Topic: Climate Change

Overview

Climate Change

Climate change involves natural and man-made changes to weather patterns that occur over millions of years or over decades.

In the past 150 years, human industrial activity has accelerated the rate of change in the climate due to the increase in greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide). Scientific studies describing this climate change continue to be produced and its expected impacts continue to be assessed.

In California, the California Environmental Protection Agency has found temperatures have risen by about 1.5 degrees since 1895. Looking ahead, temperatures could rise by 2.7 degrees and its sea levels by 55 inches in the next 40 years, according to the California Energy Commission and the California Natural Resources Agency. These are among the ongoing issues the state faces as it grapples with climate change.

Already, California is confronting rising demand for water and diminishing supplies. At the same time, the state’s water infrastructure such as levees is increasingly aging and in disrepair—conditions expected to be made worse by climate change.

Aquafornia news KQED Science

When it comes to wildfire solutions, relocating communities is a tough sell

They call it “managed retreat.” More than a buzzphrase, the term has become something of a movement among officials looking for ways to cope with rising sea levels and increased river flooding. But what about in fire country, where California has seen so much devastation in recent years?

Aquafornia news California Sun

Blog: Photographs of a California beautiful and battered

For five years or so, German-born, San Francisco-based photographer Thomas Heinser has made a study of the state’s scarred landscapes. His images, shot from the open side of a helicopter, focus on the after-effects of drought, wildfire, and human profit.

Aquafornia news Oroville Mercury-Register

Chico State, Stanford University helping county analyze water basin management

A Butte County project will expand its partnership with Chico State and Stanford University to analyze available groundwater systems. The project involves analysis of well logs, and hopes to expand the analysis using magnetics and a grid to fill in holes in the data.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

PG&E power shutoffs affect customers both big and small

New regulations from the California Public Utilities Commission have authorized energy companies like PG&E to turn off power to avoid or reduce the risk of wildfires… For commercial customers — like other utility companies — it could mean huge losses in business and potential financial repercussions for their customers. The California Water Service is already preparing to take that hit this summer.

Aquafornia news Ventura County Star

Opinion: Water plan needs bigger frame

Water resource management is key in Ventura County to help address the perils local residents face from global warming, such as flooding, drought and sea level rise. The preliminary draft of the 2040 General Plan update on Water Resources Element is so much more than an “update.”

Aquafornia news The Grass Valley Union

Grass Valley OKs contract for Peabody Creek project

The main phase of a creek restoration project got a green light recently when the Grass Valley City Council approved a nearly $400,000 contract to reconnect Peabody Creek to its natural floodplain.

Aquafornia news Highland Community News

Sterling water facility one year into build

One year from its initiation of the design-build process for the Sterling Natural Resource Center water recycling plant, East Valley Water District (EVWD) Board of Directors reviewed the project’s considerable progress and adopted a few modifications during a July 24 meeting. … The project will construct a wastewater recycling plant capable of treating up to 10 million gallons per day.

Aquafornia news Mt. Shasta Herald

Klamath River Renewal Corp. submits response to dam removal questions

Klamath River Renewal Corporation announced last week the selection of Resource Environmental Solutions, LLC to perform restoration work after the proposed removal of four Klamath dams, and on Monday, KRRC announced it had filed with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission the answers to a plethora of questions brought forward by a Board of Consultants in December 2018.

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Aquafornia news San Luis Obispo Tribune

Editorial: Sea level rise is not ‘climate fear porn’ — it’s a threat to all of California

If we stand by and do nothing, California’s transportation network will be disrupted, its economy will be jeopardized as tech, manufacturing, tourism and ag industries falter, sandy beaches lost, and coastal residents will be forced to relocate, putting a strain on resources in inland communities. Yet many Californians have been treating sea level rise as a distant worry…

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

‘Protection for the entire river’: Yurok, fishermen sue to save Klamath salmon

A new federal management plan for the Klamath River is proving to be a disaster for salmon, a lawsuit alleges. The Yurok Tribe and the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations filed a lawsuit against the Bureau of Reclamation and the National Marine Fisheries Service on Wednesday because the new plan has led to drought-level flows in the lower Klamath River and an increase in salmon with a potentially lethal parasite…

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Aquafornia news KUNC

To commemorate Powell’s Colorado River expedition, research team retraces his steps

One hundred and fifty years ago, a group of explorers led by Civil War veteran John Wesley Powell set out to document the canyons of the Green and Colorado Rivers. It was the first trip of its kind. To commemorate the journey, a group of scientists, artists and graduate students from the University of Wyoming called the Sesquicentennial Colorado River Exploring Expedition has been retracing his steps this summer.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Opinion: Sites Reservoir needed for reliable water future

A flexible, reliable water supply is essential to California’s economy and to the job creation and job security goals of California’s working families. … Of all the projects vying for California’s attention, the proposed Sites Reservoir in Northern California offers the most tangible benefits.

Aquafornia news UC Davis

Blog: Removing tiny shrimp may help climate-proof Lake Tahoe’s clarity

Lake Tahoe, with its iconic blue waters straddling the borders of Nevada and California, continues to face a litany of threats related to climate change. But a promising new project to remove tiny, invasive shrimp could be a big step toward climate-proofing its famed lake clarity.

Aquafornia news KQED News

Friday Top of the Scroll: Feinstein working on bill to speed up logging, other forest projects to head off wildfire risks

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein has joined with a Montana Republican to craft a bill that would expedite logging and other forest management projects near electrical transmission lines and roads in an effort to head off catastrophic wildfires. The bill is also aimed at slowing or stopping lawsuits that block logging projects on federal land.

Aquafornia news Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory

Blog: Moving forward on desalination

Jeff Urban, a staff scientist who specializes in new materials for energy storage and conversion at Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry, a Department of Energy nanoscience research facility, explains what forward osmosis is and how Berkeley Lab is addressing the challenges.

Aquafornia news Long Beach Press Telegram

Central Basin Water District is now charging even noncustomers in Southeast L.A. County

Kevin Hunt, general manager for Central Basin Municipal Water District, said his agency needs the $600,000-plus the fee will raise to balance its $10 million budget. The water wholesaler has significant money problems because of decreasing water sales.

Aquafornia news Cool Green Science

Blog: A biodiversity analysis in Los Angeles

Two of the most basic questions about biodiversity are “what is it?”, which is the focus of taxonomists, and “where is it?”, which is the realm of biogeographers. Understanding basic patterns in the biogeography of an urban area is the focus of a partnership between The Nature Conservancy and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. We call our project Biodiversity Analysis in Los Angeles (BAILA).

Aquafornia news The Press

New Delta tunnel project begins taking shape

Opponents of the twin tunnels breathed a collective sigh of relief in April when Gov. Gavin Newsom put a formal end to the California WaterFix project, but that action also called for the assessment of a single-tunnel project in the Delta. The first major step in that direction took place last week when the Department of Water Resources (DWR) initiated a series of negotiations with public water agencies that participate in the State Water Project (SWP)…

Aquafornia news KPBS

Coastal cities wrestling with ‘managed retreat’ ramifications of rising sea levels

The California Coastal Commission has encouraged cities to include a strategy called “managed retreat” in plans to prepare for sea level rise. But the commission may be retreating from that position. Del Mar is a prime example of a city where an entire neighborhood is threatened by rising seas.

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Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles bulldozed endangered plants at Topanga State Park

Crews for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power recently bulldozed hundreds of federally endangered plants in Topanga State Park, and both state and city authorities have launched investigations into DWP’s actions, part of a wildfire prevention project aimed at replacing wooden power poles with steel ones.

Aquafornia news Coastalview.com

With water supply dwindling, water district plans advanced purification project

Like many communities throughout California, Carpinteria faces sustained and historic drought conditions. … In response to the shortfall, CVWD proposes a $25 million project to take wastewater that has been cleaned, purify it and then inject it into the groundwater basin to be used for various needs, including potable drinking water.

Aquafornia news Redding Record-Searchlight

Judge orders Westlands of Fresno to stop work on Shasta Dam raise

The Westlands Water District, which provides irrigation water to farmers on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, was working on a report assessing the environmental impacts of raising the height of the dam. But a judge ruled Wednesday that Westlands’ work violated a state law that prohibited local and state agencies from participating in any projects that would have an adverse impact on the McCloud River.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Cal Am seeks three-year rate increase starting in 2021

California American Water is seeking to raise its Monterey area average customers’ bills by nearly 18 percent over a three-year period from 2021-2023. … Under the proposal, the “average” Cal Am customer would see their monthly rates increase from about $89.40 to $105.42 over the three-year period.

Aquafornia news Water News Network

Blog: Study to explore new regional water conveyance system

The San Diego County Water Authority’s Board of Directors last week approved a contract to study the viability of a new regional water conveyance system that would deliver water from the Colorado River to San Diego County and provide multiple benefits across the Southwest. The $1.9 million contract was awarded to Black & Veatch Corporation for a two-phase study.

Aquafornia news Climate.gov

Blog: At a California oyster hatchery, farming native seaweed improved water quality

Native seaweed has the potential to be cultivated in California coastal waters and used to alleviate the effects of local ocean acidification, according to a new study funded by NOAA’s California Sea Grant.

Aquafornia news New Times San Luis Obispo

Thirsty for sustainability: Is Paso Robles any closer to solving its groundwater problem?

A San Luis Obispo County policy regulating pumping from the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin has hamstrung how Robert Galbraith can farm his land. For decades, the family grew corn silage, Sudan grass, alfalfa, and grains on their few hundred acres. Now, Galbraith has essentially lost the right to farm, though he can see many a green vineyard down the road.

Aquafornia news Tahoe Weekly

Lake Tahoe water wars, part I

Water is indeed the most precious natural resource in the arid West and from that perspective it should come as no surprise that water-rights issues on Lake Tahoe and Truckee River have been at the center of negotiation and controversy since pioneers first settled the region.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Thursday Top of the Scroll: Newsom signs bill requiring further environmental review for Cadiz project

A bill signed Wednesday evening by Gov. Gavin Newsom will require Cadiz Inc.’s Mojave Desert groundwater pumping project to undergo further review to show it will not harm the surrounding environment. … It requires the State Lands Commission to determine that projects involving the transfer of water from a groundwater basin won’t adversely impact the surrounding environment.

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Aquafornia news Merced County Times

Groundwater Sustainability Plan up for public review

Over the past 18 months, the three Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) in the Merced Subbasin have worked together to develop a Draft Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) that is now available for public review and comment.

Aquafornia news SCVNews.com

Efforts to save federally endangered frogs, tadpoles continue

Close to one thousand Los Angeles Zoo bred mountain yellow-legged frogs and tadpoles will be released into a tributary to Cooper Canyon, located in the Angeles National Forest. Representatives from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Los Angeles Zoo, and Forest Service will release the tadpoles Aug. 14 …

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: California farmers are planting solar panels as water supplies dry up

The silvery panels looked like an interloper amid a patchwork landscape of lush almond groves, barren brown dirt and saltbush scrub, framed by the blue-green strip of the California Aqueduct bringing water from the north. … Solar energy projects could replace some of the jobs and tax revenues that may be lost as constrained water supplies force California’s agriculture industry to scale back.

Aquafornia news Delta Stewardship Council

Blog: What does groundwater have to do with the Delta? A lot.

While it may not be obvious to some, sustainable groundwater management is inherently connected to the long-term survival of the Delta. Not only does the state’s most significant groundwater use occur in regions that also rely upon water from the Delta watershed, reduced reliance on the Delta and improved regional self-reliance are central to many of the goals outlined in the Delta Stewardship Council’s Delta Plan.

Aquafornia news GreenBiz.com

Ratings giant Moody’s buys big chunk of California climate-risk data firm

It is seen as a major move from one of the world’s biggest credit ratings agencies that could have a significant impact on how seriously climate risk factors are viewed by financiers. Based in California, Four Twenty Seven scores physical risks associated with climate-related factors and other environmental issues, including heat stress, water stress, extreme precipitation, hurricanes and typhoons, and sea-level rise.

Aquafornia news KSBY

Central Coast reservoirs riding high after winter rains

The heavy rains that hit the Central Coast this past winter are keeping recreators at area lakes and reservoirs happy this summer. However, the precipitation has done little to ease concerns for a group fighting Monterey County over the water it withdraws from Lake Nacimiento.

Aquafornia news Lake County News

30 Clear Lake sites tested, cyanobacteria concern in six Lower Arm areas

County and tribal officials are reporting that new testing at sites around Clear Lake have revealed half a dozen areas with cyanobacteria levels that trigger health warnings. Water monitoring is regularly done by the Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians and Elem Indian Colony, a valuable service that helps facilitate safe lake use.

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Aquafornia news The Washington Post

Study: El Niño has outsize economic effect on California

The findings of Tom Corringham and Daniel Cayan, both of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California at San Diego, confirm the connections between extreme weather events and El Niño…

Aquafornia news Ventura County Star

Wildfire, coastal issues worry Californians, survey finds

Californians are worried about global warming causing severe wildfires and consider the health of beaches and the ocean key priorities, according to a new statewide survey focused on the environment. … While the poll found significant concern about rising seas and more extreme heat, it was at a lower level than the preoccupation with wildfires.

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Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

The Yolo Bypass: It’s a floodplain! It’s farmland! It’s an ecosystem!

California’s biggest river—the Sacramento—needs a lot of room to spread in big water years. A floodplain project called the Yolo Bypass allows it to flood naturally, while also providing habitat for waterbirds, fish, and other aquatic species. We talked to Ted Sommer, lead scientist for the Department of Water Resources (DWR), about this versatile landscape.

Aquafornia news BobVila.com

10 homeowners who decided to rip out their lawns—and why

To mow or not to mow? This question is at the heart of a nationwide movement against lawns and in favor of more sustainable landscapes. These ten homeowners and garden enthusiasts created unique, beautiful lawnless yards—and you can too.

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Aquafornia news Noozhawk

Montecito pursues project funding for groundwater basin management plan

The Groundwater Sustainability Agency board will submit a sustainability plan to the Department of Water Resources in 2021 and begin to implement that plan in 2022-2024. The board last week heard a presentation about funding options to pay for the groundwater management plan — including fees, taxes or assessments to customers — and specific projects to implement the plan…

Aquafornia news The American Conservative

Opinion: Overpopulation, not climate change, caused California’s water crisis

California has grown from 10 million to at least 40 million since 1950, making it necessary to move water over long distances to where people live and work. Close to two thirds of the state’s population is bunched in a few water-dependent coastal counties.

Aquafornia news Inland Empire Community News

San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District breaks 30-year record for groundwater storage, at 20 billion gallons and counting

More than 61,000 acre-feet of snowmelt and rainfall has been diverted from Mill Creek and the Santa Ana River by the District and recharged into the groundwater basin for future use by those who pump water from the basin. Imported water was also used to help supplement the amount of water stored.

Aquafornia news EOS.org

Bringing climate projections down to size for water managers

Hydrologists are creating watershed-scale projections for water resources managers and tools that managers can use to plan for the effects of climate change.

Aquafornia news Forbes

Opinion: Amid climate-linked drought, farmers turn to new water sources. Those are drying up too.

What happens when the farmer’s source of water is tapped out? They look for it elsewhere. This could become a major problem as their adaptation to climate change only exacerbates another major impact from climate change—water scarcity.

Aquafornia news The Weather Channel

Faster water cycle brings worries of increased drought and flooding in the United States

The water cycle is the movement of water on the planet — from falling as precipitation, such as rain, ice or snow, to being absorbed in the soil or flowing into groundwater and streams and then being evaporated to start all over again. Research by scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey shows water has been moving more quickly and intensely through the various stages of the cycle, according to NASA’s Earth Observatory. 

Aquafornia news PasadenaNow.com

JPL researchers win Presidential Early Career Awards

John Reager is being honored for his work on the GRACE mission, studying Earth’s water cycle by measuring groundwater, floods and drought. This helps him and his colleagues study how extremes of water vary with time and climate change.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Peninsula mayors water authority downsizes

Seven and a half years after it was formed, the Monterey Peninsula Regional Water Authority is moving forward with a smaller, less expensive version of itself. … The authority has completed the vast majority of its mandate in backing a new water supply for the Peninsula and can now be expected to shift its focus toward dealing with the state water board’s Carmel River pumping cutback order.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: Three-way wrangle over plan to expand Shasta Dam

On Monday, the state of California and a coalition of fishing groups and environmentalists asked a judge to bar Westlands from completing a crucial environmental report in hopes of stalling the project. “Everything we see looks to be illegal,” said deputy attorney general Russell Hildreth. At issue is a stretch of the McCloud River that both sides agree would be inundated by the project.

Aquafornia news Salon.com

Climate change may decimate California’s avocado industry

The report estimates there are a cluster of major California crops that are particularly vulnerable to extreme temperature changes: wine grapes, lettuce, almonds, strawberries, table grapes, hay, oranges, cotton, tomatoes, walnuts, avocados, and pistachios. Specifically, avocado production in California could fall 40 percent by 2050 due to climate change factors.

Aquafornia news Inside Climate News

Global warming is pushing Pacific salmon to the brink, federal scientists warn

Pacific salmon that spawn in Western streams and rivers have been struggling for decades to survive water diversions, dams and logging. Now, global warming is pushing four important populations in California, Oregon and Idaho toward extinction, federal scientists warn in a new study.

Aquafornia news Valley Public Radio

Panel: An update on how the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act is working

Moderator Kathleen Schock got an update on how the work is progressing locally from Gary Serrato, executive director of the North Kings Groundwater Sustainability Agency, Christina Beckstead, executive director of Madera County Farm Bureau, and David Orth with New Current Water and Land.

Aquafornia news Manteca Bulletin

Opinion: Are Manteca leaders preparing to sell city’s future down the river?

Water is key to everything in California. If you have control of water in sufficient amounts you control your destiny. There are three things on the horizon that city leaders had best pay heed before they buy into the PG&E model regarding critical and essential utilities and go for the money in the here and now while ignoring long term consequences.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Novato wetlands flood control project slated for 2020

To reduce flooding on roads near Novato Creek, a Marin County flood control agency and a local environmental group are partnering to upgrade flood control equipment and improve wetlands in the Simmons Slough basin.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Water slides, cabanas, pools: $45 million aquatic center coming to this Sacramento community

The center, being built at North Natomas Regional Park, will feature the city’s first 50-meter competition pool with 13 diving boards and lanes. It will also feature a 25-meter pool, four water slides, a shallow kids’ pool, and a kids’ rope course and play area…

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Scrutiny grows over whether small, South County Water District can afford desalination plant

The project’s ocean-friendly technology has won praise from the same environmentalists fighting a desalter plant proposed by Poseidon Water for Huntington Beach, one of several things that distinguish the south county plant from the more controversial project to the north. … But the price tag is steep for a district that serves a relatively modest population of 35,000, just over 1% of the county.

Aquafornia news E&E News

Climate: Water shortages force a reckoning in California wine country

More than 90% of U.S. wine comes from California, despite growth in other states’ production, and it’s putting a strain on the environment. Throughout the region, wine producers say they’re striving to save water and use less pesticides, among other measures aimed at sustainable growing, as they face the challenges brought on by the advance of climate change.

Aquafornia news Hakai Magazine

Cities acidify the water next door

New measurements taken in California’s Monterey Bay show that it absorbs carbon dioxide emissions from the surrounding cities and agricultural lands, making it more acidic. The finding is reminiscent of the urban heat island effect, in which cities tend to be a few degrees warmer than the surrounding countryside.

Aquafornia news Association of California Water Agencies

Blog: Trinity River restoration project a collaborative success

During a recent trip to the Trinity River, I learned about the many challenges facing its salmon and steelhead populations. … A holistic approach to habitat restoration doesn’t rely on a single silver bullet solution, but applies a comprehensive set of actions that rely on collaboration

Aquafornia news Phys.org

Some Pacific salmon populations are especially at risk from climate change

Four population groups of Pacific salmon in California, Oregon, and Idaho are especially vulnerable to climate change, according to a new study in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Lisa Crozier of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and colleagues.

Aquafornia news Coastalview.com

With water supply dwindling, Carpinteria water district plans advanced purification project

By 2030, the Carpinteria Valley Water District estimates that on a dry year, the deficit could be as high as 1,550 acre feet—enough to fill 775 Olympic-sized swimming pools, or serve the average yearly use of 6,200 local households. In response to the shortfall, CVWD proposes a $25 million project to take wastewater that has been cleaned, purify it and then inject it into the groundwater basin…

Aquafornia news ABC10.com

Roseville preparing for drought with unique system to capture water for future use

Water is the lifeblood of the Sacramento Valley. Yet, the best methods for storing and using the precious resource are often elusive. A new water system in operation in Roseville treats underground aquifers like a bank, making deposits in times of surplus for withdrawal in times of drought.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

California coasts recovering, but more marine heatwaves like ‘The Blob’ expected

Jennifer Gilden, the Pacific Fishery Management Council’s staff officer for outreach, habitat and legislation, said the ocean conditions are improving, though the Chinook salmon population has yet to fully recover. Unfortunately, it is likely marine heatwaves are only going to increase in frequency and intensity in the coming years, according to a body of research on the topic.

Aquafornia news The Revelator

Blog: A climate-resilient Los Angeles must first address its polluted past

To meet ambitious climate goals, L.A. needs more local water. A critical step is battling the ghosts of industry past — polluted groundwater that dates back to World War II.

Aquafornia news KBAK

Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water District launching water market pilot program

The newly formed water market would create a place where farmers in the Rosedale district can buy and sell water based on their needs. So if one farmer has too much for his crops in a certain year, he’d be able to sell it on the market to another who might not have enough.

Aquafornia news FishBio

Blog: Discovering Delta data online

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is arguably the most extensively studied and monitored ecosystem in the world. This has generated mountains of data on everything from the locations of the smallest fish to the water quality conditions of the largest reservoir. Knowing where to access the most up-to-date information can be a real challenge, but fortunately several online dashboards can help

Aquafornia news Quartz

Artificial intelligence is changing the way we farm

High-tech firms like Ceres, Prospera, Farmers Edge, and the Climate Corporation are using artificial intelligence to help famers decide when to plant, water, spray, and harvest their crops. As climate change worsens rainstorms in the Midwest and drought in California, the technology could also help growers navigate more severe and volatile weather.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Woolsey fire burned habitats for California Red-Legged frogs

Katy Delaney pointed to an open patch of sediment at the base of the canyon. A year ago, pools of cool water gleamed under the sun and frogs basked on their banks. Now, a trickle of water lazed through the mud. And the California red-legged frog, whose fate had consumed eight years of Delaney’s life, was nowhere to be seen.

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

Seeding clouds and atmospheric river research among efforts explored on Edge of Drought Tour that starts in Burbank

During our Edge of Drought Tour Aug. 27-29, we’ll visit an atmospheric river observatory in Santa Barbara that specifically monitors the meteorological phenomenon and also visit Lopez Lake to hear from the County of San Luis Obispo on their cloud seeding efforts.

Aquafornia news Arizona Republic

Study: Drilling of deeper wells in United States is ‘unsustainable’

In areas where groundwater levels have fallen because of heavy pumping, people have often responded by drilling deeper wells. But exactly how much that has been occurring on a nationwide scale wasn’t clear until water experts compiled nearly 12 million well-drilling records from state and local agencies across the country.

Aquafornia news The San Francisco Examiner

The booms and busts in the population of anchovies

When the population collapses, like it did between 2013 to 2016, the effects ripple across the ecosystem. Brown pelicans struggled to reproduce and those that did abandoned their chicks. Thousands of sea lion pups were found malnourished and dehydrated on California’s beaches. These effects may be exacerbated by humans, especially when high fishing rates remain when stocks are in decline. California anchovies are almost exclusively sold abroad as food for fish farms and bait for tuna.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Opinion: Modernizing water infrastructure is crucial to achieving California’s energy goals. Here’s why

Thoughtfully implementing state law that requires local water users to bring groundwater use to sustainable levels within the next two decades will … result in withdrawal of large amounts of land from agricultural production and the loss of economic benefits. But we can repurpose those lands to support large scale storage and solar, as well as other renewable energy technologies that can help decarbonize our electric grid and create new jobs in the Central Valley.

Aquafornia news North Coast Journal

‘A Higher Priority’: Humboldt County, water district square off over zoning changes

If you’ve read stories about the disaster afflicting Flint, Michigan, you are probably grateful we still have good drinking water in Humboldt County. But the agency that provides water to a majority of county residents is increasingly worried about the future and going head-to-head with the county Planning and Building Department to protect water quality.

Aquafornia news National Geographic

Megadroughts could return to southwestern U.S.

Described in a comprehensive new study published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, scientists now understand the causes of the megadroughts common during the medieval period. With climate change, they predict more megadroughts in the future.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Thursday Top of the Scroll: Newsom signs clean water bill in Fresno County

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday signed into law the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund bill in the tiny Fresno County community of Tombstone Territory — where residents rely on bottled water because their private wells are contaminated. Starting next year, Senate Bill 200 will provide $130 million annually to clean up drinking water in California communities like Tombstone that lack access to safe water.

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Aquafornia news Red Bluff Daily News

Coleman Hatchery expresses optimism for future fish returns

The Coleman National Fish Hatchery is expecting good returns of their fish in the foreseeable future after a few lean years of comebacks. … Mother Nature worked with the hatchery this year providing high water levels and spring storms, said Galyean. When nature was not working in the hatchery’s favor was during the recent drought.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Blog: The state of wildfire risk reduction in California

After a few horrific years of extreme wildfires, California has been taking steps to reduce future risks with new programs, increased funding, and new policy efforts. We talked to Van Butsic—a land use scientist at UC Berkeley and an adjunct fellow at the PPIC Water Policy Center—about these efforts.

Aquafornia news the Confluence

Blog: A California-European Union workshop on sustainable groundwater management and conflict resolution

Gathering California water policy and decision-makers along with groundwater stakeholders and users, the workshop gave participants the opportunity to meet European Union (EU) water specialists, exchange experiences and ideas, and compare California and EU issues and solutions.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

As climate change threatens California, officials seek ’sustainable insurance’

California regulators are teaming up with the United Nations to develop “sustainable insurance” guidelines that would help address climate-change-related disasters such as coastal flooding and larger wildfires — the first such partnership of its kind between the international organization and a U.S. state, officials announced Tuesday.

Aquafornia news AgAlert

Opinion: California’s struggle for water certainty continues

For many years, federal “biological opinions” for delta smelt and winter run chinook salmon have dictated restrictions on operations of the pumps, reservoirs and canals of the federal Central Valley Project and State Water Project… Informed by a decade of science and on-the-ground experience with what we know has not worked, long-awaited new federal biological opinions are finally nearing completion.

Aquafornia news KUNC

As Southwest water managers grapple with climate change, can a ‘grand bargain’ work?

Water managers on the Colorado River are facing a unique moment. With a temporary fix to the river’s scarcity problem recently completed, talk has begun to turn toward future agreements to manage the water source for 40 million people in the southwestern U.S. … Some within the basin see a window of opportunity to argue for big, bold actions to find balance in the watershed.

Aquafornia news Association of California Water Agencies

Blog: Trinity River restoration project a collaborative success

During a recent trip to the Trinity River, I learned about the many challenges facing its salmon and steelhead populations. … But there is hope and evidence of progress in realizing ecological benefits of the past. A holistic approach to habitat restoration doesn’t rely on a single silver bullet solution, but applies a comprehensive set of actions that rely on collaboration between local tribes, federal and state agencies, and local government agencies…

Aquafornia news The Press Democrat

PG&E installing weather stations, cameras to defend against wildfires

The embattled utility, which sought bankruptcy protection in January with an estimated $30 billion in liabilities for the deadly California wildfires of 2017 and 2018, plans to have at least 600 weather stations operating in high-risk fire areas of its 70,000-square-mile territory by the year’s end.

Aquafornia news Ventura County Star

Close to $3 million of water has reached Ventura County’s overstressed groundwater basin

Close to $3 million worth of water has rushed down the Santa Clara River over the past several weeks to recharge groundwater basins in the Oxnard Plain. The release was part of a deal between the United Water Conservation District and Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency to help recharge aquifers still struggling after years of drought.

Aquafornia news Arizona Republic

Study explores groundwater pumping and surface water connections

Groundwater pumping has caused stream flow in U.S. rivers to decline by as much as half over the last century, according to new research by a University of Arizona hydrologist that strengthens the connection between groundwater and surface water.

Aquafornia news San Joaquin Valley Sun

Opinion: A listening California should consult the real experts on water

The Natural Resources Agency, California EPA, and California Department of Food and Agriculture want the public’s input on how best to manage and deal with an uncertain water supply in the future. It seems every new administration in Sacramento must deal with water issues in California that never seem to get fixed.

Aquafornia news Redding Record-Searchlight

Shasta County judge rejects effort to move Shasta Dam lawsuit to Fresno

A judge has rejected a San Joaquin Valley irrigation district’s request to move a lawsuit against raising the height of Shasta Dam to Fresno County. Westlands Water District, based in Fresno, wanted to move the lawsuit against it to its home county, but a judge has ruled the case will remain in Shasta County.

Aquafornia news PBS NewsHour

Kamala Harris proposes bill to invest in safe drinking water

The “Water Justice Act” would invest nearly $220 billion in clean and safe drinking water programs, with priority given to high-risk communities and schools. As part of that, Harris’ plan would declare a drinking water infrastructure emergency, devoting $50 billion toward communities and schools where water is contaminated…

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Water district OKs deal with Santa Cruz

The Soquel Creek Water District board met … voted unanimously to approve an agreement with the city of Santa Cruz to build a tertiary treatment plant for its Pure Water Soquel project onsite at the city’s Wastewater Treatment Facility, which also will supply the water supply for the project.

Aquafornia news Arizona Daily Star

Opinion: Drought contingency plans embrace water marketing

The state drought plans move gingerly toward encouraging transfers of water by using clever euphemisms that avoid any mention of water marketing. … These euphemisms are tools that usher in a new frontier in western water law that will increase resilience in the face of droughts, floods and forest fires fueled by climate change.

Aquafornia news Herald and News

Opinion: Federal freshwater and saltwater fisheries biologists should work under the same roof

The Trump Administration last year proposed to combine the responsibilities of both the NMFS and the USFWS under one federal roof. This would promote more efficient, effective, and coordinated management of all ESA responsibilities for anadromous and freshwater fish in Western watersheds, from the highest reaches of our headwaters to the Pacific Ocean.

Aquafornia news KBAK

Water Blueprint proposes parallel waterway for the sinking Friant-Kern Canal

The Friant Water Authority is confident a parallel canal is the best solution. This new one will be built in a way that prepares for subsidence. A new canal would also benefit from the Ground Water Management Act of 2014, which will regulate how much and when water is pumped out of the ground, preventing what some believe is the main cause of subsidence.

Aquafornia news Pacific Standard

Groundwater depletion may cause domestic wells to dry out

A new study looked at more than half a century of well depth trends to gain new insights into the management of the critical resource. … The team found that, between 1950 and 2015, across most of the country, groundwater users are drilling wells deeper and deeper. But well depths did not increase everywhere … which means that, in some places, wells might dry up.

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Aquafornia news Ridgecrest Daily Independent

Groundwater authority board discusses mandatory well registration

The Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority board of directors took the first step Thursday to require all groundwater wells in the valley to be registered by Oct. 1. … That first step also included a pumping fee to pay for the required groundwater sustainability plan due to the Department of Water Resources by Jan. 31, 2020.

Aquafornia news ABC News San Diego

Dead fish line shore of Scripps Ranch fishing spot

The die-off, largely of catfish and bluegill, happened over the weekend at Evans Pond, which is adjacent to the Scripps Miramar Branch Library. On Sunday, the water was reflecting a deep green color, likely due to an algal bloom that contributed to the die-off.

Aquafornia news Long Beach Press Telegram

Seal Beach prepares for extreme flooding because of sea level rise

Seal Beach residents got a look at what sea level rise could mean to them, thanks to a city presentation showing that large swaths of the small municipality could flood by 2050 and that the odds of even greater inundation will increase throughout the century. … There was also criticism that projections of sea level rise showed flooding far sooner than was probable.

Aquafornia news Red Bluff Daily News

Salmon restoration: Input gathered for 2020 East Sand Slough side channel project

The project is a part of the restoration of salmon habitat stemming from the Central Valley Improvement Act and will take place on the left bank of the Sacramento River at the East Sand Slough… It reconnects the East Sand Slough to the Sacramento River during minimal flows by excavating the main channel and entrances.

Aquafornia news Long Beach Post

New history exhibit shows city’s deep relationship with water is everywhere

The city’s evolving relationship with water is the subject of the Historical Society of Long Beach’s new exhibit “Water Changes Everything.” The free exhibit, which opened Friday and runs through June 2020, shows how “water has determined the history of Long Beach,” said Kaye Briegel, the long-time board member who helped put the show together.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

District raises water and sewer rates, despite protests

After objections from the public and lengthy discussions, Ramona Municipal Water District Board of Directors approved four types of rate increases recommended by staff. … Water rates have not been adjusted for three years.

Aquafornia news Physics World

Green water could help California’s farming woes

More effective use of green water – rainfall stored in soil – could mitigate irrigation demand for some of California’s most important perennial crops. So say US researchers who simulated 13 years’ growth of alfalfa, grapes, almonds, pistachios and walnuts under different irrigation strategies.

Aquafornia news Noozhawk

Montecito water rate study on desal deal with Santa Barbara gets delayed

A long-awaited Montecito Water District rate study, planned for release this May, will not be finished until later this year, officials said this week. The study can’t proceed until the district finishes negotiating the terms of an agreement for buying into Santa Barbara’s desalination plant.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Editorial: State water plan update worth just a yawn

The latest update of the California Water Plan was released this past week. You may not have heard the news. You may not even know there is a California Water Plan. And that’s just fine, because it doesn’t mean a darn thing.

Aquafornia news Mt. Shasta Herald

Opinion: Klamath dam removal will benefit fishing guides and anglers

As a small business owner who leads fishing tours for anglers from within and beyond the region, I understand that taking these dams out may lead to a short-term dip in business. But the long-term benefits of dam removal outweigh the near-term costs to my family and my livelihood.

Aquafornia news Arizona Republic

In 1983, plywood was all that kept Glen Canyon Dam from overflowing

Water in Lake Powell would come within inches of topping the dam’s massive spillway gates as engineers frantically tried everything they could think of, rigging 4-by-8 sheets of plywood to extend the top of the gates and releasing more than half a million gallons per second into the Colorado River.

Aquafornia news Register-Pajaronian

Pajaro Valley Water’s alternative groundwater sustainability plan approved

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) recently notified Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency that its Basin Management Plan (BMP) was approved and considered functionally equivalent to a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP).

Aquafornia news ABC7 News

Compton, Willowbrook residents can look forward to clean tap water after dealing with ‘contaminated’ water

Nearly 7,000 customers who live in the old Sativa Water District complained for months about murky brown water with a foul odor coming from their pipes. … Los Angeles County, which now has control of the water district, is taking old wells offline and connecting them to a neighboring water company.

Aquafornia news San Francisco State University

Blog: SF State team tests surprising new tools for slowing climate change

This month, a group of researchers working out of San Francisco State University’s Sierra Nevada Field Campus received funding for a five-year study to determine if restoring degraded meadows to their former, more lush state could make these ecosystems more effective tools for slowing the pace of climate change.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Monday Top of the Scroll: Snowmelt pushes Lake Tahoe water level close to legal limit

Lake Tahoe is the fullest it’s been in nearly two decades. Officials say the alpine lake on the California-Nevada line is approaching the legal limit after snowmelt from a stormy winter left enough water to potentially last through three summers of drought.

Aquafornia news St. George News

Army Corps of Engineers grants extension for Lake Powell Pipeline plans

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has granted Utah a 30-day extension to provide desired documentation and plans related to the Lake Powell Pipeline, according to state water officials.

Aquafornia news Fairfield Daily Republic

Solano commission recommends supervisors protect Cache Slough ag

The Solano County Planning Commission on Thursday was told that a proposal to more stringently protect agricultural uses in the Cache Slough area could negatively affect the goals of the Delta Plan.

Aquafornia news EOS.org

Restoring natural fire regimes can yield more water downstream

The new study capitalized on the unique data set available from Yosemite’s Illilouette Basin, which is the only watershed in the U.S. West with a restored fire regime where enough hydrological data have been collected to allow model validation. The results demonstrate how large-scale forest restorations may affect water resources, a topic of considerable interest across much of the region.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Justice Department motions for judge to revisit ruling on Agua Caliente tribe lawsuit against Coachella Valley water districts

Key parts of the case were dismissed in April by U.S. District Court Judge Jesus Bernal, who ruled that the tribe did not have a claim of harm because it has always had enough water… Now, the federal government intends to make its case that this ruling should be reversed.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Opinion: As the climate gets hotter and drier, state’s water plan must consider all options

At the same time the snowpack is dwindling, droughts are expected to become more severe. One example: scientists predict a strong likelihood that the Colorado River Basin will experience a megadrought of 20 to 50 years in duration during this century.

Aquafornia news Hakai Magazine

The legacy of The Blob

In 2013, a mass of unusually warm water appeared in the Gulf of Alaska. Over the next three years, the Blob, as it became known, spread more than 3,200 kilometers, reaching down to Mexico. … As a result, there is now a void in the populations of some species that were in their larval stages when the Blob hit its crescendo.

Aquafornia news Santa Clarita Valley Signal

Algae bloom at Castaic Lake prompts caution advisory

Swimmers, boaters and anglers are all being told to be aware of algae when they’re out on the lake. Algae blooms can be harmful to people and pets because of the toxins they produce.

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Aquafornia news Lawn & Landscape

On the mend

California Landscape Contractors Association’s Sandra Giarde … points out that parts of California are already teetering back on the edge of a drought again. Laws have yet to change that were put into place to conserve water during the drought, such as rules against hosing down concrete sidewalks. Those bans will only slowly be lifted by each municipality over time, if they’re even lifted at all.

Aquafornia news FishBio

Blog: Hot and Cold: Dialing in on temperatures for winter-run salmon

Winter-run Chinook’s need for cool temperatures has meant recent catastrophic losses when temperatures got too high, but a few recent studies have altered our understanding of this species’ temperature tolerance. This new knowledge may allow water managers to actually release less cold water overall, while still improving winter-run survival.

Aquafornia news Bakersfield Californian

Friday Top of the Scroll: LA’s Kern County sludge farm to stop receiving free Bakersfield water

For around 20 years, Los Angeles has shipped a large portion of “biosolids” from its toilets to fertilize a farm it owns just west of Bakersfield. Bakersfield, in return, has been providing an annual load of 18,000 acre-feet of free water to the farm. However, after passage of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, the value of treated wastewater increased.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Editorial: Coalition of agencies, environmentalists sees future for aging dam

While California contemplates new dams for its thirsty future, it’s also thinking about taking out old ones. Along with advancing plans to demolish three dams atop the Klamath River, there’s a movement to rethink and possibly take out a water and power dam in the Mendocino County back country.

Aquafornia news The Union Democrat

Twain Harte CSD installs raw-water draft point for firefighting

District Fire Chief Todd McNeal, who proposed the project, said the draft point will allow firefighters to pull raw water from the reservoir during an emergency and take pressure off the treated-water system.

Aquafornia news SFGate.com

California strawberries are about to get tastier and more environmentally friendly

Scientists at UC Davis have developed five new types of the berry set to hit the market this fall. … Researchers say these new strawberries are the best of both worlds: the strawberries will use less water, fertilizer and pesticides and still produce more, healthier, higher-quality strawberries.

Aquafornia news Napa Valley Register

State dissatisfied with Napa wine country groundwater plan

State Department of Water Resources officials emphasized they aren’t claiming well water use is harming the subterranean reservoir beneath the Napa Valley floor. Rather, they said a more than 1,000-page basin report submitted by Napa County doesn’t allow them to make a judgement.

Aquafornia news Environmental Defense Fund

Blog: The Groundwater Game: A new hands-on way to learn about groundwater management

One evening, at a community center in the Sacramento Valley, a teacher, a civil engineer, a tomato farmer and a local foundation board member found themselves standing above a table, feverishly competing to scoop the most glass beads from a large, communal bowl. But there was a catch.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Water safe to drink in quake-shaken California town

Residents of a small Southern California desert community hit hard by this month’s big earthquakes no longer need to boil tap water. San Bernardino County authorities announced Wednesday the boil-water notice for Trona and neighboring areas has been lifted and citizens do not need to rely on bottled water.

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Aquafornia news MyNewsLA.com

L.A. mayor nominates longtime water expert to MWD board

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti Tuesday nominated a longtime water-resources expert for a seat on the Metropolitan Water District Board of Directors. Tracy Quinn serves as the California director of water efficiency for the Natural Resources Defense Council and has almost two decades of water policy experience.

Aquafornia news Forbes

The importance of groundwater and of predicting human impacts on it

Water hidden beneath the earth’s surface comprises 98% of the planet’s fresh water. On average, this groundwater provides a third of all total water consumed… Before we even start to improve groundwater management, we must better understand and measure it, says international groundwater expert Craig Simmons, from Flinders University in Adelaide.

Aquafornia news Livermore Independent

Dozens of environmental groups want to contribute to Newsom’s water portfolio plan

A coalition of 55 environmental, fishing, and water policy groups has written Gov. Gavin Newsom, backing his Water Portfolio planning process, and announcing that they plan to take an active part with their own proposals for the plan.

Aquafornia news Sacramento News & Review

Opinion: The changing Delta’s challenges

Many Delta problems are worsening. Climate change is raising sea levels and temperatures, making floods and droughts more extreme and will likely further alter the mix of species. State legislation to end overdrafting of groundwater will increase demands for water from the Delta from farmers in the San Joaquin Valley struggling (mostly in vain) to find replacement water.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Secretary Crowfoot talks about the water resilience portfolio, delta conveyance and more

Secretary of Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot discussed the Governor’s water resilience portfolio and reiterated the Newsom administration’s support for modernized conveyance in the Delta. That was followed by a robust discussion that included Delta conveyance, water storage, emerging contaminants and PFAS, among other things.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

News release: DWR approves nine alternatives to groundwater sustainability plans

Following extensive technical review, DWR approved seven existing groundwater management plans and two 10-year sustainable yield analyses as alternatives under SGMA. One existing groundwater management plan and five 10-year sustainable yield analyses were not recommended for approval as alternatives.

Aquafornia news Santa Maria Sun

Cuyama passes pay-to-pump groundwater sustainability structure

Cuyama landowners will soon have to pay to pump groundwater, a decision that some say will place the burden of Cuyama’s dwindling water supply largely on farmers’ shoulders.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Thursday Top of the Scroll: Salmon study may foil Trump’s plan to boost water deliveries to Central Valley farms

Federal biologists worked frantically this year to meet a deadline to assess the environmental impacts of Trump administration plans to send more water to Central Valley farmers. But the biologists’ conclusion — that increased deliveries would harm endangered Chinook salmon and other imperiled fish — would foil those plans.

Aquafornia news Livermore Independent

Zone 7 has backup plan to keep water moving in power outages

If PG&E shuts down power as part of its plan to prevent fires in northern California, the water will keep flowing in the Valley, thanks to Zone 7 Water Agency’s preparations. … Zone 7 has two plants for water treatment and distribution … Both  have backup generators in case power stops. Each has a three-day supply of fuel, but the agency also has contracts with other generator suppliers who can each roll out at least three days of juice.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Desert Water Agency to elect members by district starting in 2020

The Desert Water Agency board voted 5-0 on Tuesday to move from at-large to elections by division, or district, beginning in November 2020. The move comes nearly eight months after a Mailbu law firm asked the agency to switch in order to comply with the California Voting Rights Act.

Aquafornia news Patch.com

Grass lawn removal rebate increases in Malibu

The rebate for Malibu residents who remove grass landscaping has been increased from $4 to $5 per square foot of turf removed, the City of Malibu announced Monday. The incentive is part of the Malibu Smart water conservation program offered by the City of Malibu, County of Los Angeles and West Basin Municipal Water District.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: EBMUD warns customers they’ll need to cut water use during fire-prevention power outages

If PG&E has to shut off power in the East Bay to prevent wildfires from igniting and burning homes, residents will be strongly urged to severely reduce their water use during the emergency. That’s because their main water supplier, the East Bay Municipal Utility District, may have its power cut off, too, and be forced to rely on 29 emergency backup generators.

Aquafornia news The Conversation

As flood risks increase across the US, it’s time to recognize the limits of levees

River towns can start by restricting floodplain development so that people and property will not be in harm’s way. This will create space for rivers to spill over in flood season, reducing risks downstream. Proposals to raise and improve levees should be required to take climate change and related flooding risks into account.

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

Blog: Ties between the Delta and groundwater sustainability in California

Groundwater overdraft is a major problem globally and has been a persistent and growing problem in California for decades. This overdraft is predominantly driven by the economic value of water for agricultural production and cities.

Aquafornia news Food Tank

Opinion: Changing agriculture from a GHG emitter to absorber

Agricultural scientists across the globe including at Stanford University and the University of California at Davis have in recent years been making new discoveries showing that healthy soil holds more carbon than previously thought and that good soil management can serve as an important carbon sink.

Aquafornia news Lake County News

DWR releases final California Water Plan Update 2018

Update 2018 presents a vision for greater collaboration and alignment among water sectors and institutions, sound strategies, and long-term investments needed for the sustainable management of the California’s water supply.

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Aquafornia news The Desert Review

IID votes to lower conserved water payments to farmers

Initially, farmers had been contracted $285 per acre/feet for conserved water and the IID welcomed all participants. However, due to the farmers’ innovation and ingenuity, the total acre/feet saved the past three years exceeded the amount needed for the QSA transfer.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Blog: An opportunity to restore fish abundance on the Eel River

The Eel River—once home to the state’s third-largest salmon and steelhead runs, all of which are now listed as threatened―may see the return of healthy fisheries in coming years. A unique opportunity to remove a dam that blocks fish from reaching spawning habitat has arisen. We talked to Curtis Knight, executive director of CalTrout, about the situation.

Aquafornia news U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

News release: Reclamation awards $5.1 million in research for new ways to desalinate and treat water

The Bureau of Reclamation announced that 30 projects will receive $5.1 million from the Desalination and Water Purification Research Program to develop improved and inexpensive ways to desalinate and treat impaired water.

Aquafornia news The Sun-Gazette

California’s 2019-2020 budget has millions for water projects and healthcare programs

Brokered in large part by rookie state senator for California’s 14 Senate District, Melissa Hurtado, the southern portion of the Valley has gained tens of millions of dollars of investment in drinking water, asthma mitigation, aging and disability resource centers and Valley Fever research.

Aquafornia news GVWire.com

Clovis secures its future growth with FID water deals

The Clovis City Council has approved landmark water deals with the Fresno Irrigation District that officials say will secure the city’s growth for decades to come. According to the Clovis General Plan, the city expects 280,000 residents in 2083 — 2.5 times its 110,000 population. Plans call for Clovis to grow northeast and southeast.

Aquafornia news Voices of Monterey Bay

Monterey County gives Cal Am the green light

Monterey County supervisors voted Monday to let California American Water start construction on its desalination plant even before the state Coastal Commission makes a decision on the technology involved.

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Aquafornia news The New York Times

‘Toxic stew’ stirred up by disasters poses long-term danger, new findings show

New research shows that the extreme weather and fires of recent years, similar to the flooding that has struck Louisiana and the Midwest, may be making Americans sick in ways researchers are only beginning to understand.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Heat waves likely to become longer, more intense — even in Bay Area, study shows

Summers in San Francisco may soon feel more like the warmer East Bay. The East Bay may soon feel more like Sacramento. And Sacramento — well, it might just be too hot to stick around any longer. One of the most detailed studies on rising temperatures suggests that few places in the United States will be unaffected by extreme heat by the middle of this century.

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Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Plan to sustain Santa Cruz County drinking water unveiled

Keystone projects for the midcounty planning effort, mandated by the state for all groundwater-dependent agencies, include stormwater runoff management, Soquel Creek Water District’s Pure Water Soquel advanced water treatment plant, and the city of Santa Cruz’s ongoing efforts to develop a supplemental water supply that would primarily make use of unused winter river runoff, likely through new storage options.

Aquafornia news The Confluence

Blog: Researching California’s extreme weather, storm-by-storm

Tashiana Osborne is a PhD student with the Scripps Institution for Oceanography at UC San Diego where she works within the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes on atmospheric river research: As a graduate student, you already have an incredible amount of experience, including working as a storm chaser and intern at NASA. Can you tell us a little more about your current research?

Aquafornia news CALmatters

Opinion: California refuses to enlist clean, cheap hydropower in fight against climate change. It makes no sense

For years, the people of the Northern San Joaquin Valley have been trying to get hydropower recognized for what it is: the original source of clean electricity. Our efforts have been stymied by people who feel entitled to decide what is, or isn’t, green enough. That’s why I have begun the process of modifying our state Constitution to recognize safe, abundant, carbon-free hydropower as a reliable source of renewable energy in our fight against climate change.

Aquafornia news The Atlantic

In new climate, California’s wildfires are 500 percent larger

Californians may feel like they’re enduring an epidemic of fire. The past decade has seen half of the state’s 10 largest wildfires and seven of its 10 most destructive fires, including last year’s Camp Fire, the state’s deadliest wildfire ever. A new study, published this week in the journal Earth’s Future, finds that the state’s fire outbreak is real—and that it’s being driven by climate change.

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Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Larry N. Olinger, vice chair of Agua Caliente tribe, dies at age 80

Larry N. Olinger, the tribal council vice chairman and a former chairman of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, died Monday morning, the tribe said. He was 80 and lived in Palm Springs. … While on the tribal council, Olinger worked to resolve a longstanding dispute between the tribe and the Coachella Valley Water District and the Desert Water Agency.

Aquafornia news Photographic Museum of Humanity

The illusion of limitless water

In black and white, John Trotter documents the use of water from the Colorado River, tackling the social, political, and environmental impact of the way it’s dealt with. Spanning over years and kilometres, his ongoing essay is a dire political outcry.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

New strawberry varieties on the way – tastier, cheaper, better for the planet, UC Davis says

They’ll use less water, less fertilizer and fewer pesticides – and they will probably be cheaper. The Public Strawberry Breeding Program at UC Davis just announced five new strawberry varieties that will be on the market in the fall and are expected to benefit farmers, sellers and consumers alike.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Climate change threatens freshwater fish

Fish die-offs in freshwater lakes are an increasing threat in California, and experts say climate change is to blame. … In a 2014-2017 report, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife found that high summer temperatures were not only worsening the quality of the water, but drying out freshwater bodies that hosted endangered species.

Aquafornia news KQED Science

Monday Top of the Scroll: Administration sidelines federal biologists who could stand in way of more water for Calif. farmers

Just days before federal biologists were set to release new rules governing the future of endangered salmon and drinking water for two-thirds of Californians, the administration replaced them with an almost entirely new group … to “refine” and “improve” the rules, according to an email obtained by KQED. Environmental groups said the Department of  Interior is interfering with the science…

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Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

Humboldt Bay is retaking the land as the sea level rises

Between 1890 and 1910, almost 90% of Humboldt Bay’s salt marshes, about 8,100 acres, were diked and drained for agricultural uses or walled off from tidal inundation with the construction of the Northwest Pacific Railroad. Now … the earthen dikes are beginning to fail, both because they haven’t been maintained and because they aren’t tall enough to hold back the rising tides brought on by rising sea levels.

Aquafornia news Colorado Public Radio

‘Greywater’ could help solve Colorado’s water problems. Why aren’t we all using it?

Colorado was the last Western state to legalize greywater usage in 2013. Officials say that by 2050, our water supply could fall short for over one million people. … Colorado’s Water Plan wants to close the gap and recognizes greywater as one tool to help make that happen. However, not a single state-approved greywater system has been built since it was legalized.

Aquafornia news Somach Simmons & Dunn

Blog: Five things you need to know about SB-200: california’s proposed clean drinking water fund

The California Legislature recently passed SB-200 that will create an annual fund of $130 million to tackle the state’s drinking water problems. Here are five things you need to know about SB-200…

Aquafornia news FishBio

Blog: Invertebrates with altitude: Effects of drought in mountain streams

Benthic macroinvertebrates, including insect larvae, worms, snails, and other backbone-lacking creatures, often rule the alpine waterways. However, their high-altitude homes put them on the front lines of climate change, which threatens to have major impacts on mountain streams. This is particularly true of streams in the Sierra Nevada of California…

Aquafornia news Arizona Republic

A hike through Sedona with Bruce Babbitt into the Oak Creek wilderness

In the 1990s, he played a central role in some of the country’s biggest environmental decisions. … He could have chosen to wrap up his career when he left office at the end of the Clinton administration in 2001. But Babbitt has remained actively engaged in issues he cares about.

Aquafornia news Forbes

Opinion: Megadroughts and desalination — another pressing need for nuclear power

Only 15 out of the thousands of desalination plants operating today worldwide are powered by nuclear. A small one is at the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant in California, slated to be closed soon. The plant could power several huge desalination plants for decades that could desalinate its own cooling water, removing the most commonly stated problem with the plant.

Aquafornia news Bakersfield Californian

‘Potentially harmful’ blue-green algae found in Lake Isabella, lake users should exercise caution

The Kern County Public Health Services Department recently received water samples from eight different locations in Lake Isabella, and two water samples indicated the presence of blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, at a cautionary level. This type of algae can be considered potentially harmful.

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Aquafornia news Klamath Falls Herald & News

National relevance of takings case reflected in Monday hearing in D.C.

A longtime court case involving the shutoff of water to multiple water users in the Klamath Basin in 2001 attracted wide-ranging attention from Pacific Northwest-based organizations and those within the legal community in Washington, D.C. Nearly 90 minutes of oral arguments were heard Monday at the U.S. Court of Appeals at the Federal Circuit.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Opinion: California Senate Bill 1 a dangerous over-reaction

Proponents have said SB 1 will keep Trump from delivering more water to farms, thereby harming endangered fish. That sentiment is exactly what makes SB 1 so dangerous. It relies on the worn-out trope that California’s water issues boil down to “farms versus fish.”

Aquafornia news E&E News

Climate, NIMBY concerns drive move to floating power plants

Climate-conscious local and state officials are increasingly embracing electricity sources that float on water, as they seek ways to convert their least-coveted spaces into hubs of electricity. This summer alone, developers broke ground on California’s largest floating solar project, located on a wastewater treatment pond in Sonoma County.

Aquafornia news San Joaquin Valley Sun

Opinion: It’s not too late to save California’s salmon, but here’s what we need to do

If we can make things just a bit easier and provide reliable water and habitat, salmon in California can and will recover. This understanding informed the State Water Resources Control Board’s recent approval of a legally-required water management plan to reverse the ecological crisis that threatens an important coastal industry, drinking water for millions, and the natural heritage of California.

Aquafornia news San Joaquin Valley Sun

Feds seek comment on tweaks to California water operations

Seeking to implement updated scientific methods to its operations in the Golden State, the Bureau of Reclamation released a draft environmental impact report on the coordinated operations between the federal Central Valley Project and California’s State Water Project on Thursday.

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Aquafornia news Arizona Public Media

Arizona senators propose drought bill

A bill sponsored by U.S. Sens. Martha McSally and Kyrsten Sinema would put aside hundreds of millions of dollars for water storage projects, water recycling, and desalination plants. … The bill is also sponsored by California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, and Colorado Republican Senator Cory Gardner.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Friday Top of the Scroll: California lawmakers seek to slow desert water project

A project to pump billions of gallons of water out from under the Mojave Desert and sell it to people in Southern California could be slowed by a bill approved for the first time on Thursday by the Democratic-controlled Legislature.

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Aquafornia news Pasadena Star-News

Arcadia, these are your rules for using water during the summer months

The drought may be over, but Arcadia residents and businesses must restrict their irrigation and water consumption yet again this summer as the city’s mandatory water conservation program continues to push through its first of eight phases.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

‘A floodier future’: Scientists say records will be broken

Government scientists predict 40 places in the U.S. will experience higher than normal rates of so-called sunny day flooding this year because of rising sea levels and an abnormal El Nino weather system. A report released Wednesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts that sunny day flooding, also known as tidal flooding, will continue to increase.

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Aquafornia news Grist.org

150 million trees died in California’s drought, and worse is to come

A new study, just published in Nature Geoscience, reveals an elegant formula to explain why some trees died and others didn’t — and it suggests more suffering is in store for forests as the climate heats up.

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Aquafornia news The Sun-Gazette

Communities still gaming out what the future of groundwater will be

To better understand groundwater markets, attendees at the meeting played a groundwater market game, which was developed by the Environmental Defense Fund and the University of Michigan to teach players about the challenges of managing scarce groundwater resources.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Opinion: California moves to block Trump from rolling back its environmental protections

There’s a new twist in the California-Trump brawl in the state Legislature. It’s aimed at overriding the president’s power to weaken environmental protections. Put simply, any federal protections President Trump tried to gut would immediately become state regulations in their original, strong form.

Aquafornia news BBKLaw.com

Blog: Irrigation district may refuse water delivery to rule violators

An irrigation district may adopt and enforce reasonable rules related to water service, and may terminate water delivery for failure to comply with such rules, a California appellate court ruled. Although this case involved an irrigation district, the decision may also strengthen other water providers’ authority to adopt and enforce rules relating to water service.

Aquafornia news NOAA

Blog: U.S. has its wettest 12 months on record – again

Rain – and plenty of it – was the big weather story in June, adding to a record-breaking 12 months of precipitation for the contiguous U.S. It’s the third consecutive time in 2019 (April, May and June) the past 12-month precipitation record has hit an all-time high.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Helix pledges additional $2.5 million for Padre Dam reclaimed water plan

The $650 million project involves a joint financial partnership between Padre Dam, Helix, San Diego County and the city of El Cajon. The Helix board voted 4-1 last week to continue funding the Advanced Water Purification project, which is expected to have reclaimed water flowing into faucets by 2025.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Weekly

The fight over Monterey Peninsula’s water future is a debate over who gets to decide

What is at stake is the water supply for the Monterey Peninsula. Consuming water drawn from the Carmel River is no longer feasible, neither ecologically nor legally. But the power to decide on an alternative supply is largely vested in the hands of public officials from outside the region.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Marin golf course’s threat to endangered salmon debatable

The golf course property, now earmarked by its nonprofit owner the Trust For Public Land for “rewilding” after a fierce community battle over its future, sits in the headwaters of the Lagunitas Creek watershed. The watershed … is a spawning and rearing ground for coho salmon and steelhead trout, both of which are on the endangered species list.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Thursday Top of the Scroll: High-tide flooding poses big problem for US, California, federal scientists warn

The nation’s coasts were hit with increased tidal flooding over the past year, part of a costly and perilous trend that will only worsen as sea levels continue to rise, federal scientists warned Wednesday.

Related article:

Aquafornia news USA Today

Global warming is killing fish, hurting sport fishing industry

Global warming is putting lake fish in hot water, with worrisome possibilities for many species, as well as the nation’s fishermen and the $115 billion sport fishing industry that employs as many as 820,000 people.

Aquafornia news Fox 26 News

Water levels at Friant Dam are at full capacity; what that means for the Central Valley

The water is coming straight from the Sierra Nevada Mountains and is very cold, which is causing some concerns people hoping to get into the water. But, the water itself, when used what it’s intended for, has a great impact in our Central Valley.

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Aquafornia news E&E News

Border wall: If people can’t get through, neither can the river

Despite being on opposite sides of the immigration debate, environmental groups who oppose border barriers generally mirror cattle rancher John Ladd’s concerns about the river. They say a wall or fence across the San Pedro could have devastating consequences to its hydrology, as well as the endangered species that call the river home.

Aquafornia news Ventura County Star

Editorial: General Plan update must include water supply

It is vital for a local resilient water supply that the county acknowledge and address the limited, local resource of freshwater in the redo of the county’s General Plan.

Aquafornia news Inkstain.net

Blog: How Parker Dam might have been the Colorado River’s first

If you want to dam rivers, as we were inclined across much of the 20th century, the location of the current Parker Dam on the Lower Colorado River makes sense – a narrow gap just downstream from the confluence of the Colorado and Bill Williams rivers on the Arizona-California border.

Aquafornia news The Conversation

Blog: Western states buy time with a 7-year Colorado River drought plan, but face a hotter, drier future

The plan is historic: It acknowledges that southwestern states need to make deep water use reductions – including a large share from agriculture, which uses over 70% of the supply – to prevent Colorado River reservoirs from declining to critically low levels. But it also has serious shortcomings. It runs for less than a decade. And its name suggests a response to a temporary problem.

Aquafornia news AgAlert

Agricultural water agencies refine efficiency plans

Agricultural water suppliers must develop annual water budgets and drought plans that meet requirements of recently enacted legislation, and are meeting with state officials to comply with the updated law—a process that could ultimately affect water costs for California farmers and ranchers.

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

Blog: Challenges and opportunities for integrating small and rural drinking water stakeholders in SGMA implementation

The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) is an historic opportunity to achieve long-term sustainable groundwater management and protect drinking water supplies for hundreds of small and rural low-income communities, especially in the San Joaquin Valley.

Aquafornia news SFGate.com

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: California’s future weather will alternate between drought and atmospheric rivers, study says

Remember the parade of atmospheric-river storms that deluged the Bay Area last winter, giving us the wettest rainy season in 20 years? There are a lot more of those on the way, scientists say. But California will also experience more periods of extreme dryness, according to a new study led by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.

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Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: PG&E’s planned power shutdowns could choke off vital water supplies

Utilities, including several in the Bay Area, simply don’t have the backup power to replace the electricity that Pacific Gas and Electric Co. normally provides for water delivery and sewage treatment. The agencies are trying to make their operations more energy efficient and adding alternative power sources in case the cord is cut, but it may not be enough.

Aquafornia news The Planning Report

Blog: MWD’s new chair, Gloria Gray, prioritizes reliability of supply & affordability

Industry veteran Gloria Gray took the helm at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. In this interview, Gray shares how she plans to steer the largest water supplier in the nation through changing political priorities and climate conditions to continue safeguarding the future of California’s water.

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