With a global pandemic, a catastrophic economic recession, and record-high unemployment numbers, one would think the state has enough issues to tackle. But proponents of a state water grab that I have been fighting since the day I was sworn into office in 2012 disagree. Where others see turmoil and anguish, they see opportunity. Apparently, they believe in the adage, “Never let a crisis go to waste.”
Archive for date: June 22nd, 2020
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The State of California revealed the latest trick up their sleeve in regards to slowing or stopping water delivery to millions of Californians through the Central Valley Project earlier this month. The State Water Resources Control Board has rejected the Sacramento River Temperature Plan by the United States Bureau of Reclamation. The Temperature Plan has been months in the making in order to coincide with this year’s hydrology.
The State Water Resources Control Board has recently released the proposed NPDES Suction Dredge Mining General Permit for public comments. A virtual public workshop was held on May 28, 2020 with a virtual Public Hearing originally scheduled for June 17th. The public hearing has now been rescheduled to August 5th with comments due by August 24th. No action will be taken at this public hearing. The State Water Board will schedule a meeting subsequent to the public hearing to consider adoption of the General Permit.
This feature highlights water utility employees in the San Diego region working during the coronavirus pandemic to ensure a safe, reliable and plentiful water supply. The water industry is among the sectors that are classified as essential. Keith Swiatkowski, Otay Water District Water Systems Operator III, is the Water Utility Hero of the Week.
As California confronts increasing water challenges, the most equitable statewide solution from a social justice perspective is the single-tunnel project proposed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, known as the Delta Conveyance Project.
More than 27 million Californians rely on imported drinking water conveyed through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. This imported water also serves millions of acres of local agricultural lands and vital wildlife refuges.
For the second time, the state’s top water cop has directed the Western Slope’s oldest and most valuable water rights to be left off the once-a-decade abandonment list. That means hundreds of these mostly irrigation water rights have been granted immunity — even though they are no longer being used — from the threat of “use it or lose it,” further enshrining them in the state’s system of water administration and dealing a blow to the validity of the well-known adage.
Every 10 years, engineers and water commissioners from the Colorado Division of Water Resources review every water right — through diversion records and site visits — to see whether it has been used at some point in the previous decade. If it hasn’t, it could end up on the decennial abandonment list, which is scheduled to come out in July.
Farmers who grow San Diego County’s most valuable crops may miss out on federal cash for coronavirus-related losses because some of their agriculture products — primarily flowers, nursery plants and exotic fruits — are not included in the relief program.
The growers are pushing to get their specialty crops added to the government’s eligible list, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture appears willing to hear them out. It has asked for more information on nursery plants and cut flowers, and given the farmers a deadline of today to provide more data on their losses.
After 67 years of living and breathing dairy farming in California’s San Joaquin Valley, Scott Magneson cannot, will not, stop.
Every morning before dawn, when the valley fog is still resting on his fields in thick clouds, he checks the barns. Then he starts on the to-do list, which outlasts the day. In another farm tradition, Magneson rarely leaves his land. He can’t remember the last time he and his wife Pat (who does the bookkeeping) took a vacation.
The Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies and National Association of Clean Water Agencies, two organizations representing municipally-owned utilities, recently asked Senate leaders to include public sector aid in the next round of COVID-19 relief legislation.