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State lets local water boards set conservation goals

State regulators have approved new water conservation rules that could loosen water restriction imposed by Gov. Jerry Brown last year.

The State Water Resources Control Board voted 4-0 Wednesday to allow local water districts to set their own water savings targets based on the water supply and demand forecasts for their areas, the Los Angeles Times reported. As a result, areas of the state that received a lot of rain this winter and areas that purchase water from suppliers with adequate supplies will be able to relax restrictions this summer.


Judge Finds Fault With “Delta Plan”

A plan that was supposed to serve as a comprehensive roadmap for the Delta through the year 2100 now must be partially rewritten, after a judge this week ruled on complaints stemming from no fewer than seven lawsuits.The “Delta Plan,” as the document is known, had been challenged by players on multiple sides of California’s water battle — by environmentalists, by Delta farmers, and by Southern California water users who rely on the Delta for a portion of their water supply.

Groundwater overdrafting facing new regulations

As a consequence of the drought, state water officials are moving toward regulations preventing overdrafting of groundwater basins.
The California Water Commission approved regulations Wednesday that will guide creation of sustainability plans by local groundwater agencies. For more than a century, groundwater pumping in California has been mostly unregulated.
Groundwater supplies over a third of the water Californians use. Unrestrained pumping in recent years has driven groundwater to lowest recorded levels in parts of the San Joaquin Valley. It has caused overlying land to fall, or subside, in some places. Subsidence threatens bridges, aqueducts, roads, and other infrastructure.

Inside The Looming Disaster of the Salton Sea

The lake is drying up, uncounted dead fish line the shore, and the desert town is losing people.

It could be the plot of a post-apocalyptic movie set in the future, but this is actually happening here and it has been going on for years. It wasn’t always like this, of course. There was a time when this town was booming. There was a time when the Salton Sea, California’s largest lake, was the “French Riviera” of the state, and the pride and joy of Imperial County.

California Water Commission Approves Regulations to Guide the Sustainable Groundwater Management Plans of California Communities

California today moved a big step closer to implementation of an historic law to protect groundwater basins from overdraft, as the California Water Commission approved regulations that will guide creation of sustainability plans by local groundwater agencies. Approval of the regulations advances the implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), enacted by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. in September 2014 after more than a century of largely unregulated groundwater pumping in California. Groundwater supplies over a third of the water Californians use on average. In drought, some regions rely on groundwater for 60 percent or more of their water supplies.

OPINION: Don’t Build Wastewater Plants Until They’re Needed

The State Water Resources Control Board is reconsidering the state’s water supply and conservation regulations. Meanwhile, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 is being implemented and Valley cities are updating their pre-drought 2010 Urban Water Management Plans.

This convergence of state, regional and local regulatory regimes provides an opportunity to address urban water reuse in the city of Merced and other Valley communities.

Sierra Madre Excess Water Use Penalties to Increase

This year’s El Niño rains have had a limited impact on our part of the state. Water conservation remains as critical as ever as California enters into its fifth year of drought. Sierra Madre City Council approved a measure earlier this month that would increase the penalty rate assessed on excess water use.

The City of Sierra Madre would like to thank its water-wise customers for doing their part to make every drop count. The latest water billing numbers for May show 75% of Sierra Madre customers met, or outperformed, their water conservation targets.

‘Early warning signal’: Lake Mead hits historic low

Lake Mead’s surface Wednesday evening hit its lowest level since the man-made reservoir was created by the building of the Hoover Dam in 1935.

The surface of the lake — a critical source of water for Nevada, California, Arizona and Mexico — is expected to drop lower in the coming weeks, but rebound before the beginning of next year, when jurisdictions would be asked to accept shortages in supply.


OPINION: Prepare Now for Wildfires

The risk of wildfires is nothing new to Californians and Auburn residents. Drought or no drought;the truth is California’s Mediterranean climate lends itself perfectly to wildfires. They are a natural part of our ecosystem. There is no doubt that the rain this winter has been great, but don’t let it fool you, the risk for wildfires is still high.

While the fire-prone American River Canyon this summer will be filled with fuel for a major wildfire, almost all of Placer County, and especially the Auburn area, is at risk for wildfires.