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Resetting the Mission for WIFIA

The WIFIA Loan Program recently announced that it has reset the interest rates on two undrawn loan commitments originally made in mid-2018. The fixed rate on a $135 million loan to Orange County Water District and a $614 million loan to San Diego Public Facilities Financing Authority were reset downward from about 3.1 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively, to around 1 percent, reflecting the steady decline in the Treasury curve since the loans’ first-rate setting.

BPA Added to California Toxic Chemical List Despite Challenge

California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment can list bisphenol A under the state’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act despite challenges regarding the lack of evidence of its harm to humans, a state appeals court said Monday.

The agency added BPA, a chemical used to coat food and beverage packaging, to the so-called Proposition 65 list in 2013, based on a study published by the National Toxicology Program’s Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction.

Opinion: Eastern Coachella Valley Residents Urge the State for Action on the Salton Sea

We represent a group of East Coachella Valley residents optimistic about the future of the Salton Sea and the surrounding communities. That is why we are working to ensure our communities see meaningful benefits from the sea’s restoration.

On Sept. 30, we sent a letter to state officials requesting that restoration projects coming out of the Salton Sea Management Program consider the potential impacts on nearby communities. We hope those officials will share in our vision of reforestation and green spaces around the Salton Sea, see the benefits of such projects in addressing the sea’s deteriorating environmental conditions, and act with the same urgency.

La Niña: Is California Heading Into Another Drought?

Federal scientists say that La Niña — the phenomenon where Pacific Ocean waters off South America are cooler than normal — is underway this winter.

A commonly held assumption among many Californians is that La Niña means a dry winter is coming, and in years when the opposite occurs, El Niño, a wet winter is considered more likely.

So brown lawns and water rationing are just around the corner, right?

Not necessarily. Looking at historical records, there isn’t a clear pattern. In the Bay Area, La Niña years have been drier than normal only about half the time.

Governor Newsom’s Executive Order Aims to Conserve Land, Biodiversity, California Farm Bureau Federation Reports

A new California Biodiversity Collaborative will help determine how to carry out an executive order from Gov. Gavin Newsom aimed at conserving 30% of California’s land and marine areas by 2030—and agricultural organizations said they would participate to assure the collaborative recognizes stewardship efforts carried out on the state’s farms and ranches.

Scientists Say They Can Predict Colorado River’s Annual Water Supply. What Does That Mean for Agriculture, Wildfires?

Scientists can now predict drought and overall water supply on the Colorado River years in advance, according to a new study published by researchers at Utah State University.

The team of scientists believe long-term “ocean memory,” in conjunction with atmospheric effects and the influence of land systems, correlates with cycles of drought in parts of the western U.S., which then leads to water shortages on the Colorado River.

Carlsbad Lagoon Dredging Starts Soon

Seawater desalination operator Poseidon is poised to take over the Agua Hedionda Lagoon maintenance dredging that has been done by local power companies since 1954.

Permits are being obtained for the work to begin in November or early December with expectations to finish by mid-April, said Poseidon Senior Vice President Peter MacLaggan at a meeting earlier this month of the Carlsbad Beach Preservation Commission.