News Worth Noting: GGSA implores Secretary Pritzker to turn off the pumps, Groundwater suit may be sign of things to come, Klamath operations plan, Atwater joins Met board, Met raises rates and more …

PrintGolden Gate Salmon Association implores Secretary Pritzker to turn off the pumps: In a letter addressed to Secretary Pritzer, the GGSA writes: ” … We write asking for your urgent help to protect migrating juvenile salmon working their way downstream through the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta to San Francisco Bay and the Pacific. Specifically we are requesting adherence to National Marine Fisheries Service’s (NMFS) 2009 biological opinion (BiOp), for the ESA-listed winter and spring-run chinook salmon, by other federal and state agencies in order to save these fish migrating through the Delta estuary. Some of the protections afforded by the Bi-Op were earlier waived to provide for human health and safety during the state’s most severe drought in recorded history. Now, however, despite recent rainfall we are witnessing the waivers being extended to allow water contractors to maximize their pumping at a critical stage of migration for the listed fish, as well as the migration of the economically important fall-run chinook. An immediate reduction of Delta pumping to reduce ongoing harm to salmon in the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta is needed now. … ” Continue reading here:  GGSA letter April 8

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Groundwater Suit May Be a Sign of Things to Come as the Drought Takes Hold and Groundwater Demand Increases: Aaron A. Ferguson at Somach Simmons & Dunn writes: “A Tulare County Superior Court judge recently ruled that Sandridge Partners, LP (Sandridge) may not pump and export groundwater from its land until resolution of a trial to determine whether Sandridge has the right to pump such groundwater for use outside the subbasin.  Lower Tule River Irrigation District v. Sandridge Partners, LP, No. 253401 (Super. Ct. Tulare Co. 2014).  In light of the unprecedented drought, Central Valley irrigators are likely to not only produce more groundwater, but also to look for creative ways to use groundwater to meet irrigation demands.  As groundwater production increases, additional lawsuits may be filed to settle competing claims to groundwater supplies.  ... ”  Read more from Somach Simmons & Dunn here:  Groundwater Suit May Be a Sign of Things to Come as the Drought Takes Hold and Groundwater Demand Increases

ReclamationKlamath Project 2014 Operations Plan Released:The Bureau of Reclamation announced today the release of the 2014 Operations Plan for the Klamath Project. The plan is based upon expected drier-than-normal hydrologic conditions from the April 1 Natural Resource Conservation Service inflow forecast as well as current reservoir elevations. The document describes the process by which Reclamation will allocate available supplies and continue to coordinate with water users on measures to reduce the impacts of limited Project water supplies. … “Due to dry conditions, Klamath Basin communities are facing a third straight year of insufficient surface water for full Project deliveries,” remarked Reclamation’s Mid-Pacific Deputy Regional Director Jason Phillips. “Reclamation and Project water users are working to ensure operations and available supplies are coordinated closely with water districts. In order to reduce Project demand and avoid involuntary curtailments of water, project landowner participation in the Klamath Water and Power Agency’s 2014 surface water forbearance program is essential.”  … ”  Read more from the Bureau of Reclamation here:  Klamath Project 2014 Operations Plan Released

somach logoState Board Adopts Statewide Industrial Storm Water Permit: From Brittany Lewis-Roberts at Somach Simmons & Dunn: “On April 1, 2014, the State Water Resources Control Board (State Board) adopted a statewide, general National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for industrial storm water discharges (General Permit).  The General Permit, which becomes effective July 1, 2015, replaces Water Quality Order 97-03-DWQ, the general industrial storm water permit previously issued by the State Board in 1997.  It is estimated that as many as 30,000 industrial storm water dischargers will be covered under the General Permit.  Dischargers that are covered under the General Permit must submit Permit Registration Documents (PRDs) via the State Board’s SMARTS online database system, making the information more readily available to the public.  The General Permit also differs significantly from the previous order in several other important respects … ”  Read more from Somach Simmons & Dunn here:  State Board Adopts Statewide Industrial Storm Water Permit

MWD logoRichard Atwater joins Metropolitan Board:  “Richard W. Atwater, a Southland water leader with more than 35 years of experience, was seated today as a member of the board of directors of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.  He succeeds James T. “Jim” Edwards as Foothill Municipal Water District’s representative on the 37-member Metropolitan board. Edwards had served on the board since May 1999. Atwater was named to Metropolitan’s Water Planning and Stewardship Committee, and Legal and Claims Committee. ... ”  Read more from the Metropolitan Water District here:  Atwater Joins Board FINAL-2

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Metropolitan Water District approves 2 year budget with lowest rate increases in a decade: Looking to strategically invest revenues to enhance long-term financial stability and water reliability, Metropolitan Water District’s Board of Directors today approved a two-year spending plan that calls for its smallest water rate increases in more than a decade—increases of 1.5 percent over the next two years.  The board adopted a $1.64 billion budget for fiscal year 2014-15 and a $1.69 billion budget for fiscal year 2015-16, with associated 1.5 percent average increases in Metropolitan’s wholesale water rates in calendar years 2015 and 2016. … ”  Find out what else in the budget here:  Budget, Rates Adopted FINAL

san diego county water authority logoMetropolitan Water District Adopts Unnecessary Rate Increases for 2015 and 2016 While Over-Collecting $350 Million from Ratepayers:  “The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California on Tuesday raised rates for 2015 and 2016 despite having projected cash reserves of $840 million – an amount that is $352 million above its board-adopted maximum reserve limit. MWD’s board also voted to spend the over-collected revenue on unbudgeted expenses.  Officials from the San Diego County Water Authority and several of its 24 member agencies attended Tuesday’s hearing in Los Angeles to defend the region’s ratepayers and urge no water rate increases be adopted. However, despite compelling information that rate increases are unneeded, the MWD board adopted 1.5 percent increases for each of the next two years. … ”  Read more from the San Diego County Water Authority here:  MWD Adopts Unnecessary Rate Increases for 2015 and 2016 While Over-Collecting $350 Million from Ratepayers



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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