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 Jefferson Public Radio

Audio: How California Fish Passage Forum clears the way

The California Fish Passage Forum brings together public and private groups and agencies working to remove barriers to fish passage. We get a quick lesson in the projects and progress of the Forum in an interview with Chair Bob Pagliuco and Coordinator Alicia Marrs.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Thursday Top of the Scroll: Gov. Newsom asks Warren Buffett to remove California dams

Desperate to complete a historic but complicated dam removal on the California-Oregon border, Gov. Gavin Newsom has appealed to one of the world’s wealthiest men to keep the project on track: financier Warren Buffett. Newsom dispatched a letter to Buffett and two of his executives Wednesday urging them to support removal of four hydroelectric dams on the lower Klamath River…

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Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Ecosystem-based management in the Delta

The Delta Plan Interagency Implementation Committee is comprised of high-ranking members of 18 state, federal, and regional agencies… At the July 2020 committee meeting, members heard presentations on the Central Valley Project Improvement Act and the state’s new Incidental Take Permit and how those programs utilize principles of ecosystem-based management.

Aquafornia news The Desert Review

Imperial Irrigation District files opening brief in lawsuit against Met

Following the Imperial Irrigation District’s recent win on a monumental water case in California’s appellate court against Michael Abatti, the water district is back in court filing the opening brief against the other large water district is Southern California, the Metropolitan Water District.

Aquafornia news U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

News release: Reclamation invests in new science updates for Klamath Project

In response to Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt and Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman’s recent visit with Klamath Basin ranchers, farmers, tribes and community officials, Reclamation is launching a new science initiative to inform Klamath Project operations.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Vehicles burned in Mexico to protest US water payment

Demonstrators in northern Mexico have burned several government vehicles, blocked railway tracks and set afire a government office and highway tollbooths to protest water payments to the United States.

Aquafornia news UC Merced News

Blog: New tools indicate how thinning and fire affect forest water use and boost runoff

Forest-management actions such as mechanical thinning and prescribed burns don’t just reduce the risk of severe wildfire and promote forest health — these practices can also contribute to significant increases in downstream water availability. New research from UC Merced’s Sierra Nevada Research Institute provides the tools to help estimate and verify those changes.

Aquafornia news SJV Water

Blog: Valley farmers look to Kern River tributary to replenish groundwater

A Kern County water agency is facing a wall of opposition against its plan to harvest up to 12,000 acre feet of water from the South Fork of the Kern River above Lake Isabella and bring it to valley farms and homeowners in northwest Bakersfield.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Lithium in drinking water linked to lower suicide rates

A compilation of studies conducted between 1946 and 2018 show that areas with high concentrations of lithium in public drinking water had “correspondingly lower suicide rates,” according to a news release. … The study was published Monday in The British Journal of Psychiatry.

Aquafornia news Water Quality Association

News release: Water Quality Association offers schools officials guidance on bringing drinking water systems back online

As schools prepare to reopen for in-person learning around the country, the Water Quality Association offers general guidance on bringing water treatment systems back online in buildings that have been vacant or have seen little or no water use. The guidelines are available on WQA’s website and were discussed in detail during a May webinar.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: Newsom lays out big dreams for California’s water future

Gov. Gavin Newsom released strategies Tuesday to improve drinking water quality, revive a stalled multibillion-dollar tunnel and build new dams. Newsom says the sweeping water portfolio will help the Golden State prepare for global warming by reinforcing outdated water infrastructure and reducing the state’s reliance on groundwater during future droughts.

Aquafornia news Politico

The new water wars

The coronavirus economic crash is tightening the financial vise on utilities that supply water and sanitation across the country, potentially putting water companies on the verge of financial insolvency while millions of Americans struggle to pay their utility bills.

Aquafornia news Patch.com

News release: Millbrae defers water rate increases to 2021

While the city has suspended shutting off water accounts for non-payment and has been working with its customers to set up payment plans, more relief was needed. To help offset some of the burdens of COVID-19, the Millbrae City Council voted unanimously this month to defer the July 1, 2020, water rate increase until January 1, 2021.

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Aquafornia news National Science Foundation

News release: Pesticides speed the spread of deadly waterborne pathogens

The U.S. National Science Foundation-funded study … found that agrochemicals can increase transmission of the schistosome worm in myriad ways: by directly affecting survival of the waterborne parasite itself; by decimating aquatic predators that feed on snails that carry the parasite; and by altering the composition of algae in the water, which provides a major food source for snails.

Aquafornia news Ingrained

Audio: Giants in the rice fields

Nearly 230 wildlife species depend on Sacramento Valley rice fields for food and a resting place, including the giant gartersnake, a threatened species. Although it has “giant” in its name, this creature is, at most, five-feet long. These snakes are heavily dependent on rice fields for their survival; having lost most of their earlier habitat – traditional wetlands…

Aquafornia news Engineering News-Record

House, Senate defense bills have only modest impact on PFAS chemicals

Each of the bills would provide funding for research and development on PFAS remediation methods… But environmental and public health advocates say the bills do not go far enough to address PFAS contamination. They describe the measures as lost opportunities to address PFAS pollution in a significant way.

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Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Controversial Poseidon desalination plant in Huntington Beach set for hearings this week

Poseidon Water’s seawater desalination plant in Huntington Beach, first proposed in 1998, could be getting closer to beginning construction after more than two decades. The Santa Ana Regional Water Board will hold online hearings this week and decide whether to issue Poseidon a permit.

Aquafornia news The Intercept

When coronavirus struck the Salton Sea

The community already beset by an environmental disaster is now facing a pandemic of the worst proportions. Residents and activists, who have long fought for more funding and pollution mitigation, say the area was already at a steep disadvantage for health care. Now the largely agrarian community has found itself in the middle of a perfect storm of environmental neglect, poverty, and the coronavirus.

Aquafornia news Legal Planet

Blog: Water right permitting options for groundwater recharge: Avoiding unintended consequences

Recharge is playing a growing role in maintaining groundwater as an effective drought reserve and in slowing or reversing the effects of years of unsustainable groundwater pumping. But implementing recharge projects is not easy. Water managers face a range of hurdles.

Aquafornia news Gov. Newsom's Office

BREAKING NEWS: Gov. Newsom Releases Final Water Resilience Portfolio

NEWS RELEASE: Governor Gavin Newsom today released a final version of the Water Resilience Portfolio, the Administration’s blueprint for equipping California to cope with more extreme droughts and floods, rising temperatures, declining fish populations, over-reliance on groundwater and other challenges.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Law

DOJ limits Clean Water Act enforcement overlap with states

Some outside lawyers lauded the move for protecting against excessive enforcement, while others warned that the policy could let some polluters off easy. It’s the latest example of the Trump administration setting new rules for federal environmental enforcement.

Aquafornia news Voice of San Diego

Why your water bill might spike

San Diego’s water utility is preparing to absorb a five percent spike in rates this year despite cries from elected officials to freeze costs during a global pandemic. Why? The blame often gets passed up the proverbial pipeline.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Blog: Forging connections to provide safe drinking water

Providing a reliable source of drinking water is a challenge for many small water systems in the San Joaquin Valley, where dropping groundwater levels, aging systems, and water quality problems are acute. … We talked to Laura Ramos and Sarge Green of Fresno State’s California Water Institute about this effort.

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Aquafornia news San Bernardino Sun

Can a new plan for the wash that runs between Redlands and Highland protect flowers, animals and mining?

On July 13, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service gave the San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District a 30-year permit to manage plans for the Upper Santa Ana River Wash, the final step in the process. The plans cover an area of Redlands and Highland generally west and south of Greenspot Road, east of Alabama Street and north of the waterway’s bluffs.

Aquafornia news The Hill

Trump makes two FERC nominations, potentially rebalancing commission

President Trump made two nominations to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Monday, bowing to pressure from Democratic lawmakers who have pushed to maintain the bipartisan split in the commission.

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Aquafornia news ABC News San Diego

La Niña watch means dry winter and longer fire season possible for Southern California

NOAA has issued a La Nina Watch, which means a dry winter and longer fire season are possible this year for Southern California. This stems from colder water along the equator in the Pacific which has a domino effect on other parts of the world…

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: Poseidon’s desalination plant faces day of reckoning

After more than 20 years of developing plans for a Huntington Beach desalination plant and winding its way through a seemingly endless bureaucratic approval process, Poseidon Water comes to a key juncture as the Regional Water Quality Control Board votes on whether to grant a permit after hearings this week.

Aquafornia news CBS News

Famously clear Lake Tahoe has been polluted by climate change

When it was measured last year, the clarity of the lake was about 80 feet. … But, consider this, about 20 years ago, the clarity of lake was 100 feet. That’s the trend scientists are trying to reverse.

Aquafornia news The Guardian

Migratory river fish populations plunge 76% in past 50 years

Species such as salmon, trout and giant catfish are vital not just to the rivers and lakes in which they breed or feed but to entire ecosystems. By swimming upstream, they transport nutrients from the oceans and provide food for many land animals, including bears, wolves and birds of prey.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

City to attempt treatment of algal muck in McKinley Park pond

The city of Sacramento will begin vacuuming up globs of muck Monday at the McKinley Park pond following tests that suggest the rust-red material is both algal matter and cyanobacteria.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

State grants will enhance Tuolumne River fish near Modesto

New state grants totaling about $8 million will enhance fish habitat on the Tuolumne River, and better connect west Modesto residents to the waterway. The grants will continue efforts to restore spawning areas and floodplains for salmon, trout and other fish between La Grange and Modesto.

Aquafornia news Western Farm Press

Feinstein bill would fix SJ Valley canals

Feinstein’s Restoration of Essential Conveyance Act would authorize $800 million in federal funding to repair critical canals in the San Joaquin Valley damaged by land sinking from overpumping of groundwater, known as subsidence, and for environmental restoration.

Aquafornia news CBS Sunday Morning

Without water

Black and Latino Americans are twice as likely as White Americans to live without running water. Take East Orosi, a mostly Latino community surrounded by the fertile orchards of California’s Central Valley. To look around you’d think that water is pretty plentiful … and it is, for big agriculture. But in a neighborhood where most of those who work those fields live, there’s no central water main.

Aquafornia news Voice of San Diego

San Diego’s big recycled water project wins in court

San Diego’s oft-delayed Pure Water project – a bid to create a third of the city’s water from recycled sewage – scored a victory in court Friday that could get the $5 billion project back on track.

Aquafornia news Bakersfield Californian

Opinion: We need water in the Kern River

Some residents are petitioning to return water to our river. I urge every person who has ever walked on the Kern River bike path to sign their petition on Change.org…

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Water park open during COVID-19 to lose permit: California officials

WaterWorks Park in Redding opened on June 5 in violation of California’s coronavirus rules and “repeated direction” not to do so, according to the Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency. It has continued to operate since then — sparking a nearly two-months long battle with health officials.

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Aquafornia news SFGate.com

‘Huge public safety danger’: Overcrowding forces closure of California swimming hole

There are just 12 parking spots near Yankee Jim’s, a sliver of crystal clear water on the North Fork American River, about 35 miles west of Lake Tahoe, but last weekend California State Parks and Placer County authorities counted more than 300 vehicles parked near the rugged roads surrounding a one-way bridge overhead. … Authorities said the scenic area has exploded in popularity thanks to social media postings.

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Aquafornia news The Recorder

Opinion: New study finds PFOA is carcinogenic: What are the California Prop. 65 implications?

A report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services may result in the listing of PFOA under California’s Proposition 65 as a carcinogen. Here’s what that could mean for the explosion of litigation related to the chemical substance throughout the country.

Aquafornia news Livermore Independent

Zone 7 Water Agency to buy Napa’s surplus

Zone 7 Water Agency directors authorized General Manager Valerie Pryor to negotiate an agreement with Napa County’s water division to buy some of its surplus water this year — a move that could open doors for similar deals in the future. A need to meet local water demand for the next few years prompted Zone 7 to act at its regular meeting July 16.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

MID and TID reach key milestone on Tuolumne River fish flows

The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission stated its support once again for the fishery releases proposed by the Modesto and Turlock irrigation districts. The action reaffirmed FERC findings in February 2019 that dismissed pleas from environmental and sport-fishing groups for much higher flows.

Aquafornia news Lost Coast Outpost

Audio: State of the Klamath: Spirited discussion on what that big Federal Energy Regulatory Commission decision means

S. Craig Tucker, consultant to the Karuk Tribe, and Mike Belchik, senior water policy analyst with the Yurok Tribe, joins Scott Greacen (Friends of the Eel) and Tom Wheeler (EPIC) for a spirited discussion on the new news about the state of dam removal.

Aquafornia news Yuba Water Agency

Yuba Water advances major flood risk reduction project at New Bullards Bar

Yuba Water Agency’s Board of Directors Thursday authorized staff to move forward with a new design of an estimated $225 million secondary spillway at New Bullards Bar Dam, marking an important step forward for the agency’s largest project to reduce flood risk since the dam was built.

Aquafornia news JD Supra

Blog: State Water Board has authority to implement temporary water curtailments without evidentiary hearing

The Third Appellate District has ruled that the State Water Resources Control Board has the authority to issue temporary emergency regulations and curtailment orders which establish minimum flow requirements, regulate unreasonable use of water, and protect threatened fish species during drought conditions.

Aquafornia news Scripps Institution of Oceanography

News release: Researchers identify factor behind 2017 Oroville Dam spillways incident

What was extraordinary was the unusually deep snow recorded in the northern Sierra Nevada mountains before the storm event. Subsequently, several records were set for how much snowmelt occurred during the atmospheric river. The melt took place because of unusually warm and wet conditions, and it increased water available for runoff by 37 percent over rain alone, straining the capacity of California’s second-largest reservoir.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Monday Top of the Scroll: California had a plan to bring clean water to a million people. Then the pandemic hit

At a meeting this month where the State Water Resources Control Board adopted its first spending plan for what was supposed to be a $130 million-a-year investment for the next decade, Chairman Joaquin Esquivel acknowledged that the economic downturn could set California back.

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Aquafornia news Roseville Today

Placer County, PCWA split $12 million revenue distribution

In 1961, Placer County voters overwhelmingly approved the sale of bonds to finance construction of the Middle Fork American River Hydroelectric Project (MFP). Nearly 60 years later, with the bonds fully paid and financial reserves fully funded, the first-ever distribution of net revenue from the MFP has been made…

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

Latest Western Water examines state’s effort to preserve Salton Sea, California’s largest lake

The state of California, long derided for its failure to act in the past, says it is now moving full-bore to address the Salton Sea’s problems, with ambitious plans for wildlife habitat expansion and dust suppression.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Opinion: Affordability of utility services in the COVID-19 era

Utility disconnections due to non-payment have surged over the last decade and some financial projections show electric utility costs are likely to increase 15-35% over the next three years.

Aquafornia news The Log

Public urged to avoid water contact at Pyramid Lake due to algal bloom

An algal bloom at Pyramid Lake in Los Angeles County has the Department of Water Resources (DWR) warning the public not to swim or participate in any other water-contact recreation or sporting activities due to potential adverse health effects. However, DWR said boating at the lake is still allowed.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Higher Feather River levels not making big ripples

Saturday and Sunday, PG&E will raise the water level on the North Fork of the Feather River, which goes from Quincy to Oroville. … But this year, it seems the whitewater levels — thanks to the coronavirus — aren’t raising excitement.

Aquafornia news Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

Blog: An early success story in the Delta

A century ago, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta was a massive wetland habitat. The construction of levees over the past 100 years has dried out these wetlands and converted them into farmland, eliminating 95 percent of this important aquatic habitat for fish. But scientists are finding out that given the right conditions, nature can reclaim itself.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Law

EPA must focus on environmental justice, Inspector General says

The issue is new to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Inspector General’s periodic list of top management challenges facing the agency, underscoring its emergence as a leading national concern. The OIG called on the agency to strengthen its federal leadership role, continue to build an environmental justice strategic plan, and consider the impact of “all activities on environmental justice communities in actions revoked and taken by the agency as a whole.”

Aquafornia news AgAlert

Thursday Top of the Scroll: River agreements stall amid focus on Delta litigation

With state and federal administrations fighting in court about delta water operations—and with a pandemic and election year both underway—work has slowed on voluntary agreements meant to avoid severe cuts to northern San Joaquin Valley water supplies. At issue is the first phase of a State Water Resources Control Board plan for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Aquafornia news E&E News

Senate panel reviews bills to address irrigation, conservation

Senators met yesterday to consider a suite of legislation to address water problems in the American West, though little was revealed about what comes next for the bills.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Setting sustainable groundwater management criteria: It’s easy, isn’t it?

At the Groundwater Resources Association’s 3rd annual GSA Summit, a panel reviewed how the process went for the groundwater sustainability plans that were submitted to the Department of Water Resources earlier this year, focusing on four of the six sustainable management criteria: water levels, water quality, land subsidence, and interconnected surface waters.

Aquafornia news Marysville Appeal-Democrat

Colusa County landowners sought for groundwater recharge program

According to a release issued by the Nature Conservancy, the program provides an opportunity for growers to receive financial compensation for recharging groundwater during the course of normal farming operations on a variety of crops while also providing critical wetland habitat for waterbirds migrating along the Pacific Flyway.

Aquafornia news Western Farm Press

Report says California groundwater sustainability plans are inadequate

The grim report by the Water Foundation, a charitable organization based in California that is focused on clean, reliable water for people and nature, predicts the groundwater sustainability plans written by the various districts in the San Joaquin Valley will not achieve what SGMA purports to do – that is, sustainably manage groundwater resources.

Editors Note: The Water Foundation is not affiliated with the Water Education Foundation.

Aquafornia news PR Newswire

News release: Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board staff recommends approval of permit for Huntington Beach desal project

On Wednesday, the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board issued a staff report recommending approval of a tentative order making amendments to and renewing its operating permit first issued in 2006 for the proposed Huntington Beach Desalination Project.

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Aquafornia news Bakersfield Californian

Farmers doing more with less need help from above

Ceres Imaging, an Oakland-based startup company, is one of several high-tech aerial monitoring companies helping California farmers, including those in Kern County, increase their production, while decreasing their demand for water. It is a logical marriage between agriculture and innovators in California’s Silicon Valley.

Aquafornia news California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Blog: Creating a new fishery at Mountain Meadows Reservoir

For the past five years, Monty Currier, a California Department of Fish and Wildlife environmental scientist, has been working to rebuild the fishery at Mountain Meadows Reservoir after the PG&E impoundment went dry in 2015 from the combined effects of maintenance work and the drought. The unfortunate fish kill presented Currier with something of a dream opportunity.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

California settles fight over hoarded dam water

As part of a settlement reached with fishing and environmental groups, the California State Water Resources Control Board says it will increase transparency and conduct heightened evaluations when deciding water quality standards and flow limits for the state’s critical waterways. … Environmentalists celebrated the deal as a “landmark settlement” that stands to boost protections for fish by improving water quality in the Sacramento River and the San Francisco Bay-Delta.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

City of Oceanside picked as Recycled Water Agency of the Year

The City of Oceanside was picked from among small agencies throughout California as Recycled Water Agency of the Year for its significant water recycling efforts. The city was recognized with an Award of Excellence at WateReuse California’s virtual conference earlier this summer.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Polls show public support for 2 Orange County desalination proposals

Public support for proposed desalination plants in Huntington Beach and Dana Point appears strong in two recent polls, although opponents call the surveys biased and say neither poll addresses key obstacles facing these very different projects.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

Blog: DWR environmental scientist Veronica Wunderlich discusses her work with reptiles and amphibians

Veronica Wunderlich is a Department of Water Resources senior environmental scientist with a focus in herpetology – the study of reptiles and amphibians. Below, Veronica discusses how she got started in herpetology –she even had snakes as pets as a kid, her current work, and how to translate a passion and interest in wildlife into a career – “If you really love the creatures you work with, you will never regret working with them.”

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Spring rains revealed fairy shrimp at Escondido preserve

Despite their brief existence … the pools, and the fairy shrimp they harbor are an important feature of the new preserve. The conservancy acquired Mountain Meadow Preserve, on hilltops off of Interstate 15, about two years ago. At that time, the 693-acre site was a deserted orchard, dotted with dilapidated agricultural sheds and withered avocado groves.

Aquafornia news Somach Simmons & Dunn

Blog: Court of Appeal holds that Imperial Irrigation District landowners only have a right to water service, not individual rights to district-held water

On appeal, the court held that the District’s water allocation methodology in the “equitable distribution plan” was reasonable and not an abuse of discretion, and that Abatti and the other farmers in IID only hold an interest in, or right to, water service.

Aquafornia news AgAlert

Ranchers discuss challenges of drought on public lands

In a webinar hosted by the University of California, Davis, last week, three California ranchers shared challenges they face managing multiple-use public lands, and how they cope with drought.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: 21 state attorneys general sue over new Trump water rule

Attorneys general in 20 states [including California] and the District of Columbia sued the Trump administration on Tuesday, alleging that new federal rules undermine their ability to protect rivers, lakes and streams within their borders. They say that new final rules issued last week by the Environmental Protection Agency alter a practice dating back more than 30 years giving state governments the authority to review, block or put conditions on federally permitted water projects.

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Aquafornia news Vacaville Reporter

Federal judge rejects lawsuit saying Vacaville’s water supply is unsafe

A Sebastopol-based environmental group’s lawsuit against the city of Vacaville in connection with hexavalent chromium found in groundwater has failed in federal court, city officials announced Tuesday. On Monday, Chief United States District Judge Kimberly Mueller issued an order rejecting California River Watch’s lawsuit regarding the safety of Vacaville’s water supply.

Aquafornia news Calaveras Enterprise

Potential harmful algal bloom spotted in New Melones near Camp Nine bridge

A potential harmful algal bloom (HAB) has been identified at New Melones Reservoir downstream of the log jam and Camp Nine bridge in Calaveras County. … This is the first HAB identified in Calaveras County this year, based on the state HAB Incident Reports Map.

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Aquafornia news KXTV Sacramento

Highway 99 at 12th Avenue in Sacramento flooded following water main break, officials say

A water main break has caused major flooding on part of southbound Highway 99 at 12th Avenue in Sacramento, California Highway Patrol officials confirmed Monday evening. … Tim Swanson, a spokesperson for the City of Sacramento, said the break started as a leak that was expected to be repaired in the evening…

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Aquafornia news National Law Review

California microplastics in drinking water definition adopted

The California State Water Resources Control Board (Board) has adopted a definition for “microplastics” that will be used in testing of drinking water… While this development is currently focused on the testing of drinking water in California, the Board and others expect that it will form the basis of future efforts to quantify and address microplastics in the environment.

Aquafornia news Palo Alto Online

Blog: Will “two lined swimming pools connected by a pipe” help us get rid of natural gas?

Pumped storage hydropower (PSH) is a pretty simple technology. … The effect is not to create energy. In fact, these facilities are net consumers of energy. But by making renewable energy available when it is most needed, PSH helps renewables better match demand, reducing the need for gas on the grid.

Aquafornia news KUSI News

Mayor pro tem: Tijuana corruption audit result in Imperial Beach sewage crisis

Imperial Beach Mayor Pro Tem Paloma Aguirre joined Good Morning San Diego to discuss a new report claiming that an audit done by Baja California governor accuses big US companies of water theft and contributed to raw sewage and hazardous pollutants ending up in the Tijuana River.

Aquafornia news WaterWorld

East County Advanced Water Purification program receives $86m

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s Board of Directors recently approved the East County Advanced Water Purification Program for its Local Resources Program, providing approximately $86 million in funding for this important water supply project.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Vacaville dodges lawsuit over chromium 6-tainted water wells

A federal judge on Monday squashed environmentalists’ bid to punish a Northern California city for delivering drinking water tainted with the carcinogen that prompted the film “Erin Brockovich.” The environmental group California River Watch sued the city of Vacaville over its water supply in 2017, claiming it was violating federal hazardous waste laws…

Aquafornia news The Nevada Independent

Opinion: Nevada should challenge Utah’s move for a Lake Powell pipeline

Legal scholars believe that the Lake Powell pipeline would likely violate the 1922 Colorado River Compact as a transfer of upper basin water (WY, UT, CO, NM) for lower basin use (CA, NV, AZ). The lower basin has priority, and the compact arguably prohibits transfers from the upper to lower basin absent explicit congressional authorization

Aquafornia news Water Finance & Management

New survey polls U.S. confidence in tap water

Four in five Americans served by a water utility (77 percent) say the quality of their tap water is excellent or good, although Black and Hispanic respondents report a lower level of satisfaction, according to a survey conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of the American Water Works Association (AWWA).

Aquafornia news U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Blog: Water hyacinth acts like ‘plastic wrap’ on the Delta

Looking at the water hyacinth’s lovely lavender flowers and lush green leaves, it’s easy to see why it was brought here from South America. But too much of a good thing can cause trouble, and few things turn into “too much” as quickly as water hyacinths (Eichhornia crassipes).

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Red algal muck in East Sacramento’s McKinley Park a concern

The muck, which resembles algae or another type of water bacteria, has drawn the concern of a pond activist over the potential effects a poisonous algal organism could have on the animals that inhabit the pond in East Sacramento’s prized park. Now the city of Sacramento and the California Water Board have said they will examine the ominous algal globs.

Aquafornia news Manteca Bulletin

Lathrop seeks discharge of treated wastewater into San Joaquin River

The City of Lathrop wants to secure a permit that will allow for the discharge of treated wastewater into the San Joaquin River. And last week they agreed to spend more than $400,000 to take steps towards achieving that longstanding goal.

Aquafornia news SJV Water

Blog: Could “angel investors” buy a piece of the Friant-Kern Canal?

An investor funding proposal that could substantially increase the Friant-Kern Canal’s historic flow capacity is gaining interest among the Friant Water Authority’s member districts.

Aquafornia news SJV Water

Unpaid bills spiking at some water utilities

Several state legislators have asked the Governor to extend his order prohibiting water shutoffs for nonpayment to even the smallest water utilities.

Aquafornia news Agri-Pulse

A more modest Sites Reservoir focuses on environment

The latest proposal would trim the budget by $2 billion and the storage capacity by about 300,000 acre-feet, according to Jerry Brown, the new executive director of the project. Sites would use existing canals for conveyance rather than build new pipelines. The plan also eliminates a pumped-storage system for generating and storing energy during high flow events. He said the business case for that element of the project “just didn’t pencil out.”

Aquafornia news Ridgecrest Daily Independent

Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority approves groundwater extraction fee hike

Local water users will pay higher groundwater extraction fees to close the gap between estimated and actual costs associated with the Groundwater Sustainability Plan required by California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. The fee increase was approved on Thursday by the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

More clashes in Mexico over repaying U.S. water debt

Farmers once again clashed with Mexican military forces Sunday to protest releases of water from a dam to repay a water debt owed to the United States. … Under a 1944 treaty, Mexico owes the United States about 415,000 acre-feet yearly that must be paid by Oct. 24. Mexico has fallen badly behind in payments from previous years and now has to quickly catch up on water transfers.

Aquafornia news American Water Works Association

Blog: National survey shows high confidence in U.S. tap water, lower satisfaction among Black, Hispanic respondents

Four in five Americans served by a water utility (77%) say the quality of their tap water is excellent or good, although Black and Hispanic respondents report a lower level of satisfaction, according to a survey conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of the American Water Works Association (AWWA).

Aquafornia news Western Water

Long criticized for inaction at Salton Sea, California says it’s all-in on effort to preserve state’s largest lake

Out of sight and out of mind to most people, the Salton Sea in California’s far southeast corner has challenged policymakers and local agencies alike to save the desert lake from becoming a fetid, hyper-saline water body inhospitable to wildlife and surrounded by clouds of choking dust.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Monday Top of the Scroll: Imperial Irrigation District retains control over Colorado River water in legal tussle with farmer Michael Abatti

The Imperial Irrigation District and farmer Michael Abatti have been locked in a years-long legal battle with as many twists as the river over which it has been fought. The saga might finally come to an end, though, after a California appellate court handed down a ruling on Thursday that found IID is the rightful manager of the portion of the Colorado River guaranteed to the Imperial Valley.

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Aquafornia news E&E News

FERC throws wrench into major dam-removal project

The country’s largest dam removal project was thrown into question last week when federal regulators refused to let the current owner fully transfer the impoundments to a nonprofit to carry out the demolition.

Aquafornia news Bakersfield Californian

New petition demands water be put back in Kern River in Bakersfield

“The people of Bakersfield need a flowing river — with water in a thriving river parkway, quality of life in Bakersfield will be significantly improved,” says the petition, posted recently by local resident Jonathan Yates on Change.org.

Aquafornia news The Ukiah Daily Journal

Opinion: Removal of Scott Dam key to salmon and steelhead recovery

While it’s fair to say that salmon and steelhead are dying the death of a thousand cuts in the Eel River, Scott Dam is by far the deepest and most damaging of these injuries. Dam removal efforts from Maine to Washington State to here in California have shown time and again that restoring access to historical spawning grounds is key to rebounding fish populations.

Aquafornia news Klamath Falls Herald & News

Friday Top of the Scroll: Federal decision leaves future of Klamath dam removal unclear

After four years of review, FERC granted the transfer of the license for the J.C. Boyle, Copco No. 1, Copco No. 2 and Iron Gate dams (collectively known as the Lower Klamath Project) to the Klamath River Renewal Corporation, a nonprofit that would carry out the dam removal. But it requires PacifiCorp, the utility that currently operates the dams, to remain on the license, too.

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Aquafornia news Visalia Times Delta

Opinion: It’s time to deliver on the human right to water

California stands on the cusp of getting critical SB 200 funds flowing through communities that have waited too long for water justice and are also among those hit hardest by COVID-19 and the resulting economic loss and strain. Last week, the State Water Board adopted its implementation plan for the fund, also called the Safe and Affordable Funding for Equity and Resilience (SAFER) program.

Aquafornia news Foothills Sun Gazette

Feds may cover half of Friant-Kern Canal fix

On July 6, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the federal agency that oversees the canal, finalized a feasibility report for Friant-Kern Canal Middle Reach Capacity Correction Project. Under section 4007 of the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act, the bureau’s report means up to 50% of the total project costs can be requested from the U.S. Department of the Interior and subsequently appropriated by Congress for construction.

Aquafornia news LAist.com

Environmentalists fear oil company bankruptcy could strand SoCal’s idle wells

The owner of more than 2,000 idle oil wells in Southern California declared bankruptcy this week, raising fears among environmentalists that those wells might never be properly sealed. … As those old wells sit idle and unsealed, they present a potential pollution hazard to drinking water underground and people living nearby.

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Aquafornia news UC Merced News

Blog: New study finds media coverage could discourage many from guiding groundwater use

Media coverage portrayed stakeholders as limited to major economic interests, such as agriculture, the study found. And while SGMA legislation requires disadvantaged communities to be a stakeholder in all planning documents, such communities were largely absent from newspaper reports.

Aquafornia news Silicon Valley Voice

Plans to keep region safe from Anderson Dam failure move forward

The Anderson Reservoir in Morgan Hill held back by a 240-foot dam built in 1950 could be rebuilt following the State Assembly’s passage of AB 3005 in June. … The project would cost about $576 million but still needs to pass through the State Senate.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

Opinion: Trinidad mayor on water and community

I look at Trinidad more like a watershed than simply a square mile of streets, homes and businesses. We provide water to our residents, to some customers in Westhaven, and need to be able to consider new water requests holistically.

Aquafornia news The Press Democrat

Fight over Gualala River logging plan heads to federal court

A five-year battle over plans to log in the remote Gualala River flood plain has taken a big step up with a powerhouse environmental group’s declaration to take the case to federal court, alleging the commercial tree harvest would harm protected fish, frogs and birds.

Aquafornia news Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

News release: Metropolitan approves funding of two local supply projects

In separate actions Tuesday, Metropolitan’s Board of Directors voted to provide $115 million to the San Diego County Water Authority and its project partners for water produced by the East County Advanced Water Purification Project in Santee and the Escondido Filtration Reverse Osmosis Facility.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Opinion: California almonds and salmon: Contrasts in sustainability

Earlier this year, the California Almond Board released a report regarding the acreage of almond trees that have reached bearing age and another with totals including young trees. These reports paint a stark picture of an unsustainable industry that threatens the Bay-Delta ecosystem and California’s salmon fishing jobs.

Aquafornia news Santa Clara Valley Water News

Blog: Are there plans to fill more of Valley Water’s percolation ponds in Santa Clara County this summer?

As more people enjoy local trails this summer, they may notice many of Valley Water’s percolation ponds in Santa Clara County are empty and dry. There’s no reason to be alarmed. In fact, the absence of water in many of the 100 percolation ponds owned by Valley Water is a sign that our underground water basins are mostly full and healthy.

Aquafornia news Redlands Daily Facts

Redlands water-supply leak stopped, with repairs underway

An underground water-line leak that affected service to 23,000 Redlands residents has been stopped, with service restoration possible for Thursday after repairs and tests are done. Meanwhile, water pressure was at “acceptable” levels on Wednesday, July 15, a city spokesman said.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Phoenix tests water shutoff alternative

Inserted where the meter connects to the service line, the device cuts the flow of water into the home to a trickle. Phoenix, which began using the devices in early March, only to remove them a few weeks later once the pandemic happened, believes it is the first U.S. utility to use flow restrictors instead of shutting off water to households that are behind on their bills.

Aquafornia news BBC News

The most powerful renewable energy

Last year, the world’s hydropower capacity reached a record 1,308 gigawatts… As with other energy sources, however, hydropower is not without an environmental cost. 

Aquafornia news Western Farm Press

Reclamation’s Burman urges cooperation on water

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman says she’d like to see more cooperation from California officials as talks aim to resolve a legal dispute over competing biological opinions governing the management of their respective water projects.

Aquafornia news North Coast Journal

Forest Service: Water activities prohibited during Karuk Tribe’s world renewal ceremonies

The Karuk Tribe is set to hold its World Renewal Ceremonies in Six Rivers and Klamath national forests from July through late September. In honor of these long-standing tribal traditions, outsiders will be prohibited from entering the water or launching watercraft during the ceremonies, the U.S. Forest Service has announced in a press release.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Redlands water supply in jeopardy after massive leak

Thousands of Redlands residents are being urged to cut their water consumption and fill tubs and other containers for emergency use as crews work to repair a major leak in the city’s system, officials said Tuesday. The leak, which was reported Monday and occurred in a 16-inch transmission line at a pumping station near Ford Park, could spill as much as 5 million gallons of water a day…

Aquafornia news The Business Journal

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: Landmark groundwater act enters a crucial period

Sustainability plans developed by groundwater sustainability agencies outline how water users can restore depleted water sources. But fights have arisen and disputes about the reliability of those water sources have come to light.

Aquafornia news Northern California Water Association

Blog: A review of efforts to recover Sacramento Valley Chinook salmon

The most apparent observation I had after developing the comments was the substantial amount of work that has been undertaken in the Sacramento Valley to complete habitat projects and advance science for Chinook salmon recovery in the last 5 years.

Aquafornia news KESQ News

The state budget includes $47 million for the Salton Sea. Here’s how it will be spent

California’s state budget includes $47 million to help the Salton Sea. The new budget was signed by Governor Newsom last month. … News Channel 3’s Madison Weil spoke with Phil Rosentrater, the executive director of the Salton Sea Authority, to see how the new funds will be used. 

Aquafornia news Food & Water Watch

News release: Nearly 300 organizations oppose nefarious “voluntary water partnership” bill

Nearly 300 national, state and local organizations sent a letter to Senate leaders Monday calling for the rejection of a controversial bill that would coerce struggling communities into selling off vital public water resources.

Aquafornia news U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

News release: Reclamation launches prize competition seeking innovative sediment removal solutions for critical water infrastructure

The “Guardians of the Reservoir” challenge seeks ideas to remove or transport the amount of sediment building up in the reservoirs, replacing available space for water storage, that provide critical water supplies for the country. There will be up to a total of $550,000 in cash prizes available for the three-phase the competition.

Aquafornia news 5280.com

How did Colorado’s drought get so bad so quick?

To live in Colorado is to know drought. Since 2000, there has been only one month-plus-long period (from late May to mid July of 2019) when no drought has been desiccating the earth here. Other than that, at least one part of the state has been in a perpetual state of crisp.

Aquafornia news Treatment Plant Operator Magazine

Stanford researchers design a more efficient, affordable desalination process

Taking a new approach to an old problem, Stanford researchers have created a device that could make converting seawater to freshwater profitable and environmentally benign.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

IID seeks Salton Sea consideration in Colorado River water lawsuit

The Imperial Irrigation District has filed its opening brief in a case against the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California that it launched last year in an attempt to halt the implementation of the Lower Basin Drought Contingency Plan for the Colorado River. IID wants to see it paused until the Salton Sea is also considered.

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Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: The water is contaminated. But California bottled water program isn’t helping Earlimart

The cost of buying cases of bottled water for cooking and drinking is adding up for residents of Earlimart, where a contaminated well became the main source of tap water for more than 8,000 people there in late May. The State Water Resources Control Board that is responsible for drinking water has a program to provide financial assistance for bottled water to help communities in crisis. It has not been available in Earlimart — and it is unclear why.

Aquafornia news Transparent California

Blog: L.A. Dept. of Water & Power security guard earned nearly $1 million over the past three years, new data show

Overtime pay at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) hit a record-high $258 million last year, up 90 percent from 2013. … The average LADWP worker made $136,045 last year, with a record-high 320 employees receiving overtime pay of at least $100,000. That number is up over 1,000% from 2013

Aquafornia news St. George News

Glen Canyon day: Is the dam a tombstone or a giver of new life?

To those who opposed the dam, Glen Canyon Dam’s history reads like an obituary about the loss of an incomparable sandstone and water wonderland… Those on the other side of the issue feel the dam has improved Glen Canyon – now providing greater access to its breathtaking contrast of towering crimson sandstone walls and vast expanses of crystal blue water.

Aquafornia news Vanderbilt University

Blog: Geochemical analysis from the last ice age may hold clues for future climate change and preparedness strategies

The large and rapid variations in rainfall recorded in the LSC stalagmites demonstrate that climate in Northern California is sensitive to changes happening elsewhere in the world, and that rainfall in this area may be capable of increasing or decreasing in response to relatively small changes in global climate.

Aquafornia news Hakai Magazine

To dam or not to dam

For the past two decades, dams have been falling across the United States in a bid to reverse a legacy of destruction of fish and their habitat. … But in southwestern Washington, a local flood control district is going against the flow by proposing a major new dam on the Chehalis River. … The Chehalis is a critical salmon stream and the largest river system fully contained within the state’s boundaries.

Aquafornia news St. George Spectrum

Lake Powell Pipeline: Officials peppered with questions at first meeting

The public last week had its first opportunity to pepper officials with questions about the Lake Powell Pipeline’s recently-released draft environmental impact statement, a 313-page document from the Bureau of Reclamation examining how the controversial project could impact a myriad of resources in several scenarios.

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Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

Opinion: When the ground sinks, arsenic levels in drinking water may rise

To begin, what is arsenic? It is one of the basic chemical elements found in the periodic table that shows its relationship to other elements. Arsenic is dissolved from rocks by water in areas that have groundwater pools. If you have significant levels of arsenic in your water, it can cause cancer, heart disease, diarrhea and affect your skin.

Aquafornia news Imperial Valley Press

Monday Top of the Scroll: Imperial Irrigation District files opening brief in petition to suspend DCP

Imperial Irrigation District made the first notable follow-up to its petition to hit the brakes on the Lower Basin Drought Contingency Plan for the Colorado River with an opening brief filed Wednesday.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Blog: Lack of plumbing makes fighting COVID-19 difficult

For most Californians, handwashing is a matter of turning on their home faucet. And while it is no substitute for other guidelines, handwashing is a surprisingly effective measure against the coronavirus. Unfortunately, not everyone can implement this public health guidance. The state’s homeless population has difficulties, and so do residents with inadequate plumbing.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Governor says Baja used water as a piggy bank. Critics worry about his bigger plan

Baja California’s new governor, Jaime Bonilla, says he is battling to clean up widespread corruption that for years ate away at the state’s water agency. Even Bonilla’s critics acknowledge the corruption and the failing water system, which results in frequent sewage spills that foul Tijuana and San Diego beaches.

Aquafornia news Rep. Grace Napolitano

News release: Napolitano and Sánchez announce $384.9 million to complete Whittier Narrows Dam safety project

Reps. Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA-32) and Linda T. Sánchez (D-CA-38) announced that the FY2021 Energy and Water Appropriations bill is providing $384,900,000 as part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Dam Safety and Seepage Program.

Aquafornia news Klamath Falls Herald & News

Tribes critical of rushed meeting with federal officials

While farmers lauded Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman’s historic joint visit to the Klamath Basin on Thursday, area tribes expressed concern that their perspective on water issues had not been adequately heard.

Aquafornia news Environmental Defense Fund

Blog: Location, location, location: New tool shows where groundwater recharge will maximize benefits

With support from EDF, four UC Santa Barbara graduate students have developed a new mapping tool for California’s Central Valley to identify the best locations for groundwater recharge to secure these bonus benefits. The tool, called Recharge for Resilience, is available online and also can be downloaded by users with more technical expertise.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

California’s pollution regulators go toe-to-toe with Trump. Watchdog says they come up short

A California environmental advocacy group urged the state’s air pollution regulator and agriculture department to do more for minority communities in an annual report card it published last week. That report card, compiled by the California Environmental Justice Alliance, issued environmental justice grades to eight agencies, with a statewide C average.

Aquafornia news EnviroBites

The burning question: How do wildfires impact watersheds?

Fadji Maina and Erica Siirila-Woodburn from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory explored how a watershed could be impacted by wildfires. Specifically, the scientists investigated the Cosumnes River watershed in California.

Aquafornia news Inside Climate News

Humpback chub ‘alien abductions’ help frame the future of the Colorado River

Researchers in the Grand Canyon now spend weeks at a time, several times a year, monitoring humpback chub, which has become central to an ecosystem science program with implications for millions of westerners who rely on Colorado River water.

Aquafornia news WaterWorld

San Diego regional water projects awarded $15M from state

The California Department of Water Resources has awarded more than $15 million in grant funds to advance several regional water projects in San Diego County, ranging from water recycling and reuse to water conservation.

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Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

Blog: Fremont Weir upgrade successfully balances need for infrastructure and ecosystem preservation

The Fremont Weir Adult Fish Passage Modification Project, which began modified operations in January of 2019, successfully allowed thousands of migrating fish to pass between the Sacramento River and Yolo Bypass in its first year of operations.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Baja California governor accuses big US companies of water theft

An independent audit of Baja California’s water agency alleges that former employees of the utility colluded with international corporations to defraud the state out of at least $49.4 million… Local and international corporations — including such well-known U.S. names as Coca-Cola, FedEx and Walmart — for years took water for their Mexican factories, retail stores and distribution centers without fully paying for it…

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Aquafornia news Western Farm Press

Friday Top of the Scroll: Interior officials tour Klamath Basin, promise solutions

U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman promised to seek a resolution to the decades-long water conflicts in the basin after meeting with growers, local water officials and other affected parties.

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Aquafornia news Pasadena Star News

After lengthy legal battle, Pasadena groups victorious at Devil’s Gate Dam

Pasadena conservationist groups secured a major victory on Tuesday when the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a settlement agreement, ending a protracted legal battle centered on the removal of 1.7 million cubic yards of sediment from the Devil’s Gate Dam and its potential environmental impacts.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

GSA Summit: Lessons learned from the 2020 Groundwater Sustainability Plans: Perspectives from critically overdrafted basins

At the Groundwater Resources Association Third Annual Groundwater Sustainability Agency Summit held online in June, a panel of managers from four of the critically overdrafted basins reflected on the hard work of developing and adopting a groundwater sustainability plan.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Law

Opinion: NEPA suspension, infrastructure bill put wetlands at risk

Rollbacks of the Clean Water Act and the executive order to suspend the National Environmental Policy Act are meant to save costs and cut red tape. However, Jeremy Schewe, professional wetland scientist, explains these efforts will ultimately lead to far greater expense to business, society, and the planet, especially when combined with the House proposed infrastructure stimulus package.

Aquafornia news The Point Reyes Light

Water supply dwindling for small districts

The streams and creeks that supply West Marin are running low after the extraordinarily dry winter, and local water system managers are sounding the alarm. The Bolinas Community Public Utility District and North Marin Water District have already imposed water-use reductions, and the Inverness Public Utility District may do so later this month.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Weekly

Water main break on Aguajito Road in Monterey prompts a ‘boil water’ alert

Don’t drink the water in the Del Monte area of Monterey, the Monterey County Health Department and California American Water announced this morning, Wednesday, July 8. A water main break on Aguajito Road on Tuesday evening is the culprit, according to notifications from Monterey County and California American Water.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

What happens when a drinking water system fails? Ask Earlimart

Residents in Earlimart, California, lost water service when a 50-year-old well on Mary Ann Avenue failed in late May. When it came back on, the main source of drinking water for more than 8,000 residents became a well contaminated with a chemical from banned pesticides. And most residents didn’t know. The Tulare County town’s water system is failing, in a lot of ways.

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Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Thursday Top of the Scroll: Money to repair Central Valley canal in House bill. A large funding gap remains

South San Joaquin Valley farmers have a reason to celebrate this week: Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives appropriated $200 million to fix the Friant-Kern Canal. The bill also includes funding to repair the Delta-Mendota Canal and for two Northern California reservoirs.

Aquafornia news AgNet West

Water resilience projects receive nearly $84 million from DWR

A total of $83.9 million grant funding has been issued to communities in San Diego, San Joaquin, Sacramento, Sierra and Central Coast regions. The funding is aimed at supporting projects to address infrastructure needs, depleted groundwater levels, flood control issues, and other water issues of critical importance.

Aquafornia news AgAlert

Ruling avoids additional CVP supply cuts

U.S. District Court Judge Dale Drozd of the Eastern District of California, who is based in Fresno, denied environmental groups’ request for an injunction that would have required the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which operates the CVP, to reduce water allocations as needed to manage water temperatures in the Sacramento River below Shasta Dam. The groups sought more cold water for spring- and winter-run chinook salmon.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

In parched Southwest, warm spring renews threat of ‘megadrought’

Here at 12,000 feet on the Continental Divide, only vestiges of the winter snowpack remain, scattered white patches that have yet to melt and feed the upper Colorado River, 50 miles away. That’s normal for mid-June in the Rockies. What’s unusual this year is the speed at which the snow went. And with it went hopes for a drought-free year in the Southwest.

Aquafornia news The Guardian

US children who drink water from private wells at higher risk of lead exposure

American children whose homes rely on private wells for drinking water are 25% more likely to have high lead levels in their blood than those with access to regulated community water services, according to new research.

Aquafornia news Natural Resources Defense Council

Blog: California moves toward smart and efficient water heating

California has just adopted an energy code specification for grid-friendly and super-efficient water heaters that will help decarbonize buildings and the electric grid while saving Californians money on their utility bills.

Aquafornia news New Times San Luis Obispo

Proposed changes to Paso Robles Groundwater Basin boundaries draw anger and skepticism from landowners

After seven years of water restrictions over the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin, San Luis Obispo County is redrawing the basin’s boundaries, which will subject hundreds of new property owners to a moratorium on irrigating and other rules.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Threatened frog species released into California forest after successful breeding program

A group of wildlife biologists in Northern California took another step in the conservation effort of the threatened Foothill yellow-legged frogs on June 30, releasing 115 of the frogs into the Feather River in Plumas National Forest. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the release marks the first release of captive-reared, Foothill yellow-legged frogs into the wild.

Aquafornia news Ag Alert

Ruling avoids additional CVP supply cuts

In the ongoing struggle over management of water supplies in the Sacramento-San Joaquin river system, farmers who rely on deliveries from the federal Central Valley Project have earned an initial victory from a federal judge, pending further legal action later this year.

Aquafornia news Science Daily

Study: 1.5 billion people will depend on water from mountains

Global water consumption has increased almost fourfold in the past 100 years, and many regions can only meet their water demand thanks to essential contributions from mountain regions. In 30 years, almost a quarter of the world’s lowland population will strongly depend on runoff from the mountains.

Aquafornia news Little Hoover Commission

Report: Rebuilding healthy headwater forests 

Headwater forests are critical to California’s water supply, a fact made plain by recent state funding decisions…California’s water storage is concentrated in the alpine snowpack that accumulates during the wet season and releases water during the dry months. That snowpack is in jeopardy.

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Aquafornia news Arizona Department of Water Resources

News release: Arizona water community takes on new Colorado River challenges

Before the end of 2026, the U.S. Secretary of the Interior will develop new guidelines for the long-term management of the Colorado River system. The seven Colorado River Basin States are expected to play a leading role in the process to develop those new guidelines. The process will take many years and require multiple levels of discussion, negotiation and coordination within Arizona and among the Basin states.

Aquafornia news Pacific Institute

Blog: How the coronavirus pandemic is affecting water demand

The COVID-19 pandemic has imposed massive health and economic burdens on communities around the world, and no sector of society is going untouched, including the vitally important water sector. The full extent of impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on the water sector are still emerging, but one area that has come to the fore is the effect on municipal water demand.

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Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Monday Top of the Scroll: California megadrought? Not if you look at precipitation

If you want to know what climate change means for California’s water supply, consider the last two Februaries. In 126 years of statewide record-keeping, you can’t find a drier February than the one we just experienced. But February 2019 was the third wettest on record. The extremes underscore how global warming is exaggerating the year-to-year swings in California precipitation, which is naturally the most variable in the country.

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Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Cal Am responds to desal opposition in Coastal Commission letter

California American Water officials are defending the company’s proposed desalination project in response to the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District’s move last month to formally oppose it at the Coastal Commission in favor of a proposed recycled water expansion.

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Aquafornia news The Santa Barbara Independent

Santa Barbara seals 50-year deal to sell water to Montecito

Signing off on a historic deal with its wealthiest — and thirstiest — neighbor, the Santa Barbara City Council voted 6-0 to ship a supply of the city’s drinking water to Montecito every year for the next 50 years, rain or shine.

Aquafornia news Arizona Capitol Times

Opinion: Arizona water blueprint aids informed water planning

Water is Arizona’s most precious natural resource. Yet, despite its importance, few Arizonans actually understand where their water is sourced.

Aquafornia news KDRV.com

Lawmakers herald ‘critical fix’ for Klamath water troubles

Members of Oregon’s Congressional delegation announced that the U.S. Senate has passed a “critically needed fix” to existing law intended to provide drought relief for farmers and ranchers in the Klamath Basin.

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Aquafornia news The Guardian

US rivers and lakes are shrinking for a surprising reason: cows

A recent analysis published in Nature found cattle to be one of the major drivers of water shortages. Notably, it is because of water used to grow crops that are fed to cows such as alfalfa and hay. Across the US, cattle-feed crops, which end up as beef and dairy products, account for 23% of all water consumption, according to the report. In the Colorado River Basin, it is over half.

Aquafornia news The Sun-Gazette

More funds may flow to Friant-Kern Canal fix

More federal funds may be flowing to fix the Friant-Kern Canal. On June 22, the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) sent a letter to Congress requesting $134 million for water storage projects be funded through the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. More than half of the funding, $71 million, was requested for preconstruction and construction of the Friant-Kern Canal Capacity Correction project.

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Aquafornia news The Santa Barbara Independent

Water prices rise, so do tempers in Goleta

“We are extremely alarmed by this proposal, especially during this period of economic crisis,” wrote Carolyn Larson in a letter to the Goleta Water District, protesting the rate hikes voted in on June 23. Public outcry against the water rate increase proposed by the district reached a fever pitch, but ultimately too few protested to rescind the proposal successfully.

Aquafornia news The Sun

Opinion: Damming up water progress throws California’s future into limbo

Get ready… here comes the true California water cycle: It begins with headlines and quotes warning of pending disaster based on what could, might, maybe, or possibly happen over the state’s water infrastructure.

Aquafornia news KJZZ

Two Arizona rivers found to be more drought resistant than the Colorado River

A major water source for the Valley is considerably more drought resistant than previously thought. New research shows the water that flows into the Salt and Verde rivers is four times less sensitive to climate change than the Colorado River.

Aquafornia news Phys.Org

Climate change is altering terrestrial water availability

The amount and location of available terrestrial water is changing worldwide. An international research team led by ETH Zurich has now proved for the first time that human-induced climate change is responsible for the changes observed in available terrestrial water.

Aquafornia news Natural Resources Defense Council

Blog: California-Chile water nexus 1: Urban drought solutions

Experts are predicting another serious drought for California and the western United States this summer, going as far to portend a rare “megadrought.” Diminishing snow cover and an extremely dry winter in the north are stoking fears and leaving policymakers, farmers, businesses and residents looking for urgent solutions. On the other side of the globe, Chile is in the midst of its own 11-year megadrought.

Aquafornia news GV Wire

Pandemic, water costs, consumer behavior lead to $2 billion in ag losses thus far

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on California agriculture was severe, unprecedented, and will continue to affect the industry in the coming months and years. That’s the sobering news from an economic study released last week by Davis-based ERA Economics. [The report also noted] Groundwater Sustainability Plan implementation started earlier this year for critically overdrafted groundwater sub-basins across the state and 2020 water supply deliveries for ag are reduced, resulting in higher water costs.

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Aquafornia news California Ag Today

Should farmers meter their wells now for SGMA?

With the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act closing in on growers throughout California, there are many questions. One big one: should growers go ahead and put a meter on their pumps?

Aquafornia news Modesto Bee

River treatment plant for Turlock and Ceres gets final OK

A vote Monday was the final approval for a Tuolumne River treatment plant serving Turlock and Ceres. The $202 million project, discussed off and on since the 1980s, will reduce the cities’ dependence on groundwater. Both have already approved the sizable rate increases that will cover most of the cost.

Aquafornia news Water Finance and Management

Orange County awarded grant to increase drinking water supply

The Orange County Water District has been awarded a $3.6 million grant from the California Department of Water Resources Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) grant program for use toward the construction of its Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS) Final Expansion project. Operational since 2008, the GWRS is undergoing its second and final expansion.

Aquafornia news Office of the Attorney General

News release: Attorney General Becerra criticizes Trump order instructing federal agencies to circumvent critical environmental review processes

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey today led a multistate coalition in expressing opposition to President Trump’s recently signed executive order instructing federal agencies to use emergency authority to bypass critical environmental review and permitting processes for infrastructure projects.

Aquafornia news Arizona Republic

Opinion: We’ve stabilized the Colorado River – for now. But much tougher work lies ahead

We are preparing now for the tougher negotiations that lie ahead to develop new operating rules for the Colorado River. Last week, Arizona’s water community began work preparing our state’s vision of what Colorado River management should look like after the current set of rules expire in a little more than six years.

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Aquafornia news KEYT

Montecito water district agrees to connect with Santa Barbara for 50-year water supply

After years of crunching the numbers and looking at options for reliable water supplies, the Montectio Water District is connecting to nearby Santa Barbara as part of its “drought-proof” plan. It involves a multi-phased agreement to insure an adequate supply of water for Montecito which, like other South Coast communities, saw its storage and delivery options dry up a few years ago after a prolonged period of little or now rain.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

A glimpse at California’s new $202-billion state budget

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday signed into law key provisions of a new state budget, a spending plan that seeks to erase a historic deficit while preserving service levels for schools, healthcare and social services. … Elsewhere, the budget adds four more years of additional CalFresh benefits for those who live in communities without reliable access to safe drinking water.

Aquafornia news Tahoe Daily Tribune

Lighting the way: Legacy of historic Rubicon Point lighthouse shines on

The historic lighthouse at Rubicon Point was born out of organized advocacy work in the early 1900s. The Lake Tahoe Protective Association formed in response to a proposal to cut the rim of Lake Tahoe at the Truckee River. The proposal was floated by the Truckee River General Electric Company in 1912 as a means to keep water flowing out of Tahoe even when the lake level dipped too low.

Aquafornia news MyValleyNews.com

Eastern Municipal Water District approves San Jacinto Basin groundwater monitoring equipment

The June 17 meeting of the Eastern Municipal Water District included approving the purchase of groundwater monitoring equipment for the West San Jacinto Basin, approving a consultant contract for the final design of the Hemet Water Filtration Plant sodium hypochlorite tank replacement, and awarding Pacific Hydrotech Corporation a contract to replace the booster engines at the Pat Road facility.

Aquafornia news Somach Simmons & Dunn

Blog: Federal district court denies environmental plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction as to Shasta Dam operations

On June 24, 2020, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California denied the preliminary injunctive relief requested by a coalition of fishery and environmental groups regarding the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s operations of Shasta Dam and Reservoir, and related temperature management actions on the upper Sacramento River.

Aquafornia news San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Ken Manning, architect of groundwater cleanup in San Gabriel Valley, Chino Basin, retires

Mostly, the people didn’t know their groundwater was polluted.. And they didn’t know the contaminated portions shut down by federal authorities in many instances were finally being restored. Kenneth “Ken” Manning, 69, a fixture in ground-water restoration in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties, a pioneer in water recycling and a master at public-private partnerships, knew. And on June 30, Manning will retire from his most recent job, as executive director of the San Gabriel Basin Water Quality Authority.

Aquafornia news Earth.com

Restoration projects bring mountain meadows back to life

Degraded meadows and their streams can be rehabilitated using a “pond and plug” technique to restore the floodplain function. This strategy aims to elevate groundwater levels in the dry season by spreading large flows across the floodplain. The pond and plug treatment improves water quality, soil moisture, and wetland vegetation – improvements that are extremely beneficial to birds and other wildlife.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Sentinel

Water Replenishment District receives grant to prevent groundwater contamination

The Water Replenishment District has received a $844,240 grant from the California State Water Resources Control Board to remove inactive water wells from production. This grant was made possible by California’s Proposition 1 which authorized $7.545 billion in funds for water supply infrastructure projects and was approved by voters in 2014.

Aquafornia news Lake County News

County officials report on lake-wide algal bloom, cyanotoxin testing results

The summer’s high temperatures have contributed to an algal bloom that’s impacting Clear Lake, with recent testing of 30 sites on the lake finding concerning levels of cyanotoxin. On Thursday, Lake County Water Resources reported on the lake-wide algae bloom.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

Blog: LADWP and the community of Bishop recognize Clarence Martin for decades of service as he steps down as aqueduct manager

After almost 32 years with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) Clarence Martin will be stepping down as Aqueduct Manager. Deputy Aqueduct Manager Adam Perez will be taking over, come July 1.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Nevada mulls EPA reversal of Obama era drinking water rules

The Trump administration has decided a chemical with a notorious legacy in Nevada will not be regulated in drinking water, but state officials say the reversal of the Obama-era policy shouldn’t result in any decline in drinking water standards across the state.

Aquafornia news Chino Champion

Monte Vista Water District awarded $3.4 million grant

Monte Vista Water District was awarded a $3.4 million grant from the Department of Water Resources that will partially fund a treatment project necessary to meet stricter water quality regulations. The water district provides retail and wholesale water supply services to a population of about 140,000 in the communities of Montclair, Chino Hills and portions of Chino.

Aquafornia news KSBY

‘This is unacceptable.’ Paso Robles leaders demand action to clean up riverbed

Local and state leaders are sounding the alarm to get the green light to clear the Salinas Riverbed of dry brush and vegetation. … This comes after a fire Monday in Paso Robles which started in the riverbed and quickly moved into a neighborhood destroying two homes and badly damaging nine others.

Aquafornia news Zocalo Public Square

Where Tulare Lake once was, a new telling of California’s history

All but one of these photographs of California by Jesse White come from California Exposures, a book that he and I, his father, did together. … They are part of a conversation, and they are as apt to ask questions as give answers. The photographs of California Exposures tell a history of California, but not in the conventional sense.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

SF breaks ground on nature center near Sunol to spotlight its water

San Francisco’s water department, known for sourcing some of the best supplies in the West, is building its first nature center to commemorate its watersheds. The $27 million facility, which broke ground this spring, is taking shape on city-owned land in Alameda County, near the town of Sunol. The center is designed to extend the tribute paid by the Sunol Water Temple, a 110-year-old monument honoring local creeks…

Aquafornia news The Hill

Lawsuit challenges Trump administration waterway protection rollback

The Environmental Protection Agency has again been sued over its rollback of Obama-era waterway protections. On Thursday, the Environmental Integrity Project, on behalf of four other environmental groups, sued the agency, claiming that the new rule conflicts with the Clean Water Act and “disregards” science “without any rational, let alone ‘reasonable,’ explanation.”

Aquafornia news Lexology

Blog: Water storage and dam management strategies in light of climate change

There can be little argument that many of the more than 90,000 dams in this country are in need of immediate attention. The catastrophic failure of two dams in Michigan last month following an extraordinary amount of rain in a relatively short period, highlights a number of issues:

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Groundwater 101: The basics

Groundwater provides nearly 40% of the water used by California’s farms and cities, and significantly more in dry years. But what is groundwater? In this post based on the first segment of the UC Davis shortcourse on groundwater, Dr. Thomas Harter provides a basic understanding of groundwater – what it is, how much groundwater is out there, how fast groundwater moves, and where it comes from and where it goes.