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Imperial County Declares Salton Sea Emergency, Demands California Take Action

Imperial County has had enough. That was the message from the county board of supervisors on Tuesday as they voted unanimously to declare a local state of emergency at the Salton Sea.

And that may not be all: In addition to the action on the state’s largest lake, supervisors said they will seek another emergency declaration on the badly polluted New River — which flows into the Salton Sea — in two weeks.

Commentary: Don’t Take Water for Granted On “Imagine a Day Without Water”

Millions of Americans take water service for granted every day. Turn on the tap, and clean water flows out. Flush the toilet, and dirty water goes away. With reliable water service, people don’t have to think twice about the infrastructure that brings water to their homes, and then safely recycles it or returns it to the environment – but everyone should be concerned with the future of those systems. Today, October 23, 2019, is the fifth annual Imagine a Day Without Water, a nationwide day of advocacy about the value of water organized by the U.S. Water Alliance.

California Fights Trump on Everything-Except Water

MANTECA — California is providing health care to undocumented immigrants while President Donald Trump wants to build a border wall, and Gov. Gavin Newsom circumvented the White House with a side deal on auto emissions standards. But when it comes to water, Trump and California are closer than you might think. About 90 minutes from the deep blue coast, the predictable political fault lines stop at the Central Valley, home to the state’s $70 billion agricultural industry. Environmental laws, droughts and urban growth have led to a three-decade decline in farm water and stoked an acidic political logjam visible to anyone who’s driven down Interstate 5, the backbone of the state’s highway system.

Climate Havoc Wipes Out Coastal Kelp As S.F. Bay’s Native Fish Species Die Off

A climate-related catastrophe off the California coast has resulted in the death of 90% of the kelp from San Francisco to Oregon as an explosion of ravenous urchins devours everything in sight. And it’s happening at the same time native fish in San Francisco Bay are dying out, two studies released Monday documented.

The studies, by government, university and scientific institute researchers, offer a disturbing look at an underwater ecosystem suffering more than anyone previously suspected — along the coast, in San Francisco Bay and in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

Federal Agencies Focused On Improving Water Prediction For Western U.S. With Action Plan

The Western United States has increasing been subject to the whims of Mother Nature regarding the availability of water supplies. Managing in an era of multi-year droughts, deluges and floods, and the need to protect and replenish dwindling groundwater basins is a challenge for any water manager.

Last year President Trump issued a Presidential Memorandum on Promoting the Reliable Supply and Delivery of Water in the West to aid water manager in knowing where, when, and how much precipitation will occur in a certain area. The memo directed the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) and the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) to develop an action plan, in coordination with water experts and resource managers, to improve forecasts of water availability. The Federal Action Plan for Improving Forecasts of Water Availability (Action Plan) has now been released.

Officials Praise New Biological Opinions For The SWP And CVP

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service have released new biological opinions that will have a significant impact on the administration of California water supplies.  The new documents relate to salmon, Delta smelt and other native fish species that are affected by the management of the State Water Project (SWP), as well as the Central Valley Project (CVP).

“The new Biological Opinions mean that for farms, fish, and people, this is the dawn of a new science-based approach to water and ecosystem management,” California Farm Water Coalition Executive Director Mike Wade said in a news release.  “The biological opinions being replaced were based on an arbitrary, calendar-based approach, and have not delivered the successful recovery of salmon and Delta smelt populations.”

Trump Team Weakens Endangered Species Protections For California Salmon And Delta Smelt

In a move that would boost water deliveries to San Joaquin Valley agriculture and Southern California cities, federal fishery agencies are weakening decade-old endangered species protections for some of the state’s most imperiled native fish populations.

The rollback — coming a year after President Trump targeted the regulations in a memo — rewards Central Valley agribusiness interests that are some of the president’s strongest California supporters. To critics, it highlights the extent to which the Trump administration has injected politics into federal oversight of the nation’s leading environmental laws.

Blog: ‘Big Ideas’ Diversify San Diego Region’s Reliable Water Supply

Ensuring water for future generations requires investing and investigating big ideas, according to Sandy Kerl.

Kerl, acting general manager of the San Diego County Water Authority, shared some of those ideas today in San Diego, as she delivered the opening remarks at the California-Nevada Section of the American Water Works Association annual fall conference, which runs through Thursday at the Town and Country Hotel Convention Center.

Feds To Make A Big Water Proposal, While Imperial County Seeks Newsom’s Help With Salton Sea

The U.S. government today is announcing plans to alter operations of California’s water system, potentially resulting in less water flowing through the Delta into San Francisco Bay and more to cities and San Joaquin Valley farms.

The plan, part of which was announced via a commentary in CalMatters, includes changes that the Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say will improve habitat for Chinook salmon and Delta smelt, a tiny fish that is teetering on the verge of extinction in the wild.