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.
A crisis could be approaching. The two giant reservoirs on the
Colorado River are both below 50 percent of capacity. If
drought causes even more drastic drops, the Bureau of
Reclamation could step in to prioritize the making of
electricity by the hydro plants at lakes Mead and Powell. No
one knows what BuRec would do, but it would call the shots and
end current arrangements.
Drinking water advocates had fretted the Safe and Affordable
Funding for Equity and Resilience (SAFER) program, intended to
help struggling water systems in mostly poor, rural areas,
would fall victim to the pandemic-flattened economy. But a last
minute loan from the Underground Storage Tank Clean-Up Fund
will ensure SAFER receives its full $130 million — at least
this coming fiscal year.
The Calaveras River Habitat Conservation Plan finalized this
week includes commitments by the Stockton East Water District
to improve conditions in the Calaveras River for steelhead. In
turn, the Water District gets assurances that it can continue
distributing water to irrigators and others without violating
the Endangered Species Act….These changes will be implemented
under the first plan of its kind in the Central Valley of
By 2030 we will be water positive, meaning we will replenish
more water than we use. We’ll do this by putting back more
water in stressed basins than our global water consumption
across all basins. … We will focus our replenishment efforts
on roughly 40 highly stressed basins where we have
operations….Our new Silicon Valley campus, opening later this
year in California, features an on-site rainwater collection
system and waste treatment plant to ensure 100% of the site’s
non-potable water comes from onsite recycled sources.
Floodplains were the historic rearing areas for juvenile
salmon, and the remaining floodplains in California are an
important food-rich habitat as present-day salmon grow and
attempt to survive their trip out to the ocean. We sat down
with Hailey Wright, a Department of Water Resources
environmental scientist, to discuss the salmon lifecycle and
her work designing and implementing projects in the Yolo
After years spent developing this project and making
adjustments to respond to stakeholder concerns, it became
obvious that we needed to take more time to address objections
raised by the community of Marina — namely that our project
would be built in their backyard without them receiving any
benefit from it.
A rapid-fire review of potential fixes to the Friant-Kern Canal
favors building a replacement canal for 20 miles alongside the
existing canal where land subsidence has caused it to sag,
severely restricting water flow, according to final
environmental documents released Friday.
Over the years, these groups united against a single cause: the
Southern Nevada Water Authority’s “Groundwater Development
Project,” a proposal to pump 58 billion gallons of water a year
300 miles to Las Vegas from the remote rural valleys of Nevada
and Utah. … In May, their three decades of resistance to the
pipeline ended in victory: The project was terminated.
There is a new product allowing businesses in California —
mostly farms and other agricultural businesses that rely on
water — to lock in prices for water. But there are plenty of
questions as to how this will actually work. To state the
obvious, it’s just not that easy to transact in water. It’s not
a block of gold, or even a barrel of oil.
Anderson Reservoir will be closed to boating, fishing and all
recreational activities for the next several years starting
Oct. 1. That’s when the local water district will begin
draining the lake in order to begin construction on a new
discharge tunnel and seismically retrofitted dam.
Along with being a global leader on addressing climate change,
California is the seventh-largest producer of oil in the
nation. And across some of its largest oil fields, companies
have for decades turned spills into profits, garnering millions
of dollars from surface expressions that can foul sensitive
habitats and endanger workers, an investigation by The Desert
Sun and ProPublica has found….Under state laws, it’s illegal
to discharge any hazardous substance into a creek or streambed,
dry or not.
If the record heat and wildfires ravaging California weren’t a
clear enough sign that the climate is changing, then consider
this: Wall Street is about to start trading futures contracts
on the state’s water supply. … They are intended to both
allow California’s big water consumers—like almond farms and
municipalities—to hedge against surging prices and can act as a
benchmark that signals how acute water scarcity is becoming in
the state and, more broadly, across the globe.
On Wednesday, at the virtual 35th Annual WateReuse Symposium,
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency facilitated a
“charrette” to identify challenges and map solutions to
continue advancing the National Water Reuse Action Plan…
“Water reuse must be a central theme in EPA’s efforts to meet
21st century demands for water,” said EPA Assistant
Administrator for Water David Ross.
For years, a stretch of Chorro Creek near Hollister Peak ran
through active farmland, where its flow was diverted for
irrigation and its banks were shored up by levees, blocking the
water’s natural access to its floodplain. … After nearly two
decades of planning and fundraising, the Estuary Program and
its partners recently completed a major restoration of the
When fires burn up vegetation, the charred remains become
hydrophobic—meaning they repel away any water. The soil is also
very dry, which counterintuitively makes it harder for water to
infiltrate. … Fires can also destroy the natural clumps in
soil, increasing their erodibility. Altogether, this means that
water is hitting the ground with more force and the soil is
unable to suck it up.
Through research funded by the Almond Board of California we
are exploring ways to recharge groundwater aquifers, be good
stewards of the water that we all collectively share as a
state, and even helping the salmon industry understand how
agricultural land, like rice fields, could play a role in
supporting salmon health.
Farmers whose only access to water is pumping from their own
well will get their first glimpse at what the state’s new
groundwater management law will cost them next month. On Oct.
1, the East Tule Groundwater Sustainability Agency will hold a
public hearing to discuss a groundwater extraction fee…
Along a Huntington Beach coastline dotted with oil rigs and a
power plant, one of California’s largest remaining saltwater
marshes has been a source of pride for local environmentalists.
But the marsh, known as the Bolsa Chica Wetlands, is endangered
despite a years-long struggle to pull together sufficient
public funding for its upkeep.
The years-long fight between the Imperial Irrigation District
and farmer Michael Abatti over control of Colorado River water
could be nearing its grand finale in the California Supreme
Court. After Abatti requested last month that the state’s
highest judicial body take up his case, the water district
filed its opposition on Monday.
A team of scientists, led by the University of Arizona, has
developed a new blueprint for arid-land agriculture using wild,
native crops and modern growing techniques. The 14 researchers
from the Southwest and Mexico believe their model can produce a
sustainable, local source of food that will improve the health
and well-being of consumers and farmworkers alike.
The last few years have been dry for one of the oldest
cemeteries in Tulare County. The well at the Deep Creek
Cemetery has been parched since 2014 and now they are in talks
with the Farmersville City Council to potentially connect to
the city’s water system.
Former U.S. Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt writes that
a “Grand Bargain” in California water is needed to end the
“political culture of deferral” and allow major water projects
to advance. On the contrary, what’s needed is an adult
regulator that will make hard choices that water users refuse
The right balance of nutrients is crucial for a healthy coastal
ecosystem. If rivers deposit too much nitrogen and phosphorus
in coastal areas, algae that flourish on those nutrients can
cause dead zones; if too little silicon flows downstream,
organisms that depend on it will die off.
State and local agencies are continuing to work to implement
the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. With SGMA’s
far-reaching implications, Ph.D. candidate at UC Merced, Vicky
Espinoza has created a bilingual video series to help provide a
better understanding of the impact of SGMA and generate more
A top water regulator from New Mexico yesterday warned senators
that hardrock mines, wastewater facilities and other industrial
entities could face stricter environmental oversight as the
Trump administration’s Waters of the U.S., or WOTUS, rule takes
When the Creek Fire exploded to 160,000 acres in just 72 hours,
ripping through a jewel of the Sierra Nevada just south of
Yosemite National Park, California and the world looked on in
horror and surprise. But the stage had long been set for the
megablaze, one of a half-dozen transforming millions of acres
of Golden State landscapes to ash. Droughts supercharged
by climate change dried out vegetation, aiding its transition
Dr. Ellen Bruno is a Cooperative Extension Specialist in the
Department of Ag and Resource Economics at UC Berkeley. At a
recent Silver Solutions webinar, she shared some of the
preliminary results on a paper she is working on… The study
considers the impacts of agricultural water pricing and the
effect on water use and land use change.
The housing developer and the powerful water utility, locked
into past contracts, are caught in a fight, playing out in
hydrologic reports and hearing rooms, over what might seem a
simple question: How much water is there? That answer is
complicated by how much is at stake — a Colorado River
tributary, the survival of an endangered Nevada fish and the
future of development in a sweeping area outside Las Vegas.
For decades, farmers in California’s Kern County have turned to
wastewater from oil production to help irrigate their crops
during extended dry spells. … But the use of the recycled
water, a byproduct of oil and natural gas extraction that is
mixed with surface water for irrigation, has stirred
Surrounded by lush green fields, Pleasanton often makes the top
ten list of desirable places to live. But a new list just out
is nothing to boast about. “I was just floored,” said
Pleasanton resident Jill Buck when she found out her town made
the top ten for dangerous drinking water.
Scientists at Salo Sciences, a startup that works on technology
for natural climate solutions, began creating the tool after
interviewing dozens of experts in California about the state’s
challenges with wildfires: They need more detailed, up-to-date
information about the forests so they can better predict how
fast and in what direction fires will spread…
Following a hot and extremely dry spring and summer, the Bureau
of Reclamation’s latest projections show that in a scenario of
continuing drought between now and 2025, the chances of Lake
Mead falling into a shortage has increased to nearly 80%. The
odds of the reservoir dropping to critically low levels by 2025
under this scenario was estimated at nearly 20%.
The Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board, which was
expected to make a decision Sept. 17 on the waste discharge
permit renewal for a proposed seawater desalination facility in
Orange County, has postponed action for several weeks at the
request of the applicant. Poseidon Waters, the company that
plans to build the $1 billion plant on 12 acres of the AES
Huntington Beach Generating Station, requested additional time
to address concerns raised in three days of public hearings…
The board of directors of the Metropolitan Water District of
Southern California Tuesday approved a cost-cutting plan to
reduce expenditures in response to lower water sales and
concerns about the financial impacts of COVID-19 on its member
agencies. The cuts will save about $11.7 million…
There are lots of new water gizmos popping up these days but
there’s only one Google. Which makes the massive tech company’s
involvement in a proposed water measurement tool both
intriguing and slightly suspicious to some agricultural water
For 75 years, through tensions and disputes over immigration,
narcotrafficking and trade, Mexico and the United States have
sent each other billions of gallons of water annually to
irrigate farms along the border under a treaty signed during
World War II. But today, the 1944 agreement is facing
increasingly violent opposition in drought-parched Chihuahua
state, where protesters have seized control of a major dam to
dramatize the plight of farmers…
The Napa County Groundwater Sustainability Plan Advisory
Committee — 25 people appointed by the Board of Supervisors
representing such interests as farming, wineries and the
environment — was in action last Thursday with a Zoom meeting.
The Sierra Nevada provides more than 60 percent of California’s
water supply and sustains a globally important agricultural
region. Quantifying the water-related benefits can be critical
in showing the true value and cost-benefit of forest
management. But until now, there hasn’t been enough locally
relevant data to incentivize restoration projects.
Responding to the lack of progress in 2017, the State Water
Resources Control Board ordered the California Natural
Resources Agency to adopt a 10-year plan to implement projects
to suppress the harmful dust and restore habitat. … But in
the three years since the water board’s order, progress has
been dismal, even though there is more than $350 million
available to implement the plan.
This proposal by California American Water has become one of
the most complicated and fraught issues to come before the
California Coastal Commission, whose long-awaited vote on
Thursday could determine not only the contentious future
of water on the Monterey Peninsula — but also the role of
government in undoing environmental inequity.
The Pleasanton City Council made headway on plans to repair a
contaminated groundwater well and meet — if not exceed –
future water quality standards earlier this month. In a
unanimous vote Sept. 1, the council approved a $437,374
contract with Walnut Creek-based Carollo Engineers to prepare a
basis of design report for per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances
(PFAS) treatment and rehabilitating the city’s groundwater
Every September for the last 22 years, the South Yuba River
Citizens League has hosted a Yuba River Cleanup with the help
of the California Coastal Commission. This year, the river’s
need for some tender, loving care has only grown as the region
reckons with more visitors, more single-use plastics and less
accountability amidst the pandemic.
San Diego is not well endowed with many freshwater sources to
support its growing population, so some water experts are
perplexed the city’s ignoring a self-replenishing local
groundwater source that, though small in size, is safe from the
threat of natural disasters and reliably recharged by the San
Once a week, Florencia Ramos makes a special trip to the R–N
Market in Lindsay, California. “If you don’t have clean water,
you have to go get some,” says Ramos, a farmworker and mother
of four who lives in the neighboring Central Valley town of El
Rancho. She has been purchasing jugs of water at the small
store for more than a decade now.
The Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority has taken actions
recently with regards to fees that will affect customers of the
Indian Wells Valley Water District. … It is my intent to
provide context for how these fees will translate to your bill
from the district.
Roughly a thousand acre-feet of water won’t make or break the
Colorado River. But for many who live in counties that border
the river, even losing a few drops of water to central Arizona
poses a major threat to their way of life.
The beleaguered Oasis Mobile Home Park near Thermal, home to
about 1,900 largely Spanish-speaking residents living in poor
conditions, has once again found dangerously high levels of
arsenic in its drinking water. On Friday, the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency served park management with an
emergency order compelling them to provide residents an
alternative source of water.
The Monterey Peninsula is about to find out if a long-term
water supply will become a reality on Thursday as California’s
Coastal Commission is scheduled to hear the application for a
permit to build the desalination source water wells. The Farm
Bureau believes the permit is necessary to secure a reliable
water supply for Peninsula residents and businesses.
Mexico’s water wars have turned deadly. A long-simmering
dispute about shared water rights between Mexico and the United
States has erupted into open clashes pitting Mexican National
Guard troops against farmers, ranchers and others who seized a
dam in northern Chihuahua state.
The San Diego County Water Authority and its 24 member agencies
have taken action to protect ratepayers by implementing strong
cost-cutting strategies to limit rate increases without
sacrificing a safe and reliable water supply or the ability to
plan for the future. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for
the Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Water District of Southern
The Olivehurst Public Utility District, which provides drinking
water to Olivehurst, Calif., north of Sacramento, is seeking
unspecified damages from the companies after discovering
1,2,3-trichloropropane, or TCP, in its water supply wells,
according to the complaint, which was filed Sept. 9 and
docketed Thursday in California Superior Court.
Lake Powell isn’t in Southern Nevada. Rather, it’s about four
hours away by car in southern Utah. But some environmentalists
say the water consumption of St. George, Utah, and neighboring
communities could have a direct and deleterious impact on the
Las Vegas water supply.
A major expansion of Los Vaqueros Reservoir took a step forward
with release of the final feasibility report by the U.S. Bureau
of Reclamation that concluded the initiative is economically
viable. The reservoir is owned and operated by the Contra Costa
Water District, and the project will increase its capacity by
more than 70% when complete.
The plan, approved by the board of directors, will help serve
more customers who use recycled water for irrigation,
construction grading, fire department usage. Additionally, the
board approved temporarily closing the Recycled Water Fill
Station No. 1 to move it, upgrade it and add better security
for the grounds.
The cuts are a plan to keep Lake Mead, a reservoir at the
Arizona-Nevada boundary, functional. Water levels have
precipitously dropped as a result of historic overallocation
and a drought that started in 2000. … ASU Now checked in with
Sarah Porter of the Kyl Center for Water Policy at the Morrison
Institute on how these new developments will impact the Copper
State and its residents.
As wildfires burn across California, temperatures hit record
highs, and communities cope with the COVID-19 crisis,
biologist Caroline Brady is helping respond to a different
disaster: the worst avian botulism outbreak that anyone can
remember at the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex.
One of the most severe examples is the San Lorenzo Valley Water
District, which serves parts of inland Santa Cruz County, in
central California. More than 7 miles of an HDPE plastic water
supply pipeline were destroyed in the CZU Lightning Complex
Fire, according to Rick Rogers, the district manager.
Emergency repairs are underway after a historic fire in the
Santa Cruz Mountains wreaked havoc on the San Lorenzo Valley’s
water infrastructure. The CZU August Lightning Complex fire
caused an estimated $11 million in damage to pipes, meters,
mains, tanks and other San Lorenzo Valley Water District
infrastructure and equipment, according to District Manager
California is on track to get drier over the coming decades.
But that doesn’t mean the golden state’s water woes come only
from too little rain. In a new study, researchers at UC Santa
Barbara and UCLA warn that flooding potential associated with
extreme precipitation events is set to sharply increase.
The San Francisco Bay-Delta is literally threatened from all
sides: rising sea levels from the ocean, disruptions to
sediment supply from upstream, and within the Bay-Delta itself,
development and other land use changes have left only a tiny
fraction (5%) of marshland untouched. … A recent study by
scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey used historical
streamflow and sediment data to predict what will happen to the
Bay-Delta under varying levels of climate change.
Reclamation announces a virtual open house website for the
Shasta Lake Water Resources Investigation Draft Supplemental
Environmental Impact Statement. Website visitors will be able
to learn more about the project, review summaries of Draft
Supplemental EIS chapters, and submit comments.
The idea was to lower the flows while temperatures were still
warm enough to dry out the caddis larvae. That required buy-in
from local merchants and the Bureau of Reclamation, local
tribes and others. They were able to do it, and on Aug. 27, the
first of two flow reductions took place. When the river
dropped, people pitched in for a day of river cleanup.
Mike Halpert, deputy director of the Climate Prediction Center,
said that as a result of La Niña, Southern California, as well
as most of Arizona and New Mexico, could “tilt toward dry” this
winter. Southern California, which gets most of its rainfall
from late fall to early spring, is already abnormally dry…
The Pleasanton City Council … unanimously approved a contract
with Carollo Engineers in the amount of $437,374 to prepare a
basis of design report for Per-and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances
(PFAS) treatment and the rehabilitation of city-owned and
-operated wells 5, 6 and 8.
The Rancho California Water District agreed to authorize
its general manager to negotiate bond issuances to save the
district an estimated $1.3 million. The savings will help cover
the loss expected when the board agreed to halt rate increases
during the COVID-19 pandemic last month.
“When a forest burns in a wildfire, should we expect it to
return as it was before?” Research scientist Jonathan Coop and
his team pose this question. It addresses a critical conundrum
in ecology: How do ecosystems recover from disturbance and why?
Coal miners, stone quarrying companies, and other businesses
are rushing to lock down any exemptions to federal water
jurisdiction for at least five years, under changes the Trump
administration recently made to the nation’s water rule. … A
decision that might in some instances have taken multiple site
visits and nearly three years now can come as quickly as a day,
the data show.
While California’s climate has always made the state prone to
fires, the link between human-caused climate change and bigger
fires is inextricable, said Park Williams, a bioclimatologist
at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.
The California Natural Resources Agency announced it will be
hosting a new round of public engagement sessions in September
to get input to assist in the development of wildlife habitat
restoration and dust suppression projects for the Salton Sea
Management Program’s 10-year plan.
The most pressing risk is debris that could clog the San
Lorenzo River near River Street and Highway 1 where water
enters the city’s system, said Santa Cruz Water Director
Rosemary Menard. The San Lorenzo River is the city’s largest
water source. It represents about 45% of the water supply.
In 2014, California passed the Sustainable Groundwater
Management Act (or SGMA), requiring local agencies to be formed
and groundwater sustainability plans to be written for all
groundwater basins subject to SGMA. Those plans must avoid six
undesirable results, one of which is “significant and
unreasonable” impacts to groundwater quality.
Less than two years after the most destructive fire in
California history tore through Paradise, the same region was
under siege from a second monster firestorm that quickly grew
to more than 250,000 acres, sweeping through mountain hamlets
and killing at least three people. … Across the state, 28
major wildfires have prompted more than 64,000 people to
The Mexican National Guard said Wednesday that two people had
died in a gunfight with military police near a protest at a dam
that diverts water away from an area hit by drought to the
United States. … The protest comes amid plans to divert more
to the United States due to a “water debt” Mexico has accrued
under a 1944 water-sharing treaty between the countries.
Sens. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)
said yesterday they secured a public hearing on legislation to
ease some regulatory hurdles for forest management projects…
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will take up
the bill, S. 4431, next week. The “Emergency Wildfire and
Public Safety Act,” would also allow the Forest Service to
declare emergencies in certain areas affected by wildfire,
allowing for restoration with less-extensive environmental
In Protecting Our Water and Environmental Resources v. County
of Stanislaus, the Court held that the County may not
categorically classify all groundwater well permit issuances as
ministerial decisions. Such a classification exempts well
permit issuances from environmental review.
The Utility of the Future Today recognition program celebrates
the achievements of water utilities that transform from a
traditional wastewater treatment system to a resource recovery
center and leader in the overall sustainability and resilience
of the communities they serve.
The pending removal of the Upper York Creek Dam has put a stop
to a daily $70 fine that’s been levied against the City of St.
Helena for almost eight years. Thanks to rapid progress on the
long-awaited project, which will improve fish passage and
restore habitat along York Creek, the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration has suspended the $70 per day
penalty the city has incurred since November 2012…
There is something in the water on planet Earth. A study
published Wednesday reveals climate change has amplified the
water cycle, which explains the more frequent extreme weather
patterns in recent years.
If current predictions hold, the entire Palo Alto Baylands
could be submerged by the middle of the century because of sea
level rise, a destructive predicament that would threaten both
the sensitive habitat and the critical infrastructure in the
nature preserve. To prepare for rising tides, the city is
moving ahead with the creation of a new Sea Level Adaptation
The project proposes to cover 3,600 acres near the town of
Ducor with enough solar panels to … provide 100% of the power
needed for 180,000 homes… The Tulare County Farm Bureau did
submit a letter reminding the board of the law’s intent to
preserve farm land and not to create solar farms, but
ultimately agreed the project would give landowners with sparse
access to irrigation water options to make their lands
In 2010, tribes joined the company that owns the dams and other
stakeholders in an agreement to remove the dams in 2020. The
plan was later delayed to 2022, and now it may stall again
because of a recent decision by federal regulators.
The test they want to use measures total organic fluorine
amounts in water and can provide a broader picture of all per-
and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in a sample instead of
testing for one or a few substances at a time. By removing the
need to test for individual PFAS, states may be able to speed
up the process for regulating groups of the chemicals, some of
which have been linked to cancer.
Nevada officials raised numerous concerns Tuesday about a
proposed project to pipe large quantities of Colorado River
water roughly 140 miles from Lake Powell to southern Utah…
Six of the seven states that use the Colorado River also sent a
letter to federal water managers Tuesday asking them to refrain
from completing project permitting…
By killing millions of trees in the Sierra National Forest, the
historic drought that ended in 2017 left an incendiary supply
of dry fuel that appears to have intensified the fire that’s
ravaged more than 140,000 acres in the southern Sierra Nevada,
wildfire scientists and forestry experts said.
Irvine Ranch Water District and Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water
Storage District had just begun environmental review for their
joint banking project this past April when TCP reared its head.
… TCP (trichloropropane) is a carcinogenic leftover from a
nematode pesticide made by Shell Oil and Dow Chemical that was
liberally applied to Central Valley farmland from the 1950s
through the 1980s.
Restoring specific “functional flows” would better support fish
migration and spawning, water quality, dry-season base flows,
and physical conditions that support aquatic species. A panel
of experts, moderated by PPIC senior fellow and study coauthor
Jeff Mount, discussed how to put this approach into practice.
We invite you to watch the event video.
The water wars are far from over, a point made clear in a
just-released feature-length documentary, “Until the Last
Drop.” If you can block from your mind the old Folgers “good to
the last drop” commercials, the film title will evoke a
combination of dripping water with a fight to the last drop of
A federal judge took a no-nonsense approach Friday to a hearing
on the White House’s rewrite of the National Environmental
Policy Act, grilling conservation groups on how they’ll be
harmed and chiding the Justice Department for glossing over the
political motivations behind the rules.
Starting in mid-July, the flows in the Noyo River began
dropping faster than in any other summer on record. The river
flow is below 2015 low flows, when the entire state was in a
drought emergency. John Smith, director of Fort Bragg Public
Works, said staff had never before seen water levels in the
Noyo drop so precipitously.
I visited in late August with Matt Angell about California San
Joaquin Valley water issues. Angell is a chairman of San
Joaquin Resource Conservation District 9, is a managing partner
at Pacific Farming Co., and also is managing director of Madera
Pumps. The conversation included discussion of California’s
Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and what that will
require of growers in the years ahead.
Drivers entering town these days pass a sign with an urgent
message: Do not drink or boil the tap water in your home. It
may not be safe. This town in the heart of the Santa Cruz
Mountains is the latest California community to grapple with
water problems because of a wildfire.
At their regular meeting Tuesday, Sept. 1, the Siskiyou County
Board of Supervisors discussed issues that Big Springs area
residents are still facing regarding alleged privatized water
sale for illegal marijuana grows. Despite an urgency ordinance
prohibiting the trucking of water and a rally near one of the
alleged extraction sites on Aug. 22, residents say they’re
still noticing trucking going on.
Groups in the Tahoe Basin are using new technology to fight
invasive species and decreasing lake clarity. Researchers at
University of Nevada, Reno and Tahoe Regional Planning Agency
have been testing a UV light equipped vessel to control aquatic
invasive plants in the Tahoe Keys.
Climate change could deliver more silt, sand and pollution to
the San Francisco Bay-Delta, along with a mixed bag of other
potential consequences and benefits, according to a new study
in the AGU journal Water Resources Research, which publishes
research articles and commentaries providing a broad
understanding of the role of water in Earth’s natural systems.
Expansion of the Pure Water Monterey recycled water project is
the best option for the Monterey region to meet its future
water supply needs. Unfortunately, California American Water
Co., a private water supplier, is discrediting the project in
hopes of getting approval for their much more costly, oversized
and environmentally harmful groundwater desalination project…
Santa Rosa miscalculated its stored water forecast near the
beginning of the irrigation season, leading to sudden limits on
water use that farmers say will cost them dearly in an already
dry year. In mid-June, the agricultural users were put on
notice: There would not be enough irrigation water for all to
last through the growing season, according to the city.
Arizona’s top water regulator has endorsed a company’s proposal
to take water from farmland near the Colorado River and sell it
to the fast-growing Phoenix suburb of Queen Creek. The plan,
which still would require federal approval, has generated a
heated debate about whether transferring water away from the
farming community of Cibola could harm the local economy, and
whether the deal would open the gates for more companies to buy
land near the river with the sole aim of selling off the water
The Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District (Regional
San) is currently completing major upgrades to its wastewater
treatment plant. In anticipation of these upgrades, USGS
scientists are gathering data to establish baselines for
current nutrient levels and dynamics in the Sacramento-San
Joaquin Delta (Delta).
Four aging dams on the Klamath River are coming down. Their
completion between 1921 and 1964 brought hydroelectric power to
Northern California. It also blocked hundreds of kilometers of
fish habitat, causing Chinook salmon to effectively disappear
from the upper river basin. But the removal of dams is no
guarantee the fish will return, so a team of wildlife
researchers hopes it can coax the fish to repopulate the river
by exploiting a new discovery about salmon genetics.
A multimillion dollar water project in the heart of Northridge
is on the fast track to becoming a reality. The Aliso
Creek-Limekiln Creek Restoration Project at Vanalden Park is
aimed at reducing pollutants in city waters by treating
stormwater and urban runoff from Aliso and Limekiln creeks and
an open channel storm drain.
“Until the Last Drop,” a feature-length documentary filmed
along the banks of the Merced, Tuolumne, Stanislaus and San
Joaquin Rivers is scheduled for virtual release Labor Day
weekend 2020. In this probing film, Modesto Irrigation District
along with Final Cut Media examine the rivers that have
transformed the San Joaquin Valley, helped create cities and
nourish the world.
California EcoRestore is an initiative started in 2015 under
the Brown Administration with the ambitious goal of advancing
at least 30,000 acres of critical habitat restoration in the
Delta and Suisun Marsh by 2020. … At the August meeting of
the Central Valley Flood Protection Board, Bill Harrell, gave
an update on the Eco Restore program and the progress that has
been made over the past five years.
The Natural Resources Defense Council on Thursday sued the
Environmental Protection Agency over its decision not to
regulate a chemical linked to fetal and infant brain damage.
The agency announced in June it would not regulate perchlorate
even though it estimated up to 620,000 people could be drinking
water with a concerning amount of the chemical.
According to the 21-page complaint, Foster Farms’ Livingston,
California, plant uses 3-4 million gallons of drinkable water
daily, more than all the other water users in the rural city of
14,000 combined. The main reason, the Animal Legal Defense
Fund argues, is Foster Farms’ water-intensive slaughter system.
Dams, diversions, and land conversion have substantially
altered California’s rivers and disrupted the processes that
sustain ecosystem health. The result is a crisis for native
fish and wildlife and the loss of many benefits we derive from
As wildfires roar across Northern California, a team of Union
Pacific Engineering employees are on the front lines, battling
hot spots along tracks, bridges and tunnels. Their equipment of
choice? A water train consisting of two rail cars, each holding
12,500 gallons of water and a pumper. The crew has been out in
force recently on UP’s Canyon Subdivision near Quincy, Calif.
While the Court’s Opinion does not state that all well permits
must undergo CEQA review, it narrows the grounds on which the
ministerial exemption may apply. And since county well
ordinances across the State comprise similar provisions, this
ruling upsets the common practice of treating such permits as
ministerial, not subject to CEQA.
Nevada and California joined forces last week at the 24th
annual Lake Tahoe Summit to advance the states’ shared
priorities to protect and restore Lake Tahoe. … There is a
long history of collaboration between Nevada and California to
restore and protect the spectacular natural treasure of Lake
Tahoe and its surrounding environment. This spirit of
collaboration was a pillar of the 24th annual Lake Tahoe Summit
With an ever-increasing human population, water shortages
already occurring in many areas are only expected to get worse.
Now, researchers reporting in Environmental Science &
Technology have estimated the freshwater supply and demand of
about 11,000 water basins across the globe, determining that
one-fourth of freshwater consumption exceeds regional
The organizers of the Advocacy and Water Protection in Native
California Speakers Series are hosting a new webinar series
aimed at taking action against environmental racism and for
water justice in California. Humboldt State University Native
American Studies and Save California Salmon are organizing the
“Mobilizing for Water Justice in California” Webinar Series on
Drivers entering town these days pass a sign with an urgent
message: Do not drink or boil the tap water in your home. It
may not be safe. This town in the heart of the Santa Cruz
Mountains is the latest California community to grapple with
water problems because of a wildfire.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C.
Circuit in Washington, seeks to overturn the Trump EPA’s
decision to allow unlimited amounts of toxic perchlorate in our
tap water. EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler reached this
decision even though his agency admits that toxic perchlorate
is found in millions of Americans’ tap water…
As the North Bay continues to deal with thick smoke from
still-smoldering wildfires, some experts are already beginning
to wonder about this winter. They’re concerned about endangered
salmon in the Russian River watershed. Ground zero is the Warm
Springs Fish Hatchery just below Lake Sonoma, at the top of the
Dry Creek Valley.
Zone 7 Water Agency is now treating its water supply with
ozone, replacing chlorine as the main disinfecting treatment
and “enhancing quality of finished water” for customers,
officials announced on Tuesday.
CU Boulder will collaborate with five other universities and
two federal partners to better understand how water, trees,
soils and rocks interact and change each other in the fire- and
drought-prone landscapes of the American West. The team has
chosen five locations in Colorado and California to test a
variety of hypotheses about water in the critical zone. And not
only from a physical perspective, but also from ecological and
Studies estimate that 1.5 – 2.5 million Californians rely on
domestic wells to meet their household water needs. But because
domestic wells are often shallow, they are also often sensitive
to changes in groundwater levels. As such, sustainable
groundwater management has an important role to play in
safeguarding the health and safety of residents and the
achievement of California’s recognized Human Right to Water.
The two projects — which will cost $25 million and are funded
by the EPA’s Border Water Infrastructure Program — will control
sewage and wastewater, sediment and trash that flows from the
Tijuana River across the U.S.-Mexico border into San Diego, EPA
Administrator Andrew Wheeler said during a press conference
Wednesday at the U.S. Coast Guard station in San Diego.
When salmon spawn, it marks the end of their lifecycle. But it
doesn’t mark the end of DWR’s salmon research. DWR studies the
carcasses to learn about salmon populations and assess their
numbers in the Feather River.
The new suit, filed Tuesday on behalf of three different tribal
groups and the Sierra Club, argues states and tribes have a
right to place conditions on federal projects that could
degrade waters within their borders or to reject them
altogether. “These changes that cut into the tribe’s ability to
protect its waters and fish harm us all,” Anthony Sampson,
chairman of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe in Nevada, said in a
The Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity last week
said it’s targeting a federal plan to auction in December seven
parcels totaling about 4,330 acres in or near existing
oilfields in the county. The CBD called the auction plan a
“breathtakingly vicious” move by the Trump administration to
expand drilling and fracking at a time of wildfires driven by
climate change in an area with some of the country’s worst air
San Diego water managers are working with local researchers to
understand how atmospheric rivers bring water to the region.
… Scripps Institution of Oceanography researchers are working
to better understand atmospheric rivers, or ARs, so they can
predict when and where the weather systems will hit.
California’s beleaguered Department of Toxic Substances
Control could at last get an overhaul under a bill heading to
the desk of Gov. Gavin Newsom. … If approved, the bill would
impose a per ton waste generation fee, increase facility fees,
add an ombudsman position, and take other actions. Assembly
member Cristina Garcia (D), who authored the bill, said it
would also raise $22 million to help stabilize the department’s
The California Natural Resources Agency has released a draft
project description for the Salton Sea Management Program Phase
I and announced a series of virtual public workshops for
community input. The project description identifies habitat
restoration and dust suppression projects to revitalize the
environment and protect public health.
A developer is suing Nevada’s Division of Water Resources after
the state again denied plans to construct new homes at Coyote
Springs, the latest setback in a decades-long effort to build a
sprawling master-planned community about 50 miles north of Las
Vegas. Coyote Springs Investment alleges state officials made a
series of decisions that amount to an “unconstitutional taking”
of the water rights it owns and planned to use.
The Trump administration is seeking to fast track environmental
reviews of dozens of major energy and infrastructure projects
during the COVID-19 pandemic… Projects targeted for quick
review include highway improvements in South Carolina, Georgia,
Florida and other states; the Lake Powell water pipeline in
Utah; wind farms in New Mexico and off the Massachusetts coast;
and mining projects in Nevada, Idaho, Colorado and Alaska.
San Diego County Water Authority is seriously considering
building a duplicate pipeline through the desert and Cleveland
National Forest to break free from Metropolitan, or Met, which
controls truck-sized pipes and canals from the Colorado River.
It could be the most expensive public works project in San
Diego’s 170-year history…
The Environmental Protection Agency has approved a Superfund
site project to clean up groundwater in part of a basin in
Fullerton, Anaheim, and Placentia… According to the Orange
County Water District, groundwater was contaminated with
industrial degreasing chemicals in the early 1960s through the
mid-1980s. The long-lasting effects contaminated an area about
five miles long and two miles wide…
San Luis Reservoir and O’Neill Forebay are open in Merced
County, after being shuttered by regional wildfires. However,
state Department of Water Resources officials say that’s not an
invitation to go in the water. DWR on Tuesday issued a harmful
algal bloom warning advisory at the O’Neill Forebay, plus a
caution is in effect for the San Luis Reservoir.
The big kahuna of California water — Metropolitan Water
District of Southern California — has stopped taking supplies
from one Kern County groundwater bank because the water is
heavily tainted with a cancer-causing agent that is pervasive
in Central Valley’s aquifers. While only one banking program
has been affected so far, the emergence of this issue could
have huge implications for water storage and movement in the
Gov. Gavin Newsom, like governors before him, wants to overhaul
how water moves through the delta. He’s proposing a 30-mile
tunnel that would streamline the delivery of water from the
Sacramento River, a bid to halt the ongoing devastation of the
delta’s wetlands and wildlife while ensuring its flows continue
to provide for the rest of the state. The pressures of climate
change on water supplies have only increased the urgency to
act. And the coronavirus pandemic and months of
shelter-in-place orders haven’t slowed the planning. ….The
tunnel, as much as anything, is the very symbol of the state’s
never-ending water wars.
The water system owned by the city of Montebello is primarily
made up of old concrete pipes made with asbestos, a once-common
part of water and drainage systems. This system has not been
properly maintained, and is now in need of $50 million worth of
health and safety repairs and improvements. Why has this been
allowed to occur you may ask?
Marybel Batjer, president of the California Public Utilities
Commission, said Executive Director Alice Stebbins had taken
the “appalling and disgraceful” step of deliberately hiring a
“marginally qualified former colleague” over better-suited
candidates, among other claims detailed in a report from the
State Personnel Board….The commission watches over
investor-owned electric and gas companies as well as
telecommunications, water, rail and passenger transportation
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has
identified the first two regions where Aquaculture Opportunity
Areas (AOAs) will be located in federal waters off Southern
California and in the Gulf of Mexico. The selection of these
regions is the first step towards establishing ten AOAs
nationwide by 2025.
In April, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order placing a
moratorium on water shutoffs and requiring reconnections for
households disconnected after March 4. … But record
unemployment means California should expect a tsunami of water
shutoffs when the moratorium ends and bills come due.
Over the next 20 years, San Joaquin Valley farmers may need to
temporarily fallow or permanently retire over half a million
acres of cropland as California pushes towards sustainable
groundwater use. … Below, the paper’s lead authors, Benjamin
Bryant and Rodd Kelsey, discuss their research examining how
conservation planning can guide the land use change being
driven by SGMA to achieve multiple benefits…
The San Joaquin Valley in California has the highest rates of
drinking water contamination and the highest amount of public
water systems with maximum contaminant level violations in the
state. … The most recent contamination occurred in the city
of Tulare, where local government buildings received a
boil-water notice after a test of county wells found coliform
Microplastics arrive on farms through processed sewage sludge
used for fertilizer, plastic mulches, and are even
intentionally added as slow-release fertilizers and protective
seed coatings. In just the last few years, an uptick in
research has uncovered alarming potential impacts of this
contamination on all aspects of agricultural systems from soil
quality to human health.
The study looked at how much water conservation can readily and
affordably be achieved in each region and industry of the
United States by looking at what conservation measures were
already working and considering how much water is being used in
every industry and throughout the country. Then the researchers
ran statistics on that information, looking for areas that
offer greater efficiency.
A Monday proposal from the U.S. Forest Service would severely
limit the agency’s ability to call off any oil drilling slated
for its lands by the Bureau of Land Management, which tees up
leasing in federal forests. … The proposed rule removes
specific references within Forest Service policy to review
environmental consequences of drilling and also eliminates the
requirement to provide public notice before new oil activity
A bill that would have provided funding for the Friant-Kern
Canal was abandoned by the California State Legislature on
Sunday. It’s route to abandonment is a short, but confusing one
centering on California’s wildfires
My puzzlement was goosed by a report that surfaced last week at
a board meeting of one of its member agencies suggesting that
the general managers of agencies representing the majority of
the Water Authority’s actual water-using member agencies don’t
seem to want it.
A water district serving 25 cities and 1.6 million residents in
southeast Los Angeles County, already waging a battle with
customers and the state Legislature over its future, has fired
nearly two-thirds of its employees in a last-ditch effort to
stabilize district finances. The budget cuts … decimated the
scandal-plagued Central Basin Municipal Water District’s
organizational chart, removing every department head, most of
its engineers and its entire water resources department all at
While the world was coping with the deadly COVID-19 crisis …
the Trump administration was quietly diluting environmental
laws regulating the toxic rocket fuel oxidizer perchlorate,
utilized extensively by scientists at Jet Propulsion Laboratory
(JPL) beginning in the 1950s and since then polluting Pasadena
and Altadena drinking water wells.
It hasn’t always been easy, and there have been plenty of bumps
along the way, but we’ve learned a lot in those five years, and
we are happy to share some of what we learned. We are pleased
to present our top 10 SGMA lessons learned:
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, millions of Americans have
relied on emergency orders put in place by state and local
governments that bar utilities from shutting off services such
as gas, electricity and water. However, many of these orders
will expire by the end of September, leaving 34.5 million
households without shutoff protections…Only seven states —
California, Connecticut, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, New
York and Wyoming — and Washington, D.C. do not have
expiration dates set on their moratorium orders…
The Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority last week voted
unanimously to adopt a transient pool and fallowing program and
also approve findings that the programs are exempt from
California Environmental Quality Act review — meaning the
programs are not considered to have a significant impact on the
After nearly a decade of planning, the City of Manhattan Beach
will begin a $39 million rebuild of Peck Reservoir, its
63-year-old water storage and filtration facility. The project
was unanimously approved by City Council at its August 20
Laurie Huning, a hydrologist at California State University,
Long Beach, said snow droughts have been understudied relative
to other types of drought, which is why she and her colleague
Amir AghaKouchak sought to create a framework for monitoring
and describing the phenomenon around the world.
The Lake Dolores Waterpark in California’s Mojave Desert has
been abandoned three times since it first opened to the public
in 1962. A private firm recently secured the rights to revive
the derelict site.
A group of residents in Laughlin, Nev., which sits along the
Colorado River, are organizing a campaign to oppose a pipeline
that would divert billions of gallons of river water to
southwest Utah, reflecting intensifying struggles over water in
the U.S. West.
To inform our conservation work on the Eel, CalTrout has teamed
up with partners on this new project – The Adult Salmonid Sonar
Monitoring Program – to tally the annual spawning run of
Chinook salmon, coho salmon, and steelhead on the South Fork
Eel River with a Sound Metrics Dual Frequency Identification
The estimated fee would be $24 a month for the average
residential user presuming a five-year repayment period,
according to Gleason. The fee would reportedly collect some $50
million which would be used to purchase water rights for
imported water, presuming the same users continue using the
water at roughly the same rate.
The Twentynine Palms Water District will pay the consulting
firm of Kennedy Jenks $84,660 to create a new Urban Water
Management Plan for the district. … The plan, General Manager
Ray Kolisz told directors, helps with long term planning of
water resources and existing and future needs. This year’s
plan,he said, will need to address issues related to climate
The Bureau of Reclamation, US Department of Energy’s Water
Power Technology Office and Army Corps of Engineers signed the
memorandum at Hoover Dam on Monday, which was National
Hydropower Day. The MOU provides for a collaborative working
relationship that prioritizes similar goals and aligns ongoing
and future renewable energy development efforts among the three
California rice growers wishing to participate in a
state-funded program to flood their fields for winter wildlife
habitat have until Sept. 14 to submit their requests to the
state. Growers who qualify this year will receive $15 per acre
to flood their rice fields.
Nine months after the Coastal Commission conducted its first
hearing on California American Water’s proposed desalination
project, commission staff has again recommended denial of the
project in favor of a Pure Water Monterey expansion proposal.
The Clean Water Act previously allowed states to halt projects
that risk hurting their water quality, but that power was
scaled back by the EPA in June, a move Administrator Andrew
Wheeler said would “curb abuses of the Clean Water Act that
have held our nation’s energy infrastructure projects hostage.”
The latest suit argues the Trump administration is
inappropriately denying states veto power over major projects
that pose risks to their waterways.
With Lake Mendocino losing about a foot of water every five
days, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers declared that 2020 is
the “third driest year on record for the basin.” Though 2019
“was one of the wettest years over the past 25 years, this year
is stacking up to be one of the driest,” the Army Corps
explained…However, the Army Corps said a new forecasting
model for storms developed over the last few years has
definitely helped maintain the lake’s water levels.
The California Public Utilities Commission, siding with
its consumer-advocate arm, voted 4-1 to halt what are known as
water-revenue adjustment mechanisms, which sometimes resulted
in unexpected surcharges on ratepayers’ monthly bills.
The new coronavirus is not the only illness that teachers,
students, parents and staff will have to worry about as some
schools attempt to reopen this fall. Legionella could lurk in
the water supplies of school buildings, and some measures to
keep people in schools safe from coronavirus may even increase
risks from deadly illnesses caused by the bacteria. [This
article references schools in the East and Midwest.]
“We need to know whether the EPA has applied a consistent
approach to enforcement against all cities with combined sewer
systems or if San Francisco was being punished at the direction
of the White House. This review of EPA actions will get to the
bottom of this issue.”
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has announced plans to
extend the border wall and have it cut across the Tijuana River
where the river enters the U.S. in San Diego. … Usually, the
river has more debris and old tires in it than it has water.
But there is no barrier between the two countries here.
Sonoma Water, in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers, made a request this week for the mobilization of a
Watershed Emergency Response Team, a state team than can assess
the damage and propose mitigation plans for a five-mile stretch
of the Lake Sonoma area that burned in the Walbridge Fire.
The Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians once warned that a
proposed mine would obliterate a sacred site equal to the
Biblical Garden of Eden. Now, the southwest Riverside County
tribe is sounding a similar alarm about the Lake Elsinore
Advanced Pumped Storage Project, or LEAPS, a hydroelectric
project proposed for the Lake Elsinore area.
This week, water suppliers and landowners along the Sacramento
River joined with federal and state agencies in a new science
collaborative designed to inform ongoing efforts to improve
conditions for salmon on the Sacramento River, while also
helping better manage water for cities and rural communities,
farms, refuges and wildlife management areas that depend upon
Despite opposing views among board members and objections from
the public, on a 3-2 vote the El Dorado Irrigation District
Board of Directors voted Monday to approve piping the Upper
Main Ditch, also known as the El Dorado Canal.
In California, Monterey Regional Waste Management District and
its neighbor, wastewater treatment plant Monterey One Water,
have entered a somewhat unusual relationship with unique
benefits to each. And the relationship has payoffs for its
shared customers too.
North Marin Water District has struggled for decades with
periodic and seasonal salinity intrusion resulting from the
wells’ proximity to Tomales Bay, but the problem is especially
dire this summer as freshwater becomes scarce.
Groundwater is California’s water savings bank account that can
be tapped during dry years when water in lakes and rivers are
low. Conserving water helps preserve groundwater, which is
important for plants, animals and people.
At ACWA’s virtual conference held in July of 2020, a panel
comprised of agencies described the experience of the American
River region in evaluating climate impacts on their watershed
in a new cutting-edge study and the comprehensive suite of
projects designed to address increasing threats from more
frequent and intense floods, fires, and droughts.
Stakeholders shared their concerns of potential consequences
over a stalled project to remove four hydroelectric dams along
the lower Klamath River during a recent online panel
discussion. Congressman Jared Huffman of California’s Second
Congressional District and chairman of the Water, Oceans and
Wildlife Subcommittee, hosted the discussion.
The study … says that some of the most water-stressed areas
in the West and Southwest have the greatest potential for water
savings. The paper attributes nearly half the potential to
simply improving how water is used in agriculture, specifically
in growing the commodity crops, corn, cotton and alfalfa.
After more than two years, another big El Dorado Irrigation
District project is complete as renovations and improvements to
the El Dorado Forebay Dam and Reservoir are finished and the
The written version of remarks delivered by Eric Kuhn at the
Aug. 25 Western Resource Advocates webinar on the Lake Powell
Pipeline, featuring Eric, WRA’s Bart Miller, and Alice Walker,
attorney for the Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians.
Above-average temperatures in spring resulted in a paltry 57%
runoff, nowhere near enough water to refill the reservoirs that
remain half-empty. Based on these conditions, the U.S. Bureau
of Reclamation recently determined that 2021 will be a “tier
zero” year under the Lower Colorado River Basin Drought
Contingency Plan, with reduced water deliveries for Arizona,
Nevada, and Mexico.
While the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex deals
with one of its biggest botulism outbreaks in recent history,
emergency water deliveries from the Klamath Project have
prevented the situation from worsening. The waterborne
bacterial illness, which causes paralysis and often leads to
death, has impacted more than 15 percent of the molting birds
currently on Tule Lake’s main sump.
Simply updating costs to this latest estimate ($15.9 billion in
2020 dollars is equivalent to $15 billion in the 2017$) reduces
the benefit-cost ratio for State Water Project urban agencies
from 1.23 to 0.92, and for agricultural agencies from 1.17 to
0.87. That’s a bad investment, but it is actually much worse
Earlier this month, CSU-Fresno hosted the event “Funding Water
Infrastructure in the San Joaquin Valley.” The majority of the
event was focused on the so-called “Water Blueprint for the San
Joaquin Valley,” a high profile new investment plan for
irrigation water. At the event, the Blueprint rolled out a
proposed funding plan – the centerpiece of which is a proposed
0.5% special sales tax in the 8 counties of the San Joaquin
In a comment article published in Nature Sustainability, the
researchers are urging policy makers across the world to focus
on behavioural change, knowledge promotion and investment in
A ruling that promises to rein in surcharges appearing on the
water bills of 3 million ratepayers in Monterey County and
elsewhere is coming up for a vote at the California Public
Utilities Commission Thursday. The reform is proposed by CPUC
Commissioner Martha Guzman Aceves with backing from the
agency’s Public Advocate’s Office. Aceves says the surcharge
system failed to incentivize conservation and just ended up
making water more expensive.
The consolidation of multiple agencies into SCV Water makes
local coordination in emergencies much easier than in the past.
Partnerships with other agencies to the north and south of us
mean there are backup plans for dry years and places to store
excess water in wet years.