Assemblymember Adam C. Gray (D-Merced) ripped the State Water Resources Control Board on Tuesday for arguing that the harm caused by the Bay-Delta Plan to the drinking gray adam california assemblymember mercedwater of disadvantaged communities is not “significant”. Gray’s comments came as his legislation, Assembly Bill 637, cleared the Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee with bipartisan support. In response to criticism that the Bay-Delta Plan ignores impacts to disadvantaged communities, the State Water Board issued a master response arguing that because the board is not a federal agency it does not have to consider impacts to these communities significant.
Archive for date: April 8th, 2019
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A bill that would authorize the federal government to enact a drought plan for Colorado River basin states in times of shortage has passed Congress and is on its way to the White House for the president’s signature. Rep. Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz., and Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., fast-tracked the measure, clearing a final hurdle for the drought plan, a product of years of long and complicated negotiations that crossed state and party lines. When enacted, the plan will spread the effects of expected cutbacks on the river and protect the levels of Lake Mead and Lake Powell, the river’s two largest reservoirs. Its aim is to protect water users from deep losses and keep the reservoirs and river healthy.
An increasing number of solutions to California and Arizona’s long term water problems now involve Mexico. Some of the ideas are seemingly far-fetched, like a pipeline to bring water from the Gulf of California to the Salton Sea in Imperial County. Some are already happening, like Mexico agreeing to reduce its water use in the event of a Colorado River shortage.After decades of warnings, officials who rely on the Colorado River which provides water to 40 million Americans and Mexicans have begun to reckon with the long-known fact that cities and farms are expecting to receive more water from the river than the river usually holds.
“Whiskey’s for drinking and water’s for fighting,” a quote frequently if probably erroneously attributed to Mark Twain, is as true a statement today as it was during Twain’s time in the 19th and early 20th centuries. And, for the past 20 years, there certainly has been plenty of fighting going on over the amount of water that can be sustainably withdrawn from a water basin underneath the Mojave Desert. Cadiz, a Mojave land owner, has proposed, and continues to propose, to pump water and lots of it from the Mojave aquifer and sell it to water districts hundreds of miles away, at a profit, potentially destroying the Mojave Desert in the process.
Despite its designation as a desert, the Coachella Valley is blessed with water. The very names associated with the most prominent places and businesses in the desert, such as the Oasis Hotel, Mineral Springs Hotel, Deep Well, Indian Wells, Palm Springs, Snow Creek, and Tahquitz River Estates, all conjure up pretty images of water. But the early story of desert water is more utilitarian than picturesque: it quite literally can be seen as a history of ditches.
New research finds that climate change is putting stress on wetlands in the West’s Great Basin and that is putting pressure on bird populations navigating the Pacific Flyway. Changing water conditions linked to climate change are impacting the wetland habitats that waterbirds rely on. The basin includes most of Nevada and parts of Utah, Arizona, Oregon and the eastern edge of California. Warmer temperatures and less rain are affecting wetland habitats. “Eleven of those 14 birds that we looked at there were significant correlations between changes in climate and a decrease in population,” said Susan Haig, U.S. Geological Survey researcher emeritus.
Back in the early 1990s — near the start of my career at San Diego City Hall — the San Diego County Water Authority launched a historic effort to sustain the region’s economy and quality of life by diversifying our water supplies so that we didn’t depend on one source for 95 percent of our water. That effort took many forms, many billions of dollars and more than two decades — but it paid off in spades. Even though we are at the literal end of the pipeline, today we have among the most diversified and secure water supply systems anywhere.
Removing grass can generate rebates of at least $2 per square foot for San Diego residents under new enhanced incentives that started this month. As of April 1, the Metropolitan Water District is offering $2 per square foot for every square foot of grass removed from yards and replaced with sustainable landscaping. Rebates may vary by water agency, but an online incentive calculator identifies the current rebate amounts. To increase participation, MWD also updated program rules. The rules are listed at the application site. All San Diego County residents are eligible for the $2 rebate.