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Positive Test for Lead in Water at Ira Harbison Elementary School

Officials confirm there are unusually high levels of lead in one water source at Ira Harbison Elementary School in the National School District. A sample was collected April 11 from a fountain at the southern exterior of the building, according to the results released by the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB). The sample was collected and tested by the Sweetwater Authority. As school districts test for lead in their drinking water, they are required by the state to fix problems if they discover levels greater than 15 parts per billion (ppb). One sample from Ira Harbison showed lead levels at 20 ppb.

New Results Released in San Diego Unified Schools Tests for Lead in Water

In the most recent test results released by San Diego Unified School District, unusually high levels of lead were found in eight schools. In each case, the levels measured were below state guidelines requiring the district to take action. As school districts test for lead in their drinking water, they are required by the state to fix problems if they discover lead in water at levels greater than 15 parts per billion (ppb).

BLOG: Despite A Wet Year, Some California Wildlife Areas Miss Out On Water

On April 11, the United States Bureau of Reclamation announced that all of its California Central Valley Project water customers will receive 100 percent of their contract supplies this year, for the first time since 2006. This is a remarkable turnaround after five lean drought years, during which some of its agricultural customers received no water at all. But the bureau didn’t mention one group of customers missing out on this liquid largesse: wildlife refuges. There are 19 state and federal wildlife refuges spanning California’s Central Valley, from Willows to Bakersfield.

Gov. Brown: Get Out Of California Unless You Can Afford It

California’s epic drought is officially over. As drought-related mandatory water conservation orders end, ordinary citizens’ water, sewer, utility rates and other water-related costs continue to rise. East Bay Municipal Utilities District (EBMUD) recently announced two water rate hikes, one of 9.5 percent in July and another next year of 9 percent. Marin Municipal Water District (MMWD) is countering with two increases of 7 percent each. San Mateo residents learned recently of plans to raise their sewage rates 36%. These and other rate-hike stories are common across our state.

A Small Invasive Shellfish is Playing Havoc with Central Basin’s Budget

Resolving contamination issues with the quagga mussel, a small invasive shellfish, could make the difference between a slightly balanced budget and one that is seriously in the red for Central Basin Municipal Water District. The approximate $50.7 million budget, approved Monday by the Board of Directors, projects $1.7 million in revenue coming from selling water to the Water Replenishment District of Southern California. Only right now, there’s no way to get water to the WRD because Los Angeles County won’t allow Central Basin’s supplier, the Metropolitan Water District, to deliver because of the contamination issues.

Mission Trails Activists Oppose Proposed Major Gas Pipeline Through Regional Park and Santee Neighborhoods, Agree with SDG&E That Miramar Route Is Safer Option

SDG&E and SoCalGas have applied to the California Public Utilities Commission to build a new natural gas pipeline from Rainbow through the Marine Corps Air Station at Miramar to Mission Valley to replace an aging and potentially dangerous line, also boosting capacity and reliability for the region.  But Miramar’s commanding officer is opposing the project on military land—and instead wants to route the pipeline through Mission Trails Regional Park, East Elliott, and Goodan Ranch, including a large pipeline under heavily populated Santee neighborhoods and major roadways including a State Route 52 interchange.

Following a Wet Winter, Napa River Fish Trap Yields High Salmon Count

Jonathan Koehler is working the biggest fish-trapping contraption on the Napa River and finding out good news about Chinook salmon after a historic rain year. This eight-foot-diameter metal funnel floats half-submerged and rotates as currents hit the inner baffles. Fish swim inside and end up trapped in a water-filled compartment. “It’s sort of like the revolving door at a department store, where you step into it and you have to step inside the store,” Koehler said.

State May Stretch Drought-Relief Funding

Mark Ghilarducci, director of the California Office of Emergency Services, stated in a letter to Tulare County officials the state will continue to provide some funding for drought relief after June 30. In a letter dated May 9, Ghilarducci stated, “the state will continue to provide temporary funds for up to a year for the delivery of potable water for existing program participants in order to maintain public health and safety.”

Wet Winter Produces Record-Breaking Runoff

Thanks to recent months that saw plenty of rainfall, the Sierra Nevada snowpack is currently holding 1.9 million acre feet of water content – and that’s after the month of April produced nearly a 100 percent increase in acre feet of runoff from April of last year. The snow is expected to continue melting at high volumes, making the 2016-2017 water year the highest runoff year on record. The main months that see snow melt are April, May, June and July, according to Turlock Irrigation District utility analyst Jason Carkeet, but right now – the end of May – to around mid-June is when peak snow melt numbers occur.

Modesto Approves Outdoor Watering Three Times a Week

Modesto residents will be able to water their lawns three times a week for the first time in two years. The City Council on Tuesday night approved increasing outdoor watering from two days to three days a week from June through October. Modesto has limited outdoor watering to once or twice a week depending on the time of year since May 2015. The city is easing up after winter storms drenched the valley and covered the Sierra Nevada in snow. Modesto gets its drinking water from wells and Tuolumne River water treated by the Modesto Irrigation District.