The Mission of the State Water Resources Control Board is to balance water allocation and water quality protection for California. With its latest flows proposal for the San Joaquin River tributaries, the SWRCB does neither and is clearly promoting the governor’s Twin Tunnels project. Even though the SWRCB cites the need for increased river flows to “improve aquatic ecosystems,” their actions reveal the true intention – which is to move additional water through the damaged Delta to facilitate the export of billions of gallons of water south.
Archive for date: April 4th, 2017
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Rice farmer Michael Bosworth can easily recognize the distinctive “kla-ha, kla-ha” call made by white-fronted geese on his property. They always sound like they’re having a good laugh. The birds’ high-pitched yelps reveal their presence before we approach a flock of them among some wintering grounds on a December morning. “These guys will hang out ’til we drain the fields,” he says, pointing to the geese. “We get bald eagles all winter long.” Swans, great blue herons, white-faced ibis and other waterbirds swim and wade around flooded paddies.
The San Diego Unified School District began testing its schools’ water Tuesday after lab reports confirmed “higher than allowable” lead levels were found at one campus. Five water samples were taken from Horton Elementary School on Guymon Street in the morning, hours before staff or students arrived to campus. Samples were collected from water in the cafeteria, food prep areas and also drinking fountains. It’s one of the first schools within the district to be tested for lead and other contaminates.
Testing for lead in water systems at San Diego Unified School District campuses began Monday, according to district officials. The testing program comes a couple of months after elevated levels of lead, copper and bacteria were discovered at three campuses in the San Ysidro School District. Testing previously took place at Emerson-Bandini Elementary School in Southcrest after a nurse saw a therapy dog reluctant to drink the water — which turned out to contain a variety of contaminants, including lead, according to multiple news reports.
The Trump administration has handed a big boost to a private water venture in Southern California, angering California’s senior senator, Democrat Dianne Feinstein, who said the decision could “destroy pristine public land” in the Mojave Desert. In a little-noticed memorandum issued last month, the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management effectively relieved the Cadiz water project of the requirement to undergo a federal environmental review, which the company had sought to avoid. The decision greatly boosts the prospects for Cadiz, which wants to tap water from under the Mojave and sell it to thirsty water districts in Southern California.
A series of lows are forecast to track across the Northwest through the rest of the week, bringing yet more snow to the mountains and potentially flooding rains to lower elevations. The most potent system is expected Friday into Saturday which could bring heavy precipitation, especially in northern California, the Sierra and western Nevada. Here’s a quick breakdown of what to expect.
Ask the residents of San Jose’s drying-out Rock Springs neighborhood and other nearby areas if it pays to ignore warnings about future disasters that seem in normal times to be nothing more than distant, negative fantasies. During the heavy rains of February, when a crisis caused by a poorly-built spillway at the Oroville Dam drew worldwide headlines, the San Jose neighborhood and areas around it suffered at least $50 million of avoidable damage to private property and about $23 million in public property damage. Some estimates of the total toll come to more than $100 million.
In 2004, 83 percent of California voters approved Proposition 59, which had been placed on the state ballot by unanimous votes of the state Senate and Assembly. The “Sunshine Amendment” was intended to be the most forceful formal endorsement in California history of the paramount importance of government openness and transparency. It guaranteed public access to the meetings of government agencies and boards. But it also offered landmark guidance: It held that “statutes and rules furthering public access shall be broadly construed, or narrowly construed if limiting access.”
Californians are still conserving substantial amounts of water even as Gov. Jerry Brown appears ready to rescind or relax his drought declaration. The State Water Resources Board announced Tuesday that urban Californians reduced water usage by 25.1 percent in February, compared with the state’s baseline year of 2013. The February conservation results were substantially better than a year ago, when mandatory restrictions were in place for much of California but the savings rate was only 11.9 percent.
The drought in California may be easing after a long and wet winter, but that doesn’t mean the Golden State is free from water troubles. That’s why a new campaign by LA agency Quigley-Simpson for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (a state-established cooperative of 26 cities and water agencies serving nearly 19 million people) is informing people that water conservation is still a priority.