Topic: Sacramento San Joaquin Delta

Overview

Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is California’s most crucial water and ecological resource.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Environmental turnaround — 8 issues that will pivot in California’s favor under Biden

As wildfires, heat waves, water scarcity and threats to wildlife intensify in the West, California’s effort to confront these environmental crises now has support in Washington, a stark change from the past four years. Even as former President Donald Trump spent his final days in office on the sidelines, lamenting his election loss, his administration continued to roll back environmental conservation and gut climate regulations. 

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Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

Blog: A Swiss cheese model for fish conservation in California

California water issues are notoriously complicated by a massive diversity of users, ecosystems, applications and futures. Indeed, water in the Delta has been described as a “wicked problem” indicating that these problems cannot be ignored and defy straightforward characterization and solutions. Below we highlight how a Swiss cheese model might be applied to vexing long-term declines in native fish populations in California.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Law

Friday Top of the Scroll: California water operations among Biden agency review plans

California’s tussle with federal authorities over water operations will get a second look under the new administration of President Joe Biden. The 46th president plans to sign a number of executive orders, including one that instructs agency heads to review actions taken under President Donald Trump that “were harmful to public health, damaging to the environment, unsupported by the best available science, or otherwise not in the national interest.” On the list for both the departments of Commerce and Interior is a review of new biological opinions adopted in 2019 governing water delivery in California. 

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Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

2021: Is this the year that wild delta smelt become extinct?

2020 was a bad year for delta smelt. No smelt were found in the standard fish sampling programs (fall midwater trawl, summer townet survey). Surveys designed specifically to catch smelt … caught just two of them despite many long hours of sampling. The program to net adult delta smelt for captive brood stock caught just one smelt in over 151 tries. All signs point to the Delta smelt as disappearing from the wild this year, or, perhaps, 2022. 

Aquafornia news Brentwood Press

National Heritage Area Management Plan Advisory Committee goes to work

Amid the seemingly endless stories of threats to the Delta and the people who depend upon it, there is an occasional bright spot. The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta was designated as a national heritage area (NHA) in March 2019. On Tuesday, Jan. 5, the first meeting of the NHA Management Plan Advisory Committee was held to begin the process of shaping the Delta NHA.

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

Blog: California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta – a short history of big changes

Deltas globally adjust with changes and fluctuations in external conditions, internal dynamics, and human management.  This is a short history of big changes to California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta) in the past and present, and its anticipated future.  This history is important for understanding how many of the Delta’s problems have developed, changed, and continue to change.

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

Drought, climate change and groundwater sustainability – Western Water news year in review

The ability of science to improve water management decisions and keep up with the accelerating pace of climate change. The impact to precious water resources from persistent drought in the Colorado River Basin. Building resilience and sustainability across California. And finding hope at the Salton Sea. These were among the issues Western Water explored in 2020. In case you missed them, they are still worth taking a look at.

Aquafornia news State Water Contractors

Blog: It is not a question of a Delta tunnel or local supply projects: Both are necessary for a secure water future

The Delta Conveyance Project is a necessary upgrade to ensure that our aging 1960-era State Water Project (SWP) infrastructure will continue to function into the future …  An emerging narrative that we have seen from project opponents is the false choice between either supporting the Delta Conveyance Project or supporting more local and regional projects to develop alternative or expanded water supply sources. These are not alternatives to each other. We can and must do both.
-Written by Jennifer Pierre, general manager of the State Water Contractors

Aquafornia news Estuary News

How the Great Flood of 1862 inspired Measure AA

When Hurricane Sandy hit New York City in 2012, it was a wake-up call for Bay Area Council members, who were glued to coverage of the devastation from their tenth floor offices near San Francisco’s Ferry Building… They asked themselves if the disaster unfolding 3,000 miles away could strike here too. [They] realized the answer was yes when they learned about the Great Flood of 1862, the worst in California’s recorded history.

Aquafornia news Woodland Daily Democrat

Opinion: Statewide network would improve floodplains

In California’s contentious water battles, finding points of agreement is a challenging task as diverse interests compete for a steadily dwindling, essential natural resource. By pulling together these diverse interests, we found a way to make progress towards improving what is arguably California’s hardest-working floodplain, the 60,000-acre Yolo Bypass.
-Written by Jim Provenza and Gary Sandy, Yolo County Supervisors, and Robin Kulakow, founder of the Yolo Basin Foundation.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Editorial: Biden election offers hope for preserving the Delta

The forthcoming Biden administration is California’s best — and perhaps only — hope for solving vexing water issues that have largely been put on hold for more than a decade. It should be clear that state leadership is incapable of crafting a comprehensive water strategy. The California Department of Water Resources continues to push for pumping additional water from the fragile Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta at the expense of its immediate and long-term health.
-Written by the editorial board of the San Jose Mercury News

Aquafornia news Dredging Today

Supporting levee projects throughout Sacramento Valley

Working with Rep. Jerry McNerney, Rep. John Garamendi expedited completion of the Army Corps feasibility study for the San Francisco Bay to Stockton Navigation Improvement Project. This feasibility study examines deepening the John F. Baldwin and Stockton Deepwater Ship Channels from their existing depths of -35 feet mean lower low water to -40 feet and beneficially reusing dredged sediment for marsh restoration of subsided islands in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Thursday Top of the Scroll: California’s water wars have created a dilemma in the Delta: fishing or fresh water?

Bass fishing is a pillar of the delta. But, as with many things in this vast estuary at the edge of the Bay Area, the sport and its cottage industry of marinas, bait shops, boat showrooms and bars are threatened by converging forces: climate change, drought, development and California’s escalating water wars. The fishing community — alongside farming, boating, tourism and other livelihoods in these rural lowlands — is caught up in the unsparing effort to boost the delta’s freshwater exports.

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Aquafornia news Rep. John Garamendi

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

Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA)… secured key provisions in the “Water Resources Development Act of 2020” (S.1811) for the California Delta and Central Valley. The legislation passed the House today and is expected to pass the Senate with strong bipartisan support and become law this year. 

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Aquafornia news Delta Stewardship Council

Blog: Delta adapts — Creating a climate resilient future

California Governor Gavin Newsom’s recent Executive Order (N-82-20) reinforced the urgency of accelerating “nature-based solutions to our climate and extinction crises.”…The forthcoming Delta climate vulnerability assessment is innovative and essential, but it is only a first step.

Aquafornia news Ag Alert

Delta farmers express doubts on ‘carbon farming’

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

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

$15 million credit line will help Antioch build desalination plant

Antioch’s plan to build a desalination plant to clear up the city’s brackish water got another boost this week when the City Council unanimously approved $15 million in interim financing.

Aquafornia news Livermore Independent

Zone 7 to spend $2.8M on Delta Conveyance Project

In a 5-2 vote, the Zone 7 Water Agency Board approved the expenditure of $2.8 million as the agency’s share for the next phase of planning on the Delta Conveyance.

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Aquafornia news Delta Legacy Communities

Blog: Could damages from Oroville spillway cases bankrupt the State Water Project?

The consolidated Oroville Spillway cases are currently scheduled to go to trial in April of 2021. A large judgement for monetary damages could potentially bankrupt the State Water Project, according to filings by the Department of Water Resources.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Opinion: Tom Birmingham: Why restoring tidal marsh is good for SJ Valley farmers

Why would a public water agency that exists primarily to serve irrigation water to farmers on the west side of Fresno and Kings counties undertake an ecosystem restoration project in the Delta?

Aquafornia news KCRA TV

What’s that digging in the Delta?

Work crews have been busy this week along Twin Cities Road near Courtland. They are conducting core sampling, the first step in drafting an environmental impact report for a tunnel plan known as the Delta Conveyance Project.

Aquafornia news Sites Reservoir Project

Blog: Reliable water supplies for reliable food

Millions of people across our nation, and countless millions throughout the world depend on California’s farms and ranches for the food they eat every single day. California leads the nation as the country’s largest agricultural producer and exporter and serves as a vital link in the world’s food supply chain.

Aquafornia news San Joaquin Valley Sun

Westlands celebrates habitat restoration following third straight year of finding zero Delta Smelt

Westlands Water District announced Wednesday that it recently completed the Lower Yolo Restoration Project, which restored the habitat for fish and other wildlife species in part of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. … The land had been previously used for cattle grazing, and now it has transformed into tidal marsh, riparian and upland buffer habitat. 

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Aquafornia news Northern California Water Association

Blog: State investing in Sacramento Valley salmon recovery

The California Natural Resources Agency recently announced the investment of almost $50 million in Proposition 68 funding for projects to promote salmon recovery. More than $220 million in Proposition 1 and Proposition 68 funds have also been dedicated for multi-benefit flood protection projects in the past two years that will benefit salmon.

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Aquafornia news Estuary Magazine

Study: Estimates of salmon lost to Delta pumps outdated

Current estimates of young salmon lost to the south Delta pumps are based on a smattering of studies from the 1970s and should be updated, according to a new analysis. “They don’t represent current operations,” says Ukiah-based consultant Andrew Jahn, lead author of the analysis reported in the September 2020 issue of San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science.

Aquafornia news SJV Water

Kern farmers tapped for $14 million to study Delta tunnel

The Kern County Water Agency board of directors voted unanimously to approve an agreement with the Department of Water Resources to pay $14 million over 2021 and 2020 as its initial share of the early planning and design phase for what’s now being called the Delta Conveyance Facility.

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Aquafornia news GVWire.com

Zero Delta smelt found in latest search; new habitat hopes to change that

An annual search for a tiny endangered and contentious fish in the sprawling California Delta has once again come up empty. The state’s annual Fall Midwater Trawl found no Delta smelt in September’s sampling of the critical waterway. … Hoping to reverse the trend, Westlands Water District and the California Department of Water Resources announced completion of a Delta habitat restoration project on Wednesday.

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Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

What is the state’s role in financing conveyance projects?

On July 28, Gov. Newsom issued the final water resilience portfolio which calls for actions to meet California water needs through the 21st Century. Specifically, Action 19.4 directs the Water Commission to assess the state’s role in financing conveyance projects that could help meet needs in a changing climate. At their October meeting, commissioners began the work set out for them in the portfolio…

Aquafornia news California Fisheries Blog

Blog: May-September Delta water temperature standard needed

To protect smelt and salmon, there need to be reasonable water temperature standards in the Delta. The existing water temperature standard in the lower Sacramento River above the Delta is 68oF, but managers of the state and federal water projects pay it almost no heed.

Aquafornia news SJV Water

Pricey tunnel sparks talk of water sales

Getting water through a tunnel under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta would be pricey. So pricey, some Kern County water districts were looking for an “off-ramp” by potentially selling their main state water supply out of the county. The request was shot down on Nov. 6 by the Kern County Water Agency, which holds the contract for state water on behalf of 13 area water districts.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

California’s climate agenda likely to get big boost from Biden — look for reversal of Trump policies

California’s war with Washington over the environment will soon come to an end. … President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to act quickly to restore and strengthen dozens of protections on public lands, water and wildlife. In addition, California’s efforts to fight climate change will no longer face hurdles put up by the White House, which has downplayed the global threat.

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Aquafornia news FishBio

Blog: In the weeds: Invasive aquatic plants can increase juvenile salmon predation risk

Not only are non-native predators abundant, but predation risk may be compounded by the prevalence of invasive vegetation such as Brazilian waterweed (Egeria densa). These non-native plants may deal a double blow to Chinook salmon by restricting their access to formerly open-water habitat and by providing predators like largemouth bass an edge in a habitat they are well-adapted to.

Aquafornia news Livermore Independent

Accusations and denials arise over bond sale plans for Delta Tunnel

A declaration suit filed in Superior Court in Sacramento by attorneys for some of the leading environmental groups in America accuses the California Department of Water Resources of trying to prevent anyone in California from filing a court action challenging … the financing of a single tunnel that would be built under the Delta for 35 miles.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

Blog: DWR certifies final EIR for Delta’s largest tidal habitat restoration project

The Department of Water Resources has moved one step closer to starting the Delta’s largest multi-benefit tidal restoration and flood improvement project… Lookout Slough is in unincorporated Solano County, near the border of Yolo County. It is adjacent to additional tidal restoration efforts, including Yolo Flyway Farms and Lower Yolo Ranch, to create a contiguous wetland restoration complex spanning 16,000 acres in the Cache Slough region of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Metropolitan committee discusses funding planning costs, how to account for project benefits, who is in and who is out

At Metropolitan’s Bay-Delta Committee, staff continued preparing committee members for the upcoming decision on funding the planning costs for the Delta Conveyance Project which is anticipated to be before the full board in December.

Aquafornia news Livermore Independent

Accusations and denials arise over bond sale plans for Delta tunnel

A declaration suit filed in Superior Court in Sacramento by attorneys for some of the leading environmental groups in America accuses the California Department of Water Resources of trying to prevent anyone in California from filing a court action challenging the bonds after the bond sales are underway.

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Aquafornia news The Rocky Mountain Collegian

CSU Hydraulics Lab creates physical model for dam design

The Colorado State University Hydraulics Lab has been working on the Los Vaqueros Reservoir expansion project for the last 11 months. … Designers of the dam project in California contacted the university’s lab to produce a physical design that will have the ability to raise an existing dam’s capacity… 

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

Blog: DWR water flow experiment successfully increases habitat for endangered Delta smelt

By experimenting with how salty ocean water mixes with fresh water within Suisun Marsh, the California Department of Water Resources has found a way to improve habitat conditions for endangered delta smelt within the upper San Francisco Estuary.

Aquafornia news Fairfield Daily Republic

SF estuary flows into restored marsh for first time since 1800s

The first phase of a highly touted tidal marsh recovery plan was completed this week when a levee was breached and the restored marsh area was reconnected to the San Francisco Bay estuary for the first time since the late 1800s. The first phase of the Montezuma Wetlands Restored Tidal Marsh Project was completed Tuesday.

Aquafornia news CalMatters

Opinion: Delta tunnel project would secure California’s water future

The Delta Conveyance Project is a necessary investment to secure California’s water future. Let’s face it, our climate is changing rapidly and becoming more unpredictable – wildfires are larger and more frequent, the seas are rising, droughts are lasting longer and storms are fiercer. The need for this project has never been clearer.  

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Aquafornia news Arizona Republic

World’s fish scientists appeal for action to reduce greenhouse gases

In their statement, the scientists laid out the grim picture that has emerged from thousands of peer-reviewed studies: Climate change is inflicting extensive harm to aquatic ecosystems, both in freshwater and the oceans. The degradation of these ecosystems, which are among the most threatened on Earth, is accelerating.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

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

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

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Friday Top of the Scroll: California slammed over ‘blank check’ for Delta tunnel project

Lobbing another hurdle at California’s $16 billion plan to tunnel underneath the West Coast’s largest estuary, environmentalists on Thursday sued to freeze public funding for the megaproject championed by Gov. Gavin Newsom. Led by Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity, a familiar coalition of critics claim the cash-strapped state is pursuing a “blank check” for a project that isn’t fully cooked.

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Aquafornia news Woodland Daily Democrat

Collaboration between rice farmers and environmentalists working out nicely

When driving over the Yolo Bypass in the winter, one can’t help but notice the flooded fields. … Historically, the area used to be wetlands and floodplain habitat, but now, farmers grow rice there. After harvest, the fields are flooded to not only help decompose the leftover rice straw but also, as a surprise to many, recreate a surrogate habitat for many area wildlife, most notably birds.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Delta watermaster breaks down water use in the Delta, addresses implementation of reduced reliance on the Delta

At the Oct. 22 meeting of the Delta Stewardship Council, Delta Watermaster Michael George gave a detailed presentation on estimating water use in the Delta… He also discussed implementation of the state’s policy of reducing reliance on the Delta and provided updates on the preparations for the next drought…

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

Local tribes, fishermen, conservationists call on Warren Buffet to undam the Klamath

Members of local tribes, fishermen and conservationists are calling on Warren Buffett to undam the Klamath. People across the country joined members of the Karuk, Yurok, Klamath and Hoopa Valley tribes on Friday for a day of action to get the attention of Buffett, the owner of Pacific Power and the Klamath River dams…

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Aquafornia news Western Water

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

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

Western Water Gary Pitzer Layperson's Guide to the Delta By Gary Pitzer

Is Ecosystem Change in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Outpacing the Ability of Science to Keep Up?
WESTERN WATER IN-DEPTH: Science panel argues for a new approach to make research nimbler and more forward-looking to improve management in the ailing Delta

Floating vegetation such as water hyacinth has expanded in the Delta in recent years, choking waterways like the one in the bottom of this photo.Radically transformed from its ancient origin as a vast tidal-influenced freshwater marsh, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta ecosystem is in constant flux, influenced by factors within the estuary itself and the massive watersheds that drain though it into the Pacific Ocean.

Lately, however, scientists say the rate of change has kicked into overdrive, fueled in part by climate change, and is limiting the ability of science and Delta water managers to keep up. The rapid pace of upheaval demands a new way of conducting science and managing water in the troubled estuary.

Aquafornia news East Bay Times

Officials update Oakley council on creek flooding concerns

Contra Costa County Flood Control Division officials told the Oakley City Council recently that they’re still assessing the issues of concern caused by beavers that built a dam in an area of Marsh Creek near Creekside Park earlier this year. At the time, the city and county received a lot of backlash from the community and beyond because the county’s answer to the problem was to kill two beavers that built the dam.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

New reservoir in Stanislaus County clears a hurdle

Del Puerto Water District directors approved a final environment study Wednesday on a 82,000 acre-foot reservoir near Patterson. … The reservoir is proposed to increase reliability of water deliveries to thirsty farms and improve management of groundwater. The project in a canyon just west of Patterson has stirred debate. It would inundate part of scenic Del Puerto Canyon and raises fears the dam near Interstate 5 could fail, flooding the city of 23,000.

Aquafornia news AgAlert

Farmers look to plant more rice acreage in the Delta

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

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Board could approve study on new dam in Stanislaus County

The Del Puerto Water District is set to vote Wednesday on approving a final environmental impact study on a much-disputed storage reservoir in western Stanislaus County. … According to proponents, the reservoir storing up to 82,000 acre-feet will provide more reliable water deliveries to farmers south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta… Water pumped from the nearby Delta-Mendota Canal would be stored behind the dam.

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

Blog: New insights into Putah Creek salmon

Chinook salmon have become a welcome and familiar sight in recent years in Putah Creek. Considered a keystone species across the Pacific Northwest, Chinook salmon hold a special place in our past and present as a cultural and food resource. This includes for indigenous peoples of California, such as the Patwin people, on whose land UC Davis is located.

Aquafornia news Association of California Water Agencies

Blog: ACWA delivers roadmap to achieving voluntary agreements to state officials

ACWA on Oct. 15 submitted “A Roadmap To Achieving the Voluntary Agreements” to Gov. Gavin Newsom and top members of his Administration that calls on the state to take the necessary steps to re-engage on Voluntary Agreements regarding the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay-Delta and its tributaries.

Aquafornia news U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

News release: Delta Cross Channel gates to close for five days starting Tuesday, Oct. 20

The Bureau of Reclamation plans to temporarily close the Delta Cross Channel gates at 4 p.m. on Oct. 13. The closure is related to a lower Mokelumne River pulse flow to help prevent adult fall-run Chinook salmon from being diverted off their migratory route… The gates are scheduled to re-open at 10 a.m. on Oct. 24.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

Blog: DWR teams with state, federal partners to protect endangered species in State Water Project

A team of scientists from the California Department of Water Resources are working with federal and state partners to embrace the challenge of overseeing the implementation of one of the most complex endangered species permits in California history.

Aquafornia news InsideClimate News

A legendary biologist finds himself in the middle of California’s biggest water war, which his concern over the Delta smelt unwittingly helped trigger

Peter Moyle calls the Delta smelt a scapegoat for poor water management and a bellwether for an ecosystem sickened by overuse and major droughts. Several other fish species native to the Delta, he notes, are also listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act, including the longfin smelt, green sturgeon and spring run Chinook salmon…

Aquafornia news San Francisco Estuary & Watershed Sciences

How to respond? An introduction to current Bay-Delta natural resources management options

As one of the best-studied estuaries on the planet, San Francisco Bay and its upstream brackish and freshwater tidal regions (“Bay–Delta”; Figure1) has an impressive history of research and scientific progress. The past 2 decades have been especially eventful

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: Trump makes water demand of farms priority for new office

President Donald Trump on Tuesday created what he called a “subcabinet” for federal water issues, with a mandate that includes water-use changes sought by corporate farm interests and oil and gas. … The first priority set out by the executive order is increasing dam storage and other water storage, long a demand of farmers and farm interests in the West in particular. That includes California’s Westlands Water District, the nation’s largest agricultural water district.

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Aquafornia news WaterWorld

EPA announces $108M loan to improve water quality in the California Delta

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a $108 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to the Stockton Public Financing Authority to help modernize the city’s wastewater treatment facility and reduce nitrogen discharges to the San Joaquin River.

Aquafornia news The Press

Department of Water Resources calls for the community’s input

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) recently launched an environmental justice community survey to gather input to inform Delta Conveyance Project planning. The survey, entitled, “Your Delta, Your Voice,” seeks direct input from communities that may be disproportionately affected by the proposed project.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

What’s green, soggy and fights climate change?

Protecting intact peatlands [such as those in California] and restoring degraded ones are crucial steps if the world is to counter climate change, European researchers said Friday. In a study, they said peat bogs, wetlands that contain large amounts of carbon in the form of decaying vegetation that has built up over centuries, could help the world achieve climate goals like the limit of 2 degrees Celsius of postindustrial warming that is part of the 2015 Paris agreement.

Aquafornia news U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

News release: Delta Cross Channel gates to close for five days starting Tuesday, Oct. 13

The Bureau of Reclamation plans to temporarily close the Delta Cross Channel gates at 4 p.m. on Oct. 13. The closure is related to a lower Mokelumne River pulse flow to help prevent adult fall-run Chinook salmon from being diverted off their migratory route… The gates are scheduled to re-open at 10 a.m. on Oct. 17.

Aquafornia news GVWire.com

Prospective Westlands water board members look past legal challenges to get water, focusing on innovation

Unbeknownst to many, some voters will pick five new members of the Board of Directors of the Westlands Water District. GV Wire had a chance to speak with two of those… Both offered insights into how Westlands can change its reputation, how farmers can change their approach, and what their biggest adversaries are in the fight for water.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

He lives in a 65-year-old cruise ship idling in the California Delta. The life isn’t easy

California leaders are considering fixes including a massive water tunnel endorsed by Gov. Gavin Newsom to stabilize exports. But local communities, where livelihoods such as farming, fishing and tourism are wed to the water, don’t welcome the intervention. They feel under attack.  So do the dreamers, dropouts and unconventional sorts who have made this outpost their home.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Congress passes Harder bill aimed at invasive rodent

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

Aquafornia news CalMatters

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

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

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Delta conveyance update: Preliminary cost and benefits, mechanics of opting out, and more

In December, the Metropolitan Water District Board of Directors will be asked to support a motion to fund a portion of the planning costs for the Delta Conveyance Project. In preparation for the upcoming vote, staff began a series of presentations for the special committee on the Bay-Delta to prepare the directors for the vote.

Aquafornia news Bay Nature

Restoring a watershed for wildlife at Marsh Creek

Called the Three Creeks Parkway Restoration, the $9 million project will yield two acres of floodplain and a canopy of riparian trees set in nearly 4.5 acres of grassland and oak woodland. Construction began in May and is scheduled for completion at the end of the year…

Aquafornia news San Francisco Estuary Magazine

Makeover for Delta weed patch & salt trap?

The collaborative design process for the Franks Tract Futures project brought initially skeptical local stakeholders on board and is being hailed as a model for future initiatives. Yet major uncertainties remain as interested parties explore the challenges of implementing a complex redesign of a big chunk of the Delta.

Aquafornia news Natural Resources Defense Council

Blog: DWR is suing everyone for a blank check for a Delta tunnel

In the middle of a pandemic, an economic recession, and everything else that 2020 is throwing at us, in early August the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) filed a lawsuit against every Californian to authorize spending an unlimited amount of money … for an as yet undefined Delta tunnel project.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Audio: How fish interact with wetland topography

In this podcast, reporter Alastair Bland and UC Davis PhD student and fish researcher David Ayers discuss the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, its fish, its marshlands, its flows, and its future.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

Blog: Meet Luna: DWR’s four-legged resource for protecting California’s waterways

Through a partnership with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Law Enforcement Division – DWR is able to provide funding for Luna, a seven-year-old German Shepard who is trained to protect her handler, apprehend suspects, and detect various threats to Delta species and environments.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Estuary Magazine

The Delta’s blooming problem

Bright-green blotches of algae have been popping up all over the Delta since early summer, from Discovery Bay to the Stockton waterfront, befouling the air and poisoning the water with toxins that can sicken or even kill humans and animals. Veteran Delta watchers believe that this year’s harmful algal blooms may be the worst ever, and worry that some features of Governor Gavin Newsom’s recently released Water Resilience Portfolio for California will aggravate the problem.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

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

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

Aquafornia news San Francisco Estuary Magazine

Nursing salmon on flooded farms

In 2012 a team of salmon researchers tried a wild idea: putting pinky-sized Chinook on a rice field in the Yolo Bypass, a vast engineered floodplain designed to protect the city of Sacramento from inundation. … Now, after nearly a decade of testing fish in fields, a new paper in San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science outlines lessons learned as well as next steps in managing floodplains for salmon.

Aquafornia news U.S. Geological Survey

News release: How changing climate will impact the flow of sediment to the San Francisco Bay‐Delta

Results from the model showed potential increases in large flow events and sediment transport over the next century. While increased suspended sediment loads may have some negative effects, such as contaminant transport, increased sediment can improve fish habitats and help sustain wetlands in the Bay‐Delta.

Aquafornia news Delta Stewardship Council

Blog: From “wicked” to “complex”: A new lead scientist’s outlook on growing our understanding of Delta science

First in the Everglades and now in California, I aspired to be a part of the team of scientists peering into and unraveling that complexity, such that water management decisions could be made with improved awareness of likely outcomes.

Aquafornia news SciTechDaily

OpenET: Transforming water management in the U.S. West with NASA data

California’s Delta Watermaster Michael George is responsible for administering water rights within the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, which supplies drinking water to more than 25 million Californians and helps irrigate 3 million acres of farmland. For him, the development of OpenET signals an exciting opportunity for the future of water in the West.

Aquafornia news State Water Contractors

Blog: California water managers need more flexibility to move water when & where it’s needed most

For this reason, public water agencies and DWR have publicly negotiated amendments to their long-term water supply contracts in order to better plan the future of their local water supply portfolios. … The State Water Contractors applaud this coordinated and collaborative effort, which provides flexibility for single and multi-year non-permanent water transfers and exchanges.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

Blog: Why floodplains are important for California salmon

Floodplains were the historic rearing areas for juvenile salmon, and the remaining floodplains in California are an important food-rich habitat as present-day salmon grow and attempt to survive their trip out to the ocean. We sat down with Hailey Wright, a Department of Water Resources environmental scientist, to discuss the salmon lifecycle and her work designing and implementing projects in the Yolo Bypass…

Aquafornia news The Hill

Trump dismisses climate change role in fires, says Newsom needs to manage forest better

President Trump dismissed evidence pointed to by California’s governor of climate change’s role in the state’s continuing wildfires during a Fox News interview on Sunday… The president went on during the interview to attack California over its water management policies, which he blamed on efforts to protect the Delta smelt…

Aquafornia news E&E News

Senate hearing spotlights new ESA rewrite proposal

The perennial push for a new and, some say, improved Endangered Species Act resumes this week when a Senate panel examines the latest ambitious rewrite.

Aquafornia news CalMatters

Opinion: Water board must establish a state water budget that California can afford

Former U.S. Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt writes that a “Grand Bargain” in California water is needed to end the “political culture of deferral” and allow major water projects to advance. On the contrary, what’s needed is an adult regulator that will make hard choices that water users refuse to make.

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Aquafornia news The Press

Los Vaqueros Reservoir expansion moves ahead

A major expansion of Los Vaqueros Reservoir took a step forward with release of the final feasibility report by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation that concluded the initiative is economically viable. The reservoir is owned and operated by the Contra Costa Water District, and the project will increase its capacity by more than 70% when complete.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Delta Independent Science Board: 10 years on

At the August meeting of the Delta Independent Science Board, the new members joined with the outgoing members for reflections and discussion to bring the new members up to speed on the Delta ISB’s ongoing work.

Aquafornia news U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

News release: Reclamation announces virtual open house and public comment period extension for Shasta Dam proposal

Reclamation announces a virtual open house website for the Shasta Lake Water Resources Investigation Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. Website visitors will be able to learn more about the project, review summaries of Draft Supplemental EIS chapters, and submit comments.

Aquafornia news Forbes

Blog: Climate change may bring unexpected benefits to San Francisco Bay-Delta

The San Francisco Bay-Delta is literally threatened from all sides: rising sea levels from the ocean, disruptions to sediment supply from upstream, and within the Bay-Delta itself, development and other land use changes have left only a tiny fraction (5%) of marshland untouched. … A recent study by scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey used historical streamflow and sediment data to predict what will happen to the Bay-Delta under varying levels of climate change.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Blog: Making the most of water for the environment

Restoring specific “functional flows” would better support fish migration and spawning, water quality, dry-season base flows, and physical conditions that support aquatic species. A panel of experts, moderated by PPIC senior fellow and study coauthor Jeff Mount, discussed how to put this approach into practice. We invite you to watch the event video.

Aquafornia news U.S. Geological Survey

News release: Scientists collect water quality data prior to wastewater treatment plant upgrades

The Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District (Regional San) is currently completing major upgrades to its wastewater treatment plant. In anticipation of these upgrades, USGS scientists are gathering data to establish baselines for current nutrient levels and dynamics in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta).

Aquafornia news YubaNet.com

Study: Climate change could deliver more sediment and pollution to the San Francisco Bay-Delta

Climate change could deliver more silt, sand and pollution to the San Francisco Bay-Delta, along with a mixed bag of other potential consequences and benefits, according to a new study in the AGU journal Water Resources Research, which publishes research articles and commentaries providing a broad understanding of the role of water in Earth’s natural systems.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

EcoRestore update: Five years in, program makes big gains on Delta habitat restoration

California EcoRestore is an initiative started in 2015 under the Brown Administration with the ambitious goal of advancing at least 30,000 acres of critical habitat restoration in the Delta and Suisun Marsh by 2020. … At the August meeting of the Central Valley Flood Protection Board, Bill Harrell, gave an update on the Eco Restore program and the progress that has been made over the past five years.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Judge says owner of Suisun Bay island broke law

The owner of a Suisun Bay island violated the federal Clean Water Act when he destroyed marshland by building a levee and dumping dredged material while building duck-hunting ponds, a federal judge ruled Wednesday. The ruling is the latest in a years-long battle between regulators and John Sweeney, who owns an island in Suisun Bay, a tidal channel and marsh area northeast of San Francisco.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: In a California landscape defined — and divided — by water, a single issue unites people who live in the Delta: Digging in against the tunnel

Gov. Gavin Newsom, like governors before him, wants to overhaul how water moves through the delta. He’s proposing a 30-mile tunnel that would streamline the delivery of water from the Sacramento River, a bid to halt the ongoing devastation of the delta’s wetlands and wildlife while ensuring its flows continue to provide for the rest of the state. The pressures of climate change on water supplies have only increased the urgency to act. And the coronavirus pandemic and months of shelter-in-place orders haven’t slowed the planning. ….The tunnel, as much as anything, is the very symbol of the state’s never-ending water wars.

Aquafornia news East Bay Times

Franks Tract planners seek comments on final restoration proposal

Residents have until Wednesday to comment on a proposal for restoring Franks Tract, a 3,000-acre flooded island in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, to marshlands. … The preferred concept that’s emerged after several public meetings would restore about 1,000 acres to tidal marsh habitat and deepen other areas to provide fill for the marsh. Community concerns regarding navigation and recreation would also be addressed…

Aquafornia news Water is a Many Splendor’ed Thing

Audio: A historian’s view of the Delta

Waters of the Delta are in the midst of a tug-of-war. If California is not careful, the largest inland delta on the western coast of the North American continent will be damaged. Water is a Many Splendor’ed Thing brings you another water relationship that has a personally significant impact to your life.

Aquafornia news Restore the Delta

News release: Harmful algal outbreak worsens in SF Bay-Delta waters

The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board has reported that a recent collection of water samples from cyanobacteria harmful algal blooms along the Stockton waterfront contain microcystins up to 220 times higher than the “danger” level. These extremely dangerous readings were found at 5 out of 6 testing sites along the Stockton waterfront.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Delta conveyance: Independent Science Board discusses upcoming environmental review

The Department of Water Resources came to the August Delta Independent Science Board meeting to provide an overview of the Delta tunnel project including timeline and review process, as well as some thoughts on the board’s recent letter.

Aquafornia news Valley Economy

Blog: New $15.9b Delta tunnel cost estimate: Revisiting DWR’s 2018 analysis with updated costs shows it is a bad investment

Simply updating costs to this latest estimate ($15.9 billion in 2020 dollars is equivalent to $15 billion in the 2017$) reduces the benefit-cost ratio for State Water Project urban agencies from 1.23 to 0.92, and for agricultural agencies from 1.17 to 0.87. That’s a bad investment, but it is actually much worse than that.

Aquafornia news California Fisheries Blog

Blog: Franks Tract Futures project

The Franks Tract Futures Project is asking for additional comments on the State’s revised concept design.1 The project is an outgrowth of the State’s 2016 Delta Smelt Resilience Strategy, which recognized that Franks Tract is a death trap for state and federally listed Delta smelt.

Aquafornia news CalMatters

Opinion: Bruce Babbitt: Gov. Newsom must clarify his Delta tunnel plan

Tunnel proponents say they do not expect to operate the tunnel at capacity, and it would be in use mainly to draw from the periodic storms that send more water through the Delta out to San Francisco Bay. But how much would that be? The usual answer is: we will leave that to the experts.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Planning on playing in local waterways? Avoid the blue-green algae blooms

Public health officials are urging boaters, swimmers and recreational water users to be on the lookout for hazardous blue-green algae blooms as warm temperatures persist. San Joaquin County Environmental Health Department officials posted advisory signs at local marinas warning people to stay out of the water where toxic algae is present.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

California says Delta tunnel project will cost $15.9 billion

After months of relative quiet, Newsom’s administration released a preliminary cost estimate for the scaled-back project Friday: $15.9 billion for a single tunnel running beneath the estuary just south of Sacramento. That’s nearly as much as the old $16.7 billion price tag put on the larger, twin-tunnel plan…

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Aquafornia news SFGate.com

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

Because the invasive 20-pound rodents pose a unique threat to California’s wetlands, the state has expanded the Nutria Eradication Program over the past year to a staff of 26 field operatives 100% dedicated to exterminating the swamp rat. Unlike just about everything else in the state, the war against nutria has been almost entirely unaffected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Aquafornia news SJV Water

Proposed single Delta tunnel could cost $15.9 billion

A single tunnel proposed to take water under the sensitive Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and deliver it to farms and cities in the south could cost $15.9 billion, give or take, according to an initial assessment discussed at the Delta Conveyance Authority meeting on Thursday.

Aquafornia news Delta Stewardship Council

Blog: How far we’ve come: A reflection by outgoing Delta Lead Scientist Dr. John Callaway

Despite challenges that remain in the Delta, we have made progress over the last three years. I say we because it’s the exceptional staff and broader Delta community who have made such progress possible. Whether it be through collaborating, funding science, integrating social science, embarking on climate change initiatives, conducting independent peer reviews, or communicating scientific findings, oh how far we’ve come.

Aquafornia news San Joaquin Valley Sun

Kings of the river: Meet the water baron you (likely) haven’t heard of

You may have never heard of John Vidovich, but his impact on the day-to-day life of the average southern San Joaquin Valley farmer is difficult to be understated. Vidovich is the owner of Sandridge Partners, LP – a farmland investment firm that has undertaken more than 100,000 acres of Valley farmland.

Aquafornia news California Fisheries Blog

Blog: Saving native Central Valley salmonids

One survival bottleneck that needs opening for salmon and steelhead in the Central Valley is predation by non-native fish. There is a long list of non-native and native predators from which native fish need protection. The best protection is to minimize native-nonnative habitat interactions. That can best come from adequate physical-geographical habitat and habitat water quality for natives while minimizing non-native fish habitat.

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

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

The San Francisco Estuary is a dynamic and altered estuary that supports a high diversity of fishes, both native and non-native. … Since the 1950s, various agencies and UC Davis have established long-term surveys to track the status of fish populations. These surveys help scientists understand how fishes are responding to natural- and human-caused changes to the Estuary.

Aquafornia news Bakersfield Californian

Opinion: Delivering dollars for Central Valley water

Water is the lifeblood of our region and there are immense challenges to providing and maintaining a reliable and resilient water supply for both farms and communities in the Central Valley. As your congressional representatives, we’ve been working together to bring resources back home to address our collective needs.

Aquafornia news Delta Stewardship Council

News release: Supreme Court lets stand decision upholding Council’s authority for sustainable management of the Delta

As a result, the appellate decision, which upheld the central role of the Delta Stewardship Council in Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta water management and land use planning, remains intact and is governing law.

Aquafornia news California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Blog: California Department of Fish and Wildlife drone program provides bird’s eye view for environmental scientists

CDFW’s drone program got its start in the early 2010s as GIS Program Manager Steve Goldman and others saw the technology becoming more affordable and useful. In 2014, Goldman put together a dedicated team to research policy and best practices. The program officially launched in 2016 when it received Federal Aviation Administration authorization…

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

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

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

Aquafornia news East County Today

Video: Ironhouse Sanitary District recycled water fill station

The Ironhouse Sanitary District has released a video of how residents of the City of Oakley and Bethel Island can utilize the Recycled Water Fill Station. The station is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Recycled water can be used for the irrigation of lawns, plants, trees, and vegetable gardens.

Aquafornia news Sacramento News & Review

Environmental groups say Newsom’s water plan will worsen toxic threat in the Delta

At the end of July, Gov. Gavin Newsom released his revised plan for bringing long-term water security to all Californians. But his announcement was overshadowed by San Joaquin County and several Delta communities scrambling to confront the worst cases of toxic algae blooms ever seen on local sloughs and rivers.

Aquafornia news California Water Environment Association

Blog: Regional San’s landmark recycled water program gets new name

Regional San’s landmark recycled water program—previously known as the South County Ag Program—has been rebranded. Now known as Harvest Water, the program will be one of the largest water recycling projects in California and will deliver up to 50,000-acre feet per year of tertiary-treated recycled water to an estimated 16,000 acres of farm and habitat lands in southern Sacramento County.

Aquafornia news FishBio

Video: Evaluating non-native fish populations in the San Joaquin River

Our newest video features our ongoing project to study the non-native fishes of the San Joaquin River in California’s Central Valley. Non-native fishes outnumber natives in the San Joaquin, but we know surprisingly little about them…

Aquafornia news Manteca Bulletin

Opinion: Delta tunnel plan poses threat to N. San Joaquin Valley

The COVID-109 pandemic isn’t slowing work aimed at moving arguably the most cantankerous water project ever proposed in California since voters overwhelmingly rejected the Peripheral Canal in 1982 — the Delta Tunnel Project. … The State Department of Water Resources is currently preparing an environmental impact report on the project. At the same time they are also seeking all required state and federal approvals.

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Aquafornia news AgAlert

Portfolio outlines actions to address water problems

Now that Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration has released a final California Water Resilience Portfolio, farm organizations say they will monitor progress on implementing the plan’s proposals—and on resolution of ongoing state-federal conflicts that complicate achieving some of its goals.

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Aquafornia news Stanford Water in the West

Blog: Water policy expert Felicia Marcus joins Stanford

The Program on Water in the West at Stanford University is pleased to announce that Felicia Marcus, a preeminent water policy expert and the previous chair of the California State Water Resources Control Board, is joining the program as this year’s William C. Landreth Visiting Fellow.

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

Blog: Drought and the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta, 2012–2016: Environmental review and lessons

Droughts are common in California. The drought of 2012-2016 had no less precipitation and was no longer than previous historical droughts, but came with record high temperatures and low snowpack, which worsened many drought impacts.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

Blog: How sheds help ensure healthy water quality for millions of Californians

You may have noticed them on trips down the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, small buildings, just 10 feet by 12 feet, sticking up out of the water. Resembling sheds that you typically see in a backyard; these buildings provide protection for something slightly more important than the family gardening tools and lawnmower.

Aquafornia news Sen. Dianne Feinstein

News release: Feinstein, Kennedy introduce legislation to eradicate nutria

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

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Delta lead scientist report: New research papers focus on habitat, flow, predation

At the July meeting of the Delta Stewardship Council, Delta Lead Scientist Dr. John Callaway updated the Council on the latest scientific developments, discussing three papers that highlight the multi-faceted approach that is needed to address the Delta’s ecosystem; he also previewed upcoming events and provided the By the Numbers Report.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Ecosystem-based management in the Delta

The Delta Plan Interagency Implementation Committee is comprised of high-ranking members of 18 state, federal, and regional agencies… At the July 2020 committee meeting, members heard presentations on the Central Valley Project Improvement Act and the state’s new Incidental Take Permit and how those programs utilize principles of ecosystem-based management.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

California has a new plan to protect its water supply from climate change, but some say it’s based on old thinking

Water is a big deal in California, and climate change is threatening the precious resource. That’s why Gov. Gavin Newsom finalized a broad plan this week to help prevent future water challenges … The Water Resilience Portfolio outlines 142 actions the state could take to build resilience as the effects of warming temperatures grow.

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Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: Newsom lays out big dreams for California’s water future

Gov. Gavin Newsom released strategies Tuesday to improve drinking water quality, revive a stalled multibillion-dollar tunnel and build new dams. Newsom says the sweeping water portfolio will help the Golden State prepare for global warming by reinforcing outdated water infrastructure and reducing the state’s reliance on groundwater during future droughts.

Aquafornia news The Guardian

Migratory river fish populations plunge 76% in past 50 years

Species such as salmon, trout and giant catfish are vital not just to the rivers and lakes in which they breed or feed but to entire ecosystems. By swimming upstream, they transport nutrients from the oceans and provide food for many land animals, including bears, wolves and birds of prey.

Aquafornia news Livermore Independent

Zone 7 Water Agency to buy Napa’s surplus

Zone 7 Water Agency directors authorized General Manager Valerie Pryor to negotiate an agreement with Napa County’s water division to buy some of its surplus water this year — a move that could open doors for similar deals in the future. A need to meet local water demand for the next few years prompted Zone 7 to act at its regular meeting July 16.

Aquafornia news CBS Sacramento

Bill that allows California to apply for swamp rat-eradication funding passes House

In 2003, Congress passed The Nutria Eradication and Control Act, which established a fund to help Maryland and Louisiana battle the animals. Recently, the House of Representatives passed bipartisan legislation that now allows California to also receive support. The bill now heads to the Senate.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

MID and TID reach key milestone on Tuolumne River fish flows

The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission stated its support once again for the fishery releases proposed by the Modesto and Turlock irrigation districts. The action reaffirmed FERC findings in February 2019 that dismissed pleas from environmental and sport-fishing groups for much higher flows.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Toxic algae blooms spark warnings along Stockton waterfront

The California Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board said lab results from July 14 revealed high levels of a toxin called microcystins in scum samples from Mormon Slough, the downtown marina and Morelli Park Boat Launch that ranged from four to more than 20 times the state’s Tier 3 danger threshold.

Aquafornia news Fox40

Toxic algae blooms in and around Stockton worst they’ve ever been, Delta advocate says

Toxic sludge is collecting in corners, around boats and floating in patches through the Delta, turning the water bright green. “We’re watching it every year, with climate change becoming worse and worse,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla with Restore the Delta. Barrigan-Parrilla said this year’s bloom is the worst it’s ever been.

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Aquafornia news AgAlert

Thursday Top of the Scroll: River agreements stall amid focus on Delta litigation

With state and federal administrations fighting in court about delta water operations—and with a pandemic and election year both underway—work has slowed on voluntary agreements meant to avoid severe cuts to northern San Joaquin Valley water supplies. At issue is the first phase of a State Water Resources Control Board plan for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Aquafornia news Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

Blog: An early success story in the Delta

A century ago, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta was a massive wetland habitat. The construction of levees over the past 100 years has dried out these wetlands and converted them into farmland, eliminating 95 percent of this important aquatic habitat for fish. But scientists are finding out that given the right conditions, nature can reclaim itself.

Aquafornia news Engineering News-Record

EchoWater California megaprojects

The nearly $2-billion EchoWater project aims to meet a 2010 requirement issued by California and local authorities. They have called for cleaner discharge into the Sacramento River by 2023 from the Sacramento Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant in Elk Grove. With 21 projects, the EchoWater program’s largest components are now under construction and, despite complexities, remains on track to complete major work in 2022.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

California settles fight over hoarded dam water

As part of a settlement reached with fishing and environmental groups, the California State Water Resources Control Board says it will increase transparency and conduct heightened evaluations when deciding water quality standards and flow limits for the state’s critical waterways. … Environmentalists celebrated the deal as a “landmark settlement” that stands to boost protections for fish by improving water quality in the Sacramento River and the San Francisco Bay-Delta.

Aquafornia news Agri-Pulse

A more modest Sites Reservoir focuses on environment

The latest proposal would trim the budget by $2 billion and the storage capacity by about 300,000 acre-feet, according to Jerry Brown, the new executive director of the project. Sites would use existing canals for conveyance rather than build new pipelines. The plan also eliminates a pumped-storage system for generating and storing energy during high flow events. He said the business case for that element of the project “just didn’t pencil out.”

Aquafornia news U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Blog: Water hyacinth acts like ‘plastic wrap’ on the Delta

Looking at the water hyacinth’s lovely lavender flowers and lush green leaves, it’s easy to see why it was brought here from South America. But too much of a good thing can cause trouble, and few things turn into “too much” as quickly as water hyacinths (Eichhornia crassipes).

Aquafornia news Manteca Bulletin

Lathrop seeks discharge of treated wastewater into San Joaquin River

The City of Lathrop wants to secure a permit that will allow for the discharge of treated wastewater into the San Joaquin River. And last week they agreed to spend more than $400,000 to take steps towards achieving that longstanding goal.

Aquafornia news Rep. John Garamendi

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

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

Aquafornia news The Maritime Executive

Lind Marine completes construction of waterborne data center

Lind Marine, a Shipyard on the Mare Island Naval Complex in Vallejo, California, recently completed construction of a multi-year design-build waterborne data center project for Nautilus Data Technologies and has towed the vessel to Port of Stockton for permanent mooring.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Opinion: California almonds and salmon: Contrasts in sustainability

Earlier this year, the California Almond Board released a report regarding the acreage of almond trees that have reached bearing age and another with totals including young trees. These reports paint a stark picture of an unsustainable industry that threatens the Bay-Delta ecosystem and California’s salmon fishing jobs.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Understanding the human dimensions of social agro-ecological systems

This brown bag seminar was part of the selection process for a California Sea Grant Extension Specialist who will be hired jointly with the Delta Stewardship Council. … The candidate and presenter is Jessica Rudnick. Rudnick arrived at UC Davis in 2016 after completing her master’s in ecology and has since been a Ph.D. candidate at UC Davis.

Aquafornia news Western Farm Press

Reclamation’s Burman urges cooperation on water

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman says she’d like to see more cooperation from California officials as talks aim to resolve a legal dispute over competing biological opinions governing the management of their respective water projects.

Aquafornia news Northern California Water Association

Blog: A review of efforts to recover Sacramento Valley Chinook salmon

The most apparent observation I had after developing the comments was the substantial amount of work that has been undertaken in the Sacramento Valley to complete habitat projects and advance science for Chinook salmon recovery in the last 5 years.

Aquafornia news Merced Sun-Star

Opinion: State water board trying to drain away Merced County’s chief supply

Less than a week before Christmas in 2016, the State Water Resources Control Board held a single public hearing in our community. The topic? Draining our community’s water supply and sending it to the Bay Delta.

Aquafornia news Capitol Weekly

Phil Isenberg: Challenging conventional water wisdom

In five decades of public service Phil Isenberg has served as mayor of Sacramento, a member of the Assembly, a lobbyist, chairs of the Marine Life Protection Blue Ribbon Task Force, the Delta Vision Blue Ribbon Task Force, and, until 2016, the Delta Stewardship Council. … In a two-part oral history with Chris Austin, editor of Maven’s Notebook, Isenberg details the myths and complexities of California water politics.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

720,000 baby salmon released in Half Moon Bay harbor

The net pen program allows the young fish to leapfrog what would be a 250-mile river journey to the ocean, where the salmon would face thousands of water pumps, reverse currents in the Delta, and the chance of poor water quality and a procession of predators…

Aquafornia news EnviroBites

The burning question: How do wildfires impact watersheds?

Fadji Maina and Erica Siirila-Woodburn from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory explored how a watershed could be impacted by wildfires. Specifically, the scientists investigated the Cosumnes River watershed in California.

Aquafornia news U.S. Geological Survey

News release: Scientists launch two-pronged approach to map cyanotoxins in Bay-Delta

Over the last few decades the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta has experienced declines in phytoplankton productivity and a shift in species composition resulting in observed increases in harmful algal blooms (HABs).

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Brown bag seminar: Building socioecological resilience by confronting environmental injustice

This brown bag seminar is part of the selection process for a California Sea Grant Extension Specialist who will be hired jointly with the Delta Stewardship Council. The position with the Delta Stewardship Council will provide leadership in advancing collaborative partnerships and initiatives and in catalyzing and implementing social science research to inform management of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta region of California.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

Blog: Fremont Weir upgrade successfully balances need for infrastructure and ecosystem preservation

The Fremont Weir Adult Fish Passage Modification Project, which began modified operations in January of 2019, successfully allowed thousands of migrating fish to pass between the Sacramento River and Yolo Bypass in its first year of operations.

Aquafornia news AgAlert

Ruling avoids additional CVP supply cuts

U.S. District Court Judge Dale Drozd of the Eastern District of California, who is based in Fresno, denied environmental groups’ request for an injunction that would have required the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which operates the CVP, to reduce water allocations as needed to manage water temperatures in the Sacramento River below Shasta Dam. The groups sought more cold water for spring- and winter-run chinook salmon.

Aquafornia news CalMatters

Opinion: Without agreements on water, California needs to set new objectives and protections for the Delta

For more than a decade, California’s governors have pushed for “voluntary agreements” to establish rules for water diversions by major urban and agricultural water districts, and to redress their environmental impacts. Voluntary agreements crumbled recently, after the state’s largest water districts walked away from the table.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

$10.8M grant will fund environmental justice efforts in downtown, south Stockton

The California Strategic Growth Council selected Stockton alongside the cities of Oakland and Riverside to be a part of the Transformative Climate Communities Program… The grant will provide these neighborhoods with access to clean water, fresh fruits and vegetables and clean air to breathe, Mayor Michael Tubbs said.

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

Blog: Initial sampling of the Carp-DEUM Project

We want to know if removing carp can improve water quality and reduce harmful algal blooms, HABs. Carp are widely known to bioturbate sediments where previously deposited nutrients like phosphorus are bound. Re-suspension of phosphorus by carp leads to HABs, creating an interesting link between fish and human health.

Aquafornia news The Press

Franks Tract project sponsors seek input

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

Aquafornia news FishBio

Blog: No smelt, SHERLOCK – Rapid genetic tools to ID fish in the field

The white lab coats, sterile gloves, and meticulously controlled laboratories typically associated with genetic research are a far cry from the muddy, dusty, and utterly uncontrolled world of the field biologist. … However, advancements in molecular technology are placing all the power of a modern genetics lab into the (often slimy) hands of field biologists.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Delta science needs, Part 2: What do managers need to know to effectively make decisions in the future Delta?

The Delta is changing much faster than we can respond to, and if we want to start to get ahead of things, we need to think about what changes lie ahead and what managers and decision makers will need to manage those changes. That was the topic for the second Science Needs Workshop hosted by the Delta Science Program which brought together Jennifer Pierre with the State Water Contractors, Paul Souza with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and Campbell Ingram with the Delta Conservancy…

Aquafornia news Sacramento News & Review

As state slashes budget, director for proposed Delta tunnel earns twice as much as the governor

Documents obtained by SN&R reveal that the director of the joint powers authority leading the Delta water diversion effort, under the supervision and current financing of the state Department of Water Resources, is getting paid $47,000 every month—twice as much as Gov. Gavin Newsom and significantly more than President Trump.

Aquafornia news California Department of Fish and Wildlife

News release: California hatcheries complete release of 20 million young salmon

Hatcheries operated by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife in the Central Valley just completed the final release of young Chinook salmon raised this year. More than 20 million young salmon, called smolts, raised in four state-run hatcheries were released in various locations throughout the Sacramento and San Joaquin River systems, the Delta, San Pablo Bay and into a coastal net pen.

Aquafornia news CalMatters

Opinion: A social justice perspective of the Delta tunnel project

As California confronts increasing water challenges, the most equitable statewide solution from a social justice perspective is the single-tunnel project proposed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, known as the Delta Conveyance Project.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

Blog: DWR relaunches its research vessel monitoring program after COVID-19 delays

After being docked for three months due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Department of Water Resources relaunched its research vessel monitoring program, the Sentinel. It was the first time since the 1970s that DWR didn’t have a monitoring vessel taking field samples in the waters of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and San Francisco Estuaries.

Aquafornia news Delta Stewardship Council

Blog: An experiment in governance: Marking ten years of the Delta Stewardship Council

The creation of the Council was, in many ways, an experiment in governance by the California State Legislature and Schwarzenegger administration to address years of gridlock over how to manage the Delta’s limited natural resources and chart a science-based path forward for future management. After ten years with the Council, I can say, with conviction, the experiment is working.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Opinion: A Trojan horse with a state water grab inside

With a global pandemic, a catastrophic economic recession and record-high unemployment, one would think the state has enough issues to tackle. But proponents of a state water grab that I have been fighting since the day I was sworn into office in 2012 disagree. Where others see turmoil and anguish, they see opportunity. Apparently, they believe in the adage, “Never let a crisis go to waste.”

Aquafornia news Estuary Magazine

Sinking islands capture carbon credits

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

Aquafornia news East Bay Times

Officials say ’stay out of the water’ after harmful algal blooms found

Health officials are urging residents and visitors to stay out of the water in Discovery Bay after dangerous levels of harmful algae were detected. Marisa Van Dyke of the State Water Resources Control Board reported that recent lab results from water testing showed “significant” harmful algal blooms occurring in Discovery Bay. Multiple locations recorded a “danger” level, the highest threshold, she said.

Related article:

Aquafornia news East Bay Express

Blog: California farmers leverage COVID-19 in bid for more water

While tens of millions of pounds of food has been destroyed or buried in the ground during the coronavirus slowdown, a band of California’s farmers is claiming they can’t produce enough food to feed Americans, and they’re using the pandemic as leverage to grab more of the West’s scarce water.

Aquafornia news AgAlert

Delta dispute casts shadow on water supplies

With supplies curtailed from California’s largest water projects, farmers have been reducing acreage, water districts have been working to secure additional supplies, and everyone has been keeping an eye on the continued dispute between state and federal governments on managing the Delta.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Delta Stewardship Council: Lower Yolo Ranch restoration project appeal

The Solano County Water Agency has filed an appeal with the Delta Stewardship Council regarding the consistency determination submitted by Westlands Water District for the Lower Yolo Ranch Restoration Project. The letter points out that there are numerous existing agricultural and municipal water supply intakes in the Yolo Bypass Cache Slough Complex that will be impacted…

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

Blog: EcoRestore: 5 years, thousands of acres of restored habitat

This spring marked the fifth anniversary of the California EcoRestore initiative, a coordinated effort across state agencies to deliver 30,000 acres of restored fish and wildlife habitat in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, an immensely important landscape that five years ago only had 5 percent of its native habitat remaining.

Aquafornia news Pasadena Star News

Opinion: Reimagine California’s big-water dreams

A note from another former colleague the other day prodded me into some rethinking — as with everything in this economic crisis, partly in light of the need for California to think small. By which I mean, think local.

Aquafornia news The Press

State of California cautions residents about early algae season

Prompted by a complaint from a Discovery Bay resident, the State Water Board issued a press release on May 22 warning residents about harmful algal blooms (HAB). The press release comes early in the season, when HAB are not normally seen. The algal blooms, a build-up of blue-green algae toxin called cyanobacteria, float on top of the water or in the water and look like green, white or brown scum.

Aquafornia news East Bay Times

Public can weigh in on Franks Tract marshland proposal at upcoming webinar

Situated between Bethel Island and False River and accessible only by boat, Franks Tract is primarily used by fishermen, boaters and waterfowl hunters. But, over the past several years, the Department of Fish and Wildlife has been studying ways to restore part of the 3,523-acre underwater state park to its original marshland in the hopes of reducing saltwater intrusion into the Delta and more.

Aquafornia news NetworkWorld

Startup lands $100 million to build floating data centers

Now while the idea of water cooling is hardly new, I was a little flummoxed at Nautilus’s strategy, especially since its first data center will be based in Stockton, California, a city repeatedly voted one of the worst places to live, and the Calaveras River that runs through the town is filthy. There’s a method to the madness, though.

Aquafornia news Western Farm Press

Thursday Top of the Scroll: State, feds in talks over water

California and federal water regulators are trying to quickly resolve their legal dispute over competing biological opinions governing the management of their respective water projects, a top state official says. The talks are proceeding after Gov. Gavin Newsom filed suit in February to nullify new federal opinions that would ease restrictions on surface water for San Joaquin Valley growers.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Delta science needs: Looking at climate change impacts

The Delta Science Program is convening a Science Needs Assessment Workshop in October of 2020 to explore rapid environmental change facing the Delta relative to climate and other change impacts and to develop a comprehensive science needs assessment that will contribute to a long-range science strategy.

Aquafornia news PR Newswire

News release: Longfin smelt return to Tule Red tidal restoration site

After only 6 months post-construction completion and levee breach at the Tule Red Tidal Restoration Project, longfin smelt have returned. The 420-acre restoration site converted wetlands managed primarily for waterfowl to tidal wetlands for the benefit of dwindling native fish populations including Delta smelt, longfin smelt, Chinook salmon and the food web that supports them.

Related article:

Aquafornia news The Press

Weed spraying in Discovery Bay delayed due to COVID-19

Discovery Bay residents are growing irritated with invasive aquatic plants and the COVID-19 pandemic slowing down weed abatement. While the town can be the ideal place to enjoy a vacation lifestyle year-round, this spring’s crop of weeds is ruining the bays and inhibiting movement around docks on the west side of town.

Aquafornia news Escalon Times

Delta smelt on the verge: Efforts to save smelt have far-reaching impact

Two factors are believed to weigh heavily on the Delta smelt’s fate. The biggest is the reduction in fresh water in the Delta since water started flowing southward via the California Aqueduct in the 1960s. … The other threat to Delta smelt are larger fish particularly non-native striped bass and largemouth bass that were introduced to the Delta by man.

Aquafornia news CalMatters

Blog: What’s at the heart of California’s water wars? Delta outflow explained

The latest dustup In California’s water wars, as noted in Dan Walters’ commentary, revolves principally around the federal government’s efforts to increase the amount of water supplied to farms and cities by the Central Valley Project, and a breakdown in cooperation between the state and federal government. It seems like everyone is suing each other. But what are they really fighting over?

Aquafornia news AgDaily

CRISPR a tool for conservation, not just gene editing

The gene-editing technology CRISPR has been used for a variety of agricultural and public health purposes — from growing disease-resistant crops to, more recently, a diagnostic test for the virus that causes COVID-19. Now a study involving fish that look nearly identical to the endangered Delta smelt finds that CRISPR can be a conservation and resource management tool, as well.

Aquafornia news Data Center Dynamics

Floating data center firm Nautilus secures $100m loan from Orion Energy Partners

The $100m debt facility will cover the costs of finishing projects including the Stockton data center which is expected online in late 2020. The barge-borne data center will use the company’s signature cooling system, cold water, and a system of heat exchangers that use the water surrounding the building as a reservoir.

Aquafornia news East Bay Times

Three Creeks restoration project to begin Tuesday in Brentwood

Construction crews will soon begin work to restore Marsh Creek along a nearly one-mile, treeless stretch near downtown Brentwood. Crews are expected to close off the trail in the area from Sungold Park to Dainty Avenue on Tuesday in the first phase of a project to improve habitat and water quality for fish and birds and to create a shady, natural creek corridor for residents while keeping the community protected from floods

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

Blog: An introduction to State Water Project deliveries

Most people in California receive some of their drinking water supply from the State Water Project (SWP). The SWP also supplies water to over 10% of California’s irrigated agriculture. The SWP and its service area span much of California, delivering water to 29 wholesale contractors

Aquafornia news Action News Now

North-south water transfer lawsuit filed

A local non-profit is suing the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and a Southern California water district, over a long term water transfer program. AquAlliance works to protect the Sacramento River watershed. It is the main plaintiff in a lawsuit that charges the proposed transfer would send too much water out of Northern California and would cause severe impacts on area communities, farms, and the environment.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

News release: State Water Project allocation increases to 20 percent

The State Water Project now expects to deliver 20 percent of requested supplies in 2020 thanks to above-average precipitation in May, the California Department of Water Resources announced. An initial allocation of 10 percent was announced in December and increased to 15 percent in January. Today’s announcement will likely be the final allocation update of 2020.

Aquafornia news UC Davis News

Blog: CRISPR a tool for conservation, not just gene editing

The gene-editing technology CRISPR has been used for a variety of agricultural and public health purposes — from growing disease-resistant crops to, more recently, a diagnostic test for the virus that causes COVID-19. Now a study involving fish that look nearly identical to the endangered Delta smelt finds that CRISPR can be a conservation and resource management tool, as well.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

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

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

Aquafornia news Association of California Water Agencies

Survey: Poll reveals public support for voluntary agreements

ACWA retained Probolsky Research to conduct a bilingual statewide survey of 900 California voters during March. The results showed that a majority of respondents ­­­– 62% – support Voluntary Agreements as an approach under development by a coalition of California interests including cities, conservation organizations, farmers and state and federal agencies.

Related article:

CalMatters Opinion: State water board must act to protect the Bay-Delta and California’s fishing industry 

Aquafornia news U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

News release: Reclamation updates 2020 Central Valley Project water allocations

Following spring storms, the Bureau of Reclamation today issued updated allocations for Central Valley Project contractors for the 2020 contract year. … The allocation for south-of-Delta agricultural water service contractors is increased from 15% to 20% of their contract total. Municipal and Industrial water service contractors south-of-Delta are now allocated 70% of their historic use, up from 65%, or health and safety needs, whichever is greater.

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