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 Western Water

Can a new approach to managing California reservoirs save water and still protect against floods?

Known as Forecast-Informed Reservoir Operations (FIRO), the approach centers on using the latest forecast technology to plan for the arrival of atmospheric rivers. Those are the torrents of moisture in the sky that barrel into California from the Pacific Ocean. Atmospheric rivers are critical to the state’s water supply, accounting for as much as half of its annual precipitation. But they can also cause catastrophic flooding.

Aquafornia news KCBS Radio

California suffers abnormally dry conditions, drought likely

Despite a winter storm forecast to hit the Bay Area soon, California may be headed for another drought. The National Weather Service’s latest drought forecast, released Thursday, shows that California is likely to develop a drought between now and the end of the February, with abnormally dry conditions covering most of the state.

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Aquafornia news Coastalview.com

Opinion: Groundwater sustainability and climate action

By forming a Groundwater Sustainability Agency, we will be taking a step towards improved groundwater management in the Carpinteria Groundwater Basin… Through the development of a Climate Action Plan, we can examine ways to reduce our greenhouse gas production and prepare our water system to adapt to a changing environment.

Aquafornia news Phys.org

Study: Increase in cannabis cultivation or residential development could impact water resources

Researchers in Canada and the U.S. investigated potential reductions in streamflow, caused by groundwater pumping for cannabis irrigation, in the Navarro River in Mendocino County, California… Reporting in the journal Environmental Research Communications, they note the combination of cannabis cultivation and residential use may cause significant streamflow depletion, with the largest impacts in late summer when streams and local fish species depend most on groundwater inflows.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Friday Top of the Scroll: Newsom administration sends mixed signals on Delta endangered species protections

California officials sent mixed signals Thursday when they said they will sue to block a Trump administration rollback of endangered species protections for imperiled fish — while also proposing new water operations that mimic parts of the Trump plan. The state moves reflect political pressure the Newsom administration has been under as it confronts one of California’s most intractable environmental conflicts — the battle over the ailing Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta…

Related articles:

Western Water Gary Pitzer California Water Map Gary Pitzer

Can a New Approach to Managing California Reservoirs Save Water and Still Protect Against Floods?
WESTERN WATER NOTEBOOK: Pilot Projects Testing Viability of Using Improved Forecasting to Guide Reservoir Operations

Bullards Bar Dam spills water during 2017 atmospheric river storms.Many of California’s watersheds are notoriously flashy – swerving from below-average flows to jarring flood conditions in quick order. The state needs all the water it can get from storms, but current flood management guidelines are strict and unyielding, requiring reservoirs to dump water each winter to make space for flood flows that may not come.

However, new tools and operating methods are emerging that could lead the way to a redefined system that improves both water supply and flood protection capabilities.

Aquafornia news The Hill

Full funding of Land Water Conservation Fund passes key Senate hurdle

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee voted Tuesday morning to permanently authorize and completely fund the program, which was established in 1964 to help with outdoor projects on public lands. The bill passed with bipartisan support out of the committee and now faces a full floor vote.

Aquafornia news KQED Food

Wine moguls destroy land and pay small fines as cost of business, say activists

In Napa County, adjacent to Sonoma and the source of perhaps the most expensive cabernet sauvignon outside of Bordeaux, activists are pushing back against a steady conversion of woodland into new vineyards. Kellie Anderson, an independent watchdog who has harried local officials for years to step up enforcement of environmental laws, says the county’s planning department has ignored numerous violations by grape growers.

Aquafornia news Natural Resources Defense Council

Blog: Will DWR embrace or reject the Trump biops?

On Thursday (11/21) we may find out whether the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) is proposing operations of the State Water Project that are significantly more protective than the Trump Administration’s biological opinions, or whether DWR will be aligning with the Trump Administration.

Aquafornia news Patch.com

San Francisco’s emergency water system to expand

San Francisco Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously declared a State of Urgency, calling on the city to expand its Emergency Firefighting Water System to ensure the entire city is protected in the event of a major earthquake or fire. Currently, the water system only covers about one third of the city, leaving neighborhoods in the city’s west and south sides vulnerable.

Aquafornia news San Joaquin Valley Sun

Westlands nearing a permanent federal water contract. What does that mean?

Westlands Water District, Fresno-based agricultural water district, is set to convert its temporary, renewable water service agreements with the Federal government into a permanent contract. And while Westlands is the first of its class to make the switch, it certainly won’t be the last water agency to do it.

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Aquafornia news AgNet West

Five steps to eliminate nutria threat

Through financial support from various grant funding, CDFA is implementing a five-phase process for nutria eradication that consists of survey, knockdown, mop-up, verification, and surveillance. CDFW staff have been working the landscape by dividing areas into 40-acre grids to ensure that nothing is overlooked.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Hail in LA as rain, snow fall in first SoCal storm of season

Hail pelted parts of the Los Angeles area Wednesday morning as the first storm of the season rolled through Southern California following months of dry weather and wildfires in the region.

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Aquafornia news EurekAlert

Fish in California estuaries are evolving as climate change alters their habitat

A new study shows that stickleback populations in estuaries along the coast of California have evolved over the past 40 years as climate change has altered their coastal habitats. The study, published November 21 in Global Change Biology, looked at variation in the armoring that protects the stickleback from predators, specifically the number of bony plates along their sides

Aquafornia news CALmatters

Opinion: Newsom must stop the Westlands water grab and save the San Francisco Bay-Delta

Initially, federal scientists wrote a draft report that found increasing water exports would harm California’s native salmon population, a species already imperiled. Those scientists were reassigned. Now, the Trump administration and David Bernhardt have released a new proposal, and guess what? Westlands can grab even more water from the Bay-Delta.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Environment

Thursday Top of the Scroll: California PFAS probe expands to military sites, refineries

California’s search for the source of “forever chemicals” in drinking water is expanding to include military sites, wastewater treatment plants, chrome-plating facilities, and refineries. Surveys indicate an estimated 3.5 million Californians use drinking water supplies with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, above federal health advisory levels.

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Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

A case study of the Fox Canyon groundwater market

Sarah Heard is Director of Conservation Economics & Finance with the California chapter of The Nature Conservancy… At the Groundwater Resources Association’s Western Groundwater Congress, Ms. Heard gave this presentation on the Fox Canyon Groundwater Market in Ventura County, the first groundwater market since the passage of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.

Aquafornia news Phys.org

Climate change could double greenhouse gas emissions from freshwater lakes

Small shallow lakes dominate the world’s freshwater area, and the sediments within them already produce at least one-quarter of all carbon-dioxide, and more than two-thirds of all methane released from lakes into our atmosphere. The new research, published in the journal PNAS, suggests that climate change may cause the levels of greenhouse gases emitted by freshwater northern lakes to increase by between 1.5 and 2.7 times.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Editorial: Bel Marin Keys restoration an important move

The start of work on the restoration of the Bel Marin Keys wetlands is another example of efforts to bring back the miles of wetlands that, over the past century, have been lost to development, other encroachments and years of sedimentation buildup.

Aquafornia news Arizona Republic

‘They’re going to dry up’: Debate erupts over plan to move water from farmland to suburbs

A private company and the town of Queen Creek are proposing a water deal that would leave 485 acres of farmland permanently dry near the Colorado River and send the water used on that land to the fast-growing Phoenix suburb. The company GSC Farm LLC is seeking to sell its annual entitlement of 2,083 acre-feet of Colorado River water — about 678 million gallons — to Queen Creek for a one-time payment of $21 million.

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Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Preliminary findings show that harmful contaminants in burn scar plumbing are rare

Water experts are still finding traces of harmful chemicals in parts of the water systems burned by the Camp Fire and in interior plumbing more than a year after the disaster, but the cases are rare. … An outside team of researchers … has found only a few cases where volatile organic compounds that are harmful to human health seeped into home plumbing from the water system. Most of those cases tested largely below unsafe levels.

Aquafornia news Capital Press

Agencies scrap controversial Klamath Project biological opinion

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation spent months working with the National Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to mitigate potential harm to endangered sucker fish in Upper Klamath Lake, as well as threatened coho salmon in the lower Klamath River. … However, the bureau now says it received “erroneous data” from an outside source during consultation, meaning it must scrap the plans and start over again.

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Aquafornia news New University

Opinion: Bipartisanship can save the Delta smelt

Lawmakers should balance environmental concerns with concerns for public welfare and economics, rather than completely disregard either issue. Creative legislation allows for more comprehensive solutions to problems.

Aquafornia news Torrance Daily Breeze

West Basin approves desalination-plant impact report — while dozens of foes stand against it

West Basin Municipal Water District took the next steps Monday toward building a desalination facility in El Segundo, a project that has drawn fierce opposition from conservation groups — including some who staged a rally before the meeting.

Aquafornia news Fairfield Daily Republic

Water release to attract salmon into Putah Creek begins

The extra 90 cubic feet per second are designed, in part, to attract salmon up the creek – and the flows start a little later than in recent years due to the failure of state Department of Fish and Wildlife pumps in the Yolo Bypass. Rich Marovich, streamkeeper for the Solano County Water Agency and Lower Putah Creek Coordinating Committee, said because it has been so dry this fall, the later release may be beneficial.

Aquafornia news KCET

Video: Restoring the river with the Yurok, Hupa and Karuk

For the past two centuries, California has relied heavily on the natural resources of the North Coast region, exploiting its pristine watersheds for agriculture and its forests for timber. … Now the Yurok are working with local and state organizations to revitalize the forests, rivers and wildlife, a comprehensive feat requiring collaboration among community leaders up and down the Klamath and Trinity Rivers.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Soquel Creek Water District recycled water project awarded $50M state grant

The pricetag for recycled drinking water just got less expensive for Mid-County customers. The State Water Resources Control Board unanimously approved a $50 million grant for Soquel Creek Water District’s pending Pure Water Soquel Groundwater Replenishment and Seawater Intrusion Prevention Project.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: No new California fracking without scientific review, Newsom says

In a victory for critics of California’s oil drilling industry, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday stopped the approval of new hydraulic fracturing in the state until the permits for those projects can be reviewed by an independent panel of scientists. Newsom also imposed a moratorium on new permits for steam-injected oil drilling, another extraction method … linked to a massive petroleum spill in Kern County over the summer.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Napa Valley Register

Caltrans hopes to keep Highway 37 from flooding this winter

State transportation crews are wrapping up paving and drainage improvement work along Highway 37 ahead of winter rains in an attempt to avert flooding, which in two of the past three years led to multiday closures of the critical North Bay commuter artery.

Aquafornia news Bay City Beacon

Presidio’s new Tunnel Tops Park will connect ancient springs to SF Bay

Lew Stringer is leading a tour of the massive renovation of the entire watershed on the Presidio’s waterfront. The next string of pearls to be unearthed is Quartermaster Reach, a 7-acre salt marsh on the south side of Mason Street. … The $118 million park project, opening in late Spring of 2020, is part of a wetlands restoration movement across the Bay Area that will benefit all species – including us – facing the uncertain future of climate change.

Aquafornia news Klamath Falls Herald & News

Water coalition aims to coordinate conservation efforts

The water coalition has been meeting since 2018 and started under the facilitation of Alan Mikkelsen, senior adviser to Secretary of the Interior on water and western resources. … The coalition aims to address challenges to fisheries, water supply, and waterfowl and forest health.

Aquafornia news Palo Alto Online

With new deal, Palo Alto banks on recycled water for drought protection

Seeking to fortify the city against future droughts, the Palo Alto City Council endorsed on Monday a long-term agreement with Santa Clara Valley Water District and Mountain View to build a salt-removal plant in the Baylands and then transfer the treated wastewater south.

Aquafornia news AgWeb

Blog: California can keep the water flowing

California is in trouble. We can’t keep the lights on, the fires out, or the air clean. Worst of all, from my perspective as a farmer, is that we’ve failed to keep the water flowing. That may change, thanks to the Trump administration.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Coachella water district approves $40 million loan for Oasis farm water pipeline

The Coachella Valley Water District on Monday approved taking on outside financing for what is believed to be the first time in its 101-year history for a $40 million pipeline to bring more Colorado River water to the region’s farmers, freeing up valuable groundwater for other uses.

Aquafornia news Ridgecrest Daily Independent

Groundwater plan’s potential adverse impact on ag

When the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority technical and policy advisory committees reviewed a draft sustainability plan, it left many with questions and criticisms. The plan may also leave uncertainty for the valley’s agricultural industry. They face the brunt of the plan’s water sustainability requirements when the plan is implemented…

Aquafornia news Redlands Daily Facts

Poop to power: Highland sewer plant to generate electricity, opportunity

A $32.6 million addition to a water treatment facility rising out of the ground under giant cranes will turn waste into electricity, and provide education, jobs and more to an underserved community, according to the East Valley Water District. A co-digester added to the Sterling Natural Resource Center project will turn sewage and food waste into three megawatts of power per year, enough to power about 1,950 houses.

Aquafornia news EurekAlert

News release: Climate impact of hydropower varies widely

Hydropower is broadly considered to be much more environmentally friendly than electricity generated from fossil fuels, and in many cases this is true. However, a new study reveals that the climate impact of hydropower facilities varies widely throughout the world and over time, with some facilities emitting more greenhouse gases than those burning fossil fuels.

Aquafornia news Reno Gazette Journal

Water scarcity in Nevada hits ‘critical mass’

Nevada’s director of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources said Nevada has already reached the point of “critical mass” or the breaking point when it comes to the problem of water scarcity. … “We are up against that much strain in our water resources across the state,” Director Brad Crowell said.

Aquafornia news ScienceDaily

Get over it? Study shows that, while people can come to appreciate recycled water’s benefits, they still don’t want to use it

If people are educated on recycled water, they may come to agree it’s perfectly safe and tastes as good — or better – than their drinking water. … But that doesn’t mean they’re going to use recycled water — and it sure doesn’t mean they’ll drink it. And the reason lies in the word “disgust.”

Aquafornia news KUNC

New analysis spells out serious legal risk to Colorado River water users

Ambiguity exists in the language of the river’s foundational document, the Colorado River Compact. That agreement’s language remains unclear on whether Upper Basin states, where the Colorado River originates, are legally obligated to deliver a certain amount of water over a 10-year period to those in the Lower Basin: Arizona, California, and Nevada.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: Is rain done in 2019? Is California in a drought? What to know as weather stays dry

It’s been warmer than normal. It’s been drier than normal. For most of the region, it hasn’t rained more than a sprinkle or a brief thunderstorm here or there in about six months. Northern California weather has done a relatively quick 180 in 2019.

Related article: 

Aquafornia news CityLab

Under Newsom, oil well approvals are going up

As Donald Trump’s administration pushes to expand oil extraction in California, the state’s governor, Gavin Newsom, has signed bill after bill limiting the practice. … But since taking office in January, Newsom’s own department of energy management has approved 33 percent more new oil and gas drilling permits than were approved under Newsom’s predecessor Jerry Brown over the same period in 2018

Aquafornia news Porterville Recorder

Path To sustainability: Workshop covers plan for groundwater

Groundwater in Tulare County, especially in Porterville, has been a hot topic of discussion for quite sometime. As groundwater levels have begun to subside, a viable and woking plan to maintain the groundwater has been state mandated, and the implementation of this plan is set to be put in action by January 31, 2020. But what exactly is the plan, and who is at stake?

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Monday Top of the Scroll: Our wacky weather: From record heat to snowfall as first storm of season rolls in

The first storm of the season is set to roll into Southern California this week, bringing rain and the potential for snow at higher elevations, but the area isn’t completely in the clear for fire danger, weather officials said Monday.

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Aquafornia news The Nevada Independent

Water authority would pay $30 million to Raiders under proposed decade-long advertising contract for water conservation

The Southern Nevada Water Authority is proposing a 10-year marketing deal with the future Las Vegas Raiders that will pay the NFL franchise more than $30 million in tax dollars over the next decade, enabling the agency to use team logos and place advertising in the $1.9 billion Allegiant Stadium.

Aquafornia news The Nevada Independent

Water district linked to developer will consider reforms after eminent domain action revealed web of conflicts

After blurring the line between a private and public utility for nearly two decades, the water district that serves the world’s largest industrial park is looking to part ways with a developer. That action comes after The Nevada Independent reported this month that the public water district … is operated by a private entity and governed by three board members who report income from companies connected to Lance Gilman, the face of the industrial park. The board members also reside at Gilman’s brothel, the Mustang Ranch.

Aquafornia news Santa Clarita Valley Signal

Opinion: Water in Santa Clarita Valley: Success in a New Era

The newest water agency in California, the Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency, or SCV Water, has been one big success story. Formed on Jan. 1, 2018, it’s hard to believe this new agency is approaching its second anniversary. It was not easy!

Aquafornia news Bakersfield Californian

Opinion: Wanted: Big vision, small ego for water agency manager

Kern County Water Agency General Manager Curtis Creel will retire Dec. 7, leaving a very large and important hole to fill. The agency is the second largest contractor on the State Water Project and pays 25 percent of the bill for that massive endeavor, giving it a very big voice on most water issues.

Aquafornia news Bakersfield Californian

Opinion: Health of our families, communities depends on safe water

California took a historic step forward this summer with the passage of the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund. This fund seeks to provide new targeted investments to end the state’s drinking water crisis, where one million Californians are impacted by unsafe water each year. Unfortunately, successful implementation of the fund is on a potential collision course with another California law, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act…

Aquafornia news Torrance Daily Breeze

West Basin Municipal Water District to weigh proposed desalination plant in El Segundo

A proposed desalination plant in El Segundo could soon be one step closer to reality. The West Basin Municipal Water District will hold a special meeting in Carson on Monday, Nov. 18, where the board will weigh whether to certify an Environmental Impact Report for the proposal. … The board has not yet selected a company to build the proposed plant, which could cost more than $400 million.

Related article:

Aquafornia news CALmatters

Opinion: Westlands contract shakes the waterscape

California’s perpetual, uber-complex conflict over water progresses much like the tectonic plates that grind against one another beneath its surface. In much the same way, interest groups constantly rub on each other in political and legal venues, seeking greater shares of the state’s water supply, which itself varies greatly from year to year. And occasionally, there’s a sharp movement that shakes things up.

Related article:

Aquafornia news EOS.org

Toxic algal blooms are worsening with climate change

A new study that looked back at 3 decades of satellite data finds that these summertime algal blooms are indeed worsening in large freshwater lakes around the world—and that climate change may be undercutting efforts to combat the problem.

Aquafornia news Redwood Times

Tribes’ water rights at Klamath River upheld by federal circuit court

Native American tribal water rights are guaranteed by the federal government to the extent that endangered species, like salmon in the Klamath River, aren’t placed in danger, according to a court decision on Thursday.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Salon.com

Trump EPA proposal guts restrictions on toxic herbicide linked to birth defects

At issue in the proposal posted yesterday by the EPA is the threshold level of atrazine, the second most widely used herbicide in the U.S. Manufactured by Syngenta, atrazine is primarily used in agriculture as a weedkiller on crops. It is not authorized for use in the European Union, as the body said there wasn’t enough data to prove it wouldn’t have a harmful effect on groundwater.

Aquafornia news Arizona Daily Star

Ancient aquifers are dropping as Tucson suburbs pump groundwater

Since 2009, the water level has dropped 7.3 feet a year in one of two SaddleBrooke Ranch wells and 1.7 feet a year in the other, says the Arizona Water Co., a private utility serving the development. This is one of many suburban developments surrounding Tucson where underground water tables are falling and are likely to fall much farther over the next century, state records show.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Illegal pot farms on public land create environmental hazard

Two months after two men were arrested at an illicit marijuana farm on public land deep in the Northern California wilderness, authorities are assessing the environmental impact and cleanup costs at the site where trees were clear-cut, waterways were diverted, and the ground was littered with open containers of fertilizer and rodenticide.

Aquafornia news Gilroy Dispatch

Pacheco Dam safety issues identified

California is on track to build a $1 billion dam and create a giant reservoir at Pacheco Pass that will dwarf the existing reservoir and dam near Highway 152 east of Gilroy, with construction beginning in 2024. New evidence from an independent nationwide study of dam safety suggests a new incentive for the project—safety…

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Can Sierra forests be bred to survive climate change?

UC Davis forest biologist Patricia Maloney is now leading an effort to plant thousands of seedlings descended from drought-surviving sugar pines from around Lake Tahoe, hoping they carry genes that make them more resilient to drought, waning snowpack and other impacts of global warming.

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Aquafornia news The Press Democrat

Are atmospheric rivers the reason for Northern California’s extreme weather?

Sasha Gershunov, of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, is one of the nation’s experts on atmospheric rivers. ARs are one of the planet’s most extreme weather events, he said, and their impact on the state is both good and bad. They’re a critical source of water for the Golden State’s bountiful agriculture, thick forests and ecosystems, snowpack and drinking supplies, dropping 50% to 60% of the entire state’s annual precipitation.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Editorial: California must help kill sleazy Westlands water deal

The Westlands Water District has engaged in some sleazy maneuvers over the years, but this one, which threatens the Bay Area’s water supply, tops them all.

Aquafornia news KUNC

New analysis spells out serious legal risk to Colorado River water users

Declining flows could force Southwest water managers to confront long-standing legal uncertainties, and threaten the water security of Upper Basin states of Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Weekly

Opinion: Now that a public buyout of Cal Am has been declared feasible, is it doable?

According to a 111-page analysis by a group of financial consultants and bankers released on Nov. 6, not only is a buyout of the behemoth Cal Am feasible, it would also cause the cost of water to drop significantly if the water utility was replaced by a public agency.

Aquafornia news Fairfield Daily Republic

Vacaville joins broader effort for single groundwater sustainability plan

City Council members – sitting as the directors of the Vacaville Groundwater Sustainability Agency – approved a collaboration agreement Tuesday with the other sustainability agencies in the Solano Subbasin in order to keep the groundwater grant funding flowing.

Aquafornia news San Clemente Times

City, local agencies dispute claims of cancer-causing contaminants found in tap water

An ongoing study on the quality of the country’s drinking water conducted by a national environmental group shows that several contaminants found in San Clemente’s tap water exceeded the nonprofit’s recommended safety standards.

Aquafornia news Pacific Sun

Creek deemed dirty

The board charged with overseeing the water quality in much of the San Francisco Bay Area unanimously approved a plan requiring local businesses, residents and government agencies to reduce the amount of fecal bacteria they put into the Petaluma River watershed, including San Antonio Creek.

Aquafornia news San Luis Obispo Tribune

Paso Robles water main break blocks road, closes Cuesta College

A water main break in Paso Robles flooded a roadway and forced Cuesta College to cancel classes at its North County campus Wednesday night.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Friday Top of the Scroll: And we wait. 81% of California abnormally dry as seasonal rains fail to materialize

California’s drought-prone hills and valleys are on the verge of another troubling dry spell. The U.S. government’s Drought Monitor on Thursday classified more than 80% of California as abnormally dry because rain has eluded the state for most of the fall. Forecasting models, meanwhile, suggest little change in the near future.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news The Ukiah Daily Journal

Potter Valley Project water coalition makes strides toward two-basin solution

A local coalition formed in the hopes of maintaining the most important aspects of the Potter Valley Project is making progress toward a two-basin solution, Janet Pauli told the Ukiah City Council at its last meeting.

Aquafornia news Livermore Independent

Pleasanton OKs study to treat chemicals found in water wells

Pleasanton’s water utility shut down a drinking water well earlier this year after detecting unsafe levels of toxic chemicals linked to adverse health effects, including cancer and birth defects.

Aquafornia news Environmental Health News

The water is cleaner but the politics are messier: A look back at the Clean Water Act movement after 50 years

Today, the quality of river water has improved markedly since the early 1970s, though critics say the red tape imposed through the Clean Water Act has become burdensome. The Clean Water Act has not been altered much over the past 50 years, though how we interpret the act has recently changed dramatically.

Aquafornia news Arizona Republic

Opinion: Pinal County has plenty of water. We just need to prioritize demand

The Arizona Department of Water Resources is working on revising a model based on outdated assumptions and incomplete data that have perpetuated the myth that Pinal County is facing a water shortage. In fact, Pinal County has plenty of water for today, tomorrow and 100 years from now.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

USFWS regional director Paul Souza explains the biological opinions

Paul Souza is regional director of the Pacific Southwest division of the US Fish and Wildlife Service… At the November meeting of Metropolitan Water District’s Water Planning and Stewardship Committee, Mr. Souza gave a presentation on the recently released biological opinions for the long-term operations of the Central Valley Project and the State Water Project.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Consultant: Cal Am purchase can be paid for with rate savings

It will cost Monterey Peninsula ratepayers about $574.5 million, all in, to acquire California American Water’s local water system, but that cost can be covered in rate savings under public ownership with some leftover to lower local customers’ water bills.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Yale Environment 360

Thursday Top of the Scroll: Climate whiplash: Wild swings in extreme weather are on the rise

The intensity of wildfires in places like California are a symptom of climate change, experts say, but the whiplash effect poses a different set of problems for humans and natural systems. Researchers project that by the end of this century, the frequency of these abrupt transitions between wet and dry will increase by 25 percent in Northern California and as much as double in Southern California if greenhouse gasses continue to increase.

Aquafornia news Seeking Alpha

Blog: Farmageddon in California: Why J.G. Boswell is set to benefit from California’s ‘catastrophic’ water law

This article will provide readers with a background on why the 2014 SGMA legislation was passed, and what the implications are for J.G. Boswell which has both surface and groundwater rights in California.

Aquafornia news The Revelator

Blog: ‘Science Be Dammed’: Learning from history’s mistake on the Colorado River

The problem in the 1920s was neither the lack of good science nor the inability of decision-makers to understand the basin’s hydrology. … In an era driven by politics of competition for a limited supply of river water and federal dollars, those decision-makers had the opportunity to selectively use the available science as a tool to sell their projects and vision for the river’s future to Congress and the general public.

Aquafornia news Somach Simmons & Dunn

Blog: SGMA: State Board to introduce streamlined permitting process for groundwater recharge

The streamlined permitting process is an important component of Sustainable Groundwater Management Act implementation, as it may assist Groundwater Sustainability Agencies in more efficiently obtaining the necessary water rights to divert and recharge water during high flow events.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Public-funded Oroville Dam advertisement called ‘propaganda’

The latest public relations effort cost California water ratepayers $29,000 to produce an eight-page color advertising insert that ran in recent days in six Sacramento Valley newspapers including The Sacramento Bee. … Critics argue it’s inappropriate for a state agency to be spending public money on an advertisement that they say serves little purpose other than to try to make the government look good.

Aquafornia news Elk Grove Citizen

Rural water district holds first election since 1970s

The district’s decades-long election drought occurred as a result of an insufficient number of candidates to require elections. … Changes in the district’s operations led to a greater number of candidates for the recent election. The district’s biggest issue is implementing the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act …

Aquafornia news Sierra Club

Blog: Newark luxury development would pave over restorable wetlands, increasing risk from sea level rise

Instead of pushing efforts to restore wetlands and wildlife habitat to help our region become more climate resilient, developers and city leaders are pushing to advance plans to fill in Newark’s Bay shoreline. The proposed “Sanctuary West Residential Project,” would build 469 luxury units along the City of Newark’s shoreline on a 559-acre site…

Aquafornia news National Public Radio

Wildlife and water in U.S. forests are being poisoned by illegal pot operations

An unlikely coalition in California — including environmentalists, law enforcement agents, politicians, wildlife ecologists and representatives of the legal cannabis industry — have joined forces to try to reduce these illegal operations and the environmental threat they pose.

Aquafornia news The Hill

Trees that survived the California drought could contain the key to climate resilience

Scientists are breeding the trees that survived California’s historic drought to make the forests of tomorrow more resilient. A greenhouse full of 10,000 baby trees descended from 100 of those survivors will eventually be planted around the Lake Tahoe area. The researchers hope efforts like this can buy ecosystems time to adapt to the planet’s rapidly changing climate.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Feather River Fish Hatchery meets salmon harvest goal; 12 million chinook eggs collected

This fall run, while late, is about average in terms of the number of fish coming up the river. And, in terms of their condition, Crawshaw said the fish are “very healthy” and “good sizes.”

Aquafornia news AgAlert

Groundwater: Deadline nears for completion of local plans

With roughly two and a half months remaining before a state-mandated deadline, local agencies overseeing critically overdrafted groundwater basins are working to finalize sustainability plans as required by a 2014 state law.

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Aquafornia news Treatment Plant Operator Magazine

A clean-water plant’s ponds become a top five bird-watching destination in its county

Ponds at wastewater treatment plants are like magnets for birds and bird-watchers, especially those along the migration flyway in California’s Central Valley area. Among them is the Clear Creek plant in Redding, along the Sacramento River, which serves as its receiving stream.

Aquafornia news Reuters

Drilling boom adds stress to U.S. Western water supplies: report

About 60% of federal oil and gas drilling leases offered since 2017 are located in areas that are at risk of shortages and droughts, according to a report released on Tuesday.

Aquafornia news Natural Resources Defense Council

Blog: Trump’s Bay-Delta biops are a plan for extinction

As we continue to read through the biological opinions, here are detailed reasons why these biological opinions are a plan for extinction in the Bay-Delta.

Aquafornia news Grist.org

Wind and solar can save the planet — can they save our water supply, too?

Hydropower facilities store water in reservoirs in order to release it in a constant flow and produce energy consistently. If wind turbines and solar panels, paired with battery storage, took the pressure off of these facilities to fill the needs of the grid during a drought, more of that water could be released downstream for agricultural use, preventing further groundwater depletion.

Aquafornia news H2O Radio

The dam nobody wants just won’t go away

The construction of dams on rivers worldwide has stopped the natural flow of sand and silt to the sea—resulting in coastal wetland loss and disappearing beaches—as well as preventing fish from reaching vital spawning grounds. But when the decision is made to remove a dam it can be remarkably challenging. Just ask the people of Ventura, California, who’ve been trying for 20 years…

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Environment

Arizona prepares to lose federal water protections

The vast majority of Arizona waters now regulated by the state under the federal Clean Water Act could be excluded from protection under the Trump administration’s narrowed definitions of federal waters, according to state environmental officials.

Aquafornia news KUNR

Audio: What’s in the water?

In this episode, we explore a carcinogen called 1,2,3 Tetracholorpropane, which ended up in the water below California’s Central Valley. … We also hear from John Hadder and Dr. Glenn Miller, with Great Basin Resource Watch, about how some of the groundwater in Nevada became contaminated due to mining operations near Yerington.

Aquafornia news Red Bluff Daily News

Documentary on protecting public lands and water to be released online

After touring film festivals in two dozen cities across the country, the documentary, Visions of the Lost Sierra, will be released online Wednesday for all to view. … Visions is a short film exploring how the Wild and Scenic Middle Fork Feather River has connected communities and inspired outdoor enthusiasts for generations.

Aquafornia news KUNC

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: Historically left out, Colorado River tribes call for more sway in Western water talks

Arizona’s portion of the Drought Contingency Plan became a unique example in the basin of tribal leaders asserting themselves in broader discussions about the river’s management. … With the drought plan done, some tribal leaders say their water rights can’t be ignored any longer.

Aquafornia news Reno Gazette Journal

Opinion: As the Vegas pipeline fight persists, remember Owens Valley

The Southern Nevada Water Authority’s Las Vegas water grab and pipeline –– which has been in various stages of development since 1989 –– would forever tarnish public lands and waters in Eastern Nevada and Western Utah. The idea is a direct descendant to the Los Angeles Aqueduct.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Feds set to lock in huge water contract for well-connected Westlands Water District

Westlands has had water service contracts with the Central Valley Project since 1963. But they were subject to renewal, when the reclamation bureau could, at least in theory, renegotiate terms. In contrast, the so-called repayment contract the bureau now proposes to award Westlands would not expire, permanently locking in the terms, including the amount of 1.15 million acre-feet of water.

Aquafornia news Civil Engineering Magazine

Reuse ramps up

Although still relegated largely to populated areas in such water-challenged states as California, Arizona, Texas, and Florida, water reuse is gaining ground in other areas. At the same time, the focus of water reuse increasingly is shifting to potable applications

Aquafornia news Scientific American

Opinion: The EPA says we need to reuse wastewater

On September 10, 2019, at the 34th Annual WateReuse Symposium in San Diego, the Environmental Protection Agency announced a draft National Water Reuse Action Plan for public comment—containing 46 proposed actions, to be accomplished by a mix of federal, state, private, local and private stakeholders, in order to promote 10 strategic objectives.

Aquafornia news KBAK

Underground water impacting farmland property value

Kern County is seeing a drop in agricultural property value. The water crisis plaguing the state is also affecting the value of farms here in Kern County. Michael Ming, Lead Appraiser for Alliance Ag Services, said groundwater sustainability efforts have proven to be a big challenge.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: Big California water district backs away from Shasta Dam expansion

The nation’s largest water agency signed an agreement that legally bars it from participating in a controversial plan to raise Shasta Dam, a move applauded by environmental groups that fiercely opposed the proposal out of fears enlarging the state’s biggest reservoir would swamp a stretch of a protected Northern California river and flood sites sacred to a Native American tribe.

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Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Orange County’s pioneering wastewater recycling system embarks on major expansion

Orange County’s wastewater recycling program, a pioneering idea that’s already touted as the largest of its type in the world, is about to get bigger. Big enough, in fact, to serve the tap water needs of about 1 million residents, according to the Orange County Water District and Orange County Sanitation District.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Rainfall: When’s it coming and when should we worry?

Normally between Oct. 1 and mid-November, if historical averages are any guide, the Bay Area has received nearly 2 inches of rain, and Los Angeles and Fresno each have received about an inch. But so far this year? None.

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Aquafornia news Bloomberg Environment

Public trust in tap water may hinge on fluoride link to child IQ

A federal agency’s preliminary finding that high concentrations of fluoride may decrease children’s IQ will, if finalized, be hard to explain to the public, scientists said Nov. 6. … Few people will read the report’s other finding: It’s unclear whether the mineral would harm children drinking typical concentrations of fluoride added to drinking water to help tooth decay…

Aquafornia news The Press Democrat

Sonoma County drills wells to study groundwater sustainability

The shallow wells Sonoma County’s water agency is drilling near 11 waterways have nothing to do with delivering water to 600,000 residents of Sonoma and Marin counties. Instead, the 21 wells will serve as measuring sticks to determine whether pumping groundwater in the county’s three basins … is curbing the flow in creeks inhabited by federally protected fish and other species.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Massive Bel Marin Keys marsh restoration begins

While breaking this levee would seem like a catastrophe, state and federal agencies intend to do just that. The purpose is not to unleash some biblical, punishing flood, but rather to allow nature to reclaim nearly 1,600 acres of wetland habitat.

Aquafornia news Inkstain.net

Blog: New paper with Anne Castle on risk of Colorado River curtailments in Colorado, Upper Basin

Here’s the nut: Water supply in the Colorado River could drop so far in the next decade that the ability of the Upper Colorado River Basin states – Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and New Mexico – to meet their legal obligations to downstream users in Nevada, Arizona, California, and Mexico would be in grave jeopardy.

Aquafornia news Bitterroot Magazine

Dust kicked up from the West’s drying lakes is a looming health hazard

Matt Dessert does not want to sue San Diego, nor does he want to start a legal battle with the state of California. But the growing threat to Imperial County’s air quality may leave Dessert, an officer with the county Air Pollution Control District, with little choice.

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Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Editorial: Trump Delta water policy threatens Stockton as well as salmon

The city’s fate is linked inextricably with the San Joaquin River… Much of the water upstream is diverted for agriculture, although a legal settlement ensures that the river no longer runs dry. Additional diversions at the downriver end … greatly reduce the amount of water that actually makes it through the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, the San Francisco Bay and then the Pacific. It is as if one of the state’s two great arteries … is detached from its heart.

Aquafornia news Victorville Daily Press

High on hydroelectricity

The Mojave Water Agency on Thursday cut the ribbon on its Deep Creek Hydroelectric Clean-Energy System, a project that produces electricity from California Aqueduct water and replenishes the groundwater in the Victor Valley.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Interior chief’s lobbying past has challenged the agency’s ethics referees

On the morning of Aug. 21, 2018, David Bernhardt, then the deputy interior secretary, wanted to attend a White House meeting on the future of a threatened California fish, the delta smelt — an issue upon which Mr. Bernhardt had been paid to lobby until he joined the Trump administration a year before. … “I see nothing here that would preclude my involvement,” he wrote ahead of the meeting…

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Aquafornia news KCRA TV

Unprecedented effort to combat risk of catastrophic wildfire announced

One year after the devastating Camp Fire sparked, a diverse group of land, water and environmental managers who have not always seen eye to eye announced … a plan to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire in the North Yuba watershed. The announcement Thursday includes a Memorandum of Understanding … to thin and restore 275,000 acres of forest on a pace and scale that will prioritize community safety, forest health and resilience.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Interior proposes coveted California water deal to ex-client of agency head

The Interior Department is proposing to award one of the first contracts for federal water in perpetuity to a powerful rural water district that had employed Secretary David Bernhardt as a lawyer and lobbyist. … Environmental groups say a permanent deal would let California’s water contractors forgo future negotiations before the public and environmental groups, further threatening the survival of endangered native fish and other wildlife that also need the water.

Aquafornia news The Mountain Democrat

Opinion: Long-term reliability and resilience requires investment

El Dorado Irrigation District has been making preparations for these power shutoffs since 2018. After analyzing areas in our system that would need to be bolstered in the event of large-scale power outages — pump stations or other facilities without backup power — we asked the EID Board of Directors to approve $800,000 to purchase generators that could be utilized across our 220-square-mile service area.

Aquafornia news Antelope Valley Press

Rosamond treatment plant gets upgrade

The revamped and expanded plant is expected to be operational in spring 2021 and will do so with a new name — The Rosamond CSD Water Reclamation Plant — to better describe its ultimate purpose. In addition to handling the community’s wastewater disposal, the plant will recharge the underlying groundwater basin, providing additional groundwater for the District to pump.

Aquafornia news FishBio

Blog: Bustin’ berms: The restoration of Tule Red

On October 15th, an excavator trundled out onto the narrow isthmus of land separating the freshwater Tule Red pond from Suisun Bay and began digging. As the salty water from Grizzly Bay began to pour through the breach, the 460-acre pond felt the push and pull of the tides for the first time in a century, beginning its transition back into marsh habitat.

Aquafornia news Environmental Defense Fund

Blog: Broken pipes. Complex funding applications. The water challenges facing California’s disadvantaged communities.

California might have the fifth largest economy in the world, but many people in the state’s disadvantaged communities feel like they are living in a third world country because they don’t have safe, clean and affordable drinking water.

Aquafornia news North Bay Bohemian

Saving salmon: Will overhauling Scott Dam save native fish?

Today, annual salmon runs in Eel River that once may have totaled a million or so adults consist of a few thousand. Lamprey eels, too, have dwindled. Now, there is serious talk of removing Scott Dam, owned by PG&E since 1930. For fishery proponents, such a river makeover is the optimal way to revive the Eel’s salmon runs.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Tijuana and Rosarito to ration water supply for the next two months

Starting Monday, authorities in Tijuana and Rosarito will ration water for the next two months because of a limited supply, according to the Baja California Public Service Commission. Roughly 140,000 households and business in the border cities will go without water service for up to 36 hours every four days.

Aquafornia news Western Water

Friday Top of the Scroll: As wildfires grow more intense, California water managers are learning to rewrite their emergency playbook

The lessons gained from the 2018 wildfires that swept through Paradise, in Northern California, and along the Los Angeles-Ventura County border in Southern California are still being absorbed by water managers around California as they recognize that the old emergency preparedness plans of yesterday may not be adequate for the new wildfire reality of today.

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Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Climate change and the future of California’s water

Dr. Geeta Persad is a senior climate scientist with the Climate and Energy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. … In this presentation from the 2019 State of the Estuary conference, Dr. Persad discussed the ways in which climate change is going to fundamentally transform how, when, and where California gets its water and how those changes will have profound impacts for the state and for the San Francisco estuary in particular.

Aquafornia news Patch.com

JPA formed to govern East County water purification program

The creation of the JPA marks a key milestone in moving forward the project that will create a new, local, sustainable and drought-proof drinking water supply using state-of-the-art technology to purify East San Diego County’s recycled water.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Sudden oak death spreading fast, California’s coastal forests facing devastation

It is the forgotten killer when compared to our increasingly frequent climate calamities, but the virulent pathogen known as sudden oak death remains active and is spreading death so fast it could destroy California’s coastal forest ecosystem, UC Berkeley scientists reported Thursday. The deadly microbe has now established itself throughout the Bay Area and has spread along the coast from Monterey to Humboldt County…

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Opinion: Pinpointing water content in mountain snow will help California water management

Based on DWR’s own documents, it appears that an aerial snow observator is the most important science- and data-focused program that needs to be expanded statewide, so that the integral aquifer recharge program can play its role in Governor Newsom’s Water Resiliency Portfolio.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

Blog: Putting the ‘flood’ in Flood-MAR: reducing flood risk while replenishing aquifers

Flood-MAR is recognized as an emerging water management strategy that can provide broad benefits for Californians and the ecosystems of the state, including water supply reliability, flood risk reduction, drought preparedness, aquifer replenishment, water quality improvement, and climate change adaption.

Aquafornia news U.S. Green Building Council

Blog: Deploying on-site water reuse in California and nationwide

How do we mitigate the “yuck factor” that many people have about reclaimed water use, when it’s been proven safe and effective elsewhere? These concerns were discussed at GreenerBuilder 2019, USGBC’s conference in the Pacific region, hosted in San Francisco, where industry experts from across the state led a panel discussion on tactics to improve onsite water reuse.

Aquafornia news Voices of Monterey Bay

Coastal Commission staff wants more study of desal impact

Cal Am Water’s experts may have seriously underestimated the potential impact the company’s proposed desalination plant would have on the existing water supply nearby, the staff of the California Coastal Commission concluded in a report released this week as a supplement to its exhaustive report on the overall project.

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Western Water Gary Pitzer Douglas E. Beeman Layperson's Guide to Climate Change and Water Resources Gary PitzerDouglas E. Beeman

As Wildfires Grow More Intense, California Water Managers Are Learning To Rewrite Their Emergency Playbook
WESTERN WATER IN-DEPTH: Agencies share lessons learned as they recover from fires that destroyed facilities, contaminated supplies and devastated their customers

Debris from the Camp Fire that swept through the Sierra foothills town of Paradise  in November 2018.

By Gary Pitzer and Douglas E. Beeman

It’s been a year since two devastating wildfires on opposite ends of California underscored the harsh new realities facing water districts and cities serving communities in or adjacent to the state’s fire-prone wildlands. Fire doesn’t just level homes, it can contaminate water, scorch watersheds, damage delivery systems and upend an agency’s finances.

Western Water Gary Pitzer Gary Pitzer

Lessons From the Flames: Advice From Water Managers Who Have Lived Through Disaster

California water managers who have lived through a devastating wildfire and its aftermath have shared key lessons from their experiences.

Aquafornia news The Ceres Courier

Opinion: Californians should favor dam expansion plan

The effects of the last drought are still obvious in California’s agricultural belt. … From this perspective, the federal government’s plan to increase the storage capacity of Lake Shasta, created by the Shasta Dam on the Sacramento River, is both sensible and compassionate.

Aquafornia news California Weather Blog

Blog: Increasingly unusual dry autumn conditions persist; fire season continues until further notice

October 2019 ended up being a shut-out in the precipitation department in many regions–yielding the 10th driest October on record in over 100 years of record-keeping. More significantly, though: this extremely dry and relatively warm pattern has now persisted into November, and appears likely to continue for at least another 10 days.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Supreme Court leans toward expanding Clean Water Act to protect oceans from wastewater

Supreme Court justices, both conservative and liberal, appeared skeptical Wednesday of a Trump administration argument that the federal Clean Water Act should not apply to sewage plant wastewater that flows into the ground and eventually seeps into federally protected waters, such as rivers or oceans. The case from Hawaii has emerged as a major test of the federal anti-pollution law’s scope …

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Aquafornia news Huffington Post

Fed up with PG&E, California mayors pitch customer-owned power co-op

In a letter to the California Public Utilities Commission shared Tuesday, the mayors and city supervisors argued that PG&E ― beset by massive bankruptcy and public outrage over its role in deadly wildfires and mismanaged forced power outages ― would function better as a customer-owned utility than a business focused on paying dividends to its shareholders.

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Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

San Diego taking steps to revive landmark water recycling program amid legal dispute

The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to remove pro-union language from contracts for Pure Water, a recycling system that would purify treated sewage into drinking water and supply one-third of San Diego’s water supply by 2035. The pro-union language had prompted a judge to issue an injunction halting the project.

Aquafornia news KQED

A year after the Camp Fire, locals are rebuilding Paradise

On a secluded corner of Marywood Drive in Paradise sit two vacant lots, side by side. The empty space used to hold single-family residences surrounded by Ponderosa pines. That was until the November 2018 Camp Fire — California’s deadliest and most destructive wildfire — leveled the Butte County town and destroyed more than 13,000 homes. Now, one year later, these lots are being rebuilt by two Paradise natives, Christine and Dave Williams, who bought the properties after the fire.

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Aquafornia news MyMotherLode.com

Tuolumne Utility District to request New Melones water supplies

Plans to exercise federal county-of-origin rights to tap New Melones waters are in the works. According to documents for next Tuesday’s Tuolumne Utilities District board of directors meeting, staff will be recommending the board authorize General Manager Ed Pattison to submit a formal letter of request to the United States Bureau of Reclamation for a water supply contract.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

The disconnect between groundwater legal systems and groundwater hydrology

The Groundwater Resources Association’s 2019 Western Groundwater Congress featured David Sandino, Senior Staff Counsel at the Department of Water Resources, who spoke about the disconnect between legal groundwater systems and how the system actually works; and Maurice Hall, Associate Vice President of Ecosystems-Water at the Environmental Defense Fund, who spoke of how more holistic and inclusive groundwater management can increase the resilience of our water supply…

Aquafornia news KAZU

Public takeover of Cal Am appears feasible

A newly released study finds a public takeover of California American Water’s local system is feasible. Voters ordered this study with the approval of a local ballot measure, Measure J, one year ago. The Monterey Peninsula Water Management District released the study Wednesday.

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Aquafornia news Bloomberg Law

Thursday Top of the Scroll: Feds’ California water project must charge customers equitably

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation can’t charge Central Valley Project power customers disproportionately more than water customers in order to fund its environmental efforts, the Federal Circuit said Nov. 6. The law requires the Bureau to charge customers in proportion to what they pay to fund the network of dams, reservoirs, canals, and water power plants as a whole, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said.

Aquafornia news Reno Gazette Journal

Nevada tribes oppose removal of American Indian site history document

The Goshute, Ely and Duckwater Shoshone tribes all consider the site, known as the swamp cedars, sacred and believe the trees are threatened by a proposal to pipe groundwater to Las Vegas. … Tribal members are pushing for greater recognition of the site in order to strengthen their case against Southern Nevada Water Authority’s proposal to pipe groundwater from the area to Las Vegas. 

Aquafornia news E&E News

Clean Water Act: 5 things to know about today’s Supreme Court face-off

By next summer, the court will make a decision on a key question: Are pollutants that flow through groundwater from a single, identifiable source on their way to navigable waters subject to federal permitting requirements?

Aquafornia news AgNet West

Improving nutrient management in California

In recent years the idea of nutrient management has been become even more important with increasing regulations related to nitrate levels in groundwater. Cooperation between water agencies and CDFA has helped to provide better education and outreach for the development of balance sheets for nutrient management.

Aquafornia news Modern Farmer

New spray could help crops hold onto water during droughts

With drought becoming a more frequent and lasting longer, scientists have really been booking it to try to find potential solutions for crops. … A new possibility comes from researchers at the University of California, Riverside, in the form of a chemical that triggers plants to stop growing—and start storing water.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: California urged to update water plans for increasingly wild weather

Casting climate change as a direct threat to California’s water security, a panel of experts on Tuesday said the state must plan for the “new normal” by modernizing water infrastructure before the next great disaster.

Aquafornia news AgAlert

Water officials work to assist recharge projects

Flood-managed aquifer recharge involves moving floodwater from surface streams onto land where it could percolate into a groundwater basin. Though the concept sounds simple, it brings complications that include managing the floodwater, finding appropriate land to accept it and establishing rights to the water involved.

Aquafornia news Bakersfield Californian

Farmers urged to think big and small to survive groundwater cutbacks

The thinking started small and then grew much bigger at a gathering Tuesday in Bakersfield intended to provide a “survival toolkit” for farmers and water managers facing drastic restrictions on Central Valley groundwater pumping. … By the end of the day, however, isolationism gave way to calls for unity as speakers asserted that the only real solution was to increase the region’s water supply by as much as 10 million acre-feet per year on average by diverting water south from the Sacramento Delta.

Aquafornia news Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

News release: Metropolitan to study stormwater recharge potential in SoCal

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is expanding its effort to learn more about the water supply potential of local stormwater capture with a new $7.5 million pilot programapproved today by its board of directors.

Aquafornia news ABC News Bakersfield

California health: Can desalinated water help Kern County’s water needs?

If California goes into another drought and Kern County needs an extra supply of water, Santa Barbara is open to partnering with communities like Kern County. “We’re able to do exchanges with people, so you could in theory have someone in the Central Valley be a partner in desal,” said Joshua Haggmark, water resource manager for Santa Barbara.

Aquafornia news Las Vegas Sun

Study: Climate change and drought killing off Mojave Desert birds

Shrinking water resources due to climate change are driving major declines in Mojave Desert bird populations, according to a new study from researchers at University of California, Berkeley.

Aquafornia news CALmatters

Opinion: Gavin Newsom must stand up to Trump’s water grab

In October, the Trump Administration released politically manipulated “biological opinions” under the federal Endangered Species Act that dramatically weaken protections for the Bay-Delta, endangered fish species and commercially valuable salmon runs. … However, in an uncharacteristically subdued response, the Newsom Administration stated that it “will evaluate the federal government’s proposal, but will continue to push back if it does not reflect our values.”

Aquafornia news East Bay Express

Trump administration plan allows Delta water managers to kill off winter-run Chinook salmon

Eight-hundred pages into the text of a lengthy new report, federal biologists have quietly granted government water managers permission to nearly exterminate an endangered run of Sacramento River salmon so they can send more water south from the river’s delta to farmers in the arid San Joaquin Valley.

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Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Paradise-Chico water pipe study killed

The study of whether it makes sense to build a pipe to carry water from Paradise to Chico has died, at least for now. … The idea was that Cal Water’s Chico Division would buy Paradise Irrigation District water, and reduce its total dependence on wells. … The pipe would also provide a buyer for PID water, something the district needs to survive. Most of its customers were burned out by the Camp Fire.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California seizes $1.5 billion-plus in black market marijuana

Authorities seized more than $1.5 billion worth of illegally grown marijuana plants in California this year — an amount an industry expert said is roughly equal to the state’s entire legal market — as part of an annual eradication program, officials said Monday. … Law enforcement raids often find illegal farms that have dammed or diverted public streams and dumped dangerous pesticides including carbofuran, methyl parathion and aluminum phosphate…

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Aquafornia news KSBW TV

Editorial: Desal – No sale

Now is the time to focus on Pure Water Monterey and scrap the desal plans. If 10 years from now the recycled water project doesn’t do the trick, and there’s still a need for a desal plant, we can be optimistic that future advances in technology will make any desal option more environmentally-friendly and less expensive.

Aquafornia news Discover Magazine

Why desalinating water is hard — and why we might need to anyway

In places like San Diego and Dubai, where freshwater is scarce, humans turn to machines that pull the salt out of seawater, transforming it into clean drinking water. … Many researchers are working to improve the technology so it can reach more people — and address climate change without contributing to it.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Restoring a San Mateo County creek to keep new generations of fish thriving

The executive director of the San Mateo Resource Conservation District was admiring the restoration of 8,000 feet of the Butano Creek stream channel, the largest and most ambitious of a series of projects the district is spearheading to stop chronic flooding, bring back endangered fish and restore 28 acres of degraded wetlands at Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: Does a rain-free October signal a return to drought in California?

According to the Drought Monitor, almost one-fifth of California is either abnormally dry or in moderate drought, as of the end of October. … Three months ago, only 4.32% of California was abnormally dry…

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Aquafornia news San Joaquin Valley Sun

Opinion: With California’s water at stake, progress finally triumphs regress

Welcome to the Two States of California: one boasts one of the largest economies in the world while another is shamed with water rationing, third-world power outages, uncontrolled wildfires, an ever-expanding homeless population riddled with medieval diseases. This is the tale of the latter California and the continued alarmism about its water.

Aquafornia news Capital Press

California wildfire risk could drag into December

Wildfire risk will remain substantial in much of California through at least this month, the National Interagency Fire Center said Nov. 1 in its monthly National Significant Wildfire Potential Outlook. Risk will persist into December in some areas.

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Aquafornia news The Mountain Democrat

El Dorado Irrigation District fights water taxes

The Oct. 28 meeting of the El Dorado Irrigation District Board of Directors included an update on the effect of power outages on the district and a legislative update with a focus on protecting the area’s water rights.

Aquafornia news The Hill

Opinion: A fresh look at the future of hydropower requires that we see clearly its past and present

The record of the hydropower industry on America’s rivers and streams is not one of protecting and preserving natural ecosystems. It is, in fact, exactly the opposite.

Aquafornia news Santa Ynez Valley News

Supplemental EIR clears way for fracking, oil drilling in Santa Barbara County

A supplemental environmental impact report on hydraulic fracturing released Thursday by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management found no significant impacts, and plans for leasing 1.2 million acres for oil and gas development in eight counties, including Santa Barbara County, will not change.

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Aquafornia news KEYT

San Luis Obispo County to conduct aerial survey of Paso Basin groundwater

The county of San Luis Obispo announced plans to map the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin. … People who live in Creston, Shandon, and Whitely Gardens may see a low flying helicopter towing a large hexagonal frame when work begins.

Aquafornia news E&E News

Clean Water Act: Economic analysis could undermine Trump rule repeal

When the Trump administration finalized its repeal of the Obama-era Clean Water Rule last month, it also quietly updated an economic analysis of the repeal’s costs and benefits. The 195-page final analysis is nearly 10 times longer … and estimates different costs and benefits of repealing the regulation.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

LandWatch wants Seaside to commit swapped water to Campus Town project

LandWatch, the nonprofit environmental watchdog, has in effect said it will support the city of Seaside’s Campus Town if the project will obtain its 442 acre-foot water supply without increasing groundwater pumping. Campus Town … proposes building up to 1,485 housing units on 85 acres of former Army land next to CSU Monterey Bay …

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Aquafornia news The Wall Street Journal

Opinion: Despite wildfires and drought, California keeps building

The Gold Rush might have ended 140 years ago, but its ethos of extraction still dominates California. It’s not just the farmers adding tens of thousands of acres of orchards and vineyards in a state famous for drought. It’s the developers building new subdivisions across Northern and Southern California—houses marching out to the chaparral, hill and forest, straight into the path of wildfire.

Aquafornia news Sierra Wave

LADWP may sell land now used for discharge

In the long run, the biggest news from Monday’s Bishop City Council meeting may be that Los Angeles Department of Water and Power could consider selling the land being used for waste water discharge by both the City of Bishop and the Eastern Sierra Community Service District.

Aquafornia news Elk Grove Citizen

Local, rural water district to hold first election in 43 years

A little-known, local water district – the Omochumne-Hartnell Water District – will hold their first board member election in 43 years on Nov. 5. … The district was established in 1953, mainly to help supply surface water off the Cosumnes River to the landowners in this area.

Aquafornia news The Nevada Independent

For years, a public water district blurred the line between business and government — with a developer’s brothel workers at the helm

Officials who oversee a water district exempt from state regulation work and live at a brothel owned by the public face of the world’s largest industrial park, raising questions about whether governmental powers such as eminent domain are being wielded by a private entity.

Aquafornia news Arizona Daily Star

Debate: Does watering Arizona’s suburbs promote affordable housing or urban sprawl?

To authors of a new, highly critical study, Arizona’s system of groundwater management encourages urban sprawl. But to an official and lobbyist for a homebuilders group, the system encourages construction of affordable housing.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

For California well owners, clean water is hard to get as state, local hurdles remain

As the state focuses on providing clean and affordable drinking water for millions of residents, those on private wells typically face an uphill battle. Private well owners confront significant financial challenges digging new wells, and connecting to a public water system involves a daunting local and state bureaucratic process…

Aquafornia news Arizona Republic

Opinion: Arizona should move water to where people want to live

The insularity of water policy decision-making, however, causes certain suspect premises to go unquestioned or challenged. One of the most significant is this: People should be required to live where there is water, rather than figuring out how to get water to where people want to live.

Aquafornia news Counterpunch

Opinion: When justice delayed means extinction: The case of the Delta smelt

The glaring light of extinction of the Delta smelt reveals decades of treachery and deceit by corporate agribusiness, metropolitan water districts, politicians and their collaborators in the resource agencies charged by law to protect wildlife species from extinction. The moral squalor that has permitted this crisis is contemptible.

Aquafornia news High Country News

Is renewable energy’s future dammed?

Just outside Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, a year-round, mineral-rich spring turns the Little Colorado River a vivid turquoise. This final stretch, about 10 miles from the river’s confluence with its larger relative, is one of the West’s spectacular waterways, with bright water flowing below steep red-rock cliffs. But the view will change dramatically if a Phoenix-based company builds a proposed hydropower project.

Aquafornia news Vox.com

Prop. 65 was meant to protect residents from toxic water. Is that what it did?

The initial selling point of Prop. 65 — that it would eliminate toxins in the water supply by holding big business liable for its leaks — has largely been forgotten in 2019. These days, the law is better known for requiring eyebrow-raising warning labels on everything from bread to steering wheel covers to — briefly — Starbucks coffee, and it has turned into a national punchline.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Friday Top of the Scroll: No heat, no light? Not so bad. No water? Much worse

When the lights went out this week, Susan Illich of Sebastopol didn’t just lose power. She also lost water. That’s because, like thousands of residents in Sonoma County, she relies on a private well that operates with an electric pump. … “Water puts out fire,” she said. “My basic rights to fend off fire that could have killed me and my pets and damaged my home was obstructed.”

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Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

San Diego creates state’s first water, sewer ‘capacity bank’ to boost biotech, breweries

The city will buy millions of gallons of “stranded,” excess water and sewer capacity from manufacturing businesses that those businesses had purchased when they hooked up to the city’s water and sewer system over the years. … Then the city will place that excess capacity in a “bank” and sell it at discounted rates to biotech firms, breweries and other water-dependent businesses looking to expand or open new local facilities.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

In Napa Valley, winemakers fight climate change on all fronts

Wine producers are grappling with a maelstrom caused by a warming planet: heat waves, droughts, cold snaps, wildfires and more.

Aquafornia news University of Southern California

Blog: Researchers discover antibiotic-resistant genes in recycled wastewater

A team led by USC Viterbi’s Adam Smith has found that purified water returned to Southern California aquifers often becomes contaminated with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, a realization that could have major implications on the global water supply.

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

Blog: Night of the living dead salmon

On a cool and misty morning somewhere south of Redding, California, jet boats roar across the tranquil Sacramento River. Armed with tridents, machetes and poleaxes, it seems akin to a scene from an action movie; except that “California Department of Fish and Wildlife” is painted on the boats.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Feds push to open 1 million acres to fracking in California

The Trump administration unveiled a plan to open another million acres in California to oil and gas development and fracking, one day after being sued by conservationists for similar plans in a different part of the state. The Bureau of Land Management released its environmental analysis Thursday concluding that hydraulic fracturing and oil and gas extraction in counties located in the south state do not conflict with the land management goals of the agency.

Aquafornia news Roll Call

Democrats’ Bernhardt probe has California’s Cox in a tough spot

Freshman Democratic Rep. TJ Cox represents some of the farmers who would likely benefit from the additional water. … Facing what could be a tough reelection fight in 2020, Cox’s future in Congress could depend on whether Bernhardt’s former client gets what it wants.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Navigating California’s new regulations for wetlands and state waters

California regulations protecting wetlands and state waters were approved by the State Water Resources Control Board and will take effect on May 28, 2020. These new rules create a more expansive and complex permitting scheme for developers, public agencies and others with projects that may impact waters and wetlands.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Mexico pledges to fight cross-border sewage spills

Mexico says it will rehabilitate five pumping stations in the border city of Tijuana to prevent cross-border sewage spills that have angered U.S. communities in the San Diego area.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Editorial: A new lake in west Stanislaus County? That sounds good

At a time when building anything large and important — like roads, dams and bridges — can be tied up in red tape and take forever, the optimism of this reservoir’s supporters is audacious. And unless opponents emerge with impressive arguments, the Del Puerto Canyon Reservoir deserves the area’s support.

Aquafornia news Ventura County Star

As deadline looms, Casitas sets Monday start date for diversion project

The Ojai Valley agency planned a roughly $1 million project to clear part of a 9-foot pile of silt, sand and gravel from its Robles diversion facility. … Without the work, Casitas officials said they could face emergency shutoffs, clogged fish screens and lost water this winter.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Environmental prosecutions drop to lowest level in decades

Prosecutions of environmental crimes dropped to historic lows under the Trump administration last fiscal year and one legal expert believes that could endanger public health. “There’s a risk that unenforced violations could lead to fires, leaks, spills, and contamination,” said Ethan Elkind, climate program director at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.

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Aquafornia news Hanford Sentinel

New laws may result in water rate increases

In order to keep up with the state’s underground water recharge laws, sooner or later, local water rates will likely need to increase. That was the message local water management officials gave in a joint presentation at the Oct. 21 Selma City Council.

Aquafornia news Livermore Independent

Delta group critical of federal move to change water priorities

An environmental group, highly critical of a federal agency’s newly proposed recommendations to protect endangered species in the Delta, states that they would seriously harm those species and their habitat. The new recommendations, released Oct. 22 by the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation, are to be used as guidelines for operating the federal pumping plant in the Delta.

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Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

News release: Castaic Dam modernization program begins: DWR conducts stream release structure investigation

As part of a statewide effort to reduce seismic and hydrologic risk to State Water Project facilities, the California Department of Water Resources’ Castaic Dam Modernization Program begins this week with an assessment of a stream release structure at Castaic Dam in Los Angeles County.

Aquafornia news UC Merced News

Blog: Water yield from forest thinning depends on how, where and how much

Even a little forest management significantly increases water runoff in the Central Sierra Nevada and other semi-arid regions, while drier forests need more extensive treatments, according to a new study published recently in the journal Ecohydrology.

Aquafornia news Stanford School of Engineering

Q&A: How do we develop new sources of usable water?

Late last month, the U.S. Department of Energy announced a $100 million research grant to the National Alliance for Water Innovation (NAWI) to lead an Energy-Water Desalination Hub. Meagan Mauter explains how this very large and potentially transformative project will work, and Stanford’s role in the work.

Aquafornia news Antelope Valley Press

Thursday Top of the Scroll: Water agencies stress need for disaster plan

In case of an emergency such as an earthquake or wildfire, one key element that could be disrupted, and for an extended period, is water. To that end, area water agencies and government officials gathered Wednesday in Lancaster as the Greater Antelope Valley Water Emergency Coalition to discuss preparations and resources available in case of water disruptions in an emergency.

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Aquafornia news Capitol Weekly

Study raises concern about e-cigarette waste

As media coverage focuses on the more immediate public health crisis of vaping, and its link to a recent spate of mysterious lung illnesses and deaths, researchers like Mock and Hendlin caution there also is a looming environmental threat.

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