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 California Sun

Blog: Photographs of a California beautiful and battered

For five years or so, German-born, San Francisco-based photographer Thomas Heinser has made a study of the state’s scarred landscapes. His images, shot from the open side of a helicopter, focus on the after-effects of drought, wildfire, and human profit.

Aquafornia news Napa Valley Register

Coombsville getting a filling station for recycled water

Rural Coombsville is getting a filling station — not for gasoline, but recycled water. This station will dispense cleaned-up water from the Napa Sanitation District sewage treatment plant. People will be able to sign up, pull up and fill up.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Opinion: Will we ever have to ask, ‘Where have all the flowers gone?’

Hiding and waiting is a great strategy as long as droughts are temporary. But as our climate becomes warmer, increased evaporation will make it effectively ever drier, and rainfall will arrive ever less predictably at the right time of year. Native plants will thus face long-term increases in water stress, often exacerbated by intensified fire and shifts in their delicate coexistence with exotic species.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Chico State, Stanford University helping county analyze water basin management

A Butte County project will expand its partnership with Chico State and Stanford University to analyze available groundwater systems. … It’s a groundbreaking project for water management in the county, according to Paul Gosselin, director of the county’s water and resource management department.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

From trash to treasure: Years of work on Tuolumne River in Modesto have paid off

Instead of piles of trash, Larry Metcalf sees things like an older man who’s out every day picking it up. He’s also seen a big rise in people out on the trails, “and everybody seems to like it. … The trails are nice, the jumps are nice. They’re made for all-around riders.”

Aquafornia news The Guardian

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: Several US states face significant stress on their water availability, study shows

New Mexico tops the list and is the only state with “extremely high” pressures on its water availability. The state’s score is on par with the United Arab Emirates in the Middle East and Eritrea in Africa, the World Resources Institute (WRI) found. California ranks second, followed by Arizona, Colorado and Nebraska.

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Aquafornia news Ventura County Star

Ventura readies the spigot for state water

Ventura started paying for its right to state water in 1971. On Monday night, policymakers took the biggest step yet to being able to access it. The Ventura City Council voted 6-0 to approve a study certifying no major environmental impacts would result from building the 7-mile pipeline near Camarillo. The action means the city’s next move is hiring a consultant to draft the interconnection’s final design.

Aquafornia news Legal Newsline

Blog: California is testing its water, so PFAS defendants could face Prop 65 lawsuits soon

Given that a fair number of environmental observers have called PFAS “the new asbestos,” the potential for legal action could be far-reaching.

Aquafornia news Oroville Mercury-Register

Chico State, Stanford University helping county analyze water basin management

A Butte County project will expand its partnership with Chico State and Stanford University to analyze available groundwater systems. The project involves analysis of well logs, and hopes to expand the analysis using magnetics and a grid to fill in holes in the data.

Aquafornia news Merced Sun-Star

Nutria a danger to California agriculture. Will $7 million proposal help?

Massive invasive rodents are chewing up wetlands in Merced and other counties. Area leaders say the problem needs more money to eradicate the animals, before they are out of control.

Aquafornia news Highland Community News

Sterling water facility one year into build

One year from its initiation of the design-build process for the Sterling Natural Resource Center water recycling plant, East Valley Water District (EVWD) Board of Directors reviewed the project’s considerable progress and adopted a few modifications during a July 24 meeting. … The project will construct a wastewater recycling plant capable of treating up to 10 million gallons per day.

Aquafornia news Pasadena Star-News

Opinion: Clean drinking water is a social justice crisis and AB792 is the wrong way forward

For years, bottled water has served as one of the only dependable options for consumption and sanitary needs, serving as a simple way for communities to access affordable and available water. Yet, a proposed bill in the California state legislature, Assembly Bill 792, has the potential to impose a de facto tax on bottled water, leading to significant jump in cost, and making it unaffordable for many disadvantaged families.

Aquafornia news National Public Radio

Monday Top of the Scroll: Water uncertainty frustrates victims of California’s worst wildfire

Tammy Waller thought she was one of the lucky ones after her home in Magalia survived California’s most destructive wildfire ever, but her community remains a ghostly skeleton of its former self. Hazmat crews are still clearing properties, and giant dump trucks haul away toxic debris. Signs on the water fountains in the town hall say, “Don’t drink.”

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

PG&E power shutoffs affect customers both big and small

New regulations from the California Public Utilities Commission have authorized energy companies like PG&E to turn off power to avoid or reduce the risk of wildfires… For commercial customers — like other utility companies — it could mean huge losses in business and potential financial repercussions for their customers. The California Water Service is already preparing to take that hit this summer.

Aquafornia news Bay Area Monitor

Overcoming technical and social barriers to stormwater use

A major barrier to using urban stormwater is that it’s dirty. Rain starts picking up contaminants the moment it hits rooftops, streets, and other hard surfaces, as well as landscapes laden with fertilizer and herbicides. … New research shows that a cost-effective, low-tech approach can go a long way toward cleaning up urban stormwater.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Feasibility study on Cal Am buyout delayed, written plan on track

A feasibility analysis of a potential public buyout of California American Water’s local water system will be delayed a few months. But the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District will go ahead with a required written public ownership plan…

Aquafornia news The Grass Valley Union

Grass Valley OKs contract for Peabody Creek project

The main phase of a creek restoration project got a green light recently when the Grass Valley City Council approved a nearly $400,000 contract to reconnect Peabody Creek to its natural floodplain.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

On the edge of SF’s Presidio, restoring a watershed will benefit nature and humans

There was a glint in Michael Boland’s eyes as he watched cars zooming along the Presidio Parkway over an ugly panorama of broken asphalt, weeds and construction debris behind a chain-link fence next to Crissy Field. The chief of park development and visitor engagement for the Presidio Trust was excited as he envisioned what the vacant lot was about to become — a picturesque lagoon surrounded by walking trails, vivid greenery and a spectacular view.

Aquafornia news Ventura County Star

Lake Casitas managers rush to clear diversion canal ahead of rains

After a years-long drought and a major wildfire, rainstorms brought a lot of ash and debris downstream over the past year or so. … Now, Casitas officials hope to clear a 9-foot-high pile of silt, sand and gravel before the next rainy season. Plans call for starting work in September, but as of this week, the district had yet to receive permits required by regional, state and federal agencies.

Aquafornia news Scientific American

Blog: The problem with levees

They can be very valuable tools for managing flood risk—but we learned a century ago that relying on them exclusively won’t work.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

An activist bought 4.5 acres of the L.A. River just to have a stake in its revitalization

Steven Appleton hopes his status as owner will amplify his voice — and possibly his ability to obstruct — when officials launch infrastructure projects that disregard his vision for the river. … “The whole point of this restoration is the river,” Appleton said. “The river itself right now is the least attended aspect of it.”

Aquafornia news Sonoma West Times & News

Opinion: The long journey water pollutants take and how to prevent it

The 110-mile Russian River and all its tributaries move through many active communities and working lands which can affect water quality. Some of the main categories of water quality impacts can include chemicals, bacteria, sediment, and temperature.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Environment

New EPA lead standards to give utilities wide latitude

A forthcoming EPA overhaul of standards for lead in drinking water will essentially ban partial lead pipe replacement, in which part of a lead pipe is removed but another part is allowed to remain, Bloomberg Environment has learned.

Aquafornia news Mt. Shasta Herald

Klamath River Renewal Corp. submits response to dam removal questions

Klamath River Renewal Corporation announced last week the selection of Resource Environmental Solutions, LLC to perform restoration work after the proposed removal of four Klamath dams, and on Monday, KRRC announced it had filed with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission the answers to a plethora of questions brought forward by a Board of Consultants in December 2018.

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Aquafornia news Stockton Record

San Joaquin County sues state water agency over drilling for tunnel project

San Joaquin County has filed a lawsuit in Superior Court asking the state Department of Water Resources to abide by local drilling permit requirements to protect wildlife and water quality in accordance with California law.

Aquafornia news Ventura County Star

Opinion: Water plan needs bigger frame

Water resource management is key in Ventura County to help address the perils local residents face from global warming, such as flooding, drought and sea level rise. The preliminary draft of the 2040 General Plan update on Water Resources Element is so much more than an “update.”

Aquafornia news KUNC

To commemorate Powell’s Colorado River expedition, research team retraces his steps

One hundred and fifty years ago, a group of explorers led by Civil War veteran John Wesley Powell set out to document the canyons of the Green and Colorado Rivers. It was the first trip of its kind. To commemorate the journey, a group of scientists, artists and graduate students from the University of Wyoming called the Sesquicentennial Colorado River Exploring Expedition has been retracing his steps this summer.

Aquafornia news MyMotherLode.com

Construction begins on $13-million Jamestown wastewater treatment facility

In Jamestown work has begun on a new $13.73-million wastewater treatment facility that should be operational by September of 2021. The facility is being built on property along Karlee Lane that was purchased by the Jamestown Sanitary District in 1993 for the sole purpose of constructing a future plant.

Aquafornia news KQED News

Friday Top of the Scroll: Feinstein working on bill to speed up logging, other forest projects to head off wildfire risks

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein has joined with a Montana Republican to craft a bill that would expedite logging and other forest management projects near electrical transmission lines and roads in an effort to head off catastrophic wildfires. The bill is also aimed at slowing or stopping lawsuits that block logging projects on federal land.

Aquafornia news Cool Green Science

Blog: A biodiversity analysis in Los Angeles

Two of the most basic questions about biodiversity are “what is it?”, which is the focus of taxonomists, and “where is it?”, which is the realm of biogeographers. Understanding basic patterns in the biogeography of an urban area is the focus of a partnership between The Nature Conservancy and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. We call our project Biodiversity Analysis in Los Angeles (BAILA).

Aquafornia news KPBS

Coastal cities wrestling with ‘managed retreat’ ramifications of rising sea levels

The California Coastal Commission has encouraged cities to include a strategy called “managed retreat” in plans to prepare for sea level rise. But the commission may be retreating from that position. Del Mar is a prime example of a city where an entire neighborhood is threatened by rising seas.

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Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Appetite for California almonds still growing, but farmers feel squeeze from new water rules

In California, money does grow on trees. Almonds constitute a $5.6 billion industry, and 2.26 billion pounds were shipped from California last year to be roasted and salted, or turned into anything from frothy, barista-friendly almond milk to marzipan sold on the streets of Berlin.

Aquafornia news The Hill

Pair of GOP senators propose easing Obama water rule

Two Midwest Republican senators are pushing a bill to cement changes made by the Trump administration to an Obama-era rule designed to reduce water pollution, bringing a pet project of the Trump administration to Congress. The Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule has long been controversial within the agriculture community…

Aquafornia news The Press

New Delta tunnel project begins taking shape

Opponents of the twin tunnels breathed a collective sigh of relief in April when Gov. Gavin Newsom put a formal end to the California WaterFix project, but that action also called for the assessment of a single-tunnel project in the Delta. The first major step in that direction took place last week when the Department of Water Resources (DWR) initiated a series of negotiations with public water agencies that participate in the State Water Project (SWP)…

Aquafornia news Long Beach Press Telegram

Central Basin Water District is now charging even noncustomers in Southeast L.A. County

Kevin Hunt, general manager for Central Basin Municipal Water District, said his agency needs the $600,000-plus the fee will raise to balance its $10 million budget. The water wholesaler has significant money problems because of decreasing water sales.

Aquafornia news UC Davis

Blog: Removing tiny shrimp may help climate-proof Lake Tahoe’s clarity

Lake Tahoe, with its iconic blue waters straddling the borders of Nevada and California, continues to face a litany of threats related to climate change. But a promising new project to remove tiny, invasive shrimp could be a big step toward climate-proofing its famed lake clarity.

Aquafornia news Silicon Valley Business Journal

Silicon Valley’s Rhys Vineyards to pay $3.7M to settle regulatory action on Mendocino County irrigation ponds

Rhys Vineyards LLC, based on the California Central Coast but with vines in Mendocino County’s prime pinot noir region of Anderson Valley, has agreed to pay $3.76 million to settle enforcement actions brought by state wildlife and water regulators for unpermitted diversion of rainwater runoff on property of a planned small vineyard in a northern part of the county.

Aquafornia news FishBio

Blog: An ocean away: The genetics of Yosemite’s trout

It’s been over 150 years since the rivers in Yosemite National Park flowed freely to the ocean without interruption by dams and reservoirs. … But, as a study by researchers from the National Marine Fisheries Service and UC Santa Cruz revealed, even after a century and a half, the ocean-run legacy of Yosemite’s rainbow trout lives on in their DNA…

Aquafornia news The Union Democrat

Officials post warnings near New Melones Reservoir about potentially harmful algae bloom

People may want to think twice before taking a dip in the green-tinted water near the Parrotts Ferry Bridge at New Melones Reservoir, according to U.S. Bureau of Reclamation officials. The water’s greenish hue is due to a cyanobacteria bloom that was first detected in the Middle Fork of the Stanislaus River upstream of the reservoir on July 17.

Aquafornia news Napa Valley Register

Napa’s water quality scores high, amid struggles in other California regions

Where Napa’s water quality is concerned, no news may be good news. A three-year analysis of the city’s water sources showed reservoirs meeting all federal and state limits on a variety of contaminants, a recently released report states.

Aquafornia news Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory

Blog: Moving forward on desalination

Jeff Urban, a staff scientist who specializes in new materials for energy storage and conversion at Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry, a Department of Energy nanoscience research facility, explains what forward osmosis is and how Berkeley Lab is addressing the challenges.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Opinion: Sites Reservoir needed for reliable water future

A flexible, reliable water supply is essential to California’s economy and to the job creation and job security goals of California’s working families. … Of all the projects vying for California’s attention, the proposed Sites Reservoir in Northern California offers the most tangible benefits.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

‘Protection for the entire river’: Yurok, fishermen sue to save Klamath salmon

A new federal management plan for the Klamath River is proving to be a disaster for salmon, a lawsuit alleges. The Yurok Tribe and the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations filed a lawsuit against the Bureau of Reclamation and the National Marine Fisheries Service on Wednesday because the new plan has led to drought-level flows in the lower Klamath River and an increase in salmon with a potentially lethal parasite…

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Aquafornia news Los Angeles Business Journal

Water developer Cadiz and local cannabis company JV to grow hemp

Los Angeles water developer Cadiz Inc. has entered into a joint venture with a division of Long Beach-based California Cannabis Enterprises Inc. to grow hemp on Cadiz land that sits atop a Mojave Desert aquifer.

Aquafornia news KQED Science

Environmental group says stop killing beavers; Trump administration says OK

The Trump administration has feuded with California over the state’s sanctuary laws, its stricter standards on tailpipe emissions, and the president’s declaration of a national emergency at the border. But apparently there’s one dispute, involving a certain fur-bearing mammal, that the federal government apparently wants no part of.

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Aquafornia news Sierra Wave

Owens Lake, under a microscope

A caravan of scientists, staffers and water watchers wound its way through the maze of roads on Owens Lake last week in search of answers: Are the dust control measures working and will this project ever be done? The answers are yes and probably not, respectively.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Cal Am seeks three-year rate increase starting in 2021

California American Water is seeking to raise its Monterey area average customers’ bills by nearly 18 percent over a three-year period from 2021-2023. … Under the proposal, the “average” Cal Am customer would see their monthly rates increase from about $89.40 to $105.42 over the three-year period.

Aquafornia news New Times San Luis Obispo

Thirsty for sustainability: Is Paso Robles any closer to solving its groundwater problem?

A San Luis Obispo County policy regulating pumping from the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin has hamstrung how Robert Galbraith can farm his land. For decades, the family grew corn silage, Sudan grass, alfalfa, and grains on their few hundred acres. Now, Galbraith has essentially lost the right to farm, though he can see many a green vineyard down the road.

Aquafornia news Merced County Times

Groundwater Sustainability Plan up for public review

Over the past 18 months, the three Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) in the Merced Subbasin have worked together to develop a Draft Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) that is now available for public review and comment.

Aquafornia news Redding Record-Searchlight

Judge orders Westlands of Fresno to stop work on Shasta Dam raise

The Westlands Water District, which provides irrigation water to farmers on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, was working on a report assessing the environmental impacts of raising the height of the dam. But a judge ruled Wednesday that Westlands’ work violated a state law that prohibited local and state agencies from participating in any projects that would have an adverse impact on the McCloud River.

Aquafornia news SCVNews.com

Efforts to save federally endangered frogs, tadpoles continue

Close to one thousand Los Angeles Zoo bred mountain yellow-legged frogs and tadpoles will be released into a tributary to Cooper Canyon, located in the Angeles National Forest. Representatives from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Los Angeles Zoo, and Forest Service will release the tadpoles Aug. 14 …

Aquafornia news Coastalview.com

With water supply dwindling, water district plans advanced purification project

Like many communities throughout California, Carpinteria faces sustained and historic drought conditions. … In response to the shortfall, CVWD proposes a $25 million project to take wastewater that has been cleaned, purify it and then inject it into the groundwater basin to be used for various needs, including potable drinking water.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Thursday Top of the Scroll: Newsom signs bill requiring further environmental review for Cadiz project

A bill signed Wednesday evening by Gov. Gavin Newsom will require Cadiz Inc.’s Mojave Desert groundwater pumping project to undergo further review to show it will not harm the surrounding environment. … It requires the State Lands Commission to determine that projects involving the transfer of water from a groundwater basin won’t adversely impact the surrounding environment.

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Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

Blog: Reducing flood risk on Elder Creek

The five-year project will clear sedimentation and vegetation to restore flow capacity of a four-mile stretch of the state-maintained Elder Creek in Tehama County. With a goal of clearing approximately one mile per year, the project reduces flood risk for the nearby town of Gerber and surrounding farmland, which includes fruit and nut orchards.

Aquafornia news San Luis Obispo Tribune

Dam spillway near San Luis Obispo County has significant cracks, is ‘unsafe for use,’ state says

It turns out that the same structural problems that caused the failure at Oroville Dam in February 2017 also exist at the spillway of San Antonio Dam, just two miles north of Lake Nacimiento and above the community of Bradley.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Could Hetch Hetchy Valley be worth $100 billion?

Yosemite’s Hetch Hetchy Valley was dammed and flooded nearly 100 years ago, but the prospect of draining the reservoir continues to inspire romantic imaginings… The fantasy of Hetch Hetchy’s grand return was recently given new dimensions with the release of an economic assessment concluding that the valley represents a sunken treasure trove of tourism revenue.

Aquafornia news National Parks Traveler

Redwood Creek restoration to resume at Muir Woods National Monument

Efforts to help improve Coho salmon habitat at Muir Woods National Monument in California are scheduled to begin in August, with crews removing previously placed boulders in Redwood Creek and then revegetating the creek with native plants.

Aquafornia news CBS Sacramento

Broken bubbling system on Stockton waterfront contributes to growth of harmful algae

The city of Stockton is working to fix a broken bubbling system that has caused an overgrowth of harmful algae along the Stockton waterfront. People who work near the deepwater channel believe the green sludge is preventing others from playing on the water.

Aquafornia news Water News Network

Blog: Study to explore new regional water conveyance system

The San Diego County Water Authority’s Board of Directors last week approved a contract to study the viability of a new regional water conveyance system that would deliver water from the Colorado River to San Diego County and provide multiple benefits across the Southwest. The $1.9 million contract was awarded to Black & Veatch Corporation for a two-phase study.

Aquafornia news New Times San Luis Obispo

Lawsuit threatens Arroyo Grande Oil Field aquifer exemption

The Center for Biological Diversity is threatening to sue the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over its decision earlier this year to exempt portions of the Arroyo Grande Oil Field from the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Aquafornia news Climate.gov

Blog: At a California oyster hatchery, farming native seaweed improved water quality

Native seaweed has the potential to be cultivated in California coastal waters and used to alleviate the effects of local ocean acidification, according to a new study funded by NOAA’s California Sea Grant.

Aquafornia news Tahoe Weekly

Lake Tahoe water wars, part I

Water is indeed the most precious natural resource in the arid West and from that perspective it should come as no surprise that water-rights issues on Lake Tahoe and Truckee River have been at the center of negotiation and controversy since pioneers first settled the region.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

California may be first to compel water suppliers to notify customers of PFAS ‘forever chemicals’

Gov. Gavin Newsom has until Wednesday to decide on a bill that would make California the first state in the nation to require water suppliers who monitor a broad class of toxic “forever chemicals” to notify customers if they’re present in drinking water.

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Aquafornia news GreenBiz.com

Ratings giant Moody’s buys big chunk of California climate-risk data firm

It is seen as a major move from one of the world’s biggest credit ratings agencies that could have a significant impact on how seriously climate risk factors are viewed by financiers. Based in California, Four Twenty Seven scores physical risks associated with climate-related factors and other environmental issues, including heat stress, water stress, extreme precipitation, hurricanes and typhoons, and sea-level rise.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Environment

Homeless digging into levees put California’s capital at risk

Sacramento remains one of the two most flood-prone cities in the nation along with New Orleans, according to experts. Now the River City faces a new water threat: homeless people setting up camp on—and digging into—the 1,100 miles of earthen levees that Sacramento and surrounding areas count on to protect them from devastation.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Podcast: Speaking Of Water with Peter Gleick

I’m here with Dr. Peter Gleick, co-founder and president emeritus of the Pacific Institute. Peter serves on the Circle of Blue Board of Trustees from his base in California, where Governor Gavin Newsom just signed a bill directing some $130 million to improve access to clean drinking water for many state residents.

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

Study: El Niño has outsize economic effect on California

The findings of Tom Corringham and Daniel Cayan, both of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California at San Diego, confirm the connections between extreme weather events and El Niño…

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: California farmers are planting solar panels as water supplies dry up

The silvery panels looked like an interloper amid a patchwork landscape of lush almond groves, barren brown dirt and saltbush scrub, framed by the blue-green strip of the California Aqueduct bringing water from the north. … Solar energy projects could replace some of the jobs and tax revenues that may be lost as constrained water supplies force California’s agriculture industry to scale back.

Aquafornia news Noozhawk

Montecito pursues project funding for groundwater basin management plan

The Groundwater Sustainability Agency board will submit a sustainability plan to the Department of Water Resources in 2021 and begin to implement that plan in 2022-2024. The board last week heard a presentation about funding options to pay for the groundwater management plan — including fees, taxes or assessments to customers — and specific projects to implement the plan…

Aquafornia news Delta Stewardship Council

Blog: What does groundwater have to do with the Delta? A lot.

While it may not be obvious to some, sustainable groundwater management is inherently connected to the long-term survival of the Delta. Not only does the state’s most significant groundwater use occur in regions that also rely upon water from the Delta watershed, reduced reliance on the Delta and improved regional self-reliance are central to many of the goals outlined in the Delta Stewardship Council’s Delta Plan.

Aquafornia news Hanford Sentinel

As summer heats up, remember to follow water conservation rules

People are watering their property during time periods when watering is restricted because of rising temperatures, Lemoore Utilities Manager John Souza said. “There have definitely been some violations this summer,” Souza said.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

The Yolo Bypass: It’s a floodplain! It’s farmland! It’s an ecosystem!

California’s biggest river—the Sacramento—needs a lot of room to spread in big water years. A floodplain project called the Yolo Bypass allows it to flood naturally, while also providing habitat for waterbirds, fish, and other aquatic species. We talked to Ted Sommer, lead scientist for the Department of Water Resources (DWR), about this versatile landscape.

Aquafornia news Lake County News

30 Clear Lake sites tested, cyanobacteria concern in six Lower Arm areas

County and tribal officials are reporting that new testing at sites around Clear Lake have revealed half a dozen areas with cyanobacteria levels that trigger health warnings. Water monitoring is regularly done by the Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians and Elem Indian Colony, a valuable service that helps facilitate safe lake use.

Related article:

Aquafornia news BobVila.com

10 homeowners who decided to rip out their lawns—and why

To mow or not to mow? This question is at the heart of a nationwide movement against lawns and in favor of more sustainable landscapes. These ten homeowners and garden enthusiasts created unique, beautiful lawnless yards—and you can too.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Phys.org

Scientists cook up new recipes for taking salt out of seawater

Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) investigating how to make desalination less expensive have hit on promising design rules for making so-called “thermally responsive” ionic liquids to separate water from salt.

Aquafornia news KSBY

Central Coast reservoirs riding high after winter rains

The heavy rains that hit the Central Coast this past winter are keeping recreators at area lakes and reservoirs happy this summer. However, the precipitation has done little to ease concerns for a group fighting Monterey County over the water it withdraws from Lake Nacimiento.

Aquafornia news ScienceDaily

Ultra-thin layers of rust generate electricity from flowing water

There are many ways to generate electricity — batteries, solar panels, wind turbines, and hydroelectric dams, to name a few examples. …. And now there’s rust. New research conducted by scientists at Caltech and Northwestern University shows that thin films of rust — iron oxide — can generate electricity when saltwater flows over them.

Aquafornia news Ventura County Star

Wildfire, coastal issues worry Californians, survey finds

Californians are worried about global warming causing severe wildfires and consider the health of beaches and the ocean key priorities, according to a new statewide survey focused on the environment. … While the poll found significant concern about rising seas and more extreme heat, it was at a lower level than the preoccupation with wildfires.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news CBS Sacramento

Sutter County ordered to reduce arsenic levels in drinking water

Sutter County has been ordered to reduce arsenic levels in its drinking water or face some steep penalties from the Environmental Protection Agency. … If the county doesn’t comply, it could be fined more than $32,000 for each violation.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Opinion: We have one chance to save a crucial portion of the L.A. River. Let’s not blow it

Thirty-two years ago, poet Lewis MacAdams, founder of Friends of the L.A. River, cut a hole in the chain link fence that blocked our collective access to the Los Angeles River. He was inspired by a vision of a re-wilded urban waterway brought back to life for the benefit of the city’s residents and its urban wildlife. Three years ago, the city of Los Angeles and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers took a big step toward that vision…

Aquafornia news PasadenaNow.com

JPL researchers win Presidential Early Career Awards

John Reager is being honored for his work on the GRACE mission, studying Earth’s water cycle by measuring groundwater, floods and drought. This helps him and his colleagues study how extremes of water vary with time and climate change.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Peninsula mayors water authority downsizes

Seven and a half years after it was formed, the Monterey Peninsula Regional Water Authority is moving forward with a smaller, less expensive version of itself. … The authority has completed the vast majority of its mandate in backing a new water supply for the Peninsula and can now be expected to shift its focus toward dealing with the state water board’s Carmel River pumping cutback order.

Aquafornia news The American Conservative

Opinion: Overpopulation, not climate change, caused California’s water crisis

California has grown from 10 million to at least 40 million since 1950, making it necessary to move water over long distances to where people live and work. Close to two thirds of the state’s population is bunched in a few water-dependent coastal counties.

Aquafornia news Inland Empire Community News

San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District breaks 30-year record for groundwater storage, at 20 billion gallons and counting

More than 61,000 acre-feet of snowmelt and rainfall has been diverted from Mill Creek and the Santa Ana River by the District and recharged into the groundwater basin for future use by those who pump water from the basin. Imported water was also used to help supplement the amount of water stored.

Aquafornia news Washington Examiner

Border Patrol agents sickened by toxic raw sewage flowing into California from Mexico

Customs and Border Protection commissioned a six-month study, published earlier this year, of 42 samples from the river and two culverts during dry, wet, post-rain, and standing water conditions. … Justin Castrejon, a Border Patrol agent and regional spokesman, said the report validated the claims of agents who have complained of physical health ailments after patrolling the affected areas.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: Three-way wrangle over plan to expand Shasta Dam

On Monday, the state of California and a coalition of fishing groups and environmentalists asked a judge to bar Westlands from completing a crucial environmental report in hopes of stalling the project. “Everything we see looks to be illegal,” said deputy attorney general Russell Hildreth. At issue is a stretch of the McCloud River that both sides agree would be inundated by the project.

Aquafornia news The Weather Channel

Faster water cycle brings worries of increased drought and flooding in the United States

The water cycle is the movement of water on the planet — from falling as precipitation, such as rain, ice or snow, to being absorbed in the soil or flowing into groundwater and streams and then being evaporated to start all over again. Research by scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey shows water has been moving more quickly and intensely through the various stages of the cycle, according to NASA’s Earth Observatory. 

Aquafornia news Cronkite News-Arizona PBS

Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport switches to desert landscape to save water, money

Some of the landscaping at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport has changed from front-lawn green to desert tan. The airport recently finished replacing nearly 11 acres of turf with native flora as part of a water conservation project that’s expected to save nearly half a million dollars a year.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Novato wetlands flood control project slated for 2020

To reduce flooding on roads near Novato Creek, a Marin County flood control agency and a local environmental group are partnering to upgrade flood control equipment and improve wetlands in the Simmons Slough basin.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Opinion: We must use Sea of Cortez water to save the Salton Sea

The solution lies in filling the sea with water. But what source would produce enough water to cover the lakebed (playa) years into future years? Where would we get such huge quantities of fresh or salt water? There is but one realistic source: the Sea of Cortez.

Aquafornia news Bakersfield Californian

Project manager on Isabella Dam provides update on progress

One of the most visible aspects of the project happening now is the construction of a much larger emergency spillway. Workers will remove 2.8 million cubic yards of material to make room for the spillway. That’s nearly as much material as it took to build the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt…

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Interlake Tunnel, dam repairs cost now nearly $190 million

It will cost about $189.5 million to complete the proposed Interlake Tunnel project and the state-required Lake San Antonio dam repairs, according to a county Water Resources Agency report to the Board of Supervisors Tuesday. And $162.5 million of that will have to be paid for by Salinas Valley property owners through a special assessment as early as spring next year.

Aquafornia news Sunset Magazine

California’s winter rains ended the drought—and now summer means epic rafting

We asked California rafting experts to tell us how winter and spring rain will affect summer rafting—and where you should head out on the water.

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Aquafornia news Valley Public Radio

Panel: An update on how the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act is working

Moderator Kathleen Schock got an update on how the work is progressing locally from Gary Serrato, executive director of the North Kings Groundwater Sustainability Agency, Christina Beckstead, executive director of Madera County Farm Bureau, and David Orth with New Current Water and Land.

Aquafornia news KGET TV

Boil advisory in effect for some northeast Bakersfield residents

California Water Service announced a precautionary boil advisory for residents in northeast Bakersfield. Around 5 p.m. Saturday, the utility service received reports of low-water pressure, or none at all. Crews confirmed the issue was caused by malfunction in the computerized system that tracks tank levels and regulates the pressurized water system.

Aquafornia news KPBS

San Diego County looks to fix Tijuana River cross-border sewage flows

San Diego County officials are finalizing a list of projects that could help fix the region’s sewage problems. Sewage flows from Tijuana regularly foul San Diego’s ocean waters. That prompted the state, the Port of San Diego, a clean water group and several municipalities to sue the federal government to fix the problem.

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Aquafornia news Express

California mega-storm warning: The major risk threatening the future of California

California is overdue for a mega-storm capable of drowning coastal areas in 20ft (6m) of water at any moment. Experts are preparing contingencies for wet weather so extreme it might tear open a 300-mile-wide ocean across the US West coast. … The devastation of such flooding could match the severity of “big San Andreas earthquakes”, according to the USGS.

Aquafornia news Salon.com

Climate change may decimate California’s avocado industry

The report estimates there are a cluster of major California crops that are particularly vulnerable to extreme temperature changes: wine grapes, lettuce, almonds, strawberries, table grapes, hay, oranges, cotton, tomatoes, walnuts, avocados, and pistachios. Specifically, avocado production in California could fall 40 percent by 2050 due to climate change factors.

Aquafornia news The Press Democrat

Editorial: Getting it right on water rights

If credibility were measured like rainfall, the Trump administration would be in the midst of a prolonged drought — as evidenced most recently in its handling of plans to send more water to California’s Central Valley.

Aquafornia news Palo Alto Daily Post

Sewer agency chief got $875,000 in severance

The sewage processing agency that serves Menlo Park, San Carlos, Belmont and Redwood City paid its former general manager $875,000 as part of a severance agreement, according to documents obtained by the Post. However, the circumstances behind the departure of Daniel Child are about as murky as the effluent that flows into the agency’s plant…

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Tiburon beaches closed amid bay contamination probe

State water officials ordered an investigation this week into the elusive source of contamination in Richardson Bay, where water samples collected near Tiburon beaches have shown high bacteria levels for more than two months.

Aquafornia news Downey Brand

Blog: How flood insurance and endangered species are connected

Most people would not associate flood insurance with the protection of endangered species. But over the past decade, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been the target of multiple lawsuits alleging that the agency has violated the Endangered Species Act by not considering the impacts of its flood insurance program on endangered species and their habitat.

Aquafornia news KCET

Spill draws attention to steam-based oil extraction

When the news broke, in the second week of July, that nearly 800,000 gallons of oil and water had spilled into a dry creekbed from an oil production facility in Kern County, it sounded rare and dramatic. But the spill was unique only in its magnitude. In the oil fields of the San Joaquin Valley, spills and seeps of oil, wastewater and oil-laced wastewater are as common as the wind storms that episodically blanket the Valley with dust.

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Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

San Diego aims to bolster biotech, breweries with new water proposals

San Diego plans to boost the city’s already thriving biotech and craft beer industries by reducing their costs for sewer and water service, which are typically high because those businesses are water-dependent.

Aquafornia news Manteca Bulletin

Opinion: Are Manteca leaders preparing to sell city’s future down the river?

Water is key to everything in California. If you have control of water in sufficient amounts you control your destiny. There are three things on the horizon that city leaders had best pay heed before they buy into the PG&E model regarding critical and essential utilities and go for the money in the here and now while ignoring long term consequences.

Aquafornia news Civil Eats

Monday Top of the Scroll: Will California’s new water fund bring safe tap water to farm country?

In the state’s rural agriculture belt, many communities of color can’t drink the water in their homes. Fixing the problem may require more than money.

Aquafornia news Inside Climate News

Global warming is pushing Pacific salmon to the brink, federal scientists warn

Pacific salmon that spawn in Western streams and rivers have been struggling for decades to survive water diversions, dams and logging. Now, global warming is pushing four important populations in California, Oregon and Idaho toward extinction, federal scientists warn in a new study.

Aquafornia news U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

News release: Reclamation seeks comments on plan to ensure San Luis Reservoir water reliability

The Bureau of Reclamation and Valley Water released draft environmental documents for public comment on the San Luis Low Point Improvement Project, which addresses water delivery interruptions and proposes to maintain reliable and cost-effective water supply.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Water slides, cabanas, pools: $45 million aquatic center coming to this Sacramento community

The center, being built at North Natomas Regional Park, will feature the city’s first 50-meter competition pool with 13 diving boards and lanes. It will also feature a 25-meter pool, four water slides, a shallow kids’ pool, and a kids’ rope course and play area…

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

Blog: Summer road trips along the State Water Project

Are you planning a road trip this summer? Consider taking a detour to one of the many beaches along the California State Water Project (SWP) – you’ll find them teeming with fish, natural beauty, and fun ways to spend your vacation.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

The rarest fish on Earth rode out 10-foot waves when Ridgecrest earthquake hit

The magnitude 7.1 quake that split open the floor of the Mojave Desert on July 5 shook up life far beyond its epicenter. In Death Valley National Park — some 70 miles away from where the earthquake was centered — 10-foot waves erupted inside Devils Hole, a 10-foot-wide and 25-foot-long pool that is the sole home to the endangered Devils Hole pupfish.

Aquafornia news Yale Environment 360

Monsoon rains have become more intense in the U.S. Southwest

Monsoon rains in the U.S. Southwest have increased in intensity by as much as 11 percent since the 1970s, meaning more rain is falling in less time, according to research by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The number of these rainstorms has also increased 15 percent in the last half-century. The scientists say the uptick is very likely due to global warming…

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Aquafornia news Association of California Water Agencies

Blog: Trinity River restoration project a collaborative success

During a recent trip to the Trinity River, I learned about the many challenges facing its salmon and steelhead populations. … A holistic approach to habitat restoration doesn’t rely on a single silver bullet solution, but applies a comprehensive set of actions that rely on collaboration

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Overcharged DWP customers could get an additional $50 million in refunds, new lawyers say

In a legal filing made Thursday, attorneys Brian Kabateck, Anastasia Mazzella and Brian Hong argued that key areas that had been previously overlooked could yield more than $50 million in additional refunds for customers — and that ratepayers are probably owed even more because of other omissions.

Aquafornia news Phys.org

Some Pacific salmon populations are especially at risk from climate change

Four population groups of Pacific salmon in California, Oregon, and Idaho are especially vulnerable to climate change, according to a new study in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Lisa Crozier of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and colleagues.

Aquafornia news Coastalview.com

With water supply dwindling, Carpinteria water district plans advanced purification project

By 2030, the Carpinteria Valley Water District estimates that on a dry year, the deficit could be as high as 1,550 acre feet—enough to fill 775 Olympic-sized swimming pools, or serve the average yearly use of 6,200 local households. In response to the shortfall, CVWD proposes a $25 million project to take wastewater that has been cleaned, purify it and then inject it into the groundwater basin…

Aquafornia news KRON TV

Water districts prepare as wildfire threats could mean days-long power outages

The East Bay Municipal Utility District now has a back-up plan that includes filling water tanks to capacity during Red Flag Warnings… Portable generators would go in cities like Berkeley, Castro Valley, and San Ramon starting on Aug. 1. Other Bay Area water agencies also have plans in place.

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Aquafornia news San Luis Obispo Tribune

Defense secretary attacks military water contamination

The Pentagon is launching a task force to look at the potential impact and dangers that chemical compounds used in military firefighting foam have had on military bases and the families who live there, Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced on his first day in office.

Aquafornia news Petaluma Argus-Courier

Local group produces Petaluma wetlands field guide

When Marian Parker first began to consider creating a field guide for the Petaluma Wetlands, she had little way of knowing the project would open a whole watershed of opportunity for Petaluma’s wetland educational programs.

Aquafornia news U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Blog: Hamilton City project combines flood management with ecosystem restoration

The community wanted to create flood relief for the people of Hamilton City; The Nature Conservancy wanted to find a way to restore native habitat. Area farmers wanted to reduce damages from flows that scoured their property along the edge of the river. The Hamilton City Flood Damage Reduction and Ecosystem Restoration project was able to address these problems with one solution.

Aquafornia news The Revelator

Blog: A climate-resilient Los Angeles must first address its polluted past

To meet ambitious climate goals, L.A. needs more local water. A critical step is battling the ghosts of industry past — polluted groundwater that dates back to World War II.

Aquafornia news ABC10.com

Roseville preparing for drought with unique system to capture water for future use

Water is the lifeblood of the Sacramento Valley. Yet, the best methods for storing and using the precious resource are often elusive. A new water system in operation in Roseville treats underground aquifers like a bank, making deposits in times of surplus for withdrawal in times of drought.

Aquafornia news KBAK

Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water District launching water market pilot program

The newly formed water market would create a place where farmers in the Rosedale district can buy and sell water based on their needs. So if one farmer has too much for his crops in a certain year, he’d be able to sell it on the market to another who might not have enough.

Aquafornia news CALmatters

Opinion: Earthquakes can disrupt California water supply. We must prepare

An earthquake doesn’t have to happen in your neighborhood or city, or even your region, for it to have an impact, especially on Southern California’s water supply. According to UCLA Professor Jon Stewart, the three main water systems that bring water to Southern California each cross the San Andreas Fault at least once.

Aquafornia news E&E News

Climate: Water shortages force a reckoning in California wine country

More than 90% of U.S. wine comes from California, despite growth in other states’ production, and it’s putting a strain on the environment. Throughout the region, wine producers say they’re striving to save water and use less pesticides, among other measures aimed at sustainable growing, as they face the challenges brought on by the advance of climate change.

Aquafornia news FishBio

Blog: Discovering Delta data online

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is arguably the most extensively studied and monitored ecosystem in the world. This has generated mountains of data on everything from the locations of the smallest fish to the water quality conditions of the largest reservoir. Knowing where to access the most up-to-date information can be a real challenge, but fortunately several online dashboards can help

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Scrutiny grows over whether small, South County Water District can afford desalination plant

The project’s ocean-friendly technology has won praise from the same environmentalists fighting a desalter plant proposed by Poseidon Water for Huntington Beach, one of several things that distinguish the south county plant from the more controversial project to the north. … But the price tag is steep for a district that serves a relatively modest population of 35,000, just over 1% of the county.

Aquafornia news The San Francisco Examiner

The booms and busts in the population of anchovies

When the population collapses, like it did between 2013 to 2016, the effects ripple across the ecosystem. Brown pelicans struggled to reproduce and those that did abandoned their chicks. Thousands of sea lion pups were found malnourished and dehydrated on California’s beaches. These effects may be exacerbated by humans, especially when high fishing rates remain when stocks are in decline. California anchovies are almost exclusively sold abroad as food for fish farms and bait for tuna.

Aquafornia news Quartz

Artificial intelligence is changing the way we farm

High-tech firms like Ceres, Prospera, Farmers Edge, and the Climate Corporation are using artificial intelligence to help famers decide when to plant, water, spray, and harvest their crops. As climate change worsens rainstorms in the Midwest and drought in California, the technology could also help growers navigate more severe and volatile weather.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

San Jose Water Co. reaches tentative settlement in over-billing investigation

Months after allegations the company over charged people for decades, San Jose Water has reached a tentative settlement agreement to refund customers nearly $2 million. … The refunds would be issued as credits for customers depending on their current service charges. According to the agreement, refunds for low-income customers who get a discount on their water bills would be increased to $25.

Aquafornia news KCRA TV

Stockton works to fix water channel air pumps

The city of Stockton’s underwater bubbler system designed to prevent algal blooms hasn’t been working for a little more than a month. … The aeration system, which was installed in 2006, pumps oxygen into the water to prevent stagnation. Stagnant water, combined with hot temperatures, can lead to the growth of algae.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Thursday Top of the Scroll: Newsom signs clean water bill in Fresno County

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday signed into law the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund bill in the tiny Fresno County community of Tombstone Territory — where residents rely on bottled water because their private wells are contaminated. Starting next year, Senate Bill 200 will provide $130 million annually to clean up drinking water in California communities like Tombstone that lack access to safe water.

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Aquafornia news National Geographic

Megadroughts could return to southwestern U.S.

Described in a comprehensive new study published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, scientists now understand the causes of the megadroughts common during the medieval period. With climate change, they predict more megadroughts in the future.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Woolsey fire burned habitats for California Red-Legged frogs

Katy Delaney pointed to an open patch of sediment at the base of the canyon. A year ago, pools of cool water gleamed under the sun and frogs basked on their banks. Now, a trickle of water lazed through the mud. And the California red-legged frog, whose fate had consumed eight years of Delaney’s life, was nowhere to be seen.

Aquafornia news Red Bluff Daily News

Coleman Hatchery expresses optimism for future fish returns

The Coleman National Fish Hatchery is expecting good returns of their fish in the foreseeable future after a few lean years of comebacks. … Mother Nature worked with the hatchery this year providing high water levels and spring storms, said Galyean. When nature was not working in the hatchery’s favor was during the recent drought.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

PFAS explained: The growing crisis of ‘forever chemicals’

PFAS, or poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances have received a lot of attention in the media recently. … At the July meeting of Metropolitan’s Engineering and Operations Committee, Dr. Mic Stewart, Director of Water Quality, gave the following overview of PFAS, including how humans are exposed, health effects, their occurrence in California, monitoring, and treatment.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

At Chevron oil spill, Newsom calls for greater industry oversight

Gov. Gavin Newsom, in the Central Valley on Wednesday for a firsthand look at one of the largest oil spills in California history, vowed to go beyond the state’s already aggressive efforts to curtail the use of fossil fuels and seek a long-term strategy to reduce oil production.

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Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Opinion: Modernizing water infrastructure is crucial to achieving California’s energy goals. Here’s why

Thoughtfully implementing state law that requires local water users to bring groundwater use to sustainable levels within the next two decades will … result in withdrawal of large amounts of land from agricultural production and the loss of economic benefits. But we can repurpose those lands to support large scale storage and solar, as well as other renewable energy technologies that can help decarbonize our electric grid and create new jobs in the Central Valley.

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

Seeding clouds and atmospheric river research among efforts explored on Edge of Drought Tour that starts in Burbank

During our Edge of Drought Tour Aug. 27-29, we’ll visit an atmospheric river observatory in Santa Barbara that specifically monitors the meteorological phenomenon and also visit Lopez Lake to hear from the County of San Luis Obispo on their cloud seeding efforts.

Aquafornia news Ventura County Star

Oxnard proposal for new oil wells fails to get supervisors approval

Siding with environmental groups and outspoken Oxnard residents, the Ventura County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted not to approve a plan to add four new oil wells at an existing drilling site. … It was a big win for environmentalists and south Oxnard activists who are opposed to drilling, pesticides and industrial uses near residents. 

Aquafornia news Arizona Republic

Study: Drilling of deeper wells in United States is ‘unsustainable’

In areas where groundwater levels have fallen because of heavy pumping, people have often responded by drilling deeper wells. But exactly how much that has been occurring on a nationwide scale wasn’t clear until water experts compiled nearly 12 million well-drilling records from state and local agencies across the country.

Aquafornia news Manteca Bulletin

Consultant working on deal to pipe Manteca’s recycled wastewater to farm buyers along Delta Mendota Canal

Just how much Manteca’s treated wastewater is worth to agricultural users served by the Delta Mendota Canal that are often at the mercy of fish flows diversions and drought that reduces their Central Valley Project allocations may be determined in the coming year.

Announcement

Registration Now Open for the 36th Annual Water Summit; Take Advantage of Early Bird Discount by Registering Today
Join us Oct. 30 for key conversations on water in California and the West

Registration opens today for the Water Education Foundation’s 36th annual Water Summit, set for Oct. 30 in Sacramento. This year’s theme, Water Year 2020: A Year of Reckoning, reflects fast-approaching deadlines for the State Groundwater Management Act as well as the pressing need for new approaches to water management as California and the West weather intensified flooding, fire and drought. To register for this can’t-miss event, visit our Water Summit event page.

Registration includes a full day of discussions by leading stakeholders and policymakers on key issues, as well as coffee, materials, gourmet lunch and an outdoor reception by the Sacramento River that will offer the opportunity to network with speakers and other attendees. The summit also features a silent auction to benefit our Water Leaders program featuring items up for bid such as kayaking trips, hotel stays and lunches with key people in the water world.

Aquafornia news Ventura County Star

Close to $3 million of water has reached Ventura County’s overstressed groundwater basin

Close to $3 million worth of water has rushed down the Santa Clara River over the past several weeks to recharge groundwater basins in the Oxnard Plain. The release was part of a deal between the United Water Conservation District and Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency to help recharge aquifers still struggling after years of drought.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Cal Am gets negotiating rights for county sewer systems

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors approved an exclusive negotiating rights agreement with Cal Am for the Chualar, Boronda and Pajaro sanitary sewer systems, and authorized county Resource Management Agency director Carl Holm to negotiate, execute, and implement the sale and transfer of the systems. … The county has been seeking to sell the sewer systems for years…

Aquafornia news KUNC

As Southwest water managers grapple with climate change, can a ‘grand bargain’ work?

Water managers on the Colorado River are facing a unique moment. With a temporary fix to the river’s scarcity problem recently completed, talk has begun to turn toward future agreements to manage the water source for 40 million people in the southwestern U.S. … Some within the basin see a window of opportunity to argue for big, bold actions to find balance in the watershed.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

Supervisors offer support for Nordic Aquafarms incentives

A Humboldt County task force will attempt to find ways of incentivizing extensive infrastructure improvements at the Samoa Peninsula, where a major aquaculture project is soon to arrive. Nordic Aquafarms … wants the county to first address surface water turbidity concerns and a toxic brownfield problem that have existed at the Samoa Peninsula since the closure of the industrial pulp mills last decade.

Aquafornia news Association of California Water Agencies

Blog: Trinity River restoration project a collaborative success

During a recent trip to the Trinity River, I learned about the many challenges facing its salmon and steelhead populations. … But there is hope and evidence of progress in realizing ecological benefits of the past. A holistic approach to habitat restoration doesn’t rely on a single silver bullet solution, but applies a comprehensive set of actions that rely on collaboration between local tribes, federal and state agencies, and local government agencies…

Aquafornia news Torrance Daily Breeze

Contaminated groundwater found beneath Lomita homes

Pollution from a source of contaminated groundwater near Torrance Airport — which exceeds state drinking-water standards and generates potentially harmful chemical vapors — has spread beneath Lomita, officials with the tiny city recently learned, though state officials have long known about it. The contaminants have spread both through the groundwater and the soil.

Aquafornia news AgAlert

Opinion: California’s struggle for water certainty continues

For many years, federal “biological opinions” for delta smelt and winter run chinook salmon have dictated restrictions on operations of the pumps, reservoirs and canals of the federal Central Valley Project and State Water Project… Informed by a decade of science and on-the-ground experience with what we know has not worked, long-awaited new federal biological opinions are finally nearing completion.

Aquafornia news Los Altos Town Crier

Lehigh faces water board, county violations for Permanente Creek pollution

Lehigh Southwest Cement Co. has until August to address the unauthorized discharge of mining waste into Permanente Creek, which flows through Los Altos and Mountain View. San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board and Santa Clara County officials discovered the pollution during inspections of Lehigh’s Yeager Yard conducted in April and May…

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

San Geronimo Creek study could mean stiffer habitat protections

An environmental impact report that could lead to new rules on property changes within 100 feet of San Geronimo Creek and its tributaries was approved by the Marin County Planning Commission on Monday. The new regulations are aimed at protecting the habitat of endangered coho salmon and steelhead trout.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: The crisis lurking in Californians’ taps: How 1,000 water systems may be at risk

As many as 1,000 community water systems in California may be at high risk of failing to deliver potable water — one out of every three — according to a previously undisclosed estimate by senior officials at the California State Water Resources Control Board… With little oversight, they face problems ranging from bankruptcy to sudden interruptions in water capacity, to harmful toxins being delivered through taps.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Blog: The state of wildfire risk reduction in California

After a few horrific years of extreme wildfires, California has been taking steps to reduce future risks with new programs, increased funding, and new policy efforts. We talked to Van Butsic—a land use scientist at UC Berkeley and an adjunct fellow at the PPIC Water Policy Center—about these efforts.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

As climate change threatens California, officials seek ’sustainable insurance’

California regulators are teaming up with the United Nations to develop “sustainable insurance” guidelines that would help address climate-change-related disasters such as coastal flooding and larger wildfires — the first such partnership of its kind between the international organization and a U.S. state, officials announced Tuesday.

Aquafornia news the Confluence

Blog: A California-European Union workshop on sustainable groundwater management and conflict resolution

Gathering California water policy and decision-makers along with groundwater stakeholders and users, the workshop gave participants the opportunity to meet European Union (EU) water specialists, exchange experiences and ideas, and compare California and EU issues and solutions.

Aquafornia news Reno Gazette Journal

Nevada’s Walker Lake could be ‘great restoration story of the West’

On July 5, for the first time since Europeans settled the remote and scenic Walker Basin, there’s water flowing through the Walker River exclusively for the benefit of the lake’s fish and wildlife.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

L.A. Mayor Garcetti pushes out top DWP executive after FBI raids

Garcetti’s announcement came as activists called for more forceful action at the DWP, which has been reeling from a scandal over the city’s response to a disastrous rollout of customer billing software at the utility.

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Aquafornia news Bakersfield Californian

Chevron injected steam near well work before oil leak near McKittrick

Chevron records show the large, McKittrick-area oil leak … probably originated with an idle well being worked on at the same time the company was injecting high-pressure steam just 360 feet away, a combination that industry people say should not have been performed simultaneously in such close proximity and which possibly contributed to the release.

Aquafornia news San Joaquin Valley Sun

Opinion: A listening California should consult the real experts on water

The Natural Resources Agency, California EPA, and California Department of Food and Agriculture want the public’s input on how best to manage and deal with an uncertain water supply in the future. It seems every new administration in Sacramento must deal with water issues in California that never seem to get fixed.

Aquafornia news NBC Southern California

Firefighters lose critical tool to battle rise in homeless fires

As the fire season arrives in Southern California, firefighters are bracing for another surge in blazes started by the homeless, often accidentally. And the NBC4 I-Team has found that firefighting efforts might be hampered because some homeless have disabled fire hydrants to use them for bathing, cooling off, and drinking.

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Water district OKs deal with Santa Cruz

The Soquel Creek Water District board met … voted unanimously to approve an agreement with the city of Santa Cruz to build a tertiary treatment plant for its Pure Water Soquel project onsite at the city’s Wastewater Treatment Facility, which also will supply the water supply for the project.

Aquafornia news PBS NewsHour

Kamala Harris proposes bill to invest in safe drinking water

The “Water Justice Act” would invest nearly $220 billion in clean and safe drinking water programs, with priority given to high-risk communities and schools. As part of that, Harris’ plan would declare a drinking water infrastructure emergency, devoting $50 billion toward communities and schools where water is contaminated…

Aquafornia news Redding Record-Searchlight

Shasta County judge rejects effort to move Shasta Dam lawsuit to Fresno

A judge has rejected a San Joaquin Valley irrigation district’s request to move a lawsuit against raising the height of Shasta Dam to Fresno County. Westlands Water District, based in Fresno, wanted to move the lawsuit against it to its home county, but a judge has ruled the case will remain in Shasta County.

Aquafornia news Arizona Daily Star

Opinion: Drought contingency plans embrace water marketing

The state drought plans move gingerly toward encouraging transfers of water by using clever euphemisms that avoid any mention of water marketing. … These euphemisms are tools that usher in a new frontier in western water law that will increase resilience in the face of droughts, floods and forest fires fueled by climate change.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

San Diego suing state over costs of tests for toxic lead in schools

San Diego is suing the state for refusing to cover the costs of lead tests in water at hundreds of local schools. The city says it’s an unfunded state mandate that could set a troubling precedent for city taxpayers.

Aquafornia news Pacific Standard

Groundwater depletion may cause domestic wells to dry out

A new study looked at more than half a century of well depth trends to gain new insights into the management of the critical resource. … The team found that, between 1950 and 2015, across most of the country, groundwater users are drilling wells deeper and deeper. But well depths did not increase everywhere … which means that, in some places, wells might dry up.

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Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Temecula-area water technicians helping Paradise recover after Camp Fire

In Paradise, which was nearly leveled by the fire, many water lines were declared unsafe to drink from… The local irrigation district has worked to replace the pipes. When it asked for more help across the state, Rancho California Water District answered from more than 500 miles away, sending a caravan of trucks, tools and equipment — along with five employees — to the charred Sierra Nevada foothills.

Aquafornia news Ridgecrest Daily Independent

Groundwater authority board discusses mandatory well registration

The Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority board of directors took the first step Thursday to require all groundwater wells in the valley to be registered by Oct. 1. … That first step also included a pumping fee to pay for the required groundwater sustainability plan due to the Department of Water Resources by Jan. 31, 2020.

Aquafornia news California Ag Today

Opinion: Put your public water outreach programs on steroids

How can the short memory of the public maintain the long-term commitments of water projects and conservation behaviors? On one hand, California’s recent extended drought demonstrated that the public water users could reduce their water use, but can it be maintained permanently?

Aquafornia news Herald and News

Opinion: Federal freshwater and saltwater fisheries biologists should work under the same roof

The Trump Administration last year proposed to combine the responsibilities of both the NMFS and the USFWS under one federal roof. This would promote more efficient, effective, and coordinated management of all ESA responsibilities for anadromous and freshwater fish in Western watersheds, from the highest reaches of our headwaters to the Pacific Ocean.

Aquafornia news ABC7 News

Volunteers on horseback inform residents on upgrades to water system serving Compton, Willowbrook

Compton’s equestrian community had riders on horseback going around the neighborhood, handing out flyers with information to residents who live in the old Sativa Water District… “We’ve really tried to hit the outreach hard to make sure the folks understand what we’re doing…” Russ Bryden, administrator of L.A. County Public Works, said.

Aquafornia news KBAK

Water Blueprint proposes parallel waterway for the sinking Friant-Kern Canal

The Friant Water Authority is confident a parallel canal is the best solution. This new one will be built in a way that prepares for subsidence. A new canal would also benefit from the Ground Water Management Act of 2014, which will regulate how much and when water is pumped out of the ground, preventing what some believe is the main cause of subsidence.

Aquafornia news The Coronado Times

San Diego delegation announces Tijuana River Valley solution bill package

Today, Rep. Juan Vargas (CA-51) along with Reps. Susan Davis (CA-53), Scott Peters (CA-52), and Mike Levin (CA-49), hosted a press conference to announce the introduction of their Tijuana River Valley Pollution Solution bill package. The combined legislation would further support mitigation efforts in the region.

Aquafornia news ABC News San Diego

Dead fish line shore of Scripps Ranch fishing spot

The die-off, largely of catfish and bluegill, happened over the weekend at Evans Pond, which is adjacent to the Scripps Miramar Branch Library. On Sunday, the water was reflecting a deep green color, likely due to an algal bloom that contributed to the die-off.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

FBI raids at DWP, L.A. City Hall related to fallout from billing debacle

FBI agents fanned across the Los Angeles area on Monday, serving search warrants at multiple government offices, including the Department of Water and Power, as part of an investigation into how the city responded to the disastrous rollout of a new customer billing system.

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Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: State appeals FEMA spillways reimbursement

In the appeal, DWR included updated reimbursement requests totaling an estimated $1.11 billion to cover costs of the Oroville spillways emergency response and emergency recovery efforts. Final costs won’t be known until all project work is complete, according to DWR officials.

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Aquafornia news Arizona Republic

Study explores groundwater pumping and surface water connections

Groundwater pumping has caused stream flow in U.S. rivers to decline by as much as half over the last century, according to new research by a University of Arizona hydrologist that strengthens the connection between groundwater and surface water.

Aquafornia news Napa Valley Register

Creek fish passage becomes issue with Soscol Junction traffic project

Drivers aren’t the only ones who face difficulties getting through the Soscol Junction area at Highway 29 and Highway 221 – so do steelhead and that poses potential challenges for a key county transportation project.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Massive SF recycling project to save 30 million gallons of drinking water per year

Fifty feet below the platform of the Powell Street BART Station sits the starting point for one of the largest water recycling projects in San Francisco — one that’s transforming dirty groundwater into clean steam heat for hundreds of downtown buildings. In the process, it’s saving tens of millions of gallons of drinking water annually.

Aquafornia news Long Beach Press Telegram

Seal Beach prepares for extreme flooding because of sea level rise

Seal Beach residents got a look at what sea level rise could mean to them, thanks to a city presentation showing that large swaths of the small municipality could flood by 2050 and that the odds of even greater inundation will increase throughout the century. … There was also criticism that projections of sea level rise showed flooding far sooner than was probable.

Aquafornia news Santa Clarita Magazine

What’s in your water?

Hard water is created by naturally occurring minerals present along with chlorine that give plumbers a lot of business and homeowners a screaming depleted checking account. The content of our water is why more homeowners, are turning to water filtration systems.

Aquafornia news Santa Clarita Valley Signal

Algae bloom at Castaic Lake prompts caution advisory

Swimmers, boaters and anglers are all being told to be aware of algae when they’re out on the lake. Algae blooms can be harmful to people and pets because of the toxins they produce.

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Aquafornia news Fox 26 News

Special report: The Central Valley’s trashed-out rivers

The Kings River is littered with trash, both in the water, and in the wooded areas surrounding the river. We all know people litter, and that can get caught in the River — but the Kings is also tarnished by shopping carts piled up high, countless tires stacked to form rubber walls, and even a truck, submerged in the same water people swim in.

Aquafornia news KQED News

Why isn’t local seafood a bigger deal in the Bay Area?

Like many things in the Bay Area, the seeming dearth of a robust local seafood scene can be traced in part to the cost of doing business — and that, in turn, can be traced to the region’s high real estate costs.

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Aquafornia news Long Beach Post

New history exhibit shows city’s deep relationship with water is everywhere

The city’s evolving relationship with water is the subject of the Historical Society of Long Beach’s new exhibit “Water Changes Everything.” The free exhibit, which opened Friday and runs through June 2020, shows how “water has determined the history of Long Beach,” said Kaye Briegel, the long-time board member who helped put the show together.

Aquafornia news The Press

State of California reconsiders changes in Franks Tract

The initial objectives of the restoration project were to: improve habitat for the Delta smelt, reduce saltwater intrusion, reduce submerged aquatic weeds and reduce invasive non-native fish species that feed on native fish. Carl Wilcox, a CDFW policy advisor explained the objectives are now more broad and include accommodations for recreational and economic activities that are key to the region’s residents.

Aquafornia news Register-Pajaronian

Pajaro Valley Water’s alternative groundwater sustainability plan approved

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) recently notified Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency that its Basin Management Plan (BMP) was approved and considered functionally equivalent to a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP).

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

News release: Yolo Bypass fish passage project approved

The Department of Water Resources has secured final state and federal approval for a project that will expand a migration corridor for fish to the Yolo Bypass, the Sacramento Valley’s main floodplain. The project is part of the largest floodplain restoration action on the West Coast…

Aquafornia news Physics World

Green water could help California’s farming woes

More effective use of green water – rainfall stored in soil – could mitigate irrigation demand for some of California’s most important perennial crops. So say US researchers who simulated 13 years’ growth of alfalfa, grapes, almonds, pistachios and walnuts under different irrigation strategies.

Aquafornia news KCLU

Santa Barbara County reaches settlement with water company over creek water diversion

Santa Barbara County prosecutors say they’ve reached a settlement with a small private water district over claims it was diverting water from a creek without proper permits. The action involved the Montecito Creek Water Company. It has limited water rights for Hot Springs Creek. But, State Fish and Wildlife officials say the water company didn’t have a permit to divert water.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Opinion: Should cap-and-trade funds be used to solve California’s water crisis? That depends

California Influencers this week answered one or both of the following the questions: What are your thoughts regarding Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Legislature’s decision to use money from the state’s cap-and-trade funding to improve drinking water for at-risk Californians? How can California best provide safe and clean water for all of us?

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