Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration is taking unprecedented steps to combat President Donald Trump’s efforts to ship more water to his agricultural allies in the San Joaquin Valley. Saying Trump’s water plans are scientifically indefensible and would violate the state’s Endangered Species Act, the state Department of Water Resources on Friday began drawing up new regulations governing how water is pumped from the Sacramento San Joaquin Delta to the southern half of the state.
Archive for date: April 22nd, 2019
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The 80 homes that make up Tooleville nestle against the mighty Friant-Kern Canal, thousands of gallons of fresh water flowing each day past the two-street town. But none of that water can help Tooleville’s decades-old problem of contaminated water, chronicled at the start of this decade in a three-part series by The Bee on the San Joaquin Valley water crisis. Nearby Exeter might, though, giving a rise of newfound hope. The last year has proven to be the most productive in the town’s battle.
Starting Tuesday, people in Marina might spot a low-flying helicopter towing a large hexagonal frame. The Marina Fire Department posted to Facebook saying that the helicopter will be mapping groundwater aquifers and subsurface geology in the area. The frame beneath the helicopter is designed to map geologic structures and groundwater resources down to approximately 900 feet below the land surface
Keeping workers’ compensation claims and other staffing liabilities under control earned the Ramona Municipal Water District a $78,330 rebate from the Association of California Water Agencies Joint Powers Insurance Authority, also known as the ACWA JPIA. RMWD Board President Jim Robinson accepted the rebate check on behalf of the district at the board’s April 9 meeting. The JPIA pools risks and premiums from water agencies in California in an effort to get them the best insurance rates for property, liability, workers’ compensation and employee benefits coverage. The JPIA is not an insurance agency or carrier, but a special district that enables water agencies to share the risks associated with purveying water.
By the end of the century, rising seas will force Long Beach to find ways to protect homes and businesses—or see some of them swallowed by the sea. While seawalls, breakwaters and other barriers are already deployed up and down portions East Coast and West Coast, not all solutions are made of concrete and stone. Some say the future of protecting California’s coasts, and the developments behind them, will include more natural solutions like restoring wetlands and other habitats so they can help slow storm surges and combat other effects of sea level rise.
The wastewater in Santa Barbara is becoming one of the area’s most valuable resources. It is being converted into several different uses when most people think it goes down the drain and into the ocean. The city has just renamed its water treatment facility and it will now be called the El Estero Water Resource Center. “It will be used for more projects than ever before,” said Santa Barbara Water Resources Manager Joshua Haggmark.
Last month the U.S. Drought Monitor declared California drought-free for the first time since 2011, thanks to a series of winter storms. But the long term prognosis is for more droughts and severe weather, which will profoundly affect state agriculture. While farmers and lawmakers are taking notice, few see an immediate threat. However, a 2018 report published by Agronomy, a peer-reviewed, open access scientific journal, laid out a stark future for California agriculture, predicting it will be vastly different by the end of the century.
In court, the California Environmental Quality Act is a familiar obstacle to projects large and small — housing developments, solar projects, even bike lanes. It’s also lately become a weapon in the state’s major water conflicts. Last week, the Imperial Irrigation District filed a CEQA lawsuit trying to block a deal among seven states that could lead to further rations of the Colorado River in the near future. Even though environmental law doesn’t apply outside of California, Imperial is the largest holder of Colorado water rights in the country — it has dibs on as much river water as Arizona and Nevada combined — and is suing other California agencies that have agreed to give up water if there’s a shortage.
Napa County is known for the stories behind its world class wines, and recent public policy actions on tree removal and permitted rural winery activities are mobilizing groups to have a hand in writing the future story for local business. On April 9 after three years and two unsuccessful ballot measures. Measure C failed by a razor-thin margin in June the Napa County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved greater protections for native woodlands from development and buffer zones for watersheds. But the contentious path to the Water Quality and Tree Protection ordinance vote may not be the last word from supporters and opponents of tougher rules, from inside and outside the wine business.
In court, the California Environmental Quality Act is a familiar obstacle to projects large and small — housing developments, solar projects, even bike lanes. It’s also lately become a weapon in the state’s major water conflicts. Last week, the Imperial Irrigation District filed a CEQA lawsuit trying to block a deal among seven states that could lead to further rations of the Colorado River in the near future.