One detail was omitted from last week’s write-up on the city of Stockton’s concerns about how the Delta tunnels might impact the city’s new water treatment plant. This is a bit wonky. Stick with me. The story is all about the city’s fear that water quality will deteriorate at the intake for its $220 million drinking water plant, forcing expensive treatment upgrades that could jack up rates, theoretically, by up to 200 percent. But it’s not just water quality that is of concern. It’s quantity, too. That may sound strange.
Archive for date: November 17th, 2016
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The city next week will be mailing out notices regarding a public hearing on Jan. 10 on proposed increases in water rates. Residential rates are proposed to increase by 7.75 percent for water used, plus an 8.75 percent hike in the fixed meter charge. The City Council, meeting in a workshop session Tuesday night regarding water rates, was told most of the “water commodity” rate increase reflects a pass-through increase from the San Diego County Water Authority, from where the city buys raw water for treatment in its municipal plant.
We’ve known for some weeks that Donald Trump’s transition team includes attorney David Longly Bernhardt, who has been tasked with managing the post-electoral turnover at the U.S. Department of the Interior. Bernhardt will be overseeing the hiring process for Trump’s new Interior Secretary, along with a number of important subordinate positions within the Department, including heads of agencies like the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Each year, businesses around the world are feeling growing financial impacts from water insecurity, said a new report released this week. “Thirsty Business: Why Water Is Vital to Climate Action,” is produced by the nonprofit CDP, which creates an annual report tracking how companies manage water resources and plan for the future. Ample supplies of freshwater resources are crucial for many businesses, but it’s also vital to efforts to decrease greenhouse gas emissions. Scientific studies have found that climate change will lead to higher risk of both droughts and floods.
Napa County is trying to make the case that it does a good job managing the underground reservoir beneath the Napa Valley that provides groundwater for rural homes, wineries and vineyards.
Groundwater levels beneath the main Napa Valley floor are five to 35 feet deep in the spring and the basin remains “full overall” despite the drought, according to a new, draft Napa Valley groundwater report.
“The conditions in the main Napa Valley subbasin have been stable for many decades,” said consultant Vicki Kretsinger Grabert, who worked on the report.
November 17, 2016 – A large upper-level ridge of high pressure dominated the Lower 48 States (CONUS) this USDM week, keeping much of the country warmer and drier than normal. Low pressure troughs moving in the jet stream flow brought precipitation to the Pacific Northwest, northwest California, and the Northern Rockies; parts of Texas and the Gulf of Mexico coast; and the coastal Southeast to Mid-Atlantic States and eastern Great Lakes.
Sacramento, California – Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia is pleased to report that the California Wildlife Conservation Board appropriated $14.5 million at yesterday’s hearing dedicated to the Salton Sea. The board voted to approve a grant allocation to the California Department of Water Resources for a cooperative project to construct 640+ acres of wetland habitat, including deep-water channels, shallow ponds, and nesting structures to enhance habitat for fish eating birds, on the edge of the Salton Sea at the terminus of the New River located seven miles northwest of the City of Westmorland in Imperial County.
It’s hard to think about floods after five years of drought. But in Sacramento, we don’t have a choice. Scientists tell us that climate change will bring drier years and more severe storms. Recent history shows this threat, as California has bounced between drought and flood. As the recent catastrophic flooding in Baton Rouge, La., makes clear, we can’t wait for rising waters to plan for floods. An overhaul in how California prepares for and manages floods is long overdue.
“We need to start a statewide dialogue on water,” said Dave Wenger, the Thursday keynote speaker at the AquAlliance Water Conference, which continues Friday at Sierra Nevada Brewery. California needs high-level discussions about overall water problems, rather than solutions that target only specific areas of the state, he continued. Those solutions are going to cost money, whether that means investing in levees, fish screens, new pumping stations or removal of infrastructure, he said. Wenger worked for 20 years for the Bureau of Reclamation in the early 1970s, as the “token environmentalist,” he told the group of about 60 Thursday afternoon.
The Bee’s post-election editorial, “California was a bulwark against Trumpism,” said that Trump must find it within himself to be president of the entire nation and not ignore California. Rather than go on a California apology tour, as The Bee suggests, perhaps Trump and Congress will deliver on something real for California – water for cities and farms. Eight decades ago, by developing a magnificent water-delivery system, the federal government delivered on a promise made to its own “rust belt” working class by developing the Central Valley into a domestic agricultural superpower.