In general, regulations are rules or laws designed to control or
govern conduct. Specifically, water quality regulations under the
federal and state Clean Water Act “protect the public health or
welfare, enhance the quality of water and serve the purposes of
The Bureau of Reclamation released a summary report providing
an assessment of climate change impacts to water uses in the
West, including adding a new set of West-wide information based
on paleohydrology. The Water Reliability in the West – 2021
SECURE Water Act Report discusses changes and innovative
actions across the eight basins identified in the SECURE Water
Rivers may seem like immutable features of the landscape but
they are in fact changing color over time …The overall
significance of the changes are unclear and could reflect
various ways in which humans are impacting the environment,
said lead author John Gardner, an assistant professor of
geology and environmental science at the University of
Pittsburgh. One stark example from the study of rapid color
change is Lake Mead along the Colorado River.
To help you learn more about the importance of groundwater, the
Water Education Foundation has an array of educational
materials on this vital resource. And next week, the
Foundation’s online magazine, Western Water news, will
publish a special report examining how two local groundwater
agencies are taking different approaches to achieve
sustainability in the San Joaquin Valley, one of the most
critically overdrafted regions in the state.
California’s tussle with federal authorities over water
operations will get a second look under the new administration
of President Joe Biden. The 46th president plans to sign a
number of executive orders, including one that instructs agency
heads to review actions taken under President Donald Trump that
“were harmful to public health, damaging to the environment,
unsupported by the best available science, or otherwise not in
the national interest.” On the list for both the departments of
Commerce and Interior is a review of new biological opinions
adopted in 2019 governing water delivery in California.
The Sacramento County Superior Court recently issued a final
decision in San Joaquin Tributaries Authority v. California
State Water Resources Control Board, finding that the State
Water Resources Control Board (State Board) is not authorized
to adopt a state-level water quality control plan for waters
that are not classified as waters of the United States. As
a result, the State Board is prohibited from applying the Water
Quality Control Plan for Inland Surface Waters and Enclosed
Bays and Estuaries of California (Inland Surface Waters WQCP)
to wetlands that do not meet the federal definition of waters
of the United States.
Vicky Espinoza is on a mission. Vicky is passionate about
making sure rural, low-income communities and small-scale
farmers have a say in land-use and water-management decisions
in the San Joaquin Valley.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Monday, as part
of a 12-state coalition, submitted comments to the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) arguing that its new
draft guidance misinterprets the U.S. Supreme Court’s
decision in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund… In
the comment letter, the coalition argues that the EPA’s draft
guidance tips the scales in favor of polluters by providing
them with additional arguments to avoid regulation under the
Clean Water Act, contravenes the purpose of the
Act, and conflicts with the Court’s decision
in County of Maui.
The $227 billion budget proposed on Friday by Gov. Gavin Newsom
includes $4.1 billion in spending on a suite of environmental
initiatives meant to fight climate change, gird California
against devastating wildfires, reduce smog, and bolster the
adoption of clean vehicles on the state’s roads.
With so much going on in the world right now, why should water
be a priority for the Biden administration? The fact is that
water challenges in the U.S. are severe and worsening. In
November, we hosted a webinar on our recommendations for the
next administration, taking audience questions on topics
ranging from the nation’s outdated infrastructure to the threat
to national security from rising international conflict over
water. Read on for our answers to some of these questions.
The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection announced that
$1 million in Clean Water Act grant funds provided by the U.S
Environmental Protection Agency will be used to complete 11
projects, including two in Lake Tahoe, to reduce “nonpoint
source pollution” and improve water quality across the state.
Cooperation between California and the federal government was
at a low ebb over the past four years. With a new
administration in the nation’s capital, what should be top
water priorities for collaboration between the state and the
federal government? The PPIC Water Policy Center recently
discussed this issue with a diverse group of experts.
After three decades of water wars in Southern California,
policy experts hope a new era in collaborative management will
offer inspiration for the ongoing and complex negotiations over
Colorado River allocations amid a historic and deepening
drought. “Those lessons need to catapult us forward,” said
Patricia Mulroy, former head of the Southern Nevada Water
Authority, during the fall meeting for the Association of
California Water Agencies in December. “These states, these
constituencies, these communities cannot afford for these
discussions to crater. Failure is not an option.”
Today, the Bureau of Reclamation announces the finalization of
the Municipal and Industrial Water Rate-setting Policy for
Central Valley Project water contractors. This accomplishment
provides agreement between CVP contractors, Reclamation, and
the Department of the Interior regarding the recovery of the
CVP cost for M&I water users.
The Center for Biological Diversity filed a formal notice of
its intent to sue outgoing Interior Secretary David Bernhardt
for delaying protection for 11 species that have been
identified as warranting endangered status but placed on a
candidate list instead. The species that have been kept waiting
for protection are the monarch butterfly, eastern gopher
tortoise, Peñasco least chipmunk, longfin smelt, Colorado Delta
clam, three Texas mussels, magnificent ramshorn snail, bracted
twistflower and northern spotted owl.
Since the Clean Water Act passed in 1972, the assumption has
been that all waterways are protected from pollution… But the
Trump administration has managed to successfully chip away at
environmental protections in the US, including actions like
2020’s implementation of the Navigable Waters Protection Rule.
The rule redefined which waterways are under the jurisdiction
of and protected by the Clean Water Act, omitting many wetlands
and non-perennial water sources, which means some areas of the
country are impacted more than others.
The EPA did issue a draft guidance memorandum relating to the
County of Maui decision, notice of which was published in the
Federal Register on December 10, 2020. However, instead of
clarifying the seven criteria stated by the Court in County of
Maui or the application of those criteria, the EPA took seven
and half pages to state three truisms and added an additional
criteria not stated in the Court’s decision bringing the total
number of factors to consider in determining whether a
discharge to ground water is the functional equivalent of a
discharge to navigable waters to eight.
Michael Raymond Plaziak, a water program expert and geologist
with a wide range of experience in water issues in both the
military and public sector, has been appointed executive
officer of the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board.
Plaziak, who has been serving as acting executive officer at
the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board, stepped into
his new role Dec. 14. He replaces former long-time executive
officer Patty Kouyoumdjian, who retired Aug. 21.
Now that the calendar has flipped to January 2021, it’s time to
say goodbye to the mess of the past year, yes? … The
pandemic’s economic dislocation continues to reverberate among
those who lost work. Severe weather boosted by a warming
climate is leaving its mark in the watersheds of the Southwest
[including the Colorado River]. And President-elect Biden will
take office looking to undo much of his predecessor’s legacy of
environmental deregulation while also writing his own narrative
on issues of climate, infrastructure, and social
justice….Litigation over toxic PFAS compounds found in
rivers, lakes, and groundwater is already active. Lawsuits are
likely to continue at a brisk pace…
The Sacramento Superior Court delivered a serious blow to
California’s regulatory program for the protection of wetlands
and other waters of the State. The State’s wetland protection
program (commonly known as the “Procedures”), which became
effective in May, was intended to create a regulatory structure
to fill the gap left by recent Trump administration regulations
that dramatically narrowed Federal wetland protections.
Ironically, the court’s order prohibits the State of California
from applying the Procedures to any waters other than those
already protected by Federal law, thus leaving in place the
very regulatory gap that the Procedures were intended to fill.
Interior Secretary David Bernhardt started off 2020 empowering
his most controversial public lands deputy, a move that a
federal judge later deemed “unlawful.” He’s ending the year in
quarantine, having tested positive for COVID-19. In between
these bleak-sounding bookends, the 51-year-old Bernhardt
rewrote how the Interior Department works. While the results
get mixed reviews, and in some cases may get erased by the
incoming Biden administration, 2020 was undeniably
consequential for the department.
A new habitat definition has been finalized by the U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the National Marine Fisheries
Service. The final rule dictating how a habitat is determined
will be used for identifying critical habitat under the
Endangered Species Act (ESA). The updated definition will go
into effect in 2021. There had previously not been a clear and
decisive definition outlining what is to be considered a
habitat under the ESA.
The new Biden administration could take action on the Colorado
River that would go well beyond the president-elect’s term in
office. The week of Dec. 14, the seven states that are part of
the Colorado River Compact began the first step for
renegotiating guidelines that will decide how much water the
three lower basin states and Mexico will get from Lake Mead, on
the Arizona-Nevada border, and from Mead’s source, the Colorado
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra joined a coalition
of 15 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in the U.S.
District Court for the District of Massachusetts in support of
a lawsuit by environmental organizations challenging the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers rule redefining “waters of the United States” under
the Clean Water Act.
Water—it’s an issue that can be all-consuming for a lawyer, and
for much of Alf W. Brandt’s career it seemed that way. Some
geo-pundits believe the next major war will be fought over
water, not oil. At the very least, its use or misuse can divide
even the most civil community. Which shouldn’t be the case,
Brandt emphasizes while taking on a philosopher’s tone during
an autumn interview with Vanguard.
President-elect Joe Biden will nominate Deb Haaland, the
freshman representative from New Mexico, to lead the Interior
Department, making history by selecting the first Native
American to oversee the agency that manages millions of acres
of federal land and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, according to
a person familiar with the decision.
The U.S. Department of Energy has finalized two new rules that
offer a win to President Trump in his personal crusade to roll
back water efficiency standards on appliances like showerheads.
Trump frequently has bemoaned what he views as insufficient
water pressure with newer appliances. The new rules, announced
Tuesday, loosen water regulations on showerheads and for
washers and dryers. The Trump administration heralded the
standards as a victory for the “quality of life” of Americans.
California has many small systems compared to other states.
However, California has about the same percentage of
underperforming small systems with problems delivering safe
water as most other states. Thus, the lessons learned from
characterizing and solving the problems in California may be
transferable to other regions, nationally and internationally.
President-elect Joe Biden has tapped Deb Haaland, a Democratic
congresswoman from New Mexico, to serve as the first Native
American interior secretary in a historic pick for a department
that oversees the country’s vast natural resources, including
PG&E has agreed to pay $5.9 million to a local nonprofit as
part of a tentative settlement between the company and water
regulators that resolves a long-running investigation into
Diablo Canyon Power Plant and its cooling system’s impact on
the marine environment. The draft settlement is the result of
more than 20 years of investigation and monitoring at the
nuclear power plant site.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced
that a California manufacturing company will pay $390,000 for
violations of the Clean Water Act. Parker-Hannifin of Oxnard
was found to be improperly discharging wastewater from its
membrane and filter manufacturing facility into the City of
Oxnard’s sewer system. As part of this settlement,
Parker-Hannifin will spend approximately $510,000 on equipment
upgrades at its facility.
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
The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is seeking
public feedback on its draft legislation to establish a set of
regulations to protect surface water statewide. The changes
implemented by the Trump administration earlier this year
dramatically curtailed the list of waters that fall under the
Clean Water Act, excluding a vast number of streams, washes and
creeks from federal pollution protection. Importantly for arid
Arizona, ephemeral waters – those that only flow after rain or
snow – are no longer protected.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine
Fisheries Service have finalized a regulatory definition of the
term “habitat” that will be used for designating critical
habitat under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The definition
is part of the efforts of the Trump Administration to balance
effective, science-based conservation with common-sense policy
designed to bring the ESA into the 21st century.
The Washington parlor game has revved up as more candidates are
in the mix to be President-elect Joe Biden’s EPA administrator.
Mary Nichols, the outgoing chair of the California Air
Resources Board, has been considered a top contender for
Biden’s EPA administrator. She, however, has faced opposition
from Republicans as well as from environmental justice groups
in her state.
Cástulo Estrada, vice president of the board of directors of
Coachella Valley Water District, has been reappointed to the
Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund Advisory Group, as
announced by the State Water Resources Control Board.
EPA’s recent draft guidance memorandum on applying the Supreme
Court’s decision in County of Maui v. Hawai’i Wildlife Fund
provides little clarity for determining when a release to
groundwater is the “functional equivalent” of a direct
discharge such that it requires an NPDES permit. Instead, the
guidance largely stresses how the Maui decision did not
fundamentally change permitting under the Clean Water
Act, while explaining how permit writers might consider
system design and performance in assessing functional
Representatives from the Yuba Water Agency plan to meet with
members of the State Water Resources Control Board to discuss
certain requirements imposed by a recent water quality
certification that is expected to cost the agency anywhere from
$500 million to $1 billion to implement in order to continue
operations along the Yuba River, which resulted in Yuba Water
filing a lawsuit in both state and federal court in November.
The company behind a luxury resort and residential project near
Healdsburg is facing a $6.4 million fine over dozens of alleged
water quality violations involving streams that feed into the
Russian River, according to state water officials.
Defending the decision to give farm irrigation districts
permanent access to low-cost, federally pumped water in
California, a Justice Department lawyer urged a federal judge
to flush a Native American tribe’s lawsuit against the endless
entitlements. The Hoopa Valley Tribe sued the U.S. Bureau of
Reclamation in August, claiming the Trump administration’s
conversion of 14 time-limited contracts for Central Valley
Project water into permanent deals violated a host of federal
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Tuesday released a
draft guidance that interprets a Supreme Court decision in a
way that may exempt some facilities from needing permits to
pollute groundwater. The EPA’s new draft guidance says
that whether a pollution discharge into groundwater should be
considered a “functional equivalent” depends on “what happens
to the discharged pollutant over that time and distance
traveled” to the regulated body of water.
Seeking to overturn a federal district court determination that
the Cargill salt ponds in Redwood City are covered by federal
Clean Water Act protections, the Environmental Protection
Agency under the Trump administration and Cargill Inc.
representatives filed appeals to the ruling this week.
Shortly after the networks called the 2020 presidential race
for Joe Biden, a list of four priorities appeared on the
president-elect’s transition website. Certain observers noticed
a common thread — an undercurrent, if you will — that knitted
these priorities together: water. Water, which washes hands
during the pandemic. Water, which is needed for factories to
produce goods, farms to grow crops, and cities to reboot.
Water, which has sometimes been denied to communities of color
or delivered in polluted form. And water, which is how a
warming planet will wreak much of its havoc.
The Trump administration made a splash last month announcing it
was moving ahead with enlarging one of California’s largest
dams to provide the drought-stricken state’s farmers more
water. But state officials and conservationists have another
message for the outgoing administration: Not so fast. The
Bureau of Reclamation on Nov. 20 finished its environmental
review of raising the 600-foot Shasta Dam in Northern
California by 18.5 feet. It would be the Trump administration’s
largest water infrastructure project…
The State Water Resources Control Board approved a
comprehensive plan to ensure lab testing and analysis for
toxicity in waterways are completed using the same protocols
and standards statewide. This will help address toxicity in
California’s waterways and significantly improve protections
for fish and other aquatic life.
On October 7 California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered the state
to create a new California Biodiversity Collaborative and
conserve 30 percent of its land and coastal waters by 2030. Now
comes the hard part: figuring out which 30 percent of
California, and making it clear what it means to truly
Several former Obama EPA and Interior Department officials on
President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team bring with them
deep expertise in water policy that could come in handy as the
incoming administration plots policy goals and actions to undo
Trump administration rollbacks.
California oil regulators ignored their own regulations and
issued improper permits for hundreds of new wells last year,
according to an audit … finalized this week. … The audit
was requested after stories in The Desert Sun
revealed that CalGEM employees used so-called “dummy”
folders to approve new injection wells for
several oil companies that do risky steam injection.
If an options agreement between the [Ridgecrest] City Council
and Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority comes to
fruition, recycled water from the city’s wastewater facility
could help balance the groundwater basin… Both the council
and the groundwater authorities at their respective meetings
last week approved the option agreement between the two parties
for recycled wastewater.
While Republican members of Congress praised the most recent
step toward approving raising the height of Shasta Dam, fishing
and environmental groups criticized it as the illegal actions
of a “lame duck federal agency.”
Joining a growing list, Turlock and Modesto Irrigation
Districts filed a Petition with the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission asking that the commission find that the State of
California has waived certification under the Clean Water Act.
… The Districts are seeking a new FERC license for two
hydropower projects on the Tuolumne River, the Don Pedro
Project and the La Grange Project.
Things got a little wild at the San Diego County Water
Authority meeting last week when its 36 directors argued over
whether they should spend more money studying a controversial
$5 billion pipeline to the Colorado River. Outrage after
leaders apparently skipped over female directors waiting to add
comments during a discussion period sparked some to change
their vote on the matter.
By burning and brushing, nurturing important plants and
keeping lands around their homes clear of dead brush and
debris, Native peoples carefully stewarded the lands to sustain
the biodiverse ecologies California is known for. Their
work resulted in a richly productive landscape that provided
food and habitat for not only humans but many land, air and
water animals. That included the salmon, a staple of tribes in
the West for millennia. All that changed when California became
a U.S. state in 1850.
A recent exchange of letters between a public utility and a
state water authority highlights the continued stalemate in the
effort by the Monterey Peninsula to develop a new water supply
and end the overdrafting of the Carmel River.
As it explores a potential state role in funding conveyance
projects, the Commission seeks public input on criteria for
assessing resilience, public benefits of conveyance, and
financing mechanisms. The workshops are not associated with the
proposal to improve conveyance through the Sacramento-San
In September, Tucson declared a climate emergency, setting
the ambitious goal of going carbon neutral by 2030. The desert
city has gradually implemented policies over the past decade to
further rainwater harvesting with the aim of bolstering
conservation, lowering water bills and creating more green
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has received 67
letters of interest in response to the agency’s 2020 Water
Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act Notice of Funding
Availability. A total of $9.2 billion was requested this year —
the largest amount ever requested through the WIFIA program.
It will take months if not longer for the new administration to
substitute its own environmental regulations for Trump’s rules
on air, water, land stewardship and other issues. Meanwhile,
groups aligned with the Trump administration plan on continuing
If you look up into [San Joaquin] Valley skies this week and
see a large, oddly shaped device hanging from a helicopter,
don’t be alarmed. It’s part of a research project to map
underground water supplies. Beginning Monday, flyovers are
expected in areas west and south of Fresno – including Fowler,
Kingsburg, Lemon Cove, Orange Cove, Orosi, Parlier, Piedra,
Reedley, Sanger, Selma, Woodlake.
What are key California water priorities for the coming year,
in light of ongoing disruptions from the pandemic, the
recession, lingering drought, and a record-breaking fire
season? The PPIC Water Policy Center brought together three
panels of experts to discuss possibilities at our annual water
The Department of Water Resources recently published a summary
report of a comprehensive needs assessment of safety at
Oroville Dam. It comes after the reconstruction of the
spillways that were damaged and failed in 2017.
Property owners in the Sonoma Valley generally receive property
tax bills in early October, which includes a lengthy list of
percentages levied for various bonds, and direct charges for
district fees such as fire, health care and the Sonoma Valley
County Sanitation District. But for the third time in seven
years, said Sonoma resident Scott Pace, that sanitation
district charge has been inaccurate.
Twenty years ago, the Colorado River’s hydrology began tumbling
into a historically bad stretch. … So key players across
seven states, including California, came together in 2005 to
attack the problem. The result was a set of Interim Guidelines
adopted in 2007… Stressing flexibility instead of rigidity,
the guidelines stabilized water deliveries in a
drought-stressed system and prevented a dreaded shortage
declaration by the federal government that would have forced
water supply cuts.
The Paradise Irrigation District was told on Thursday morning
that the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services
agreed that the district’s request that its Reservoir B
Replacement project qualifies for Federal Emergency Management
Agency funding as it relates to the Camp Fire. The reservoir
was damaged in the fire.
After decades of new and deeper wells, degraded water quality
and groundwater level declines, residents in the [Madera] area
have a chance to influence how local groundwater will be
managed and used for decades to come — and the deadline to
participate is quickly approaching.
A proposed dam in California’s Central Valley is billed as a
vital agricultural resource. But conservationists say it would
also flood important cultural and recreational sites for
surrounding communities and destroy wildlife habitat.
On Nov. 17, California, Oregon, PacifiCorp, and the Yurok and
Karuk Tribes announced a new agreement with the Klamath River
Renewal Corporation to reaffirm KRRC’s status as dam removal
entity and provide additional funding for the removal of four
hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River. The agreement is the
latest development in a decade-long effort…
Westlands Water District announced Wednesday that it recently
completed the Lower Yolo Restoration Project, which restored
the habitat for fish and other wildlife species in part of the
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. … The land had been previously
used for cattle grazing, and now it has transformed into tidal
marsh, riparian and upland buffer habitat.
The Trump Administration Thursday released the Shasta Lake
Water Resources Investigation Final Supplemental Environmental
Impact Statement to increase water storage capacity in the
Shasta Lake reservoir by 634,000 acre-feet,
Fewer properties over the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin will be
subject to severe water restrictions after the San Luis Obispo
County Board of Supervisors voted on Nov. 17 to revise the
basin’s “area of severe decline,” eliminating roughly 37,000
A Biden administration won’t be able to untangle the legal and
regulatory “mess” under part of the Clean Water Act that
determines which streams, wetlands and other waters get federal
protection, legal scholars and litigators say.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District and its
partner, the California Department of Parks and Recreation,
Angeles District, are one step closer on a project to restore
Malibu Creek’s ecosystem after receiving support from the
Corps’ top brass.
Two key projects that the bond measure was passed to help fund,
Sites Reservoir and Temperance Flat Reservoir, have stalled.
Without the public breathing down their neck in a severe
drought, the state has managed to treat the reservoirs as back
America’s largest dam removal project has been brought back to
life with a new agreement among California, Oregon, tribes and
a utility owned by billionaire Warren Buffett. The decadeslong
effort to remove four dams on the Klamath River in Northern
California that have had a devastating impact on salmon runs
had appeared in danger following an unexpected July regulatory
Grant Reynolds, a director of Water Audit California, delivered
a letter to the city on Monday criticizing its use of the
Stonebridge wells for municipal use and “a pattern of
exercising no discretion” in issuing permits for new wells.
The rule change, which goes into effect Thursday, gives Forest
Service officials authority to use loopholes called categorical
exclusions to bypass NEPA requirements. Categorical exclusions
are projects deemed to have no environmental impact, and as the
rule is written, they can be applied across the nearly 200
million acres of forest that the Forest Service
manages…Forests are a source of drinking water for more than
150 million people.
An annual search for a tiny endangered and contentious fish in
the sprawling California Delta has once again come up empty.
The state’s annual Fall Midwater Trawl found no Delta smelt in
September’s sampling of the critical waterway. … Hoping to
reverse the trend, Westlands Water District and the California
Department of Water Resources announced completion of a Delta
habitat restoration project on Wednesday.
In the weeks before the coronavirus began tearing through
California, the city of Commerce made an expensive decision: It
shut down part of its water supply. Like nearly 150 other
public water systems in California, the small city on the
outskirts of Los Angeles had detected “forever chemicals” in
its well water.
Children and staff at Westside Elementary School in Thermal
have had to rely on bottled water due to issues from an aging
well. But change is here. Thanks to a $880,155 grant from
the Safe and Affordable Funding for Equity and Resilience
(SAFER) program, a consolidation project recently broke ground,
granting Westside Elementary access to the Coachella Valley
Water District and a reliable source of clean water.
Gov. Gavin Newsom and his Oregon counterpart signed a landmark
deal Tuesday to take control of four aging dams targeted for
removal on the Lower Klamath River, an agreement designed to
push the controversial $450 million plan over the finish line.
… The agreement “ensures that we have sufficient backing” to
get the four dams demolished, said Chuck Bonham, director of
the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The U.S. EPA’s water infrastructure financing programs would be
in line for approximately level funding next year under a plan
for FY21 appropriations released by Senate Republicans last
week. … The Republicans’ proposal would provide EPA with just
under $9.1 billion next year, roughly in line with the agency’s
The incoming Biden administration is widely expected to undo
President Trump’s regulatory rollbacks on a range of water
rules including stream and wetland protections, drinking water
contamination, and the permitting of controversial energy and
Bear Republic Brewing Company started by trucking three
6,000-gallon trucks of waste from the Cloverdale brewery
location to a facility in Oakland roughly 90 miles away
one-way. This solution was simply unsustainable for many
reasons, and Bear Republic eventually partnered with Cambrian
Innovation to install two anaerobic reactors on site.
Plans to regulate groundwater for the first time ever in the
Ukiah Valley Basin are moving forward. And though the details
are wonky and a little esoteric, the results could affect water
and ag policy for years to come. Last week, the Ukiah Valley
Basin Groundwater Sustainability Agency discussed how their
mammoth project of sustainably managing the groundwater is
The COVID-19 pandemic and related economic turbulence forced
the state legislature and Governor Newsom to make tough
decisions this year about which issues to prioritize and which
to sideline. … Despite the challenging circumstances, several
high-priority bills covering safe drinking water and wildfire
risk reduction were enacted.
A helicopter making low-level passes over the Santa Ynez Valley
towing a large hexagonal frame is using a technology first
developed in World War II to peer as far as 1,400 feet below
the surface to map the groundwater basin.
The last three administrations have been active in Klamath
Basin issues regardless of political party. Negotiations for a
basin-wide agreement began under the Bush Administration and
continued under the Obama Administration until faltering in the
House of Representatives — though each president’s approach has
varied. Dan Keppen, executive director of the Family Farm
Alliance, said Biden’s experience in the Obama Administration
could prove an asset, if he brings a similar approach.
California sees itself as a national leader in the fight
against climate change, especially during the Trump
administration. Now, postelection, green advocates see the
state as a guidebook President-elect Joe Biden can follow.
The Yuba Water Agency is in the process of applying for a new
license to continue its hydroelectric operations along the Yuba
River, but agency leaders say some requirements issued by the
State Water Resources Control Board threaten the effort by
making it too costly. The agency filed lawsuits in state and
federal court Friday to essentially vacate the state board’s
requirements to obtain what is called a water quality
The Ridgecrest City Council Nov. 18 will discuss entering into
an agreement with the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority
regarding treated wastewater. … The agreement would be for
five years, during which the city would provide for sale to the
IWVGA available recycled water produced at its wastewater
treatment plant upon 30-day notice to the city.
Removal of the 90-year-old Rindge Dam from Malibu Canyon — a
long-anticipated, multi-million-dollar project — moved a
crucial step closer to reality on Friday, Nov. 13, when the
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced the project’s report was
signed and sent to Congress for funding.
A new order from Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, published
Friday afternoon, would, among other things, essentially give
state and local jurisdictions veto power over how communities
spend and match grants through the Land and Water Conservation
Fund, which funds access to recreation in states and federal
“Probably water allocation and climate change would be the two
big pivots and increased opportunity for collaboration between
California and the federal government after 4 years of
conflicts and really outright warfare,” said Rick Frank, a
former California chief deputy attorney general. He is now a
professor at UC Davis law school.
The Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District recently
ruled that a plaintiff challenging the method that a special
district uses to calculate rates in a judicial action need not
first present her evidence at the Proposition 218 public
hearing regarding an increase in the rates.
The Tulare County Farm Bureau presented a check for $65,000 to
Ben Curti and Tessa Hall of Curtimade Dairy to assist in their
legal fees as they defend against accusations of groundwater
pollution from the city of Corcoran…
As chair of the California State Water Resources Control Board,
Felicia Marcus had to confront the issue directly. Marcus, who
is now the William C. Landreth Visiting Fellow at Stanford’s
Water in the West program, headed the EPA’s Southwest Region
under President Bill Clinton. … Here are her answers about
what has been done and what still needs to be done to untangle
the physical, financial and political barriers blocking fair
access to clean drinking water in California.
The Army Corps of Engineers … is considering another rule
change that would also shrink federal protection of small
streams, ecologists and lawyers say. The Corps said in its
proposal it is acting in response to the president’s order to
review regulations that burden energy development. Some of the
proposed changes will have essentially the same consequence as
the Trump administration’s contraction of the Clean Water
A first-of-its kind law set up a new fund and program to
improve access to safe and affordable drinking water in
communities like East Orosi. … But according to a new report
from the state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office, the road ahead
is long — and expensive.
On July 28, Gov. Newsom issued the final water resilience
portfolio which calls for actions to meet California water
needs through the 21st Century. Specifically, Action 19.4
directs the Water Commission to assess the state’s role in
financing conveyance projects that could help meet needs in a
changing climate. At their October meeting, commissioners began
the work set out for them in the portfolio…
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
A 19-month study of the safety of the Oroville Dam project has
found no “unacceptable risks.” The Department of Water
Resources released its Comprehensive Needs Assessment on Oct.
30, and notes its findings generally agree with those of an
Independent Review Board and a regular five-year review by the
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission…
The Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District agreed on Thursday to
send a draft of an agreement to the Cher-Ae Heights Indian
Community of the Trinidad Rancheria to pursue a feasibility
study for an extension of water service. The tribe made the
request after the California Coastal Commission deemed the
tribe’s water supply inadequate for the proposed multi-story
Hyatt hotel at the Cher-Ae Heights Casino.
The public can finally get a look at how Madera officials plan
to correct severe groundwater over pumping and replenish
aquifers in that area. For some farmers, that correction will
mean pumping limits of up to 50 percent from what’s allowed
We’ve identified five priorities for the Biden-Harris
administration and Congress in our 2021 Blueprint for Action.
While some of these priorities can be accomplished by the new
administration itself, many will require congressional action.
Despite federal and state water quality standards, over one
million Californians currently lack access to safe drinking
water. This is primarily because these residents receive their
water from systems and domestic wells that do not consistently
meet those established standards….Our review finds that SWRCB
has shown positive progress in its initial year of
administering the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water (SADW)
Fund and implementing SB 200.
The EPA under a future Biden administration is expected to
quickly move to set regulations on “forever chemicals” in water
and other areas, but not to restrict the entire group of
thousands of the substances, attorneys said in recent
Tanya’s a New Mexican, former chief counsel to the New Mexico
Interstate Stream Commission, and current member of the
commission. She served as a legislative aide to New Mexico Sen.
Jeff Bingaman, in Interior in the Officer of Water and Science,
and as executive director of the Colorado River Board of
To protect smelt and salmon, there need to be reasonable water
temperature standards in the Delta. The existing water
temperature standard in the lower Sacramento River above the
Delta is 68oF, but managers of the state and federal water
projects pay it almost no heed.
Dow Chemical Company and Shell Oil Company have been hit with a
lawsuit by the central California county of Madera alleging
they knowingly polluted Madera’s drinking water wells by
manufacturing and selling fumigants, used in agricultural
fields, laced with a toxic chemical.
The Metropolitan Water District board voted to begin
environmental planning work on what would be one of the largest
advanced purified wastewater treatment plants in the world.
Metropolitan officials said the approval marks a significant
milestone for the Regional Recycled Water Program…
Napa County has achieved a degree of peace – at least for now –
over big ideas involving water governance and how possible
changes might affect farmland preservation. Some finessing of
language paved the way for the Local Agency Formation
Commission of Napa County (LAFCO) to adopt a Napa Countywide
Water and Wastewater study.
A decade ago, the State Water Resources Control Board decreed
that electricity providers had to stop using water to cool
their generating plants. … But fulfilling that edict could
cause water quality in Alamitos Bay to go very bad very
Private wells in the central San Joaquin Valley are at risk of
water quality issues, failing equipment and declining
groundwater supplies. To help residents address these concerns,
The Fresno Bee contacted public officials, water advocates and
other experts to answer frequently asked questions about common
California’s war with Washington over the environment will soon
come to an end. … President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to
act quickly to restore and strengthen dozens of protections on
public lands, water and wildlife. In addition, California’s
efforts to fight climate change will no longer face hurdles put
up by the White House, which has downplayed the global threat.
Why are our food producers, including many century-old family
farms with 100-year-old water rights, facing a shortage of
water? Because we drain Oregon’s largest lake to artificially
increase water supply in California.
Managing water resources in the Colorado River Basin is not for
the timid or those unaccustomed to big challenges. … For more
than 30 years, Terry Fulp, director of the Bureau of
Reclamation’s Lower Colorado Basin Region, has been in the
thick of it, applying his knowledge, expertise and calm
demeanor to inform and broker key decisions that have helped
stabilize the Southwest’s major water artery.
AWWA has released three new resources about per- and
polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to support water systems’
information needs and ability to educate the public and policy
makers about issues related to PFAS in drinking water.
The California Coastal Commission has been issuing policy
guidelines for sea level rise for the last six years. … The
commission is now taking the first steps toward rethinking some
of its current policies and looking at the state as a whole,
realizing that one size does not fit all when it comes to ways
of adapting to sea level rise.
Clarity on which wetlands and waterways count as “waters of the
U.S.” or WOTUS, subject to federal oversight, has been elusive
for years. … Trump officials’ narrow definition … is facing
lawsuits in a half-dozen federal courts. New litigation is
guaranteed if Biden officials attempt to revert to the
Obama-era rule or craft their own program.
There could be lead in your tap water. There could be PFAS in
your bottled water. Microplastics might be in both. Do you
choose neurotoxic heavy metals or carcinogenic “forever
chemicals”? That’s the predicament facing Americans every time
they take a drink of water. … There are no EPA or FDA
standards for microplastics in drinking water, though
California decided to start monitoring for microplastics by
Recently the Santa Clarita Planning Commission approved a
project that would qualify as “backward planning”: planning
that pays no attention to modern issues, instead using methods
long abandoned by others. To me, as a member of the local
Groundwater Sustainability Advisory Committee, the worst of
these is the plan to concrete a portion of Bouquet Creek along
with the groundwater recharge areas on the property.
A 2007 deal creating guidelines governing how Lake Powell and
Lake Mead are operated in coordination isn’t scheduled to
expire until 2026. But water officials in Colorado River Basin
states are already beginning to talk about the renegotiations
that will be undertaken to decide what succeeds the 2007
California American Water has re-filed its desalination project
permit application less than two months after withdrawing it on
the eve of a special Coastal Commission meeting. While the
company made changes to its desal project proposal in the
re-filed application, it has not yet met with Marina city
officials to resolve the issues prompting the city to oppose
Water monitoring data collected in 2010–15 show that more than
7 million people in the US across 27 states had
utility-supplied tap water that had detectable 1,4-dioxane,
according to the Environmental Working Group. The problem of
1,4-dioxane pollution isn’t unique to the US. However, the US
situation reveals a number of regulatory barriers. There is no
federal limit on 1,4-dioxane in drinking water. And getting it
out of water is challenging.
Voluntary agreements have been proposed as a collaborative,
modern and holistic alternative to the State Water Resources
Control Board’s staff proposed update to the Bay-Delta Water
Quality Control Plan. … Westlands and other public water
agencies are eager to reengage in the process to finalize the
voluntary agreements, as they offer the best path forward for
After more than a decade of East Orosi residents struggling
without clean drinking water, the State Water Board on Tuesday
took a huge and critically necessary step by issuing a
mandatory consolidation order for a neighboring district to
connect East Orosi to safe water, ushering in the long-overdue
promise of safe drinking water for the marginalized Tulare
Dairy producers will need to be mindful of enforcement actions
from the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board.
Paul Sousa of Western United Dairies said enforcement typically
occurs during the rainy season. Enforcement actions have been
taken on six California dairies.
ACWA and a coalition of local government associations filed
an amicus curiae letter on Tuesday with the
California Supreme Court requesting depublication of a recent
state appellate court opinion addressing the responsibilities
of a plaintiff prior to challenging the rates of a utility in
Raising salmon in the desert seems like an unlikely mission,
but that is exactly what Norwegian-based West Coast Salmon AS
intends to do. The company announced in early October it had
secured a first round of financing for a land-based Atlantic
salmon farm facility south of Winnemucca near the
Humboldt/Pershing County line.
A declaration suit filed in Superior Court in Sacramento by
attorneys for some of the leading environmental groups in
America accuses the California Department of Water Resources of
trying to prevent anyone in California from filing a court
action challenging the bonds after the bond sales are underway.
Storage projects partially funded by Proposition 1 should help
the state balance the swings in precipitation that characterize
the California climate… Yet, six years after the bond’s
passage, the water storage projects that will benefit from
Proposition 1 likely remain at least a decade away from
Local leaders, farmers and others in the Central Valley report
additional progress in addressing salinity in surface water,
and salt and nitrates in groundwater, in compliance with a
program adopted last fall by the State Water Resources Control
Mexico is obligated under a 1944 treaty to deliver to the
United States a set amount of water from the Rio Grande and its
tributaries over a five-year period. … The last-minute
agreement signed Oct. 21 settles the conflict. Mexico will
transfer ownership of water stored in two border reservoirs to
the United States to make up the deficit.
After months of meetings and thoughtful review, the West Valley
Water District Board of Directors today adopted 10 major
reforms crafted with staff and vetted by department managers
that will deliver increased transparency, accountability and
savings for ratepayers.
The Bureau of Reclamation has once again proposed raising
Shasta Dam, which is already the largest reservoir in
California, after several proposals in the past decade. Each
time, it has faced fierce public opposition from state
government, environmentalists, locals and Native Americans.
The City of Fresno will start its one-day-a-week outdoor water
use schedule on Nov. 1 – and will remain in place through
March. Outdoor watering is considered watering areas such as
lawns, gardens, pools, and other items requiring irrigation or
Napa Sanitation District is marking a county-transfiguring
anniversary—it formed 75 years ago to turn the Napa River from
an “open cesspool” with raw sewage into a water recreation
draw. Signs of success abound.
Erin Brockovich, the longtime California water advocate, called
for people around the country to “show up” to their local
governments and demand cleaner water, speaking at a National
Press Club event Friday.
In a critical step for the proposed public takeover of
California American Water’s Monterey-area water system, the
Monterey Peninsula Water Management District’s board of
directors on Thursday night certified the final environmental
impact report for the effort.
Many who oppose the restoration project say it includes a plan
to install new infrastructure adjacent to the wetlands. “The
last thing we need when we are in a crisis of climate change is
to build new fossil fuel infrastructure,” said representatives
for The Sierra Club Ballona Wetlands Restoration Committee. And
who is investing in fossil fuel use? SoCalGas owns a natural
gas facility adjacent to the wetlands.
Should the public have access to documents that show why the
federal government changed its stance on the impact an EPA rule
would have on vulnerable species? That’s the question the
Supreme Court will set out to answer Monday in the case Fish
and Wildlife Service v. Sierra Club, which deals with a Freedom
of Information Act request for documents underpinning a 2014
rule for cooling water intake structures at power plants.
The California State Water Resources Control Board and a group
of environmental organizations each have filed a petition for
review with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit of
FERC orders finding that the Water Board waived its authority
under section 401 of the Clean Water Act to issue a water
quality certification in the ongoing relicensing of Merced
Irrigation District’s Merced River and Merced Falls Projects.
Launched in a post-World War II chemical boom, PFAS have slowly
made their way into water systems around the country. They flow
through reservoirs and faucets and bleed into aquifers and
irrigation systems that sustain crops and livestock that end up
on our plates.
If plastic pipes or tanks are melted, or even just heat up, or
loose pressure, drinking water can become contaminated. In the
case of Big Basin Water Co., the system lost water pressure and
much of its infrastructure was destroyed. That triggered the
State Water Resources Control Board and the Big Basin Water Co.
to put a Do Not Drink, Do Not Boil water advisory into effect.
After more than a decade of East Orosi residents struggling
without clean drinking water, the State Water Board on Tuesday
took a huge and critically necessary step by issuing a
mandatory consolidation order for a neighboring district to
connect East Orosi to safe water, ushering in the long-overdue
promise of safe drinking water for the marginalized Tulare
Judith Marshall joined the corps’ Portland office in 2011 to
manage several projects, including the agency’s 13 dams in the
Willamette River Basin. She quickly learned the corps was out
of compliance with several major environmental laws for
virtually all of them. She got nowhere when she raised her
concerns to her supervisors. Then she was harassed and bullied.
Now Marshall is blowing the whistle.
Cham-Cal, operator and owner of a facility in Garden Grove that
manufactures commercial truck accessories, used and stored
tetrachloroethene (PCE) in its vapor degreasing operation,
resulting in repeated discharges of the suspected
cancer-causing contaminant to soil and groundwater on
industrial property owned by Western Avenue Associates.
California passed the Human Right to Water in 2012,
acknowledging that every resident has a right to safe, clean,
and affordable drinking water. Both large and small water
systems struggle to provide safe drinking water; however, small
systems face the greatest challenges.
Lobbing another hurdle at California’s $16 billion plan to
tunnel underneath the West Coast’s largest estuary,
environmentalists on Thursday sued to freeze public funding for
the megaproject championed by Gov. Gavin Newsom. Led by Sierra
Club and the Center for Biological Diversity, a familiar
coalition of critics claim the cash-strapped state is pursuing
a “blank check” for a project that isn’t fully cooked.
When the Trump administration finalized a key water rule last
year, EPA said it considers current federal wetlands inventory
data unreliable. The Army Corps of Engineers apparently didn’t
get the memo.
At the Oct. 22 meeting of the Delta Stewardship Council, Delta
Watermaster Michael George gave a detailed presentation on
estimating water use in the Delta… He also discussed
implementation of the state’s policy of reducing reliance on
the Delta and provided updates on the preparations for the next
Environmental groups’ challenges to agricultural waste
discharge requirements for the eastern San Joaquin River
watershed have been denied by a judge in Sacramento, which a
California Farm Bureau Federation attorney described as a legal
victory for affected farmers and for farmers statewide.
If all you’ve ever seen of the Fresno River is through Madera
as you drive over it on Highway 99, you’d be forgiven for
thinking it’s just a weed-infested, shopping cart collector
rather than a real river. But there’s a lot to this unobtrusive
waterway, which just made history as the first river in 40
years about to go through a rights settlement under the State
Water Resources Control Board.
For weeks, a water dispute between the Mexican government and
Mexican farmers and between the United States and Mexico was
brewing and escalating. October 24 was the deadline by which
Mexico was supposed to have provided the United States with all
of the water from the Rio Grande it owes the United States
every five years. But this year’s expected water delivery set
off months-long protests…
At the October meeting of the California Water Commission,
Aaron Fakuda representing Temperance Flat Authority and Bill
Swanson, Principal Engineer with Stantec discussed the
project’s status with the Commission.
The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, or SGMA, was a
landmark legislation whose effects will be felt over the
decades that it is phased into implementation. With the long
time horizon it may be easy for some to lose sight of what’s
Protecting the health of California’s rivers, estuaries, and
wetlands has been the grandest—and perhaps thorniest—of the
many challenges facing the state’s water managers. The San
Joaquin River watershed, the state’s third largest and an
important water source for irrigating farmland in the San
Joaquin Valley, epitomizes this challenge. Yet California is
making progress here, bringing a glimmer of hope.
For decades it’s been done on a relatively small scale near
Bakersfield, and recent studies confirm it doesn’t threaten
crop safety. So why aren’t more local oil producers giving
farmers the briny water that comes up from the ground along
with oil? In a word, money.
If all goes according to plan, recycled water from the city’s
planned $45 to $60 million wastewater treatment facility may be
used to help balance the Indian Wells Valley groundwater basin
as mandated by the state’s Sustainable Groundwater Management
Catalina Island’s water utility wants to significantly increase
the rate it charges water users. This won’t happen immediately.
The process is long and technical. Visitors to Catalina may not
know it, but Southern California Edison provides water services
to the island.
I can see clearly the challenge ahead for implementation of the
Sustainable Groundwater Management Actcal act because I now
have first-hand experience with the kinds of water disputes
that can arise when the local parties involved are not given a
chance to work things out collaboratively.
Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved
applications to develop water quality standards by the Cabazon
Band of Mission Indians, the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of the Duck
Valley Indian Reservation, Karuk Tribe, Quartz Valley Indian
Reservation, San Carlos Apache Tribe, and Yerington Paiute
Tribe. This decision comes in the form of approvals of requests
by the tribes for “treatment in a similar manner as a state”
(TAS) under the federal Clean Water Act.
Members of local tribes, fishermen and conservationists are
calling on Warren Buffett to undam the Klamath. People across
the country joined members of the Karuk, Yurok, Klamath and
Hoopa Valley tribes on Friday for a day of action to get the
attention of Buffett, the owner of Pacific Power and the
Klamath River dams…
The desire for crystal clean water is one that the president
repeats frequently, even dating to his 2016 presidential
campaign. Immaculate water, he has also said. Clear water.
Beautiful water. But the focus on appearances is superficial,
according to a number of water advocates and analysts.
Revisions to environmental rules that the administration has
pursued during the first term of the Trump presidency will be
detrimental to the nation’s waters, they said.
Advocates and researchers warn that the way many local agencies
have interpreted the Sustainable Groundwater Management
Act overlooks the needs of disadvantaged communities who rely
on groundwater for their drinking water. Many are concerned
that households and communities could see their wells go dry in
the coming years, leaving them without access to safe and
affordable drinking water.
Virtual rallies will be held Friday at the utility’s
headquarters in Portland and in Buffett’s hometown of Omaha,
Neb., according to a Save California Salmon news release. A
rally will also be held in Seattle, home of the Bill and
Melinda Gates Foundation, the top shareholder in Buffett’s
Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate. Berkshire Hathaway Energy is
PacifiCorp’s parent company.
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…
Del Puerto Water District directors approved a final
environment study Wednesday on a 82,000 acre-foot reservoir
near Patterson. … The reservoir is proposed to increase
reliability of water deliveries to thirsty farms and improve
management of groundwater. The project in a canyon just west of
Patterson has stirred debate. It would inundate part of scenic
Del Puerto Canyon and raises fears the dam near Interstate 5
could fail, flooding the city of 23,000.
California lawmakers need to create a package of legislation
that limits multiple kinds of oil drilling, not just hydraulic
fracturing, if they want to respond effectively to the world’s
climate crisis, says state Sen. Henry Stern, D-Los Angeles, who
chairs the Natural Resources and Water Committee.
California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment
can list bisphenol A under the state’s Safe Drinking Water and
Toxic Enforcement Act despite challenges regarding the lack of
evidence of its harm to humans, a state appeals court said
Over-pumping of groundwater has caused domestic wells to go dry
in the San Joaquin Valley. Yet many of the first round of plans
prepared to comply with the Sustainable Groundwater Management
Act (SGMA) do not yet propose ways to address this problem. We
explored groundwater planning with three members of the
environmental justice community—Angela Islas of Self-Help
Enterprises, Justine Massey of the Community Water Center, and
Amanda Monaco of the Leadership Counsel for Justice and
Two lawsuits against a Kern County groundwater sustainability
agency show the potential implications for agriculture and
other businesses with historic, overlying water rights….”It’s
one of the first groundwater sustainability plans we’re seeing
that could wholly restrict agriculture in a water-poor area,
while ignoring overlying rights and preferring other,
non-agricultural users in the basin,” [the California Farm
Bureau Federation's Chris] Scheuring said.
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.
The Del Puerto Water District is set to vote Wednesday on
approving a final environmental impact study on a much-disputed
storage reservoir in western Stanislaus County. … According
to proponents, the reservoir storing up to 82,000 acre-feet
will provide more reliable water deliveries to farmers south of
the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta… Water pumped from the
nearby Delta-Mendota Canal would be stored behind the dam.
A national environmental organization is preparing to sue Gov.
Gavin Newsom’s administration for issuing new fracking permits,
including six approved on Friday, Kassie Siegel, director of
the Center for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute,
President Trump has added a false claim to his pitch to
“suburban women” — maintaining that his administration already
has delivered on his promises to speed up dishwashers and
improve sinks and showers. … But no new products are on the
market because of changes, and no proposals have fully made
their way through the regulatory process.
On Sept. 30, we sent a letter to state officials requesting
that restoration projects coming out of the Salton Sea
Management Program consider impacts on nearby communities. We
hope those officials will share in our vision of reforestation
and green spaces around the Salton Sea, see the benefits of
such projects in addressing the sea’s deteriorating
environmental conditions, and act with the same urgency.
The WIFIA Loan Program recently announced that it has reset the
interest rates on two undrawn loan commitments originally made
in mid-2018. The fixed rate on a $135 million loan to Orange
County Water District and a $614 million loan to San Diego
Public Facilities Financing Authority (PFFA) were reset
downward from about 3.1 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively,
to around 1 percent… Is this a big deal?
The report from UC Santa Barbara found that in 2019 an
estimated 4,000 metric tons – or 13.3 quadrillion fibers – were
released into California’s natural environment. The plastic
fibers, which are less than 5mm in length, are primarily shed
when we wash our yoga pants, stretchy jeans and fleece jackets
and can easily enter oceans and waterways.
Wildfires leave behind more than scorched earth and destroyed
homes: Rising smoke plumes can contain chemicals that disperse
not only into the air but in soil, water, indoor dust, and even
wildlife. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), a class of
more than 100 chemicals that can cause cancer and other
ailments, is one of those ingredients.
ACWA on Oct. 15 submitted “A Roadmap To Achieving the Voluntary
Agreements” to Gov. Gavin Newsom and top members of his
Administration that calls on the state to take the necessary
steps to re-engage on Voluntary Agreements regarding the
Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay-Delta and its tributaries.
It all started with a 2002 state law demanding quake-resilient
water delivery. Nearly $5 billion later, San Francisco has
retrofit the system from Hetch Hetchy to the city, just now
crossing the finish line on the shore of Lake Merced.
The report analyzes the environmental effects of Monterey
Peninsula Water Management District’s proposed buyout and
operation of the 40,000-customer Cal Am-owned system within the
district boundaries, including the proposed
6.4-million-gallon-per-day desalination plant and
For most of the past 48 years, the Clean Water Act produced
dramatic improvements in the quality of our nation’s rivers,
lakes and coastal waters. … Unfortunately, the Trump
administration’s unrelenting rollback of clean water
protections is stalling progress toward fixing these problems
and endangering a half-century’s worth of gains.
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.