Since World War II and a booming state population that
increasingly sought out the great outdoors to relax, the state’s
water-based recreational activities have continued to grow more
popular and diverse, occurring in a multitude of sources –
from swimming pools and spas to beaches, reservoirs, natural
lakes and rivers.
Public water supply projects, such as the State Water Project,
have helped to provide additional recreational opportunities for
Californians. In some cases, reservoir releases can contribute to
downstream recreation benefits by improving fisheries or by
creating whitewater rafting opportunities that would not be
possible in the absence of reservoir regulation. However, there
are conflicting values and needs for the same river system.
The successful Bakersfield children’s book series “Indy, Oh
Indy” has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund its sixth
upcoming book, titled “The Mighty Kern River.” The book was
inspired by a larger effort from the grassroots group Bring
Back the Kern to raise awareness about Bakersfield’s mostly dry
river and efforts to revive a more regular flow of water
Restoration flows will begin tomorrow, April 16, on the Trinity
River to help improve conditions after another critically dry
water year. A flow schedule based on the expected amount of
water available to support salmon restoration efforts on the
Trinity River is brought forward by the Trinity Management
Council each year. This week’s two-day schedule is slated to
increase daily average flows from 300 cubic feet per second to
1,300 cubic feet per second.
The City of San Diego’s Public Utilities Department has
completed the 2020 Watershed Sanitary Survey, which evaluates
any potential water quality issues at the source and will be
used as a basis for future watershed management and planning
efforts. A watershed is an area of land that drains water into
a specific body of water. Everything that is on the land,
whether a natural feature or a human activity, is part of the
The Yuba Water Agency manages water storage and deliveries to
downstream customers while having a hand in preserving fish
habitats and recreational areas. Currently, the agency has
already begun doubling its reservoir releases at a time when
visitors to the river are also expected to go up. Due to
the time of year, those releases from upstream reservoirs are
dictated by irrigation needs of downstream growers.
Shasta Dam, which rises over 600 feet, flooded much of our
tribe’s homeland and inundated dozens of our sacred sites. It
stopped our salmon from reaching their spawning grounds. And by
holding back water when it is needed by the river, Shasta Dam
has driven our salmon to the brink of extinction. That threat
continues in the proposal to raise Shasta Dam. That project
would flood more of our sacred sites and further harm salmon.
The Trump administration made that project their top priority
water infrastructure project in the nation.
-Written by Caleen Sisk, the spiritual leader of the
Winnemem Wintu Tribe.
Southern California, like most of the West, is in the middle of
a record dry season. To combat it and keep the metropolitan
area well-watered, they’re relying more heavily on the Colorado
River, with water pumped directly from the south end of Lake
Havasu. Last Wednesday, the Metropolitan Water District began
pumping from Lake Havasu at full capacity for the first time in
years, drawing water from the Whitsett Intake Pumping Plant
located just north of the Parker Dam. The eight-pump flow is
equivalent to about 3,000 acre feet of water being pumped per
day, according to MWD Manager of Colorado River Resources Bill
The state plans to inspect three dairy ranches in the Point
Reyes National Seashore after independent water quality tests
conducted in nearby creeks and lagoons earlier this year found
E. coli bacteria concentrations up to 40 times higher than
state health standards. The San Francisco Regional Water
Quality Control Board plans to inspect Kehoe Dairy, McClure
Dairy and R&J McClelland Dairy, which are located near
Kehoe Creek and waterways that flow into Abbotts Lagoon in the
northern region of the national seashore.
Hundreds of farmers who rely on a massive irrigation project
that spans the Oregon-California border learned Wednesday they
will get a tiny fraction of the water they need amid the worst
drought in decades, as federal regulators attempt to balance
the needs of agriculture against federally threatened and
endangered fish species that are central to the heritage of
several tribes. Oregon’s governor said the prolonged drought in
the region has the “full attention of our offices,” and she is
working with congressional delegates, the White House and
federal agencies to find relief for those affected.
Harmful algal blooms (or HABs) occur when colonies of algae,
under the right conditions, grow out of control and produce
toxic or harmful effects on people, fish, shellfish, marine
mammals, and birds. Every U.S. coastal and Great Lakes state
experiences harmful algal blooms. In California, reports
of harmful algal blooms have increased from 91 in 2016 to 241
in 2019. In 2020, Stockton experienced a severe harmful
algal bloom; it marked the first year that algal blooms spread
into the San Joaquin and Calaveras Rivers so early in the
summer and fall months. Drought and heat are factors that
increase harmful algal blooms …
Tule elk are treasured creatures in California, and for years,
animal rights groups have butted heads with the Point Reyes
National Seashore over its practice of keeping elk fenced away
from nearby cattle ranches. Amid a dry 2020, the groups tried
to bring water to the creatures but were rebuffed by the
National Park Service. Now the federal agency has released a
report indicating that more than one third of the 445 elk
fenced in at Tomales Point died this past winter, bringing the
population down to 293.
Advocates, such as the Colorado Water Trust, a nonprofit that
spearheaded the new approach, say the tools can be used as
templates across other river basins, where older water rights
are already spoken for. … Across Colorado nearly 40,000
miles of streams flow year-round and, as a result, have the
potential to receive protection under the state’s Instream Flow
The San Joaquin Valley’s quest for groundwater sustainability
will result in large amounts of irrigated agricultural lands
being retired. A new book explores how some of these lands
could be restored to natural areas that bring multiple
benefits. We talked to Scott Butterfield, a senior scientist at
The Nature Conservancy and one of the book’s editors, about
Ballona Wetlands activists and Westside residents are planning
an Earth Day protest, calling on local leaders to shut down the
Playa del Rey oil field and pushing back against what they call
a disguised restoration project meant to restore the gas
company’s infrastructure below the ecological reserve.
While the federal government sees the prospect of raising the
height of Shasta Dam as a way to increase water storage for a
thirsty California, the Winnemem Wintu of Shasta County see it
as a threat to their culture. It was a theme picked up
this week by American Rivers, a conservation group that named
the McCloud River one of America’s 10 most endangered rivers
because of the proposal to raise the height of Shasta Dam.
… Raising the height of the dam would raise the level of
the lake about 20 feet when full. It would also further
inundate about a third of a mile of the McCloud River …
Tree roots are being blamed for a 98,280-gallon sewage spill in
Sausalito that went unnoticed for two weeks. The overflow
started on March 17 and went undetected because of heavy
vegetation, according to the county.
Dozens of people gathered at Point Reyes National Seashore
Saturday to protest after the deaths of more than 100 rare tule
elk. Last week, the National Park Service announced 152 elk in
a fenced preserve died in 2020 because of overpopulation and
drought conditions. The drought has reduced the amount of water
in the area, leading to limited access and malnutrition.
California’s shrinking Salton Sea is getting a closer look
scientifically with the state, local air districts, and
community groups examining air, water, and even dust from the
parched shoreline where water was once plentiful. The increased
scrutiny comes as the state has continuously failed to meet
dust suppression and habitat goals set in a 2017 management
plan to restore nearly 30,000 acres of the state’s largest body
of water by 2028. The sea spans Imperial and Riverside counties
near the Mexican border, where disadvantaged communities
breathe some of the nation’s worst air and suffer from high
asthma rates. Chronic nosebleeds are also common.
The California State Water Resources Control Board (the State
Board) will use $4.4 million of a U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) grant to fund projects in seven counties around
the state. EPA’s Nonpoint Source Program grant assists the
State Board in implementing programs to address pollution
caused by runoff moving over the ground, known as nonpoint
source pollution. The Marin Resource Conservation District was
awarded over $700,000 by the State Board for its Conserving Our
Watersheds Program. This project helps ranchers within the
Point Reyes National Seashore prevent nitrogen, phosphorus,
sediment, and bacteria from livestock operations from running
off into Tomales Bay. Tomales Bay supports oyster production
and recreational activities including kayaking and fishing.
San Diego hiking enthusiasts might have to share part of their
favorite trail with a cement mixer for the next year. The San
Diego County Water Authority is building a massive
5-million-gallon concrete water storage tank, called a flow
regulatory structure. You will never see it once it’s
completed. One of the hiking trails in the northwest corner of
Mission Trails Regional Park is closed and there are trail
detours on other parts. … Construction began in February
as the pandemic took over California. It’s expected to take
another year to complete. As of Friday, more than a dozen
concrete pillars were sticking up out of the ground like a
building straight out of Ancient Rome.
California remains far behind its targets for addressing
exposed playa around the Salton Sea, according to data released
in the 2021 Salton Sea Management Program annual report.
But state officials expressed optimism in a public
workshop that they are finally beginning to catch up to those
goals. The state was supposed to implement dust suppression
projects or build wetlands habitat across 3,500 acres of
exposed playa by the end of 2020 to tamp down dust that’s
imbued with a century’s worth of salts, pesticides and other
Our Layperson’s Guide to the Central Valley Project has just
been updated to reflect the latest developments affecting
California’s largest surface water delivery system. The 24-page
guide explores the history of the Central Valley Project, from
its roots as a state water project that stalled amid the Great
Depression to its development as a federal project that
stretches from Shasta Dam in far Northern California to
Bakersfield in the southern San Joaquin Valley.
If you skip a rock across the surface of the Great Salt Lake,
it will skim and ricochet across the far-reaching, glassy face
for what seems like a mile. It’s as if the waters were never
introduced to the laws of gravity. Or if they were, it didn’t
matter. The lake’s salinity — and in turn, its density — has
increased since the mid-1800s. Today, the tourmaline-colored
water in the north arm is eight times saltier than the ocean.
Rocks, those daring enough to swim and reflections of flushed
sunsets are held at the surface of the water — suspended and
unable to be lost. But in a cruel illustration of irony, we are
losing those waters. As historian Dale Morgan put it in 1947,
“It is a lake of paradoxes.” Today, the Great Salt Lake’s
volume has dropped nearly 50%. The largest saline lake in the
Western Hemisphere is drying up.
A year ago, when stay-at-home orders were a newly disorienting
fact of life, I started taking long walks through my
neighborhood on L.A.’s Westside. Wandering south from Palms
into Culver City, I realized I live near a huge concrete
channel — a creek, trapped in place — with a bike path along
the water, and a view of oil pumpjacks rising and falling atop
the Baldwin Hills. There were beautiful murals, too, showing a
healthy, thriving waterway. They were hashtagged
#KnowYourWatershed. And the more I admired them, the more I
realized that I did not, in fact, know my watershed, despite
growing up not far from here. -Written by Sammy Roth, a Los Angeles Times staff
Scientists have been predicting for years that the Colorado
River would continue to deplete due to global warming and
increased water demands, but according to new studies it’s
looking worse than they thought. That worries rancher Marsha
Daughenbaugh, 68, of Steamboat Springs, who relies on the water
from the Colorado River to grow feed for her cattle.
… Recent reports show that the river’s water flows were
down 20% in 2000 and by 2050 that number is estimated to more
South Bay officials are beginning to run out of patience over
the continued cross-border flow of sewage-tainted water. The
pollution warning signs have been up most of 2021 on the sand
in Imperial Beach. Last Friday, the pollution flowed north to
Coronado, forcing beach closures there. Imperial Beach’s top
officials are fed up.
For the second time in less than a year, state health officials
plan to ask lawmakers to fast-track permitting authority over
hundreds of miles of streams left unprotected after a 2020
Trump Administration rollback of federal Clean Water Act rules.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s move
comes just weeks after a federal court denied Colorado’s effort
to prevent the new federal rules from taking effect.
Humboldt County authorities are warning people it is still too
early to swim in some rivers due to high and swift water. A
report of multiple swimmers in distress this week led to a
sheriff’s deputy rescuing three people stuck on a rock in
Willow Creek. The Sheriff’s Office says the three Arcata-area
residents had decided to swim due to good weather. The office
says people should check National Weather Service information
on river levels and flow information. The advice includes the
Trinity River. Warming spring weather causes snowmelt that
sends cold and fast-moving water down through California’s
rivers to lakes and reservoirs. Authorities say even the most
experienced swimmers can be in danger. California State
Parks on Thursday began a series of online programs to help
prevent drownings in waterways.
Rejecting arguments that a utility can’t be sued over
century-old pollution, a federal judge signaled Wednesday that
he will likely advance a lawsuit seeking to hold Pacific Gas
and Electric liable for contamination that occurred more than
100 years ago. … [Plaintiff and San Francisco resident Dan]
Clarke claimed groundwater contamination stemming from the site
of PG&E’s former gas plant “is intermittently discharged
into the bay.” He said seasonal, tidal and other factors result
in groundwater passing the former plant site and intermixing
with contaminants before leaking into the San Francisco Bay.
The huge, lush green meadows that stretch between the S.R. 203
junction with U.S. 395 and Crowley Lake may seem like they have
been there forever but in reality, their existence has been
under threat for several years after the Los Angeles Department
of Water and Power threatened to withdraw much of the water
from the meadowlands a few years ago, stating it needed the
water for its own uses. If implemented, the proposed
‘de-watering’ of much of the massive meadows would have turned
them into sage and dust, destroying wildlife habitat, historic
cattle grazing leases, the fishing habitat along Hot Creek and
the Upper Owens River and much more.
San Francisco Bay’s life support systems are unravelling
quickly, and a wealth of science indicates that unsustainable
water diversions are driving this estuary’s demise. Yet,
with another drought looming, federal and state water managers
still plan to divert large amounts of water to their
contractors and drain upstream reservoirs this summer.
Meanwhile, the state’s most powerful water districts are
preparing yet another proposal to maintain excessive water
diversions for the long-term. By delaying reforms that the
law requires and that science indicates are necessary, Gov.
Gavin Newsom encourages wasteful water practices that
jeopardize the Bay and make the state’s water future
precarious. -Written by Jon Rosenfield, a senior scientist for SF
With the end of the first quarter of 2021 approaching, we
thought it timely to issue an update on selected recent
developments and proposed changes in law and policy touching
environmental, land use, and natural resource issues. At the
national level, with the new Biden administration, federal
policies already have undergone a significant sea-change from
those of the Trump administration. And the Golden State
continues to lead with a protective agenda on land use,
environmental, and natural resources legislation and
Updated water supply allocations announced last week would
still drain upstream reservoirs in order to deliver 4.5 million
acre feet of water to the contractors of the federal Central
Valley Project (CVP) and State Water Project (SWP), devastating
fish and wildlife. This week, the fisheries biologists at the
National Marine Fisheries Service projected that these planned
operations are likely to result in lethal water temperatures
that will kill 89% of endangered winter-run Chinook salmon
below Shasta Dam this year. This mortality estimate is even
worse than what was observed in 2014 and 2015, when salmon
populations were devastated by warm water in their spawning
With racism in the public eye and the pandemic wreaking havoc
on vulnerable populations disadvantaged by ecological hazards,
the need to ensure environmental justice has become more
apparent – and more important – than ever… Race affects
class. Class then affects your options. It’s more of
a human rights issue today than a civil rights
issue. When you broaden it to human rights, then we’re
talking about a wide variety of things that affect the
opportunities open to people as people, not as citizens: Do we
have a right to clean water? Do we have a right to decent
housing? Do we have a right to an environment free of
Over the coming decades, California’s San Joaquin Valley will
transition to sustainable groundwater management under the
Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), ensuring
reliable groundwater supplies for generations to come.
Sustainable groundwater management and a changing climate will
inevitably affect how land is used on a sweeping scale. By some
estimates, the amount of farmland that will have to be taken
out of production to balance groundwater demand and supply is
equivalent to the size of Yosemite National Park — a transition
that could serve a huge blow to the agricultural economy, rural
communities and the environment.
The San Francisco Estuary Partnership’s next update to it’s
2016 Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan for the
Estuary—or Estuary Blueprint—will bring a new focus on equity
and environmental justice to ongoing efforts to restore and
protect the Bay and Delta.
The Vallecitos Water District received two awards for its
innovative use of technology to reduce algae blooms at Mahr
Reservoir, it was announced Thursday. The district received the
“Excellence in Action” national award from the WateReuse
Association and the “Innovation and Resiliency” state award
from the California Association of Sanitation Agencies for its
use of an ultrasound technology to address water quality at the
Stanley A. Mahr Reservoir with a reduced need for chemical
treatment. The most common method of treating algal blooms is
with chemicals. VWD instead uses technology developed by the
international company LG Sonic, which provides an overview of
the water quality allowing identification and treatment of
The second consecutive dry winter has prompted state water
managers to reduce allocations to the state water project that
supplies millions of Californians and 750,000 acres of
farmland. The state Department of Water Resources
announced this week that it will only be able to deliver
5% of the requested allocations following below-average
precipitation across the state. That figure is down from the
initial allocation of 10% announced in December. Many of
the state’s major reservoirs are recording just 50% of average
water storage for this time of year, and won’t see a major
increase due to a snowpack that is averaging just 65% of
normal, according to state statistics..
[F]or those who live in the legal Delta zone – some 630,000
people – the braided weave of the Sacramento and San Joaquin
Rivers and their maze of associated wetlands and levees
provides a place of home, community, and recreation. And, as a
recent study by the Delta Stewardship Council shows, climate
change is tugging on the watery thread holding it all together.
… The council’s overview reveals a grim outlook for the
millions of people that are tethered to the region’s water:
drought similar to that experienced in 2012-2016 will be five
to seven times more likely by 2050. This will result in more
severe and frequent water shortages and, as the report bluntly
states, “lower reliability of Delta water exports.”
Two East County water agencies plan to reduce future water
rates by using millions of dollars they received from the
County Water Authority as part of a legal settlement. The Water
Authority announced a plan Feb. 25 to distribute $44.4 million
to its 24-member agencies — including the Helix Water District
and Padre Dam Municipal Water District — after receiving a
check for that amount from the Metropolitan Water District of
Southern California. A San Francisco Superior Court ruled in
favor of the Water Authority in January in two lawsuits against
Metro challenging rates and charges. The money is for legal
damages and interest from the decade-long rate cases.
A San Diego program that aims to keep toxic sewer water out of
the Pacific Ocean suffers from outdated methods and inadequate
efforts to identify and inspect the business sites of
industrial polluters, a new city audit says. The 56-page audit
says the program, which oversees industrial polluters served by
San Diego and 12 other local sewer districts, needs to step up
efforts to find polluters and modernize its inspection program.
The program – the Industrial Wastewater Control Program – is
also understaffed and not capable of handling the larger
workload it should handle without adding more workers, the
With World Water Day this week and the dry year emerging
throughout the Sacramento Valley, we take this moment to
reflect on the value of water as we cultivate a shared vision
in the region for a vibrant way of life. We encourage you to
watch and read the following vignettes that all showcase the
value of water.
White River National Forest officials on Monday said Aurora
Water and Colorado Springs Utilities can move ahead with test
drilling to determine whether a controversial dam on Homestake
Creek in Eagle County is technically feasible…. conservation
groups say they are adamantly against any new water transfers
to suburban water users across the Continental Divide and will
oppose every approval step….Environmental groups oppose new
dams on Homestake in part because they would take
water out of tributaries that feed the already-depleted
Colorado Governor Jared Polis and Dan Gibbs, executive
director, Colorado Department of Natural Resources, announced
recently the establishment of a Water Equity Task Force to
better understand existing equity, diversity and inclusivity
(EDI) challenges in Colorado water issues and inform the
Colorado Water Plan. … The 2005 Water for the 21st Century
Act (HB 05-1177) ushered in a new area of regionally inclusive
and collaborative water planning. That spirit was further
codified in the 2015 Colorado Water Plan, which ensured that
all water uses in Colorado are interconnected and of equal
A new poll shows Latino voters in California are even more
supportive than the general population of policies that protect
public lands and combat climate change. The new survey finds an
overwhelming majority of Latino voters, 85%, support President
Joe Biden’s new goal of protecting 30% of the country’s lands
and waters by the year 2030. … The poll also found 83%
of Latinos surveyed support dedicating funding to address air
and water pollution in lower-income parts of California,
compared to 72% of all voters.
The Porter-Cologne Water Quality Act, California’s state clean
water law, passed in 1969 and became the model for the 1972
federal Clean Water Act. Nearly half a century after passage of
the landmark federal law, it is time for both the state and the
nation to assess progress and chart a new course. Once again,
California is leading the way with Assembly Bill 377, a new
bill introduced by Assemblyman Robert Rivas (D-Hollister).
Although new legislation is needed, the existing federal and
California clean water acts have produced successes that should
be celebrated. -Written by Terry Tamminen, president of 7th
Generation Advisors and founder of Santa Monica
The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will
likely hire a contractor for the sweeping Lower Walnut Creek
Restoration Project that aims to improve both flood control and
conditions for wildlife and recreation. County staff recommends
the board approve a deal with Four M Contracting, which came in
with the lowest bid on the project, at $11.285 million. The
Winters-based civil engineering firm specializes in wetland
enhancement projects and the creation of wildlife habitat.
Of all the existential threats California parks face —
dwindling budgets, more visitors and costly, long-deferred
maintenance — now comes a climate-driven conundrum: When is a
park no longer a park? When its namesake trees disappear in a
barrage of lightning strikes? When its very land is washed away
by ever-rising seas? The California Department of Parks
and Recreation is coming to terms with this dilemma after a
climate-reckoning moment last August, when more than 97%
of Big Basin Redwoods, California’s oldest state park, was
charred by a lightning-sparked wildfire.
Spurred by the rising price of gold, K2 Gold Corp., of
Vancouver, Canada, is drilling and trenching in hopes of
selling its findings or partnering with a bigger company that
would, perhaps, transform the public lands into an open pit
cyanide heap leach mine, just a few miles from Death Valley.
… Opponents … worry about air pollution … and
the water required for mining gold. Pumping out millions
of gallons from desert aquifers, or underground lakes, they
fear, could exhaust regional springs in valuable wildlife
habitat, and attract wildlife to ponds of cyanide-laced water.
Mother Nature proved again in late January that the force of
torrential rainfall and surging water can undo about a decade’s
worth of difficult, expensive habitat conservation work. The
Santa Rosa Creek project completed in October in Cambria was
designed to stabilize the path of the creek in a vulnerable
North Coast area, while protecting its bank and its eponymous
roadway. Devin Best, executive director of the Upper
Salinas-Las Tablas Resource Conservation District (RCD), said
the district worked with landowners “to preserve their property
and also maintain the road so it doesn’t wash away.”
Placer County leaders are supporting the removal of a bridge
that collapsed 60 years ago near the confluence of the North
Fork and Middle Fork American River in the Auburn State
Recreation Area. … [Gary Estes, a board member for
Protect American River Canyons,] said the debris poses threats
to swimmers and kayakers. A sign posted on the State Route 49
bridge, where the collapsed bridge used to stand, warns people
to use extreme caution around the steel and concrete debris.
A beach water use advisory is now in effect until Thursday,
warning people of possible bacteria in the water following
rainfall. The recent rainfall, bacteria, chemicals, debris,
trash, and other public health hazards from city streets and
mountain areas are likely to contaminate ocean waters at and
around discharging storm drains, creeks, and rivers. People who
enter the water in these areas could become ill, according to
Los Angeles County Health Officer, Muntu Davis, MD, MPH. This
advisory will be in effect until at least Thursday at 1o a.m.
Sometime in the middle of next year, if Northern Water gets its
way, the bulldozers will start piling earth and rock 25 stories
high to plug this dry basin southwest of Loveland
forever. Four miles to the south, they’ll build another
dam to keep their newly-made bathtub from leaking out the back
toward Lyons. Drill crews will bore a massive pipeline through
the hogback making up the east edge of the bathtub, in order to
feed Carter Lake a few hundred yards to the east. They’ll move
a power line. Help build a surrounding open space park. Upgrade
a sewage plant in Fraser. Four years later, they’ll close dam
gates reinforced to hold back 29 billion gallons of life-giving
The climate change cabal in Sacramento is ignoring some
extremely low hanging fruit in their bid to protect us from
ourselves. The reason they don’t see it is simple. It doesn’t
involve raising taxes, rewarding corporations or disruptor
greenies they align with, nor does it destroy jobs. The
California Legislature needs to ban grass lawns for front yards
as well as general commercial development for all new building
projects. -Written by Dennis Wyatt, editor of the Manteca
Professor Marc Beutel and his graduate student Mark Seelos have
been recognized for papers and a presentation on toxic mercury
mitigation by the North American Lake Management Society.
… “About half the reservoirs in California are impaired
because of historic mercury and gold mining,” Seelos said.
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
The US Green Building Council Central California (USGBC-CC) has
received a grant from the San Joaquin River Conservancy
(Conservancy) to commence planning for a Native American and
Environmental Resource Center at the San Joaquin River. The
project will enable public access and create an Indigenous and
Environmental Resource Center at the Circle V property located
on the San Joaquin River, outside of Fresno in Madera County.
The USGBC-CC received final approval for the grant funding as
part of the California Clean Water, Clean Air, Safe
Neighborhood Parks, and Coastal Protection Fund and the Safe
Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River
and Coastal Protection Fund of 2006 from the Wild Life
Lake Wohlford Dam is an important water storage, flood control
and recreational facility that has served Escondido for
generations. Restoring storage capacity and making it
earthquake-safe is critically important, which is why I
introduced AB 692. The dam was originally constructed in
1895 to store water transported via a wooden flume from the San
Luis Rey River to Escondido. One of the first rock-fill dams in
California, Lake Wohlford Dam was 76 feet high and had a
storage capacity of about 3500 acre-feet.
-Written by Assembly Republican Leader Marie Waldron,
A wetland enhancement project in south Oceanside has been
selected as the recipient of a $1 million federal grant from
the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, it was announced Thursday.
The award was issued through the National Coastal Wetlands
Conservation grant program, which funds projects that protect,
restore and enhance coastal wetland ecosystems. The grant will
go toward construction of the first phase of the Loma Alta
Slough Wetlands Enhancement project, which is intended to
restore and enhance six acres of coastal wetland and upland
habitat near Buccaneer Beach.
On Jan. 28 Defend Ballona Wetlands filed a lawsuit with the Los
Angeles Superior Court against the California Department of
Fish and Wildlife to stop the restoration project in the
Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve and challenge the
environmental impact report. The proposed project is set to
restore and revitalize 640 acres across the wetlands and create
10 miles of bike and footpaths.
The San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District has decided
to join them, not fight them. Stymied by environmental barriers
and losses in court for 11 years, the large water wholesaler
serving 700,000 residential and business customers from Fontana
to Yucaipa is on the precipice of releasing an environmentally
based plan that would nearly double its supply of water by
diverting billions of gallons from the Upper Santa Ana River,
while mitigating the effects on 20 indigenous fish and bird
A restoration project for the long-suffering Ballona Wetlands
is moving forward after the California Department of Fish and
Wildlife certified the final Environmental Impact Report for
the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve last year. Years
of neglect, human impact, and development took a toll on the
wetlands for years. The project aims to remove invasive
plants and leftover fill from the development of Marina Del
Rey, re-establish a functioning floodplain, and create natural
levees for flood protection against sea level rise.
Nearing the 50th anniversary of the federal Clean Water Act,
Assemblyman Robert Rivas held a press conference on Feb. 2 to
discuss the proposed California Clean Water Act, AB 377. The
legislation, co-introduced by Rivas and state Senate Majority
Leader Robert Hertzberg, would work to ensure all rivers,
lakes, oceans and other bodies of water in California are clean
enough for drinking, swimming and fishing purposes by
California’s Boating Clean and Green Program is looking for
individuals to become Dockwalkers to help keep the ocean, lakes
and reservoirs clean. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic,
recreational boaters continue to recreate in California’s
waterways. The need to share clean boating practices with the
recreational community, while abiding to COVID-19 guidelines,
The largest body of water in Colorado, Blue Mesa Reservoir is
nothing to scoff at. Found in the southern portion of the
state, Blue Mesa Reservoir is 20-miles-long, home to 96 miles
of shoreline, and constrained by a 390-foot-tall dam. However,
before this man-made reservoir and popular outdoor recreation
spot existed, the area was home to a thriving mountain town
that has since been wiped off the map.
A federal agency has ruled that the state can continue to seek
higher flows on the Tuolumne River than planned by the Modesto
and Turlock irrigation districts. The Jan. 19 ruling drew
cheers from environmental and fishing groups that have long
sought larger releases from Don Pedro Reservoir into the lower
There are many ways to gauge the severity of a drought. This
winter in Colorado, all you have to do is look around. “The
stream flows across the state have been really, really, really
down throughout the whole fall season, so that is an
indicator,” said Karl Wetlaufer. Wetlaufer is a rafter, so he
pays attention to stream flow. It’s also part of his job as a
hydrologist with the Natural Resources Conservation
Service Snow Survey Program.
Sensational headlines, like those speculating that Wall Street
will make billions off the Colorado River or that West Slope
farmers should pack it in now, certainly attracts readers.
Unfortunately, these articles wholly fail to convey the reality
of the water challenges facing the Colorado River Basin. …
The Colorado River is certainly in bad shape. Last year was
marked by extremely hot temperatures, low flows and massive
Written by Dan Keppen, executive director of Family
Farm Alliance; Scott Yates, director of Trout Unlimited’s
Western Water & Habitat Program; and Taylor
Hawes, Colorado River Program director for The Nature
On Jan. 15, State Assemblymembers Robert Rivas and Rudy Salas
introduced Assembly Bill 252, which if approved would help
alleviate the impacts of the Sustainable Groundwater Management
Act (SGMA) on farmers and ensure that farmland taken out of
production due to SGMA is reused to provide conservation,
recreation, or other benefits to local communities.
On Wednesday, Los Angeles County officials released their
preliminary master plan for the river “reimagined” to
support both ecosystems and people who live along [the LA
River's] 51-mile corridor. … The long-awaited plan
— the result of five years of input from community residents,
organizations and people like renowned architect Frank Gehry —
will provide a foundation as the region balances its duty to
protect properties from flooding with the need for more access
to natural environments.
Eco-friendly projects designed to improve water quality and
increase access to parks while addressing social issues in
surrounding communities are among the goals of an updated
master plan to revitalize the Los Angeles River, released
San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust has purchased
another stretch of riverside land — an important piece of a
puzzle needed for a 22-mile public-access regional park
envisioned in north Fresno. The newly acquired Sumner Peck
Ranch boasts oak forest and riparian vistas alongside acres of
foothill vineyard, citrus, berries and landscaped event space.
… Ranch roads and meandering trails cut through habitat
used by deer, beaver, bobcat and migrating geese…
The building of dams on the Colorado River has forever changed
the ebb and flow, flooding, drying and renewal cycle of what
was once Lake Cahuilla, changing its character and changing its
name to the Salton Sea. Entrepreneurs once thought that the
Salton Sea would become a sportsman’s mecca, providing fishing,
boating, and waterskiing experiences like no other. There were
a few decades where that dream seemed to be true. Then it
You may know it as Dog Ranch or perhaps Dead Man’s Drop Forest,
but forget that. The parcels immediately to the west of Samoa
Bridge [near Humboldt Bay] are now officially the Samoa Dunes
and Wetlands Conservation Area. “We’re looking to re-introduce
this place to our community,” says Mike Cipra, who heads up
Friends of the Dunes, the new titleholder of the 357 acres.
“This property is a fantastic jewel for our local community and
we want to emphasize just how special it is with the name.”
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has
certified the final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for a
project aiming to restore the largest coastal wetlands complex
in Los Angeles County and increase public access to outdoor
recreation and natural spaces in one of the most densely
populated areas in the world. The Ballona Wetlands Ecological
Reserve (BWER) project will enhance and establish native
coastal wetlands and upland habitat…
I came to the Salton Sea as part of the research for a new book
about the ecology and psychology of abandoned places, an
investigation into how nature can adapt and recover in the long
shadow cast by human activities. It had taken me to some
of the world’s most eerie, ravaged and polluted sites — from
the disaster zones of Chernobyl and Montserrat, to former
frontlines in Cyprus and Verdun, Detroit’s blighted
neighbourhoods and a Scottish island whose last residents left
in 1974. The Salton Sea — its seaside resorts left
landlocked by shrinking waters, its boats rotting in the bowls
of dry marinas — felt a fitting final destination.
BlueGreen Water Technologies has secured approval from the
California Department of Pesticide Regulation for its
algaecide, Lake Guard Oxy, for commercial application in the US
state. According to the firm, in the past year, there has
been a marked rise in the severity of toxic algal blooms, also
called as ‘blue green algae’ and ‘red tide’ in several of the
state’s lakes as well as on the coasts.
The steady drumbeat of support to get more water flowing in the
Kern River through Bakersfield continued Tuesday at the State
Water Resources Control Board. During the public comment
portion of the meeting three speakers from Bakersfield and Kern
County’s political realm urged board members to finally hear —
and grant — a decade-old petition by the City of Bakersfield to
appropriate water on the river to run through the heart of
Climate change and overuse are causing one of the Colorado
River’s biggest reservoirs, Lake Powell, to drop. While water
managers worry about scarcity issues, two Utah river rafters
are documenting the changes that come as the massive reservoir
hits historic low points.
A refillable water station will replace a drinking fountain at
Main Beach as part of Laguna Beach’s ongoing effort to reduce
single-use plastics from littering beaches and the ocean and
ultimately harming marine mammals. The water station – planned
for a January installation – is thanks to a collaborative
effort by the Laguna Bluebelt Coalition and several other
Lake Miramar, a longtime recreational oasis celebrating its
60th anniversary this year, is about to become a key part of
San Diego’s new $5 billion Pure Water system that will boost
the city’s water independence by recycling treated sewage.
Ryan Dorsey, Rivera’s former boyfriend, filed the lawsuit
Tuesday on behalf of her son, who was four at the time. In it,
Dorsey claims the United Water Conservation District, which
operates Lake Piro, as well as Ventura County and the boat
rental company failed to properly warn against the dangers of
swimming in the lake and to provide adequate safety equipment
on the rented pontoon boat.
For decades it’s been an environmental jewel wedged between the
urban sprawl of Marina Del Rey and Playa Del Rey. But now the
Ballona Wetlands State Ecological Reserve, home to diverse
plant and animal wildlife, has become a battleground for
conservationists and other activists.
The creation of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency 50 years ago
challenged us to bring people together to pull this majestic
lake back from the brink. Today, TRPA is the backbone for 80
organizations and thousands of property owners working toward
the common goals of clean water, a healthy watershed and
In autumn swarms of flying insects cloud the skies on the lower
Colorado River near Bullhead City, Ariz. Caddisflies are a
nuisance to recreationists who want to boat, swim or fish on
the river. So city officials have started an unprecedented
experiment to get rid of them.
What’s in the Tijuana River? Ammonia, a byproduct of raw
sewage. Phosphorous, an ingredient in soaps and cleaners that’s
banned in the U.S. Metals used in the industrial plating
industry. Parasitic worms. And DEHP, a chemical added to
plastics. And of course, there’s poo.
Located right below Slab Creek Dam and Reservoir and priced at
$16.5 million … the project has two main functions. One
includes a recreational flow release on a nine-mile stretch
below the reservoir that will improve boating, rafting and
kayaking opportunities… The other release feeds water into
the powerhouse to drive the turbine.
The lake is particularly small and low right now for a few
reasons, said Matt Graul, the East Bay Regional Park District’s
chief of stewardship. Wildcat Creek runs dry in the rainless
months of summer and early fall, but has been hit harder than
ever since the Bay Area received less rainfall than typical
last winter. Once the rains start and fill the creek, there
should be water again in the lake, he said.
Most states are doing a mediocre job – and some even a poor one
– of managing shorelines and preparing for sea-level rise,
according to a new study by the Surfrider Foundation.
California, on the other hand, is a “shining example” and has
excelled in responding to changes along the coast, earning the
only “A” grade in the nation — but the report found there are
still areas that need improvement…
A slew of Bakersfield locals told board members how much an
actual, wet river means for residents. Speakers asked board
members to make the Kern a priority and finally allocate
unappropriated water on the river that has been in limbo at the
board for the past 10 years.
Congressman John Garamendi, who represents the northern half of
Lake County, on Friday submitted a formal comment to the
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission opposing removal of Scott
Dam on the Eel River at Lake Pillsbury and demanding that Lake
County have an equal seat at the table for determining the
future of Potter Valley Project and the lake.
At a shuttered water park in the desert landscape of Coachella
Valley in Southern California, Tom Lochtefeld has transformed a
pool into a surf spot. For decades, inventors like Lochtefeld
have struggled to mimic the ocean’s swells. In recent years,
commercial projects and proof-of-concept pools have made good
on the dream.
The industry that operates America’s hydroelectric dams and
several environmental groups announced an unusual agreement
Tuesday to work together to get more clean energy from
hydropower while reducing the environmental harm from dams, in
a sign that the threat of climate change is spurring both sides
to rethink their decades-long battle over a large but
contentious source of renewable power. The United States
generated about 7 percent of its electricity last year from
hydropower, mainly from large dams built decades ago, such as
the Hoover Dam, which uses flowing water from the Colorado
River to power turbines.
The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) recently
launched an environmental justice community survey to gather
input to inform Delta Conveyance Project planning. The survey,
entitled, “Your Delta, Your Voice,” seeks direct input from
communities that may be disproportionately affected by the
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
When Jay Rowan learned in late April that trout in California
hatcheries were exhibiting strange symptoms, he had been the
hatchery production manager for California’s Department of Fish
and Wildlife for less than a month. Already forced to rejigger
operations after the coronavirus lockdowns, Mr. Rowan began to
worry that a second crisis was on the way.
Called the Three Creeks Parkway Restoration, the $9 million
project will yield two acres of floodplain and a canopy of
riparian trees set in nearly 4.5 acres of grassland and oak
woodland. Construction began in May and is scheduled for
completion at the end of the year…
Fifty years ago this week, the Bakersfield City Council
committed an audaciously historic act. On Monday evening Sept.
28, 1970, council members decided to sue Tenneco West for a
slice of the Kern River.
The collaborative design process for the Franks Tract Futures
project brought initially skeptical local stakeholders on board
and is being hailed as a model for future initiatives. Yet
major uncertainties remain as interested parties explore the
challenges of implementing a complex redesign of a big chunk of
The mayor of Imperial Beach and governor of Baja California are
in a public spat over cross-border sewage spills. Gov. Jaime
Bonilla has held three separate press conferences this month
demanding Mayor Serge Dedina apologize for his public
criticisms of Mexico’s inability to stop sewage from flowing
into the United States.
Samples with confirmed cyanobacteria were collected at three
locations on the Mad River spurring local Public and
Environmental Health officials to warn community residents to
keep themselves and their pets out of the water.
Scientists have published a global water quality database
detailing the health of nearly 12,000 freshwater lakes, almost
half the world’s freshwater supply. Compiled by researchers at
York University, in Canada, the database offers water quality
information on lakes in 72 countries and all seven continents,
All of Santa Barbara’s beaches and creeks are designated as
“impaired” under the federal Clean Water Act. … The council
voted 7-0 to send its proposed changes to stormwater runoff to
the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board… The
list of changes are extensive, and are proposed over four tiers
based on various types and levels of new construction
development. They involve landscape changes and stormwater
treatment for new impervious construction.
The Park and Natural Resource Manager for Chico and Butte
County Linda Herman confirmed the dead fish being reported are
on the back side of the pond near the fresh water area, saying
the fish have succumbed to lack of oxygen in the water due to a
thick layer of ash that has formed atop many parts of the pond.
Jacob Pounds, environmental program coordinator with the Blue
Lake Rancheria, told the Outpost this afternoon that the
bacteria — well established in other local waterways, such as
the Eel and the Klamath — has never been confirmed in the Mad
Every September for the last 22 years, the South Yuba River
Citizens League has hosted a Yuba River Cleanup with the help
of the California Coastal Commission. This year, the river’s
need for some tender, loving care has only grown as the region
reckons with more visitors, more single-use plastics and less
accountability amidst the pandemic.
The results of targeted sampling for more than 80 lakes and
rivers are summarized in an interactive map showing which sites
were tested at each waterbody. The map indicates the specific
tiered recreational health advisory level — “Caution,”
“Warning” or “Danger” — based on cyanotoxin testing results
and/or visual indicators confirming presence of a harmful algal
The Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District (Regional
San) is currently completing major upgrades to its wastewater
treatment plant. In anticipation of these upgrades, USGS
scientists are gathering data to establish baselines for
current nutrient levels and dynamics in the Sacramento-San
Joaquin Delta (Delta).
For the first time in years, boats will soon be able to travel
freely again down the Petaluma River. … Once a vibrant
waterway, Petaluma River is now silted in, full of mud. Lt.
Colonel John Cunningham says the river hasn’t had a full
cleaning by the Army Corps of Engineers for nearly 20 years.
In the Aug. 14 outage, multiple redundant power sources failed
at the plant in West Oakland, something that hasn’t happened
since the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Major flooding at the
pump station led sewage to flow from an outlet into the estuary
more than nine hours later. The incident occurred amid hot
weather when people like to swim in the estuary running between
Oakland and Alameda,
EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said Wednesday the agency
would pay for more water treatment south of the border, and
work with San Diego to control trash coming into the United
States from Mexico by way of the Tijuana River. Wheeler made
the announcement during a visit to Southern California, a
region long plagued by sewage, water, trash, and other
contaminants flowing from Mexico.
Nevada and California joined forces last week at the 24th
annual Lake Tahoe Summit to advance the states’ shared
priorities to protect and restore Lake Tahoe. … There is a
long history of collaboration between Nevada and California to
restore and protect the spectacular natural treasure of Lake
Tahoe and its surrounding environment. This spirit of
collaboration was a pillar of the 24th annual Lake Tahoe Summit
The two projects — which will cost $25 million and are funded
by the EPA’s Border Water Infrastructure Program — will control
sewage and wastewater, sediment and trash that flows from the
Tijuana River across the U.S.-Mexico border into San Diego, EPA
Administrator Andrew Wheeler said during a press conference
Wednesday at the U.S. Coast Guard station in San Diego.
San Luis Reservoir and O’Neill Forebay are open in Merced
County, after being shuttered by regional wildfires. However,
state Department of Water Resources officials say that’s not an
invitation to go in the water. DWR on Tuesday issued a harmful
algal bloom warning advisory at the O’Neill Forebay, plus a
caution is in effect for the San Luis Reservoir.
The Lake Dolores Waterpark in California’s Mojave Desert has
been abandoned three times since it first opened to the public
in 1962. A private firm recently secured the rights to revive
the derelict site.
Since 2015, [Armando] Quintero has worked as executive director
of the Sierra Nevada Research Institute at UC Merced. Before
that, he was director of development there from 2008 to 2014.
He also has served on the Marin Municipal Water District board
since 2009 and the California Water Commission, where as
chairman he oversaw awarding $2.7 billion in state bond funding
for new reservoirs and other water projects.
A major release of raw and partially treated sewage into the
Oakland Estuary earlier this month was triggered by a
rapid-fire series of electrical failures at the East Bay
Municipal Utility District’s main wastewater treatment plant,
the agency says in a report filed with state regulators.
With Lake Mendocino losing about a foot of water every five
days, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers declared that 2020 is
the “third driest year on record for the basin.” Though 2019
“was one of the wettest years over the past 25 years, this year
is stacking up to be one of the driest,” the Army Corps
explained…However, the Army Corps said a new forecasting
model for storms developed over the last few years has
definitely helped maintain the lake’s water levels.
The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board has
reported that a recent collection of water samples from
cyanobacteria harmful algal blooms along the Stockton
waterfront contain microcystins up to 220 times higher than the
“danger” level. These extremely dangerous readings were found
at 5 out of 6 testing sites along the Stockton waterfront.
Public health officials are urging boaters, swimmers and
recreational water users to be on the lookout for hazardous
blue-green algae blooms as warm temperatures persist. San
Joaquin County Environmental Health Department officials posted
advisory signs at local marinas warning people to stay out of
the water where toxic algae is present.
The harmful algal blooms at Big Bear Lake in San Bernardino
County and Lake Isabella in Kern County, which can appear to be
bright- to dull-green and sometimes looks like spilled paint,
can make people and animals sick. Water samples from both lakes
taken this month indicated the presence of algal organisms
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. announced it will no longer be
conducting higher water flows for whitewater recreation on the
Feather River during the weekend of Aug. 22-23, saying in a
press release the cancellation came as a result of the COVID-19
A reservoir originally meant to supply water to Solano County
has now become a recreation destination. In this week’s
Destination California, FOX40 took a trip out to Lake Berryessa
to find out why families are flocking there.
Sea levels on the California coast could rise as much as seven
feet by 2100 and put tens of thousands of vulnerable San
Franciscans at risk of daily flooding, according to a new
report from the California State Legislative Analyst’s office.
The new tool is a light fixture called an array mounted under a
working barge, which trolls the marina dousing the plants on
the bottom with UV-C light, a short-wave electromagnetic
radiation light that damages the DNA and cellular structure of
After a massive loss of fish at three hatchery facilities in
the eastern Sierra and Southern California this summer, the
California Department of Fish and Wildlife has implemented an
updated stocking plan to continue putting trout into waters
that are popular with anglers.
The City of Bakersfield is poised to ink a deal with Buena
Vista Water Storage District that will provide at least some
water in the riverbed through the main part of the city between
April and June — even in drier years.
Some have found fishing the L.A. River to be a peaceful respite
from COVID-19, political and social turmoil and malaise of all
flavors. Even those who have been fishing the river for years
say it’s a new experience amid the new normal.
The act, which allocates $900 million a year to the Land and
Water Conservation Fund and provides up to $9.5 billion over
five years to begin clearing up a maintenance backlog at
national parks, was approved on a 310-to-107 vote in the House.
It was introduced last year by Representative John Lewis, the
Georgia Democrat and civil rights leader who passed away last
Toxic algal blooms have resulted in a “danger” advisory not to
go in the water at Prado Regional Park Lake and not to eat fish
from the lake. A similar advisory at part of Big Bear Lake has
been posted since last month.
A Marin County Superior Court judge rejected a petition filed
by a group of San Geronimo residents and golfers to halt creek
restoration work in the former San Geronimo Golf Course. The
ten residents and golfers, known as the San Geronimo Heritage
Alliance, filed the lawsuit in July alleging the creek
restoration work is illegal.
Summer energy demands driven higher as the COVID-19 pandemic
keeps more people at home could lead to more water flowing from
Glen Canyon Dam into the Colorado River. That could mean
rapidly changing conditions for rafters, anglers, hikers or
others on the river in Glen Canyon or the Grand Canyon,
The water level at Folsom Lake is dropping by nearly half a
foot each day, and soon boaters who rent a slip at Folsom Lake
Marina will have pull their boats out. Marina managers told the
tenants they should plan on removing their boats from the water
by around Aug. 16…
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today introduced the Border
Water Quality Restoration and Protection Act, a bill to reduce
pollution along the U.S.-Mexico border and improve the water
quality of the Tijuana and New rivers.
A contagious, potentially fatal bacteria has infected trout in
the three state-run hatcheries that provide the fish to public
lakes in Southern California and the eastern Sierra. The
California Department of Fish and Wildlife expects to euthanize
all 3.2 million trout in those hatcheries this week.
When it was measured last year, the clarity of the lake was
about 80 feet. … But, consider this, about 20 years ago, the
clarity of lake was 100 feet. That’s the trend scientists are
trying to reverse.
There are just 12 parking spots near Yankee Jim’s, a sliver of
crystal clear water on the North Fork American River, about 35
miles west of Lake Tahoe, but last weekend California State
Parks and Placer County authorities counted more than 300
vehicles parked near the rugged roads surrounding a one-way
bridge overhead. … Authorities said the scenic area has
exploded in popularity thanks to social media postings.
WaterWorks Park in Redding opened on June 5 in violation of
California’s coronavirus rules and “repeated direction” not to
do so, according to the Shasta County Health and Human Services
Agency. It has continued to operate since then — sparking a
nearly two-months long battle with health officials.
This new technology is an improvement on the existing bubble
curtain, providing more air and a much stronger application of
it. It also includes sea bins that will act like garbage cans,
collecting the fragments that are knocked free by the bubble
An algal bloom at Pyramid Lake in Los Angeles County has the
Department of Water Resources (DWR) warning the public not to
swim or participate in any other water-contact recreation or
sporting activities due to potential adverse health effects.
However, DWR said boating at the lake is still allowed.
Saturday and Sunday, PG&E will raise the water level on the
North Fork of the Feather River, which goes from Quincy to
Oroville. … But this year, it seems the whitewater levels —
thanks to the coronavirus — aren’t raising excitement.
Imperial Beach Mayor Pro Tem Paloma Aguirre joined Good Morning
San Diego to discuss a new report claiming that an audit done
by Baja California governor accuses big US companies of water
theft and contributed to raw sewage and hazardous pollutants
ending up in the Tijuana River.
“The people of Bakersfield need a flowing river — with water in
a thriving river parkway, quality of life in Bakersfield will
be significantly improved,” says the petition, posted recently
by local resident Jonathan Yates on Change.org.
Looking at the water hyacinth’s lovely lavender flowers and
lush green leaves, it’s easy to see why it was brought here
from South America. But too much of a good thing can cause
trouble, and few things turn into “too much” as quickly as
water hyacinths (Eichhornia crassipes).
Heal the Bay today released the annual River Report Card, which
assigns water quality color-grades of Red, Yellow, or Green for
28 freshwater sites in Los Angeles County based on observed
bacteria levels in 2019.
The Consul General of Mexico in San Diego said there are things
happening in Tijuana that will help. In a written statement
responding to questions by KPBS, Carlos González Gutiérrez said
there are several projects underway.
The Karuk Tribe is set to hold its World Renewal Ceremonies in
Six Rivers and Klamath national forests from July through late
September. In honor of these long-standing tribal traditions,
outsiders will be prohibited from entering the water or
launching watercraft during the ceremonies, the U.S. Forest
Service has announced in a press release.
The city of Imperial Beach, environmental advocacy group
Surfrider Foundation and the San Diego Regional Water Quality
Control Board agreed to put down their proverbial legal swords
for a period of 12 months while the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency puts a stack of cash to work on the
decades-long sewage issue plaguing the Tijuana River watershed.
With Southern California beaches largely open again — and Los
Angeles beaches expected to reopen after a timeout for the
three-day holiday weekend — you might find latest Heal the
Bay’s Beach Report Card on water quality reassuring when you
head back to the ocean.
Several California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) fish
hatchery facilities in the Eastern Sierra and Southern
California are battling a bacterial outbreak that has the
potential to cause significant losses to both hatchery and wild
Studies conducted in multiple countries in recent months have
detected the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, in treated and
untreated wastewater, but to this date there has been no
evidence of a person contracting the virus through wastewater
or swimming areas.
The summer’s high temperatures have contributed to an algal
bloom that’s impacting Clear Lake, with recent testing of 30
sites on the lake finding concerning levels of cyanotoxin. On
Thursday, Lake County Water Resources reported on the lake-wide
The state of California, city of Imperial Beach, and the
Surfrider Foundation have agreed to a 12-month stay in
litigation over cross-border sewage flowing in from Mexico
while the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency focuses work on
the Tijuana River Valley.
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.
Blue-green algae (cyanobacteria), which naturally occur in
waterbodies, can grow very rapidly into an algal bloom due to
factors such as warm water temperature, calm conditions, and
certain nutrients in the water. While some algae are harmless,
certain types can produce toxins that can make people and
Saying in a project description that there is a demand for
high-quality construction supplies, … the company proposes to
modify the cement plant and quarry on Friant Road and use
explosives to mine hard rock that sits below the gravel, sand
and rock that’s currently mined a half-mile from the river. …
But, the project is at odds with the vision of organizations
like San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust that
prioritize recreation over industry for future use along the
The most common complaint about Clear Lake is the algae. …
Actually, the algae problem was a lot worse 40 years ago. Clear
Lake is getting clearer. According to scientists the lake is
now clearer that it has been in the last 50 years. There are
also side effects from the clearer lake and that is aquatic
The rough dirt and ragged rocks at the Riverbend Park’s
waterfront will soon be replaced with a smooth beach to restore
the one that was swept away by flooding. Construction began
earlier this week to restore the beach that was washed away by
the severe floods caused by the Oroville Dam Spillway crisis.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is urging
anglers and other recreational water users to be vigilant about
checking for harmful freshwater algal blooms, also called HABs,
while out enjoying California’s lakes, reservoirs, rivers,
streams and creeks this year.
Health officials are urging residents and visitors to stay out
of the water in Discovery Bay after dangerous levels of harmful
algae were detected. Marisa Van Dyke of the State Water
Resources Control Board reported that recent lab results from
water testing showed “significant” harmful algal blooms
occurring in Discovery Bay. Multiple locations recorded a
“danger” level, the highest threshold, she said.
Aaron Thomas arrived back in Paradise Valley just in time to
christen the Ambiente Course, which proved a sort of launching
pad for all manner constructive, on-course experimentation. …
Thomas confirms the new design saves between 45 million and 55
million gallons of water annually, compared to pre-2013 levels.
That is the platform from which Thomas has worked these past
Water pollution from Tijuana sewage runoff has once again
shuttered the Imperial Beach shoreline. The County of San Diego
Department of Environmental Health on Saturday extended north
the existing beach water-contact closure area at the Tijuana
Slough shoreline to now also include the Imperial Beach
Both United States and Mexican officials announced separate
plans Tuesday to upgrade Tijuana River wastewater facilities.
The international river has been a longtime problem for
residents of Imperial Beach and Tijuana, as sewage and trash
from the river have spilled into the Pacific Ocean for decades,
often closing beaches near the border and damaging natural
habitats along the river.
Unlike in recent years when researchers were able to point to a
dominant factor affecting lake clarity like drought or
higher-than-average precipitation, 2019 saw a range of
influences on Tahoe, including lake mixing for the first time
in several years, sediment, algae, and climate warming. Those
factors, according to the University of California, Davis Tahoe
Environmental Research Center, combined to cause a roughly
8-foot decrease in average clarity from the previous year’s
The County of San Diego has released a report that identifies
27 projects that could potentially reduce the flow of sewage
from Mexico into the U.S. and Tijuana River Valley each year by
as much as 91%, from 138 days to 12. The report, the Tijuana
River Valley Needs and Opportunities Assessment, identifies
strategies to manage impacts from sewage, trash, and sediment
on the U.S. side of the border.
In 1984, a small group of California surfers were fed up with
the development and water pollution at their favorite break,
Malibu’s Surfrider Beach. They took their environmental
concerns to California State Parks officials — and prevailed.
The Surfrider Foundation was born.
The health department took water samples from 17 locations in
the lake. Five indicated the presence of potentially harmful
blue-green algae (cyanotoxin) at the cautionary level, one area
at warning level, and five areas at the danger level.
The Bureau of Reclamation will begin using mussel-sniffing dogs
to inspect boats on the weekends this summer to help protect
New Melones Lake from invasive-aquatic species, such as quagga
or zebra mussels.
Prompted by a complaint from a Discovery Bay resident, the
State Water Board issued a press release on May 22 warning
residents about harmful algal blooms (HAB). The press release
comes early in the season, when HAB are not normally seen. The
algal blooms, a build-up of blue-green algae toxin called
cyanobacteria, float on top of the water or in the water and
look like green, white or brown scum.
Situated between Bethel Island and False River and accessible
only by boat, Franks Tract is primarily used by fishermen,
boaters and waterfowl hunters. But, over the past several
years, the Department of Fish and Wildlife has been studying
ways to restore part of the 3,523-acre underwater state park to
its original marshland in the hopes of reducing saltwater
intrusion into the Delta and more.
A plan to set new restrictions on the levels of bacteria in the
Petaluma River Watershed is nearing the next stage of approval.
At a virtual meeting on Tuesday, the California State Water
Resources Control Board … will consider a plan meant to cap
and reduce the amount of bacteria getting into the Petaluma
U.S. policymakers understand quite well the impact of Mexico’s
wastewater management on American communities. What they fail
to comprehend is that the ongoing border sewage crisis is
rooted in a longer history of U.S. imperialism and private
enterprise in the San Diego-Tijuana region.
Discovery Bay residents are growing irritated with invasive
aquatic plants and the COVID-19 pandemic slowing down weed
abatement. While the town can be the ideal place to enjoy a
vacation lifestyle year-round, this spring’s crop of weeds is
ruining the bays and inhibiting movement around docks on the
west side of town.
The CDC says there’s no evidence the coronavirus can spread to
people through pool water and that proper cleaning with
chlorine or bromine should inactivate the virus if it’s in the
water. So why are pools remaining closed if there’s no evidence
of the virus spreading through the water? Because of human
Clear Lake is one of the richest lakes in the state when it
comes to nutrients. That is one reason we have algae blooms as
well as a massive amount of aquatic weeds. Some of the species
of aquatic weeds have been in the lake for more than a million
years and others only a few years. These new arrivals are
classed as foreign invasive weeds.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed spending
$300 million to address the problem of toxic sewage flowing
across the border into San Diego County, legislators announced
Tuesday. The money would be part of the United
States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Implementation Act, and will be
used for the engineering, planning, design and construction of
wastewater infrastructure at the border, officials said.
South Bay leaders are once again calling for action to fix
cross border pollution. … Tuesday, Imperial Beach Mayor Serge
Dedina told FOX 5 that the Tijuana sewage system has collapsed
and is spewing about 60 million gallons of untreated sewage
each day in the river.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) announced that it
will be upgrading the Lower Bucks Lake Dam this year by
attaching a waterproof membrane to the upstream surface of the
dam to prevent seepage and extend the dam’s service life.
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.
The US Bureau of Reclamation is to resume a seismic safety
modification project at Boca Dam near Truckee in California
today, following its seasonal closure in November 2019, with
social distancing guidelines recommended by the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention and other COVID-19 precautions
to be followed during construction.
Yolo Basin Foundation’s Board of Directors announced this week
that Chelsea Martinez has been named the Foundation’s new
executive director. … Martinez joined the Foundation in 2017
as the Community Outreach & Volunteer Coordinator and has grown
and sustained the Foundation’s volunteer base to over 200
volunteers as well as helped to increase community involvement
in its programs.
Southern California Edison, the operators of the San Onofre
Nuclear Generating Station, is still investigating what caused
the release of 7,000 gallons of sewage into the ocean last
month but it appears the culprits were a blockage in the
facility’s sewage treatment plant and a worn out pump switch.
For weeks, a debate has been raging over whether going to the
beach or swimming in the ocean increases your risk of catching
or transmitting the coronavirus. The issue has rankled surfers,
overwhelmed runners and bikers and confused anyone seeking the
fresh air and freedom of California’s coast. So when a
scientist last week suggested sea spray could possibly expose
people to the virus, the controversy just exploded.
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
Already a well-regarded landscape and portrait photographer,
Bay set out to bring more attention to the issue. The avid
surfer admits that he initially wasn’t sure how best to convey
what he saw as an environmental emergency. Then, one day, he
says he was visiting the Tijuana River mouth and stumbled upon
Explore the lower Colorado River where virtually every drop of the river is allocated, yet demand is growing from myriad sources — increasing population, declining habitat, drought and climate change.
The 1,450-mile river is a lifeline to 40 million people in the Southwest across seven states and Mexico. How the Lower Basin states – Arizona, California and Nevada – use and manage this water to meet agricultural, urban, environmental and industrial needs is the focus of this tour.
We’re getting better when it comes to the L.A. River. Ten years
ago, most of us didn’t even know that L.A. even had a river.
… It’s hit a few bumps along the way (including the 1936
Flood Control Act that channelized it with concrete walls) —
but now, you not only can get to the re-wilded parts of the Los
Angeles River, but you can get onto them, too (for a part of
Beaches were closed on Tuesday from the Mexico border to
Coronado as rain flushed sewage-contaminated runoff from
Tijuana into the San Diego region. “Things have gotten worse
than ever,” said Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina.
One day after President Trump tweeted his support, Senate
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is expected to take
steps today to bring to the floor legislation that would
permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund and
address the national parks maintenance backlog, senators said.
… Trump’s tweet was an election-year about-face from his
latest budget proposal, which recommended virtually eliminating
the popular, bipartisan program.
The San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board issued an
investigative order in February that requires more monitoring
of sewage-tainted cross-border flows. The order requires the
International Boundary and Water Commission to monitor more
than a dozen locations over an 18-month period.
A warming planet has major ramifications on winter snowpack
across the globe, including a long-term drying trend for many.
That’s a concern for winter sports enthusiasts and communities
that depend on snow throughout the year.