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Water Authority Bill Aims To Boost Water Industry Jobs For Veterans

A new bill in the California Legislature would provide a path for veterans transitioning to civilian employment to receive credit for their military experience and education toward certifications in the water industry. Assembly Bill 1588 was introduced February 22 by San Diego Assemblymember Todd Gloria and Central Valley Assemblymember Adam Gray. The bill, which may be heard in committee this month, is co-sponsored by the San Diego County Water Authority and the Otay Water District in hopes of helping the state’s industry replace a wave of retiring Baby Boomers.

California Has A Giant Surplus—Of Ideas For New Taxes. What’s Up With That?

California is enjoying a projected $21.4 billion surplus. Three-quarters of the state believes any new revenue increase should be for voters to decide. By population and percentage of personal income, this state already has the nation’s 10th highest tax burden. And the leader of the California Senate, Pro Tem Toni Atkins, has pointedly cautioned against any more levies that take cash out of the pockets of working families. In short, California lawmakers needn’t look far for an excuse to avoid raising taxes. Whether Atkins’ fellow Democrats got the memo, however, isn’t clear.

DWR Set To Appeal Oroville Funding Denials

California’s state water agency is set to appeal a federal determination that some of the Oroville Dam’s reconstruction costs are ineligible for reimbursement. The Federal Emergency Management Agency last week approved an additional $205 million for the project, on top of the $128.4 million it sent last year, according to the state Department of Water Resources.

It Took A While, But California Is Now Almost Completely Out Of Drought

This particular California winter has unfolded in good news/bad news fashion. Courtesy of a string of recurring atmospheric rivers, potent storms have caused flooding, power outages and canceled flights. But they have also lifted all but a thin slice of the state near the Oregon border completely out of drought. On the left, below, you can see the map released last week by the U.S. Drought Monitor, which is almost completely devoid of colors indicating various levels of parchedness. On the right is the same map from three years ago, bleeding brick-red and showing nearly 40 percent of the state in the most advanced stage of drought.

Nevada County’s Water Board To Talk Rate Hike, Raw Water Master Plan

Nevada County’s water district is taking baby steps in its effort to build a more inclusive community input process for determining its water needs over the next 50 years. The Nevada Irrigation District board of directors last fall hired a consultant to lead the stakeholder process to update its Raw Water Master Plan, to the tune of $800,000. But pushback from the public and cost-conscious directors led to terminating that contract and starting over.

The US Is Only Decades Away From Widespread Water Shortages, Scientists Warn

Much of the United States could be gripped by significant water shortages in just five decades’ time, according to predictions made in a new study. From the year 2071 on, scientists say the combined effects of climate change and population increases are projected to present “serious challenges” in close to half of the 204 watersheds covering the contiguous US.

DWR Set To Appeal Oroville Funding Denials

California’s state water agency is set to appeal a federal determination that some of the Oroville Dam’s reconstruction costs are ineligible for reimbursement. The Federal Emergency Management Agency last week approved an additional $205 million for the project, on top of the $128.4 million it sent last year, according to the state Department of Water Resources.

Environment Report: The Wet Weather Is In San Diego’s DNA

San Diego has been gloomy — cold, cloudy and rainy — pretty much since Christmas Day. Communities in North County — Vista and Ramona — just had their coldest February on record, according to the National Weather Service. So far, it’s rained three inches more than normal for this time of year in San Diego. “People who are doing construction are sending me text messages saying, ‘When is it going to stop?’” said Alex Tardy, a weather service meteorologist.

California Agencies Dispute Colorado River Drought Plan

A major Southern California water agency is trying to push the state through a final hurdle in joining a larger plan to preserve a key river in the U.S. West that serves 40 million people. Most of the seven states that get water from the Colorado River have signed off on plans to keep the waterway from crashing amid a prolonged drought, climate change and increased demands. But California and Arizona have not, missing deadlines from the federal government.

OPINION: Groundwater Law Is Critical, But Will Be Baffling

A process is underway that’s extremely important, and likely to be way over most of our heads. The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act was passed in 2014, which set deadlines for local agencies to come up with plans to manage the water beneath them “… without causing undesirable results.” Undesirable results include things like water quality deterioration, land subsidence and big drops in the water table. The state left it up to the local agencies to determine what their undesirable results were, but Sacramento reserved the right to reject plans that it felt were inadequate and impose their own.