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BLOG: Shadow Theater And Data Management For The Delta

Data and data management are persistent concerns for the Delta and California water more generally. Data Wars: A New Hope, a shadow puppet play on the subject, was shown at the 2016 Bay-Delta Science Conference in Sacramento. The challenge of the Conference’s theme, “Science for Solutions: Linking Data and Decisions,” is illustrated by characters such as a lonesome marsh wren and a striped bass with a Boston accent.

BLOG: What The New Federal Water Bill Means For The Delta

President Barack Obama on Friday signed a massive infrastructure bill designed to control floods, fund dams and deliver more water to farmers in California’s drought-ravaged Central Valley.Obama signed the $12-billion bill in a distinctly low-key act. Controversial provisions that critics fear could harm fish in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta were wrapped inside a package stuffed with politically popular projects, ranging from Sacramento-area levees to clean-water aid for beleaguered Flint, Mich.

Decades Of Water Rights Litigation Put To Rest

A North County water rights dispute that had been stuck in federal court for decades was officially put to rest last week, along with part of an even older case.The two settlements were included in a larger package of water resource and infrastructure legislation approved earlier this month by the House of Representatives and the Senate, then signed Friday by President Barack Obama. One case involved a 1951 three-pronged lawsuit over water rights to the Santa Margarita River that at one time had nearly 7,000 defendants.

The Most Important Lake In California

Roger Haley grew up at the bottom of Lake Casitas. “It was one of the most beautiful locations in the county. Just magnificent,” he says. “We have a lot of the newcomers to the Ojai Valley, they have no idea. They think that what they see [in this lake] is all that’s good and natural. And they just have no idea.” The lake Haley is describing is a bowl of land that, a half century ago, became a giant, man-made bucket to serve Ventura, a Southern California coastal community midway between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara.

How Cities Are Tackling Aging Water Systems

Flint, Michigan, has shone a spotlight on the decrepit state and lack of investment in the U.S.’s water infrastructure, but the city isn’t alone in facing these challenges. A new policy brief from the Brookings Institute breaks down how cities with large drinking water utilities are financing their water systems, and what challenges they’re facing. The new research finds a significant mismatch between the need for investment and the resources available.

Rainfall Boosts Water Levels Of Santa Clara County Reservoirs

Parts of the Bay Area are still drying out from last week’s big soaker. The numbers are in and it turns out area reservoirs got a nice boost from all that rain. One of the larger reservoirs in the Santa Clara valley, Lexington, in the mountains above Los Gatos is now at just over 40 percent of capacity. That’s a roughly 5 percent increase over a week ago. It represents a good start for the year.

 

Fitzgerald: How To Kill Fish And Hurt People

Saving the Delta requires sacrifice by all, not just residents of this region. I hope someone drilled that idea into the State Water Resources Control Board. The board, whose Sisyphean job is to ensure California’s water is used fairly, brought its road show to Stockton last Friday for a public hearing on its dubious Water Quality Control Plan.To save dying fisheries, and to make the Delta healthier, the board proposes to bump up flows on three rivers that feed the San Joaquin River: the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced.

 

Obama Signs Bill Securing $415M For Lake Tahoe

With the stroke of a pen Friday President Barack Obama solidified $415 million in federal funding for projects in and around Lake Tahoe, along with providing funding for drought relief in California and other water projects. In signing the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act Friday, Obama did not mention Lake Tahoe in his statement. Rather, the president mentioned the complexity of the drought provisions, which had threatened to derail the overall bill.

 

How Cities Are Tackling Aging Water Systems

Flint, Michigan, has shone a spotlight on the decrepit state and lack of investment in the U.S.’s water infrastructure, but the city isn’t alone in facing these challenges. A new policy brief from the Brookings Institute breaks down how cities with large drinking water utilities are financing their water systems, and what challenges they’re facing. The new research finds a significant mismatch between the need for investment and the resources available.

Federal Water Legislation Supports Orange County Drought Solutions

President Barack Obama recently signed the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act. This historic legislation, which included elements from the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), will authorize California drought relief, provide aid to address lead contaminated drinking water, and will provide over $10 billion in flood control, navigation, beach re-nourishment, and environmental restoration projects. The WIIN Act will deliver critical support to Orange County Water District’s (OCWD; the District) efforts to safeguard the region’s limited water supplies and to develop sustainable and innovative solutions to mitigate the drought’s impacts to north and central Orange County.