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Trump-Era Water Opinions in the Air as Biden Considers New Plan

Following nearly two years of litigation regarding Trump-era water policy, the federal government has until Oct. 14 to come up a plan to balance competing needs for the precious resource.

A minute order from District Judge Dale A. Drozd from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California extended by two weeks the due date for the status update that was originally expected to be delivered Sept. 30.

State Water Project Takes Aim at Restoring Salton Sea, Alleviating Health Risks

California is spending more than $200 million to keep an unfolding ecological crisis from getting worse. The state wants to stabilize habitat along the southern bank of the Salton Sea, the state’s largest lake.

That is good news for nearby residents concerned about their health, but the restoration could also affect everyone who draws water from the Colorado River.

Newsom Promised to End California’s Water Wars. Now that Trump is Gone, Can He Do It?

Shortly after taking office two years ago, Gov. Gavin Newsom promised to deliver a massive compromise deal on the water rushing through California’s major rivers and the critically-important Delta — and bring lasting peace to the incessant water war between farmers, cities, anglers and environmentalists.

Salton Sea Habitat Project Breaks Ground Near New River Delta

Construction began this week on a 4,110-acre wetlands project on the Salton Sea’s playa near the mouth of the highly polluted New River, the California Department of Natural Resources announced Wednesday.

Tired of Waiting on Salton Sea Fixes, Desert Shores Residents Take a Stand

These days, the house where Donna and John Winters planned to retire in the Southern California desert reflects in a stagnant pool of blood red water, their dream home becoming something of a nightmare.

Colorado River Aqueduct-Conveyance-California Water Commission

Public Workshop on California Water Conveyance Projects

The California Water Commission is holding public workshops as part of its efforts to assess a potential state role in financing conveyance projects that could help meet needs in a changing climate. A workshop in Southern California is scheduled for December 10 on Zoom.

The Commission’s goal with the workshops is to hear from diverse voices across the state. Participants from the region are encouraged to share their perspective on conveyance projects, conveyance infrastructure needs and priorities. The Commission also wants to learn about effective partnerships, public benefits of conveyance, possible criteria to assess resilience, efforts in preparing for changing hydrology, and effective financing mechanisms. 

“As water managers, we are constantly refining strategies to meet the challenges of the future, and local and regional water conveyance is one of our most significant tools,” said Sandra L. Kerl, general manager of the San Diego County Water Authority. “It’s important that we come together to advance integrated conveyance and interconnectivity solutions in light of the changing climate so that we can enhance regional water supply resilience for generations to come.”

The workshops are not associated with the pending proposal to improve conveyance through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Public workshops on water conveyance projects; funding options in Colorado River and South Lahontan region

The first workshop will focus on Southeastern California, including the Colorado River region and the Mono, Inyo and San Bernardino County region. The Southeastern California regional workshop will be co-hosted by the Imperial Irrigation District and the San Diego County Water Authority.

Water management issues and climate change

The workshops will be conducted via the web-based videoconferencing service Zoom. More detailed instructions on how to use Zoom and participate in the meeting can be found on the Commission website.

Additional workshops will be centered on Southern, Northern and Central California. 

The nine-member California Water Commission uses its public forum to explore water management issues from multiple perspectives and to formulate recommendations to advise the director of the California Department of Water Resources, and other state agencies including the California Natural Resources Agency, on ways to improve water planning and management in response to California’s changing hydrology.

Workshop Schedule

All workshops are from 2:45-5 p.m. (entry to meeting site opens at 2:30 p.m.) 

Southeastern California (Colorado River, South Lahontan) – Tuesday, December 8, 2020 (registration open now)

Southern California – Thursday, December 10, 2020 (registration open now)

Northern California – Tuesday, January 12, 2021 (registration open December 14, 2020)

Central California – Tuesday, January 26, 2021 (registration open December 14, 2020)

Opinion: A Greater Sense of Urgency Needed for Crises at the Salton Sea

The Salton Sea presents one of California’s most pressing ecological and environmental justice crises. The shrinking sea threatens habitat for millions of fish and birds, and as the sea’s shoreline recedes, a pollutant-laced dust spills into nearby communities and threatens the health of 650,000 people living nearby.

Have An Idea for How to Fix the Salton Sea? The State Wants Your Input This Month

Do you have an idea for how to address the public health and environmental crises around the Salton Sea? Are you concerned the state is far behind on implementing solutions? You can let them know this month.

The California Natural Resources Agency announced it will be hosting a new round of public engagement sessions in September to get input to assist in the development of wildlife habitat restoration and dust suppression projects for the Salton Sea Management Program’s 10-year plan.

CA Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot on the Governor’s Water Resilience Portfolio

Water is central to nearly everything we value in California. Healthy communities, economies, farms, ecosystems and cultural traditions depend on steady supplies of safe water. Those values are increasingly at risk as California confronts more extreme droughts and floods, rising temperatures, overdrafted groundwater basins, aging infrastructure and other challenges magnified by climate change.

Imperial County Hits IID, Feds with Violation Notice for Salton Sea Air Pollution

The Imperial County Air Pollution Control District on Tuesday hit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Imperial Irrigation District with notices of violation for ongoing pollution at a long-stalled Salton Sea restoration project.

The violations allege that the federal agency and the water district have only made sporadic attempts since 2016 to complete work at the several-hundred-acre Red Hill Bay site, “causing numerous instances of elevated levels of airborne dust.”