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 KJZZ

Arizona housing growth tees up opportunity for water investors

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.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Coachella Water District approves $376 million budget, no rate increases

The Coachella Valley Water District’s board of directors on Tuesday voted to approve a $376 million budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins July 1. The budget notably will not include rate increases even though CVWD … had planned to implement one this year.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

State Water Board: Update on SGMA implementation

At the State Water Board’s meeting on June 2nd, Natalie Stork, unit chief for the Groundwater Management Program at the State Water Board, and Craig Altare, chief of the Groundwater Sustainability Plan Review section at the Department of Water Resources, updated the board members on how implementation is going so far.

Aquafornia news KJZZ

Public comment for Lake Powell Pipeline open, again, until September

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 County, Utah.

Aquafornia news California State University

News release: Steady streams: Bringing safe water to California communities

Over the years, much attention has been given to California’s drought, but less is known about the more than one million Californians in more than 300 communities who don’t have access to clean drinking water. To address this crisis, CSU faculty and students are performing community assessments, conducting research and assisting local engineering projects, often with support from Water Resources & Policy Initiatives. Take a look at some of the CSU’s ongoing work.

Aquafornia news The Salt Lake Tribune

Lake Powell pipeline will ‘make the river angry,’ Southern Paiutes warn as feds release analysis

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.

Aquafornia news AgAlert

Delta dispute casts shadow on water supplies

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

Aquafornia news SJV Water

Blog: Central Valley water districts take aim at each other’s groundwater plans

There is no tougher playground than California’s water world. Just take a look at the zingers flying back and forth between water districts on one another’s groundwater sustainability plans posted on the Department of Water Resources’ website.

Aquafornia news Western Farm Press

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: Some water restored for Klamath Basin farmers

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 Tribe.

Related article:

Aquafornia news U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

News release: Reclamation completes additional Central Valley Project contract conversions

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.

Aquafornia news American Water Works Association

San Diego’s agricultural industry gets permanent water rate break

Avocado, citrus and flower growers, along with other farmers in the San Diego region of California, will soon have the option to choose a permanent reduced agricultural water rate in exchange for lower supply reliability.

Aquafornia news U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

News release: Reclamation selects nine water recycling and reuse projects to receive $16.6 million

The Bureau of Reclamation is providing $16.6 million to nine congressionally authorized Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse projects in California and Hawaii. This funding, part of the WaterSMART Program, is for the planning, design, and construction of water recycling and reuse projects in partnership with local government entities.

Aquafornia news Smart Water Magazine

PFAS forecasted to drive $12.1 billion in water utility spending over next decade

Mounting public concerns and new state regulations in the U.S. are compelling water & wastewater utilities to address health risks associated with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) – a class of pervasive chemicals found in drinking water and wastewater biproducts.

Aquafornia news National Law Review

WOTUS litigation: Considerations for the regulated community

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.

Aquafornia news WestSideConnect.com

Agencies investigate adding capacity in San Luis Reservoir

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.

Aquafornia news The Revelator

Blog: ‘Megadrought’ and ‘aridification’ — understanding the new language of a warming world

After nearly two decades of declining water flows into the Colorado River Basin, scientists have decided the word drought doesn’t cut it anymore. We need different terms, they say, to help people fully grasp what has happened and the long-term implications of climate change — not just in the Southwest, but across the country. The term that’s caught the most attention lately is “megadrought.”

Aquafornia news Pasadena Star News

Opinion: Reimagine California’s big-water dreams

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

Aquafornia news Bakersfield Californian

Kern County Public Health Services cautions residents of harmful algal blooms in Isabella Lake

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.

Aquafornia news The Spectrum

Opinion: Six key reasons to support the Lake Powell Pipeline

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.

Aquafornia news ScienceDaily

Something in the water: Pollutant may be more hazardous than previously thought

In a new study, researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine, Vanderbilt University and the University of California, Irvine, report on the mechanism that perchlorate uses to impact and damage normal functioning of the thyroid gland. The findings, they say, suggest that an acceptable safe concentration of perchlorate in drinking water is 10 times less than previously thought.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Anderson Dam: Plan to drain largest Santa Clara County reservoir

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.

Aquafornia news MyValleyNews.com

Elsinore Valley water district delays rate increase, extends freeze on service shut-offs

To further protect public health and assist customers during the COVID-19 pandemic, Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District announced it will continue to defer disconnections for non-payment, postpone a pending rate increase and reopen lobby services.

Aquafornia news E&E News

Q&A: Ex-EPA staffer on leaked water research, ‘insane’ regs

Thirty-four years ago, Ronnie Levin’s research on lead in drinking water sounded the alarm for many Americans about risks lurking in their tap water. As the Trump administration propels forward a new rule, Levin is still fighting to make sure communities, especially the most vulnerable, have safe drinking water. … What’s at stake, she says, is the health of some of the most vulnerable communities in the nation.

Aquafornia news Nevada Public Radio

Is this the end of a 30-year fight over a proposed water pipeline?

On May 21, the Southern Nevada Water Authority board of directors voted to indefinitely defer its groundwater development project, which opponents had dubbed the “water grab.”  The unanimous vote brought an end to more than three decades of acrimonious battle with the Great Basin Water Network.

Aquafornia news Pagosa Springs Sun

Opinion: Secretary Babbitt’s river plan doesn’t go far enough

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 allocated.

Aquafornia news Roseville Today

Placer County Water Agency approves consolidation with Dutch Flat

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.

Aquafornia news The Salt Lake Tribune

Opinion: Massive Lake Powell pipeline project affects all Utahns, not just Washington County

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 Utahns.

Aquafornia news NetworkWorld

Startup lands $100 million to build floating data centers

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

Aquafornia news Monterey County Weekly

Equal representation on a critical water board is denied due to political fighting

Thousands of people in Marina are being blocked from full representation on the board of a regional water agency, a casualty of a larger battle over the water future of the Monterey Peninsula. The agency is Monterey One Water, and it is responsible for treating sewage.

Aquafornia news TechRepublic

US home water use up 21% daily during COVID-19 crisis

The average US home used nearly 729 additional gallons of water in April than it did in February, according to a new study from water-monitoring company Phyn. This means usage was up 21% daily, as most Americans followed orders to work and shelter from home, in an effort to “flatten the curve” and curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Aquafornia news WaterWorld

Leading water associations urge EPA to expedite regulation of PFAS

The National Ground Water Association and eight of the country’s leading drinking water organizations are urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to move expeditiously as it evaluates drinking water standards for two per- and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS).

Related article:

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Friday Top of the Scroll: Small, Central Valley community finally gets clean water

For years — too many, residents say — Seville households teetered with unpredictable conditions. Using too much water in the day meant having none at night. One flush too many, and everyone relying on a single well in town was thrown into a dry spell. … The coming summer, however, promises to be a new one altogether for residents in Seville.

Aquafornia news Association of California Water Agencies

News release: University of California conducting groundwater resilience survey

The University of California, Irvine’s Water Program (Water UCI) has organized a survey of the various California water and groundwater agencies and stakeholders to get a snapshot of where these agencies and stakeholders stand in terms of water resilience, especially groundwater resilience.

Aquafornia news E&E News

EPA makes ‘contorted’ legal argument for permit rule

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.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Environmental Protection Online

Big corporations contribute to water shortages — how can they fix it?

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 alternatives.

Aquafornia news AgNet West

Legislation seeks to address San Joaquin Valley canals

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.

Aquafornia news San Joaquin Valley Sun

In a dry year, Valley water sales get an extra dose of scrutiny

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 the state.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Business Journal

Cadiz finds new focus

The company’s long-term goal is still to complete a project to allow the transfer of up to 1.6 billion gallons of water a year from an aquifer under its land to six Southern California water agencies. But for the short-term, Cadiz is looking toward agricultural development on its 45,000 acres of land about 30 miles northeast of Joshua Tree National Park.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Weekly

Equal representation on a critical water board is denied due to political fighting

Thousands of people in Marina are being blocked from full representation on the board of a regional water agency, a casualty of a larger battle over the water future of the Monterey Peninsula.

Aquafornia news Western Farm Press

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

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

Aquafornia news Antelope Valley Press

Rosamond Community Services District puts limits on starting water, sewer service accounts

The twin policies, unanimously approved by the Board, are intended to stabilize the district’s revenues by cutting down on nonpayments. Especially in light of new state laws that make it more difficult to collect on delinquent accounts, the district has been looking at means to better secure its revenue stream from water and sewer accounts.

Aquafornia news Inside Climate News

New study shows global warming intensifying extreme rainstorms over North America

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.

Aquafornia news The Salt Lake Tribune

New front opens in fight over the Lake Powell pipeline

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 project…

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

News release: DWR awards $65.8 million in grants to support local water resilience projects

The $65.8 million in grants will help fund projects such as groundwater replenishment and habitat restoration within the Colorado River, Lahontan, San Francisco Bay Area and Santa Ana Proposition 1 funding areas. More than $12 million of this amount targets projects that also help disadvantaged and underrepresented communities, including Tribal governments.

Aquafornia news BNamericas

Mexico poised to breach 75-year water treaty with US

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 its territory.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Decades in the making, Buena Vista Lagoon restoration plan finally approved

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.

Aquafornia news CALmatters

Opinion: Our community will have a voice in proposed hydro-electric storage project near Joshua Tree

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.

Aquafornia news Pagosa Daily Post

Opinion: Concerning the Colorado River

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.

Aquafornia news The Guardian

Living near oil and gas wells linked to low birthweight in babies

Researchers analysed the records of nearly 3 million births in California to women living within 6.2 miles (10km) of at least one oil or gas well between 2006 and 2015. … Active and inactive oil and gas sites create myriad environmental hazards including air and water pollutants, noise and excessive lighting, which have all been linked with poor health outcomes.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

Blog: Dam safety and the importance of the division of safety of dams with Andy Mangney

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 protect Californians.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Law

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: Conservative states defend water rule from California-led suit

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.

Aquafornia news PR Newswire

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

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

Related article:

Aquafornia news The Nevada Independent

In Nevada, investors eye underground water storage as a path to profits

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 growing states.

Aquafornia news The Hill

Trump administration looks to fast track logging on public lands

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 Policy Act.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Law

States, Democrats want federal help to clean up old oil wells

Fossil fuel companies going bankrupt in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic are expected to leave behind thousands of abandoned oil and gas wells, and some congressional Democrats are calling for a federal program to ensure they’re cleaned up. There are 56,000 known abandoned oil and gas wells in the U.S., leaking methane and other air and water pollutants, said Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.) …

Aquafornia news Pacific Sun

Petaluma River watershed plan scheduled for state review

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 River Watershed.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

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

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

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: EPA limits states and tribes’ ability to protest pipelines and other energy projects

The Environmental Protection Agency finalized a rule Monday curtailing the rights of states, tribes and the public to object to federal permits for energy projects and other activities that could pollute waterways across the country. The move … upends how the United States applied a section of the Clean Water Act for nearly a half century.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Water Well Journal

Action on revised lead and copper rule scheduled for this summer

The proposed rule revision represents the first major overhaul of the Lead and Copper Rule since 1991. The proposal includes changes for lead tap sampling, corrosion control treatment, lead service line replacement, consumer awareness and public education, new requirements for community water systems to conduct lead in drinking water testing, and public education in schools and childcare facilities.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

Blog: Seasonal maps provide snapshot of state groundwater levels

The Department of Water Resources produces groundwater level change maps which show groundwater levels in wells throughout the state. When looked at together, these reports give a statewide picture of groundwater conditions and how they change over time – through wet periods or droughts.

Aquafornia news Las Vegas Sun

Las Vegas water use dropped when businesses closed. Now, it’s going back up

Las Vegas water use decreased rapidly starting in mid-March, around the same time that Gov. Steve Sisolak instituted a stay-at-home order and closed most nonessential businesses. But since late April, it has gradually been increasing to more typical levels, Las Vegas Valley Water District data shows.

Aquafornia news Capital Press

Monday Top of the Scroll: 2,000 attend Klamath rally demanding answer to water problems

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.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news New Times San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo County weighs fallowing program for Paso basin farmers

Paso Robles has an oversupply of wine grapes, according to growers and winemakers. That’s an existing problem that’s been exacerbated by COVID-19. … According to Jerry Lohr, owner of J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, and some others in the wine industry, there’s never been a better time to talk about creating a fallowing program for the North County region, which overlies the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin.

Aquafornia news Las Vegas Sun

Opinion: Saving the Colorado River doesn’t have to mean hurting farmers

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.

Aquafornia news 60 Minutes

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

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

Aquafornia news Greenbiz.com

Here’s how California’s water laws were made

This is an excerpt from “Ruling the Waters: California’s Kern River, the Environment, and the Making of Western Water Law” by Douglas R. Littlefield, published in May 2020.

Aquafornia news The Press Democrat

Dry winter spurs water managers to cut Russian River flows to retain reservoir supplies

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.

Aquafornia news SJV Water

Blog: Westlands Water District is again eyeing San Joaquin River water

Westlands Water District sent shockwaves through the Central Valley water world recently after it alerted several districts that it intends to apply for rights to flood flows on the San Joaquin River.

Aquafornia news Audubon

News release: Arizona Department of Water Resources and Audubon agree to funding plan to conserve Colorado River water

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.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

EPA announces that Oasis Mobile Home Park has clean water

The park’s 1,900 residents have been without a permanent drinking water source for months, after the EPA announced last summer that the park’s well water contained nearly 10 times the permissible level of arsenic, a toxic metal.

Aquafornia news Windsor Star

Opinion: California trial may determine fate of fluoridated water

Likely hanging in the balance is the future of artificial water fluoridation in the U.S. with shock waves possibly to be felt in countries which still add synthetic fluoride agents to their drinking water. The plaintiffs comprise a coalition of citizens’ groups, while the defendant is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. At issue is the potential health risks posed by artificial water fluoridation.

Aquafornia news Water Well Journal

New report details managed aquifer recharge benefits

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 United States.

Aquafornia news JD Supra

Blog: How California’s oil industry may help preserve agriculture in San Joaquin Valley

A study conducted by researchers at Duke University and RTI International found that reusing oil field produced water that has been mixed with surface water to irrigate crops in Kern County’s Cawelo Water District does not pose any major health risks.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

Blog: Pyramid Dam modernization program team completes spillways investigations

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.

Aquafornia news The Grunion

Review begins for Los Cerritos Wetlands restoration’s environmental impact

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).

Aquafornia news Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes

Blog: The hydrometeorological observation network in California’s Russian River watershed: Development, characteristics and key findings

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.

Aquafornia news The Guardian

US Southwest in grip of historic ‘megadrought’, research finds

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.

Aquafornia news Agri-Pulse

Thursday Top of the Scroll: Budget cuts for SGMA funding could hurt farmers later

The governor’s administration in January pitched ambitious proposals to help fund implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) and cushion its impacts on farmers and local communities. In the May Revision of the budget, however, all but one funding allocation from an earlier proposition have been withdrawn.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino Sun

Top officials at West Valley Water District kept quiet about HR director’s criminal charges, report says

For more than two months, top officials at the embattled West Valley Water District in Rialto knew their human resources director was fighting felony tax fraud charges, yet allowed her to continue working anyway, according to a confidential report obtained by the Southern California News Group.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

Blog: DWR unveils new benchmark toward reducing carbon emissions

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.

Aquafornia news The Log

Poseidon Water’s desalination plan: Are there cracks in the armor?

Marine life mitigation, the need for desalinated water in Orange County and the overall merits of Poseidon Water’s plan to build a $1 billion desalination plant in Huntington Beach were some of the main talking points of a 10-hour virtual workshop, held on May 15. Highlighting the marathon of a workshop: pointed questions about the merits of Poseidon’s proposal…

Aquafornia news CalMatters

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

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

Aquafornia news Escalon Times

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

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

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Pure Water Monterey expansion remains afloat

A Pure Water Monterey expansion proposal has narrowly survived another attempt to shelve it indefinitely even as the main recycled water project struggles with operational and cost issues that have further postponed its water delivery date and hampered its capacity.

Aquafornia news The Sun-Gazette

Feds say Tule groundwater could continue to sink

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.

Related article:

Aquafornia news KRCR TV

Northstate lawmakers urge Newsom to reconsider proposed cuts to Paradise Irrigation District

Northstate lawmakers and local leaders gathered in Paradise, Tuesday, urging Governor Gavin Newsom to reconsider proposed state budget cuts that would impact the Paradise Irrigation District. … Earlier this month, Newsom proposed cutting the second year of backfill funding to the district meant to help them stay afloat after the Camp Fire decimated the ridge’s water infrastructure.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: SF ordered downtown office buildings shut. Now it worries about safety of the water within them

Before San Francisco office workers start streaming back to downtown high-rises again, property owners and managers need to make sure those buildings are safe. Not just from the threat of coronavirus circulating among cubicles, but from medical problems that can be caused when water in buildings sits stagnant for months.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Weekly

Activists’ plan to filibuster Monterey One Water meeting is scuttled by a leak

Over email, local water activists concocted a secret plan to derail a vote that would potentially kill one water project and bolster the prospects of another. The idea was to stage a “filibuster” of the Monterey One Water board meeting scheduled for Tuesday, May 26.

Aquafornia news Legal Planet

Blog: California should lead the nation in controlling agricultural pollution

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.

Aquafornia news Data Center Dynamics

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

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

Aquafornia news Comstock's Magazine

Lean but still green

Drive through new developments across the Capital Region like East Sacramento’s McKinley Village or Folsom’s Folsom Ranch … and one will see a distinctly different landscape than ones installed just 10 years ago. Low- to medium-water-use plants are surrounded by bark mulch with little or no grass, irrigated primarily with a drip system.

Aquafornia news CalTrout

Blog: San Juan and Santiago watershed selected as one of 2020’s 10 Waters to Watch

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.

Aquafornia news AgDaily

CRISPR a tool for conservation, not just gene editing

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

Aquafornia news Fairfield Daily Republic

Putah Creek Accord, now 20, remains key to habitat restoration, water flows

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.

Aquafornia news Inkstain.net

Blog: 2020 is a dry year on the Colorado River. What happens next year will be more important

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?

Aquafornia news Noozhawk

Water rate increases possible for South Coast districts

Several water districts across the Santa Barbara County South Coast are considering proposed new rate plans. Here’s a breakdown:

Aquafornia news Lake County Record-Bee

Weeds and algae are just part of living on Clear Lake

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.

Aquafornia news UC Berkeley News

Blog: Drought ‘refuges’ protect young coho salmon from summer heat

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.

Aquafornia news Visalia Times Delta

Seville turns on the taps for the first time in 5 years

For the first time in five years, Seville residents can safely drink and cook with the water that flows from their taps. The small agricultural community of about 500 nestled at the scenic base of the Sierra Nevada has been ground zero for Tulare County’s water crisis for more than a decade.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Orange County water districts consider massive lawsuit over PFAS contamination

Nine Orange County water agencies have retained a legal team to study whether to file suit to recoup the $1 billion or more it could cost to purify drinking water in local wells contaminated with PFAS chemicals and to pay for more expensive imported water in the interim.

Aquafornia news Hi Desert Star

Water district opposes listing Joshua trees as a threatened species

The Hi-Desert Water District opposes the proposed new status, noting that the Joshua tree is already protected locally with both city and county ordinances. They also said that, if the listing was approved, it could deter people from building in the Morongo Basin because most undeveloped plots in the area have Joshua trees that developers will have to transplant or work around.

Aquafornia news East Bay Times

Three Creeks restoration project to begin Tuesday in Brentwood

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

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

States are reopening from coronavirus shutdowns. What happens to frozen utility payments?

When states began issuing stay-at-home orders and millions of Americans lost their jobs due to COVID-19, governors in dozens of states temporarily barred utility companies from shutting off gas, water, electricity and even internet. … But as states move to reopen, those moratoriums will end, and advocates are already warning that many households won’t have enough money to resume paying their utility bills, much less repay their deferred bill.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Opinion: COVID-19 pandemic and need for clean water at rural homes

As the world continues to grapple with the most devastating public health crises in modern history, the San Joaquin Valley has been hit particularly hard, resulting in mass disarray. Small rural regions and underserved communities are now experiencing threefold the challenges that existed prior to the pandemic.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Noozhawk

Santa Barbara’s water outlook foresees sufficient supply to meet demands through fall 2022

The availability of water from Gibraltar Reservoir, upstream on the Santa Ynez River, in the past few years as well as Santa Barbara’s desalination plant operation and water conservation have enabled the city to accumulate a significant amount of stored water in Lake Cachuma… The water-supply planning positioned Santa Barbara to continue resting its groundwater basins through fall 2022.

Aquafornia news Manteca Bulletin

Ripon OKs groundwater JPA with SSJID, Escalon

The City of Ripon is now part of the South San Joaquin Groundwater Sustainable Agency. The Ripon City Council recently approved the Joint Exercise of Powers Agreement, partnering with the South San Joaquin Irrigation District and City of Escalon.

Aquafornia news Action News Now

North-south water transfer lawsuit filed

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

Aquafornia news Thomson Reuters Foundation

Closed bathrooms afflict U.S. homeless in coronavirus lockdown

For homeless Americans, the coronavirus crisis has worsened a problem that has blighted them for years; the steady closure of the country’s public bathrooms. Health officials say frequent hand washing is the best way to fight the spread of COVID-19, but homeless campaigners warn that lockdown closures have left hundreds of thousands of rough sleepers without access to soap and water.

Aquafornia news Reno Gazette Journal

Southern Nevada Water Authority: Las Vegas water pipeline plan shelved

Citing conservation gains and a third straw to the bottom of Lake Mead, the Southern Nevada Water Authority on Thursday voted to shelve a proposal for a multi-billion pipeline that would have moved water from Northern and Eastern Nevada to Las Vegas. The vote means the pipeline staunchly opposed by rural communities, American Indian tribes and conservationists is dead – or at least going into a long, deep coma.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: When life dries up: Klamath Basin faces renewed conflict, as drought saps the water and farmers run out of time

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.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Monterey County Weekly

Water use on the Monterey Peninsula plunged in April, likely due to coronavirus lockdown

In April, during the first full month of the lockdown, water demand on the Monterey Peninsula dropped by 15 percent compared to the same month a year ago, according to data provided to the Weekly by local water regulators.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

News release: State Water Project allocation increases to 20 percent

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

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Snow-water equivalent still down despite recent storms

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.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Predicting and planning for extreme precipitation from atmospheric rivers

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.

Aquafornia news Las Vegas Sun

Water authority gives up 30-year proposal to pump groundwater to Las Vegas

The Southern Nevada Water Authority voted Thursday to withdraw all pending groundwater importation applications, return a right-of-way associated with groundwater importation plans to the Bureau of Land Management and take other actions to move the multibillion-dollar groundwater development project — sometimes referred to as the water pipeline project — into “indefinite deferred status.”

Aquafornia news Capital Press

Trial grows hemp on California desert

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.

Aquafornia news CV Independent

Infrastructure on the way: State funds projects to bring safe water and fire protection to two east valley communities and a Thermal elementary school

After nearly six years of work by Castulo Estrada, the rest of the Coachella Valley Water District board and Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia, the water district announced in early May that the State Water Resources Control Board had approved two construction grants, totaling about $3.3 million. The funds will be used to complete three projects that will bring safe, reliable water service and fire protection to two disadvantaged communities and one elementary school in the eastern Coachella Valley.

Aquafornia news Action News Now

Paradise Irrigation District could lose millions in recovery dollars

Governor Newsom slashed $7.3 million from his May revised budget, which officials say was promised to Paradise Irrigation District after the Camp Fire. … Losing this money could jeopardize being able to maintain their daily operations, like fixing leaks, customer service, and employee wages.

Aquafornia news KPBS

San Diego supervisors OK agreement for water treatment project

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors Wednesday unanimously approved a service agreement for an East County water project. East County Advanced Water Purification is a regional project that includes the county Sanitation District, Padre Dam Municipal Water District, the city of El Cajon and Helix Water District. Those entities are also part of a joint powers authority, which was formed last November.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Friday Top of the Scroll: ‘Expect more’: Climate change raises risk of dam failures

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.

Related article:

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

Blog: DWR continues to protect native species and habitats during COVID-19

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.

Aquafornia news KDRV

Klamath farmers and ranchers plan ‘convoy’ to protest water limits

Farmers and ranchers in the Klamath Basin are reportedly planning a rally to protest the water use limits enforced by the federal government to protect fish populations.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

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

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

Aquafornia news The Mendocino Beacon

Mendocino City Community Services District adopts groundwater ordinance, contingency plan

The Mendocino City Community Services District Board held a special meeting May 18 to vote on their groundwater extraction permit and water shortage contingency plan ordinances.

Aquafornia news Center for Biological Diversity

News Release: Lawsuit challenges federal water contracts that imperil Delta, fish, wildlife

Three environmental groups sued the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Wednesday to dispute the award of permanent federal water contracts to water users supplied by the Central Valley Project. The suit brought by the Center for Biological Diversity, Restore the Delta and Planning and Conservation League challenges the Trump administration’s moves to make permanent 14 existing short-term Central Valley Project contracts and ongoing work to convert dozens of others.

Aquafornia news KALW Radio

Audio: How climate change is fueling megadroughts in the western US

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 1500s.

Aquafornia news Engineering News-Record

California 2020 Owner of the Year: Water district launches innovative recycling plan

Despite its reputation as a conservative owner, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is piloting a bold new initiative to produce an additional regional water source through its Regional Recycled Water Program, which aims to take treated sanitation water and purify it to produce high-quality drinking water. … The $3.4-billion plan could produce up to 150 million gallons of purified water daily, addressing the needs of more than 500,000 homes and industrial facilities.

Aquafornia news U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

News release: EPA takes next step to implement PFAS legislation

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency took the next step to implement an important per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) requirement of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The NDAA added 172 PFAS to the list of chemicals required to be reported to the Toxics Release Inventory and established a 100-pound reporting threshold for these substances.

Aquafornia news Cornell Chronicle

Complex dynamics of water shortages highlighted in study

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 factors.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Major Monterey housing project gets its water

Monterey Peninsula water officials Monday allocated additional water for a portion of a major Monterey housing project that promises to bring scores of new affordable units to a city in desperate need of housing for its beleaguered workforce.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

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

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

Aquafornia news U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

News release: Reclamation updates 2020 Central Valley Project water allocations

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

Aquafornia news Western Farm Press

Looming drought concerns Arizona water group

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.

Aquafornia news Creative Boom

Blog: The Salton Sea: Melancholic photographs of the last days of a dying California lake

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.

Aquafornia news National Public Radio

Flights into the stratosphere study changes to atmospheric rivers

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.

Aquafornia news Village News

LAFCO approves public vote for Fallbrook-Rainbow detachment

When the proposal for the Fallbrook Public Utility District and the Rainbow Municipal Water District to detach from the San Diego County Water Authority and annex to the Eastern Municipal Water District is heard by San Diego County’s Local Agency Formation Commission, a public vote will follow any LAFCO board approval.

Aquafornia news NBC San Diego

Imperial Irrigation District begins second wave of sheltering employees at work

Imperial Irrigation District, California’s third largest public power provider and the largest irrigation district in the nation, will be extending its voluntary on-site shelter-in-place program at designated critical facilities for a core group of employees. To keep employees safe and to ensure that the district’s water and energy systems remain operational during the COVID-19 pandemic, 32 district employees have been living and working at their job sites since April 25.

Aquafornia news JD Supra

Blog: Developments in regulating PFAS in water

Recently, I participated in the Environmental Law Institute’s Master Class, PFAS: From Common Use to Concern … which included a discussion of the environmental and human health impacts of PFAS contaminated waters, as well as the best approaches to regulate, establish and enforce cleanups and safe drinking water standards. … Some of the main take-aways from our presentation included:

Aquafornia news Mad River Union

Trinidad Rancheria & council in water fight

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

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Law

Opinion: Computers in our sewers: Digitization of the water sector

Technology is revolutionizing wastewater systems, which require a lot of maintenance but are difficult to access under the surface. Ari Goldfarb and Itai Boneh of Kando, a wastewater solutions company, examine how technology is improving wastewater systems and how Covid-19 is having an impact.

Aquafornia news Yale Environment 360

In California, a push grows to turn dead trees into biomass energy

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.

Aquafornia news CALmatters

Opinion: Keep momentum going to remove Klamath River dams and restore salmon runs

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.

Aquafornia news ScienceDaily

What does drought mean for endangered California salmon?

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…

Related article:

Aquafornia news NBC San Diego

Imperial Irrigation District begins second wave of sheltering employees at work

Imperial Irrigation District, California’s third largest public power provider and the largest irrigation district in the nation, will be extending its voluntary on-site shelter-in-place program at designated critical facilities for a core group of employees. To keep employees safe and to ensure that the district’s water and energy systems remain operational during the COVID-19 pandemic, 32 district employees have been living and working at their job sites since April 25.

Aquafornia news Plumas News

Agency petitions state water board for temporary change

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

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Law

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: States seek to freeze Trump water rule as effective date looms

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.

Aquafornia news Lost Coast Outpost

City of Trinidad and Trinidad Rancheria at odds again over the water supply for the tribe’s hotel project

The building of a new hotel on the Trinidad Rancheria has encountered another hurdle as the tribe is now demanding that the City of Trinidad supply the water necessary to supply the hotel or else the tribe will withhold required upgrades to a stormwater management improvement project in Trinidad Harbor, according to a letter the tribe sent to the City of Trinidad.

Aquafornia news The Weather Channel

Marchlike storm could be last of the season to bring needed rain, Sierra snow to California

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.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

Blog: DWR helps locals by installing ‘eyes underground’

Unlike water production wells, monitoring wells do not remove groundwater, but instead use one or more small diameter pipes placed anywhere from 50 feet to 2,000 feet deep. The pipes house electronic equipment that continuously measures groundwater level information. Groundwater samples can also be manually collected from these wells to check for water quality.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Water resources management: Developing a water budget

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…

Aquafornia news NBC Bay Area

SFPUC offering reduced rates for certain residential customers during pandemic

Rates will be reduced by 35 percent for sewer bills, 30 percent for Hetch Hetchy public power utility bills, and 15 percent for water bills for those who have a SFPUC residential account under their name, have experienced income loss due to COVID-19 or the resulting shelter-in-place order, and a maximum income under 200 percent of the area median income.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

‘Deadly’ consequences if stagnant water in shuttered buildings is not properly addressed

The extensive closure of offices, hotels, restaurants and other commercial buildings in response to the coronavirus pandemic is a potential health hazard once those structures are reopened to the public. Of greatest concern to plumbing and water quality experts is Legionnaires’ disease, a respiratory infection that is the deadliest waterborne illness in the United States.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Newsom’s new proposed budget cuts 2nd year of Paradise Irrigation District funding

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s many proposed budget cuts include the cancellation of a second year of backfill funding for the Paradise Irrigation District, worth $7.3 million. … The district lost 90 percent of its customers following the Camp Fire and has been depending on the backfill funds while it repairs damage to its system and slowly increases customers again.

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

Blog: Drawing boundaries with DNA to improve conservation

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 hydrology.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Opinion: Safe drinking water must be part of coronavirus response package

Access to water must be included as part of the next major federal legislative package. We cannot expect to halt the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic without water for handwashing and basic sanitation.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Regulators express concerns about Huntington Beach desalination project

The Poseidon desalination plant proposed for Huntington Beach could be facing rough waters ahead, as several regulatory officials on Friday expressed concerns over the controversial plan.. During a Regional Water Quality Control Board workshop held online, three of the agency’s six board members persistently pressed local officials about the need, consumer cost and environmental harm of the $1 billion project.

Aquafornia news CALmatters

New park? Climate catalyst fund? On hold in Newsom budget

Facing uncertain revenues in the year ahead, state officials said they would prioritize programs aimed at improving air quality in disadvantaged communities, providing safe and affordable drinking water and improving forest health and fire protection.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Fox 5 San Diego

Settlements reached in lawsuits alleging manufacturer contaminated groundwater in El Cajon

The lawsuits concern the alleged contamination via manufacturing process materials stored by Ametek, which manufactured aircraft engine parts for more than 20 years at 790 Greenfield Drive in El Cajon. Plaintiffs allege the materials contaminated groundwater, soil vapor and indoor air at nearby properties.

Aquafornia news Western Water

Monday Top of the Scroll: Questions simmer about Lake Powell’s future as drought, climate change point to a drier Colorado River Basin

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.

Aquafornia news UC Riverside

Blog: Shrub encroachment on grasslands can increase groundwater recharge

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 change.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Blog: Will groundwater sustainability plans end the problem of dry drinking water wells?

In January, water users in 21 critically overdrafted basins delivered their groundwater sustainability plans to the state Department of Water Resources. In this series, we examine the 36 plans submitted for 11 critically overdrafted basins in the San Joaquin Valley—California’s largest farming region, where excess pumping is a major challenge.

Aquafornia news San Joaquin Valley Sun

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

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

Western Water Gary Pitzer Colorado River Basin Map Gary Pitzer

Questions Simmer About Lake Powell’s Future As Drought, Climate Change Point To A Drier Colorado River Basin
WESTERN WATER IN-DEPTH: A key reservoir for Colorado River storage program, Powell faces demands from stakeholders in Upper and Lower Basins with different water needs as runoff is forecast to decline

Persistent drought in the Colorado River Basin combined with the coordinated operations with Lake Mead has left Lake Powell consistently about half-full. 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.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Opinion: Pure Water Monterey expansion proposal falls short

The board of Monterey One Water recently voted not to certify a supplemental environmental impact report (SEIR) for an expansion of Pure Water Monterey. While the expansion was a technical concept that might provide additional water for the Peninsula, the Board action injected some much-needed clear thinking and foresight into a critical topic for the Monterey Peninsula.

Aquafornia news Environmental Defense Fund

Blog: Why I’m visiting the California Capitol to testify on groundwater

My colleagues and I worked with Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield), to craft AB 2642, which will create the Multibenefit Land Conversion Incentive Program… This new program will provide incentive payments to farmers and landowners who voluntarily repurpose their agricultural land to other less water-intensive uses for a minimum of 10 years.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

California sues EPA for suspending pollution enforcement during coronavirus pandemic

California, along with eight other states, sued the Trump administration Wednesday over the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to stop requiring companies to monitor and report air and water pollution during the coronavirus pandemic.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Editorial: Smaller Sites Reservoir makes it more likely

The decision to reduce the size of the planned Sites Reservoir might appear to be a setback, but it’s really a step forward. It makes it that much more likely the project will happen.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Group seeks to remove dam and restore California’s third-largest river

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.

Aquafornia news NOAA Fisheries

Butano Creek restoration reopens habitat for salmon in California

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.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Sinking lands, damaged infrastructure: Will better groundwater management end subsidence?

In January, water users in 21 critically overdrafted basins delivered their groundwater sustainability plans to the state Department of Water Resources. In this series, we examine the 36 plans submitted for 11 critically overdrafted basins in the San Joaquin Valley—California’s largest farming region, where excess pumping is a major challenge.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

EPA opts against limits on water contaminant tied to fetal damage

The decision by Andrew Wheeler, administrator of the EPA, appears to defy a court order that required the agency to establish a safe drinking-water standard for perchlorate by the end of June…[S]tates like California and Massachusetts regulated the chemical in the absence of federal action.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Cal State Fullerton biologist looks into how native plants survive in the driest soil

This interdisciplinary study by plant biologists and physicists is important because it potentially explains how plants take up water in very dry soil — such as drought-tolerant plants in Southern California and in the desert — and survive, said Cal State Fullerton plant biologist H. Jochen Schenk, a co-author of the paper.

Aquafornia news Water Finance & Management

Dems’ HEROES Act includes billions for utility, ratepayer assistance

Democratic leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives released the HEROES Act, the latest proposed relief package to address the COVID-19 pandemic… The proposal includes $1.5 billion in funding for water ratepayer assistance to help struggling households pay their water and sewer service bills. Also included in the legislation is $375 billion to be distributed to municipalities to cover revenue shortfalls as a result of the pandemic, which may help alleviate the strain on some clean water agencies.

Related article:

Aquafornia news KOBI 5 News

Water crisis looming on Klamath Project

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 has changed.

Related article:

Aquafornia news SJV Water

Blog: Groundwater: The charge to recharge needs to be data driven

Where, when, how much and how fast water can best be recharged into the Central Valley’s severely depleted aquifers has become a critical question. A new tool aims to help answer those questions at the field-by-field level or up to an entire county.

Aquafornia news Redwood Times

Thursday Top of the Scroll: Coalition to take major step in acquiring Potter Valley project from PG&E

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 rivers.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Bay Nature

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

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

Aquafornia news Water Quality Association

News release: Guidance on bringing water treatment systems back online

The guidelines, part of WQA’s coronavirus resources, suggest actions water treatment professionals can take as part of an overall recommissioning plan for commercial, industrial, manufacturing or retail businesses shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic. The document also can be used as a resource by restaurant and coffee shop owners, small businesses and retail establishments, and even homeowners.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Weekly

Small water systems across Monterey County are bracing for the inevitable next drought

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.

Aquafornia news Civil & Structural Engineer

Engineers and wetland scientists face challenges with regulatory changes to Clean Water Act

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.

Aquafornia news San Diego County Water Authority

Blog: Essential repairs completed on Pipeline 5 in north county

The San Diego County Water Authority and its contractors have completed essential repairs on a section of Pipeline 5 in North San Diego County between Fallbrook and Escondido. The repairs included installing 156 feet of carbon fiber liner inside the 96-inch pre-stressed concrete cylinder pipe to extend its service life.

Aquafornia news City News Service

EPA wants to spend $300 million for border sewage problem

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

Aquafornia news UC Merced News

Blog: Changing snowmelt threatens San Joaquin Valley ag, way of life

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.

Aquafornia news Torrance Daily Breeze

Lomita receives grant to remove chemical from drinking water

A grant of up to $2 million will allow Lomita to install a filtration system that removes a potentially carcinogenic chemical from its drinking water, allowing the community to resume using groundwater instead of more expensive imported supplies. The small city had taken its sole well offline last year and drained its 5 million gallon reservoir after the levels of benzene discovered in its groundwater exceeded state drinking water standards.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Opinion: Forests can help boost California’s economic recovery

An intense, long and dangerous fire season is projected. Degraded north state watersheds threaten California’s water supply and reliability, and northern rural counties rank among the highest in the nation for unemployment. This combination of risks is daunting, but if addressed together can yield benefits and outcomes far greater than addressing each problem individually.

Aquafornia news Ventura County Star

Oxnard expecting to lose up to $12 million, mulls borrowing from utilities

The city [of Oxnard] is expecting an $8.7 million decrease in general fund revenues for this fiscal year ending June 30. The projection for revenue loss next year is $9 million, although it could be as high as $12 million. Finance and Governance Committee members are expected to hear about a plan to borrow up to $30 million from the three utilities — water, wastewater and solid waste… The loan would need to be repaid on a 10-year schedule with interest.

Aquafornia news UC Riverside

Blog: Rethinking (waste)water and conservation

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 quality…

Aquafornia news AgAlert

Drought, water shortages return to much of state

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.

Aquafornia news Comstock's Magazine

Storm chasers: Real-time weather forecasting is helping to balance the need to store more water while still preventing floods

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 control.

Aquafornia news SJV Water

Blog: Undercurrents of the Kern River’s flow are thick with intrigue, outrage

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.

Aquafornia news Center for Biological Diversity

News release: Protection sought for Southern California freshwater minnow

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.

Aquafornia news Arizona Republic

Opinion – Bruce Babbitt: Here’s how less than 10% of farmland could solve the Colorado River’s water deficit

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..

Commands