An ecosystem includes all of the living organisms (plants,
animals and microbes) in a given area, interacting with each
other, and also with their non-living environments (air, water
Ecosystems are dynamic and are impacted by disturbances such as a
drought, an extraordinarily freezing winter, and pests.
Longer-term disturbances include climate change effects.
Ecosystems provide a variety of goods and services upon which
people depend. Ecosystem management emphasizes managing natural
resources at the level of the ecosystem itself and not just
managing individual species.
The California Legislature was the first in the country to
protect rare plants and animals through passage of the California
Endangered Species Act in 1970. Congress followed suit in 1973 by
passing the federal Endangered Species Act.
By 2030 we will be water positive, meaning we will replenish
more water than we use. We’ll do this by putting back more
water in stressed basins than our global water consumption
across all basins. … We will focus our replenishment efforts
on roughly 40 highly stressed basins where we have
operations….Our new Silicon Valley campus, opening later this
year in California, features an on-site rainwater collection
system and waste treatment plant to ensure 100% of the site’s
non-potable water comes from onsite recycled sources.
Floodplains were the historic rearing areas for juvenile
salmon, and the remaining floodplains in California are an
important food-rich habitat as present-day salmon grow and
attempt to survive their trip out to the ocean. We sat down
with Hailey Wright, a Department of Water Resources
environmental scientist, to discuss the salmon lifecycle and
her work designing and implementing projects in the Yolo
Over the years, these groups united against a single cause: the
Southern Nevada Water Authority’s “Groundwater Development
Project,” a proposal to pump 58 billion gallons of water a year
300 miles to Las Vegas from the remote rural valleys of Nevada
and Utah. … In May, their three decades of resistance to the
pipeline ended in victory: The project was terminated.
President Trump dismissed evidence pointed to by California’s
governor of climate change’s role in the state’s continuing
wildfires during a Fox News interview on Sunday… The
president went on during the interview to attack California
over its water management policies, which he blamed on efforts
to protect the Delta smelt…
The CZU Lightning Complex Fire badly damaged seven and a half
miles of water supply lines made of polyethylene, a plastic, in
northern Santa Cruz County. That triggered the San Lorenzo
Valley Water District, State Water Resources Control Board, and
Santa Cruz County Health Department to issue a Do Not Drink -
Do Not Boil water advisory for over 3,000 households in
Northern Santa Cruz County in late August.
After years spent developing this project and making
adjustments to respond to stakeholder concerns, it became
obvious that we needed to take more time to address objections
raised by the community of Marina — namely that our project
would be built in their backyard without them receiving any
benefit from it.
California’s water managers have had their hands full keeping
our water systems safe and operational during the COVID-19
pandemic. But their work on addressing the fiscal consequences
of the deep economic recession is just beginning. Three lessons
from the Great Recession of 2007-09 could guide more effective
policy responses today.
Hordes of people are descending on fragile Los Angeles-area
tide pools to scrape starfish, mussels and other sea life from
the rocks, city officials say. The Los Angeles city attorney’s
office announced charges Thursday against 45 people accused of
overfishing, fishing without licenses and taking restricted
species at White Point Beach in San Pedro.
There is a new product allowing businesses in California —
mostly farms and other agricultural businesses that rely on
water — to lock in prices for water. But there are plenty of
questions as to how this will actually work. To state the
obvious, it’s just not that easy to transact in water. It’s not
a block of gold, or even a barrel of oil.
Along with being a global leader on addressing climate change,
California is the seventh-largest producer of oil in the
nation. And across some of its largest oil fields, companies
have for decades turned spills into profits, garnering millions
of dollars from surface expressions that can foul sensitive
habitats and endanger workers, an investigation by The Desert
Sun and ProPublica has found….Under state laws, it’s illegal
to discharge any hazardous substance into a creek or streambed,
dry or not.
The U.S. Supreme Court kicks off its new term next month with a
unique “original jurisdiction” water dispute—the likes of which
could become more common as the climate changes. The justices
are set to hear Texas v. New Mexico, virtually, on their first
day of oral arguments Oct. 5. Here’s how original jurisdiction
water cases work, what’s at stake this term, and what’s on the
For years, a stretch of Chorro Creek near Hollister Peak ran
through active farmland, where its flow was diverted for
irrigation and its banks were shored up by levees, blocking the
water’s natural access to its floodplain. … After nearly two
decades of planning and fundraising, the Estuary Program and
its partners recently completed a major restoration of the
The Nevada Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the state cannot
reshuffle existing water rights to prevent environmental
damage, despite recognizing a legal principle that requires the
government to preserve natural resources for future
generations… The Nevada court, in a 4-2 decision, separated
itself from the California Supreme Court, which reached the
opposite conclusion in a landmark 1980s case.
Through research funded by the Almond Board of California we
are exploring ways to recharge groundwater aquifers, be good
stewards of the water that we all collectively share as a
state, and even helping the salmon industry understand how
agricultural land, like rice fields, could play a role in
supporting salmon health.
When fires burn up vegetation, the charred remains become
hydrophobic—meaning they repel away any water. The soil is also
very dry, which counterintuitively makes it harder for water to
infiltrate. … Fires can also destroy the natural clumps in
soil, increasing their erodibility. Altogether, this means that
water is hitting the ground with more force and the soil is
unable to suck it up.
A team of scientists, led by the University of Arizona, has
developed a new blueprint for arid-land agriculture using wild,
native crops and modern growing techniques. The 14 researchers
from the Southwest and Mexico believe their model can produce a
sustainable, local source of food that will improve the health
and well-being of consumers and farmworkers alike.
Poor erosion control on the 258-acre site unleashed soils into
streams of the Russian River watershed and put fish and other
other aquatic wildlife at risk, regulators found, counteracting
millions of dollars spent to improve habitat and restore
imperiled, protected runs of salmon and steelhead…
Along a Huntington Beach coastline dotted with oil rigs and a
power plant, one of California’s largest remaining saltwater
marshes has been a source of pride for local environmentalists.
But the marsh, known as the Bolsa Chica Wetlands, is endangered
despite a years-long struggle to pull together sufficient
public funding for its upkeep.
A top water regulator from New Mexico yesterday warned senators
that hardrock mines, wastewater facilities and other industrial
entities could face stricter environmental oversight as the
Trump administration’s Waters of the U.S., or WOTUS, rule takes
When the Creek Fire exploded to 160,000 acres in just 72 hours,
ripping through a jewel of the Sierra Nevada just south of
Yosemite National Park, California and the world looked on in
horror and surprise. But the stage had long been set for the
megablaze, one of a half-dozen transforming millions of acres
of Golden State landscapes to ash. Droughts supercharged
by climate change dried out vegetation, aiding its transition
Former U.S. Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt writes that
a “Grand Bargain” in California water is needed to end the
“political culture of deferral” and allow major water projects
to advance. On the contrary, what’s needed is an adult
regulator that will make hard choices that water users refuse
The right balance of nutrients is crucial for a healthy coastal
ecosystem. If rivers deposit too much nitrogen and phosphorus
in coastal areas, algae that flourish on those nutrients can
cause dead zones; if too little silicon flows downstream,
organisms that depend on it will die off.
We recommend issuing “Do Not Use” orders in the wake of major
fires to protect the public before water testing results are
available. We believe it is acceptable to use water for fire
fighting and toilet flushing, but not for purposes that involve
ingestion, skin exposure or inhalation, such as bathing or
Wildfires started burning in California early again this dry
season—more than two million acres have burned so far. Larger
and larger wildfires are occurring as new heat records are
being broken each year. Firefighting efforts have leaned
heavily on aerial spraying of fire retardants, but their
environmental and health effects [including on fish and
waterways] are little studied …
Scientists at Salo Sciences, a startup that works on technology
for natural climate solutions, began creating the tool after
interviewing dozens of experts in California about the state’s
challenges with wildfires: They need more detailed, up-to-date
information about the forests so they can better predict how
fast and in what direction fires will spread…
The Sierra Nevada provides more than 60 percent of California’s
water supply and sustains a globally important agricultural
region. Quantifying the water-related benefits can be critical
in showing the true value and cost-benefit of forest
management. But until now, there hasn’t been enough locally
relevant data to incentivize restoration projects.
Every September for the last 22 years, the South Yuba River
Citizens League has hosted a Yuba River Cleanup with the help
of the California Coastal Commission. This year, the river’s
need for some tender, loving care has only grown as the region
reckons with more visitors, more single-use plastics and less
accountability amidst the pandemic.
New mapping of salt concentrations in the world’s oceans
confirms what physics and climate models have long suggested:
Global warming is intensifying Earth’s water cycle, speeding up
the rate at which water evaporates in one area and falls as
rain or snow somewhere else. That intensification has enormous
implications because it worsens droughts and increases extreme
rainstorms and flooding.
Responding to the lack of progress in 2017, the State Water
Resources Control Board ordered the California Natural
Resources Agency to adopt a 10-year plan to implement projects
to suppress the harmful dust and restore habitat. … But in
the three years since the water board’s order, progress has
been dismal, even though there is more than $350 million
available to implement the plan.
This proposal by California American Water has become one of
the most complicated and fraught issues to come before the
California Coastal Commission, whose long-awaited vote on
Thursday could determine not only the contentious future
of water on the Monterey Peninsula — but also the role of
government in undoing environmental inequity.
As wildfires burn across California, temperatures hit record
highs, and communities cope with the COVID-19 crisis,
biologist Caroline Brady is helping respond to a different
disaster: the worst avian botulism outbreak that anyone can
remember at the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex.
Lake Powell isn’t in Southern Nevada. Rather, it’s about four
hours away by car in southern Utah. But some environmentalists
say the water consumption of St. George, Utah, and neighboring
communities could have a direct and deleterious impact on the
Las Vegas water supply.
In recent years, nearly 150 million trees died around the state
as their roots delved fruitlessly for water and a devastating
bark beetle infestation took hold. Both the drought and the
insect spread that came with it were exacerbated by changing
climate conditions linked to humans burning fossil fuels,
scientists concluded. Now those trees, like so much else in the
American West, are burning as California contends with a
reckoning more than 100 years in the making.
Dizzying in its scope, detail and complexity, the scientific
information on the Basin’s climate and hydrology has been
largely scattered in hundreds of studies and reports. Some
studies may conflict with others, or at least appear to. That’s
problematic for a river that’s a lifeline for 40 million people
and more than 4 million acres of irrigated farmland.
While working at the United Water Conservation District,
Michael Booth used 19 years of records from a designated fish
trap on southern California’s Santa Clara River to identify
potential environmental drivers that spur some fish to make the
arduous trip to the Pacific Ocean. … He found that steelhead
migration was triggered by the lengthening daylight of spring
rather than factors like recent rains…
The Monterey Peninsula is about to find out if a long-term
water supply will become a reality on Thursday as California’s
Coastal Commission is scheduled to hear the application for a
permit to build the desalination source water wells. The Farm
Bureau believes the permit is necessary to secure a reliable
water supply for Peninsula residents and businesses.
One of the most severe examples is the San Lorenzo Valley Water
District, which serves parts of inland Santa Cruz County, in
central California. More than 7 miles of an HDPE plastic water
supply pipeline were destroyed in the CZU Lightning Complex
Fire, according to Rick Rogers, the district manager.
The White House’s rewrite of National Environmental Policy Act
rules is set take effect as planned this month, after a federal
judge on Friday declined to freeze the measure. The decision is
a victory for the Trump administration’s efforts to speed up
approvals for pipelines, oil and gas wells, highways, and other
“When a forest burns in a wildfire, should we expect it to
return as it was before?” Research scientist Jonathan Coop and
his team pose this question. It addresses a critical conundrum
in ecology: How do ecosystems recover from disturbance and why?
The idea was to lower the flows while temperatures were still
warm enough to dry out the caddis larvae. That required buy-in
from local merchants and the Bureau of Reclamation, local
tribes and others. They were able to do it, and on Aug. 27, the
first of two flow reductions took place. When the river
dropped, people pitched in for a day of river cleanup.
Mike Halpert, deputy director of the Climate Prediction Center,
said that as a result of La Niña, Southern California, as well
as most of Arizona and New Mexico, could “tilt toward dry” this
winter. Southern California, which gets most of its rainfall
from late fall to early spring, is already abnormally dry…
Reclamation announces a virtual open house website for the
Shasta Lake Water Resources Investigation Draft Supplemental
Environmental Impact Statement. Website visitors will be able
to learn more about the project, review summaries of Draft
Supplemental EIS chapters, and submit comments.
At the August meeting of the Delta Independent Science Board,
the new members joined with the outgoing members for
reflections and discussion to bring the new members up to speed
on the Delta ISB’s ongoing work.
Coal miners, stone quarrying companies, and other businesses
are rushing to lock down any exemptions to federal water
jurisdiction for at least five years, under changes the Trump
administration recently made to the nation’s water rule. … A
decision that might in some instances have taken multiple site
visits and nearly three years now can come as quickly as a day,
the data show.
The San Francisco Bay-Delta is literally threatened from all
sides: rising sea levels from the ocean, disruptions to
sediment supply from upstream, and within the Bay-Delta itself,
development and other land use changes have left only a tiny
fraction (5%) of marshland untouched. … A recent study by
scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey used historical
streamflow and sediment data to predict what will happen to the
Bay-Delta under varying levels of climate change.
The California Natural Resources Agency announced it will be
hosting a new round of public engagement sessions in September
to get input to assist in the development of wildlife habitat
restoration and dust suppression projects for the Salton Sea
Management Program’s 10-year plan.
The most pressing risk is debris that could clog the San
Lorenzo River near River Street and Highway 1 where water
enters the city’s system, said Santa Cruz Water Director
Rosemary Menard. The San Lorenzo River is the city’s largest
water source. It represents about 45% of the water supply.
The pending removal of the Upper York Creek Dam has put a stop
to a daily $70 fine that’s been levied against the City of St.
Helena for almost eight years. Thanks to rapid progress on the
long-awaited project, which will improve fish passage and
restore habitat along York Creek, the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration has suspended the $70 per day
penalty the city has incurred since November 2012…
While California’s climate has always made the state prone to
fires, the link between human-caused climate change and bigger
fires is inextricable, said Park Williams, a bioclimatologist
at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.
There is something in the water on planet Earth. A study
published Wednesday reveals climate change has amplified the
water cycle, which explains the more frequent extreme weather
patterns in recent years.
In Protecting Our Water and Environmental Resources v. County
of Stanislaus, the Court held that the County may not
categorically classify all groundwater well permit issuances as
ministerial decisions. Such a classification exempts well
permit issuances from environmental review.
The Utility of the Future Today recognition program celebrates
the achievements of water utilities that transform from a
traditional wastewater treatment system to a resource recovery
center and leader in the overall sustainability and resilience
of the communities they serve.
Less than two years after the most destructive fire in
California history tore through Paradise, the same region was
under siege from a second monster firestorm that quickly grew
to more than 250,000 acres, sweeping through mountain hamlets
and killing at least three people. … Across the state, 28
major wildfires have prompted more than 64,000 people to
Sens. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)
said yesterday they secured a public hearing on legislation to
ease some regulatory hurdles for forest management projects…
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will take up
the bill, S. 4431, next week. The “Emergency Wildfire and
Public Safety Act,” would also allow the Forest Service to
declare emergencies in certain areas affected by wildfire,
allowing for restoration with less-extensive environmental
If current predictions hold, the entire Palo Alto Baylands
could be submerged by the middle of the century because of sea
level rise, a destructive predicament that would threaten both
the sensitive habitat and the critical infrastructure in the
nature preserve. To prepare for rising tides, the city is
moving ahead with the creation of a new Sea Level Adaptation
By killing millions of trees in the Sierra National Forest, the
historic drought that ended in 2017 left an incendiary supply
of dry fuel that appears to have intensified the fire that’s
ravaged more than 140,000 acres in the southern Sierra Nevada,
wildfire scientists and forestry experts said.
Restoring specific “functional flows” would better support fish
migration and spawning, water quality, dry-season base flows,
and physical conditions that support aquatic species. A panel
of experts, moderated by PPIC senior fellow and study coauthor
Jeff Mount, discussed how to put this approach into practice.
We invite you to watch the event video.
In 2010, tribes joined the company that owns the dams and other
stakeholders in an agreement to remove the dams in 2020. The
plan was later delayed to 2022, and now it may stall again
because of a recent decision by federal regulators.
The test they want to use measures total organic fluorine
amounts in water and can provide a broader picture of all per-
and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in a sample instead of
testing for one or a few substances at a time. By removing the
need to test for individual PFAS, states may be able to speed
up the process for regulating groups of the chemicals, some of
which have been linked to cancer.
The results of targeted sampling for more than 80 lakes and
rivers are summarized in an interactive map showing which sites
were tested at each waterbody. The map indicates the specific
tiered recreational health advisory level — “Caution,”
“Warning” or “Danger” — based on cyanotoxin testing results
and/or visual indicators confirming presence of a harmful algal
Irvine Ranch Water District and Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water
Storage District had just begun environmental review for their
joint banking project this past April when TCP reared its head.
… TCP (trichloropropane) is a carcinogenic leftover from a
nematode pesticide made by Shell Oil and Dow Chemical that was
liberally applied to Central Valley farmland from the 1950s
through the 1980s.
The water wars are far from over, a point made clear in a
just-released feature-length documentary, “Until the Last
Drop.” If you can block from your mind the old Folgers “good to
the last drop” commercials, the film title will evoke a
combination of dripping water with a fight to the last drop of
A federal judge took a no-nonsense approach Friday to a hearing
on the White House’s rewrite of the National Environmental
Policy Act, grilling conservation groups on how they’ll be
harmed and chiding the Justice Department for glossing over the
political motivations behind the rules.
Starting in mid-July, the flows in the Noyo River began
dropping faster than in any other summer on record. The river
flow is below 2015 low flows, when the entire state was in a
drought emergency. John Smith, director of Fort Bragg Public
Works, said staff had never before seen water levels in the
Noyo drop so precipitously.
Four aging dams on the Klamath River are coming down. Their
completion between 1921 and 1964 brought hydroelectric power to
Northern California. It also blocked hundreds of kilometers of
fish habitat, causing Chinook salmon to effectively disappear
from the upper river basin. But the removal of dams is no
guarantee the fish will return, so a team of wildlife
researchers hopes it can coax the fish to repopulate the river
by exploiting a new discovery about salmon genetics.
Wildfires have burned more than 2 million acres in California
this year, setting a state record even as crews battled dozens
of growing blazes in sweltering temperatures Monday that
strained the electrical grid and threatened power outages for
millions. The most striking thing about the record is how early
it was set, with the most dangerous part of the year still
ahead…About 30 houses were destroyed in the remote hamlet of
Big Creek, … [but] a school, church, library, historic
general store and a major hydroelectric plant were spared…
For the first time in years, boats will soon be able to travel
freely again down the Petaluma River. … Once a vibrant
waterway, Petaluma River is now silted in, full of mud. Lt.
Colonel John Cunningham says the river hasn’t had a full
cleaning by the Army Corps of Engineers for nearly 20 years.
The Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District (Regional
San) is currently completing major upgrades to its wastewater
treatment plant. In anticipation of these upgrades, USGS
scientists are gathering data to establish baselines for
current nutrient levels and dynamics in the Sacramento-San
Joaquin Delta (Delta).
Climate change could deliver more silt, sand and pollution to
the San Francisco Bay-Delta, along with a mixed bag of other
potential consequences and benefits, according to a new study
in the AGU journal Water Resources Research, which publishes
research articles and commentaries providing a broad
understanding of the role of water in Earth’s natural systems.
Americans support far more aggressive government regulation to
fight the effects of climate change than elected officials have
been willing to pursue so far, new research shows, including
outright bans on building in flood- or fire-prone areas — a
level of restrictiveness almost unheard-of in the United
States…in California and elsewhere, officials continue to
approve development in areas hit by fires.
Arizona’s top water regulator has endorsed a company’s proposal
to take water from farmland near the Colorado River and sell it
to the fast-growing Phoenix suburb of Queen Creek. The plan,
which still would require federal approval, has generated a
heated debate about whether transferring water away from the
farming community of Cibola could harm the local economy, and
whether the deal would open the gates for more companies to buy
land near the river with the sole aim of selling off the water
At their regular meeting Tuesday, Sept. 1, the Siskiyou County
Board of Supervisors discussed issues that Big Springs area
residents are still facing regarding alleged privatized water
sale for illegal marijuana grows. Despite an urgency ordinance
prohibiting the trucking of water and a rally near one of the
alleged extraction sites on Aug. 22, residents say they’re
still noticing trucking going on.
Creek Week (starting the fourth week of September), and
California’s Coastal Cleanup Day all coincide in September to
encourage public participation in keeping our water free of
harmful pollutants, with a primary focus on removing trash from
Groups in the Tahoe Basin are using new technology to fight
invasive species and decreasing lake clarity. Researchers at
University of Nevada, Reno and Tahoe Regional Planning Agency
have been testing a UV light equipped vessel to control aquatic
invasive plants in the Tahoe Keys.
With an ever-increasing human population, water shortages
already occurring in many areas are only expected to get worse.
Now, researchers reporting in Environmental Science &
Technology have estimated the freshwater supply and demand of
about 11,000 water basins across the globe, determining that
one-fourth of freshwater consumption exceeds regional
As wildfires roar across Northern California, a team of Union
Pacific Engineering employees are on the front lines, battling
hot spots along tracks, bridges and tunnels. Their equipment of
choice? A water train consisting of two rail cars, each holding
12,500 gallons of water and a pumper. The crew has been out in
force recently on UP’s Canyon Subdivision near Quincy, Calif.
Dams, diversions, and land conversion have substantially
altered California’s rivers and disrupted the processes that
sustain ecosystem health. The result is a crisis for native
fish and wildlife and the loss of many benefits we derive from
“Until the Last Drop,” a feature-length documentary filmed
along the banks of the Merced, Tuolumne, Stanislaus and San
Joaquin Rivers is scheduled for virtual release Labor Day
weekend 2020. In this probing film, Modesto Irrigation District
along with Final Cut Media examine the rivers that have
transformed the San Joaquin Valley, helped create cities and
nourish the world.
EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said Wednesday the agency
would pay for more water treatment south of the border, and
work with San Diego to control trash coming into the United
States from Mexico by way of the Tijuana River. Wheeler made
the announcement during a visit to Southern California, a
region long plagued by sewage, water, trash, and other
contaminants flowing from Mexico.
As the North Bay continues to deal with thick smoke from
still-smoldering wildfires, some experts are already beginning
to wonder about this winter. They’re concerned about endangered
salmon in the Russian River watershed. Ground zero is the Warm
Springs Fish Hatchery just below Lake Sonoma, at the top of the
Dry Creek Valley.
The organizers of the Advocacy and Water Protection in Native
California Speakers Series are hosting a new webinar series
aimed at taking action against environmental racism and for
water justice in California. Humboldt State University Native
American Studies and Save California Salmon are organizing the
“Mobilizing for Water Justice in California” Webinar Series on
The owner of a Suisun Bay island violated the federal Clean
Water Act when he destroyed marshland by building a levee and
dumping dredged material while building duck-hunting ponds, a
federal judge ruled Wednesday. The ruling is the latest in a
years-long battle between regulators and John Sweeney, who owns
an island in Suisun Bay, a tidal channel and marsh area
northeast of San Francisco.
In the Aug. 14 outage, multiple redundant power sources failed
at the plant in West Oakland, something that hasn’t happened
since the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Major flooding at the
pump station led sewage to flow from an outlet into the estuary
more than nine hours later. The incident occurred amid hot
weather when people like to swim in the estuary running between
Oakland and Alameda,
California EcoRestore is an initiative started in 2015 under
the Brown Administration with the ambitious goal of advancing
at least 30,000 acres of critical habitat restoration in the
Delta and Suisun Marsh by 2020. … At the August meeting of
the Central Valley Flood Protection Board, Bill Harrell, gave
an update on the Eco Restore program and the progress that has
been made over the past five years.
Nevada and California joined forces last week at the 24th
annual Lake Tahoe Summit to advance the states’ shared
priorities to protect and restore Lake Tahoe. … There is a
long history of collaboration between Nevada and California to
restore and protect the spectacular natural treasure of Lake
Tahoe and its surrounding environment. This spirit of
collaboration was a pillar of the 24th annual Lake Tahoe Summit
Drivers entering town these days pass a sign with an urgent
message: Do not drink or boil the tap water in your home. It
may not be safe. This town in the heart of the Santa Cruz
Mountains is the latest California community to grapple with
water problems because of a wildfire.
EPA is announcing the creation of an Office of Mountains,
Deserts and Plains to focus on issues in the West, including
mine cleanup across the region… The new office, [EPA
Administrator Andrew Wheeler] said, will more effectively
address environmental challenges with those practices,
including acid mine drainage, erosion and hazardous substance
releases that resulted in surface and groundwater contamination
and degraded habitat…It’s unclear how the new office will
interact with EPA’s existing regional office system…
When salmon spawn, it marks the end of their lifecycle. But it
doesn’t mark the end of DWR’s salmon research. DWR studies the
carcasses to learn about salmon populations and assess their
numbers in the Feather River.
The two projects — which will cost $25 million and are funded
by the EPA’s Border Water Infrastructure Program — will control
sewage and wastewater, sediment and trash that flows from the
Tijuana River across the U.S.-Mexico border into San Diego, EPA
Administrator Andrew Wheeler said during a press conference
Wednesday at the U.S. Coast Guard station in San Diego.
CU Boulder will collaborate with five other universities and
two federal partners to better understand how water, trees,
soils and rocks interact and change each other in the fire- and
drought-prone landscapes of the American West. The team has
chosen five locations in Colorado and California to test a
variety of hypotheses about water in the critical zone. And not
only from a physical perspective, but also from ecological and
On Aug. 7, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded a service
contract to Adanta, Inc. of Napa to expand and enhance an
existing wetlands on the Veterans Affairs (VA) property at
Alameda Point. The wetlands project is being implemented to
offset impacts to wetlands areas elsewhere on the VA property
where a health clinic, offices and a columbarium cemetery will
California’s beleaguered Department of Toxic Substances
Control could at last get an overhaul under a bill heading to
the desk of Gov. Gavin Newsom. … If approved, the bill would
impose a per ton waste generation fee, increase facility fees,
add an ombudsman position, and take other actions. Assembly
member Cristina Garcia (D), who authored the bill, said it
would also raise $22 million to help stabilize the department’s
The California Natural Resources Agency has released a draft
project description for the Salton Sea Management Program Phase
I and announced a series of virtual public workshops for
community input. The project description identifies habitat
restoration and dust suppression projects to revitalize the
environment and protect public health.
The new suit, filed Tuesday on behalf of three different tribal
groups and the Sierra Club, argues states and tribes have a
right to place conditions on federal projects that could
degrade waters within their borders or to reject them
altogether. “These changes that cut into the tribe’s ability to
protect its waters and fish harm us all,” Anthony Sampson,
chairman of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe in Nevada, said in a
The Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity last week
said it’s targeting a federal plan to auction in December seven
parcels totaling about 4,330 acres in or near existing
oilfields in the county. The CBD called the auction plan a
“breathtakingly vicious” move by the Trump administration to
expand drilling and fracking at a time of wildfires driven by
climate change in an area with some of the country’s worst air
The worst outbreak of avian botulism in 40 years at the Klamath
Basin National Wildlife Refuge has killed more than 40,000
waterfowl and shorebirds, biologists say. The outbreak is a
product of sustained hot weather, warm water, receding wetlands
from lack of freshwater and crowding.
The big kahuna of California water — Metropolitan Water
District of Southern California — has stopped taking supplies
from one Kern County groundwater bank because the water is
heavily tainted with a cancer-causing agent that is pervasive
in Central Valley’s aquifers. While only one banking program
has been affected so far, the emergence of this issue could
have huge implications for water storage and movement in the
The Trump administration is seeking to fast track environmental
reviews of dozens of major energy and infrastructure projects
during the COVID-19 pandemic… Projects targeted for quick
review include highway improvements in South Carolina, Georgia,
Florida and other states; the Lake Powell water pipeline in
Utah; wind farms in New Mexico and off the Massachusetts coast;
and mining projects in Nevada, Idaho, Colorado and Alaska.
Residents have until Wednesday to comment on a proposal for
restoring Franks Tract, a 3,000-acre flooded island in the
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, to marshlands. … The preferred
concept that’s emerged after several public meetings would
restore about 1,000 acres to tidal marsh habitat and deepen
other areas to provide fill for the marsh. Community concerns
regarding navigation and recreation would also be addressed…
Over the next 20 years, San Joaquin Valley farmers may need to
temporarily fallow or permanently retire over half a million
acres of cropland as California pushes towards sustainable
groundwater use. … Below, the paper’s lead authors, Benjamin
Bryant and Rodd Kelsey, discuss their research examining how
conservation planning can guide the land use change being
driven by SGMA to achieve multiple benefits…
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has
identified the first two regions where Aquaculture Opportunity
Areas (AOAs) will be located in federal waters off Southern
California and in the Gulf of Mexico. The selection of these
regions is the first step towards establishing ten AOAs
nationwide by 2025.
A Monday proposal from the U.S. Forest Service would severely
limit the agency’s ability to call off any oil drilling slated
for its lands by the Bureau of Land Management, which tees up
leasing in federal forests. … The proposed rule removes
specific references within Forest Service policy to review
environmental consequences of drilling and also eliminates the
requirement to provide public notice before new oil activity
As darkness fell and a thick Pacific fog crept in over the
Point Reyes peninsula on Sunday, a small band of animal
activists waited for a National Park Service official to leave
his check-post… At 6 p.m., as his shift came to a close and
he drove away, the small bucket-brigade crept in. They were
transporting roughly 200 gallons of water to the park’s tule
Microplastics arrive on farms through processed sewage sludge
used for fertilizer, plastic mulches, and are even
intentionally added as slow-release fertilizers and protective
seed coatings. In just the last few years, an uptick in
research has uncovered alarming potential impacts of this
contamination on all aspects of agricultural systems from soil
quality to human health.
Laurie Huning, a hydrologist at California State University,
Long Beach, said snow droughts have been understudied relative
to other types of drought, which is why she and her colleague
Amir AghaKouchak sought to create a framework for monitoring
and describing the phenomenon around the world.
It hasn’t always been easy, and there have been plenty of bumps
along the way, but we’ve learned a lot in those five years, and
we are happy to share some of what we learned. We are pleased
to present our top 10 SGMA lessons learned:
A group of residents in Laughlin, Nev., which sits along the
Colorado River, are organizing a campaign to oppose a pipeline
that would divert billions of gallons of river water to
southwest Utah, reflecting intensifying struggles over water in
the U.S. West.
My puzzlement was goosed by a report that surfaced last week at
a board meeting of one of its member agencies suggesting that
the general managers of agencies representing the majority of
the Water Authority’s actual water-using member agencies don’t
seem to want it.
In burning to the edge of Lake Sonoma, the Walbridge fire has
posed an unprecedented threat to the water supply for 600,000
North Bay residents and scorched Sonoma County streams critical
to the revival of imperiled fish. … Experts estimate half of
the spawning habitat on Russian River tributaries has been
burned, dealing a potential setback to expensive, longstanding
efforts to bolster coho salmon and steelhead trout populations.
Waters of the Delta are in the midst of a tug-of-war. If
California is not careful, the largest inland delta on the
western coast of the North American continent will be damaged.
Water is a Many Splendor’ed Thing brings you another water
relationship that has a personally significant impact to your
A major release of raw and partially treated sewage into the
Oakland Estuary earlier this month was triggered by a
rapid-fire series of electrical failures at the East Bay
Municipal Utility District’s main wastewater treatment plant,
the agency says in a report filed with state regulators.
Health experts say the Salton Sea poses a health risk to the
residents who live around it, especially in the age of
coronavirus. The lake’s continued evaporation is already making
Valley residents sick, and it could make virus patients even
sicker. Farms in Imperial County use less water from the
Colorado River than ever before. That means less irrigation
water drains into the Salton Sea. It’s rapidly shrinking.
Since 2015, [Armando] Quintero has worked as executive director
of the Sierra Nevada Research Institute at UC Merced. Before
that, he was director of development there from 2008 to 2014.
He also has served on the Marin Municipal Water District board
since 2009 and the California Water Commission, where as
chairman he oversaw awarding $2.7 billion in state bond funding
for new reservoirs and other water projects.
We discuss innovative water solutions with Cynthia Koehler,
executive director of the Water Now Alliance, a nonprofit that
works with water providers to help them address climate change
and other challenges facing our water systems. Topics include
water conservation, green infrastructure, tiered water pricing,
big data and new technologies.
The California Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction
Act ..would significantly reduce waste from single-use plastics
and plastic packaging. Manufacturers would be required to make
their packaging and certain products increasingly reusable,
recyclable or compostable by 2032.
As California grapples with record-breaking heat, wildfire,
pandemic, and a $54 billion budget deficit, TPR spoke with
CalEPAgency Secretary Jared Blumenfeld to discuss how his
agency’s priorities have been impacted… Blumenfeld reiterates
Gov. Newsom’s commitment to ensuring safe and affordable rural
drinking water and opportunities to propel the state’s
post-COVID economic recovery with clean jobs.
Sonoma Water, in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers, made a request this week for the mobilization of a
Watershed Emergency Response Team, a state team than can assess
the damage and propose mitigation plans for a five-mile stretch
of the Lake Sonoma area that burned in the Walbridge Fire.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has announced plans to
extend the border wall and have it cut across the Tijuana River
where the river enters the U.S. in San Diego. … Usually, the
river has more debris and old tires in it than it has water.
But there is no barrier between the two countries here.
As if a global pandemic was not enough, the tumultuous
legislative session comes to a close as much of the state is on
fire. Understandably, lawmakers had already significantly pared
down their legislative packages to focus on a response to
COVID-19. And, then last week many important bills on
environmental justice and natural resources stalled.
With Lake Mendocino losing about a foot of water every five
days, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers declared that 2020 is
the “third driest year on record for the basin.” Though 2019
“was one of the wettest years over the past 25 years, this year
is stacking up to be one of the driest,” the Army Corps
explained…However, the Army Corps said a new forecasting
model for storms developed over the last few years has
definitely helped maintain the lake’s water levels.
“The thirsty elk are currently beset by drought and wildfire
smoke and caged into the preserve by a fence which prevents
them from accessing alternative water sources,” the groups
said, asserting that most or all the ponds the elk should be
able to use have dried up.
Michael Wara, a climate and energy expert at Stanford
University who’s advised the state Legislature on wildfire
issues, said the state is still grappling with a legacy of
spending money on fighting fires instead of on forest health,
such as thinning overgrown brush and removing millions of
drought-killed trees, building fire breaks around communities
and intentionally setting fires when conditions safely allow
California rice growers wishing to participate in a
state-funded program to flood their fields for winter wildlife
habitat have until Sept. 14 to submit their requests to the
state. Growers who qualify this year will receive $15 per acre
to flood their rice fields.
Nine months after the Coastal Commission conducted its first
hearing on California American Water’s proposed desalination
project, commission staff has again recommended denial of the
project in favor of a Pure Water Monterey expansion proposal.
New research from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory shows
that by the years 2045-2049 future temperatures will have more
of an effect on when cool-season crops, such as broccoli and
lettuce, can be grown than on where, while for warm-season
crops (cantaloupe, tomatoes, carrots) the impact will be
greater for where they can be grown versus when.
The Clean Water Act previously allowed states to halt projects
that risk hurting their water quality, but that power was
scaled back by the EPA in June, a move Administrator Andrew
Wheeler said would “curb abuses of the Clean Water Act that
have held our nation’s energy infrastructure projects hostage.”
The latest suit argues the Trump administration is
inappropriately denying states veto power over major projects
that pose risks to their waterways.
The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board has
reported that a recent collection of water samples from
cyanobacteria harmful algal blooms along the Stockton
waterfront contain microcystins up to 220 times higher than the
“danger” level. These extremely dangerous readings were found
at 5 out of 6 testing sites along the Stockton waterfront.
At ACWA’s virtual conference held in July of 2020, a panel
comprised of agencies described the experience of the American
River region in evaluating climate impacts on their watershed
in a new cutting-edge study and the comprehensive suite of
projects designed to address increasing threats from more
frequent and intense floods, fires, and droughts.
Stakeholders shared their concerns of potential consequences
over a stalled project to remove four hydroelectric dams along
the lower Klamath River during a recent online panel
discussion. Congressman Jared Huffman of California’s Second
Congressional District and chairman of the Water, Oceans and
Wildlife Subcommittee, hosted the discussion.
The written version of remarks delivered by Eric Kuhn at the
Aug. 25 Western Resource Advocates webinar on the Lake Powell
Pipeline, featuring Eric, WRA’s Bart Miller, and Alice Walker,
attorney for the Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians.
Groundwater is California’s water savings bank account that can
be tapped during dry years when water in lakes and rivers are
low. Conserving water helps preserve groundwater, which is
important for plants, animals and people.
This week, water suppliers and landowners along the Sacramento
River joined with federal and state agencies in a new science
collaborative designed to inform ongoing efforts to improve
conditions for salmon on the Sacramento River, while also
helping better manage water for cities and rural communities,
farms, refuges and wildlife management areas that depend upon
North Marin Water District has struggled for decades with
periodic and seasonal salinity intrusion resulting from the
wells’ proximity to Tomales Bay, but the problem is especially
dire this summer as freshwater becomes scarce.
While the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex deals
with one of its biggest botulism outbreaks in recent history,
emergency water deliveries from the Klamath Project have
prevented the situation from worsening. The waterborne
bacterial illness, which causes paralysis and often leads to
death, has impacted more than 15 percent of the molting birds
currently on Tule Lake’s main sump.
The Department of Water Resources and partners are providing
resources to support water education while many California
families are dealing with the challenges of distance learning.
These free materials include workbooks, posters, and activity
guides for teachers, educators, and parents, as well as online
programs such as Water Wednesdays.
Simply updating costs to this latest estimate ($15.9 billion in
2020 dollars is equivalent to $15 billion in the 2017$) reduces
the benefit-cost ratio for State Water Project urban agencies
from 1.23 to 0.92, and for agricultural agencies from 1.17 to
0.87. That’s a bad investment, but it is actually much worse
Warm temperatures are here and when conditions are right,
blue-green algae can rapidly bloom on the surface of
reservoirs, rivers, creeks, lagoons, lakes and ponds. San
Joaquin County Public Health and Environmental Health
officials, and the state Regional Water Quality Control Board,
are urging swimmers, boaters, and recreational water users to
avoid contact with blue-green algae, also known as
The Department of Water Resources came to the August Delta
Independent Science Board meeting to provide an overview of the
Delta tunnel project including timeline and review process, as
well as some thoughts on the board’s recent letter.
Above-average temperatures in spring resulted in a paltry 57%
runoff, nowhere near enough water to refill the reservoirs that
remain half-empty. Based on these conditions, the U.S. Bureau
of Reclamation recently determined that 2021 will be a “tier
zero” year under the Lower Colorado River Basin Drought
Contingency Plan, with reduced water deliveries for Arizona,
Nevada, and Mexico.
Public health officials are urging boaters, swimmers and
recreational water users to be on the lookout for hazardous
blue-green algae blooms as warm temperatures persist. San
Joaquin County Environmental Health Department officials posted
advisory signs at local marinas warning people to stay out of
the water where toxic algae is present.
California’s rivers and aquatic species are in trouble, but
restoration projects often get bogged down by lengthy
permitting processes. Sustainable Conservation has been at the
forefront of finding ways to speed up badly needed restoration
projects with improved permitting. We talked to Erika
Lovejoy—director of Sustainable Conservation’s Accelerating
Tunnel proponents say they do not expect to operate the tunnel
at capacity, and it would be in use mainly to draw from the
periodic storms that send more water through the Delta out to
San Francisco Bay. But how much would that be? The usual answer
is: we will leave that to the experts.
There is some debate about what counts as water theft – or even
if it exists at all, as water is a natural resource that we all
have access to. But the team looked at three separate case
studies involving improper water use: growing marijuana in
California, strawberries in Spain, and cotton in Australia.
Men and women from Native American tribes in Northern
California stood in a circle, alongside university students and
locals from around the town of Mariposa. … For the next two
days, the group would be carefully lighting fires in the
surrounding hills. Also sprinkled through the crowd were
officials from the state government, which a century ago had
largely prohibited California’s tribes from continuing their
ancient practice of controlled burns.
Most scientists in the field agree that sea levels should have
risen more than they did over most of the past century. In this
new effort, the researchers have taken another look at the
problem and suggest the reason for the discrepancies was water
being captured in reservoirs by dams.
Brockovich’s new book … explores problems from
contaminated drinking water to water shortages due to climate
change. And as weighty as those issues may seem, she
also provides action steps for people concerned about
their own water and tells the empowering stories of many people
speaking up about water contamination in their communities.
A main water pipeline in the San Lorenzo Valley was destroyed
by a wildfire burning in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties. The
San Lorenzo Valley Water District lost 4.5 million gallons of
water after this 5-mile long pipe melted from intense heat. The
district shut off its water supply throughout the Valley except
to Boulder Creek.
The San Diego County Water Authority announced Monday it is
partnering with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC
San Diego to better predict atmospheric rivers and improve
water management before, during and after those seasonal
storms. [The other affiliates are: Irvine Ranch Water District,
Orange County Water District, Sonoma Water, Turlock Irrigation
District, and Yuba Water Agency.]
After months of relative quiet, Newsom’s administration
released a preliminary cost estimate for the scaled-back
project Friday: $15.9 billion for a single tunnel running
beneath the estuary just south of Sacramento. That’s nearly as
much as the old $16.7 billion price tag put on the larger,
Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge’s main open body of water,
Sump 1A, had been exceptionally low for weeks. The hot sun
baked the shallow water during the day, and warmer nighttime
temperatures ensured it stayed hot. Dormant bacteria awakened
on the lake’s fringe wetlands, carrying with them a paralyzing
and potentially fatal toxin. Beneath the cover of smoke began
the refuge’s worst botulism outbreak in years.
The wildfires that exploded over the past few days in
California and Colorado show clear influences of global
warming, climate scientists say, and evidence of how a warming
and drying climate is increasing the size and severity of fires
from the California coast to the high Rocky Mountains.
Because the invasive 20-pound rodents pose a unique threat to
California’s wetlands, the state has expanded the Nutria
Eradication Program over the past year to a staff of 26 field
operatives 100% dedicated to exterminating the swamp rat.
Unlike just about everything else in the state, the war against
nutria has been almost entirely unaffected by the coronavirus
Kristen Averyt, PhD, is Nevada’s first State Climate Policy
Coordinator and offered a 42 minute presentation on climate
change and what it means for the environment and economics of
the Lake Tahoe Basin, region, and planet. On this edition of
the Wild Hare we take you on a tour of Dr. Averyt’s comments…
The U.S. Geological Survey has operated mesocosm experiments in
Upper Klamath Lake each summer since 2014, placing groups of
juvenile suckers in netted cages dotted throughout the lake.
… The goal is to figure out what’s killing the young suckers
before they’re able to reach sexual maturity and support their
Under the plan, California agencies and the U.S. Forest Service
will use brush clearing, logging and prescribed fires to thin
out 1 million acres a year by 2025 — an area larger than
Yosemite National Park every 12 months, and roughly double the
current rate of thinning, which already is double rates from a
few years ago.
As the Lake Elsinore Advanced Pumped Storage, or LEAPS,
hydroelectric project proceeds with licensing approval from the
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, local roles have been
defined with a water delivery agreement following years of
litigation over project details.
Every day Hyperion Water Treatment Plant discharges enough
treated wastewater into the ocean to fill the Rose Bowl 2.5
times over. Now a court has instructed state water officials to
analyze whether it is “wasteful” and “unreasonable” to dump
billions of gallons of wastewater into the sea.
A single tunnel proposed to take water under the sensitive
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and deliver it to farms and cities
in the south could cost $15.9 billion, give or take, according
to an initial assessment discussed at the Delta Conveyance
Authority meeting on Thursday.
The weekend’s record-bursting heat wave and freak summer
lightning storm have left an already parched Northern
California with a rash of rapidly spreading wildfires — more
than 300 blazes — something rarely seen before and possibly
unprecedented in scope, climate scientists say.
California still hasn’t met habitat restoration and dust
suppression goals for the Salton Sea, the state’s largest lake
that has long been plagued by a shrinking coastline, rising
salinity numbers, insect infestations, and dying fish
populations. State Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot
acknowledged during a workshop Wednesday that “we’re coming
The snow along the mountains of Nevada’s Great Basin trickle
down when the spring turns into summer. This produces a flurry
of wildlife and natural resources in our area ponds, rivers,
and lakes. … Along the majestic Truckee River, fishermen
would collect thousands of trout from the late 1800’s to the
1900’s. Eventually, this would cause the near extinction of our
state’s native species, the Lahontan cutthroat trout.
Nevada and Utah share more than borders. We share the coveted
and much-fought-over Colorado River. But it seems as if only
one state — Nevada — is doing the difficult work to protect our
most valuable resource
The State Water Board and environmental conservationists have
filed lawsuits against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
at the Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals to protect the
Yuba and Bear river watersheds…
We know there are ways to actively manage our Western forests
to improve water quality, provide for jobs, reduce the cost of
firefighting and increase forest resiliency. Now we have new
tools to assess how proper management of watershed vegetation
can increase water yield.
Long-term fixes for the ever-shrinking Salton Sea remain
stalled as California Natural Resources Agency officials on
Wednesday revealed they have been unable to find an analyst to
study proposed solutions to a nearly two decades-old problem.
North Coast elected officials rang alarm bells Tuesday around
what the region’s congressional representative called a
“slow-walk” on the removal of four Klamath River dams that have
threatened fish populations and led to pollution.
Land-based seafood firm Nordic Aquafarms has submitted its
first permit application for the construction of its new
land-based salmon farm in Humboldt, California, the company
said on Tuesday. … Discharge from the farm will be sent
through an existing pipe into open waters where effective
dilution is achieved, with no impairment of waters identified,
the company said.
The San Diego fairy shrimp, a miniscule, puddle-dwelling
crustacean that provides food for migrating birds, is nearing
extinction as humans continue to encroach on its wetlands
habitat. But a new approach to tracking the shrimp’s population
numbers may give conservationists a boost in protecting the
With up to $4,058,220 available, the program provides economic
incentives to landowners or lessees who agree to manage their
properties in accordance with a management plan developed
through a consultation with biologists from California
Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Comprehensive Wetland Habitat
Program for a two-year period.
North Coast Congressmember Jared Huffman hosted a forum of the
Water, Oceans and Wildlife Subcommittee he chairs Tuesday
afternoon, orchestrating a two-hour panel discussion focused on
the stalled agreement to remove four hydroelectric dams from
the ailing Klamath River.
The current heatwave broiling Californians like no event in
decades is also elevating the risk for another potential
disaster in the weeks ahead: wildfires. … As a result of
climate change, California sees more than twice as many fall
days with “fire weather” as it did a generation ago.
It should not take pleas to Warren Buffett, the billionaire
leader of the Berkshire Hathaway holding company, to save the
wobbling deal to take down four obsolete dams on the Klamath
River. But that is what the state of California and the
Klamath’s Yurok and Karuk tribes are left with…
The dredging is taking place in a vast sewage treatment pond.
And the material being removed is biosolids, which is another
way of saying sewage sludge. About 3,500 tons of biosolids will
be piped from the pond this summer to be dewatered. It is
ultimately trucked a short distance and spread over a NapaSan
field where a farmer grows sorghum.
The well-written and informative article concerning Upper
Klamath Lake elevations and sucker populations omits a harsh
reality: For nearly 30 years, Klamath Project irrigators have
been presumed guilty and punished, even though there is no
evidence their use of water has anything to do with endangered
It may not be the biblical end of times, but the searing heat
and humidity, rain, thunder and lightning thrashing California
could be the beginning of the end of the region’s dry
Mediterranean climate and a prelude of more surprises to come,
scientists said Monday.
The San Francisco Estuary is a dynamic and altered estuary that
supports a high diversity of fishes, both native and
non-native. … Since the 1950s, various agencies and UC Davis
have established long-term surveys to track the status of fish
populations. These surveys help scientists understand how
fishes are responding to natural- and human-caused changes to
The hopes of seeing those dams removed, hopes that burned so
bright four years ago when hundreds gathered in Requa near the
river’s mouth to announce a new removal agreement, have dimmed
considerably since a July 16 ruling by the Federal Energy