You are now in Agency News News category.

Olivenhain Municipal Water District Logo

Olivenhain Municipal Water District Recognized for Community Engagement

Encinitas, CA—On January 25, Olivenhain Municipal Water District received the “Community Engagement & Outreach Program of the Year” award from the San Diego section of the California Water Environment Association during the section’s annual awards ceremony. OMWD’s outreach program highlights the importance of investing in recycled water as a critical water source.


State Sen. Toni Atkins receives CMUA Safe Drinking Water Champion Award January 27, 2020 in Sacramento

Atkins Receives Safe Drinking Water Champion Award

California State Senate President pro Tem Toni Atkins of San Diego on Monday received the 2019 Safe Drinking Water Champion Award from the California Municipal Utilities Association in Sacramento.

“The award recognizes Senator Atkins’ leadership to work collaboratively with her colleagues in the Senate, Assembly and Governor’s office in securing funding for communities that do not have access to safe drinking water,” said Danielle Blacet-Hyden, CMUA director for water, as she presented Senator Atkins with the award.

Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund of 2019

In her role as leader of the Senate, Atkins was instrumental in bringing California together to find consensus and common ground that resulted in passage of the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund of 2019. This long-term funding solution – a total of $1.3 billion over the next 10 years – will help ensure safe drinking water for the estimated 1 million Californians who currently lack it, and also fix failing water systems in vulnerable communities. 

“Lack of clean water is something that seems almost unimaginable in 21st century California – yet there still are communities that do not have pure, wholesome, and potable water to drink, bathe, and use in their daily lives,” said Atkins during the award presentation. “Last year we passed a law that includes an ongoing source of funding to provide safe and affordable drinking water to communities suffering from contaminated supplies, without any new taxes or charges on working Californians or on our farming industry.”

Safe water without a drinking water tax

Atkins worked to secure safe water without adding a water tax. Water industry groups, including the San Diego County Water Authority, were among the broad coalition of water, business and civic interests that opposed the tax.

“Her leadership was vital to securing the funding needed to provide safe drinking water for the communities in California where unhealthy water is a problem,” said Glenn Farrel, director of government relations for the Water Authority.

Representing San Diego, Atkins was elected to the Assembly in 2010 and became Assembly Speaker in 2014. After one year in the Senate, in March 2018 she was sworn in as Senate President pro Tempore, becoming the first woman to lead the Legislature’s upper house.

The CMUA represents its members’ interests on energy and water issues before the California Legislature, the Governor’s Office and regulatory bodies, such as the California Energy Commission, the California Air Resources Board, the Department of Water Resources, the California Independent System Operator, and the State Water Resources Control Board. It was initially formed in 1932 to represent California’s community-owned electric utilities.

Opinion: Newsom’s New Delta Tunnel Plan Could Work – But Only as Part of a More Comprehensive Water Effort

The point of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed underground aqueduct is to divert water from the Sacramento River beneath the fragile wetlands, waterways and islands that make up the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to an artificial body of water about 25 miles southwest of Stockton known as Clifton Court Forebay. From there, water would continue to flow through state aqueducts to coastal and Southern California and through federal channels mostly to farm fields in the San Joaquin Valley.

Currently, the water flows not under the delta but right through it. The problem is that when the powerful pumps are running near Clifton Court to drive more water to Southern California and the Central Valley, they reverse the natural flow of delta water and interfere with migrations of endangered fish

More Rain, Less Snow Increases Flooding

As the world warms and precipitation that would have generated snowpack instead creates rain, the western U.S. could see larger floods, according to new Stanford research. An analysis of over 400 watersheds from 1980 to 2016 shows that winter floods driven by rainfall can be more than 2.5 times as large as those driven by snowmelt. The researchers also found that flood sizes increase exponentially as a higher fraction of precipitation falls as rain, meaning the size of floods increased at a faster rate than the increase in rain.

‘Normal Winter’ Expected to Fill State’s Lakes

A “normal winter” is forecast into spring, predicted the Bay Area’s weather wizard, Michael Pechner of Golden West Meteorology. On the heels of last year’s milestone rain and snow totals for much of Northern California and with residual high lake levels going into fall, a normal winter would fill most recreation lakes for summer camping, boating and fishing and provide good winter conditions for snow sports in April.

Toxic PFAS “Forever Chemicals: Found in Water Supplies Across U.S., But Trump Threatens to Veto Regulatory Bill

The 2019 movie “Dark Waters” alerted the public to health hazards posed by perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS, also know as PFOA and PFOS) that contaminated water and groundwater around manufacturer DuPont’s facility in Parksburg, West Virginia. The chemicals have been linked to deaths, cancer and more–and they are pervasive, found in 97% of Americans tested, PBS reports, citing a U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination study in 2015.

Predator Fish that Anglers Love Faces Uncertain Future in California Water Wars

In California’s never-ending water and fish wars, the striped bass doesn’t get nearly the publicity as its celebrity counterparts, the endangered Chinook salmon and Delta smelt. Yet the striped bass is at the heart of a protracted fight over California’s water supply, 140 years after the hard-fighting fish, beloved by anglers, was introduced here from the East Coast. Wealthy agricultural and Southern California urban water interests, tired of seeing their Central Valley water supplies reduced to protect native fish, have been quietly waging a war against the bass because they prey on hatchling salmon and adult smelt. They’ve repeatedly tried to introduce legislation or change regulations that would reduce the numbers of striped bass from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

January Will End On a Dry Note in Southern California as the Jet Stream Locks Into a Zonal Pattern

January will continue to be dry in Southern California as the jet stream settles into a stable or zonal pattern, which means it flows more directly from west to east with little fluctuation. A wavy or undulating jet stream is the pattern that brings storms from the north Pacific into California. “When the winter jet stream calms down, Southern California stays dry,” says Bill Patzert, former climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. When the jet stream is unstable, it meanders from north to south and back again. Cold air sinks farther south and warm air is carried into higher latitudes.

New Water Recycling Projects Will Help Battle Central Coast’s Seawater Invasion

For decades, California’s coastal aquifers have been plagued by invading seawater, turning pristine wells into salty ruins. But the state’s coastal water agencies now plan to get more aggressive in holding back the invasion by injecting millions of gallons of treated sewage and other purified wastewater deep underground. The additional groundwater will both enhance potable water supplies and help prevent saltwater from seeping further into coastal California’s massive subterranean reservoirs. A decade ago, Orange County was the first in California to successfully employ this tactic — mocked by critics as a “toilet to tap” solution.

Russian Riverkeeper Works to Protect, Restore Russian River

Rivers are vital. Like life-giving arteries, they deliver water for drinking and irrigation and fertile soil for vineyards and farms. They support watersheds teeming with life. But humans are hard on rivers. We crowd their banks, dump waste in them and take out water, fish and other resources. In the process, waterways often end up reduced to narrow, dirty channels, shadows of their former selves. When that happens, who speaks for the river? For our longest local river, that voice has often been the nonprofit Russian Riverkeeper.