News Worth Noting: State Water Board’s Framework for Extending Emergency Water Conservation Regs; USFS Releases Wild & Scenic Rivers Findings for Sierra Forests; First Snow Survey to be Conducted December 30

State Water Board Releases Proposed Framework for Extending Emergency Water Conservation Regulations: Public comments due January 6

From Best Best & Krieger:

BB&K logoThe State Water Resources Control Board released a proposed regulatory framework for extending statewide emergency water conservation mandates through October 2016. The framework could result in water conservation targets being relaxed for some urban water suppliers in hotter regions, as well as in areas with growing populations.

In response to the ongoing drought, the Board adopted an emergency regulation on May 5, designed to achieve a 25 percent statewide reduction in potable urban water use between July 2015 and February 2016. The regulation assigned each urban water supplier a conservation standard ranging from 4 percent to 36 percent.

On Nov.13, Gov. Jerry Brown issued Executive Order B-36-15, which called for an extension of the water use restrictions through Oct. 31. The Board intends to use the framework released Monday to draft a new regulation implementing Brown’s directive. Many water suppliers are finding the current emergency regulation challenging to implement. Based on numerous public comments, Board staff has proposed several refinements in the framework for extending the regulation. Among those potential modifications: … ”

Click here to read more from Best Best & Krieger here: State Water Board Releases Proposed Framework for Extending Emergency Water Conservation Regulations in California

U. S. Forest Service posts Wild and Scenic Rivers findings for the Inyo, Sequoia and Sierra National Forests; Public comment due by February 1st

From the U.S. Forest Service:

US_Forest_Service“The Forest Service is sharing our Wild and Scenic Rivers inventory, eligibility and classification findings for the Inyo, Sequoia and Sierra National Forests. The inventory, evaluation, and classification process and findings have been complied into one draft Wild and Scenic River Evaluation document and will be published as an appendix in the draft environmental impact statement (EIS) we are developing for the forest plan revisions. The draft of this document is provided here for your review and feedback is welcome. This document will be also available for public review during the draft EIS comment period. Refinements may be made before the DEIS is released and between the draft and final EIS.

Additionally, we are sharing two sets of maps and a table for each forest. The first map shows the comprehensive inventory of rivers that were identified for evaluation in step one in the WSR process. The second map shows the results of step two, our eligibility evaluation, and of step three, classification. The table summarizes the results of the WSR evaluations, including classification and identified outstandingly remarkable values (ORVs) for those rivers and stream segments that were found, or reaffirmed, to be eligible.”

Click here to view the documents.

Department of Water Resources to conduct first snow survey of the year on December 30

From the Department of Water Resources:

NEW_DWR_LOGO_14inch“The Department of Water Resources (DWR) will conduct this winter’s first manual snow survey for the media on December 30 at Phillips Station off Highway 50 near Sierra-at-Tahoe Road approximately 90 miles east of Sacramento.  Electronic readings of the Sierra Nevada snowpack today show its statewide water content is 9.3 inches, 112 percent of the December 23 average. (See list at the end of this advisory showing the statewide snow water equivalents on or about January 1 from 2002 through 2015.)

The Phillips snow course is one of dozens that will be measured during a 10-day window around January 1 to determine the water content of the snowpack, which normally contributes about 30 percent of California’s water when it melts.

Last winter was remarkably warm; the average minimum temperature in the Sierra Nevada was 32.1 degrees Fahrenheit, the first time this value was higher than water’s freezing point since record-keeping began. On January 1, 2015, the water content of the snowpack was 47 percent of that date’s statewide historical average.

Below-normal precipitation and warm temperatures throughout the winter months combined to create a historically meager snowpack last winter, according to DWR’s records. The snowpack at the start of February and March was only 23 percent and 19 percent of average respectively on those dates. By April 1, when the snowpack normally is at its peak, electronic readings showed the snowpack’s water content was only 5 percent of normal for that date, the lowest on record.

Although the snowpack’s water equivalent this year is slightly above the historical average for late December, DWR’s drought managers say precipitation would have to be much greater than normal to have a significant effect on California’s drought, which now is three months into its fifth consecutive year. … ”

Click here to read more from the Department of Water Resources:  DWR Sets First Media-Oriented Snow Survey for December 30; Snowpack’s Water Content Higher than Average, but Drought’s Still On

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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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