From the Associated Press:
Gov. Jerry Brown has issued an executive order he says will help California’s agriculture industry by streamlining the approval process for water transfers in the state.
The order, issued on Monday, directs state water officials to expedite the review and processing of voluntary transfers of water and water rights.
Governor Jerry Brown Issues Executive Order to Streamline Approvals for Water Transfers to Protect California’s FarmsPosted by: Aquafornia on May 21, 2013 at 8:59 am
From the Sierra Wave:
With near record-low precipitation in California this year, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today issued an Executive Order to streamline approvals for voluntary water transfers to assist California’s agricultural industry.
Posted by: Aquafornia on May 21, 2013 at 8:58 am
From the Fresno Bee:
With a new college and thousands of homes planned near Millerton Lake, Fresno County leaders have begun looking at whether the rural stretch between the lake and the city of Fresno may be ready for development.
The Board of Supervisors today will consider proceeding with a $94,000 study of the five-mile expanse between Fresno’s northern edge and just south of the town of Friant.
Posted by: Aquafornia on May 21, 2013 at 8:56 am
From the Marysville Appeal Democrat:
When Rick Butler’s father became ill in February 2012, he never thought the cause was the well water his parents drank and showered in every day.
Now, the Regional Water Quality Control Board is testing privately owned water wells in El Margarita Estates, the neighborhood where Butler’s father lived.
Posted by: Aquafornia on May 21, 2013 at 8:55 am
From the Chico Enterprise Record:
Put a hold on water transfers out of the area.
That’s the proposal being made by Tony St. Amant, a citizen who follows Sacramento Valley water closely. He’s bringing the idea to the newly formed Northern Sacramento Valley Integrated Regional Water Management Group (www.nsvwaterplan.org).
Posted by: Aquafornia on May 21, 2013 at 8:54 am
From the Riverside Press-Enterprise:
The latest chapter in the Soboba Indian water rights settlement has opened with formation of a watermaster committee charged with managing San Jacinto Valley groundwater supplies to ensure there is enough to serve all users for years to come.
The valley has multiple underground water basins, like teacups, and over the decades, users have pumped out more water than can be replenished by rain and runoff.
Posted by: Aquafornia on May 21, 2013 at 8:53 am
A draft environmental impact report (EIR) for the City of Santa Cruz’s proposed 2.5 MGD (9,462 m3/d) SWRO project was released for public comment last week. The project, which has been jointly proposed by the City and the adjoining Soquel Creek Water District, would supply 2.5 MGD of desalted seawater, with the capacity for future expansion to 4.5 MGD (17,000 m3/d).
Posted by: Aquafornia on May 21, 2013 at 8:52 am
From the Davis Enterprise:
One of California’s greatest environmental success stories has been the partnership between Sacramento Valley rice growers and wildlife managers to support wintering waterfowl. Farmers have shown they can make good money in the off-season by flooding their harvested fields to grow ducks and geese — attracting fee-paying hunters.
Posted by: Aquafornia on May 21, 2013 at 8:51 am
From the San Diego Union Tribune:
With another dry winter behind San Diego County and a need for more water, customers in the Helix Water District look to be facing another rate hike soon.
The Helix Water District Board held an evening workshop last week at which its five-year projection and potential water rates were discussed.
Posted by: Aquafornia on May 21, 2013 at 8:50 am
From the Whittier Daily News:
Responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the Whittier Narrows ground water treatment plant transferred Friday from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to the state Department of Toxic Substances Control.
The two agencies also announced that the San Gabriel Valley Water Co. would take over from the city of Whittier the operation of the 11-year-old plant.
Posted by: Aquafornia on May 21, 2013 at 8:49 am
From the NRDC Switchboard Staff Blog:
This April NRDC released an issue paper highlighting five Southern California urban water agencies’ plans to reduce their reliance on water from the Bay-Delta ecosystem and the Colorado River. If fully implemented, by 2035 these agencies could save 40 billion gallons of water per year from these over-appropriated water supplies. This substantial planned water savings demonstrates how the employment of alternative water supplies could reduce pressure on water-strapped aquatic ecosystems.
Posted by: Aquafornia on May 21, 2013 at 8:48 am
From the Modesto Bee:
The largest public works project in Modesto history is under way at the city’s sewer treatment facility west of town. When completed in 2016, the plant will clean waste water so it can be released directly into the San Joaquin River, complying with stricter standards mandated by the state water board.
Posted by: Aquafornia on May 20, 2013 at 9:00 am
Welcome back! Here’s the weekend wrap-up:
Posted by: Aquafornia on May 20, 2013 at 8:59 am
At the top of the scroll: following three years of study and approximately 100 meetings, the Delta Stewardship Council Adopts Final Delta Plan, Implementation Begins. The the Delta Plan is a management plan for the Sacramento San Joaquin Delta intended to meet the coequal goals of water reliability and ecosystem restoration.
Meanwhile, NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service West Coast salmon coordinator advocated for “good science and good sense” as the Bay Delta Conservation Plan moves forward. Elsewhere, the Vacaville Reporter reported, Delta plan a concern for Solano County officials. And in the Stockton Record, Jerry Meral, Natural Resources Agency deputy secretary for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, wrote; “it is very important to understand that the total amount of water to be diverted from the entire Delta under Gov. Edmund G. Brown’s plan will not increase.” Meanwhile, in the San Jose Mercury News, Paul Helliker, deputy director for Delta and statewide water management at the state Department of Water Resources, wrote. “We must give first priority to the security of the state’s water supply from Contra Costa County to San Diego. BDCP contributes to that security.”
For those wishing to learn more about the Sacramento San Joaquin Delta, the Water Education Foundation’s Bay Delta Field Trip takes place June 12-14.
Last Week’s Top Stories: The most viewed story was Senate Overwhelmingly Approves Water Infrastructure Bill (Sacramento Bee). The most viewed commentary was “Sea-to-sea Canal is the Solution” (Palm Desert Sun). Video of the Week: A Second Chance for Sea Lions (New York Times).
What’s on the Calendar? This week there will be a ” 1.5-day technical and policy symposium focusing on managed aquifer recharge in the urban environment.” Sponsored by the Groundwater Resources Association of California, the symposium takes place May 22-23 in Burlingame.
From the Association of California Water Agencies:
The U.S. Department of the Interior on May 16 announced the release of updated draft rules for hydraulic fracturing on public and Indian land….the updated draft proposal maintains the three main components of the initial proposal made in 2012. The proposal: requires operators to disclose the chemicals they use in fracturing operations; improves assurances that fluids used during fracturing are not contaminating groundwater; and ensures that oil and gas operators have a water management plan in place for handling fluids that flow back to the surface.
In California, several bills related to hydraulic fracturing are moving through the Legislature this year. Additionally, the California Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) is expected to release discussion draft regulations on fracturing in coming weeks.
Posted by: Aquafornia on May 20, 2013 at 8:58 am
From the Chico News and Review:
California Democrats are making a strong push toward a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing that would allow for more comprehensive study of the oil-extraction method’s potential effects on the environment.
Three bills advanced by a California State Assembly committee—Senate Bill 4 by Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills), Assembly Bill 1323 by Assemblywoman Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), and Assembly Bill 1301 by Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica)—propose to halt the practice entirely for the foreseeable future, according to The Sacramento Bee. Opponents of the bill, including the Western States Petroleum Association, maintain there is no evidence to suggest fracking is unsafe.
Posted by: Aquafornia on May 20, 2013 at 8:57 am
From the Daily Caller:
The Obama administration’s new rules governing hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, are drawing criticism from environmentalists and the oil and gas industry alike.
The proposed rules by the Department of Interior (DOI) require that companies drilling on federal lands disclose the contents of their fracking fluids and that oil and gas companies ensure no fluid escapes their wellheads during the process.
Posted by: Aquafornia on May 20, 2013 at 8:56 am
A war of words is brewing over hydraulic fracturing and efforts to ban or limit it in California.
Activists who believe they’ve created negative buzz around the oil and gas extraction process also called “fracking” have launched a new battle: persuading the state’s Legislature to look at also restricting different drilling techniques. Green groups warn that other oil recovery methods underway are equally risky, including one they fear could rapidly balloon in use.
Because those aren’t labeled as “hydraulic fracturing,” proposed moratoriums and other restrictions might not apply.
Posted by: Aquafornia on May 20, 2013 at 8:55 am
From the San Diego Union Tribune:
Fracking is revolutionizing world energy markets and creating vast numbers of jobs and immense wealth. California should not sit the boom out because of green disinformation. On this issue, Sacramento should heed Washington.
Posted by: Aquafornia on May 20, 2013 at 8:54 am
From the Imperial Valley Press:
The amount of water that the Imperial Irrigation District is expected to pay back to the Colorado River keeps rising. In addition to nearly 180,000 acre-feet of water that the IID ordered in excess over the last two years and a projected overrun for 2013 estimated at 13,000 acre-feet of water, the IID is also expected to repay nearly 47,000 acre-feet of water it put in the Salton Sea for environmental mitigation in 2010.
Posted by: Aquafornia on May 20, 2013 at 8:53 am
From the Coloradoan:
The Colorado River’s winter whisper in the Kawuneeche Valley was becoming a quiet spring roar last week as the stream hinted at the beginnings of the snowmelt’s pell-mell tumble off the mountains.
But not a drop of that snowmelt cascading into the Colorado River will reach the Pacific Ocean. The last time the Colorado River reached its delta at the Sea of Cortez was in 1998.
Posted by: Aquafornia on May 20, 2013 at 8:52 am
From the North Bay Business Journal:
A number of new regulations related to dirt, air, water and energy are facing the North Coast wine business.
In Napa County, vintners and growers trade groups are concerned about a coalescing county climate action plan that includes specific numerical targets for greenhouse gas reduction.
Posted by: Aquafornia on May 20, 2013 at 8:51 am
From the Sacramento Bee:
Just months after California voters passed Proposition 30 to stave off education cuts, a push is under way to ensure that the next stream of higher education funding flows out of the ground.
Posted by: Aquafornia on May 20, 2013 at 8:50 am
From the San Francisco Examiner:
In response to a steady increase in the price it pays to buy water from San Francisco, Redwood City wants to increase its monthly water and sewer rates by 9 percent a year for the next three years.
Posted by: Aquafornia on May 20, 2013 at 8:49 am
Besides inheriting the current policy that seeks to end L.A.’s use of coal power by 2025, the winner of Tuesday’s mayoral election will face a host of environmental challenges, including the need to increase the local supply of water, maintain momentum on mass transit projects, and fight pollution in toxic hotspots such as Boyle Heights.
Posted by: Aquafornia on May 20, 2013 at 8:48 am
From the Los Angeles Times:
In striking its balance, Steinberg’s bill leans in the direction of environmental protection rather than rewriting the law to open the construction floodgates, and that’s fine. Builders see this as minor progress, and there may be further emendations to be discussed in the years ahead. But better to err on the side of caution, measure the results of this modest reform and then see what, if anything, needs modification, rather than rush ahead and possibly undermine the law’s environmental protections.
Posted by: Aquafornia on May 20, 2013 at 8:46 am
From the Modesto Bee:
The State Water Project is not like any other state department. The enterprise faces fierce competition for employees and energy supplies.
State government constraints on hiring, contracting, purchasing spare parts and paying competitive wages reduce reliability and efficiency, and drive up costs.
In 2010, the Little Hoover Commission recommended moving the State Water Project into a separate, independent state-owned water authority to “create an organization designed specifically to operate the project.” Brown and lawmakers should dust off that report and seriously consider its recommendations.
Posted by: Aquafornia on May 20, 2013 at 8:45 am
California’s Air Resources Board states that more than 400 million metric tons of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced by 2020 to meet our legal mandate. They estimate that roughly 30 percent of those reductions will come from the cap-and-trade system while the rest will come from our regulations for cleaner cars, renewable energy and energy efficiency regulations.
California should provide limited space to allow “sector-based” forest carbon offsets into our cap-and-trade system for only those tropical states that meet strict economywide rules.
Posted by: Aquafornia on May 20, 2013 at 8:44 am
From the Monterey Herald:
Do not underestimate the potential of groundwater replenishment (GWR) as an important part of the solution to the Monterey Peninsula’s water problem.
It is not yet in the Peninsula’s household lexicon, but it is picking up steam. Several developments are promising. We anticipate that the forthcoming California Public Utilities Commission workshop on GWR in San Francisco on June 12 will add impetus.
Posted by: Aquafornia on May 20, 2013 at 8:43 am
From Fox and Hounds:
The lesson is that big deals on water will always be nearly impossible, so, if they are to have any chance of success, they must incorporate local knowledge. And, since big deals in California almost always require the ratification of the people, it’s not just dealmakers who should visit the Delta. We Southern Californians are particularly ignorant of where our water comes from. We ought to be informing ourselves.
Posted by: Aquafornia on May 17, 2013 at 9:00 am
From the Associated Press:
A California agency has unanimously adopted a broad, long-range plan to manage the ailing Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.
The Delta Stewardship Council voted 7-0 on Thursday to approve the final version of the Delta Plan, a blueprint for restoring the delta’s ecosystem and improving water supply reliability.
The plan does not call for specific construction projects, but contains policies and recommendations for managing growth in the delta, reducing reliance on delta water and habitat restoration, among others.