Despite another dry winter on the Colorado River, Lake Mead and the millions of people who rely on it will avoid a water shortage for at least one more year. According to new projections from the Bureau of Reclamation, there will be just enough water in the reservoir east of Las Vegas at the end of 2018 to stave off a first-ever federal shortage declaration that would trigger mandatory cuts in Nevada and Arizona.
In a recent letter to The Sacramento Bee, Felicia Marcus, Chair of the State Water Resources Control Board, wrote “hundreds of thousands of Californians lack access to clean water for drinking, bathing, and cooking.” She goes on to say that it is her “job to champion the concerns of ordinary Californians and deliver life’s basic necessities.”
Gov. Jerry Brown and state lawmakers are rebooting an effort to pass a new tax to attack unsafe drinking water in California. But there’s a twist: The proposed tax on water bills would be voluntary, increasing its chances of success among skittish lawmakers in an election year.
In our 2017 series Contaminated, we told the stories of communities throughout the San Joaquin Valley struggling to access safe drinking water. Since then, the state has begun regulating a new drinking water contaminant. And though that regulation represents increased accountability, it brings financial challenges to some communities—and many are turning to the courts to help pay for water treatment. We begin this story in Del Rey, an unincorporated community in central Fresno County.
About 20 parents and others urged the Simi Valley City Council this week not to let the city use groundwater as drinking water for residences, arguing it is contaminated by the nearby Santa Susana Field Laboratory and is likely cancer-causing.
Today [Aug. 15], the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Navajo Nation announced the tribe has been granted primary enforcement and oversight authority for 12 additional public drinking water systems serving approximately 12,500 people.
A vital reservoir on the Colorado River will be able to meet the demands of Mexico and the U.S. Southwest for the next 13 months, but a looming shortage could trigger cutbacks as soon as the end of 2019, officials said Wednesday.
In a major development for California American Water’s long-sought desalination project, the California Public Utilities Commission has issued a proposed decision recommending approval of the proposal known as the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project.
Serious water shortages on the Colorado River could be less than two years away, according to new federal estimates. Yet after 19 years of drought, just 500 farmers in one Arizona county may decide the fate of the entire Southwest: By holding tight to their own temporary water supply, they could stall a conservation plan designed to save the entire region from water shortages.
Water. Tariffs. Immigrant labor. Farmers raised concerns over those points Tuesday when U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, asked what they’re worried about these days.
Historically, water managers throughout the thirsty state of California have relied on hydrology and water engineering — both technical necessities — as well as existing drought and flood patterns to plan for future water needs. Now, climate change is projected to shift water supplies as winters become warmer, spring snowmelt arrives earlier, and extreme weather-related events increase.
After a protracted legal battle, a California Public Utilities Commission ruling has been issued requiring California American Water to release by this week unredacted [Monterey] county Water Resources Agency invoices for work on the long-defunct regional desalination project at the heart of a $1.9 million settlement agreement between the two.
Air quality may be the most pressing issue, but scientists say that ultimately water — another human necessity — is in danger, too. Ash, burned soil and toxic residue from incinerated houses, businesses and machinery can make their way into lakes, rivers and reservoirs, said Carmen Burton, a hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey’s California Water Science Center in San Diego.
One of the most surprising findings in the July PPIC survey is the strong support for an $8.9 billion state water bond among California likely voters (58%). Support for the bond―Proposition 3 on the November ballot―comes close on the heels of California voters passing a $4.1 billion state water and parks bond in June. What’s going on? Majorities of California likely voters across partisan and demographic groups and the state’s regions say that water supply is a big problem in their part of California.
As students head back to class across California this month, many will sip water from school fountains or faucets that could contain high levels of lead. That’s because two-thirds of the state’s 1,026 school districts have not taken advantage of a free state testing program to determine whether the toxic metal is coming out of the taps and, if so, whether it exceeds federal standards.
Lauren Woeher wonders if her 16-month-old daughter has been harmed by tap water contaminated with toxic industrial compounds used in products like nonstick cookware, carpets and fast-food wrappers. … Tim Hagey, manager of a local water utility, recalls how he used to assure people that the local public water was safe. That was before testing showed it had some of the highest levels of the toxic compounds of any public water system in the U.S.
The San Diego County Water Authority’s board of directors gave conditional support Thursday to the California WaterFix, the state’s $17 billion plan to upgrade key water infrastructure. San Diego joins the Metropolitan Water District in Los Angeles and Santa Clara County Water District in Silicon Valley in backing one Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature long-term projects.
With a key decision time approaching for California American Water’s desalination project, local activist group Public Water Now is hosting a forum next week aimed at exploring the potential for an expanded Pure Water Monterey recycled water project that could potentially replace the desal project if it falters or is delayed, perhaps by litigation.
Amy Haas recently became the first non-engineer and the first woman to serve as executive director of the Upper Colorado River Commission in its 70-year history, putting her smack in the center of a host of daunting challenges facing the Upper Colorado River Basin.
Yet those challenges will be quite familiar to Haas, an attorney who for the past year has served as deputy director and general counsel of the commission. (She replaced longtime Executive Director Don Ostler). She has a long history of working within interstate Colorado River governance, including representing New Mexico as its Upper Colorado River commissioner and playing a central role in the negotiation of the recently signed U.S.-Mexico agreement known as Minute 323.