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Sources: Oklahoma’s Fallin is Leading Candidate for Interior Secretary

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin is emerging as President-elect Donald Trump’s leading contender for interior secretary, three people close to Trump’s transition team told POLITICO.

Fallin, a Republican who was in contention to serve as Trump’s vice president, has been the governor of Oklahoma since 2011. Before that, she served in the U.S. House. She also chaired the National Governors Association from 2013 to 2014.

Olivenhain Adds New Recycled Water System

Encinitas schools and homes gained millions of gallons of recycled water this week when the Olivenhain Municipal Water District launched a new distribution system for its Village Park Recycled Water Project.

The project, which started taking shape in spring 2015, can offset up to 14 millions of gallons of potable water use each year, officials said. It will eventually serve more than 20 schools and homeowner’s associations, and will bring the district’s total recycled water usage to 20 percent, said Kimberly Thorner, general manager of the district.


Oceanside Replacing Old Water and Sewage Lines

The City of Oceanside has started replacing old water and sewage lines in its downtown area. Some of the pipes are close to 100 years old, well past their life expectancy. This week crews are trenching Horne Street dropping in new lines made of polyvinyl chloride pipes. As part of $6.8 million project, the city will also replace hydrants, water meters and manhole covers. The work on Phase One of the project will last about a year.


New Recycled Water Pump Station Will Save Millions of Gallons of Water for Encinitas Area Every Year

The Olivenhain Municipal Water District celebrated the opening of the Village Park Recycled Water Pump Station Monday — a facility that will mean saving millions of gallons of water for the Encinitas area. The pump station itself is buried underground and is capable of pumping three million gallons of recycled water into the community every day, which is roughly 114 million gallons every year.

BLOG: About That 40 Percent Number

It seems simple enough: The State Water Resources Control Board, arbiter of equitable water use in California, wants to leave 40 percent of the water in three streams feeding the San Joaquin River south of Stockton. To the surprise of no one who follows this stuff, it’s more complicated than it sounds. Let’s ignore, for the moment, that the board has actually proposed a range of river flows from 30 percent to 50 percent, starting at 40 percent. I can only handle so much complexity, so we’ll just examine that 40 percent number.


Calif. State Water Board Expected To Require Lead Sampling In Schools’ Water Systems

The Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) reports that the State Water Resources Control Board is expected to notify public water systems in the coming days regarding a new initiative to provide lead sampling to schools. Specifically, the State Water Board is expected to contact water systems this week with information about a statewide program that will require water systems to provide lead sampling services to K-12 schools upon request. The State Water Board also is expected to announce details about a webinar that will provide water systems with details about the initiative.

First Hearing For River Flows Plan; Stockton Gets Next Session

Asking the public to listen carefully to their controversial plan, state water officials began a series of hearings Tuesday on permanently shifting a share of water away from farms and cities and reallocating it to wildlife on streams feeding the San Joaquin River. Tuesday’s meeting was in Sacramento, but the board will next head to Stockton on Dec. 16 for a session at the Stockton Memorial Civic Auditorium. San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Merced counties have expressed strong opposition.


State Tallies Snow, Rain From Storms

California’s rain and snow season is getting off to a fast start as Thanksgiving week brought more storms, launched the ski season early and raised cautious hope for a wet year after five years of drought. Two damp months in a row have boosted seasonal rainfall totals in Woodland to 3.25 inches. That compares with 2.57 for the same time in 2015. The 10-year seasonal average for Woodland, according to the UC Cooperative Extension Service, is 2.90 inches.


Satellites Confirm Some Bay Area Spots Sinking or Moving

New satellite data released by the European Space Agency confirms that San Francisco’s 58-story Millennium Tower is sinking. “The Sentinel-1 satellites have shown that the Millennium Tower skyscraper in the center of San Francisco is sinking by a few centimeters a year,” a study by ESA says. “Studying the city is helping scientists to improve the monitoring of urban ground movements, particularly for subsidence hot spots in Europe.”

Can Joshua Trees Survive Global Warming? Scientists Have Differing Thoughts

It started with a 2011 study that indicated by the turn of the century there would be no more Joshua trees in the national park named after the iconic desert plant. And likely none in California. “I was shocked when the study came out. I wanted to look at the details and change the scale,” said Cameron Barrows, a research ecologist for the UC Riverside Center for Conservation Biology in Palm Desert.