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City and County Groundwater Sustainability Agencies End Jurisdiction Dispute

A temporary truce has been called today in an ongoing dispute between Kern County, Bakersfield and the Kern Delta Water District. Six months ago, the city and KDWD announced that they were forming the Kern River Groundwater Sustainability Agency. Afterwards the county filed its own GSA application with the state in order to protect its policing and land use powers. California law says that if competing GSA organizations fail to resolve their differences, the state may come in and take over the use and management of ground water resources.

World’s First City To Power Its Water Needs With Sewage Energy

A city in Denmark is about to become the first in the world to provide most of its citizens with fresh water using only the energy created from household wastewater and sewage. The Marselisborg Wastewater Treatment Plant in Aarhus has undergone improvements that mean it can now generate more than 150 per cent of the electricity needed to run the plant, which means the surplus can be used to pump drinking water around the city.


Environmentalists Urge Lawmakers To Crack Down On Water-Guzzling Farms

California officials crafting a new conservation plan for the state’s dry future drew criticism from environmentalists on Thursday for failing to require more cutbacks of farmers, who use 80 percent of the water consumed by people. Gov. Jerry Brown ordered up the state plans for improving long-term conservation in May, when he lifted a statewide mandate put in place at the height of California’s drought for 25-percent water conservation by cities and towns. Ben Chou, a water-policy analyst with the Natural Resources Defense Council, criticized state planners for not mandating any new water-savings by farm water districts.

Denham Urges President-Elect Trump to Rescind Defining Water Rule

Congressman Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) sent a letter to President-Elect Donald Trump this week, strongly encouraging him to repeal the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “Water of the United States,” a rule he called both “harmful and flawed.” “The EPA should not be putting restrictions on Valley farmers’ use of their property,” said Denham. “The people spoke, Congress acted, and the current administration refused to acknowledge their concerns. President-Elect Trump has a real opportunity to support the ag community that feeds America by immediately rescinding this burdensome rule.”

How Much Can California Ask Of Its Rivers?

California is finally embracing its rivers. But it may be a choking embrace. We Californians have long celebrated our coastal splendor and toasted the height and beauty of our mountains. But our rivers? For most of us, they have been a mere utility, the plumbing that moved water around the state.. Today the Golden State, its regions and its people are at long last taking the advice of the late environmentalist David Brower, who counseled his fellow Californians to “begin thinking like a river,” and fulfilling the eternal Christmas dream of Joni Mitchell, “I wish I had a river.”


OPINION: I Wish I Had A River

California is finally embracing its rivers. It may be a choking embrace. We Californians have long celebrated our coastal splendor and beautiful mountains. But our rivers were seen as mere plumbing for our hydration convenience. Now California’s communities, seeking space for environmental restoration and recreation (and some desperately needed housing), are treating rivers and riverfronts as new frontiers, and are busily reconsidering how these bodies of water might better connect people and places. But the new thinking is opening up new conflicts that touch on public health, housing and economic development.

Your Christmas Tree Could Be More Expensive This Year

It might not be the most wonderful time of the year to buy a Christmas tree. Tree shortages—brought on by droughts and other environmental problems—could be driving up the price of the centerpiece of your holiday decor, Consumerist reported. In particular, the rising cost of trees in Oregon and elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest could hike prices nationwide, since that region supplies to buyers from out of state. Dan Bollander—who was grown trees in drought-stricken Southern California for the past 37 years—told CBS Los Angeles prices spiked by 10% this year.

OPINION: Federal Water For Tiny Fish Leaves Other Species High And Dry

I sometimes have to wonder how the San Joaquin Valley’s federal water managers look themselves in the mirror. Since 2008, they have withheld the water of life from the Valley in order to protect the Delta smelt, at a cost to the Valley of tens of thousands of jobs lost, hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland fallowed, and billions of dollars in economic harm to Valley communities – all the while insisting that they had to do this to protect one species of endangered wildlife, no matter the cost to families and communities.

California Seeks Long-Term Water Savings As Drought Lingers

California water regulators on Wednesday recommended tighter oversight of agricultural irrigation and a permanent ban on over-watering urban lawns, a first step toward developing a long-term conservation plan amid ongoing drought.The proposal comes as nearly two-thirds of the state heads into a fifth year of severe drought despite a wet fall and heavy rains last winter that have ameliorated conditions in many areas.

California Drought Conservation Measures Could Be Permanent

California water agencies have drawn up plans to keep drought conservation measures in place permanently. They say the aim is to make saving water a way of life. State Water Resources Control Board member Max Gomberg says local water utilities can expect tough restrictions on water use “We’re going to give all these water agencies a budget, and we’re going to say, ‘you have to be in your budget, and your budget is going to be x-gallons of water.