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LAFCO Report Recommends County Taking Over VC Parks

As expected, San Diego County LAFCO’s Municipal Service Review of the Valley Center Municipal Water District, Valley Center Fire Protection District and VC Parks & Rec District (which is referred to in the report as  VC Community Services District)—now available for public review—includes a recommendation that the County take over the parks district, and that the parks be put under a standalone County Service Area that would be run by the County, although with an advisory committee that would probably start with the current board of directors. 

Judge Brooks Anderholt Takes Mike Abatti Contempt Lawsuit Against IID Under Submission

Imperial, California – The Imperial Irrigation District appeared before Imperial County Superior Court Judge Brooks Anderholt, Tuesday, to defend itself in a contempt-of-court lawsuit filed by farmer Mike Abatti. This is an extension of the litigation brought against the district by Abatti in 2013 that challenged IID’s Equitable Distribution Plan, and is currently on appeal before the Fourth District Court of Appeal.

In his latest legal challenge to IID’s water rights and operations, Abatti asked the trial court to find IID in contempt for violating the judge’s August 2017 order prohibiting the district from entering into any new industrial water supply contracts until it implements an EDP based on water history.

InfraTerra Given CWA Contract for Seismic Vulnerability and Repair Time Study

InfraTerra Inc. has been awarded a contract to provide seismic vulnerability assessments and repair time estimates for San Diego County Water Authority pipelines.

A unanimous SDCWA board vote, Jan. 23, authorized the award of a $724,939 contract for InfraTerra to perform the work. The study is expected to be complete during summer 2021.

The CWA has five large-diameter pipelines with prestressed concrete cylinder, reinforced concrete and welded steel pipe. The most recent major seismic vulnerability study on the CWA pipelines was performed in 1993 and provided an estimate of the number of pipe breaks and repair time needed to restore water service in the event of a significant earthquake.

Some Droughts are ‘Perfect.’ Here’s Why

A “perfect drought” happens when major sources of water all experience drought at the same time. It was behind California’s dry spell early last decade, and a new study shows they go back centuries.

Connie Woodhouse and David Meko, professors at the University of Arizona’s Laboratory of Tree Ring Research, found the most recent span of 100 years, when five perfect droughts hit California, was not unusual compared to past centuries.

Congressmen Working to Find Ways to Repair Aging California Canals

(KFSN Fresno, Calif.) – Canals that move water through the state are showing signs of aging.

The Delta-Mendota Canal was built in 1951, while the California Aqueduct was built in 1963.

You can find cracks in the canal system due to subsidence. The land is sinking in some areas due to years of groundwater over-pumping.

“I think we’ve fallen woefully behind when it comes to maintaining infrastructure as we’ve seen in growing populations,” says Cannon Michael.

California Canals Damaged by Sinking Soil, Groundwater Pumping. New Bills aim to Help

Democratic congressmen from Fresno introduced two pieces of legislation that aim to repair aging canals and water infrastructure in California that’s been damaged by sinking ground levels – called subsidence, caused by groundwater pumping.

“The canals on the eastside and the westside are experiencing dramatic subsidence and therefore their capacity to move water has greatly diminished,” said Rep. Jim Costa during a news conference Monday before the backdrop of the central San Joaquin Valley’s Friant Dam, just outside Fresno.

Opinion: Is California Trying to kill the Community-Scale Generation Market?

The community-scale market segment has been plagued by ongoing policy neglect, and otherwise poor policy choices. Will policymakers heed the track record of demonstrated failure and finally create new programs that address previous problems?

California, long a progressive leader on renewable energy and climate change mitigation, has neglected a key market segment for renewable energy: the community-scale or wholesale distributed generation market.

The wholesale distributed generation segment consists of projects below 20 megawatts that connect to the distribution grid and export power to the grid for sale.

Indigenous Tribes are at the Forefront of Climate Change Planning in the U.S.

Temperatures in Idaho’s Columbia, Snake, and Salmon rivers were so warm in 2015 that they cooked millions of salmon and steelhead to death. As climate change leads to consistently warmer temperatures and lower river flows, researchers expect that fish kills like this will become much more common. Tribal members living on the Nez Perce reservation are preparing for this new normal.

“The biggest and most poignant impact for Nez Perce tribal members has been the loss of fishing and fish,” said Stephanie Krantz, the climate change coordinator for the tribe. “For tribal peoples, they are absolutely essential for survival.”

Arcata Considers Putting Fluoridation on November Ballot

Arcata is returning to a question it asked 14 years ago: Should the city fluoridate its water?

The Arcata City Council will be voting Wednesday on whether there should be a measure on the November 2020 ballot asking residents whether or not the city should stop fluoridating its water. The item was brought forward at the request of Arcata City Councilman Paul Pitino. A measure previously appeared before voters in 2006 when almost two-thirds of Arcata citizens voted it down, but Pitino said now, “we know a little bit more.”

Hydropower Dams in Tropics Found to Harm Fish

Researchers warn that future freshwater damming efforts could present significant dangers to aquatic life if allowed to proceed as planned, potentially threatening the habitats of up to 10,000 fish species.

A study, published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, details how a large team of environmental researchers have charted out the potential consequences of both present and future damming efforts of freshwater sources.