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In Parched Southwest, Warm Spring Renews Threat of ‘Megadrought’

Here at 12,000 feet on the Continental Divide, only vestiges of the winter snowpack remain, scattered white patches that have yet to melt and feed the upper Colorado River, 50 miles away.

That’s normal for mid-June in the Rockies. What’s unusual this year is the speed at which the snow went. And with it went hopes for a drought-free year in the Southwest.

Colorado River Stakeholders To Face Tribal Rights, Environmental Protection and Climate Change

Charismatic is hardly the best word to describe the humpback chub, a fish with a frowny eel face jammed onto a sportfish body in a way that suggests evolution has a sense of humor. Nor did tastiness build a fan base for this “trash fish” across its natural habitat throughout the Colorado River Basin. But, in 1973, the humpback chub became famous by winning federal protection under the Endangered Species Act.

Opinion: NEPA Suspension, Infrastructure Bill Put Wetlands at Risk

Rollbacks of the Clean Water Act and the executive order to suspend the National Environmental Policy Act are meant to save costs and cut red tape. However, Jeremy Schewe, professional wetland scientist, explains these efforts will ultimately lead to far greater expense to business, society, and the planet, especially when combined with the House proposed infrastructure stimulus package.

What Happens When a Drinking Water System Fails? Ask This Small California Town

Residents in Earlimart, California, lost water service when a 50-year-old well on Mary Ann Avenue failed in late May.

When it came back on, the main source of drinking water for more than 8,000 residents became a well contaminated with a chemical from banned pesticides. And most residents didn’t know.

U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris Introduces Legislation to Ensure Nation’s Water Sustainability – Says Our Nation is Facing a Water Safety and Affordability Crisis

U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) on Tuesday announced the introduction of the Water for Tomorrow Act, legislation that ensures the nation’s water supply is safe and sustainable. The threat of climate change, which has a disproportionate impact on low-income communities and communities of color, will continue to intensify water scarcity and extreme weather conditions, particularly in California and the West. The Water for Tomorrow Act combines the water sustainability measures from Sen. Harris’ Water Justice Act with key measures from the FUTURE Drought Resiliency Act, led in the House of Representatives by Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA).

Sacramento Region Plans to Store Water Underground as a Climate Change Adaptation Strategy

The Sacramento region is preparing for the long term impacts of the climate crisis when it comes to water supply. Central to the plan is a groundwater storage program with two to three times the space of Folsom Lake.

As the climate warms it’ll likely become harder to fill up reservoirs, because the snowpack could be small for multiple years. Think of the nearly empty reservoirs across California during the most recent drought.

Water Resilience Projects Receive Nearly $84 Million from DWR

The California Department of Water Resources has announced the latest funding awards for several water resilience projects throughout the state. A total of $83.9 million grant funding has been issued to communities in San Diego, San Joaquin, Sacramento, Sierra and Central Coast regions. The funding is aimed at supporting projects to address infrastructure needs, depleted groundwater levels, flood control issues, and other water issues of critical importance.

Opinion: Importing Water to Save the Salton Sea Can Work. Let’s Prove and Do It Now

The Engagement Committee of the Salton Sea Management Plan (SSMP) met June 17 on Zoom, though participating community members were neither seen or heard; they could only write comments and questions.

About 90% of the meeting consisted of management reporting on small plans to control dust and build habitat that still require federal permits, which will delay construction for another year. Also, the SSMP has approved a $19 million dollar pilot project for the North Lake.

Money to Repair Central Valley Canal in House Bill. A large Funding Gap Remains

South San Joaquin Valley farmers have a reason to celebrate this week: Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives appropriated $200 million to fix the Friant-Kern Canal.

The bill also includes funding to repair the Delta-Mendota Canal and for two Northern California reservoirs.

California’s Pollution Regulators Go Toe-To-Toe With Trump. Watchdog Says They Come Up Short

A California environmental advocacy group urged the state’s air pollution regulator and agriculture department to do more for minority communities in an annual report card it published last week.

That report card, compiled by the California Environmental Justice Alliance, issued environmental justice grades to eight agencies, with a statewide C average.