A bill moving through the state legislature looks to make repairs and enhancements to the Friant-Kern Canal. Senate Bill 559 was authored by Senator Melissa Hurtado, representing the 14th Senate District, and was co-authored by several other San Joaquin Valley lawmakers. The legislation recently advanced through the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water with a vote of 7 to 0. The canal moves water south from Friant Dam through 152 miles of canal to the Kern River in Bakersfield. The canal has been shown to be suffering from subsidence issues as a result of over drafted groundwater basins.
Archive for date: April 15th, 2019
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Attorney General Becerra on Monday joined a multistate comment letter urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) to withdraw a proposed rule that would exclude much of our nation’s waterways from vital federal protections. The proposal is the most recent step in the Trump Administration’s plan to dismantle long-standing pollution control measures in the Clean Water Act. The proposed rule seeks to repeal the Clean Water Rule enacted during the Obama Administration and replace it with a narrow definition of protected waters. This change would eliminate federal protections for many wetlands, rivers, creeks, streams, and tributaries.
Gaps in resource procurement by California’s proliferating load serving entities (LSEs) could prevent the state from achieving its nation-leading renewable energy and climate goals. The state’s massive renewable resource portfolio has gaps in it that threaten the reliable delivery of electricity, according to a March 18 proposed decision in the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) integrated resource planning docket. The docket was designed to address reliability in planning by assuring that variable resources are adequately balanced by resources that are available when needed.
California is leading the world when it comes to climate action and environmental sustainability. The fifth largest economy in the world is already deriving more than half of its energy on a daily basis from renewable energy. In terms of electrification and electrifying transportation, that movement is happening and being led in California. About half of electric vehicle sales in the country are generated here. Last week, the State Water Board adopted a new policy meant to protect wetlands in an appropriate way without unnecessarily inhibiting development. At a time when we see the Trump administration moving away from, or even attacking, environmental protection, this state is doubling down on protecting the environment in a way that grows our economy.
Want to know when the next hot spell is coming? It might help to look at the weather forecasts — a few thousand miles away. Summer heat waves in California’s Central Valley are almost always preceded by heavy rainfall over the tropical Indian and Pacific oceans, scientists at UC Davis and in South Korea determined in a recently published research effort. Researchers identified 24 heat waves that took place in California’s Central Valley during summer months from 1979 to 2010, and compared those heat waves to a weather pattern called the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) that brings heavy rain to the tropical Indian and Pacific oceans.
Southern California’s rainy season comes to a close in about two weeks, and the winter is already among some of the region’s wettest. This past winter was the second in three years to produce above average rainfall in San Diego. The KPBS Water Gauge tracks rainfall and snowpack in California and both totals are running well above average. National Weather service forecaster Alex Tardy said this past winter was a winter of stormy weather.
Researchers say the end of California’s drought could offer a surprising benefit: reduced transmission of the mosquito-borne West Nile virus. Drought is the most important weather-related factor that affects the rate of West Nile infection, scientists say. Mosquito eggs need water to hatch, but dry conditions tend to spur greater transmission of the virus.
When state surveyors measured the Sierra snowpack on April 2, they found 106.5 inches of snow, with an equivalent of 51 inches of water — meaning that if the area were hit with some sort of cosmic laser beam and everything turned to liquid in a flash, that’s how much water would be left behind. Compared to average measurements for this time of year, those readings represent 200% of normal levels.
California Water Service filed an application with the California Public Utilities Commission on Monday that will result in bill decreases for the utility’s Lucerne customers. The filing implements various ratemaking mechanisms that company officials said will ensure customer bills continue to reflect the true cost to provide water service. For the typical residential Lucerne customer who uses 2,992 gallons, or 4 ccf, of water per month, the monthly bill will decrease by $5.63. Because Lucerne customers are billed for water service every two months, they would see a decrease of $11.26 on the bimonthly bill, the company said.
The WateReuse Association, California chapter named the City of Malibu the 2019 “Recycled Water Agency of the Year” for its Civic Center Water Treatment Facility (CCWTF), which was completed and started processing wastewater into clean, recycled water for irrigation in October, 2018. “The City of Malibu and its people have always defined themselves as innovators of environmental protections and programs,” said Mayor Jefferson “Zuma Jay” Wagner. “Our new water treatment facility puts us ahead of the curve of smart, environmentally sound water management practices while combating the realities of climate change and drought here in California.”