.
Our one-year Water Leaders program gets you out of the office and into the field – whether it’s on one of our water tours to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta or the lower Colorado River, or meeting with your assigned mentor. Mentors play an important role in the program as they conduct a shadow day with class members and help to shape ideas for the class project on a key water topic.
Four Salton Sea-area residents, all younger than 30, were united in their mission: Produce a documentary for and about their community, which has been devastated by environmental issues. As the Salton Sea in the east Coachella Valley continues to shrink, toxic dust and and other airborne issues continue to affect those in the surrounding areas.
With over 30 years of advocacy experience on behalf of California’s Native American tribes, Department of Water Resources Tribal Policy Advisor Anecita Agustinez was recently honored with a resolution from the California State Assembly. Her recognition is a testament to DWR’s commitment to ongoing tribal government relationships on critical state water policies.
From the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA):
The recent mandatory water restrictions put in place by the state were the topic of an interview on July 16 by Judy Woodruff during the PBS News Hour of Timothy Quinn, ACWA Executive Director, and Craig Miller of KQED. Much of the focus of the interview was on just how serious the drought is and why the regulations are necessary right now.