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Ted Cruz Has a Delta Smelt Plan: Disco Ball, a Little Barry White

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz, speaking at the state Republican Party Convention, dug into the state’s complex water policies Saturday, suggesting that it might be possible to replenish the Delta smelt population with a little romantic music and a disco ball.

More than a trillion gallons of fresh water have been dumped into the Pacific Ocean “because of a little three-inch bait fish,” Cruz said, saying the state’s environmental policies have overreached in protecting it.


OPINION: State Officials Must Maintain Smart Water Policies

Coachella Valley water agencies are again making the case that the state should ease its drought restrictions, especially for those here in the desert.

Officials argue that this region’s unique circumstances – the hot climate, a varying tourist season/year-round population mix that distorts actual per capita usage and access to groundwater as well as surface water sources – should be considered in the decision-making process rather than following a more one-size-fits-all approach statewide.

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Keeping Your Lawn Green

With the drought continuing in California despite El Niño, more and more homeowners are considering alternatives to thirsty lawns. But before pulling up the turf, consider your options and their advantages and disadvantages.

Grass typically uses about 60 gallons of water per week for every 10-by-10-foot area. That can add up in a hurry. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 30 to 60 percent of a household’s water usage goes toward landscape irrigation.

OPINION: Inevitable Changes in California’s Water Supply

California faces major changes in its water supply. The sooner everyone realizes these changes are coming, the better the state will be able to cope with what lies ahead.

Today’s changes are driven by efforts to end groundwater depletion, by sea level rise and loss of snowpack, salts and nitrate accumulating in groundwater, new invasive species, population growth and California’s globalized economy and agriculture.

Water Authority Plan Forecasts 14% Lower Water Use in 2020

Thanks largely to conservation efforts, the San Diego County Water Authority’s latest water management plan envisions the region will use 14 percent less water in 2020 than originally forecast.

The latest draft of the 2015 Urban Water Management Plan was released for public review on Friday. It is available online. The water authority estimates that future water demands will be about 14 percent lower in 2020 and 15 percent lower in 2035 compared to projections in the 2010 plan.


Why California’s New Groundwater Management Law is a Game Changer for Mine Operators

Ready or not, California’s new Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (“SGMA”) is here and mine operators should be vigilant in monitoring and actively participating in developments under the law. Previously, the use of groundwater was largely unregulated.  Now local agencies are in the driver’s seat when it comes to addressing a very complex problem: managing groundwater to ensure sustainability.

Earlier this week, environmental consultant Bob Anderson, of Geosyntec and Stoel Rives attorneys Wes Miliband and Tom Henry hosted a webinar about the implications of SGMA for mine operators.

Court Rejects Lawsuit to Drain Hetch Hetchy Reservoir

A judge on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit seeking to force the city of San Francisco to drain Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, a key part of the water system for 2.6 million residents of Bay Area cities stretching from Hayward to San Jose to San Francisco.

The ruling, by Tuolumne County Superior Court Judge Kevin Seibert, is the latest setback for Restore Hetch Hetchy, an Oakland-based group that says construction of the reservoir in Yosemite National Park 93 years ago was a grievous crime against nature that can be undone, restoring the submerged valley.

Region’s Long-Term Water Management Strategy Released for Public Review

The development of drought-resilient water resources and a sustained emphasis on water-use efficiency mean that San Diego County will continue to have a safe and reliable water supply for decades, according to the San Diego County Water Authority’s draft 2015 Urban Water Management Plan.

The draft plan — known as the 2015 UWMP based on when the updating process began — was released Friday for public review, starting a public comment period that will include a public hearing on May 26 during the regular meeting of the Water Authority Board of Directors.


BLOG: San Diego Water Authority Says Local Supply is Safe and Reliable

Releasing its draft Urban Water Management Plan (UWMP), the San Diego County Water Authority said that San Diego County will continue to have a safe and reliable water supply for decades. Urban Water Management Plans must be updated every five years by law.

The draft plan — known as the 2015 UWMP based on when the updating process began — estimates that the region’s future water demands will be about 14 percent lower in 2020 and about 15 percent lower in 2035 compared to projections in the 2010 plan.

After a Rush to Build Costly Water Treatment Plants, They’re Now Sitting Unused

Over a decade ago, Southern California water officials rushed to build or expand treatment plants so they could keep up with the demand for drinkable water. That cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

Now demand for water has fallen dramatically. The treatment plants sit largely unused during parts of the year and officials are fighting over how to pay for some of them.

There are two kinds of water: treated water, which has been cleaned up for drinking; and raw water, which comes from a river or reservoir and is not yet fit for human consumption.