Water news you need to know

A collection of top water news from around California and the West compiled each weekday by veteran journalist Matt Weiser.

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Please Note: The headlines below are the original headlines used in the publication cited at the time they are posted here, and do not reflect the stance of the Water Education Foundation, an impartial nonprofit that remains neutral.

Aquafornia news Matt Weiser

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: Droughts and dust storms spread valley fever fungus farther and faster

Valley fever (also called Coccidioidomycosis) is caused by inhaling spores of a fungus found in dry soil. … Drought, dry soil, and rising ocean temperatures have led to more dust storms in California and the surrounding area, according to research from George Mason University air quality scientist Daniel Tong. Fungus spores that thrive in the arid climate are easily carried by wind-blown soil and spread in what scientists call the “grow and blow” effect.

Aquafornia news Capital Press Doug Beeman

News release: Western senators introduce bipartisan drought legislation

Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) introduced the bipartisan Drought Resiliency and Water Supply Infrastructure Act, a bill to improve the nation’s water supply and drought resiliency.

Aquafornia news Deseret News Matt Weiser

Can Utah’s water supply keep up with its booming population?

Will Utah’s water supply catch up with the state’s rising population, expected to double by 2065? It was one of the several questions posed at Utah State University’s Research Landscapes series focused on Utah’s waterscapes.

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog Matt Weiser

Blog: Sustaining integrated portfolios for managing water in California

This post reviews some lessons from portfolio water management in California and identifies roles for state government in facilitating development and implementation of effective portfolios. To better align state regulations and funding with these goals, a more adaptable structure for state planning is suggested.

Aquafornia news ScienceDaily Matt Weiser

Plants adapted to Mediterranean climate may be more flexible in face of unpredictable rains

You might expect that plants hoping to thrive in California’s boom-or-bust rain cycle would choose to set down roots in a place that can store lots of water underground to last through drought years. But some of the most successful plant communities in the state … have taken a different approach.

Aquafornia news Tahoe Daily Tribune Matt Weiser

High water forces closure of some Lake Tahoe beaches

Some stretches of South Shore beaches will close to the public in order to ensure public safety and protect sensitive wildlife habitat and areas prone to erosion. … Beaches are extremely small or nonexistent this summer due to high lake levels…

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Aquafornia news Matt Weiser

Officials hope a new treatment plant will help fix this small Sacramento County town’s drinking water issues

The plant, located in the Delta community of Hood, approximately three miles west of the City of Elk Grove between the Sacramento River and Interstate 5, will have an onsite well, water treatment system, control building, water storage and a booster system. … One of the key components of the project is the water mixing and aeration systems, which will help improve the water quality.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee Matt Weiser

If you haven’t seen Oroville Dam repair work in a while, here’s the latest

Crews have finished placement of the structual concrete cap on the emergency spillway at Oroville Dam, according to the California Department of Water Recources. … It’s been over two years since a hole opened up in the spillway, forcing the evacuation of nearly 180,000 people in California.

Aquafornia news East County Magazine Matt Weiser

Padre Dam board approves interim funding agreement for regional water purification project

The approval for an interim $9.4 million funding agreement on June 19 was part of a series of steps the Santee water district took towards constructing a massive water reclamation facility that will cost about $660 million total.

Aquafornia news The Grass Valley Union Matt Weiser

Nevada County water district ponders Roundup use

The Nevada Irrigation District has been looking at alternatives to Roundup, a popular herbicide, for almost two years — ever since the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment placed glyphosate, the active ingredient in the weed killer, on the Proposition 65 list of chemicals known to cause cancer. The water district said Thursday it plans to stay the course, despite a growing number of successful lawsuits targeting the use of Roundup…

Aquafornia news Marysville Appeal-Democrat Matt Weiser

A new outdoor experience: Yuba City to expand Feather River Parkway

A new outdoor experience will be coming to the heart of Yuba City by the end of the year as officials begin the process of expanding Feather River Parkway. By the end of fall, officials plan to expand the current 60-acre park by another 84 acres. The new expansion will have 10 acres of preserved woodland, an additional approximately two miles of walking and biking trails, two acres of enhanced wetlands and other recreational amenities.

Aquafornia news Tahoe Daily Tribune Matt Weiser

Agencies seek feedback on Tahoe Keys aquatic weed control plan

Agencies have opened the public review process for a proposed project to test different methods, including the possible use of herbicides, for controlling aquatic weeds in the Tahoe Keys. … The proposal is designed to learn more about the efficacy and potential impacts of new weed control technologies and the potential use of herbicides.

Aquafornia news Arizona Daily Star Matt Weiser

‘Better late than never,’ says onlooker as Santa Cruz River lives again

Almost since the Santa Cruz dried up through Tucson’s urban core more than 70 years ago, people have talked wistfully of wanting to see water there again. Monday, after years of wishing, planning and permit-gathering by city of Tucson officials, it finally happened. The riverbed started carrying treated effluent from the south side to downtown’s southern edge.

Aquafornia news Denver Post Matt Weiser

Colorado’s Yampa River symbol of competing waters rights demands

Leaving more water in the Colorado River Basin could help rivers resume their natural role. But amid this push for upper basin residents to use less, Colorado’s booming Front Range economy is driving cities in the opposite direction: of manipulating rivers more by installing new dams, reservoirs and diversions.

Aquafornia news The Press Democrat Matt Weiser

Opinion: Shaky science, high cost in Russian River plan

It is time, definitely, for a Russian River plan; unfortunately, the one being put forward by the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board staff isn’t that plan.

Aquafornia news Noozhawk Matt Weiser

Blog: Local youth working to replace lawns with drought-tolerant groundcover

The group recently began installing a new lawn alternative called Kurapia that requires little or no watering once established because its roots extend down 5 to 10 feet deep. In a trial at UC Davis, the Kurapia looked just as good with only three waterings per year as it did when watered weekly.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Monday Top of the Scroll: Court throws out federal approval of Cadiz water pipeline

A federal judge has struck down Trump administration decisions that cleared the way for Cadiz Inc. to build a water pipeline across public land in the California desert. The ruling is a blow to the company’s decades-long effort to pump groundwater from beneath its desert property 200 miles east of Los Angeles and sell it to urban Southern California.

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Aquafornia news KQED News

Industry, safety advocate raise concerns over sale of large California oil pipeline

A leading safety expert says California regulators should give careful scrutiny to the proposed purchase of a pipeline that carries crude petroleum to four Bay Area oil refineries because of the prospective buyer’s record of oil spills.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

PG&E owns land across California. What will happen to it?

As of June, PG&E has completed less than half of the 98 land transactions agreed upon in 2003. That interim planning period has involved a careful selection process to find stewards for each of the 1,000 or so parcels undergoing transfer and lots of rubber-stamping from various government entities. But PG&E’s second bankruptcy, which it entered into this year, casts a pall of uncertainty over what’s already been a difficult waiting game…

Aquafornia news Bloomberg

Wild weather is endangering world’s oldest form of clean power

Around the globe, climate change is sapping hydropower’s dependability as rivers that once ebbed and flowed with seasonal regularity have grown erratic.