News Worth Noting: Groups Say Five-Year Water Board Process Comes Up Short For Rivers, New Report Looks to Kings Basin for Drought Solutions, Energy Commission Approves New Water Appliance Standards, New Statewide Water Quality Objective for Trash, Leviathan Mine Settlement

Dry Scott River (October 2014)Five-Year Water Board Process Comes Up Short For Rivers during Historic Drought: (Press release from environmental organizations, tribes, and interest groups) l “Today the State Water Resources Control Board rejected the urgent appeal of a diverse coalition of conservation, tribal and fishing groups to formally recognize severely  over-diverted rivers and streams in Northern California as “impaired” under the Clean Water Act. In doing so, the State Water Board denied local groups important tools needed to combat long-standing problems that the drought is now exacerbating. “Rivers and streams in the Klamath Basin have been sucked dry because state regulators won’t enforce existing laws,” said Konrad Fisher of Klamath Riverkeeper. “This hurts businesses, recreation, tribal members who depend on the river for food and cultural traditions, and all of us who believe in our hearts that rivers should have water.” The Clean Water Act requires states to identify waterways as “impaired” if pollutants impact uses such as for drinking, swimming, fishing and habitat. This then triggers a pollution clean-up plan. The Act also allows states to identify waterways as “impaired” due to over-diversion that results in flows too low to support fish and other uses. ... ”  Continue reading here:  Flow Impairment Media Release

ag innovations logoNew report looks to Kings Basin for drought solutions:  “Water crises in California are not new. In recent times, however, record drought and climate change have strained the state’s water supply system and forced many farmers to become heavily reliant on groundwater reserves. In an attempt to reveal strategies for advancing groundwater sustainability, the California Roundtable on Water and Food Supply (CRWFS) has published a new report, Applying the Connectivity Approach: Groundwater Management in California’s Kings Basin.  The report examines the Kings Basin of California’s San Joaquin Valley to discover and clarify opportunities for improved connectivity in groundwater management planning and implementation in the state. Recommendations are identified in four primary areas: upper and lower watershed connectivity, surface and groundwater storage connectivity, alignment of governance structures and tools, improved public and stakeholder engagement.  The report’s findings are grounded in the principles of the “connectivity approach,” a framework developed by CRWFS for resource managers, land use planners, and policymakers to discover the linkages, strengths, successes, potentials, and disconnects related to their particular resource stewardship issues. More information about this work, as well as previous reports on agricultural water stewardship and retention of water in the landscape can be found at: http://aginnovations.org.

CA energy commission logoEnergy Commission Approves Water Appliance Standards to Save More Than 100 Billion Gallons Per Year: “Due to the severity of California’s drought, the state’s experts have been managing water resources to deal with the effects of the drought and prepare for the next one. As part of the solution, the California Energy Commission approved standards for water appliances which will save more than 10 billion gallons of water in the first year. Over time, the water savings is estimated to reach 105 billion gallons per year – a savings of more than three times the annual amount of water used by the City of San Francisco.  “California is serious about water conservation and is committed to consistent and clear water efficiency policies,” said Commissioner Andrew McAllister, who is the Energy Commission’s lead on energy efficiency. “In the face of California’s current drought, we must use water as efficiently as possible and updating minimum standards for toilets, urinals and faucets is a step in that direction.” … ”  Read more from the California Energy Commission here: Energy Commission Approves Water Appliance Standards to Save More Than 100 Billion Gallons Per Year

SWRCB logo water boardsState Water Board Adopts Statewide Water Quality Objective for Trash and Implementation Requirements: “The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) yesterday adopted a statewide water quality objective aimed at reducing the amount of trash that finds its way into rivers, lakes and the ocean, threatening aquatic life and public health. While several regional water quality control boards already have trash control plans or permits in place, the State Water Board adopted the Trash Amendments to provide statewide consistency in efforts to protect aquatic life and public health, and reduce trash in state waters. A central element of the Trash Amendments is a land use-based compliance approach that targets high trash generating areas. “Trash in our lakes, streams, and the ocean pose a serious threat to fish and wildlife as well as harming the public’s ability to enjoy our precious beaches and waterways. Fortunately, this problem is entirely preventable and many communities have already stepped up to meet the challenge,” said State Water Board Chair Felicia Marcus. “ As a result, this policy mandates those tried-and-true, common sense approaches to ensure we get trash removed early when it enters our storm water system. … ”  Continue reading here: State Water Board Adopts Statewide Water Quality Objective for Trash and Implementation Requirements

SWRCB logo water boardsLahontan Regional Water Board and ARCO Settle Leviathan Mine Superfund Lawsuit: (reposting with link – thank you DB) “The Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board and other state agencies have settled a lawsuit with Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO) over costs and activities associated with cleanup of the Leviathan Mine Superfund Site located in Alpine County. The settlement identifies what work ARCO and the Lahontan Water Board will conduct at the site going forward, and lays out the cost-sharing formulas for different phases of work that will clean up and reduce acid drainage. The settlement also secures long-term funding for a cleanup project that could take decades, if not centuries to complete.  ...   Read more here: Lahontan Regional Water Board and ARCO Settle Leviathan Mine Superfund Lawsuit

 

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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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