WESTERN WATER-New EPA Regional Administrator Tackles Water Needs with a Wealth of Experience and $1 Billion in Federal Funding
READ OUR WESTERN WATER Q&A, WATER WORD OF THE DAY AND FIVE DON'T-MISS WATER READS FROM ACROSS THE WEST
Dear Western Water readers:
Martha Guzman recalls those awful days working on water and other issues as a deputy legislative secretary for then-Gov. Jerry Brown. California was mired in a recession and the state’s finances were deep in the red. Parks were cut, schools were cut, programs were cut to try to balance a troubled state budget in what she remembers as “that terrible time.”
She now finds herself in a strikingly different position: As administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 9, she has a mandate to address water challenges across California, Nevada, Arizona and Hawaii and $1 billion to help pay for it. Guzman called it the “absolutely greatest opportunity.”
Guzman talked with Western Water about how her past experiences are informing her work at EPA, some of the top priorities in EPA Region 9 and how the federal bipartisan infrastructure funding law is providing a unique opportunity to address the region’s water needs, including for tribal nations and disadvantaged communities. Read the full story here.
Water Around the West
Five don’t-miss articles from California and across the West:
As drought deepens, Californians are saving less water: How well did Californians do to meet target water reductions? According to Hayley Smith in the Los Angeles Times, the results have officials worried for the severity of the drought ahead.
After the wildfires: A Purdue University professor helps communities’ drinking water recover: WaterWorld magazine reports on a quest by a professor and his team of students to find out how to quickly identify contaminants and restore water quality for communities after a wildfire.
At peak of its wealth and influence, Arizona’s desert civilization confronts a reckoning over water: With Arizona’s enormous growth in the last century, Keith Schneider in Circle of Blue poses the question: As drought and rising temperatures continue to push farms and homes to the brink, can Arizona’s desert bounty be sustained for another 100 years?
As it enters a third year, California’s drought is strangling the farming industry: Surface water isn’t the only thing disappearing in California’s Central Valley. In the Washington Post, Scott Wilson reports on the drought’s impact on the people and industries tied to the nation’s breadbasket.
Lake Powell water crisis is about to be an energy crisis: As the Colorado River reservoir hits historic lows, Lake Powell approaches a critical point in which it will stop energy production. Jake Grittle in Grist investigates the hydropower consequences, including which communities are facing the worst effects.
Water Word of the Day
Concentrated in places with high economic, health, and environmental stressors, disadvantaged communities face losing their water supply during drought from wells running dry. Among these communities, the water quality can also be poor enough to render it unsafe, forcing people to buy bottled or filtered water to avoid drinking contaminated tap water. You can read more about Disadvantaged Communities and other water-related issues in Aquapedia, our free online water encyclopedia.
At the Foundation
Go beyond the headlines with our Water 101 Workshop April 8. This once-a-year workshop is an introduction to California water designed for all levels. We’ll bring in the experts to cover the fundamentals plus get you up to speed on the latest hot topics in water. Expand your knowledge and gain even more perspectives on the drought’s impacts, including the Sustainable Groundwater Act, with our optional groundwater tour April 7. Learn more and sign up here.
Featuring our beautiful California Water map and our updated and redesigned Layperson’s Guide to California Water, our California Water Bundle allows you to order both and get $8 off the cost of ordering each individually. These resources offer stunning visuals paired with essential California water history, including infrastructure, policy, environmental issues, water quality, flood management and so much more. You can order yours here.