News worth noting: Report on steelhead movement in the South Delta released, EPA awards $1.5M in wetland grants, USGS monitoring streamflow conditions, and a look at the Feinstein legislation

news worth notingStipulation Study Report released:  From the Department of Water Resources, Bay Delta Office: “DWR has released the report titled “Stipulation Study: Steelhead Movement and Survival in the South Delta with Adaptive Management of Old and Middle River Flows”. This report documents results and conclusions of the 2012 Stipulation Study.  The overarching objectives for this study were to evaluate the effects of Old and Middle River (OMR) flows on steelhead survival, migration rate, and migration direction; estimate route selection under different OMR flow conditions; and provide steelhead tag detection data that could be used to adaptively manage OMR flows.”  Click here for the report:  Stipulation Study: Steelhead Movement and Survival in the South Delta with Adaptive Management of Old and Middle River Flows

EPA awards $1.5 million grants for wetlands to tribes and organizations:  “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the award of $1,565,140 in 2013 Wetland Program Development Grants to six tribes in California and Arizona and four California organizations to conduct research designed to prevent and eliminate water pollution. EPA also announces it will begin today accepting applications for the 2014 Wetland Program grant cycle.  Work under these grants, awarded annually, will range from enhancing computer programs that rapidly assess wetland conditions, to helping tribes develop programs to better monitor and protect their wetlands.  “Wetlands are key to the vitality of local communities and wildlife — in an era of climate change, healthy wetlands act as natural buffers to floods and sea level rise,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Continued support for research and projects to improve water resources is critical in the arid West.””  Click here for a list of recipients from the EPA:  EPA Protects Wetlands in Calif. and Ariz. with $1.5 Million in Grants

USGS monitoring streamflow conditions:  “The lack of precipitation throughout California for the much of the past three months has only exacerbated the dryness and is causing varying degrees of low levels of streamflow in the northern two-thirds of the state. Low streamflow can affect water availability for agricultural, municipal, and industrial uses, water quality, water temperature, recreational opportunities, and the maintenance of fish populations.  USGS crews from the California Water Science Center are monitoring conditions on a continuing basis. Many of the nearly 500 stream gages are currently at “below normal” or “much-below normal” flows for this time of year. Forty-one low-flow measurements have been made in the northern parts of the state, 12 of which have been measured at record low flows. … ”  Find out more from the USGS here:  Drought Affects Streamflow Across California

Proposed federal legislation attempts to address drought, Lake Tahoe restoration: This Somach, Simmons & Dunn Environmental Law and Policy Alert takes a look at what’s in Feinstein’s legislation:   “As California’s water problems draw national attention, the State’s representatives in Washington, D.C. continue to offer federal legislative responses.  As an alternative to the “Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Emergency Water Delivery Act” that passed the House of Representatives earlier this month, Senators Feinstein and Boxer proposed a new bill on February 11, 2014.  The Senate legislation, entitled the “California Emergency Drought Relief Fund of 2014,” was referred to committee for further action.  The Senate bill proposes the following measures to address the drought … ”  Read more here:  Proposed Federal Legislation Attempts to Address Drought, Lake Tahoe Restoration

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