Topic: Regulations — California and Federal

Overview

Regulations — California and Federal

In general, regulations are rules or laws designed to control or govern conduct. Specifically, water quality regulations under the federal and state Clean Water Act “protect the public health or welfare, enhance the quality of water and serve the purposes of the Act.”

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Blog: Learning the language of groundwater

The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) requires water users to develop plans to bring their basins into balance in coming years and encourages wide public participation in the planning process. Knowing some of the vocabulary is key to engaging in the conversation. This glossary will get you started.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Class-action suit accuses Reno of causing flood damage

A trial began last week in the suit, filed in 2017, claiming the city pumped, diverted or discharged excess storm water into the normally dry bed of Swan Lake, which overflowed during the winter of 2016-17. It says the flood was exacerbated by unchecked development in the area, where street paving eliminated ground that normally would have absorbed rainfall and snowmelt…

Aquafornia news The Mountain Democrat

Moving mountains: El Dorado Irrigation District digging in for Forebay Dam retrofit

The primary improvements to the dam include raising the berm and constructing an earthen stability buttress on the downstream face that will both strengthen the dam and increase its water storage capacity. The new buttress will also prevent liquefaction in the event of an earthquake.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: PG&E to pay $1 billion to local governments affected by wildfires

Most of the settlement money — more than $580 million of it — will go to agencies affected by the Camp Fire, including Butte County and the nearly destroyed town of Paradise. Another $415 million will be divvied up among a long list of agencies affected by the 2017 blazes, including Sonoma County, the city of Santa Rosa, Napa County and the city of Napa.

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Aquafornia news AgAlert

State distributes grants to help implement SGMA

With some local agencies just months away from a deadline to complete groundwater management plans, local and state officials acknowledge there have been a few speed bumps in distributing grant funding for planning and implementation. But observers say they expect the grant process overall to benefit groups working to comply with provisions of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.

Aquafornia news Napa Valley Register

Water tastes or smells funny? Napa’s grand jury wants cities to further address this issue

A grand jury investigation concludes that residents in Napa County’s cities can drink tap water without fear of contaminants, though they might sometimes find the taste hard to swallow.

Aquafornia news Santa Monica Daily Press

Ballona Wetlands film featured in Marina showing

Santa Monica College professor Dr. Sheila Laffey knows a thing or two about protecting the environment. When she’s not grading papers and student documentaries, the former Program Coordinator for the National Audubon Society in Hawaii directs her own films, a majority of her oeuvre focusing on humanity’s relationship to the environment.

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

Blog: Flood mapping in California: The good, the bad, and the ugly

For almost half of California’s communities, the engineering studies supporting flood insurance rate maps are over 20 years old. Less than 30,000 miles of the State’s 180,000 stream miles have been mapped by the National Flood Insurance Program, and less than 23% of the flood-mapped river miles are designated as ‘Valid’.

Aquafornia news San Joaquin Valley Sun

Reclamation gives westside farmers another nudge for water

The Bureau of Reclamation once again revised its allocation for westside farmers in the San Joaquin Valley, announcing Friday it would provide 75 percent of its contracted amount of water. The announcement is an increase of five percent from late May.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Opinion: Let’s protect San Joaquin Valley residents from floods

While those in San Francisco worry about a large earthquake, in Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties, when residents think about “the big one,” they should be thinking about a flood. Fortunately, we know how to meet this challenge – starting with these key steps.

Aquafornia news Santa Ynez Valley Star

Los Olivos board presents options for sewage treatment

All options are still on the table in developing a wastewater treatment system in Los Olivos, but the community needs to pick one quickly — before the state takes over the decision, according to the Los Olivos Community Services District.

Aquafornia news Encinitas Advocate

San Dieguito’s SWPPP interns represent ‘the next generation of stormwater advocates’

Through the BCK Program’s SWPPP internship, which stands for Storm Water Pollution Prevention Program, students are working with industry professionals to study the problem of runoff pollution leaving their school sites and prevent some of the negative impacts it can have on the surrounding environment.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Opinion: California needs water, not stubborn political games

After years of defending its proposed water grab from our region’s rivers, the state Water Board chose to ignore all science and impose orders to take the water anyway. Likewise, until recently when Gov. Newsom wisely said “no” to the twin tunnels, the state insisted on devastating the Delta by stubbornly refusing to consider alternatives. And five years after passage of the historic 2014 water bond, no new water storage facilities have even started construction.

Aquafornia news Natural Resources Defense Council

Blog: Progress in the fight for safe drinking water

California has a drinking water problem. A million people in the state lack consistent access to safe drinking water. Governor Newsom has called it a disgrace. So have many others. Because it is.

Aquafornia news KQED Science

Federal government wants to accelerate wildfire protections

The proposed rule changes include an expansion of “categorical exclusions.” These are often billed as tools that give land managers the discretion to bypass full-blown environmental studies in places where they can demonstrate there would be no severe impacts or degradation to the land.

Aquafornia news Manteca Bulletin

Treated wastewater to river being sought

The City of Lathrop has taken another step towards achieving the long-awaited goal of being able to discharge tertiary treated wastewater into the San Joaquin River. With the approval of the Lathrop City Council, the city is now in a contract with Ascent Environmental to initiate the environmental documentation necessary to acquire the permit to discharge of water from the city’s water treatment plant into the river – a move that could pay sweeping dividends to the city in the future.

Aquafornia news California Natural Resources Agency

News release: State agencies seek input on creating climate-resilient water system

The agencies want ideas for actions needed now to help California cope with more extreme droughts and floods, rising temperatures, year-round wildfires, species declines, aging infrastructure, contaminated water supplies and changing demands for water. The input will help determine priorities and identify complementary actions to ensure safe and dependable water supplies, flood protection and healthy waterways for the state’s communities, economy and environment.

Aquafornia news OnEarth

Blog: Why everybody is so excited about 23 salmon

For Chinook salmon, the urge to return home and spawn isn’t just strong—it’s imperative. And for the first time in more than 65 years, at least 23 fish that migrated as juveniles from California’s San Joaquin River and into the Pacific Ocean have heeded that call and returned as adults during the annual spring run.

Aquafornia news Grand Junction Sentinel

Opinion: ‘Black Swan’ water planning in the Colorado River Basin

The states that share the river completed a drought plan earlier this year that brings them closer to living within currently available supplies, and a new round of negotiations on long-term management of the river is due to begin next year. However, a new report warns that planning for gradually declining water supplies, as difficult as that is, may not be enough to adequately prepare for the future.

Aquafornia news The Press Democrat

Editorial: It’s time to finally adopt a Russian River plan

Here’s a safe prediction: Generations to come will be thankful for everything done today to protect the Russian River. Here’s another: Restoring and preserving the river’s health will become more challenging and expensive each time action is delayed.

Aquafornia news North Bay Business Journal

Santa Rosa Plain groundwater fees OK’d, but residents and businesses won’t pay for 3 years

The Santa Rosa Plain Groundwater Sustainability Agency unanimously approved a plan Thursday to assess a fee of $19.90 per acre-foot of groundwater use — about 326,000 gallons — from the Santa Rosa Plain groundwater basin for three years. Through 2022, the agency’s major municipal groundwater member users — namely the cities and towns that fall under the agency’s jurisdiction, along with Sonoma Water — have agreed to pick up the tab in place of individual groundwater users.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Irvine Co. gives its piece of Irvine Lake to the county, reducing who negotiates to resume public access

The Irvine Co. has followed through on plans to transfer 29 acres it owns on the south shore of Irvine Lake to the county of Orange, but a dispute over what kinds of recreation to allow and who should profit from it must be resolved before the lake can reopen to the public.

Aquafornia news Fox 5 San Diego

Water Board places 10 county agencies on notice to clean up San Diego River

The San Diego Water Board is asking 10 local agencies, including the city and county of San Diego, to curtail the flow of human fecal matter into the San Diego River. The problem has gotten worse over the last few years to the point it’s being compared with similar issues along the U.S.-Mexico border, according to the state agency that monitors the region’s water quality.

Aquafornia news Fairfield Daily Republic

Public can comment on draft abandoned vessel plan

A draft plan on how to remove abandoned commercial vessels from the Delta waterways is available for public review and comment. The California State Lands Commission completed the removal plan as mandated by legislation authored by Assemblyman Jim Frasier, D-Discovery Bay.

Aquafornia news MyMotherLode.com

EPA issues letter rejecting water board plan submission

California water regulators received a federal rebuke this week over an incomplete water quality plan submission. Feeling the irony, Tri-Dam Project partners, the Oakdale (OID) and South San Joaquin (SSJID) irrigation districts, which hold senior water rights on the Stanislaus River and are among over two dozen agencies suing the State Water Resources Control Board, were quick to comment.

Aquafornia news Half Moon Bay Review

County presents green infrastructure workplan

San Mateo County officials are moving forward on a green infrastructure plan that aims to transform the urban landscape and storm drainage systems. The plan will help the county transition from relying solely on traditional drain infrastructure, which allows stormwater to flow directly into drains and bodies of water, to a more environmentally friendly model that disperses runoff to vegetated areas and collects it for nonpotable uses.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

Summer steelhead considered for protection under state Endangered Species Act

The Northern California summer steelhead is closer to being listed under the state’s Endangered Species Act as the state Fish and Game Commission voted unanimously 4-0 on Wednesday at its June meeting in Redding to review the species’ status over the next year.

Aquafornia news Lost Coast Outpost

A fight between Humboldt stakeholders over the Klamath dams is impacting environmental protections across the country

If the decommissioning goes through as planned (the latest timetable aims for a drawdown sometime in 2021) it will be the largest dam removal project in U.S. history, with major implications for environmental restoration, the salmon fishery, agriculture and local tribes. But a recent Federal Appeals Court decision is having repercussions that extend far beyond the Klamath River Basin.

Aquafornia news Somach Simmons & Dunn

Blog: EPA, FEMA sign agreement to streamline water infrastructure and recovery projects after disasters

The agreement was likely spurred by recent struggles to provide assistance following hurricane events, especially Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, and other infrastructure failures such as those experienced at the Oroville Dam in 2017.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Obama water regulations criticized as Senate backs rule change

Senate Republicans lambasted the previous administration’s water regulations as a federal power grab Wednesday in a hearing on the new policy rolled out by President Donald Trump. The Environmental Protection Agency revised the rule known as Waters of the United States in December, following Trump’s 2017 executive order aimed at minimizing regulations and promoting economic growth.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

Blog: Delta conveyance next steps

Governor Newsom has stated that he supports a single tunnel—building on the planning and analysis for modernized conveyance in the Delta done to date with an increased focus on how to make the project work for the Delta communities. … Under this direction, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) will launch a new environmental review and planning process toward the end of this year.

Western Water Gary Pitzer Layperson's Guide to California Wastewater Gary Pitzer

As Californians Save More Water, Their Sewers Get Less and That’s a Problem
WESTERN WATER NOTEBOOK: Lower flows damage equipment, concentrate waste and stink up neighborhoods; should water conservation focus shift outdoors?

Corrosion is evident in this wastewater pipe from Los Angeles County.Californians have been doing an exceptional job reducing their indoor water use, helping the state survive the most recent drought when water districts were required to meet conservation targets. With more droughts inevitable, Californians are likely to face even greater calls to save water in the future.

Aquafornia news SFGate.com

EBMUD board votes to increase rates nearly 13% over 2 years

The rate hikes follow an increase of nearly 20 percent over the past two years. EBMUD officials said the average single-family residential customer using 200 gallons of water a day will see their bill rise by $3.62 per month starting on July 1 and another $3.73 per month on July 1, 2020. … The water district says it needs to increase its water rates in order to upgrade its pipes and infrastructure.

Aquafornia news Santa Maria Sun

Local jurisdictions oppose plan to restore endangered trout population, raise water rights concerns

An attempt to restore the population of endangered Southern California steelhead trout living in the Santa Ynez River is being opposed by some jurisdictions that rely on the river and Cachuma Lake for their water supply.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

California’s clean drinking water problem

Earlier this week, environmental activists and people who lack access to clean water rallied on the capitol steps to urge state lawmakers to act. Among them were longtime labor activist Dolores Huerta and Susana De Anda, executive director and co-founder of Community Water Center. She joins Insight to discuss the issue of unhealthy water and its impact on communities. UC Davis associate professor and faculty lead of the Center for Regional Change, Jonathan London, discusses his research on the regions and people who lack access to clean water.

Aquafornia news Chico News & Review

Cancer risks revealed: Camp Fire-zone water could be more hazardous than previously disclosed

Like 90 percent of his neighbors, Doug Teeter lost his home in last November’s Camp Fire.  … Little has been done in Teeter’s opinion to ensure the health of people living in the Camp Fire burn zone, who are bathing in and in some cases drinking potentially contaminated water.

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Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Blog: Groundbreaking dam removal moves forward on the Klamath

The Klamath River has seen its native fish populations plunge and its water quality decline, in part because of four hydropower dams built in its middle reach a century ago. In the coming years, these dams will be removed, creating the largest dam removal and river restoration project in the country. We talked to Lester Snow, board president of the Klamath River Renewal Corporation, about this effort.

Aquafornia news Action News Now

Paradise Irrigation District continues water testing in Camp Fire burn scar

The Paradise Irrigation District is still working to restore clean water to the ridge. So far, the district is making big strides toward turning non-potable water into drinking water in the town. The district put a call out for volunteers in the Camp Fire burn scar that would be willing to let them test their water for the first two weeks of June.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Nestlé is still taking public forest water for its Arrowhead label, with feds help

Nestlé, the world’s largest bottled water company, continues to take millions of gallons of free water from the San Bernardino National Forest two hours east of Los Angeles, 17 months after California regulators told them they had no right to much of what they’d taken in the past. And federal officials are helping them do it, despite concluding Nestlé is drying up springs and streams and damaging a watershed.

Aquafornia news The Press Democrat

New plan to safeguard Russian River targets contamination from human and animal waste

An on-again, off-again effort by state regulators to better protect the Russian River and its tributaries against failing septic systems, livestock waste and other potential sources of bacterial contamination is in its final stages, with hopes that an action plan for the entire watershed will be approved this August and go into effect next year.

Aquafornia news National Public Radio

Planet Money: The water marketplace

After seven years of drought in California that drained aquifers and brought many farmers to the brink, legislators in Sacramento crafted a bunch of rules governing water usage. Those rules, many of which kick in next year, cap how much water farmers and cities can use. The regulations have caused a lot of anger and panic in the farming community. But also…a lot of innovation.

Aquafornia news The Hill

Thursday Top of the Scroll: Trump administration proposes to overhaul environmental regulations managing federal forests

A new proposed rule from the U.S. Forest Service designed to make environmental reviews more efficient would shortcut important oversight of industry plans, environmentalists say. The rule comes after months of complaints by President Trump that the agency is mismanaging forests and not doing enough to prevent fires in California and other states.

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Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

WOTS up? An update regarding regulation of Waters of the State and Waters of the United States

The newly-adopted regulations create a new statewide wetland definition that expands to features not previously covered under federal law and creates a new permitting program for activities that result in the discharge of dredge or fill materials to any Waters of the State. … At the recent Nossaman Land Use Seminar, attorney and partner Mary Lynn Coffee gave an overview of the new regulations.

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

Blog: Economic tradeoffs in groundwater management during drought

Domestic well users in some areas were greatly impacted by additional agricultural groundwater pumping during California’s 2012-2016 drought… Implementation of the 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) should improve long-term groundwater availability during drought for all system users by requiring groundwater management to avoid significant and unreasonable impacts of decreased groundwater levels.

Aquafornia news Bakersfield Californian

Opinion: Time to solve California’s unsafe drinking water crisis

Clean water is a human right, essential to good health and to the resiliency of California. Yet, more than one million people from every region of our state have unsafe water at home. California is the fifth largest economy in the world, but for far too long, the state has neglected the basic right to safe water.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Coachella Valley Water board opts for lower water bill hike, despite warnings from staff

The Coachella Valley Water District board of directors voted 4-0 on Tuesday to increase domestic water rates by an average of $1.82 per month, effective July 1. The final rate was lower than the average $5.62 rate hike recommended by staff, who had outlined the need for important upgrades to infrastructure, including replacing miles of water mains and scores of reservoirs requiring inspections and rehabilitation.

Aquafornia news Ensia.com

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: With floods and droughts increasing, communities take a new look at storing water underground

California is looking to scale up this strategy. The snowpack that historically has supplied water into the dry spring and summer is predicted to largely disappear with the climate crisis. And its winter storms are predicted to grow more intense. Water managers and scientists, led by the California Department of Water Resources, are looking for the best places to move water from winter storms underground for use during the dry summers.

Aquafornia news Santa Clarita Valley Signal

Groundwater managers seek 7 to serve as advisers

Water officials struck with the task of hammering out a plan to manage Santa Clarita Valley groundwater are looking for seven people to serve as the agency’s advisory group. … “We need their input to move ahead,” Tara Bravo, spokeswoman for SV Strategies, told the Santa Clarita Valley Groundwater Sustainability Agency board.

Aquafornia news Ventura County Star

Ventura retains water rates set during the drought

Ventura’s elected officials on Monday heard details about the city’s current water situation, accepting a recommendation to remain in a Stage 3 drought. … Monday’s action doesn’t mean rates will go up — rates will remain the same through fiscal year 2019-20, at least — but it means they won’t go down either, as they would for some users were the city to leave the drought stage.

Aquafornia news Sonoma Index Tribune

Threatened beavers return to Sonoma

While some people consider them a nuisance, beaver are called “keystone species” or “grassroots conservationists” and are considered vital to riparian habitats. … In areas where there are beaver lodges vegetation and watersheds stabilize, and downstream flooding and silt runoff is reduced.

Aquafornia news Sierra Sun Times

Attorney General Becerra denounces BLM proposal to open Central California to fracking for oil and gas

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Monday filed a comment letter opposing a U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) plan to open up more CA CCD Kettleman hillsthan one million acres of public lands in Central California to oil and gas drilling, including hydraulic fracturing (fracking).

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Aquafornia news Steamboat Pilot

Colorado exploring program to pay farmers to temporarily stop using water

As the West faces more demand for water and less water available to meet that demand, decision makers are working to figure out how Colorado could implement recently signed agreements to reduce water use in the Colorado River basin, which includes the Yampa River.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Coachella Valley Water District wants domestic rate hikes of $5.62 a month to replace aging pipes

Facing an $81 million shortfall, the Coachella Valley Water District’s board will vote on a potential rate hike Tuesday that their staff says is necessary to replace badly corroded — and in some cases leaking — pipes and other infrastructure. The increase would cost the average residential or business customer about $5.62 per month, but would only cover two years worth of the projected deficit.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: Trump EPA releases blueprint for stemming Tijuana River pollution that routinely fouls San Diego beaches

Shorelines in South Bay San Diego will never be fully immune from the sewage and chemical pollution that flows north from Mexico over the border through canyons and the Tijuana River. However, beach closures triggered by contaminated stormwater and Tijuana’s leaky sewer system can be dramatically reduced… That was the message last week from President Trump’s U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which released the most comprehensive blueprint to date…

Aquafornia news Torrance Daily Breeze

Chemical exceeding state limits found in Lomita water prompts switch to safe source

Lomita began using more expensive imported water last month, officials said, after the city discovered water from a municipal well had almost three times the amount of benzene — a cancer-causing chemical — than the state allows.

Aquafornia news E&E News

Waters of the U.S. review stumps advisers: ‘The science isn’t right’

Members of EPA’s Science Advisory Board grappled with whether and how to weigh in on the Trump administration’s rollback of clean water standards given the administration’s insistence that the proposal is a question of policy, not science. “They have the right to change the policy, but the science isn’t right,” member Robert Merritt said.

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Aquafornia news KCRA TV

PG&E bankruptcy causing concern about drinking water supply

The bankruptcy proceedings surrounding Pacific Gas and Electric could pose a risk to the reliability of water supplies to nearly 300,000 residents in parts of Placer and Nevada counties, according to reports issued by the Placer County Water Agency and the Nevada Irrigation District.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Opinion: Californians deserve safe drinking water

There is nothing new about political divisions in California. Congested coastal cities skew from moderately liberal to relentlessly progressive. Rural inland regions, with vast and bountiful fields, range from independent to hardcore conservative. But the state’s divided political tribes may have found a unifying goal — safe, sustainable drinking water.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Utilities in fire-weary California strategize for the long, hot summer

With temperatures soaring and strong winds blowing through forests across Northern California over the weekend, rural areas in the Sierra Nevada foothills plunged into darkness after Pacific Gas & Electric Co. shut off high-voltage transmission lines to avoid sparking wildfires. The first formal deployment of its new “public safety power shutoff” rules left more than 20,500 PG&E customers in portions of Butte and Yuba counties without power…

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Aquafornia news Santa Clarita Valley Signal

Public invited to groundwater meeting Monday afternoon

The people of Santa Clarita Valley are invited to weigh in on water issues Monday afternoon, when members of the SCV Groundwater Sustainability Agency is scheduled to meet. Concerns about local water resources and, of course, groundwater, are expected to dominate discussion.

Aquafornia news Ventura County Star

Moratorium on oil drilling extended for six months

County supervisors want to know why petroleum gases were detected in samples drawn in 2017 from agricultural water wells on the Oxnard Plain. With no answers available yet, they voted unanimously to extend the moratorium to protect groundwater supplies.

Aquafornia news Ventura County Star

Ventura’s water rates to remain at drought levels, staff recommends

Ventura Water officials are recommending the city stay in a Stage 3 Water Shortage Event, a position it’s been in for nearly five years. … Stage 3 was first set by city officials in September 2014, as the state was in the midst of a years-long drought. It means the city’s projected water supply is between 20% and 29% below a normal year’s supply. 

Aquafornia news Taft Midway Driller

Cease and desist order issued against Valley Water Management

In issuing the order, the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board found that the cumulative effect of disposing produced water at the Facility over many decades has created a highly saline wastewater plume that is migrating to the northeast, where it threatens higher-quality groundwater designated as supporting municipal and agricultural uses.

Aquafornia news Morgan Hill Times

Grower faces July 10 deadline in lawsuit

The DA’s lawsuit alleges that Monterey Mushrooms’ growing facility on Hale Avenue violated multiple Fish and Game and Business and Professions laws from 2012 to 2017. Specifically, the DA’s office states the facility allowed its farm production waste and other wastewater to flow into Fisher Creek and its tributaries, which border the north Morgan Hill facility.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Opinion: Missed opportunities to capture and boost California’s water supply

This year, we are blessed with an abundant supply of snow storage in the Sierra. But the inability to bank this bounty, beyond our existing reservoirs, is a serious missed opportunity. This wonderful wet winter will ironically elevate political complacency around one of the state’s most vital necessities – a reliable and sustainable water supply.

Aquafornia news The Hill

Trump’s latest Interior pick wins unexpected support from environmentalists

President Trump’s most recent Interior Department nominee is garnering support from an unexpected group: environmentalists. Robert Wallace, nominated to help oversee the Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service (NPS), is bucking the trend of opposition from green groups, even though he ticks several boxes that would otherwise draw a strong rebuke from environmentalists…

Aquafornia news KPBS

Friday Top of the Scroll: Fixes could finally be coming for Mexico’s cross-border sewage spills

Local officials plan to huddle over the next few weeks to pick a strategy to control the region’s cross-border pollution problem. … Since April, more than 110 million gallons of sewage-tainted water has flowed into the Tijuana Estuary in the United States and out to the ocean.

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Aquafornia news Mojave Desert News

California City plans to temporarily waive some fees

In an effort to spur development of new residential construction City Council approved a temporary reduction in developer impact fees… The city will temporarily waive the $1,649 water impact fee, $1,898 sewer impact fee and the $2,150 residential water connection fee.

Aquafornia news Fox 5 San Diego

Local leaders meet with feds about Tijuana sewage spills

Local leaders and representatives of several federal agencies met Wednesday to look for a solution to the ongoing sewage spills contaminating the Tijuana River Valley and the shoreline from Imperial Beach to Coronado.

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Aquafornia news AgAlert

Farm Bureau members advocate in D.C.

Issues including agricultural trade, immigration reform and water storage emerged as priorities as a delegation of Farm Bureau leaders from California met with administration officials and members of Congress in Washington, D.C.

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Santa Cruz water panel scrutinizing Soquel Creek treatment project agreement

The water district would reroute an average 2.32 million gallons a day of the about 8 million gallons a day of treated wastewater otherwise discharged into the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary. … Pure Water Soquel’s final product would then be pumped back into underground aquifers, depleted due to decades of overpumping, to replenish the Mid-County region’s major drinking supply.

Aquafornia news Santa Ynez Valley News

Public opinion at hearing split on extending Cat Canyon aquifer exemption

The Safe Drinking Water Act requires protection of current and potential drinking water sources, but when analysis shows a groundwater basin is naturally oily and briny, it can be exempted from the act’s requirements, according to the Department of Conservation. The exemption means water that comes up during oil production can be returned to the basin, but the burden of proof for the groundwater condition is placed on the oil companies.

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Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Californians with unsafe drinking water demand budget action

A coalition of California residents affected by unsafe drinking water held a symbolic “water strike” at the Capitol on Wednesday, pressing lawmakers to fund a plan that would clean up their water sources.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Family-owned Mesa Crest Water Co. sold to Liberty Utilities after years of negotiations

The agency was incorporated in 1956 by Matthew P. Flynn and eventually handed down to his son F. Patrick Flynn and later grandsons Timothy and Thomas Flynn, who jointly negotiated this week’s acquisition. … Four years ago, the brothers began looking for a larger company to take over the business, citing strict state water regulations and the rising costs of infrastructure improvements as primary reasons for selling.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg

In quest for bigger batteries, California mulls century-old idea

As the sun sets on California’s solar farms, a backup energy source deep in the Sierra Nevada Mountains springs to life. The huge system of reservoirs and turbines can store energy during the day and then crank out electricity for 900,000 homes, using just water and gravity. As the state tries to make wind and solar work around the clock, officials want to build more like it. It won’t be easy: such projects take years to develop, are expensive and face stiff opposition.

Aquafornia news JD Supra

Blog: The river no longer runs through it: EPA to cease regulating releases of pollutants to groundwater

After decades of insisting otherwise and before the U.S. Supreme Court has had a chance to rule on the issue, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took steps to limit its interpretation of the Clean Water Act’s (CWA) jurisdiction over groundwater pollution.

Aquafornia news Stanford Bill Lane Center for the American West

Blog: Putting a tempest into a teapot: Can California better use winter storms to refill its aquifers?

The law – the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, or SGMA – is beginning to bite. A 2019 study from the Public Policy Institute of California predicted that at least 500,000 acres of farmland will eventually be idled. To ease the pain, engineers are looking to harness an unconventional and unwieldy source of water: The torrential storms that sometimes blast across the Pacific Ocean and soak California.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Groundwater managers working in four critically-overdrafted basins discuss how their planning efforts are going

At the spring conference of the Association of California Water Agencies, a panel discussion brought together groundwater managers in four critically overdrafted basins to discuss their near-term goals and regional challenges in complying with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.

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Aquafornia news Torrance Daily Breeze

Hermosa Beach loses $3.2 million grant set aside for stormwater infiltration project

Hermosa Beach, partnering with neighboring cities, was supposed to receive the money from the State Water Resources Control Board to help design and build the Greenbelt Infiltration Project … meant to help clean the Herondo Drain Watershed, which has consistently had elevated levels of bacteria. But the city put the funding in jeopardy in March when the council voted to dissolve a deal with neighboring cities and instead find a new home for the project.

Aquafornia news CBS San Francisco

Pleasanton tech company aims to cool floating data centers with bay water

A Pleasanton company has an unusual idea to cool data storage machines that they say uses a fraction of the energy and cuts greenhouse gasses. But local environmentalists are against the plan because of the possible impact it could have on San Francisco Bay.

Aquafornia news Valley Public Radio

Fracking: Inside a BLM report, environmental impacts, and the public’s response

This segment contains two interviews: In the first, KVPR reporter Kerry Klein sheds light on what this document says and does, and shares how San Joaquin Valley residents have responded. In the second, Stanford geophysicist Mark Zoback explains some fracking basics, including what is and isn’t known about the technique’s impact on the environment.

Aquafornia news E&E News

Friday Top of the Scroll: Adaptation: California uses untested powers for ‘managed retreat’

Before the threat of rising seas was widely understood, California created an agency to protect its famous beaches from overdevelopment. Now the state Coastal Commission is pouring resources into a war against the effects of climate change, and it could lead toward the removal of oceanfront homes.

Aquafornia news New Times San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo County set to extend Paso Robles groundwater restrictions

First adopted in 2013 amid drying wells over the basin, the county offset ordinance put a theoretical moratorium on agricultural pumping. But the policy is set to expire later this year when North County leaders adopt a basin-wide sustainability plan—even though that plan could take another several years to fully take effect.

Aquafornia news E&E News

Clean Water Rule: Court sides with WOTUS foes as legal fight gets messier

The Obama administration violated the law when it issued its embattled definition of “waters of the United States,” a federal court ruled yesterday. In a long-awaited decision, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas sided with three states and a coalition of agriculture and industry groups that have been trying to take down the joint EPA and Army Corps of Engineers rule since 2015.

Aquafornia news National Geographic

First global look finds most rivers awash with antibiotics

Each year, humans produce, prescribe, and ingest more antibiotics than they did the year before. … But the drugs’ influence persists in the environment long after they’ve done their duty in human bodies. In a new study that surveyed 91 rivers around the world, researchers found antibiotics in the waters of nearly two-thirds of all the sites they sampled…

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Aquafornia news Voice of San Diego

Opinion: San Diego’s climate goals require more investment in energy storage

The city of San Diego and the San Diego County Water Authority are assessing pumped-water energy storage as a way to integrate more renewable power, stabilize the power grid, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and foster economic growth. Their proposed San Vicente Energy Storage Facility would take water from the existing San Vicente Reservoir and use electricity to pump it to a smaller, higher elevation reservoir.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California regulators approve PG&E power outages to prevent more wildfires

California regulators have approved allowing utilities to cut off electricity to possibly hundreds of thousands of customers to avoid catastrophic wildfires like the one sparked by power lines last year that killed 85 people and largely destroyed the city of Paradise.

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Aquafornia news Sierra Wave

FERC finds Premium Energy’s application ‘patently deficient’

Mono and Inyo counties were handed a reprieve by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last Friday. The Commission’s Division of Hydropower Licensing found Premium Energy’s application for a closed loop system from reservoirs in the Owens Gorge to the White Mountains “patently deficient.” That’s the good news. The FERC did not find the project patently deficient because of environmental or common sense reasons…

Aquafornia news The Log

Port of San Diego touts clean water initiatives

Maintaining the cleanest water possible is one of the most significant priorities of the Port of San Diego’s environmental initiatives. This was the message of a nearly one-hour presentation and discussion, held between port district staff and the Board of Port Commissioners on May 14, on keeping pollution out of San Diego Bay.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Canyon reservoir spurs some debate in Stanislaus County

Del Puerto Water District and Central California Irrigation District have developed the reservoir project without many public concerns rising to the surface. That was until Patterson city staff members showed up for Wednesday’s meeting. Maria Encinas, a city management analyst, asked about a risk assessment for adjacent communities like Patterson. A failure in the dam on Del Puerto Creek, on the west side of Interstate 5, would appear to flood part of the city of 23,700, including perhaps the downtown area in Patterson.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Silicon Valley water agency might buy Central Valley farm

Once again, a big thirsty metropolis is looking at buying Central Valley farmland with an eye toward boosting its water supplies. And once again, neighboring farmers are nervous about it. … And any proposal involving the movement of groundwater from a rural area creates controversy, especially as farmers begin to implement the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act…

Aquafornia news NPR

After Paradise, living with fire means redefining resilience

Dan Efseaff, the parks and recreation director for the devastated town of Paradise, Calif., looks out over Little Feather River Canyon in Butte County. The Camp Fire raced up this canyon like a blowtorch in a paper funnel on its way to Paradise, incinerating most everything in its path, including scores of homes. Efseaff is floating an idea that some may think radical: paying people not to rebuild in this slice of canyon.

Aquafornia news High Country News

See where PFAS pollution has been confirmed in the American West

Because the Environmental Protection Agency does not regulate PFAS chemicals, states are left not only to research and track them, but also to develop regulations to clean up already dangerous levels of pollution. And, according to recent data from the Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute at Northeastern University and the Environmental Working Group, the West isn’t doing a great job.

Aquafornia news California Ag Today

Opinion: Delta smelt are poor swimmers

Delta smelt are poor swimmers. When they have to swim against voluminous outflows, they struggle. They also lack endurance for distance and swimming against currents. This was the result of the taxpayer-funded swim performance test conducted more than 20 years ago. Why is this important?

Aquafornia news San Luis Obispo Tribune

Will Arroyo Grande Oil Field add 481 new oil wells? It just cleared a major hurdle

Sentinel Peak Resources has cleared an environmental hurdle that could allow it to move forward with years-old plans to increase drilling in the Arroyo Grande Oil Field — but whether it will or not is still up in the air. The Environmental Protection Agency granted Sentinel Peak Resources an aquifer exemption on April 30, exempting portions of the aquifer under the oil field from protections guaranteed by the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

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Aquafornia news The Conversation

Opinion: The US drinking water supply is mostly safe, but that’s not good enough

The United States has one of the world’s safest drinking water supplies, but new challenges constantly emerge. For example … many farm workers in California’s Central Valley have to buy bottled water because their tap water contains unsafe levels of arsenic and agricultural chemicals that have been linked to elevated risks of infant death and cancer in adults. … So I was distressed to hear EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler tout the quality of drinking water in the U.S. in an interview on March 20, 2019.

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

Blog: A water portfolio planning report card for California

Governor Newsom recently called for a state portfolio of actions to manage water under rapidly changing climate and other conditions. This post reviews the state of water portfolio planning in California today.

Aquafornia news Plumas News

Sierra Valley flood hazard restudy signed by supervisors

It took two consulting groups, but a project charter for the Sierra Valley Flood Hazard Restudy Project is finished and now approved by members of the Plumas County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, May 14.

Aquafornia news Fox 5 San Diego

‘Stop the Poop’ rally protests coastal pollution at the border

A local advocacy group held a rally Sunday morning calling on the federal government to stop the pollution of coastal waters caused by untreated sewage from the Tijuana River Valley.

Aquafornia news Santa Barbara Independent

Group declares Orcutt oilfields contaminated drinking water wells

A presentation by the U.S. Geological Survey to California water boards has surfaced that reveals contamination in the groundwater around the Orcutt oilfield, the Environmental Defense Center in Santa Barbara claims. The advocacy group released the information on Tuesday, stating that “federal scientists found evidence of oil-field fluids in groundwater underlying the nearby Orcutt oil field.”

Aquafornia news Tri County Sentry

Nguyen dispels social media rumors about contaminated drinking water in Oxnard

The City of Oxnard struck back about reports of contaminated drinking water within the city limits at it’s May 21, City Council meeting City Manager Alex Nguyen said he wanted to set the record straight about the issue.

Aquafornia news The Ukiah Daily Journal

Opinion: Is overwatering really so bad?

Even though the Russian River watershed has received roughly 130 percent of the average rainfall this season, it is time to discuss the impacts of overwatered landscapes as the dry weather returns and irrigation controllers turn on.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Opinion: More floods are coming

In retrospect, it’s clear: We’ve misunderstood how rivers work. They don’t follow wishful parameters of the Army Corps of Engineers’ 100-year flood guidelines, or the routes we’ve penciled in between levees, or even the climatic expectations of the past. A national program that presumes we can choreograph today the floods of tomorrow is fundamentally flawed. It’s time to recognize that the rivers will have their way. Therefore we need to get out of the way.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Orange County water board vacancy draws ‘unprecedented’ interest after Newsom kills twin tunnels project

After much speculation about whether Janet Nguyen might run for one of Orange County’s hotly contested congressional seats in 2020, the Republican former state senator has thrown her hat in a surprising ring. And she’s not alone. Nguyen is one of seven people vying to fill a board of directors seat with the Municipal Water District of Orange County.

Aquafornia news Ventura County Star

Santa Clara River may be last of its kind in Southern California

The Santa Clara stretches 84 miles and through two counties from the San Gabriel Mountains to the ocean just south of Ventura Harbor. Over the past 20 years, millions of dollars have been invested to protect and restore the river, work that some say has reached a tipping point.

Aquafornia news The Hill

Environmental groups file lawsuit to force Trump to add eight species to endangered list

The Center for Biological Diversity and San Francisco Baykeeper sued the Trump administration to force the addition of the longfin smelt, the Sierra Nevada red fox and six other species to the Endangered Species List… According to the lawsuit, the agency had previously found the species worthy of endangered species protections under the Obama administration but  the Trump administration had slow-walked the process…

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

SF Bay’s problems fester as regulator neglects responsibility, investigation finds

An investigation into the Bay Conservation and Development Commission found mismanagement and disorganization so rampant that the once-celebrated watchdog agency allegedly neglected its primary responsibility — to protect San Francisco Bay. A state audit of the regulatory agency known as the BCDC describes slow and inefficient enforcement, a huge backlog of cases and an inability to perform key duties.

Aquafornia news Legal Planet

Blog: Making key policy decisions in advance of droughts

It’s hard to respond effectively to a crisis when you don’t have clearly defined priorities. This is true for sudden-onset crises, like floods and wildfires, and also for slow-onset crises, like droughts.

Aquafornia news San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Surprise! East Fork of the San Gabriel River gets a clean bill of health

For years, nonprofits, politicians, state agencies and the U.S. Forest Service have pointed to the East Fork of the upper San Gabriel River as one of the more polluted fresh water rivers in the state. This week, Heal the Bay … rated the upper East Fork and the portion adjacent to the Cattle Canyon picnic area — exactly where thousands would recreate on summer weekends — 100 percent Green, the highest rating in its 2018 River Report Card.

Aquafornia news San Luis Obispo Tribune

Hundreds bash Trump’s oil fracking plan: ‘This battle does not end tonight’

A public meeting erupted into an impassioned rally in San Luis Obispo Wednesday night as activists and local residents took turns bashing a federal plan to resume leasing public land in Central California to new oil and gas drilling, including fracking.

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Aquafornia news Red Bluff Daily News

Be mindful of harmful algal blooms this summer

While there are all kinds of water safety issues to be aware of, the State Water Resources Control Board wants the public to know about one that may not be so obvious — freshwater harmful algal blooms, or HABs. As California confronts the realities of climate change, HABs have become increasingly common in rivers, lakes and reservoirs, and they can be especially dangerous to children and pets.

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Aquafornia news Claremont Courier

Opinion: Little-watched water districts helping Trump administration drain California desert

Cadiz is using Three Valleys Municipal Water District in eastern Los Angeles County and the Jurupa Community Services District in Riverside County to co-sponsor what they’re calling a “peer review” of its groundwater plan, written by four scientific consultants.

Aquafornia news Fairfield Daily Republic

DWR reverses Solano lowlands groundwater priority for now

It appears Solano County and Vallejo have avoided a potentially costly state shift in the groundwater sustainability priority for the Napa-Sonoma Lowlands. While the final decision by the Department of Water Resources has not been made, the state agency has for now backed off its proposal to increase the priority status from very low to medium for the lowlands.

Aquafornia news ABC 15 Arizona

How Arizona is cleaning up dozens of contaminated groundwater sites

Slow moving plumes of potentially toxic water are sitting underneath homes, businesses and schools throughout Arizona. … While some cities like Phoenix do not use groundwater for drinking water, much of the state does.

Aquafornia news Noozhawk

Speakers plead for Santa Maria to resume putting fluoride in water

Dentists and public-health advocates are speaking out against the city of Santa Maria’s decision to stop adding fluoride to local tap water, calling the supplement a vital step for good oral health. After hearing pleas at the start of the meeting Tuesday night, the City Council asked staff to include the possible restoration of fluoride as part of budget deliberations set for June 18.

Aquafornia news Valley Public Radio

Public hearing on fracking in Valley not recorded – ‘I feel like the process is rigged’

The majority of the dozens of commenters at the meeting spoke out against the analysis and the prospect of increased fracking in the region, expressing concerns about air pollution, drinking water quality, and climate change. … Tempers at the meeting also flared for what many attendees viewed as a lack of accountability from the BLM. The agency did not record the meeting, instead inviting attendees to submit written comments online, electronically, and only in English.

Aquafornia news Calaveras Enterprise

Calaveras Public Utility District ratepayers face 40% increase; district prioritizing infrastructure upgrades

The proposal is to increase both base and usage rates by approximately 40% in the first year, and by about 70% of the current rate by July of 2023. … The last set of rate increases ended in 2016, yet system costs have been increasing each year due to inflation and maintenance expenses associated with an aging system…

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Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Huntington Beach water rates to increase for 5 years, despite protests from residents

The Huntington Beach City Council on Monday voted to increase local water rates for the next five years, despite receiving 691 protest letters from residents. Under the plan taking effect July 1, most single-family households will pay $53.03 a month — 70 cents more than now — in the first year of five annual rate increases.

Aquafornia news Chico News & Review

Eye of the storm

Barbara Vlamis is smiling. Often, the executive director of the Chico-based advocacy group AquAlliance wears a steely expression, as her work involves David-versus-Goliath battles against powerful interests—namely, government agencies and water brokers. Now, she’s satisfied, even a bit celebratory.

Aquafornia news San Joaquin Valley Sun

Opinion: What’s behind California’s lawsuit against Westlands, raising Shasta dam?

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and his allies have filed a lawsuit to stop Federal water users from participating in the raising of Shasta Dam, a federal dam. … Plain and simple, this is a lawsuit waged against Central Valley farmers.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Water-rights dispute between Fallbrook, Camp Pendleton ends after nearly 70 years

After 68 years of litigation and more than a half-century of settlement talks, a dispute between the water district that serves Fallbrook and Camp Pendleton has officially ended. The agreement settles a lawsuit filed in 1951 and lays out how the Fallbrook Public Utility District and Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton will share water rights to the Santa Margarita River.

Aquafornia news Ridgecrest Daily Independent

Update provided on imported water goal

A firm hired by the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority is already in the initial phase to find sources of imported water for the valley, according to a progress report delivered at a Thursday board meeting. … Capitol Core Group, retained in March, is looking at what water supply options are available and how to secure funding to ultimately purchase and develop infrastructure to deliver into the valley.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Huntington Beach desalination plant: How it might have been operating by now

The slower timeline for Huntington Beach resulted in it facing new, stricter regulations and additional delays. The controversial plant still needs two major permits, opponents remain steadfast and a recent water-supply study raised questions about the cost and need for the project.

Aquafornia news Sonoma County Gazette

Sonoma County approves plan to offset groundwater fees in the Santa Rosa Plain

On Tuesday, May 21, the Board of Directors of the Sonoma County Water Agencyand the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors approved a plan to offset a fee that is likely to be imposed on groundwater users in the Santa Rosa Plain… Under the plan, the County and Sonoma Water would contribute up to $240,000 annually for three years to the Santa Rosa Plain Groundwater Sustainability Agency.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Public Water Now appeals Monterey County’s Cal Am desal approval

The organization best known for backing a public takeover of Cal Am’s local [Monterey Peninsula] water system filed an appeal of the Planning Commission’s narrow approval of a permit for the 6.4-million-gallon-per-day desal plant north of Marina and associated infrastructure. The appeal argues the desal project proposal fails to properly address several key details, including groundwater rights, and calls for the county to require a supplemental environmental review before considering the proposal.

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Aquafornia news Noozhawk

Santa Barbara Water Commission discusses proposed surcharge for “high strength” wastewater

As the city considers changes to its wastewater rates, its consultant, Nebraska-based HDR Engineering Inc., suggests users that send “high strength” wastewater to the city’s treatment system pay more because of the additional treatment costs. Domestic septic tank/portable restroom discharges, industrial laundry services and alcohol beverage manufacturers such as breweries, wineries and distilleries could be affected…

Aquafornia news KUOW

Drought emergency declared over nearly half of Washington

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has declared a drought emergency across nearly half the state. The drought declaration covers the Olympic peninsula, the North Cascades, the eastern Cascades and most of southwest Washington. It allows local governments to tap into $2 million in state funding to respond to hardships caused by the drought. … Snowpack is now at its fourth-lowest level in the past 30 years.

Aquafornia news The Ceres Courier

City to reluctantly extend water line to rural park

City water will be flowing to yet another community living in county jurisdiction with the state forcing the City Council’s Monday action to supply water service to the privately owned Ceres West Mobile Home Park. … The park, which was approved by the county in 1969, had limited options to supply drinking water to its residents because water from an on-site well exceeds state limits for arsenic and nitrates.

Aquafornia news E&E News

Cow manure: An unexpected climate solution

In 2016, California became the first state to pass legislation regulating dairy methane, requiring the farms to cut their manure emissions 40% by 2030. … Enter Neil Black. Black’s company builds multimillion-dollar projects at the state’s largest dairies to capture the gas.

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog

Blog: Evaluating landscape effects of turf replacement

As part of efforts by Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) to assess its 2014-2016 turf replacement program during the California drought, we evaluated how yards changed after converting a lawn through a MWD rebate in LA County. We also evaluated trends in participation across cities.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Belvedere reshuffles flood committee amid cost dispute

While Belvedere officials consider a series of flood control projects that could cost up to $27.1 million, the city has appointed a new advisory committee that represents some of the hillside homeowners who say that money shouldn’t come out of their pockets. … An engineering consultant has designed several iterations of the projects, which are meant to safeguard the community from the forthcoming effects of sea-level rise.

Aquafornia news Bakersfield Californian

Activists speak out against fracking on federal land in California

Kern’s oil industry took a pass Tuesday on a public hearing focused on the environmental impacts of fracking, handing the day to dozens of anti-oil activists who convened in downtown Bakersfield to rail against the technique and the threat of climate change. … The event was one of three hearings the BLM is hosting as part of its plan to reopen federal land in California to oil production.

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Aquafornia news KGET TV

Bureau of Land Management to hold meeting on White House proposal to expand oil drilling, fracking

The Bureau of Land Management Bakersfield office is set to hold a meeting Tuesday over a White House proposal that would expand oil drilling and fracking on more than a million acres of public land across the state. … The proposal includes 40 new wells over the next 10 years on roughly 400,000 acres of public land and 1.2 million acres of federal mineral estate — land where the surface is owned privately, but the mineral rights beneath the ground are managed by the federal government.

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Aquafornia news Jefferson Public Radio

Interior Department pulls support from Klamath dam removal project

Recently-appointed Interior Secretary David Bernhardt has rescinded a letter of support that Obama-era Interior Secretary Sally Jewell wrote in 2016. … Matt Cox is with the Klamath River Renewal Corporation, the non-profit formed to implement the dam removal agreement. He says rescinding Jewell’s letter has no legal effect.

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Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Blog: California’s dairy industry faces water quality challenges

Contaminated groundwater is an ongoing problem in some of the state’s poorest rural communities, particularly in the San Joaquin Valley. One big threat is nitrate, caused mainly by many decades of crop fertilization with chemical fertilizers and dairy manure. We talked to Anja Raudabaugh of Western United Dairymen about what can be done to address these challenges.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

‘Flint Is everywhere’: California farmworkers confront a tainted water crisis

Water is a currency in California, and the low-income farmworkers who pick the Central Valley’s crops know it better than anyone. They labor in the region’s endless orchards, made possible by sophisticated irrigation systems, but at home their faucets spew toxic water tainted by arsenic and fertilizer chemicals.

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Aquafornia news Napa Valley Register

Napa County moving ahead cautiously on watershed monitoring program

Cautiously, cautiously – that’s Napa County’s approach to creating a watershed computer model that could someday influence rural land use decisions in an effort to keep contaminants out of city of Napa reservoirs. Given the stakes, supervisors want stakeholders such as the wine industry and environmentalists involved in various decisions.

Aquafornia news The Press Democrat

Feds to provide flood aid for roads, but not for Russian River residents

Residents whose homes were flooded will not be eligible for financial aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency because state officials determined the amount of damage was insufficient to qualify.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Trump signs disaster declaration for flooded Northern California counties

President Trump signed a disaster declaration Saturday for 17 Northern California counties that endured battering rains and landslides this year, making them eligible for federal relief. The move followed three emergency proclamations this year by Gov. Gavin Newsom, who directed Caltrans to seek federal assistance for a string of brutal February storms that doused rural areas across the state, damaging roads and bridges.

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Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Opinion: Take action now to protect Central Coast public lands from fracking

On March 28, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order to promote increased oil and gas development… Then, in April 2019, in response to the President’s order, the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) proposed opening up more than 1 million acres of public land in California’s Central Valley and southern Central Coast to oil and gas production.

Aquafornia news CALmatters

Weakling or bully? The battle over CEQA, the state’s iconic environmental law

Inside the Capitol’s corridors and pro-development quarters around the state, CEQA is increasingly disparaged as a villain in the state’s housing crisis. … New Gov. Gavin Newsom, to fulfill his hyper-ambitious quota of new housing construction, has called for fast-tracking judicial CEQA review of housing, similar to that granted sports teams building stadiums. But the act’s environmentalist defenders are pushing back.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Weekly

Pacific Grove set to sell $6.3 million in water credits, thanks to recycled water project

The idea was to count the reductions in water consumption thanks to new irrigation sources, and count that water toward the city’s water yearly water allowance. After that, the city would make those excess water credits available for sale to the residents and businesses that had languished on the city’s water waiting list, sometimes for years.

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

Opinion: We were warned 150 years ago about our water shortage. We have to do better

The Colorado River — of which the Green is the biggest tributary — is the main water source for 40 million people. It’s already overallocated, and climate change is predicted to shrink flows by up to 50 percent by the end of the century. We’re finally coming to grips with those forecasts and beginning to heed Powell’s century-and-a-half-old warnings. But it’s taken drought and desperation to get us there, and we have to do better.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Dispute over Desert Hot Springs groundwater picks up steam in latest report

Mission Springs Water District alleged that Desert Water Agency, which also provides water to more than 100,000 Palm Springs and Cathedral City residents, made a board decision that violated a previous settlement between the two agencies. … Last month, the issue over groundwater management in Desert Hot Springs picked up steam when a study group formed by Mission Springs published a 16-page report that lambasted Desert Water Agency’s actions…

Aquafornia news Napa Valley Register

Health of Napa County watersheds takes centerstage

Napa County’s latest watershed symposium came at a time when tensions are high over how to protect trees and reservoirs in the area’s mountains. Close to 200 people from various backgrounds came to Copia on Thursday for an A-to-Z look at what’s happening in the watersheds. Scientists, elected officials, wine industry members and citizen activists all attended.

Aquafornia news The Argonaut

A ‘culture of noncompliance’

The agency charged with monitoring water quality standards throughout the Greater Los Angeles region found that local cities have committed more than 2,000 water quality violations within a five-year period, but the violators suffered little if any consequences.

Aquafornia news New Times San Luis Obispo

Pinpointed: Water officials name alleged culprit of TCE contamination near airport

A nearly four-year investigation into how a chemical known to cause cancer showed up in more than a dozen rural wells by the San Luis Obispo County Airport has finally concluded with an alleged culprit. Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board investigators say that Noll Inc., a machine shop on Thread Lane, is responsible for the trichloroethylene (TCE) leak…

Aquafornia news Siskiyou Daily News

Fundraiser focuses on stopping Klamath dam removal

Halting plans to remove four dams on the Klamath River was the theme of a well-attended fundraising event hosted May 4 by the Siskiyou County Water Users Association. Guest speakers, including Congressman Doug LaMalfa, Siskiyou County Supervisor Brandon Criss, former Klamath County Commissioner Tom Mallams and Attorney James Buchal, author of “The Great Salmon Hoax” discussed problems they foresee with dam removal which they believe is far from a done deal.

Aquafornia news Ventura County Star

Tainted tap water shut off for thousands in El Rio

A well for the Vineyard Avenue Acres Mutual Water Co. tested as having water with more than 10 milligrams of nitrates per liter, the limit set by the California State Water Resources Control Board, according to a letter sent to customers by the utility under state orders. The utility serves a discrete area of El Rio, so the problem does not affect other parts of the Oxnard area.

Aquafornia news KHSL TV

Paradise officials provide update on water supply recovery program

The Paradise Irrigation District said it plans on testing water from lot-to-lot instead of in zoned areas. The process will also give priority to people currently living in their homes or in temporary housing on their properties in Paradise. Kevin Phillips, the district’s director, said the majority of testing they’ve done shows no contamination in the main lines, but individual services lines are still showing volatile organic compounds, like benzene.

Aquafornia news Valley Public Radio

Unsafe drinking water is bad enough: But what if you’re the one tasked with fixing it?

When the federal government reduced how much arsenic it would allow in drinking water in 2006, the water system in Jim Maciel’s Central Valley community was suddenly considered unsafe to drink. Bringing that arsenic content back down to a safe level required a lot of work, as he explains to a few colleagues at a water leadership institute in Visalia.

Aquafornia news California Water News Daily

San Diego water board updates, renews Carlsbad desalination plant permit

Poseidon Water, owner of the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant, has received an updated permit from the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board (SDRWQCB) governing the desalination plant’s discharges into the Pacific Ocean. Additionally, the permit includes structural and operational changes to provide greater protection for marine life and water quality.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Friday Top of the Scroll: Disneyland, dozens of cities could be flooded by dam failure, engineers warn

Federal engineers are raising alarms that a “significant flood event” could breach the spillway of Southern California’s aging Prado Dam and potentially inundate dozens of Orange County communities from Disneyland to Newport Beach. After conducting an assessment of the 78-year-old structure earlier this month, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it was raising the dam’s risk category from “moderate” to “high urgency.”

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Aquafornia news Ventura County Star

Officials: Rule change needed to keep water flowing to fight wildfires

California agencies have appealed to air pollution control officials to change the rules after backup generators failed and water stopped pumping as wildfires burned last year. They said they need more time to test and maintain diesel-operated generators that power water facilities during a fire. Because of air pollution concerns, the agencies are limited to testing the diesel-powered generators as little as 20 hours per year in some cases.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Judge rules FEMA must reconsider floodplains plan

A federal judge in San Francisco ruled Wednesday to block the Federal Emergency Management Agency from moving forward with its plans to offer flood insurance to developers and property owners in 100-year flood zones in California, finding that the agency failed to consider effects development might have on endangered wildlife in those areas.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Tribal groundwater rights and SGMA: A new underlying tension?

At the 28th California Water Policy conference held in April of 2019, a panel discussed how tribal lands and tribal representatives, as independent nations, can be integrated into SGMA implementation, what some of the obstacles to doing so are, and how those hurdles might be transcended.

Aquafornia news KRCR

Yurok Tribe establishes rights of the Klamath River

The Yurok Tribal Council recently voted in favor of a resolution to establish the Rights of the Klamath River. According to the Yurok Tribe, the resolution “establishes the Rights of the Klamath River to exist, flourish, and naturally evolve; to have a clean and healthy environment free from pollutants; to have a stable climate free from human-caused climate change impacts; and to be free from contamination by genetically engineered organisms.”

Aquafornia news KSBY

Atascadero moving forward with 19% wastewater rate increase plan

Atascadero residents will likely be paying more for wastewater services starting in just a few months. The last time wastewater rates were increased in Atascadero, President Bill Clinton began began his first term in office and Seinfeld was one of the most watched shows on television.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

As PG&E dumps Potter Valley project, new suitors line up

California Trout, Mendocino County Inland Water & Power Commission, and Sonoma Water have officially put a foot forward to explore a planning agreement for the project’s future. The coalition is championing a “two-basin solution” that could mitigate the effects of the Scott Dam on fish populations in the Eel River while ensuring that the Russian River basin doesn’t lose its water supply, which Potter Valley residents have relied on for over 100 years.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Audit blasts San Francisco Bay watchdog on inaction

The San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission has “neglected its mission” to protect the bay and surrounding wetlands, the California state auditor reported Tuesday. The commission, which issues permits for activities like boating, dredging and dumping, has a backlog of 230 open enforcement cases, some decades old.

Aquafornia news Chico News & Review

Caution in the creeks: Metals, chemicals found downstream from the Camp Fire

When it rains, it pours. And the Camp Fire just keeps on pouring. The latest byproduct? Waterways testing positive for heavy metals, from aluminum to selenium, as well as chemical contaminants. And the most recent test results, released last month, show unhealthy levels of both throughout the county, primarily in Paradise and nearby creeks.

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Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Valley Water’s farm subsidy to remain, for now

Like everyone else in Santa Clara Valley who uses wells, farmers will see their groundwater production charges go up 6.8 percent this year. But unlike the others, they’ll continue to receive substantial subsidies. In approving the increased charges for well users, the Santa Clara Valley Water District board left intact for at least two years the current structure that allows farmers to pay only 6 percent of the amount residents and businesses pay.

Aquafornia news CALmatters

Commentary: Key conflicts roil California’s ever-evolving waterscape

The big conflicts are deeply interconnected and appear to be reaching their climactic phases. How they are resolved over the next few years will write an entirely new chapter in California’s water history, changing priorities and perhaps shifting water from agriculture to urban users and environmental enhancement.

Aquafornia news Klamath Falls Herald & News

Regulation headed for Upper Klamath Lake tributaries, Wood River

Oregon Water Resources Department is in the process of validating a call on Upper Klamath Lake tributaries, including the Wood River, filed by senior water right holders — the Klamath Tribes — on April 18. … Water users that irrigate can call the watermaster’s office if they believe someone with a junior water right to theirs is irrigating with water that should be coming to them.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Interview with Wade Crowfoot: Implementing Newsom’s “One California” portfolio approach for water

When asked about his priorities, California’s recently appointed Natural Resources Secretary quickly rattles off a range of topics: climate change; strengthening water supply resilience; and building water capacity for communities, agriculture, and the environment, among them.

Aquafornia news Sierra Wave

Owens Valley groundwater basin goes low

Over the short life of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, Owens Valley has gone from medium to high and now low priority. That prioritization would have had an impact three years ago. Medium and high priority basins are required to form an agency and sustainability plan; low basins are not.

Aquafornia news CALmatters

Opinion: Newsom administration is getting closer to water deals

With the administration’s leadership, representatives of farmers, cities and conservation groups are having productive negotiations on a complex package of actions that would increase river flows and improve fish habitats, collectively called a “voluntary agreement.” A possible final agreement is months away, but we are making progress.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

Hoopa’s Copper Bluff Mine listed as Superfund site

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officially added the Copper Bluff Mine in Hoopa to the Superfund National Priorities list, one of seven sites added across the county and the only one in California. … In the meantime, the mine continues to leak acid drainage. Anywhere from 3 to 500 gallons of contaminants are leaked into the Trinity River per minute…

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Stanislaus leaders support bottled water as alternative for small water systems

Stanislaus County will ask the state to consider use of bottled water as a permanent alternative for small public water systems that are in violation of safe drinking water standards.

Aquafornia news The Atlantic

Our Towns: National policies have local effects

Five years ago, Deb Fallows and I made the first of what became many visits to the farming town of Winters, California. … When we first visited five years ago, the main question for the area’s nut-tree farmers, and for California’s agricultural economy as a whole, was whether the state’s drought-ravaged water supplies could support such commercially valuable but water-intensive crops.

Aquafornia news Lake County News

Groups reach agreement to find path forward for Potter Valley Project

California Trout, Mendocino County Inland Water & Power Commission and Sonoma Water announced that they have entered into a planning agreement to explore pathways to relicense the Potter Valley Project in the wake of Pacific Gas and Electric’s decision to withdraw from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission relicensing process for the project.

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Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Central Coast may be opened to new oil and gas extraction

More than 725,000 acres of Central Coast land could be opened up for oil and gas extraction under a new plan led by the Trump administration. But due to local regulations — and economic realities — Santa Cruz County land appears unlikely to be affected even if the plan is approved.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Marina, Coastal Commission staff disagree over Cal Am right to desal appeal

Coastal Commission staff on Monday reiterated to The Herald that Cal Am can appeal the city’s denial under the state’s Coastal Act because the city charges an appeal fee. They called the city’s own rules “internally inconsistent” and noted the Coastal Act’s regulations supercede local ones.

Aquafornia news Cronkite News-Arizona PBS

A different border crisis: It’s not security or immigration, it’s sewage

People who live along the southern border all say the same thing: When it rains, it stinks. The reason is a failing, aging network of pipes that run from Mexico to wastewater treatment plants in the U.S. When heavy rains fall, the pipes often break and spill raw sewage on both sides of the border, causing not only a putrid odor but public health and environmental concerns.

Aquafornia news Stanford Earth

Toward safe and reliable drinking water for all Californians

California struggles to deliver safe drinking water to millions of residents. The challenges – often complex issues at the interface of human, legislative, technical, and geological dimensions – resist easy answers. Stanford experts explored possible ways forward at a recent panel discussion in Sacramento.

Aquafornia news Aspen Times

Colorado to make tough decisions when it comes to water usage in Drought Contingency Plan

The West is still in the midst of a long-term water shortage in Lake Powell and Lake Mead, primary reservoirs that serve 40 million people. For that reason, the Upper Basin states — Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and New Mexico — have to also come up with their own drought contingency plans. That means Colorado might be heading into choppy waters as one of the requirements of a drought contingency plan — demand management — could pit communities and regions against each other …

Aquafornia news The Harvard Crimson

Opinion: Harvard’s investment in land and natural resources

For rural communities in the central coast region of California, the name “Harvard” does not connote excellence. For these communities, where water is scarce and becoming scarcer, it evokes greed and exploitation. As California takes its first steps to regulate groundwater in the midst of a worsening water crisis, Harvard’s endowment fund is investing millions into vineyards that pump inordinate amounts of water from California’s critically overdrafted groundwater basins.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

‘Absurd’ delay in Paradise: Endangered frog species blocking Camp Fire cleanup

State officials tasked with debris cleanup say they have been directed not to enter an estimated 800 burned Butte County home sites within 100 feet of a waterway. They’ve been told to wait for representatives of several state and federal agencies to reach an agreement on environmental assessment guidelines.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg

California may go dark this summer, and most aren’t ready

The plan by PG&E Corp. comes after the bankrupt utility said a transmission line that snapped in windy weather probably started last year’s Camp Fire, the deadliest in state history. While the plan may end one problem, it creates another as Californians seek ways to deal with what some fear could be days and days of blackouts.

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Aquafornia news Klamath Falls Herand & News

Opinion: Only FERC will decide dam removal, not Compact Commission

Various parties have recently claimed that the Klamath River Compact Commission has authority over the proposal to remove four dams in the Klamath Hydroelectric Project. … This argument, while creative, is wrong. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (or FERC) will decide whether the proposed dam removal is in the public interest.

Aquafornia news CALmatters

Opinion: Storage is essential for California to achieve 100% green energy without blackouts

Counter-intuitively, the same environmental groups that have championed the state’s climate goals want to kill all pumped storage instead of evaluating each project on its own merits. … Come hell or high water, there is no way that we can get to 100% renewable resources, which, by nature, are intermittent and unreliable, without adequate storage.

Aquafornia news Santa Clarita Valley Signal

Sanitation district get 3 more years to complete chloride plan

State water regulators gave local sanitation officials three more years to carry out their plan to reduce the amount of chloride that ends up in the Santa Clara River. … The sanitation district … was mandated to reduce the amount of chloride, or salt, that discharges from wastewater treatment plants into the Santa Clara River, largely due to concerns by downstream farmers that chloride was damaging salt-sensitive crops such as strawberries and avocados.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

What’s in the Santa Ana River? Environmentalists conduct tests, collect trash at homeless camps

Armed with test tubes and trash bags, a team of environmental advocates are looking at homeless camps in Riverside as part of a broad effort to clean up the 2,840-square-mile Santa Ana River Watershed. The long-term goal is to protect the water and revive enjoyment of a 96-mile river that once was a center of life in Southern California.

Aquafornia news CALmatters

Opinion: California must adapt wastewater policy to climate change

In California, treated wastewater also is a critical source of water for the environment, and, increasingly, a source for recycled water. Climate change is worsening water scarcity and flood risks. Advancements in engineering and technology can help prepare wastewater agencies for a changing climate. But significant shifts in policy and planning are needed to address these challenges.

Aquafornia news Western Water News

Friday Top of the Scroll: With drought plan in place, Colorado River stakeholders face even tougher talks ahead on river’s future

Set to expire in 2026, the current guidelines for water deliveries and shortage sharing, launched in 2007 amid a multiyear drought, were designed to prevent disputes that could provoke conflict. … But as the time for crafting a new set of rules draws near, some river veterans suggest the result will be nothing less than a dramatic re-imagining of how the overworked Colorado River is managed…

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Regional water quality board to hold meetings in Newport Beach about proposed regulation of copper in bay

The Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board will hold workshops Thursday and Friday in Newport Beach about proposed copper regulation in Newport Bay. … Copper enters the water via “anti-fouling” paint on boat hulls. … But water experts say the copper also harms the gills and nervous systems of fish and kills invertebrates that other marine animals feed on.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Environment

California Central Coast, Bay Area to open for oil & gas drilling

A more than five-year moratorium on leasing land in California for oil and gas development will be coming to an end with a May 9 Interior Department plan to open up about 725,000 acres across the state’s Central Coast and the Bay Area for drilling. The decision comes just two weeks after the Trump administration released its plan to reopen more than 1 million acres of public land and federal mineral estate in eight counties in Central California to fracking.

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Aquafornia news Consumer Reports

Looking for info about bottled water quality? Good luck

Unlike tap water, there is no public repository of information for consumers to look up the quality of their favorite bottled water brand and see whether it is free of contaminants. The Food and Drug Administration doesn’t require companies to submit test reports each year for review… And while several states receive test results each year as part of the permitting process bottlers go through to sell their product, those are often available only through public records requests.

Aquafornia news The Recorder

Opinion: California’s bold step forward into the contentious world of wetlands regulation

In April 2019, the California State Water Resources Control Board unanimously approved a comprehensive new legal framework for protecting California’s wetlands. California has lost approximately 90% of its historic wetland areas, which have important water quality, species habitat and other environmental and economic benefits. … California has never had its own comprehensive wetlands protection law.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Weekly

Cal Am’s desal permit remains in limbo as Marina weighs what to tell the Coastal Commission

It was the best attended city council meeting that didn’t happen. … But when everyone filed into City Hall, no councilmembers were in sight. Only Assistant City Attorney Deborah Mall appeared. She said Cal Am had withdrawn its appeal at the last minute on April 29 and the council could not proceed with a hearing.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California to outlaw pesticide harmful to kids

The nation’s most productive agricultural state will ban a widely used toxic pesticide blamed for harming brain development in babies, California officials said Wednesday. The move would outlaw chlorpyrifos after scientists deemed it a toxic air contaminant and discovered it to be more dangerous than previously thought.

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Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Editorial: Don’t panic, but California has yet another water problem

It’s true that a report published late last month in the journal Environmental Health found a link between California tap water and cancer. The study noted high levels of arsenic, plus numerous other contaminants that may be more toxic in combination than they are separately. … The problem is very serious — but not necessarily statewide.

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