Topic: Water Supply


Water Supply

California’s climate, characterized by warm, dry summers and mild winters, makes the state’s water supply unpredictable. For instance, runoff and precipitation in California can be quite variable. The northwestern part of the state can receive more than 140 inches per year while the inland deserts bordering Mexico can receive less than 4 inches.

By the Numbers:

  • Precipitation averages about 193 million acre-feet per year.
  • In a normal precipitation year, about half of the state’s available surface water – 35 million acre-feet – is collected in local, state and federal reservoirs.
  • California is home to more than 1,300 reservoirs.
  • About two-thirds of annual runoff evaporates, percolates into the ground or is absorbed by plants, leaving about 71 million acre-feet in average annual runoff.
Aquafornia news The 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 E&E News

Clean Water Act: Did a burning river really fuel landmark law’s passage?

The 1969 fire was not the first time the Cuyahoga River caught ablaze — it had burned at least a dozen times since the end of the Civil War — but it was the last. The Cuyahoga wasn’t the only river to catch fire, either. Between the 1850s and 1950s, urban waterways nationwide were routinely used as open sewers and dumping grounds for debris and pollution of all kinds, no matter how flammable.

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Aquafornia news Turlock Journal

Harder pushes for passage of water bill

The bill would require the Bureau of Reclamation to fast-track feasibility studies for four specific storage projects in the Central Valley, including Sites Reservoir, Del Puerto Canyon Reservoir, Los Vaqueros and San Luis Reservoirs, and provides $100 million in storage funding. The bill also leverages federal resources to identify prime locations for groundwater storage and recharge in California and across the Western United States.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Price of water 2019: Even without federal infrastructure deal, cities continue to invest

In the third year of the Trump administration, Congress and the White House have repeatedly discussed a multi-trillion dollar investment in the country’s roads, dams, levees, telecommunication networks, power grids, drinking water pipes, and sewage treatment plants. Neither side has agreed on such a plan, and a deal seems out of reach at the moment.

Aquafornia news KUNC

One small Colorado town ran out of water. How did it happen?

Conversations in the Colorado River basin about impending wide-ranging water shortages has created an anxiety in pockets of the West. It’s akin to a modern folk tale, a story passed from one person to the next, that one day water will be so scarce, whole communities will see their faucets turned off. That hasn’t happened on a wide scale, but this winter Paonia got a taste of that possible future.

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 Associated Press

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: Utah, other states urge California to sign 7-state drought plan for Colorado River

Most of the seven states that get water from the Colorado River have signed off on plans to keep the waterway from crashing amid a prolonged drought, climate change and increased demands. But California and Arizona have not, missing deadlines from the federal government.

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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 Las Vegas Review-Journal

Las Vegas water ranks high for hardness, report says

Thanks to the sediment-laden Colorado River, Las Vegas has some of the hardest drinking water in the nation. And you’ll never guess who wants you to know that: a company that sells water softeners.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Harmful algae found in Lake Oroville, advisory warns

The California Water Board released a Caution Advisory for harmful algae blooms Monday in Lake Oroville. The blooms of algae were discovered in the Middle Fork of the lake, according to an advisory released on the board’s Twitter Monday.

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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 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 The Mountain Democrat

County to add to its water portfolio

It only took 18 years, but the county is finally closing in on an agreement with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation for 15,000 acre-feet of water. … The water will be taken annually from Folsom Reservoir or from an exchange on the American River upstream from Folsom Reservoir.

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 Columbia Journalism Review

Meteorologists discuss how to warn the public about extreme weather

California knows the disastrous impacts of climate change. It has the worst air pollution of any state, and several of its counties have recently seen record-setting temperatures. … So perhaps it stands to reason that, this year, the 100-year-old American Meteorological Society held its annual Conference on Broadcast Meteorology in San Diego.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Opinion: Are California’s water operations as efficient as claimed?

In Part I of this series, we looked at the daily operations of Folsom Reservoir this past winter from January through March to see how much water from the reservoir was released or lost from the system as “spills”. Here in Part II, we address the same daily operations of Folsom Reservoir for the primary spring months of April and May.

Aquafornia news Arizona Public Radio

Good year for snow could delay Colorado River water emergency

The Bureau of Reclamation predicts levels at Lake Powell will go up 55 feet before the end of the year, and officials anticipate they will release nine million acre-feet downstream for the fifth year in a row. According to Bureau spokesperson Patti Aaron, the release from Lake Powell and increased flows from tributaries downstream will likely mean Lake Mead goes up by about four feet, keeping it above emergency levels.

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

NASA is tracking one of Earth’s most valuable resources — water

Water is a complex problem on Earth: Some places get far too little of it and some get far too much. That’s why NASA and its international partners are tracking the flow of freshwater across the world in hopes of improving access to it for the billions of us who depend on it.

Aquafornia news Porterville Recorder

Hurtado secures $15M for area drinking water projects

State Senator Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger) announced Monday she has secured a $15 million one-time investment of General Funds for the southern Central Valley. The funds will address failing water systems that deliver safe clean drinking water to California’s most vulnerable communities.

Aquafornia news KSBY

Cal Poly graduate invents sensor to monitor water usage on your phone

Flume Tech seems like a rather simple solution to a problem California has faced for decades. “We saw the state trying to encourage a way to reduce their consumption, but there wasn’t that feedback,” Flume CEO Eric Adler said. “No one really knew how much water they were using.” The Flume device tells you exactly that and about any leaks you aren’t aware of.

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 Manteca Bulletin

Turning sewer into gold

The 13 acres was part of a 56 acre parcel bought in 1966 for $34,333 to establish land disposal for the municipal wastewater treatment plant. Technology changes have eliminated the need for the land to dispose of treated wastewater. Those changes are what allowed the city to develop the 30-acre complex as well as create a 29-acre parcel for an indoor waterpark…

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

California’s wet winter raises wildfire threat

Awash in precious snow and water that will help meet the demands of the state’s 40 million residents, the wetness also is forcing California to confront an even greater threat of wildfire. The soaking spring nourishing the Jeffrey pines and sagebrush is giving way to a desert dry as soaring heat scorches the new growth into blankets of kindling.

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Aquafornia news

Opinion: Prepare river ecosystems for an uncertain future

Rivers around the world are struggling to cope with changing weather patterns. … California is emerging from a six-year drought1 that restricted water supplies and devastated trees, fish and other aquatic life. Across the US southwest, extended dry spells are destroying many more forests and wetlands. What should river managers do?

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

Water rate changes being considered for Dublin, San Ramon

Up for debate will be a series of adjustments to water rates and service fees charged for providing potable (drinking) water service to more than 20,000 residential customers. If the adjustments are approved, DSRSD officials estimate the average single-family residential customer will see an annual increase averaging about $40…

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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 Herald News

Rates for Fontana Water Company customers may go up again; hearing is planned June 24

Customers of the Fontana Water Company saw increases in their water bills the past three years, and now even more increases could be on the way. Earlier this year, San Gabriel Valley Water Company filed a general rate case application with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to increase water rates in Fontana by more than 20 percent over a three-year period.

Aquafornia news Bay City News Service

Crews begin stream maintenance for flood protection

The Sonoma County Water Agency, or Sonoma Water, began stream maintenance activities in or near more than 50 streams throughout Sonoma County this week to restore conveyance capacity and maintain proper function of flood channels.

Aquafornia news Fairfield Daily Republic

Win-loss budget outcomes for ag climate programs

The California Climate & Agriculture Network called the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program the most popular of the Climate Smart Agriculture Programs, and the only program that offered incentives for on-farm water conservation practices.

Aquafornia news CALmatters

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: Why fighting for clean water with climate change money worries some California lawmakers

Combat climate change, or clean up California’s water? Those alarmed by the Legislature’s decision to dip into a greenhouse gas fund to pay for clean drinking water may need to get used to it: constitutional restrictions on spending that money are set to expire in 2021. At issue is the decision to address one environmental crisis—the lack of clean water for one million Californians—with money set aside for fighting another: climate change.

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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 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 Curbed LA

9 photos of the LA River before and after it was paved in 1938

The Los Angeles River is on the verge of a new era. In the few years since the flood control channel was reclassified as a “navigable waterway,” the region has re-embraced its oddball amalgam of concrete and nature, which winds roughly 51 miles from the San Fernando Valley out to the ocean in Long Beach. A $1-billion-plus plan to restore 11 miles north of Downtown LA is (slowly) working its way through federal approvals.

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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 KQED Science

SFPUC growing plants in hospital-like nursery to protect water quality

Native California flora such as oaks, mugwort and monkeyflower are vital in watershed habitats to filter pollutants and prevent erosion. But theses species have often succumbed to quickly spreading disease. When the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission had to plant these natives in the Alameda Creek Watershed, it took extreme measures to prevent infection, but they were ineffective. So now, the commission is growing its own native plants. If successful, the project could provide a new model for restoring disease-ravaged ecosystems.

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

NOAA launches new global forecasting model

For the first time in nearly 40 years, the National Weather Service’s flagship computer prediction model has received a major makeover, which its leadership says will pave the way for improved forecasts.

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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 San Gabriel Valley Tribune

LA River, Arroyo Seco in Pasadena, to get $4.3 million from state budget for restoration

Two portions of channelized waterways within urbanized Southern California will receive more than $4 million from the 2019-20 state budget adopted Thursday to restore natural features by removing decades-old concrete barriers.

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 Whittier Daily News

Montebello deciding whether to sell water system, this is how much it would make

Four years after Montebello voters rejected the idea of selling the public water system, city officials want to take a second stab at it, but this time they don’t need the electorate’s approval. The city stands to get between $15.8 million and $22.6 million from San Gabriel Valley Water Co. The difference is based on whether Montebello leases or sells its water rights.

Aquafornia news The Planning Report

Blog: MWD achieves consensus on Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan

The agreement on how to address dwindling reservoir levels along the Colorado River comes after years of negotiation between two nations, seven states, ten tribes, and the countless internal interests involved. TPR presents the following interview with Metropolitan Water District General Manager Jeffrey Kightlinger discussing how a complex consensus among the parties was finally reached…

Aquafornia news KCRA TV

5 things to know about McKinley Park water vault

Construction has started on an underground water vault at McKinley Park in Sacramento. The vault, which will be built underneath the George “Butter” Cole baseball field, will hold rain and wastewater during big storms when the combined sewer system is at capacity. The goal is to reduce flooding.

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 Bureau of Reclamation

News release: Reclamation updates 2019 Central Valley Project South-of-Delta water allocations

The Bureau of Reclamation Friday issued updated Central Valley Project South-of-Delta allocations for the 2019 contract year. “I am pleased to announce that South-of-Delta agricultural water service contractors’ allocations have been increased to 75% of their contract total because of May’s snow and rain totals,” said Mid-Pacific Regional Director Ernest Conant.

Aquafornia news St. George News

Water officials tout Colorado River as reliable source of water for years to come

The question of whether the Colorado River system is a reliable source of water for the future was the topic of a presentation held at the Washington County Water Conservancy District on Thursday. … Utah is entitled to 23%, or about 1.4 million acre feet under the compact. Utah currently uses 1 million acre feet, Millis said. This leaves the state with 400,000 acre feet to left to develop.

Aquafornia news Yale Climate Connections

Phoenix, Arizona, a city of the desert, prepares for an even drier future

Arizona’s been in a drought for nearly 20 years. So the city of Phoenix has long worked to promote water conservation. Kathryn Sorensen is director of Phoenix Water Services. … But as climate change makes the region even hotter and drier, water scarcity will get worse. And it will be critical for businesses and residents to conserve even more.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Monday Top of the Scroll: California needs a big pot of money for wildfires. But how big? And who pays?

With a deadline to take action just weeks away, lawmakers and the governor haven’t settled controversial issues regarding the so-called wildfire fund: How much money does the state need and what portion of that will come out of the pockets of electricity customers? Lawmakers are looking to Gov. Gavin Newsom to take the lead and provide answers to one of California’s most high-stakes problems.

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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 Victorville Daily Press

Amethyst Basin dedicated

The Amethyst Basin flood control and groundwater recharge facility, aimed at meeting the water needs of the High Desert, was formally dedicated on Thursday. The 27.4-acre project, 10 years in the making, has been a cooperative effort between the San Bernardino County Flood Control District, the Mojave Water Agency, the City of Victorville and California Department of Water Resources.

Aquafornia news ABC News San Diego

Report: Water usage in San Diego region on the rise

According to a report from the research group Equinox Project, The Nonprofit Institute at University of San Diego, the average daily water consumption increased from 84 gallons per person to 91 gallons per person. That’s an increase of 8.3 percent. It’s still shy of the 119 gallons per day in 2007, but the usage has been steadily going up since restrictions were lifted.

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 The Wall Street Journal

Opinion: ‘The Dreamt Land’ review: California’s precious resource

The Golden State is cursed with some of the finest weather and richest soil on earth. Its luminous skies and airy loam have been crucial to California’s transformation into our most populous and agriculturally most bountiful state. But capricious nature has withheld one essential resource needed to sustain this dizzying growth—water. In his sprawling, provocative book “The Dreamt Land,” journalist Mark Arax examines California’s long-building water crisis with the keen, loving, troubled eye of a native son.

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 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

Blog: My Colorado River origin myth

Blythe is on the California side of the Colorado River where Interstate 10 crosses, with a freeway fast food/motel strip and the sort of beleaguered economy you see in desert ag towns of the Lower Colorado. Average per capita annual income here is $16,329, just 55 percent of the state average, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. I have a few different stories about why my life is so entwined with the Colorado River. This is one of them.

Aquafornia news Victorville Daily Press

Amethyst Basin dedicated

The Amethyst Basin flood control and groundwater recharge facility, aimed at meeting the water needs of the High Desert, was formally dedicated on Thursday. The 27.4-acre project, 10 years in the making, has been a cooperative effort between the San Bernardino County Flood Control District, the Mojave Water Agency, the City of Victorville and California Department of Water Resources.

Aquafornia news Lake County News

Supervisors approve $15 million contract with state for Middle Creek Restoration Project

The long-running Middle Creek Restoration Project, which is designed to massively reduce sedimentation and nutrient load in order to improve Clear Lake’s health, took another step forward this week. … The contract provides $15 million – or $5 million per year for three years – for the purchase and maintenance of properties as part of the Middle Creek Flood Damage Reduction and Ecosystem Restoration Project.

Aquafornia news Record Searchlight

Lake Shasta fills but brings unwanted side effect

Floating debris on the lake is common, but this year is worse than most years, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Agency officials blame it on the high lake level. As the lake level rises, the water picks up the wood and other debris along the shoreline, forest service officials said. The wind and currents in the lake can send huge rafts of logs, sticks, Styrofoam, plastic bottles, articles of clothing, tires and other debris into coves and boat launch areas.

Aquafornia news Western Water

Friday Top of the Scroll: As Californians save more water, their sewers get less and that’s a problem

Less water used in the home for showers, clothes washing and toilet flushing means less water flowing out and pushing waste through the sewers. That has resulted in corroded wastewater pipes and damaged equipment, and left sewage stagnating and neighborhoods stinking. … It’s a complex problem with no easy answers.

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

Don’t drink the water in Black Butte Lake

An algal bloom in Black Butte Lake could be harmful and even deadly if visitors or their pets swallow the water, the California Water Board said Thursday. Regardless of the heat, boaters, dog owners and other recreational users of the lake are asked to be aware of the dangers in the water since harmful algal blooms (HABs) were found in a recent water test.

Aquafornia news

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

Blog: Study: Small increases in Upper Colorado water use would cause big shortage risk

Increasing Upper Colorado River Basin water use by just 11.5 percent would double the risk that the Upper Basin fails to have enough water to meet its obligations under the Colorado River Compact, according to a new modeling study to be rolled out in a big meeting in Grand Junction, Colorado, next week.

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.

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 Los Angeles Times

Editorial: California lawmakers are turning cap-and-trade into the slush fund critics long feared

As part of the budget negotiations, lawmakers shelved Gov. Gavin Newsom’s controversial “water tax” that would have raised $140 million a year to help low-income communities finally clean up their contaminated water systems. Instead, lawmakers plan to fund the much-needed water cleanups with $100 million a year in cap-and-trade dollars — money that is paid to the state by polluters and which is legally required to be spent on projects to reduce the greenhouse gases responsible for global warming.

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 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.

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 Colorado Springs Gazette

Colorado governor signs ban on toxic firefighting foam that tainted Widefield aquifer

At an Arvada fire station, Gov. Polis signed into law House Bill 1279, which bans certain kinds of foam used in firefighting training. Such foam contains so-called “forever chemicals” that have contaminated drinking water in El Paso County and elsewhere.

Aquafornia news Hot Planet

Blog: Creeping toward permanent drought

At the beginning of the twentieth century, though, a faint fixed pattern becomes discernible among the randomness, a quiet but strengthening note against a background symphony. Some regions—California, the Mediterranean, Australia—dry out. It is a small, almost imperceptible-to-humans drying, but it is a pattern that no natural cycle can reproduce.

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 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 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 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 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 Napa Valley Register

California bill would fund research into ‘atmospheric rivers’

Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, announced Wednesday the 2019-20 state budget will include $9.25 million for research to better understand and forecast so-called atmospheric rivers, leading to improved flood control and water retention in a state grappling with the effects of climate change and chronic drought.

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 The Confluence

Blog: What does the future hold for irrigation management?

Climate variability, competition for water from other users including urban and environmental, and groundwater depletion threaten the sustainability of irrigated agriculture. To face these challenges, the irrigation industry must develop and adopt innovative technologies and management practices that optimize economic outcomes, while also minimizing environmental impact.

Aquafornia news Capitol Media Services

New Arizona water law provides legal protections to well owners

A new law signed by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is designed to provide legal protections to those who drill wells into underground streams they are not legally entitled to tap. The measure repeals existing laws that make it a crime when a well owner “uses water to which another is entitled.” … Now, that criminal penalty will be available only when someone knew they were breaking the law.

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 Scientific American

Ecological detectives hunt for San Francisco’s vanished waterways

Today subverted water is reappearing in inconvenient ways because we have constrained the space it once had to ebb and flow, and climate change is amplifying storms and droughts. To cope, cities are increasingly funneling runoff into green infrastructure such as permeable pavement and bioswales. But a scientific research center, the San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI), is proposing a more ambitious approach…

Aquafornia news St. George News

After lengthy permit process, Utah’s Lake Powell Pipeline ready for next step

Championed by state and local water planners and decried by conservation groups, the Lake Powell Pipeline project continues to be a focal point for discussion among Southern Utah residents. As to the current status of the pipeline project, a public comment period connected to a permitting process overseen by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission – more commonly known as FERC – recently concluded.

Aquafornia news

NASA explores our changing freshwater world

Through the Airborne Snow Observatory program, NASA and California’s Department of Water Resources use instruments mounted on airplanes to create high resolution estimates of snow water content for priority watersheds in the Western U.S. The collected data helps determine the timing of the spring melt, which has downstream effects on hydroelectric power generation and planning for how much water can be held in reservoirs.

Aquafornia news CALmatters

Opinion: Budget expediency overwhelms logic

Many factors go into making political deals – ideology, self-interest, expediency and emotion to mention just a few. Logic rarely enters the equation, and if it does, it usually dwells at the bottom in importance.

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 ABC News

Parched US Southwest gets reprieve as snowmelt fills rivers

A welcome surge of melting snow is pouring out of the Rocky Mountains and into the drought-stricken rivers of the southwestern U.S., fending off a water shortage but threatening to push rivers over their banks.

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

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 KPBS

Dams could protect ranchers from climate change’s drought, but could they also contribute to it?

Jason Mead at Wyoming’s Water Development Office says more dams could help ranchers survive the coming droughts, but some scientists say, building more dams might actually worsen climate change. University of Wyoming soil scientist Jay Norton says, dams that manage for flood control, for example, could have a damaging effect.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Opinion: California and water: Half environmental nightmare, half remarkable success story

The effort, particularly in California, amounted to a wholesale re-engineering of the existing hydrology to suit the needs of ranchers and farmers. It was “California’s irrigated miracle,” as Mark Arax calls it in his new book, “the greatest human alteration of a physical environment in history.” “The Dreamt Land” is Arax’s exhaustive, deeply reported account of this problematic achievement.

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 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 KRCR

Heavy debris at Shasta Lake is raising concerns for visitors

With June marking the start of the boating season, Shasta Lake has continued to see people out enjoying the water. One problem that is raising concern is the amount of debris people are finding on the lake.

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 AgNet West

Educating urban water users on agricultural water needs

The California Farm Water Coalition (CFWC) continues its effort to better educate urban water users about the issues the agricultural industry is working to overcome. The coalition has been shifting its focus to deliver information to a more select group of consumers in order to have the most beneficial impact.

Aquafornia news Bay Nature Magazine

The rising tide will catch us all eventually

This pesky tendency of ours to get as nigh to water as possible—and to construct our cities and infrastructure accordingly—is what journalist Elizabeth Rush sets out to chronicle and ultimately critique in Rising, her account of sea level rise from the various sinking edges of our nation. And nowadays, not falling in is becoming more and more difficult.

Aquafornia news KPBS

San Diego City Council approves $700M for infrastructure in 2020 budget

Mayor Kevin Faulconer touted an infrastructure investment of more than $700 million, the largest in the city’s history. A large portion of that spending will fund construction of the Pure Water program, which the city says will produce one-third of San Diego’s drinking water supply by 2035.

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 North Coast Journal

Yurok Tribe awarded UN honor for forest management practices

The Yurok Tribe recently became the first indigenous community in the United States to be awarded the Equator Prize by the United Nations Development Programme, which honors “innovative nature-based solutions for tackling climate change, environment and poverty challenges.”

Aquafornia news Yale Environment 360

As water scarcity increases, desalination plants are on the rise

A second plant, similar to Carlsbad, is being built in Huntington Beach, Calif., with the same 50-million-gallon-a-day capability. Currently there are 11 desalination plants in California, and 10 more are proposed. … For decades, we have been told it would one day turn oceans of salt water into fresh and quench the world’s thirst. But progress has been slow. That is now changing, as desalination is coming into play in many places around the world.

Aquafornia news Arizona Public Media

Arizona plans for drought contingency plan impacts

Earlier this year, the seven states that rely on Colorado River water signed a collective drought contingency plan. At a conference last week in Colorado, Arizona Department of Water Resources Director Tom Buschatzke said his state will take about half of the water reductions under that plan when a drought hits.

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

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 Public Policy Institute of California

Blog: Fostering sustainability in the San Joaquin Valley

California’s largest farming region faces two linked challenges: balancing groundwater supply and demand in overdrafted basins, and addressing water quality in the region’s aquifers. We talked to Ashley Boren, executive director of Sustainable Conservation, about tackling these issues in the San Joaquin Valley.

Aquafornia news Time

California sees nearly 240 wildfires within a week

Less than a year after the Camp Fire became the deadliest blaze in state history, California is once against facing a spate of wildfires that threaten its residents and land. There have been nearly 240 wildfires in California over the past week, causing one evacuation and two power shut-offs while fire fighters and utility companies attempt to prevent another catastrophe.

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Aquafornia news Associated Press

California taps clean air money to pay for drinking water

California legislative leaders agreed Sunday to spend $130 million a year to improve water systems in communities where people can’t drink from their taps… To pay for it, the state would tap a fund dedicated to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, a move that alarmed some environmental activists who say its set up an unfair choice between clean air and water.

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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

Fresno City Hall fountain up and running after year drought

The Cobb Fountain is back up and running after being down for a year because the pipes were stolen. The fountain that stands in front of City Hall, was first dedicated in 1991 and since then there have been several times when it has been out of operation. Now it is back.

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 KCRA TV

Effort seeks to curb wildfires’ impact on drinking water

The $14 million effort, which is being led by Placer County through a stewardship contract with the USFS, is aimed at thinning the forest across both public and private land in an area where the 2014 King Fire created concern when it threatened two key reservoirs: French Meadows and Hell Hole reservoirs. The fire burned so intensely in that watershed that it impacted taste, odor and water treatment costs.

Aquafornia news Tahoe Daily Tribune

Snowmelt this month in Lake Tahoe Basin will be massive and dangerous

May was an extension of winter and the snowpack actually grew. But June is here. Days are longer and temperatures are rising. And that monster snowpack is about to come melting down the slopes through rivers and streams with ferocity, pushing an already fast water flow into a furious rage.

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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 San Francisco Chronicle

Moccasin Dam, which came close to failure last year, is repaired and working

A leaking dam that prompted evacuations in the Sierra foothills during an intense rainstorm last year has been repaired and is again storing drinking water for 2.7 million Bay Area residents, San Francisco water officials said Monday.

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 Ventura County Star

El Rio neighborhood struggles with beleaguered water supply

The state issued a “no drinking” order for the 364 homes and businesses because of elevated nitrate levels, a contaminant linked to “blue baby” syndrome. Within a couple days, emergency hookups to two neighboring agencies were in place, allowing people to again drink the tap water. But that supply depends on fire hoses that wind along roadsides – a connection all agree has a short shelf life.

Aquafornia news Manteca Bulletin

Manteca used lowest amount of groundwater in 16 years during May

A much wetter than normal May coupled with conservation is credited with Manteca using the least amount of groundwater last month since 2003. Water from the South San Joaquin Irrigation District surface water treatment plant provided 70 percent of the 380 million gallons used citywide in May. The other 30 percent came from groundwater.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Blue-green algae treated at Lake Skinner near Temecula, as other lakes recover from blooms

The season of toxic algae blooms is here. A helicopter crew spread copper sulfate over Lake Skinner near Temecula on Thursday, June 6, to combat a cyanobacteria bloom — also known as blue-green algae — that had been producing some cyanotoxins and unpleasant tastes and odors.

Aquafornia news The Press

Planning the next century for the Contra Costa Canal

Transferring the canal to local control is likely good news for the 500,000 residents of East and Central Contra Costa County who depend upon the 48-mile-long canal for at least a portion of their water 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 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 Valley Public Radio

City of Fresno supports safe drinking water fund – with a catch

Two Fresno City Councilmembers made an atypical move at a press conference today by throwing in their support for a clean water drinking fund—as long as it doesn’t involve a tax.

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 Business Insider

7 places that are sinking faster than anywhere else in the US

Central Valley residents know their land is sinking. They’ve seen cracks in their walls, holes in their roads, and soil that’s started to slowly disappear below the foundation of their homes. Though the agricultural hub is still reeling from one of the worst droughts in California history, its encounter with subsidence — the gradual caving in of land — is far from unique.

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

State leaders hear about Tuolumne Utility District’s supply and infrastructure challenges

Members of the Tuolumne Utilities District gave California water leaders a tour focused on the challenges the county faces when it comes to water supply, with hopes that it will bring long-term solutions.

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 The Ukiah Daily Journal

Anderson Valley Unified Schools unveil new water management DROPS project

Anderson Valley Unified School District on Tuesday held its public opening ceremony to celebrate new gardens and rainwater catchment systems designed to improve the district’s stormwater pollution prevention infrastructure.

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 Stanford Water in the West

Blog: Keeping green during drought

A new study analyzes patterns of urban irrigation and vegetation health during extreme drought. Its findings could inform urban water conservation and water infrastructure development under climate pressures.

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 Chico Enterprise-Record

Heavy late-season rainfall leaves local rice farmers struggling

This year, the planting season was repeatedly interrupted by colder temperatures and exceptionally heavy rainfall. … The reason for so much delay? Rice fields need enough time after significantly wet storms to dry out for planting, and the types of storms received this May came in waves close enough together, with record amounts of water, to necessitate delayed plantings.

Aquafornia news Santa Maria Sun

Santa Maria residents urge city to resume water fluoridation

The city of Santa Maria is reconsidering its decision to discontinue the fluoridation of the city’s water supply after some residents pushed back on the move at a recent City Council meeting. Santa Maria began fluoridating its water in 2004, but stopped last year as a cost-saving measure. According to the city’s 2018-19 budget, not fluoridating the city’s water saves about $48,000 annually.

Aquafornia news Camarillo Acorn

Camrosa board to vote on rate hike

Despite all the rain locally, water rates could be going up for more than 30,000 city residents served by Camrosa Water District. According to a five-year water rate study released last month, Camrosa proposes residential water rate increases each year through July 2023.

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 KUNC

On stressed Colorado River, states test how many more diversions watershed can bear

The Colorado River is short on water. But you wouldn’t know it by looking at a slate of proposed water projects in the river’s Upper Basin states of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.

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Aquafornia news

Palo Alto makes sludge sexy, onboarding $30 million sewer system

The San Francisco Peninsula city opened its $30 million sewage sludge processing facility, replacing an incinerator operating since 1972. As part of Palo Alto’s regional water quality control plant, the project funded by California Water Board loans is designed to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, eliminate a hazardous waste stream and reduce energy costs.

Aquafornia news KQED

Hatchery-born coho salmon are helping save the species from extinction in the Russian River

The Russian River watershed was once a stronghold for Central California’s coho salmon population, but Obedzinski says things like extreme habitat loss and drought years have led to the downturn. According to California Sea Grant, the state’s coho has dwindled down to an estimated 15% of its population in the 1940s.

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 KEYT

Santa Barbara couple creates award-winning and eco-conscious sparkling water

You don’t have to travel very far to get pure artesian water sourced from below a dormant volcano in New Zealand. “We tap an artesian aquifer, and we bottle at source in this amazing beautiful area of New Zealand,” said Justin Mahy of Santa Barbara.

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 Ventura County Star

Big boost of water is headed to Ventura County’s overstressed groundwater basins

In a first-of-its-kind move, the Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency agreed to pay up to $3 million to help recharge overstressed groundwater resources in Ventura County. The money will buy roughly 15,000 acre-feet of water, which started spilling out of Santa Felicia Dam at Lake Piru on Monday.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Monday Top of the Scroll: Gov. Newsom abandons water tax, rejects some new spending in California budget deal

For the deal to come together, Newsom had to abandon his proposed $140-million tax on residential, commercial and agricultural water users — money he said was needed for helping communities without a reliable source of clean drinking water. … Instead, lawmakers will spend $133.4 million on clean water projects, with the lion’s share of the cash coming from proceeds raised by the sale of greenhouse gas emission credits — the centerpiece of California’s cap-and-trade program.

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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 The Modesto Bee

Editorial: How gambling losses could figure in bringing doctors, and clean water, to the valley

Assemblyman Adam Gray’s bill, which he calls the Inland California Healthy Communities Act, would provide a good start at the expense of a relatively few wealthy gamblers. … Smart ones deduct gambling losses from state and federal income taxes, costing California $320 million a year on the former. That’s money we could keep by simply discontinuing state deductions for wagering losses, Gray figures.

Aquafornia news Western Farm Press

In California, ‘enough’ water is never enough

Dr. Doug Parker, director of the California Institute for Water Resources, says while we would like to believe we are returning to the days when California rain and snowfall averages were normal more years than not, there is little or no indication that is the case. … “We’ll never be in a place where we can coast or just relax on water issues.”

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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 Cronkite News-Arizona PBS

Don’t get lulled by wet winter, Arizona meteorologists warn

It can be difficult to precisely define a drought in a state known for being hot and dry. … Arizona and the Southwest’s standards for drought are far different from standards in other parts of the country that may be wetter or have the capacity to store large volumes of groundwater.

Aquafornia news Microgrid Knowledge

US Navy seeks ideas for water and energy resilience on islands off California

The US Navy is seeking ideas to improve water and energy resilience for bases on two islands off the coast of California: San Clemente and San Nicolas. … The Navy hopes to collaborate with private industry “to develop holistic energy and water solutions” on the islands, according to the white paper request.

Aquafornia news Lake County News

Officials offer advice on staying healthy while recreating in lakes and streams

The state has created a visual guide with photos to help users recognize harnful algal blooms (HABs)… Direct exposure to a HAB, if it is toxin-producing, can result in eye irritation, skin rash, mouth ulcers, vomiting, diarrhea, or cold and flu-like symptoms. Pets can be especially susceptible, because they tend to drink while in the water and lick their fur after…

Aquafornia news Lake County News

President signs disaster relief bill; legislation to help victims of fire, flood

President Donald Trump has signed new disaster relief legislation that will help victims of wildland fires, floods and extreme weather, including: $1 billion  to address 2018 and 2019 floods, which could provide critical support in Lake, Glenn, Butte and Colusa counties; $349.4 million to repair local drinking water systems – including the water system in Paradise, destroyed by the 2018 Camp Fire.

Aquafornia news Daily Democrat

Woodland’s water quality is cleaner than it’s ever been

Woodland’s water is cleaner and safer to drink than in the past, according to the just-released 2018 Water Quality Report. The report, presented to the City Council this week, shows minimal levels of cancer-causing chemicals that were present years ago when the city still relied on well water. Today the city obtains its water from the Sacramento River after which is treated and delivered to homes and businesses.

Aquafornia news The Mountain Democrat

Save the Canal group files lawsuit against EID

Following through on its threats, on May 21 the group Save the El Dorado Canal filed suit against the El Dorado Irrigation District over plans to pipe the El Dorado Canal (also called the Upper Main Ditch) in Pollock Pines. … The canal is seen as a historical, environmental and recreational asset in the community as well as a conveyance that protects and enhances property values…

Aquafornia news Yale Environment 360

Americans consume tens of thousands of microplastic particles every year

Americans consume more than 70,000 microplastic particles every year from the food they eat, the water they drink, and the air they breathe, according to a new study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. Scientists warn that while the health impacts of ingesting these tiny particles are largely unknown, there is potential for the plastic to enter human tissues and cause an immune response, as well as release toxic chemicals into the body.

Aquafornia news Rolling Stone

Mark Arax interview: Why California’s water-obsessed farmers vote for Trump

California is sinking. Literally. Right before our eyes, even as we struggle to see it. In parts of the state’s Central Valley, the 50-mile-wide and 400-mile-long agricultural engine of America immortalized by John Steinbeck and Joan Didion, the earth is receding back into itself at a rate of more than a foot per year. Why? The ceaseless drilling and pumping of water to fuel a region that produces one quarter of the nation’s food.

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 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 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 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 KTVU

Thursday Top of the Scroll: Water, water everywhere: Good and bad of California’s rising reservoir levels

“Use it or lose it” is what state and federal water managers in California are wrestling with as one of the biggest precipitation years has the mountains packed with snow and reservoirs loaded to the brim. For the state, water is liquid gold that feeds many people, animals, trees, and industries. But, if not well managed, it can also present great danger.

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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 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 National Public Radio

Returning to Paradise

Seven months ago, the California Camp Fire ravaged through Butte County destroying thousands of homes and ruining crucial infrastructure. Water is still unsafe to drink and toxic debris is still waiting to be taken away.

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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 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 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 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 Daily Universe

Lake Powell’s water levels on the rise — for now

Lake Powell is benefitting considerably from this year’s runoff following a strong snow year in the Rocky Mountains. The lake has risen 16 feet in the last month and is experiencing an inflow of 128% the average.

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Aquafornia news Fox 26 News

Homeowners near San Joaquin River fear rising water levels

Parts of the San Joaquin and Kings Rivers are closed to recreation. But the high water levels don’t just mean people’s vacations are getting cut short. … Hilda Warren lives near the river and says she’s starting to get worried, watching the water levels rise day by day.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Opinion: Water management is tough. Let’s tackle it together

Of all the issues that have crossed Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk during his first 100 days in office, water might very well be the most complex. … I am an almond grower from Merced County, and we in the California almond community are all rooting for the governor, his fellow policymakers and regulators to succeed in finding viable solutions and common ground.

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 Bloomberg

Aberdeen is said to buy water plant for more than $1 billion

An affiliate of Aberdeen Standard Investments has agreed to buy the Carlsbad desalination plant in Southern California for more than $1 billion, according to people with knowledge of the matter. A transaction could be announced as soon as this week, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.

Aquafornia news Cloverdale Reveille

Coming together for the Potter Valley Project

Last week three local entities — California Trout, Mendocino County Inland Water and Power Commission (IWPC) and Sonoma Water — announced  they will be signing a project planning agreement with the hopes of looking at pathways to relicense the Potter Valley Project. The Potter Valley Project is a hydropower project that sits in the middle of the Eel River and Russian River watershed basins and is integral in providing water to both Mendocino County and northern Sonoma County.

Aquafornia news

Massive Sierra snowpack is 33 times bigger than last year’s

The marathon stretch of unsettled weather means the reservoirs are brimming, the rivers are rushing, the waterfalls are spectacular, and people are still skiing in fresh powder in Tahoe. But perhaps the most noteworthy outcome is a remarkably gargantuan snowpack blanketing the mountain range straddling California and Nevada. Right now, it’s even bigger than the 2017 snowpack that pulled the state out of a five-year drought.

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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 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 U.S. Geological Survey

News release: J.W. Powell’s perilous river expedition

May 24, 2019, marked the 150th anniversary of the beginning of John Wesley Powell’s ambitious expedition through the canyonlands of Utah, Colorado, and Arizona, including the Grand Canyon. … In a new USGS story map, readers can follow Powell’s epic journey from a remote sensing perspective.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

California Water Commission: DWR’s climate change vulnerability assessment

In order to address the impacts of climate change on the state’s water resources, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) has been developing its own comprehensive Climate Action Plan to guide how DWR is and will continue to address climate change for programs, projects, and activities over which it has authority.

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 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 Monterey County Weekly

A long-awaited bill to fund drinking water systems in rural areas faces decision time

By the State Water Resources Control Board’s estimates, more than a million Californians don’t have safe drinking water flowing through the pipes into their homes. … As Gov. Gavin Newsom prepares to send his revised $213 billion budget to the legislature for approval, a trailer bill proposes that the legislature appropriate $150 million a year to a Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund.

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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 Point Reyes Light

SPAWN to restore Jewell floodplain

The Salmon Protection and Watershed Network’s largest conservation project to date is moving upstream. This month the group secured over half a million dollars to complete the second phase of its effort to improve habitat for endangered salmon in Lagunitas Creek between the ghost towns of Jewell and Tocaloma.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Mark Arax’s ‘The Dreamt Land’ traces California’s fear of a handful of dust

On the ground, it’s hard to get a fix on the Central Valley; it flashes by as dun-colored monotony — a sun-stunned void beyond the freeway berms. … But in “The Dreamt Land,” former L.A. Times reporter Mark Arax makes a riveting case that this expanse … as much as the world cities on its coast, holds the key to understanding California.

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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