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Study: Heavy Storms May Be Enough to Recharge California Groundwater

California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, passed in 2014, requires some 250 groundwater basins throughout the state to halt the overdraft in their aquifers. The big question for everyone is: Where will the water come from to do that? It could come from “high-magnitude flows” – flooding events, essentially, that occur from just a handful of storms every winter. Tiffany Kocis, a PhD student in hydrologic sciences at University of California, Davis, is the lead author of a new study that attempts to quantify these high flows.

OPINION: The Scheme to Pump Desert Water to L.A. Could Destroy the Mojave. California’s Legislature Needs to Block It

Unlike some deserts, California’s Mojave Desert is full of life. There are tortoises and bighorn sheep, breathtaking wildflower blooms and Joshua trees. Many of the state’s plant and animal species can be found only there. It’s a unique and beautiful ecosystem, but also a fragile one. Life in the Mojave is sustained by underground aquifers and springs, many of them formed over thousands of years. These aquifers support surrounding communities, including Native American tribes, and some 2,100 jobs in tourism, mining, ranching and other industries.

County Claims Tunnels Would ‘Devastate’ Delta

A flurry of lawsuits over Gov. Jerry Brown’s Delta tunnels continued on Monday, with several Delta counties, farm groups and environmentalists joining the fray as expected. San Joaquin County invoked the draining of Owens Lake a century ago for urban Southern California, and the diversion of the San Joaquin River for agriculture, in support of its conclusion that the $17 billion tunnels would “devastate” the Delta.

Conservation Groups Challenge California Water Diversion Project

A coalition of conservation groups on Monday sued the California Department of Water Resources challenging its approval of two 35-mile long tunnels that will divert water from the Sacramento River and a San Francisco area delta to Southern California. Filed in Sacramento County state court, the lawsuit said the so-called Delta tunnels project will significantly degrade the environment in an estuary east of San Francisco known as the bay-delta region and hurt the delta’s farming economy.

Water Agencies Announce More Than 200K Acre-Feet of Water Imported into Coachella Valley

Two local water agencies announced today that more than 200,000 acre-feet of water has been imported into the Coachella Valley so far this year due to Californina’s wetter-than-usual winter, which should help prevent overdrafting of the aquifer. The Coachella Valley Water District and Desert Water Agency issued a joint statement touting the figure, which is more water than Coachella Valley residents and businesses are expected to use in all of 2017.

State Bills Seek to Cut Children’s Exposure to Lead

When a therapy dog refused to drink at a San Diego grade school, it was the first clue that something was wrong with the water. Tests revealed why the pup turned up its nose — the presence of polyvinyl chloride, the polymer in PVC pipes that degrade over time. But further analysis found something else that had gone undetected by the dog, the teachers and students of the San Diego Cooperative Charter School, and the school district: elevated levels of lead.

Dozens are suing to block Delta tunnels. Will it matter?

They have one of the most powerful legal weapons found in any courtroom – the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA. But environmental groups, local governments and others face an uphill climb in their fight against the controversial Delta tunnels project. History suggests that suing under the California environmental law likely won’t be enough to kill the tunnels.