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Proposed Lake Elsinore Hydroelectric Project Generates Antipathy From Supervisors

Local and regional officials appear intent on driving a stake through the heart of a plan to build a hydroelectric power system with components in the Santa Ana Mountains, Lakeland Village and Lake Elsinore. The Riverside County Board of Supervisors this week joined the city of Lake Elsinore and the Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District in condemning the resurrection of the Vista-based firm Nevada Hydro‘s application for the Lake Elsinore Advanced Pumped Storage project with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Drinking Lead: Why California May Force All Schools To Test Their Water

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.

Placer Water Joins Delta Tunnel Legal Wrangle

Placer County Water Agency is taking the state of California to court over its twin tunnels plan. The state Department of Water Resources approval of the plan’s environmental impact report touched off a flurry of court challenges on grounds that it would negatively impact water quality in the Delta and San Francisco Bay while threatening salmon and other fish populations.

Central Basin Water Board, LA City Council Committee Delay Delta Tunnels Vote

On August 28, the Central Basin Water Agency board in Compton voted 5 to 2 to postpone a decision supporting the controversial Delta Tunnels plan, a joint public works project between the Governor Jerry Brown and President Donald Trump administration. “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,” said Brenna Norton, senior Southern California organizer for Food  & Water Watch.

Pact To Boost Water Level In Lake Mead OK’d

The Southern Nevada Water Authority plans to spend up to $7.5 million in Mexico over the next 10 years in exchange for more Colorado River water. Authority board members unanimously approved the payments Aug. 17 as they gave their blessing to a sweeping water-sharing agreement the U.S. and Mexico are expected to sign next month.


Environmentalist Seeks To Rally Support For Bill Blocking Water Transfer

As yellow jackets and bees darted above, an environmentalist asked those interested in preserving the eastern Mojave to call elected officials in support of a bill that would block a controversial plan to sell groundwater. “This is a way for Californians to say they are not going to allow the Trump Administration to force destructive projects on the state without environmental review,” Chris Clarke, California Desert program manager of the National Parks Conservation Association, told 35 people gathered Tuesday night near the front porch of the Pioneertown Mountains Preserve Ranger Station.

Those Green, Wet Spots On Oroville Dam Aren’t Worrisome, State Insists

State dam operators have issued a new report that refutes troubling allegations raised by a catastrophic engineering expert who contends Oroville Dam may be dangerously leaking. On Wednesday, the Department of Water Resources reiterated what state dam managers have insisted for months: that the public is in no risk from the persistent green wet spots near the top left abutment of the nearly 770-foot-tall earthen dam. The report says they’re nothing more than natural vegetation growth caused by rainfall that becomes “temporarily trapped” inside the dam’s outer-most layer and then seeps out.

Money For Water: A Pilot Project Wins Over Skeptical Farmers And Ranchers

When Freddie Botur, 45, whose ranch spans 72,000 acres outside of Pinedale, Wyoming, first heard about a program that was paying ranchers to let water run down the river instead of irrigating with it, he was skeptical. But Nick Walrath, a project coordinator for Trout Unlimited, told him he’d receive about $200 for every acre-foot of water saved by not watering hay on his Cottonwood Ranch.

OPINION: As Hurricane Harvey Hits Gulf Coast, Central Valley Must Prepare for the Coming Storm

A day before Hurricane Harvey inundated Houston, an obscure arm of the California Department of Water Resources delivered a report detailing the impact of the Central Valley deluge that surely will strike, and how best to prepare for it. We in this reclaimed city and in this re-engineered valley need to pay heed. Even in this past week of wilting heat, storm clouds are gathering. In issuing its flood protection plan, the Central Valley Flood Protection Board achieved a rare feat. It called for more taxes and more land use regulations, yet won the support of both farmers and environmentalists.

OPINION: The Delta Is Sinking: Scientists Think Planting Rice Will Help

Bryan Brock stared out at a rice field on Twitchell Island, nestled between the meandering river paths of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Brock, a senior engineer with California Department of Water Resources’ West Delta Program, rubbed his goatee and pointed at foot-tall emerald stalks. The plots were drenched in about 4in of water. Medium-grain rice was planted here in 2009 as a research project to see if rice could help the Delta survive the impacts of subsidence. The results have yielded both good and bad news.