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 Capital Press

9th Circuit revives Clean Water Act lawsuit over tile drains

A federal appeals court has revived a lawsuit that alleges tile drains in California’s Central Valley discharge pollutants in violation of the Clean Water Act.

Aquafornia news U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

News release: Reclamation and DWR to restore floodplain habitat for endangered salmon in the Yolo Bypass

The Bureau of Reclamation, in coordination with the California Department of Water Resources, today announced its decision to move forward with a restoration project to improve fish passage and increase floodplain fisheries-rearing habitat in the Yolo Bypass.

Aquafornia news CALMatters

Opinion: In going after Trump, California is going too far with environmental legislation

We cannot advance the fight for environmental quality by declaring that all science stopped on a specific date. If it’s dumb for the President to close his eyes to science, it’s dumber for us to follow him down that rabbit hole.

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Aquafornia news American Rivers

Blog: A programmatic approach to dam removal and river restoration

Removing one obsolete dam is an accomplishment. Removing more than 30 in one year is unheard of. Yet, that’s exactly what Cleveland National Forest did in 2018. They removed 33 dams, which accounted for more than 40% of all dam removals in the United States in 2018.

Aquafornia news Union of Concerned Scientists

Blog: The world is in a water crisis and climate change is making it worse

Presently, three (Los Angeles, Phoenix, and San Diego) of the top ten most populous cities in the US–home to about 7 million people–are within ‘extremely high’ water stress regions. … Twenty years from now, another four cities (New York, Chicago, San Antonio, and San Jose) may experience such conditions.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: ‘Blob’ of warm Pacific water is back — could be trouble for marine life and weather

The mass of unusually warm water, known officially as the Northeast Pacific Marine Heatwave of 2019, is the second largest in 40 years. Experts say it is behaving in the same way and is on a trajectory to be as strong as the infamous blob that disrupted the entire West Coast ocean ecosystem from 2014 to 2016.

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

Blog: The good, the bad, and the ugly of California’s state-mandated urban water conservation

The state’s drought response was seen by some as an overwhelming success and by others as an unprecedented, and possibly illegal, invasion of local water suppliers’ management… Through analyzing the practical outcomes of the state’s drought response, the overall experience can be distilled into what worked and what didn’t.

Aquafornia news Davis Enterprise

Opinion: Residential graywater for outdoor irrigation

When the next drought rolls around, and it will, we could be sitting pretty with healthy trees and landscapes using less water from the Sierra than we do now. How could we accomplish this? The answer is graywater, defined in California as the discharge from laundry wash water, showers, and bathroom sinks.

Aquafornia news Oroville Mercury-Register

Editorial: Chico, Paradise problems may have single solution

Of all the chicken-or-the-egg dilemmas that will determine Paradise’s recovery from the Camp Fire, water may be the most critical. To rebuild, the town needs water from the Paradise Irrigation District. To survive, PID needs the town to rebuild. One can’t happen without the other, and it’s been tough to figure out how it’s going to work.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

News release: Pyramid Dam modernization project kicks off: DWR assesses spillways this fall

Today, the California Department of Water Resources began assessment work on Pyramid Dam’s spillways in Los Angeles County as part of a statewide effort to reduce seismic and hydrologic risk to State Water Project facilities spanning 705 miles throughout California.

Aquafornia news USA Today

California’s wildfire season is off to a quiet start. That could change this week

Forecasts of strong winds in Southern California this week have heightened concerns that the state’s fire season, tame in its early stages compared to the devastation of last year, could swing into destructive, even deadly mode.

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Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Opinion: Newsom plan best to fix California water woes

We applaud Gov. Gavin Newsom’s efforts in leading discussions with the United States Department of the Interior, public water agencies and environmental groups to craft voluntary agreements that will restore the ecological health of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta while providing California with clean, reliable water.

Aquafornia news St. George News

Utah water managers seek public input on regional water conservation plans

According to a draft of the Utah Regional Water Conservation Plan, the Lower Colorado River South region … is slated to reduce water use 14%, to 262 gallons per capita by 2030 and ultimately 22%, with 237 gallons per capita by 2065. … New laws and ordinances may be passed to help enforce reduced water use.

Aquafornia news Western Farm Press

Dairy lagoon water successfully blended in subsurface drip systems

Using dairy lagoon water to irrigate silage corn is standard practice. Running the thick, nutrient-rich water through subsurface drip systems could someday be just that as two California dairy farms, an irrigation company, and an environmental organization are working together to solve the challenges involved in the water thrifty practice.

Aquafornia news The Record Gazette

Water meters in Banning are getting smarter

The city council approved paying Zenner USA … $1.6 million to purchase automatic metering infrastructure, water meters, communications equipment and software and hardware at its Aug. 27 meeting. The meters themselves will be made in Banning. … The city is in the process of converting from manual meter reading to relying instead on automatic meter reading…

Aquafornia news Valley Public Radio

Audio: The Friant-Kern Canal is sinking. Thirty-mile parallel canal proposed

The Friant-Kern Canal, which delivers water to farms and communities on the east side of the Valley, is literally sinking in some areas due to groundwater pumping. And with one week to go before the California legislature wraps up its 2019 session, many hope the state will help fund the canal’s repair.

Aquafornia news Klamath Falls Herald & News

Lower Klamath refuge to start getting water

This delivery, on top of water already being provided, comes at a critical time for fall waterfowl migration, and has become available through extensive coordination and efforts by Klamath Project irrigators.

Aquafornia news Arizona Daily Star

Ancient watering hole in Southern Arizona at risk from border wall construction

An ancient spring near Lukeville has slaked the thirst of desert travelers for centuries, but its days may be numbered as groundwater is pumped to build a 30-foot border wall.

Aquafornia news The Ukiah Daily Journal

Ukiah’s wastewater no longer being wasted

The city of Ukiah made its first delivery of recycled water through its extensive Purple Pipe system this week, putting about 2 million gallons of water reclaimed from local sinks, showers and toilets into an irrigation pond just south of the Ukiah Valley Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Aquafornia news Redding Record-Searchlight

Shasta Dam case appealed to California Supreme Court

Westlands Water District has filed an appeal with the California Supreme Court in an attempt to overturn a lower court ruling and get on with assessing the effects of raising the height of Shasta Dam.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Monday Top of the Scroll: Water users fight California’s anti-Trump environmental bill

Senate Bill 1 has strong support from some of California’s most influential environmental and labor organizations, including some that helped get Gov. Gavin Newsom elected. But several of California’s water suppliers and agricultural interests … oppose the measure. This includes the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which has made SB 1 a top lobbying priority.

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Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Could wildfires be good for water availability?

Wildfires in California leave behind acres of scorched land that make snowpack formation easier and more water runoff downstream from the Sierra Nevada to basins in the Central Valley, increasing the amount of water stored underground. That’s the finding from researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, who discovered that blazes in some parts of the state could result in more water availability.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Salinas Valley Basin draft plan proposes millions in projects

More than $670 million in water projects … are options under a draft plan for helping get the Salinas Valley Basin to sustainability by 2040. A draft Salinas Valley Basin groundwater sustainability plan includes 13 projects ranging from Salinas River invasive species eradication … to a seawater intrusion barrier using a series of wells to head off saltwater contamination …

Aquafornia news Pasadena Star-News

Opinion: Science shunned by Trump once more

When the salmon are healthy, the world is healthy. That means the waters are clean and fast-running and the bottom gravel is clean. It means the rivers … are pouring as they should into our oceans, bringing nutrients and sediments into the salt- and fresh-water interplay.

Aquafornia news KPFA

Audio: Valley growers pin hopes on far-reaching San Joaquin Valley Blueprint

Valley farmers and water districts will be facing a new reality of pumping less water and are worried about the land that will be taken out of crop production. But the water and agriculture industries are drafting a large-scale plan to fill the gap with more dams and water deliveries from the Delta. Vic Bedoian reports from Fresno.

Aquafornia news Torrance Daily Breeze

Lake Elsinore fish survey aims to preserve ‘jewel of the city’

The study, expected to be completed by early 2020, builds on the last such fish survey conducted more than a decade ago. “We’re hoping to find an improvement in the fishery,” Lake Elsinore Mayor Steve Manos said, “and to identify ways in which we can continue to improve the fishery.”

Aquafornia news Paradise Post

Paradise Irrigation District approves water study, easement access for PG&E

The board easily approved a cooperation agreement with Butte County and the California Water Service Company on an Intertie feasibility study. … The intertie helps Paradise Irrigation District restore revenue lost when the Camp Fire destroyed about 90 percent of its customers.

Aquafornia news San Joaquin Valley Sun

Opinion: On two critical water bills, we can hear praise and silence

Why would a Valley lawmaker who authored a bill to save jobs, irrigate farms, and ensure communities receive clean water, then vote to pass a different bill which denies all of that?

Aquafornia news Arizona Public Media

Audio: Using computer models to predict the effect of climate change on groundwater in the West

Utilities typically turn to groundwater to make up for surface water depleted by drought. University of Arizona hydrology professor Laura Condon is using computer models to predict what climate change will do to the availability of groundwater. She is exploring a series of “what if” scenarios on how to respond to water shortages.

Aquafornia news Valley Public Radio

Another iconic valley in Yosemite? Report estimates tourism benefits of a restored Hetch Hetchy

A recent analysis by ECONorthwest, an economic consulting firm based in Portland, Ore., estimates that a restored Hetch Hetchy Valley, drained of its water and offering recreation options and infrastructure in the same vein as Yosemite Valley, could attract orders of magnitude more visitors.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

UC San Francisco researcher gets grant to study water contamination after Camp Fire

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences has agreed to fund a study of possible contamination of the indoor plumbing of homes that survived the Camp Fire in Paradise and Magalia.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Butte County’s yellow-legged frog under threat

If you see something hopping around in Big Chico Creek, chances are it could be the foothill yellow-legged frog. This frog is currently being evaluated by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to possibly be placed on the state’s endangered species list.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

San Geronimo homeowners open land to salmon restoration

As homes along San Geronimo Creek face the threat of erosion and coho salmon face the threat of extinction, a series of projects nearly a decade in the making is working to find a win-win solution.

Aquafornia news Arizona Republic

Cleanup of cancer-causing toxins in Phoenix has been delayed for years

The water beneath a large swath of Phoenix isn’t fit to drink. A plume of toxic chemicals has tainted the groundwater for decades, and it’s now at the center of a bitter fight over how the aquifer should be cleaned up and what should happen to the water in the future.

Aquafornia news Voice of San Diego

New state bill would require union-friendly terms for Pure Water project

To end a labor dispute that’s halted work on one of the largest and most important water projects in San Diego history, Assemblyman Todd Gloria rolled out a bill Friday to require union-friendly terms for work on the project.

Aquafornia news Inkstain.net

Blog: All I want is an accurate Colorado River map

I’ve spent half a day tormented by a problem that has already tormented me many times before in my career: Where can one find a Colorado River Basin map that is accurate? It seems like such a simple task, but as others have noted before, it is an ongoing problem. The list of problem areas is long, and many seem to have a strong political motivation.

Aquafornia news Torrance Daily Breeze

Lomita drains its $13 million water reservoir because of cancer-causing chemicals

Lomita has stopped using a 5 million-gallon emergency reservoir that blends local groundwater and more expensive imported water, another fallout from the discovery of cancer-causing chemicals in the water supply…

Aquafornia news Arizona Public Media

New border wall could further deplete groundwater supplies

According to a Customs and Border Protection spokesperson, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument has identified existing groundwater wells construction contractors can use. In addition, the contractor has proposed drilling new wells along the border for the wall project. Currently, the construction contractor estimates needing about 84,000 gallons of water per day for the project.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

Blog: Coming home: Helping endangered fish return to suisun marsh

DWR is currently overseeing five habitat restoration projects in Suisun Marsh. In October 2019, one of these projects, the Tule Red Tidal Habitat Restoration Project – which converts approximately 600 acres of existing managed wetland into tidal habitat – is expected to finish construction.

Aquafornia news SFGate.com

The story of a California Delta island selling for less than a San Francisco condo

A 10-acre island in Isleton, an hour south of Sacramento in the California Delta’s fresh-water Seven Mile Slough, is changing hands for $1.195 million. (SF’s median condo price is about $1.25 million.) The buyer is Thai Tran, who owns a mini-chain of Vietnamese pho restaurants in Sacramento, and listing agent Tony Wood of KW Commercial says Tran and his family plan to transform the property into a destination.

Aquafornia news Arizona Daily Star

Below-average rainfall this summer could push Tucson into short-term drought

Tucson’s below average rainfall for August, which is typically the wettest month during monsoon season, might mean it’s time to face the music and prepare for a potential short-term drought, according to local weather experts.

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Aquafornia news Audubon

Blog: Water to flow in Colorado River delta again

However, this is brackish water. For a few months we will see it in the Colorado below Morelos Dam, reminding us of the river that once flowed there. It is agricultural drainage that comes from farms in southwestern Arizona that use the Colorado River to irrigate in the desert.

Aquafornia news University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

Blog: Climate change has altered winter precipitation across the Northern Hemisphere

A team of scientists has successfully teased out the influence of human-caused climate change on wintertime precipitation over the last century, showing that the warming climate altered wintertime rainfall and snowfall across the Northern Hemisphere.

Aquafornia news Tri County Sentry

Groundwater workshop causes concern for Oxnard

Groundwater in Ventura County had a severe talk about reductions as the Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency held its fourth workshop about the future. The proposed new plan will commence in 2020 and will start slow but will ramp up and reduce groundwater pumping in the area significantly.

Aquafornia news Ventura County Star

Here’s a look inside Ventura’s wastewater operations

There’s a lot of confusion and concern about what will happen once the city of Ventura no longer discharges millions of gallons of water into the Santa Clara River Estuary. … To help residents get a better understanding of how Ventura’s wastewater operations work, and to help answer those questions, city officials opened up its facility to the public last week.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

First step taken toward pipe bringing water from Paradise to Chico

An idea to pipe water from Paradise to Chico took its first step Wednesday, when the Paradise Irrigation District board signed off on a feasibility study for the proposal. The plan might seem far-fetched at first glance, but it would solve a couple of problems.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Editorial: Here’s hoping salmon habitat is finally being protected

Hopefully, the Board of Supervisors’ approval of a study on construction in the San Geronimo Valley watershed is a strong step forward to ending more than a decade of costly studies and lawsuits.

Aquafornia news Gilroy Dispatch

Llagas Creek flood control project is underway

Construction has begun on the first phase of a five-year, $180 million flood control protection project for the historic Upper Llagas Creek watershed, from Gilroy to north Morgan Hill. … Funds for the project are from Measure B, the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program, as well as other state and federal sources.

Aquafornia news U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Blog: Marsh of Dreams

Over the past 200 years, California has lost 97% of its wetland habitat. The Carpinteria Salt Marsh Reserve, part of the UC’s Natural Reserve System, represents about 3% of what remains of California’s coastal wetlands. Due to a century of draining for land use and land development, the marsh has dwindled to 230 acres.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Droughts, tunnels & clean water: A conversation on California water policy

Recently, the Sacramento Press Club hosted a panel discussion on the future of California water featuring Secretary Wade Crowfoot, Metropolitan General Manager Jeff Kightlinger, and State Water Contractors General Manager Jennifer Pierre.

Aquafornia news AgAlert

Groups work to restore fish populations

In the Sacramento River near Redding this spring, water districts, government agencies and others collaborated to construct the Market Street Gravel Project to benefit fish. … Reclamation District 108 Deputy Manager William Vanderwaal said that to complete the $429,000 project, 12,000 tons of gravel were placed into the river and developed as new spawning habitat for chinook salmon and steelhead trout.

Aquafornia news Colusa County Sun-Herald

Groundwater authority to host public workshops in Colusa and Glenn counties

The Colusa and Glenn groundwater authorities will host a pair of public workshops about local groundwater conditions and areas of concern in portions of Glenn and Colusa counties…

Aquafornia news The Sun-Gazette

Water utilities being held liable for wildfires

At its Aug. 5 meeting, the Visalia City Council unanimously approved a letter of support for California Water Service’s effort to eliminate water suppliers’ liability due to wildfires. California Water Service, which operates Visalia and 22 other municipal water systems throughout the state, says the threat of legal action against water suppliers is “arcane” legal reasoning and could actually put water users at risk.

Aquafornia news The Planning Report

Blog: Katy Young Yaroslavsky unpacks Measure W, LA’s ‘Safe, Clean Water Program’

Passed by voters in November 2018, Measure W—the Safe, Clean Water Program—imposed a 2.5 cent/sq. ft. parcel tax on impermeable surface construction in LA County and is set to provide upwards of $300 million annually to support stormwater and clean water infrastructure projects. TPR spoke with Katy Young Yaroslavsky, on the Board of Supervisors’ recent approval of the Measure W Implementation Ordinance…

Aquafornia news The Sun-Gazette

Canal plans to bypass subsidence with 30-mile parallel path

As the old saying goes, if you can’t go through something, go around it. And at an estimated cost of $357 million, the Friant Water Authority is contemplating a 30-mile parallel canal to circumvent the portion of the Friant Kern Canal that has been negatively affected by subsidence.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

Sea level rise looms over Humboldt County’s shoreline, officials warn

As a region, Humboldt County has the “highest rate of relative sea level rise” on the United States’ West Coast, according to data compiled by the county’s planning and building department. The data indicate that even one meter of sea level rise would top nearly 60% of the structures protecting Humboldt Bay’s shoreline.

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Aquafornia news Medford Mail Tribune

Ashland project helps migrating salmon

It was only a little dam, a couple feet high, but it blocked juvenile salmon from swimming the upper 2 miles of Ashland Creek. On Tuesday, a powerful excavator tore it out with one bite and soon the stream will be restored to its ancient look, feel and flow.

Aquafornia news Natural Resources Defense Council

Blog: Why SB 1 must ensure that CESA applies to the federal CVP

Now, some are arguing that the bill should be stripped of its longstanding provision applying the State’s own Endangered Species Act to the operations of the federal Central Valley Project. Here’s why that’s a terrible idea.

Aquafornia news Las Vegas Sun

County sales tax for water projects is extended indefinitely

A quarter-cent sales tax raising $100 million annually for water and wastewater projects will remain in place indefinitely following a decision Tuesday by the Clark County Commission. … The 6-1 vote removes a sunset clause that would have made the tax expire in 2025.

Aquafornia news The Ceres Courier

New Keyes plant filters out arsenic

Keyes’ problems with unacceptable high levels of arsenic arose in late 2006 when the district was issued a Notice of Non-Compliance from the California Department of Public Health. … The quality of Keyes’ drinking water had not deteriorated but the Environmental Protection Agency had lowered the maximum allowable contaminant level for arsenic from 50 parts per billion to 10 parts per billion. Three of four Keyes wells were testing at 12 to 14 parts per billion.

Aquafornia news Fox News

Farmers concerned over how mandatory water cuts from Colorado River will impact agriculture

Nevada and Arizona, concerned that a 20-year drought has dried up much of the river, are trying to rein in water use in an effort to save the disappearing river. The river’s water levels next year are projected to be just below the threshold of 1,090 feet laid out in the Drought Contingency Plan that was signed earlier this year…

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

A city auditor was investigating DWP contracts. She says she was warned not to be ‘thorough’

As a high-level government auditor, Beth Kennedy has investigated or reviewed the spending of many city of Los Angeles departments without serious incident, she says. But now, Kennedy … is alleging she was warned not to delve too deeply into controversial contracts awarded by the Department of Water of Power, according to a legal claim she filed against the city last month.

Aquafornia news KLCC

Proposed EPA rules could limit state and tribal power to block infrastructure projects

The rules specifically would restrict these non-federal governments’ authority to review the water quality impacts of projects that require a federal permit or license. These projects range from pipelines to hydropower facilities to dredging — any development that result in “discharge” into U.S. waters.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Thursday Top of the Scroll: UCSD discovers surge in plastics pollution off Santa Barbara

Much of the so-called microplastic was carried into the ocean by storm runoff or in the flow from wastewater treatment plants, and became embedded in sea floor sediment, said Jennifer Brandon, a Scripps biologist who specializes in plastics.

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Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

San Diego County beefs up water-quality testing at beaches with focus on South Bay shorelines

The county of San Diego says beachgoers should “feel more confident” that water quality is being closely watched throughout the region, especially along South Bay shorelines where sewage pollution from Tijuana regularly fouls beaches.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

These six projects could fix the cross-border sewage spills

The only bi-national financial institution dedicated to funding environmental infrastructure projects along the border unveiled six possible solutions to slowing down the cross-border sewage spills that routinely shut down southern San Diego’s beaches.

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Aquafornia news Monterey County Weekly

Supreme Court won’t consider Marina’s challenge to Cal Am desalination plant

With every passing week, California American Water clears more hurdles as it sets out to build a desalination plant near Marina. The most recent victory for the proponents of the $329 million project came on Aug. 28 at the California Supreme Court.

Aquafornia news E&E News

Hydropower giant Bonneville Power is going broke

The Bonneville Power Administration, the independent federal agency that sells the electricity produced by the dams, is careening toward a financial cliff. BPA is $15 billion in debt, facing a rapidly changing energy market increasingly dominated by wind and solar and a desperate need to maintain aging infrastructure that’s expected to cost $300 million to maintain and upgrade by 2023.

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

California Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot to be keynote speaker at Water Summit

Crowfoot oversees a sprawling agency of 19,000 employees engaged in the stewardship of the state’s forests and natural lands, rivers and waterways, coast and ocean, fish and wildlife and energy development. Now in its 36th year, the Water Summit features a variety of policymakers, experts and stakeholders discussing important topics in water across California and the West.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Blog: A California dream: Less plastic in the ocean

The latest PPIC environment survey found that three in four Californians (77%) say the condition of the ocean and beaches is very important to the state’s future economy and quality of life.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

What draws hundreds to this lake bed? Spellbinding crystals

Crystals, the now ubiquitous wellness accessories sitting on your desk or bedside table, all come from somewhere. Some come from this dry lake bed in the California desert.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Opinion: Congress must fund protection for the Bay Area’s favorite parks

Our leaders in Washington filled me with so much hope earlier this year when they approved  permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund. , securing the near-term future of one of our country’s oldest and most important conservation tools. But we can’t truly call this a victory until Congress takes that final step: permanent program funding.

Aquafornia news Science Magazine

Crystalline nets harvest water from desert air, turn carbon dioxide into liquid fuel

When Omar Yaghi was growing up in Jordan, outside of Amman, his neighborhood received water for only about 5 hours once every 2 weeks. … At a meeting last week here, in another area thirsting for freshwater, Yaghi, a chemist at the University of California, Berkeley, reported that he and his colleagues have created a solar-powered device that could provide water for millions in water-stressed regions.

Aquafornia news ScienceDaily

How California wildfires can impact water availability

A new study by scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory uses a numerical model of an important watershed in California to shed light on how wildfires can affect large-scale hydrological processes, such as stream flow, groundwater levels, and snowpack and snowmelt. The team found that post-wildfire conditions resulted in greater winter snowpack and subsequently greater summer runoff as well as increased groundwater storage.

Aquafornia news Time

How to save the Colorado River from climate change & overuse

A few years ago, Paul Kehmeier did something unusual: He decided not to water about 60% of his fields. He was one of a few dozen farmers and landowners in Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico who volunteered for a pilot program meant to test out a new water-conservation strategy: Paying farmers to temporarily leave their fields dry, to save the Colorado River.

Aquafornia news Stanford Water in the West

How a diverse water portfolio may quench the thirst of California’s future water needs

Gov. Gavin Newsom recently signed an executive order to develop a comprehensive strategy for making the state’s water system climate-resilient. … In a related study published earlier this year, Stanford researchers Newsha Ajami and Patricia (Gonzales) Whitby examined effective strategies to rising water scarcity concerns.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Sacramento’s Capitol Mall fountain could be demolished as part of building project

A proposal by the California Department of General Services to remove the fountain at the head of Capitol Mall has distressed preservationists, who say it is a historic icon that should remain.

Aquafornia news Antelope Valley Press

Payments required for those who pump excess groundwater

Those with wells within the Antelope Valley who pump more groundwater than is allowed under a 2015 court settlement will be required to pay between $415 per acre-foot and $948 per acre-foot to replace the additional water, based on assessments approved Wednesday by the Antelope Valley Watermaster Board.

Aquafornia news Glendale News-Press

Many Foothills residents will have higher water bills in September

Roughly 33,000 residents of foothill communities will see an increase in their water bills beginning Sept. 1, when a pair of recently approved rate hikes are set to go into effect. On Tuesday, Crescenta Valley Water District board members voted 4-1 to go forward with a 7% increase in water rates and a 4% hike in sewer rates.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Environment

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: Hidden danger in water confronts California wildfire survivors

California’s 2018 Camp Fire was the deadliest blaze in state history. … From all that destruction, a mysterious threat has emerged for those who appeared to have gotten by unscathed: household water supplies with concentrations of toxic benzene—including one sample that had 923 times what the state considers safe. More than nine months after the fire, the Paradise Irrigation District still has a “do not drink” order unless individual parcels have been cleared.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Delta island near Isleton sold for nearly $1.2 million

The small channel island near Brannan Island can be found about one hour south of Sacramento in the Delta’s fresh-water Seven Mile Slough, in Sacramento County. The marina and resort have been in operation for more than 60 years.

Aquafornia news San Joaquin Valley Sun

Controversial water legislation heads to California Assembly floor

Senate Bill 1 is seen as a pre-emptive strike by California lawmakers before the Trump administration ushers in new biological opinions to alter water deliveries through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Aquafornia news Woodland Daily Democrat

Woodland banking surplus winter water for use during summer

Woodland is sitting atop what is essentially an underground reservoir containing millions of gallons of freshwater. And for much of the past three years, the city has been banking excess water during the winter months to use during the summer when it isn’t allowed to make withdrawals from the Sacramento River.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Opinion: Boost seemingly stalled Salton Sea restoration with ocean water

There has been overwhelming support from the public for salt water import to make up for the fresh water that has been sold off. It is not a perfect solution, but a doable one.

Aquafornia news Voice of San Diego

Two small agencies want a divorce from the San Diego County Water Authority. It could get messy

While there’s no court action yet, the Water Authority is gearing up for what in the water world amounts to a rare change in relationship status. After decades buying water from the Water Authority, Rainbow and Fallbrook want a divorce.

Aquafornia news The Hill

Opinion: Colorado River: The West’s precious, but limited resource

Water users in the Colorado River Basin have survived the drought through a combination of water storage infrastructure and voluntary actions to protect reservoir storage and water supply. Adoption of drought contingency plans this summer, developed over years of collaborative negotiation, takes the next step by implementing mandatory action to reduce risk and protect limited water supplies.

Aquafornia news Ecological Society of America

News release: Discovering longfin smelt in new habitats raises questions about long-term surveys

While researching the impacts of industrial site restoration on aquatic ecosystems in the Coyote Creek watershed, a major tributary in the southern San Francisco Estuary, scientists with the University of California, Davis, observed surprisingly high densities of reproductive adult smelt in the marshlands, which were not previously known to be heavily exploited by the species.

Aquafornia news ScienceDaily

A new way to measure how water moves

A new method to measure pore structure and water flow is described in a study published in the journal Water Resources Research. With it, scientists should be able to more accurately determine how fast water, contaminants, nutrients and other liquids move through the soil — and where they go.

Aquafornia news The Mountain Democrat

Potential cyanobacteria and harmful algal blooms in Auburn and Folsom Lake state recreation areas

In recent weeks, two separate incidents of possible cyanobacteria poisoning in dogs have been reported at Moony Ridge (Folsom State Recreation Area) and Oregon Bar (Auburn State Recreation Area).

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Aquafornia news Merced Sun-Star

Atwater wins $63 million in water pollution suit against oil giant Shell

A jury has ordered Shell Oil Company to pay the City of Atwater a total of $63 million in damages in a groundwater pollution suit. The decision, reached Friday after a four-month trial in Merced County Superior Court, awarded Atwater $53 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages, according to a news release from the city.

Aquafornia news KEYT

County leaders move forward with plans to control flooding, debris flows in Montecito

More than a year and a half after the Montecito mudslides, the efforts to rebuild the community are still underway, but this week the county took several major steps towards recovery.

Aquafornia news Torrance Daily Breeze

Hawthorne residents prepare for 40% water rate increase over 3 years

The City Council agreed to allow rate increases for California Water Service customers of roughly 13 percent each of the next three years. … For the average family paying $71.43 per month on a water bill, the cost would increase by $9.31 the first year, $9.25 the second year and $10.35 the third year, based on a projection by Cal Water officials.

Aquafornia news Antelope Valley Press

$1.12M dam addition approved

Last fall, the district began construction on a project to remove sediment from the Littlerock Dam reservoir to increase its storage capacity, but the winter rain flooded the construction site and halted work for more than six months.

Aquafornia news KESQ TV

Thermal residents say kids got sick after EPA reports high arsenic levels in water

Wednesday, the EPA issued an emergency order saying the water for nearly 2,000 residents was contaminated with dangerously high levels of arsenic, a cancer-causing compound occurring naturally in groundwater. The contamination is causing concern of children in the community getting sick with symptoms that match those of arsenic poisoning.

Aquafornia news Water News Network

Blog: California moves to boost recycled water

A new plan recommends four strategies to advance water reuse in California over the next three decades – an important part of both the state and regional water resilience portfolio.

Aquafornia news The Confluence

Blog: Improved oxidation is water wizardry against drought

Increasingly, California’s water will come from transforming the water we flush down our toilets, sinks, and washing machines into sparkling, pure water. Indeed, potable water reuse seems like a no-brainer. So why don’t we do it? In some places, we already do, and those places have lessons for the rest of the state and beyond.

Aquafornia news Redding Record-Searchlight

Order to stop Shasta Dam raising report upheld by appeals court

A state court of appeal has upheld a Shasta County Superior Court decision to stop a Fresno-based water district from doing an analysis of the effects of raising the height of Shasta Dam. The Westlands Water District had asked the California Third District Court of Appeal to overturn the lower court’s preliminary injunction that ordered the district to stop work on an environmental impact report.

Aquafornia news SFGate.com

Tubbs Fire survivors in Larkfield looking for builder to help build new sewer system

Residents of the Larkfield Estates neighborhood north of Santa Rosa who lost their homes in the October 2017 Tubbs Fire are asking a builder to help them build a new sewer system this year that is as affordable as possible.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Escondido hires firm to plan reverse osmosis water treatment plant

Escondido is moving forward on a reverse osmosis treatment facility that will reduce the city’s wastewater and also provide more recycled water for agricultural use. The project will divert millions of gallons of water from the discharge pipeline, and turn it into highly treated irrigation water. It’s expected to begin construction in early 2020…

Aquafornia news KCRA TV

New water park to open summer 2020 in Northern California

California’s Great America announced it will open South Bay Shores in summer 2020. The expanded space will include three new water attractions, more food locations, cabanas and a sandy beach area.

Aquafornia news KUNC

Can a ‘wild’ river survive in a rapidly drying West?

Finding a river in the West that still behaves like a Western river — one that rises and falls with the annual rush of melting snow — is tough. … But one major Western waterway has achieved almost mythical status for its wildness: the Yampa in northwestern Colorado.

Aquafornia news One Truckee River

Blog: The importance of Pyramid Lake water quality

There are a lot of reasons our watershed is unique. It’s a high elevation terminal watershed, what could be more special? Well, another contributing factor is that the terminus of the Truckee River watershed exists on the largest Native American Reservation in Nevada.

Aquafornia news New Times San Luis Obispo

Paso Robles groundwater basin included in high-tech Stanford study

The Paso Robles groundwater basin is one of three basins in the state chosen to participate in a Stanford University study that will deploy state-of-the-art aerial electromagnetic technology to better understand its characteristics.

Aquafornia news Bakersfield Californian

Continued oil leaks prompt expert study, new violations for Chevron

State regulators have taken the rare step of placing an entire oil field under technical scrutiny following continued, uncontrolled releases of oily fluid at Chevron Corp. operations near McKittrick.

Aquafornia news ABC30

Thursday Top of the Scroll: Water deliveries are plentiful for Valley farmers thanks to a healthy snowmelt

Water deliveries in the Fresno Irrigation District typically end in September, but they could last until November this year. The extra deliveries will allow growers to not only irrigate but also to bank some water for future use.

Aquafornia news Manteca Bulletin

Valley green leader

What Public Works Director Mark Houghton touts as “Manteca’s own refinery” is now converting methane gas generated at the wastewater treatment plant along with food waste to produce compressed liquefied gas. And in doing so, Manteca is well on its way to effectively wiping out all CO2 impacts the wastewater treatment process creates and then some.

Aquafornia news The Salt Lake Tribune

Utah sets new goals to cut water use, but critics say nation’s thirstiest state could do better

Critics say the plan, out for public comment through Sept. 25 before final adoption by the Utah Division of Water Resources, goes too easy on the surging St. George metro area, where daily per-capita water use exceeds 300 gallons — a high number some officials say is deceiving. The plan looks for a 16% reduction averaged across the state by 2030 and up to 20% in much of Utah.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Opinion: Legislature, rethink SB 1. It will hurt water management

If not amended, Senate Bill 1 will perpetuate California’s water and environmental troubles, not help to resolve them, as its proponents claim.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Prop. 64 didn’t stop illegal cannabis farms on public lands

When California voters legalized cannabis in 2016, supporters of Proposition 64 hoped it would significantly reduce the scourge of black market weed cultivation, particularly on public lands. Yet nearly two years later, illegal marijuana grows are still rampant across wide swaths of the national forests in California, leaving behind a trail of garbage, human waste, dead animals and caustic chemicals.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

California Water Law Symposium: An overview of California water rights

At the 2019 California Water Law Symposium, Professor Dave Owen from UC Hastings gave the following overview presentation of California water rights, including types of water rights, governing agencies, and sources of regulatory authority, as well as a brief overview of the 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Weekly

Seaside wants to take golf course irrigation water and earmark it for housing

Under the plan, Seaside’s Bayonet & Black Horse golf course would stop pumping the 450 acre-feet of drinking water it draws every year from the area’s underground basin. Instead, the greens would get irrigated using recycled water produced by Pure Water Monterey, the advanced sewage treatment facility in Marina that is slated to open this fall. The water that stays in the basin would be made available to developers who want to build in Seaside.

Aquafornia news ScienceDaily

Water harvester makes it easy to quench your thirst in the desert

With water scarcity a growing problem worldwide, University of California, Berkeley, researchers are close to producing a microwave-sized water harvester that will allow you to pull all the water you need directly from the air — even in the hot, dry desert.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

Blog: August Delta conveyance update

The Department of Water Resources is continuing to work on the environmental planning and permitting to modernize State Water Project infrastructure in the Delta. This effort is consistent with Governor Newsom’s direction and support for a single-tunnel project to ensure a climate resilient water system.

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

Blog: Remarkable Suisun Marsh: a bright spot for fish in the San Francisco Estuary

Here we provide an updated account of Suisun Marsh fishes to show why the marsh is so important for conserving fishes in the upper San Francisco Estuary in general…and why we continue to be enthusiastic about working there.

Aquafornia news Village News

Fallbrook utility district considering affiliating with Eastern Municipal Water District

The Fallbrook Public Utility District has been part of the San Diego County Water Authority since it was formed in 1944, but FPUD is now investigating the possibility of detaching from the water authority and becoming part of the Eastern Municipal Water District.

Aquafornia news Imperial Valley News

State agriculture officials will host public comment session on California’s water future

The California State Board of Food and Agriculture will host a public comment session on California’s Water Future on Thursday, September 5, 2019 in Fresno. … State agencies are asking Californians to help shape a roadmap for meeting future water needs and ensuring environmental and economic resilience …

Aquafornia news USC News

Blog: As Salton Sea shrinks, experts fear far-reaching health consequences

University of Southern California researchers are exploring how losing California’s largest lake could affect the respiratory health of people throughout the Imperial Valley and beyond.

Aquafornia news KCRW

There’s lead in California’s tap water. What you need to know

The state passed a law a few years ago that required public schools built before 2010 to test for lead in their drinking fountains before July 2019. Nearly 80% of schools have reported some testing. Of those, one in five school sites found lead levels of more than five parts per billion.

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Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Nature gone: Bay Area beach getting washed away

Known to locals as “Long Beach,” it’s part of the San Leandro Shoreline Marshlands and once stretched at least 23 miles. The most recent official estimate done back in 2008 put the beach at seven miles amid development and rising sea levels.

Aquafornia news Long Beach Business Journal

Stormwater parcel tax collection to begin this fall

Los Angeles County residents will see a new charge on their property tax bills this fall. Measure W, which was approved by county residents last November, will implement a parcel tax that is intended to increase stormwater capture. The intent is to increase local water supply, improve water quality and invest in community projects.

Aquafornia news The Business Journal

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: 30-mile parallel Friant-Kern Canal proposed

Friant Water Authority is conducting geotechnical investigations this summer along the outer banks of the Friant-Kern Canal in southern Tulare County to determine if the soil may support construction of a second canal running parallel to the first. The reason for the research is the capacity of this key, eastside Valley canal has been reduced 60% due to land subsidence caused by years of vigorous groundwater pumping …

Aquafornia news KESQ TV

Class action lawsuit takes aim at Coachella Valley Water District, claims illegal tax benefits agricultural industry

A new class action lawsuit accuses the Coachella Valley Water District of illegally taxing customers to benefit large agricultural companies. … Under the Burns-Porter Act, a local water district’s revenue can only be used for a few specific, voter-approved purposes. According to the suit, using tax dollars to fund aquifer replenishment and subsidizing agricultural water use are not appropriate uses. 

Aquafornia news Arizona State University

Blog: ASU water policy expert addresses new drought plan for state

ASU Now spoke to Sarah Porter, director of the Kyl Center for Water Policy at ASU’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy, about the cutbacks and what they will mean for Arizona’s agriculture and the state’s roughly 7 million residents.

Aquafornia news Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory

Blog: Tiny toxins: How algal blooms affect coastal systems through a complex web of interactions

Michelle Newcomer is a research scientist in Berkeley Lab’s Earth & Environmental Sciences Area with expertise in hydrological and biogeochemical aspects of environmental issues, especially in watersheds and river environments. Now she is turning her expertise to algal blooms…

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Opinion: California must follow water quality rules in Salton Sea restoration

The intent of the Salton Sea restoration is to mitigate losses of habitat for wildlife as the Salton Sea shrinks. However, mitigating lost habitat by replacing it with something harmful does not result in any benefits to wildlife; in fact, it makes things worse by creating a new exposure pathway that subjects wildlife to contaminants.

Aquafornia news KQED News

Environmentalists slam Chevron, state regulators over Kern County oil releases

Environmental groups are calling for increased scrutiny of California’s oil and gas industry after learning that more than 50 million gallons of crude oil flowed out of the ground in an uncontrolled release near a Chevron facility in Kern County over the last 16 years.

Aquafornia news The Nevada Independent

Environmental groups argue lands bill will exempt Las Vegas water pipeline from judicial review

Environmental groups are raising concerns over a provision in draft legislation they believe could exempt the Las Vegas pipeline — a proposal to pump eastern Nevada groundwater about 300 miles to Southern Nevada — from further litigation and federal environmental review.

Aquafornia news Natural Resources Defense Council

Blog: California on PFAS: Missing the forest through the trees

While the guidelines are the strictest, most-health protective levels proposed in the nation for these two PFAS chemicals, we are deeply disappointed by the Water Board’s decision to focus on just two of the many PFAS that have been detected in California drinking water.

Aquafornia news KHTS Radio

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: State Water Board strengthens notification requirements for potential carcinogen

The California State Water Resources Control Board has strengthened notification requirements for a potential carcinogen found in wells across the state, including Santa Clarita, officials said Monday. The state water board updated guidelines for local water agencies … to follow in detecting and reporting perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) in drinking water.

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Aquafornia news Motley Fool

This water stock is now a play on cannabis — specifically, the U.S. hemp CBD market

Shares of water resource specialist Cadiz (NASDAQ:CDZI) have jumped 19.5% this month through Aug. 23, while the S&P 500, including dividends, is down 4.3%. … The catalyst for Cadiz stock’s August pop was the company’s announcement that it has entered the U.S. hemp market.

Aquafornia news KQED News

State launches probe into oil field spills – including one that’s been flowing since 2003

State oil and gas regulators say they’re launching an investigation of operations in a Kern County oil field after a series of large, uncontrolled crude petroleum releases near Chevron wells — including one that has continued on and off for more than 16 years and may have spewed out more than 50 million gallons of crude oil.

Aquafornia news ColoradoPolitics.com

Salt impacting water quality throughout the West, but a ‘grand deal’ has improved it

The Colorado is the most significant water supply source in the West, but it carries an annual salt load of nine to 10 million tons, said Don Barnett, executive director of the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Forum. … For the past 40 years, the the forum has been “silently working away” at improving water quality and lowering salt content on the Colorado, which supplies water to 40 million people in seven states and Mexico.

Aquafornia news KQED Science

Researchers press California to strengthen landmark climate law

The researchers — many of whom have been active in the program’s rule making and have challenged the agency before — argue in the working paper that the emissions reductions in California’s offset program are inherently uncertain. In some cases, they wrote, the rules create “perverse incentives” toward increasing planet-warming gases.

Aquafornia news Jefferson Public Radio

Audio: Managing Shasta Dam for cold- and warm-water fish

Managing a river is no easy feat. Consider the needs for water released at Shasta Dam into the Sacramento River: salmon need cold water, sturgeon need warm water, and irrigators just need water. Recent research shows that all three needs can be met in all but the most drought-stricken years. How?

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Editorial: Trump’s Delta assault threatens Bay Area water supply

The latest assault on the Delta, which supplies roughly one-third of the Bay Area’s water, is the Trump administration’s efforts to gut the federal Endangered Species Act. Removing protections in existence for nearly 50 years threatens not only the Delta’s wildlife but also the quality of its fresh water.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Microplastics found in Lake Tahoe for first time ever

Preliminary analyses of water samples collected by researchers at the Desert Research Institute in Reno revealed the presence of particles of synthetic fiber and bits of red and blue plastic no bigger than the head of a pin. “On one level, we’re heartbroken and disappointed by this discovery,” said Monica Arienzo, an assistant research professor at the institute and leader of the investigation.

Aquafornia news Australian Broadcasting Corp.

California looks to Australia for ways to manage its groundwater after worst-ever drought

Farmers, experts and lawmakers are working to find more sustainable ways to droughtproof farms and address the vexed issue of water allocation. And it turns out many farmers and water experts in California are looking to Australia for answers as they face up to the biggest water reforms in the history of the US.

Aquafornia news Brentwood Press

Discovery Bay algae prompts study, possible solutions

While some residents are unconcerned each summer as the algae’s trademark scum appears atop stagnant water in the bays around town, many are worried about the algal blooms’ toxic effects. The Discovery Bay Community Foundation (DBCF) has formed a harmful algae bloom (HAB) subcommittee, partnering with agencies across the state to help mitigate the epidemic.

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Aquafornia news KQED News

State says it has no idea how long it will take to clean up Chevron’s Kern County oil spill

While the massive release of crude petroleum from a Chevron oil well near the town of McKittrick seems to have ended, the timeline for hauling away soil contaminated by the spill is unclear. “The full extent of the required site remediation is not known at this time and will be fully scoped with appropriate regulatory agencies,” said Eric Laughlin, a spokesman for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife…

Aquafornia news The Mendocino Voice

Cal Fish & Wildlife considering summer steelhead for endangered species status

The California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW) is considering listing the Northern California Summer Steelhead, which lives in portions of Mendocino and Humboldt counties, as an endangered species.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

‘Anything to speed up the process’: Local forest experts like Forest Service’s plan to expedite tree removal

Local and professional foresters say they support a new proposal by the U.S. Forest Service that would speed up logging and cut some environmental review processes. The Forest Service is proposing a sweeping amendment of The National Environmental Policy Act.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Less snow, more rain: How Tahoe’s climate balance could be shifting

The iconic image of Lake Tahoe is of a clear, blue lake surrounded by stunning snow-capped mountains. But that picturesque sight could look very different by the end of the century due to climate change. Those snowy mountains we’re used to seeing could lose their white tips. And this would mean a major transformation for life in Tahoe and beyond.

Aquafornia news Bakersfield Californian

Kern quickly rises to become California’s top hemp-producing county

Minimal restrictions, ample land and a strong farming tradition have made Kern the state’s No. 1 hemp-growing county in the four months since California began registering growers of the non-psychoactive form of cannabis.

Aquafornia news Santa Clara Valley Water News

Blog: South County’s groundwater is getting a boost that will benefit farms, residents and businesses

South County gets most of its water from groundwater, so this project, part of the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program that was overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2012, is vital to ensuring a reliable water supply for the region.

Aquafornia news Denver Post

Colorado River water rights debated as climate change depletes supply

Rocky Mountain water managers worried about climate-driven depletion across the Colorado River Basin are mulling a “grand bargain” that would overhaul obligations among seven southwestern states for sharing the river’s water. This reflects rising concerns that dry times could turn disastrous.

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Aquafornia news The Capistrano Dispatch

City approves framework for potential water transfer agreement with Santa Margarita Water District

Councilmembers approved a framework that will be the basis for a potential agreement to have Santa Margarita Water District take over water and sewer services in San Juan Capistrano.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Center for Chula Vista students fosters learning about water

Fifth graders now have a space to learn everything about water, from conservation to careers in the water industry. The Hydro Station is an initiative of the Chula Vista Elementary School District (CVESD), the Otay Water District and Sweetwater Authority. This facility consists of a classroom right next to the Richard A. Reynolds desalination plant, which is estimated to receive about 4,500 students every school year.

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Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

The state of California regrets to inform you that you can’t keep beagle-sized rodents as pets

Nutria, a giant invasive rodent originally from South America, might be the size of a beagle, but unlike a beagle you can’t keep them in your home. The California Fish and Game Commission is looking to correct a gap in the law that restricts what pets may lawfully be owned by including nutria among the list.

Aquafornia news The Press Democrat

Blog: How a young, orphan beaver learned life skills from a bunch of otters

We don’t get to see Castor canadensis, the 60-pound North American beaver, in Sonoma County very often, so I jumped at the invitation to see one up close at the Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue. An orphaned young kit, little more than a year old, is there for care and rehab before release to back to the wild.

Aquafornia news Valley Public Radio

Audio: Should California insulate itself from federal rollbacks of environmental laws?

Moderator Kathleen Schock spoke with advocates on both sides of the issue, John Harris of Harris Farms and Kim Delfino with Defenders of Wildlife. Dr. Lisa Bryant, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Fresno State also joined the conversation.

Aquafornia news UC Davis

Blog: What’s killing sea otters? Scientists pinpoint parasite strain

Many wild southern sea otters in California are infected with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, yet the infection is fatal for only a fraction of sea otters, which has long puzzled the scientific community. A study from the University of California, Davis, identifies the parasite’s specific strains that are killing southern sea otters, tracing them back to a bobcat and feral domestic cats from nearby watersheds.

Aquafornia news The Press Democrat

Russian River watershed protection campaign focuses on keeping storm drains for rain only

Most people pass by storm drains day in and day out, giving little thought to them as conduits to local waterways — and ultimately, the Russian River in much of Sonoma County. An alliance of local cities, special districts and the county wants to change that. The coalition has launched a regional campaign to raise public awareness about the link between surface streets and local creeks…

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

State approves $20M for Bel Marin Keys wetlands restoration

Restoration of nearly 1,600 acres of wetlands near Bel Marin Keys is set to begin this year after the approval of $20 million in funding on Thursday. The state Coastal Conservancy voted unanimously during its meeting in Sausalito on Thursday to allocate the money to begin the first phase of construction…

Aquafornia news Hi Desert Star

Deadly algae blooms contaminate Big Bear Lake

If you’re planning on visiting Big Bear Lake, avoid the water, the state warned Friday. State and regional water quality boards both urged dog owners, fishers and everyone else to avoid direct water contact while visiting areas of Big Bear Lake due to a harmful algae bloom.

Aquafornia news Tri County Sentry

Planning Commission receives report about programmatic water master plan

Oxnard Assistant Public Works Director Tien Ng presented the item and said the city wants to integrate the water, wastewater recycled water and stormwater while looking for opportunities to align projects on the same street. They want to do them at the same time. Doing this enhances the schedule and cost for such projects.

Aquafornia news The Press Democrat

Editorial: Base water plans on science, not politics

Trump started promising more water to Central Valley growers before he was elected. During a campaign stop in Fresno three years ago, he dismissed the drought, then in its fifth year, as a hoax and snorted at legal protections for endangered fish in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Aquafornia news The San Francisco Examiner

Red-legged frogs making a comeback at Yosemite with help of SF Zoo

After four years, San Francisco Zoo officials wrapped up a successful reintroduction program Monday by releasing the last of more than 1000 red-legged frogs into Yosemite National Park. The zoo began partnering with the National Park Service and Yosemite Conservancy in 2015 to reintroduce the threatened frogs back into Yosemite National Park…

Aquafornia news U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Blog: It was ‘do or die’: Saving the Tijuana Estuary

The idea of conserving the marsh was not popular with most of the residents and elected officials, and the McCoys were frequent targets of threats and harassment. It was a rough and tumble fight and there was a lot of money at stake. Ignoring personal risk, the McCoys launched their campaign to secure the estuary.

Aquafornia news Sonoma West Times & News

State sets limits on septic system pollution in Russian River

The ban passed last week means that about 8,000 Russian River property owners are now looking at how to repair or replace substandard or failing residential sewage disposal systems when the new law goes into effect next year.

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Aquafornia news LAist.com

Blog: Is Los Angeles a desert?

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article in which I — perhaps cavalierly — described Los Angeles as a desert. … There was a small part of me that raised a red flag as I pounded the words into my keyboard. Is L.A. a desert, though? I thought. Haven’t I also heard that it isn’t?

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Councilman wants to refill Hole Lake

A piece of Riverside history could be revived if Councilman Steve Adams can get the city to refill Hole Lake, an irrigation and recreation reservoir for 60 years that’s now full of trees and plants and, in some spots, trash and homeless camps.

Aquafornia news Sierra Sun

Truckee’s ice industry kept the West cool

Before electric refrigeration brought cheap and available ice in the early 20th century, ice was harvested along Truckee’s lakes and rivers. Truckee’s cold mountain air and readily available clear streams created an ideal environment for ice companies to create and harvest ice.

Aquafornia news FishBio

Blog: Understanding how fish deal with drought

Aquatic animals in regions like California that have historically experienced frequent droughts have evolved remarkable adaptations to dealing with dry conditions. However, the duration, severity, and frequency of droughts are all increasing as a result of ongoing climate change and an increased human demand for water, leaving even drought-hardened species struggling.

Aquafornia news Physics World

Changing the ground (water) rules

In 2014 California introduced the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) into state law to help manage the conflict between ground and surface water. But updating legal structures to accommodate evolving scientific knowledge involves far more than simply rewriting statutes, according to researchers in the US.

Aquafornia news Capitol Weekly

Kern spill renews oil production controversy

California has long been a top producer of oil. But that may change. Some hope that change will accelerate under Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has called for a decrease in the demand and supply of fossil fuels. A recent massive spill in Chevron’s Cymric oilfield in Kern County, about 35 miles west of Bakersfield, prompted a major regulatory shakeup and could bolster that view.

Aquafornia news Taft Midway Driller

Indian Wells groundwater authority approves well registration ordinance

All residents and organizations within the Indian Wells Valley will have to implement register their wells come Oct. 1 following the approval of an ordinance by the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority board of directors.

Aquafornia news Western Water

Friday Top of the Scroll: How private capital is speeding up forest restoration in the Sierra Nevada that benefits water

The Forest Resilience Bond uses private capital to finance forest restoration activities. Beneficiaries, including the U.S. Forest Service and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, reimburse investors over time. Yuba Water has pledged $1.5 million toward the project and the state of California has committed $2.6 million in grant funding, with additional funding from the Sierra Nevada Conservancy.

Western Water Gary Pitzer California Water Map Gary Pitzer

How Private Capital is Speeding up Forest Restoration in the Sierra Nevada that Benefits Water
WESTERN WATER SPOTLIGHT: A bond fund that fronts the money is expediting a headwaters restoration project to improve forest health, water quality and supply

District Ranger Lon Henderson with Tahoe National Forest points toward an overgrown section of forest within the Blue Forest project area. The majestic beauty of the Sierra Nevada forest is awe-inspiring, but beneath the dazzling blue sky, there is a problem: A century of fire suppression and logging practices have left trees too close together. Millions of trees have died, stricken by drought and beetle infestation. Combined with a forest floor cluttered with dry brush and debris, it’s a wildfire waiting to happen.

Fires devastate the Sierra watersheds upon which millions of Californians depend — scorching the ground, unleashing a battering ram of debris and turning hillsides into gelatinous, stream-choking mudflows. 

Aquafornia news KQED

Audio: One California community’s efforts to manage wildfires

California’s forests aren’t healthy. After a century of preventing and putting out fires, millions of acres of trees are overcrowded, drought-stressed, and more than ready to burn. A couple of hours from the Oregon border, one community is asking how to do better.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Dead fish and starving whales: What Trump’s hidden report on water means to California

Federal scientists pulled no punches in their report: The Trump administration’s plan to send more water to San Joaquin Valley farmers would force critically endangered California salmon even closer to extinction, and starve a struggling population of West Coast killer whales.

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Aquafornia news Imperial Valley Press

A desert oasis in western Imperial Valley

Known as the Ocotillo-Coyote Wells Aquifer, the presence and importance of this groundwater has long been known and utilized by the inhabitants and people traveling through the Valley.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Opinion: Regional collaboration keeps desert’s groundwater supply healthy

Recent validation by state regulators of the effective and sustainable management of Coachella Valley’s groundwater basins speaks volumes about the importance of collaboration by local water managers to protect our most important resource.

Aquafornia news North Coast Journal

Spawning a solution for McKinleyville’s wastewater

Finding a way to deal with the wastewater produced by a town full of people is a challenge, one that’s forced the McKinleyville Community Services District to find some creative solutions. Officials are touting the emerging solution as a win-win, a cutting-edge project that will serve the district’s needs at minimal cost to ratepayers while also helping the environment.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Reactivating our floodplains: A new way forward

A panel of experts discuss how reactivating the floodplains can provide habitat and food for native fish and for migrating birds, and highlights the many projects and opportunities in the Sacramento Valley.

Aquafornia news Antelope Valley Press

Recycled water plan moves forward

Officials are proceeding with a project to bring recycled water further into Palmdale for irrigation use, but have had to change direction in terms of securing financing.

Aquafornia news U.S. Department of Agriculture

Blog: Banking on soil health

Farmers implementing conservation practices that improve soil health aren’t just hoping for better crop yields, they’re banking on them. The Natural Resources Conservation Service and American Farmland Trust recently released case studies highlighting the economic benefits of implementing soil health management practices.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Mexican marijuana traffickers are poisoning California forests with a banned pesticide, officials say

“These are federal lands, and they are being systematically destroyed through clear-cutting, stream diversion, chemicals and pesticides,” said U.S. Atty. McGregor Scott at a news conference, where he was joined by federal, state and local officials who were part of the investigation. “It’s a vitally important issue.”

Aquafornia news KAZU

Monterey County community organizes for clean tap water

A lot of money will soon be flowing into California communities with contaminated drinking water thanks to the new Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund. Today at its meeting, the State Water Board will talk about how to implement that $1.4-billion program. One community that could use the help is north of Moss Landing.

Aquafornia news Zillow.com

Blog: Drought-resistant terms doubled in California, Arizona home listings

Mentions of drought-resistant features in home listing descriptions roughly doubled in California and Arizona during the recent drought, and have yet to return to pre-drought levels.

Aquafornia news The Salt Lake Tribune

Lake Powell pipeline costs can be covered, audit says, but critic wonders if this pricey ‘boondoggle’ is needed

A new legislative audit has concluded Washington County water bosses will likely be able to generate sufficient revenue to pay the massive costs of building and operating the proposed Lake Powell pipeline, but only through large fee, rate and tax increases and if the county triples its population during the next 50 years.

Aquafornia news Stanford Water in the West

Lessons Australia’s water reform offers in science, politics and sustainable watersheds

The successes and failures of Australia’s recent reform of the Murray-Darling Basin hold valuable lessons for policy makers in California and elsewhere who are likely to grapple with the environmental repercussions of extreme drought in the future.

Aquafornia news Lake County Record-Bee

Lake County throws hat in ring on Potter Valley Project

The Lake County Board of Supervisors approved an amended resolution Tuesday that will open the door for Lake County to join a group vying to take over responsibility for the Potter Valley hydroelectric project.

Aquafornia news AgAlert

Farm data management becomes priority

On the modern farm, soil sensors, well monitors and paperwork abound. The trick is trying to keep all that data organized. To that end, a Monterey County winegrape grower, Scheid Family Wines of Greenfield, came up with its own system, first called VitWatch, to digitize information previously recorded on paper.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Thursday Top of the Scroll: Off the hook: California king salmon rebounds after drought

Commercial salmon catches have surpassed official preseason forecasts by about 50%, said Kandice Morgenstern, a marine scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Harvests have been particularly strong in Morro Bay, Monterey and San Francisco, but weaker along California’s northern coast.

Aquafornia news Lost Coast Outpost

‘We’re asserting our self-determination’; Yuroks celebrate reacquiring 50,000 acres of ancestral land

The headwaters of Blue Creek is also among the tribe’s most sacred sites, said Gene Brundin, a member of the tribe’s cultural committee. The stream begins at a place called Elk Valley near Chimney Rock and its cold water ensures the viability of the salmon runs, he said.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: California Water Board OKs $1.3 billion for clean drinking water

California’s water regulator voted Tuesday to spend $1.3 billion over the next 10 years to provide safe drinking water to communities throughout California. The money allocated by the State Water Resources Control Board comes from the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund, created last month when Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 200.

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Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Suppressed federal report shows how Trump water plan would endanger California salmon

The July 1 assessment, obtained by The Times, outlines how proposed changes in government water operations would harm several species protected by the Endangered Species Act, including perilously low populations of winter-run salmon, as well as steelhead trout and killer whales, which feed on salmon.

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Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

California cracks down on fishing in protected areas, but anglers slip under the radar

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has increasingly cracked down on commercial boat operators who escort passengers into MPAs to illegally catch everything from rockfish to bass to yellowtail. Wardens issued 1,053 warnings and 686 citations for illegal fishing in the protected areas in 2017, according to the agency’s most recently available data. That’s up dramatically from 2013, when wardens gave out just 396 warnings and issued 327 citations.

Aquafornia news AgAlert

Flows proposals: Sacramento River water agencies aim for certainty

The plan affecting Sacramento River tributaries has not been released, but water-resource managers in the region said they have been collaborating with government agencies and environmental groups to develop voluntary agreements that would accomplish the goals of the state board’s flows-only methodology.

Aquafornia news East Bay Express

The fault line and the dams

Lake Temescal in Upper Rockridge sits atop the Hayward Fault, which passes underneath the right abutment of the manmade lake’s aged dam. Experts agree that creep has been observed near Lake Temescal Dam, but disagree on whether this indicates the area is at risk of suffering major damage during a strong quake.

Aquafornia news CleanTechnica

Farm to solar field transformations come with controversy & compromise

Solar energy projects could replace some of the jobs and tax revenues that may be lost as constrained water supplies force California’s agriculture industry to scale back. However, the shift from farm to solar is controversial — it can alter the pastoral landscape and take some of the most fertile soil in the world out of production at a time when the global population is soaring.

Aquafornia news LAist.com

Yes, we got a lot of rain this year, but the fire danger is still very real

One of the key factors when assessing fire danger is the moistness of the vegetation. When it was raining all the time, plants were soaking up a lot of that water, which helped them produce new growth and keep their limbs well hydrated. Usually by August, they’ve dried out to dangerously low levels, but this year they’re holding on a bit longer, in part due to cooler summer temperatures.

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