Topic: Stormwater

Overview

Stormwater

Stormwater runoff has emerged as a primary water quality issue. In urban areas, after long dry periods rainwater runoff can contain accumulations of pollutants. Stormwater does not go into the sewer. Instead, pollutants can be flushed into waterways with detrimental effects on the environment and water quality.

In response, water quality regulators use a range of programs to reduce stormwater pollution including limiting the amount of excess runoff and in some cases recapturing freshwater as well.

Typical stormwater runoff pollutants include:

  • Fertilizer
  • Pesticides/Herbicides
  • Heavy Metals
  • Oil and grease
  • Bacteria/viruses
  • Sediment
  • Construction Waste
  • Trash
Aquafornia news Good Times Santa Cruz

As drought worsens, local agencies seek ambitious water solutions

Various climate models differ on whether our area will get slightly wetter or drier with rising temperatures. But they have one prediction in common: greater extremes.  Dry years will be drier. Rainfall could come all at once in a few large storms rather than spread across a season. … With this in mind, water managers are designing and implementing projects to capture, store and access clean water. Some irrigation for crops in the Pajaro Valley might soon come from lake water rather than groundwater. A project in Soquel will use recycled water to replenish a groundwater basin. Another project in Santa Cruz will inject excess runoff from winter storms into wells. 

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Aquafornia news Storm Water Solutions

LAX benefits from storm water management efforts

The initial phase of a $5.5 billion transportation improvement initiative at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) showcases Oldcastle Infrastructure’s storm water management products. Key to the sustainability and effectiveness of Intermodal Transportation Facility-West, a new parking structure deemed the face of LAX, is the Oldcastle Infrastructure StormCapture detention system. This system and accompanying products provided an efficient on-site solution to facilitate storm water drainage and treatment.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Editorial: Creek work in Ross key to county’s flood plan

More than 50 years and millions of dollars of damage later — and after spending hundreds of thousands more on studies and plans — Marin County and the town of Ross are moving forward on improving flood protection along Corte Madera Creek. The two have reached a consensus on a $14 million plan that is headed to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for its approval and funding. For too long, reaching a constructive consensus seemed an erstwhile political exercise. 

Aquafornia news Patch, Novato

North Marin Water District to explore Novato supply expansion

The North Marin Water District will explore options for expanding local water supply in our Novato Service Area. The district will consider options including expanding recycled water distribution, capturing stormwater runoff from nearby areas such as Bowman Canyon, and groundwater banking, in which the groundwater aquifer can be recharged during wet years and drawn from during drought years. Local Water Supply Enhancement Study will cost $150,000, district officials said in a statement.

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Tour Nick Gray

Headwaters Tour 2021
A Virtual Journey - November 9

Thirty percent of California’s developed water supply originates high in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Our water supply is largely dependent on the health of our Sierra forests, which are suffering from ecosystem degradation, drought, wildfires and widespread tree mortality. 

Join us as we guide you on a virtual journey into the foothills and the mountains to examine water issues that happen upstream but have dramatic impacts downstream and throughout the state.

Aquafornia news Santa Monica Daily Press

The toxic truth of L.A.’s stormwater sewer system

In a region that lauds itself as a bastion of environmental progress, the 100 billion gallons of polluted runoff that flows out of storm drains annually is Los Angeles’ dirty secret. When rain water hits L.A.’s largely impervious landscape it drains into run-off channels that criss-cross through the county accumulating a toxic slew of chemicals, oil, fertilizer, trash, hard metals, and bacteria before entering a storm drain and spewing out into the ocean.

Aquafornia news Independent News

Leadership shifts on the Zone 7 board

Angela Ramirez Holmes has been chosen as the new president of the Zone 7 Water Agency board of directors. She was unanimously voted in during the board’s July 21, annual reorganization meeting. First elected to the board in 2012, Ramirez Holmes has served one term as vice president and succeeds past board president Olivia Sanwong.

Aquafornia news KCRA

Inside look at McKinley Park’s water vault project as it nears completion

A controversial construction project at McKinley Park in East Sacramento is expected to be finished in early October. The city built a 6-million gallon water vault underground at the park to hold stormwater during heavy rain. The $32 million project is supposed to prevent stormwater from going into East Sacramento’s combined sewer system and cause flooding.

Aquafornia news Spectrum News 1

Activist wants polluted water to stop flowing by family home

For years, oily, odorous and — at times — thick runoff water flowed from the back end of the Knolls Lodge Mobile Home Park in Torrance into the storm drain of a neighboring cul-de-sac. Marc Evans’ family home happens to be in the runoff water’s path, and he has been trying to get it to stop for years. Evans shared that the area recently caught a break from the eyesore. … The flow came from the park’s resident car wash area that’s located along a brick wall sharing a property line with Evans’ family home.

Aquafornia news Mountain View Voice

Protecting Google’s future development from sea level rise is expected to cost $122 million

The city of Mountain View is planning for a surge in new offices and homes in North Bayshore, placing dense new development just a short jaunt away from the baylands. But new sea level rise estimates show that future development could very well end up underwater without flood protection, and it’s unclear who is going to pick up the costly bill. Earlier this year, Google announced its proposal to build 7,000 homes in North Bayshore alongside 3 million square feet of offices less than a mile from the bay.

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Aquafornia news The Guardian

‘Save our water’: Meet the rain harvesters taking on the US West’s water woes

The American west has a sprawling network of dams, reservoirs and pipelines that brings a supply of water to its cities and farms. But overexploitation and a two-decade dry spell have put a severe strain on the resources, with reserves dwindling to historic lows in some areas. The situation will only get worse in the coming decades, warn scientists, as surging populations will boost freshwater demand and a hotter, drier climate will bring deeper droughts and more erratic precipitation patterns. …[N]ew water-sourcing approaches are also needed. One such is rainwater harvesting. 

Aquafornia news Legal Planet

The ongoing tension over stormwater discharges in Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board (“Regional Board”) is in the process of issuing a new permit for water discharges through the municipal separate storm sewer systems (“MS4”) in Los Angeles County and Ventura County. The MS4 permit is an important document that regulates how municipalities can allow stormwater to flow through the MS4 system and out into natural (or modified) waterways. Stormwater typically contains high quantities of pollutants, including toxic metals, bacteria, and other materials picked up from buildings and streets during wet weather events, all of which harms both the ecosystem and human health. 

Aquafornia news Long Beach Press Telegram

Long Beach City Council to weigh $19 million contract to build stormwater treatment site

The Long Beach City Council is set to weigh in on the next phase of the planned Long Beach Municipal Urban Stormwater Treatment Facility … The project will include both construction of the facility and a new wetland habitat area, though the contract with Shimmick will just be for the stormwater treatment site; a contract to build the wetlands will come to the panel at a later date.

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Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Here are the dirtiest beaches in California

Here’s some good news (and then, some not-so-good news) for those seeking a summer respite by the sea: Beaches across California are much cleaner than in years past. In its annual survey of more than 500 beaches, Heal the Bay reported Tuesday that 93% of California’s beaches logged good water-quality marks between April and October 2020 — an encouraging assessment for a coastline that sees all manner of trash, pesticides and bacteria (not to mention microplastics, automotive fluids and tire particles) flushed into the ocean whenever it rains.

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Aquafornia news Daily Bulletin

$630 million project launches, to replace wastewater pipes under South Bay and Harbor Area

After more than a decade of planning, community meetings — and more planning — an ambitious $630 million effort to replace two aging underground wastewater pipes officially launched on Monday, June 21, as a two-story-high electric tunneling machine was lowered underground at the sanitation plant on the border of Carson and Wilmington. The details have been continually refined since planning began in 2006. The Clearwater Project, its formal name, was approved in 2012 by the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts and was described by engineers involved in the work as sophisticated, intricate and precise.

Aquafornia news Metropolitan Water District

News release: Metropolitan helps advance stormwater capture and recycling projects

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is helping advance two local supply projects that will further diversify and strengthen the region’s water reliability, under two agreements approved Tuesday by the district’s board of directors. The board approved an agreement with the Municipal Water District of Orange County and the Santa Margarita Water District to provide funding for a recycled water project. 

Aquafornia news Mercury News

Editorial: State funding is crucial for restoring San Francisco Bay

Five years ago Bay Area voters wisely approved Measure AA, a nine-county, 20-year, $12 per parcel annual tax to restore San Francisco Bay and guard against the threat of rising sea levels due to global warming. … An estimated 355,000 Bay Area residents live within a 100-year flood plain that includes 800 miles of roads and highways, 70 miles of critical rail lines, 46 wastewater plants, 35 schools and 15 hospitals.

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Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Blog: How water bonds plug spending holes

As California responds to yet another drought and prepares for a future of greater climate extremes, securing funding to boost the water system’s resilience is a top priority. One go-to funding source over the last two decades has been state general obligation bonds. In dollar terms, GO bonds play a relatively small role in water system spending, yet they punch above their weight when it comes to filling critical gaps. 

Aquafornia news KMPH

Latest water war over Kings River involves claim by water district in Kern County

A water war is under way in Sacramento right now that could have far-reaching impacts on families in the Central Valley. … Hearings got under way Wednesday, as Semitropic Water Storage District in Kern County makes its administrative appeal to the State Water Resources Control Board for water rights to the Kings River. It filed its first petition in 2017, asking for access to 1.6 million acre feet of floodwater from the Kings River.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Editorial: Adel Hagekhalil would be a good step forward for the MWD

Adel Hagekhalil is an inspired choice to be the next general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the agency that delivers the water ultimately used by half of the state’s population. He’s an engineer, a consensus builder and a champion of the movement to integrate management of different types of water — drinking water, wastewater, stormwater, environmental water — in order to reduce costs and use precious resources more efficiently. He may be exactly what the MWD needs at this point in its history…

Aquafornia news Daily Breeze

Surfrider’s annual Clean Water Report highlights infrastructure needs and toxin-removing landscapes

Too often, ocean water is laced with sewage and pollutants, affecting how safe beaches are for swimming and surfing –  that’s the message of this year’s Clean Water Report released Tuesday, May 25, by the Surfrider Foundation. … [T]he report highlights inefficiencies in sewer infrastructure and a need to stop urban runoff before it reaches the coast, both main contributors to dirty water that plagues the country’s coastlines.

Aquafornia news California Environmental Law

Blog: State Water Board now receiving public comments on its proposed reissuance of the statewide NPDES Construction Stormwater General Permit

The State Water Resources Control Board (“Water Board”) is now receiving public comments on its proposed reissuance of the statewide National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) Construction Stormwater General Permit (“Construction Stormwater General Permit”).

Aquafornia news Phys.org

Stormwater could be a large source of microplastics and rubber fragments to waterways

[R]esearchers collected water during heavy rainstorms from 12 streams flowing into the San Francisco Bay. … Microscopic fibers and black rubbery fragments were the most common microparticles, while natural debris, glass, paint and wool were only minor components. Then, the team identified a subset of plastic- or rubbery-looking fragments as being made mostly of plastic polymers or other synthetic materials, and many of the black rubbery particles originated from tires.

Aquafornia news My Mother Lode

Major grant touted to ‘transform Twain Harte’

A new grant will help Twain Harte turn stormwater into a resource, say community leaders. The $3.75 million in funding was awarded to the Twain Harte Community Services District through the State Water Resources Control Board’s Stormwater Grant Program. It will be used to construct the Twain Harte Community Stormwater Enhancement Project. The district called it an “amazing win” for the community in a press release. 

Aquafornia news Yuba Water Agency

News release: Yuba Water Agency provides $2 million loan for Goldfields flood risk reduction work

Yuba Water Agency’s board of directors today approved a $2 million loan to the Three Rivers Levee Improvement Authority to complete the construction of a new levee near the Yuba Goldfields that will bring a 200-year level of urban flood protection to southern Yuba County. The 2.5-mile-long levee, which will be fully complete in June, runs parallel to Hammonton-Smartsville Road and extends to high ground near Beale Air Force Base. The 200-year level of protection means there is a 1-in-200 chance in any given year that a storm could come along that is bigger than the levee is designed to handle.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Ross selects plan for flood project at park

The Ross Town Council has selected an alternative plan for a flood control project at Frederick Allen Park, sparing dozens of creekside trees. The council voted unanimously Thursday in favor of “alternative 1,” which would preserve 80 trees slated for removal in the park. It would also nix the fish ladder and add four large fish resting pools into the concrete channel between the tennis courts and the post office.

Aquafornia news Stanford News

Blog: Climate change-resilient infrastructure

When President Joe Biden addresses a joint session of Congress tonight a common thread will likely run through much of his narrative: resilience. Beyond touting his administration’s accomplishments, Biden is expected to use the spotlight to pitch his $2.3 trillion American Jobs Plan, a wide-ranging infrastructure initiative that promises “every dollar” spent on rebuilding highways, airports, water systems and more will be used to “prevent, reduce and withstand the impacts of the climate crisis.”

Aquafornia news Audubon

Blog: Putting wetlands to work for disaster recovery

No one will forget the intense challenges that 2020 brought us, from record-breaking hurricanes and wildfires to a global pandemic that devastated our economy and public health. As Congress and the Biden administration look to help our country rebuild and recover from these compounding crises, investing in nature presents an opportunity to deliver multiple benefits for communities, birds, and other wildlife. Audubon presents a new suite of policy recommendations for making our communities and wildlife more resilient to climate change, by putting our wetlands, barrier islands, and other ecosystems to work.

Aquafornia news KQED

What can the Bay Area do about rising seas? East Palo Alto has a few great answers

The first time the streets flooded, Appollonia Grey ‘Uhilamoelangi, known as Mama Dee in her East Palo Alto community, got a little nostalgic. The weather, though severely inclement, at least reminded her of home in Samoa. … But East Palo Alto, with a population of 30,000, is prone to flooding, and three times over the next 30 years, torrential rains devastated the city. … Now, the bay waters being pushed higher by the effects of climate change pose an existential threat to this small community of mostly people of color. That’s not hyperbole. … Of all Bay Area counties, San Mateo is the most at risk from sea level rise, and of all places in the county, East Palo Alto is one of the most vulnerable to climate-driven inundation.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Storms to drench much of the Bay Area this weekend. Here’s what to expect

A burst of rain is expected to drench the Bay Area this weekend, bringing much-needed moisture to a parched region. The rains will likely be intense — but short-lived, tapering off to another stretch of warm, dry conditions by the middle of next week, meteorologists said. Showers were expected to start in the North Bay as early as Saturday evening, with steady rainfall pounding much of the Bay Area Sunday. Lingering showers were expected in the central coast through Sunday night, according to the National Weather Service.

Aquafornia news Water in the West

New research: Using floodwaters to weather droughts

Floodwaters are not what most people consider a blessing. But they could help remedy California’s increasingly parched groundwater systems, according to a new Stanford-led study. The research, published in Science Advances, develops a framework to calculate future floodwater volumes under a changing climate and identifies areas where investments in California’s aging water infrastructure could amplify groundwater recharge. 

Aquafornia news Voice of San Diego

Two sources of U.S.-Mexico sewage flows are fighting for one pot of money

If the San Diego-Tijuana region were a human body, it’d have the stomach flu: Bad stuff is coming out of both ends. But instead of tackling the complicated source of the infection, the border towns are fighting over where to put a Band-Aid. Six miles from the U.S.-Mexico border lie three giant ponds full of really old poo that regularly flush into the Pacific Ocean and flow north along the Southern California coast during summer tourist season. 

Aquafornia news Daily Democrat

Lawsuit filed over Woodland Flood Risk Management Project

The Yolo County Farm Bureau as well as two former Farm Bureau presidents have filed a lawsuit against the City of Woodland and the Woodland City Council over the Woodland Flood Risk Management Project. The suit — which was filed on March 25 — is a Verified Petition for a Writ of Mandate and Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief, or a way to get the judicial branch to reaffirm previous contracts. 

Aquafornia news The Mercury News

Alameda County Water District names next general manager

The Alameda County Water District board has promoted Ed Stevenson to serve as the district’s new general manager. The district, which provides water to roughly 350,000 homes in Fremont, Newark and Union City, announced that  Stevenson, a 24-year district employee, will take over after current general manager Robert Shaver retires on July 1 following 30 years of service. 

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Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Blog: How I got beyond the concrete and learned to love Ballona Creek

A year ago, when stay-at-home orders were a newly disorienting fact of life, I started taking long walks through my neighborhood on L.A.’s Westside. Wandering south from Palms into Culver City, I realized I live near a huge concrete channel — a creek, trapped in place — with a bike path along the water, and a view of oil pumpjacks rising and falling atop the Baldwin Hills. There were beautiful murals, too, showing a healthy, thriving waterway. They were hashtagged #KnowYourWatershed. And the more I admired them, the more I realized that I did not, in fact, know my watershed, despite growing up not far from here. 
-Written by Sammy Roth, a Los Angeles Times staff writer.

Aquafornia news KPBS

Sewage flows continue to foul south San Diego County beaches

South Bay officials are beginning to run out of patience over the continued cross-border flow of sewage-tainted water. The pollution warning signs have been up most of 2021 on the sand in Imperial Beach. Last Friday, the pollution flowed north to Coronado, forcing beach closures there. Imperial Beach’s top officials are fed up.

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Aquafornia news Storm Water Solutions

Blog: Playing the right card with storm water basins

Despite its semi-arid climate, characterized by mild, moist winters and hot, dry summers, the area in and around Fresno, California, has experienced numerous flood events. From elevations reaching 5,000 feet in the Sierra-Nevada mountain range, streams carry runoff from a 175-square-mile area flow onto the valley floor, where they periodically inundate farmland and urban development, including downtown Fresno. Storm flows have caused local streams and canals to overflow an average of once every four years since 1953. In the early 1950s, a group of citizens banded together to find solutions to the area’s increasing storm water management problems. 

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Kamala Harris visits Oakland to tout federal jobs plan

For the first time since her historic ascension as the nation’s first woman vice president, Kamala Harris returned to her native Oakland on Monday to promote the Biden administration’s ambitious proposal to rebuild the country’s infrastructure and create jobs…. Harris toured the East Bay Municipal Utility District’s water treatment plant, speaking to employees and touting the district as the kind of operation that should be emulated. …. Harris highlighted the water portion of the [Biden] plan, saying the goal is to invest in jobs that can build up, replace and modernize water infrastructure — all with the goal of getting clean drinking water to everyone.

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Aquafornia news National Law Review

California State Water Board’s construction stormwater permit for 2021

Barack Obama was seven months into his first term as President of the United States, the World Health Organization had declared a H1N1 flu pandemic, and the California State Water Resources Control Board (State Board) adopted the current Construction General Permit for Stormwater Discharges (Permit or CGP). It was September 2009. Now, having administratively extended the Permit since 2014 when, by its terms, the Permit expired, the State Board may, under a schedule released late last year, soon release a new draft CGP for public comment, with a goal of adopting it late this summer. As with the current permit, the proposed new CGP will regulate the discharge of pollutants from construction sites in California. 

Aquafornia news Western City Magazine

Cities of San José and Ukiah lead the way on critical water infrastructure projects

Much of the state’s water infrastructure was designed decades ago and was built to serve half the size of our current population. Faced with aging infrastructure, California cities have taken innovative approaches to modernizing water treatment and recycling systems to meet the needs of a growing population and a changing climate. One infrastructure need that many residents take for granted is wastewater treatment. … The San José-Santa Clara Regional Wastewater Facility is the largest advanced wastewater treatment facility in the Western United States. Originally built in 1956, today it serves more than 1.4 million residents and 17,000 businesses in eight cities in Silicon Valley and unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County. Using a treatment process that simulates the way nature cleans water, the facility treats an average of 110 million gallons of wastewater per day.

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Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Underwater meadows of California seagrass found to reverse symptom of climate change

Eelgrass, a plant that grows in “underwater meadows” along the California coast and emerges like a floating carpet at low tide, is already known to be an important habitat for fish, birds and baby Dungeness crabs. It turns out it can also reduce seawater’s acidity back to preindustrial levels, creating refuges for animals who can’t tolerate that byproduct of climate change. … [S]eagrass meadows, which have shrunk in number and size globally because of pollution and development … may support wildlife as well as the production of farmed oysters, mussels and abalone. … The state already has efforts in place to protect its eelgrass habitat. The California Ocean Protection Council has a goal of preserving the state’s existing 15,000 acres of seagrass beds and adding another 1,000 acres by 2025.

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Aquafornia news California Department of Fish and Wildlife

News release: Future of Buena Vista Lagoon to be more natural

The Buena Vista Lagoon Ecological Reserve in San Diego County sits between the cities of Oceanside to the north and Carlsbad to the south. It’s historic because it was the state’s first-ever reserve, created in 1968. … [H]omeowners in that area, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), CDFW and several other groups came to an agreement after years of dispute on how the lagoon should be altered so it thrives well into the future. … Like lagoons up and down that part of San Diego County, Buena Vista took in runoff from hills to the east and fed water to the west into the Pacific Ocean. But in the ‘40’s a weir was added at the mouth by nearby landowners, so the lagoon essentially became freshwater only. …

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Audit: San Diego’s effort to inspect industrial polluters is outdated, inefficient

A San Diego program that aims to keep toxic sewer water out of the Pacific Ocean suffers from outdated methods and inadequate efforts to identify and inspect the business sites of industrial polluters, a new city audit says. The 56-page audit says the program, which oversees industrial polluters served by San Diego and 12 other local sewer districts, needs to step up efforts to find polluters and modernize its inspection program. The program – the Industrial Wastewater Control Program – is also understaffed and not capable of handling the larger workload it should handle without adding more workers, the audit says.

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Aquafornia news Estuary News

Scientists nail climate links to extreme events

While a supermajority of Americans finally believe we are warming the world, a 2020 Yale Climate Opinion survey shows that most people still aren’t very worried about it. … But Californians do. Reeling from a decade of record-shattering drought, heat waves, and wildfires, people in the Golden State overwhelmingly tell Public Policy Institute of California pollsters that the effects of global warming have already begun. Indeed … researchers can now link climate change with some of today’s extreme events [including the wild swings in precipitation that cause intense rainstorms at one end and severe droughts at the other] beyond a reasonable doubt.

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Aquafornia news The Guardian

Make it rain: US states embrace ‘cloud seeding’ to try to conquer drought

With three-quarters of the US west gripped by a seemingly ceaseless drought, several states are increasingly embracing a drastic intervention – the modification of the weather to spur more rainfall. … Cloud seeding experiments have taken place since the 1940s but until recently there was little certainty the method had any positive impact. But research last year managed to pinpoint snowfall that “unambiguously” came from cloud seeding … Others are now looking to join in, including the “four corners” states – Utah, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico – that have been ravaged by the most extreme version of the latest drought. 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: California vies for $3-trillion Biden infrastructure plan

A Biden initiative expected to pour up to $3 trillion into repairing America’s decrepit infrastructure and funding other programs has sparked a scramble across the nation for the federal funds — with California expecting to reap the biggest piece. …Rep. John Garamendi, a Northern California Democrat who is a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee…spent more than an hour with Biden in recent weeks and came away convinced that the program will be broad enough to improve most areas of the nation’s infrastructure: highways, passenger rail, electric grids, dams, sewers and water systems, ocean terminals and airports…. 

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Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Opinion: California needs to repeat history by passing new clean water laws

The Porter-Cologne Water Quality Act, California’s state clean water law, passed in 1969 and became the model for the 1972 federal Clean Water Act. Nearly half a century after passage of the landmark federal law, it is time for both the state and the nation to assess progress and chart a new course. Once again, California is leading the way with Assembly Bill 377, a new bill introduced by Assemblyman Robert Rivas (D-Hollister). Although new legislation is needed, the existing federal and California clean water acts have produced successes that should be celebrated.
-Written by Terry Tamminen, president of 7th Generation Advisors and founder of Santa Monica Baykeeper. 

Aquafornia news Patch, Bay City News

Officials to hire firm for large Walnut Creek wetland project

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will likely hire a contractor for the sweeping Lower Walnut Creek Restoration Project that aims to improve both flood control and conditions for wildlife and recreation. County staff recommends the board approve a deal with Four M Contracting, which came in with the lowest bid on the project, at $11.285 million. The Winters-based civil engineering firm specializes in wetland enhancement projects and the creation of wildlife habitat.

Aquafornia news National Geographic

As the U.S. faces an uncertain water future, millions of Americans are coming together to conserve water

Witnessing the devastating effects of drought in rural California and India at the age of 11 spurred Shreya Ramachandran to action. She devoted years to researching the reuse of grey water—lightly used water from sinks, showers, and laundry—and painstakingly tested the environmental safety of organic detergents. The nonprofit Ramachandran founded, the Grey Water Project, has inspired thousands of people to build their own “laundry to lawn” grey water systems. Now a high school senior, she’s collaborated with several California water agencies and the United Nations Global Wastewater Initiative, and created a grey water curriculum for elementary students to show them that small actions can make a big difference.

Aquafornia news Daily Californian Weekender

Opinion: Why do we have lawns anyway? (And what we can do instead?)

To have enough excess time and energy in your life to spend on cultivating a lawn means that you are a successful member of society — not just economically, but in spirit and values. But where did this obsession come from? A lawn, taken out of context, is a very peculiar landscaping choice. … There are tons of alternatives to lawns that can be more appropriate for the California climate. Xeriscaping, or the practice of using drought tolerant plants for decorative landscaping, is rapidly becoming more popular as homeowners are trying to keep their front yards looking neat and elegant while cutting down their water costs and environmental impact. 
-Written by Landon Iannamico, staff writer for the Daily Californian 

Aquafornia news Representative Josh Harder

News release: Harder requests new funding for flood protection project impacting 165,000 people, 262 critical sites

Today, Representative Josh Harder (CA-10) sent a letter with Rep. Jerry McNerny (CA-9) requesting new federal funds for the Lower San Joaquin River Flood Risk Management and Feasibility Study projects. The $36.5 million in requested funds would go toward the Army Corps of Engineers and San Joaquin Area Flood Control Agency’s critical flood damage reduction efforts. If implemented, the project will protect 165,000 Valley residents, reduce annual property damage by 84%, and increase the resilience of 262 critical infrastructure sites, 12 of which are essential to daily life in the Valley. The project is expected to yield $7 for every $1 of taxpayer money invested.

Aquafornia news SJV Water

Students find saving water ‘elementary’

When a region’s groundwater is critically depleted and its dirt as hard as a frying pan, how do you refill the aquifer? Ask a fifth grader. Actually, ask the fifth and sixth grade combination class at Bakersfield’s Munsey Elementary School taught by Barbara Elrod. Elrod’s students discovered a pretty cool way to both conserve water and recharge aquifers through “grey water.” That’s water from sinks, showers and washing machines. Turns out most of that water has soap in it and soap is a surfactant. 

Aquafornia news The Mercury News

Coyote Valley: $16 million deals preserve San Jose open space

In the latest effort to protect Coyote Valley, a Palo Alto environmental group has closed three deals totaling $16.5 million to purchase 331 acres in the scenic expanse of rural land on San Jose’s southern edges … The three properties purchased in the most recent deals, left undeveloped, also will be used to provide natural flood protection for downtown San Jose. The idea is that when Coyote Creek is flooding, as it did in 2017, causing $100 million in damage, its waters can be deliberately spread over the open area to seep into the groundwater table instead of all rushing downtown into neighborhoods.

Aquafornia news San Luis Obispo Tribune

Cambria Santa Rosa Creek project sees flooding due to storm

Mother Nature proved again in late January that the force of torrential rainfall and surging water can undo about a decade’s worth of difficult, expensive habitat conservation work. The Santa Rosa Creek project completed in October in Cambria was designed to stabilize the path of the creek in a vulnerable North Coast area, while protecting its bank and its eponymous roadway. Devin Best, executive director of the Upper Salinas-Las Tablas Resource Conservation District (RCD), said the district worked with landowners “to preserve their property and also maintain the road so it doesn’t wash away.”

Aquafornia news Patch

Ocean use advisory issued for Manhattan Beach water

A beach water use advisory is now in effect until Thursday, warning people of possible bacteria in the water following rainfall. The recent rainfall, bacteria, chemicals, debris, trash, and other public health hazards from city streets and mountain areas are likely to contaminate ocean waters at and around discharging storm drains, creeks, and rivers. People who enter the water in these areas could become ill, according to Los Angeles County Health Officer, Muntu Davis, MD, MPH. This advisory will be in effect until at least Thursday at 1o a.m.

Aquafornia news Voice of San Diego

Blog: We’re about to drink recycled water but don’t know what’s in it

I’ve been writing a lot about the broken sewage system in Tijuana causing spills into San Diego. Part of the concern, San Diego officials told me, is that Mexico lacks a system to monitor whether businesses are dumping toxic waste into the sewer system. That’s part of the reason why it’s risky to reuse any of that river water because, if we don’t know what’s in the water, we can’t be sure how to best treat it. San Diego is about to run into this issue in a big way with its Pure Water project, a multibillion-dollar system that’s going to recycle the city’s sewage and treat it so, well, you can drink it. 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles is home to heavy industry — and more federal deals not to prosecute polluters than anywhere else

Companies in these [pollution] cases weren’t required to plead guilty; they weren’t convicted of any crimes, according to the agreements. Instead, the government agreed to forego prosecution for a certain time period or drop the case altogether if the companies paid hefty fines and promised to clean up the environmental damage they had inflicted. … One concerned a waste hauler, Asbury Environmental Services, accused of discharging marine diesel oil into a storm drain that led to the Los Angeles River. In 2020, 10 years after that incident, prosecutors wrapped up the case with a nonprosecution deal.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Sacramento area rainfall totals from hail thunderstorms

Thunderstorms dumped anywhere from a quarter to three-quarters of an inch of rain in the Sacramento area Wednesday as the region was pelted by dime-sized hail that filled streets and front lawns. A cold weather system moved north along the California coast before it combined with warm temperatures near the ground and created the right conditions to form scattered thunderstorms throughout Northern California, said Eric Kurth, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sacramento.

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Aquafornia news ABC7 San Francisco

Housing development or protected wetlands? Fight over future of California salt ponds

For decades, the Cargill salt ponds in Redwood City have stretched into the San Francisco Bay like a blank slate. What’s to come of them? The Cargill corporation sees the outline of a new housing development, while environmental groups see a restored wetland habitat. David Lewis and his group Save the Bay recently joined a lawsuit against the former Trump administration’s EPA in a back-and-forth battle over whether the area falls under federal protection.

Aquafornia news The Revelator

Blog: Stormwater could become an important water source — if we stopped ignoring it

Climate change and other environmental pressures are already putting the pinch on water resources in California, the Southwest and other arid parts of the world. Over-tapped groundwater, rivers and lakes are forcing water managers to find new supplies. Some of these can be costly, like treating wastewater for drinking water. Or they can come with a hefty price tag and outsized environmental footprint, like desalination or new dams. There’s another option on the table, though: stormwater. If we do the accounting right, runoff from precipitation is a cost-effective supplementary water resource, experts say. 

Aquafornia news Border Report

House, Senate bills designate EPA to head all water cleanup along southern border

A bipartisan group of California lawmakers is confronting pollution problems along the U.S.-Mexico border, especially in the Tijuana River Valley between San Diego and Tijuana. Several House members who represent Southern California introduced a bill called the Border Water Quality Restoration Act. Similar legislation was presented last week in the U.S. Senate. If approved, it will give the Environmental Protection Agency the authority to coordinate all federal, state, and local agencies when planning construction and infrastructure projects to mitigate pollution in waterways throughout the southern border.

Aquafornia news Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions

New research: Blue carbon California – Incorporating blue carbon science into climate policy solutions

California is home to a diversity of coastal ecosystems like tidal marshes, seagrass beds, and estuaries. These ecosystems provide flood and storm protection, healthy habitats for fish and birds, and recreational spaces. They may also play an important role in addressing climate change. A new COS and Natural Capital Project study in Global Environmental Change investigates the carbon sequestration potential of habitats along the California coast and details pathways incorporating carbon-capturing habitats into climate change policy.

Aquafornia news NBC 7 San Diego

Bill introduced to address water pollution at U.S.-Mexico border

A coalition of San Diego County elected representatives introduced a bill on Monday to address water pollution along the U.S.-Mexico border. The Border Water Quality Restoration and Protection Act would designate the Environmental Protection Agency as the lead agency coordinating federal, state and local agencies’ efforts to build and maintain infrastructure projects aimed at reducing pollution along the border. 

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Stinson Beach to devise sea-level rise defense plan

Stinson Beach will launch a multi-year effort to craft its first sea-level rise defense plan as oceans threaten to swallow up beaches, roads and waterfront homes by the end of the century. The community is the most immediately vulnerable to sea-level rise on Marin’s ocean coast and could face a water level as much as 10 feet higher by 2100 in a worst-case scenario, according to county officials and state projections. In 2018, the county outlined strategies Stinson Beach could adopt, including elevating roads and homes, building sea walls and dunes, boardwalking entire neighborhoods and building a new sewage system.

Aquafornia news Downey Brand LLP

Blog: Proposed “California Clean Water Act” (AB 377) would restrict ability to secure schedules of compliance in water quality permits or other water quality-related orders

AB 377, entitled the “California Clean Water Act,” introduced by Assemblymember Rivas in February 2021, includes provisions to eliminate all “impaired waterways” and make all waters in California suitable for drinking, swimming, and fishing by 2050.  If adopted, this bill would have significant impacts on the ability to timely and cost-effectively comply with discharge requirements set forth in National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) permits, Waste Discharge Requirements (“WDRs”), and waivers of WDRs (collectively, “water quality permits”).  The bill would also usher in an era of focus on enforcement, rather than good-faith compliance.

Aquafornia news ABC10 News San Diego

Bill introduced to reduce water pollution at U.S.-Mexico border

A bill aimed at addressing pollution along the U.S.- Mexico border and improving water quality in the Tijuana and New rivers was introduced Wednesday. The Border Water Quality Restoration and Protection Act would designate the Environmental Protection Agency as the lead agency coordinating federal, state and local agencies to build and maintain infrastructure projects aimed at reducing pollution along the border. It would also require the EPA and other agencies to identify a list of priority projects and would authorize the EPA to accept and distribute federal, state, and local funds to build, operate and maintain those projects.

Aquafornia news ABC10 - Sacramento

California spring flood outlook 2021

Sacramento is typically ranked first or second in the country for the risk of flooding….This year, the California-Nevada River Forecast Center is forecasting a low potential for flooding due to spring snowmelt.

Aquafornia news California Trout

Blog: Canary in the coal mine – Moments that write history

One of the key issues on the table—highlighted in the CalTrout and UC Davis Report, SOS II: Fish in Hot Water—is that on our current trajectory, it’s predicted that 45% of native California salmonids will face extinction in the next 50 years. When a species faces imminent extinction – there is a sense of urgency to act, but recovery programs differ depending on the species. Because steelhead, the ocean-going form of Oncorhynchus mykiss, use many areas of a watershed from ocean to headwaters, there are a range of threats to address and many stakeholder interests to balance. Making things more complex, Southern steelhead recovery takes place in the middle of 20 million people – so a pragmatic approach is essential.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Creek Fire: Rain storm could hurt water quality near Fresno

That it hasn’t rained much this year isn’t all bad news, especially in the aftermath of the Creek Fire that burned nearly 40% of the San Joaquin River watershed. Most importantly, mountain communities devastated by the Creek Fire have not faced the secondary disaster that can be brought by weather, like in Santa Barbara County when heavy rain in the burn scar of the Thomas Fire led to deadly and destructive mudslides. Some areas near Big Creek and North Fork are at risk of hazardous, post-fire debris flows.

Aquafornia news EurekAlert!

News release: One California community shows how to take the waste out of water

Caught between climate change and multi-year droughts, California communities are tapping groundwater and siphoning surface water at unsustainable rates. As this year’s below-average rainfall accentuates the problem, a public-private partnership in the Monterey/Salinas region has created a novel water recycling program that could serve as a model for parched communities everywhere. 

Aquafornia news Earth Island Journal

Wildfire, landslides threaten California’s endangered black abalone

A few weeks after [California's late-January] storm, in early February, eight scientists with a research consortium called the Multi-Agency Rocky Intertidal Network, or MARINe, hiked towards a beach smothered by one of the Big Sur debris flows. The sour smell of decomposing creatures hit them. A few turkey vultures nipped at the sand. There were dead sea stars, chitons, and likely hundreds of dead black abalone. In a previous visit to this site, scientists were able to count 150 black abalone or “abs” in a small 50-meter area, with hundreds left uncounted. A fraction of the site’s population remained.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Opinion: Mexico’s effort will be key in reducing sewage spills; U.S. can’t do it alone

Big projects aimed at stemming the toxic sewage flowing from Tijuana into Imperial Beach and the surrounding region are on the horizon and that’s a welcome development. But any such improvements come with a nagging question based on historical experience: How long will this fix last? Cross-border pollution has been a problem for the better part of a century and has defied past efforts to solve it. It’s not that previous actions didn’t help. Some did, and they greatly diminished the health and environmental threat — and reduced beach closures. 
-Written by Michael Smolens, a columnist for the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Aquafornia news KCRA

Revisiting one of the costliest storms in NorCal history 35 years later

It is the 35th anniversary of one of the costliest and devastating storms in the history of Northern California. From Feb. 11 to Feb. 20, 1986, a series of three storms, each stronger than the previous, brought record-setting rain that, in some areas, overwhelmed flood control measures. In the end, the storms claimed 13 lives, and the damage was estimated at $400 million. The storm also brought eventual changes to California’s existing flood control system.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Wildfires can pollute drinking water. That worries some in the hills above Santa Cruz

As the first heavy rains of the season poured across the Santa Cruz Mountains last month, emergency responders and residents braced for debris flows, road closures and power outages. Others also feared for their drinking water…. Across the West, water districts are grappling with new and increasingly common challenges as fire seasons grow longer and blazes consume more suburbs and smaller communities. These fires are not only destroying people’s homes and treasured possessions, they are leaving behind an array of incinerated plastics, lead, pesticides and other toxic particles that have the potential to contaminate water supplies.  

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

EPA says help is on the way for San Diego beaches fouled by sewage from Tijuana

When a storm pummeled the San Diego-Tijuana region two weeks ago, hundreds of millions of gallons of water laced with raw sewage, trash and industrial chemicals flowed over the border, shuttering beaches as far north as Coronado. The shoreline stink and closures came as no surprise to residents of Imperial Beach, a city where swimming was prohibited at its main oceanfront for nearly half of 2020. The beach along Border Field State Park was closed for 295 days last year. The South Bay shoreline was partially opened after the recent rains, only to be abruptly closed again on Wednesday as polluted water continued to leak out of Tijuana into the Pacific Ocean.

Aquafornia news AgAlert

Diversifying water supplies includes aquifer recharge

Bracing for potentially a second consecutive year of dry conditions, California water officials, farmers and researchers participating in an irrigation conference discussed recharging aquifers with stormwater and increased water efficiency among ways to diversify the state’s water supply.

Aquafornia news Pasadena Now

Opinion: Till the well runs dry – Pasadena’s devastating water plan

As long as people have lived in Pasadena, water has been an essential element for the life-style, health and economy of our region. Now, however, Pasadena faces a severe water crisis. This never has been an easy need to resolve, but population, growth and climate change have made the development of a sustainable or resilient water program an even greater necessity for the future. It’s not just a challenge for Pasadena, but also for all of California, and even the nation.
-Written by Tim Brick, the Managing Director of the Arroyo Seco Foundation.  

Aquafornia news Voice of San Diego

Opinion: The high cost of getting rid of water

If the cost of consuming water wasn’t high enough in San Diego, consider the cost of getting rid of it. As Andy Keatts detailed in a story Monday, San Diego has a huge infrastructure backlog and half of the unfunded projects over the next five years involve fixing the stormwater system. 

Aquafornia news Voice of San Diego

San Diego’s infrastructure deficit is really a stormwater deficit

The infrastructure deficit that has hung over San Diego politics for years without meaningful intervention is perhaps better understood as a stormwater deficit. Eight years ago, Mayor Todd Gloria, then Council president, pledged to craft an infrastructure-focused ballot measure for the 2016 ballot, to address the city’s crumbling roads, sidewalks, pipes and drains. That never happened, and the problem has only gotten worse. But the city now appears to be serious about pursing a measure to fund a specific, and massive, piece of the city’s infrastructure failure: its stormwater system.

Aquafornia news Bay Nature

Atmospheric rivers and the future of California

Ten days ago the state set new heat records and brush fires broke out. Burn areas in the Santa Cruz Mountains rekindled. Then, over the last three days, a 2,000-mile-long filament of water in the sky burst over the areas that last week sat brown and smoking. Snow fell on peaks and even some lower hills in the Bay Area. The California Department of Water Resources Central Sierra snow measurement station jumped from 42 percent of average to 62 percent of average.

Aquafornia news Patch

City to trace mystery water at Concord Naval Weapons Station

In order to get a wetlands permit needed for development of the former Concord Naval Weapons Station to move ahead, the City of Concord will investigate the source of water unexpectedly found near the one-time airfield north of Willow Pass Road. The Concord City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to move $12,000 of previously approved loan money to aid in the study of where water is coming from on that land, located east of Olivera Road near the Pixieland Amusement Park.

Aquafornia news The Associated Press

Thursday Top of the Scroll: California remains under flood, blizzard watches from storm

A storm that pounded Northern California with rain, snow, wind and mud rolled southwards on Thursday, prompting flood warnings and threats of mudslides in areas burned bare by wildfires. An atmospheric river of moisture from the Pacific Ocean was expected to dump 1 1/2 to 6 inches (15 centimeters) of rain in Southern California from Thursday night into Saturday, with winds up to 50 mph (almost 81 kph), according to the National Weather Service. But threats also remained in portions of central and Northern California. 

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Aquafornia news SJV Water

Delano’s “big dig”

The state’s new groundwater law has prompted a lot of dirt movement in the Central Valley. The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act passed in 2014 mandates that overdrafted water basins get their aquifers in balance — don’t pump out more than goes back in — by 2040. In order to get there without massive farmland fallowing, most valley water managers have been adding as many acres of recharge ground as possible. The Delano-Earlimart Irrigation District has been particularly aggressive.

Aquafornia news SJV Water

Kings River floodwater dispute goes to the state

A bid by Kern County farmers to take Kings River floodwater officially got underway Tuesday as state regulators hashed out procedures and next steps with the various parties. An initial hearing had been set for April 15, but may now be pushed back to July, depending on how Administrative Hearing Officer Nicole Kuenzi rules. 

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Aquafornia news CalMatters

Opinion: Water partnerships between cities and farms would help prepare for a changing climate

San Joaquin Valley farms and Southern California cities are facing different but equally daunting water challenges.  For Valley farmers, the requirement to achieve groundwater sustainability in coming years has heightened interest in expanding water supplies to reduce the need to fallow irrigated farmland. For Southern California, falling demands since the early 2000s have reduced water stress during normal and wet years, but a warming climate makes future droughts a major concern. Both regions’ water futures could be more secure if they jointly developed and managed some water supplies.
-Written by Alvar Escriva-Bou, a research fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California 

Aquafornia news California Department of Toxic Substances Control

News release: California to tire makers – Please remove harmful chemicals that threaten our aquatic life and waterways

The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) put tire manufacturers on notice that California wants them to explore alternatives to using zinc, a toxic chemical that harms aquatic life and burdens waterways. Zinc helps make rubber stronger, but also wears off tire tread and washes into storm drains, streams, rivers and lakes, threatening California fish and other aquatic organisms.

Aquafornia news Estuary News

Blog: COVID complicates encampment cleanups

In 2016 the City of San Jose became the first Bay Area municipality to get credit for homeless encampment cleanups under its stormwater permit. So far, the city has exceeded the permit’s annual requirements, most recently removing 446 tons of rubbish—more than double its goal—from encampments along waterways. But Covid-19 has complicated this effort.

Aquafornia news Business Wire

Port of San Diego approves pilot to develop rapid stormwater monitoring device

The Port of San Diego has approved a pilot project to develop a portable five-in-one field-testing sensor device to provide real-time metals analysis for stormwater monitoring. The technology will test the levels of various metals in San Diego Bay including aluminum, copper, lead, zinc and nickel, all of which are currently manually monitored under the Port’s stormwater programs.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Montage Healdsburg resort developer fined record $6.4 million for water violations

State water quality regulators have fined the developer of Montage Healdsburg, the ultra-luxury resort set to open Saturday, more than $6.4 million for environmental violations tied to hotel construction during the stormy winter months of late 2018 and early 2019.

Aquafornia news Storm Water Solutions

Storm water management system helps filtration efforts

An integrated storm water management system at The Albert Roles Center (ARC) for Water Recycling & Environmental Learning is helping to maximize on-site filtration and on/off-site groundwater recharge in Pico Rivera, California. 

Aquafornia news The Coast News Group

Oceanside advances plans for Loma Alta Wetlands project

With more than $500,000 in combined state and federal funding and the conceptual restoration planning for the Loma Alta Wetlands Enhancement Project complete, the project is one step closer to coming to fruition.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

New research explains why salmon are dying in the Pacific Northwest. The danger lurks in California, too

Scientists in the Pacific Northwest say they’ve solved a long-running mystery behind the region’s dying salmon, a discovery that may explain what’s harming fish elsewhere around the globe, including California.

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Aquafornia news Arizona Republic

Tribes battle agencies, old policies to restore fire practices

By burning and brushing, nurturing important plants and keeping lands around their homes clear of dead brush and debris, Native peoples carefully stewarded the lands to sustain the biodiverse ecologies California is known for. Their work resulted in a richly productive landscape that provided food and habitat for not only humans but many land, air and water animals. That included the salmon, a staple of tribes in the West for millennia. All that changed when California became a U.S. state in 1850.

Aquafornia news South Yuba River Citizens League

News release: North Yuba Forest Partnership receives $1.13 million for forest health, wildfire resilience treatments

The North Yuba Forest Partnership has entered into an agreement to receive $1.13 million to plan future forest health and wildfire resilience treatments within the North Yuba River watershed. This funding originated from the US Forest Service’s Fireshed Program.

Aquafornia news U.S. Geological Survey

How wildfires threaten U.S. water supplies

Communities across the United States and the globe rely on clean water flowing from forested watersheds. But these water source areas are impacted by the effects of wildfire. To help water providers and land managers prepare for impacts from wildfire on water supplies, the U.S. Geological Survey is working to measure and predict post-fire water quality and quantity.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Rescues underway for rare species marooned by wildfire

Just weeks after the Bobcat fire ravaged the San Gabriel Mountains, state and federal biologists are racing to salvage as many federally endangered species as possible before storms could inundate the animals’ last outposts with mud and debris. … “This may be the last time in my life that I see wild mountain yellow-legged frogs in the last best place for them,” said biologist Robert Fisher…

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Aquafornia news Winters Express

Putah Creek: Tragedy, triage and triumph

Wildlife in the upper Putah Creek watershed was devastated by the LNU Complex Fire, which started on Aug. 17, was finally extinguished on Oct. 2, and grew to be the fourth largest in California history. However, the oak woodlands in this region have evolved with fire, and with natural resiliency and a little support from local agencies, recovery is expected.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Amid the worst wildfire season in California history, wildfire experts call for $2 billion investment in prevention

With California’s worst wildfire season on record still raging, experts from across the state are calling for a $2 billion investment in the next year on prevention tactics like prescribed burns and more year-round forest management jobs. 

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Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Lessons from Camp Fire could help prevent water contamination after North Complex Fire

The [Butte] county’s Forest Health Watershed Coordinator Wolfy Rougle said there is indeed reason to worry about preventing toxic runoff quickly, particularly with the magnitude of the North Complex fires’ destruction, and the county’s resources are stretched thin…So small nonprofit organizations typically have boots on the ground to do the work with concerned residents, like the Camp Fire Restoration Project.

Aquafornia news Noozhawk

With its beaches and creeks deemed ‘impaired,’ Santa Barbara takes steps to improve water quality

All of Santa Barbara’s beaches and creeks are designated as “impaired” under the federal Clean Water Act. … The council voted 7-0 to send its proposed changes to stormwater runoff to the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board… The list of changes are extensive, and are proposed over four tiers based on various types and levels of new construction development. They involve landscape changes and stormwater treatment for new impervious construction.

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 E&E News

House Dems set hearing on Western wildfires

A House Agriculture subcommittee this week will examine the response to Western wildfires, less than three months after its chairwoman predicted the COVID-19 pandemic would make this fire season like no other.

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Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Opinion: The next major wildfire could threaten our water supply

The last time Mt. Tamalpais had a major wildfire was in 1929. In 1930, Marin’s population was 41,648. Today it’s more than 258,000. … As with many other utilities, the Marin Municipal Water District is updating its treatment plants. It is unclear, from a technology and science perspective, whether our community treatment plant could handle sediment runoff from a big rainstorm after a catastrophic, climate-driven wildfire.

Aquafornia news New Times San Luis Obispo

Conservation groups complete Chorro Creek restoration project, benefiting the Morro Bay watershed

For years, a stretch of Chorro Creek near Hollister Peak ran through active farmland, where its flow was diverted for irrigation and its banks were shored up by levees, blocking the water’s natural access to its floodplain. … After nearly two decades of planning and fundraising, the Estuary Program and its partners recently completed a major restoration of the site.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Near Fairfax, flood control basin project underway

Work on a long-planned effort to reduce flood risk and improve safety for businesses and residents in the Ross Valley is underway as workers move dirt and debris to create a flood retention basin at the former Sunnyside Nursery outside of Fairfax.

Aquafornia news Popular Science

California wildfires may give way to massive mudslides

When fires burn up vegetation, the charred remains become hydrophobic—meaning they repel away any water. The soil is also very dry, which counterintuitively makes it harder for water to infiltrate. … Fires can also destroy the natural clumps in soil, increasing their erodibility. Altogether, this means that water is hitting the ground with more force and the soil is unable to suck it up.

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Aquafornia news North Bay Business Journal

Regulators raise water quality fine to $6.4 million for Montage Healdsburg resort

Poor erosion control on the 258-acre site unleashed soils into streams of the Russian River watershed and put fish and other other aquatic wildlife at risk, regulators found, counteracting millions of dollars spent to improve habitat and restore imperiled, protected runs of salmon and steelhead…

Aquafornia news Stormwater Online

Solar and Stormwater

The main stormwater issue associated with solar arrays is the concentrated discharge of stormwater runoff at the solar panel drip line, which can act like un-guttered roofs that channelize and accelerate stormwater flow. Instead of traveling as sheet flow across a fallow field, capped landfill, or macadamized parking area, stormwater now lands on the surface in channelized sheets that must be carefully managed to prevent soil scouring, erosion, and contamination…

Aquafornia news Fast Company

This tool is mapping every tree in California to help stop megafires

Scientists at Salo Sciences, a startup that works on technology for natural climate solutions, began creating the tool after interviewing dozens of experts in California about the state’s challenges with wildfires: They need more detailed, up-to-date information about the forests so they can better predict how fast and in what direction fires will spread…

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Firestorm devastates Butte County again as California burns

Less than two years after the most destructive fire in California history tore through Paradise, the same region was under siege from a second monster firestorm that quickly grew to more than 250,000 acres, sweeping through mountain hamlets and killing at least three people. … Across the state, 28 major wildfires have prompted more than 64,000 people to evacuate…

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Aquafornia news Water Environment Federation

Blog: Water utilities commended for transformational programming

The Utility of the Future Today recognition program celebrates the achievements of water utilities that transform from a traditional wastewater treatment system to a resource recovery center and leader in the overall sustainability and resilience of the communities they serve.

Aquafornia news L.A. Daily News

Construction on major Valley water projects close to beginning

A multimillion dollar water project in the heart of Northridge is on the fast track to becoming a reality. The Aliso Creek-Limekiln Creek Restoration Project at Vanalden Park is aimed at reducing pollutants in city waters by treating stormwater and urban runoff from Aliso and Limekiln creeks and an open channel storm drain.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Law

EPA to pay for cleaning Mexican sewage mucking up U.S. beaches

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said Wednesday the agency would pay for more water treatment south of the border, and work with San Diego to control trash coming into the United States from Mexico by way of the Tijuana River. Wheeler made the announcement during a visit to Southern California, a region long plagued by sewage, water, trash, and other contaminants flowing from Mexico.

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Aquafornia news The Press Democrat

Walbridge Fire damages half of prime salmon, steelhead spawning grounds, experts say

In burning to the edge of Lake Sonoma, the Walbridge fire has posed an unprecedented threat to the water supply for 600,000 North Bay residents and scorched Sonoma County streams critical to the revival of imperiled fish. … Experts estimate half of the spawning habitat on Russian River tributaries has been burned, dealing a potential setback to expensive, longstanding efforts to bolster coho salmon and steelhead trout populations.

Aquafornia news San Diego County Water Authority

Blog: San Diego County website helps residents protect watershed

Because San Diego County gets so little natural rainfall, most residents must artificially irrigate their landscaping. Rainfall becomes a welcome sight when it occurs. But rainfall turns into an unwelcome problem when it enters the storm drain system.

Aquafornia news SF Weekly

Sea level rise a major threat to San Francisco

Sea levels on the California coast could rise as much as seven feet by 2100 and put tens of thousands of vulnerable San Franciscans at risk of daily flooding, according to a new report from the California State Legislative Analyst’s office.

Aquafornia news The Confluence

Blog: The impacts of timber harvest on sediment transport and yield in watersheds

After timber harvest or fuel reduction thinning operations, sediment delivery to nearby streams and waterways can increase, potentially affecting water quality, drinking water supplies, habitat, and recreational opportunities. To effectively reduce these adverse effects of harvest, foresters first need to know the precise causes of sediment increases.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Opinion: Valley Water wants you to adopt a creek

As part of Valley Water’s mission to provide flood protection for our communities, we are continuously preparing for the possibility of flooding. We must regularly keep our streams and creeks well maintained to handle the rainy season and protect the many species of wildlife that live there.

Aquafornia news Sen. Dianne Feinstein

News release: Feinstein bill would reduce border pollution, improve water quality

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today introduced the Border Water Quality Restoration and Protection Act, a bill to reduce pollution along the U.S.-Mexico border and improve the water quality of the Tijuana and New rivers.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino Sun

Can a new plan for the wash that runs between Redlands and Highland protect flowers, animals and mining?

On July 13, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service gave the San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District a 30-year permit to manage plans for the Upper Santa Ana River Wash, the final step in the process. The plans cover an area of Redlands and Highland generally west and south of Greenspot Road, east of Alabama Street and north of the waterway’s bluffs.

Aquafornia news KUSI News

Mayor pro tem: Tijuana corruption audit result in Imperial Beach sewage crisis

Imperial Beach Mayor Pro Tem Paloma Aguirre joined Good Morning San Diego to discuss a new report claiming that an audit done by Baja California governor accuses big US companies of water theft and contributed to raw sewage and hazardous pollutants ending up in the Tijuana River.

Aquafornia news Mt. Shasta Herald

City Planner: storm drains are a vital part of Mount Shasta’s water system

Mount Shasta is a community that prides itself on clean water. In the past when water-related issues have come before City Council, meetings are often crowded to the point of overflowing. It is surprising, then, that one of the most important water topics in our city receives so little attention. I’m talking of course about Mount Shasta’s storm drain system.

Aquafornia news City News Service

Friday Top of the Scroll: San Diego and Tijuana announce plans to improve Tijuana River water treatment

Both United States and Mexican officials announced separate plans Tuesday to upgrade Tijuana River wastewater facilities. The international river has been a longtime problem for residents of Imperial Beach and Tijuana, as sewage and trash from the river have spilled into the Pacific Ocean for decades, often closing beaches near the border and damaging natural habitats along the river.

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Aquafornia news Scientific American

Green infrastructure can be cheaper, more effective than dams

Hundreds of studies on nature-based solutions to extreme events show that “green infrastructure” is often cheaper and more effective than engineered projects like dams, levees and sea walls, according to a new analysis. Experts say federal and state governments should heed those findings and increase funding for natural landscapes and systems to reduce climate disaster risk. Solutions include floodplain restoration and “living shorelines” along vulnerable coasts and rivers.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Disaster experts develop COVID-19 guidelines for water-related emergencies

In May, Cyclone Amphan made landfall in Bangladesh and eastern India. The category 5 storm forced around 3 million people to flee their homes. With this scenario in mind, a group of disaster experts published guidelines for political leaders and emergency managers so that they can prepare before the storms hit.

Aquafornia news 60 Minutes

Raw sewage flowing into the Tijuana River brings toxic sludge to California

The term “crisis on the border” typically refers to immigration issues or drugs being smuggled into the country. But it has one more meaning, as we discovered, when we went to the border in early February: tens of millions of gallons of raw sewage that spill every year into the Tijuana River on the Mexican side and flow across the border right into Southern California, polluting the land, air, and sea.

Aquafornia news U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

News release: EPA announces $196 million water infrastructure loan to Inland Empire, California

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $196 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to the Inland Empire Utilities Agency in San Bernardino County, California. The loan will help finance expanded wastewater treatment capacity to support public health and the environment in this growing community.

Aquafornia news CBS San Francisco

FDA: Grazing cows likely cause of E. coli outbreaks linked to Salinas Valley romaine lettuce

Outbreaks of E. coli illness that sickened 188 people who ate romaine lettuce grown in California probably came from cattle grazing near the farms, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in a report released Thursday. … Investigators concluded that the illness was centered on ranches and fields owned by the same grower and that were located downslope from public land where cattle grazed.

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Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: Trump EPA’s targeting of San Francisco pollution may bring investigation

The nation’s environmental watchdog may investigate federal enforcement of water policy in California after Democratic lawmakers accused the Trump administration of “irregular” interference targeting San Francisco, according to a letter sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Aquafornia news Mad River Union

Trinidad Rancheria & council in water fight

The Trinidad Rancheria is alleging that the City of Trinidad has failed to work with the tribe to provide water for its proposed hotel. Because of this the rancheria has informed the city that a much-anticipated stormwater project will be put on hold until the dispute is resolved.

Aquafornia news City News Service

EPA wants to spend $300 million for border sewage problem

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed spending $300 million to address the problem of toxic sewage flowing across the border into San Diego County, legislators announced Tuesday. The money would be part of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Implementation Act, and will be used for the engineering, planning, design and construction of wastewater infrastructure at the border, officials said.

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

Plastic pollution threatens marine life, humans and ecosystems. Enter FRED, a future vacuum of the ocean

A spring storm had retreated inland during the night, leaving a canopy of unbroken clouds over San Diego’s Mission Bay. About 20 engineering students and others gathered in the morning chill to launch a cockeyed-looking vessel, mechanical guts fully visible, into the still water.

Aquafornia news Bitterroot Magazine

It’s time to plan for drier western rivers

A strange thing happens during particularly wet winters in California: farmers flood their fields. … Aquifers are the last line of defense against drought conditions. By flooding their fields in January, farmers hope to fill these underground reservoirs with water they can use in August. If a trio of recent studies prove accurate, one can expect to see this method deployed more regularly.

Aquafornia news UCLA News

News release: UCLA students take first place in national EPA stormwater treatment design competition

A team of UCLA undergraduate students has won a national competition sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency seeking innovative plans for stormwater management. The team proposed to redesign elements of a Los Angeles elementary school to improve its environmental sustainability.

Aquafornia news Sierra Sun

Truckee accepts $2.31 million for Trout Creek restoration

The Truckee Town Council has approved a resolution to accept $2.31 million in funds from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for the restoration of Trout Creek The money will be used as part of the project extending Church Street, which is part of the larger Truckee Railyard Master Plan.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Law

Coronavirus causes delay in EPA’s rule for managing wastewater

The EPA has been too busy responding to the deadly coronavirus to work on its long-awaited proposal to manage huge volumes of pathogen-infested sewage and stormwater during heavy rains, the agency’s top wastewater official said Wednesday.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Green

California wildfire war collides with its coronavirus crisis

With wildfire season on the horizon, state officials have ordered prevention efforts to proceed after rains have tapered off and before the heat of summer. But work is progressing slower than usual as firefighting agencies and electric utilities institute new practices to keep employees safe.

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Aquafornia news NBC Bay Area

East Bay’s new rain gardens, an old-school pollution control

Just days before Covid-19 spurred a vast quarantine-at-home in California, a crew of workers in downtown Oakland was busily planting dozens of potted grasses, shrubs and trees in a newly sculpted garden bed in what had been a gutter and a row of parking stalls a block from City Hall.

Aquafornia news NOAA

Blog: How microplastics travel in the Southern California Bight

Although it is clear that river discharge is the major source of plastic pollution entering the oceans, there remains uncertainty around how plastic pollution is transported through rivers and coastal marine waters. How important is stormflow for delivering plastic pollution from rivers to the coastal ocean? How are microplastics transported through coastal environments? How much is eventually sinking and settling on the seafloor?

Aquafornia news PlanetWatch

Opinion: The low down on the EPA’s National Water Reuse Action Plan

In a time when many people in the world are inside their houses to stop the spread of covid-19, it is easy to forget that good news still exists. The Environmental Protection Agency’s National Water Reuse Action Plan is a bit of good news. The Plan, announced on February 27, 2020, by EPA Administration Andrew Wheeler, prioritizes the use of recycled water.

Aquafornia news Pacific Institute

Blog: Stormwater capture is undervalued in California

Stormwater is the rain and other water that runs off of streets and sidewalks into nearby gutters or waterways. Communities throughout the western U.S. are expanding efforts to collect this valuable water resource. These projects range from capturing water from a single rooftop or driveway to developing large infiltration basins that recharge billions of gallons of water each year in groundwater basins.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Environment

Friday Top of the Scroll: Virus-related delays cause states to rethink water permit compliance

States around the country say they won’t penalize water and wastewater utilities for failing to meet Clean Water Act permit requirements due to delays caused by the deadly coronavirus if those delays are justified and documented. Delays, for example, could be caused by utility staff who test and monitor water quality—or lab workers who analyze it—being quarantined with Covid-19.

Aquafornia news Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes

Study: Responses and impacts of atmospheric rivers to climate change

In March 2020 the most substantial review article to date focusing on atmospheric rivers (AR) was published in the first volume of the new journal Nature Reviews: Earth and Environment. The article, led by Ashley Payne (Univ. of Michigan) focuses on climate change dimensions, and was prepared by an international group of scientists…

Aquafornia news KJZZ

Arizona: Groundwater aquifers can expect a boost from March rains

March rain has left Salt River Project reservoirs as full as they’ve been in a decade. The utility is discharging water to make room for the runoff, providing a boost to the underlying aquifers. The utility says the Salt and Verde river systems are at a combined 94% of capacity, almost 20 points higher than last year.

Aquafornia news AccuWeather

Relentless storms continue to soak Golden State with rain, mountain snow

While California will not receive a soaking rain similar to what occurred at the beginning of the week, residents across the state can expect unsettled weather to stick around through Wednesday.

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Aquafornia news The Weather Channel

Friday Top of the Scroll: ‘Miracle March’? Feet of Sierra snow beginning this weekend is just what California needs

Much-needed snow will blanket California’s Sierra Nevada high country this weekend into next week, bringing hope of a “Miracle March” that could replenish vital, water-providing snowpack after a record-dry February.

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Aquafornia news KCET

7 best places to discover the L.A. River

We’re getting better when it comes to the L.A. River. Ten years ago, most of us didn’t even know that L.A. even had a river. … It’s hit a few bumps along the way (including the 1936 Flood Control Act that channelized it with concrete walls) — but now, you not only can get to the re-wilded parts of the Los Angeles River, but you can get onto them, too (for a part of the year)!

Aquafornia news WaterWorld

Advocating for clean water

As the nation’s water and wastewater treatment systems of pipes, pumps, and plants reach the end of their intended lifespan, investing in water infrastructure has taken the spotlight.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Could this week’s rain make up for Southern California’s extra-dry winter?

In less than a day, a storm Tuesday more than doubled the total rainfall that some parts of Southern California had received all year. More precipitation is on the horizon for at least the rest of this week. But will the change be enough to turn this month into a “Miracle March” that will make up for an extra-dry January and February?

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Aquafornia news Highland Community News

San Bernardino schools and East Valley Water District open career pathway

The new career prep program was created out of a partnership between the school district and water district that is linked to the development of East Valley Water District’s Sterling Natural Resource Center water recycling plant now under construction across Sixth Street from the high school.

Aquafornia news The Weather Channel

Monday Top of the Scroll: Southern California may see its biggest soaking this week since Christmas; some flooding, debris flows possible

We expect most of Southern California, including the Los Angeles Basin and San Diego metro area, as well as parts of Arizona, to pick up at least an inch of rain through Thursday. Some heavier amounts in higher terrain on southern- and southwestern-facing slopes are possible. Flash flooding of flood-prone, low-lying streets, freeways and normally dry washes and arroyos is possible in some areas.

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Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer to leave more than $1 billion in polluted rivers, flood issues to successor

For years, city auditors warned elected leaders that San Diego’s stormwater needs were being dramatically underfunded, leaving the city vulnerable to lawsuits and hefty fines from state regulators. Still, the mayor’s office has yet to take on the political challenge of securing enough new funding to fix the situation, something that would likely require a voter-approved tax hike.

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Aquafornia news Salon.com

Buried in mud: Wildfires threaten North American water supplies

Local reservoirs and municipal water supplies might become so polluted from the fires that the current water supply infrastructure will be challenged or could no longer treat the water. … But most of the fire-prone areas in North America lack large-scale vulnerability assessments of their municipal water supplies…

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Aquafornia news Inside Climate News

In wildfire’s wake, another threat: Drinking water contamination

Wildfire poses layers of risk to drinking water that unspool over time and geography, with some effects emerging years later, sometimes outside the burn zone… Water utility managers, engineers and scientists have only recently begun to grapple with the aftereffects of fires that consume entire neighborhoods and towns—as they did in California—and that in the process, release dozens of manmade pollutants into water lines.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

EPA loans Coachella water district $59 million for stormwater control project

The Coachella Valley Water District and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday signed an agreement for a $59.1 million loan to finance improvements to the district’s 134-mile stormwater system that drains into the Salton Sea.

Aquafornia news Claremont Courier

Sustainable Claremont: Our clean water future

In November 2018, more than two-thirds of voters passed Measure W, a comprehensive plan to address how we capture water and how to reduce our reliance on imported water. Now called the Safe Clean Water Program, this annual 2.5 cent per impervious square foot tax for all non-exempt property owners will fund over $250 million dollars annually to build and maintain projects that capture rainfall and storm water…

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

San Diego leaders say $300M in new federal cash will help build U.S. facility to capture Tijuana River pollution

The San Diego region has secured $300 million in federal funding for a new U.S. facility to capture Tijuana sewage spills before they foul South Bay shorelines, elected leaders said Friday.

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Aquafornia news Daily Bruin

As UCLA construction ramps up, runoff management policies should do so as well

The 2016-2026 UCLA Student Housing Master Plan is ambitious, to say the least: four years of guaranteed housing for all undergraduate freshmen and two years of guaranteed housing for transfer students. … But the grandiose scale of this housing expansion is not being met with equal expansion of UCLA’s stormwater management facilities.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Environment

Opinion: California industrial companies—your business license now depends on stormwater permitting

A new law in California took effect Jan. 1 and requires industrial business owners applying to a city or county for a new or renewed business license to demonstrate enrollment in a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System stormwater permit, if it’s required. … Failure to comply will result in delay or denial of a business license, effectively prohibiting the business from starting its operations.

Aquafornia news Axios

Mayors: Water tops city infrastructure needs

Water-related projects topped the list of infrastructure priorities for mayors, according to the 2019 Menino Survey of Mayors released this month. Why it matters: The survey revealed urgency around investments in water, wastewater and stormwater facilities, with mayors 10 percentage points more likely to focus on that issue than four years ago.

Aquafornia news Stanford News

More rain, less snow increases flooding

By analyzing more than two decades of data in the western U.S., scientists have shown that flood sizes increase exponentially as a higher fraction of precipitation falls as rain, offering insight into how flood risks may change in a warming world with less snow.

Aquafornia news Noozhawk

Carpinteria salt marsh still recovering from impacts of Thomas Fire, debris flows

Large woody debris, sediment and other material washed into the wetland from the fire-scarred foothills above Carpinteria during a powerful storm on Jan. 9, 2018. Materials poured from Santa Monica and Franklin creeks into the marsh. The Thomas Fire burned more than 28,000 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, and the inferno was followed three weeks later by the flash flooding and debris flows.

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Aquafornia news The New York Times

EPA letting cities dump more raw sewage into rivers for years to come

The Environmental Protection Agency has made it easier for cities to keep dumping raw sewage into rivers by letting them delay or otherwise change federally imposed fixes to their sewer systems, according to interviews with local officials, water utilities and their lobbyists.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Could Sacramento flood like New Orleans? It’s possible, but water managers are trying to make it less likely

Weak and problematic levees are a big reason why there was so much destruction when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005. It cost Louisiana and Mississippi more than $150 billion dollars and killed more than 1,800 people. But could something like this happen in the Sacramento region? The answer CapRadio heard from levee experts is yes, Sacramento could see that type of flooding, but there are a lot of things that lower that risk.

Aquafornia news Mountain View Voice

More delays, higher costs as flood protection projects near finish

Construction projects aimed at providing flood protection to thousands of Mountain View properties is over budget and more than a year behind schedule. The Santa Clara Valley Water District’s board of directors signed off on another round of funding in November for $4.7 million, aimed at offsetting cost overruns that ate through most of the project’s contingency fund.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

First look: San Diego State University’s $54M plan for a Mission Valley river park

SDSU, with the help of its landscape architect Schmidt Design Group, hopes to engineer ties to the oft-overlooked San Diego River, which runs behind the Mission Valley property currently home to SDCCU Stadium. Although park-goers won’t be able to access the river — a landscaped buffer will be used to keep people away from the natural habitat — they should get a river-like feel from the park.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

The rope behind Poway’s water problems had been there a long time

Nobody seems to know why a rope that caused a nearly weeklong boil-water advisory in Poway was there in the first place. The rope had been hanging on a wall in a vault adjacent to the clearwell drinking water reservoir and a stormwater drain. When heavy rains on Nov. 28 and 29 caused the stormwater to surge and back up into the vault, somehow the rope became lodged in a swing gate allowing muddy water to leak into the reservoir…

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Opinion: A harsh dose of reality amid movement toward border pollution solution

The increasing spills that have polluted the Tijuana River Valley and ocean off Imperial Beach have resulted in frustration and anger in recent years, but also triggered broad political collaboration at the local, state and federal level that has put the region on the brink of real action.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Rope ‘inexplicably’ caused Poway water problems; claims filed seeking compensation

A piece of rope “inexplicably” became lodged in a valve separating a 10-million gallon reservoir from a storm drain in late November, causing a nearly week-long, costly boil-water advisory in Poway, a report prepared by the city for the state concludes.

Aquafornia news Lexology

Blog: Industrial facilities may be denied business permits without proof of storm water coverage

California regulates storm water discharges from industrial facilities under the federal Clean Water Act through its Industrial General Storm Water Permit (IGP). … The IGP identifies which industrial facilities need to comply by their Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code, which is determined based on the primary purpose of the business. But what if an industrial facility does not recognize that it should seek IGP coverage, or simply chooses not to comply?

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Santa Rosa wastewater quandary linked to Kincade fire could get worse as rainy season ramps up

Nearly two months after the Kincade fire was fully contained in northeastern Sonoma County, Santa Rosa is struggling with an after-effect of the massive blaze: its wastewater disposal pipeline at The Geysers was disabled for six weeks, backing up the Sebastopol-area plant with about 400 million gallons of treated wastewater.

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Aquafornia news California Healthline

Fecal bacteria In California’s waterways increases with homeless crisis

San Francisco officials were quick to dispute Trump’s claims. But some of California’s most prized rivers, beaches and streams are indeed contaminated with levels of fecal bacteria that exceed state limits, threatening kayakers, swimmers — and the state’s reputation as a bastion of environmental protection.

Aquafornia news The Mountain Democrat

Placerville developer pays for illegal diversions

A Placerville development company that illegally discharged sediment and stormwater from its construction site has agreed to pay $171,000 in a settlement with the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board,

Aquafornia news Phys.org

Q&A: Wildfire’s impact on water quality

As an appointee to the San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board, Newsha Ajami has worked with local, state and federal agencies to monitor and ensure water quality in areas affected by wildfires. Ajami is director of urban water policy at Stanford’s Water in the West program, and co-leads the Urban Water Systems & Institutions Thrust at Re-Inventing the Nation’s Urban Water Infrastructure (ReNUWIt), a National Science Foundation engineering research center based at Stanford. She discussed wildfire’s threat to water quality with Stanford Report.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Environment

‘New NAFTA’ offers money for border sewage fixes

Passing the new North American free trade agreement would mean millions of dollars to help upgrade sewage infrastructure on the border, say the agreement’s backers. But an environmental group and a local organization on the U.S.-Mexico border say it’s not enough.

Aquafornia news ABC News San Diego

Inspection found 12 flaws in Poway’s water delivery system

A state inspection found 12 flaws in Poway’s drinking water delivery system less than three months before the city’s precautionary boil water advisory. City officials remain adamant that the issues raised by the inspection had nothing to do with the nearly week-long advisory that ended Dec. 6.

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Aquafornia news Antelope Valley Press

A model for the future of water

With a low rumble from a large pipe, water began flowing into a dirt basin at 25th Street West and Elizabeth Lake Road Thursday morning, christening the Upper Amargosa Creek Recharge Project and marking the debut of a new water storage endeavor in the Valley. Inside the basin, water flowed from holes in a round structure to begin flooding the bottom, where it will begin to percolate through the soil to the aquifer beneath.

Aquafornia news Phys.org

Sustainable sand pulls pollutants from stormwater

UC Berkeley engineers have developed a mineral-coated sand that can soak up toxic metals like lead and cadmium from water. Along with its ability to destroy organic pollutants like bisphenol A, this material could help cities tap into stormwater, an abundant but underused water source.

Aquafornia news MyNewsLA.com

Group to sue county flood control district, others for alleged harm to fish

Two wildlife advocacy groups Wednesday announced their intent to sue the Riverside County Flood Control & Water Conservation District, as well as other regional and federal government agencies, for allegedly putting a fish species’ habitat at risk with the release of water from the Seven Oaks Dam.

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Aquafornia news ABC News San Diego

Members of different water districts blame the mayor and city of Poway for water problems

Members representing different water districts set up a news conference Tuesday to collectively show they weren’t happy with how the mayor and City of Poway handled last week’s water situation.

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Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Thursday Top of the Scroll: Trade agreement includes $300 million for border pollution cleanup, including Tijuana River Valley

The new United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement reached Tuesday commits the federal government to provide $300 million for the Border Water Infrastructure Program to address pollution on the U.S.-Mexico border, including the Tijuana River Valley region, where millions of gallons of raw sewage, heavy metals and other contaminants regularly flow from Tijuana to San Diego.

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Aquafornia news Pacific Institute

Blog: Managing urban flooding in the San Francisco Bay Area: From a concrete bowl to a green sponge

Urban flooding is increasing in the Bay Area for four main reasons: California’s naturally variable precipitation patterns, climate change increasing precipitation extremes, population growth, and aging and insufficient infrastructure.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Little progress in reducing L.A. stormwater pollution, report says

Researchers combed through six years of data, from 2012 to 2018, to examine how L.A. County has mitigated the issue, most visible in the 72-hour aftermath of rainfall but persists during dry weather in the form of runoff from driveways and sidewalks. As it turns out, not much has been done, largely because of a lack of transparent requirements when it comes to the monitoring of stormwater pollution by various municipalities.

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Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Poway’s water woes due to out-of-compliance infrastructure, state official says

A state official said Wednesday he intends to notify the city of Poway that its water storage reservoir is out of compliance, a situation he said directly contributed to last week’s storm water overflow that has left the entire community under a boil-water advisory and temporarily shuttered nearly 200 businesses.

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Aquafornia news Alameda Sun

Voters pass drain fee

The City Council will certify the Water Quality and Flood Protection Initiative at its Dec. 17 meeting after Alameda property owners voted in favor of a fee hike. … The increased fee will fund repairs and new pump stations, which is vital to combat potential flooding as sea levels rise; improve lagoon systems, enhance street sweeping procedures and maintain and install new trash capture devices. These devices are key to keeping the shoreline free of trash and other debris.

Aquafornia news KPBS

Backed-up storm drain caused Poway’s water contamination

Rains caused storm drains to back up into Poway’s water treatment facility, officials said. Crews are working around the clock to clean and flush the system, which may take two to five days before the water is declared safe. The county health department ordered the closing of all restaurants in the city and residents are being advised to boil their tap water before drinking it or using it for cooking, city officials said.

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Aquafornia news KCRA TV

Crews build Sacramento’s McKinley Park water vault

Water in the vault will go the Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant in Elk Grove. This new system is designed to stop flooding on East Sacramento streets.

Aquafornia news Curbed LA

Giant water wheel will churn L.A. River water just like the 1860s

Called Bending the River Back Into the City, the project will churn with water from the river, siphoning a fraction of it out of the waterway, cleaning that water via “an artificial treatment wetland” … and then piping it to Los Angeles State Historic Park and the recently opened Albion Riverside Park and Downey Recreation Center so it can water plants and other landscaping there.

Aquafornia news San Diego State University

Blog: Five takeaways from Re:Border: The Water We Share

Through a variety of panel discussions, presentations and a showcase of student research, the Re:Border conference is exploring how San Diego State University and its regional partners can contribute to innovative solutions for water-related challenges in the transborder region.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Bi-national conference tackles border region’s water issues

A bi-national conference at San Diego State University was aimed at analyzing water resources in the Baja California and San Diego border region where challenges include cross-border pollution and water scarcity… Experts at the Reborder 2019 conference discussed ways to improve regional access to “a secure and reliable water supply” through wastewater treatment and desalination.

Aquafornia news Roll Call

California Democrats seek EPA watchdog help amid Trump threats

A group of California Democrats on Monday pressed the EPA’s internal watchdog to investigate whether the agency has retaliated against their state for political reasons, including by threatening to withhold federal funds for multiple transportation projects.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Trump’s EPA fires new round in water pollution fight with SF

The Environmental Protection Agency fanned the flames of an ongoing dispute with San Francisco on Thursday, reaffirming its stance that the city’s water agency improperly discharges wastewater into the ocean. In a letter to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, EPA officials reiterated their assessment that the city was out of step with its wastewater discharge permit, which regulates water quality standards.