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
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.
From the moment he took office, Gov. Gavin Newsom said he
wanted to bring peace to California’s water wars. But now, more
than a year later, most of the warring factions are united
against his plan for governing the Delta. Three of the most
powerful groups in California water sued the state this week
over Newsom’s two-month-old plan for the Sacramento-San Joaquin
A group of more than 80 members of Congress is pushing for the
inclusion of provisions to regulate a class of cancer-linked
chemicals in future stimulus legislation dealing with
infrastructure. The chemicals, known as PFAS, are also
sometimes called “forever chemicals” because of their
persistence in both the environment and the human body.
The EPA has been too busy responding to the deadly coronavirus
to work on its long-awaited proposal to manage huge volumes of
pathogen-infested sewage and stormwater during heavy rains, the
agency’s top wastewater official said Wednesday.
Some Klamath Project water users on Sunday and Monday protested
the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s use of water at the Link River
Dam, at one point voicing plans to stay near the dam until
Reclamation followed Oregon water law.
A proposed Pure Water Monterey expansion at the center of a
contentious debate over the future of the Monterey Peninsula’s
water supply hit a huge roadblock on Monday night, leaving its
future in serious doubt.
Fairness – or at least the perception of fairness – could play
a determining role in the future of California’s groundwater,
according to new research. The study, published in Society and
Natural Resources, evaluated 137 surveys of Yolo County farmers
to gauge their perceptions of fairness for groundwater
allocation strategies and dispute resolution options.
The mandated policy prohibits shutoffs for at least 60 days
following a delinquency and requires water providers to give
advanced written notice and make direct contact with the
residents before service can be discontinued. It also requires
water providers, such as cities, public utility districts and
community water systems provide for deferred payments,
alternate payment schedules, and an appeals process.
On the campaign trail in 2016, President Trump swung into
California’s agricultural hub and vowed to deliver more water
to the drought-ridden state’s farmers. … Three years into his
administration, Trump is now opening the floodgate to deliver
on that promise, setting up the most intense water war between
the federal government and California in the state’s history.
The Court decision introduces the concept of a “functional
equivalent of a direct discharge” as a guideline for when a
point source discharge must obtain a permit. It cites the case
of an injection well receiving pollutant discharge that then
travels a few feet through groundwater into navigable waters as
a clear case of “functional equivalent” to direct discharge.
Justice Brett Kavanaugh was one of six justices who said
permits are required if the pollution at issue amounted to the
“functional equivalent” of a direct discharge (Greenwire, April
23). But instead of just signing onto the majority opinion
written by Justice Stephen Breyer, Kavanaugh penned his own
concurrence saying he agreed with the majority opinion “in
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved $10 million to
help pay for water projects in the farmlands of central
Arizona, where growers are bracing for their supply of Colorado
River water to be shut off. But those funds, conditionally
awarded this month by the Natural Resources Conservation
Service, are still subject to negotiations between federal and
In February 2020, the Water Board adopted new, lower Response
Levels for PFOA and PFOS of 10 ppt and 40 ppt, respectively.
Four of wells previously sampled under the Water Board’s order
now had had PFOA levels above this newly adopted Response Level
of 10 ppt. Atascadero Mutual Water Company immediately took
these wells out of service.
Amid continuing debate over the role the proposed Pure Water
Monterey recycled water project expansion will play in the
Monterey Peninsula’s water supply, the proposal has reached a
key stage. On Monday, the Monterey One Water board is scheduled
to consider certifying a final supplemental environmental
impact report for the expansion project…
On March 20, the California Water Boards issued guidance about
complying with regulatory requirements during the COVID-19
shelter-in-place orders. In short, the guidance directs
regulated entities to “immediately” notify the Board if
compliance is not possible and to seek appropriate relief. It
has now been a month, and preliminary data about the extent to
which regulated entities have sought relief is available.
Publication of the 2020 WOTUS Rule in the Federal Register is
the final step in the Trump Administration’s repeal and
replacement of the 2015 Waters of the United States Rule (“2015
WOTUS Rule”), issued under the Obama Administration.
The Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency has been working
toward sustainable management of the Pajaro Valley’s water
resources. At the 2019 Western Groundwater Congress, General
Manager Brian Lockwood discussed the projects and programs the
Agency is implementing as they work towards achieving
The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the Clean Water Act
applies to some pollutants that reach the sea and other protected
waters indirectly through groundwater. The case, County of Maui
v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund, No. 18-260, concerned a wastewater
treatment plant on Maui, Hawaii, that used injection wells to
dispose of some four million gallons of treated sewage each
Publication starts a 60-day clock before the rule goes into
effect and waves a green flag for an onslaught of lawsuits
likely to be filed around the country. The litigation will
undoubtedly run beyond Election Day, so the future of the rule
likely depends on whether Trump wins a second term.
With the realization that California has decades worth of
opposition to building reservoirs on its record, it now makes
sense to take the dam application, submitted and approved by
them, to the federal government for help instead.
In January, water users in 21 critically overdrafted basins
delivered their groundwater sustainability plans to the state
Department of Water Resources. In this series, we examine the
36 plans submitted for 11 critically overdrafted basins in the
San Joaquin Valley—California’s largest farming region, where
excess pumping is a major challenge.
California’s 410 urban water suppliers will be required to
report monthly use and conservation data to state regulators,
under a resolution the State Water Resources Control Board
passed Tuesday. The vote makes permanent a voluntary program
that dates back to California’s devastating 2012-2016 drought.
This question has taken on greater urgency in the era of the
coronavirus, when every neighbor touching the crosswalk signal,
or coughing on their way to the grocery store, is a potential
source of a fatal disease. To effectively flatten the curve,
it’s not enough to wash your own hands. We need everyone in the
community to do the same.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed a motion
Tuesday evening seeking to stop implementation of new Federal
environmental guidelines aimed at boosting water supplies for
the Central Valley and Southern California from the
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
The Trump White House has intervened to weaken one of the few
public health protections pursued by its own administration, a
rule to limit the use of a toxic industrial compound in
consumer products… Documents show the White House Office of
Management and Budget formally notified the EPA last July that
it was stepping into the crafting of the rule on the compound,
perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, used in nonstick
and stain-resistant frying pans, rugs, and countless other
Pulling the plug on the eve of Earth Day, the Environmental
Protection Agency eliminated critical pollution rules from the
Obama era that had safeguarded at-risk ecosystems and drinking
water across the country. The new Navigable Waters Protection
Rule, in the works since President Donald Trump’s inauguration,
was finalized Tuesday.
Two researchers, Haizhou Liu, an associate professor of
chemical and environmental engineering at the University of
California, Riverside; and Professor Vincenzo Naddeo, director
of the Sanitary Environmental Engineering Division at the
University of Salerno, have called for more testing to
determine whether water treatment methods are effective in
killing SARS-CoV-2 and coronaviruses in general.
Federal and regional operators of Southern California’s
Twitchell Dam lost their bid to dismiss claims the dam causes
unlawful killing of endangered steelhead trout, but they won’t
face an emergency injunction restricting their operations, a
federal judge ruled Friday.
Two separate letters sent to President Donald Trump and members
of Congress highlight the importance of providing support for
enhancing water management, particularly in light of the
tumultuous conditions created by COVID-19.
On March 13, 2020, water users in the Klamath Reclamation
Project (Project) petitioned the United States Supreme Court to
review the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in Baley,
et al. v. United States, et al. (Baley). The decision denied
the water users’ takings claims for the 2001 Project water
shutoff on water law grounds.
President Donald Trump and California Gov. Gavin Newsom may
have set aside their incessant squabbling over most issues to
cooperate on the pandemic, but they are poised for showdown
over who controls the state’s vital water supply.
Voluntary agreements in California have been touted as an
innovative and flexible way to improve environmental conditions
in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and the rivers that feed
it. … Yet, no one said it would be easy getting interest
groups with sometimes sharply different views – and some, such
as farmers, with livelihoods heavily dependent on water — to
reach consensus on how to address the water quality and habitat
needs of the Delta watershed.
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation released projections for the
Colorado River’s water supply for the next two years. … Lake
Mead is projected to fall into “Tier Zero” conditions for 2021
and 2022. That’s a new designation under the Drought
Contingency Plan which requires Arizona, Nevada and Mexico take
cuts in their water supply.
U.S. Representative T.J. Cox, Senator Dianne Fenstein and
Represenatives Jim Costa, Josh Harder and John Garamendi on
Thursday called on Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and Gov.
Newsom to come up with a coordinated effort to manage the State
Water Project and the federal Central Valley Project.
Voluntary agreements in California
have been touted as an innovative and flexible way to improve
environmental conditions in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta
and the rivers that feed it. The goal is to provide river flows
and habitat for fish while still allowing enough water to be
diverted for farms and cities in a way that satisfies state
Environmental groups are suing the Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) over a March memo signaling that the agency would
not seek penalties against companies that do not monitor their
pollution during the coronavirus outbreak.
Groundwater science is taking on a new urgency as California
and other regions around the world face growing threats from
drought—and are increasingly drilling wells to make up for
missing rain and snow. Globally, aquifers are “highly stressed”
in 17 countries that hold one-quarter of the world’s
population… Water and food supplies for billions of people
are under threat. California is a case study in the challenges
of protecting those resources.
A federal judge in Montana ordered the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers to suspend all filling and dredging activities until
it conducts formal consultations compliant with the Endangered
Species Act. The ruling revokes the water-crossing permit
needed to complete construction of the pipeline, and is
expected to cause major delays to the divisive project.
California’s top environmental agency said it would “fill any
enforcement gaps” left by the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency’s decision last month to relax oversight in the wake of
the coronavirus pandemic.
The Klamath River Renewal Corporation’s plans to remove four
dams on the Klamath River in the US has taken a major step
forward with the issuance of key documents from the California
State Water Board. The plan – the largest dam removal project
in the US – would re-open 360 miles of the Klamath River and
its tributaries to salmon.
The California Fish and Game Commission’s unanimous vote over
another teleconference will allow Charlton Bonham, director of
the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, to postpone the
spring trout season, which opens April 25, in a few eastern
Sierra counties at the request of local officials.
Over the last 20 years, UC research has shown that dairies in
the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys are potentially major
contributors of nitrate and salts in groundwater. To maintain
the quality of this irreplaceable natural resource, the
California Water Resources Control Board has ramped up
regulations to ensure that diary manure and wastewater
application isn’t contaminating the aquifer.
Local agencies in the most depleted groundwater basins in
California spent months putting together plans to show how they
will achieve balance in about 20 years. Now, after submitting
those plans to the state in January, groundwater sustainability
agencies (GSAs) must figure how to pay for them.
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.
Our guests discuss what the WOTUS rule is and how it was
developed, what was formerly protected under the Obama era rule
and what water bodies and ecosystem services have lost federal
protection under the new rule. They also discuss whether state
level protections are sufficient and whether science backs the
new rule (it doesn’t).
The Environmental Protection Agency issued guidance on Friday
specific to Superfund cleanup actions. The agency’s regional
offices have decided, and may continue to decide, to slow or
stop some work because of social distancing restrictions,
travel restrictions, and ill employees, the agency said in its
The state recently got a new permit for water delivery
operations from its wildlife agency. In the past, that kind of
authority came from adhering to federal rules. Now, with a
dispute between the state and federal government over water
management and endangered species act protections, the state
issued its own permit. Critics of the state’s move say they
plan to file lawsuits.
Now, as the nation reels from a fresh public health crisis
caused by the novel coronavirus, new research suggests that
more than 2,500 industrial facilities located in virtually
every congressional district could be discharging PFAS into the
air and water in the absence of federal regulations.
The largest dam removal project in U.S. history came one step
closer to fruition this week, as California issued permits for
breaching the four dams on the Klamath River. The State Water
Resources Control Board issued a Clean Water Act certification
and environmental assessment for the proposal to remove three
dams in Northern California and one in southern Oregon.
It’s a simple rule, designed to protect both homeowners and
taxpayers: If you want publicly subsidized flood insurance, you
can’t build a home that’s likely to flood. But local
governments around the country, which are responsible for
enforcing the rule, have flouted the requirements, accounting
for as many as a quarter-million insurance policies in
violation, according to data provided to The New York Times by
the Federal Emergency Management Agency…
Several Congressional leaders sent a letter to Governor Gavin
Newsom expressing disappointment in the decision to issue an
incidental take permit for long-term operations of the State
Water Project. … The letter was signed by Representatives
Kevin McCarthy, Devin Nunes, Ken Calvert, Tom McClintock, Doug
LaMalfa, and Paul Cook.
Southern Resident killer whales have long pursued the biggest
and most nourishing Chinook salmon from coastal Pacific waters.
Chinook salmon fishing is also a mainstay of the West Coast
economy, generating nearly $72 million in income last year. Is
there room for both? The answer is yes, with safeguards.
Eric Averett is General Manager with the Rosedale-Rio Bravo
Water Storage District, which is one of several water districts
within Kern County. … In this presentation from the Western
Groundwater Congress, Mr. Averett discusses how his district
and Kern County have been grappling with how to establish
groundwater pumping allocations.
Even though many utilities will not be shutting off water in
the coming weeks and months, household water bills will
continue to arrive. Residents are expected to pay those bills
after the emergency orders are lifted. That could pose problems
down the road for both individuals and utilities, argues Greg
Pierce, associate director of the UCLA Luskin Center for
At the 2020 California Water Law Symposium, a panel discussed
the history of the project. Speaking on the panel was Chief
Caleen Sisk with the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, Doug Obegi with the
Natural Resources Defense Council, and Darcie Houck who is
currently General Counsel with California Energy Commission,
but formerly represented the Winnemem Wintu Tribe when she was
in private practice.
Nearly 40 industry groups representing various agricultural
commodities are asking for a regulatory pause as California
addresses issues related to COVID-19. In a letter addressed to
Governor Gavin Newsom, the group highlights a concern that
multiple state agencies are advancing the regulatory process
without adequate input from stakeholders.
The Environmental Protection Agency recently took a step toward
enhancing protection of the country’s drinking water by issuing
a preliminary determination to regulate perfluorooctanoic acid
(PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) in drinking
water (collectively PFAS).
The water transfers could occur on an annual basis sending
water from willing sellers north of the Sacramento-San Joaquin
Delta to water users south of the Delta and in the San
Francisco Bay Area. Based on annual approvals, the transfers
could occur through 2024. In addition, the transfers could
occur by various methods, including groundwater substitution,
cropland idling, reservoir releases and conservation.
According to the Washington Post’s fact checker, as of January,
2020, President Trump had made 16,241 false or misleading
claims during his first three years in office. Sadly, this lack
of regard for truth seems to be trickling down and infecting
the Trump Administration’s management of the federal Central
Valley Project in California, one of the largest water storage
and diversion projects in the country.
In a time when many people in the world are inside their houses
to stop the spread of covid-19, it is easy to forget that good
news still exists. The Environmental Protection Agency’s
National Water Reuse Action Plan is a bit of good news. The
Plan, announced on February 27, 2020, by EPA Administration
Andrew Wheeler, prioritizes the use of recycled water.
State oil and gas regulators have granted permits for hydraulic
fracturing, the controversial drilling technique known as
fracking, for the first time since last summer. The California
Geologic Energy Management Division, or CalGEM, last week
issued permits to Aera Energy, a joint venture of Shell and
ExxonMobil, for “well stimulation” work in two Kern County oil
Stormwater is the rain and other water that runs off of streets
and sidewalks into nearby gutters or waterways. Communities
throughout the western U.S. are expanding efforts to collect
this valuable water resource. These projects range from
capturing water from a single rooftop or driveway to developing
large infiltration basins that recharge billions of gallons of
water each year in groundwater basins.
Taking advantage of recently approved rules, the federal
government is quickly following through on President Donald
Trump’s promise to quiet environmentalists and “open up the
water” to California farmers. … The pumps in the south of the
Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta aren’t just whizzing during
what will likely end up being classified a “critically dry”
hydrological year, they are churning — and killing — endangered
salmon during a critical migration period.
Against the terrible news of a national emergency, it’s perhaps
difficult to focus on our water situation. Recall that January
and February were bone-dry; March and April bore us a couple of
storms, but it was too little, too late. It was a very dry
winter, overall. … That puts us in the position of another
“do or die” year for precipitation next winter, an altogether
familiar proposition in California. We all know: It rains a
bunch all at once in some years, and then we go dry for a
number of years after that.
In January, water users in 21 critically overdrafted basins
delivered groundwater sustainability plans to the state
Department of Water Resources. In this series, we examine
the 36 plans submitted for 11 critically overdrafted basins in
the San Joaquin Valley—California’s largest farming region. …
This post examines how the plans propose to end overdraft.
California is poised to close the spring sportfishing season in
some counties in response to worries that anglers will spread
COVID-19 to rural communities. The state’s Fish and Game
Commission will meet via teleconference Thursday to decide
whether to grant emergency powers to Charlton Bonham, the
director of the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Registered voters who live in Mendocino have the opportunity
and responsibility to decide the direction of groundwater
management in Mendocino at two upcoming Mendocino City
Community Services District Public Hearings scheduled for April
16 and 27.
Governments at all levels are beginning to review water access
policies and inequalities that inhibit public and personal
efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus. Those policies
include restoring water service to homes where water had been
disconnected, suspending new water shutoffs, and installing
public handwashing stations to serve residents who are
Today’s declaration of a local emergency grants general
manager, Craig Miller, increased flexibility to make critical
operational decisions and acquire vital financial, material,
and human resources to support business continuity. This action
ensures the essential water and wastewater (sewer) services
that Western provides remain as reliable as ever.
An empty lot on a 70-foot-high bluff above the ocean seemed
like the perfect place to build a house when the owners bought
the parcel for $1.8 million. Now a state ruling means they’ll
have to put the house farther away from the water, where they
won’t see the shore. It’s a result of climate change and
California’s response to it.
We have a legacy of lead in our pipes, our paint, and our soil.
These are the most significant sources of human lead exposure
and, therefore, draw most of the attention and resources
because they are costly to fix. … For that reason, EDF has
sought, as part of our larger efforts, to reduce the amount of
lead that leaches from new plumbing devices such as faucets and
Three years ago, Dimitri Deheyn noticed intensely blue stringy
shapes as he examined jellyfish samples through a microscope in
his marine biology lab at the Scripps Institution of
Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego.
A new set of water regulations aimed at protecting California’s
native fish came down from the state earlier this week to near
universal condemnation from both agricultural and environmental
water folks. The regulations are contained in a 143-page
“incidental take permit” issued by the state Department of Fish
and Wildlife …
Today, responding to a global pandemic is every governor’s top
priority. When we emerge from this crisis, Gov. Gavin Newsom
will face a challenge to ensure California’s future economic
and environmental health. In this context, his water policies
will represent critical decisions.
Unprecedented efforts by leaders at the state and national
level have led to the kind of cooperation that will provide
valuable benefits to water users and the environment. I know
because that’s what we’ve been doing in the Sacramento Valley
for many years. The kinds of success we’ve achieved can be
replicated in other parts of the state.
California regulators on Friday issued fracking permits for the
first time in nine months, saying federal scientists had given
clearance for 24 permits to Aera Energy for oil well
stimulation in Kern County. … Last July, Gov. Gavin
Newsom fired the state’s oil and gas supervisor a day
after The Desert Sun reported that the number of fracking
permits issued during his first six months in office had
doubled compared to the same period under his
Arizona is sinking. The combination of groundwater pumping and
warmer temperatures is shrinking aquifers and lowering water
tables. … Today, where subsidence is worst, groundwater
pumping isn’t even monitored, and big agricultural and
anti-regulatory ideologues try to stymie any efforts to keep
tabs on how much water is being pumped.
Californians won’t have their water turned off due to unpaid
bills during the coronavirus crisis, and those who already had
it turned off will have their service restored, under action
taken Thursday by Gov. Gavin Newsom. The governor’s directive
comes in response to calls from environmental justice
organizations for assistance to low-income residents facing
mounting financial pressures.
If you had a magic wand that could give you unlimited funding,
could change any law, write any new law, and/or modify any
regulation, what would you do to improve California’s water?
That was the question posed to panelists at the 2020 Kern
County Water Summit.
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has issued a new three-year
operating plan for the Klamath River, dedicating more water for
endangered salmon while avoiding a “worst case scenario” for
farmers and ranchers. In exchange, a local tribe and fishing
groups agreed to suspend a lawsuit filed against the agency in
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Wednesday that he’s
authorized the Department of Water and Power to shut off
service to nonessential businesses that continue to operate
despite the strict Safer at Home restrictions designed to slow
the spread of the coronavirus. It’s the latest move in an
effort to impose social distancing as coronavirus cases and
deaths surge across Los Angeles County and California.
The Hoopa Valley Tribe applauded Fresno County Superior Court’s
refusal to validate a proposed contract between Westlands Water
District and the Bureau of Reclamation. … The contract would
have allocated up to 1,150,000 acre-feet of water annually to
Westlands, most of which would be imported from the Trinity
River, which has sustained the Hupa people since time
On March 19, 2020, California issued Executive Order N-25-20, a
statewide shelter in place order in response to the COVID-19
pandemic, significantly altering operations of both state
agencies and private businesses. … Importantly, the Division
of Water Rights continues to require all surface water users to
submit annual reports to meet the April 1, 2020 deadline for
reporting 2019 water use.
California is moving closer to setting a drinking water limit
for the solvent 1,4-dioxane, which EPA has said is a likely
carcinogen. The Office of Environmental Health Hazard
Assessment announced Friday it was working to set a public
health goal for the emerging contaminant.
We’ve all seen photos of clear-cut forests with swathes of
razed trees or deep scars in the ground from an open-pit mine.
The damage to the species that live in these habitats isn’t
hard to imagine. But the damage we’ve done to freshwater
ecosystems isn’t so visible. In rivers or lakes, trouble often
lurks out of view beneath the surface of the water …
State regulators are giving mixed responses to the EPA’s
relaxed enforcement on a range of environmental obligations by
facilities affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The
Environmental Protection Agency said this week it wouldn’t seek
penalties for violations covered by the emergency policy. …
The California Environmental Protection Agency said its
enforcement authority “remains intact” in spite of the EPA
The advice is simple and universal: Washing your hands with
soap and water is one of the most effective ways to stop the
spread of the coronavirus. But for millions of people across
the country, that’s not simple at all: They lack running water
in their houses due to service shutoffs prompted by overdue
Bottled water is disappearing from grocery shelves almost as
fast as toilet paper, but there’s no shortage of water in
California. There’s plenty flowing right out of your tap. And
it’s germ-free and perfectly safe to drink. You can’t get
COVID-19 from tap water.
States around the country say they won’t penalize water and
wastewater utilities for failing to meet Clean Water Act permit
requirements due to delays caused by the deadly coronavirus if
those delays are justified and documented. Delays, for example,
could be caused by utility staff who test and monitor water
quality—or lab workers who analyze it—being quarantined with
Sierra Ryan is a water resources planner with the County of
Santa Cruz. In this presentation from the Groundwater Resources
Association‘s 2019 Western Groundwater Congress, Ms. Ryan tells
the story of how the Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Agency
balanced the various perspectives, authorities, and
interpretations of the DWR regulations in writing the portion
of their Groundwater Sustainability Plan that pertained to the
depletion of interconnected surface water.
The Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority signed off on an
ordinance and related resolution officially requiring all major
pumpers needing metering on all groundwater extraction
facilities and pumps during a board meeting on Thursday.
The COVID-19 virus outbreak is affecting us all, whether we
live in a big city or rural Siskiyou County. The economy is
grinding to a halt and governments are planning a massive
response to keep money flowing to small businesses and
employees – the lifeblood of the entire economy. It is through
this lens that I encourage Klamath Basin residents to
view Klamath River Renewal Corp.’s dam removal and river
restoration project as an economic bright spot.
During a week full of COVID-19-related uncertainty, a pair of
new lawsuits are a reminder of one constant: disputes over
Klamath Basin water. This past week, PacifiCorp and Klamath
Water Users Association each filed petitions for review of
Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for temperature in the Upper
Klamath and Lost River subbasins.
The nation’s largest treated water supply district is isolating
workers, reducing the number of on-site employees, and giving
its executive director broad powers, in the wake of
stay-at-home orders and health concerns over the coronavirus
pandemic. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern
California is also recasting technology upgrades to focus more
on laptop than desktop computers so that staff can work at home
during this outbreak and future emergencies.
The report by David Sunding and David Roland-Holst, professors
at University of California, Berkeley, estimates that one-fifth
of cultivated farmland in the San Joaquin Valley will be
permanently lost as groundwater plans take hold and water
supplies are severely restricted.
President Trump has become the first U.S. president to declare
a health epidemic a “major disaster” in his recent decisions to
approve requests for that designation from the governors of
California, New York and Washington in their battles against
COVID-19. … Trump’s determinations could open the door for
FEMA to step into a wide range of future events including
droughts, extreme cold weather and the contamination of
In an effort to reduce the amount of pollution entering surface
waters, the state of California requires industries with an
identified potential of discharging pollutants in storm water
runoff to obtain and implement an industrial storm water
permit. A new state law, effective Jan. 1, requires applicable
businesses to provide proof of coverage under the industrial
storm water permit in order to obtain or renew their business
license with a city or county.
The water agencies that serve the Fallbrook and Rainbow areas
of North County have officially filed applications to detach
from the San Diego County Water Authority, an unprecedented
move with potential financial implications for almost all water
customers in the county.
Arsenic is one of the most toxic elements in the Earth’s crust.
It is widely distributed, and under certain geochemical
conditions, it dissolves into groundwater, which then gets
pumped out for human use. Arsenic presents the highest cancer
risk of any regulated carcinogens among drinking water
contaminants when the risk from each is ranked at its maximum
David Orth is the principal of New Current Water and Land,
which offers strategic planning, program implementation, and
water resource development services. At the California
Irrigation Institute’s 2020 Annual Conference, he gave his
observations having watched Groundwater Sustainability Agencies
(GSAs) form and develop their Groundwater Sustainability Plans
(GSPs) since the passage of the Sustainable Groundwater
Management Act (SGMA) in 2014.
The Environmental Protection Agency has allowed hundreds of new
PFAS chemicals to enter commerce under the Toxic Substances
Control Act since 2006, continuing to do so in recent years
even as new research about the dangers of PFAS emerges.
California’s comprehensive and safe drinking water standards
require a multistep treatment process that includes filtration
and disinfection. This process removes and kills viruses,
including coronaviruses such as COVID-19, as well as bacteria
and other pathogens.
I remember being surprised when attending a local Groundwater
Sustainability Agency meeting and I first saw a schematic that
visually depicted the various levels of groundwater underneath
one of the Central Valley’s numerous subbasins.
At the 2020 Kern County Water Summit, California Water
Commission Chair Armando Quintero spoke about the role of the
commission, gave an update on the Water Storage Investment
Program and the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, and
spoke of their new role defined in the water resiliency
Central Valley farmers may soon have another crop to sell along
with almonds, tomatoes and peppers — the groundwater beneath
their land. Proposed groundwater markets have popped up in just
about every groundwater sustainability plan filed with the
state Jan. 31.
The Environmental Protection Agency recently released its
National Water Reuse Action Plan to promote more water reuse in
the U.S. William M. Alley, director of science and technology
for the National Ground Water Association, says the plan
focuses on low-hanging fruit and states and associations will
likely remain the leaders and innovators in water reuse.
California residents who are not able to pay their water,
sewer, energy or communications bills during the state’s novel
coronavirus state of emergency will not be at risk of having
their services shut off, the California Public Utilities
Commission said Tuesday.
Bottled water has been disappearing from store shelves as fast
as toilet paper. And, like toilet paper, there’s no practical
reason to stockpile bottled water. “People need to stop
hoarding water,” said Damon Micalizzi of the Municipal Water
District of Orange County. “Your tap water is regulated more
strictly than any bottled water you buy.”
The military now has at least 651 sites that have been
contaminated with cancer-linked “forever chemicals,” a more
than 50 percent jump from its last tally. The information was
released Friday in a report from the Department of Defense
(DOD), part of a task force designed to help the military
remove a class of chemicals known as PFAS from the water supply
near numerous military bases.
Former Gov. Bruce Babbitt is speaking out about widespread
problems of excessive groundwater pumping in rural areas of
Arizona, saying the state Legislature should give counties and
communities the power to protect their rapidly declining
aquifers. Babbitt appealed for action during a visit this week
to the Willcox area, where heavy pumping for farms has led to
falling water tables and left a growing number of families with
The Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency (SCV Water) has announced
that they are set to voluntarily shut down 13 additional wells
in compliance with new state PFAS regulations, officials said
Friday. The levels of PFAS found are above the state-mandated
response level, according to Kathie Martin, public information
officer for Santa Clarita Valley Water.
As a new Fallbrook resident, I attended the recent Fallbrook
Community Forum. I was impressed with the openness,
friendliness, dedication and commitment of the participants.
The experience led me to join the Fallbrook Chamber of
Commerce. I wish my enthusiasm extended to the proposal for our
community to detach from the San Diego County Water Authority.
Groundwater is the sole source of water supply for the valley;
there isn’t any surface water or imported water available.
After decades of excessive pumping, the Borrego Groundwater
Basin is considered critically overdrafted and dramatic
reductions in pumping – up to 70% by the latest estimate – will
be needed to reach sustainability.
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) is soliciting public
comment on the scope of environmental review for a revised
Delta tunnel project despite prior findings of independent
technical experts that a key project proposal is “impractical,”
stating that it “does not recommend” further study.
Both water companies that serve Salinas will halt all water
shutoffs during the state of emergency brought on by the
COVID-19 pandemic. Salinas has a large population of
hospitality workers that commute to the Monterey Peninsula
daily; the hospitality industry has been one of the hardest-hit
by the coronavirus as health officials urge “social distancing”
and the closure of large gatherings. As such, many residents
may find themselves short on funds as the pandemic wears on.
As discussed below, in the case of west coast salmon, the
scientific evidence is clear that the replacement assumption
has proven faulty as the total abundance of salmon declined at
the same time the propagation and release of hatchery salmon
If corporations can have the rights of people under the law,
why not rivers? The question made sense to Will Falk, and he
answered it yes. Falk is a lawyer, and he got to represent the
Colorado River in a lawsuit. So he spent time along the river,
in something of a conversation with it. Falk tells the story in
his book How Dams Fall.
This year marks a new phase in California’s landmark
Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). At the end of
January, water users in 21 critically overdrafted basins
delivered their first groundwater sustainability plans to the
state Department of Water Resources. In this series, we examine
the 36 plans submitted for 11 critically overdrafted basins in
the San Joaquin Valley—California’s largest farming region. …
This post addresses key questions about groundwater budgets.
Arizona does not currently have a comprehensive program to
protect its surface water quality. The state is now faced with
the task of creating one following a change to federal law. The
Trump administration unveiled its final rule in January
redefining which waterways are regulated under the Clean Water
Act, known as “Waters of the U.S.” Under this rule change, the
vast majority of Arizona’s creeks and streams will not be
A settlement was reached Wednesday in a federal lawsuit filed
by an environmental group accusing Pacific Coast Energy Co. of
illegally discharging polluted water from an Orcutt oil
facility into northern Santa Barbara County waterways and
threatening endangered species.
The new rules allow the federal Central Valley Project to kill
100 percent of baby winter run Chinook salmon below Shasta Dam
for three years running. Chinook salmon live for three
years, so authorizing the Bureau of Reclamation to kill every
endangered winter run for three years amounts to an extinction
plan for this species.
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.
The federal government is giving local officials nationwide a
painful choice: Agree to use eminent domain to force people out
of flood-prone homes, or forfeit a shot at federal money they
need to combat climate change.
While the bulk of the $175 million goes toward addressing
seepage issues along San Joaquin River levees, a dry levee in
southwest Manteca plays a key role in making sure potential
breaks along the San Joaquin south of RD-17 or levee failures
on the Stanislaus River don’t flood portions of either city.
A District Court judge has once again scuttled the Southern
Nevada Water Authority’s plans to obtain and pump rural
groundwater about 300 miles from eastern Nevada, prompting one
Clark County commissioner to call on the water authority “to
look in a different direction.”
San Joaquin Valley farmers say they hope a newly released
report will capture the attention of Californians about the
potential impact of water shortages in the region. The report,
released last week, said water shortages could cause 1 million
acres of San Joaquin Valley farmland to be fallowed and cost as
many as 85,000 jobs.
Because the State and Federal water managers coordinate
operations of the State Water Project and Central Valley
Project, the State Water Contractors argue that dumping the
biological opinions governing those operations and restarting
the process would create “uncertainty in water supply
availability, potentially affecting the [State Water
Contractor] members’ water supplies from the SWP.”
A proposal to pump water out of Nevada’s fragile Walker Lake to
generate hydropower to sell in California won preliminary
approval from federal regulators. On Friday, the Federal Energy
Regulatory Commission issued a preliminary permit and granting
priority to file for the proposed Walker Lake Pumped Storage
While the current federal administration has prioritized
ensuring food security in the long run, state leadership,
current and in the recent past, has continually attacked
farmers. An attack on our farmers is an attack on our food
Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives are demanding
international food giant Nestlé answer for its water-bottling
practices, including in California where it pumps from the San
Bernardino National Forest for its Arrowhead brand.
The Cuyama Valley is the driest agricultural region in the
county; the valley floor gets just a little more rain than the
Sahara. Yet for the past 75 years, this high desert region has
been a mecca for water-intensive farming on an industrial scale
— first alfalfa, and now carrots, a $69 million annual crop.
… Now, to the rescue — belatedly — comes the state
Groundwater Sustainability Act of 2014…
In a Feb. 28 filing, the Klamath River Renewal Corporation,
formed to shepherd the removal of four hydroelectric dams from
the Klamath River in Northeern California and Southern Oregon,
submitted key budget information to the Federal Energy
Regulatory Commission. … This filing is another concrete step
toward implementing the amended Klamath Hydroelectric
Settlement Agreement (KHSA), removing the dams and restoring a
free-flowing Klamath River, KRRC officials said.
It was a busy time for California water issues last month when
Trump visited the San Joaquin Valley, signed the Record of the
Decision on the biological opinions which govern the operations
of the state and federal water projects (along with another
Presidential memo), which was promptly followed by the state
filing of a lawsuit the next day. … So not surprisingly, the
voluntary agreement was top of the agenda the following week at
the February meeting of Metropolitan’s Bay Delta Committee.
People on both sides of the oil argument met Wednesday night in
Santa Maria, sharing their opinions about the future of oil
drilling on the Central Coast. The meeting was one of 10 that
the California Department of Conservation’s Geologic Energy
Management Division (CalGEM) is hosting.
If you live in Southern California or Silicon Valley, you might
be surprised to learn that your local water district (a member
agency of the State Water Contractors) is siding with the Trump
Administration, and defending Trump’s plan to increase water
diversions, despite the widespread acknowledgement that this
plan is likely to drive salmon and Delta smelt extinct.
California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 is
now “the law of the land (state)” and as such there will be
restricted agricultural groundwater pumping throughout the San
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.
I have long argued that a robust governance network, both
formal and informal, around the management of the Colorado
River provides the necessary conditions for managing the
problems of the river’s overallocation and the increasingly
apparent impacts of climate change. … But as we approach the
negotiation of the next set of Colorado River management rules
– a process already bubbling in the background – it is not hard
to see how my thesis could break down.
The State Water Resources Control Board Tuesday adopted its
2020 priorities, which include setting a maximum contaminant
level of the heavy metal, also known as chromium-6. A proposed
rule setting the limit could come in early 2021.
The study by economists David Sunding and David Roland-Holst at
UC Berkeley examined the economic impact of two types of
restrictions to water supplies for ag: on groundwater pumping
as part of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and
future reductions in surface water due to regulatory processes
by the state and federal government.
Valley Water in Santa Clara, Calif., doesn’t fully agree with a
Feb. 20 directive from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
(FERC) to drain its Anderson Dam as the water district waits to
begin upgrades to the structure near the Calaveras Fault.
The Trump administration on Friday awarded a permanent water
delivery contract to the country’s largest agricultural
district, brushing aside environmentalists’ concerns about
California’s uncertain water future in the face of climate
change. At issue is irrigation water that flows through the
Bureau of Reclamation’s Central Valley Project to the Westlands
Water District, a Rhode Island-sized agricultural powerhouse
and former client of Interior Secretary David Bernhardt.
In criticizing California for how it has managed its water
supplies, President Donald Trump falsely said that residents
“very shortly” will “get 50 gallons” of water to use a day.
That’s a distortion of two state water laws, which set
efficiency targets for water agencies, not individuals.
The Interior Department on Friday awarded the nation’s largest
farm water district a permanent entitlement to annual
irrigation deliveries that amount to roughly twice as much
water as the nearly 4 million residents of Los Angeles use in a
year. … The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which runs the
federal project, also signed permanent contracts on Friday with
a handful of municipal districts that it supplies.
The Pentagon may be forced to follow new state environmental
pollution standards for a family of manmade “forever chemicals”
that may have been spilled at hundreds of military sites in the
U.S., Defense Secretary Mark Esper told lawmakers. Esper was
pressed Wednesday at a House Armed Services Committee hearing
over the military’s use of widely used firefighting foam
containing chemicals known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl
substances, or PFAS, that never degrade.
The California Natural Resources Agency this week released its
Salton Sea Management Program annual report, which trumpeted
the first completed dust suppression project and set ambitious
goals for upcoming mitigation efforts. The report lays out an
aggressive target of 3,800 acres on which the agency hopes to
complete efforts to tamp down dust by the end of 2020 to catch
up with its long-term benchmarks.
Some environmental groups eye the effort suspiciously, fearing
the Trump administration will use the project to allow
businesses to offload hazardous wastewater in ways that
threaten drinking water sources and otherwise risk public
health. Businesses including oil and gas developers have urged
the Trump administration to allow them more ways to get rid of
their increasing volumes of wastewater.
California’s complaint challenges the biological opinions
issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National
Marine Fisheries Service under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)
as well as the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s EIS and record of
decision completed pursuant to the National Environmental
When the top official overseeing the Environmental Protection
Agency’s WaterSense program first heard President Donald
Trump’s rant about toilets that must be flushed a dozen times
and modern faucets that provide only drips of water, she was at
a loss for words.
The Central Valley is America’s fruit bowl, and the heart of
California’s $50bn agriculture industry. But the 2011-2017
drought raised serious questions about the future of that
industry and forced the state to grapple with regulating the
one thing fueling much of it: groundwater.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew
Wheeler appeared before lawmakers Thursday to defend a budget
that would bring the agency to its lowest funding level in
years. As with previous Trump administration budgets, lawmakers
are expected to ignore the proposed 26 percent cut to the
agency, one of the steepest in the budget.
A federal order to drain Silicon Valley’s largest drinking
water reservoir has thrown the region into disarray, with
multiple agencies pointing fingers at each other and some local
leaders fearful their cities could run out of water, not this
summer but the following one.
A sewage spill that occurred a day before Thanksgiving last
year prompted the Laguna Beach City Council to move forward
with a one-time sewer rate increase Tuesday that will account
for the financial fallout. Pending the result of a protest vote
by ratepayers, the 10% increase ups bills for single-family
homes to $800 annually, or $66.67 per month. The hike could
take effect as early as July 1.
This year marks the first big deadline for the Sustainable
Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), as dozens of agencies
complete initial plans to protect overdrafted water resources.
Here’s what you need to know:
Plumas supervisors reminded the state that the best way to
protect natural resources is by not depleting them, especially
when other natural resources are available, such as the Pacific
Ocean. Supervisors encourage the state’s Natural Resources
Agency to support developing technology to promote practical
ways to use ocean water.
The EPA is involved in multiple PFAS-related criminal
investigations, the agency said Wednesday, adding another knot
to an already complex legal landscape for “forever chemicals.”
The Environmental Protection Agency acknowledged the probes in
a new progress report on its 2019 PFAS Action Plan.
Scientists say climate change will bring more unpredictable
weather, warmer winters and less snowpack in the mountains.
These challenges and some ideas for remedies are outlined in a
new plan, called the California Water Resilience Portfolio,
released by Gov. Gavin Newsom in January to a mix of praise and
disappointment. Below, an explanation of the state’s water
development — as well as the challenges, today and tomorrow, of
providing water for California’s people, places and things.
Joining 12 other conservation groups from throughout the
country, the Olema-based Turtle Island Restoration Network
alleges the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps
of Engineers did not attempt to weigh the potential impacts to
endangered species when it removed millions of acres of
waterways and habitat from Clean Water Act protections in
EPA proposed its revamp of the Lead and Copper Rule last fall.
That revision addresses many elements of the regulation
then-acting Region 5 Administrator Robert Kaplan critiqued. But
it does not follow one key recommendation: that the agency
establish health-based limits on lead in drinking water.
The future of the complicated network of waterways and canals
that supplies millions of Californians with water daily could
be murky at best, U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt
warned Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom in a letter Monday.
Recently, Governor Newsom announced his framework and support
for Voluntary Settlement Agreements (VSAs) — a monumental
effort that could bring to an end the conflict and litigation
over water that flows through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
With great hope and guarded optimism, I applaud the governor’s
In a dramatic decision that could significantly impact Silicon
Valley’s water supply, federal dam regulators have ordered
Anderson Reservoir, the largest reservoir in Santa Clara
County, to be completely drained starting Oct. 1. The 240-foot
earthen dam, built in 1950 and located east of Highway 101
between Morgan Hill and San Jose, poses too great of a risk of
collapse during a major earthquake, the Federal Energy
Regulatory Commission, which regulates dams, has concluded.
Officials in the city of Tehachapi approved new water and sewer
fees — in case new housing developments start moving in — to
support the construction of infrastructure that can’t quite
support projected growth in the next 10 years.
California finds itself once again taking the lead by setting
regulatory standards stricter than the rest of the nation. At
issue is the nearly ubiquitous presence of certain PFAS
chemicals in drinking water, a problem being addressed to
varying degrees by many states and federal regulators.
Farm groups are urging Gov. Gavin Newsom to work with the
federal government on water deliveries even as California
followed through Thursday on its threat to sue to nullify
biological opinions that could bring increases in surface water
for San Joaquin Valley growers.
The federal government wrapped up cleanups at six Superfund
sites around the country in the 2019 budget year, the fewest
since three in 1986, EPA online records showed. The Superfund
program was born out of the 1970′s disaster at Love Canal in
New York, where industrial contaminants poisoned groundwater,
spurred complaints of health problems and prompted presidential
A proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would
absolve the nation’s manufacturers of cancer-linked “forever
chemicals” from broad financial responsibility for cleaning up
their product as it leaches into the water supply across the
country. The class of chemicals known as PFAS, which are noted
for their persistence in both the environment and the human
body, are used in a variety of nonstick products.
Coal-fired power plants are closing, or being given firm
deadlines for closure, across the country. In the Western
states that make up the overallocated and drought-plagued
Colorado River, these facilities use a significant amount of
the region’s scarce water supplies. With closure dates looming,
communities are starting the contentious debate about how this
newly freed up water should be put to use.
The decision ends a 1996 policy that committed the state to
sustaining a population of about 1 million striped bass in the
Delta and other California waterways. They’re voracious,
nonnative predators that can weigh as much as 60 pounds.
They’re especially popular among anglers. It’s unclear exactly
how many striped bass are in the state, but the number is
believed to be fewer than 300,000.
President Trump believes he “got it done” in fixing
California’s troubled and contentious water system. What he
actually produced is another wrecking-ball delay and a lawsuit
to try to halt his lopsided solution.
By this summer, the justices will have decided a case that
could more clearly establish the scope of the Clean Water Act
and a challenge that could more firmly define states’ role in
federal Superfund cleanups. The court has so far been slow to
issue opinions while Chief Justice John Roberts was spending
half of his days at impeachment trial proceedings across the
street on Capitol Hill.
There was recently a discussion in the Arcata City Council
about the proposed elimination of fluoride from water delivered
to homes. … There is a lot of scientific research about this
subject which is summarized below.
The state Department of Water Resources said Thursday the
Federal Emergency Management Agency agreed to cover
approximately $300 million in repair costs the agency had
previously denied. … All told, the state now expects to be
reimbursed for approximately $750 million of the $1.1 billion
cost of the crisis…
A day after President Trump visited the Central Valley to
celebrate a boost in water for California farms, state
officials sued to block the additional water deliveries.
Attorney General Xavier Becerra, in a lawsuit filed Thursday,
maintains that new federal rules designed to increase pumping
from the Sacramento San Joaquin River Delta fail to protect
salmon and other endangered fish in the delta estuary.
This is an approximate 24% reduction in residential water use,
and a 7% reduction for non-residential water use from today’s
levels. This will be implemented through the existing permit
review process and any project that requires a building,
grading, or discretionary permit and would result in more than
500 sq/ft new irrigated landscaping (ex. permitting for new
addition, new garage) would be subject to this water allowance.
The EPA has made an initial determination that it will
eventually set legal limits for levels of two key PFAS
chemicals in drinking water, the agency announced Thursday. …
That announcement could still be months away.
Gov. Gavin Newsom, in a pre-emptive strike against President
Donald Trump, said Wednesday he plans to sue Trump’s
administration to block a controversial plan to increase water
deliveries to the San Joaquin Valley. Newsom’s office said he
“will file legal action in the coming days … to protect
highly imperiled fish species close to extinction.”
Hoisting the spoils of victories in California’s hard-fought
water wars, President Donald Trump is directing more of the
state’s precious water to wealthy farmers and other agriculture
interests when he visits their Republican Central Valley
In the latest update, the cost of implementing the voluntary
agreements has soared by over $4 billion to a whopping $5.3
billion. Governor Newsom failed to mention the enormous and
growing costs in his oped praising the voluntary agreement
More states are stepping up to protect people from drinking
water contaminated with “forever chemicals” in the absence of
federal enforcement. Twenty-three states are writing their own
guidance, regulations, or legislation that would address
drinking water contaminated with per- and polyfluoroalkyl
substances, also known as PFAS.
During President Trump’s visit to California this week, the
commander in chief who campaigned on a pledge of shipping more
water to Central Valley farms plans to stop in Bakersfield to
boast about a promise kept. … But what confounds some who are
worried that Trump’s water plan could undermine the environment
is how little the state has done to stop Washington.
While all presidential candidates, including President Trump
were invited to participate in the event, only Joe Biden, Tom
Steyer, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Pete Buttigieg took
the stage to discuss their outlook on infrastructure issues.
A coalition of environmental groups informed the Trump
administration Tuesday that it would sue over a major rollback
of water protections designed to replace the Obama-era Waters
of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule.
Though the process leading to removal of the Klamath Dams
continues to march forward, numerous citizens in Siskiyou
County have continued fighting to keep the dams in place. Many
of those dam advocates are members of the Siskiyou County Water
Users Association, which in January hosted a presentation about
an alternative fish passage technology the association believes
could “make it possible” for the dams to remain.
11,000 households in San Jose’s Willow Glen and Williams Road
neighborhoods received letters in the mail beginning in late
January from the San Jose Water Company warning that the wells
that provide them with drinking water tested positive for
elevated levels of per-flouro-octane sulfonic acid, known as
Cal Am’s request calls for raising water rates to increase
revenue by about $8.4 million in the Monterey district to cover
new capital investment, increased labor costs, and higher
administrative and operations expenses, driving the “average”
local customer’s bill from about $89.40 to about $105.78 over
the three-year period from 2021-2023.
While Trump will be in town Wednesday to discuss agriculture
issues with local farmers, as of Friday the Kern County Farm
Bureau remained in the dark about the president’s visit, and
the Kern County Republican Party similarly had not been
informed of Trump’s plans. … A White House statement released
to the media said Trump’s Bakersfield visit would focus on
efforts to dramatically improve the supply and delivery of
water in California and other Western states.
The changes, mandated by Senate Bill 998, mean customers will
have at least 60 days to settle their bill before becoming
delinquent. The changes also require water utilities to provide
written notice at least seven days before service
discontinuation, which must contain information on how to avoid
an interruption of service as well as procedures for contesting
or appealing a bill.