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A Big Dam East of Fresno Has Been Talked About for Years. Now It’s Time to Talk Money

The proposed Temperance Flat dam on the upper San Joaquin River east of Fresno likely will be at the head of the line when the state awards big money for water storage projects. The San Joaquin Valley Water Infrastructure Authority last week submitted an application seeking $1.3 billion in bond funds from the California Water Commission, which is doling out $2.7 billion of Proposition 1 money for water storage projects around the state.

With Billions on the Line, California Begins Vetting Water Projects

A dozen water storage projects in California are now officially in the running for a share of $2.7 billion in state bond funds. But experts are cautioning that taxpayers shouldn’t get their hopes up that these projects will solve chronic water shortages in the state. The money comes from Proposition 1, a bond measure approved by state voters in 2014. The initiative allows bond money to be used only for the “public benefits” that come from new water storage projects, such as enhancing flows for fish habitat and improving flood control.

Protecting Ratepayers from MWD

If you wonder why your water bill keeps rising, look no further than the Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. More than half of the cost of our water at the San Diego County Water Authority is for paying MWD, whose water rates have doubled over the past decade. That has forced local water providers such as the Water Authority and its 24 member agencies (including the Padre Dam Municipal Water District) to raise their rates significantly.

How Safe Is Oilfield-Produced Water for Crop Irrigation? A New Study Wants to Find Out

The research institute RTI International, in conjunction with Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, began a three year study in May, thanks to a USDA grant, to determine whether this type of water is safe to use on food crops. Researchers plan to sample water, soils, and crops from the farms that currently use OPW for irrigation, along with samples from farms that don’t use OPW, then assess any potential human or environmental problems through modeling and risk assessment techniques.

Central Basin Water Agency delays Delta Tunnels Project Vote

In a 5 to 2 vote, the Central Basin Water Agency board decided Aug. 28 to postpone a decision on the Delta Tunnels project in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. Citing the many unknowns regarding the rate impacts of the project, estimated to cost $25 billion, the Central Basin board members said they needed more information on how it would affect ratepayers in southeast Los Angeles County, which includes Compton, Willowbrook, Carson, and Lynwood.

OPINION: Proposed Tax Not the Way to Provide Safe, Reliable Water

Each day, a vast majority of homes, schools and businesses in California receive a safe and reliable water supply delivered by a responsible public water provider. But some who live in rural, low-income communities experience unreliable service or a water supply that fails to meet state and federal standards for public health. Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD) fully recognizes the challenges disadvantaged communities face in obtaining access to clean, safe drinking water. In 2016, EMWD and neighboring public agencies completed a years-long process to consolidate a failing private water system in Riverside County.

Record-Breaking Heat Wave to Scorch Southern California

A sweltering heat wave will blanket Southern California through the middle of the week, elevating the fire danger and probably breaking many heat records, according to forecasters. The National Weather Service on Monday issued an excessive-heat warning through Wednesday, saying the high temperatures will create “a dangerous situation” this week. The Antelope Valley and other inland valleys are expected to face the worst heat this week, with triple-digit temperatures. The record books are already being rewritten in places such as Lancaster and Palmdale.