Topic: Levees

Overview

Levees

California would not exist as it does today were it not for the extensive system of levees, weirs and flood bypasses that have been built through the years, particularly in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

White House seeks to improve flood standards and access to climate data

The White House announced Tuesday that it would work to revise building standards for flood-prone communities across the country in the face of climate change, while launching tools to make climate information more accessible to the public. The move is part of the Biden administration’s broader effort to push the United States to reckon with the costs of global warming by factoring in the long-term consequences of decisions being made today.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Will climate change lead to floods in Sacramento?

Climate Central, an independent organization of scientists and journalists who research and report on climate science, released new visualizations and data that show how rising sea levels from climate change could impact Sacramento. One of the graphics projects dramatic flooding at the state Capitol Building in the next hundreds of years if carbon pollution continues to go unchecked and, in turn, causes a 4-degree Celsius increase in global temperature. Climate Central also released an interactive map of Sacramento, depicting areas in the region that would flood in the future due to rising sea levels. But these visuals do not consider one important element — levees.

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Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

Blog: Episode 2 – “Unraveling the knot” Water Movement in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta – Tidal Forces

Tides are the biggest driver of Delta flows, and in Episode 2 we look at their impacts in different locations under a variety of inflow conditions.  Tides have a twice-daily cycle in the region, with a range of about six feet at Martinez.  In the first part of the animation, we remove all in-Delta controls and diversions and fix inflows at a common moderate early summer level to isolate effects of tidal forces from those of inflows, gates, and export diversions.  

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Fresno reverses course on lawsuit over Friant-Kern Canal

The Fresno City Council voted Thursday to drop its lawsuit against Friant Water Authority. The council voted 5-1 to drop the suit, filed earlier this month in Fresno County Superior Court. Councilmember Garry Bredefeld cast the lone “no” vote, and Councilmember Mike Karbassi was absent. The council previously voted to sue the water authority so Fresno water ratepayers wouldn’t be on the hook to pay for repairs to the Friant-Kern Canal needed because Tulare County farmers pumped too much groundwater, causing subsidence.

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Aquafornia news Good Times Santa Cruz

New bill will help fund Pajaro River levee project

A new bill authored by state Sen. John Laird and Assemblymember Robert Rivas will fund all of the state’s share of the design and construction phase of the Pajaro River Flood Risk Management Project, which will help move forward the long-awaited work. SB 496 directs the Department of Water Resources to pay 100% of the State’s cost-share for reconstruction—a total of $140 million—of the Pajaro River Flood Risk Management Project. Gov. Newsom signed the bill on Sept. 24. 

Aquafornia news KneeDeep Times

Dodging a bullet on the Highway 37 redesign

To help keep Highway 37 open despite heavy storms and rising tides, planners are assessing a wide range of options from elevating the road to rerouting it. But zeroing in on the right redesign may be trickier than anticipated. New research shows that, with sea level rise, protections for this troubled North Bay road can worsen flooding and economic damages as far away as the South Bay. The good news is that this work can also identify Highway 37 redesigns that avoid these catastrophic impacts. 

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco Bay’s tides are going to rise. Should we dam the Golden Gate first?

Experts studying the issue agree that sea level rise in coming decades could pose an enormous threat to San Francisco Bay’s shoreline. So perhaps it’s no surprise that there’s now talk of looking into an equally enormous response. Why not build a barrier to keep rising tides outside the Golden Gate? Researchers in the past have dismissed this seemingly straightforward concept on environmental grounds. Engineers are skeptical, too. But the enormity of the challenge has some Bay Area leaders saying it should at least be studied. 

Aquafornia news Senator Alex Padilla

News release: Padilla secures over $71 million for water resiliency, fire and other local california infrastructure projects in senate appropriations bills

Today, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) announced that he secured over $71 million in federal funding for 20 projects across California in the Senate’s Agriculture, Energy and Water, and Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee bills. The bills were approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee this week and now await passage by the full Senate. 

Aquafornia news Manteca Bulletin

In drought’s grip, Manteca-Lathrop has flood worries

South San Joaquin County as well as the rest of California is in severe drought. But one of the big worries of more than a few people including rural South Manteca farmers and residents, elected leaders in Manteca and Lathrop, and the handful of city residents not oblivious to the fact they reside in one of the most flood prone areas in California is too much water. On Monday when the forecast calls for a high of 93 degrees with absolutely no chance of rain, the San Joaquin Area Flood Control Agency (SJAFCA) is updating the community on the Manteca dryland levee project. 

Aquafornia news Western Farm Press

California’s Delta an oasis amid arid farmland

As California has imposed severe water cutbacks throughout the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta’s vast watershed, most growers in the Delta region itself are still getting enough water to bring their crops to harvest. With a majority of landowners in the region holding pre-1914 riparian water rights, the state has not curtailed their ability to pump water from the Delta’s labyrinth of canals and waterways – at least yet. In fact, growers whose land is on islands below sea level have been pumping water off, San Joaquin County Agricultural Commissioner Tim Pelican said.

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Tour Nick Gray Jennifer Bowles Layperson's Guide to the Delta

Bay-Delta Tour 2021
A Virtual Journey - September 9

This tour guided participants on a virtual journey deep into California’s most crucial water and ecological resource – the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The 720,000-acre network of islands and canals support the state’s two major water systems – the State Water Project and the Central Valley Project. The Delta and the connecting San Francisco Bay form the largest freshwater tidal estuary of its kind on the West coast.

Aquafornia news Mountain View Voice

Protecting Google’s future development from sea level rise is expected to cost $122 million

The city of Mountain View is planning for a surge in new offices and homes in North Bayshore, placing dense new development just a short jaunt away from the baylands. But new sea level rise estimates show that future development could very well end up underwater without flood protection, and it’s unclear who is going to pick up the costly bill. Earlier this year, Google announced its proposal to build 7,000 homes in North Bayshore alongside 3 million square feet of offices less than a mile from the bay.

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Aquafornia news Daily Democrat

Yolo County decides on vision for Tule Canal/Yolo Bypass through stakeholder workshop

On June 24, Yolo County released a report on a recent design charrette for the Tule Canal in the Yolo Bypass. The two-day virtual workshop included 71 participants from a wide swath of stakeholders — farmers, policy makers, landowners, hunters, conservation scientists, educators, engineers and ecologists. Led by consultants Robert Suarez and Teal Brown Zimring, with generous funding from the State Water Contractors and Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency, the executive summary and full report are now available on Yolo County’s Delta e-library:

Aquafornia news Stanford University Natural Capital Project

Sea-level rise solutions

Communities trying to fight sea-level rise could inadvertently make flooding worse for their neighbors, according to a new study from the Stanford Natural Capital Project. The research, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows how seawalls constructed along the San Francisco Bay shoreline could increase flooding and incur hundreds of millions of dollars in damages for communities throughout the region.

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Aquafornia news Engineering News-Record

California expands floodwater capacity

For more than 60 years, California officials and experts have discussed expanding the Sacramento River bypass and levee system. … In summer 2020, contractors broke ground on the first project to expand that capacity, the Lower Elkhorn Basin Levee Setback (LEBLS) project. The California Dept. of Water Resources is leading the design, construction and permitting of the $103-million project, which will widen the Sacramento Bypass and the east side of the Yolo Bypass. 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Fault system that produced 6.0 quake poses big dangers

While much of California’s earthquake risk has been historically focused on the San Andreas fault and places like Los Angeles and San Francisco, quakes are capable of causing significant destruction in the state’s Sierra Nevada and Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta … UCLA experts warned in 2014 that a major earthquake sending destructive shaking to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta could potentially destroy aging levees, causing flooding and drawing in saline water from San Francisco Bay — which would contaminate one of the state’s key water supply systems.

Aquafornia news Good News Network

Huge supply of water is saved from evaporation when solar panels are built over canals

Now, California is eyeing the benefits derived from several successful canal installations in India. With the world’s largest irrigation canal network, and 290 days of average sunshine, California is uniquely positioned to ease its own severe water shortages with this emerging innovation of canal-covering solar farms. UC Santa Cruz has investigated this method for use in California and estimates that—on top of generating green energy—it would save 63.5 billion gallons of water from evaporation annually, a massive windfall for a state that sometimes rations water and which regularly suffers from droughts.

Aquafornia news SJV Water

Bills to fund canal repairs moving forward

Excessive groundwater pumping has collapsed the land beneath several key canals, crimping their ability to move water. Fixing them will be expensive. There are two bills moving through the state Legislature and Congress that could provide some funding. This is the second try for the state bill, Senate Bill 559 by Senator Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger). … Representative Jim Costa (D-Hanford) and Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Ca.) introduced S. 1179, the Canal Conveyance Capacity Restoration Act, on April 15.

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Aquafornia news The Press

Friday Top of the Scroll: State takes action on water exports from the Delta

Construction of a temporary salinity barrier on the False River is underway after an emergency request by the Department of Water Resources (DWR) was approved by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB). The barrier, necessitated by worsening drought conditions, is intended to help preserve water quality in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta by reducing saltwater intrusion. The declaration of a drought emergency made by Gov. Gavin Newsom on May 10 suspended the requirement that a project of this nature complete a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) assessment.

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Aquafornia news SJV Sun

Calif. Senate advances bill to spend $785mil to repair Valley canals

A bill aimed at improving the Valley’s two largest canal systems from continued subsidence-driven damage advanced through one house of the California State Legislature on Friday. Senate Bill 559, a top priority for legislators on both side of the aisle in the San Joaquin Valley and led by Sen. Melissa Hurtado (D–Sanger), seeks to dedicate $785 million in spending for improvements to four sets of waterways, spearheaded by two canals servicing the Central Valley Project: the Delta-Mendota Canal and the Friant-Kern Canal.

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Aquafornia news NBC Bay Area

As sea level rise threat grows, SF officials don’t have public plan to save sewers

Because Bay Area low-lying sewage treatment plants remain vulnerable to rising sea levels, government regulators told sewage facility managers to “provide a written plan for coping with SLR by the fall of 2021 – or they will be given a plan.”  The NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit reached out to 10 “at risk” sewage treatment plants to see those plans. All except one provided extensive documents of their proposals, the cost to address them, and even provided tours of completed work. San Francisco’s Public Utilities Commission replied to the Investigative Unit’s public records request that after a “diligent search for records…no records were found.”

Aquafornia news The Willits News

Farm Bureau: Off stream ponds help in drought conditions

The Mendocino County Farm Bureau encourages local, state and federal leadership to focus current drought relief measures on multi-purpose projects that address agricultural, municipal, environmental, recreational and fire suppression water needs. … On-stream ponds are created by damning a water course and off- stream ponds are created by diverting from a river, a well or a flood control contract. 

Aquafornia news Daily Republic

Group urges continued access to Liberty Island Ecological Reserve

The state plans to break [a levee at Shag Slough] in nine locations to create 3,000 acres of tidal wetlands. It has asked the county to vacate that section of Liberty Island Road that runs atop the levee. Taylor Dahlke, the leader of a group fighting to maintain land access to Shag Slough, the Liberty Island Ecological Reserve and the region in general told the Delta Stewardship Council on Thursday night that the state proposal violates the Delta Plan.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Thursday Top of the Scroll: State plans $30 million wall to stop saltwater intrusion into delta – drought fallout

In the latest chapter of California’s unfolding drought, state officials are planning to build a giant rock wall across a river in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to save the vital freshwater estuary from San Francisco Bay’s saltwater. The emergency measure is a page from last decade’s drought when the delta, a maze of sloughs and man-made channels east of the Bay Area, was at risk of becoming too salty to provide water to the nearly 30 million Californians who depend on it. As in 2015, the freshwater rivers that feed the 1,100-square-mile delta have gotten so low that they no longer counter the brackish flows that push in from the bay. 

Aquafornia news Yuba Water Agency

News release: Yuba Water Agency provides $2 million loan for Goldfields flood risk reduction work

Yuba Water Agency’s board of directors today approved a $2 million loan to the Three Rivers Levee Improvement Authority to complete the construction of a new levee near the Yuba Goldfields that will bring a 200-year level of urban flood protection to southern Yuba County. The 2.5-mile-long levee, which will be fully complete in June, runs parallel to Hammonton-Smartsville Road and extends to high ground near Beale Air Force Base. The 200-year level of protection means there is a 1-in-200 chance in any given year that a storm could come along that is bigger than the levee is designed to handle.

Aquafornia news California Water Research

Blog: Delta Stewardship Council guts independent peer review in the Delta Science Program

The seven members of the Delta Stewardship Council were seated in 2010. The Council appointed ten prominent scientists to the Delta ISB. Over the next decade, the Delta ISB produced over 30 scientific reviews, averaging over 3,000 hours of work per year. But in 2020, the work of the Delta ISB stalled. The Delta Stewardship Council reduced funding for the Delta ISB by over 90%. 

Aquafornia news Storm Water Solutions

Blog: Playing the right card with storm water basins

Despite its semi-arid climate, characterized by mild, moist winters and hot, dry summers, the area in and around Fresno, California, has experienced numerous flood events. From elevations reaching 5,000 feet in the Sierra-Nevada mountain range, streams carry runoff from a 175-square-mile area flow onto the valley floor, where they periodically inundate farmland and urban development, including downtown Fresno. Storm flows have caused local streams and canals to overflow an average of once every four years since 1953. In the early 1950s, a group of citizens banded together to find solutions to the area’s increasing storm water management problems. 

Aquafornia news Bay Area Monitor

Regional planning for sea-level rise is key to environmental justice

As shoreline communities in the San Francisco Bay Area scramble to prepare for rising seas, they should also be mindful that protecting themselves could worsen flooding elsewhere. This is because seawalls can reflect and amplify tides. “Decisions in one location could affect hazards in another,” said environmental engineer Michelle Hummel, who began studying the bay while at UC Berkeley and is now at the University of Texas at Arlington. Her latest research reveals that building seawalls along relatively small sections of shore could raise water levels enough to have far reaching effects, even all the way across the bay. … But building seawalls in other places could, especially in the wide alluvial valleys where rivers flow into the bay.

Aquafornia news Delta Stewardship Council

Council hires new Chief Deputy Executive Officer

The Delta Stewardship Council (Council) announced the hiring of Ryan Stanbra, the Council’s legislative and policy advisor, to the key post of chief deputy executive officer. … Appointed by Governor Brown in 2015, Ryan joined the Council in the role of legislative and policy advisor. He has played a pivotal role in advising on critical Council initiatives like implementation of reduced reliance on the Delta, interagency coordination and outreach for the Delta Levees Investment Strategy, increasing funding for critical science investments, and more. He has served in the acting chief deputy executive officer role since January.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Estuary Magazine

Fixing a dysfunctional marsh on Sonoma Creek

Restoration projects, like species, evolve. The Sonoma Creek Enhancement Project, originally about mosquito control, has shown itself to be a boon to special-status tidal marsh wildlife as well. More than a decade of adaptive management actions made that happen.  The existing marsh, formed rapidly beginning in the 1960s by deposited sediment, lacked the dendritic channels of a mature marsh. High tides brought in water that pooled in a central basin and didn’t drain out, providing breeding habitat for mosquitos. The disadvantages of chemical treatment prompted land managers to look for alternatives.

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Aquafornia news CalMatters

Opinion: Strong state oversight needed to ensure California’s wetlands are protected

When the first European explorers arrived in California’s Central Valley, they found a vast mosaic of seasonal and permanent wetlands, as well as oak woodlands and riparian forests. What remains of those wetlands are still the backbone of the Pacific Flyway; along with flooded agricultural fields, they support millions of migrating waterbirds each year. According to a just-released study from Audubon, tens of millions of land birds rely on the Central Valley as well… But today, the situation is dire. More than 90% of wetlands in the Central Valley – and throughout California – have disappeared beneath tractors and bulldozers. 
-Written by Samantha Arthur, the Working Lands Program Director at Audubon California and a member of the California Water Commission.

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Aquafornia news Science News

Simple structures can help streams survive wildfires and drought

Many of the wetlands in the western United States have disappeared since the 1700s. California has lost an astonishing 90 percent of its wetlands, which includes streamsides, wet meadows and ponds. In Nevada, Idaho and Colorado, more than 50 percent of wetlands have vanished. Precious wet habitats now make up just 2 percent of the arid West — and those remaining wet places are struggling. Nearly half of U.S. streams are in poor condition, unable to fully sustain wildlife and people, says Jeremy Maestas, a sagebrush ecosystem specialist with the NRCS who organized that workshop on Wilde’s ranch in 2016. As communities in the American West face increasing water shortages, more frequent and larger wildfires and unpredictable floods, restoring ailing waterways is becoming a necessity.

Aquafornia news Grist

Farms, feathers, and fins share water in California

The rivalry between farms and wildlife for water and land was long seen as a zero-sum game, especially in California where water is such a precious commodity that the state’s water futures are traded on the stock exchange. That competition has been particularly sharp in the Central Valley: 95% of the region’s historic wetlands have transformed into farmland, and the region’s increasingly scarce water supply has been prioritized for farming. As a result, some of the migratory birds that rely on the Central Valley for habitat, food, and water sources have seen steep declines in the past century. 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: California vies for $3-trillion Biden infrastructure plan

A Biden initiative expected to pour up to $3 trillion into repairing America’s decrepit infrastructure and funding other programs has sparked a scramble across the nation for the federal funds — with California expecting to reap the biggest piece. …Rep. John Garamendi, a Northern California Democrat who is a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee…spent more than an hour with Biden in recent weeks and came away convinced that the program will be broad enough to improve most areas of the nation’s infrastructure: highways, passenger rail, electric grids, dams, sewers and water systems, ocean terminals and airports…. 

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Aquafornia news California Trout

Blog: Fish in hot water – Moments that write history #7

As of 2021, California is home to 31 distinct kinds of native salmon, steelhead and trout species, 20 of which are found only in our state. These fish are prized for their economic and cultural significance by local communities, and for their recreational attributes by anglers from around the world. But these fish face an alarming threat that can’t be ignored. If current trends continue, nearly half of these fish will be extinct within the next 50 years. How do we know this? And perhaps an even better question: what can be done about it? 

Aquafornia news Representative Josh Harder

News release: Harder requests new funding for flood protection project impacting 165,000 people, 262 critical sites

Today, Representative Josh Harder (CA-10) sent a letter with Rep. Jerry McNerny (CA-9) requesting new federal funds for the Lower San Joaquin River Flood Risk Management and Feasibility Study projects. The $36.5 million in requested funds would go toward the Army Corps of Engineers and San Joaquin Area Flood Control Agency’s critical flood damage reduction efforts. If implemented, the project will protect 165,000 Valley residents, reduce annual property damage by 84%, and increase the resilience of 262 critical infrastructure sites, 12 of which are essential to daily life in the Valley. The project is expected to yield $7 for every $1 of taxpayer money invested.

Aquafornia news California Trout

Blog: Highlights from the Peter B. Moyle and CalTrout Endowed Professorship

The Peter B. Moyle and California Trout Endowed Professorship was established by a group of donors concerned with the conservation and management of coldwater fishes in California. The endowed chair honors Peter Moyle and the historical and productive working relationship between CalTrout and UC Davis, with an endowment fund resting at over $2 million. Dr. Andrew L. Rypel was appointed to this professorship as the inaugural holder in 2017, therefore this report reflects year-3 work on behalf of the chair. A total of 13 peer-reviewed scientific publications were produced by the Rypel Lab at UC Davis in 2019-2020.

Aquafornia news Northern California Water Association

Blog: Managing water on our floodplains for multiple benefits: the proof is in the projects

Through collaborative projects, birds and endangered fish are returning to areas they once reared in more than 100 years ago. Partnerships among farmers, conservationists, universities, and state and federal agencies are proving that by reactivating our historic floodplains and using our bypasses during key times of the year, we can create high-quality habitat that produces safe haven and up to 149 times more food for salmon than the river. These key projects demonstrate some of the work being done on the wet-side of the levee.

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

Announcement: Hot off the press! Our map of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta has a new look

Our map of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta has been updated with a fresh, new look and new text and images to better tell the story of one of California’s most important ecological and water supply resources.  The new map explores the Delta’s importance as a haven for birds, fish and other wildlife, its vital role in moving water to farms and cities across California, and the array of challenges facing the Delta’s present and future.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Blog: Operating dams to better manage big storms can build resiliency to climate extremes

California’s large reservoirs are currently operated using historical hydrology and outdated assumptions about the state’s climate. Many experts are calling for changing how reservoirs are managed to reflect advances in weather forecasting, which can help the state adapt to a warmer, more volatile climate. We talked to Martin Ralph—director of the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography—about advances in this field.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Road trip through the Delta for river towns, history, food and more

Today’s road trip features the Delta “super highway” of the 1800s, with plenty of water, quaint river towns, history and food along the way. From Stockton, you’ll travel a little more than 100 miles, so plan for a fun day-long outing. You’ll see every type of agriculture, levees built by Chinese labor after the early railroads were constructed, and boats and cargo ships travelling the same sloughs as did old steamboats and sailing packets. 

Aquafornia news The Denver Channel

The most vulnerable levees in the nation have a lot in common

The U.S. levee system — once considered the second largest piece of the country’s infrastructure ”rivaled only by the highway system” — is now nearly a century old and failing inspections far more often than it passes them. Only one in 25 federal levees are rated Acceptable. … Those systems can be found nationwide, from the Sacramento region in California to the south Florida seaboard; from Appalachia to North Dakota to the Mississippi River Valley. And the people who maintain those vulnerable levees say their problems are remarkably similar: systems that are too old and far too expensive for locals to fix, much less replace.

Aquafornia news Yale Climate Connections

New report: U.S. dams, levees get D grades, need $115 billion in upgrades

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave America’s infrastructure a C- grade in its quadrennial assessment issued March 3. ASCE gave the nation’s flood control infrastructure – dams and levees – a D grade. This is a highly concerning assessment, given that climate change is increasingly stressing dams and levees as increased evaporation from the oceans drives heavier precipitation events. … Climate scientists at Stanford University found that between 1988 and 2017, heavier precipitation accounted for more than one-third of the $200 billion in [flood] damage…

Aquafornia news WaterWorld

Kleinfelder/Stantec team supporting critical California levee projects for US Army Corps of Engineers

The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Sacramento District selected Kleinfelder and Stantec to provide engineering services for levee improvements on the Sacramento River in Northern California. The design project consists of seepage/stability improvements along the Sacramento River East Levee (SREL) downstream of the American River confluence in Sacramento. The project is part of the ongoing modernization of Sacramento’s aging flood infrastructure system.

Aquafornia news Patch

$2.8m fine faced for illegal Suisun Marsh levee work

A man accused of illegally repairing a levee and damaging sensitive aquatic habitat in the Suisun Marsh is facing a $2.8 million fine following a California appeals court decision last month. John Sweeney, who ran a kiteboarding club on Point Buckler Island in Solano County after buying it in 2011, must also abide by a clean up and abatement order that requires him to restore the marshlands and tidal channels damaged during the levee work.

Aquafornia news Responsible Investor

‘CalPERS is overlaying physical climate risk with water scarcity insights’: California’s Betty Yee on water risk

Today, Ceres’ Director of Water, Kirsten James is speaking to Betty Yee, who was first elected as California State Controller in November 2014 – a position that serves as the state’s chief fiscal officer. She also chairs the California Franchise Tax Board and serves as a member of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) Boards, representing a combined portfolio of nearly $500bn. She speaks about how her experience managing the world’s fifth-largest economy has shaped her thoughts on climate and water risk. 

Aquafornia news BBC News

Extinction: Freshwater fish in ‘catastrophic’ decline

Conservation groups said 80 species were known to have gone extinct, 16 in the last year alone. Millions of people rely on freshwater fish for food and as a source of income through angling and the pet trade. But numbers have plummeted due to pressures including pollution, unsustainable fishing, and the damming and draining of rivers and wetlands. The report said populations of migratory fish have fallen by three-quarters in the last 50 years. Over the same time period, populations of larger species, known as “megafish”, have crashed by 94%.

Aquafornia news DredgingToday.com

Spotlight on Hamilton City levee project

Home to just under 2,000 people, the history of Hamilton City includes many flooding events and several near misses. One of the primary reasons for this susceptibility to flooding has been the town’s reliance on a substandard and undersized levee called the “J levee” – a levee that does not meet any USACE engineering standards.

Aquafornia news City of Watsonville

News release: City of Watsonville levee embankment stabilization project

[FEMA] intends to provide federal financial assistance … to the Santa Cruz County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, Zone 7 in Santa Cruz County, California, to install a sheet pile wall through the center of the existing Pajaro River levee adjacent to the southern edge of the Watsonville Wastewater Treatment Plant. The proposed action would protect the plant flooding if the levee is compromised by river erosion, slope failure, and seepage.

Aquafornia news Bay Area Monitor

New Delta carbon market could boost Bay Area water security

The Delta Conservancy has launched a new initiative aimed at fixing all these problems — carbon emissions, soil subsidence, and water security — at the same time. Called the Delta Carbon Program, the initiative entails a two-pronged solution. First, subsided islands are flooded, protecting them from the air and so arresting further soil and carbon loss. Then the newly inundated islands are re-vegetated with water-loving plants that rebuild peat, reversing subsidence and so reducing the risk of levee failure.

Aquafornia news Northern California Water Association

Blog: The floodplain forward – Bypasses and fish habitat

Today, 95% of the Central Valley’s historical floodplains are cut off from the river by levees. Built in the early 1900s to combat devastating floods, levees and bypasses were constructed to corral mighty rivers and push water quickly through the system. Even before invasive species, large rim dams, and Delta water export facilities were introduced into the system, salmon populations started to dramatically decline with the construction of the levees. Simply put, the levees prevented Chinook salmon from accessing their primary food source. 

Aquafornia news UC Davis

News release: Eye-popping research helps inform salmon and floodplain management

If you look deep into the eyes of a fish, it will tell you its life story. Scientists from the University of California, Davis, demonstrate that they can use stable isotopic analysis of the eye lenses of freshwater fish—including threatened and endangered salmon—to reveal a fish’s life history and what it ate along the way. They conducted their study, published today in the journal Methods in Ecology and Evolution, through field-based experiments in California’s Central Valley. The study carries implications for managing floodplains, fish and natural resources; prioritizing habitat restoration efforts; and understanding how landscape disturbances impact fish.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

At dawn of Biden administration, opportunities for water systems

President Joe Biden has made his priorities clear: subduing the pandemic, economic recovery, climate action, and racial equity. … Climate has received top-billing within the president’s environmental agenda, but water infrastructure and water systems could also see their status lifted. Some observers are hopeful that the new administration and the Democratic Congress will uncork federal water spending that has been steady but flat in recent years. 

Aquafornia news Ceres Courier

Opinion: Serious dam issues, aqueduct sinking but we’ll have high-speed rail from Merced to Bakersfield

Has California overshot the runway? …  There was a time when our dams and aqueducts that allowed us to change the course plotted by nature by not letting water be restricted to water basins by physical barriers were considered a candidate for of their wonders of the world. When it came to freeways, we were the envy of the land. That was then and this is now. The list of aging infrastructure that needs addressing is staggering.

Aquafornia news Ag Alert

Delta farmers express doubts on ‘carbon farming’

Plans to convert nearly 200,000 acres of Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta farmland into rice production or tule-based carbon farms are being greeted with skepticism among representatives of delta farmers. The Delta Conservancy, a state agency, has partnered with environmental organizations and universities on pilot projects aimed at stopping or slowing ongoing land subsidence in the delta under a California Wetland Protocol.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Marin County seeks flood tax in Santa Venetia

Marin County flood planners are turning to Santa Venetia voters to help pay for an estimated $6 million project to upgrade the timber-reinforced berm that protects hundreds of homes from overtopping tides.

Aquafornia news Valley Voice

Over $1M in grants secured for Kings River improvements

The Kings River Conservation District, along with co-applicant Tulare Lake RCD, received this grant to help remove invasive species and debris from levees and riverbank along the Kings River, improve water flow, strengthen flood protection, increase carbon capture, and improve delivery of clean water to downstream users.

Aquafornia news Hanford Sentinel

Department of Conservation awards grant for Kings River improvements

The Corcoran-based Tulare Lake RCD and co-applicant Kings River Conservation District, based in Fresno, were awarded $1,165,644 for the Kings River Conservation District Channel Improvement Project. With this grant, the partners will remove invasive species and debris from the 2,500 acres of levees and riverbank…

Aquafornia news Central Coast Public Radio

King tides project documenting a rising sea level future

“King tides are about one-to-two feet higher than an average tide, and it turns out that is about what we expect to see in California in the next few decades from sea level rise,” said Annie Cohut Frankel of the California Coastal Commission. “We invite the public to look at how these high tides are impacting our public beaches, our beach access ways, wetlands, roads and other coastal infrastructure.”

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Ignoring mega-flood risk — like California did with wildfire prevention — may spell disaster, experts say

Scientists expect flooding to get worse because weather extremes are growing as the climate crisis worsens globally, said UCLA Climate Scientist Daniel Swain. … Waiting to systematically address flooding issues, like California’s done with wildfire, could mean breaching of levees, Central Valley wide flooding and even flooding in areas like Los Angeles as the climate crisis worsens, said Swain.

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Aquafornia news U.S. Geological Survey

News release: USGS unveils mobile flood tool for the nation

The U.S. Geological Survey announced the completion of a new mobile tool that provides real-time information on water levels, weather and flood forecasts all in one place on a computer, smartphone or other mobile device. The new USGS National Water Dashboard, or NWD, provides critical information to decision-makers, emergency managers and the public…

Aquafornia news AgAlert

New law adds resources to combat invasive nutria

A bill that would send federal help to California and other states looking to eradicate an invasive swamp rodent has been signed into law.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Nutria — they’re big, buck-toothed and chew up California wetlands. Now feds add money to fight them

The pesky 3-foot-long, buck-toothed nutria is getting the better of California. The large rodent is chewing up rivers and wetlands and threatening to mow down farmland and infrastructure, and the state is struggling to contain it.  Relief may be on the way.

Aquafornia news Western Water

Monday Top of the Scroll: Is ecosystem change in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta outpacing the ability of science to keep up?

Radically transformed from its ancient origin as a vast tidal-influenced freshwater marsh, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta ecosystem is in constant flux, influenced by factors within the estuary itself and the massive watersheds that drain though it into the Pacific Ocean. Lately, however, scientists say the rate of change has kicked into overdrive…

Aquafornia news AgAlert

Farmers look to plant more rice acreage in the Delta

Now in its second year, a long-term project intends to learn whether rice farming in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta can succeed economically while helping to preserve the region’s uniquely carbon-rich peat soils.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Novato bayside levee project nears completion

Working over the last year, construction crews expect to complete a new 2-mile levee near Novato in the coming weeks. It will allow bay waters to eventually reclaim nearly 1,600 acres, or about 2.5 square miles, of former tidal marshes that had been diked and drained for agriculture and development during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Aquafornia news E&E News

FEMA ends policy favoring flood walls over green protections

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has taken a dramatic step to encourage communities to use environmentally friendly features such as wetlands for flood protection instead of building sea walls and levees.

Aquafornia news E&E News

Big infrastructure bill ‘isn’t dead’ as WRDA talks heat up

A high-stakes Supreme Court confirmation and COVID-19 negotiations may be the focus on Capitol Hill, but a sprawling water infrastructure bill is still advancing quickly behind the scenes.

Tour Nick Gray Jennifer Bowles Liz McAllister

Bay-Delta Tour 2020: Encore Event
A Virtual Journey - November 10

Join us as we guide you on a virtual journey deep into California’s most crucial water and ecological resource – the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The 720,000-acre network of islands and canals support the state’s two major water systems – the State Water Project and the Central Valley Project. The Delta and the connecting San Francisco Bay form the largest freshwater tidal estuary of its kind on the West coast.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Congress passes Harder bill aimed at invasive rodent

Congress has given final approval to a bill that would take on nutria, a giant rodent threatening waterways in the Central Valley and beyond. … The measure, HR 3399, would provide $12 million to California and several other affected states for nutria control, research and related efforts.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: Redwood City salt ponds subject to environmental protections, judge rules

A federal judge ruled Monday that a sprawling collage of salt ponds in Redwood City is subject to protection under the Clean Water Act — going against a previous decision by the Environmental Protection Agency that would have eased development along the bay.

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Aquafornia news CalMatters

Opinion: Mega fires and floods: New extremes require a response of similar scale

Californians are understandably focused on the wildfires that have charred more than 3 million acres and darkened our skies – forcing us to find masks that protect us from both COVID-19 and smoke. But Californians should also pay attention to the multiple hurricanes that have devastated the Gulf Coast this season. These disasters have much in common.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Can steelhead trout return to the L.A. River?

Biologists and engineers are setting the stage for an environmental recovery effort in downtown Los Angeles that could rival the return of the gray wolf, bald eagle and California condor. This time, the species teetering on the edge of extinction is the Southern California steelhead trout and the abused habitat is a 4.8-mile-long stretch of the L.A. River flood-control channel that most people only glimpse from a freeway.

Aquafornia news Bay Nature

How Measure AA funds are restoring the bay

Assessments of the worst-case scenario predict the Bay may rise a damaging 1.9 feet by 2050 and as much as nearly 7 feet by 2100. Restoring even a fraction of the Bay’s lost wetlands would provide long-lasting benefits.

Aquafornia news Alameda Sun

Alameda to seek wetland park funding

The proposed ecological wetland park at Alameda Point, known as DePave Park, is another step closer to becoming a reality. On Sept. 15, four members of the city council gave thumbs up to moving forward with seeking a $2 million grant to pay for a master planning process.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Opinion: The Gulf hurricane is a call to action to protect Californians from catastrophic floods

No California communities are more shaped by water than those in the Delta.  Water surrounds communities like Stockton.  Water shaped our history and still shapes our economy, quality of life, culture, and is essential for a healthy environment.  And for our communities, water-related disasters are devastating. We see proof of that every day.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

S.F.’s Embarcadero could be devastated by earthquakes and rising seas, study warns

The Embarcadero faces severe threats, with regionwide repercussions from both earthquakes that could undermine the city’s seawall and a rise in bay waters that could flood downtown streets and inundate BART and Muni tunnels, according to an exhaustive new study from the Port of San Francisco.

Aquafornia news Livermore Independent

Zone 7 considers flood control system overhaul

Zone 7 Water Agency’s failed flood control system needs a total revamp from the ground up, according to a consultant hired by the agency. The system can’t be saved by adding touches here and there. It will need a whole new rethinking, and will be expensive, said Eric Nagy, a principal with the firm Larsen, Wurzel & Associates in Sacramento.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Americans back tough limits on building in fire and flood zones

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.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Judge says owner of Suisun Bay island broke law

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.

Aquafornia news Alameda Sun

Wetlands project moves forward

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 be built.

Aquafornia news East Bay Times

Franks Tract planners seek comments on final restoration proposal

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…

Aquafornia news The New York Times

U.S. flood strategy shifts to ‘unavoidable’ relocation of entire neighborhoods

This month, the Federal Emergency Management Agency detailed a new program, worth an initial $500 million, with billions more to come, designed to pay for large-scale relocation nationwide. … On the other side of the country, California has told local governments to begin planning for relocation of homes away from the coast.

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Aquafornia news National Public Radio

Major real estate website now shows flood risk. Should they all?

Realtor.com has become the first site to disclose information about a home’s flood risk and how climate change could increase that risk in the coming decades, potentially signaling a major shift in consumers’ access to information about climate threats.

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Aquafornia news Times of San Diego

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: Major California water agencies partner with Scripps to better predict atmospheric rivers and improve water management

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.]

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Aquafornia news Engineering News-Record

WRDA 2020 may have to wait until lame duck

A new Water Resources Development Act, or WRDA, has made headway in Congress, most recently with House passage of a bill authorizing about $9 billion for Army Corps of Engineers flood and storm protection, environmental restoration and other projects. But with time running short before Congress breaks for the Nov. 3 elections, industry sources say water infrastructure legislation may be put off until an expected lame duck session.

Aquafornia news SFGate.com

California’s war against nutria is getting bloodier. But it’s unclear who’s winning

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 pandemic.

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

Blog: Fish surveys in the estuary: The whole is greater than the sum of its parts

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 Estuary.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Sea level rise could bring flooding to inland California

Just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, yet a world away from San Francisco, in an unincorporated and oft-overlooked area known as Marin City, sea level rise is rarely the first worry that comes to mind. Traditional flood maps for this predominantly Black and working-class community suggest that the area is safe from rising water until 3 feet or more. But sea level rise is a lot more complicated than just waves breaking over seawalls and beaches disappearing.

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Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Delta Protection Commission, Delta Conservancy, and Central Valley Flood Protection Plan updates

At the July meeting of the Delta Stewardship Council, councilmembers heard briefings on the activities of the Delta Protection Commission and the Delta Conservancy, and an update on the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Santa Clara Valley Water District seeks $682 million parcel tax

After years marked by a historic statewide drought and devastating floods around downtown San Jose, Santa Clara County’s largest water provider has decided to ask voters to approve a parcel tax to pay for a wide variety of projects, from flood control to creek restoration, along with some costs of rebuilding the county’s largest dam at Anderson Reservoir.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: Focus on COVID might hamper state’s push against rising sea

The state will suffer dire long-term consequences if lawmakers set aside concerns about rising seas to focus solely on COVID-19, the non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office warned Monday. Sea level rise will likely put at least $8 billion in property underwater by 2050, and could affect tens of thousands of jobs and billions in gross domestic product, according to studies cited by the office. Sea level rise and related flooding and erosion … also pose threats to water treatment plants, roads, marinas, ports and railways.

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Aquafornia news Woodland Daily Democrat

Cache Creek flood control continues advancing

The effort is part of an overall plan to develop a Lower Cache Creek flood study through the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Central Valley Flood Protection Board and the California Department of Water Resources. And despite any objections to the project, it may be more than five years before the first spadeful of earth is turned to build the barrier.

Aquafornia news Sen. Dianne Feinstein

News release: Feinstein, Kennedy introduce legislation to eradicate nutria

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) joined Senator John Kennedy (R-La.) to introduce legislation to amend the Nutria Eradication and Control Act. The legislation would authorize an additional $6 million a year to increase assistance for states that implement initiatives to eradicate the invasive species.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Law

Wide-ranging water infrastructure bill easily passes House

Legislation authorizing the Army Corps of Engineers to boost the nation’s water infrastructure, protect waterways from emerging contaminants, and bolster coastal shorelines sailed through the House Wednesday. On a voice vote, the House used a procedure reserved for mostly non-controversial legislation to pass the bipartisan Water Resources Development Act of 2020…

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Aquafornia news Engineering News-Record

Spellmon confirmed as Army Corps next chief

The Senate has confirmed Maj. Gen. Scott A. Spellmon as the Army’s 55th Chief of Engineers and commanding general of the Corps of Engineers, elevating him to one of the most crucial infrastructure-related positions in the federal government.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Blog: High and rising: Flood risk in California grows

FEMA maps show that roughly 500,000 California properties are at substantial likelihood of flooding, with a 1% chance of being flooded in any given year. The study found that more than twice that amount—1.1 million properties—are already at this level of risk, and that an additional 150,000 properties will join them in the next 30 years, mainly because of rising seas.

Aquafornia news Rep. John Garamendi

News release: Garamendi secures wins for Delta and Central Valley in Water Resources Development Act

“I secured provisions in this bill to authorize and expedite construction of flood protection and aquatic ecosystem restoration projects, address harmful algal blooms in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, and give local agencies greater flexibility in using federal Army Corps funds to meet local needs.”

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Law

Thursday Top of the Scroll: House panel approves major water infrastructure measure

A multibillion-dollar measure that would help build, repair, and maintain a wide variety of water infrastructure projects sailed through the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Wednesday. Approved unanimously by voice vote, the Water Resources Development Act of 2020 (H.R. 7575) would authorize the Army Corps of Engineers every two years to carry out specific projects and feasibility studies.

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Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

Blog: Can we talk? New nationwide flood maps provide opportunities for dialogue

For 50 years, Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) have unintentionally stifled conversations of flood risk. They have encouraged property-owners and governments at all levels to dwell on map details for one static event, rather than flood risks for a range of events… Now, First Street Foundation has released a new tool that can change how these conversations develop…

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Monday Top of the Scroll: New data reveals hidden flood risk across America

Across much of the United States, the flood risk is far greater than government estimates show, new calculations suggest, exposing millions of people to a hidden threat… That new calculation, which takes into account sea-level rise, rainfall and flooding along smaller creeks not mapped federally, estimates that 14.6 million properties are at risk from what experts call a 100-year flood, far more than the 8.7 million shown on federal government flood maps. [See the map to explore county flood risk in California and the West.]

Aquafornia news San Mateo Daily Journal

Foster City levee nearly $20 million over budget

Voters approved a $90 million general obligation bond for the project in 2018, and construction was supposed to be complete by December of this year. Now officials are expecting the project to cost about $109 million and not be complete until September 2023.

Aquafornia news The Press

Franks Tract project sponsors seek input

The project — managed jointly by California Division of Fish and Wildlife, the Department of Water Resources and the Department of Parks and Recreation — seeks to make changes in Franks Tract with the goal of improving water quality, providing enhanced recreational opportunities and improving the ecology for the benefit of native and desirable wildlife.

Aquafornia news Estuary Magazine

Forty miles of creek, six adaptation projects

As winter rains intensify with climate change, flooding will worsen in Santa Clara County, the Bay Area’s largest by population… The Coyote Creek system — 1,500 miles of waterways that drain a 350-square-mile watershed — connects half a dozen elements that are key to climate adaptation, from reservoirs to creek confluences to the Bay shore.

Aquafornia news Estuary Magazine

Sinking islands capture carbon credits

Encouraged by a recently vetted new method for creating carbon offsets from wetlands, a flurry of new climate adaptation projects on publicly owned islands strewn along the central Delta corridor aim to defend against sea-level rise, restore habitat, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Aquafornia news San Joaquin River Restoration Program

Blog: Reach O levee work is underway!

Work has started on the Reach O levee improvements! The project will improve seepage and stability requirements within two miles of Eastside Bypass levees to allow for higher Restoration Flows.

Aquafornia news Santa Clara Valley Water News

Blog: Palo Alto Tide Gates, which prevent flooding in low-lying areas on Peninsula, to be replaced

Driving on Highway 101 from the South Bay, up the Peninsula, commuters zoom by nearly invisible infrastructure keeping the highway and nearby communities dry. Beyond the highway, at the edge of the San Francisco Bay, are levees and tide gates protecting roads and neighborhoods against high tides and storm flooding. Unless you visit the bay lands to walk the levee trails, you might never know these important structures exist.

Aquafornia news Manteca Bulletin

The $120m question: Paying for flood work

Existing residents in the 200-year-flood zone are not off the hook when it comes to paying for more robust protection. … That’s because fees assessed on new growth — homes, commercial and industrial concerns — being built in the flood zone only will cover a third of the bill.

Aquafornia news Scientific American

Green infrastructure can be cheaper, more effective than dams

Hundreds of studies on nature-based solutions to extreme events show that “green infrastructure” is often cheaper and more effective than engineered projects like dams, levees and sea walls, according to a new analysis. Experts say federal and state governments should heed those findings and increase funding for natural landscapes and systems to reduce climate disaster risk. Solutions include floodplain restoration and “living shorelines” along vulnerable coasts and rivers.

Aquafornia news Colusa County Sun-Herald

Grimes receiving grant under flood risk protection program

Grimes and Knights Landing are among three projects that have been selected to receive grant funding under the second phase of the Small Communities Flood Risk Reduction Program, according to the California Department of Water Resources.

Aquafornia news Inside Climate News

New study shows global warming intensifying extreme rainstorms over North America

The likelihood of intense storms is rising rapidly in North America, and the study, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, projects big increases in such deluges. … If the current rate of warming continues, Earth will heat up 5.4 degrees by 2100. Then, 20, 50 and 100-year extreme rainstorms could happen every 1.5 to 2.5 years, the researchers concluded.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Disaster experts develop COVID-19 guidelines for water-related emergencies

In May, Cyclone Amphan made landfall in Bangladesh and eastern India. The category 5 storm forced around 3 million people to flee their homes. With this scenario in mind, a group of disaster experts published guidelines for political leaders and emergency managers so that they can prepare before the storms hit.

Aquafornia news High Country News

Bay Area towns need to address sea-level rise. Will they?

The water keeps rising, shrinking the window for implementing solutions. Sea-level rise already threatens the bay shore, which, at about 500 miles, is half the length of the entire California coast. The worst is yet to come: The Bay Area needs to plan for a 2-foot rise by 2050 and up to 7 feet by 2100.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

Blog: DWR enters ‘whale’s belly’ to combat climate change, protect water deliveries

A marshy tract known as Sherman Island is one of the most sensitive and geographically important locations for water conveyance in California. On May 11, DWR began a restoration project on the southeast side of the island that combats climate change while protecting statewide water supply.

Aquafornia news Marysville Appeal-Democrat

Construction begins on Goldfields levee

The Three Rivers Levee Improvement Authority plans to finish a levee improvement program at the Goldfields later this year that has been in the making since 2004 and will have cost approximately $500 million once all is said and done.

Aquafornia news Legal Planet

Blog: Top 10 worst environmental decisions in California history

California has a paradoxical history with its environment. On one hand, the state boasts incredible natural beauty, along with a government that is an internationally recognized leader for strong environmental policies. But the state’s residents have also caused severe environmental destruction, particularly in the late nineteenth century — some of which helped spur the mobilization that led to these environmental successes.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Central Valley Flood Protection Board: Sacramento-San Joaquin Drainage District feasibility study

The 2017 Central Valley Flood Protection Plan’s Investment Strategy looked at … retooling the Sacramento-San Joaquin Drainage District to provide a small continuous funding stream for ongoing expenditures of the flood management system. At the April meeting of the Central Valley Flood Protection Board, consultants discussed the upcoming feasibility study.

Aquafornia news Christian Science Monitor

Plant, restore soil, repeat. Could nature help curb climate change?

On a recent sunny, windy March day – just before COVID-19 sent the [San Francisco] Bay Area into lockdown – Dave Halsing stood on the trails at Eden Landing Ecological Reserve and pointed out what used to be old industrial salt ponds. He noted how they’re gradually being restored into a rich mosaic of tidal wetlands and other ecosystems in the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project.

Aquafornia news Delta Stewardship Council

News release: Delta Stewardship Council appoints new lead scientist

Dr. Laurel Larsen, an expert in hydroecology, landscape dynamics, complex environmental systems, and environmental restoration, was unanimously appointed by the Delta Stewardship Council on Thursday as lead scientist. Most recently, Dr. Larsen has served as an associate professor in the Department of Geography and Civil and Environmental Engineering at the UC Berkeley.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Lewis MacAdams, famed crusader for the Los Angeles River, dies at 75

Lewis MacAdams, a poet and crusader for restoring the concrete Los Angeles River to a more natural state and co-founder of one of the most influential conservation organizations in California, has died. He was 75.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Bay Area sea level report explores cost of inaction

Led by the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, the report takes study findings from throughout the region to demonstrate the shared impacts of sea level rise ranging from 12 to 108 inches on housing, transportation networks, critical environmental habitat, jobs and disadvantaged communities.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Cities are flouting flood rules. The cost: $1 billion

It’s a simple rule, designed to protect both homeowners and taxpayers: If you want publicly subsidized flood insurance, you can’t build a home that’s likely to flood. But local governments around the country, which are responsible for enforcing the rule, have flouted the requirements, accounting for as many as a quarter-million insurance policies in violation, according to data provided to The New York Times by the Federal Emergency Management Agency…

Aquafornia news Delta Stewardship Council

Report: A Social Science Strategy for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

In the fall of 2018, a six-member independent Social Science Task Force was charged by the Delta Stewardship Council’s Delta Science Program to develop a strategy for strengthening and integrating social sciences into the science, management, and policy landscape of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. This document summarizes the findings and recommendations of the Task Force.

Aquafornia news EOS.org

It’s time to revise estimates of river flood hazards

While studies attributing flood events to individual drivers can be valuable, ignoring interdependencies among these drivers as well as the effects of changing river morphology implicitly promotes simplified views of the challenges inherent to flood management. Further research must account for these interdependencies…

Aquafornia news CALmatters

Opinion: Homeless camps damage California’s levees; proposed legislation would protect the barriers

California’s homeless crisis is one of the state’s top issues, but the least discussed aspect of this broad problem is the damage these homeless encampments cause to our levees. … Large trenches dug into the side of levees impact the integrity and stability of our protective barriers that are engineered to keep our homes and community from flooding.

Aquafornia news Estuary Magazine

Opening the mouth of Walnut Creek

Paul Detjens is driving us from his Martinez office to a restoration site near the mouth of Walnut Creek on Suisun Bay, a project he spearheads as an engineer for the Contra Costa County Flood Control District. … The closer we get to our destination, however, the more industrial the landscape becomes, and the more improbable it seems that we’re in the right place to realize this vision.

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Aquafornia news Petaluma Argus-Courier

Low-lying Petaluma faces flooding from sea level rise: report

For decades, the discussion over flood mitigation in Petaluma has almost exclusively centered around storm surges and heavy rainfall events. Now, months after the city made its landmark climate emergency proclamation, attention is shifting to focus more on sea level rise and scientific projections that offer a glimpse into what could be a sodden future.

Aquafornia news Comstock's Magazine

Follow her lead: Cindy Messer

Cindy Messer considers one of her greatest professional accomplishments also the toughest experience in her 23-year career. Messer was sworn in as chief deputy director of the California Department of Water Resources the day after the Oroville Dam crisis began in February 2017… But within months, her boss retired, and she became acting interim director for the recovery phase.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Building bigger walls in San Francisco Bay to hold back rising waters

Spurred by a recent change in federal flood zone maps and a desire to prepare for rising seas, Foster City is in the process of raising its levees by 1 to 7 feet. Residents voted in 2018 to tax themselves in order to pay for the estimated $90 million upgrade. When the project breaks ground later this year, the city of 35,000 people will vault to the forefront of urban adaptation in the Bay Area to rising waters.

Aquafornia news Manteca Bulletin

Without $175M levee upgrade, thousands in Manteca, Lathrop would need flood insurance

While the bulk of the $175 million goes toward addressing seepage issues along San Joaquin River levees, a dry levee in southwest Manteca plays a key role in making sure potential breaks along the San Joaquin south of RD-17 or levee failures on the Stanislaus River don’t flood portions of either city.

Aquafornia news U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Blog: Sacramento River levee improvements next step in $1.5 billion plan to modernize Sacramento-area flood infrastructure

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District awarded a $64 million construction contract on February 14 … for nearly three miles of levee improvements along the Sacramento River East Levee. This project will kick off major construction in the region to complete approximately $1.5 billion of work to upgrade levees along the American and Sacramento Rivers as well as widening the Sacramento Weir and Bypass.

Aquafornia news NBC Bay Area

‘Unlike any disaster we have ever seen,’ says state agency about rising seas in Bay Area

An investigation by NBC Bay Area has found more than two dozen major construction projects worth billions of dollars – either recently completed or still in development or – located in areas along San Francisco Bay that scientific computer models show will be flooded or surrounded by water by 2050 or earlier.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Pajaro River flood reduction project gets federal funds

A long-planned Pajaro River flooding prevention project has secured its first federal funding for engineering and design. Earlier this week, Rep. Jimmy Panetta announced that the Pajaro River Flood Risk Reduction Project had been provided $1.8 million from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 2020 work plan budget.

Aquafornia news Natural Resources Defense Council

Blog: Moving forward with infrastructure climate solutions

Congressional leaders unveiled a transformative vision of moving America and the environment forward by investing in 21st century infrastructure. The Moving Forward Framework outlines a five-year plan for bold investment in transportation and water infrastructure.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Reactivating our floodplains: A new way forward

At a panel discussion hosted by California Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot, the panelists discussed how by spreading out and slowing down water across the landscape can provide multiple benefits year-round by allowing farmers to cultivate the land during the spring and summer, and provide habitat for fish and wildlife in the fall and winter months.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Folsom Dam is being raised. What that means for droughts, boating and your flood insurance

Combined with a safer spillway completed in 2017, federal dam officials say the flood-prone region is on its way to 300-year or more flood safety, meaning there will only be a one-in-300 chance in any given year that the combination dam and downstream levee system will fail.

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Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Update on the San Joaquin River Restoration Program

The main focus of the program are the barriers to fish passage for salmon from Friant Dam to the ocean and back again. There are three key barriers: the East Side Bypass Control Structure which is in the flood bypass; Sack Dam, which is the intake for Arroyo Canal for Henry Miller irrigation system; and Mendota Dam which controls Mendota Pool. The program also needs to ensure enough habitat for the fish when they return to complete their life cycle,

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

San Joaquin County supervisors blast plans to move Delta tunnel project forward

Response to Wednesday’s action by the California Department of Water Resources to initiate an environmental impact report for a tunnel project in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta was not popular with the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors.

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Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Could Sacramento flood like New Orleans? It’s possible, but water managers are trying to make it less likely

Weak and problematic levees are a big reason why there was so much destruction when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005. It cost Louisiana and Mississippi more than $150 billion dollars and killed more than 1,800 people. But could something like this happen in the Sacramento region? The answer CapRadio heard from levee experts is yes, Sacramento could see that type of flooding, but there are a lot of things that lower that risk.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Pajaro flood agency proposal considered by county board

Praising progress on a long-awaited Pajaro River flood prevention project, the Monterey County Board of Supervisors reviewed a proposed regional flood prevention agency that would oversee construction and operation of the $393.7 million initiative. By a unanimous vote, the county board directed staff to finalize a joint powers agreement at the center of the proposed Pajaro Regional Flood Management Agency.

Aquafornia news Manteca Bulletin

Digging into levees: Homeless create unique safety issue for those living in Lathrop

Lathrop — like any other community — has a homeless problem. But unlike other communities, the homeless problem could imperil the community. That’s because a number of homeless in the Lathrop area have taken to digging holes into the base of levees designed to hold back the San Joaquin River at high water levels.

Aquafornia news Reuters

U.S. flood risk model to be publicly available in boon for homebuyers

A climate research organization will offer access to a risk model that predicts the probability of flooding for homes across the United States, giving the public a look at the data institutional investors use to gauge risk.

Aquafornia news ABC10.com

When Sacramento became ‘Levee City’: 170-year anniversary of the flood that started it all

The river barreled over, sinking the streets of Sacramento in 6-feet of water. It was streaming fast, flooding the hotels and houses of Gold Rush migrants hoping to find fortune in the bountiful land of California.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Monday Top of the Scroll: The Delta’s sinking islands: A way of life hangs in the balance

The courtroom battle over 9,000-acre Staten Island is the latest conflict in the Delta over farming, wetlands and aging levees that, besides preventing flooding, preserve a way of life on the man-made islands. The suit, filed in 2018 by a group called Wetlands Preservation Foundation, accuses the California Department of Water Resources and the Nature Conservancy of failing to adequately protect wildlife or employ sustainable agricultural practices on the property…The stakes are high because the channels, islands and marshes that make up the Delta are a catch basin for most of California’s drinking water.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Friday’s Bay Area king tides offer a hint of what rising sea levels look like

King tides, a naturally occurring phenomenon that received a common name only a decade ago, are heading to California shorelines this weekend — and with them, a series of public events intended to show people the dangers posed by sea level rise.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

California Water Commission: Update on the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan

While considerable progress has been made to improve flood management in the Central Valley, the vast region still faces significant flood risk. … It has been estimated that California needs to spend at least $34 billion to upgrade dams, levees, and other flood management infrastructure. Accomplishing these upgrades within 25 years would mean spending $1.4 billion per year—roughly twice the current level of investment.

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

Blog: Rapid changes in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta both diminish scientific certainty and increase science’s value

These changes will be substantial, multi-faceted, and often rapid. Some changes will be irreversible. Many changes are inevitable. Some will say today’s Delta is doomed. It will be important for California to develop a scientific program that can help guide difficult policy and management discussions and decision-making through these challenges.

Aquafornia news U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

News release: Levee improvement work along Sacramento River set to begin this week

Site preparation activity for upcoming levee improvements along the Sacramento River east levee will begin this week, kicking off a five-year U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project to upgrade levees throughout the Sacramento region and widen the Sacramento Weir.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Panel discussion: The building blocks of success in the Delta

Despite efforts over decades, the Delta’s delicate ecosystem and species continue to decline. … At the 2019 ACWA Fall Conference, Vice Chair of the State Water Board DeDe D’Adamo, Department of Water Resources Director Karla Nemeth, and Delta Stewardship Council Susan Tatayon gave their thoughts on moving forward in the Delta in this panel discussion moderated by the Public Policy Institute of California Water Policy Director Ellen Hanak.

Aquafornia news Government Technology

Atmospheric rivers can be too much of a good thing

Atmospheric rivers are long, narrow bands of moisture that descend from the tropics to higher latitudes like from Hawaii to California. They used to be referred to mostly as a pineapple express. … A study by researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography suggests that one of these events could cause catastrophic damage to California and its economy and thus the nation’s economy.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Panel discussion: The building blocks of success in the Delta

Despite efforts over decades, the Delta’s delicate ecosystem and species continue to decline. … At the 2019 ACWA Fall Conference, Vice Chair of the State Water Board DeDe D’Adamo, Department of Water Resources Director Karla Nemeth, and Delta Stewardship Council Susan Tatayon gave their thoughts on moving forward in the Delta in this panel discussion moderated by the Public Policy Institute of California Water Policy Director Ellen Hanak.

Aquafornia news KQED Science

The precarious future of Treasure Island: Rising seas and sinking land

The low-lying island, as well as neighboring Yerba Buena island, are also the site of a multibillion-dollar neighborhood development. The project calls for 8,000 new homes and condos that could house more than 20,000 people, 500 new hotel rooms, and over 550,000 square feet of commercial space. But how will climate change affect these plans?

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Federal cost analysis bolsters Pajaro River flood control efforts

During the 2019 Flood Prevention Authority Legislative Conference, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers presented a cost-benefit analysis in support of what is estimated to be about a $394 million project, an effort which would reduce significant flood risk to the city of Watsonville, Pajaro in Monterey County and adjacent agricultural areas…

Aquafornia news Spectrum News 1

Scientists from UC campuses study floods

We’ve heard this about earthquakes – it’s not a matter of if but when the big one will hit. Well, some researchers also say it’s a pretty similar situation for a major flood in the area. A research project currently being undertaken at SoCal and NorCal UC campuses is looking at how flooding could impact the area, including socioeconomic issues.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

What is an atmospheric river and why should Southern Californians keep their umbrellas handy?

They’re like a continuous conga line of moisture streaming across the ocean without interruption until they encounter an obstacle such as the coast ranges in California. These obstacles force the atmospheric river to start shedding its burden of moisture.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Editorial: Spillway gates conversation needs to happen

There were questions about the gates that release the water from Lake Oroville, even before the spillways broke up in February 2017. Those questions never really got answered. The focus was on fixing the obvious damage. We could get around to talking about the gates after that. Maybe.

Aquafornia news Western Water

Can a new approach to managing California reservoirs save water and still protect against floods?

Known as Forecast-Informed Reservoir Operations (FIRO), the approach centers on using the latest forecast technology to plan for the arrival of atmospheric rivers. Those are the torrents of moisture in the sky that barrel into California from the Pacific Ocean. Atmospheric rivers are critical to the state’s water supply, accounting for as much as half of its annual precipitation. But they can also cause catastrophic flooding.

Western Water California Water Map Gary Pitzer

Can a New Approach to Managing California Reservoirs Save Water and Still Protect Against Floods?
WESTERN WATER NOTEBOOK: Pilot Projects Testing Viability of Using Improved Forecasting to Guide Reservoir Operations

Bullards Bar Dam spills water during 2017 atmospheric river storms.Many of California’s watersheds are notoriously flashy – swerving from below-average flows to jarring flood conditions in quick order. The state needs all the water it can get from storms, but current flood management guidelines are strict and unyielding, requiring reservoirs to dump water each winter to make space for flood flows that may not come.

However, new tools and operating methods are emerging that could lead the way to a redefined system that improves both water supply and flood protection capabilities.

Aquafornia news AgNet West

Five steps to eliminate nutria threat

Through financial support from various grant funding, CDFA is implementing a five-phase process for nutria eradication that consists of survey, knockdown, mop-up, verification, and surveillance. CDFW staff have been working the landscape by dividing areas into 40-acre grids to ensure that nothing is overlooked.

Aquafornia news Delta Stewardship Council

Blog: Recognizing the Delta’s place in the greater watershed and beyond

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is hitched to so many things. Our estuary is a critical habitat for fish and wildlife, home to millions of people, and the hub of our state’s water delivery system. From the Sierra Nevada to the mouth of the San Francisco Bay, what happens in one part of the Delta watershed affects the entire estuary.

Aquafornia news Napa Valley Register

Caltrans hopes to keep Highway 37 from flooding this winter

State transportation crews are wrapping up paving and drainage improvement work along Highway 37 ahead of winter rains in an attempt to avert flooding, which in two of the past three years led to multiday closures of the critical North Bay commuter artery.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Editorial: Bel Marin Keys restoration an important move

The start of work on the restoration of the Bel Marin Keys wetlands is another example of efforts to bring back the miles of wetlands that, over the past century, have been lost to development, other encroachments and years of sedimentation buildup.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Living shorelines: Linking estuary habitats and building capacity to adapt to rising seas

A living shoreline is an alternative to ‘hard’ shoreline stabilization methods like rip rap or seawalls, and can provide numerous benefits such as nutrient pollution remediation, habitat, and buffering of shorelines from storm erosion and sea level rise. … At the 2019 State of the Estuary conference, Marilyn Latta from the Coastal Consevancy and Katharyn Boyer from San Francisco State University gave a presentation on living shoreline projects in the San Francisco Bay.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Bay Nature Magazine

Housing project pits regional goals against city plans

On Thursday, the East Bay city of Newark will consider approving 469 single family homes and 2,739 parking spaces at the edge of the San Francisco Bay shoreline, on a 430-acre parcel where conservation groups and state and federal agencies have for decades hoped to restore wetlands. … The proposal illustrates one way even straightforward and widely agreed-upon regional climate solutions can fall apart at the local level…

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Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Massive Bel Marin Keys marsh restoration begins

While breaking this levee would seem like a catastrophe, state and federal agencies intend to do just that. The purpose is not to unleash some biblical, punishing flood, but rather to allow nature to reclaim nearly 1,600 acres of wetland habitat.

Aquafornia news Woodland Daily Democrat

Woodland ramps up Cache Creek flood control

Woodland city officials are continuing to build the case for Cache Creek flood control, recently approving $900,000 for another study that could be yet another downpayment on a multi-million dollar project ultimately paid for by federal, state and local governments.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

San Marcos kicking off $100 million Creek District improvements

San Marcos will start construction of its Creek District this year, with a $100 million plan to reduce flooding and improve habitat and traffic flow, officials said at a public forum earlier this week.

Aquafornia news Santa Clara Valley Water News

Blog: Valley Water adopts new policy to address encroachment concerns

In order to take care of environmental concerns and maintain our facilities in a safe and effective manner, we have identified about 900 encroachments on public lands managed by Valley Water that require resolution. … Valley Water has implemented a new process to resolve these encroachments by working with our community.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Residents – and wildlife – eager for revitalized lower L.A. River

Elizabeth Castillo looks on as her daughter Reynata plays with children at a playground near the Los Angeles River in Long Beach, California, in mid-October, hoping one day the river will be clean enough to kayak on. … In the last half-century, the LA River served primarily as flood control infrastructure, but open space and wildlife advocates fomented a movement to make it wild and accessible to all.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Environment

White House nears infrastructure permitting changes

The White House has begun reviewing a plan to change the way it issues environmental permits for infrastructure projects. If the proposal is finalized, it could speed up National Environmental Policy Act reviews for roads, bridges, ports, pipelines, power lines, Internet trunks, and water systems.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Friday Top of the Scroll: The next big California vs. Trump fight is over water and endangered species

Just how far will Gov. Gavin Newsom go in his high-profile fight with the Trump administration over environmental protections? The next few months will provide an answer, as Newsom is forced to take a stand on Trump rollbacks in a long-contested battleground — the Northern California Delta that helps supply more than half the state’s population with drinking water and fills irrigation canals on millions of acres of farmland.

Aquafornia news The Press Democrat

Sonoma County residents along Russian River could benefit from $1.5 million in new flood aid

Russian River communities impacted by the 2019 flood may soon see some help, as a budget trailer bill signed last week by Gov. Gavin Newsom promises $1.5 million to the area that suffered 100 landslides and slipouts and faces at least $155 million in damage.

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

California ramps up efforts to combat invasive swamp rodents

One of the most recent threats to California’s environment has webbed feet, white whiskers, shaggy fur and orange buck teeth that could be mistaken for carrots. … The swamp rodents, called nutria, are setting off alarms in California.

Aquafornia news ABC7 News

Bay Area marshes could help slow global warming

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta was once one of the lushest marshlands in the state. The peat-rich soil made it an ideal place for some of the state’s first farms to pop up. Today, scientists are hacking their way through thick brush to see if restoring these marshes is a way to reduce carbon dioxide in the air.

Aquafornia news CALmatters

Opinion: Newsom should sign SB 1 into law. Without its environmental protections, Californians will suffer

At least 85 different federal laws and regulations affecting California have been weakened or undermined by the Trump administration since January 2017. … That’s why I, along with many proponents, believe that Senate Bill 1 would safeguard our state …

Related article:

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

They’re big, furry and Congress might help California kill them all to save the Delta

A rookie California lawmaker plans to haul a 20-pound rodent carcass into Congress on Tuesday to press his colleagues for money to fight an invasive species wreaking havoc on his district. Rep. Josh Harder, D-Turlock, hopes a hearing on his bill will convince his colleagues that funding to stop invasive nutria in California’s Central Valley is sorely needed …

Aquafornia news Woodland Daily Democrat

Cache Creek flood solution top priority for Woodland council

It appears that Woodland is now in the “advancement” stage with the Army Corps of Engineers willing to work on a plan for longterm flood protection along the city’s northeast side. However, the effort could just as quickly be reversed, according to members of the City Council, if they don’t get farmers on board with their efforts.

Aquafornia news KPBS

San Diego’s climate crisis: Sea level rise will threaten Imperial Beach for decades

Imperial Beach regularly experiences flooding during high-tides and storms — climate change and rising oceans are threatening to make that flooding significantly worse.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Estuary News

Clout and cool science push land-river reconnection

Before all those thousands of miles of levees went in, the Central Valley had one of the West Coast’s largest salmon runs, with a million or more of these mighty fish returning each year. A big reason for the salmon’s suc-cess was that the valley was among the most extensive floodplains in the world.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Blog: Managing a non-native Delta ecosystem

The Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta has more non-native species than native ones, and its estuary is considered the most invaded in the world. We talked to Jim Cloern—an emeritus scientist with the US Geological Survey and an adjunct fellow at the PPIC Water Policy Center—about this challenge.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco Bay is rising — are we moving fast enough to adapt?

There’s a lot to like about the Bay Area’s efforts to prepare for sea level rise: the collaborative efforts, the detailed studies and, laudably, the voters who are willing to tax themselves with an eye to future needs. But if the long-term threat is as grim as scientific projections indicate, local experts say the region needs to respond with increased urgency — an urgency that is at odds with the Bay Area’s often cumbersome decision-making processes.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Bay Nature Magazine

Want to prevent California’s Katrina? Grow a marsh

Something is amiss on Sherman Island, a whale-shaped swath of farm and grazing land at the confluence of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers. If you don’t know what ails the place, it might be hard to pinpoint the problem.

Aquafornia news CBS San Francisco

California steps up multimillion-dollar battle to eradicate nutria from state wetlands

There’s no certain answer as to how the nutria population re-emerged after being declared eradicated in California decades ago but the population is spreading and causing serious concern. The Department of Fish and Wildlife was recently awarded $10 million to wipe out the large, invasive rodents and that effort is now well underway.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Panel discussion: Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta legal framework: ‘All the acronyms you need to know’

At the Association of California Water Agencies‘ spring conference, a panel of lawyers covered the basics of the legal framework for the Delta. The panel was billed as ‘All the Acronyms You Need to Know”, but no 1.5 hour panel discussion could possibly cover all that. However, the panel did a good job of hitting the main ones and highlighting current issues.

Aquafornia news The San Francisco Examiner

Costs soar for shoreline protections as SFO plans for rising seas

In 2015, the Board of Supervisors gave initial approval to a $58 million shoreline protection program to protect SFO from sea-level rise. But on Wednesday, the board’s Budget and Finance Committee approved an updated program that will now cost $587.1 million. City officials attributed the increase to new sea-level rise estimates and guidelines issued by the State of California…

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

American River in Sacramento polluted by homeless waste and feces

A Sacramento Bee investigation found high levels of E. coli bacteria — a sign of fecal contamination — along the lower stretch of the American, where homeless camps line the banks, residents walk their dogs, and where thousands of swimmers dip into the water to escape Sacramento’s summer heat.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Opinion: Newsom plan best to fix California water woes

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

Aquafornia news The Sun-Gazette

Canal plans to bypass subsidence with 30-mile parallel path

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

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Llagas Creek flood control project was decades in the making

After decades of costly floods — and 65 years after Congress first approved it — construction on Santa Clara Valley Water District’s flood control project along the Upper Llagas Creek, is finally happening.

Aquafornia news Brentwood Press

State of California proposes plan for Delta levees

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

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

State approves $20M for Bel Marin Keys wetlands restoration

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

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

The state of California regrets to inform you that you can’t keep beagle-sized rodents as pets

Nutria, a giant invasive rodent originally from South America, might be the size of a beagle, but unlike a beagle you can’t keep them in your home. The California Fish and Game Commission is looking to correct a gap in the law that restricts what pets may lawfully be owned by including nutria among the list.