Topic: Drinking Water


Drinking Water

Finding and maintaining a clean water supply for drinking and other uses has been a constant challenge throughout human history.

Aquafornia news Storm Water Solutions

Los Angeles Waterkeeper sues Senior Aerospace SSP over Clean Water Act Violations

The Los Angeles Waterkeeper filed a complaint in the Central District of California against Senior Operations LLC for violating the Clean Water Act and California’s Storm Water Permit. Senior Operations LLC is a Delaware corporation doing business as Senior Aerospace SSP in Burbank, California, reported Law Street Media.

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Aquafornia news ABC 23 - Bakersfield

Friday Top of the Scroll: State to receive over $600M in water infrastructure funding

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday that California will receive more than $600 million in water infrastructure funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The EPA says the money provided through its State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs will help create jobs while upgrading infrastructure to address lead and and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination in drinking water.

Aquafornia news Tulane News

News release: Tulane researcher part of $1.24 million EPA grant to study viruses in wastewater

As more extreme weather causes water to become scarcer in regions due to drought, scientists are exploring ways to recycle wastewater for irrigation and other non-potable uses. But before it can be released back into the environment, it must be free of any pathogens. The Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a $1.24 million grant to Tulane University and a multi-university research team to come up with standards for measuring viruses and other pathogens in treated wastewater for water re-use projects.  

Aquafornia news Fox 10-Phoenix

Water woes: Rio Verde Foothills residents worried as Scottsdale gets ready to cut off their water access

Homeowners in the Rio Verde Foothills, located north of Scottsdale, are losing their water access. Soon, residents there will no longer be able to tap into Scottsdale’s water, as a result of the city’s new drought management plan. Many residents have no plan on how they can get water, and some say they will be forced to move if they cannot get access to water.

Aquafornia news City of San Jose

News release: City declares 15 percent water conservation target in response to drought

The City of San José has declared a 15 percent water shortage and limited the use of sprinkler systems using potable water to two days per week. The restriction applies to all residents and businesses regardless of which water retailer serves them. The City Council approved the drought rules on Tuesday in response to extreme drought conditions in Santa Clara County. The rules take effect immediately.

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Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

DWR drums up interest in Orland water lines

The rural communities surrounding Orland are in a water crisis in dealing with the drought and drying wells. Over the course of the past year, the California Department of Water Resources, the North Valley Community Foundation and Glenn County have been working together with $8 million in funding to come up with solutions for the residents facing the crisis. Meetings were held in October and November for residents in the problem area who were dealing with water insecurity and dry wells. 

Aquafornia news The Signal

Innovative projects key to water conservation at Stan State

Water reclamation is vital to Stan State’s mission of sustainability. Essentially, the way the campus is heated, cooled, irrigated and powered depends almost entirely on water. Situated behind Bizzini Hall and next to Village Lake is the Central Plant, the heart of the water reclamation system on campus. Nestled within the plant lies an essential piece of the university’s water puzzle, a computer panel that tracks every move the reclamation system makes in real time.

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Aquafornia news Ventura Star

Camarillo’s next wave of water unveiled with desalter facility opening

Camarillo’s long-awaited desalter plant will soon begin treating previously unusable groundwater to convert into drinkable water for residents and businesses. The city unveiled the $66.3 million North Pleasant Valley Groundwater Desalter, located at 2727 Somis Road, at a ribbon cutting before a crowd of about 100 people on Tuesday.

Aquafornia news Food and Water Watch

News release: Backed by new research, environmental groups demand end to corporate water abuse

48 organizations have signed on to a letter demanding Governor Newsom address California’s water crisis with specific actions targeted at the corporate abuse of public water resources. While drought ravages the state and freshwater supplies dwindle, more than 1 million Californians lack access to clean drinking water. Wells in dry and under-resourced areas like the Central Valley are predicted to go dry at astonishing rates. Yet unsustainable amounts of California’s water are being allocated to multibillion dollar industries like fossil fuel production, industrial dairy operation and almond crop cultivation.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

New map shows 400 toxic sites that could flood in California

When Lucas Zucker talks about sea level rise in California, his first thoughts aren’t about waves crashing onto fancy homes in Orange County, nor the state’s most iconic beaches shrinking year after year. What worries him most are the three power plants looming over the Oxnard coast, and the toxic waste site that has languished there for decades. There are also two naval bases, unknown military dumps and a smog-spewing port. Just one flood could unleash a flow of industrial chemicals and overwhelm his working-class, mostly Latino community.

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Aquafornia news The Conversation

Blog: Millions of Americans struggle to pay their water bills – here’s how a national water aid program could work

Running water and indoor plumbing are so central to modern life that most Americans take them from granted. But these services aren’t free, and millions struggle to afford them. A 2019 survey found that U.S. households in the bottom fifth of the economy spent 12.4% of their disposable income on water and sewer services. News reports suggest that for low-income households, this burden has increased during the pandemic.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Marin water officials debate pipeline use standards

As Marin County water managers consider building a permanent $100 million water pipeline across the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, a debate has arisen on how often it should actually be used. The Marin Municipal Water District is leaning toward only using the 8-mile pipeline if it faces a water shortage emergency and only using the water for indoor health and safety purposes, such as cooking and sanitation.

Aquafornia news Business Wire

News release: New San Diego County water authority director joins Metropolitan board

Community leader and Vista Irrigation District board member Marty Miller has been seated as one of four delegates representing the San Diego County Water Authority on the board of directors of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. Miller took his seat during a special board meeting last Tuesday (Nov. 23). He replaced outgoing director Michael Hogan, who served on Metropolitan’s 38-member board since 2013.

Aquafornia news Ceres Courier

Surface water plant benefits from low-interest loan to build

The new surface water plant under construction to supply drinking water to Ceres and Turlock is benefitting from a 30-year low interest loan of $184.9 million. The plant is being constructed through a joint powers authority of the Stanislaus Regional Water Authority (SRWA) which the cities of Ceres and Turlock formed. The state Drinking Water State Revolving Fund loan program is furnishing more than $212.7 million in funding, which consists of $27.75 million generated by Proposition 68, which was passed by California voters in 2018.

Aquafornia news Esquire

Opinion: Your showerhead isn’t causing environmental collapse

If you’re truly interested in making a dent in the amount of water our civilization consumes, sad showers are not really the way. Flushing the toilet twice doesn’t make much of a difference in the context of global water consumption, either. (If there’s an acute drought in your local area, the calculus is different.) It’s a side dish in a king’s feast when it comes to confronting our aqua problems.
-Written by Jack Holmes, Politics Editor at Esquire. 

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

Global freshwater supplies are under increasing threat

Delegates and activists from nearly 200 countries returned from the COP26 global environmental forum in Glasgow, Scotland, with a long list of climate-related promises and targets to discuss and implement. While many countries made a renewed commitment to climate-resilient and sustainable agricultural systems, some groups accused leaders at COP26 of not doing enough to improve water security globally …. California’s persistent droughts, for instance, give water conservation methods new urgency — as the state’s massive agricultural industry accounts for 80 percent of California’s water usage.

Aquafornia news Capital and Main

California utilities leaving millions in debt relief on the table

As the application window for a near billion-dollar state program designed to help cash-strapped Californians with pandemic-related drinking water debt nears its close date, almost 50% of eligible water systems have fully completed the application, but nearly one quarter haven’t yet started the process — a scenario that could see many struggling households lose the chance to have their financial burdens alleviated. 

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

CalEnviroScreen directs billions of dollars to California communities in need. Here’s how it works

CalEnviroScreen — short for California Communities Environmental Health Screening — was developed by the state Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment to help identify communities that are most burdened by environmental issues. … The methodology behind some measures is straightforward, like air quality. For air quality, the tool pulls the annual mean concentration of particulate matter (PM) 2.5 of each census tract from California Air Resources Board data. Others, such as drinking water contaminants, are more complicated and involve combining data points from a variety of sources.

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Aquafornia news WaterWorld

Pico Water District receives PFAS water treatment grants

An agreement with the California Water Replenishment District (WRD) to cover the construction costs of new treatment facilities will result in improved water quality and millions of dollars in savings for Pico Water District customers. Under the terms of the agreement, WRD will provide nearly $4.3 million in reimbursements for equipment to remove per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) detected in the groundwater supply. Scientific studies indicate that exposure to PFAS over certain levels may result in adverse health effects.

Aquafornia news The Mendocino Voice

Mendocino County may have a standalone water agency by next summer

The recent rainfall has offered Mendocino County some respite from the drought, bringing many communities out of a crisis situation. But it’s still not clear for how long. Now communities throughout the county are using this breathing room to make their water systems more resilient to drought before next summer. That includes re-establishing a standalone county water agency.

Aquafornia news CBS San Francisco

Private water company’s woes leave Santa Cruz mountain community high and dry

A private water company in the Santa Cruz Mountains that residents are concerned has exposed them to unsafe drinking water in the last year has been fined $21,000 by the California State Water Resources Control Board Division of Drinking Water. … For the last year, nearly 500 of Big Basin Water Company’s customers have dealt with repeated water outages and boil advisories. During an outage, outside contaminants can make their way into a water system and boil advisories are typically issued until the utility company’s tests show the water is safe to drink again.

Aquafornia news Del Norte Triplicate

Past-due water fees could be waived

Crescent City’s water and sewer customers who didn’t pay for their water over a 15-month period during the pandemic will likely have those delinquent notices waived. From March 4, 2020 to June of this year, there were 334 accounts past due, for a total of $71,984.60. … On November 15, the city council authorized City Manager Eric Wier to apply for funding to pay off those bills. The funding will come from $985 million that the State of California received  under the American Rescue Plan Act passed by Congress in March.

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Aquafornia news Gold Country Media

‘A Golden Spike moment’: PCWA pays homage to forefathers as pipeline project is completed

The Placer County Water Agency entertained dozens of guests Nov. 4 for tours of its Ophir Pump Station and, a short drive away, the Foothill Water Treatment Plant in Newcastle. There were pastries and beverages at the Ophir Station and gift bags at Foothill. Presentations were made, pictures taken, questions asked and speeches given – all with beaming smiles, and reason to celebrate. 

Aquafornia news Tahoe Daily Tribune

Court orders removal of 75 tons of abandoned phone cable from Lake Tahoe

Eight miles of abandoned telephone cable laid off the West Shore of Lake Tahoe were ordered removed under a settlement, according to a federal court decree. Pac Bell stopped using the cables in the 1980s. In a suit filed by California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, the cables are leaching lead into the lake. Besides concerns over the lead in fish, the lake is a source of drinking water for residents living along its shores.

Aquafornia news Appeal Democrat

DWR provides funding for water project in Colusa County

Colusa County will receive $718,750 in funding from the Department of Water Resources for a bottled and hauled water project through a fourth round of funding from DWR’s Small Community Drought Relief program as part of its continuing effort to address drought impacts across the state. 

Aquafornia news CBS San Francisco

Santa Cruz mountain community struggles with unreliable, unsafe water service

In Boulder Creek, a small community nestled deep in the Santa Cruz Mountains, frustration over an unreliable water supply is growing. … For the past year, nearly 500 residents in Boulder Creek under the privately-owned Big Basin Water Company have dealt with repeated water outages because of an aging and deteriorating water system. The residents said they also deal with delays in being notified they must boil their water when service resumes, according to the Parks and Apostol. Sometimes, they say, they don’t get a “no boil advisory” notification for more than 24 hours.

Aquafornia news PR Newswire

Report: Water desalination equipment market size worth $22.79 billion by 2028

The global water desalination equipment market size is expected to reach USD 22.79 billion by 2028, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc. It is expected to expand at a CAGR of 7.1% from 2020 to 2028. Increasing water scarcity, depletion in freshwater reserves, and fast-paced advancements in desalination technologies are anticipated to have a positive impact on the market growth.

Aquafornia news ABC 30 (Fresno)

Major upgrades coming to water systems in Pixley

Water systems in many small communities across Central California are due for improvements to meet new standards and deal with the drought, including Pixley in Tulare County. … The agency announced its 4th round of funding support through the Small Community Drought Relief Program. It’s an opportunity leaders in Pixley took advantage of immediately.

Aquafornia news Patch, Pasadena

Pasadena sues Caltech over polluted groundwater

Pasadena City officials are suing Caltech over allegations that the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which the university runs, contaminated the local groundwater supply through its rocket research, Pasadena Now reported. A test of the city’s groundwater found it contained toxic chemicals, including perchlorate and carbon tetrachloride, according to the magazine. High levels of perchlorate could lead to both thyroid and lung issues, while carbon tetrachloride is considered a possible carcinogenic to humans.

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Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Opinion: California must do more to keep lead out of drinking water

Benton Harbor, Mich., recently became the latest community where persistent lead contamination in drinking water drew national attention. Media attention to this problem is good, but when it’s in another community or neighborhood, too many of us simply shrug. The truth, however, is that such contamination is much more widespread than the few pockets the public hears about. It’s a serious problem here in California.

-Written by Jenn Engstrom, director of California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG); and Susan Little, senior advocate for the California Government Affairs Environmental Working Group.

Aquafornia news Scientific American

‘Portable oasis’ extracts water from dry desert air

An ultraporous compound can extract water molecules from dry desert air, store them as tiny “icicles” and then release them as clean drinking water. A new study has shown this novel humidity sponge’s developers how it works in detail, taking it a step closer to practical applications. Along with government, industry and university partners, the researchers are working to turn their project into portable hydration systems capable of conjuring fresh water almost anywhere in an increasingly thirsty world.

Aquafornia news Stanford

Blog: Optimizing decentralized water recycling systems

Evaluating the cost and energy tradeoffs of new water supply sources in water-stressed regions, whether seawater desalination plants, long-distance water transfer, or wastewater reuse facilities, requires a robust understanding of the full lifecycle costs of water supply from source acquisition through treatment and distribution for a specific location. The reliability of the urban wastewater stream has made recycling and reusing wastewater an attractive strategy for enhancing water supply resiliency, offering suppliers the ability to quickly recover from disruptions and withstand persistent or severe drought while also reducing costs in water-stressed regions.

Aquafornia news Siskiyou Daily News

Volunteers, firefighters repair wildlife water sources

Man-made water sources critical to the survival of Siskiyou County wildlife are being repaired by volunteers and state agencies. … The guzzlers are needed to help wildlife affected by drought and wildfires over the last two years … With severe drought occurring in the state and lakes dying up, these water guzzlers provide a needed water source and gathering place for a wide variety of wildlife, from deer to bears and eagles. Drought is becoming a life and death situation for animals and maintaining these water sources is of the utmost importance. 

Aquafornia news Sierra Magazine

In a drying West, cities turn sewage into drinking water

For the past decade, water officials in San Diego have been testing technology that would provide the city with a new source of drinking water. In a pilot facility loaded with tubes and tanks, a five-step process filters and disinfects wastewater, turning it into potable water cleaner than what comes out of most people’s faucets. 

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Blog: Consolidating small water systems is a springboard to water justice

As the state of California seeks to fix its crumbling water infrastructure, the State Water Board has embarked on an ambitious program to encourage struggling small water systems to join forces with larger, neighboring water systems. We spoke with the State Water Board’s Michelle Frederick and clean-water advocacy group Community Water Center’s Ryan Jensen about why consolidation is important, how efforts are going, and what could be improved.

Aquafornia news CA Department of Water Resources

News release: Amid drought conditions, DWR provides support to communities throughout the Central Valley

California and much of the Western United States is in the midst of an unprecedented drought intensified by climate change. The Department of Water Resources (DWR) is taking immediate action to support California’s small and rural communities now, while also preparing for the potential of a third dry year.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Infrastructure week is finally here. What California will get

Washington has become known as the town where nothing gets done. But Congress on Nov. 5 approved a bipartisan $1.2-trillion infrastructure bill … California is expected to get $3.5 billion over the next five years to eliminate lead pipes and take other steps to improve the quality of drinking water. The effort would help clean up PFAS, the “forever chemicals” that reside indefinitely and accumulate in the human body, according to the White House…. Biden is scheduled to sign the bill Monday during a ceremony at the White House.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Tiny Sacramento water district ripped for ‘safety dangers’

An obscure north Sacramento water district has been accused by a grand jury of neglecting millions of dollars in overdue repairs, failing to inform customers quickly about chemical contamination, operating largely in secret and even ignoring a directive by the county’s top prosecutor on the proper procedures for awarding an engineering contract. Del Paso Manor Water District is the subject of a blistering report this week by the Sacramento County Grand Jury, which said the tiny agency is “flooded with public safety dangers.”

Aquafornia news TechXplore

Diablo Canyon nuclear plant could provide benefits for California, including desalinated water and clean hydrogen

The Diablo Canyon nuclear plant in California, the only one still operating in the state, is set to close in 2025. A team of researchers … found that this nuclear plant could simultaneously help to stabilize the state’s electric grid, provide desalinated water to supplement the state’s chronic water shortages, and provide carbon-free hydrogen fuel for transportation. 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Mesa Water District building 2 wells that will generate 11M gallons of drinking water daily

As California’s drought wears on, Mesa Water District is taking steps to ensure customers can enjoy fresh, reliable drinking water on demand — and two new wells being built will increase that local supply significantly in the coming months. Funded by a $1.6-million grant from the state’s Department of Water Resources, two potable water wells under construction in Santa Ana should be completed by next summer, officials say.

Aquafornia news Reuters

California agency sues 3M, others over groundwater contamination

California’s largest groundwater agency has sued 3M Co, Corteva Inc, the Chemours Co and other manufacturers and sellers of industrial and consumer products over claims they contain a toxic chemical that polluted drinking water in Los Angeles. The Water Replenishment District of Southern California (WRD), which oversees drinking water supplied to 43 cities in Los Angeles County, alleges in a complaint made public Tuesday that the companies knew products ranging from firefighting foam to textiles and non-stick cookware would pollute groundwater …

Aquafornia news

Sacramento County water district accused of not reparing system

The Del Paso Manor Water District is under fire by the Sacramento County Grand Jury due to a wave of concerns ranging from water contamination to aging infrastructure and even not complying with California’s monitoring requirements. According to a Sacramento County’s news release, the formal complaint comes after a seven-month investigation into the water district. County officials say that the water district failed to complete $35 million in repairs and upgrades that could lead to potential failure for the entire water complex.

Aquafornia news Voice of O.C.

Opinion: Let’s talk about well no. 28

As I finished up my night shift on Sept. 30, there was one thing that remained in the back of my mind throughout that day: “WELL No. 28 DRILLING PROJECT” (June – October 2021). Earlier that day, I … came across the infamous (or rather, unknown to residents) drilling project, located near my university’s film school. It didn’t really stand out — I only ever heard about it from my professors, and with some searching, a Facebook post announcing its construction from Aug. 12, 2021.
-Written by Owen Lucas Agbayani, part of the Wilkinson College Student Advisory and Leadership Council, a volunteer for Solar Rights Alliance, as well as an editor for Chapman University’s Undergraduate Law Review.

Aquafornia news Nossaman

Webinar: Turning the tide on cybersecurity for the water sector

Cyberattacks on organizations worldwide surged 40% in 2021. September 2021 broke records for the number of weekly cyberattacks, topping all other months since January 2020. Currently, one out of every 61 organizations worldwide is impacted by ransomware attacks every week. Given this ever-increasing threat level, a national law requiring critical infrastructure organizations to report cybersecurity incidents to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is on the horizon. 

Aquafornia news ABC7 - Los Angeles

How safe is LA’s water? Environmental group says legal limits still pose health risks

You turn on the tap and expect clean water. But what exactly is in that water? Analysts at EWG, a nonprofit environmental group, found a number of chemicals that are known to cause cancer. … EWG has a new tap-water database. Analysis of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power water found the level of arsenic 430 times its own EWG recommendation. It also found chromium at 29 times recommended levels, and acids from disinfectants at 184 times.

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Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Roads, rail, broadband in Biden infrastructure bill for California

Gov. Gavin Newsom praised Congress for passing President Joe Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill Friday night, calling it a “once-in-a-generation investment” which will help to create jobs and modernize California’s transportation systems. Newsom expect billions of dollars in additional federal funding under the bill, including … significant investments in infrastructure for electric vehicles, broadband, wildfire protection, drinking water and airports.

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Aquafornia news Valley Public Radio

The new state law that could end Tooleville’s fight for clean water

For more than two decades the small Tulare County community of Tooleville has been without a secure supply of safe drinking water. The simplest solution would be to connect the town’s water system to that of its neighbor, the City of Exeter. It would take less than a mile of pipe to get it done. But years of red tape and failed negotiations have kept the consolidation from taking place.

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Aquafornia news Patch, Pleasanton

Pleasanton’s appeal of housing mandate to be decided this week

Pleasanton will officially learn Friday whether it will succeed in its efforts to lower the number of housing units it must plan for in the years to come. The odds do not appear to be in the city’s favor. Pleasanton was one of 27 local governments to appeal their Regional Housing Needs Allocation to the Association of Bay Area Governments, a planning agency that focuses on finding regional solutions to issues such as housing, water or environmental matters.

Aquafornia news NBC Bay Area

Toxins long buried may surface as groundwater rises

Water rising beneath the ground, pushed up by intruding salt water as sea levels rise, now impacts thousands of toxic waste sites throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.  A six-month investigation by NBC Bay Area found that the threat from rising groundwater isn’t decades in the future but, in some cases, may be imminent. In many hot spots from the North Bay to the South Bay, UC Berkeley scientists told the Investigative Unit they’ve recorded groundwater already at or near the surface.

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Aquafornia news Hanford Sentinel

Around Kings County: Jackson Ranch wants to help Kettleman City

The statewide drought has put small communities in a bind when it comes to water. Kettleman City may easily be the poster child. Benzine and arsenic in the water wells in this I-5 town led to state and federal help to build an $11 million water treatment plant in 2020 so the town could finally get clean water from the California Aqueduct that runs right through town.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Report: Priorities for California’s water

Water is central to how California adapts to a changing climate. To those of us steeped in the complexities of managing the state’s water resources, the current fast-moving drought—coming on the heels of the record-breaking 2012–16 drought—is a stark reminder that we must accelerate preparation for the disruptive changes underway.

Aquafornia news Albany (NY) Times Union

‘Green Amendment’ added to New York state Constitution

State voters broadly approved a constitutional amendment guaranteeing New Yorkers the right to “clean air and water and a healthful environment”  …. While it mirrors legislation adopted by Pennsylvania and a handful of other states, its New York roots are in the Capital Region: Following the crisis over toxic contamination in Hoosick Falls, residents and advocacy groups statewide demanded a constitutional right to clean water.

Aquafornia news KTVU 2 - Oakland

Thousands of San Jose residents behind on water bills

The number of San Jose homes and businesses with overdue water bills spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic, and many could see their taps run dry when the state ban on water shutoffs ends in December. At least 1,160 customers have unpaid bills totaling a combined $1.1 million with the San Jose Municipal Water System as of June, according to a city audit published earlier this week.

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Frustrations mount over drinking water reliability in Boulder Creek: ‘We are at the breaking point’

More than a year after the historic fire was put out — and some residents were able to return home – much of the Boulder Creek region is still without reliable drinking water. The CZU Complex destroyed most of the Big Basin Water Company’s pipelines and tanks, along with its only surface water treatment plant. The fire also burned down the water purveyor’s office, and with it all of its records. It meant residents had to boil water months after the blaze. And more recently that’s become routine once again.

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Aquafornia news San Luis Obispo Tribune

SLO County water utility sues companies over contamination

The Atascadero Mutual Water Company is suing three prominent companies after chemicals linked to cancer and other health conditions were found in wells that supply drinking water to the city. The water utility’s product liability lawsuit, filed Oct. 15 in San Luis Obispo Superior Court, aims to recover damages from 3M Co., DuPont and Chemours Co., which use the chemicals. Known as “forever chemicals,” perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are used in manufacturing and have appeared in products such as Teflon cookware, firefighting foam, cosmetics and water- and stain-resistant products since the 1940s … 

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

How to save water during California drought

Even with the recent storm drenching Northern California, it’s important that residents conserve water, experts said. The storm — which included a ‘bomb cyclone’ — dropped more than five inches of rain on the capital city in 24 hours. But it won’t end the state’s drought. And next year could be dry, too. … The California Department of Water Resources recommends that residents calculate how much water they are using at home using the U.S. Geological Survey calculator. They said this serves as a starting point to indicate where you can save water.

Aquafornia news Environmental Leader

New water treatment facility to save Anchor Brewing millions of gallons each year

Anchor Brewing, San Francisco’s oldest brewery, just added an on-site water treatment plant to their operations that has the capacity to recycle up to 20 million gallons annually — equivalent to water usage for more than 1,300 residents. It takes an average of seven gallons of water to produce one gallon of beer. While beer is 95% water, the majority of the water entailed in the production of beer involves equipment cleaning and bottle rinsing.

Aquafornia news Voice of OC

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: Proposed ballot measure could save controversial HB desal plant proposal if state regulators deny it

A proposed statewide ballot measure could save a highly controversial desalination plant proposed in Huntington Beach, if it gets shot down next year by the California Coastal Commission — what’s viewed as the project’s tallest regulatory hurdle. The measure is being pushed by at least two prominent, Orange County water officials with either past ties to Poseidon or a history of advocating for desalination in general.  

Aquafornia news KFGO

California farm town lurches from no water to polluted water

The San Joaquin Valley farm town of Teviston has two wells. One went dry and the other is contaminated. The one functioning well failed just at the start of summer, depriving the hot and dusty hamlet of running water for weeks. … But for years, probably decades, the water coming from Teviston taps has been laced with the carcinogen 1,2,3-Trichloropropane, or 1,2,3-TCP, the legacy of pesticides.

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Aquafornia news ABC 10

Oceanside wastewater treatment plant preparing to open

San Diego County has been planning ways to increase its sustainable water supply and one of the planned methods is through turning wastewater into potable water. There are three sites planned in the county and the first one, Pure Water Oceanside, is set to open before the end of 2021.

Aquafornia news Manteca Bulletin

Opinion: Gov. Newsom’s Department of Water Resources minions to poor folks of Kettleman City: Drop dead

If you want to see the future of California fill up your tank with $4.80 per gallon gasoline and take the Golden State autobahn better known as Interstate 5 and head 160 miles south to Kettleman City.  It’s slightly bigger than the proverbial wide spot on the road. It is home to around 1,200 souls of which most are in households where often both parents toil in fields sometimes along with their teen-age children who join them during summers, weekends, and even after school.
-Written by Dennis Wyatt, managing editor of the Manteca Bulletin.   

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

A California town refused to help its neighbors with water. So the state stepped in

Exeter, less than a mile away … has refused to connect Tooleville to its water system. The engineering is simple: 0.7 miles of pipe. The human risk of not doing it is high. Tooleville water is contaminated with the carcinogen hexavalent chromium (chrom-6), and sometimes nitrates linked to agriculture and bacteria….Among a slew of water bills signed in September was one inspired largely by Tooleville’s struggle. Called the “proactive water solutions bill,” SB 403 gives the state the power to mandate and fund consolidation when there is an at-risk water system.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

How San Diego gets drinking water from the ocean

Whenever California is pummeled by drought — as is still very much the case despite recent rain — a lot of people find themselves asking, “What if we got water from the ocean?” In San Diego County, it’s already happening at a $1 billion facility by the beach. Recently, as I reported on San Diego’s decades-long quest for water stability, I visited the Carlsbad Desalination Plant, the largest such facility in the country, to see how it works. 

Aquafornia news Stanford - Water in the West

Blog: Reasons for hope amid California’s drought

Despite the rain that drenched central and northern California recently, drought still casts a long shadow over the state. The consequences of a multi-year water shortage are dire: reservoirs that serve millions of people and massive swaths of farmland are disappearing, hydroelectric dams are in danger of losing power and wild salmon are facing mass die outs….Stanford water experts Newsha Ajami, Rosemary Knight, Felicia Marcus and Barton “Buzz” Thompson discuss lessons learned from previous droughts, imperatives for infrastructure investment and reasons for hope in this arid era.

Aquafornia news Estuary News Magazine

Habitat tramplers run amuck – cows versus creeks

[A] suite of federal, state, and local laws ostensibly protect California’s watersheds from pollution, and volumes of codes are dedicated specifically to safeguarding streams and rivers from cattle. Yet through a variety of loopholes and exemptions, and possibly agency languor, roaming cows have access to many of the state’s waterways. Here, the animals denude riverbanks, eliminate riparian habitat, and degrade water quality. High concentrations of manure-born bacteria are known to flow from Marin County cattle ranches into the waters surrounding Point Reyes.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Marin desalination prospects fade in favor of imports

The Marin Municipal Water District is moving away from plans to acquire temporary desalination plants and instead is exploring purchasing more water from Sonoma County during the winter months. … The district, which serves 191,000 residents in central and southern Marin, faces the potential of depleting local reservoir supplies as soon as next summer if this winter is as dry as the last. The recent storms have put the district in a better starting position, but district staff said reservoir levels are still well below average.

Aquafornia news KALW

One planet: In California, one million people lack access to clean water

On this edition of Your Call’s One Planet Series, we’re discussing a four-part series by Capital & Main on the disproportionate impact of California’s worsening drought on communities of color and low-income people living in rural and farming areas in California. Nearly 10 years ago, California enacted the Human Right to Water Act to help beleaguered communities in the state. This landmark legislation obligates the state to work towards safe, clean, affordable and accessible drinking water to the one million residents without it. What is being done to provide rural communities with affordable and clean water?

Related article: 

Aquafornia news Spectrum News 1

As need to test water for microplastics grows, California finds way

Wherever you get your drinking water, there’s a good chance it contains some amount of tiny plastic pieces. There aren’t a lot of rules or regulations around this particular pollutant because it is considered an emerging contaminant, but that is changing. Scott Coffin, a research scientist who works for the State Water Resources Control Board, is proud of a recent accomplishment: an official, streamlined process to monitor microplastics in drinking water.

Aquafornia news American Society of Civil Engineers

Blog: California water district moves ahead with PFAS treatment systems

Beginning in 2019, multiple retail water providers in Orange County, California, elected to shut down several dozen groundwater wells because they were found to contain low levels of a class of contaminants known as perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances. In a region that depends heavily on groundwater for its water supplies, the closures have proved expensive… Following an extensive study of various methods of removing PFAS from drinking water, the Orange County Water District recently began operations at the first of more than 30 planned PFAS treatment facilities.

Related article: 

Aquafornia news Grist

Study: Toxic fracking waste is leaking into California groundwater

Between the late 1950s and 2008, Chevron disposed [fracking wastewater] produced in Lost Hills in eight cavernous impoundments at its Section 29 facility. Euphemistically called “ponds,” the impoundments have a combined surface area of 26 acres and do not have synthetic liners to prevent leaking. That meant that over time, salts and chemicals in the wastewater could leak into the ground and nearby water sources like the California Aqueduct, a network of canals that delivers water to farms in the Central Valley and cities like Los Angeles. And that’s exactly what happened, according to new research … 

Aquafornia news Inside Climate News

Unchecked oil and gas wastewater threatens California groundwater

California has a reputation as a leader on climate and environmental policy. So it doesn’t advertise the fact that it allows the oil and gas industry to store wastewater produced during drilling and extraction in unlined pits in the ground, a practice that began in the early 1900s. Now, though, researchers have revealed the environmental costs of California’s failure to regulate how its $111 billion oil and gas industry manages the wastewater, known as produced water. 

Aquafornia news Grist

EPA pledges to fix water infrastructure and sanitation for US tribes

Hoping to step up the federal government’s response to long-standing water issues facing Native American communities, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released an “action plan” earlier this month that will seek solutions to the many barriers tribes have to running water and wastewater services. The plan will guide the EPA Office of Water as it works with federally recognized tribes to implement the plan, which was prepared with input from the National Tribal Water Council, an EPA-funded advisory group.

Related article: 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Opinion: California spending billions on water projects

State politicians have done something laudable, and it has gone unheralded. They haven’t even bragged about it themselves. So, here’s some heralding. They’ve authorized spending about $5 billion on drought-related water projects without charging it on the credit card. They’re going to pay cash. That will save taxpayers roughly twice the projects’ cost for tacked-on interest.
-Written by George Skelton, Los Angeles Times columnist.

In the Heart of the San Joaquin Valley, Two Groundwater Sustainability Agencies Try to Find Their Balance
WESTERN WATER SPECIAL REPORT: Agencies in Fresno, Tulare counties pursue different approaches to address overdraft and meet requirements of California’s groundwater law

Flooding permanent crops seasonally, such as this vineyard at Terranova Ranch in Fresno County, is one innovative strategy to recharge aquifers.Across a sprawling corner of southern Tulare County snug against the Sierra Nevada, a bounty of navel oranges, grapes, pistachios, hay and other crops sprout from the loam and clay of the San Joaquin Valley. Groundwater helps keep these orchards, vineyards and fields vibrant and supports a multibillion-dollar agricultural economy across the valley. But that bounty has come at a price. Overpumping of groundwater has depleted aquifers, dried up household wells and degraded ecosystems.

Western Water California Water Map Gary Pitzer

Meet the Veteran Insider Who’s Shepherding Gov. Newsom’s Plan to Bring Climate Resilience to California Water
WESTERN WATER Q&A: Former journalist Nancy Vogel explains how the draft California Water Resilience Portfolio came together and why it’s expected to guide future state decisions

Nancy Vogel, director of the Governor’s Water Portfolio Program, highlights key points in the draft Water Resilience Portfolio last month for the Water Education Foundation's 2020 Water Leaders class. Shortly after taking office in 2019, Gov. Gavin Newsom called on state agencies to deliver a Water Resilience Portfolio to meet California’s urgent challenges — unsafe drinking water, flood and drought risks from a changing climate, severely depleted groundwater aquifers and native fish populations threatened with extinction.

Within days, he appointed Nancy Vogel, a former journalist and veteran water communicator, as director of the Governor’s Water Portfolio Program to help shepherd the monumental task of compiling all the information necessary for the portfolio. The three state agencies tasked with preparing the document delivered the draft Water Resilience Portfolio Jan. 3. The document, which Vogel said will help guide policy and investment decisions related to water resilience, is nearing the end of its comment period, which goes through Friday, Feb. 7.

Western Water Douglas E. Beeman Layperson's Guide to Groundwater Douglas E. Beeman

Water Resource Innovation, Hard-Earned Lessons and Colorado River Challenges — Western Water Year in Review
WESTERN WATER NOTEBOOK-Our 2019 articles spanned the gamut from groundwater sustainability and drought resiliency to collaboration and innovation

Smoke from the 2018 Camp Fire as viewed from Lake Oroville in Northern California. Innovative efforts to accelerate restoration of headwater forests and to improve a river for the benefit of both farmers and fish. Hard-earned lessons for water agencies from a string of devastating California wildfires. Efforts to drought-proof a chronically water-short region of California. And a broad debate surrounding how best to address persistent challenges facing the Colorado River. 

These were among the issues Western Water explored in 2019, and are still worth taking a look at in case you missed them.

Western Water Douglas E. Beeman Layperson's Guide to Climate Change and Water Resources Gary PitzerDouglas E. Beeman

As Wildfires Grow More Intense, California Water Managers Are Learning To Rewrite Their Emergency Playbook
WESTERN WATER IN-DEPTH: Agencies share lessons learned as they recover from fires that destroyed facilities, contaminated supplies and devastated their customers

Debris from the Camp Fire that swept through the Sierra foothills town of Paradise  in November 2018.

By Gary Pitzer and Douglas E. Beeman

It’s been a year since two devastating wildfires on opposite ends of California underscored the harsh new realities facing water districts and cities serving communities in or adjacent to the state’s fire-prone wildlands. Fire doesn’t just level homes, it can contaminate water, scorch watersheds, damage delivery systems and upend an agency’s finances.

Western Water California Water Map

Your Don’t-Miss Roundup of Summer Reading From Western Water

Dear Western Water reader, 

Clockwise, from top: Lake Powell, on a drought-stressed Colorado River; Subsidence-affected bridge over the Friant-Kern Canal in the San Joaquin Valley;  A homeless camp along the Sacramento River near Old Town Sacramento; Water from a desalination plant in Southern California.Summer is a good time to take a break, relax and enjoy some of the great beaches, waterways and watersheds around California and the West. We hope you’re getting a chance to do plenty of that this July.

But in the weekly sprint through work, it’s easy to miss some interesting nuggets you might want to read. So while we’re taking a publishing break to work on other water articles planned for later this year, we want to help you catch up on Western Water stories from the first half of this year that you might have missed. 

Western Water California Water Map Gary Pitzer

Can Providing Bathrooms to Homeless Protect California’s Water Quality?
WESTERN WATER IN-DEPTH: The connection between homelessness and water is gaining attention under California human right to water law and water quality concerns

A homeless camp set up along the Sacramento River near downtown Sacramento. Each day, people living on the streets and camping along waterways across California face the same struggle – finding clean drinking water and a place to wash and go to the bathroom.

Some find friendly businesses willing to help, or public restrooms and drinking water fountains. Yet for many homeless people, accessing the water and sanitation that most people take for granted remains a daily struggle.

Western Water Layperson's Guide to California Wastewater Gary Pitzer

As Californians Save More Water, Their Sewers Get Less and That’s a Problem
WESTERN WATER NOTEBOOK: Lower flows damage equipment, concentrate waste and stink up neighborhoods; should water conservation focus shift outdoors?

Corrosion is evident in this wastewater pipe from Los Angeles County.Californians have been doing an exceptional job reducing their indoor water use, helping the state survive the most recent drought when water districts were required to meet conservation targets. With more droughts inevitable, Californians are likely to face even greater calls to save water in the future.

Western Water California Water Map Gary Pitzer

California’s New Natural Resources Secretary Takes on Challenge of Implementing Gov. Newsom’s Ambitious Water Agenda
WESTERN WATER Q&A: Wade Crowfoot addresses Delta tunnel shift, Salton Sea plan and managing water amid a legacy of conflict

Wade Crowfoot, California Natural Resources Secretary.One of California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s first actions after taking office was to appoint Wade Crowfoot as Natural Resources Agency secretary. Then, within weeks, the governor laid out an ambitious water agenda that Crowfoot, 45, is now charged with executing.

That agenda includes the governor’s desire for a “fresh approach” on water, scaling back the conveyance plan in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and calling for more water recycling, expanded floodplains in the Central Valley and more groundwater recharge.

Western Water California Groundwater Map Layperson's Guide to Flood Management Gary Pitzer

Southern California Water Providers Think Local in Seeking to Expand Supplies
WESTERN WATER SIDEBAR: Los Angeles and San Diego among agencies pursuing more diverse water portfolio beyond imports

The Claude “Bud” Lewis Desalination Plant in Carlsbad last December marked 40 billion gallons of drinking water delivered to San Diego County during its first three years of operation. The desalination plant provides the county with more than 50 million gallons of water each day.Although Santa Monica may be the most aggressive Southern California water provider to wean itself from imported supplies, it is hardly the only one looking to remake its water portfolio.

In Los Angeles, a city of about 4 million people, efforts are underway to dramatically slash purchases of imported water while boosting the amount from recycling, stormwater capture, groundwater cleanup and conservation. Mayor Eric Garcetti in 2014 announced a plan to reduce the city’s purchase of imported water from Metropolitan Water District by one-half by 2025 and to provide one-half of the city’s supply from local sources by 2035. (The city considers its Eastern Sierra supplies as imported water.)

Western Water Gary Pitzer

California Officials Draft a $600M Plan To Help Low-Income Households Absorb Rising Water Bills
WESTERN WATER NOTEBOOK: State Water Board report proposes new taxes on personal and business income or fees on bottled water and booze to fund rate relief program

Filling a glass with clean water from the kitchen tap.Low-income Californians can get help with their phone bills, their natural gas bills and their electric bills. But there’s only limited help available when it comes to water bills.

That could change if the recommendations of a new report are implemented into law. Drafted by the State Water Resources Control Board, the report outlines the possible components of a program to assist low-income households facing rising water bills.

Western Water California Groundwater Map Layperson's Guide to Groundwater Gary Pitzer

Vexed by Salt And Nitrates In Central Valley Groundwater, Regulators Turn To Unusual Coalition For Solutions
WESTERN WATER SPOTLIGHT: Left unaddressed, salts and nitrates could render farmland unsuitable for crops and family well water undrinkable

An evaporation pond in Kings County, in the central San Joaquin Valley, with salt encrusted on the soil. More than a decade in the making, an ambitious plan to deal with the vexing problem of salt and nitrates in the soils that seep into key groundwater basins of the Central Valley is moving toward implementation. But its authors are not who you might expect.

An unusual collaboration of agricultural interests, cities, water agencies and environmental justice advocates collaborated for years to find common ground to address a set of problems that have rendered family wells undrinkable and some soil virtually unusable for farming.

Western Water California Water Map Gary Pitzer

One Year In, A New State Policymaker Assesses the Salton Sea, Federal Relations and California’s Thorny Water Issues
WESTERN WATER Q&A: State Water Board member Joaquin Esquivel

State Water Resources Control Board member E. Joaquin EsquivelJoaquin Esquivel learned that life is what happens when you make plans. Esquivel, who holds the public member slot at the State Water Resources Control Board in Sacramento, had just closed purchase on a house in Washington D.C. with his partner when he was tapped by Gov. Jerry Brown a year ago to fill the Board vacancy.

Esquivel, 35, had spent a decade in Washington, first in several capacities with then Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and then as assistant secretary for federal water policy at the California Natural Resources Agency. As a member of the State Water Board, he shares with four other members the difficult task of ensuring balance to all the uses of California’s water. 

Western Water Layperson's Guide to Integrated Regional Water Management Gary Pitzer

Researchers Aim to Give Homeless a Voice in Southern California Watershed
NOTEBOOK: Assessment of homeless water challenges part of UC Irvine study of community water needs

Homeless encampment near Angel StadiumA new study could help water agencies find solutions to the vexing challenges the homeless face in gaining access to clean water for drinking and sanitation.

The Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority (SAWPA) in Southern California has embarked on a comprehensive and collaborative effort aimed at assessing strengths and needs as it relates to water services for people (including the homeless) within its 2,840 square-mile area that extends from the San Bernardino Mountains to the Orange County coast.

Western Water Gary Pitzer

Millions of Dollars Needed to Help Low-Income Ratepayers with Water Bills, State Water Board Told
Five million Californians have affordability issues

A statewide program that began under a 2015 law to help low-income people with their water bills would cost about $600 million annually, a public policy expert told the California State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) at a meeting last week.

Aquapedia background

Potable Water

Photo of drinking water filling a glass over the kitchen sink. Potable water, also known as drinking water, comes from surface and ground sources and is treated to levels that that meet state and federal standards for consumption.

Water from natural sources is treated for microorganisms, bacteria, toxic chemicals, viruses and fecal matter. Drinking raw, untreated water can cause gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea, vomiting or fever.

Aquapedia background

Coliform Bacteria

Coliform Bacteria as Indices

Directly detecting harmful pathogens in water can be expensive, unreliable and incredibly complicated. Fortunately, certain organisms are known to consistently coexist with these harmful microbes which are substantially easier to detect and culture: coliform bacteria. These generally non-toxic organisms are frequently used as “indicator species,” or organisms whose presence demonstrates a particular feature of its surrounding environment.


Colorado River Facts Slide Card

This card includes information about the Colorado River, who uses the river, how the river’s water is divided and other pertinent facts about this vital resource for the Southwest. Beautifully illustrated with color photographs.


A Climate of Change: Water Adaptation Strategies

This 25-minute documentary-style DVD, developed in partnership with the California Department of Water Resources, provides an excellent overview of climate change and how it is already affecting California. The DVD also explains what scientists anticipate in the future related to sea level rise and precipitation/runoff changes and explores the efforts that are underway to plan and adapt to climate.


Stormwater Management: Turning Runoff into a Resource

20-minute DVD that explains the problem with polluted stormwater, and steps that can be taken to help prevent such pollution and turn what is often viewed as a “nuisance” into a water resource through various activities.


Drinking Water: Quenching the Public Thirst (60-minute DVD)

Many Californians don’t realize that when they turn on the faucet, the water that flows out could come from a source close to home or one hundreds of miles away. Most people take their water for granted; not thinking about the elaborate systems and testing that go into delivering clean, plentiful water to households throughout the state. Where drinking water comes from, how it’s treated, and what people can do to protect its quality are highlighted in this 2007 PBS documentary narrated by actress Wendie Malick. 


Drinking Water: Quenching the Public Thirst (30-minute DVD)

A 30-minute version of the 2007 PBS documentary Drinking Water: Quenching the Public Thirst. This DVD is ideal for showing at community forums and speaking engagements to help the public understand the complex issues surrounding the elaborate systems and testing that go into delivering clean, plentiful water to households throughout the state.


Protecting Drinking Water on Tribal Lands

This 30-minute DVD explains the importance of developing a source water assessment program (SWAP) for tribal lands and by profiling three tribes that have created SWAPs. Funded by a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the video complements the Foundation’s 109-page workbook, Protecting Drinking Water: A Workbook for Tribes, which includes a step-by-step work plan for Tribes interested in developing a protection plan for their drinking water.

Maps & Posters

Carson River Basin Map
Published 2006

A companion to the Truckee River Basin Map poster, this 24×36 inch poster, suitable for framing, explores the Carson River, and its link to the Truckee River. The map includes Lahontan Dam and Reservoir, the Carson Sink, and the farming areas in the basin. Map text discusses the region’s hydrology and geography, the Newlands Project, land and water use within the basin and wetlands. Development of the map was funded by a grant from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Mid-Pacific Region, Lahontan Basin Area Office.

Maps & Posters

Truckee River Basin Map
Published 2005

This beautiful 24×36 inch poster, suitable for framing, displays the rivers, lakes and reservoirs, irrigated farmland, urban areas and Indian reservations within the Truckee River Basin, including the Newlands Project, Pyramid Lake and Lake Tahoe. Map text explains the issues surrounding the use of the Truckee-Carson rivers, Lake Tahoe water quality improvement efforts, fishery restoration and the effort to reach compromise solutions to many of these issues. 

Maps & Posters

Nevada Water Map
Published 2004

This 24×36 inch poster, suitable for framing, illustrates the water resources available for Nevada cities, agriculture and the environment. It features natural and manmade water resources throughout the state, including the Truckee and Carson rivers, Lake Tahoe, Pyramid Lake and the course of the Colorado River that forms the state’s eastern boundary.

Maps & Posters

Water Cycle Poster

Water as a renewable resource is depicted in this 18×24 inch poster. Water is renewed again and again by the natural hydrologic cycle where water evaporates, transpires from plants, rises to form clouds, and returns to the earth as precipitation. Excellent for elementary school classroom use.


Layperson’s Guide to Water Recycling
Updated 2013

As the state’s population continues to grow and traditional water supplies grow tighter, there is increased interest in reusing treated wastewater for a variety of activities, including irrigation of crops, parks and golf courses, groundwater recharge and industrial uses.


Layperson’s Guide to Integrated Regional Water Management
Published 2013

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) is an in-depth, easy-to-understand publication that provides background information on the principles of IRWM, its funding history and how it differs from the traditional water management approach.


Layperson’s Guide to Groundwater
Updated 2017

The 28-page Layperson’s Guide to Groundwater is an in-depth, easy-to-understand publication that provides background and perspective on groundwater. The guide explains what groundwater is – not an underground network of rivers and lakes! – and the history of its use in California.


Layperson’s Guide to California Water
Updated 2021

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to California Water provides an excellent overview of the history of water development and use in California. It includes sections on flood management; the state, federal and Colorado River delivery systems; Delta issues; water rights; environmental issues; water quality; and options for stretching the water supply such as water marketing and conjunctive use. New in this 10th edition of the guide is a section on the human need for water. 


Layperson’s Guide to the Delta
Updated 2020

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to the Delta explores the competing uses and demands on California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Included in the guide are sections on the history of the Delta, its role in the state’s water system, and its many complex issues with sections on water quality, levees, salinity and agricultural drainage, fish and wildlife, and water distribution.

Aquapedia background

Water Treatment

Finding and maintaining a clean water supply for drinking and other uses has been a constant challenge throughout human history.

Today, significant technological developments in water treatment, including monitoring and assessment, help ensure a drinking water supply of high quality in California and the West.

The source of water and its initial condition prior to being treated usually determines the water treatment process. [See also Water Recycling.]

Aquapedia background

Surface Water Treatment

A tremendous amount of time and technology is expended to make surface water safe to drink. Surface water undergoes many processes before it reaches a consumer’s tap.

Aquapedia background

Safe Drinking Water Act

Safe Drinking Water Act

The federal Safe Drinking Water Act sets standards for drinking water quality in the United States.

Launched in 1974 and administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Safe Drinking Water Act oversees states, communities, and water suppliers who implement the drinking water standards at the local level.

The act’s regulations apply to every public water system in the United States but do not include private wells serving less than 25 people.

According to the EPA, there are more than 160,000 public water systems in the United States.

Western Water Magazine

Nitrate and the Struggle for Clean Drinking Water
March/April 2013

This printed issue of Western Water discusses the problems of nitrate-contaminated water in small disadvantaged communities and possible solutions.

Western Water Magazine

Preserving Quantity and Quality: Groundwater Management in California
May/June 2011

This printed issue of Western Water examines groundwater management and the extent to which stakeholders believe more efforts are needed to preserve and restore the resource.

Western Water Magazine

Pervasive and Persistent: Constituents of Growing Concern
January/February 2011

This printed issue of Western Water, based on presentations at the November 3-4, 2010 Water Quality Conference in Ontario, Calif., looks at constituents of emerging concerns (CECs) – what is known, what is yet to be determined and the potential regulatory impacts on drinking water quality.

Western Water Magazine

Desalination: A Drought Proof Supply?
July/August 2009

This printed issue of Western Water examines desalination – an issue that is marked by great optimism and controversy – and the expected role it might play as an alternative water supply strategy.

Western Water Magazine

Small Water Systems, Big Challenges
May/June 2008

This printed copy of Western Water examines the challenges facing small water systems, including drought preparedness, limited operating expenses and the hurdles of complying with costlier regulations. Much of the article is based on presentations at the November 2007 Small Systems Conference sponsored by the Water Education Foundation and the California Department of Water Resources.

Western Water Magazine

From Source to Tap: Protecting California’s Drinking Water
November/December 2006

This issue of Western Water looks at some of the issues facing drinking water providers, such as compliance with increasingly stringent treatment requirements, the need to improve source water quality and the mission of continually informing consumers about the quality of water they receive.

Western Water Magazine

Pharmaceuticals & Personal Care Products: An Rx for Water Quality Problems?
July/August 2004

This issue of Western Water examines PPCPs – what they are, where they come from and whether the potential exists for them to become a water quality problem. With the continued emphasis on water quality and the fact that many water systems in the West are characterized by flows dominated by effluent contributions, PPCPs seem likely to capture interest for the foreseeable future.

Western Water Magazine

Confronting a Legacy of Contamination: Perchlorate
May/June 2003

This issue of Western Water examines the problem of perchlorate contamination and its ramifications on all facets of water delivery, from the extensive cleanup costs to the search for alternative water supplies. In addition to discussing the threat posed by high levels of perchlorate in drinking water, the article presents examples of areas hard hit by contamination and analyzes the potential impacts of forthcoming drinking water standards for perchlorate.

Western Water Magazine

Managing the Colorado River
November/December 1999

Drawn from a special stakeholder symposium held in September 1999 in Keystone, Colorado, this issue explores how we got to where we are today on the Colorado River; an era in which the traditional water development of the past has given way to a more collaborative approach that tries to protect the environment while stretching available water supplies.