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OPINION: Editorial: Twin Tunnel Plan Ignores Delta Reality

Gov. Jerry Brown’s cheerleading squad was in high-spirited form Friday with the latest news that his twin tunnels project in the delta inched a step closer to reality. The state Department of Water Resources gave its approval to the tunnels by certifying the environmental reviews for the project. And really, what did you expect? The DWR answers to Brown, and Brown wants to build those four-story tunnels to funnel north state water from the Sacramento River, under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, to farmers and cities in the south.


Oroville, Other Flood-Safety Projects Would Be Fast-Tracked Under New Bill

Work to strengthen Oroville Dam, shore up downstream levees and other types of flood-prevention projects would be eligible for fast-tracked state approval under new California legislation lawmakers will consider when they return from summer recess next month. The measure by state Sen. Jim Beall, D-San Jose, whose district suffered heavy flood damage in February, would require state agencies to speed up permit processing and approval for certain types of flood-control projects. Current law already allows authorities to exempt or delay permit requirements during emergencies. Yet other high-priority projects still have to go through the normal permitting process.

San Diego Unified To Fix 40+ Schools With Lead In Water

San Diego school officials decided Tuesday to shut down any water source showing a lower level of lead in the water than first considered actionable when testing began in April. Water was at tested at 207 schools on district property. Results show 19 percent of the schools have some level of lead in the water. The San Diego Unified School District unanimously approved a water quality plan to lower the acceptable level of lead. Schools are required by the state to fix problems if they discover lead in water at levels greater than 15 parts per billion (ppb).


Tunnel Vision

A project that might make much of the Sacramento River vanish into three giant holes in the ground will not jeopardize the waterway’s ailing salmon and smelt populations, according to new analyses from the federal government. The Delta Tunnels – which would be 35 miles long, cost at least $15 billion to build and be capable of sending much of the state’s biggest river to farmers and urban users – received a stubby thumbs-up from the Trump administration on June 26.

Water Quality in County’s Rivers and Creeks Improves, but Long-Term Prognosis Unknown

The health of many rivers and streams throughout San Diego County — which flow down canyons and wind through often contaminated urban landscapes — has improved after suffering during several years of drought conditions, according to a report released this week by the nonprofit environmental group San Diego Coastkeeper. While pollution continues to significantly impact all watersheds in the region, Coastkeeper’s annual water-quality monitoring report found markedly cleaner waters in 2016 compared to the previous two years. That includes monitoring done in the San Diego, Sweetwater and Otay watersheds.

Final Requirements Met for San Luis Rey Indian Water Rights Settlement

After almost 50 years of vigorously contested litigation (that went all the way to the Supreme Court), settlement negotiations, several successful efforts in Congress and the California Legislature to obtain the essential legislation, and several more decades of negotiations to resolve all the issues presented in the litigation as well as other issues raised belatedly by the United States, the San Luis Rey Indian Water Rights Settlement finally became a reality and took effect on May 17, 2017.

California Orders Closer Look at these 93 Dams After Oroville Crisis

California officials have ordered owners of 93 dams to reinspect their flood-control spillways following the Oroville Dam crisis,saying the spillways need a closer look following a preliminary review. The list released by the Department of Water Resources includes some of the largest dams in California, such as the New Exchequer Dam on the Merced River, New Bullards Bar on the Yuba River, and Lake Almanor Dam on the Feather River in Plumas County. Each holds back reservoirs roughly the size of Folsom Lake, which can store about 977,000 acre-feet of water.

Enough Water Agencies Have Bought in to Get Sites Reservoir Built Even Without Prop. 1 Funding

The deadline is Aug. 14 to apply for water storage funding from the Proposition 1 bond measure voters approved in 2014, and while the folks working to build Sites Reservoir will be applying, they don’t need the money. Enough water agencies have agreed to invest in the reservoir near Maxwell that it can be built without taxpayer funds, according to Sites Project Authority General Manager Jim Watson. Twenty-eight agencies have signed on to support the construction in exchange for a share of the water that would be delivered from the lake, according to the authority’s website.

San Diego County Water Authority Approves Milestone Pipeline Relining

The San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) is moving forwarding with the $28.6 million Milestone Pipeline Relining project. The Board of Directors approved the project Thursday to rehabilitate more than four-miles of a pipeline between Lake Murray and Sweetwater Reservoir. “Pipeline relining is an important and often overlooked program that’s extending the life and reliability of the system we depend on every day to deliver water to our taps when we need it,” said Mark Muir, chair of the Water Authority Board.

The Ideological War Behind Poseidon’s Proposed Desalination Plant

Underlying the long-running battles between proponents and opponents of the proposed Poseidon Resources ocean desalination plant is an ideological war between two roughly defined factions: conservationists and free-marketeers. The Orange County Water District(OCWD), which manages theSanta Ana River and the Orange County Groundwater Basin (a collection of aquifers containing 60 million acre-feet of water), is ground-zero in that war. (The OCWD supplies 75 percent of the drinking water for 2.4 million residents of north Orange County).