Topic: Climate Change

Overview

Climate Change

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: ‘Blob’ of warm Pacific water is back — could be trouble for marine life and weather

The mass of unusually warm water, known officially as the Northeast Pacific Marine Heatwave of 2019, is the second largest in 40 years. Experts say it is behaving in the same way and is on a trajectory to be as strong as the infamous blob that disrupted the entire West Coast ocean ecosystem from 2014 to 2016.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Opinion: Newsom plan best to fix California water woes

We applaud Gov. Gavin Newsom’s efforts in leading discussions with the United States Department of the Interior, public water agencies and environmental groups to craft voluntary agreements that will restore the ecological health of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta while providing California with clean, reliable water.

Aquafornia news Arizona Public Media

Audio: Using computer models to predict the effect of climate change on groundwater in the West

Utilities typically turn to groundwater to make up for surface water depleted by drought. University of Arizona hydrology professor Laura Condon is using computer models to predict what climate change will do to the availability of groundwater. She is exploring a series of “what if” scenarios on how to respond to water shortages.

Aquafornia news Pasadena Star-News

Opinion: Science shunned by Trump once more

When the salmon are healthy, the world is healthy. That means the waters are clean and fast-running and the bottom gravel is clean. It means the rivers … are pouring as they should into our oceans, bringing nutrients and sediments into the salt- and fresh-water interplay.

Aquafornia news Paradise Post

Paradise Irrigation District approves water study, easement access for PG&E

The board easily approved a cooperation agreement with Butte County and the California Water Service Company on an Intertie feasibility study. … The intertie helps Paradise Irrigation District restore revenue lost when the Camp Fire destroyed about 90 percent of its customers.

Aquafornia news The Ukiah Daily Journal

Ukiah’s wastewater no longer being wasted

The city of Ukiah made its first delivery of recycled water through its extensive Purple Pipe system this week, putting about 2 million gallons of water reclaimed from local sinks, showers and toilets into an irrigation pond just south of the Ukiah Valley Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

UC San Francisco researcher gets grant to study water contamination after Camp Fire

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences has agreed to fund a study of possible contamination of the indoor plumbing of homes that survived the Camp Fire in Paradise and Magalia.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Salinas Valley Basin draft plan proposes millions in projects

More than $670 million in water projects … are options under a draft plan for helping get the Salinas Valley Basin to sustainability by 2040. A draft Salinas Valley Basin groundwater sustainability plan includes 13 projects ranging from Salinas River invasive species eradication … to a seawater intrusion barrier using a series of wells to head off saltwater contamination …

Aquafornia news Arizona Republic

Cleanup of cancer-causing toxins in Phoenix has been delayed for years

The water beneath a large swath of Phoenix isn’t fit to drink. A plume of toxic chemicals has tainted the groundwater for decades, and it’s now at the center of a bitter fight over how the aquifer should be cleaned up and what should happen to the water in the future.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Monday Top of the Scroll: Water users fight California’s anti-Trump environmental bill

Senate Bill 1 has strong support from some of California’s most influential environmental and labor organizations, including some that helped get Gov. Gavin Newsom elected. But several of California’s water suppliers and agricultural interests … oppose the measure. This includes the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which has made SB 1 a top lobbying priority.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news St. George News

Utah water managers seek public input on regional water conservation plans

According to a draft of the Utah Regional Water Conservation Plan, the Lower Colorado River South region … is slated to reduce water use 14%, to 262 gallons per capita by 2030 and ultimately 22%, with 237 gallons per capita by 2065. … New laws and ordinances may be passed to help enforce reduced water use.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

Karuk climate plan makes ally of fire

“We never were a people that would fight fire,” said William Tripp, the Karuk Tribe’s eco-cultural restoration specialist. “We worked with fire. Fire was inevitable and still is and forever will be on this landscape and many landscapes like it.” That’s why the Karuk Tribe is making the use of fire a central component of its climate adaptation plan.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Could wildfires be good for water availability?

Wildfires in California leave behind acres of scorched land that make snowpack formation easier and more water runoff downstream from the Sierra Nevada to basins in the Central Valley, increasing the amount of water stored underground. That’s the finding from researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, who discovered that blazes in some parts of the state could result in more water availability.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

San Geronimo homeowners open land to salmon restoration

As homes along San Geronimo Creek face the threat of erosion and coho salmon face the threat of extinction, a series of projects nearly a decade in the making is working to find a win-win solution.

Aquafornia news Redding Record-Searchlight

Shasta Dam case appealed to California Supreme Court

Westlands Water District has filed an appeal with the California Supreme Court in an attempt to overturn a lower court ruling and get on with assessing the effects of raising the height of Shasta Dam.

Aquafornia news Audubon

Blog: Water to flow in Colorado River delta again

However, this is brackish water. For a few months we will see it in the Colorado below Morelos Dam, reminding us of the river that once flowed there. It is agricultural drainage that comes from farms in southwestern Arizona that use the Colorado River to irrigate in the desert.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Editorial: Here’s hoping salmon habitat is finally being protected

Hopefully, the Board of Supervisors’ approval of a study on construction in the San Geronimo Valley watershed is a strong step forward to ending more than a decade of costly studies and lawsuits.

Aquafornia news U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Blog: Marsh of Dreams

Over the past 200 years, California has lost 97% of its wetland habitat. The Carpinteria Salt Marsh Reserve, part of the UC’s Natural Reserve System, represents about 3% of what remains of California’s coastal wetlands. Due to a century of draining for land use and land development, the marsh has dwindled to 230 acres.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Droughts, tunnels & clean water: A conversation on California water policy

Recently, the Sacramento Press Club hosted a panel discussion on the future of California water featuring Secretary Wade Crowfoot, Metropolitan General Manager Jeff Kightlinger, and State Water Contractors General Manager Jennifer Pierre.

Aquafornia news Arizona Public Media

New border wall could further deplete groundwater supplies

According to a Customs and Border Protection spokesperson, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument has identified existing groundwater wells construction contractors can use. In addition, the contractor has proposed drilling new wells along the border for the wall project. Currently, the construction contractor estimates needing about 84,000 gallons of water per day for the project.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

Blog: Coming home: Helping endangered fish return to suisun marsh

DWR is currently overseeing five habitat restoration projects in Suisun Marsh. In October 2019, one of these projects, the Tule Red Tidal Habitat Restoration Project – which converts approximately 600 acres of existing managed wetland into tidal habitat – is expected to finish construction.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Friday Top of the Scroll: ‘The Blob’ is back: New ocean heat wave emerges off West Coast

A massive marine heat wave that caused record warming of ocean waters off the West Coast five years ago, sending salmon numbers crashing and malnourished sea lions washing up on beaches across California and other Pacific states, is back, scientists said Thursday.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Arizona Daily Star

Below-average rainfall this summer could push Tucson into short-term drought

Tucson’s below average rainfall for August, which is typically the wettest month during monsoon season, might mean it’s time to face the music and prepare for a potential short-term drought, according to local weather experts.

Related article:

Aquafornia news University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

Blog: Climate change has altered winter precipitation across the Northern Hemisphere

A team of scientists has successfully teased out the influence of human-caused climate change on wintertime precipitation over the last century, showing that the warming climate altered wintertime rainfall and snowfall across the Northern Hemisphere.

Aquafornia news Tri County Sentry

Groundwater workshop causes concern for Oxnard

Groundwater in Ventura County had a severe talk about reductions as the Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency held its fourth workshop about the future. The proposed new plan will commence in 2020 and will start slow but will ramp up and reduce groundwater pumping in the area significantly.

Aquafornia news Fox News

Farmers concerned over how mandatory water cuts from Colorado River will impact agriculture

Nevada and Arizona, concerned that a 20-year drought has dried up much of the river, are trying to rein in water use in an effort to save the disappearing river. The river’s water levels next year are projected to be just below the threshold of 1,090 feet laid out in the Drought Contingency Plan that was signed earlier this year…

Aquafornia news AgAlert

Groups work to restore fish populations

In the Sacramento River near Redding this spring, water districts, government agencies and others collaborated to construct the Market Street Gravel Project to benefit fish. … Reclamation District 108 Deputy Manager William Vanderwaal said that to complete the $429,000 project, 12,000 tons of gravel were placed into the river and developed as new spawning habitat for chinook salmon and steelhead trout.

Aquafornia news Colusa County Sun-Herald

Groundwater authority to host public workshops in Colusa and Glenn counties

The Colusa and Glenn groundwater authorities will host a pair of public workshops about local groundwater conditions and areas of concern in portions of Glenn and Colusa counties…

Aquafornia news The Sun-Gazette

Water utilities being held liable for wildfires

At its Aug. 5 meeting, the Visalia City Council unanimously approved a letter of support for California Water Service’s effort to eliminate water suppliers’ liability due to wildfires. California Water Service, which operates Visalia and 22 other municipal water systems throughout the state, says the threat of legal action against water suppliers is “arcane” legal reasoning and could actually put water users at risk.

Aquafornia news The Sun-Gazette

Canal plans to bypass subsidence with 30-mile parallel path

As the old saying goes, if you can’t go through something, go around it. And at an estimated cost of $357 million, the Friant Water Authority is contemplating a 30-mile parallel canal to circumvent the portion of the Friant Kern Canal that has been negatively affected by subsidence.

Aquafornia news Natural Resources Defense Council

Blog: Why SB 1 must ensure that CESA applies to the federal CVP

Now, some are arguing that the bill should be stripped of its longstanding provision applying the State’s own Endangered Species Act to the operations of the federal Central Valley Project. Here’s why that’s a terrible idea.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

Sea level rise looms over Humboldt County’s shoreline, officials warn

As a region, Humboldt County has the “highest rate of relative sea level rise” on the United States’ West Coast, according to data compiled by the county’s planning and building department. The data indicate that even one meter of sea level rise would top nearly 60% of the structures protecting Humboldt Bay’s shoreline.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Environment

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: Dog deaths raise algal bloom alarm as states report more toxins

A high-profile series of dog deaths has awakened the public to the growing problem of toxic algal blooms, spurred by rising temperatures and pollution. The blooms are emerging as a national, not just regional, concern, according to preliminary data reported to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency through July.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Weekly

Supreme Court won’t consider Marina’s challenge to Cal Am desalination plant

With every passing week, California American Water clears more hurdles as it sets out to build a desalination plant near Marina. The most recent victory for the proponents of the $329 million project came on Aug. 28 at the California Supreme Court.

Aquafornia news E&E News

Hydropower giant Bonneville Power is going broke

The Bonneville Power Administration, the independent federal agency that sells the electricity produced by the dams, is careening toward a financial cliff. BPA is $15 billion in debt, facing a rapidly changing energy market increasingly dominated by wind and solar and a desperate need to maintain aging infrastructure that’s expected to cost $300 million to maintain and upgrade by 2023.

Aquafornia news Bay Nature Magazine

Burlingame shoreline park and the future of the bay

For perhaps the first time in 80 years the California State Lands Commission … faced a decision this summer between competing ideas for the same parcel. The commission staff announced at the end of August that it will enter negotiations to lease a shoreline parcel for a park in Burlingame, potentially shaping the way the lands commission considers sea level rise in its decision-making, and the way the Bay shoreline is developed in the future.

Aquafornia news Stanford Water in the West

How a diverse water portfolio may quench the thirst of California’s future water needs

Gov. Gavin Newsom recently signed an executive order to develop a comprehensive strategy for making the state’s water system climate-resilient. … In a related study published earlier this year, Stanford researchers Newsha Ajami and Patricia (Gonzales) Whitby examined effective strategies to rising water scarcity concerns.

Aquafornia news Time

How to save the Colorado River from climate change & overuse

A few years ago, Paul Kehmeier did something unusual: He decided not to water about 60% of his fields. He was one of a few dozen farmers and landowners in Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico who volunteered for a pilot program meant to test out a new water-conservation strategy: Paying farmers to temporarily leave their fields dry, to save the Colorado River.

Aquafornia news Science Magazine

Crystalline nets harvest water from desert air, turn carbon dioxide into liquid fuel

When Omar Yaghi was growing up in Jordan, outside of Amman, his neighborhood received water for only about 5 hours once every 2 weeks. … At a meeting last week here, in another area thirsting for freshwater, Yaghi, a chemist at the University of California, Berkeley, reported that he and his colleagues have created a solar-powered device that could provide water for millions in water-stressed regions.

Aquafornia news ScienceDaily

How California wildfires can impact water availability

A new study by scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory uses a numerical model of an important watershed in California to shed light on how wildfires can affect large-scale hydrological processes, such as stream flow, groundwater levels, and snowpack and snowmelt. The team found that post-wildfire conditions resulted in greater winter snowpack and subsequently greater summer runoff as well as increased groundwater storage.

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

California Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot to be keynote speaker at Water Summit

Crowfoot oversees a sprawling agency of 19,000 employees engaged in the stewardship of the state’s forests and natural lands, rivers and waterways, coast and ocean, fish and wildlife and energy development. Now in its 36th year, the Water Summit features a variety of policymakers, experts and stakeholders discussing important topics in water across California and the West.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Sacramento’s Capitol Mall fountain could be demolished as part of building project

A proposal by the California Department of General Services to remove the fountain at the head of Capitol Mall has distressed preservationists, who say it is a historic icon that should remain.

Aquafornia news Glendale News-Press

Many Foothills residents will have higher water bills in September

Roughly 33,000 residents of foothill communities will see an increase in their water bills beginning Sept. 1, when a pair of recently approved rate hikes are set to go into effect. On Tuesday, Crescenta Valley Water District board members voted 4-1 to go forward with a 7% increase in water rates and a 4% hike in sewer rates.

Aquafornia news Antelope Valley Press

Payments required for those who pump excess groundwater

Those with wells within the Antelope Valley who pump more groundwater than is allowed under a 2015 court settlement will be required to pay between $415 per acre-foot and $948 per acre-foot to replace the additional water, based on assessments approved Wednesday by the Antelope Valley Watermaster Board.

Aquafornia news The Mountain Democrat

Potential cyanobacteria and harmful algal blooms in Auburn and Folsom Lake state recreation areas

In recent weeks, two separate incidents of possible cyanobacteria poisoning in dogs have been reported at Moony Ridge (Folsom State Recreation Area) and Oregon Bar (Auburn State Recreation Area).

Related articles:

Aquafornia news The Hill

Opinion: Colorado River: The West’s precious, but limited resource

Water users in the Colorado River Basin have survived the drought through a combination of water storage infrastructure and voluntary actions to protect reservoir storage and water supply. Adoption of drought contingency plans this summer, developed over years of collaborative negotiation, takes the next step by implementing mandatory action to reduce risk and protect limited water supplies.

Aquafornia news KEYT

County leaders move forward with plans to control flooding, debris flows in Montecito

More than a year and a half after the Montecito mudslides, the efforts to rebuild the community are still underway, but this week the county took several major steps towards recovery.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Environment

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: Hidden danger in water confronts California wildfire survivors

California’s 2018 Camp Fire was the deadliest blaze in state history. … From all that destruction, a mysterious threat has emerged for those who appeared to have gotten by unscathed: household water supplies with concentrations of toxic benzene—including one sample that had 923 times what the state considers safe. More than nine months after the fire, the Paradise Irrigation District still has a “do not drink” order unless individual parcels have been cleared.

Aquafornia news San Joaquin Valley Sun

Controversial water legislation heads to California Assembly floor

Senate Bill 1 is seen as a pre-emptive strike by California lawmakers before the Trump administration ushers in new biological opinions to alter water deliveries through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Aquafornia news Water News Network

Blog: California moves to boost recycled water

A new plan recommends four strategies to advance water reuse in California over the next three decades – an important part of both the state and regional water resilience portfolio.

Aquafornia news Redding Record-Searchlight

Order to stop Shasta Dam raising report upheld by appeals court

A state court of appeal has upheld a Shasta County Superior Court decision to stop a Fresno-based water district from doing an analysis of the effects of raising the height of Shasta Dam. The Westlands Water District had asked the California Third District Court of Appeal to overturn the lower court’s preliminary injunction that ordered the district to stop work on an environmental impact report.

Aquafornia news Brentwood Press

State of California proposes plan for Delta levees

Last week, the Delta Stewardship Council held a public hearing to review proposed changes to how spending decisions on the maintenance of Delta levees are made, and the plan — known as the Delta Levee Investment Strategy — has drawn criticism from several sources.

Aquafornia news The Confluence

Blog: Improved oxidation is water wizardry against drought

Increasingly, California’s water will come from transforming the water we flush down our toilets, sinks, and washing machines into sparkling, pure water. Indeed, potable water reuse seems like a no-brainer. So why don’t we do it? In some places, we already do, and those places have lessons for the rest of the state and beyond.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Prop. 64 didn’t stop illegal cannabis farms on public lands

When California voters legalized cannabis in 2016, supporters of Proposition 64 hoped it would significantly reduce the scourge of black market weed cultivation, particularly on public lands. Yet nearly two years later, illegal marijuana grows are still rampant across wide swaths of the national forests in California, leaving behind a trail of garbage, human waste, dead animals and caustic chemicals.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Opinion: Legislature, rethink SB 1. It will hurt water management

If not amended, Senate Bill 1 will perpetuate California’s water and environmental troubles, not help to resolve them, as its proponents claim.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Weekly

Seaside wants to take golf course irrigation water and earmark it for housing

Under the plan, Seaside’s Bayonet & Black Horse golf course would stop pumping the 450 acre-feet of drinking water it draws every year from the area’s underground basin. Instead, the greens would get irrigated using recycled water produced by Pure Water Monterey, the advanced sewage treatment facility in Marina that is slated to open this fall. The water that stays in the basin would be made available to developers who want to build in Seaside.

Aquafornia news SFGate.com

Tubbs Fire survivors in Larkfield looking for builder to help build new sewer system

Residents of the Larkfield Estates neighborhood north of Santa Rosa who lost their homes in the October 2017 Tubbs Fire are asking a builder to help them build a new sewer system this year that is as affordable as possible.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Escondido hires firm to plan reverse osmosis water treatment plant

Escondido is moving forward on a reverse osmosis treatment facility that will reduce the city’s wastewater and also provide more recycled water for agricultural use. The project will divert millions of gallons of water from the discharge pipeline, and turn it into highly treated irrigation water. It’s expected to begin construction in early 2020…

Aquafornia news KUNC

Can a ‘wild’ river survive in a rapidly drying West?

Finding a river in the West that still behaves like a Western river — one that rises and falls with the annual rush of melting snow — is tough. … But one major Western waterway has achieved almost mythical status for its wildness: the Yampa in northwestern Colorado.

Aquafornia news KCRA TV

New water park to open summer 2020 in Northern California

California’s Great America announced it will open South Bay Shores in summer 2020. The expanded space will include three new water attractions, more food locations, cabanas and a sandy beach area.

Aquafornia news New Times San Luis Obispo

Paso Robles groundwater basin included in high-tech Stanford study

The Paso Robles groundwater basin is one of three basins in the state chosen to participate in a Stanford University study that will deploy state-of-the-art aerial electromagnetic technology to better understand its characteristics.

Aquafornia news One Truckee River

Blog: The importance of Pyramid Lake water quality

There are a lot of reasons our watershed is unique. It’s a high elevation terminal watershed, what could be more special? Well, another contributing factor is that the terminus of the Truckee River watershed exists on the largest Native American Reservation in Nevada.

Aquafornia news Manteca Bulletin

Valley green leader

What Public Works Director Mark Houghton touts as “Manteca’s own refinery” is now converting methane gas generated at the wastewater treatment plant along with food waste to produce compressed liquefied gas. And in doing so, Manteca is well on its way to effectively wiping out all CO2 impacts the wastewater treatment process creates and then some.

Aquafornia news The Salt Lake Tribune

Utah sets new goals to cut water use, but critics say nation’s thirstiest state could do better

Critics say the plan, out for public comment through Sept. 25 before final adoption by the Utah Division of Water Resources, goes too easy on the surging St. George metro area, where daily per-capita water use exceeds 300 gallons — a high number some officials say is deceiving. The plan looks for a 16% reduction averaged across the state by 2030 and up to 20% in much of Utah.

Aquafornia news The Business Journal

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: 30-mile parallel Friant-Kern Canal proposed

Friant Water Authority is conducting geotechnical investigations this summer along the outer banks of the Friant-Kern Canal in southern Tulare County to determine if the soil may support construction of a second canal running parallel to the first. The reason for the research is the capacity of this key, eastside Valley canal has been reduced 60% due to land subsidence caused by years of vigorous groundwater pumping …

Aquafornia news ScienceDaily

Water harvester makes it easy to quench your thirst in the desert

With water scarcity a growing problem worldwide, University of California, Berkeley, researchers are close to producing a microwave-sized water harvester that will allow you to pull all the water you need directly from the air — even in the hot, dry desert.

Aquafornia news KESQ TV

Class action lawsuit takes aim at Coachella Valley Water District, claims illegal tax benefits agricultural industry

A new class action lawsuit accuses the Coachella Valley Water District of illegally taxing customers to benefit large agricultural companies. … Under the Burns-Porter Act, a local water district’s revenue can only be used for a few specific, voter-approved purposes. According to the suit, using tax dollars to fund aquifer replenishment and subsidizing agricultural water use are not appropriate uses. 

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Nature gone: Bay Area beach getting washed away

Known to locals as “Long Beach,” it’s part of the San Leandro Shoreline Marshlands and once stretched at least 23 miles. The most recent official estimate done back in 2008 put the beach at seven miles amid development and rising sea levels.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

Blog: August Delta conveyance update

The Department of Water Resources is continuing to work on the environmental planning and permitting to modernize State Water Project infrastructure in the Delta. This effort is consistent with Governor Newsom’s direction and support for a single-tunnel project to ensure a climate resilient water system.

Aquafornia news Imperial Valley News

State agriculture officials will host public comment session on California’s water future

The California State Board of Food and Agriculture will host a public comment session on California’s Water Future on Thursday, September 5, 2019 in Fresno. … State agencies are asking Californians to help shape a roadmap for meeting future water needs and ensuring environmental and economic resilience …

Aquafornia news Long Beach Business Journal

Stormwater parcel tax collection to begin this fall

Los Angeles County residents will see a new charge on their property tax bills this fall. Measure W, which was approved by county residents last November, will implement a parcel tax that is intended to increase stormwater capture. The intent is to increase local water supply, improve water quality and invest in community projects.

Aquafornia news USC News

Blog: As Salton Sea shrinks, experts fear far-reaching health consequences

University of Southern California researchers are exploring how losing California’s largest lake could affect the respiratory health of people throughout the Imperial Valley and beyond.

Aquafornia news The Revelator

Blog: California tribe hopes to conquer climate woes — with fire

More and more land in California is going up in flames. The area in the state burned by wildfires has increased by a factor of five since 1972, according to a recent study, which identified human-caused warming the likely culprit. So what’s to be done? The Karuk Tribe wants to fight fire with fire.

Aquafornia news Arizona State University

Blog: ASU water policy expert addresses new drought plan for state

ASU Now spoke to Sarah Porter, director of the Kyl Center for Water Policy at ASU’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy, about the cutbacks and what they will mean for Arizona’s agriculture and the state’s roughly 7 million residents.

Aquafornia news Jefferson Public Radio

Audio: Managing Shasta Dam for cold- and warm-water fish

Managing a river is no easy feat. Consider the needs for water released at Shasta Dam into the Sacramento River: salmon need cold water, sturgeon need warm water, and irrigators just need water. Recent research shows that all three needs can be met in all but the most drought-stricken years. How?

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Editorial: Trump’s Delta assault threatens Bay Area water supply

The latest assault on the Delta, which supplies roughly one-third of the Bay Area’s water, is the Trump administration’s efforts to gut the federal Endangered Species Act. Removing protections in existence for nearly 50 years threatens not only the Delta’s wildlife but also the quality of its fresh water.

Aquafornia news KQED Science

Researchers press California to strengthen landmark climate law

The researchers — many of whom have been active in the program’s rule making and have challenged the agency before — argue in the working paper that the emissions reductions in California’s offset program are inherently uncertain. In some cases, they wrote, the rules create “perverse incentives” toward increasing planet-warming gases.

Aquafornia news Motley Fool

This water stock is now a play on cannabis — specifically, the U.S. hemp CBD market

Shares of water resource specialist Cadiz (NASDAQ:CDZI) have jumped 19.5% this month through Aug. 23, while the S&P 500, including dividends, is down 4.3%. … The catalyst for Cadiz stock’s August pop was the company’s announcement that it has entered the U.S. hemp market.

Aquafornia news The Nevada Independent

Environmental groups argue lands bill will exempt Las Vegas water pipeline from judicial review

Environmental groups are raising concerns over a provision in draft legislation they believe could exempt the Las Vegas pipeline — a proposal to pump eastern Nevada groundwater about 300 miles to Southern Nevada — from further litigation and federal environmental review.

Aquafornia news Brentwood Press

Discovery Bay algae prompts study, possible solutions

While some residents are unconcerned each summer as the algae’s trademark scum appears atop stagnant water in the bays around town, many are worried about the algal blooms’ toxic effects. The Discovery Bay Community Foundation (DBCF) has formed a harmful algae bloom (HAB) subcommittee, partnering with agencies across the state to help mitigate the epidemic.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Santa Clara Valley Water News

Blog: South County’s groundwater is getting a boost that will benefit farms, residents and businesses

South County gets most of its water from groundwater, so this project, part of the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program that was overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2012, is vital to ensuring a reliable water supply for the region.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Center for Chula Vista students fosters learning about water

Fifth graders now have a space to learn everything about water, from conservation to careers in the water industry. The Hydro Station is an initiative of the Chula Vista Elementary School District (CVESD), the Otay Water District and Sweetwater Authority. This facility consists of a classroom right next to the Richard A. Reynolds desalination plant, which is estimated to receive about 4,500 students every school year.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Denver Post

Colorado River water rights debated as climate change depletes supply

Rocky Mountain water managers worried about climate-driven depletion across the Colorado River Basin are mulling a “grand bargain” that would overhaul obligations among seven southwestern states for sharing the river’s water. This reflects rising concerns that dry times could turn disastrous.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

‘Anything to speed up the process’: Local forest experts like Forest Service’s plan to expedite tree removal

Local and professional foresters say they support a new proposal by the U.S. Forest Service that would speed up logging and cut some environmental review processes. The Forest Service is proposing a sweeping amendment of The National Environmental Policy Act.

Aquafornia news The Mendocino Voice

Cal Fish & Wildlife considering summer steelhead for endangered species status

The California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW) is considering listing the Northern California Summer Steelhead, which lives in portions of Mendocino and Humboldt counties, as an endangered species.

Aquafornia news Hi Desert Star

Deadly algae blooms contaminate Big Bear Lake

If you’re planning on visiting Big Bear Lake, avoid the water, the state warned Friday. State and regional water quality boards both urged dog owners, fishers and everyone else to avoid direct water contact while visiting areas of Big Bear Lake due to a harmful algae bloom.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

State approves $20M for Bel Marin Keys wetlands restoration

Restoration of nearly 1,600 acres of wetlands near Bel Marin Keys is set to begin this year after the approval of $20 million in funding on Thursday. The state Coastal Conservancy voted unanimously during its meeting in Sausalito on Thursday to allocate the money to begin the first phase of construction…

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Monday Top of the Scroll: Why California is having its mildest fire season in 20 years

Firefighters and rural residents have been on edge about wildfires all year, after the Camp Fire, the deadliest in the United States in 100 years, obliterated the town of Paradise in Butte County last November, killing 86 people… Yet in a run of much-needed good fortune, California has been spared this year — at least so far.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Tri County Sentry

Planning Commission receives report about programmatic water master plan

Oxnard Assistant Public Works Director Tien Ng presented the item and said the city wants to integrate the water, wastewater recycled water and stormwater while looking for opportunities to align projects on the same street. They want to do them at the same time. Doing this enhances the schedule and cost for such projects.

Aquafornia news Valley Public Radio

Audio: Should California insulate itself from federal rollbacks of environmental laws?

Moderator Kathleen Schock spoke with advocates on both sides of the issue, John Harris of Harris Farms and Kim Delfino with Defenders of Wildlife. Dr. Lisa Bryant, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Fresno State also joined the conversation.

Aquafornia news Australian Broadcasting Corp.

California looks to Australia for ways to manage its groundwater after worst-ever drought

Farmers, experts and lawmakers are working to find more sustainable ways to droughtproof farms and address the vexed issue of water allocation. And it turns out many farmers and water experts in California are looking to Australia for answers as they face up to the biggest water reforms in the history of the US.

Aquafornia news The Press Democrat

Russian River watershed protection campaign focuses on keeping storm drains for rain only

Most people pass by storm drains day in and day out, giving little thought to them as conduits to local waterways — and ultimately, the Russian River in much of Sonoma County. An alliance of local cities, special districts and the county wants to change that. The coalition has launched a regional campaign to raise public awareness about the link between surface streets and local creeks…

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Less snow, more rain: How Tahoe’s climate balance could be shifting

The iconic image of Lake Tahoe is of a clear, blue lake surrounded by stunning snow-capped mountains. But that picturesque sight could look very different by the end of the century due to climate change. Those snowy mountains we’re used to seeing could lose their white tips. And this would mean a major transformation for life in Tahoe and beyond.

Aquafornia news Sierra Sun

Truckee’s ice industry kept the West cool

Before electric refrigeration brought cheap and available ice in the early 20th century, ice was harvested along Truckee’s lakes and rivers. Truckee’s cold mountain air and readily available clear streams created an ideal environment for ice companies to create and harvest ice.

Aquafornia news LAist.com

Blog: Is Los Angeles a desert?

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article in which I — perhaps cavalierly — described Los Angeles as a desert. … There was a small part of me that raised a red flag as I pounded the words into my keyboard. Is L.A. a desert, though? I thought. Haven’t I also heard that it isn’t?

Aquafornia news Taft Midway Driller

Indian Wells groundwater authority approves well registration ordinance

All residents and organizations within the Indian Wells Valley will have to implement register their wells come Oct. 1 following the approval of an ordinance by the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority board of directors.

Aquafornia news The Press Democrat

Editorial: Base water plans on science, not politics

Trump started promising more water to Central Valley growers before he was elected. During a campaign stop in Fresno three years ago, he dismissed the drought, then in its fifth year, as a hoax and snorted at legal protections for endangered fish in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Aquafornia news Physics World

Changing the ground (water) rules

In 2014 California introduced the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) into state law to help manage the conflict between ground and surface water. But updating legal structures to accommodate evolving scientific knowledge involves far more than simply rewriting statutes, according to researchers in the US.

Aquafornia news Western Water

Friday Top of the Scroll: How private capital is speeding up forest restoration in the Sierra Nevada that benefits water

The Forest Resilience Bond uses private capital to finance forest restoration activities. Beneficiaries, including the U.S. Forest Service and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, reimburse investors over time. Yuba Water has pledged $1.5 million toward the project and the state of California has committed $2.6 million in grant funding, with additional funding from the Sierra Nevada Conservancy.

Aquafornia news FishBio

Blog: Understanding how fish deal with drought

Aquatic animals in regions like California that have historically experienced frequent droughts have evolved remarkable adaptations to dealing with dry conditions. However, the duration, severity, and frequency of droughts are all increasing as a result of ongoing climate change and an increased human demand for water, leaving even drought-hardened species struggling.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Councilman wants to refill Hole Lake

A piece of Riverside history could be revived if Councilman Steve Adams can get the city to refill Hole Lake, an irrigation and recreation reservoir for 60 years that’s now full of trees and plants and, in some spots, trash and homeless camps.

Western Water Gary Pitzer California Water Map Gary Pitzer

How Private Capital is Speeding up Sierra Nevada Forest Restoration in a Way that Benefits Water
WESTERN WATER SPOTLIGHT: A bond fund that fronts the money is expediting a headwaters restoration project to improve forest health, water quality and supply

District Ranger Lon Henderson with Tahoe National Forest points toward an overgrown section of forest within the Blue Forest project area. The majestic beauty of the Sierra Nevada forest is awe-inspiring, but beneath the dazzling blue sky, there is a problem: A century of fire suppression and logging practices have left trees too close together. Millions of trees have died, stricken by drought and beetle infestation. Combined with a forest floor cluttered with dry brush and debris, it’s a wildfire waiting to happen.

Fires devastate the Sierra watersheds upon which millions of Californians depend — scorching the ground, unleashing a battering ram of debris and turning hillsides into gelatinous, stream-choking mudflows. 

Aquafornia news Stanford Water in the West

Lessons Australia’s water reform offers in science, politics and sustainable watersheds

The successes and failures of Australia’s recent reform of the Murray-Darling Basin hold valuable lessons for policy makers in California and elsewhere who are likely to grapple with the environmental repercussions of extreme drought in the future.

Aquafornia news Antelope Valley Press

Recycled water plan moves forward

Officials are proceeding with a project to bring recycled water further into Palmdale for irrigation use, but have had to change direction in terms of securing financing.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Reactivating our floodplains: A new way forward

A panel of experts discuss how reactivating the floodplains can provide habitat and food for native fish and for migrating birds, and highlights the many projects and opportunities in the Sacramento Valley.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Dead fish and starving whales: What Trump’s hidden report on water means to California

Federal scientists pulled no punches in their report: The Trump administration’s plan to send more water to San Joaquin Valley farmers would force critically endangered California salmon even closer to extinction, and starve a struggling population of West Coast killer whales.

Related article:

Aquafornia news U.S. Department of Agriculture

Blog: Banking on soil health

Farmers implementing conservation practices that improve soil health aren’t just hoping for better crop yields, they’re banking on them. The Natural Resources Conservation Service and American Farmland Trust recently released case studies highlighting the economic benefits of implementing soil health management practices.

Aquafornia news Imperial Valley Press

A desert oasis in western Imperial Valley

Known as the Ocotillo-Coyote Wells Aquifer, the presence and importance of this groundwater has long been known and utilized by the inhabitants and people traveling through the Valley.

Aquafornia news Lake County Record-Bee

Lake County throws hat in ring on Potter Valley Project

The Lake County Board of Supervisors approved an amended resolution Tuesday that will open the door for Lake County to join a group vying to take over responsibility for the Potter Valley hydroelectric project.

Aquafornia news San Mateo Daily Journal

Redwood City Cargill development opposition emerges

More than 60 elected officials and environmental and community groups throughout the Bay Area are urging Redwood City officials to reject proposals to develop the Cargill salt ponds and rather have them restored as wetlands.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Thursday Top of the Scroll: Off the hook: California king salmon rebounds after drought

Commercial salmon catches have surpassed official preseason forecasts by about 50%, said Kandice Morgenstern, a marine scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Harvests have been particularly strong in Morro Bay, Monterey and San Francisco, but weaker along California’s northern coast.

Aquafornia news AgAlert

Farm data management becomes priority

On the modern farm, soil sensors, well monitors and paperwork abound. The trick is trying to keep all that data organized. To that end, a Monterey County winegrape grower, Scheid Family Wines of Greenfield, came up with its own system, first called VitWatch, to digitize information previously recorded on paper.

Aquafornia news KQED

Audio: One California community’s efforts to manage wildfires

California’s forests aren’t healthy. After a century of preventing and putting out fires, millions of acres of trees are overcrowded, drought-stressed, and more than ready to burn. A couple of hours from the Oregon border, one community is asking how to do better.

Aquafornia news The Salt Lake Tribune

Lake Powell pipeline costs can be covered, audit says, but critic wonders if this pricey ‘boondoggle’ is needed

A new legislative audit has concluded Washington County water bosses will likely be able to generate sufficient revenue to pay the massive costs of building and operating the proposed Lake Powell pipeline, but only through large fee, rate and tax increases and if the county triples its population during the next 50 years.

Aquafornia news CleanTechnica

Farm to solar field transformations come with controversy & compromise

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. However, the shift from farm to solar is controversial — it can alter the pastoral landscape and take some of the most fertile soil in the world out of production at a time when the global population is soaring.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Suppressed federal report shows how Trump water plan would endanger California salmon

The July 1 assessment, obtained by The Times, outlines how proposed changes in government water operations would harm several species protected by the Endangered Species Act, including perilously low populations of winter-run salmon, as well as steelhead trout and killer whales, which feed on salmon.

Related article:

Aquafornia news LAist.com

Yes, we got a lot of rain this year, but the fire danger is still very real

One of the key factors when assessing fire danger is the moistness of the vegetation. When it was raining all the time, plants were soaking up a lot of that water, which helped them produce new growth and keep their limbs well hydrated. Usually by August, they’ve dried out to dangerously low levels, but this year they’re holding on a bit longer, in part due to cooler summer temperatures.

Related article

Aquafornia news AgAlert

Flows proposals: Sacramento River water agencies aim for certainty

The plan affecting Sacramento River tributaries has not been released, but water-resource managers in the region said they have been collaborating with government agencies and environmental groups to develop voluntary agreements that would accomplish the goals of the state board’s flows-only methodology.

Aquafornia news KJZZ

Audio: Months after completing the drought contingency plan, we have to use it

Just a few months after completing the Drought Contingency Plan for the Colorado River states, water managers in the southwest will likely have to implement it starting in 2020. That’s according to new projections for the levels of key reservoirs in the southwestern river basin, and Arizona is first in line to take water cutbacks.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Lake Tahoe Summit boasts bipartisan rhetoric, but division simmers

For a moment as columns of sunlight drifted through the pines with the cobalt surface of Lake Tahoe in the background, it seemed as though the partisan rancor so characteristic of this political moment might temporarily evaporate. But such congeniality was short lived, if it ever lived at all.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Editorial: California must fight back as Trump guts Endangered Species Act

Immigration law, tailpipe emissions and farm pesticides are on the list that Sacramento takes up in defiance of the Trump administration. Leaders elsewhere take note and join the cause. Now comes the latest test: a chance for California to stop a serious weakening of wildlife preservation laws embodied in the 45-year-old Endangered Species Act.

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

Blog: Can water agencies work together sustainably? Lessons from metropolitan planning

Integration is especially hard, and unavoidably imperfect, for organizing common functions across different agencies with different missions and governing authorities. … Much of what is called for in California water requires greater devotion of leadership, resources, and organization to multi-agency efforts.

Aquafornia news Redding Record-Searchlight

Fresno water district appeals ruling to stop work on Shasta Dam study

Westlands Water District says a preliminary injunction ordering it to stop work on an environmental impact report may prevent it from helping to pay for raising the height of the dam, according to the appeal filed last week.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Blog: Preparing California’s rivers for a changing climate

California’s rivers and streams have experienced enormous changes over the past 150 years, and a warming climate brings new challenges. We talked to Ted Grantham—a river scientist at UC Berkeley and a member of the PPIC Water Policy Center research network—about the state of the state’s rivers.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Marina Coast sues Monterey County, Cal Am over desal plant approval

Arguing that Monterey County officials improperly ignored new groundwater impact information and a viable, even preferable recycled water alternative, Marina Coast Water District has sued the county and California American Water over the county’s narrow approval of Cal Am’s desalination plant permit.

Aquafornia news Klamath Falls Herald & News

Opinion: Common sense strengthens the Endangered Species Act

Although more fundamental ESA reform is needed, last week’s action yielded modest and common-sense improvements to implementation of an imperfect law. New efficiencies, clarity, and transparency will serve the purposes of the ESA and the public interest.

Aquafornia news National Geographic

Red abalone season closure may be a canary in the coal mine for Northern California

Abalone is a much-sought-after delicacy with a sweet, delicate flavor similar to a sea scallop, say those who’ve tried it. … But as marine heat waves, ocean acidification, habitat loss, and overfishing shrink the red abalone fishery, the sweet delicacy is at risk of permanently losing its food source: the kelp forests.

Aquafornia news Capitol Weekly

Sea level rise: California’s new reality

While wildfires have gotten much of the attention in California as consequences of climate change, it’s really rising sea levels that will likely wreak the most damage. With more than 25 million people living near the coast, some $150 billion worth of property is at risk.

Aquafornia news San Joaquin Valley Sun

Facing water crunch, Clovis gets to work on drought resiliency

The Clovis City Council in July approved an amended deal with the Fresno Irrigation District concerning the conveyance of Kings River water to the city’s water system. … The agreement includes “the addition of a new water supply to meet future City growth and support implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA).”

Aquafornia news Denver Post

Historic ranch on Colorado’s high plains now holds millions of gallons of water for Denver-area economic development

The desire to expand housing, commerce and other development around metro Denver and on arid high plains once deemed inhospitable has driven an innovative urban water broker to build a $22 million reservoir on a ranch 70 miles east of the city along the South Platte River.

Aquafornia news JD Supra

Blog: EPA proposes to narrow water quality certification authority under the Clean Water Act

The proposed rule would re-write EPA’s existing Section 401 implementing regulations and significantly narrow the authority of states and Indian tribes when acting on Section 401 certification requests.

Aquafornia news California Sun

Podcast: Ariel Rubissow Okamoto and a deep dive into the San Francisco estuary

Ariel Rubissow Okamoto, the editor in chief of Estuary Magazine and long-time Bay Area science writer, talks about the resiliency of the largest estuary on the West Coast, the challenges facing the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta, and the potential impacts of climate change and sea-level rise on the San Francisco Bay.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Judge denies motion in Agua Caliente vs. Coachella Valley water agencies case

A U.S. District Court judge has denied a motion from the federal government to reconsider a ruling on the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians’ lawsuit against two Coachella Valley water agencies.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Dam management can help salmon and sturgeon

In a paper published Tuesday in the Journal of Applied Ecology, scientists at the University of California, Santa Cruz and the National Marine Fisheries Service used statistical modeling to determine an optimal water management plan that would protect both species and ensure other water users would benefit as well.

Related article:

Aquafornia news The New Yorker

A trailblazing plan to fight California wildfires

Although prescribed burns have been part of federal fire policy since 1995, last year the Forest Service performed them on just one per cent—some sixty thousand acres—of its land in the Sierra Nevada. “We need to be burning close to a million acres each year, just in the Sierras, or it’s over,” said Jeff Brown, manager of a field station in the Tahoe National Forest.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Lost Coast Outpost

Karuk Tribe releases climate adaptation plan calling for more prescribed fires

For most of the last 150 years, traditional Karuk burning practices were criminalized. The Plan attempts to reverse all this by re-establishing a more natural fire regime on the landscape through prescribed burns at appropriate times of year.

Aquafornia news Forbes

Blog: Conservationists fight to save critically endangered amphibians as Trump guts Endangered Species Act

A dozen conservationists gathered eagerly around the edges of some shallow pools above a waterfall in the Angeles National Forrest. They watched with anticipation as about a thousand Southern mountain yellow-legged frog tadpoles and three adult frogs enjoyed their first few minutes of life in the wild.

Aquafornia news Antelope Valley Press

Opinion: Urgency lost in hyper-wet winter

Desalination began to lose its urgency among Californians and their public officials two years ago, after the drought-busting winter of 2016-17, when heavy rain and snow ended dry conditions in most of the state. The idea of drawing potable water from the sea became even less of a priority this year, when an autumn of record-level fires gave way to one of the state’s wettest winters on record.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Daily News

Los Angeles, state officials discuss increasing local water supplies

Los Angeles city and county representatives hosted a discussion with state officials to address ways to increase local water supplies and to support a proposed statewide water system. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was joined Friday by the California Secretary of Natural Resources, Wade Crowfoot, and Secretary of Environmental Protection, Jared Blumenfeld, to discuss the city’s maintenance of its water sources.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Odor advisory issued for Salton Sea area; hydrogen sulfide leads to rotten-egg smell

Hydrogen sulfide is associated with the natural processes occurring in the Salton Sea, a non-draining body of water with no ability to cleanse itself. Trapped in its waters are salt and selenium-laden agricultural runoff from surrounding farms, as well as heavy metals and bacterial pollution that flow in from Mexico’s New River, authorities said.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Arizona, Nevada cuts to Colorado River water negligible

Arizona and Nevada will face their first-ever cuts in Colorado River water next year, but the changes aren’t expected to be overly burdensome for either state.

Aquafornia news The Salt Lake Tribune

Opinion: Does southern Utah need the Lake Powell Pipeline?

The Lake Powell Pipeline (LPP) proposal arose from a belief that Utah has an unused share of the Colorado River and a fear of water shortages stifling Washington County’s rapid population growth. Although many leaders across the state say southern Utah needs the LPP, this statement is not based on facts.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Then and now: Photos of Irvine Lake show dramatic recovery from drought times

Irvine Lake looks a lot different today than it did a year ago. Last September the reservoir looked like a giant puddle at 13 percent of capacity, today, after a rainy winter, the water covers the area and is ready to greet the public on Saturday, Aug. 17. After a 3-year hiatus, Irvine Lake is reopening for shoreline fishing on Aug. 17.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Taking the dog to the water? Tips to help watch for toxic algae

Not every bloom is toxic, but the toxins produced by the blue-green algae can be harmful and even deadly for pets when they eat the algae or drink the water, even in small amounts, water experts warn. Summer heat, stagnant or slow-moving water and nutrients from agricultural or septic runoff are an ideal recipe for the toxic stew.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Redlands Community News

Valley District provides seed money for new sources of water

In a region that has already seen two 20-year droughts, the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District continues to invest in water supplies to help the region sustain prolonged droughts. A new program offered by Valley District provides financial incentive to local water agencies for projects that produce recycled water or capture storm water.

Aquafornia news Noozhawk

Goleta Water District updates permit to sell recycled water to ag users

The Goleta Water District has updated its recycled water permitting so it can now sell to agricultural customers, although not many of them are interested in buying.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino Sun

6 things to know about Cadiz’s plan to pump water in San Bernardino County’s Mojave Desert

The story behind a proposal to pump water from under the Mojave Desert in San Bernardino County is a long and complicated one. Since its approval in 2012, the Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project has been tied up in litigation from environmental groups, fought over in the state legislature and faced hurdles by state and federal government officials.

Aquafornia news Natural Resources Defense Council

Blog: Will Calif. pass SB 1 to resist Trump’s environmental assault?

Earlier this week, the Trump Administration announced final regulations that would gut the Endangered Species Act nationwide, weakening protections for our most imperiled wildlife. … SB 1 is intended to help fill these gap to ensure no backsliding in protecting clean air, clean water, and endangered species.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Surviving the next drought: It’s political in California’s Central Valley

With the last drought in the rearview and the next one inevitable, the damaging run on groundwater has state water agencies and lawmakers mulling whether to spend hundreds of millions to patch up a federally owned canal. But critics say doing so would amount to a clear bailout for the state’s largest farmers.

Aquafornia news San Luis Obispo Tribune

Desperate for new water supplies, San Luis Obispo County bets on cloud-seeding program

With $300,000 already set aside by Zone 3 of the San Luis Obispo County Flood and Control Water Conservation District, cloud-seeding airplanes could fly over Lopez Reservoir as soon as January.

Aquafornia news Arizona Republic

Friday Top of the Scroll: First-ever mandatory water cutbacks will kick in next year along the Colorado River

Arizona, Nevada and Mexico will be required to take less water from the Colorado River for the first time next year under a set of agreements that aim to keep enough water in Lake Mead to reduce the risk of a crash.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news FishBio

Blog: Ocean acidification alters salmon’s sense of smell

A team of researchers from Washington state recently studied the effects of acidification on salmon’s sense of smell, also known as “olfaction,” which is particularly important for salmon to navigate back to their home streams to spawn. The scientists made the alarming discovery that at the pH levels of seawater predicted to occur in the next 50 to 100 years, salmon’s sense of smell may be significantly impaired.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Opinion: Coming to grips with San Diego’s crumbling coastline

San Diego County’s eroding coastline is causing significant public safety, financial and political challenges. … But those shoreline changes seem certain to become more serious and frequent because of sea-level rise, yet the public at large does not seem ready to make some hard decisions regarding existing and future development along the coast.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Trillions of tiny invasive shrimp are degrading Lake Tahoe’s clarity. Now researchers are trying to stop them

As the sun sets across Lake Tahoe, UC Davis researcher Brant Allen and his team lower their sonar machine into the lake. Thousands of little purple dots rise across the screen as they cross the lake. … It’s not fish or Tahoe Tessie; it’s a horde of tiny mysis shrimp, which researchers think have been making the lake murkier since they were introduced in the 1960s.

Aquafornia news The Economist

Caps on groundwater use create a new market in California – a liquid market

During the drought of 2012-16 landowners pumped more and more groundwater to compensate for the lack of rain. Thousands of wells ran dry. As a result, California passed a law requiring water users to organise themselves into local Groundwater Sustainability Agencies.

Aquafornia news California Ag Today

Turning up heat on more dam storage

GAR Tootelian, a major agricultural chemical company, and Families Protecting the Valley are rolling up their sleeves to put up several hundred road signs calling for action to build more dam storage and the message is simple: Dam Water Grows Food.

Aquafornia news Ridgecrest Daily Independent

Meadowbrook, Searles Valley Minerals protest groundwater model

In light of the recent groundwater modeling scenarios generated by Indian Wells Valley Water Groundwater, some stakeholders in the basin have pushed back, including Searles Valley Minerals and Meadowbrook Dairy.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg

Desert farmers trade water for cash as the Colorado River falls

With big western cities clamoring for a share of the river’s diminishing supply, desert farmers with valuable claims are making multimillion dollar deals in a bid to delay the inevitable. … But if the river’s water keeps falling, more radical measures will be needed to protect what remains. 

Aquafornia news Santa Clarita Valley Signal

Opinion: Warming climate and our water

Some areas of the country are predicted to see increased flooding from hurricanes and other storms, while climate models show the West, particularly California, will be getting dryer. This will especially affect the water supply in California and here locally in the Santa Clarita Valley, where we have long depended on water from the melting Sierra snowpack to get us through our hot, dry summers.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Wet winter doesn’t end climate change risk to Colorado River

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation on Thursday will release its projections for next year’s supply from Lake Mead, a key reservoir that feeds Colorado River water to Nevada, Arizona, California and Mexico. After a wet winter, the agency is not expected to require any states to take cuts to their share of water. But that doesn’t mean conditions are improving long term.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Monterey County Weekly

The fight over Salinas Valley groundwater heats up as free-for-all nears its end

California was the last Western state to pass legislation regulating groundwater: the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 arrived after more than a century of development, intensive agriculture, bouts of drought and the looming threat that our aquifers will dry up. But the details of who would get to pump what – and the financial cost of achieving groundwater sustainability – are only now becoming clear.

Aquafornia news Klamath Falls Herald & News

All aboard for sucker recovery

Two species of Klamath Basin sucker have been dying before they can reach adulthood, and U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley is showing continued interest in expediting efforts already underway to save the fish species.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Thursday Top of the Scroll: New sprinklers will soon be more expensive in California. Here’s why

Californians, your yard sprinklers are about to get a little bit more expensive. The good news is, your water bill is about to get cheaper. California on Wednesday officially adopted new regulations which are estimated to save more than 400 million gallons of water per day within 10 years, enough to supply San Diego, the second largest city in the state.

Related article:

Aquafornia news National Geographic

‘Snow droughts’ will soon become more common in the western U.S.

Nowadays there’s about a 7 percent chance that snowy areas in the western U.S. will get two really bad snow years in a row—years with snowpack lower than a quarter of the long-term average. But within a few decades, if climate change continues apace, those bookending “snow droughts” could occur about 40 percent of the time, according to work published in August in Geophysical Research Letters.

Aquafornia news Phys.org

New mapping reveals lost West Coast estuary habitat

An unprecedented survey has revealed the loss of about 85 percent of historical tidal wetlands in California, Oregon, and Washington. The report, published today in PLOS ONE, also highlights forgotten estuary acreage that might now be targeted for restoration.

Aquafornia news Coastalview.com

Water district plans sustainable groundwater basin

The Carpinteria Valley Water District is in the process of forming a groundwater sustainability agency for Carpinteria Groundwater Basin in partnership with the city of Carpinteria, Santa Barbara County and Ventura County.

Aquafornia news AgAlert

Technology offers options to farmers

Amid employee shortages, groundwater issues and other challenges, farmers in Monterey County and elsewhere are looking to the tech sector to help them bring their crops to market.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Ephemerisle festival is Burning Man on boats in the Sacramento River Delta

Guests of Siren Island, a two-tiered wooden isle affixed with four spindly maple tree branches, were relaxing in the late-afternoon sun on the calm waters of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. They took turns plunging their hands into a steel basin of black lagoon mud then spreading it on one another’s skin — limbs, torsos and faces.

Aquafornia news Forbes

Blog: Hope springs eternal: The new wave of startups fighting drought

California could be the canary in the coal mine. Over the next decade, 40 U.S. states are expected to experience water shortages, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office. The situation is serious, but California’s entrepreneurs, who are seeking to boost supply and tame demand, offer a glimmer of hope.

Aquafornia news Ridgecrest Daily Independent

Groundwater committee talks well registration outreach

With the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority Board of Directors set to pass an ordinance requiring mandatory groundwater well registration on Aug. 15, a looming question remains: how to notify residents in the valley.

Aquafornia news Pew Charitable Trusts

Blog: Remarkable California lands and rivers would gain protection under U.S. bill

According to a 2017 report by the Outdoor Industry Association, outdoor recreation generated $92 billion in consumer spending in California and is directly responsible for 691,000 jobs in the state. That’s why local residents and elected leaders have sought additional safeguards to make sure that some of the more extraordinary lands and rivers within the national forest and monument receive permanent protection as wilderness and wild and scenic rivers.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

County considering project to send treated water from Paradise to Chico

Butte County, California Water Service and Paradise Irrigation District are kicking off the lengthy process on a project to pipe water from Paradise to Chico. The project would seek to restore some viability to PID, which lost most of its customers after the Camp Fire. It would also reduce demands on the groundwater basin currently used for water in Chico to boost long-term sustainability.

Aquafornia news AgNet West

SGMA rollout coming along smoothly

The implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act has presented some challenges, however it appears the overall process is progressing smoothly overall. Supervising Engineering Geologist with the Department of Water Resources, Steven Springhorn noted that the stakeholders have been diligent in adhering to the timeline established by the regulation.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: Toxic algae has killed dogs across the U.S. this summer. Now California is on alert

Toxic, blue-green algae blooms that poisoned dogs across the country this summer with deadly results have California water officials on alert for the dangerous bacteria.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news California Farm Water Coalition

Blog: If you’re concerned about climate change and water supply, California farms can help show the way

In a 2018 Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) survey, 80 percent of respondents said climate change is a serious threat to California’s future. And 72 percent cited water as a concern, with drought and water supply named most frequently as our biggest environmental issue. If you see yourself in these statistics, you should be cheering the efforts of California farmers.

Aquafornia news American Bar Association

Blog: Maps, models, and mystery: Interconnected groundwater and the public trust

We are a profession that depends on, and you might even say reveres, a good map. Rights to water flowing in surface streams are fundamentally defined by geography, and maps have long been a requirement of appropriation and essential evidence of riparian ownership.

Aquafornia news Sierra Wave

Groundwater authority awating decision from Department of Water Resources

The tentative low priority status of the Owens Valley groundwater basin has only heightened the complexity of the Owens Valley Groundwater Authority’s meetings, not lowered them.

Aquafornia news Natural Resources Defense Council

Blog: Keeping water demand in check

A new tool from the World Resources Institute for assessing water stress around the globe is shedding much-needed light on a growing mismatch between the supply and demand for fresh water. But an article surveying the data assembled by WRI for the digital New York Times this week missed the mark in describing California’s situation, where water use tops all other states.

Aquafornia news Comstock's Magazine

Are we doomed by climate change?

Mediterranean climates, like California’s, typically follow boom and bust cycles, marked by a predictable shift between cold and wet and hot and dry. But the changing climate will amplify that pattern with weather that is, at times, wetter and at other times hotter.

Aquafornia news Capital Press

Cost, timeline for removing Klamath River dams updated

Removing four hydroelectric dams along the lower Klamath River in Southern Oregon and Northern California is expected to cost just under $434 million and could happen by 2022, according to a new filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Aquafornia news Capital & Main

Rising sea levels leave coastal cities with hard choices

In the past, California city planners have been largely reactive, reconstructing boardwalks lashed by winter storms. Now, with the long-term outlook for the coast coming into focus, the California Coastal Commission is urging communities from San Diego to Humboldt counties to revise their local coastal programs to take comprehensive adaptive approaches…

Aquafornia news MyMotherLode.com

Blog: California’s water budget

The existing standard for indoor residential water use is 55 gallons per day per person. On January 1, 2025, the standard decreases to 52.5 gallons per capita per day. Then, on January 1, 2030, the standard drops to 50 gallons per person per day. So, how much is 50 gallons per day?

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: Trump weakens Endangered Species Act; California promises to put up a fight

The Trump administration on Monday extended rollbacks of the nation’s environmental laws to the Endangered Species Act, a cardinal conservation program that’s helped keep wolves, whales and condors, among scores of other critters, flourishing across the West.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Farms turn to technology amid water warnings in Southwest US

A drone soared over a blazing hot cornfield in northeastern Colorado on a recent morning, snapping images with an infrared camera to help researchers decide how much water they would give the crops the next day.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

Blog: Secretary Crowfoot: Reactivating natural floodplains in Central Valley is a win-win

At his inaugural Speaker Series on July 15, California Secretary for Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot led a discussion on restoring local wildlife species and habitats by reactivating floodplains. The Secretary’s Speaker Series provides a public discussion on emerging ideas and priorities in the natural resources arena.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Fighting fire with fire? That strategy falling woefully short of California’s goals

The tactic is considered one of the best ways to prevent the kind of catastrophic destruction that has become common from wildfires, but its use falls woefully short of goals in the U.S. West. A study published in the journal Fire in April found prescribed burns on federal land in the last 20 years across the West has stayed level or fallen despite calls for more.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Blog: Planning for a drier future in the Colorado River Basin

The recently adopted Drought Contingency Plan (DCP) was an important step toward addressing the Colorado Basin’s chronic water shortages, but more work is needed to prepare for a hotter, drier future. We talked to Doug Kenney, director of the Western Water Policy Program at the University of Colorado and a member of the PPIC Water Policy Center research network, about managing the basin for long-term water sustainability.

Aquafornia news FishBio

Blog: A diverse Delta: Integrating social and natural sciences

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta has been extensively studied in terms of its biology, chemistry, and physics, but this wealth of data leaves out a crucial piece of the puzzle: people.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Business Journal

Cadiz enters hemp business

With its long-awaited water project encountering yet another delay, Los Angeles water developer Cadiz Inc. is turning to a new cash crop for its desert land holdings: hemp production.

Aquafornia news Mother Jones

Opinion: It’s long past time to end the Delta smelt demagoguery

The Delta smelt is practically extinct in the wild already. So could the Delta be repopulated by taking up the farmers’ offer to “hatch and repopulate the fish,” as Jack Fowler says in National Review? That certainly sounds like common sense! Except that the Delta smelt war has never really been about the Delta smelt at all.

Aquafornia news Hamilton Spectator

Editorial: How California’s water levels affect Canadians

Why do Canadians need to worry about water levels in California? Because we live in a global world, where an overwhelming amount of foodstuffs cross borders.

Aquafornia news Inside Climate News

EPA plans to rewrite Clean Water Act rules to fast-track pipelines

The proposed changes to Clean Water Act permitting rules, announced Friday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, would limit the amount of time states and tribes can take to review new project proposals… It also would limit states to considering only water quality and allow the federal government to override states’ decisions to deny permits for projects in some situations.

Commands