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California Sets New Rules For Mercury Levels In Water

The State Water Resources Control Board adopted rules Tuesday to protect people and wildlife consuming fish from freshwater streams, lakes and rivers in California that contain mercury – a potent neurotoxin. The new regulations would protect Californians that rely on fish as a source of food such as Native Americans and other non-tribal subsistence fishers, according to Water Board officials. “Fish like salmon, bass, sturgeon and other popular fish like trout are sought after as a key food source by California Native American tribes, and other groups that depend on fish for sustenance,” said State Water Board Chair Felicia Marcus.

State Water Savings 22 Percent In March

Urban water conservation figures for March were released Tuesday by the state Water Resources Control Board, and showed statewide savings of 22.5 percent compared to March 2013, the benchmark pre-drought year. On average, each Californian used 67 gallons of water each day in March. Local results from 40.5 percent in Paradise, to 5.1 percent in the areas served by the Del Oro Water Co. Del Oro customers only used 47 gallons of water a day, however. Here are the local figures: Chico Division, California Water Service Co: 38.8 percent savings in March compared to March 2013; 70 gallons per capita per day.


How Does The Inland Empire’s Last Wet Season Compare With Previous Ones?

It took one wet season for much of the Inland Empire — and Southern California, for that matter — to turn an extreme drought into a moderate one. No small feat for a seven-month span. In the dry years leading up to this wet season — which is measured here between Oct. 1 and April 30, Californians asked, “What has to happen to pull us out of a drought?” and forecasters painted a picture of almost the exact wet season from which we just emerged.


‘We Are Very, Very Sorry.’ State Water Officials Face Frustrated Oroville Crowd

Cindy Messer apologized Tuesday to several hundred grim Oroville residents who had been ordered to run from their homes three months earlier. They sat rigidly in their seats inside the Oroville Municipal Auditorium at the first public meeting Messer’s agency, the Department of Water Resources, has hosted in Oroville since the February crisis at the dam. Some sternly crossed their arms as they stared Messer down.


Meeting With DWR Lasts Over Four Hours

Well over 300 people turned out for the Oroville Spillways Community Meeting held last Thursday at Butte Hall in the fairgrounds. The 5:30 p.m., informational sharing was not explained well in advance and those coming at that time were surprised they had to wait an hour for the meeting to begin. This was a time for people to ask Department of Water Resources personnel questions but people were anxious to get the meeting started.

Yay, The Drought Is Over. Now Let’s Save Our Dying Urban Trees

When Gov. Jerry Brown pronounced an end to the drought emergency last month — but not to the possibility of another drought — it would have been just like him to quote another eminent Californian, the naturalist John Muir, who said that “we all travel the Milky Way together, trees and men.” Not enough trees, though, which is why making “urban forests” come true truly matters.

Metropolitan Water GM Defends Agency From Accusation

Monday the general manager of the largest water district in the state, possibly in the country, maybe the world, came to the little Valley Center Municipal Water District board room to defend his agency, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, from the ankle biting attacks of the much smaller San Diego County Water Authority. He also came to update Valley Center about the state of water supply in the Golden State. Representatives of the two agencies have been team tagging each other at board rooms around San Diego County for several weeks.

War of Words Flares in Arizona Over Lake Mead Water

Officials in Arizona have reached an impasse on a multistate agreement aimed at storing more Colorado River water in Lake Mead, but Southern Nevada Water Authority chief John Entsminger said he is confident the deal will still get done. Since 2015, Nevada, California and Arizona have been negotiating a drought contingency plan to keep Lake Mead from shrinking enough to trigger a first-ever federal shortage declaration and force Nevada and Arizona to cut their use of river water.

Under New SDG&E Plan, Customers Who Leave Could Keep Paying For Decades

Most people have basically no choice about where they get their power from – SDG&E’s monopoly covers 4,100 square miles of Southern California. Soon, that is likely to change as many California cities, including San Diego, look to start buying power for their residents. But even if the city begins to compete with San Diego Gas & Electric, people may still be forced to pay SDG&E for power for decades to come. The state allows companies to keep making people pay for power, even if people no longer use, want or need it.

Holy CDEC*: New Melones Hits 2M Acre-feet

New Melones Lake soared past 2 million acre-feet of storage over the past few days, a level that no one thought possible (well, I certainly didn’t) a mere six months ago.The reservoir is now at its highest mark since 2011. And still rising. This afternoon’s heat has pushed inflow above 9,000 cubic feet per second as Sierra snow begins to melt. New Melones is now encroaching into space reserved for flood control. And as a consequence, officials are finally releasing substantial amounts of water from the dam — about 5,000 cfs on Tuesday.