Topic: Water Supply

Overview

Water Supply

California’s climate, characterized by warm, dry summers and mild winters, makes the state’s water supply unpredictable. For instance, runoff and precipitation in California can be quite variable. The northwestern part of the state can receive more than 140 inches per year while the inland deserts bordering Mexico can receive less than 4 inches.

By the Numbers:

  • Precipitation averages about 193 million acre-feet per year.
  • In a normal precipitation year, about half of the state’s available surface water – 35 million acre-feet – is collected in local, state and federal reservoirs.
  • California is home to more than 1,300 reservoirs.
  • About two-thirds of annual runoff evaporates, percolates into the ground or is absorbed by plants, leaving about 71 million acre-feet in average annual runoff.
Aquafornia news Ridgecrest Daily Independent

Groundwater in the Indian Wells Valley: Just what is in the IWV’s proposed replenishment fee?

The short answer is, the replenishment fee is a per-acre-foot extraction fee proposed by the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority to pay for mitigation of registered shallow wells damaged by continuing overdraft, as well as to begin importing water necessary to balance the groundwater basin. A public hearing regarding the fee is scheduled for 10 a.m. Aug. 21 at city hall.

Aquafornia news Capitol Weekly

Opinion: CPUC ‘yes’ vote could cut water bill surcharges for millions

If passed, the new program would promote water conservation and make water bills more affordable and transparent for millions of residents, benefitting both low-income customers and those who use less water.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Ultraviolet algae killer aids bid to help Lake Tahoe clarity

The new tool is a light fixture called an array mounted under a working barge, which trolls the marina dousing the plants on the bottom with UV-C light, a short-wave electromagnetic radiation light that damages the DNA and cellular structure of aquatic plants.

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Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

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

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

Aquafornia news Bakersfield Californian

Climate change report forecasts hard times for Kern ag

A new report warns Kern County agriculture will face tough challenges in the decades ahead as climate change makes irrigation water scarcer and weather conditions more variable and intense. The study concludes these hurdles “ultimately challenge the ability to maximize production while ensuring profitability.”

Aquafornia news East Bay Times

Berkeley, Emeryville besieged by water main breaks

East Bay Municipal Utility District crews and first-responders were at the scene of at least sixteen separate water main breaks in two cities Wednesday night, affecting several hundred customers, authorities said.

Aquafornia news Science

Opinion: Distorting science, putting water at risk

The Navigable Waters Protection Rule … has redefined “waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) to restrict federal protection of vulnerable waters. … Responding to this unprecedented distortion of science and rollback in water protections, which went into effect nationwide on 22 June, will require coordinated efforts among scientists, lawmakers, and resource managers.

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Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

NASA wants to make contaminated Santa Susana site a landmark

In what some have described as a cynical attempt by a U.S. government agency to avoid a long-promised cleanup of toxic and radioactive contaminants, NASA has nominated the Santa Susana Field Laboratory for official listing as a traditional cultural property.

Aquafornia news East County Today

Video: Ironhouse Sanitary District recycled water fill station

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

Aquafornia news NASA Earth Observatory

Blog: A third of the U.S. faces drought

As the United States moves into the last weeks of climatological summer, one- third of the country is experiencing at least a moderate level of drought. Much of the West is approaching severe drought, and New England has been unusually dry and hot. An estimated 53 million people are living in drought-affected areas.

Aquafornia news Spectrum 1 News

Could a hurricane hit Southern California?

We’ll walk you through hurricane dynamics, talk a little history, and explain why a (weak) hurricane is not totally out of the realm of possibility for Southern California in the future.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Marin Civic Center lagoon fish kill blamed on algae bloom

County staff took a sample of the water on Monday and shared it with the state, whose biologist determined that insufficient oxygen in the water resulted in an overnight event that killed masses of non-native fish, said Ken Paglia, a Fish and Wildlife spokesperson.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Friday Top of the Scroll: US West faces reckoning over water but avoids cuts for now

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is expected to release projections Friday that suggest Lake Powell and Lake Mead will dip slightly in 2021. … Despite the dip, Lake Mead’s levels are expected to stay above the threshold that triggers mandatory water cuts to Arizona and Nevada, giving officials throughout the Southwest more time to prepare for a future when the flow will slow.

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Aquafornia news Earthjustice

Blog: Is the water all right?

Like other environmental regulations, WOTUS was necessarily complex and grounded in science. But the reason for it was simple: keep U.S. waters clean. So what could be so bad about a law to stop water pollution that the Trump administration would decide to repeal it?

Aquafornia news Santa Monica Mirror

Santa Monica-based group wins historic wastewater recycling suit

Every day Hyperion Water Treatment Plant discharges enough treated wastewater into the ocean to fill the Rose Bowl 2.5 times over. Now a court has instructed state water officials to analyze whether it is “wasteful” and “unreasonable” to dump billions of gallons of wastewater into the sea.

Aquafornia news The Hill

Thursday Top of the Scroll: Energy Department proposes showerhead standards rollback after Trump complains

A new proposal from the Department of Energy would change the definition of a showerhead, essentially allowing different components within the device to count as individual fixtures, sidestepping requirements that allow no more than 2.5 gallons to flow through per minute.

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Aquafornia news KPBS

New study says forecasters are overestimating future demand for water

A new report by the Pacific Institute suggests Californians have learned to conserve so well that water forecasters need to rethink their approach to estimating future water demand.

Aquafornia news U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

News release: Reclamation’s largest Dam Safety project moves forward

On Tuesday, the Bureau of Reclamation submitted the B.F. Sisk Dam Safety of Dams Modification Report to Congress. This is Reclamation’s largest project under the 1978 Safety of Dams Act, and when complete, will modernize the structure to reduce risk to water supply and downstream communities in an earthquake.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Santa Clara Valley Water District seeks $682 million parcel tax

After years marked by a historic statewide drought and devastating floods around downtown San Jose, Santa Clara County’s largest water provider has decided to ask voters to approve a parcel tax to pay for a wide variety of projects, from flood control to creek restoration, along with some costs of rebuilding the county’s largest dam at Anderson Reservoir.

Aquafornia news The Guardian

‘This land is all we have left’: Tribes on edge over giant dam proposal near Grand Canyon

If built, it would … pump groundwater into four new reservoirs … Tribal members and environmentalists say the project would flood several miles of canyons sacred to the Navajo; risk damaging cultural sites for several tribes; draw vast amounts of critical groundwater; potentially harm habitats for plants and animals, including some endangered species; and risk adverse effects for waterways leading into the Grand Canyon.

Aquafornia news Water Finance & Management

Pure Water San Diego program achieves milestone

A National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit has been granted to the city by the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board to add purified water to Miramar Reservoir for Phase 1 of the program.

Aquafornia news Phys.org

Researchers propose climate-smart desert food production model for land and human health

Water-efficient succulents and nitrogen-fixing tree legumes may take five to 12 years to produce their first nutritional harvests. Nevertheless, they can produce more edible biomass over a decade with far less water than that used by conventional annual crops, while sequestering carbon into the soil to mitigate climate change…

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Dam removal update: Klamath dams, Matilija Dam, and Potter Valley Project

The California Advisory Committee on Salmon and Steelhead Trout was re-established by the Legislature in 1983 in response to public concern about declining populations of salmon and steelhead. … At the July meeting, committee members received an update on the Klamath dams, Matilija Dam, and the Potter Valley Project dam removal projects.

Aquafornia news U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

News release: Reclamation announces 30-day public comment period for Central Valley Project Friant Water Authority operation, maintenance and replacement contract

The Bureau of Reclamation announced Wednesday a 30-day public comment period for a 35-year contract renewal of the transfer of operation, maintenance and replacement activities related to Friant-Kern Canal and other associated works to the Friant Water Authority.

Aquafornia news Business Wire

News release: Los Angeles Waterkeeper prevails in historic wastewater recycling suit

The Los Angeles Superior Court issued a historic ruling, in favor of Los Angeles Waterkeeper, that compels the State Water Resources Control Board to analyze whether it is “wasteful” and “unreasonable” to dump billions of gallons of wastewater uselessly into the sea, when it could instead be used productively to ensure the sustainability of California’s water resources.

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 Santa Barbara Independent

Opinion: Desalination is not the panacea

In response to Eberhard Brunner’s recent “Water in the West” op-ed, I’d like to share some facts about the true costs of desalinated water.

Aquafornia news KQED Forum

Audio: UCLA study: Less snow and more rainfall spell trouble for California

By the 2070s, climate change will reduce snowpack and increase extreme rainfall in the Sierra Nevada and California’s reservoirs will likely be overwhelmed. That’s according to a new study by UCLA climate scientists, who predict that run-off during so-called atmospheric rivers will increase by nearly 50 percent, leading to widespread flooding across the state.

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Aquafornia news Klamath Falls Herald & News

Court rules in favor of Klamath Irrigation District, state water rights

A win for state water rights came earlier this month after the Marion County Circuit Court ruled that the Bureau of Reclamation cannot release water from Upper Klamath Lake for flows down the Klamath River.

Aquafornia news Waste360

Initiative to fight plastic pollution submits petitions

Supporters of an initiative to reduce plastic waste today submitted more than 870,000 voter signatures to qualify the Plastics Free California initiative for the ballot – significantly more than the 623,212 signatures required.

Aquafornia news MyMotherLode.com

Pinecrest Lake can drop lower during drought years

The state has approved a change that will give Tuolumne County more water security during drought periods.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Loss in hydropower hampered by drought will impact utilities

The loss in hydroelectric generation during the 2012-16 drought cost PG&E and other California utilities about $5.5 billion, a new study says. As California’s climate becomes more prone to severe droughts, the findings point to future costs that utilities — and ultimately ratepayers — will likely be forced to bear.

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Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Blog: Groundwater sustainability moves from planning to implementation

Completion of groundwater sustainability plans for California’s most over-pumped basins was a major step toward bringing basins into long-term balance, as mandated by the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. We talked to Trevor Joseph—the first SGMA employee at the Department of Water Resources, and now a member of a groundwater sustainability agency in the Sacramento Valley—about next steps and possible pitfalls.

Aquafornia news UC Los Angeles

News release: A warming California sets the stage for future floods

By the 2070s, global warming will increase extreme rainfall and reduce snowfall in the Sierra Nevada, delivering a double whammy that will likely overwhelm California’s reservoirs and heighten the risk of flooding in much of the state, according to a new study by UCLA climate scientists.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Opinion: Some losers in water project

In his Aug. 2 Herald commentary, Grant Leonard claimed that Cal Am’s proposed Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project would be a win-win for both Castroville, a disadvantaged community, and Carmel, which is on the other side of the economic spectrum. Some things challenge that claim.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Law

Utilities want to use EPA chemicals law to protect drinking water

A pair of water associations are teaming up to urge the EPA to use all its regulatory tools to safeguard drinking water as it decides whether to allow new chemicals into U.S. commerce.

Aquafornia news WaterWorld

California childcare centers get $6.1 million to test for lead in drinking water

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued $6,137,000 in grants to assist the California Department of Social Services with identifying sources of lead in drinking water in childcare centers.

Aquafornia news California Water Environment Association

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

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

Aquafornia news Weather West

Blog: A warmer second half of August, and some tropical moisture in the mix? Plus: thoughts about (a dry?) autumn

Recent conditions across California over the past 3-5 weeks have been pretty typical by mid-summer standards. … California’s boon, however, has been Arizona’s misfortune: a near-total failure of the North American Monsoon…

Aquafornia news BenitoLink

Solving San Juan Bautista’s water problems

At the San Juan Bautista City Council meeting on July 14, City Manager Don Reynolds presented a report on possible solutions for water and waste treatment plant issues. For the first time in 12 years, San Juan is nearing a resolution, though long delays in approaching the problem have driven up costs.

Aquafornia news Santa Maria Times

Sunburst Farm sues neighbor, cannabis company over access to water well

A Lompoc religious nonprofit is accusing a Wyoming-based organic farm and cannabis company of stealing water it uses to grow food and blocking access to a well on a neighboring parcel, despite a decades-old legal agreement allowing them to do so, according to a lawsuit filed in Santa Barbara County Superior Court.

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

Blog: SGMA and the human right to water: How do submitted groundwater sustainability plans address drinking water?

Although only five of 41 groundwater sustainability plans submitted to the Department of Water Resources for review in January mention the human right to water, and only one of those affirmed it as a consideration in their plan, these two policies are closely related.

Aquafornia news Fontana Herald News

West Valley Water District announces facility expansion project

Due to local population growth and rising peak summer usage, the West Valley Water District announced that it will expand treatment capacity for the region by 16 million gallons per day through the Oliver P. Roemer Water Filtration Facility Expansion Project.

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

In Colorado’s climate change hot spot, the West’s water is evaporating

This cluster of counties on Colorado’s Western Slope — along with three counties just across the border in eastern Utah — has warmed more than 2 degrees Celsius, double the global average. Spanning more than 30,000 square miles, it is the largest 2C hot spot in the Lower 48, a Washington Post analysis found. … The average flow of the Colorado River has declined nearly 20 percent over the past century, half of which is because of warming temperatures, scientists say.

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Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Monday Top of the Scroll: Poseidon’s desalination plan for Huntington Beach delayed again

The Regional Water Quality Control Board concluded three days of hearings on the project’s next permit by telling Poseidon it must return with a more robust, more detailed mitigation plan to offset the environmental damage the project will cause.

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Aquafornia news Hanford Sentinel

Sen. Hurtado hopes to freshen farmworkers’ water

Contaminated water has long plagued California’s Southern Central Valley, a region home to many farmworkers. SB 974, a bill by Senator Melissa Hurtado, seeks to provide safe drinking water by exempting small disadvantaged communities from certain CEQA provisions.

Aquafornia news The Press Democrat

Editorial: Klamath dam deal is in peril, but hope remains

FERC concluded that the nonprofit that was going to take ownership of the dams didn’t have the experience or expertise to oversee such a complicated project. PacifiCorp therefore needed to stay on as co-licensee. But if PacifiCorp couldn’t walk away clean, it lost a huge incentive for removing the dams at all. It might just as well stick with the status quo. Thanks, FERC.

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Aquafornia news St. George Spectrum

Opinion: Facts show holes in Utah’s Lake Powell pipeline plan

We deserve complete, dependable information and accurate cost data including well-reasoned analysis that demonstrates the need and economic viability of the pipeline. Instead, studies by the Utah Division of Water Resources and the Washington County Water Conservancy District are biased, incomplete and do not fairly consider feasible, much less costly alternatives.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Imperial Irrigation District scores another win in court battle with farmer Michael Abatti

A California appellate court on Wednesday denied Imperial Valley farmer Michael Abatti’s request for a rehearing in his long-running legal fight with the Imperial Irrigation District over control of Colorado River water. The decision could likely spell the end to his legal challenges.

Aquafornia news Santa Barbara News-Press

City council discusses grant for desalination plant

The Santa Barbara City Council unanimously passed a motion Tuesday to introduce and subsequently adopt an ordinance authorizing a grant funding agreement with the State Department of Water Resources in the amount of $10 million for reactivation of the Charles E. Meyer Desalination Plant.

Aquafornia news Redding Record-Searchlight

Friday Top of the Scroll: Trump administration studies raising the height of Shasta Dam

The decades-long battle over an effort to raise the height of Shasta Dam took another turn Thursday when the Trump Administration released a new environmental report on the plan, just five years after completing a similar study.

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Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

More than 1.5 million residential customers owe $1.1 billion to their water departments

Most Americans give little thought to water bills, paying them on time and in full. But for a subset of homeowners and renters, water debt is constant and menacing. The burden is an extension of two notable national trends: the rising cost of water service and the general precarity of those at the bottom of the economic pecking order. A missed bill or faulty plumbing can spell financial doom… Sophia Skoda, the chief financial officer for East Bay Municipal Utility District, in California, said that Congress needs “to step up to its responsibility” to ensure that water and sewer service is affordable for all people.

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Aquafornia news SJV Water

Unlikely source promises (a little) water for the Kern River

The City of Bakersfield is poised to ink a deal with Buena Vista Water Storage District that will provide at least some water in the riverbed through the main part of the city between April and June — even in drier years.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Law

Federal court dismisses Trump water rule challenge in Oregon

The Oregon Cattlemen’s Association sued the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in May for bringing non-navigable, small streams and wetlands under Clean Water Act protection in the Navigable Waters Protection Rule. Judge Michael W. Mosman, ruling from the bench on a preliminary injunction sought against the water rule, dismissed the claims without prejudice.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Are you on a private well? We’re investigating risks to drinking water and need your help

Thousands of families who rent or own homes with private wells are at risk of losing their drinking water in Madera, Fresno, Tulare and Kings counties — and some already have. The Fresno Bee is investigating the risks to private wells and proposed solutions, and we need to hear your stories and your questions to guide our reporting.

Aquafornia news Manteca Bulletin

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

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

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Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Amid COVID-19, L.A. River fishing provides a safe respite

Some have found fishing the L.A. River to be a peaceful respite from COVID-19, political and social turmoil and malaise of all flavors. Even those who have been fishing the river for years say it’s a new experience amid the new normal.

Aquafornia news National Rural Water Association

Blog: National Rural Water Association backs Emergency Assistance for Rural Water Systems Act

The Emergency Assistance for Rural Water Systems Act allows USDA Rural Development to provide affordable and sustainable financial options for rural utilities impacted by COVID-19. Assistance includes grants, zero percent loans, one percent loans, principal and interest reduction, loan modifications and direct operational assistance…

Aquafornia news Capitol Weekly

Opinion: If CPUC eliminates ‘decoupling,’ water rates would rise

As early as Aug. 6, the California Public Utilities Commission could vote to adopt a proposal that would eliminate a best-practice regulatory tool – known as decoupling – that currently removes the incentive of water suppliers to sell more water. This significant change has the potential to hamper water conservation efforts in California and raise rates for millions of customers without providing them any corresponding benefit …

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Poseidon’s Huntington Beach desalination plant still in choppy waters

As Poseidon Water pursues the final government approvals needed to build one of the country’s biggest seawater desalination plants, the company still cannot definitively say who will buy the 50 million gallons a day of drinking water it wants to produce on the Orange County coast. That’s one of several questions that continue to dog the $1-billion Huntington Beach project…

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Aquafornia news Pacific Institute

Report: An assessment of urban water demand forecasts in California

Failure to account for the long-term trend of declining per capita water demand has led to routine overestimation of future water demand. This can lead to unnecessary and costly investment in unneeded infrastructure and new sources of supply, higher costs, and adverse environmental impacts.

Aquafornia news California Rangeland Trust

News release: Groundbreaking research into working landscapes

The study, conducted by the University of California, Berkeley, examined 306,718 acres of California Rangeland Trust’s conservation easements across the state to explore both the environmental and monetary value of preserving California’s open spaces.

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Aquafornia news Porterville Recorder

One step closer for $71 million for Friant-Kern Canal

Funding for much needed repairs at least in the short-term for the Friant-Kern Canal continues to move closer to becoming reality. The House of Representatives last week passed H.R. 7617… Included in that minibus is $71 million for repairs to the Friant-Kern Canal during the next fiscal year.

Aquafornia news The Sun-Gazette

Lindsay to spend thousands to clean city’s water

Last week at the Lindsay City Council’s July 28 meeting, city services and planning director Michael Camarena presented a feasibility study. He noted that the city’s water system has been out of compliance with the Stage 2 disinfection byproduct rule for total trihalomethanes and five haloacetic acid maximum contaminant levels.

Aquafornia news Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Blog: Projecting the future trade of virtual water

Crops require water to grow. By importing water-intensive crops, countries essentially bring in a natural resource in the form of virtual water. Agricultural virtual water is the amount of water needed to grow a particular crop in a given region. Now research led by scientists at PNNL has projected that the volume of virtual water traded globally could triple by the end of the century.

Aquafornia news Capital Press

Klamath Irrigation District scores victory in water rights case

Earlier this year, Reclamation released water from Upper Klamath Lake — impounded by the Link River Dam in Klamath Falls — to boost streamflows for coho salmon in the lower Klamath River. But the Klamath Irrigation District sued, claiming the bureau does not have an established right from the Oregon Water Resources Department to use the stored water.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

String of mysterious pinhole pipe leaks in Folsom homes

A rash of Folsom residents have reported tiny, pinhole-size leaks appearing in their copper pipes in recent weeks, causing in some cases thousands of dollars worth of water damage. City officials and Sacramento-area plumbers are aware of the surge in complaints, but are still trying to uncover the cause…

Aquafornia news Lawrence Berkeley Lab

News release: Geothermal brines could propel California’s green economy

Deep beneath the surface of the Salton Sea, a shallow lake in California’s Imperial County, sits an immense reserve of critical metals that, if unlocked, could power the state’s green economy for years to come. These naturally occurring metals are dissolved in geothermal brine, a byproduct of geothermal energy production.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: Climate change could lead to more incidents like the Oroville Dam spillway failures, experts warn

Nearly 200,000 people were evacuated when the spillways failed at Oroville Dam in 2017, an infrastructure disaster that cost around a billion dollars to repair. Three years later scientists say events that partially led to the incident could become more frequent. It comes down to how and when snow and rain fall.

Aquafornia news LAist.com

A small city wants to unload a leaky water system, but regulators say not so fast

The city of Bellflower wants to sell its aging water system to a big for-profit water company that is better able to manage it. But the deal could fall through. That’s because state regulators say the price is so high, it could hurt water customers across Southern California.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Editorial: Dam removal plan for the Klamath River hinges on billionaire Warren Buffett

Through three governors, California has set a path to tear down four aging dams on the Klamath River astride the Oregon border. It would be the biggest such removal project in the nation, done in the name of fish preservation, clean water flows and political consensus. But the undertaking is hitting a snag, one that Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to undo.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Toxic algae keeps bathers, anglers out of two area lakes

Toxic algal blooms have resulted in a “danger” advisory not to go in the water at Prado Regional Park Lake and not to eat fish from the lake. A similar advisory at part of Big Bear Lake has been posted since last month.

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Aquafornia news Noozhawk

Santa Barbara council accepts $10 million grant to operate desalination plant

The Santa Barbara City Council voted 7-0 on Tuesday to accept a $10 million grant — with the understanding that it will run the plant at full capacity for at least 36 out of the next 40 years. Some environmentalists objected to the council’s decision, citing environmental concerns.

Aquafornia news Center for American Progress

Blog: Bridging the water access gap through COVID-19 relief

As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb, guidance around how to control the virus’s spread has become a steady drumbeat: Wash your hands, wipe down surfaces, and stay home. Implicit in these recommendations is the assumption that households have safe and clean running water and indoor plumbing.

Aquafornia news SJV Water

Blog: Clean water advocates hoping to safeguard SAFER funding

The state is peppered with failing small water systems, many serving low-income communities without the resources to repair them. … That’s where the new Safe and Affordable Funding for Equity and Resilience (SAFER) program comes in.

Aquafornia news Camarillo Acorn

$5M in federal funding granted for city’s desalter

The grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation will be used for the desalter plant that will treat brackish groundwater from the nearby Pleasant Valley Groundwater Basin. The filtered water will account for 40% of the city’s overall water supply once the facility is finished.

Aquafornia news Voice of Orange County

Questions over water official who took money from interests pushing desal project she’s voting on

Regional water board member Kris Murray is on track later this week to vote on a controversial desalination plant sponsored by a company and interest groups she took money from during past political campaigns.

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Aquafornia news Capital Press

Bureau of Reclamation to invest $1.2M in updated science for Klamath Project

Among the projects, the bureau promises to update a 20-year-old assessment of streamflows in the lower Klamath River for Coho salmon and re-evaluate how water levels in Upper Klamath Lake are affecting the survival of endangered sucker fish. Farmers in the Klamath Project have long argued that flawed or outdated science is chipping away at the amount of water they receive each year to irrigate crops.

Aquafornia news The Hill

Turning air into water: How Native Americans are coping with water shortage amid the coronavirus pandemic

A nonprofit that developed low-cost handwashing stations for the homeless population in California is teaming up with community nonprofit Red Feather to bring this potentially life-saving infrastructure to Native American communities.

Aquafornia news InsideClimate News

Tired of wells that threaten residents’ health, small California town takes on the oil industry

In September 2018, Estela Escoto sat down with a team of lawyers and community organizers and weighed her options. Escoto’s town—Arvin, California—had just granted an oil drilling and well-servicing company, Petro-Lud, a permit to drill four new wells near a neighborhood densely packed with young families and a park where children played soccer.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: California high court sides with small town in water rate hike fight

The rural Northern California town of Dunsmuir can impose a water rate hike on residents to fund a $15 million system upgrade, the California Supreme Court ruled Monday.

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Aquafornia news UC Irvine News

News release: UC Irvine engineers evaluate snow drought in different parts of the world

Environmental engineers at the University of California, Irvine have developed a new framework for characterizing snow droughts around the world. Using this tool to analyze conditions from 1980 to 2018, the researchers found a 28-percent increase in the length of intensified snow-water deficits in the Western United States during the second half of the study period.

Aquafornia news National Geographic

Can the Colorado River keep on running?

The average annual flow of the Colorado River has decreased 19 percent compared to its 20th century average. Models predict that by 2100, the river flow could fall as much as 55 percent. The Colorado River, and the people it sustains, are in serious trouble.

Aquafornia news Porterville Recorder

Work on enlarging Tule River Spillway to begin

Much needed work at Schafer Dam at Success Lake is finally set to begin. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District will begin construction to realign Avenue 146 and widen the existing Tule River Spillway at Success Lake in Porterville on Sunday.

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 Arizona Republic

Opinion: Fixing the Colorado River is tough. Good thing Arizona started early

The newly passed Drought Contingency Plan spurred additional conservation and left more water in the lake. An unusually wet year also helped, because it allowed states to fall back on other supplies. But the fundamental problem remains: The river still isn’t producing the amount of water we use in a typical year. We’re still draining the mighty Colorado.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Fresno farming giant Jack Woolf, leader in transforming San Joaquin Valley, dies at 102

John Leroy Woolf Jr., a pioneering farmer who helped re-imagine the dry and dusty west side of California’s San Joaquin Valley into an agricultural oasis, died Tuesday. He was 102.

Aquafornia news Legal Planet

Blog: When does a groundwater recharge project NOT need a water right?

Groundwater recharge projects already play an important role in California. That role is about to expand rapidly, as local groundwater managers begin to take more concrete actions to meet their responsibilities under California’s landmark Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

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

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

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Poseidon desalination proposal for Huntington Beach may face new requirements

After hearings this week for one of two remaining major permits needed for the project, several members of the Regional Water Quality Control Board indicated they were dissatisfied with the proposed mitigation for the larvae and other small marine life that would die as a result of the plant’s ocean intake pipes.

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Aquafornia news Arizona Republic

Monday Top of the Scroll: Colorado River levels may rise with COVID-19 electricity demands

Summer energy demands driven higher as the COVID-19 pandemic keeps more people at home could lead to more water flowing from Glen Canyon Dam into the Colorado River. That could mean rapidly changing conditions for rafters, anglers, hikers or others on the river in Glen Canyon or the Grand Canyon, officials said.

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Aquafornia news KXTV Sacramento

Folsom investigating why copper pipes are leaking inside many homes

Andre White who lives in Folsom’s Prarie Oaks neighborhood described the moment when he discovered his house was being filled with water due to a mysterious leak in his kitchen.

Aquafornia news Noozhawk

Montecito groundwater basin levels still recovering from California drought

The district’s spring groundwater monitoring program, using 55 public and private wells, found that the levels rose 3-to-18 feet in each storage area of the basin since last year. That’s progress, but still far below historic wet weather levels, groundwater specialist Nick Kunstek said.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Water district asks state for Carmel River cutback relief

With a new water supply delayed by state regulatory agencies and political infighting, the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District board has asked the state water board not to impose Carmel River water reductions due to an inevitable violation of an approaching river cutback order milestone…

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Aquafornia news KCRA TV

Boaters told to leave Folsom Lake Marina by mid-August

The water level at Folsom Lake is dropping by nearly half a foot each day, and soon boaters who rent a slip at Folsom Lake Marina will have pull their boats out. Marina managers told the tenants they should plan on removing their boats from the water by around Aug. 16…

Aquafornia news The Oregonian

Opinion: PacifiCorp should move forward with historic Klamath dams agreement

For us, dam removal is absolutely necessary to restore our struggling fisheries, maintain cultural practices, and provide tribal members who struggle to make ends meet access to traditional subsistence foods.

Aquafornia news Long Beach Press Telegram

House-passed bill includes nearly $385 million to fix Whittier Narrows Dam

Four years after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers upgraded the flood risk for the Whittier Narrows Dam from high urgency to very high urgency, the U,S. House of Representatives on Friday approved a budget package that included nearly $385 million to fix the dam.

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Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

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

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

Aquafornia news LAist.com

Thirsty? This costly plant could let you drink the Pacific

Poseidon Resources wants to build a $1.4 billion desalination plant near a power plant that is about to be shut down. They say it could produce 50 million gallons of water per day, enough for about 100,000 Orange County homes. Friday marked the second day of hearings before the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board. Its approval is needed for the plant to discharge salty brine left over from the treated water.

Aquafornia news Bakersfield Californian

Water bills would fundamentally change under proposal headed for CPUC

Some Bakersfield residents’ water bills will be fundamentally restructured, with big cost implications, if the California Public Utilities Commission votes Thursday to end an experiment that 12 years ago erased a financial incentive to sell people more water.

Aquafornia news The Conversation

Blog: Wildfires can poison drinking water: Here’s how communities can be better prepared

Both the Tubbs and Camp fires destroyed fire hydrants, water pipes and meter boxes. Water leaks and ruptured hydrants were common. … After the fires passed, testing ultimately revealed widespread hazardous drinking water contamination. Evidence suggests that the toxic chemicals originated from a combination of burning vegetation, structures and plastic materials.

Aquafornia news Paradise Post

Rebuilding a resilient ridge takes a resilient watershed, forest scientist says

In the midst of a hot July after late rains this season, the outlook for reforesting on the ridge will depend on the efforts of private landowners, local forest scientists say. With this help, residents of the ridge could see a new type of forest replace what was lost in the Camp Fire.

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Aquafornia news U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

News release: EPA announces significant step in effort to reduce lead in drinking water

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a final rule to reduce lead in plumbing materials used in public water systems, homes, schools and other facilities. This action marks a significant milestone in implementing the Trump Administration’s Federal Action Plan to Reduce Childhood Lead Exposures and Associated Health Impacts.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Marin judge rejects bid to halt San Geronimo creek work

A Marin County Superior Court judge rejected a petition filed by a group of San Geronimo residents and golfers to halt creek restoration work in the former San Geronimo Golf Course. The ten residents and golfers, known as the San Geronimo Heritage Alliance, filed the lawsuit in July alleging the creek restoration work is illegal.

Aquafornia news Grist.org

Friday Top of the Scroll: Democratic senators introduce comprehensive environmental justice bill

The Environmental Justice for All Act would amend the Civil Rights Act to … require federal agencies to consider health effects that might compound over time when making permitting decisions under the federal Clean Air and Clean Water acts.

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Aquafornia news National Public Radio

Audio: Planet Money: Scarce resources, drought and the tragedy of the commons in California

We travel to Porterville, California, where a drought has dried up residents’ wells. There’s water under their homes; they just can’t get to it.

Aquafornia news Ridgecrest Daily Independent

What is Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority? An overview

The Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority’s notice of an upcoming public hearing on a basin replenishment fee has attracted a lot of attention from water users in the valley, but not everyone understands what the IWVGA is.

Aquafornia news Union of Concerned Scientists

Blog: Groundwater sustainability is a necessity more than ever

In a place like California’s San Joaquin Valley (SJV), Latinos account for 70 percent of COVID-19 cases, even though they represent 42 percent of the population. Improving access to clean and affordable water even as the pandemic grows more urgent, is critical to reducing the types of burdens worsened by the COVID-19 crisis.

Aquafornia news Long Beach Post

Tied up in appeals, litigation over water fees could deepen Long Beach fiscal pain

Long Beach’s financial future has been thrust into uncertainty by the COVID-19 pandemic, but existing litigation over its practice of charging city-run utilities to access rights of ways could blow a nearly $20 million hole in future budgets if the city loses a court appeal.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Lawsuit challenges Trump’s overhaul of environmental-review law

A legal battle with far-reaching consequences for industry and ecosystems kicked off Wednesday with the filing of a federal lawsuit over the Trump administration’s revamp of a longstanding law that requires extensive environmental reviews for road, industry and building projects.

Aquafornia news InterestingEngineering.com

How over-pumping of underground aquifers can cause land to sink

All the static and dynamic forces from the land and rock above start adding up and eventually that now-dry soil starts compacting down and down. While this may not seem like a big deal on a small scale, what we’ve seen in California (and other parts of the world too) is the dropping of the surface elevation over a period of years, often by hundreds of feet or meters.

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Aquafornia news The Salt Lake Tribune

Opinion: Lake Powell Pipeline project based on inaccurate studies

Studies by reliable independent organizations prove the pipeline is unnecessary, risky and cost prohibitive. To counter these fact-based findings, pipeline proponents rely on misleading arguments, skewed data and fear in an attempt to “sell” the pipeline to taxpayers and water users who are unaware of the facts and place undue trust in government authorities.

Aquafornia news E&E News

FERC faces environmental justice reckoning

A 1997 guidance document from the White House Council on Environmental Quality lays out best practices for FERC and other agencies to address environmental justice as part of reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act. The agency isn’t legally required to act on its findings.

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 Associated Press

California governor asks Warren Buffett to back dam removal

Gov. Gavin Newsom has appealed directly to investor Warren Buffett to support demolishing four hydroelectric dams on a river along the Oregon-California border to save salmon populations that have dwindled to almost nothing.

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Aquafornia news Voice of Orange County

Public argues for, against Huntington Beach desalination plant, decision near

The 20-year battle between seawater desalters and Orange County environmentalists and community activists neared a turning point Thursday, the first in a series of final public hearings around a Huntington Beach desalination plant proposal before local regulators. Hearings and public comments at the state regional water board started Thursday, are continuing today…

Aquafornia news Sierra Wave

News release: Bishop Paiute Tribe pumping water at reduced capacity; pump failure & high-demand

The Bishop Paiute Tribe is experiencing low water pressure reservation wide due to high water usage and minimal storage and pumping capacity. … With temperatures rising, and more community members staying home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, water usage has gone up significantly.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Vehicles burned in Mexico to protest US water payment

Demonstrators in northern Mexico have burned several government vehicles, blocked railway tracks and set afire a government office and highway tollbooths to protest water payments to the United States.

Aquafornia news UC Merced News

Blog: New tools indicate how thinning and fire affect forest water use and boost runoff

Forest-management actions such as mechanical thinning and prescribed burns don’t just reduce the risk of severe wildfire and promote forest health — these practices can also contribute to significant increases in downstream water availability. New research from UC Merced’s Sierra Nevada Research Institute provides the tools to help estimate and verify those changes.

Aquafornia news SJV Water

Blog: Valley farmers look to Kern River tributary to replenish groundwater

A Kern County water agency is facing a wall of opposition against its plan to harvest up to 12,000 acre feet of water from the South Fork of the Kern River above Lake Isabella and bring it to valley farms and homeowners in northwest Bakersfield.

Aquafornia news The Hill

Democrat asks for probe of Trump administration ‘forever chemical’ rulemaking

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) on Tuesday pushed for a probe into the rulemaking process used by the Trump administration regarding the regulation of a class of cancer-linked chemicals called PFAS.

Aquafornia news Jefferson Public Radio

Audio: How California Fish Passage Forum clears the way

The California Fish Passage Forum brings together public and private groups and agencies working to remove barriers to fish passage. We get a quick lesson in the projects and progress of the Forum in an interview with Chair Bob Pagliuco and Coordinator Alicia Marrs.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Thursday Top of the Scroll: Gov. Newsom asks Warren Buffett to remove California dams

Desperate to complete a historic but complicated dam removal on the California-Oregon border, Gov. Gavin Newsom has appealed to one of the world’s wealthiest men to keep the project on track: financier Warren Buffett. Newsom dispatched a letter to Buffett and two of his executives Wednesday urging them to support removal of four hydroelectric dams on the lower Klamath River…

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Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Ecosystem-based management in the Delta

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

Aquafornia news The Desert Review

Imperial Irrigation District files opening brief in lawsuit against Met

Following the Imperial Irrigation District’s recent win on a monumental water case in California’s appellate court against Michael Abatti, the water district is back in court filing the opening brief against the other large water district is Southern California, the Metropolitan Water District.

Aquafornia news U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

News release: Reclamation invests in new science updates for Klamath Project

In response to Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt and Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman’s recent visit with Klamath Basin ranchers, farmers, tribes and community officials, Reclamation is launching a new science initiative to inform Klamath Project operations.

Aquafornia news Politico

The new water wars

The coronavirus economic crash is tightening the financial vise on utilities that supply water and sanitation across the country, potentially putting water companies on the verge of financial insolvency while millions of Americans struggle to pay their utility bills.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

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

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

Aquafornia news National Science Foundation

News release: Pesticides speed the spread of deadly waterborne pathogens

The U.S. National Science Foundation-funded study … found that agrochemicals can increase transmission of the schistosome worm in myriad ways: by directly affecting survival of the waterborne parasite itself; by decimating aquatic predators that feed on snails that carry the parasite; and by altering the composition of algae in the water, which provides a major food source for snails.

Aquafornia news Ingrained

Audio: Giants in the rice fields

Nearly 230 wildlife species depend on Sacramento Valley rice fields for food and a resting place, including the giant gartersnake, a threatened species. Although it has “giant” in its name, this creature is, at most, five-feet long. These snakes are heavily dependent on rice fields for their survival; having lost most of their earlier habitat – traditional wetlands…

Aquafornia news Engineering News-Record

House, Senate defense bills have only modest impact on PFAS chemicals

Each of the bills would provide funding for research and development on PFAS remediation methods… But environmental and public health advocates say the bills do not go far enough to address PFAS contamination. They describe the measures as lost opportunities to address PFAS pollution in a significant way.

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Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Controversial Poseidon desalination plant in Huntington Beach set for hearings this week

Poseidon Water’s seawater desalination plant in Huntington Beach, first proposed in 1998, could be getting closer to beginning construction after more than two decades. The Santa Ana Regional Water Board will hold online hearings this week and decide whether to issue Poseidon a permit.

Aquafornia news The Intercept

When coronavirus struck the Salton Sea

The community already beset by an environmental disaster is now facing a pandemic of the worst proportions. Residents and activists, who have long fought for more funding and pollution mitigation, say the area was already at a steep disadvantage for health care. Now the largely agrarian community has found itself in the middle of a perfect storm of environmental neglect, poverty, and the coronavirus.

Aquafornia news Patch.com

News release: Millbrae defers water rate increases to 2021

While the city has suspended shutting off water accounts for non-payment and has been working with its customers to set up payment plans, more relief was needed. To help offset some of the burdens of COVID-19, the Millbrae City Council voted unanimously this month to defer the July 1, 2020, water rate increase until January 1, 2021.

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Aquafornia news Legal Planet

Blog: Water right permitting options for groundwater recharge: Avoiding unintended consequences

Recharge is playing a growing role in maintaining groundwater as an effective drought reserve and in slowing or reversing the effects of years of unsustainable groundwater pumping. But implementing recharge projects is not easy. Water managers face a range of hurdles.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Lithium in drinking water linked to lower suicide rates

A compilation of studies conducted between 1946 and 2018 show that areas with high concentrations of lithium in public drinking water had “correspondingly lower suicide rates,” according to a news release. … The study was published Monday in The British Journal of Psychiatry.

Aquafornia news Water Quality Association

News release: Water Quality Association offers schools officials guidance on bringing drinking water systems back online

As schools prepare to reopen for in-person learning around the country, the Water Quality Association offers general guidance on bringing water treatment systems back online in buildings that have been vacant or have seen little or no water use. The guidelines are available on WQA’s website and were discussed in detail during a May webinar.

Aquafornia news Gov. Newsom's Office

BREAKING NEWS: Gov. Newsom Releases Final Water Resilience Portfolio

NEWS RELEASE: Governor Gavin Newsom today released a final version of the Water Resilience Portfolio, the Administration’s blueprint for equipping California to cope with more extreme droughts and floods, rising temperatures, declining fish populations, over-reliance on groundwater and other challenges.

Aquafornia news The Hill

Trump makes two FERC nominations, potentially rebalancing commission

President Trump made two nominations to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Monday, bowing to pressure from Democratic lawmakers who have pushed to maintain the bipartisan split in the commission.

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Aquafornia news ABC News San Diego

La Niña watch means dry winter and longer fire season possible for Southern California

NOAA has issued a La Nina Watch, which means a dry winter and longer fire season are possible this year for Southern California. This stems from colder water along the equator in the Pacific which has a domino effect on other parts of the world…

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: Poseidon’s desalination plant faces day of reckoning

After more than 20 years of developing plans for a Huntington Beach desalination plant and winding its way through a seemingly endless bureaucratic approval process, Poseidon Water comes to a key juncture as the Regional Water Quality Control Board votes on whether to grant a permit after hearings this week.

Aquafornia news CBS News

Famously clear Lake Tahoe has been polluted by climate change

When it was measured last year, the clarity of the lake was about 80 feet. … But, consider this, about 20 years ago, the clarity of lake was 100 feet. That’s the trend scientists are trying to reverse.

Aquafornia news The Guardian

Migratory river fish populations plunge 76% in past 50 years

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

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

City to attempt treatment of algal muck in McKinley Park pond

The city of Sacramento will begin vacuuming up globs of muck Monday at the McKinley Park pond following tests that suggest the rust-red material is both algal matter and cyanobacteria.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Law

DOJ limits Clean Water Act enforcement overlap with states

Some outside lawyers lauded the move for protecting against excessive enforcement, while others warned that the policy could let some polluters off easy. It’s the latest example of the Trump administration setting new rules for federal environmental enforcement.

Aquafornia news Voice of San Diego

Why your water bill might spike

San Diego’s water utility is preparing to absorb a five percent spike in rates this year despite cries from elected officials to freeze costs during a global pandemic. Why? The blame often gets passed up the proverbial pipeline.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Blog: Forging connections to provide safe drinking water

Providing a reliable source of drinking water is a challenge for many small water systems in the San Joaquin Valley, where dropping groundwater levels, aging systems, and water quality problems are acute. … We talked to Laura Ramos and Sarge Green of Fresno State’s California Water Institute about this effort.

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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 Voice of San Diego

San Diego’s big recycled water project wins in court

San Diego’s oft-delayed Pure Water project – a bid to create a third of the city’s water from recycled sewage – scored a victory in court Friday that could get the $5 billion project back on track.

Aquafornia news Bakersfield Californian

Opinion: We need water in the Kern River

Some residents are petitioning to return water to our river. I urge every person who has ever walked on the Kern River bike path to sign their petition on Change.org…

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Water park open during COVID-19 to lose permit: California officials

WaterWorks Park in Redding opened on June 5 in violation of California’s coronavirus rules and “repeated direction” not to do so, according to the Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency. It has continued to operate since then — sparking a nearly two-months long battle with health officials.

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Aquafornia news SFGate.com

‘Huge public safety danger’: Overcrowding forces closure of California swimming hole

There are just 12 parking spots near Yankee Jim’s, a sliver of crystal clear water on the North Fork American River, about 35 miles west of Lake Tahoe, but last weekend California State Parks and Placer County authorities counted more than 300 vehicles parked near the rugged roads surrounding a one-way bridge overhead. … Authorities said the scenic area has exploded in popularity thanks to social media postings.

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Aquafornia news The Recorder

Opinion: New study finds PFOA is carcinogenic: What are the California Prop. 65 implications?

A report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services may result in the listing of PFOA under California’s Proposition 65 as a carcinogen. Here’s what that could mean for the explosion of litigation related to the chemical substance throughout the country.

Aquafornia news Livermore Independent

Zone 7 Water Agency to buy Napa’s surplus

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

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

MID and TID reach key milestone on Tuolumne River fish flows

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

Aquafornia news Lost Coast Outpost

Audio: State of the Klamath: Spirited discussion on what that big Federal Energy Regulatory Commission decision means

S. Craig Tucker, consultant to the Karuk Tribe, and Mike Belchik, senior water policy analyst with the Yurok Tribe, joins Scott Greacen (Friends of the Eel) and Tom Wheeler (EPIC) for a spirited discussion on the new news about the state of dam removal.

Aquafornia news Yuba Water Agency

Yuba Water advances major flood risk reduction project at New Bullards Bar

Yuba Water Agency’s Board of Directors Thursday authorized staff to move forward with a new design of an estimated $225 million secondary spillway at New Bullards Bar Dam, marking an important step forward for the agency’s largest project to reduce flood risk since the dam was built.

Aquafornia news JD Supra

Blog: State Water Board has authority to implement temporary water curtailments without evidentiary hearing

The Third Appellate District has ruled that the State Water Resources Control Board has the authority to issue temporary emergency regulations and curtailment orders which establish minimum flow requirements, regulate unreasonable use of water, and protect threatened fish species during drought conditions.

Aquafornia news Scripps Institution of Oceanography

News release: Researchers identify factor behind 2017 Oroville Dam spillways incident

What was extraordinary was the unusually deep snow recorded in the northern Sierra Nevada mountains before the storm event. Subsequently, several records were set for how much snowmelt occurred during the atmospheric river. The melt took place because of unusually warm and wet conditions, and it increased water available for runoff by 37 percent over rain alone, straining the capacity of California’s second-largest reservoir.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Monday Top of the Scroll: California had a plan to bring clean water to a million people. Then the pandemic hit

At a meeting this month where the State Water Resources Control Board adopted its first spending plan for what was supposed to be a $130 million-a-year investment for the next decade, Chairman Joaquin Esquivel acknowledged that the economic downturn could set California back.

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Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

State grants will enhance Tuolumne River fish near Modesto

New state grants totaling about $8 million will enhance fish habitat on the Tuolumne River, and better connect west Modesto residents to the waterway. The grants will continue efforts to restore spawning areas and floodplains for salmon, trout and other fish between La Grange and Modesto.

Aquafornia news Western Farm Press

Feinstein bill would fix SJ Valley canals

Feinstein’s Restoration of Essential Conveyance Act would authorize $800 million in federal funding to repair critical canals in the San Joaquin Valley damaged by land sinking from overpumping of groundwater, known as subsidence, and for environmental restoration.

Aquafornia news CBS Sunday Morning

Without water

Black and Latino Americans are twice as likely as White Americans to live without running water. Take East Orosi, a mostly Latino community surrounded by the fertile orchards of California’s Central Valley. To look around you’d think that water is pretty plentiful … and it is, for big agriculture. But in a neighborhood where most of those who work those fields live, there’s no central water main.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Higher Feather River levels not making big ripples

Saturday and Sunday, PG&E will raise the water level on the North Fork of the Feather River, which goes from Quincy to Oroville. … But this year, it seems the whitewater levels — thanks to the coronavirus — aren’t raising excitement.

Aquafornia news Roseville Today

Placer County, PCWA split $12 million revenue distribution

In 1961, Placer County voters overwhelmingly approved the sale of bonds to finance construction of the Middle Fork American River Hydroelectric Project (MFP). Nearly 60 years later, with the bonds fully paid and financial reserves fully funded, the first-ever distribution of net revenue from the MFP has been made…

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

Latest Western Water examines state’s effort to preserve Salton Sea, California’s largest lake

The state of California, long derided for its failure to act in the past, says it is now moving full-bore to address the Salton Sea’s problems, with ambitious plans for wildlife habitat expansion and dust suppression.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Opinion: Affordability of utility services in the COVID-19 era

Utility disconnections due to non-payment have surged over the last decade and some financial projections show electric utility costs are likely to increase 15-35% over the next three years.

Aquafornia news The Log

Public urged to avoid water contact at Pyramid Lake due to algal bloom

An algal bloom at Pyramid Lake in Los Angeles County has the Department of Water Resources (DWR) warning the public not to swim or participate in any other water-contact recreation or sporting activities due to potential adverse health effects. However, DWR said boating at the lake is still allowed.

Aquafornia news E&E News

Senate panel reviews bills to address irrigation, conservation

Senators met yesterday to consider a suite of legislation to address water problems in the American West, though little was revealed about what comes next for the bills.

Aquafornia news Western Farm Press

Report says California groundwater sustainability plans are inadequate

The grim report by the Water Foundation, a charitable organization based in California that is focused on clean, reliable water for people and nature, predicts the groundwater sustainability plans written by the various districts in the San Joaquin Valley will not achieve what SGMA purports to do – that is, sustainably manage groundwater resources.

Editors Note: The Water Foundation is not affiliated with the Water Education Foundation.

Aquafornia news Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

Blog: An early success story in the Delta

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

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Law

EPA must focus on environmental justice, Inspector General says

The issue is new to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Inspector General’s periodic list of top management challenges facing the agency, underscoring its emergence as a leading national concern. The OIG called on the agency to strengthen its federal leadership role, continue to build an environmental justice strategic plan, and consider the impact of “all activities on environmental justice communities in actions revoked and taken by the agency as a whole.”

Aquafornia news AgAlert

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

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

Aquafornia news PR Newswire

News release: Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board staff recommends approval of permit for Huntington Beach desal project

On Wednesday, the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board issued a staff report recommending approval of a tentative order making amendments to and renewing its operating permit first issued in 2006 for the proposed Huntington Beach Desalination Project.

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Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Setting sustainable groundwater management criteria: It’s easy, isn’t it?

At the Groundwater Resources Association’s 3rd annual GSA Summit, a panel reviewed how the process went for the groundwater sustainability plans that were submitted to the Department of Water Resources earlier this year, focusing on four of the six sustainable management criteria: water levels, water quality, land subsidence, and interconnected surface waters.

Aquafornia news Marysville Appeal-Democrat

Colusa County landowners sought for groundwater recharge program

According to a release issued by the Nature Conservancy, the program provides an opportunity for growers to receive financial compensation for recharging groundwater during the course of normal farming operations on a variety of crops while also providing critical wetland habitat for waterbirds migrating along the Pacific Flyway.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

Blog: DWR environmental scientist Veronica Wunderlich discusses her work with reptiles and amphibians

Veronica Wunderlich is a Department of Water Resources senior environmental scientist with a focus in herpetology – the study of reptiles and amphibians. Below, Veronica discusses how she got started in herpetology –she even had snakes as pets as a kid, her current work, and how to translate a passion and interest in wildlife into a career – “If you really love the creatures you work with, you will never regret working with them.”

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Spring rains revealed fairy shrimp at Escondido preserve

Despite their brief existence … the pools, and the fairy shrimp they harbor are an important feature of the new preserve. The conservancy acquired Mountain Meadow Preserve, on hilltops off of Interstate 15, about two years ago. At that time, the 693-acre site was a deserted orchard, dotted with dilapidated agricultural sheds and withered avocado groves.

Aquafornia news Somach Simmons & Dunn

Blog: Court of Appeal holds that Imperial Irrigation District landowners only have a right to water service, not individual rights to district-held water

On appeal, the court held that the District’s water allocation methodology in the “equitable distribution plan” was reasonable and not an abuse of discretion, and that Abatti and the other farmers in IID only hold an interest in, or right to, water service.

Aquafornia news AgAlert

Ranchers discuss challenges of drought on public lands

In a webinar hosted by the University of California, Davis, last week, three California ranchers shared challenges they face managing multiple-use public lands, and how they cope with drought.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: 21 state attorneys general sue over new Trump water rule

Attorneys general in 20 states [including California] and the District of Columbia sued the Trump administration on Tuesday, alleging that new federal rules undermine their ability to protect rivers, lakes and streams within their borders. They say that new final rules issued last week by the Environmental Protection Agency alter a practice dating back more than 30 years giving state governments the authority to review, block or put conditions on federally permitted water projects.

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Aquafornia news Vacaville Reporter

Federal judge rejects lawsuit saying Vacaville’s water supply is unsafe

A Sebastopol-based environmental group’s lawsuit against the city of Vacaville in connection with hexavalent chromium found in groundwater has failed in federal court, city officials announced Tuesday. On Monday, Chief United States District Judge Kimberly Mueller issued an order rejecting California River Watch’s lawsuit regarding the safety of Vacaville’s water supply.

Aquafornia news Bakersfield Californian

Farmers doing more with less need help from above

Ceres Imaging, an Oakland-based startup company, is one of several high-tech aerial monitoring companies helping California farmers, including those in Kern County, increase their production, while decreasing their demand for water. It is a logical marriage between agriculture and innovators in California’s Silicon Valley.

Aquafornia news California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Blog: Creating a new fishery at Mountain Meadows Reservoir

For the past five years, Monty Currier, a California Department of Fish and Wildlife environmental scientist, has been working to rebuild the fishery at Mountain Meadows Reservoir after the PG&E impoundment went dry in 2015 from the combined effects of maintenance work and the drought. The unfortunate fish kill presented Currier with something of a dream opportunity.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

California settles fight over hoarded dam water

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

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

City of Oceanside picked as Recycled Water Agency of the Year

The City of Oceanside was picked from among small agencies throughout California as Recycled Water Agency of the Year for its significant water recycling efforts. The city was recognized with an Award of Excellence at WateReuse California’s virtual conference earlier this summer.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Polls show public support for 2 Orange County desalination proposals

Public support for proposed desalination plants in Huntington Beach and Dana Point appears strong in two recent polls, although opponents call the surveys biased and say neither poll addresses key obstacles facing these very different projects.

Aquafornia news Palo Alto Online

Blog: Will “two lined swimming pools connected by a pipe” help us get rid of natural gas?

Pumped storage hydropower (PSH) is a pretty simple technology. … The effect is not to create energy. In fact, these facilities are net consumers of energy. But by making renewable energy available when it is most needed, PSH helps renewables better match demand, reducing the need for gas on the grid.

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 WaterWorld

East County Advanced Water Purification program receives $86m

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s Board of Directors recently approved the East County Advanced Water Purification Program for its Local Resources Program, providing approximately $86 million in funding for this important water supply project.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Vacaville dodges lawsuit over chromium 6-tainted water wells

A federal judge on Monday squashed environmentalists’ bid to punish a Northern California city for delivering drinking water tainted with the carcinogen that prompted the film “Erin Brockovich.” The environmental group California River Watch sued the city of Vacaville over its water supply in 2017, claiming it was violating federal hazardous waste laws…

Aquafornia news The Nevada Independent

Opinion: Nevada should challenge Utah’s move for a Lake Powell pipeline

Legal scholars believe that the Lake Powell pipeline would likely violate the 1922 Colorado River Compact as a transfer of upper basin water (WY, UT, CO, NM) for lower basin use (CA, NV, AZ). The lower basin has priority, and the compact arguably prohibits transfers from the upper to lower basin absent explicit congressional authorization

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