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 state of California is looking to crack down on water
wasters and make saving water a way of life — no matter how
much it rains. California’s restrictions on water use in
September were effective, As a result, the state saw a 15
percent drop in water use.
Participants of this tour snaked along the San Joaquin River to
learn firsthand about one of the nation’s largest and most
expensive river restoration projects.
The San Joaquin River was the focus of one of the most
contentious legal battles in California water history,
ending in a 2006 settlement between the federal government,
Friant Water Users Authority and a coalition of environmental
There will be no cannabis cappuccinos or drone deliveries in
California under the new pot rules state officials released
Thursday that regulate everything from who can legally sell and
deliver marijuana to how it must be packaged and transported.
When 50,000 acre-feet of water went gushing out of the
Sacramento River last month, it fast became a test of
California’s ability to protect its environmental policies from
an increasingly hostile Trump administration. The episode
On October 17, the California State Water Resources
Control Board adopted new environmental policies to regulate
how marijuana growing operations will impact California’s
already limited water resources. … Cannabis cultivation can
impact local water by reducing flows in streams and creeks or
polluting waterways with pesticides and other agricultural
With the marijuana legalization date of Jan. 1, 2018 rapidly
approaching in California, the state is getting serious about
regulations. On Tuesday, the State Water Board adopted new
environmental rules for cannabis cultivation to protect water
flows and water quality in rivers and streams.
Despite the Trump administration’s claims that deregulation
will lead to economic growth, an analysis of three of his most
significant proposed deregulatory efforts shows that they will
result in tremendous societal cost. In Executive Order 13778,
Trump directed agencies to review the Waters of the United
States rule, which provides protections for streams and
Since taking office in February, Mr. Trump’s E.P.A. chief
[Scott Pruitt] has held back-to-back meetings, briefing
sessions and speaking engagements almost daily with top
corporate executives and lobbyists from all the major economic
sectors that he regulates — and almost no meetings with
environmental groups or consumer or public health advocates,
according to a 320-page accounting …
California consumers will soon have two choices in cannabis:
clean, legal and pricey — or dirty, illicit and cheap. Think
Whole Foods vs. El Chapo. The big difference will be the amount
of pesticides in your weed.
Two weeks before Harvey’s flood waters engulfed much of
Houston, President Donald Trump quietly rolled back an order by
his predecessor that would have made it easier for
storm-ravaged communities to use federal emergency aid to
rebuild bridges, roads and other structures so they can better
withstand future disasters. … [Former President Barack]
Obama’s now-defunct order also revamped Federal Flood Risk
Management Standards, calling for tighter restrictions on new
construction in flood-prone areas.
Even after the Flint scandal reawakened the nation to the
dangers posed by lead drinking water pipes, the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency appears to be in no rush to
strengthen federal health standards.
If you drive Highway 99 through California’s Central Valley,
you’ll pass through the heart of farm country, where the
state’s bounty blooms with hundreds of crops – everything from
peaches to pistachios, from tangerines to tomatoes. You’ll also
pass through dozens of communities, large and small, whose
water systems are tainted by a newly regulated contaminant,
1,2,3-trichloropropane (TCP), which for decades was used in
agricultural fumigants injected into farmland across
California’s water agency Tuesday agreed to eliminate the cap
on hexavalent chromium in drinking water, the toxic chemical
made famous in the movie “Erin Brockovich.” The State Water
Resources Control Board said it removed the cap after a
Sacramento judge ruled in May that its regulation was invalid.
… as the [Interior] secretary [Ryan Zinke] hopscotches across
millions of acres of Western parks, monuments and wilderness
with his Stetson-sporting swagger, a crew of political
appointees in Washington has begun rolling back the
conservation efforts put in effect over the eight years of the
Obama administration. … Mr. Zinke’s staff on Tuesday filed a
legal proposal to rescind the nation’s first safety regulation
on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
The Trump administration moved Tuesday to roll back an Obama
administration policy that protected more than half the
nation’s streams from pollution but drew attacks from farmers,
fossil fuel companies and property-rights groups as federal
EPA, Interior and Energy all have influence over
infrastructure, but possibly the most influential agency is one
that many Americans have never heard of — the Federal Energy
Regulatory Commission. … For years, energy industry CEOs
have complained about FERC’s slow pace, partly caused by
multiple public hearings and comment periods, so affected
landowners can express their concerns.
The Trump administration on Monday threw out a new rule
intended to limit the number of endangered whales and sea
turtles caught in fishing nets off the West Coast, saying
existing protections were already working.
Lawmakers concerned about curbing pollution and a warming
planet gave a cool reception to President Donald Trump’s
environmental chief on Thursday as he defended the
administration’s proposal to sharply reduce the budget of his
Three months after Coyote Creek overflowed its banks and
caused $100 million in damage to homes and businesses in San
Jose, a flood control project straddling the city’s northern
edges with Milpitas may be in danger of being shut down because
of red tape. …
The Environmental Protection Agency has dismissed at least five
members of a major scientific review board, the latest signal
of what critics call a campaign by the Trump administration to
shrink the agency’s regulatory reach by reducing the role of
Environmentalists and public health advocates are going to
court to fight the Trump administration’s move to rewrite
Obama-era rules limiting water pollution from coal-fired power
plants. … The rule would have required utilities to cut
the amounts of toxic heavy metals in the wastewater piped from
their plants into rivers and lakes often used as sources of
In a Trump administration beset by lost opportunities, muddled
strategies and frequent missteps in its first 100 days, one
area stands out for its disciplined approach and early
successes: the multi-front assault on environmental
regulations. … Planned action on climate change has been
shelved, national monuments are imperiled, clean air and water
rules have been eroded.
The Trump administration is rolling back an Obama
administration rule requiring companies that drill for oil and
natural gas on federal lands to disclose chemicals used in
hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking.
A federal appeals court has rejected the Desert Water Agency’s
challenge to a Department of the Interior regulation, denying
the agency’s argument that the rule could prevent it from
collecting millions of dollars in revenue from customers in the
Palm Springs area.
To friends and critics, Mr. [Scott] Pruitt seems intent on
building an E.P.A. leadership that is fundamentally at odds
with the career officials, scientists and employees who carry
out the agency’s missions. That might be a recipe for strife
and gridlock at the federal agency tasked to keep safe the
nation’s clean air and water while safeguarding the planet’s
President Donald Trump has signed an executive order mandating
a review of an Obama-era rule aimed at protecting small streams
and wetlands from development and pollution, fulfilling a
campaign promise while earning the ire of environmental groups.
President Trump is expected to sign an executive order on
Tuesday aimed at rolling back one of former President Barack
Obama’s major environmental regulations to protect American
waterways, but it will have almost no immediate legal effect,
according to two people familiar with the White House plans.
The U.S. Senate on Friday confirmed President Donald Trump’s
pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, Oklahoma
Attorney General Scott Pruitt, giving Trump a lieutenant poised
to make deep cuts to the EPA and transfer some if its
enforcement responsibilities to states and localities.
Despite weeks of rain and a growing perception that the
California drought is dead or dying, state officials Wednesday
largely extended the water regulations that have become the new
normal in cities and towns throughout the state.
A crucial deadline passed quietly on January 1 that has big
repercussions for the future of California’s water. It was
the first of several deadlines that enforce new requirements
for water diverters to precisely measure and report the amount
of water they take from the state’s streams. Some 12,000 people
and businesses that hold state water rights, large and small,
are bound by the new rules.
A freeze on new grants and contracts at the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency prompted strong criticism in California on
Tuesday as Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom accused President Donald Trump
of putting communities at risk by holding up critical funding.
The Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of
Agriculture and the Department of Interior are among the
agencies reportedly facing at least temporary gag orders, as
the new administration takes over and begins what is expected
to be a dramatic remaking of policy and an easing of
A Trump administration freeze on new Environmental Protection
Agency contracts and grant awards raised fears that states and
other recipients could lose essential funding for drinking
water protection, hazardous waste oversight and a host of other
programs — while a communications blackout left them dangling
Legally, California’s environmental rules and programs could be
challenged in a variety of ways by the Trump administration –
putting at risk wildlife and coastal protections, land use
regulations, and pollution controls.
A protracted conflict over whether and how to protect fish from
dying at desalination plants is clouding prospects for what
would be California’s second large plant of this type – and for
the future of desalination along the entire
California coastline. For years, a proposed Poseidon
Resources desalination plant in Huntington Beach in Orange
County has been kept in limbo.
Within less than a year, as many as 50,000 marijuana growers in
California could be required to obtain state permits for the
irrigation water they consume. … This new ability to regulate
water for marijuana growing is a result of SB 837, a state law
signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on June 27.
While mandatory statewide conservation is over, California
water officials say conservation remains a “top priority.”
“Rain or shine, drought or no drought, state mandated target or
not, Californians should keep conserving,” said State
Water Resources Control Board Chair Felicia Marcus.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has banned the
disposal of hydraulic fracturing waste water at public sewage
plants, formalizing a voluntary practice that removed most
fracking waste from Pennsylvania plants starting in 2011. The
EPA on Monday finalized a rule that prevents operators from
disposing of waste from unconventional oil & gas operations at
publicly owned treatment works [POTW's].
California on Wednesday suspended its mandatory statewide 25
percent reduction in urban water use, telling local communities
to set their own conservation standards after a relatively wet
winter and a year of enormous savings in urban water use.
Marking a major shift in California water policy, state
regulators Wednesday voted to lift the statewide conservation
targets that for the past year have required dramatic cutbacks
in irrigation and household water use for the Sacramento region
and urban communities across the state.
Gene Lee poured a jug of water over his head after a recent
surf session at San Onfore State Beach. … The state shut
down showers at state beaches last July, shortly after Gov.
Jerry Brown issued new rules aimed at cutting water use,
statewide, by 25 percent.
California water regulators announced new drought rules on
Monday that will loosen mandatory conservation targets while
making permanent some of the measures that have helped reduce
water use during the past year.
Some of the temporary water-saving measures imposed on
homeowners and water agencies — including how you wash your car
at home and how you water your lawn — are now permanent under
an executive order issued Monday by Gov. Jerry Brown.
With California entering its fifth year of a statewide drought,
Gov. Jerry Brown moved on Monday to impose permanent water
conservation measures and called on water suppliers to prepare
for a future made drier by climate change.
On the same day that Gov. Jerry Brown sought to make water
conservation a way of life for Californians by permanently
banning some wasteful practices, regulators in Sacramento
prepared to significantly ease the current drought restrictions
for urban residents and businesses.
California’s historic drought rules are going to be a whole lot
looser this summer. In a major shift, the administration of
Gov. Jerry Brown announced Monday plans to drop all statewide
mandatory water conservation targets it had imposed on urban
areas last June.
Gov. Jerry Brown and top water regulators on Monday laid out a
revised game plan for dealing with California’s persistent
drought, making some conservation rules permanent while also
moving to give communities more of a say in deciding how much
water they must save.
Just a year ago, California regulators ordered cities and
suburbs across the state to make drastic cuts in water use,
telling residents the time had come to make longstanding
lifestyle and landscaping changes consistent with a state with
Residents of drought-stricken California doubled their water
conservation efforts in March compared with the month before by
turning off their sprinklers when the rain fell and changing
habits, officials said Tuesday.
Some residents of drought-stricken California who let their
lawns turn brown and took shorter showers could soon get some
relief, while others may continue to feel the pain. In the
coming months, state officials will undertake a monumental task
of rewriting conservation orders for a fifth year of drought.
With the wettest winter in five years having taken the hard
edges off the historic drought and a key Sierra snowpack
reading Wednesday expected to show big gains, Californians can
look forward to substantial relief from mandatory statewide
The presence of a metallic element that at high levels has
been linked to kidney and liver damage in Coachella’s
drinking water could cost the city millions of dollars a year
as it works to comply with new state regulations.
Following a welcomed parade of El Niño storms drenching
drought-stricken California, state officials on Tuesday will
decide whether to extend emergency conservation orders, and
reveal how much water Californians saved in December.
The regulations adopted by the State Water Resources Control
Board require all those who divert water from rivers and
streams to measure and report how much they use annually.
… In a separate decision, the state water board ended a
more than decade-long dispute with the Morongo Band of Mission
Indians by deciding not to revoke a license held by the tribe.
Acknowledging the challenges posed by the hot, dry climate
endemic to much of inland California, state drought regulators
Friday proposed easing the water-conservation rules for
Sacramento and other communities where it takes extra water to
keep trees from dying.
The proposed changes to California’s emergency drought
regulation reward water districts for investing in new local
supplies and allow for adjustments to savings goals based on a
district’s climate and population growth.
The Environmental Protection Agency broke the law in a social
media campaign intended to generate public support for a
controversial rule to protect small streams and wetlands from
development and pollution, congressional auditors said Monday.
The Environmental Protection Agency engaged in “covert
propaganda” and violated federal law when it blitzed social
media to urge the public to back an Obama administration rule
intended to better protect the nation’s streams and surface
waters, congressional auditors have concluded.
Municipal water agencies from Sacramento and elsewhere pleaded
for relief from California’s mandatory drought cutbacks Monday,
arguing they should be given credit for coping with arid
climates and developing their own supplies.
Californians posted a 22 percent savings in water use in
October, marking the first month residents have missed the
state’s mandatory 25 percent conservation target since
enforcement of the cutbacks began in June, officials said
Tuesday in Sacramento.
But during an unusually hot October, state regulators say,
water savings hit a snag. For the first time, residents and
businesses fell short of the statewide target, cutting their
water consumption by 22.2% in October compared with the same
month in 2013.
Gov. Jerry Brown’s latest executive order provisionally extends
California’s drought restrictions into next fall and calls on
the State Water Resources Control Board to consider adjusting
the rules in the coming weeks.
The tensions in Kings County offer just a taste of what’s
expected in cities and towns throughout California’s farm belt
over the next few years as local officials work to enact the
state’s first-ever groundwater regulations.
A federal appeals court on Friday blocked an Obama
administration rule that attempts to clarify which small
streams, wetlands and other waterways the government can shield
from pollution and development.
In the week that the new Waters of the United States Rule
(“WOTUS Rule”) was scheduled to take effect on August 28, 2015,
three Federal District Courts issued rulings reaching opposite
conclusions on the question of whether District Courts have
jurisdiction to hear these cases: one court ruled it has
jurisdiction and took the additional step of issuing a
preliminary injunction against the rule; two courts dismissed
challenges for lack of jurisdiction. Several other
challenges remain pending in both Federal District Courts and
Courts of Appeal.
A federal judge in North Dakota is allowing arguments over the
scope of his injunction blocking a new Obama administration
rule that would give the federal government jurisdiction over
some smaller waterways.
The Environmental Protection Agency says it is going forward
with a new federal rule to protect small streams, tributaries
and wetlands, despite a court ruling that blocked the measure
in 13 central and Western states.
A federal judge in North Dakota on Thursday blocked a new Obama
administration rule that would give the federal government
jurisdiction over some smaller waterways just hours before it
was set to go into effect.
State water officials on Wednesday softened their approach to
telling thousands of California farmers to stop pumping from
rivers to irrigate crops during the drought but warned that
stiff penalties still await anybody who takes water they don’t
have a right to use.
State officials, who are already urging people to let their
grass yards wither during the drought, passed new rules
Wednesday essentially banning them from being planted around
new commercial buildings, while limiting grass to about 25
percent of the landscaping at new homes.
The latest of the suits against the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was
filed last week by the attorney general of Oklahoma, Scott
Pruitt, who said that the [federal clean water] rule will make
farm, industrial and private property owners “subject to the
unpredictable, unsound, and often Byzantine regulatory regime
of the EPA.”
Californians in May shot past Gov. Jerry Brown’s water
conservation targets in response to the drought emergency — a
profound shift in behavior for a state that until recently
prized its hot tubs, lush landscaping and spotless cars.
Water use in drought-stricken California plunged by record
levels in May, and Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration cited that
as proof cities can hit steep summer conservation targets they
have blasted as unfair.
In a rare bit of encouraging news in a state gripped by
drought, regulators reported Wednesday that urban Californians
reduced their water consumption by 28.9 percent in May from the
same month two years ago.
State officials on Wednesday formally adopted new rules
governing hydraulic fracturing in California, setting in motion
some of the toughest guidelines in the nation for the
controversial oil extraction practice.
The city sued the state this month after it learned it would be
rejected for inclusion in a special reduction tier that allows
suppliers to reduce water use by just 4% if they do not import
water and have at least a four-year supply.
Thirteen states led by North Dakota filed a lawsuit Monday
challenging an Obama administration rule that gives federal
agencies authority to protect some streams, tributaries and
wetlands under the Clean Water Act.
Efforts are underway in Congress to redo and sharply limit the
impact of what was known initially as the “Waters of the United
States” rule and was designed to help federal officials clarify
and simplify which bodies of water fall under the control of
the Clean Water Act, the pivotal 1972 environmental law.
New federal rules designed to better protect small streams,
tributaries and wetlands – and the drinking water of 117
million Americans – are being criticized by Republicans and
farm groups as going too far.
Facing resistance to sweeping mandatory restrictions approved
last week for urban water districts, California water board
Chair Felicia Marcus defended the cuts as a matter of
“self-interest” at a Senate hearing on Tuesday.
Local water suppliers and cities could now face major cuts in
revenue from water sales after the State Water Board approved a
set of drought regulations this week that seek to achieve a 25
percent in water use throughout the state.
State data released Tuesday painted a stark portrait of the
uphill struggle Californians face in achieving a mandated 25%
reduction in urban water use, with one official joking grimly
that dealing with severe drought was similar to grappling with
the five stages of grief.
Bringing California’s historic drought directly to every home
and business in the state, the administration of Gov. Jerry
Brown on Tuesday imposed the first mandatory urban water
conservation rules in state history.
California regulators unanimously adopted emergency drought
regulations Tuesday that for the first time will require tens
of millions of Californians and tens of thousands of businesses
to sharply reduce water use, a response to the state’s
unprecedented and deepening drought.
The State Water Resources Control Board released revisions to
its draft emergency regulations to restrict overall potable
urban water usage across the state by 25 percent. The
revisions, released late Tuesday, include language
clarifications and changes to certain provisions.
After hearing concerns from a coalition of local water
suppliers and policy makers on the newest set of drought
regulations, the State Water Resources Control Board included a
clause within its draft rules that would ease up water mandates
for areas with prolonged, ample water supplies.
The state water board has modified its proposed conservation
regulations in an attempt to incorporate feedback from
urban water suppliers, interest groups and members of the
public who had roundly criticized its framework.
Long considered timid and politically weak, the [State Water
Resources Control] board is flexing new muscle in response to a
dry spell that threatens to be the worst in modern California
history. … On Friday, the board is scheduled to issue
unprecedented new regulations to require urban Californians to
use 25% less water.
The State Water Resources Control Board late Tuesday issued the
draft framework for forthcoming emergency regulations designed
to help the state conserve water in the face of severe drought.
… Draft emergency regulations will be released April 17.
Adoption is scheduled for May 5 or May 6.
The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management
recently released a final rule to provide new oversight over
hydraulic fracturing (commonly referred to as “fracking”) on
federal and tribal lands. Existing federal regulations, which
include a permit requirement for fracking activities, will
remain in place.
In March 2014, two United States agencies charged with stemming
pollution in the nation’s waters proposed a 2-page rule change
in federal clean water regulations, a change based on more than
1,000 scientific studies, that was meant to clear up years of
legal muddiness in defining which small streams and wetlands
fell under government regulation.
The [State Water Resources Control] board last summer imposed
emergency regulations prohibiting Californians from washing
their cars with hoses that don’t shut off and limiting how
often they can water their lawns. Board members on Tuesday
appeared ready to extend those rules and add new ones.
Rather than allowing activist-generated hype to cloud the
discussion (“It’s time for California to end risky fracking,”
Viewpoints, Feb. 4), Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature
focused on the expertise of scientists and approved the
nation’s toughest regulations for fracking while allowing it to
continue, as it has routinely since the 1950s.
In a year the Republican-controlled Congress is expected to
take a significant whack at President Barack Obama’s
environmental agenda, GOP lawmakers on Wednesday told top
environmental officials they should scrap what was once a
fairly obscure proposal to define what is and isn’t considered
a body of water by federal law.
Regulations passed by the State Water Resources Control Board
last year required urban water suppliers to set mandatory
conservation rules in their communities – and required those
suppliers to report consumption data, to help illustrate how
well the rules are working.
On Tuesday, the State Water Resources Control Board is
scheduled to discuss whether to go beyond the current statewide
prohibitions on hosing down driveways and overwatering lawns,
and enact additional limits on outdoor water use such as
regulating times for sprinklers.
The San Joaquin County and Delta Water Quality Coalition has
developed an extensive program for water quality in our region.
… Last March the Central Valley Regional Water Quality
Control Board approved the waste discharge requirements for the
irrigated lands here in the San Joaquin and Delta area.
The Coachella Valley Water District is about to embark on its
costliest infrastructure project ever, designing water
treatment plants to remove a potentially hazardous heavy metal
from the water supply in places from Rancho Mirage to Thermal.
… The water district, like many others across the state, is
taking steps to comply with a new safe drinking water limit for
chromium-6 set by the California Department of Public Health.
Final regulations are now in place to establish what will
become the most comprehensive state oversight of hydraulic
fracturing in the nation, but two key parts of California’s
landmark 2013 law remain unfinished.
Despite the controversy, the state is working to develop
regulations for fracking, in which pressurized chemicals and
water are injected underground to dislodge gas trapped in rock
formations. … The State Water Resources Control Board hosts a
public workshop to discuss how and when sampling of groundwater
will be conducted, 8:30 a.m. at the Cal/EPA Building on I
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is hosting a
public meeting regarding the development of model criteria for
groundwater monitoring related to oil and gas well stimulation
treatments, as specified in Senate Bill 4 (Pavley,
Statutes of 2013). LLNL is the expert that the State
Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) is working
with to develop the model criteria for groundwater monitoring.
The meeting will be held at the Cal/EPA Building in Sacramento
on December 11th, 2014, from 8:30 am to 5 pm.
This drought year, as in those past, California water
regulators have given away to cities and farms some river flows
critical to fish and wildlife. … There are, however, legal
backstops to prevent harmful reductions in fish flows, even
during a drought as severe as this one.
This summer, California’s water authority declared that wasting
water — hosing a sidewalk, for example — was a crime. Next
door, in Nevada, Las Vegas has paid out $200 million over the
last decade for homes and businesses to pull out their lawns.
Some of the biggest savings have come in Southern California,
which faced criticism earlier this year for increasing water
use at a time when the rest of the state was cutting back,
according to state records released Tuesday.
When Tracy city workers first ran the numbers suggesting that
residents saved 41 percent more water in August than they did
the previous year — one of the highest conservation rates in
the state — Steve Bayley was stunned.
Wastewater management in California centers on the collection,
treatment, reuse and disposal of wastewater. This process is
conducted largely by public agencies, though there are also
private systems in places where a publicly owned treatment plant
is not feasible.
In California, wastewater treatment takes place through 100,000
miles of sanitary sewer lines and at more than 900 wastewater
treatment plants that manage the roughly 4 billion gallons of
wastewater generated in the state each day.
As part of the historic Colorado River Delta, the Salton Sea
regularly filled and dried for thousands of years due to its
elevation of 237 feet below sea level.
The most recent version of the Salton Sea was formed in 1905 when
the Colorado River broke
through a series of dikes and flooded the seabed for two years,
creating California’s largest inland body of water. The
Salton Sea, which is saltier than the Pacific Ocean, includes 130
miles of shoreline and is larger than Lake Tahoe.
The federal Safe Drinking Water Act sets standards for drinking
water quality in the United States.
Launched in 1974 and administered by the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency, the Safe Drinking Water Act oversees states,
communities, and water suppliers who implement the drinking water
standards at the local level.
The act’s regulations apply to every public water system in the
United States but do not include private wells serving less than
According to the EPA, there are more than 160,000 public water
systems in the United States.
This printed issue of Western Water looks at some of
the pieces of the 2009 water legislation, including the Delta
Stewardship Council, the new requirements for groundwater
monitoring and the proposed water bond.
This issue of Western Water looks at the political
landscape in Washington, D.C., and Sacramento as it relates to
water issues in 2007. Several issues are under consideration,
including the means to deal with impending climate change, the
fate of the San Joaquin River, the prospects for new surface
storage in California and the Delta.
2002 marks the 30th anniversary of one of the most significant
environmental laws in American history, the Clean Water Act
(CWA). The CWA has had remarkable success, reversing years of
neglect and outright abuse of the nation’s waters. But challenges
remain as attention turns to the thorny issue of cleaning up
nonpoint sources of pollution.
This printed issue of Western Water, based on presentations
at the November 3-4, 2010 Water Quality Conference in Ontario,
Calif., looks at constituents of emerging concerns (CECs) – what
is known, what is yet to be determined and the potential
regulatory impacts on drinking water quality.
This printed issue of Western Water discusses low
impact development and stormwater capture – two areas of emerging
interest that are viewed as important components of California’s
future water supply and management scenario.
This printed issue of Western Water examines the issues
associated with the State Water Board’s proposed revision of the
water quality Bay-Delta Plan, most notably the question of
whether additional flows are needed for the system, and how they
might be provided.
This printed issue of Western Water looks at hydraulic
fracturing, or “fracking,” in California. Much of the information
in the article was presented at a conference hosted by the
Groundwater Resources Association of California.
This printed issue of Western Water features a
roundtable discussion with Anthony Saracino, a water resources
consultant; Martha Davis, executive manager of policy development
with the Inland Empire Utilities Agency and senior policy advisor
to the Delta Stewardship Council; Stuart Leavenworth, editorial
page editor of The Sacramento Bee and Ellen Hanak, co-director of
research and senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of
This issue of Western Water looks at the BDCP and the
Coalition to Support Delta Projects, issues that are aimed at
improving the health and safety of the Delta while solidifying
California’s long-term water supply reliability.
This printed issue of Western Water looks at California
groundwater and whether its sustainability can be assured by
local, regional and state management. For more background
information on groundwater please refer to the Foundation’s
Layperson’s Guide to Groundwater.
20-minute version of the 2012 documentary The Klamath Basin: A
Restoration for the Ages. This DVD is ideal for showing at
community forums and speaking engagements to help the public
understand the complex issues related to complex water management
disputes in the Klamath River Basin. Narrated by actress Frances
For over a century, the Klamath River Basin along the Oregon and
California border has faced complex water management disputes. As
relayed in this 2012, 60-minute public television documentary
narrated by actress Frances Fisher, the water interests range
from the Tribes near the river, to energy producer PacifiCorp,
farmers, municipalities, commercial fishermen, environmentalists
– all bearing legitimate arguments for how to manage the water.
After years of fighting, a groundbreaking compromise may soon
settle the battles with two epic agreements that hold the promise
of peace and fish for the watershed. View an excerpt from the
As the state’s population continues to grow and traditional water
supplies grow tighter, there is increased interest in reusing
treated wastewater for a variety of activities, including
irrigation of crops, parks and golf courses, groundwater recharge
and industrial uses.
The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to California Water provides an
excellent overview of the history of water development and use in
California. It includes sections on flood management; the state,
federal and Colorado River delivery systems; Delta issues; water
rights; environmental issues; water quality; and options for
stretching the water supply such as water marketing and
The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to the Central Valley Project
explores the history and development of the federal Central
Valley Project (CVP), California’s largest surface water delivery
system. In addition to the history of the project, the guide
describes the various CVP facilities, CVP operations, the
benefits the CVP brought to the state, and the CVP Improvement
The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to the Delta explores the competing
uses and demands on California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
Included in the guide are sections on the history of the Delta,
its role in the state’s water system, and its many complex and
competing issues with sections on water quality, levees, salinity
and agricultural drainage, and water distribution.
The 28-page Layperson’s Guide to Water Rights Law, recognized as
the most thorough explanation of California water rights law
available to non-lawyers, traces the authority for water flowing
in a stream or reservoir, from a faucet or into an irrigation
ditch through the complex web of California water rights.
30-minute DVD that traces the history of the U.S. Bureau of
Reclamation and its role in the development of the West. Includes
extensive historic footage of farming and the construction of
dams and other water projects, and discusses historic and modern
A 30-minute version of the 2005 PBS documentary Water on the
Edge. This video is ideal for showing at community forums and
speaking engagements to help the public understand the complex
issues surrounding the New River.
Water truly has shaped California into the great state it is
today. And if it is water that made California great, it’s the
fight over – and with – water that also makes it so critically
important. In efforts to remap California’s circulatory system,
there have been some critical events that had a profound impact
on California’s water history. These turning points not only
forced a re-evaluation of water, but continue to impact the lives
of every Californian. This 2005 PBS documentary offers a
historical and current look at the major water issues that shaped
the state we know today. Includes a 12-page viewer’s guide with
background information, historic timeline and a teacher’s lesson.