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How Las Vegas Aims to Be the Next Silicon Valley for Water Innovation

Can the city of excess teach the world to thrive on less water? That’s the new goal. In 2015, Nevada governor Brian Sandoval and his office of economic development dedicated $1.8 million to launch WaterStart, a think-tank and startup incubator organized to lure new businesses that would push the envelope on water-related technology. This year, the state doubled down on that investment with another $1.6 million awarded in July. And the strategy has worked. WaterStart, with offices in Las Vegas, has lured 11 companies to the state through a competitive application process.

New Federal Forecast: What the Coming La Niña Means for California Rains

After enduring the driest stretch of years in our history, and then logging the wettest spell on record this past winter, befuddled Californians have one question on their minds these days: What’s next? In two words: La Niña. But whether the water temperature pattern hatching right now in the Pacific Ocean will leave the Golden State high and dry this winter as it’s often done in the past is anyone’s guess. Particularly since it’s quite similar to the pattern we saw last year, and we know how that turned out.

CVP Reservoirs Start with Comfortable Carryover

Federal water storage among California’s Central Valley Project (CVP) reservoirs started the 2017 water year with 8.9 million acre feet, nearly twice held in the same six key reservoirs scattered about the state a year earlier. This is 145 percent of the 15-year average carryover of 6.2 million acre feet, still a “safe level” with respect to flood control or the possibility of a dry winter, according to David Murillo, regional director for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

District OKs Smaller Water Tunnel Plan for California

A Northern California water agency has voted for a stripped down, less costly version of Gov. Jerry Brown’s $16 billion project to build two massive water tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. The Santa Clara Valley Water District’s board voted 7-0 Tuesday to adopt a set of principles endorsing a project with just one tunnel. The San Jose Mercury News says the vote further throws the future of one of Brown’s major construction priorities into doubt.

Proposed Huntington Beach Desalination Plant Clears a Hurdle With State Lands Commission Vote

A proposed Huntington Beach seawater desalination plant passed a major regulatory hurdle Thursday when a marathon session at City Hall concluded with an endorsement from the California State Lands Commission. After more than four hours of public comment, the three-member panel unanimously approved amendments to a 2010 environmental impact report on Poseidon Water’s $1-billion project. The additions, recommended by commission staff, are expected to make the proposed plant at Pacific Coast Highway and Newland Street less harmful to ocean life and ensure its compliance with the California Ocean Plan, passed in 2015.

Orange County Residents Will Continue to Fight Unnecessary and Irresponsible Desalination Project

Today, more than 100 conservation and environmental justice advocates gathered at City Hall to urge the California State Lands Commission to take a reality check and defer action on an unnecessary, expensive, and irresponsible desalination plant. If approved by state and regional agencies, the desalination plant would drive up water bills, set back climate progress, and harm ocean wildlife. Despite widespread opposition, State Lands voted today to certify an environmental impact report and renew Poseidon’s lease to operate pipes under state beaches.

Cost of Oroville Dam Repair Nearly Doubles As Unexpected Problems Emerge

The reconstruction of Oroville Dam’s flood control spillway is likely to cost as much as $500 million, state officials said Thursday, as design changes and unexpected additional work has inflated the cost of the project. Originally budgeted at $275 million, the repair has grown to cover a greater level of protection for the dam’s emergency spillway – whose near failure in February sparked the evacuation of 188,000 downstream residents – as well as unforeseen problems in the bedrock beneath the main spillway, said Erin Mellon, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Water Resources.

Santa Fe Irrigation District Announces Board Member Resignation

The Santa Fe Irrigation District announced the resignation of Augustus (Auggie) Daddi from the Board of Directors, effective Nov. 1, due to personal reasons. Daddi represents Division #5 within the district that covers the southwest area of the City of Solana Beach. For more detailed information on the Division #5 boundaries, please visit As a result of Daddi’s resignation, a vacancy on the board of directors exists and the board of directors may fill the vacancy through appointment.