Topic: Water Supply


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 California WaterBlog

Blog: How reliable are Groundwater Sustainability Plans?

In principle, evaluating the adequacy of these plans to achieve sustainability should also be simple: Does the anticipated reduction in pumping plus increase in recharge equal or exceed the basin’s long-term rate of overdraft? In practice, however, it’s not so simple.

Aquafornia news Coachella Valley Water District

Blog: Reports show increasing groundwater levels in the Coachella Valley

A new article by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) calls efforts to mitigate land subsidence in the Coachella Valley “an emerging success story,” a finding that is echoed by analysis completed by local water agencies.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Massive California reservoir project scaled back to cut costs

An ambitious plan to build the largest new reservoir in California in 40 years to supply water to homes and businesses from the Bay Area to Los Angeles, along with Central Valley farmers, is being scaled back considerably amid questions about its $5 billion price tag and how much water it can deliver.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Well-known Salton Sea origin story questioned by new research

Being born from an engineering miscalculation on the part of the California Development Company means the Salton Sea has been written off as an “accident” in histories inked on many pages, ranging from The Washington Post to the Daily Mail. But that framing is too simplistic, new research suggests, arguing that the sea’s formation was inevitable, regardless of the famous canal breach in 1905.

Aquafornia news U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

News release: Reclamation seeks input on proposed Friant-Kern Canal capacity fixes

The Bureau of Reclamation and Friant Water Authority seek public input on alternatives to repair a 33-mile stretch of the Friant-Kern Canal in California’s eastern San Joaquin Valley. This stretch of canal has lost over half of its original capacity to convey water due to subsidence—a sinking of the earth from groundwater extraction.

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

California’s shrinking snowpack raises concerns for wildfire season

After an extremely dry winter in Northern California, the window is closing for additional rain that could delay large summer fires. In fact, this week, the state is baking under a spring heat wave, while snow is vanishing from mountain slopes. It is shaping up to be a busy summer fire season not only in California, but in many parts of the West.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

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

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

Aquafornia news Visalia Times Delta

Opinion: California must keep small water systems from failing

In a pandemic when hand-washing could be a matter of life or death, everyone must have access to clean water as a public health issue and a basic human right. But what if you can’t afford your water bill?

Aquafornia news WaterWorld

Water quality issues, safety concerns are significant drags on water utility customer satisfaction

According to the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Water Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study released today, 25 percent of Americans say they never drink their tap water, setting the stage for a serious set of customer satisfaction challenges on the part of regional water utilities.

Aquafornia news U.S. Department of Agriculture

Blog; The Fox Canyon water market: A market-based tool for groundwater conservation goes live

Following passage of SGMA, The Nature Conservancy received a $1.8 million Conservation Innovation Grant from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service to develop the Fox Canyon Water Market. TNC, supported by project partners Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency and California Lutheran University, sought to establish a market-driven approach to reduce groundwater pumping.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

How do salmon always find their way home? Study reveals a remarkable GPS embedded in their skin

For California, the findings could have positive ramifications for the state’s struggling commercial and recreational salmon fishing industry. In recent years, state and federal officials have relied more and more on fish raised in hatcheries that are hauled downriver via boat or in a truck. The hauling somehow throws salmon GPS systems out of whack.

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Aquafornia news KRCR TV

Cal Water gives businesses tips before they open their doors to the public

Cal Water Quality Manager, Loni Lind says water that has been sitting in building pipes can damage the water and bring bacteria. To properly flush start from running the faucet closest to the water meter and move outward to the farthest faucet.

Aquafornia news UC Berkeley

New research shows hydrological limits in carbon capture and storage

New research shows that carbon capture and storage (CCS) could stress water resources in about 43% of the world’s power plants where water scarcity is already a problem. Further, the technology deployed in these water-scarce regions matters, and emerging CCS technologies could greatly mitigate the demand CCS places on water consumption.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Video: The benefits of headwater forest management

At a virtual event last week, PPIC researcher Henry McCann described how improved management can make Sierra forests more resilient and avoid major wildfire-related disasters, and summarized the findings of a new report that identifies the benefits and beneficiaries of such management practices.

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Aquafornia news California Council on Science & Technology

Blog: Measuring the Sierra snowpack to predict water availability for California

As a Science Fellow placed in the California Natural Resources Agency, I hear a lot about these snow surveys; however, it’s one thing to read about the data and the program, and another thing entirely to go outside and participate in sampling. It was fascinating to survey the snow course and follow the same techniques that surveyors have been using for decades to track and manage the snow.

Aquafornia news Somach Simmons & Dunn

Blog: Term 91 curtailments expected; other water rights curtailments unlikely

During the May 5, 2020 State Water Resources Control Board Meeting, Staff and Board members provided an update on prospective water rights curtailments for 2020.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

San Francisco to provide more sinks & toilets for homeless during pandemic

As part of an ongoing effort to protect San Francisco’s homeless population from Covid-19 infection, the city’s Board of Supervisors passed an emergency ordinance Tuesday requiring more restrooms and hand-washing stations for those living on the street.

Aquafornia news Natural Resources Defense Council

Blog: Data show millions at risk of water shutoffs during COVID-19

Despite the incomplete data, based on the examples gathered below from several states and cities, all signs point to millions of people nationwide at immediate risk of shutoff or already shutoff. The numbers are certain to grow as the economic crisis triggered by COVID-19 continues.

Aquafornia news Bakersfield Californian

Opinion: Crops grown with oilfield water OK’d by water quality board

The recycled oilfield water, blended with regular irrigation water, was tested for more than 140 chemical compounds. And 13 different crops — some grown with the oilfield water, some not —showed no uptake of potentially hazardous chemicals from oil production methods.

Aquafornia news National Law Review

Thursday Top of the Scroll: Regulating microplastics in drinking water: California retains its vanguard status

The California State Water Resources Control Board is poised to become “the first regulatory agency in the world to specifically define ‘microplastics in drinking water.’”

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

California appeals court revives water pollution lawsuit

A California appellate court has revived a lawsuit Wednesday from the city of Riverside who claim Black & Decker and several other companies contaminated the local drinking water with chemicals used to make explosive cartridges, flares and rocket fuel.

Aquafornia news Downey Brand

Blog: 22 environmental groups and 19 jurisdictions file suit in three district courts challenging the 2020 WOTUS rule

Last week, environmental groups, states, and cities filed three complaints in differing federal district court challenging The Navigable Waters Protection Rule: Definition of Waters of the United States, which was published in the Federal Register on April 21, 2020, and is currently scheduled to become effective on June 22, 2020.

Aquafornia news NBC San Diego

Double trouble: San Diego’s problematic water meter program may cost twice as much

The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing the city of San Diego to make millions of dollars worth of budget cuts. One project that is not facing cuts is the city’s smart water meter program, or advanced metering infrastructure. The Public Utilities Department, which oversees the program, has instead asked to nearly double the program’s budget.

Aquafornia news U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

News release: Funding opportunity available to build drought resiliency through WaterSMART

The Bureau of Reclamation has released a funding opportunity for communities to take a proactive approach to drought through building projects that increase water supply reliability, improve water management, or provide benefits for fish, wildlife and the environment.

Aquafornia news Manteca Bulletin

Lathrop extends grace period for water cutoffs

The City of Lathrop assured residents impacted by the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic that it would not turn off municipal water to individual homes through the months of March and April for non-payment. And it appears  those assurances will now run through at least the end of May as public health officials and municipalities grapple with the realities of the pandemic and the impacts to local communities.

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Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Opinion: How to waste $1 billion in less than a minute

Why would a public agency support an unnecessary and risky billion-dollar desalination plant and let a private utility profit hundreds of millions of dollars at the public’s expense? Here’s the story.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Water restrictions to be lifted Tuesday while pipeline repairs in Moreno Valley continue

Work to restore a damaged 9-foot diameter water pipeline in Moreno Valley continued Monday, May 4, and outdoor watering restrictions will be lifted for Western Municipal Water District customers starting Tuesday. … The reduced-use directive had been in place since Thursday after a contractor punctured the Santa Ana Valley Pipeline.

Aquafornia news Fox 26 News

Plumbers warn small business owners to run water before reopening

The Fresno Department of Public Utilities says stagnant water can increase copper and lead levels while also growing harmful bacteria inside of pipes. By running the faucets and checking pipes underneath, plumbers say it could save owners hundreds of dollars in repairs.

Aquafornia news Comstock's Magazine

Delta Blues

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

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Monterey Peninsula Water District calls for revisiting Pure Water Monterey expansion report

Monterey Peninsula Water Management District officials have requested the Monterey One Water board certify the Pure Water Monterey expansion project supplemental environmental impact report within 30 days and is withholding more than $600,000 representing part of its share of the environmental review.

Aquafornia news ABC News Bakersfield

California allocates $5 million for lead testing in child care centers

The State Water Resources Control Board has executed an agreement to provide approximately $5 million in grant funds for testing and remediation of lead in drinking water at licensed Child Care Centers in California.

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Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: Water utilities want a bailout. Will Congress listen?

The industry and its advocates … are backing a two-phase plan to extend a lifeline to water utilities and customers who cannot pay their bills during an economic crisis, and to invest for the future. Step one in the plan is the provision of emergency assistance to both groups. There is still a debate about the size of an aid package for utilities and the most efficient and effective way of helping customers. But $1.5 billion in customer assistance is a common starting point in discussions.

Aquafornia news KCET

Farmers hijack community water access despite groundwater act, activists say

These activists say farmers unfairly dominated groundwater sustainability meetings and ultimately steered the planning process in their favor. If the plans are accepted and implemented, they warn, farmers will keep pumping water at unsustainable rates. “All the plans we’ve looked at are going to cause wells to go dry,” said Amanda Monaco, the water policy coordinator for the Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability…

Aquafornia news KSNV TV

Government begins water experiment along Colorado River

The U.S. Department of Interior started a water experiment along the Colorado Friday, May 1, at the Glen Canyon Dam, located near Page Arizona. The experiment is meant to improve the egg-laying conditions for insects that live at least some part of their lives in the water, which are the primary food source for endangered Colorado River fish as well as native fish.

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Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Irrigation restrictions to be lifted Monday for some while pipeline repairs continue in Moreno Valley

The reduced-use directive was put in place after a contractor punctured the 9-foot-diameter Santa Ana Valley Pipeline on Thursday. The water flow in the line has been stopped while repairs take place, and the moves by the districts were to help ensure reserves are not depleted.

Aquafornia news Arizona Republic

Opinion: Tribes need a seat at the Colorado River negotiating table

There are 29 federally recognized tribes across the Colorado River Basin. Together, these tribes have water rights to roughly 20% of the water that flows through the river annually. In Arizona, the Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT) and the Gila River Indian Community (GRIC) were critical partners in making the Drought Contingency Plan possible.

Aquafornia news CalMatters

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

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

Aquafornia news San Diego Reader

Will Covid-19 turn San Diego’s water plan into Toilet to Grave?

“Regulatory guidelines for virus removal in potable reuse systems need additional review for possible more stringent requirements in the event of a coronavirus outbreak,” says an April 2 editorial in the journal Environmental Science and Water Technology, co-authored by Haizhou Liu of UC Riverside’s department of chemical and environmental engineering.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

Blog: April Delta conveyance project update

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

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

California, 15 other states sue over new rule diluting protections for nation’s waterways

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, accuses President Trump and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of illegally exposing waterways to pollution and development by rolling back a key provision of the Clean Water Act.

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Aquafornia news Engineering News-Record

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

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

Aquafornia news Sierra Sun

Truckee accepts $2.31 million for Trout Creek restoration

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

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Monday Top of the Scroll: Drought makes early start of the fire season likely in Northern California

Expanding and intensifying drought in Northern California portends an early start to the wildfire season, and the National Interagency Fire Center is predicting above-normal potential for large wildfires by midsummer. Mountain snowpack has been below average across the High Sierra, southern Cascades and the Great Basin, and the agency warns that these areas need to be monitored closely as fuels continue to dry out.

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Aquafornia news Tahoe Daily Tribune

Tahoe Water Suppliers Association wins water protection award

The American Water Works Association has recognized the Tahoe Water Suppliers Association with the 2020 Exemplary Source Water Protection Award for its high level of protection and preservation of the Lake Tahoe watershed, the region’s primary water source for residents.

Aquafornia news California Trout

Blog: Eel River fish counts are low but hopes are high

While salmon counts are low this year, having accurate information will better inform our conservation efforts. CalTrout has been using a Sonar system to estimate abundance of spawning Chinook Salmon, Coho Salmon, and steelhead on the South Fork Eel River with support from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Steelhead Report and Restoration Card Program.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Friday Top of the Scroll: Season’s last snowpack survey confirms dry winter. California inching toward statewide drought

The last Sierra Nevada snowpack measurement of the season on Thursday confirmed what California officials have feared for months: The state has suffered through a dry winter. … A broader measurement taken by 130 electronic sensors throughout the Sierra revealed an average snow water equivalent of 8.4 inches, or 37 percent of average for this time of year.

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Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Cal Water requests a delay in rate changes

The water utility that serves Chico and Oroville said in a press release that it was asking for the delay because of the coronavirus pandemic. The company wants to postpone all rate increases and says it is “committed to deferring other bill increases during 2020.”

Aquafornia news E&E News

California agencies sue state as irrigation war escalates

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

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Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Restore the Delta webinar on voluntary agreements

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

Aquafornia news U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

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

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

Aquafornia news California Water Environment Association

Blog: West County Wastewater and EBMUD strike agreement saving valuable drinking water

West County Wastewater and East Bay Municipal Utility District announced a recycled water partnership that will preserve valuable drinking water for the region and support West County Wastewater’s ongoing mission of environmental stewardship and protecting public health.

Aquafornia news Point Blue Conservation Science

Blog: A new planting palette for Sierra Meadows

Point Blue Conservation Science is excited to share a new climate-smart resource for Sierra meadow restoration: the Sierra Meadow Planting Palette Tool and Tool User Guide . The purpose of this tool is to help restoration practitioners plan for climate change by identifying plant species that have traits that will increase the likelihood that they will survive, recruit, and continue to provide additional co-benefits under projected future conditions.

Aquafornia news Las Vegas Sun

Opinion: Las Vegas pipeline outcome offers new opportunity

Rural and urban Nevada can both rest a little easier now that the massive pipeline project is not at the forefront of the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s plans. But there is still plenty of work to do to protect and expand the water supply in Las Vegas while doing the same in rural parts of the state.

Aquafornia news SJV Water

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

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

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Environmental groups sue EPA over Clean Water Act rollback

Two separate coalitions of environmental advocacy groups filed litigation on Wednesday against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers challenging the Trump Administration’s rollback of the Clean Water Act.

Aquafornia news WaterWorld

DOE launches $9M desalination prize

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy announced the launch of the $9 million American-Made Challenges: Solar Desalination Prize, a competition to accelerate the development of systems that use solar-thermal energy to produce clean water from very-high-salinity water.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Opinion: Customers at top of Imperial Irrigation District’s COVID-19 response

The situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve and is having a significant impact on our customers and community. IID is monitoring developments closely, and as an essential services provider, is open and well prepared to continue serving all its customers.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

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

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

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Aquafornia news Fairfield Daily Republic

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

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

Aquafornia news Klamath Falls Herald & News

Some Klamath Project irrigators protest Reclamation’s use of water

Some Klamath Project water users on Sunday and Monday protested the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s use of water at the Link River Dam, at one point voicing plans to stay near the dam until Reclamation followed Oregon water law.

Aquafornia news Foothills Sun Gazette

Water shutoff protections become permanent

The mandated policy prohibits shutoffs for at least 60 days following a delinquency and requires water providers to give advanced written notice and make direct contact with the residents before service can be discontinued. It also requires water providers, such as cities, public utility districts and community water systems provide for deferred payments, alternate payment schedules, and an appeals process.

Aquafornia news UC Santa Cruz

Watching the flow of water through oak woodlands at Arbor Creek Experimental Watershed

To understand how these beloved woodlands will fare in a rapidly warming climate, UC Santa Cruz researchers are putting a headwaters stream in the Diablo Range under a hydrological microscope.

Aquafornia news Stanford Water in the West

Fair water

Fairness – or at least the perception of fairness – could play a determining role in the future of California’s groundwater, according to new research. The study, published in Society and Natural Resources, evaluated 137 surveys of Yolo County farmers to gauge their perceptions of fairness for groundwater allocation strategies and dispute resolution options.

Aquafornia news Glenn County Transcript

Sites Reservoir being adjusted for efficiency

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

Aquafornia news The Capistrano Dispatch

South Orange County water reservoir, dam project still moving forward

A dam and reservoir under construction on land acquired from Rancho Mission Viejo has not been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, according to Santa Margarita Water District Deputy General Manager Don Bunts. Recent rainfall, however, has affected the Trampas Canyon Dam and Reservoir project, which intends to store recycled water.

Aquafornia news Cronkite News-Arizona PBS

‘Borrowing from the future’: What an emerging megadrought means for the Southwest

It’s the early 1990s, and Park Williams stands in the middle of Folsom Lake, at the base of the Sierra Nevada foothills in Northern California. He’s not walking on water; severe drought has exposed the lakebed. “I remember being very impressed by the incredible variability of water in the West and how it’s very rare that we actually have just enough water,” said Williams, who went on to become a climate scientist at Columbia University.

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Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Pure Water Monterey expansion environmental report rejected

A proposed Pure Water Monterey expansion at the center of a contentious debate over the future of the Monterey Peninsula’s water supply hit a huge roadblock on Monday night, leaving its future in serious doubt.

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Aquafornia news Water Finance & Management

Poll: 84 percent of Americans want investment in water

A new poll by the Value of Water Campaign released today shows that 84 percent of American voters want state and federal leaders to invest in water infrastructure. The near-unanimous support amid the COVID-19 pandemic reveals that voters value water and want elected officials to prioritize investing in infrastructure — specifically, drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.

Aquafornia news New Times San Luis Obispo

County allocates $4.2 million for Nacimiento pipeline fix

The Lake Nacimiento water pipeline, which delivers supplemental drinking water to several local communities including the city of San Luis Obispo, has been out of commission since September after leaks were discovered in a segment of the 45-mile pipe that traverses the Salinas River.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Marin water district considers ‘very aggressive’ water purchase

Following poor rainfall this winter and rising water demand in recent years, the Marin Municipal Water District is considering a major purchase of Sonoma County water as insurance for a potential dry period.

Aquafornia news Napa Valley Register

In effort to save money, many Napans not paying water bills

A growing number of Napa residents are leaving their water bills unpaid, a trend city officials say is a likely indicator of the economic uncertainty sparked by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. … The number of unpaid bills has shot up, rising more than three-fold and six-fold in the last two billing cycles, respectively, city data shows.

Aquafornia news Sonoma Index Tribune

Work to protect Sonoma beaver lodge begins

To prevent flooding and manage water levels in a Sonoma creek, a pond leveler will be installed where a family of beavers is living, Sonoma County Water Agency officials said. The pond leveler will help water transfer through the beaver dam so that the pond doesn’t cause flooding. It will also assist with maintaining the habitat for the beavers…

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Aquafornia news E&E News

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

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

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

Blog: Supreme Court ruling finds old, new middle ground on Clean Water Act’s application to groundwater

The Court decision introduces the concept of a “functional equivalent of a direct discharge” as a guideline for when a point source discharge must obtain a permit. It cites the case of an injection well receiving pollutant discharge that then travels a few feet through groundwater into navigable waters as a clear case of “functional equivalent” to direct discharge.

Aquafornia news Mount Shasta Herald

County once again faces severe drought

As Siskiyou County slips back into severe drought, members of Siskiyou County’s Groundwater Advisory Committees met last week to continue drafting groundwater management plans as conservation groups, farmers and other special interest groups brace for another dry summer.

Aquafornia news The Atascadero News

Water company finds PFAS in five Atascadero wells

In February 2020, the Water Board adopted new, lower Response Levels for PFOA and PFOS of 10 ppt and 40 ppt, respectively. Four of wells previously sampled under the Water Board’s order now had had PFOA levels above this newly adopted Response Level of 10 ppt. Atascadero Mutual Water Company immediately took these wells out of service.

Aquafornia news Capital Press

Klamath water allocation short of demand for farmers, ranchers

As expected, irrigators in the Klamath Project are getting less water than they will likely need this summer thanks to a combination of dry weather and more water being kept in-stream to protect threatened coho salmon.

Aquafornia news E&E News

Supreme Court: Kavanaugh takes cues from Scalia in groundwater ruling

Justice Brett Kavanaugh was one of six justices who said permits are required if the pollution at issue amounted to the “functional equivalent” of a direct discharge (Greenwire, April 23). But instead of just signing onto the majority opinion written by Justice Stephen Breyer, Kavanaugh penned his own concurrence saying he agreed with the majority opinion “in full.”

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Aquafornia news Highland Community News

Sterling mid-project update

As of March, the East Valley Water District’s Sterling Natural Resource Center construction project reached the halfway point to scheduled completion⎯about 18 months in and 18 months left to work. The water recycling plant will be capable of treating up to 10 million gallons per day, depositing the clean water into percolation ponds in order to recharge the Bunker Hill Basin groundwater.

Aquafornia news Western Farm Press

Measuring groundwater from 300 miles above

Although it isn’t perceptible to the human eye, changes in water mass around the world cause small fluctuations in Earth’s gravity field. This includes water in underground aquifers, which couldn’t be remotely monitored before NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment satellites.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Recycled water project: Pure Water expansion report, conditional approval to be considered

Amid continuing debate over the role the proposed Pure Water Monterey recycled water project expansion will play in the Monterey Peninsula’s water supply, the proposal has reached a key stage. On Monday, the Monterey One Water board is scheduled to consider certifying a final supplemental environmental impact report for the expansion project…

Aquafornia news Arizona Republic

Arizona farmers ‘in limbo’ despite $10 million federal pledge

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved $10 million to help pay for water projects in the farmlands of central Arizona, where growers are bracing for their supply of Colorado River water to be shut off. But those funds, conditionally awarded this month by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, are still subject to negotiations between federal and state officials.

Aquafornia news Klamath Falls Herald & News

Monday Top of the Scroll: Oregon Water Resources Dept. takes charge of Upper Klamath Lake

Oregon Water Resources Director Thomas Byler sent a letter to Reclamation’s Klamath Basin Area Office manager Jeff Nettleton on Thursday, confirming it has taken exclusive charge of Upper Klamath Lake… The order said it prohibits U.S. Bureau of Reclamation from diverting stored water in Upper Klamath Lake through Link River for purposes of a 50,000 acre-feet flushing flow without a water right.

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Aquafornia news The Salt Lake Tribune

Utah county does an about-face, pulls out of Lake Powell pipeline project

For the past decade, Kane County leaders have argued their southern Utah community will need water piped from the Colorado River to meet future needs, but the local water district abruptly announced Thursday it was pulling out of the costly Lake Powell pipeline project, leaving Washington County as the only remaining recipient of the water.

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Aquafornia news Noozhawk

Wet spring provides a big boost to Santa Barbara County’s water supply

It wasn’t exactly a “March Miracle,” but the precipitation Santa Barbara County received this spring rescued what otherwise had been a fairly sorry rain season, and gave a healthy boost to local water supplies. As of Monday, the county as a whole had received 95 percent of its average rainfall to date, according to the county Flood Control District.

Aquafornia news KXTV

‘Extreme’ drought conditions popping up in far Northern California

The US Drought Monitor update released Thursday morning lists far Northern California as the most impacted by a lackluster rain and snow season. Some areas such as Eureka and Mount Shasta are down more than 15″ of rain from their averages for the season so far.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Friday Top of the Scroll: Clean Water Act covers groundwater discharges, Supreme Court rules

The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the Clean Water Act applies to some pollutants that reach the sea and other protected waters indirectly through groundwater. The case, County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund, No. 18-260, concerned a wastewater treatment plant on Maui, Hawaii, that used injection wells to dispose of some four million gallons of treated sewage each day…

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Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

News release: DWR awards $25.4 million in grants to support local water supply projects

The funding will support projects such as groundwater recharge and stormwater management located near Fresno and Bakersfield, as well as California’s North Coast. More than half of the funding will be awarded for projects that help disadvantaged and underrepresented communities, including Tribal Governments.

Aquafornia news Sites Project Authority

News release: Sites Project Authority to “right size” Sites Reservoir to meet current and future needs

Over the past several months, the Authority has undertaken a rigorous Value Planning effort to review the project’s proposed operations and facilities in an effort to develop a project that is “right sized” for current participants while still providing water supply reliability and enhancing the environment.The process has resulted in a project that includes facilities and operations that are different than originally proposed…

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Environment

California’s Owens Valley tapped for geothermal energy leasing

Geothermal leasing on previously protected federal lands in California’s Owens Valley will move ahead, despite protests from local water districts and environmental groups.

Aquafornia news Sacramento Water Forum

News release: Water Forum marks 20 years of collaboration and progress on the Lower American River

When the Water Forum Agreement was officially signed 20 years ago, the occasion marked an unprecedented show of regional cooperation. For years, interests representing business, the environment, water suppliers and others had sparred over the water needs of people vs. the environment of the lower American River.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Western Groundwater Congress: Water resources management in the Pajaro Valley Basin

The Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency has been working toward sustainable management of the Pajaro Valley’s water resources. At the 2019 Western Groundwater Congress, General Manager Brian Lockwood discussed the projects and programs the Agency is implementing as they work towards achieving groundwater sustainability.

Aquafornia news American Rivers

Blog: Clean water in a time of coronavirus: Tackling the crisis in California

In many areas of the Central Valley and Central Coast, decades of intensive agriculture has resulted in groundwater too polluted to drink, and wells that have gone dry from over-pumping. More than one million people in these regions lack a source of clean water in their homes. This is a hardship even in the best of times, but it puts communities at extremely high risk during this time of crisis.

Aquafornia news Foothills Sun Gazette

UC researchers study Valley drought in Canada

Samantha Ying and Michael Schaefer, both from the Department of Environmental Sciences at University of California (UC) Riverside, are part of a team set on untangling the mystery of a practice upon which farmers have relied for centuries to reduce water use—cover crops.

Aquafornia news Klamath Falls Herald & News

Reclamation begins Klamath River flushing flows for salmon health

The Bureau of Reclamation, in coordination with PacifiCorp, plans to increase flows below Iron Gate Dam to reduce the risk of disease for coho salmon in the Klamath River. Starting Wednesday, April 22, flows below Iron Gate Dam will increase from approximately 1,325 cubic feet per second up to 6,000 cfs.

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Aquafornia news Plumas News

PG&E to begin work on Lower Bucks Lake

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) announced that it will be upgrading the Lower Bucks Lake Dam this year by attaching a waterproof membrane to the upstream surface of the dam to prevent seepage and extend the dam’s service life.

Aquafornia news NOAA

Blog: How microplastics travel in the Southern California Bight

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

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Blog: Water availability for San Joaquin Valley farms: A balancing act

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.

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Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Opinion: California should not build Temperance Flat Reservoir. The federal government should

With the realization that California has decades worth of opposition to building reservoirs on its record, it now makes sense to take the dam application, submitted and approved by them, to the federal government for help instead.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Environment

Senate water bills need more funding due to pandemic: Witnesses

Two bipartisan draft water infrastructure bills unveiled this week by the Senate environment committee are a good start but will need even more funding in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, water agencies and other groups said Wednesday.

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Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Lewis MacAdams, famed crusader for the Los Angeles River, dies at 75

Lewis MacAdams, a poet and crusader for restoring the concrete Los Angeles River to a more natural state and co-founder of one of the most influential conservation organizations in California, has died. He was 75.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Protective gear in low supply for U.S. water utilities

Utilities are reporting in industry surveys that they are low primarily on the specialized N95 masks that block viruses and other tiny particles. If the virus rampages throughout a utility’s work force the way it has in meat-processing facilities in Colorado, Iowa, and South Dakota, it could jeopardize the treatment and delivery of drinking water and the proper handling of sewage and stormwater.

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Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

San Diego plans to spend $70M upgrading sewer, water pipes near San Diego State

Several streets in neighborhoods near San Diego State will be torn up for short periods over the next four years so the city can widen and upgrade sewer and water lines that lead to the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Aquafornia news E&E News

Clean Water Act: Trump’s rewrite is finalized. What happens now?

Publication starts a 60-day clock before the rule goes into effect and waves a green flag for an onslaught of lawsuits likely to be filed around the country. The litigation will undoubtedly run beyond Election Day, so the future of the rule likely depends on whether Trump wins a second term.

Aquafornia news Food and Environment Reporting Network

Coronavirus forces California farmworkers to scramble for safe drinking water

Some 1 million residents of California farmworker communities have relied for years on bottled water because their tap water is tainted with nitrate and other agricultural pollutants. Now, as stores ration water to prevent hoarding during the coronavirus crisis, these residents are relying on friends and family, or driving many miles to bigger towns in search of water

Aquafornia news U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

News release: Reclamation updates 2020 Central Valley Project water allocation for Friant Division

Today, the Bureau of Reclamation updated the water supply allocation for Friant Division Central Valley Project contracts for the 2020 contract year. The Friant Division provides water for 15,000 family farms and several cities in the Central Valley. … Given the current hydrologic conditions, Reclamation is increasing the Class 1 allocation from 40% to 55%; Class 2 remains at 0%.

Aquafornia news Pacific Institute

Blog: When utilities shut off water for the poor, we are all at risk

This question has taken on greater urgency in the era of the coronavirus, when every neighbor touching the crosswalk signal, or coughing on their way to the grocery store, is a potential source of a fatal disease. To effectively flatten the curve, it’s not enough to wash your own hands. We need everyone in the community to do the same.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

EPA finalizes rollback of water pollution safeguards

Pulling the plug on the eve of Earth Day, the Environmental Protection Agency eliminated critical pollution rules from the Obama era that had safeguarded at-risk ecosystems and drinking water across the country. The new Navigable Waters Protection Rule, in the works since President Donald Trump’s inauguration, was finalized Tuesday.

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Aquafornia news The Mendocino Voice

Chinook salmon runs reached significant low in 2019 – 2020 season

Counts of Chinook salmon in the Eel River were lower during the 2019 – 2020 ocean runs than any previous count conducted by the Eel River Recovery Project since the organization began tracking in 2012, according a new report, with estimates the entire Chinook salmon run below 10,000 fish.

Aquafornia news Arizona Public Media

Report: Arizona’s Colorado River water supply will hold steady next year

Under the drought contingency plan hammered out by Colorado River Basin states last year, Arizona agreed to voluntarily reduce its water use by 192,000 acre-feet, or about 7%, leaving that water in Lake Mead to help reduce the likelihood of greater cutbacks down the road. Tom Buschatzke, director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources, says data from a new Bureau of Reclamation report show that plan is working.

Aquafornia news The HIll

Opinion: Free-flowing rivers help ecosystems, wildlife, people and the economy

Now, just as the first Earth Day in 1970 gave U.S. policymakers a chance to chart a fresh course for conservation, this year’s 50th anniversary offers lawmakers an opportunity to act on a growing body of evidence that free-flowing, well-protected rivers serve the greater public good.

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Aquafornia news San Joaquin Valley Sun

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

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

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Aquafornia news Bloomberg Law

California’s urban water suppliers must report monthly use

California’s 410 urban water suppliers will be required to report monthly use and conservation data to state regulators, under a resolution the State Water Resources Control Board passed Tuesday. The vote makes permanent a voluntary program that dates back to California’s devastating 2012-2016 drought.

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Aquafornia news AgNet West

150 ag and water groups call for water relief

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

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Aquafornia news The Nation

The extinction crisis devastating San Francisco Bay

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

Aquafornia news Monterey County Weekly

The coming battles over Monterey Peninsula water will be fought on Zoom

From the safety of their coronavirus shelters, the water warriors of the Monterey Peninsula carry on the fight, and so can you. … The environmental merits of removing the local water system from private ownership and placing it under the control of a government agency will be discussed in a virtual public scoping meeting on April 21 at 5pm, via Zoom video conference. 

Aquafornia news Klamath Falls Herald & News

Parties support request for Supreme Court review in water takings case

The case was filed in late 2001, the year there was an announcement that no water would be available for Klamath Project irrigation from Upper Klamath Lake. The plaintiffs claim that if the water is taken under the Endangered Species Act, the fifth amendment of the U.S. Constitution requires payment of compensation for the water right, a form of property, that has been taken.

Aquafornia news H2O Radio

Audio: Buildings shut down for weeks may have contaminated water in their pipes

With the current shutdown many offices, schools, gyms, and facilities are unoccupied. When those buildings reopen and people return, it’s possible that water left sitting in pipes for long periods could contain excessive amounts of heavy metals and could be contaminated with bacteria—like the kind that causes Legionnaires’ disease.

Aquafornia news Gardnerville Record Courier

A dam site longer than anticipated

It has been 30 years since the last time a dam was seriously considered on the East Fork [of the Carson River] as a means to reduce flooding and increase water for agriculture and other uses. … The East Fork begins near the base of Sonora Peak in California. The river’s upper gorge was carved out by a 16-mile glacier coming off the 11,500-foot high mountain. It is one of only two major free-flowing rivers in the Eastern Sierra.

Aquafornia news Western Water

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

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

Aquafornia news Arizona Public Radio

USBR forecasts “Tier Zero” shortage on Colorado River

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation released projections for the Colorado River’s water supply for the next two years. … Lake Mead is projected to fall into “Tier Zero” conditions for 2021 and 2022. That’s a new designation under the Drought Contingency Plan which requires Arizona, Nevada and Mexico take cuts in their water supply.

Aquafornia news Arizona Republic

Navajo Nation: Water shortage is contributing to COVID-19 spread

While the virus has attuned the whole country to the idea of “wash your hands for 20 seconds,” at least 15% of Navajo Nation homes have no running water at all, according to the official tribal tally. … The lack of water access has roots in the history of tribal reservations and federal land use, the byzantine nature of western water law, and the broader lack of infrastructure funding for the Navajo Nation, tribal members and experts said. 

Aquafornia news Water Power Magazine

USBR resumes seismic safety project at Boca Dam

The US Bureau of Reclamation is to resume a seismic safety modification project at Boca Dam near Truckee in California today, following its seasonal closure in November 2019, with social distancing guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other COVID-19 precautions to be followed during construction.

Aquafornia news Porterville Recorder

Dems call for state, feds to coordinate water rules

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

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Aquafornia news Somach Simmons & Dunn

Blog: Baley v. United States: Water users in the Klamath Project petition the U.S. Supreme Court for certiorari

On March 13, 2020, water users in the Klamath Reclamation Project (Project) petitioned the United States Supreme Court to review the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in Baley, et al. v. United States, et al. (Baley). The decision denied the water users’ takings claims for the 2001 Project water shutoff on water law grounds.

Aquafornia news San Diego County Water Authority

Blog: San Diego mayor thanks water treatment plant employees

Following efforts to increase safety measures throughout all City departments to stop the spread of COVID-19, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer toured the Alvarado Water Treatment Plant on Friday to observe increased safety protocols. He also thanked City employees as they continue to deliver safe, reliable water to over 1.4 million San Diegans.

Aquafornia news CALmatters

Opinion: California water war re-ignited

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

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

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

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

Aquafornia news Arizona Republic

How Mexico’s dry Colorado River Delta is being restored piece by piece

In the past decade, environmental groups have had success bringing back patches of life in parts of the river delta. In these green islands surrounded by the desert, water delivered by canals and pumps is helping to nourish wetlands and forests. Cottonwoods and willows have been growing rapidly. Birds have been coming back and are singing in the trees.

Aquafornia news Woodland Daily Democrat

Yolo Basin Foundation names new director

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

Aquafornia news Monterey County Weekly

The coming battles over Monterey Peninsula water will be fought on Zoom

From the safety of their coronavirus shelters, the water warriors of the Monterey Peninsula carry on the fight, and so can you. … The environmental merits of removing the local water system from private ownership and placing it under the control of a government agency will be discussed in a virtual public scoping meeting on April 21 at 5pm, via Zoom video conference. 

Western Water Gary Pitzer Gary Pitzer

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

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

Aquafornia news Association of State Drinking Water Administrators

Blog: COVID-19 resources for building water systems

The extensive COVID-19 “stay-at-home” orders across the country have resulted in many commercial buildings (offices, hotels, stadiums, medical facilities, etc.) with reduced or no water use. … Because of these conditions there are special considerations for building water systems that continue to operate in low water flow environments as well as actions that will need to be considered when buildings reopen to ensure safe water.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Western Groundwater Congress: Utilizing excess winter stormwater flows for groundwater recharge

Kristin Sicke is Assistant General Manager for Yolo County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, which manages water supplies for 200,000 acres in western Yolo County, which encompasses Woodland, Davis, and the surrounding area. In this presentation from the 2019 Western Groundwater Congress, Ms. Sicke describes the district’s efforts to use winter stormwater flows for groundwater recharge in the Yolo subbasin.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Friday Top of the Scroll: Study — CA and West suffering worst ‘megadrought’ in centuries

Officially, California’s most recent drought lasted five painful years and ended in 2017. But a new study released Thursday says California and the rest of the West are enduring a continuing megadrought that ranks among the worst on record.

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Aquafornia news Science

Droughts exposed California’s thirst for groundwater. Now, the state hopes to refill its aquifers

Groundwater science is taking on a new urgency as California and other regions around the world face growing threats from drought—and are increasingly drilling wells to make up for missing rain and snow. Globally, aquifers are “highly stressed” in 17 countries that hold one-quarter of the world’s population… Water and food supplies for billions of people are under threat. California is a case study in the challenges of protecting those resources.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Northwest California drought grows, south benefits from rain

Record-breaking April rains eliminated all drought and abnormal dryness from Southern California and up the Central Coast through Monterey County, but drought has worsened in northwestern California, the U.S. Drought Monitor said Thursday.

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Aquafornia news FishBio

Blog: Heart of Santa Cruz: Updates from the State of the San Lorenzo Symposium

Since this year marked the first since 1862 that not a single drop of rain fell in Santa Cruz County during the month of February, efforts to sustainably manage water were at the forefront of the conversation. The symposium kicked off with an introduction from County Supervisor Bruce McPherson, who discussed the ongoing work to develop sustainable groundwater management plans…

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Coronavirus: More members of Congress support water aid

The number of supporters in Congress for utility assistance in the next Covid-19 package continues to grow. One hundred ten Democratic members of the House and Senate sent a letter today to congressional leaders, requesting financial aid to utilities and the people they serve during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Aquafornia news The Nevada Independent

Water authority shelves controversial Las Vegas pipeline project

The Southern Nevada Water Authority is ending a decades-long effort to build a controversial 300-mile pipeline to pump rural groundwater from eastern Nevada to Las Vegas. On Thursday afternoon, the water authority confirmed in a statement that it would not appeal a recent court ruling that denied the agency a portion of its water rights.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

The evolution of environmental flows in California

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

Aquafornia news SJV Water

Blog: Legal fight reopened over Kern River

The Kern River can’t seem to stay out of California’s courtrooms — even in a pandemic. … On Friday, April 9, North Kern Water Storage District unsuccessfully sought to have a Ventura County court slap a temporary restraining order on the City of Bakersfield to force it to hold 20,000 acre feet of water in Lake Isabella to sell to the ag water district later on.

Aquafornia news Water Power Magazine

Largest dam removal project in US takes further step forward

The Klamath River Renewal Corporation’s plans to remove four dams on the Klamath River in the US has taken a major step forward with the issuance of key documents from the California State Water Board. The plan – the largest dam removal project in the US – would re-open 360 miles of the Klamath River and its tributaries to salmon.

Aquafornia news Water Finance & Management

The economics of water main failures

Most municipalities that have been maintaining aging infrastructure for decades simply absorb the effort and costs required to repair water main pipeline breaks when they occur. Seldom do many municipalities make the efforts required to track the costs and evaluate the cost benefit of proactively rehabilitating the existing pipe line versus continuing to repair emergency breaks.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

Blog: DWR releases drought planning report

The Department of Water Resources has released a draft report with recommendations and guidance to help small water suppliers and rural communities plan for the next drought, wildfire, or other natural disaster that may cause water shortages.

Aquafornia news NBC Los Angeles

Wave of spring storms wipes out drought in all of Southern California

Spring storms that included five consecutive days of soaking rain last week knocked out drought conditions in Southern California, according to this week’s U.S. Drought Monitor report.

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Aquafornia news Science

How a team of scientists studying drought helped build the world’s leading famine prediction model

Chris Funk, climate scientist, and geographer Greg Husak at the UC Santa Barbara Climate Hazards Center, practice what they call “humanitarian earth system science.” Working with partners funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, they have refined their forecasts over 20 years from basic weather monitoring to a sophisticated fusion of climate science, agronomy, and economics that can warn of drought and subsequent famines months before they arise.

Aquafornia news Reno Gazette Journal

Tribes protest Nevada mine expansion, groundwater pumping plan

Opponents of the mine expansion in Elko County are worried about phase two of the Long Canyon Mine near Wells that includes a dewatering plan that would pump billions of gallons of water annually from an aquifer deep below the Pequop Range and Goshute Valley.

Aquafornia news California Ag Today

Helping dairy operators protect groundwater

Over the last 20 years, UC research has shown that dairies in the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys are potentially major contributors of nitrate and salts in groundwater. To maintain the quality of this irreplaceable natural resource, the California Water Resources Control Board has ramped up regulations to ensure that diary manure and wastewater application isn’t contaminating the aquifer.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

More drought on tap for Western US amid low river flows

The models show drought is expected to keep its hold over the mountains along the New Mexico-Colorado border that feed the Rio Grande, while California, Nevada and other southwestern states aren’t likely to see a reprieve from dry conditions through June.

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Aquafornia news California Health Report

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: For Californians without water access, coronavirus adds another layer of struggle

Lucy Hernandez knew something was wrong when she arrived at a Walmart store in Visalia, California, last month, shortly before Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a statewide stay-at-home order to slow the spread of the coronavirus. On the normally well-stocked shelves, Hernandez couldn’t find bottled water.

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Aquafornia news Bloomberg Environment

California water supplier heading to court in state permit fight

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

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Handwashing in a time of COVID-19: A DIY Los Angeles Story

City leaders, concerned that the new coronavirus could spread rapidly in the absence of adequate hygiene, ordered 250 public handwashing stations in mid-March. Even those that did arrive in Skid Row were prone to failure. According to a street survey conducted a few days following the city’s action, several of the stations there lacked water and soap.

Aquafornia news

Feds cut water to exchange contractors, wildlife refuges

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced a water allocation update Monday and it had disappointing news for some San Joaquin Valley farmers, as well as wildlife refuges. The San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors saw their allocation cut from February’s announced 100% to 75%, which is their contract minimum. Wildlife refuges likewise were reduced from 100% to 75%.

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Aquafornia news CBS 8

2nd crew begins work at Carlsbad desalination plant amid COVID-19 pandemic

A 10-person crew is in the midst of a three-week shelter-in-place shift at the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant, relieving an initial crew that self-quarantined on site for three weeks to continue producing clean drinking water for county residents amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Blog: Wastewater treatment kills most pathogens, including COVID-19 virus

Californians reuse treated wastewater as a water supply, to irrigate crops, and to support freshwater ecosystems. To get answers to questions about managing the new coronavirus in the “sewershed,” we talked to two experts: Kara Nelson, an expert in waterborne pathogens at UC Berkeley; and Adam Link, executive director of the California Association of Sanitation Agencies.

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Aquafornia news Western Water

With sustainability plans filed, groundwater agencies now must figure out how to pay for them

Local agencies in the most depleted groundwater basins in California spent months putting together plans to show how they will achieve balance in about 20 years. Now, after submitting those plans to the state in January, groundwater sustainability agencies (GSAs) must figure how to pay for them.

Aquafornia news Northern California Water Association

Blog: Too big to dream? A landscape-scale approach to re-envision our floodplains in the Sacramento Valley for multiple benefits

How critical are Sacramento Valley floodplains for a vibrant fishery? A California Fish and Game Bulletin from 1930 gives us a clue. The report documents the Sacramento River commercial salmon catch declining from 6 million pounds in 1918 to less than 1 million pounds by 1927.

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Aquafornia news

When buildings reopen, will the water be safe?

It’s possible that water left sitting for long periods of time could contain excessive amounts of heavy metals and pathogens concentrated in pipes nationwide, say [Purdue University] researchers who have begun a field study on the impact of a pandemic shutdown on buildings.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

House bill would ban water shutoffs, require water service reconnection

Legislation introduced in the House on Friday would offer states and tribes $1.5 billion to aid low-income households with their water bills. There is a catch. To receive aid, states and tribes must agree not to turn off water to homes during the coronavirus public health emergency. They must also agree to reconnect water service to homes in which water was previously turned off.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Law

Lawsuits vowed as feds, California take divergent water routes

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

Aquafornia news Vacaville Reporter

Groundwater education continues for eastern Solano schools

In 2018, a nonprofit freshwater conservation and restoration organization known as The Freshwater Trust contracted with the Solano Resource Conservation District to create hands-on, regionally specific groundwater education lessons to schools located within the Solano County sub-basin. The success of these educational programs has resulted in a renewed partnership between the two organizations…

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

Monday Top of the Scroll: Rare April deluge boosts Southern California rainfall to normal levels after bone-dry winter

Since March 10, the weather station on the University of Southern California’s campus has seen just under seven inches of rain, or nearly half of all taken in for the entire water year. If that sounds like a lot for March and April, it is. According to historic norms, the average rainfall during those two months is 3.34 inches.

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Aquafornia news SJV Water

Blog: Price of reclaimed water still too high for ag

If you’re a Central Valley farmer and haven’t yet been hit up by someone about reusing crummy water for irrigation — just wait. Companies are springing up all over with the latest gizmo they believe will take nasty, salty water, mostly from shallow aquifers on the valley’s west side or oilfield produced water, and make clean “new” irrigation water.

Aquafornia news Reno Gazette Journal

Opinion: Without the Carson River, Nevada might not be here!

Without the river, there would not have been an Emigrant Trail through this site, gold would not have been discovered in Dayton and who knows when the Comstock Lode would have been discovered and Nevada might not even be Nevada today!

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

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

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

Aquafornia news Manteca Bulletin

Lathrop spending $805K in bid to salvage water well

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

Aquafornia news The Weather Channel

40 atmospheric rivers have hit West Coast since October, but California had just 1 strong one and it’s paying the price

More than three dozen atmospheric rivers made landfall on the West Coast from fall through early spring, but a lack of strong events in California led to the development of drought conditions in parts of the state.

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Aquafornia news East County Today

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

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

Aquafornia news The Mountain Democrat

Save the Canal lawsuit denied by judge

A lawsuit over the El Dorado Irrigation District’s plan to pipe the Upper Main Ditch was denied by Superior Court Judge Dylan Sullivan in a final ruling issued March 27. The lawsuit filed by a Pollock Pines-based group called Save the Canal challenged approval of the project and certification of the project’s Environment Impact Report…

Aquafornia news AgNet West

Lawmakers urge Governor Newsom to reconsider incidental take permit

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

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Aquafornia news NOAA Fisheries

Blog: West Coast salmon fishing and southern residents: Part 1

Southern Resident killer whales have long pursued the biggest and most nourishing Chinook salmon from coastal Pacific waters. Chinook salmon fishing is also a mainstay of the West Coast economy, generating nearly $72 million in income last year. Is there room for both? The answer is yes, with safeguards.

Aquafornia news Karma

Data centers buzz as COVID-19 bolsters network use, stressing water supplies where they’re tightest

While the coronavirus is giving the planet’s environment a respite from pollution, not all resources are getting a break. Groundwater supplies, particularly in drier parts of the U.S., are being tapped more than ever by the enormous data centers run by Microsoft, Google and other tech giants, which require vast quantities of water for cooling and power generation.

Aquafornia news Corning Observer

Battle Creek in Tehama County site of grant funding

Lower Battle Creek in Tehama County is one of the 19 waterways to be part of the Wildlife Conservation Board $24.3 million grant program set to help enhance flows in streams throughout California. … The project will dedicate water rights to instream flow in the lower 7.3 miles of Battle Creek to restore dwindling Chinook salmon and steelhead

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Environmental review for public water takeover bid gets under way

A full environmental review of a proposed public buyout of California American Water’s local water system is underway despite the coronavirus pandemic that a top Monterey Peninsula Water Management District official says has slowed work on the takeover bid.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Eric Averett: Water allocation strategies in the context of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act

Eric Averett is General Manager with the Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District, which is one of several water districts within Kern County. … In this presentation from the Western Groundwater Congress, Mr. Averett discusses how his district and Kern County have been grappling with how to establish groundwater pumping allocations.

Aquafornia news Wired

Thursday Top of the Scroll: One way to potentially track COVID-19 — Sewage surveillance

How many people have been infected with the new coronavirus? A group of Bay Area researchers aims to find out—by tracking what’s in the local wastewater.

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Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Water law symposium: The battle over the raising of Shasta Dam

At the 2020 California Water Law Symposium, a panel discussed the history of the project. Speaking on the panel was Chief Caleen Sisk with the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, Doug Obegi with the Natural Resources Defense Council, and Darcie Houck who is currently General Counsel with California Energy Commission, but formerly represented the Winnemem Wintu Tribe when she was in private practice.

Aquafornia news NBC Las Vegas

Construction finishes on $650 million water pumping station at Lake Mead

The $650 million project at Lake Mead was finished on time and came in under budget, marking a big step in new infrastructure that is critical in preserving reliable water delivery for the valley. The pumping station holds a capacity to deliver 900 million gallons of water per day to two of Southern Nevada Water Authority’s treatment facilities.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Water shutoffs are suspended, but the bills will still be due

Even though many utilities will not be shutting off water in the coming weeks and months, household water bills will continue to arrive. Residents are expected to pay those bills after the emergency orders are lifted. That could pose problems down the road for both individuals and utilities, argues Greg Pierce, associate director of the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation.

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Aquafornia news Capital Press

Klamath Project water allocation could fall well short of demand

Farms and ranches in the Klamath Project will likely have far less water during the 2020 irrigation season than they did a year ago, with at least one forecast predicting water supplies will be less than half of typical demand.

Aquafornia news Pacific Institute

Blog: Corporate water stewardship in the Colorado River Basin

This report, “Scaling Corporate Water Stewardship to Address Water Challenges in the Colorado River Basin,” examines a set of key corporate water stewardship actions and activities, with associated drivers and barriers, to identify how the private sector could help tackle Colorado River water challenges.

Aquafornia news Natural Resources Defense Council

Blog: The lawlessness of the Trump administration hits #CaWater

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

Aquafornia news AgAlert

Opinion: It’s time to start a different conversation about water

Against the terrible news of a national emergency, it’s perhaps difficult to focus on our water situation. Recall that January and February were bone-dry; March and April bore us a couple of storms, but it was too little, too late. It was a very dry winter, overall. … That puts us in the position of another “do or die” year for precipitation next winter, an altogether familiar proposition in California. We all know: It rains a bunch all at once in some years, and then we go dry for a number of years after that.

Aquafornia news Military Times

Here’s the latest count of suspected bases with toxic “forever chemicals” in the water

Cancer-linked per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, collectively known as PFAS, have been confirmed at 328 sites, according to Pentagon data analyzed by Environmental Working Group, and are suspected on about 350 more Defense Department installations and sites.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Law

Democrats, nonprofits urge Congress to help keep water flowing

Republican and Democratic congressional leaders were urged Tuesday to include at least $12.5 billion in stimulus funds to help people struggling to pay their water and sewer bills. Congress is preparing another stimulus package that will include billions of dollars to improve the nation’s aging water and sewer infrastructure.

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Aquafornia news KQED News

After 9-month pause, California issuing fracking permits again

State oil and gas regulators have granted permits for hydraulic fracturing, the controversial drilling technique known as fracking, for the first time since last summer. The California Geologic Energy Management Division, or CalGEM, last week issued permits to Aera Energy, a joint venture of Shell and ExxonMobil, for “well stimulation” work in two Kern County oil fields.

Aquafornia news State Water Resources Control Board

News Release: State water board issues key documents that further efforts to remove Klamath River dams

The State Water Board today issued key documents that move the Klamath River Renewal Corporation significantly closer to removing four dams and re-opening 360 miles of the Klamath River and its tributaries to imperiled salmon.

Aquafornia news Pacific Institute

Blog: Stormwater capture is undervalued in California

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

Aquafornia news PlanetWatch

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

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

Aquafornia news AgNet West

Friant Division contractors getting more water

In a recent announcement from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR), Friant Division contractors will be receiving an increased water allocation. USBR has doubled the Class 1 allocation to 40 percent for Friant Division Central Valley Project contracts for the 2020 contract year.

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Aquafornia news San Joaquin Valley Sun

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

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