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Few Details In Newsom’s Water Policy Directive

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday ordered key state agencies to develop a blueprint for meeting California’s 21st-century water needs in the face of climate change. The executive order includes few details and doesn’t appear to set a dramatic new water course for the state. Rather, it reaffirms Newsom’s intentions to downsize the controversial twin tunnels project in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, use voluntary agreements to meet new river flow requirements and provide clean drinking water to impoverished communities.

Gov. Newsom Issues Executive Order Demanding Drought-Climate Plan

Like many governors before him, Gov. Gavin Newsom is seeking to get his arms around California’s myriad water problems, issuing an executive order Monday that calls for his administration to do nothing less than ensure safe and sufficient water for the next century. The order directs state agencies to review and come up with plans to improve policies addressing such issues as California’s chronic water shortages, contaminated drinking water, unaffordable water rates, and the declining health of rivers and lakes.

Study: Up To 15,000 Cancer Cases Could Stem From Chemicals In California Tap Water

A new study finds that drinking tap water in California over the course of a lifetime could increase the risk of cancer. Researchers from the environmental advocacy group Environmental Working Group estimated that the contaminants found in public water systems in California could contribute to about 15,500 cancer cases there over the course of a lifetime. These contaminants include chemicals such as arsenic, hexavalent chromium and radioactive elements such as uranium and radium. The study was published Tuesday in the journal Environmental Health.

Five Years Later, Effects Of Colorado River Pulse Flow Still Linger

From inside a small airplane, tracing the Colorado River along the Arizona-California border, it’s easy to see how it happened. As the river bends and weaves through the American Southwest, its contents are slowly drained. Concrete canals send water to millions of people in Phoenix and Tucson, Los Angeles and San Diego. Farms, ribbons of green contrasted against the desert’s shades of brown, line the waterway.

Cal Am Withdraws Appeal Of Desal Permit Denial

Monday evening California American Water announced it had decided to withdraw its appeal of the Marina city Planning Commission’s denial of a coastal development permit for the company’s proposed desalination project, specifically the intake slant wells and other related infrastructure. Cal Am announced it had been told by city officials its request for the mayor and two council members to recuse themselves due to alleged bias against the desal project would not be honored. The company will now appeal the commission’s denial directly to the Coastal Commission.

While Already Scorchers, World Deserts Could Get Even Hotter

The world is becoming a warmer place, and according to research conducted by a group of scientists from the University of California in Riverside and Los Angeles, already scorching hot deserts are expected to get much hotter in the near future. The results published in the Climate Change Report for California shows how by mid-century, average daily temperatures in the deserts of Southern California could soar well above current values, and that would most likely be the norm across many other deserts around the world. Average daily high temperatures have already increased between 8 and 9°C this century, and if greenhouse gas concentrations continue to rise at the current rate, the impact on California, and other desert regions of the world in a similar situation could spell trouble.

Federal Official Blocks Water For Walker Lake Restoration, Conservation Group Alleges In Court Document

A federal official is attempting to “obstruct” the flow of water to restore habitat at Walker Lake, the conservancy responsible for administering federal restoration funds alleged in federal district court last week. After years of litigation, lawyers for the Walker Basin Conservancy said that “at some point, the court must put a stop to the federal water master’s obstruction.”

County Supervisors To Weigh In Tuesday On SANDAG Transit Expansion Proposal

The San Diego Board of Supervisors will consider on Tuesday whether or not to support a new multi-billion dollar plan by the San Diego Association of Governments that would dramatically shift that group’s regional transportation plan toward prioritizing public transit expansion over building highways and roads. The proposal, which SANDAG unveiled Friday at a special meeting, would better position the region to meet state mandates related to greenhouse gas emissions and would add hundreds of miles of high-speed transit lines throughout the county, as far east as Poway and as far north as Oceanside, supporters say.

L.A. Mayor Garcetti’s ‘Green New Deal’ Would Phase Out Gas-Fueled Cars

Mayor Eric Garcetti unveiled a sweeping plan for a more sustainable Los Angeles on Monday, calling for dramatic changes to the car culture, buildings and air quality of America’s second-largest city.
The mayor’s sustainability plan imagines a city where, by the mid-2030s, 80% of the cars run on electricity or zero-emission fuel, 80% of the electricity comes from renewable sources and Angelenos drive 2,000 fewer miles each year than they do now. It’s a far cry from today’s L.A., where gridlock, tailpipe pollution and smoggy air have come to define a way of life.

California Adopts 2030 Preferred System Portfolio With 12 GW New Wind, Solar, Storage, Geothermal

California’s IRP decision Friday is a major step for the state, but regulators stressed that the review process will be more robust going forward as increasing amounts of capacity are procured by aggregators rather than distribution utilities. The targets the commission approved “are not hard procurement targets for the load-serving entities, but they do point to the scale of what we need to procure, and they indicate the attributes of resources that we need to achieve the emissions, reliability, and cost goals,” Commissioner Liane Randolph wrote in a blog post. The order sets out “the optimal 2030 portfolio of supply- and demand-side resources needed to achieve our state’s ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets.”