Living in cold streams fed by underground springs, the Shasta
crayfish is California’s last native crayfish. Listed as
endangered in 1988, the once prolific crayfish have declined
over the past 20 years to the point where only about 500
individuals remain. But a project jointly developed by the
Service, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Spring
Rivers Ecological Sciences, and the Pacific Gas and Electric
Company could change the fate of the crayfish.
As winter rains intensify with climate change, flooding will
worsen in Santa Clara County, the Bay Area’s largest by
population… The Coyote Creek system — 1,500 miles of
waterways that drain a 350-square-mile watershed — connects
half a dozen elements that are key to climate adaptation, from
reservoirs to creek confluences to the Bay shore.
California officials have parried federal moves with actions of
their own — a state law enshrining protection for migratory
birds and a new state regulation setting definitions that
expand protection to smaller wetlands and seasonal waterways.
California’s responses are yet another maneuver in the feud
between Sacramento and Washington, D.C.
While these remarkable giants have been only a distant memory
in most of their range, recently, fish carrying the ancestral
genes of Pyramid Lake Lahontan cutthroat trout migrated to the
waters of the Truckee River in 2014 to spawn for the first time
in 80 years. The return of these fish … represents the
culmination of years of conservation efforts by local, state,
and federal agencies, as well as the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe.
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
After years of planning, McCloud’s Lower Elk Spring house
replacement project will get underway soon as the Department of
Water Resources has selected this project for the draft
recommended funding list. The current wooden structure with
corrugated roof will be replaced with a concrete vault to
insure protection from erosion and habitat contamination.
U.S. District Court Judge Richard Seeborg presided over a
lengthy and combative hearing that featured attorneys from the
state of California making the case that the Trump-era EPA
acted contrary to its fundamental mission when it exempted
ephemeral streams and wetlands from protections afforded by the
Clean Water Act.
The most common complaint about Clear Lake is the algae. …
Actually, the algae problem was a lot worse 40 years ago. Clear
Lake is getting clearer. According to scientists the lake is
now clearer that it has been in the last 50 years. There are
also side effects from the clearer lake and that is aquatic
In recognition of the immense opportunity for recovery in Elk
River, CalTrout, the North Coast Regional Water Board, and
several project partners joined together to form the Elk River
Watershed Stewardship Program. The purpose is to engage with
the Elk River community to develop a landowner supported
recovery plan to reduce nuisance flooding, address the severe
sediment impairment, and rehabilitate habitat for native
If there’s one certainty in these uncertain times, it’s that
nature is resilient, and one needn’t look further than the San
Joaquin River as an example. For a second year in a row, and
for only the second year in over 65 years, spring-run Chinook
salmon have returned from the ocean to spawn in the river and
bring forth the next generation.
A high level of algae in the California Aqueduct has caused
problems over the past several days in Dos Palos. City Manager
Darrell Fonseca explains, “Our siphon intake at the aqueduct
clogged, and that reduced our water supply, and then as we did
receive the water it takes longer to treat at the plant… but
it also meant reduced pressure to a lot of residents, and for a
while, no pressure at all.”
The City Council heard a report on the possibility of
rehabilitating the Lake Wohlford Dam, which was first
constructed in 1895 as part of Escondido’s local water system,
to address seismic deficiencies rather than replacing the dam
In a rare display of bipartisanship, the U.S. Senate has passed
a sweeping public lands package that both addresses the
ballooning maintenance backlog at national parks and provides
full, permanent funding for the popular Land and Water
Conservation Fund, a program established in 1964 to protect
natural areas and water resources.
The rough dirt and ragged rocks at the Riverbend Park’s
waterfront will soon be replaced with a smooth beach to restore
the one that was swept away by flooding. Construction began
earlier this week to restore the beach that was washed away by
the severe floods caused by the Oroville Dam Spillway crisis.
States have grappled in the last two decades with declining
water levels in the basin’s main reservoirs — Mead and Powell —
while reckoning with clear scientific evidence that climate
change is already constricting the iconic river… For water
managers, the steady drop in water consumption in recent years
is a signal that conservation efforts are working and that they
are not helpless in the face of daunting environmental changes.
There’s a reckoning coming, unless cities and farm districts
across the West band together to limit consumption. The coming
dealmaking will almost certainly need to involve the river’s
largest water user, the Imperial Irrigation District. But at
the moment, it’s unclear to what extent the district actually
controls the Imperial Valley’s Colorado River water. That was
the issue debated in a San Diego courtroom last week
Currently, 100 percent of the City of Turlock’s drinking water
supply comes from groundwater. However, the drinking water
supply is declining, contaminant levels are increasing and
groundwater quality regulations have become more stringent. For
the past 30 years, the City has been working on securing an
alternate source of water — treated surface water from the
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which owns the Friant-Kern
Canal, is seeking public input on plans to repair a 33-mile
stretch of canal between Lindsay and McFarland. This stretch of
the canal has lost 60% of its original conveyance capacity due
to subsidence—a sinking of the earth from groundwater
extraction – which was accelerated during California’s historic
drought from 2012-2017.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is urging
anglers and other recreational water users to be vigilant about
checking for harmful freshwater algal blooms, also called HABs,
while out enjoying California’s lakes, reservoirs, rivers,
streams and creeks this year.
A smidge over 200 acres, the Wright Wetland Preserve is easily
the largest in the trust’s portfolio. Its terrain ranges from
lake to valley oak woodland with everything from native
wetland, freshwater marsh and upland pasture included. The
property is partially bordered by Manning Creek, an important
breeding ground for an endemic and threatened fish species, the
Clear Lake hitch.
As Utah pushes forward with its proposed Lake Powell Pipeline –
an attempt move over 80,000 acre feet per year of its Upper
Colorado River Basin allocation to communities in the Lower
Basin – it is worth revisiting one of the critical legal
milestones in the evolution of what we have come to call “the
Law of the River.”
The California legislature voted Monday to keep the Salton Sea
in its budget proposal sent to Governor Gavin Newsom.
Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia said he’s pleased the legislature
found a way to allocate some funding for the Salton Sea despite
the fiscal challenges created by the pandemic.
Health officials are urging residents and visitors to stay out
of the water in Discovery Bay after dangerous levels of harmful
algae were detected. Marisa Van Dyke of the State Water
Resources Control Board reported that recent lab results from
water testing showed “significant” harmful algal blooms
occurring in Discovery Bay. Multiple locations recorded a
“danger” level, the highest threshold, she said.
Driving on Highway 101 from the South Bay, up the Peninsula,
commuters zoom by nearly invisible infrastructure keeping the
highway and nearby communities dry. Beyond the highway, at the
edge of the San Francisco Bay, are levees and tide gates
protecting roads and neighborhoods against high tides and storm
flooding. Unless you visit the bay lands to walk the levee
trails, you might never know these important structures exist.
The Fourth Appellate Court of California heard the Abatti
parties vs. Imperial Irrigation lawsuit, Friday, June 12. The
appeal was generated after Imperial County Superior Court Judge
Brooks Anderholt ruled in Abatti’s favor of repealing the
Equitable Distribution Plan in August 2017, which could ration
agricultural water users by historical and straight-line
measurements to deal with the longest drought in modern
Nevada is in a new era of water management. As the driest state
in the nation, responsible and sustainable management of
Nevada’s limited water resources is the foremost priority of
the Nevada Division of Water Resources. As part of this
commitment, Monday the Nevada State Engineer issued Order No.
1309 for one of Nevada’s most important and unique hydrographic
basins called the Lower White River Flow System.
CalTrout and our partners have been working extensively with
landowners to figure out ways to leave some of their water
instream for the benefit of salmon. Often this means helping
the landowner improve their on-ranch irrigation efficiency to
decrease the amount of water needed maintain their agricultural
Beginning June 11, the Bureau released flows to help sustain
juvenile salmon, but it plans to provide only 16,000 of the
40,000-acre feet promised in the plan developed with the Yurok
Tribe, fishing groups and irrigators in March. And nearly a
month passed without augmented flows when young salmon were
being infected and dying from disease-causing parasites and 1.5
million hatchery fish were released and ready to pass through
the infection zone.
Colorado is home to the headwaters of the Colorado River and
the water policy decisions made in the Centennial State
reverberate throughout the river’s sprawling basin that
stretches south to Mexico. The stakes are huge in a basin that
serves 40 million people, and responding to the water needs of
the economy, productive agriculture, a robust recreational
industry and environmental protection takes expertise,
leadership and a steady hand. Colorado has that in Becky
Mitchell, director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board
The report, recently released by the city, shows minimal, or
“zero,” levels of cancer-causing chemicals and dissolved solids
that were present as little as four years ago when the city
relied on well water. Today the city obtains its water from the
Sacramento River after which it is treated and delivered to
homes and businesses.
Although the Clean Water Act will still protect heavily used
waterways in Nevada, including the Colorado River and the
Truckee River, it excludes many wetlands and most seasonal
streams. As a result, the rule has set off a flurry of legal
challenges from environmental groups. And in recent months,
several Democrat-led Western states, including Colorado,
California and New Mexico, have sued the Trump administration
to challenge the final rule. Nevada has not joined those suits.
Having hit a roadblock in negotiations with the City of
Trinidad, the Trinidad Rancheria has turned a beseeching eye
toward the county’s largest water supplier — the Humboldt Bay
Municipal Water District — in hopes of securing a reliable
water source for future development, including a controversial
five-story, 100-room hotel near Cher-Ae Heights Casino.
Water pollution from Tijuana sewage runoff has once again
shuttered the Imperial Beach shoreline. The County of San Diego
Department of Environmental Health on Saturday extended north
the existing beach water-contact closure area at the Tijuana
Slough shoreline to now also include the Imperial Beach
Projected higher inflows to Shasta Lake caused the Bureau of
Reclamation earlier this month to rescind its “Shasta Critical
Year” designation after hydrologic conditions changed
sufficiently. … For growers with senior water rights under
the Exchange and Settlement contracts with the Central Valley
Project, this means full allocation water deliveries will be
Water is power in California’s Imperial Valley, and a
years-long fight over allocations from the Colorado River to
the agriculture-heavy region landed back in court on Friday.
Attorneys representing local farmers and the Imperial
Irrigation District squared off in front of a three-judge panel
at the state appellate court level over a water-rights lawsuit
expected to be decided in 90 days.
A draft report released today by the San Diego County Water
Authority shows that building a new conveyance system to
transport regional water supplies from the Colorado River
Quantification Settlement Agreement is cost-competitive with
other long-term options for meeting the region’s water needs.
Oil, logging, mining, and grazing will be the priorities of
national forests and grasslands, with expedited environmental
oversight, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told the U.S.
Forest Service Friday. His memo announced a “blueprint for
reforms” that refocuses the Forest Service to produce products
and services from the 193 million acres of forests, grasslands,
and wilderness areas it oversees.
“In short, the city is looking to sell/transfer up to 5,000
acre-feet of water in 2020. This water is in excess to what the
city would need to meet demands in 2020 and would not impact
any existing customers north or south of Highway 50…” said
Christine Brainerd, city of Folsom communications director. …
The city retains the rights to the water.
The Sonoma County Water Agency filed a Temporary Urgency Change
Petition with the State Water Resources Control Board to reduce
Russian River minimum in-stream flows this summer. With the
Ukiah region facing its third driest water year on record, Lake
Mendocino’s water supply is projected to reach critically low
levels due to dry conditions and reduced water transfers from
the Potter Valley Project.
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.
Tulare County farmers will get more water than expected from a
dry winter but far less than needed to avoid depleting an
aquifer that is already drying up. The U.S. Bureau of
Reclamation’s Central Valley Project announced the Friant
Division … will receive 60% instead of 55% of its Class 1
water supply thanks to improved hydrologic conditions and the
forecasted snowmelt runoff in the Upper San Joaquin River
San Francisco Bay is the largest estuary on the West Coast, and
in recent years much effort has been put into restoring tidal
marsh habitat in the Bay. … FISHBIO was recently invited to
tour one such project in the North Bay, where we had the
opportunity to use our ARIS sonar camera to examine the fish
community in the restored area.
Unlike in recent years when researchers were able to point to a
dominant factor affecting lake clarity like drought or
higher-than-average precipitation, 2019 saw a range of
influences on Tahoe, including lake mixing for the first time
in several years, sediment, algae, and climate warming. Those
factors, according to the University of California, Davis Tahoe
Environmental Research Center, combined to cause a roughly
8-foot decrease in average clarity from the previous year’s
In an effort to move forward a $576 million Anderson Dam
Seismic Retrofit Project, the California State Assembly passed
AB 3005 on June 8, the Expedited Dam Safety for Silicon Valley
Act, facilitating the construction of the project. Assemblyman
Robert Rivas (D-Hollister, Calif.), who wrote the bill, says
the overwhelming vote of bipartisan support shows the
importance in fixing the dam.
Comments, questions and concerns are now being accepted, again,
for the Lake Powell Pipeline. This comes after the Bureau of
Reclamation issued the draft Environmental Impact Statement for
the pipeline, which is designed to pump water to Washington
Farmers and ranchers in the Klamath Project are breathing a
sigh of relief after the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced
Tuesday it will not further reduce this year’s water allotment,
which is already less than half of demand. … On the other
hand, tribal members that depend on ample salmon runs for their
way of life argue the runs will continue to suffer in warm, low
rivers without enough flow for them to migrate and spawn.
While tens of millions of pounds of food has been destroyed or
buried in the ground during the coronavirus slowdown, a band of
California’s farmers is claiming they can’t produce enough food
to feed Americans, and they’re using the pandemic as leverage
to grab more of the West’s scarce water.
Since it was founded in 1871, the City of Turlock has relied on
well or ground water to meet the water needs of its citizens,
farmers and businesses. Today, with the growth of Turlock to
nearly 75,000 residents, successful farming, a growing local
business community, Turlock needs more water and must move to
surface water usage.
Central Arizona has been booming — more people, more houses,
more need for water. There’s also a long-term drought, and less
water to buy from the Central Arizona Project canal system .
It’s leading Phoenix exurbs to cast about, looking for new
buckets. Other regions of the state say: don’t come here.
With supplies curtailed from California’s largest water
projects, farmers have been reducing acreage, water districts
have been working to secure additional supplies, and everyone
has been keeping an eye on the continued dispute between state
and federal governments on managing the Delta.
The County of San Diego has released a report that identifies
27 projects that could potentially reduce the flow of sewage
from Mexico into the U.S. and Tijuana River Valley each year by
as much as 91%, from 138 days to 12. The report, the Tijuana
River Valley Needs and Opportunities Assessment, identifies
strategies to manage impacts from sewage, trash, and sediment
on the U.S. side of the border.
Any potential alignment of the Lake Powell pipeline would pass
through lands that hold spiritual and cultural significance to
Southern Paiutes, who fear the project would jeopardize their
culture and upset the balance of nature.
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is backpedaling on a plan to
further slash water deliveries to Klamath Basin farmers this
summer, as the agency is reverting to an earlier allocation of
140,000 acre-feet. The bureau in May signaled plans to cut
its allocation to 80,000 acre-feet as part of a three-year
operating plan, initiated under an agreement with the Yurok
The complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief in this
litigation provides a road map for the legal and regulatory
challenges ahead for the regulated community and agencies
implementing Clean Water Act programs that rely on the
definition for “Waters of the United States” aka WOTUS. The
following provides insights as to how to support a strong Clean
Water Act with the new WOTUS definition.
The Bureau of Reclamation executed another set of
congressionally-mandated contract conversions with Central
Valley Project contractors pursuant to the Water Infrastructure
Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act. … These completed
contract conversions include the City of West Sacramento and
four contract assignments for Westlands Water District.
A note from another former colleague the other day prodded me
into some rethinking — as with everything in this economic
crisis, partly in light of the need for California to think
small. By which I mean, think local.
After decades of study, a very important and exciting milestone
for the Lake Powell Pipeline is happening. The Bureau of
Reclamation will issue a draft environmental impact statement
on June 8 that studies the pipeline’s need and purpose,
environmental and socioeconomic impacts, and other important
considerations. It outlines how the pipeline can be built in a
manner that protects the environment.
Three months after federal dam safety regulators ordered
Anderson Reservoir, the largest reservoir in Santa Clara
County, to be drained due to earthquake concerns, new details
are emerging on what will happen to all that water, the fish
that depend on it, and the water supply for Silicon Valley.
In 1984, a small group of California surfers were fed up with
the development and water pollution at their favorite break,
Malibu’s Surfrider Beach. They took their environmental
concerns to California State Parks officials — and prevailed.
The Surfrider Foundation was born.
Two agencies are studying the feasibility of supplementing a
seismic safety project planned for B.F. Sisk Dam with a second
component that would increase the capacity of San Luis
Reservoir. … While the dam safety project involves raising
the crest of the earthen structure as much as 12 feet, as well
as seismic reinforcements, it does not, in itself, increase
capacity in the reservoir.
The health department took water samples from 17 locations in
the lake. Five indicated the presence of potentially harmful
blue-green algae (cyanotoxin) at the cautionary level, one area
at warning level, and five areas at the danger level.
When former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt suggested in a
recent opinion piece that a portion of agricultural water
rights on the Colorado River should be transferred to urban
areas, it no doubt conjured up some strong emotions… But
Babbitt’s proposal makes sense and he is right about the need
to recognize the mismatch in population between the urbanized
West and rural areas where most of the basin’s water is
This spring marked the fifth anniversary of the California
EcoRestore initiative, a coordinated effort across state
agencies to deliver 30,000 acres of restored fish and wildlife
habitat in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, an immensely
important landscape that five years ago only had 5 percent of
its native habitat remaining.
The Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) Board of Directors
approved an agreement allowing the Dutch Flat Mutual Water
Company (Dutch Flat Mutual) to consolidate with PCWA… The
agreement allows for the extension of PCWA’s distribution
system into the Dutch Flat community, effectively connecting
current Dutch Flat customers to PCWA’s Alta Water System.
Now while the idea of water cooling is hardly new, I was a
little flummoxed at Nautilus’s strategy, especially since its
first data center will be based in Stockton, California, a city
repeatedly voted one of the worst places to live, and the
Calaveras River that runs through the town is filthy. There’s a
method to the madness, though.
People generally think of the Lake Powell Pipeline (LPP) as a
southern Utah project, which it is. But we should not forget
that the project, first conceived in 1995 and mandated by the
2006 Lake Powell Pipeline Development Act, would burden all
Situated between Bethel Island and False River and accessible
only by boat, Franks Tract is primarily used by fishermen,
boaters and waterfowl hunters. But, over the past several
years, the Department of Fish and Wildlife has been studying
ways to restore part of the 3,523-acre underwater state park to
its original marshland in the hopes of reducing saltwater
intrusion into the Delta and more.
New legislation was recently introduced that will address
several issues facing San Joaquin Valley canals. The
Restoration of Essential Conveyance Act was introduced by
Senator Dianne Feinstein as a means for repairing water
conveyance damaged by subsidence.
EPA’s final rule that curtails states’ authority over Clean
Water Act permitting of pipelines, hydroelectric dams and other
energy projects could run afoul of a 1994 Supreme Court ruling
that originally granted states that oversight power.
California and federal water regulators are trying to quickly
resolve their legal dispute over competing biological opinions
governing the management of their respective water projects, a
top state official says. The talks are proceeding after Gov.
Gavin Newsom filed suit in February to nullify new federal
opinions that would ease restrictions on surface water for San
Joaquin Valley growers.
As California navigates a critically dry water year, many
business-as-usual elements are getting a second look. One such
transaction is a proposed water sale by the Merced Irrigation
District. The district … filed an application with the State
Water Resources Control Board in March to transfer as much as
45,000 acre-feet of water to a bevy of water districts across
As big corporations consume mass amounts of water, the smaller,
local communities near the plants, factories and corporate
offices have fewer resources. Water shortages then become
prevalent as the corporation continues to use up the nearby
sources. … In order to make a meaningful change for smaller
communities, big corporations will need to work on
The water rights behind the proposed Lake Powell pipeline are
not actually coming from the project’s namesake lake, but
rather from the major reservoir upstream on the Green River.
Now, Utah water officials’ new request to overhaul those rights
has handed opponents a fresh opportunity to thwart the proposed
pipeline just as federal officials are about to release a
long-awaited environmental review of the $1.2 billion
Georgia, West Virginia, and 21 other states moved to intervene
in litigation in order to help defeat challenges to the
Navigable Waters Protection Rule—a joint regulation from the
Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers
that narrows the types of wetlands and waterways subject to
federal Clean Water Act restrictions.
The likelihood of intense storms is rising rapidly in North
America, and the study, published Monday in the Proceedings of
the National Academy of Sciences, projects big increases in
such deluges. … If the current rate of warming continues,
Earth will heat up 5.4 degrees by 2100. Then, 20, 50 and
100-year extreme rainstorms could happen every 1.5 to 2.5
years, the researchers concluded.
In recognition of National Dam Safety Awareness Day, Andy
Mangney who serves as the Field Engineering Branch Chief
overseeing DSOD’s dam inspection and monitoring program, took
some time to answer questions about what DSOD is doing to
The proposed Eagle Mountain project went through nearly 10
years of regulatory review, mostly under the Obama
administration, with deep investigations of potential impacts
and subsequent requirements for some of the most stringent
mitigations ever placed on a project. … The one hitch for us?
We, the very communities who will be impacted by this project
have no real voice.
Under the 1944 treaty, the US is committed to sending 1.5mn
acre-feet of water from the Colorado River basin to Mexico in
12-month periods, which represents 10% of the river’s average
flow, according to the US Congressional Research Service.
Meanwhile, Mexico must send 1.75mn acre-feet in five-year
cycles from the Rio Grande’s six major tributaries that cross
While Imperial Irrigation District has the largest right within
California, it was not the Imperial Valley that was responsible
for California’s overuse. That was the Metropolitan Water
District. We are among the very oldest users on the Colorado
River and have built a community, ecology, and way of life here
in the desert dependent upon the waters of the Colorado that
have sustained us since 1901.
A long-sought compromise has been approved that will open the
stagnant, reed-filled Buena Vista Lagoon to the sea and restore
its native coastal marine habitat, but years of work remain
before the transformation begins.
After only 6 months post-construction completion and levee
breach at the Tule Red Tidal Restoration Project, longfin smelt
have returned. The 420-acre restoration site converted wetlands
managed primarily for waterfowl to tidal wetlands for the
benefit of dwindling native fish populations including Delta
smelt, longfin smelt, Chinook salmon and the food web that
A plan to set new restrictions on the levels of bacteria in the
Petaluma River Watershed is nearing the next stage of approval.
At a virtual meeting on Tuesday, the California State Water
Resources Control Board … will consider a plan meant to cap
and reduce the amount of bacteria getting into the Petaluma
Across the Southwest, investors are banking on water scarcity.
They are buying up farms and ranches as states explore new
programs that could make it easier to sell and transfer water.
… Today a new type of investor has started eyeing water in
the basin, less intent on building a new community than on
supporting existing ones within one of the nation’s fastest
The proposals from the Bureau of Land Management would
eliminate a 15-day protest period afforded to the public to
comment on timber sales and other forest management decisions.
BLM said the comment period they are proposing to cut is
repetitive, as people can already submit their thoughts when a
project is undergoing review under the National Environmental
Discovery Bay residents are growing irritated with invasive
aquatic plants and the COVID-19 pandemic slowing down weed
abatement. While the town can be the ideal place to enjoy a
vacation lifestyle year-round, this spring’s crop of weeds is
ruining the bays and inhibiting movement around docks on the
west side of town.
U.S. policymakers understand quite well the impact of Mexico’s
wastewater management on American communities. What they fail
to comprehend is that the ongoing border sewage crisis is
rooted in a longer history of U.S. imperialism and private
enterprise in the San Diego-Tijuana region.
The imbalance on the Colorado River needs to be addressed, and
agriculture, as the biggest water user in the basin, needs to
be part of a fair solution. But drying up vital food-producing
land is a blunt tool. It would damage our local food-supply
chains and bring decline to rural communities that have
developed around irrigated agriculture.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Institute for Water Resources
released a report on May 14 titled Managed Aquifer Recharge
(MAR) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: Water Security
Through Resilience. … The report states USACE and its
partners have engaged, or are considering engaging, in the use
of MAR in a variety of settings and purposes throughout the
By the thousands, they rolled through the Southern Oregon
countryside in tractors, hay trucks, log trucks, pickups and
minivans, their hand-painted signs greeted by supportive
passers-by who agreed with the message of Friday’s “Shut Down
and Fed Up” rally: the water problems that for decades have
plagued the region and its farmers must be resolved.
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.
In a stark reminder that drought has once again taken hold on
the North Coast, Sonoma County is preparing to ask state water
regulators for permission to reduce water levels in the Russian
River this summer to conserve water stored in Lake Mendocino
and ensure minimal late-season flows for fish.
The National Audubon Society has reached an agreement with the
Arizona Department of Water Resources to help fund the Colorado
River Indian Tribes’ on-going efforts to conserve 150,000
acre-feet of water in Lake Mead over the next three years.
This network has been built up over 20+ years during several
epochs, including most recently in support of Forecast-Informed
Reservoir Operations with USACE and Sonoma Water, and with an
eye toward developing knowledge of what observations would be
needed in the future to support California’s needs for
hydrometeorological information related to drought and flood
monitoring and mitigation across the state.
The CDC says there’s no evidence the coronavirus can spread to
people through pool water and that proper cleaning with
chlorine or bromine should inactivate the virus if it’s in the
water. So why are pools remaining closed if there’s no evidence
of the virus spreading through the water? Because of human
A recent study published in the journal Science helps explains
why, revealing that the south-western US is in the grip of a
20-year megadrought – a period of severe aridity that is
stoking fires, depleting reservoirs and putting a strain on
water supplies to the states of the region.
As part of an effort to modernize Pyramid Dam located in Los
Angeles County, the Department of Water Resources (DWR)
recently completed assessments for the dam’s gated and
emergency spillways. The Pyramid Dam Modernization Program is
now entering the investigations phase, which includes
structural and hydraulic analyses for the gated spillway and
erodibility analysis for the emergency spillway.
Restoration of the 500-plus acres of wetlands has been a goal
for literally decades of both city officials and environmental
advocates. Since the discovery of oil there in 1926, combined
with the channelization of the San Gabriel River, the once
2,400-acre wetlands complex has been landfilled, graded and
activated as a working oil field. Much of the remaining
wetlands is controlled by Beach Oil Minerals Partners (BOMP).
The report could revive past attempts to mine uranium in the
Los Padres National Forest in San Luis Obispo and Ventura
counties, including a tract of land near Lake Casitas in the
Ojai Valley, a source of drinking water for Carpinteria Valley
Water District. Many of the report’s recommendations will
require additional action before taking effect, such as changes
to agency rules or regulations, or passage of legislation.
The latest dustup In California’s water wars, as noted in Dan
Walters’ commentary, revolves principally around the federal
government’s efforts to increase the amount of water supplied
to farms and cities by the Central Valley Project, and a
breakdown in cooperation between the state and federal
government. It seems like everyone is suing each other. But
what are they really fighting over?
Two factors are believed to weigh heavily on the Delta smelt’s
fate. The biggest is the reduction in fresh water in the Delta
since water started flowing southward via the California
Aqueduct in the 1960s. … The other threat to Delta smelt are
larger fish particularly non-native striped bass and largemouth
bass that were introduced to the Delta by man.
The gravity-fed Friant-Kern Canal that is key to survival for
15,000 east side San Joaquin Valley farms continues to be
impacted by subsidence. Land near Porterville appears to be
most worrisome where the land has sunk so much due to adjacent
water pumping that the canal has lost 60% of its capacity. As
of July 2018, it was estimated the canal is approximately 12
feet below the original constructed elevation.
The metric identifies the amount of carbon dioxide per
acre-foot of water transported by the State Water Project.
Water districts receiving water from the SWP can use this
metric to understand the emissions of their water supply
chains, and customers can better understand the ‘carbon
intensity’ of the water they purchase.
Agricultural runoff is one of the largest sources of pollution
in the nation’s waterways. In recent years, scientific journals
and the media have been filled with reports of toxic algae
blooms and dead zones near and far… Unfortunately, in today’s
highly politicized federal climate, it is unlikely that an
effective solution to this problem will emerge from the U.S.
EPA – at least not at the moment. So efforts by state
regulators are particularly important.
Clear Lake is one of the richest lakes in the state when it
comes to nutrients. That is one reason we have algae blooms as
well as a massive amount of aquatic weeds. Some of the species
of aquatic weeds have been in the lake for more than a million
years and others only a few years. These new arrivals are
classed as foreign invasive weeds.
It was during the drought in the late-1980s that Robin Kulakow
and her fellow birdwatchers began noticing that Putah Creek was
running dry. The same observation was being made at places such
as Camp Davis, a popular site near the university where youth
paddled their canoes and participated in other activities.
This winter’s decent snowfall has turned into an abysmal runoff
on the Colorado River, thanks to the dry soils heading into the
winter, along with a warm spring. … Our bigger concern is
what happens next year. Are we headed for a multi-year drought?
In 2014, the Cleveland National Forest (CNF) initiated an
effort to restore the migratory corridors for fish and other
aquatic species in the San Juan and Santiago Watersheds by
removing the remnants of small (approximately 2 – 15 ft) dams
constructed by Orange County (California) between 1940-70s.
The gene-editing technology CRISPR has been used for a variety
of agricultural and public health purposes — from growing
disease-resistant crops to, more recently, a diagnostic test
for the virus that causes COVID-19. Now a study involving fish
that look nearly identical to the endangered Delta smelt finds
that CRISPR can be a conservation and resource management tool,
A local non-profit is suing the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and
a Southern California water district, over a long term water
transfer program. AquAlliance works to protect the Sacramento
River watershed. It is the main plaintiff in a lawsuit that
charges the proposed transfer would send too much water out of
Northern California and would cause severe impacts on area
communities, farms, and the environment.
The State Water Project now expects to deliver 20 percent of
requested supplies in 2020 thanks to above-average
precipitation in May, the California Department of Water
Resources announced. An initial allocation of 10 percent was
announced in December and increased to 15 percent in January.
Today’s announcement will likely be the final allocation update
The Klamath Project, a U.S. government-operated waterworks that
steers runoff from the towering Cascades to more than 200,000
acres of potatoes, alfalfa, wheat, onions and other produce on
both sides of the state line, is running low on supplies. The
local water agencies served by the project say they may not
have water to send to farms beyond next month.
The researchers discovered that salmon survival depends in part
on how long isolated pools spend disconnected from flowing
water: the longer the dry period, the fewer salmon were able to
hang on until the wetter months of fall and winter. And though
fewer salmon overall survived the drought years, the
researchers did find reason for hope. In certain streams and
pools, which the researchers call drought “refuges,” salmon
survival was similar in both drought and non-drought years.
Construction crews will soon begin work to restore Marsh Creek
along a nearly one-mile, treeless stretch near downtown
Brentwood. Crews are expected to close off the trail in the
area from Sungold Park to Dainty Avenue on Tuesday in the first
phase of a project to improve habitat and water quality for
fish and birds and to create a shady, natural creek corridor
for residents while keeping the community protected from floods
Thursday, the Redwood Coast Land Conservancy announced that it
has received three grants totaling over $2.1 million for the
Gualala River Mill Bend Conservation Project that they are
stewarding for the community.
No one can say yet whether the intense rainfall that preceded
this disaster [in central Michigan] was made worse by climate
change. But global warming is already causing some regions to
become wetter, and increasing the frequency of extreme storms,
according to the latest National Climate Assessment. … That
puts more of the nation’s 91,500 dams at risk of failing,
engineers and dam safety experts said.
The interest is based on the versatility of hemp, which can be
made into different products — biodiesel, fiber, textiles,
clothing, food and nutritional supplements. It’s also because
cotton is no longer grown in the Imperial Valley, and hemp
could be a potential replacement crop that consumes a lot less
water than cotton.
Though the last couple of weekends have seen wet weather, it
hasn’t been enough to keep up with the yearly average in time
for summer in California. The Sierra Nevada snowpack, which is
tested regularly by employees of the California Department of
Water Resources, has yielded some grim results so far in 2020
in terms of snow-water equivalent.
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.
Danika Tsao and a team of surveyors have been working to
complete pre-construction monitoring for the Grant Line Canal
Barrier Project in San Joaquin County. The project is
considered essential for agricultural water use along the
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta … The area of the Grant Line
Canal is known for being a natural habitat for the Swainson’s
Hawk, which is on the state’s threatened species list.
To address the challenges atmospheric rivers present, the
Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes (CW3E) was
established at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography to advance
scientific understanding of atmospheric rivers and their role
in extreme events and to improve forecasting capabilities.
Earlier this year, a webinar hosted by the Scripps Corporate
Alliance highlighted the Center’s accomplishments.
In letters addressed to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and
Gov. Gavin Newsom, the Association of California Water Agencies
is urging state and federal officials to rejoin talks on
voluntary agreements to address ecosystem needs in the
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
On this edition of Your Call’s One Planet Series, we’re
discussing a new study from Columbia University about an
emerging climate-driven megadrought in the Western US.
Researchers used hydrological modeling and tree-ring
reconstructions of summer soil moisture to show that the period
from 2000 to 2018 was the driest 19-year span since the late
The Agribusiness and Water Council of Arizona likes to say it
represents Arizona agriculture “from ditch bank to dinner
plate” indicative of the fact that its members range from
farmers and ranchers to irrigation groups and trade
associations — all of them concerned about water flow along
the 1,450-mile-long Colorado River.
In her moving series, The Salton Sea, American photographer
Debbie Bentley documents the last days of a dying California
lake that used to be a popular holiday spot in the 1950s,
attracting many of Hollywood’s stars.
Following spring storms, the Bureau of Reclamation today issued
updated allocations for Central Valley Project contractors for
the 2020 contract year. … The allocation for south-of-Delta
agricultural water service contractors is increased from 15% to
20% of their contract total. Municipal and Industrial water
service contractors south-of-Delta are now allocated 70% of
their historic use, up from 65%, or health and safety needs,
whichever is greater.
Cornell engineers have used advanced modeling to simulate more
than 1 million potential futures – a technique known as
scenario discovery – to assess how stakeholders who rely on the
Colorado River might be uniquely affected by changes in climate
and demand as a result of management practices and other
The agreement between property owners, nonprofits and multiple
governmental agencies outlines a plan to remove the weir, or
low wooden dam at the mouth of the lagoon, and excavate the
entire 220-acre preserve to restore tidal flushing. … Without
intervention, the lagoon would continue to fill with sediment
and vegetation until it eventually disappears.
Increased frequency and severity of droughts threatens
California’s endangered salmon population — but pools that
serve as drought refuges could make the difference between life
and death for these vulnerable fish, according to a study by
researchers from UC Berkeley and California Sea Grant…
As forests in California and the Western U.S. are hit by rising
numbers of fires and disease outbreaks related to climate
change, some experts argue that using dead and diseased trees
to produce biomass energy will help to restore forests and
reduce CO2 emissions.
Over the past six months, scientists have been flying high over
the Pacific Ocean, into the stratosphere to study weather
phenomena called atmospheric rivers. These rivers in the sky
can deliver huge amounts of rain and snow to the west coast.
And they may be getting more intense. NPR’s Nathan Rott joined
them for a flight.
For Indians, confronting economic uncertainty and food
shortages has been part of life since Europeans arrived in our
lands. … This is why the Yurok Tribe is fighting so hard to
remove Klamath River dams and restore the salmon runs that have
fed our people since the beginning of time.
A 17-state coalition on Monday asked the U.S. District Court
for the Northern District of California to block the Navigable
Waters Protection Rule while they spar with government lawyers
over its legality. The Environmental Protection Agency and Army
Corps of Engineers published the rule in April, and it
officially takes effect June 22, tightening the federal
definition for the types of wetlands and waterways the Clean
Water Act covers.
A new study led by Adam Schreiner-McGraw, a postdoctoral
hydrology researcher at University of California, Riverside,
modeled shrub encroachment on a sloping landscape and reached a
startling conclusion: Shrub encroachment on slopes can increase
the amount of water that goes into groundwater storage. The
effect of shrubs is so powerful that it even counterbalances
the lower annual rainfall amounts expected during climate
The Trump administration’s long-anticipated water jurisdiction
rule has already drawn a half-dozen legal challenges since its
April release, with more on the way. The Navigable Waters
Protection Rule narrows which types of wetlands and waterways
trigger federal Clean Water Act oversight, replacing
interpretations by Obama-era officials and earlier
administrations. … Here’s a breakdown of key legal arguments:
A water budget is an accounting of the rates of the inflows,
outflows, and changes in water storage in a specific area;
however, as simple as that might sound, developing an accurate
water budget can be a difficult and challenging endeavor. To
address this problem, the Department of Water Resources has
developed a water budget handbook…
Foothill Yellow-legged Frogs have begun to spawn, laying small
snow-globe sized egg masses in streams and rivers. They are one
of the few stream-breeding frogs endemic to California and
Oregon. This species is a good indicator of stream health
because they link aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems and are
strongly tied to natural seasonal cues associated with local
On the same day Gov. Gavin Newsom announced $19 billion in
budget cuts to his 2020-2021 budget, two of California’s
environmental protection agencies filed a request to fund a
lawsuit against the Federal government over its boost in water
supplies sent to the San Joaquin Valley.
Northern California will have its most soaking rain from this
storm into Monday. Through Tuesday, with the cold upper-level
air in the jet stream trough overhead, showers and
thunderstorms, some possibly with small hail, can be expected
in Northern California.
Sprawled across a desert expanse along the Utah-Arizona border,
Lake Powell’s nearly 100-foot high bathtub ring etched on its
sandstone walls belie the challenges of a major Colorado River
reservoir at less than half-full. How those challenges play out
as demand grows for the river’s water amid a changing climate
is fueling simmering questions about Powell’s future.
Water could soon be shut off to farmers in the Klamath Basin,
triggering major financial losses. Klamath Project farmers
began hiring, and ordering supplies based on Bureau of
Reclamation forecasts of 140,000 acre feet of water. Gene Souza
of the Klamath Irrigation District says that water allocation
For decades, sediment buildup in California’s Butano Creek
caused an array of issues for both fish and people. It flooded
roads and local communities, prevented steelhead and coho
salmon from migrating, and contributed to substantial die-offs
of fish. In October 2019, the NOAA Restoration Center and
partners finished a $7 million effort to remove the sediment
and restore the creek.
The Round Valley Indian Tribes, California Trout, Humboldy
County, the Mendocino Inland Water and Power Commission and
Sonoma Water have formed a group called the Two-Basin
Partnership and announced the filing of a feasibility report
with FERC on Wednesday.
Gov. Gavin Newsom used his daily coronavirus briefing Thursday
to outline an austerity budget with deep cuts to cover a
massive $54.3 billion deficit. Newsom’s proposal includes major
cuts to environmental programs, including a $681 million slash
in spending for environmental protection compared to last year,
and a $224 million cut to the state’s natural resources
This year’s changes to the Clean Water Act have made the
already-challenging work of scientists and engineers in water
planning and management exponentially more difficult. Questions
abound, from jurisdictional issues to definitions and
classifications, as a result of the “Navigable Waters
Protection Rule,” which, among other things, removes federal
protections from ephemeral waterways.
A partnership of numerous Northern California agencies intends
to file an initial plan to acquire the Potter Valley project
from the Pacific Gas and Electric Co., multiple sources
confirmed. The coalition will submit a document to the Federal
Energy Regulatory Commission for its consideration. If
approved, the group may be able to form a partnered ownership
of complex water infrastructure dividing the Eel and Russian
The conflict over California water, often compared to a war,
rather resembles a geological process. As along an earthquake
fault, surface spasms come and go. The latest twitch is an
injunction momentarily halting some Trump Administration water
plans. But the underlying pressures are a constant. They never
stop exerting themselves.
In March, the California Department of Water Resources released
a nearly completed draft report on the risk of water shortage
in rural areas and the drought vulnerability of small systems.
… Across the state, Monterey County is among the most
vulnerable counties, with one of the largest numbers of highly
impacted rural communities, according to the report. Also, the
county’s small water systems are on average the 13th most
vulnerable out of those of 58 counties.
As a result of compliance with conservation measures through
lower indoor water use, the amount of wastewater effluent was
reduced. This reduction means less water for recycling and
reuse — a source of water often thought of as drought-proof —
and less water for stream augmentation, with a consequence of
potentially impacting streamflow and downstream water
The return of drought to California has been widespread—58% of
the state now experiences some level of dryness, according to
the U.S. Drought Monitor—with extreme drought concentrated in
4% of the state, primarily in the northwestern region of
Siskiyou, Trinity and Humboldt counties.
The event was the first weather balloon launch from a Yuba
Water Agency site near Beale Air Force Base. But it will not be
the last. During atmospheric rivers, scientists plan to release
a balloon every three hours from this point to collect data.
And the more data, the better, because understanding the
structure of these storms can help with forecasting and flood
A new study published in Nature Climate Change indicates that
about 50 percent of current runoff comes directly from Sierra
snowmelt, and the Valley stands to lose between 13 percent and
50 percent of snowmelt runoff as the climate warms.
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.
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.
The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned today to protect
the Santa Ana speckled dace, a small minnow native to Southern
California streams, under the Endangered Species Act. Speckled
dace have been eliminated from three-quarters of their former
stream habitats in Southern California due to dams, water
diversions and urbanization.
Water is flowing through the heart of Bakersfield in the Kern
River and local water managers are shaking their heads in
disbelief and frustration. Except, that is, for Art Chianello.
Chianello is Bakersfield’s Water Resources Department director
and the man behind the healthy flow currently being enjoyed by
numerous residents as springtime temperatures heat up.
There is a better, more equitable pathway for reducing the
deficit without forcing arbitrary cuts. It involves 3 million
acres of irrigated agriculture, mostly alfalfa and forage
crops, which consume more than 80% of total water use in the
basin. By retiring less than 10% of this irrigated acreage from
production, we could eliminate the existing million acre-foot
overdraft on the Colorado River..
A $4.1 million contract for the long-awaited dredging of
Phoenix Lake reservoir, identified as necessary more than 15
years ago, has been awarded to Steve Manning Construction, Inc.
of Redding by the Tuolumne Utility District. … Phoenix is the
primary drinking water source for Sonora, Jamestown, Scenic
View, and Mono Village.
A judge issued a preliminary injunction in two lawsuits brought
against the administration by California’s Natural Resources
Agency and Environmental Protection Agency and by a half-dozen
environmental groups. The order bars the U.S. Bureau of
Reclamation until May 31 from going ahead with expanding the
amount of water it pumps from the San Joaquin Delta through the
federal Central Valley Project.
The Bureau of Reclamation and Friant Water Authority seek
public input on alternatives to repair a 33-mile stretch of the
Friant-Kern Canal in California’s eastern San Joaquin Valley.
This stretch of canal has lost over half of its original
capacity to convey water due to subsidence—a sinking of the
earth from groundwater extraction.
Nevadans and Utahns won a major economic and environmental
victory in mid-April that will help protect air quality along
the Wasatch Front and the Great Basin’s fragile water supply ––
including Great Salt Lake.
Bureau of Reclamation employees from its Technical Service
Center were able to use visual and digital technology as they
worked remotely to complete and transmit the 60% design
specifications and drawings for the B. F. Sisk dam safety
modification. This modification, estimated to cost $1.1
billion, is the largest in the history of Reclamation’s Dam
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.
An ambitious plan to build the largest new reservoir in
California in 40 years to supply water to homes and businesses
from the Bay Area to Los Angeles, along with Central Valley
farmers, is being scaled back considerably amid questions about
its $5 billion price tag and how much water it can deliver.
Being born from an engineering miscalculation on the part of
the California Development Company means the Salton Sea has
been written off as an “accident” in histories inked on many
pages, ranging from The Washington Post to the Daily Mail. But
that framing is too simplistic, new research suggests, arguing
that the sea’s formation was inevitable, regardless of the
famous canal breach in 1905.
Following passage of SGMA, The Nature Conservancy received a
$1.8 million Conservation Innovation Grant from USDA’s Natural
Resources Conservation Service to develop the Fox Canyon Water
Market. TNC, supported by project partners Fox Canyon
Groundwater Management Agency and California Lutheran
University, sought to establish a market-driven approach to
reduce groundwater pumping.
During the marathon hearing Thursday, U.S. District Judge Dale
Drozd hinted the environmental groups’ requests for a ruling by
May 11 will be a tall task. Not only is the case complex and
involves dozens of parties, he said the chaos caused by the
pandemic is impeding the court’s ability to move swiftly.
For California, the findings could have positive ramifications
for the state’s struggling commercial and recreational salmon
fishing industry. In recent years, state and federal officials
have relied more and more on fish raised in hatcheries that are
hauled downriver via boat or in a truck. The hauling somehow
throws salmon GPS systems out of whack.
The University’s Adrian Harpold recently led a team in
developing a modeling tool to focus on the issue of water
quantity. The tool predicts how different approaches to
thinning the forest impact snowpack accumulation in Lake Tahoe,
which controls how much water is available for downstream
communities such as Reno.
Rather than soaking into the ground, the water is swept quickly
into rivers and streams where it increases flood hazards. But
how much of a hazard are these impervious surfaces? A new study
has estimated the size of the effect. For every additional
percentage point of impervious surface in a watershed — going
from 5 percent coverage to 6 percent coverage, for instance —
the peak of the highest flood flow of the year increases by 3.3
At a virtual event last week, PPIC researcher Henry McCann
described how improved management can make Sierra forests more
resilient and avoid major wildfire-related disasters, and
summarized the findings of a new report that identifies the
benefits and beneficiaries of such management practices.
As a Science Fellow placed in the California Natural Resources
Agency, I hear a lot about these snow surveys; however, it’s
one thing to read about the data and the program, and another
thing entirely to go outside and participate in sampling. It
was fascinating to survey the snow course and follow the same
techniques that surveyors have been using for decades to track
and manage the snow.
The survey data indicated that shotgun wads, the plastic piece
inside a shotgun shell that separates the shot from the powder,
are one of the top ten most commonly found plastic items on all
surveyed beaches. These shotgun wads likely come from waterfowl
hunting, year-round shooting ranges, and target shooting fields
along the San Francisco Bay and Delta.
Last week, environmental groups, states, and cities filed three
complaints in differing federal district court challenging The
Navigable Waters Protection Rule: Definition of Waters of the
United States, which was published in the Federal Register on
April 21, 2020, and is currently scheduled to become effective
on June 22, 2020.
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.
Monterey Peninsula Water Management District officials have
requested the Monterey One Water board certify the Pure Water
Monterey expansion project supplemental environmental impact
report within 30 days and is withholding more than $600,000
representing part of its share of the environmental review.
For us, better science is the only path that can achieve those
two important goals. Unfortunately, as the state completed its
new permitting effort at the end of March, a decade of research
was largely ignored in favor of political objectives that
impose unjustified restrictions on the State Water Project …
The U.S. Department of Interior started a water experiment
along the Colorado Friday, May 1, at the Glen Canyon Dam,
located near Page Arizona. The experiment is meant to improve
the egg-laying conditions for insects that live at least some
part of their lives in the water, which are the primary food
source for endangered Colorado River fish as well as native
The reduced-use directive was put in place after a contractor
punctured the 9-foot-diameter Santa Ana Valley Pipeline on
Thursday. The water flow in the line has been stopped while
repairs take place, and the moves by the districts were to help
ensure reserves are not depleted.
There are 29 federally recognized tribes across the Colorado
River Basin. Together, these tribes have water rights to
roughly 20% of the water that flows through the river annually.
In Arizona, the Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT) and the
Gila River Indian Community (GRIC) were critical partners in
making the Drought Contingency Plan possible.
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.
The California Environmental Quality Act scoping period
concluded on April 17, 2020 after an extended 93-day public
comment period. DWR is reviewing all submitted comments and
will publish a scoping report summarizing the information this
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco,
accuses President Trump and the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency of illegally exposing waterways to pollution and
development by rolling back a key provision of the Clean Water
Environmental groups in California on April 29 challenged in
court the state Dept. of Water Resources decision not to
include a proposed 40-mile tunnel in its most recent
environmental assessment needed to reauthorize long-term
operation of the State Water Project—a 700-mile system of dams
and aqueducts that moves water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin
Delta to areas in the south.