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Cal Am Desal Project Draft Environmental Review Expected Next Week

A state Public Utilities Commission representative indicated this week the delayed draft environmental review document for the proposed Monterey Peninsula desalination project will be released next week, three weeks after originally scheduled. CPUC spokesman Christopher Chow said the commission estimates that the project’s draft combined environmental impact report and environmental impact statement would be released “mid to late next week,” and promised to keep The Herald apprised of “any new developments.”

Recycling California’s Water Supply

Kale or quinoa? Free range chicken or seasonal veggie medley? Pellegrino or recycled water? Californians could soon start drinking purified wastewater. In response to a five-year drought, the State Water Resources Control Board recently informed legislators that regulating recycled, drinkable water is perfectly feasible. California would be the first state in the nation to implement such regulations.

With Water Conservation Lagging, State Regulators Could Return To Mandates

Statewide water conservation has continued its trend of lagging behind last year’s efforts as numbers released by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) today revealed that California urban water users saved 18.8 percent of the water it used in November compared to the baseline year of 2013, a figure that has been outpaced by 2015 figures for a fourth consecutive month. November’s savings are down from the 19.6 percent mark seen in October but slightly higher than the savings seen statewide in September (18.3 percent) and August (17.7 percent).

Five Feet Of Snow And Counting — California Fire Hose Continues Through The Weekend

Two storms aimed at California are lined up back to back this week — the first is ongoing, and the second more significant storm is slated to arrive this weekend. On the one hand, wet and snowy weather is “normal” for winter in California. On the other, the state is still struggling with a historic drought, and it hasn’t seen storms like these in years.


Monster Storm Could Bring State’s Worst Flooding In Over A Decade

A menacing storm taking shape over the Pacific is poised to pound California this weekend, causing what could be the worst flooding in parts of the state in more than a decade, forecasters said. The atmospheric river of warm and highly concentrated water will begin to deliver its payload across the northern two-thirds of California on Saturday, overwhelming rivers, drenching urban areas and likely eviscerating much of the Sierra snowpack. But while drought-stressed California has begged for such soaking storms in recent years, the rain may do more harm than good — especially in the mountains — when it surges Sunday.

Obama Says Full Speed Ahead On Delta Tunnels Project

Two weeks before President Barack Obama leaves office, his administration vowed to move full speed ahead on California’s controversial Delta tunnels project, calling it essential for the state’s water supply as well as its environment. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell issued an order Wednesday directing federal officials to complete a preliminary environmental review this month of the massive twin tunnels proposed for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Obama Administration Aids Giant California Water Project

The outgoing Obama administration on Wednesday tried to nudge forward Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to build two giant north-south water tunnels for California. In an executive order, U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell directed federal wildlife officials on Wednesday to release by Jan. 17 a preliminary environmental opinion that directs the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to assist as the $15.7 billion project seeks state and federal permits and other approvals. Brown welcomed Jewell’s move, saying in a statement “it commits the federal government to a timely review” of the proposed tunnels.

Mammoth Mega-Storm Expected To Drop Up To 20 Feet; ‘God Help Us’

An other blizzard swept Mammoth Mountain on Wednesday, the precursor to a string of storms expected to bring up to 20 feet of fresh snow in the next 10 days, the resort says. Since Tuesday, 26 to 48 inches of fresh snow had fallen, with the deepest totals at the summit. Plows were working furiously to keep lots and streets clear. Normal resort operations could be affected as personnel struggle to deal with the snow.

Californians Saved Less Water In November Than Previous Year, Water Board Report Says

California water conservation took a slight step backward in November, officials announced Wednesday, possibly due in part to an unusually wet fall and months of successful conservation efforts. Californians used 18.8% less water this past November compared with November 2013, the benchmark year for state conservation measurements. In November 2015, residents statewide cut back usage 20.2% compared with 2013.

Obama Speeds Up Review Of Twin Delta Tunnels

In its last weeks in power, the Obama administration is helping speed up environmental review of California’s plan to build twin tunnels through the Delta in an effort to overhaul the state’s water delivery system. U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on Wednesday issued an executive order directing federal wildlife regulators to issue an initial opinion by Jan. 17 on whether the $15.7 billion tunnels would harm endangered fish species — a key ruling in the future of the project.