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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Glenn County Transcript

Water providers file lawsuit to protect Central Valley Project

A coalition of water providers recently filed a lawsuit to protect the Central Valley Project and the farms, businesses, residents and wildlife refuges it serves in 17 counties, including Glenn.

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.

Aquafornia news Plumas News

Agency petitions state water board for temporary change

South Feather Water & Power Agency proposes to transfer the water from July through November 2020 to participating agencies of the State Water Contractors and the Central Valley Project (CVP). The transfer would involve up to 5,000 AF of water previously stored in Little Grass Valley Reservoir under Permit 1267, and up to 5,001 AF of water previously stored in Sly Creek Reservoir under Permit 2492.

Aquafornia news San Joaquin Valley Sun

After rolling out $19b in cuts, Calif. seeks funds for Trump water lawsuit

On the same day Gov. Gavin Newsom announced $19 billion in budget cuts to his 2020-2021 budget, two of California’s environmental protection agencies filed a request to fund a lawsuit against the Federal government over its boost in water supplies sent to the San Joaquin Valley.

Aquafornia news Delta Stewardship Council

Blog: Communicating what’s at stake: The art of communicating science

Developed by The Economist based on research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, analysts created a chart to show the projected number of coronavirus cases with and without protective measures. This single image effectively conveys what’s at stake, and it inspired me to consider how we can modify communications about scientific findings related to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, especially as we adapt to limited in-person interactions during these extraordinary times.

Aquafornia news Sacramento News & Review

Delta tunnel advisory committee compelled to work through the pandemic

Members of a committee designed to ensure Delta communities and tribal groups have their say in a proposed, life-changing tunnel project have been told to work through the coronavirus pandemic—or be left out of the process. Some committee members also claim that state officials misrepresented that fact to one of the most important commissions monitoring their efforts.

Aquafornia news Bay Nature

Opinion: After losing several key battles over water, Delta advocates see hope in the last option remaining: The law

The conflict over California water, often compared to a war, rather resembles a geological process. As along an earthquake fault, surface spasms come and go. The latest twitch is an injunction momentarily halting some Trump Administration water plans. But the underlying pressures are a constant. They never stop exerting themselves.

Aquafornia news Legal Planet

Blog: Top 10 worst environmental decisions in California history

California has a paradoxical history with its environment. On one hand, the state boasts incredible natural beauty, along with a government that is an internationally recognized leader for strong environmental policies. But the state’s residents have also caused severe environmental destruction, particularly in the late nineteenth century — some of which helped spur the mobilization that led to these environmental successes.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: Judge temporarily blocks Trump’s California water plan

A judge issued a preliminary injunction in two lawsuits brought against the administration by California’s Natural Resources Agency and Environmental Protection Agency and by a half-dozen environmental groups. The order bars the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation until May 31 from going ahead with expanding the amount of water it pumps from the San Joaquin Delta through the federal Central Valley Project.

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Aquafornia news California Sea Grant

News release: Delta Science Fellows 2020

The Delta Science Program and California Sea Grant are pleased to announce ten recipients of the 2020 Delta Science Fellowship. Each fellowship provides up to two years of support to awardees to pursue research on key topics related to water management and ecosystem health in the San Francisco Bay-Delta.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Editorial: Southern California doesn’t have decades to figure out water recycling. We need it now

What we in Los Angeles should want from the Met is a continuing flow of clean water from the faucet — but this time with planning and infrastructure that reduce reliance on diminishing imports, minimize damage to our fellow Californians in the delta and elsewhere, and sustain iconic species like migrating salmon.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

Blog: Chat with environmental scientist Nicole Kwan on the Delta’s native fish

Nicole Kwan is an environmental scientist with DWR’s Division of Environmental Services. Her work focuses on the aquatic ecology of the Delta, with emphasis on fish communities and food web productivity in the Yolo Bypass floodplain. Earlier this week, Nicole gave a live chat on native fish species as part of DWR’s “Water Wednesdays”.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Friday Top of the Scroll: Judge throws water on California bid to slow Delta pumping

During the marathon hearing Thursday, U.S. District Judge Dale Drozd hinted the environmental groups’ requests for a ruling by May 11 will be a tall task. Not only is the case complex and involves dozens of parties, he said the chaos caused by the pandemic is impeding the court’s ability to move swiftly.

Aquafornia news NOAA Marine Debris Program

Blog: No silver bullet: Addressing shotgun wad debris in San Francisco Bay

The survey data indicated that shotgun wads, the plastic piece inside a shotgun shell that separates the shot from the powder, are one of the top ten most commonly found plastic items on all surveyed beaches. These shotgun wads likely come from waterfowl hunting, year-round shooting ranges, and target shooting fields along the San Francisco Bay and Delta.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Central Valley Flood Protection Board: Yolo Bypass salmonid habitat restoration and fish passage project

At the April meeting of the Central Valley Flood Protection Board, Board members heard an informational briefing on the Yolo Bypass Salmonid Habitat Restoration and Fish Passage Project being planned for the Fremont Weir. Referred to as the Big Notch, this project will construct a gated notch at Fremont Weir to create seasonal floodplain habitat for juvenile fish as well as to improve migration for adult fish.

Aquafornia news Comstock's Magazine

Delta Blues

The battle over water has been fought to a standstill, but there’s hope that science and technology will make voluntary agreements by all sides possible.

Aquafornia news CalMatters

Opinion: Why State Water Contractors sued California over restrictions on water deliveries

For us, better science is the only path that can achieve those two important goals. Unfortunately, as the state completed its new permitting effort at the end of March, a decade of research was largely ignored in favor of political objectives that impose unjustified restrictions on the State Water Project …

Aquafornia news Engineering News-Record

Lawsuits fly amid state, federal changes in California water delivery and use

Environmental groups in California on April 29 challenged in court the state Dept. of Water Resources decision not to include a proposed 40-mile tunnel in its most recent environmental assessment needed to reauthorize long-term operation of the State Water Project—a 700-mile system of dams and aqueducts that moves water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to areas in the south.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

Blog: April Delta conveyance project update

The California Environmental Quality Act scoping period concluded on April 17, 2020 after an extended 93-day public comment period. DWR is reviewing all submitted comments and will publish a scoping report summarizing the information this summer.

Aquafornia news Delta Stewardship Council

News release: Delta Stewardship Council appoints new lead scientist

Dr. Laurel Larsen, an expert in hydroecology, landscape dynamics, complex environmental systems, and environmental restoration, was unanimously appointed by the Delta Stewardship Council on Thursday as lead scientist. Most recently, Dr. Larsen has served as an associate professor in the Department of Geography and Civil and Environmental Engineering at the UC Berkeley.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Restore the Delta webinar on voluntary agreements

In mid-April of 2020, Restore the Delta hosted a webinar where they discussed the history of water planning and the voluntary agreements, including their numerous concerns. … Before addressing the main topic of the webinar, Executive Director Barbara Barrigan-Parilla noted that there are many in the Delta who aren’t on the webinar due to lack of reliable internet service in rural communities, affordability issues, and/or lack of access to devices.

Aquafornia news E&E News

California agencies sue state as irrigation war escalates

California water agencies yesterday sued the state over endangered species protections they claim threaten their ability to provide water to more than 25 million residents and thousands of acres of farmland. … At issue is water shipped from California’s water hub, the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta east of San Francisco, south via the State Water Project, a massive system of dams, canals and aqueducts.

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Aquafornia news U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

News release: Reclamation seeks public input on Del Puerto Canyon Reservoir project

The Bureau of Reclamation invites public input on the Del Puerto Canyon Reservoir Project, a proposed 82,000 acre-foot reservoir in the Coast Range in Stanislaus County, California. Del Puerto Water District and the San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors Water Authority are sponsoring the project and propose to construct a reservoir located on Del Puerto Creek to develop additional water storage south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Aquafornia news SJV Water

Blog: State’s low water allocation prompts frustration, suspicion

Is the State Water Project’s extremely low water allocation based on California’s fickle climate? Or politics? A growing chorus of frustrated water managers are wondering.

Aquafornia news Fairfield Daily Republic

DWR to pay $750K for final phases of Cache Slough habitat plan

Solano County will receive $750,000 from the state Department of Water Resources for the development of a Cache Slough Habitat Conservation Plan. The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved the agreement with the state…

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Thursday Top of the Scroll: Newsom faces multiple lawsuits over California water compromise

From the moment he took office, Gov. Gavin Newsom said he wanted to bring peace to California’s water wars. But now, more than a year later, most of the warring factions are united against his plan for governing the Delta. Three of the most powerful groups in California water sued the state this week over Newsom’s two-month-old plan for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta…

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Aquafornia news Glenn County Transcript

Sites Reservoir being adjusted for efficiency

The Sites Project Authority plans to recirculate an environmental document for the proposed Sites Reservoir after project leaders modified plans recently to right size the project proposed for Colusa and Glenn counties. The reservoir capacity will be reduced from 1.8 million acre feet capacity to from 1.3 to 1.5 million acre feet.

Aquafornia news Sierra Club Angeles Chapter

Blog: Metropolitan Water District raises water rates during COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn

Metropolitan Water District, the water wholesaler that serves 26 local water agencies in the Southern California region, voted for a two-year budget that will raise water rates during the biggest economic downturn in California since the Great Depression.

Aquafornia news E&E News

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: Trump opens floodgates, and acrimony swamps California

On the campaign trail in 2016, President Trump swung into California’s agricultural hub and vowed to deliver more water to the drought-ridden state’s farmers. … Three years into his administration, Trump is now opening the floodgate to deliver on that promise, setting up the most intense water war between the federal government and California in the state’s history.

Aquafornia news San Joaquin Valley Sun

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: In new filing, Becerra seeks to halt Trump’s Valley water boost

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed a motion Tuesday evening seeking to stop implementation of new Federal environmental guidelines aimed at boosting water supplies for the Central Valley and Southern California from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

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Aquafornia news AgNet West

150 ag and water groups call for water relief

Two separate letters sent to President Donald Trump and members of Congress highlight the importance of providing support for enhancing water management, particularly in light of the tumultuous conditions created by COVID-19.

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Aquafornia news The Nation

The extinction crisis devastating San Francisco Bay

The whole San Francisco Bay ecosystem—that enormous estuary with its maze of bays, rich delta, and associated rivers and streams—is in the midst of an ecological calamity. Decades of dam building and water extraction to quench the thirst of California’s growing population and the needs of its mighty agriculture industry have starved the state’s waterways, as well as the bay itself, of crucial freshwater supplies. As a result, the entire estuary is under enormous stress.

Aquafornia news Napa Valley Register

State begins control of aquatic invasive species

California State Parks’ Division of Boating and Waterways on Thursday announced plans to control aquatic invasive species in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Beginning April 20, the DBW will start herbicide treatments on floating aquatic vegetation such as water hyacinth and alligatorweed, and submersed aquatic vegetation such as Egeria densa and curlyleaf pondweed.

Aquafornia news CALmatters

Opinion: California water war re-ignited

President Donald Trump and California Gov. Gavin Newsom may have set aside their incessant squabbling over most issues to cooperate on the pandemic, but they are poised for showdown over who controls the state’s vital water supply.

Aquafornia news Western Water

Monday Top of the Scroll: Framework for agreements to aid health of Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is a starting point with an uncertain end

Voluntary agreements in California have been touted as an innovative and flexible way to improve environmental conditions in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and the rivers that feed it. … Yet, no one said it would be easy getting interest groups with sometimes sharply different views – and some, such as farmers, with livelihoods heavily dependent on water — to reach consensus on how to address the water quality and habitat needs of the Delta watershed.

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

Science of an underdog: The improbable comeback of spring-run Chinook salmon in the San Joaquin River

For the last four years, our team at UC Davis has been conducting scientific studies on reintroduced spring-run Chinook salmon in the San Joaquin River and we wanted to take a minute to share some of what we’ve learned. Plus, everyone loves a good comeback story right?

Aquafornia news Woodland Daily Democrat

Yolo Basin Foundation names new director

Yolo Basin Foundation’s Board of Directors announced this week that Chelsea Martinez has been named the Foundation’s new executive director. … Martinez joined the Foundation in 2017 as the Community Outreach & Volunteer Coordinator and has grown and sustained the Foundation’s volunteer base to over 200 volunteers as well as helped to increase community involvement in its programs.

Aquafornia news Porterville Recorder

Dems call for state, feds to coordinate water rules

U.S. Representative T.J. Cox, Senator Dianne Fenstein and Represenatives Jim Costa, Josh Harder and John Garamendi on Thursday called on Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and Gov. Newsom to come up with a coordinated effort to manage the State Water Project and the federal Central Valley Project.

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Western Water Gary Pitzer Gary Pitzer

Framework for Agreements to Aid Health of Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is a Starting Point With An Uncertain End
WESTERN WATER IN-DEPTH: Voluntary agreement discussions continue despite court fights, state-federal conflicts and skepticism among some water users and environmental groups

Aerial image of the Sacramento-San Joaquin DeltaVoluntary agreements in California have been touted as an innovative and flexible way to improve environmental conditions in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and the rivers that feed it. The goal is to provide river flows and habitat for fish while still allowing enough water to be diverted for farms and cities in a way that satisfies state regulators.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

Blog: DWR research vessel helps monitor climate change in Delta

The flagship of DWR’s Environmental Monitoring Program (EMP), the Sentinel is used as a floating laboratory that monitors water quality and ecosystem biology in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and San Francisco Estuaries.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

The evolution of environmental flows in California

Ted Grantham is a Cooperative Extension Specialist at UC Berkeley and the CalTrout Ecosystem Fellow with the Public Policy Institute of California. … In this presentation, Dr. Grantham discussed environmental flows and the policy context in California in which environmental flows are managed and how that has evolved over time.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Environment

California water supplier heading to court in state permit fight

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California on Tuesday voted to sue the state of California over a permit one state agency granted to another at the end of March. The permit is related to operations of the State Water Project, which serves 27 million people and irrigates 750,000 acres of farmland.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Law

Lawsuits vowed as feds, California take divergent water routes

The state recently got a new permit for water delivery operations from its wildlife agency. In the past, that kind of authority came from adhering to federal rules. Now, with a dispute between the state and federal government over water management and endangered species act protections, the state issued its own permit. Critics of the state’s move say they plan to file lawsuits.

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

Blog: Striped bass in the Pacific Ocean: When, where and why?

Given the historical resources dedicated to monitoring and studying striped bass in the San Francisco Estuary, the question must be asked: Why don’t we know more about what they’re doing in the Pacific Ocean?

Aquafornia news AgNet West

Lawmakers urge Governor Newsom to reconsider incidental take permit

Several Congressional leaders sent a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom expressing disappointment in the decision to issue an incidental take permit for long-term operations of the State Water Project. … The letter was signed by Representatives Kevin McCarthy, Devin Nunes, Ken Calvert, Tom McClintock, Doug LaMalfa, and Paul Cook. 

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Aquafornia news East County Today

Antioch to receive $27 million settlement from California’s Department of Water Resources

The agreement pays Antioch $27 million, which guarantees that they will be able to utilize its 150-year old water rights and remain in the Delta for the long-term. The $27 million, in addition to $43 million in State grants and loans, completes the financing for the $70m Brackish Water Desalination Plant.

Aquafornia news Manteca Bulletin

Lathrop spending $805K in bid to salvage water well

The City of Lathrop built a well in 2003 near what is now River Islands to serve future development in the Mossdale and River Islands areas. But it has yet to function as a regular and contributing part of the city’s water system – mired by water quality issues and problems with the construction of the original well itself.

Aquafornia news Delta Stewardship Council

Report: A Social Science Strategy for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

In the fall of 2018, a six-member independent Social Science Task Force was charged by the Delta Stewardship Council’s Delta Science Program to develop a strategy for strengthening and integrating social sciences into the science, management, and policy landscape of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. This document summarizes the findings and recommendations of the Task Force.

Aquafornia news U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

News release: Reclamation issues record of decision on long-term water transfer program

The water transfers could occur on an annual basis sending water from willing sellers north of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to water users south of the Delta and in the San Francisco Bay Area. Based on annual approvals, the transfers could occur through 2024. In addition, the transfers could occur by various methods, including groundwater substitution, cropland idling, reservoir releases and conservation.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: Judge urged to close gates on federal water grab in California Delta

Taking advantage of recently approved rules, the federal government is quickly following through on President Donald Trump’s promise to quiet environmentalists and “open up the water” to California farmers. … The pumps in the south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta aren’t just whizzing during what will likely end up being classified a “critically dry” hydrological year, they are churning — and killing — endangered salmon during a critical migration period.

Aquafornia news San Joaquin Valley Sun

Opinion: Newsom accomplishes rare feat: A water plan no one likes

In the century-long “us-versus-them” mentality of California water, a plan released by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Department of Water Resources last week achieved something perhaps never accomplished before in the Golden State’s water industry. It incited universal scorn.

Aquafornia news Natural Resources Defense Council

Blog: The lawlessness of the Trump administration hits #CaWater

According to the Washington Post’s fact checker, as of January, 2020, President Trump had made 16,241 false or misleading claims during his first three years in office. Sadly, this lack of regard for truth seems to be trickling down and infecting the Trump Administration’s management of the federal Central Valley Project in California, one of the largest water storage and diversion projects in the country.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Coronavirus: California could close some inland fishing areas

California is poised to close the spring sportfishing season in some counties in response to worries that anglers will spread COVID-19 to rural communities. The state’s Fish and Game Commission will meet via teleconference Thursday to decide whether to grant emergency powers to Charlton Bonham, the director of the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

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Aquafornia news Bakersfield Californian

Monday Top of the Scroll: Blog: New state water regulations cause angst on all sides

A new set of water regulations aimed at protecting California’s native fish came down from the state earlier this week to near universal condemnation from both agricultural and environmental water folks. The regulations are contained in a 143-page “incidental take permit” issued by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife …

Aquafornia news CALmatters

Opinion: Collaboration is the answer to California’s fishery and water supply challenges

Unprecedented efforts by leaders at the state and national level have led to the kind of cooperation that will provide valuable benefits to water users and the environment. I know because that’s what we’ve been doing in the Sacramento Valley for many years. The kinds of success we’ve achieved can be replicated in other parts of the state.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Opinion: What Gov. Gavin Newsom needs to do to protect state’s water future

Today, responding to a global pandemic is every governor’s top priority. When we emerge from this crisis, Gov. Gavin Newsom will face a challenge to ensure California’s future economic and environmental health. In this context, his water policies will represent critical decisions.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: California’s new Delta water rules don’t end conflict with Washington

The rules take the form of a state Fish and Wildlife Department permit that will govern State Water Project deliveries from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta… But the permit does not explicitly control the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s Central Valley Project, which exports Delta water to San Joaquin Valley farms. That means the two big government pumping operations will likely adhere to different standards — possibly allowing the federal project to boost deliveries at the expense of the state project.

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Aquafornia news The Revelator

Blog: Freshwater species are disappearing fast — this year is critical for saving them

We’ve all seen photos of clear-cut forests with swathes of razed trees or deep scars in the ground from an open-pit mine. The damage to the species that live in these habitats isn’t hard to imagine. But the damage we’ve done to freshwater ecosystems isn’t so visible. In rivers or lakes, trouble often lurks out of view beneath the surface of the water …

Aquafornia news AgAlert

Research tests how rice fields can benefit fish

Winter-flooded rice fields already provide essential habitat for migratory birds, but could they also provide benefits to help the state’s salmon populations? Scientists at the University of California, Davis, are finalizing their fieldwork on an experiment to find out what management practices farmers might adopt in their fields to maximize fish survival.

Aquafornia news California Department of Fish and Wildlife

News release: $37 million awarded for ecosystem and watershed projects

Of the $37 million, approximately $24 million was awarded to 19 projects statewide through the Proposition 1 Watershed Restoration Grant Program. Approximately $7 million was awarded to seven projects through the Proposition 1 Delta Water Quality and Ecosystem Restoration Grant Program to projects that directly benefit the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Approximately $6 million was awarded to 14 projects through the Proposition 68 Rivers and Streams Grant Program.

Aquafornia news Delta Stewardship Council

Blog: Building upon 50 years of interagency ecological science in the Bay-Delta

This year marks a significant milestone for the Interagency Ecological Program (IEP) – now nine state and federal agencies that first joined forces 50 years ago for cooperative ecological monitoring and coordination in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and San Francisco Bay Estuary. As the IEP Lead Scientist, I have been reflecting on who we are, how we’ve evolved, and what we need to do to ensure we’re still working collaboratively for another 50 years.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Environment

California water pumping suits moved to Eastern District Court

Two lawsuits challenging the Trump administration’s authorization of plans to increase water pumping from the Sacramento and San Joaquin watersheds will be moved from the Northern District of California to the Eastern District of California, a federal judge ruled.

Aquafornia news Chico News & Review

Tunnel tussle

The nature of Butte County’s concerns over Gov. Gavin Newsom’s scaled back Delta tunnel project was made clear last Tuesday, when Supervisor Debra Lucero questioned a staffer from the state Department of Water Resources.

Aquafornia news Estuary Magazine

Network listens for passing salmon

Vallee and his team are here to maintain an array of hydrophones used to track migrating native fish. The work is part of a multi-agency effort to provide more timely and detailed information about the movements of salmon, steelhead, and sturgeon in the Central Valley. Deploying hundreds of listening stations across the watershed, the program lets scientists follow thousands of tagged fish as they navigate from hatcheries and headwater streams toward the Pacific Ocean.

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

Blog: New science or just spin: Science charade in the Delta

To the extent that new science requires new approaches in the Delta, existing new science indicates that restoration of the Delta will require more water to be left in the Delta, not less.

Aquafornia news Somach Simmons & Dunn

Blog: DWR CEQA proceeds with tunnel proposal independent experts deem “impractical”

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) is soliciting public comment on the scope of environmental review for a revised Delta tunnel project despite prior findings of independent technical experts that a key project proposal is “impractical,” stating that it “does not recommend” further study.

Aquafornia news Ecology Law Quarterly

Salmon lessons for the Delta smelt: Unjustified reliance on hatcheries in the USFWS October 2019 biological opinion

As discussed below, in the case of west coast salmon, the scientific evidence is clear that the replacement assumption has proven faulty as the total abundance of salmon declined at the same time the propagation and release of hatchery salmon has expanded.

Aquafornia news CALmatters

Opinion: Trump’s attack on California salmon fishing jobs

The new rules allow the federal Central Valley Project to kill 100 percent of baby winter run Chinook salmon below Shasta Dam for three years running.  Chinook salmon live for three years, so authorizing the Bureau of Reclamation to kill every endangered winter run for three years amounts to an extinction plan for this species.  

Aquafornia news Manteca Bulletin

Without $175M levee upgrade, thousands in Manteca, Lathrop would need flood insurance

While the bulk of the $175 million goes toward addressing seepage issues along San Joaquin River levees, a dry levee in southwest Manteca plays a key role in making sure potential breaks along the San Joaquin south of RD-17 or levee failures on the Stanislaus River don’t flood portions of either city.

Aquafornia news San Joaquin Valley Sun

State water contractors pick sides in lawsuit over Trump’s water boost

Because the State and Federal water managers coordinate operations of the State Water Project and Central Valley Project, the State Water Contractors argue that dumping the biological opinions governing those operations and restarting the process would create “uncertainty in water supply availability, potentially affecting the [State Water Contractor] members’ water supplies from the SWP.”

Aquafornia news Benicia Herald

Delta residents speak out against Newsom’s controversial tunnel project

Over the past month, DWR has been holding scoping meetings in the Delta and select locations throughout the state. At meetings in Walnut Grove, Stockton, Clarksburg and Brentwood, a diverse group of farmers, fishermen, elected officials, climate/social justice activists, economists and engineers came out in force to oppose what is often referred to as the “boondoggle” project.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Opinion: Why California should support Delta tunnel proposal

If our state wants to remain economically competitive, it must re-engineer the troubled estuary that serves as the hub of California’s elaborate water-delivery system — the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. The best and most viable way to do this is via the single Delta tunnel project proposed by Gov. Gavin Newsom…

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Opinion: Newsom must do more than sue Trump to protect San Francisco Bay

The Governor is urging everyone to come together around his “new” concept. But his framework does not even attempt to meet state legal standards, nor will it result in the recovery of endangered fish species, important fisheries, or the food web that sustains them.

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Aquafornia news Natural Resources Defense Council

Blog: State Water Contractors stand with Trump administration

If you live in Southern California or Silicon Valley, you might be surprised to learn that your local water district (a member agency of the State Water Contractors) is siding with the Trump Administration, and defending Trump’s plan to increase water diversions, despite the widespread acknowledgement that this plan is likely to drive salmon and Delta smelt extinct.

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

Blog: Is the Sacramento splittail an endangered species?

The Sacramento splittail is a lovely, silvery-white fish that lives primarily in Suisun Marsh, the north Delta and other parts of the San Francisco Estuary (SFE; Moyle et al. 2004). The name comes from its unusual tail, in which the upper lobe is larger than the lower lobe. It is a distinctive endemic species that for decades has fascinated those of us who work in Suisun Marsh.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Metropolitan Bay Delta Committee: Update on the voluntary agreements post-Trump and an update on the State Water Project contract amendment for Delta conveyance

It was a busy time for California water issues last month when Trump visited the San Joaquin Valley, signed the Record of the Decision on the biological opinions which govern the operations of the state and federal water projects (along with another Presidential memo), which was promptly followed by the state filing of a lawsuit the next day. … So not surprisingly, the voluntary agreement was top of the agenda the following week at the February meeting of Metropolitan’s Bay Delta Committee.

Aquafornia news Redding Record-Searchlight

Delta tunnel plan draws strong protest by Native Americans

The message was loud and clear for state water officials at a public meeting Monday evening in Redding: Don’t send any more water south through a proposed Delta tunnel project. A group of more than 100 Native Americans rallied on the lawn of the Redding Civic Auditorium before they marched into a scoping meeting held inside the Redding Sheraton Hotel across the street.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Metropolitan Bay-Delta Committee: Update on habitat and fish projects in the Yolo Bypass

At the January meeting of Metropolitan’s Bay Delta Committee, Program Manager Randall Neudeck updated the committee on some of the projects and activities happening underway the Yolo Bypass.

Aquafornia news FishBio

Blog: Don’t be salty: Operating the Suisun Marsh tidal gates to benefit Delta smelt

As Delta smelt continue to decline throughout the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, novel approaches are being implemented to open up additional habitat for these imperiled fish. … The Department of Water Resources, in collaboration with other stakeholders, has been conducting a pilot research study to investigate how operational changes at the Suisun Marsh Salinity Control Gates affect Delta smelt habitat conditions.

Aquafornia news E&E News

Feds ink deal with water district tied to Bernhardt

The Trump administration on Friday awarded a permanent water delivery contract to the country’s largest agricultural district, brushing aside environmentalists’ concerns about California’s uncertain water future in the face of climate change. At issue is irrigation water that flows through the Bureau of Reclamation’s Central Valley Project to the Westlands Water District, a Rhode Island-sized agricultural powerhouse and former client of Interior Secretary David Bernhardt.

Aquafornia news San Joaquin Valley Sun

What’s happened since Trump visited the Valley? Quite a bit

On Thursday, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation delivered its own salvo to the Newsom administration – it was pushing forward pre-construction work on raising Shasta Dam. … A push to raise the dam was made possible by the same law that delivered new biological opinions – the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act, approved in the waning days of the Obama administration.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Westlands Water District gets permanent U.S. contract for massive irrigation deliveries

The Interior Department on Friday awarded the nation’s largest farm water district a permanent entitlement to annual irrigation deliveries that amount to roughly twice as much water as the nearly 4 million residents of Los Angeles use in a year. … The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which runs the federal project, also signed permanent contracts on Friday with a handful of municipal districts that it supplies.

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Aquafornia news Western Water

Can carbon credits save Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta islands and protect California’s vital water hub?

The islands of the western Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta are sinking as the rich peat soil that attracted generations of farmers dries out and decays. As the peat decomposes, it releases tons of carbon dioxide – a greenhouse gas – into the atmosphere. … An ambitious plan now in the works could halt the decay, sequester the carbon and potentially reverse the sinking.

Aquafornia news The Press

East County residents weigh in on Delta Conveyance Project

A rally before the start of the Department of Water Resources’(DWR) public scoping meeting for the Delta Conveyance Project (DCP) set the tone for the event — residents of East County were in no mood to consider another tunnel project in the Delta.

Aquafornia news JD Supra

Blog: California files challenge to federal decisions governing operation of California water projects

California’s complaint challenges the biological opinions issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) as well as the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s EIS and record of decision completed pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act.

Aquafornia news Delta Stewardship Council

Blog: Ecosystem-based management: A critical tool for achieving the coequal goals

When combined with strong governance and best available science, ecosystem-based management – a holistic approach that considers the full array of interactions within a system – holds tremendous potential for both restoring the Delta and improving the reliability of statewide water deliveries.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Delta conveyance update: Tribal engagement in the Delta conveyance process

At the February meeting of the California Water Commission, commissioners heard an update on the Delta conveyance project, and a presentation on tribal engagement with the Delta conveyance process.

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Aquafornia news Fox40

House passes bill that would help California eradicate invasive swamp rat

Rep. Josh Harder (D-CA) brought someone special with him to push his nutria eradication bill on the House floor: a stuffed giant “swamp rat” he obtained from the USDA nicknamed Nellie. When Nellie was alive, she lived in Annapolis, Maryland.

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Aquafornia news CALmatters

Water is life. It’s also a battle. So what does the future hold for California?

Scientists say climate change will bring more unpredictable weather, warmer winters and less snowpack in the mountains. These challenges and some ideas for remedies are outlined in a new plan, called the California Water Resilience Portfolio, released by Gov. Gavin Newsom in January to a mix of praise and disappointment. Below, an explanation of the state’s water development — as well as the challenges, today and tomorrow, of providing water for California’s people, places and things.

Aquafornia news San Joaquin Valley Sun

Bernhardt fires back at Newsom over California water lawsuit

The future of the complicated network of waterways and canals that supplies millions of Californians with water daily could be murky at best, U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt warned Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom in a letter Monday.

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Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: Trump promised CA farmers water. But he can’t overrule weather

Turns out President Donald Trump is no match for another California drought. Less than a week after Trump told San Joaquin Valley farmers in Bakersfield that he was taking bold steps to increase their water supply, his administration announced Tuesday farmers on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley may only receive about 15 percent of their contracted water supply for the upcoming growing season.

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Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Opinion: California governor’s water negotiations leave no one behind, senator says

Recently, Governor Newsom announced his framework and support for Voluntary Settlement Agreements (VSAs) — a monumental effort that could bring to an end the conflict and litigation over water that flows through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. With great hope and guarded optimism, I applaud the governor’s efforts…

Aquafornia news Phys.org

Study reveals hidden risks of estuary development for young salmon

A Simon Fraser University-led research team has found significant evidence that human activity in estuaries is impacting juvenile Pacific and Atlantic salmon. The team’s review of 167 peer-reviewed studies (from an initial search of 13,000) identified negative impacts from several stressors, including the effects of flood-protecting tidal gates, pollution and habitat modification.

Aquafornia news Western Farm Press

Monday Top of the Scroll: Groups urge Newsom to work with feds on water

Farm groups are urging Gov. Gavin Newsom to work with the federal government on water deliveries even as California followed through Thursday on its threat to sue to nullify biological opinions that could bring increases in surface water for San Joaquin Valley growers.

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Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Editorial: Trump wading into California’s water policy with phony answer

President Trump believes he “got it done” in fixing California’s troubled and contentious water system. What he actually produced is another wrecking-ball delay and a lawsuit to try to halt his lopsided solution.

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Aquafornia news Forbes

Mystery of malformed fish in California solved by analyzing ‘ear rocks’

More than 800 specimens of Sacramento splittail (Pogonichthys macrolepidotus) were collected, still alive, but showing malformations of the spine. Toxic metals can cause such growth anomalies.

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Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

California Fish and Game ends striped bass population mandate, allowing decline

The decision ends a 1996 policy that committed the state to sustaining a population of about 1 million striped bass in the Delta and other California waterways. They’re voracious, nonnative predators that can weigh as much as 60 pounds. They’re especially popular among anglers. It’s unclear exactly how many striped bass are in the state, but the number is believed to be fewer than 300,000.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Water fight about to kick into high gear; Fallbrook, Rainbow to take on County Water Authority

Within the next few weeks, two water districts will be filing unprecedented applications to detach from the San Diego County Water Authority. Instead, they intend to buy water directly from the Metropolitan Water District via the Eastern Municipal Water District in Riverside County, thereby saving both districts millions of dollars annually.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

California sues Trump administration again — this time over water

A day after President Trump visited the Central Valley to celebrate a boost in water for California farms, state officials sued to block the additional water deliveries. Attorney General Xavier Becerra, in a lawsuit filed Thursday, maintains that new federal rules designed to increase pumping from the Sacramento San Joaquin River Delta fail to protect salmon and other endangered fish in the delta estuary.

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Aquafornia news The Press

Groups working to uproot algae

If you live in Discovery Bay or the surrounding Delta area, harmful algae blooms (HAB) are a well-known and unwelcome presence each summer, but several local organizations are hard at work, actively searching for a solution to the pernicious water weeds.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Thursday Top of the Scroll: Trump OKs more California water for Valley farmers. Gavin Newsom promises to sue

Gov. Gavin Newsom, in a pre-emptive strike against President Donald Trump, said Wednesday he plans to sue Trump’s administration to block a controversial plan to increase water deliveries to the San Joaquin Valley. Newsom’s office said he “will file legal action in the coming days … to protect highly imperiled fish species close to extinction.”

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Aquafornia news Valley Economy

Blog: Delta voluntary agreement costs soar from $1.1 billion to $5.3 billion

In the latest update, the cost of implementing the voluntary agreements has soared by over $4 billion to a whopping $5.3 billion. Governor Newsom failed to mention the enormous and growing costs in his oped praising the voluntary agreement framework.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

On eve of Trump visit, critics ask why Newsom hasn’t fought president’s water moves

During President Trump’s visit to California this week, the commander in chief who campaigned on a pledge of shipping more water to Central Valley farms plans to stop in Bakersfield to boast about a promise kept. … But what confounds some who are worried that Trump’s water plan could undermine the environment is how little the state has done to stop Washington.

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Aquafornia news Associated Press

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: Trump delivers on water pledge for wealthy California farmers

Hoisting the spoils of victories in California’s hard-fought water wars, President Donald Trump is directing more of the state’s precious water to wealthy farmers and other agriculture interests when he visits their Republican Central Valley stronghold Wednesday.

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Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Editorial: It’s time for Gov. Newsom to take a firm stand to protect the Delta

It’s time for Gov. Gavin Newsom to own up on water policy. He can either play nice with a roughshod plan from President Trump to divert crucial water flows or craft his own blueprint that balances both wildlife and California’s economy.

Aquafornia news Bakersfield Californian

Trump’s visit to Bakersfield remains a mystery after White House confirms travel plans

While Trump will be in town Wednesday to discuss agriculture issues with local farmers, as of Friday the Kern County Farm Bureau remained in the dark about the president’s visit, and the Kern County Republican Party similarly had not been informed of Trump’s plans. … A White House statement released to the media said Trump’s Bakersfield visit would focus on efforts to dramatically improve the supply and delivery of water in California and other Western states.

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Aquafornia news E&E News

Friday Top of the Scroll: Trump heads west, with California water in mind

President Trump will splash into California’s perpetually roiled water world next week when he drops by the southern San Joaquin Valley city that’s home to his biggest House booster and proximate to some of the state’s biggest dilemmas. With his expected visit to Bakersfield, Trump can affirm support for increased irrigation water deliveries, troll Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom and reward House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in his hometown.

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Aquafornia news San Joaquin Valley Sun

Costa, Cox vote to OK subpoenas to probe Valley water boost

Reps. Jim Costa (D–Fresno) and TJ Cox (D–Fresno) joined fellow Democrats on the House Natural Resources Committee to grant wide-ranging subpoena power to the committee’s chair, Raul Grijalva (D–Ariz.)… A key inquiry likely to be explored by Grijalva … is to dig into the Trump administration’s issuance of new biological opinions governing the Central Valley Project.

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Aquafornia news Sacramento News & Review

Blog: One tunnel, same distrust

State water officials offered an early look at the downsized California WaterFix project earlier this month, and conservationists and far-traveling indigenous tribes say they still believe it has the potential to permanently alter life in and around the Delta.

Aquafornia news Davis Enterprise

UC Davis lab helps investigate fish-protection technology

The Department of Water Resources has partnered with the UC Davis J. Amorocho Hydraulics Laboratory to find innovative ways to investigate fish-protection technology within California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta estuary.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

CEQA 101: Introduction to the Delta conveyance project CEQA process

Recently, the Department of Water Resources posted a short video providing an overview of the California Environmental Quality Act and the preparation of environmental documents for the Delta Conveyance Project. The video was narrated by Ken Bogdan, Senior Staff Counsel for the Department of Water Resources; this post is based in part on the video, with extra information added from internet sources and the Notice of Preparation.

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Aquafornia news AgAlert

‘Framework’ aims to aid water agreements

In the coming weeks and months, the Newsom administration, water users and conservation groups will continue to refine a framework for potential voluntary agreements intended to benefit salmon and other fish in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Aquafornia news San Joaquin Valley Sun

Two valley congressmen have a say in whether House Dems probe water boost

Wednesday, the House Natural Resources Committee is scheduled to vote on a resolution granting Committee Chair Raul Grijalva (D–Ariz.) wide-ranging subpoena power over the Interior Department. One inquiry in the hopper: a closer look at the process that yielded the Trump Administration’s freshly-released biological opinions governing the federally-operated Central Valley Project.

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