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 Torrance Daily Breeze

West Basin Municipal Water District presents El Segundo desalination plant to Manhattan Beach leaders for the first time

The final environmental study for a proposed desalination plant in El Segundo will soon be released, the City Council for adjacent Manhattan Beach learned this week, when it received its first formal presentation on the potential project — even though the West Basin Municipal Water District first pitched the plant in 2015.

Aquafornia news The Mountain Democrat

Utility District approves ditch lining

A capital improvement project that’s been on the table for 17 years was finally approved at the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District’s Oct. 8 meeting. The project consists of removing vegetation and debris from the canal and lining three sections of the Main Canal with gunite. The canal takes water from Stumpy Meadows Reservoir to the Auburn Lake Trails Water Treatment Plant.

Aquafornia news National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

News release: Federal action plan focused on improving water prediction for western U.S.

The Action Plan identifies four areas for improvement: enhance weather forecasts to improve water prediction; improve and expand the use of water forecast information to benefit water management outcomes; improve science and technology for water prediction; and implement integrated water availability assessments at national and local basin scales.

Aquafornia news EOS.org

The bigger they are, the harder they fall

New research tracking 1.8 million trees found that tall trees died at more than twice the rate of smaller ones toward the end of extreme and persistent drought.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Editorial: Curious secrecy endangers pipeline project

The California Water Service Co. may have just shot itself in the foot, with tens of thousands of residents in Paradise, Chico and northwestern Butte County as collateral damage.

Aquafornia news National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

News release: Winter outlook: Warmer than average for many, wetter in the north

Warmer-than-average temperatures are forecast for much of the U.S. this winter according to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. … Drier-than-average conditions are most likely for Louisiana, parts of Texas, Mississippi, Arkansas and Oklahoma as well areas of northern and central California.

Aquafornia news Capital Press

New market would pay farmers for conservation practices

The initiative to establish an ecosystem marketplace began in 2017 with the Noble Research Institute, which started working on developing protocols to verify carbon sequestration and improved water quality…

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Residents – and wildlife – eager for revitalized lower L.A. River

Elizabeth Castillo looks on as her daughter Reynata plays with children at a playground near the Los Angeles River in Long Beach, California, in mid-October, hoping one day the river will be clean enough to kayak on. … In the last half-century, the LA River served primarily as flood control infrastructure, but open space and wildlife advocates fomented a movement to make it wild and accessible to all.

Aquafornia news Camarillo Acorn

Big-ticket infrastructure costs pump up rates

Sewer rates are scheduled to go up in January for Camarillo Sanitary District customers, who already pay some of the highest wastewater rates in the county.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Opinion: Change in California water will prevent catastrophe, build a more resilient valley

Change is hard. It’s human nature to resist it. So it’s not surprising that some Central Valley farmers and water managers are raising alarm bells about the most sweeping change to state water law in a century, saying in a recent Fresno Bee series that the consequences will be “excruciating” and “catastrophic.”

Aquafornia news The Guardian

The lost river: Mexicans fight for mighty waterway taken by the U.S.

The Colorado River serves over 35 million Americans before reaching Mexico – but it is dammed at the border, leaving locals on the other side with a dry delta.

Aquafornia news U.S. Geological Survey

News release: The ups and downs of groundwater levels after the July 2019 ridgecrest earthquakes

Effects from the two July 2019 Ridgecrest, CA earthquakes were observed in several USGS continuous groundwater-level monitoring sites in California, Nevada, and Arizona.

Aquafornia news ABC10.com

California’s Delta smelt are dying: How this affects the state’s water

The Delta smelt is such a small and translucent fish that it often disappears from view when it swims in the turbid waters of its home in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. However, it’s also been disappearing from the Delta entirely.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Monday Top of the Scroll: Imperial County seeks to declare Salton Sea emergency, wants disaster funds

Imperial County is seeking to declare a public health emergency at the Salton Sea … aiming to force Gov. Gavin Newsom and federal officials to free up emergency funds and take immediate action to tamp down dangerous dust.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Axios

The water crisis U.S. cities don’t see coming

Aging water treatment systems, failing pipes and a slew of unregulated contaminants threaten to undermine water quality in U.S. cities of all sizes. … Still, with only a handful of exceptions, “water systems aren’t designed to focus on health, they’re focused on cost-containment,” says Seth Siegel, whose book “Troubled Water,” released this month, examines the precarious state of water infrastructure in the U.S.

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Second year of Santa Cruz to Soquel Creek water transfers to continue

In an update to the water district board of directors this week, officials from both agencies described how Soquel Creek will expand its distribution of city water to a greater part of its service area this winter.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Marin salmon run expected to dwindle this year

A smaller run is expected to return this year because of the lower number of spawning adults recorded a few years ago… Coho salmon spend about a year and a half in freshwater and a year and a half in the ocean before returning to freshwater to spawn and die. What’s encouraging researchers more is how well the newly hatched coho from last season are surviving.

Aquafornia news Tahoe Daily Tribune

Volunteers wrap up effort to survey Upper Truckee River for invasive species

Community members, supported by staff from the League to Save Lake Tahoe, Tahoe Resource Conservation District and California State Parks, have wrapped up a three-year effort to survey the Upper Truckee River for aquatic invasive plants.

Water 101 Workshop: The Basics and Beyond
Workshop scheduled for Feb. 20 in Sacramento with optional tour Feb. 21

The Water Education Foundation’s Water 101 Workshop, one of our most popular events, offers attendees the opportunity to deepen their understanding of California’s water history, laws, geography and politics.

Taught by some of the leading policy and legal experts in the state, the one-day workshop is scheduled for Thursday, February 20 and will also cover the latest on the most compelling issues in California water. 

McGeorge School of Law
3327 5th Ave.
Sacramento, CA 95817
Aquafornia news New Times San Luis Obispo

State letter chides San Luis Obispo County for diminished role of agriculture in groundwater plan

The California State Board of Food and Agriculture called out San Luis Obispo County in a letter expressing concern about irrigated agriculture’s “limited” involvement in crafting groundwater plans over the Paso Robles basin.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Arizona Republic

As developers built homes, Arizona groundwater levels fell. It can’t continue, report says

A set of water rules that has fueled rapid growth in Arizona’s suburbs is riddled with weaknesses, according to a new report by researchers at Arizona State University, who argue the system needs to be overhauled to protect homeowners from rising costs and to ensure sufficient water supplies for the future.

Aquafornia news ABC7 News

State of California could leave community without water after earthquake

Valley of the Moon is a small community of 27,000 people tucked away not far from Sonoma. It’s quiet normally, but the general manager of their water district has become quite the opposite. “I will not be the guy who didn’t say he did everything he could to get water to his people,” said Alan Gardner, general manager of Valley of the Moon Water District.

Aquafornia news Chico News & Review

Environmental group concerned about domestic wells as farmers propose new groundwater district

Jim Brobeck, water policy analyst for AquAlliance, said the Agricultural Groundwater Users of Butte County may not have the public’s best interests in mind. The priority of farmers, Brobeck said, is to make sure they have water in their wells, not to protect the shallowest portion of an aquifer. Water purveyors, he said, like to “exercise” aquifers and may well do so to the point where the public suffers.

Aquafornia news KESQ TV

Aerial view shows environmental disaster at the Salton Sea

Audubon California’s Salton Sea Program Director Frank Ruiz served as the guide for this trip. Ruiz says the Salton Sea is receding at an alarming rate, about 6-inches a year, exposing toxic lake bed which is evident from the air.

Aquafornia news Klamath Falls Herald & News

BLM authorizes Swan Lake land use for pumped storage project

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued a right-of-way grant (ROW) Wednesday that allows for the construction of various facilities on 711 acres east of Klamath Falls, according to a news release. … The ROW grant is part of the Swan Lake North Hydro LLC proposal to develop a 393.3-megawatt hydropower generating facility…

Aquafornia news TriplePundit

Blog: World’s largest berry company bets big on water stewardship

Growing berries can be a water intensive proposition, with the added challenge that prime growing regions are often located in areas of high water stress: Eighty percent of Driscoll’s acreage globally can be found in California and Mexico, regions which coincide with significant water risks to businesses and the communities in which they operate.

Aquafornia news New Times San Luis Obispo

A citizen group’s repeal could come at a cost to Morro Bay residents

Morro Bay pushed through discussions about 17 possible locations before it finally pinned down the South Bay Boulevard and Highway 1 site for its water reclamation facility. But the location is unacceptable to a group of residents who are petitioning the city’s decision to purchase the site of the future facility.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Friday Top of the Scroll: California likely to see a dry winter, a federal report warns. But nothing’s certain

The coming winter is likely to be dry in California, and drought conditions may begin to emerge in the central part of the state, federal climate experts warned Thursday. But forecasters with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration also said weather patterns are fickle this year, and there’s no clear sign that another prolonged drought like the one that squeezed California earlier this decade will settle in.

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

Latest Western Water explores potential for managed aquifer recharge to aid California’s groundwater basins

To survive the next drought and meet the looming demands of the state’s groundwater sustainability law, California is going to have to put more water back in the ground. But as other Western states have found, recharging overpumped aquifers is no easy task.

Aquafornia news Santa Clarita Valley Signal

Santa Clarita Valley Water opens six new wells near Bakersfield, uncorking “banked” water

Under an agreement to “bank” water outside of the Santa Clarita Valley, local water officials … and their water banking partners, Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District and Irvine Ranch Water District, opened six new groundwater wells and a conveyance system to the Cross Valley Canal in Kern County.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Environment

White House nears infrastructure permitting changes

The White House has begun reviewing a plan to change the way it issues environmental permits for infrastructure projects. If the proposal is finalized, it could speed up National Environmental Policy Act reviews for roads, bridges, ports, pipelines, power lines, Internet trunks, and water systems.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Thursday Top of the Scroll: California Water Board OKs 35-year plan to tackle farm pollution

A decade in the making, regulators on Wednesday approved new rules that will require the agricultural industry and others to shield nitrates and salt from seeping into groundwater supplies. “This is huge,” said Patrick Pulupa, executive officer of the Central Valley Water Quality Control Board.

Related article:

Aquafornia news National Public Radio

California scientists hope to breed climate resilient trees

When California’s historic five-year drought finally relented a few years ago the tally of dead trees in the Sierra Nevada was higher than almost anyone expected: 129 million. … But some trees did survive the test of heat and drought. Now, scientists are racing to collect them, and other species around the globe, in the hope that these “climate survivors” have a natural advantage that will allow them to better cope with a warming world.

Aquafornia news Santa Maria Sun

State requirements face off with federal law in decision requiring more water from Lake Cachuma for steelhead

For more than 20 years, California pondered what to do about steelhead in the Santa Ynez River. On Sept. 17, the State Water Resources Control Board finally made a decision. It voted to pass an order that will increase water releases from Lake Cachuma.

Aquafornia news KEYT

Santa Barbara County board of supervisors votes to approve resolution opposing oil drilling

The Santa Barbara County board of supervisors is taking a stand against the Trump administration. The resolution was sponsored by First District County Supervisor Gregg Hart in response to the Trump Administration’s plan to open more than one million acres of lands throughout the coastal and interior regions of central California to new oil drilling and fracking.

Aquafornia news Valley Public Radio

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: As groundwater law plows forward, small farmers seek more engagement

Dennis Hutson worries small farmers may not have the resources to adapt to the potentially strict water allocations and cutbacks that might be coming. Their livelihoods and identities may be at stake. “You grow things a certain way, and then all of a sudden you don’t have access to as much water as you would like in order to grow what you grow,” he says, “and now you’re kind of out of sorts.”

Aquafornia news The Press Democrat

Tubbs fire zone landowners felling dead trees, thinning brush to protect Santa Rosa-area creek

The project includes improvements along more than 3 miles of dirt roads, repairing culverts and building erosion control features designed to reduce sediment flow into the creek. The aim is to protect gravel nests, called redds, where female salmon and steelhead lay their eggs, suffocating the eggs as well as clogging the gills of adult fish…

Aquafornia news Sonoma Index Tribune

Grand Jury report raises alarms about water security following an earthquake

The 2018-2019 Sonoma County Grand Jury report, issued in July, addresses several areas of concern that county residents and governments should be aware of, and prepare for. One of them is found in the “water report,” a 17-page document that poses the question, “Will there be water after an earthquake?”

Aquafornia news KQED News

New Chevron crude spills emerge in Kern County oil field

Thousands of gallons of crude petroleum began spouting out of the ground near a part of Chevron’s steam injection well network in a Kern County oil field over the weekend … in the same area where a larger uncontrolled release of 234,000 gallons of oil has taken place since August.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Marin’s wet year offers little comfort for firefighters

The ample rainfall in Marin County this past water year has acted as a double-edged sword. While the storms that touched down in the winter and spring filled reservoirs and moistened vegetation, they also created more fire fuel that is now beginning to fully dry out during what firefighters are calling a critical period in the fire season.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

EPA bypassed its West Coast team as feud with California escalated

When the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Andrew Wheeler, accused California of allowing “piles of human feces” on city streets to contaminate sewer systems … the accusations, contained in a Sept. 26 oversight letter, had been developed without the knowledge of the California-based staff, which would normally issue such notices. Instead, it was put together by a small group of political appointees in Washington assigned specifically to target California, according to three current E.P.A. officials.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California to pay $12 million to Butte County for roads damaged in Oroville Dam crisis

The state Department of Water Resources and Butte County announced the settlement Tuesday, more than two years after spillways at the Oroville Dam crumbled and fell away during heavy rains. The repairs resulted in heavy truck traffic that damaged Butte County roads. Butte County sued in August 2018.

Aquafornia news Geographical Magazine

The nitrogen dilemma: Can we reduce fertilisers and still feed the world?

When nitrogen-based fertiliser runs into water systems it can result in toxic algae blooms, leading to oxygen depletion and vast oceanic ‘dead zones’. Evidence suggests their use also contributes to air pollution, increased rates of cancer and reduced biodiversity, as well as emitting nitrous oxide – an extremely potent greenhouse gas. … A team of scientists, led by the University of California, Davis, has come up with a five-step plan to tackle this two-sided problem.

Aquafornia news Legal Planet

Blog: Aging dams, forgotten perils

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Critical U.S. infrastructure is dilapidated and unsafe. Regulation is week, and enforcement is weaker. Everyone agrees on the need for action, and climate change will only make the problem worse. but no one seems to do anything about it. Sadly, this has become a familiar story. Take dams for instance.

Aquafornia news The Conversation

Blog: Why we need to treat wildfire as a public health issue in California

Deadly fires across California over the past several years have shown how wildfire has become a serious public health and safety issue. Health effects from fires close to or in populated areas range from smoke exposure to drinking water contaminated by chemicals like benzene to limited options for the medically vulnerable. These kinds of threats are becoming major, statewide concerns.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Ventura County Star

Ventura approves $200 million wastewater recycling plan

The Ventura City Council approved a $200 million-plus plan Monday that will give the city more drinking water and greatly reduce the treated wastewater its sewer plant releases into the Santa Clara River estuary. The big-ticket item in the city’s plan is a new plant that will take wastewater that once went into the estuary and treat it to drinking water standards…

Aquafornia news East Bay Times

East Bay water district considers $72 million cattle ranch purchase

The Alameda County Water District is considering shelling out $72 million for a fourth-generation, 50,500-acre cattle ranch — touted as the largest potential land sale in the state — to preserve water quality, officials say. … The N3 Cattle Co. ranch is roughly the size of Fremont. It’s located east of Fremont, Milpitas and San Jose, south of Livermore, and stretches into parts of Alameda, Santa Clara, San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties.

Related article:

Aquafornia news San Bernardino Sun

Audits of embattled Rialto water district uncover financial, personnel issues

State and local audits of the embattled West Valley Water District in Rialto have uncovered a slew of deficiencies, including questionable hiring and promotion practices, no-bid contracts, abuse of credit cards and work performed without contracts.

Aquafornia news Visalia Times Delta

Opinion: Poor Central Valley communities deserve safe, affordable water service

Access to safe and affordable water is a basic human right. Many of our communities have been without safe water for years or even decades because of contamination of our drinking water sources. Living in communities without safe water is a public health crisis. It is also a crisis of basic justice and equity.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: California finds widespread PFAS contamination in water sources

Nearly 300 drinking water wells and other water sources in California have traces of toxic chemicals linked to cancer, new state testing has found. … State officials released the water quality results on Monday, the first step in what’s likely to be a years-long effort to track the scale of the contamination and pinpoint its sources.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Daily Pilot

Mesa Water tweaks pipe replacement policy, cutting estimated cost

The Mesa Water District board took a step Thursday to reduce the estimated cost of replacing its pipeline system. With newly adopted methodology, district staff estimates the 100-year replacement cost at $131 million — down from $200 million under the former standards.

Aquafornia news The Press Democrat

Lake Mendocino benefits from high-tech weather forecasting system

Lake Mendocino made it through a typically long, hot summer with an abundance of water and now, thanks to an ongoing experiment with high-tech weather forecasting, the reservoir can retain more water through the winter, benefiting people, fish and farmers along the Russian River.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Salinas Valley, Marina groundwater plans under public review, at odds

Groundwater management plans have been released for public review by both the Salinas Valley and City of Marina groundwater sustainability agencies … with no agreement between the two agencies in place and California American Water’s desalination project at the center of a dispute.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Deadly bacteria Legionella still in California prison water

A bacteria outbreak at a state prison in Stockton has cost California $8.5 million and doesn’t appear to be going away seven months after it infected two inmates, one of whom died.

Aquafornia news Inkstain.net

Blog: Metropolitan Southern California’s use of Colorado River water on track to be the lowest this year since the 1950s

The reasons are twofold. First, a big Sierra snowpack (the fifth largest since 1950) meant a larger allocation via the California State Water Project – a 75 percent allocation (which is really bigger than it sounds – it’s a big allocation). Second, Met’s become much more nimble in conserving water and juggling the various supplies within its service territory.

Aquafornia news Valley Public Radio

State water officials to vote on valley-wide plan to reduce nitrate and salt

Later this week, the State Water Resources Control Board will vote on a long-anticipated plan to reduce some of the pollutants flowing into Central Valley water. However, not everyone agrees on the details.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Colorado Public Radio

The monsoon was a total letdown for the Southwest

In Arizona, the mountainous city of Flagstaff normally gets 8.3 inches of rain in monsoon season but had 2.08 inches — the driest in more than 120 years of record keeping. The Grand Canyon airport, Teec Nos Pos on the Navajo Nation and Show Low also had record low rainfall.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Napa Valley Register

Napa County working toward a solution for Berryessa water, sewage finances

Napa County is taking a hard look at two small, remote Lake Berryessa-area communities to try to keep their aging utility services from once again falling into dire straits.

Aquafornia news Fairfield Daily Republic

Agencies release Delta-conveyed water transfer environmental reports

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority announced the environmental reports, which “analyze potential impacts of approving water transfers to increase water reliability for those suffering shortages during dry times.”

Aquafornia news MyValleyNews.com

Opinion: Imagine a day without water

While Southern Californians appreciate the work that’s needed to provide a consistent water supply, most people carry on with their busy lives as long as water comes out of the taps. Because water pipelines are out of sight, they are also mostly out of mind. But try to imagine for a moment a day when water didn’t just flow from the faucets.

Aquafornia news CALMatters

Monday Top of the Scroll: Cleaning up Paradise as a grim anniversary nears

Almost a year after wildfire ravaged the small wooded town, residents are still advised not to drink or bathe with tap water. Crews have hauled away more debris than workers took from the World Trade Center after 9/11. They’re nearly done.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Court ruling pauses Cal Am desal plant project

A Monterey County Superior Court judge has called a halt to work on the California American Water desalination plant project, at least temporarily, while a California Coastal Commission appeal challenging the project’s source wells is pending.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Hanford Sentinel

Multi-million dollar plan proposed to change Kings County groundwater management

Kings County’s groundwater management will begin a 20-year transformation in 2020. Five local groundwater agencies presented more information behind the groundwater sustainability plan in a public outreach meeting Thursday night.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California governor signs bill limiting oil, gas development

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Saturday signed a law intended to counter Trump administration plans to increase oil and gas production on protected public land. The measure bars any California leasing authority from allowing pipelines or other oil and gas infrastructure to be built on state property. It makes it difficult for drilling to occur because federally protected areas are adjacent to state-owned land.

Aquafornia news PasadenaNow.com

Covered drains caper explained

In case you’ve noticed some of the storm drains in the City of Pasadena covered, the Department of Public Works wants you to know it’s just following the rules. The covers are “catch basins” and they are used for gathering trash samples throughout the City to help in complying with mandated Total Maximum Daily Load limits.

Aquafornia news KCRA TV

New Sac Metro training tool saves millions of gallons of water

Sacramento Metro Fire has a new tool to assist in their firefighter trainings, which also helps recycle millions of gallons of water at the same time. The Pump Pod is a mobile tank that assists in catching and recycling thousands of gallons of water during firefighter training exercises.

Aquafornia news Western Farm Press

PG&E outage slows ag to a crawl

The forced blackout imposed by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. to reduce fire danger amid high winds has slowed agricultural activities in some parts of California to a crawl as shuttered processing facilities have caused a backup in harvests.

Aquafornia news EOS.org

Wildfires affect water resources long after the smoke clears

The number of wildfires burning across the western United States over the past 6 decades has been steadily increasing, and those fires are growing larger and more severe, especially in mountain areas where more than 65% of clean water resources for the West’s 75 million people originate. What happens when fires intersect water resources is the subject of two new papers in Hydrological Processes.

Aquafornia news Sacramento News & Review

Governor’s veto of SB1 criticized as playing into hands of anti-environment White House

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s veto of Senate Bill 1 means the honeymoon may be over with environmental groups who saw the bill as a bulwark to protect California’s water quality and endangered species from the Trump administration’s regulatory slashing.

Aquafornia news Arizona Republic

Long-term projections show insufficient groundwater in Pinal County, Arizona

Arizona’s top water official presented new long-term projections Friday showing that Pinal County doesn’t have enough groundwater to provide for the fast-growing area’s cities, farms and many planned subdivisions over the coming decades.

Aquafornia news Siskiyou Daily News

Court dismisses lawsuit against Crystal Geyser, county

The court denied the petitioner’s challenge, which questioned the validity of the county’s Environmental Impact Report, according to the Statement of Decision. Crystal Geyser purchased the former Coca Cola water bottling facility on Ski Village Drive in 2013 with hopes of bottle sparkling spring water and eventually producing Juice Squeeze drinks there.

Aquafornia news Valley Public Radio

Audio: What is ‘SGMA?’ A primer on California’s groundwater overhaul law

While many hail the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act as a success in state legislation and others say the law represents government overreach, most seem to agree: It could change agriculture and the economy in the San Joaquin Valley in a very big way. In this interview, we talk about the nuts and bolts of SGMA with Stephanie Anagnoson, Director of Water and Natural Resources with Madera County.

Aquafornia news Times of San Diego

Governor signs two bills crucial for San Diego’s transit and water plans

On Friday night the governor signed Assemblyman Todd Gloria’s Assembly Bill 1413, which will support local referendums on transit funding, and Assembly Bill 1290 by Gloria and Sen. Toni Atkins that clears the way for the pioneering Pure Water project.

Aquafornia news Highland Community News

East Valley Water District adds renewable energy to Sterling project

Working to “Make Every Source a Resource” and striving toward a more sustainable future, East Valley Water District Board of Directors approved the addition of state-of-the-art co-digester technology at the Sterling Natural Resource Center during the Sept. 11 board meeting.

Aquafornia news Sacramento Business Journal

California American Water seeks Air Force reimbursement for contamination cleanup

A provider of drinking water in Sacramento County is seeking reimbursement from the U.S. Air Force for a filtration system it installed to take contaminants out of groundwater near the former Mather Air Force Base.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Lithium will fuel the clean energy boom. This company may have a breakthrough

Efforts to extract lithium at the Salton Sea could unite environmentalists — who decry the destructive evaporation ponds used to produce the metal in South America — and national security hawks, who are loathe to rely on other countries for a mineral poised to play a key role in powering the U.S. economy.

Aquafornia news Action News Now

Work begins on salmon habitat projects

A major fish restoration project is underway on private property near Cottonwood. River Partners shared a video of new side channels that are being built to help the recovery of struggling wild salmon populations in the Sacramento River.

Aquafornia news Visalia Times Delta

Opinion: Newsom’s veto of Delta water bill best for California residents, farms

Agriculture is part of what makes our state’s economy strong and helps provide for all our families, which is why it is crucial that we do absolutely everything we can to protect our state’s farms and allow them to operate without the fear of major obstacles. California agriculture nearly faced such an obstacle with Senate Bill 1, which would have placed harsh regulations on water pumping from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Aquafornia news Public News Service

Groups oppose plans to dam Little Colorado River

Alicyn Gitlin, conservation coordinator for the Sierra Club’s Grand Canyon Chapter, said the project would threaten an endangered species, interfere with the Grand Canyon’s already degraded hydrology and damage sites held sacred by two Arizona tribes.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Arsenic in well water draws EPA to Oasis Mobile Home Park

Conditions tipped from bleak into officially alarming in late August when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that the water residents drink, cook with and bathe in had been contaminated with arsenic at 10 times the allowable limit…

Aquafornia news The New York Times

New EPA lead standards would slow replacement of dangerous pipes

The draft plan … includes some provisions designed to strengthen oversight of lead in drinking water. But it skips a pricey safety proposal advocated by public health groups and water utilities: the immediate replacement of six million lead pipes that connect homes to main water pipes. The proposed new rule would also more than double the amount of time allotted to replace lead pipes …

Aquafornia news KTLA

600 ex-EPA officials call for investigation into Trump administration over threats to California

Nearly 600 former Environmental Protection Agency officials are calling on Congress to investigate the Trump administration’s “inappropriate threat of use of EPA authority” against the state of California over recent environmental policies.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Wastewater project could create drought-proof drinking water for 500,000 Southern California homes

In its effort to establish a new, drought-proof source of water that could serve a half-million Southern California homes, the Metropolitan Water District on Thursday, Oct. 10 unveiled a $17 million pilot plant that will bring wastewater to drinkable standards.

Aquafornia news KSBY

Environmental groups file lawsuit for water releases from Twitchell Dam

A lawsuit has been filed in federal court on behalf of local environment groups to ask for water releases from Twitchell Dam to protect endangered steelhead in the Santa Maria River.

Aquafornia news Western Water

Friday Top of the Scroll: Recharging depleted aquifers no easy task, but it’s key to California’s water supply future

To survive the next drought and meet the looming demands of the state’s groundwater sustainability law, California is going to have to put more water back in the ground. But as other Western states have found, recharging overpumped aquifers is no easy task.

Aquafornia news Voices of Monterey Bay

Opinion: Cal Am looks to the future

While cities on the Monterey Peninsula have been working to address housing needs and the business community is actively looking to create more jobs, there is one component they all need to complete their plans – reliable, drought-proof access to water.

Western Water Gary Pitzer California Groundwater Map Gary Pitzer

Recharging Depleted Aquifers No Easy Task, But It’s Key To California’s Water Supply Future
WESTERN WATER NOTEBOOK: A UC Berkeley symposium explores approaches and challenges to managed aquifer recharge around the West

A water recharge basin in Southern California's Coachella Valley. To survive the next drought and meet the looming demands of the state’s groundwater sustainability law, California is going to have to put more water back in the ground. But as other Western states have found, recharging overpumped aquifers is no easy task.

Successfully recharging aquifers could bring multiple benefits for farms and wildlife and help restore the vital interconnection between groundwater and rivers or streams. As local areas around California draft their groundwater sustainability plans, though, landowners in the hardest hit regions of the state know they will have to reduce pumping to address the chronic overdraft in which millions of acre-feet more are withdrawn than are naturally recharged.

Tour Nick Gray

Northern California Tour 2020
Field Trip - October 14-16

Explore the Sacramento River and its tributaries through a scenic landscape as we learn about the issues associated with a key source for the state’s water supply.

All together, the river and its tributaries supply 35 percent of California’s water and feed into two major projects: the State Water Project and the federal Central Valley Project. Tour participants will get an on-site update of Oroville Dam spillway repairs.

Aquafornia news GVWire.com

With no El Niño, how does California’s winter shape up?

Will we have a second straight year of big snows and periodically heavy rains? Or is California headed for the start of another drought?

Aquafornia news ABC News

Driven by Flint water crisis, EPA issues new rule to tackle lead in drinking water

Partially inspired by the Flint, Michigan, water crisis, the Environmental Protection Agency announced a new rule to reduce exposure to lead from drinking water around the country on Thursday. … Wheeler said the new rule will help remove the most corrosive pipes with the highest risk of releasing lead first.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Editorial: Trump forcibly expands oil and gas drilling in California. Will Newsom fight back?

The majority of California’s elected leaders oppose Trump’s plans. A majority of Californians also believes the state should ban the dangerous practice called “fracking,” which injects poisonous, cancer-causing chemicals deep into the ground.

Aquafornia news Napa Valley Register

Regulatory challenges postpone start of dam removal in St. Helena

The removal of the Upper York Creek Dam will not begin in 2019 as previously planned, but the project is still on schedule to be complete by the end of 2020. … The city now plans to do both phases in 2020, after last-minute design changes failed to win regulatory approval in time for the 2019 construction season ending Oct. 31.

Aquafornia news New Times San Luis Obispo

Water board workshop examines the homelessness crisis’ relationship to water

Typical discussions about homelessness tend to focus on its most obvious problem, a lack of shelter. What often gets left out, though, are the tangential issues that arise from the crisis. On Oct. 3, the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board set out to examine one such issue: the ways in which homelessness and water quality intersect.

Aquafornia news HowStuffWorks.com

How the Salton Sea became an eco wasteland

California’s largest inland lake, the Salton Sea, lies in the Imperial and Coachella valleys. The lake, which is more than 50 percent saltier than the Pacific Ocean, is becoming more salt than water because it’s essentially evaporating. The lake and the area that surrounds it — once hotspots for tourism and wildlife — have essentially become ghost towns.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Thursday Top of the Scroll: Water conservation urged during PG&E power shut off

Cities, counties and regional water districts throughout the Sacramento Valley and Bay Area are urging users to cut down on water use during Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s public safety power shutoff, which has blacked out hundreds of thousands of customers since the early morning hours of Wednesday.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Stanford Water in the West

Dispute resolution processes: Thinking through SGMA implementation

Building the capacity to resolve disputes and work together is critical for a sustainable water future. However, recent analysis conducted by Water in the West … suggests that alternative dispute resolution processes are rarely used even when included in water management agreements.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Opinion: Time for transparency in San Geronimo Creek salmon fight

Fish in San Geronimo Creek are again the source of litigation. … For the average Marinite to know what’s at stake, fish proponents and the county need to answer three obvious but, so far, unanswered questions.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Chinook salmon flocking to revitalized San Joaquin River

A staggering number of Chinook salmon are returning to a California river that hasn’t sustained salmon for decades due to agricultural and urban demands, giving biologists hope that threatened fish are finally spawning in their native grounds without human help.

Related article:

Aquafornia news The Business Journal

We’re back, baby! Fresno top ag county once again

A big part of the reason for Fresno County falling short of the No. 1 ranking those years was due to California’s five-year drought that began in late 2011— the worst in the state’s recorded history — causing major water shortages in the western end of Fresno County that forced farmers there to limit their farming or let fields go fallow.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Hydro company proposes to dam Little Colorado River

Pumped Hydro Storage LLC is seeking approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to study the sites east of Grand Canyon National Park over three years. None of it will move forward without permission from the Navajo Nation. Navajo President Jonathan Nez said he’s been briefed by tribal economic development officials about the proposals — but hasn’t talked with anyone from Pumped Hydro Storage.

Aquafornia news Northern California Water Association

Blog: Reimagining our water system: Sites Reservoir as 21st century infrastructure

Building on the Governor’s call to “position California to meet broad water needs through the 21st Century” there are unique opportunities in the Sacramento River Basin to more effectively integrate 21st Century infrastructure into our multi-benefit water management approaches to help achieve resiliency.

Aquafornia news Times of San Diego

Learn about a new source of water coming to Oceanside

The city of Oceanside is offering tours to experience Pure Water Oceanside, an innovative program that will purify recycled water to create a new local source of high-quality drinking water that is clean, safe, drought-proof and environmentally sound. Pure Water Oceanside will produce enough water to provide more than 32% of the city’s water supply, or 3-5 million gallons per day.

Aquafornia news Santa Clarita Valley Signal

Opinion: Updated water supply info needed

As CO2 levels rise more rapidly than predicted, we need to re-assess infrastructure needs, from sewage plants and roads located along the coasts as the sea level rises, to our water supply and delivery system. “Infrastructure” might sound like a boring word, but it won’t be so boring to any of us if water doesn’t come out of the tap or untreated sewage is spilled into our bays…

Aquafornia news The Atlantic

Inside California’s Central Valley water crisis

California’s Central Valley is one of the most productive agricultural regions in the United States… But a seven-year drought has threatened the viability of the valley’s farmland, and many rural communities have suffered greatly as a result. Joris Debeij’s short documentary When a Town Runs Dry offers a window into the front lines of the water crisis.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Sen. Feinstein secures nearly $20 million to help stop Tijuana sewage from flowing into the U.S.

The Senate approved almost $20 million in funding to address sewage flows along the border. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who secured language in three different appropriations bills for the 2020 fiscal year, called the spills that send millions of gallons of raw sewage from Tijuana to San Diego, “unacceptable.”

Related article:

Aquafornia news Stanford Water in the West

Blog: Groundwater governance Q&A with Anita Milman

An expert in water governance, Anita Milman’s research focuses on understanding the interplay of technical, institutional and social dimensions of water within governance processes. … Below, Milman discusses keys to successful groundwater governance, implications toward achieving water security and her research activities at Stanford. 

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

As cost of delivering water climbs, Tustin looks at raising household rates

For the first time in five years, Tustin is looking at passing along those increases to consumers through a rise in rates. Early next year, the City Council will vote on a multi-year, incremental rate hike. If council members approve the staff proposal, rates almost immediately will increase 6% per year for five years.

Aquafornia news Legal Planet

Blog: It’s time the Safe Drinking Water Act got some respect

I have been writing about drinking water issues for the past fifteen years and often been struck at how little attention the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) receives in our field. Passed just two years after the Clean Water Act, it gets scant or no coverage in environmental law casebooks and is rarely taught in environmental law courses.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Ninth Circuit Court orders feds to reexamine Army Corps’ harm to native fish

The National Marine Fisheries Service owes an explanation for why it decided that two dams on the Yuba River do not adversely affect threatened Chinook salmon, steelhead and green sturgeon, three Ninth Circuit judges ruled Thursday.

Aquafornia news San Mateo Daily Journal

Opinion: Profit and Trump’s attack on Bay protections

Areas under Clean Water Act, or CWA, jurisdiction are not prohibited from being filled for development, but if developed, the act does require federal oversight, permitting and full mitigation for any loss of wetlands and wildlife habitat. Removing CWA protections would likely make the 1,400-acre salt pond site more profitable to develop, and thus more difficult to purchase for tidal marsh restoration.

Aquafornia news MyValleyNews.com

Lake Elsinore Fish Survey nets its goal

The morning dawned hot and sticky Tuesday, Sept. 24, when a slew of volunteers and scientists clad in T-shirts and hip waders along the Lake Elsinore shoreline. Their goal? To catch, measure, tag and release fish in the city’s namesake lake all in the name of conservation.

Aquafornia news KQED Science

Hotter fires are transforming California’s forests

Hotter-burning wildfires are transforming California’s forests, and not for the better. A new study from UC Davis finds high-intensity fires leave fewer trees and a less diverse population of plants behind. … Those intense fires transform forest into shrubland. And according to Richter, the more frequent and the larger the area burned at these high-severity sites, the larger the shrub fields left behind.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Business Insider

Orange County’s pure drinking water comes from filtered sewage

Whenever I visit my hometown of Orange County, California, I get to sip some of the purest drinking water in the US. The quality is sometimes hard to spot, since many drinking-water contaminants are odorless, tasteless, and invisible to the human eye. Even in cities where the water is contaminated with lead, residents have reported that their taps are crystal clear. But in Orange County, the water is actually as clean as it looks.

Aquafornia news Golden Gate Xpress

Fish farmers work to restore the San Francisco Bay

The loss of oyster reefs in the bay has affected its entire ecosystem. Oysters are natural filter feeders, filtering out small sediments and contaminants in the water. The unclean water has made it difficult for underwater grass to grow, reducing habitats for fish. The California Shellfish Initiative … works to advance local restoration plans for the bay, partnering with the California Coastal Conservancy to rebuild its native oyster reefs and wetlands.

Aquafornia news Mother Jones

Los Angeles, a city known for its freeways, is about to plant a ton of trees

The ambitious tree-planting project falls under the purview of Rachel Malarich, the city’s forest officer—a job that was just created in August to “oversee the growth of Los Angeles’ urban forest” as part of Garcetti’s Green New Deal. … The project will grow what’s already the largest urban forest in the country, making what happens in Los Angeles an important model for other cities looking to go green.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Firefighting foam leaves toxic legacy in Californians’ drinking water

After morning services, Florin Ciuriuc joined the line of worshipers waiting to fill their jugs with gallons of free drinking water from a well on the property, a practice church leaders had encouraged. Church leaders boasted it was the cleanest water in Sacramento, according to Ciuriuc. In fact, test results showed the water contained toxic chemicals from firefighting foam used for decades on a now-shuttered Air Force base a mile away.

Aquafornia news NOVA

Scientists may now be able to predict forest die-off up to 19 months in advance

In July of 2015, California’s forests began to crumple. Parched from more than three years of severe drought, trees died in droves, transforming entire swaths of the Sierra Nevada from vibrant green to dull, lifeless red. … But as Mukesh Kumar and his colleagues would discover, California’s trees had sounded a subtle death knell long before they breathed their last.

Aquafornia news Natural Resources Defense Council

Blog: Beware Trumpian claims that fish don’t need water (Part 1)

Over the past decade, state and federal agencies have continued to publish peer reviewed scientific research that largely strengthens our understanding of how the volume, timing, temperature, and quality of water – and the operations of existing dams and water diversion facilities, including the state and federal water projects – adversely affect salmon and other fish and wildlife.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Bakersfield Californian

Opinion: Groundwater overdraft numbers ‘don’t add up,’ and that’s a big problem

Here in Kern County, state-mandated water budgets presented by several large ag water districts and groundwater sustainability agencies have painted a far rosier groundwater picture. So rosy, the numbers simply couldn’t be believed…

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Volunteers celebrate 10 years of combating silt, pollution in Tijuana River Valley

Pulling weeds is not usually a great way to start a party. But filling a dumpster with invasive species was just the right activity to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Tijuana River Action Month on Saturday.

Aquafornia news ScienceDaily

Antibiotic resistant genes prevalent in groundwater

The spread of antibiotic resistant genes (ARGs) through the water system could put public safety at-risk. Researchers studied and compared samples from an advanced groundwater treatment facility in California and groundwater aquifers… They found that the advanced groundwater treatment facility reduced nearly all targeted ARGs to below detection limits, but groundwater samples had a ubiquitous presence of ARGs …

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Opinion: Protecting our groundwater, and our future

As a berry farmer in Coastal California my entire life, I have been a vocal supporter of groundwater regulation. … We are now seeing the profound risk of losing this critical resource, unless we collectively act soon to preserve groundwater resources for both the next decade and future generations.

Aquafornia news Pasadena Star-News

Opinion: Protecting California’s clean waters

There should be no “acceptable” amount of risk we’re willing to take when it comes to water quality or the health of our children and families. From Los Angeles to Sacramento to Washington, D.C. — in all the places I’ve worked — this belief has fueled my desire to fight for clean and safe water in our communities.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Monday Top of the Scroll: Trump administration opens California to new oil drilling; possibly Bay Area, too

The Trump administration’s latest effort to dramatically boost oil and gas production is landing in California, with the Interior Department on Friday opening up 720,000 acres between the Bay Area and Fresno to potential drilling.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Woodland Daily Democrat

UC Cooperative Extension survey results on cannabis cultivation

A UC Cooperative Extension survey of California registered and unregistered marijuana growers will help researchers, policymakers and the public better understand growing practices since cannabis sales, possession and cultivation first became legal for recreational use.

Aquafornia news Red Bluff Daily News

Work to start Monday on salmon habitat project

A salmon habitat project will get underway Monday just outside the city of Red Bluff. One of several such projects in the North State, the Rio Vista Side Channel Habitat Project will offer protection for juvenile salmonids, including endangered winter-run Chinook…

Aquafornia news Mother Jones

This ancient fruit holds secrets for how to farm in climate change

Katie Fyhrie, a grower at Cloverleaf Farm in Davis, Calif., worries that the farm won’t be able to keep producing stone fruits—which depend on the timing and duration of winter chill—in the long-term. … With that in mind, Fyhrie and her team have started growing elderberries.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Is California ignoring wildfire science as it adds more homes?

Scientists have increasingly found that loss of property and life from fire is overwhelmingly the result of precariously placed housing in and bordering wildland areas — residential developments that are, themselves, a major driver sparking conflagrations.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Pure Water Monterey project nears finish line with ceremony

The project is the first of its kind to tap agricultural run-off among a variety of wastewater sources for conversion into potable, drinking water that would represent about a third of the Monterey Peninsula’s new drinking water supply.

Related article:

Aquafornia news National Law Review

Blog: California groundwater contaminant notice levels & public water system testing

California has embarked on a statewide assessment to identify the scope of PFAS contamination in the state, focusing primarily on PFOA and PFAS. … Most recently, on August 23, 2019 the State Water Board lowered notification levels for PFOA and PFOS to 5.1 ppt and 6.5 ppt, respectively. The announcement also stated that response levels for these contaminants will be updated this fall.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Capitol Weekly

Opinion: California must defend its environmental protection laws

At Orange County Coastkeeper, we are disappointed that Gov. Gavin Newsom chose to veto SB 1 because of pressure from water interests, particularly in the San Joaquin Valley.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Environment

October will see new regulations on lead in water, Wheeler says

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said the Environmental Protection Agency’s long-awaited proposal to overhaul of the way it handles lead in tap water will be unveiled before the end of October.

Aquafornia news Santa Clarita Valley Signal

Local water officials tackle emerging national problem

On Tuesday night, members of the agency’s board received official word from staffers that trace amounts of a chemical called PFAS, or polyfluoroalkyl substances, were found in 17 of its wells, requiring them to now notify key agencies about the discovery.

Aquafornia news MyValleyNews.com

Riverside judge dismisses challenge to WMWD water rate structure; a victory for customers who use water efficiently

Western Municipal Water District, which provides water to Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District and Rancho California Water District in southwest Riverside County, won a court challenge from two excessive water users to share their higher costs with those who efficiently conserve their water usage and save on their water bills.

Aquafornia news Capitol Weekly

Environmental bill’s veto sparked surprise

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s veto of a major environmental protection bill angered and surprised environmentalists – and left some wondering what happens next.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Shrinking water supply puts Mojave Desert birds on the brink

Bird populations in the Mojave Desert have collapsed over the last century, and now scientists say they know why: The animals’ bodies can’t cope with the hotter and drier weather brought on by global warming.

Aquafornia news Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory

Blog: How groundwater management activities can affect water quantity and quality

The paper is intended to help groundwater managers avoid inadvertently contaminating water supplies as they change management practices to comply with California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. It focuses on natural contaminants such as arsenic, chromium, and uranium, as well as contaminants that can pose a threat to human and ecosystem health…

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Bay Area sea level rise: What we’ll lose at the water’s edge

Chronicle reporter Ryan Kost spent four days along the bay. He didn’t have a plan, but he had a map showing future flood zones — and a desire to know what would be lost under all the blue.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news The Sun-Gazette

East Kaweah sets hearing for groundwater plan acceptance

Based on the most detailed data they have available, the East Kaweah has a supply of 125,000 acre feet per year of ground water available for use without threatening overdraft. However, Hagman notes that the East Kaweah has overdrafted their portion of the basin by 28,000 acre feet on average, per year.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Environmentalists push for removing dam along Colorado River

Environmental groups that have long pushed to bring down a huge dam along the Colorado River are suing the federal government, alleging it ignored climate science when approving a 20-year operating plan for the dam near the Arizona-Utah border.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

A ‘chilling message’: Trump critics see a deeper agenda in California feud

President Trump’s political feud with California has spread collateral damage across more than a dozen other states, which have seen their regulatory authority curtailed and their autonomy threatened by a Trump administration intent on weakening the environmental statutes of the country’s most populous state.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Friday Top of the Scroll: The next big California vs. Trump fight is over water and endangered species

Just how far will Gov. Gavin Newsom go in his high-profile fight with the Trump administration over environmental protections? The next few months will provide an answer, as Newsom is forced to take a stand on Trump rollbacks in a long-contested battleground — the Northern California Delta that helps supply more than half the state’s population with drinking water and fills irrigation canals on millions of acres of farmland.

Aquafornia news FishBio

Blog: Warm it up: Balancing the needs of sturgeon, salmon, and humans

How does one achieve temperature and flow targets for listed species with such different requirements, while also meeting the needs of human water users? A recent study sought to achieve an equitable solution by using a multi-objective approach to identify trade-offs and model an optimal dam release scenario to meet the needs of salmon, sturgeon, and humans…

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Feinstein, Harris ask for probe of EPA notice against SF

California’s senators have asked the Environmental Protection Agency’s watchdog to investigate whether the agency abused its enforcement powers when it accused San Francisco of improperly dumping waste into the ocean.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Kern Valley Sun

Army Corps of Engineers speaks on dam failures

Anthony Burdock, Project Manager for the Isabella Dam Safety Modification Project, presented a program outlining catastrophic dam failures and how those failures were used to mold the dam safety regulations that now govern the nation’s dams, including Isabella Dam.

Aquafornia news Civil Eats

Can dry farming help save California’s vineyards?

California’s most recent drought lasted many long, parched years… There was plenty of suffering to go around, but some vineyards fared less terribly than others—historic parcels east of San Francisco, in Contra Costa County, for example. Planted at the turn of the last century by Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish immigrants, they rely on a technique called dry farming rather than irrigation.

Aquafornia news Antelope Valley Press

Water storage agreements OK’d

The Antelope Valley Watermaster gave preliminary approval to the first two water storage agreements to come before the Board tasked with overseeing the 2015 court settlement that set limits on groundwater pumping for users across the Valley.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Thursday Top of the Scroll: EPA makes good on Trump’s threat, cites San Francisco for water pollution

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a notice of violation to San Francisco on Wednesday, accusing the city of improperly discharging waste into the ocean and bay and following through on President Trump’s recent pledge to cite San Francisco for water pollution.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Capital Press

Appeals court dismisses Klamath groundwater dispute

The Oregon Court of Appeals won’t resolve a dispute over the impact of Klamath basin wells on surface waters due to newly imposed regulations in the area. The appellate court has dismissed the case because it’s moot and unworthy of review after the Oregon water regulators adopted different rules governing surface water interference from wells in the Upper Klamath basin earlier this year.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

New water year kicks off with a surplus in California

California has more water stored in its reservoirs than it did a year ago after a marathon wet winter that pounded the state with rain and blanketed its mountain ranges with snow.

Aquafornia news Arizona Capitol Times

Opinion: Next step? Make AZ a strong voice among Colorado River states

We now have an opportunity to build on the successful Arizona process that led to the DCP signing. Arizona is stronger together. And that will serve us well as we work toward the next step – maintaining a stable, healthy Colorado River system as we face a hotter and drier future.

Aquafornia news Santa Barbara Independent

Montecito takes a step toward recycled water

On the heels of a severe drought and years of water rationing, a longstanding plan to provide recycled water for the vast lawn at the Santa Barbara Cemetery is finally gaining some momentum. At a joint committee meeting this week, members of the Montecito Water and Sanitary District boards and staffs tentatively agreed to collaborate on recycled water for the cemetery…

Aquafornia news Voices of Monterey Bay

Opinion: Public water now

Over 30 years, Cal Am’s Desal would cost $1.2 billion while the Pure Water Monterey expansion would be only $190 million. But the cost in dollars is not the only comparison that should be made. The environmental cost comparison is also dramatic.

Aquafornia news National Law Review

California water permit warnings for commercial cannabis farmers

Although the Water Board made clear that they are not, at this time, issuing notices of violation, the letters serve as a shot across the bow to an industry that is beginning to appreciate the importance of compliance with environmental regulations and portends more significant enforcement efforts in the near future.

Aquafornia news KCRA TV

PG&E installs weather stations in foothills: What you need to know

PG&E has installed more than 600 weather stations at locations all across the Sierra foothills in Northern California and plans to more than double that in the next three years. … The weather stations provide multiple sets of eyes on an area that has very dry vegetation with a real danger of wildfires. They also give PG&E a better handle on when it may be necessary to de-energize the power lines.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Rich Pauloo

Blog: Race To The Bottom

There simply isn’t enough water in any given year to support all of the crops and livestock, so farmers and ranchers depend on groundwater pumped from deep, underground aquifers. Groundwater, like oil, is a limited resource, and in California it’s consumed at an alarming rate.

Aquafornia news The Salt Lake Tribune

Eco-groups sue feds, allege Glen Canyon Dam plan ignores climate change

Lake Powell’s long decline may be on hiatus after this year’s snowy winter, but activists still are raising concerns that climate change could render Glen Canyon Dam inoperable. This time, they are taking their concerns to court, asking a federal judge to invalidate the federal Bureau of Reclamation’s 20-year operating plan for the towering dam..

Aquafornia news Sacramento News & Review

Blog: Facing the forever drought

California isn’t in an official drought and under mandatory water conservation, but climate change means that saving water is always crucial. That’s why a recent announcement should not go unnoticed: The Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District won state approval to deliver recycled water to agricultural and habitat conservation land in the southern part of the county.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg

River flows are falling worldwide as groundwater is depleted

A new study released Wednesday says that diminishing groundwater is causing the level of streams and rivers to fall as well. Like the shrinking aquifers, surface water is critical to farms, towns and cities for everything from food to trade to energy production. … In watersheds such as California’s Central Valley, the Midwestern U.S.’s high plains, the Upper Ganges and the Indus in South Asia, groundwater is already being depleted.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Antelope Valley Press

Recycled water contract extended

The Palmdale Water District extended its contract with the Los Angeles County Sanitation District 20 for recycled water, as projects for this water have been delayed for circumstances beyond their control.

Aquafornia news Santa Clarita Valley Signal

Water treatment facility to be built next to baseball park

Water board members voiced concern at the last meeting over what to do if state officials lower the threshold for PFAS contamination to such a level that the wells would have to be shut down. The board decided not to wait for such an announcement and agreed to get the necessary water treatment equipment up and running as soon as possible.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

California’s water year starts with a large increase in reservoir storage. Here’s why

California is enjoying an increase in average water reserves due to increases in snowfall and precipitation, according to the Department of Water Resources.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Ventura County Star

Conflict, questions surface around $3 million water deal in Ventura County

Back in May, the board of the Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency unanimously agreed to pay the United Water Conservation District for about 15,000 acre-feet of water. Officials said the relatively low-cost release would help recharge aquifers still struggling after years of drought. That much was clear. Other details were more murky.

Aquafornia news Bay Area Monitor

Conservation before construction: Bay Area pilots new state program

To optimize mitigation for impacts to wetlands, other wildlands, and at-risk species, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife is developing a program called the Regional Conservation Investment Strategy (RCIS). … Each RCIS identifies top conservation needs, such as habitat for sensitive species…

Aquafornia news KPBS

8 million gallons of tainted water foul Tijuana River Valley

The United States-Mexico border region is enduring the latest in a series of massive cross-border sewage tainted spills. Federal officials in charge of monitoring the trans-border sewage situation on the U.S. side of the border said nearly 8 million gallons of tainted water flowed across the border in the Tijuana River channel.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: Trump administration surrenders to California, backs off on Delta water fight

The Trump administration has retreated on a plan to push more water through the Delta this fall after protests from California officials on the harmful impacts on endangered Chinook salmon and other fish.

Aquafornia news San Joaquin Valley Sun

Opinion: Reservoirs are booming. So what’s driving California’s water scare?

Tuesday, we began a new “water year” in California. And so, this is as good of time as any to review the water year we are closing.

Aquafornia news Voice of San Diego

Blog: Four lessons from the front lines of California’s water wars

From mandatory drought restrictions to billions of dollars’ worth of drought-proofing projects, San Diego and the entire West has for years had a complicated relationship with its water – and it’s not going to get any easier or any cheaper any time soon.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Environment

Shasta Dam fight with water district ends in California

The Westlands Water District on Sept. 30 formally stopped its environmental review of a $1.4 billion U.S. Bureau of Reclamation plan to raise the 602-foot dam by another 18.5 feet. It is unclear what Westlands’ decision will mean for the future of the project…

Aquafornia news Ventura County Star

Who gets Ventura River water? Ventura agrees to track usage

To help protect endangered fish and other critters that rely on the Ventura River for habitat, migration and procreation, the city of Ventura has agreed to better monitor and reduce its water draw in dry times. The city will also take steps to remove barriers for steelhead trout to make the journey to and from the sea…

Aquafornia news Natural Resources Defense Council

Blog: Stewardship of wetlands and soils has climate benefits

When you look at a farm, do you think about nutrient rich soils or cover crops growing between rows? When you look at a marsh, do you see the submerged layers of sediment created by years of plant litter piling up? Probably not. But those parts of well-managed agricultural lands and wetlands store a lot of carbon, and that’s increasingly important as climate change is forcing society to consider ways to lower carbon emissions…

Aquafornia news Natural Resources Defense Council

Blog: Newsom administration faces difficult tests on water this fall

While I’m deeply disappointed that Governor Newsom vetoed SB 1, the governor’s veto is also a troubling sign for several big tests on California water coming this fall…

Aquafornia news National Public Radio

Tribe gives personhood to Klamath River

A Native American tribe has granted personhood to a river in northern California making it the first known River in North America to have the same legal rights as a human, at least under tribal law. The Yurok Tribe based near the southern border of Oregon confirmed the new status on the Klamath River.

Aquafornia news Voice of San Diego

Water vending businesses tap into customer fears over water quality

Water vending machine companies compete aggressively to sell water outside of supermarkets and pharmacies at an incredible markup. The industry is only lightly regulated – last year the California Department of Public Health inspected just two machines in San Diego County.

Aquafornia news Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

Opinion: Trump administration makes right move in repealing 2015 water rule

Recently, authority over many streams, pools, and lakes in the United States reverted from the federal government to the states. The Trump administration repealed the 2015 “Waters of the United States” rule, under which the federal government claimed authority to regulate virtually any body of water it wished.

Aquafornia news KUSI

Tijuana River Valley legislation signed by Gov. Newsom

Senate Bill No. 690 seeks to reduce exposure to dangerous pathogens, limit beach closures and address water quality issues in the Tijuana River Valley. The bill will also allow a $15 million budget allocation for cleanup efforts as well as prioritizing projects that will address water quality, flood control, trash and sediment.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Southern California Water Coalition

Blog: New report: Innovation drives advances in stormwater capture

A new white paper released today by the Southern California Water Coalition aims to further the discussion through its provision of nine case studies of successful stormwater capture projects from California to New York.

Aquafornia news Redding Record-Searchlight

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: Westlands Water District stops work on Shasta Dam study after court loss

Following losses in court, a Fresno-based irrigation district has backed off its plans to do an environmental study on raising the height of Shasta Dam. The Westlands Water District announced Monday that it has stopped working on the report because it could not meet the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s schedule for the project.

Aquafornia news Berkeleyside.com

New ‘green stormwater spine’ in West Berkeley aims to clean water traveling to the Bay

A new “green infrastructure” project under construction along the western side of the block is designed to slow down that process by detoxing the water through soil and plants and pumping a purified product back out to the creek. The project, a whopping seven years in the making, is part of a $4 million, four-city effort…

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Opinion: Resnicks set a record with Caltech gift, but altruism isn’t the whole story

Although the $750 million represents a personal gift to Caltech rather than a corporate gift from the Resnicks’ principal corporate entity, The Wonderful Company, they’re engaged through that company in some arguably unsustainable environmental practices.

Aquafornia news Santa Maria Times

To guard against drought, Santa Maria looks to acquire rights to suspended state water supply

Santa Maria and several other Central Coast Water Authority members are planning to claim an additional 12,214 acre-feet of state water that was set aside decades ago. The move — which would be funded by issuing a $42 million bond — would increase Santa Maria’s annual right to state water from 17,820 to over 27,000 acre-feet each year.

Aquafornia news KSBY

Santa Maria residents could see water and sewer increases for the next 4 years

The proposed water rates include a fixed meter charge per month and a variable consumption charge per unit of water. The city says most single family residences will see about a $15 increase in January of 2020. … The last rate increase was approved by the city council five years ago, but he says a lot has changed since then.

Aquafornia news UC Davis Science & Climate

Blog: Becoming Arizona: Preparing for 2100 now and a Phoenix-like future in Sacramento

By century’s end, Sacramento is expected to feel much like Tucson or even Phoenix, Arizona, according to the state’s 2018 Climate Assessment for the Sacramento Valley. Daily temperatures are projected to rise 10 F in the valley by 2100, and the number of days topping 104 F are on track to increase from four days a year to 40.

Aquafornia news TheEcologist.org

Blog: Victory for defenders of Californian waterways

A coalition of river and coastal defenders have won a major victory against the State Water Resources Control Board, securing an order that requires the board to meet the statutory deadlines for its list of impaired waterways in California. The lawsuit focused on the board’s violations of the Clean Water Act and the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act…

Aquafornia news Paso Robles Daily News

Templeton Community Services District celebrates new drought-resistant water supply project

The project, called the Upper Salinas River Basin Conjunctive Use Project, captures existing wastewater flows generated within the eastside of the District and will return these flows back to the Meadowbrook Wastewater Treatment Plant. The wastewater undergoes treatment and is then discharged into the river alluvium that contains the Salinas River underflow providing subsequent conveyance to district wells…

Aquafornia news Marysville Appeal-Democrat

Citizens advisory commission created in response to Oroville Dam crisis

The California Natural Resources Agency is hosting an inaugural public forum designed to address issues related to the Oroville Dam, according to a press release from the CNRA. 

Related article:

Aquafornia news Arizona Republic

Two new Grand Canyon dams could be built by Phoenix company

A Phoenix company wants to build two hydroelectric dams less than five miles from the eastern border of Grand Canyon National Park, submerging several miles of the Little Colorado River and the endangered fish habitat it protects.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

$100 million desalination project to be led by Berkeley Lab

In an effort to widen the use of a nearly limitless — but expensive — source of water for California and other places worldwide that are prone to shortages, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has been selected to lead a $100 million project aimed at bringing down the cost of desalination.

Aquafornia news The Hill

Water experts tell Trump no, the homeless aren’t hurting California water quality

The Trump administration tried to pin California’s water woes on the homeless, but water quality experts say there is little connection between homeless camps and water pollution.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Arizona Daily Star

The Santa Cruz River starts thriving again, water supply is restored

The river is carrying year-round flows down a stretch on the Tohono O’odham Nation’s San Xavier District that until recently was dry for more than 70 years except after big rains. And here, unlike through downtown Tucson, the water is once again coming up from the aquifer naturally — not being added artificially through effluent.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

The Interior secretary wants to enlarge a dam. An old lobbying client would benefit

For years, the Interior Department resisted proposals to raise the height of its towering Shasta Dam in Northern California. The department’s own scientists and researchers concluded that doing so would endanger rare plants and animals in the area… But the project is going forward now, in a big win for a powerful consortium of California farmers that stands to profit substantially…

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Scientists assess waters off San Francisco and fear a climatic intruder

Jaime Jahncke, a marine biologist with Point Blue Conservation Science, which is headquartered in Petaluma, said the concern is that another long-lasting warm water episode could do serious harm to an already fragile ecosystem. “We’re going into a blob and we don’t know what’s happening next,” said Jahncke…

Commands