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 The Desert Sun

Salton Sea: Imperial County hits feds with pollution violation notice

As the Salton Sea retreats, leaving the dry playa exposed, dust particles become airborne and mobilize lung-damaging toxins from agricultural runoff. Red Hill Bay, located near the southeastern corner of the sea, would restore habitat by flooding the area, but it’s one of several mitigation projects that have taken flack for progressing so slowly.

Aquafornia news Voices of Monterey Bay

Opinion: Cal Am is blocking the Pure Water Monterey expansion

It seems some are willing to wait forever for a new water supply. After 25 years of failure, they still trust Cal Am to come up with a solution. But the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District is clearly done waiting. Last Monday, the district board withdrew its support for Cal Am’s proposed desal plant.

Aquafornia news Bay Nature

Did salmon always live in San Jose?

After an absence of many decades, Chinook salmon swim up the Guadalupe River in San José most winters. The fish look for places to lay eggs and often find them. If there’s enough water left in the dry season, their offspring swim back down the river in the spring to head out to sea. Surprisingly, given the generally heated politics regarding fish in California, little else is known about these salmon.

Aquafornia news Napa Valley Register

St. Helena City Council awards $3.2 million contract for York Creek dam removal

The St. Helena City Council awarded a $3.2 million contact Tuesday to an Arcata firm to remove the Upper York Creek Dam. McCullough Construction will be charged with notching the dam, restoring the creek’s aquatic habitat, and removing an illegal barrier to fish passage that the city first agreed to remove in 2006.

Aquafornia news Morgan Hill Times

Opinion: Anderson Dam is top priority for water district

Valley Water has many critical projects in various stages of development, including flood protection projects, infrastructure improvements and work to protect our environment. But our top priority remains an effort to retrofit and strengthen Anderson Dam, home to Santa Clara County’s largest reservoir, so it can safely withstand a strong earthquake.

Aquafornia news Antelope Valley Press

Palmdale Water District offers rebates

The Palmdale Water District has rebates to help customers who would like to save water by converting their thirsty lawns into water-wise landscaping. The District may provide up to $2,000 in cash rebates for replacing lawns with xeriscaping as part of the 2020 Water-Wise Landscape Conversion Program

Aquafornia news Santa Clara Valley Water News

Blog: An expanded Pacheco Reservoir would benefit threatened South Central California Coast Steelhead

The proposed expansion of Pacheco Reservoir in southern Santa Clara County is not solely a project aimed at improving our region’s ability to store water for droughts and emergencies. A collaboration between Valley Water, the San Benito County Water District and Pacheco Pass Water District, the proposed expansion will improve the quality of fish habitat downstream of the dam.

Aquafornia news Noozhawk

Montecito Water District board approves new rates, supply agreement with Santa Barbara

The Montecito Water District took a major step forward to improve long-term water supply security and reliability during a special meeting on Thursday. The water district Board of Directors voted unanimously to adopt a resolution approving a 50-year water supply agreement between the MWD and the City of Santa Barbara.

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.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Arizona starts talks on addressing dwindling Colorado River

Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, California, Utah, Wyoming and Nevada have been operating under a set of guidelines approved in 2007. Those guidelines and an overlapping drought contingency plan will expire in 2026. Arizona water officials are gathering Thursday to start talking about what comes next, while other states have had more informal discussions.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Corning Observer

Partnership preserves vital stream reach for Sacramento River salmon and steelhead

Last week, on the flanks of Mount Lassen, the partnership of the Western Rivers Conservancy and the Lassen National Forest completed a project that protects a crucial 1,150-acre property, and a significant branch of South Fork Antelope Creek, a rare stronghold for salmon and steelhead in the Sacramento River system.

Aquafornia news Merced Sun-Star

Water service restored in Dos Palos after algae outbreak

Water service has been restored to residents in the City of Dos Palos but a boil water notice remained in effect Wednesday. According to City Manager Darrell Fonseca, utilities engineers worked to get the plant’s system up and running and at 7:43 p.m. Tuesday night. Sufficient pressure was achieved , allowing the city to supply water at lower-than-average water pressure to residents.

Aquafornia news Fairfield Daily Republic

Solano County, water agency look to buy property along Putah Creek

The Solano County Board of Supervisors this week, in partnership with the Solano County Water Agency, agreed to purchase about 74 acres along the Solano side of Putah Creek. The property is located … between the Monticello Dam and the diversion dam at Lake Solano, and will be kept as conservation land and for habitat restoration. About a half a mile of the property fronts the creek.

Aquafornia news New Times San Luis Obispo

Local reps slam water board for delaying Salinas River work after destructive fire

Two days after a Paso Robles vegetation fire escaped the Salinas Riverbed and destroyed two homes, 35th District Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham slammed regional water officials in a letter alleging that regulators had “stymied” city efforts to clear the river of flammable vegetation.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Porterville Recorder

$71 million would be allocated for Friant-Kern Canal

The Department of Interior has requested $71 million be spent on improvements for the Friant-Kern Canal for the 2021 fiscal year. The funding for the Friant-Kern Canal accounts for most of the $108.7 of funding for water storage projects in California the Department of Interior is requesting. Congress will now consider approving the funding in the 2021 fiscal year energy and water appropriations bill.

Aquafornia news KGO TV

As potential mega-drought looms, Stanford researchers explore desalination system

Researchers at Stanford are working on a technology that may be needed more than ever over the next decade, especially if new predictions are accurate. … “To us, desalination is kind of the wave of the future,” says Stanford researcher William Tarpeh, Ph.D. Tarpeh and colleagues have been refining a technology that could eventually make widespread desalination cheaper, and safer for the environment.

Aquafornia news Valley Public Radio

In letter to Congress, water agencies call for drinking water relief funding

Earlier this week, a broad coalition of water agencies delivered a letter to Congress advocating for more funding. The letter, submitted Monday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other California Congressional delegates, argues that billions of federal dollars are still needed for water infrastructure maintenance and assistance with water bills.

Related article:

Aquafornia news San Joaquin Valley Sun

Opinion: How Friant Water Authority recaptured its water destiny

The issue of subsidence on the Friant-Kern Canal, the attention it has garnered, and accompanying solutions are apparently void of the usual partisanship experienced in California’s water world as both state and Federal legislation has been introduced to authorize significant funding for the project.

Aquafornia news Sustainable Conservation

Blog: Balancing California’s water future

California’s groundwater – a critical resource in times of drought – is disappearing faster than we’re replenishing it. Our underground savings accounts are tapped, and we face a host of challenges like land subsidence, storage capacity loss and, most importantly, a dwindling water supply for California’s dry times.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Opinion: A Trojan horse with a state water grab inside

With a global pandemic, a catastrophic economic recession and record-high unemployment, one would think the state has enough issues to tackle. But proponents of a state water grab that I have been fighting since the day I was sworn into office in 2012 disagree. Where others see turmoil and anguish, they see opportunity. Apparently, they believe in the adage, “Never let a crisis go to waste.”

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Central California town without water for days due to algae

Residents of a town in central California won’t have water for several days after the town’s water treatment plant became clogged with algae, officials said. The water outage in Dos Palos started Monday, when the city declared a water emergency and urged the town’s 5,000 residents to use only boiled tap water for drinking and cooking to avoid stomach or intestinal illness.

Related article:

Aquafornia news SJV Water

Blog: Groundwater plans could cause up to 12,000 drinking water wells to run dry

A new Water Foundation report asserts groundwater sustainability agencies, governed mostly by members of agricultural water districts, are planning for water tables to decline to the point they could dry up between 4,000 and 12,000 domestic wells over the next 20 years.

Aquafornia news Native News Online

Northern California tribes praise Supreme Court refusal to hear Klamath project case

American Indian tribes in California’s Klamath Basin praised Monday’s decision by the United States Supreme Court not to hear the Klamath Project irrigators’ Fifth Amendment water rights case, Baley v. United States. By not hearing the case, the Supreme Court upheld the Klamath Tribes’ treaty water rights as the most senior water rights in the Klamath Basin. These water rights are critical to protect the tribes’ fisheries and traditional way of life.

Aquafornia news AgAlert

Water recycling project promises supply for farms

The Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District is constructing the $375 million South Sacramento County Agriculture & Habitat Lands Recycled Water Program, or the South County Ag Program. As part of the wastewater provider’s $2 billion treatment plant upgrade, the district will construct new distribution pipelines to deliver recycled water from its to irrigation systems in southern Sacramento County.

Aquafornia news CalMatters

Opinion: A social justice perspective of the Delta tunnel project

As California confronts increasing water challenges, the most equitable statewide solution from a social justice perspective is the single-tunnel project proposed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, known as the Delta Conveyance Project.

Aquafornia news Arizona Republic

Tribes, environmentalists sue to stop rollback of Clean Water Act protections

A coalition of tribal governments, environmentalists and labor advocates has sued to stop implementation of a new federal rule that weakens protections for streams and wetlands. The Environmental Protection Agency’s new Navigable Waters Protection Rule, which which took effect on Monday, rolls back clean-water regulation of intermittent waterways, arroyos and washes.

Aquafornia news Lake County News

Opinion: Feasibility study for Scott Dam removal has ‘frighteningly misguided’ conclusions

The feasibility study refers to removal of Scott Dam as a foregone conclusion. The reason being salmon and steelhead are not able to access spawning grounds above the dam. This area is a small percentage of the overall spawning habitat of the Eel River watershed. … A fish ladder around Scott Dam makes much more sense.

Aquafornia news ABC30 Fresno

Water may not flow in Dos Palos for 3 days due to algae problem

The City of Dos Palos is shutting down water for its residents for at least three days to treat after its water treatment plant became clogged with algae. The city says water is currently being used faster than it can be treated and sent out, so residents should prepare for water to stop flowing.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Water Well Journal

New USGS geonarrative pinpoints domestic well locations in US

A new U.S. Geological Survey geonarrative illustrates where domestic (private) water wells are located and how many people are using them, based on the results of a 2019 USGS study. Nearly 40 million people in the United States rely on a domestic well for their drinking-water supply.

Aquafornia news The Guardian

Revealed: Millions of Americans can’t afford water as bills rise 80% in a decade

Millions of ordinary Americans are facing rising and unaffordable bills for running water, and risk being disconnected or losing their homes if they cannot pay, a landmark Guardian investigation has found. Exclusive analysis of 12 US cities shows the combined price of water and sewage increased by an average of 80% between 2010 and 2018, with more than two-fifths of residents in some cities living in neighbourhoods with unaffordable bills.

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Aquafornia news Mad River Union

Trinidad Rancheria makes McKinleyville pipeline plea

A proposal by the Trinidad Rancheria to connect to McKinleyville’s water system received a mostly chilly reception from the public during a meeting last week of the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District. A majority of more than three dozen written comments submitted to the district were in opposition to the pipeline, with many saying they are against the rancheria’s proposed hotel.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Restaurant employees pouring water: Think before you clink

Restaurants are opening their doors as coronavirus-related regulations are loosening in Modesto, across California and in several other states. As these openings occur, restaurant employees must help prevent the spread of disease by keeping pitcher spouts from physically contacting the rims of diners’ cups as they pour beverages.

Aquafornia news Santa Barbara Independent

Montecito Water District nears historic vote

Promising to “drought-proof” Montecito and banish rationing — if not forever, at least for the foreseeable future — the Montecito Water District board on Thursday is poised to approve the purchase of a multi-million-dollar supply of water from the city of Santa Barbara, every year for the next 50 years; and sign off on a five-year schedule of rate increases to help pay for it.

Related article:

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Tijuana Airport gets water back after paying outstanding bill to Baja California

Passengers and employees at the Tijuana international airport no longer have to use outside portable restrooms because the company that operates the facility on Monday paid about $1.5 million in outstanding water bills, according to the governor. A Baja California state water agency shut off services at the airport last week over the years-long billing dispute.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: Justices won’t wade into fight over Klamath water rights

Farmers won’t get paid for river water they lost out on during a drought in southern Oregon, because Native American tribes have water rights that rank above those of irrigators, stretching back to “time immemorial” — a ruling the U.S. Supreme Court refused to disturb on Monday.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news U.S. Geological Survey

News release: Study to commence on the effects of wildfires and fire retardants in California watersheds

Each year millions of liters of fire-retardant chemicals are applied to wildfires across the nation. The use of these retardants could have significant effects on downstream nutrients. The aim of this study will be to determine which nutrients are likely to increase in concentration in areas affected by wildfire in the western U.S., and whether the use of fire retardants may exacerbate the situation.

Aquafornia news Capital & Main

Gavin Newsom hands out fracking permits to connected driller

On June 1, in the midst of the turmoil created by the coronavirus pandemic and the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration quietly issued 12 fracking permits to Aera Energy, a joint venture owned by ExxonMobil and Shell. … The fracking permits are the latest example of California’s oil industry benefiting from regulatory or deregulatory action during the COVID-19 pandemic…

Aquafornia news KUER

The one that got away: A look at Glen Canyon 40 years after it was filled

On June 22, 1980, Lake Powell reached its capacity for the first time, marking a grim milestone for environmentalists who have never forgotten the loss of Glen Canyon. Before the waters began pouring in, it was a maze of towering sandstone cliffs and spires, with thousands of indigenous ruins now mostly lost.

Aquafornia news Tahoe Weekly

The science behind snow surveying, Part I

The snowpack from the Sierra Nevada provides crucial water for California and western Nevada each year as the snow melts. Skiers and boarders get fired up about the quality and depth of the snow. Hydrologists and anyone who relies on Sierra snowmelt are more concerned with how much water is in the snowpack — it’s called the SWE (snow water equivalent).

Aquafornia news The Hill

Green groups challenge Trump water rollback

The suit, filed by Earthjustice on behalf of Sierra Club, other environmental groups, and a number of tribes, argued the Trump administration erred in removing protections for wetlands and streams that result from rainfall.

Aquafornia news State Water Resources Control Board

News release: Scott River notice of water unavailability

With dry conditions resulting in low flows and threatening the survival of coho salmon, the State Water Board today sent notices of water unavailability to110 junior water right holders in the Scott River basin in Siskiyou County, urging them to stop diverting.

Aquafornia news FishBio

Blog: Recovering lost leviathans: Pyramid Lake Lahontan cutthroat

While these remarkable giants have been only a distant memory in most of their range, recently, fish carrying the ancestral genes of Pyramid Lake Lahontan cutthroat trout migrated to the waters of the Truckee River in 2014 to spawn for the first time in 80 years. The return of these fish … represents the culmination of years of conservation efforts by local, state, and federal agencies, as well as the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe.

Aquafornia news Estuary Magazine

Forty miles of creek, six adaptation projects

As winter rains intensify with climate change, flooding will worsen in Santa Clara County, the Bay Area’s largest by population… The Coyote Creek system — 1,500 miles of waterways that drain a 350-square-mile watershed — connects half a dozen elements that are key to climate adaptation, from reservoirs to creek confluences to the Bay shore.

Aquafornia news Long Beach Post

Water, power bills may soon see increases

Long Beach residents may soon see a steeper bill for water and electricity costs. The Long Beach Water Board Commission approved a 6% increase to the water-rate cost, and separately, Southern California Edison also called for a 14% increase. … On average, the monthly cost of a household’s water bill is $64, according to the department. The 6% increase amounts to a $3.05 average increase to a family’s monthly bill.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Law

Trump water rule halted in Colo., can take effect elsewhere

A federal Judge in California on Friday rejected a request for a nationwide injunction of the rule. Hours later, a federal Judge in Colorado agreed to freeze the federal rule within that state. The California court’s decision is a major blow to environmentalists and states that had hoped to block the Navigable Waters Protection Rule across the country before it takes effect Monday.

Aquafornia news CalMatters

Opinion: California can lead the world to a more sustainable agriculture industry

The recovery from the COVID shutdown gives us a rare opportunity to rethink our relationship with the global ecosystems on which we depend. Like so many others, I long for a return to normalcy. But that’s not what we need. We must come out of this pandemic looking to address other looming crises. Our unsustainable agricultural system, along with climate change, are at the top of the list.

Aquafornia news CalMatters

Filling Trump void, California steps in to protect birds, wetlands

California officials have parried federal moves with actions of their own — a state law enshrining protection for migratory birds and a new state regulation setting definitions that expand protection to smaller wetlands and seasonal waterways. California’s responses are yet another maneuver in the feud between Sacramento and Washington, D.C.

Aquafornia news U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Blog: Saving California’s crayfish

Living in cold streams fed by underground springs, the Shasta crayfish is California’s last native crayfish. Listed as endangered in 1988, the once prolific crayfish have declined over the past 20 years to the point where only about 500 individuals remain. But a project jointly developed by the Service, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Spring Rivers Ecological Sciences, and the Pacific Gas and Electric Company could change the fate of the crayfish.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Monterey Peninsula water district board opposes Cal Am desal project

For the first time, the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District has formally expressed opposition to the California American Water desalination project, backing the proposed Pure Water Monterey recycled water project expansion instead… At the same time, the district took another step toward potential acquisition of Cal Am’s Monterey water system with the release of a draft environmental impact report on the proposed public buyout effort.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Goleta Water District Board to consider ordinance to raise rates effective July 1

Goleta Water District customers will get an opportunity to weigh in on proposed increases to water rates and charges to fund operations, meet district debt covenants and finance critical capital project needs. … For a single-family residential customer with commodity charges — using between zero and six HCF (hundred cubic feet) of water — a price of $5.26 per HCF would increase to the proposed $5.79 per HCF on July 1

Aquafornia news Pleasanton Weekly

Zone 7 board postpones 6.7% water rate increase, citing economic downturn

The Zone 7 Water Agency Board of Directors held back on implementing a previously approved 6.7% water rate increase for 2021, aiming to provide some relief to Tri-Valley ratepayers in light of the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. … As part of approving Zone 7’s 2020-21 fiscal year budget … the board and agency staff developed a plan to use one-time savings and defer some projects in order to freeze rates at the current level through Dec. 31, 2021.

Aquafornia news Phys.org

How a historic drought led to higher power costs and emissions

A team led by a researcher from North Carolina State University analyzed the downstream effects of a drought in California that took place in 2012-2016, and was considered one of the worst in the state’s history. They found that drought led to significant increases in power costs for three major investor-owned utilities in the state… They also found that increased harmful emissions of greenhouse gases could be linked to hydropower losses during drought in the future, even as more sources of renewable energy are added to the grid.

Aquafornia news AccuWeather

Monday Top of the Scroll: Heat and drought to stifle West through end of June

The heat that got going over the weekend will become even worse early this week, and is likely to continue through most of the days left in the month of June.

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Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

Blog: People, agriculture, and water in California

Agriculture is California’s predominant use of managed water. Agriculture and water together are a foundation for California’s rural economy. Although most agriculture is economically-motivated and commercially-organized, the sociology and anthropology of agriculture and agricultural labor are basic for the well-being of millions of people, and the success and failure of rural, agricultural, and water and environmental policies.

Aquafornia news Mt. Shasta Herald

City Planner: storm drains are a vital part of Mount Shasta’s water system

Mount Shasta is a community that prides itself on clean water. In the past when water-related issues have come before City Council, meetings are often crowded to the point of overflowing. It is surprising, then, that one of the most important water topics in our city receives so little attention. I’m talking of course about Mount Shasta’s storm drain system.

Aquafornia news Mt. Shasta Herald

McCloud’s Lower Elk Spring to be protected in vault

After years of planning, McCloud’s Lower Elk Spring house replacement project will get underway soon as the Department of Water Resources has selected this project for the draft recommended funding list. The current wooden structure with corrugated roof will be replaced with a concrete vault to insure protection from erosion and habitat contamination.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Friday Top of the Scroll: California and EPA tussle over water quality protections

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Seeborg presided over a lengthy and combative hearing that featured attorneys from the state of California making the case that the Trump-era EPA acted contrary to its fundamental mission when it exempted ephemeral streams and wetlands from protections afforded by the Clean Water Act.

Related article:

Aquafornia news North Carolina State News

News release: How a historic drought led to higher power costs and emissions

A team led by a researcher from North Carolina State University analyzed the downstream effects of a drought in California that took place in 2012-2016, and was considered one of the worst in the state’s history. They found that drought led to significant increases in power costs for three major investor-owned utilities in the state… They also found that increased harmful emissions of greenhouse gases could be linked to hydropower losses during drought in the future…

Aquafornia news Lake County Record-Bee

According to scientists, Clear Lake is now clearer that it has been in the last 50 years

The most common complaint about Clear Lake is the algae. … Actually, the algae problem was a lot worse 40 years ago. Clear Lake is getting clearer. According to scientists the lake is now clearer that it has been in the last 50 years. There are also side effects from the clearer lake and that is aquatic weed growth.

Aquafornia news CalTrout

Blog: A community effort to recover the Elk River

In recognition of the immense opportunity for recovery in Elk River, CalTrout, the North Coast Regional Water Board, and several project partners joined together to form the Elk River Watershed Stewardship Program. The purpose is to engage with the Elk River community to develop a landowner supported recovery plan to reduce nuisance flooding, address the severe sediment impairment, and rehabilitate habitat for native salmonids.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Colorado River water battle comes to a boil in California

There’s a reckoning coming, unless cities and farm districts across the West band together to limit consumption. The coming dealmaking will almost certainly need to involve the river’s largest water user, the Imperial Irrigation District. But at the moment, it’s unclear to what extent the district actually controls the Imperial Valley’s Colorado River water. That was the issue debated in a San Diego courtroom last week

Aquafornia news San Joaquin River Restoration Program

Blog: Spring-run Chinook return to San Joaquin River despite low water year

If there’s one certainty in these uncertain times, it’s that nature is resilient, and one needn’t look further than the San Joaquin River as an example. For a second year in a row, and for only the second year in over 65 years, spring-run Chinook salmon have returned from the ocean to spawn in the river and bring forth the next generation.

Aquafornia news Valley Public Radio

Thursday Top of the Scroll: Under new groundwater plans, report estimates 12,000 domestic wells could run dry

Under current SGMA proposals, known as groundwater sustainability plans, the study estimates that as many as 12,000 domestic wells could run dry by the year 2040. Commissioned by the Water Foundation and put together by a group of drinking water advocacy organizations, the study estimates that as many as 127,000 residents could lose their water, and that the costs of repairing these wells could run up hundreds of millions of dollars.

Aquafornia news Politico

Democrats’ new rescue bill seeks water assistance, shutoff moratorium

House Democrats’ new economic rescue plan includes $1.5 billion to help low-income households cover their water bills and a moratorium on utility service shutoffs for any entity receiving federal relief funds, but they omitted any measures to address climate change or boost clean energy that had been sought by green groups.

Aquafornia news Lake County News

Lake County Land Trust completes acquisition of Wright wetland property

A smidge over 200 acres, the Wright Wetland Preserve is easily the largest in the trust’s portfolio. Its terrain ranges from lake to valley oak woodland with everything from native wetland, freshwater marsh and upland pasture included. The property is partially bordered by Manning Creek, an important breeding ground for an endemic and threatened fish species, the Clear Lake hitch.

Aquafornia news ABC30 Fresno

Algae in California Aqueduct causes water challenges in Dos Palos

A high level of algae in the California Aqueduct has caused problems over the past several days in Dos Palos. City Manager Darrell Fonseca explains, “Our siphon intake at the aqueduct clogged, and that reduced our water supply, and then as we did receive the water it takes longer to treat at the plant… but it also meant reduced pressure to a lot of residents, and for a while, no pressure at all.”

Aquafornia news E&E News

EPA won’t regulate rocket fuel toxin

EPA will not set drinking water limits on perchlorate, a rocket fuel ingredient linked to fetal and developmental brain damage. The agency in a final action today said it determined perchlorate does not meet criteria for regulation as a drinking water contaminant under the Safe Drinking Water Act…

Related article:

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Remarkable drop in Colorado River water use a sign of climate adaptation

States have grappled in the last two decades with declining water levels in the basin’s main reservoirs — Mead and Powell — while reckoning with clear scientific evidence that climate change is already constricting the iconic river… For water managers, the steady drop in water consumption in recent years is a signal that conservation efforts are working and that they are not helpless in the face of daunting environmental changes.

Aquafornia news Renewables Now

GreenFire Energy completes closed-loop geothermal energy pilot

GreenFire Energy Inc. on Wednesday said it has completed the world’s first field-scale demonstration of closed-loop geothermal energy generation in California. The pilot project utilised an inactive well at the Coso geothermal field in Coso, Inyo County. The GreenLoop technology showed promise for use in geothermal projects in hot, deep geothermal resources where conventional systems cannot be used.

Aquafornia news Turlock Journal

Turlock decides to move forward with surface water treatment plant project

Currently, 100 percent of the City of Turlock’s drinking water supply comes from groundwater. However, the drinking water supply is declining, contaminant levels are increasing and groundwater quality regulations have become more stringent. For the past 30 years, the City has been working on securing an alternate source of water — treated surface water from the Tuolumne River.

Aquafornia news The Coast News Group

Escondido discusses rehabilitating Lake Wohlford Dam

The City Council heard a report on the possibility of rehabilitating the Lake Wohlford Dam, which was first constructed in 1895 as part of Escondido’s local water system, to address seismic deficiencies rather than replacing the dam altogether.

Aquafornia news Foothills Sun Gazette

Feds seek input on Friant-Kern Canal fixes

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which owns the Friant-Kern Canal, is seeking public input on plans to repair a 33-mile stretch of canal between Lindsay and McFarland. This stretch of the canal has lost 60% of its original conveyance capacity due to subsidence—a sinking of the earth from groundwater extraction – which was accelerated during California’s historic drought from 2012-2017.

Aquafornia news Foothills Sun Gazette

Yettem-Seville tap into towns’ potential

Seville has clean water for the first time in five years and Yettem will be connected to joint system soon; county transfers governance to newly formed community services district

Aquafornia news Inkstain.net

Blog: The roots of a coming Lake Powell Pipeline legal tangle

As Utah pushes forward with its proposed Lake Powell Pipeline – an attempt move over 80,000 acre feet per year of its Upper Colorado River Basin allocation to communities in the Lower Basin – it is worth revisiting one of the critical legal milestones in the evolution of what we have come to call “the Law of the River.”

Aquafornia news KESQ News

California legislature votes to keep funding for Salton Sea project in state budget proposal

The California legislature voted Monday to keep the Salton Sea in its budget proposal sent to Governor Gavin Newsom. Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia said he’s pleased the legislature found a way to allocate some funding for the Salton Sea despite the fiscal challenges created by the pandemic.

Aquafornia news San Joaquin River Restoration Program

Blog: Reach O levee work is underway!

Work has started on the Reach O levee improvements! The project will improve seepage and stability requirements within two miles of Eastside Bypass levees to allow for higher Restoration Flows.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Law

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: California microplastics definition sets stage for investigation

California’s top water regulator on Tuesday approved a definition of microplastics in drinking water, setting the stage for the state to investigate the extent of contamination from the tiny plastics that have been found in fish, waterways, and other habitats. … The action makes California the first government in the world to define microplastics in a drinking water regulation…

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Aquafornia news Monterey County Weekly

Water district calls on Coastal Commission to deny Cal Am’s desalination permit

To a large extent, the fate of several multi-million dollar water projects on the Monterey Peninsula is in the hands of the California Coastal Commission. The question is whether the commission will grant a development permit for a desalination plant proposed by California American Water…

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Law

Virus-ravaged Navajo say coal mines sapped their drinking water

Lack of running water has long plagued the Navajo Nation. About a third of homes don’t have it; in some towns, it’s 90 percent. While several factors contribute to that, many tribal members say Peabody Energy Corp., the largest U.S. coal producer, pulled so much water from the Navajo Aquifer before closing its last mining operation there last August that many wells and springs have run dry—at a time Covid-19 has hit the Nation harder than any state.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Nevada water order kills real estate project

Nevada restricted groundwater pumping Tuesday in an area north of Las Vegas, potentially killing a real estate project that threatens an endangered fish clinging to existence in a handful of spring-fed desert pools…

Aquafornia news Half Moon Bay Review

Clean water may be coming to Pescadero school

Pescadero’s middle and high school campus has been without clean drinking water for nearly two decades. Now, help is on the way. Leaders at San Mateo County are making slow but significant progress expanding County Service Area No. 11, Pescadero’s special utility district, established in 1988, to provide clean drinking water to local residents and businesses.

Aquafornia news CalTrout

Blog: Ensuring flows for fish in the Shasta and Scott rivers

CalTrout and our partners have been working extensively with landowners to figure out ways to leave some of their water instream for the benefit of salmon. Often this means helping the landowner improve their on-ranch irrigation efficiency to decrease the amount of water needed maintain their agricultural operations.

Aquafornia news CarsonNow.org

Nevada State Engineer issues order to ensure sustainable water development in Lower White River flow system

Nevada is in a new era of water management. As the driest state in the nation, responsible and sustainable management of Nevada’s limited water resources is the foremost priority of the Nevada Division of Water Resources. As part of this commitment, Monday the Nevada State Engineer issued Order No. 1309 for one of Nevada’s most important and unique hydrographic basins called the Lower White River Flow System.

Aquafornia news Klamath Falls Herald & News

Yurok Tribe, Rep. Huffman respond to increased Klamath River flows

Beginning June 11, the Bureau released flows to help sustain juvenile salmon, but it plans to provide only 16,000 of the 40,000-acre feet promised in the plan developed with the Yurok Tribe, fishing groups and irrigators in March. And nearly a month passed without augmented flows when young salmon were being infected and dying from disease-causing parasites and 1.5 million hatchery fish were released and ready to pass through the infection zone.

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Aquafornia news The Desert Review

Fourth Appellate hears Abatti v. Imperial Irrigation District water rights case

The Fourth Appellate Court of California heard the Abatti parties vs. Imperial Irrigation lawsuit, Friday, June 12. The appeal was generated after Imperial County Superior Court Judge Brooks Anderholt ruled in Abatti’s favor of repealing the Equitable Distribution Plan in August 2017, which could ration agricultural water users by historical and straight-line measurements to deal with the longest drought in modern California history.

Aquafornia news Golf Course Industry

Counting every drop at Camelback Golf Club

Aaron Thomas arrived back in Paradise Valley just in time to christen the Ambiente Course, which proved a sort of launching pad for all manner constructive, on-course experimentation. … Thomas confirms the new design saves between 45 million and 55 million gallons of water annually, compared to pre-2013 levels. That is the platform from which Thomas has worked these past seven years. 

Aquafornia news SJV Water

Blog: Groundwater accountability sparks clash of Central Valley ag titans

Two giant Central Valley farming companies are slinging serious mud at one another over groundwater. And, in a rare break with tradition, they’re doing it in public. The fight has spilled out in public comments on the Tulare Lake Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plan, which covers most of Kings County.

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

Blog: What’s the dam problem with deadbeat dams?

California’s dams are aging and many will require expensive reconstruction or rehabilitation. … We examined the National Inventory of Dams (NID) to assess the state of California’s dams.

Aquafornia news San Diego County Water Authority

Blog: Draft study highlights region’s water conveyance options

A draft report released today by the San Diego County Water Authority shows that building a new conveyance system to transport regional water supplies from the Colorado River Quantification Settlement Agreement is cost-competitive with other long-term options for meeting the region’s water needs.

Aquafornia news The Nevada Independent

Environmentalists see regulatory, funding gaps amid Clean Water Act rollback

Although the Clean Water Act will still protect heavily used waterways in Nevada, including the Colorado River and the Truckee River, it excludes many wetlands and most seasonal streams. As a result, the rule has set off a flurry of legal challenges from environmental groups. And in recent months, several Democrat-led Western states, including Colorado, California and New Mexico, have sued the Trump administration to challenge the final rule. Nevada has not joined those suits.

Aquafornia news Lost Coast Outpost

Trinidad Rancheria asks for pipeline extension to get water via Humboldt water district

Having hit a roadblock in negotiations with the City of Trinidad, the Trinidad Rancheria has turned a beseeching eye toward the county’s largest water supplier — the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District — in hopes of securing a reliable water source for future development, including a controversial five-story, 100-room hotel near Cher-Ae Heights Casino.

Aquafornia news Western Water

Key player on Colorado River issues seeks to balance competing water demands in the river’s upper basin

Colorado is home to the headwaters of the Colorado River and the water policy decisions made in the Centennial State reverberate throughout the river’s sprawling basin that stretches south to Mexico. The stakes are huge in a basin that serves 40 million people, and responding to the water needs of the economy, productive agriculture, a robust recreational industry and environmental protection takes expertise, leadership and a steady hand. Colorado has that in Becky Mitchell, director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board since 2017

Aquafornia news Woodland Daily Democrat

Woodland report shows water quality remains high

The report, recently released by the city, shows minimal, or “zero,” levels of cancer-causing chemicals and dissolved solids that were present as little as four years ago when the city relied on well water. Today the city obtains its water from the Sacramento River after which it is treated and delivered to homes and businesses.

Aquafornia news Arizona Republic

Opinion: Groundwater Management Act was groundbreaking, but it needs an update

Rural communities are grappling with the challenge other parts of Arizona faced in the past: the need to conserve groundwater for future generations.

Aquafornia news Napa Valley Register

Napa County taps citizens for groundwater sustainability plan

Supervisors won’t be creating the plan on their own. The state requires them to consider various interests, such as well owners, public water systems, the environment and surface water users. Thirty-seven people applied for a 25-person groundwater advisory committee. That meant supervisors on Tuesday had to make choices.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Law

Oil, logging, mining ordered as Forest Service focus

Oil, logging, mining, and grazing will be the priorities of national forests and grasslands, with expedited environmental oversight, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told the U.S. Forest Service Friday. His memo announced a “blueprint for reforms” that refocuses the Forest Service to produce products and services from the 193 million acres of forests, grasslands, and wilderness areas it oversees.

Aquafornia news Western Farm Press

Reclamation rescinds ‘Shasta-critical’ designation for CVP deliveries

Projected higher inflows to Shasta Lake caused the Bureau of Reclamation earlier this month to rescind its “Shasta Critical Year” designation after hydrologic conditions changed sufficiently. … For growers with senior water rights under the Exchange and Settlement contracts with the Central Valley Project, this means full allocation water deliveries will be forthcoming.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Monday Top of the Scroll: Imperial Irrigation District and farmer Michael Abatti square off in court

Water is power in California’s Imperial Valley, and a years-long fight over allocations from the Colorado River to the agriculture-heavy region landed back in court on Friday. Attorneys representing local farmers and the Imperial Irrigation District squared off in front of a three-judge panel at the state appellate court level over a water-rights lawsuit expected to be decided in 90 days.

A Key Player On Colorado River Issues Seeks To Balance Competing Water Demands In The River’s Upper Basin
WESTERN WATER Q&A: Colorado’s water chief Becky Mitchell, now the state’s point person on the Upper Colorado River Commission, brings decades of water know-how to state, interstate assignments

Becky Mitchell, director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board since 2017 and the state’s representative to the Upper Colorado River Commission.Colorado is home to the headwaters of the Colorado River and the water policy decisions made in the Centennial State reverberate throughout the river’s sprawling basin that stretches south to Mexico. The stakes are huge in a basin that serves 40 million people, and responding to the water needs of the economy, productive agriculture, a robust recreational industry and environmental protection takes expertise, leadership and a steady hand.

Aquafornia news Sonoma West Times & News

Water bill relief program created to help COVID-impacted households

The Cloverdale City Council voted unanimously on May 27 to reallocate unspent funds from its Neighborhood Improvement Grant program to instead provide a limited number of utility relief grants to residents who are impacted by COVID-19-related income loss.

Aquafornia news City News Service

Friday Top of the Scroll: San Diego and Tijuana announce plans to improve Tijuana River water treatment

Both United States and Mexican officials announced separate plans Tuesday to upgrade Tijuana River wastewater facilities. The international river has been a longtime problem for residents of Imperial Beach and Tijuana, as sewage and trash from the river have spilled into the Pacific Ocean for decades, often closing beaches near the border and damaging natural habitats along the river.

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Aquafornia news Phys.org

Could the answer to groundwater resources come from high in the sky?

A new computational approach developed by scientists at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory offers a high-tech yet simple method to estimate available groundwater: It pairs high-resolution images derived by satellite with advanced computer modeling to estimate aquifer volume change from observed ground deformation.

Aquafornia news Gold Country Media

City of Folsom talks transfer sale of excess water

“In short, the city is looking to sell/transfer up to 5,000 acre-feet of water in 2020. This water is in excess to what the city would need to meet demands in 2020 and would not impact any existing customers north or south of Highway 50…” said Christine Brainerd, city of Folsom communications director. … The city retains the rights to the water.

Aquafornia news The Sun-Gazette

Farmers to get more water, but not enough

Tulare County farmers will get more water than expected from a dry winter but far less than needed to avoid depleting an aquifer that is already drying up. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s Central Valley Project announced the Friant Division … will receive 60% instead of 55% of its Class 1 water supply thanks to improved hydrologic conditions and the forecasted snowmelt runoff in the Upper San Joaquin River Basin.

Aquafornia news Sonoma County Water Agency

News release: Third driest year on record leads to reduced Russian River flow request

The Sonoma County Water Agency filed a Temporary Urgency Change Petition with the State Water Resources Control Board to reduce Russian River minimum in-stream flows this summer. With the Ukiah region facing its third driest water year on record, Lake Mendocino’s water supply is projected to reach critically low levels due to dry conditions and reduced water transfers from the Potter Valley Project.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Opinion-PPIC: San Joaquin Valley’s big problem remains declining groundwater

In these extraordinary times, managing groundwater for long-term sustainability may not seem like a top priority. But in the San Joaquin Valley — where groundwater supplies have been declining for decades — excess pumping is a critical problem, with major implications for public health, jobs, the environment and local economies.

Aquafornia news WaterWorld

Advancing reuse through tertiary treatment

Water agencies in California typically include water recycling in their water supply portfolios, but the ones that serve smaller populations may not be able to implement full-blown reuse programs all at once. The City of Paso Robles, home to approximately 30,000 residents, shows it’s possible to build water resilience without building an advanced purification plant.

Aquafornia news Stanford Water in the West

Blog: The past, present and future of California’s groundwater

The passage of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) in 2014, granted the state official oversight authority of groundwater. … A new paper published in Society and Natural Resources, examines how the state’s ongoing involvement helped shape current policies by looking at the 120-year history of California’s role in groundwater management…

Aquafornia news KJZZ

Arizona housing growth tees up opportunity for water investors

Central Arizona has been booming — more people, more houses, more need for water. There’s also a long-term drought, and less water to buy from the Central Arizona Project canal system . It’s leading Phoenix exurbs to cast about, looking for new buckets. Other regions of the state say: don’t come here.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Coachella Water District approves $376 million budget, no rate increases

The Coachella Valley Water District’s board of directors on Tuesday voted to approve a $376 million budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins July 1. The budget notably will not include rate increases even though CVWD … had planned to implement one this year.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

State Water Board: Update on SGMA implementation

At the State Water Board’s meeting on June 2nd, Natalie Stork, unit chief for the Groundwater Management Program at the State Water Board, and Craig Altare, chief of the Groundwater Sustainability Plan Review section at the Department of Water Resources, updated the board members on how implementation is going so far.

Aquafornia news KJZZ

Public comment for Lake Powell Pipeline open, again, until September

Comments, questions and concerns are now being accepted, again, for the Lake Powell Pipeline. This comes after the Bureau of Reclamation issued the draft Environmental Impact Statement for the pipeline, which is designed to pump water to Washington County, Utah.

Aquafornia news Capital Press

Bureau of Reclamation confirms water supply to Klamath Project

Farmers and ranchers in the Klamath Project are breathing a sigh of relief after the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced Tuesday it will not further reduce this year’s water allotment, which is already less than half of demand. … On the other hand, tribal members that depend on ample salmon runs for their way of life argue the runs will continue to suffer in warm, low rivers without enough flow for them to migrate and spawn.

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Aquafornia news East Bay Express

Blog: California farmers leverage COVID-19 in bid for more water

While tens of millions of pounds of food has been destroyed or buried in the ground during the coronavirus slowdown, a band of California’s farmers is claiming they can’t produce enough food to feed Americans, and they’re using the pandemic as leverage to grab more of the West’s scarce water.

Aquafornia news Engineering News-Record

California Assembly passes expedited Dam Safety for Silicon Valley Act

In an effort to move forward a $576 million Anderson Dam Seismic Retrofit Project, the California State Assembly passed AB 3005 on June 8, the Expedited Dam Safety for Silicon Valley Act, facilitating the construction of the project. Assemblyman Robert Rivas (D-Hollister, Calif.), who wrote the bill, says the overwhelming vote of bipartisan support shows the importance in fixing the dam.

Aquafornia news Turlock Journal

Opinion: Special meeting to decide Turlock’s water future

Since it was founded in 1871, the City of Turlock has relied on well or ground water to meet the water needs of its citizens, farmers and businesses. Today, with the growth of Turlock to nearly 75,000 residents, successful farming, a growing local business community, Turlock needs more water and must move to surface water usage.

Aquafornia news SJV Water

Blog: Central Valley water districts take aim at each other’s groundwater plans

There is no tougher playground than California’s water world. Just take a look at the zingers flying back and forth between water districts on one another’s groundwater sustainability plans posted on the Department of Water Resources’ website.

Aquafornia news Western Farm Press

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: Some water restored for Klamath Basin farmers

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is backpedaling on a plan to further slash water deliveries to Klamath Basin farmers this summer, as the agency is reverting to an earlier allocation of 140,000 acre-feet. The bureau in May signaled plans to cut its allocation to 80,000 acre-feet as part of a three-year operating plan, initiated under an agreement with the Yurok Tribe.

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Aquafornia news AgAlert

Delta dispute casts shadow on water supplies

With supplies curtailed from California’s largest water projects, farmers have been reducing acreage, water districts have been working to secure additional supplies, and everyone has been keeping an eye on the continued dispute between state and federal governments on managing the Delta.

Aquafornia news California State University

News release: Steady streams: Bringing safe water to California communities

Over the years, much attention has been given to California’s drought, but less is known about the more than one million Californians in more than 300 communities who don’t have access to clean drinking water. To address this crisis, CSU faculty and students are performing community assessments, conducting research and assisting local engineering projects, often with support from Water Resources & Policy Initiatives. Take a look at some of the CSU’s ongoing work.

Aquafornia news The Salt Lake Tribune

Lake Powell pipeline will ‘make the river angry,’ Southern Paiutes warn as feds release analysis

Any potential alignment of the Lake Powell pipeline would pass through lands that hold spiritual and cultural significance to Southern Paiutes, who fear the project would jeopardize their culture and upset the balance of nature.

Aquafornia news U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

News release: Reclamation completes additional Central Valley Project contract conversions

The Bureau of Reclamation executed another set of congressionally-mandated contract conversions with Central Valley Project contractors pursuant to the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act. … These completed contract conversions include the City of West Sacramento and four contract assignments for Westlands Water District.

Aquafornia news American Water Works Association

San Diego’s agricultural industry gets permanent water rate break

Avocado, citrus and flower growers, along with other farmers in the San Diego region of California, will soon have the option to choose a permanent reduced agricultural water rate in exchange for lower supply reliability.

Aquafornia news U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

News release: Reclamation selects nine water recycling and reuse projects to receive $16.6 million

The Bureau of Reclamation is providing $16.6 million to nine congressionally authorized Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse projects in California and Hawaii. This funding, part of the WaterSMART Program, is for the planning, design, and construction of water recycling and reuse projects in partnership with local government entities.

Aquafornia news Smart Water Magazine

PFAS forecasted to drive $12.1 billion in water utility spending over next decade

Mounting public concerns and new state regulations in the U.S. are compelling water & wastewater utilities to address health risks associated with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) – a class of pervasive chemicals found in drinking water and wastewater biproducts.

Aquafornia news National Law Review

WOTUS litigation: Considerations for the regulated community

The complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief in this litigation provides a road map for the legal and regulatory challenges ahead for the regulated community and agencies implementing Clean Water Act programs that rely on the definition for “Waters of the United States” aka WOTUS. The following provides insights as to how to support a strong Clean Water Act with the new WOTUS definition.

Aquafornia news Pagosa Springs Sun

Opinion: Secretary Babbitt’s river plan doesn’t go far enough

When former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt suggested in a recent opinion piece that a portion of agricultural water rights on the Colorado River should be transferred to urban areas, it no doubt conjured up some strong emotions… But Babbitt’s proposal makes sense and he is right about the need to recognize the mismatch in population between the urbanized West and rural areas where most of the basin’s water is allocated.

Aquafornia news WestSideConnect.com

Agencies investigate adding capacity in San Luis Reservoir

Two agencies are studying the feasibility of supplementing a seismic safety project planned for B.F. Sisk Dam with a second component that would increase the capacity of San Luis Reservoir. … While the dam safety project involves raising the crest of the earthen structure as much as 12 feet, as well as seismic reinforcements, it does not, in itself, increase capacity in the reservoir.

Aquafornia news The Revelator

Blog: ‘Megadrought’ and ‘aridification’ — understanding the new language of a warming world

After nearly two decades of declining water flows into the Colorado River Basin, scientists have decided the word drought doesn’t cut it anymore. We need different terms, they say, to help people fully grasp what has happened and the long-term implications of climate change — not just in the Southwest, but across the country. The term that’s caught the most attention lately is “megadrought.”

Aquafornia news Pasadena Star News

Opinion: Reimagine California’s big-water dreams

A note from another former colleague the other day prodded me into some rethinking — as with everything in this economic crisis, partly in light of the need for California to think small. By which I mean, think local.

Aquafornia news Bakersfield Californian

Kern County Public Health Services cautions residents of harmful algal blooms in Isabella Lake

The health department took water samples from 17 locations in the lake. Five indicated the presence of potentially harmful blue-green algae (cyanotoxin) at the cautionary level, one area at warning level, and five areas at the danger level.

Aquafornia news The Spectrum

Opinion: Six key reasons to support the Lake Powell Pipeline

After decades of study, a very important and exciting milestone for the Lake Powell Pipeline is happening. The Bureau of Reclamation will issue a draft environmental impact statement on June 8 that studies the pipeline’s need and purpose, environmental and socioeconomic impacts, and other important considerations. It outlines how the pipeline can be built in a manner that protects the environment.

Aquafornia news ScienceDaily

Something in the water: Pollutant may be more hazardous than previously thought

In a new study, researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine, Vanderbilt University and the University of California, Irvine, report on the mechanism that perchlorate uses to impact and damage normal functioning of the thyroid gland. The findings, they say, suggest that an acceptable safe concentration of perchlorate in drinking water is 10 times less than previously thought.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Anderson Dam: Plan to drain largest Santa Clara County reservoir

Three months after federal dam safety regulators ordered Anderson Reservoir, the largest reservoir in Santa Clara County, to be drained due to earthquake concerns, new details are emerging on what will happen to all that water, the fish that depend on it, and the water supply for Silicon Valley.

Aquafornia news MyValleyNews.com

Elsinore Valley water district delays rate increase, extends freeze on service shut-offs

To further protect public health and assist customers during the COVID-19 pandemic, Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District announced it will continue to defer disconnections for non-payment, postpone a pending rate increase and reopen lobby services.

Aquafornia news E&E News

Q&A: Ex-EPA staffer on leaked water research, ‘insane’ regs

Thirty-four years ago, Ronnie Levin’s research on lead in drinking water sounded the alarm for many Americans about risks lurking in their tap water. As the Trump administration propels forward a new rule, Levin is still fighting to make sure communities, especially the most vulnerable, have safe drinking water. … What’s at stake, she says, is the health of some of the most vulnerable communities in the nation.

Aquafornia news Nevada Public Radio

Is this the end of a 30-year fight over a proposed water pipeline?

On May 21, the Southern Nevada Water Authority board of directors voted to indefinitely defer its groundwater development project, which opponents had dubbed the “water grab.”  The unanimous vote brought an end to more than three decades of acrimonious battle with the Great Basin Water Network.

Aquafornia news Roseville Today

Placer County Water Agency approves consolidation with Dutch Flat

The Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) Board of Directors approved an agreement allowing the Dutch Flat Mutual Water Company (Dutch Flat Mutual) to consolidate with PCWA… The agreement allows for the extension of PCWA’s distribution system into the Dutch Flat community, effectively connecting current Dutch Flat customers to PCWA’s Alta Water System.

Aquafornia news The Salt Lake Tribune

Opinion: Massive Lake Powell pipeline project affects all Utahns, not just Washington County

People generally think of the Lake Powell Pipeline (LPP) as a southern Utah project, which it is. But we should not forget that the project, first conceived in 1995 and mandated by the 2006 Lake Powell Pipeline Development Act, would burden all Utahns.

Aquafornia news NetworkWorld

Startup lands $100 million to build floating data centers

Now while the idea of water cooling is hardly new, I was a little flummoxed at Nautilus’s strategy, especially since its first data center will be based in Stockton, California, a city repeatedly voted one of the worst places to live, and the Calaveras River that runs through the town is filthy. There’s a method to the madness, though.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Weekly

Equal representation on a critical water board is denied due to political fighting

Thousands of people in Marina are being blocked from full representation on the board of a regional water agency, a casualty of a larger battle over the water future of the Monterey Peninsula. The agency is Monterey One Water, and it is responsible for treating sewage.

Aquafornia news TechRepublic

US home water use up 21% daily during COVID-19 crisis

The average US home used nearly 729 additional gallons of water in April than it did in February, according to a new study from water-monitoring company Phyn. This means usage was up 21% daily, as most Americans followed orders to work and shelter from home, in an effort to “flatten the curve” and curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Aquafornia news WaterWorld

Leading water associations urge EPA to expedite regulation of PFAS

The National Ground Water Association and eight of the country’s leading drinking water organizations are urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to move expeditiously as it evaluates drinking water standards for two per- and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS).

Related article:

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Friday Top of the Scroll: Small, Central Valley community finally gets clean water

For years — too many, residents say — Seville households teetered with unpredictable conditions. Using too much water in the day meant having none at night. One flush too many, and everyone relying on a single well in town was thrown into a dry spell. … The coming summer, however, promises to be a new one altogether for residents in Seville.

Aquafornia news San Joaquin Valley Sun

In a dry year, Valley water sales get an extra dose of scrutiny

As California navigates a critically dry water year, many business-as-usual elements are getting a second look. One such transaction is a proposed water sale by the Merced Irrigation District. The district … filed an application with the State Water Resources Control Board in March to transfer as much as 45,000 acre-feet of water to a bevy of water districts across the state.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Business Journal

Cadiz finds new focus

The company’s long-term goal is still to complete a project to allow the transfer of up to 1.6 billion gallons of water a year from an aquifer under its land to six Southern California water agencies. But for the short-term, Cadiz is looking toward agricultural development on its 45,000 acres of land about 30 miles northeast of Joshua Tree National Park.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Weekly

Equal representation on a critical water board is denied due to political fighting

Thousands of people in Marina are being blocked from full representation on the board of a regional water agency, a casualty of a larger battle over the water future of the Monterey Peninsula.

Aquafornia news AgNet West

Legislation seeks to address San Joaquin Valley canals

New legislation was recently introduced that will address several issues facing San Joaquin Valley canals. The Restoration of Essential Conveyance Act was introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein as a means for repairing water conveyance damaged by subsidence.

Aquafornia news Association of California Water Agencies

News release: University of California conducting groundwater resilience survey

The University of California, Irvine’s Water Program (Water UCI) has organized a survey of the various California water and groundwater agencies and stakeholders to get a snapshot of where these agencies and stakeholders stand in terms of water resilience, especially groundwater resilience.

Aquafornia news E&E News

EPA makes ‘contorted’ legal argument for permit rule

EPA’s final rule that curtails states’ authority over Clean Water Act permitting of pipelines, hydroelectric dams and other energy projects could run afoul of a 1994 Supreme Court ruling that originally granted states that oversight power.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Environmental Protection Online

Big corporations contribute to water shortages — how can they fix it?

As big corporations consume mass amounts of water, the smaller, local communities near the plants, factories and corporate offices have fewer resources. Water shortages then become prevalent as the corporation continues to use up the nearby sources. … In order to make a meaningful change for smaller communities, big corporations will need to work on alternatives.

Aquafornia news Western Farm Press

Thursday Top of the Scroll: State, feds in talks over water

California and federal water regulators are trying to quickly resolve their legal dispute over competing biological opinions governing the management of their respective water projects, a top state official says. The talks are proceeding after Gov. Gavin Newsom filed suit in February to nullify new federal opinions that would ease restrictions on surface water for San Joaquin Valley growers.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

News release: DWR awards $65.8 million in grants to support local water resilience projects

The $65.8 million in grants will help fund projects such as groundwater replenishment and habitat restoration within the Colorado River, Lahontan, San Francisco Bay Area and Santa Ana Proposition 1 funding areas. More than $12 million of this amount targets projects that also help disadvantaged and underrepresented communities, including Tribal governments.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Decades in the making, Buena Vista Lagoon restoration plan finally approved

A long-sought compromise has been approved that will open the stagnant, reed-filled Buena Vista Lagoon to the sea and restore its native coastal marine habitat, but years of work remain before the transformation begins.

Aquafornia news CALmatters

Opinion: Our community will have a voice in proposed hydro-electric storage project near Joshua Tree

The proposed Eagle Mountain project went through nearly 10 years of regulatory review, mostly under the Obama administration, with deep investigations of potential impacts and subsequent requirements for some of the most stringent mitigations ever placed on a project. … The one hitch for us? We, the very communities who will be impacted by this project have no real voice.

Aquafornia news The Guardian

Living near oil and gas wells linked to low birthweight in babies

Researchers analysed the records of nearly 3 million births in California to women living within 6.2 miles (10km) of at least one oil or gas well between 2006 and 2015. … Active and inactive oil and gas sites create myriad environmental hazards including air and water pollutants, noise and excessive lighting, which have all been linked with poor health outcomes.

Aquafornia news Pagosa Daily Post

Opinion: Concerning the Colorado River

While Imperial Irrigation District has the largest right within California, it was not the Imperial Valley that was responsible for California’s overuse. That was the Metropolitan Water District. We are among the very oldest users on the Colorado River and have built a community, ecology, and way of life here in the desert dependent upon the waters of the Colorado that have sustained us since 1901.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Law

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: Conservative states defend water rule from California-led suit

Georgia, West Virginia, and 21 other states moved to intervene in litigation in order to help defeat challenges to the Navigable Waters Protection Rule—a joint regulation from the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers that narrows the types of wetlands and waterways subject to federal Clean Water Act restrictions.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

Blog: Dam safety and the importance of the division of safety of dams with Andy Mangney

In recognition of National Dam Safety Awareness Day, Andy Mangney who serves as the Field Engineering Branch Chief overseeing DSOD’s dam inspection and monitoring program, took some time to answer questions about what DSOD is doing to protect Californians.

Aquafornia news Antelope Valley Press

Rosamond Community Services District puts limits on starting water, sewer service accounts

The twin policies, unanimously approved by the Board, are intended to stabilize the district’s revenues by cutting down on nonpayments. Especially in light of new state laws that make it more difficult to collect on delinquent accounts, the district has been looking at means to better secure its revenue stream from water and sewer accounts.

Aquafornia news The Salt Lake Tribune

New front opens in fight over the Lake Powell pipeline

The water rights behind the proposed Lake Powell pipeline are not actually coming from the project’s namesake lake, but rather from the major reservoir upstream on the Green River. Now, Utah water officials’ new request to overhaul those rights has handed opponents a fresh opportunity to thwart the proposed pipeline just as federal officials are about to release a long-awaited environmental review of the $1.2 billion project…

Aquafornia news Inside Climate News

New study shows global warming intensifying extreme rainstorms over North America

The likelihood of intense storms is rising rapidly in North America, and the study, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, projects big increases in such deluges. … If the current rate of warming continues, Earth will heat up 5.4 degrees by 2100. Then, 20, 50 and 100-year extreme rainstorms could happen every 1.5 to 2.5 years, the researchers concluded.

Aquafornia news BNamericas

Mexico poised to breach 75-year water treaty with US

Under the 1944 treaty, the US is committed to sending 1.5mn acre-feet of water from the Colorado River basin to Mexico in 12-month periods, which represents 10% of the river’s average flow, according to the US Congressional Research Service. Meanwhile, Mexico must send 1.75mn acre-feet in five-year cycles from the Rio Grande’s six major tributaries that cross its territory.

Aquafornia news PR Newswire

News release: Longfin smelt return to Tule Red tidal restoration site

After only 6 months post-construction completion and levee breach at the Tule Red Tidal Restoration Project, longfin smelt have returned. The 420-acre restoration site converted wetlands managed primarily for waterfowl to tidal wetlands for the benefit of dwindling native fish populations including Delta smelt, longfin smelt, Chinook salmon and the food web that supports them.

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Aquafornia news Pacific Sun

Petaluma River watershed plan scheduled for state review

A plan to set new restrictions on the levels of bacteria in the Petaluma River Watershed is nearing the next stage of approval. At a virtual meeting on Tuesday, the California State Water Resources Control Board … will consider a plan meant to cap and reduce the amount of bacteria getting into the Petaluma River Watershed.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Disaster experts develop COVID-19 guidelines for water-related emergencies

In May, Cyclone Amphan made landfall in Bangladesh and eastern India. The category 5 storm forced around 3 million people to flee their homes. With this scenario in mind, a group of disaster experts published guidelines for political leaders and emergency managers so that they can prepare before the storms hit.

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: EPA limits states and tribes’ ability to protest pipelines and other energy projects

The Environmental Protection Agency finalized a rule Monday curtailing the rights of states, tribes and the public to object to federal permits for energy projects and other activities that could pollute waterways across the country. The move … upends how the United States applied a section of the Clean Water Act for nearly a half century.

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Aquafornia news Water Well Journal

Action on revised lead and copper rule scheduled for this summer

The proposed rule revision represents the first major overhaul of the Lead and Copper Rule since 1991. The proposal includes changes for lead tap sampling, corrosion control treatment, lead service line replacement, consumer awareness and public education, new requirements for community water systems to conduct lead in drinking water testing, and public education in schools and childcare facilities.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

Blog: Seasonal maps provide snapshot of state groundwater levels

The Department of Water Resources produces groundwater level change maps which show groundwater levels in wells throughout the state. When looked at together, these reports give a statewide picture of groundwater conditions and how they change over time – through wet periods or droughts.

Aquafornia news Las Vegas Sun

Las Vegas water use dropped when businesses closed. Now, it’s going back up

Las Vegas water use decreased rapidly starting in mid-March, around the same time that Gov. Steve Sisolak instituted a stay-at-home order and closed most nonessential businesses. But since late April, it has gradually been increasing to more typical levels, Las Vegas Valley Water District data shows.

Aquafornia news The Nevada Independent

In Nevada, investors eye underground water storage as a path to profits

Across the Southwest, investors are banking on water scarcity. They are buying up farms and ranches as states explore new programs that could make it easier to sell and transfer water. … Today a new type of investor has started eyeing water in the basin, less intent on building a new community than on supporting existing ones within one of the nation’s fastest growing states.

Aquafornia news The Hill

Trump administration looks to fast track logging on public lands

The proposals from the Bureau of Land Management would eliminate a 15-day protest period afforded to the public to comment on timber sales and other forest management decisions. BLM said the comment period they are proposing to cut is repetitive, as people can already submit their thoughts when a project is undergoing review under the National Environmental Policy Act.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Law

States, Democrats want federal help to clean up old oil wells

Fossil fuel companies going bankrupt in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic are expected to leave behind thousands of abandoned oil and gas wells, and some congressional Democrats are calling for a federal program to ensure they’re cleaned up. There are 56,000 known abandoned oil and gas wells in the U.S., leaking methane and other air and water pollutants, said Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.) …

Aquafornia news Greenbiz.com

Here’s how California’s water laws were made

This is an excerpt from “Ruling the Waters: California’s Kern River, the Environment, and the Making of Western Water Law” by Douglas R. Littlefield, published in May 2020.

Aquafornia news 60 Minutes

Raw sewage flowing into the Tijuana River brings toxic sludge to California

The term “crisis on the border” typically refers to immigration issues or drugs being smuggled into the country. But it has one more meaning, as we discovered, when we went to the border in early February: tens of millions of gallons of raw sewage that spill every year into the Tijuana River on the Mexican side and flow across the border right into Southern California, polluting the land, air, and sea.

Aquafornia news SJV Water

Blog: Westlands Water District is again eyeing San Joaquin River water

Westlands Water District sent shockwaves through the Central Valley water world recently after it alerted several districts that it intends to apply for rights to flood flows on the San Joaquin River.

Aquafornia news The Press Democrat

Dry winter spurs water managers to cut Russian River flows to retain reservoir supplies

In a stark reminder that drought has once again taken hold on the North Coast, Sonoma County is preparing to ask state water regulators for permission to reduce water levels in the Russian River this summer to conserve water stored in Lake Mendocino and ensure minimal late-season flows for fish.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

EPA announces that Oasis Mobile Home Park has clean water

The park’s 1,900 residents have been without a permanent drinking water source for months, after the EPA announced last summer that the park’s well water contained nearly 10 times the permissible level of arsenic, a toxic metal.

Aquafornia news Audubon

News release: Arizona Department of Water Resources and Audubon agree to funding plan to conserve Colorado River water

The National Audubon Society has reached an agreement with the Arizona Department of Water Resources to help fund the Colorado River Indian Tribes’ on-going efforts to conserve 150,000 acre-feet of water in Lake Mead over the next three years.

Aquafornia news Windsor Star

Opinion: California trial may determine fate of fluoridated water

Likely hanging in the balance is the future of artificial water fluoridation in the U.S. with shock waves possibly to be felt in countries which still add synthetic fluoride agents to their drinking water. The plaintiffs comprise a coalition of citizens’ groups, while the defendant is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. At issue is the potential health risks posed by artificial water fluoridation.

Aquafornia news JD Supra

Blog: How California’s oil industry may help preserve agriculture in San Joaquin Valley

A study conducted by researchers at Duke University and RTI International found that reusing oil field produced water that has been mixed with surface water to irrigate crops in Kern County’s Cawelo Water District does not pose any major health risks.

Aquafornia news Water Well Journal

New report details managed aquifer recharge benefits

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Institute for Water Resources released a report on May 14 titled Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: Water Security Through Resilience. … The report states USACE and its partners have engaged, or are considering engaging, in the use of MAR in a variety of settings and purposes throughout the United States.

Aquafornia news New Times San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo County weighs fallowing program for Paso basin farmers

Paso Robles has an oversupply of wine grapes, according to growers and winemakers. That’s an existing problem that’s been exacerbated by COVID-19. … According to Jerry Lohr, owner of J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, and some others in the wine industry, there’s never been a better time to talk about creating a fallowing program for the North County region, which overlies the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin.

Aquafornia news Capital Press

Monday Top of the Scroll: 2,000 attend Klamath rally demanding answer to water problems

By the thousands, they rolled through the Southern Oregon countryside in tractors, hay trucks, log trucks, pickups and minivans, their hand-painted signs greeted by supportive passers-by who agreed with the message of Friday’s “Shut Down and Fed Up” rally: the water problems that for decades have plagued the region and its farmers must be resolved.

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Aquafornia news Las Vegas Sun

Opinion: Saving the Colorado River doesn’t have to mean hurting farmers

The imbalance on the Colorado River needs to be addressed, and agriculture, as the biggest water user in the basin, needs to be part of a fair solution. But drying up vital food-producing land is a blunt tool. It would damage our local food-supply chains and bring decline to rural communities that have developed around irrigated agriculture.

Aquafornia news Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes

Blog: The hydrometeorological observation network in California’s Russian River watershed: Development, characteristics and key findings

This network has been built up over 20+ years during several epochs, including most recently in support of Forecast-Informed Reservoir Operations with USACE and Sonoma Water, and with an eye toward developing knowledge of what observations would be needed in the future to support California’s needs for hydrometeorological information related to drought and flood monitoring and mitigation across the state.

Aquafornia news The Guardian

US Southwest in grip of historic ‘megadrought’, research finds

A recent study published in the journal Science helps explains why, revealing that the south-western US is in the grip of a 20-year megadrought – a period of severe aridity that is stoking fires, depleting reservoirs and putting a strain on water supplies to the states of the region.