News Worth Noting: Hanak testifies on funding for drought resiliency, final snow survey, House members introduce ESA legislation and more

PPIC logo goodPPIC’s Ellen Hanak testifies to Budget Subcommittee on funding for drought resiliency:  “The Assembly Budget Subcommittee for Resources and Transportation–which oversees budget allocations for water-related state agencies–convened a group of experts on Wednesday to provide an update on the current drought. PPIC senior fellow Ellen Hanak gave the members an overview of state and federal emergency drought funding for California and suggested other fiscal measures that the legislature should consider to make California more drought resilient. Here are her prepared remarks:  Good morning and thank you for the invitation to address the committee. I’d like to focus my remarks on how the legislature can help California become more drought-resilient, both in the near term and over the longer term. And since your committee is tasked in particular with considering budget measures, I will highlight the question of funding. … ”  Read more from the PPIC here:  Testimony: Funding to Promote Drought Resilience

NEW_DWR_LOGO_14inchFinal snow survey to take place April 1:  “Department of Water Resources surveyors will head back up the mountain on Tuesday, April 1 for their monthly on-the-ground snow survey with an expectation of finding growth in the snowpack due to this week’s storms throughout much of California.  However, the first significant precipitation in weeks likely will be too little and too late to have much impact on this year’s severe drought. Snowpack and rain measurements are so far be low normal for this time of year that even sustained rainfall over the next several days, as is predicted, won’t end the drought.  Today’s (3/27) snowpack water equivalent as measured electronically by 99 sensors in the Northern, Central and Southern Sierra Nevada range is 7.1 inches, only 25 percent of the date’s average of 28.3 inches. … “  Read more from the Department of Water Resources here: April 1 Snow Survey Will Reveal Whether Recent Precipitation Has Reversed March’s Steady Decline in Sierra Snowpack

house nat res commHouse members introduce legislation to update the Endangered Species Act: House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04), Rep. Cynthia Lummis (Wyoming-at large), Rep. Randy Neugebauer (TX-19), and Rep. Bill Huizenga (MI-02) today introduced four limited bills to improve and update the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  The bills are supported by all of the Members of the ESA Congressional Working Group, representing districts across the nation, and are based on the recommendations and findings of their report and input from a broad array of stakeholders, including the Western Governors’ Association.  The four bills focus on transparency and species recovery.  The House Natural Resources Committee will hold a Full Committee legislative hearing on these bills on Tuesday, April 8th.  “These are very simple, straightforward, and common sense bills and provide a good starting point as we begin the legislative process for improving the Endangered Species Act,” said Chairman Hastings.  “The bills are, by design, narrowly focused and something that both Republicans and Democrats can support.  Increasing transparency; posting data online; enhancing state, local, and tribal participation; and reducing taxpayer-financed attorneys fees to help direct taxpayer dollars towards recovery efforts are small, but important steps in making smart and sensible updates to the ESA.” … ”  Read more from the House Natural Resources Committee here:  Members introduce four common-sense bills to update the Endangered Species Act

garamalfaCongressman Garamendi and LaMalfa introduce water storage bill for Sites Reservoir: This week, Congressmen John Garamendi (D-CA-03) and Doug LaMalfa (R-CA-01) officially introduced H.R. 4300, the Sacramento Valley Water Storage and Restoration Act of 2014. The bill would authorize construction of Sites Reservoir in Colusa County, California upon completion of the feasibility study. The bill was announced last week at a press conference in Maxwell. Click here to read a summary of the legislation and click here to read the full text. Click here for videos, editorials, and news coverage of the LaMalfa-Garamendi Sites proposal.  “Construction of Sites Reservoir would bring California one major step closer to a drought-proof water system. It has support across the aisle and across the state. I will continue to work with Doug and local stakeholders to move this project across the finish line,” said Congressman Garamendi, a former Deputy Secretary of the Department of Interior. … ”  Read more from Congressman Garamendi’s office here:  Congressmen Garamendi and LaMalfa Introduce Water Storage Bill for Sites Reservoir

MWD logoMetropolitan Water District to launch radio ads promoting conservation:Taking to the airwaves in response to current unprecedented drought conditions, the Metropolitan Water District next week will begin broadcasting a series of radio advertisements calling for Southern Californians to continue conserving water.  Starting Tuesday, April 1, Metropolitan will deliver water-saving messages in 10- and 15-second radio traffic sponsorships on nearly 60 radio stations in English, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese throughout the Southland through May 18.  “These traffic reports build on our existing conservation messages to reinforce just how serious the state’s water challenge is,” said Metropolitan General Manager Jeffrey Kightlinger. ... ”  Read full press release here:  Radio Ads Launch FINAL

san diego county water authority logoSan Diego County Water Authority Board Adopts Long-Term Plans for Water Facilities and Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions: “The San Diego County Water Authority’s Board of Directors on Thursday unanimously adopted an updated water facilities master plan and a Climate Action Plan, along with an environmental analysis of the two long-range strategies. The package will serve as a roadmap through 2035 for future capital projects and responding to climate change as it relates to activities within the agency.  Regional infrastructure development and water conservation efforts over the past decade allowed the Water Authority to defer two major projects and reduce projected capital improvement program costs by $653 million through 2025. In addition, documents adopted Thursday show that recent Water Authority investments in new energy generation will allow the agency to meet 2020 state targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent. … ”  Read more from the San Diego County Water Authority here: Board Adopts Long-Term Plans for Water Facilities and Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

usgs logoScientists study effects of water released into the Colorado Delta: As a large pulse of water is being released into the former delta of the Colorado River along the U.S.-Mexico border, U.S. Geological Survey scientists are studying the effects on the environment as part of a historic, bi-national collaborative effort. The pulse flow and the need to study its effects were agreed to as part of the recently adopted Minute 319 (PDF) to the 1944 US-Mexico Water Treaty.  Results from this study will be used to assist and inform future bi-national cooperative efforts as both countries work together to protect resources on both sides of the border. The now-dry Colorado River delta was once a thriving wetland ecosystem where water and sediment delivered from the Colorado River watershed reached the Gulf of California. A century ago, the Colorado River delta was navigable by large boats. Today, upstream diversions and dams in both countries control the Colorado River’s flow, and little to no water is released into the channel downstream of Morelos Dam. … ”  Read more from the USGS here:  Scientists Study Effects of Water Released Across U.S.-Mexico Border



About News Worth Noting:  News Worth Noting is a collection of press releases, media statements, and other materials produced by federal, state, and local government agencies, water agencies, and academic institutions, as well as non-profit and advocacy organizations.  News Worth Noting also includes relevant legislator statements and environmental policy and legal analyses that are publicly released by law firms.  If your agency or organization has an item you would like included here, please email it to Maven.

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