News Worth Noting: Reclamation to begin draining Friant water, State Water Board takes first steps toward curtailments, drought emergency funding for public water systems, Klamath drought measures, ESA critical habitat designations

friantReclamation Will Begin To Drain Away Friant’s CVP Water on Thursday:What may well be the darkest and most frustrating day in the eastern San Joaquin Valley’s long and complicated water history will unfold Thursday (May 15).  On that day, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation will begin supplying downstream historic water rights holders with water from Millerton Lake that otherwise might have gone toward saving permanent plantings throughout the Central Valley Project’s parched Friant Division.  USBR announced today that it is “unable” to meet its obligation to provide substitute water to the San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors –despite over 200,000 acre-feet of Central Valley Project water in storage in San Luis Reservoir and increased storage at Shasta. … ”  Read more from the Friant Water Authority here:  Reclamation Will Begin To Drain Away Friant’s CVP Water on Thursday

waterboard_logoState Water Board Takes First Step Towards Curtailments For Sacramento River Tributaries: “With California’s storm season at an end and weather warming up, the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) has announced proposed regulations that would require curtailments on water diversions if minimum flows in three Sacramento River tributaries are not met. The proposed regulations are a first step towards potential curtailments in Mill Creek, Deer Creek and Antelope Creek. In January, the State Water Board put water users in certain watersheds on notice that water curtailments would likely be issued due to lack of water in the state’s rivers.  Late season rains delayed the necessity of curtailments, but continued dry conditions now make the likelihood of curtailments greater.  ... ”  Read more from the State Water Resources Control Board here:  State Water Board Takes First Step Towards Curtailments For Sacramento River Tributaries

logo_CDPH_v.1_colorNotice of Funding Availability: Public Water System Drought Emergency Response Program:  “On March 1, 2014, Governor Brown approved a $687.4 million emergency drought relief package to take effect immediately. As a result of the Governor’s action, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released approved guidelines to administer $15 million in funding from the Public Water System Drought Emergency Response (PWSDER) Program to provide funding for interim and/or permanent solutions for community water systems and public water systems owned by school districts, suffering drought related water outages or threatened emergencies.  In an effort to make funds available as quickly and efficiently as possible to eligible recipients, CDPH is coordinating with its district offices, local primacy agencies, federal partners, state water agencies, the Office of Emergency Services, and other stakeholders (e.g., environmental justice groups, community assistance groups, etc.) to identify those communities that are most at-risk and require financial assistance.  … ”  Read more from the California Department of Public Health here:  Notice of Funding Availability: Public Water System Drought Emergency Response Program

ReclamationReclamation Implements Klamath Project 2014 Drought Plan Measures: “The Bureau of Reclamation announced today the release of the 2014 Drought Plan for the Klamath Project. The Plan describes the background for and process of allocating the available Klamath Project water supply from Upper Klamath Lake and the Klamath River during the 2014 spring/summer irrigation season (March 1 to November 15), consistent with the system of contractual priorities that exist within the Project.  Persistent drought conditions and less than expected  participation in voluntary drought mitigation measures have led to the need for a formal allocation of the available Project supply from UKL and the Klamath River. In this situation, when available water supplies are insufficient to meet the demands of all Klamath Project contractors, Reclamation is contractually obligated to allocate the available supplies.  At this time, Reclamation is identifying a reduced supply for its Warren Act Contractors.  Overall Project water supply availability may be updated as the year progresses.    … ”  Read more from the Bureau of Reclamation here:  Reclamation Implements Klamath Project 2014 Drought Plan Measures

house nat res commPrivate Property Owners, Farmers, and Small Businesses Pay the Price for ESA Critical Habitat Designations:Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources held an oversight field hearing in Batesville, Arkansas on “Protecting the Rights of Property Owners: Proposed Federal Critical Habitat Designations Gone Wild.”  The hearing examined the comprehensive impacts of critical habitat designations, flaws in the current critical habitat proposals for the Neosho mucket and Rabbitsfoot mussel, and the need for legislation to require the federal government to comprehensively analyze all impacts resulting from Endangered Species Act (ESA) listing and resulting habitat designations. In 2011, closed-door mega-settlements between two environmental groups and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) resulted in a deal that requires the Obama Administration to decide by 2016 whether to list 757 species as threatened or endangered and to list critical habitats for these species.  As part of the mega-settlements, the FWS proposed a relisting of the Neosho mucket as an endangered species in portions of four states, including Arkansas, and the Rabbitfoot mussel as a threatened species in more than 15 states. These two listings became final in 2013. … ”  Read more from the Natural Resources Committee here:  Private Property Owners, Farmers, and Small Businesses Pay the Price for ESA Critical Habitat Designations

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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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