News Worth Noting: Meral-backed water bond initiative deferred to Nov 2018 ballot; Releases to increase into the Lower American River for storage management; Draft proposed response to petitions on E. San Joaquin Ag Waste Discharge Requirements

Meral-backed water bond initiative deferred to November 2018 ballot

From Jerry Meral at the Natural Heritage Institute:

NHIWe have decided to defer our water bond initiative to the November, 2018 ballot. There are several reasons for this decision.

  • The Legislative leadership has expressed an interest in natural resources bonds, and we are committed to working with them to place a measure on the 2016 ballot through the Legislative process. If this effort is not successful, we plan to place a water bond initiative on the November 2018 ballot.
  • The Brown Administration will have time to expend more of the funds approved by the 2014 water bond (Proposition 1), further demonstrating the clear need for another water bond.
  • The cost of gaining a place on this November’s ballot has risen dramatically in the last few weeks. An extraordinary eleven initiatives are in circulation today, with several more about to enter circulation. This has driven the price of signatures to a very high level. Deferring the initiative will help conserve resources for a 2018 bond act initiative should the legislative effort not be successful.

We are confident that the measure we have crafted with the help of water agencies, conservation groups, and a wide variety of other water interests would have great appeal to the voters. Our polling is as high or higher than any previous water bond, including 2014’s Proposition 1 at a comparative juncture. California voters understand the growing challenges that climate change will bring to both water management and protection of streams and vital habitat for fish and wildlife.

We plan to refile our water bond initiative early next year depending on what is accomplished in the legislative arena this year.  We will maintain information and updates about the initiative at the NHI website: www.n-h-i.org and on the TNC website at www.conserveca. org.

Jerry Meral, Director of the California Water Program, Natural Heritage Institute

Jay Ziegler, Director, Policy & External Affairs, The Nature Conservancy

Reclamation to Increase Releases into the Lower American River for Storage Management

From the Bureau of Reclamation:

ReclamationThe Bureau of Reclamation is preparing to increase releases below Nimbus Dam into the lower American River from 1,750 cubic feet per second to 3,500 cfs for storage management in Folsom Reservoir. The increased releases are scheduled to begin Tuesday, Feb. 9, at 9 p.m. and will continue until further notice. Folsom Reservoir, located 26 miles northeast of Sacramento, provides water for people, fish and wildlife, hydropower, the environment and salinity control in the Bay-Delta.

The releases are necessary to maintain required space in Folsom Reservoir during the rain and snowmelt season. The current storage is more than 130 percent of the 15-year average for early February. Should inflows into the reservoir continue at current levels or increase, additional increases in releases may be required.

People recreating in or along the lower American River downstream of Folsom Dam to the confluence of the American and Sacramento rivers can expect river levels to increase and should take appropriate safety precautions.

Midnight Reservoir Elevation and Flows for Folsom may be found at Reclamation’s Central Valley Operations Office website at http://www.usbr.gov/mp/cvo/. Current American River conditions may be found at the Department of Water Resources’ California Data Exchange Center website at http://cdec.water.ca.gov/river/americanStages.html.

Draft Proposed Response to Petitions on East San Joaquin Agricultural Waste Discharge Requirements

From the State Water Board:

SWRCB logo water boardsPlease find the transmittal letter, proposed order, appendix, and FAQs for the Draft Proposed Response to Petitions on East San Joaquin Agricultural Waste Discharge Requirements (General Order No. R5-2012-0116) at the following link: http://www.swrcb.ca.gov/public_notices/petitions/water_quality/a2239_sanjoaquin_ag.shtml.

The State Water Board will hold a public workshop on the proposed order on either March 15 or March 16, 2016. Separate notice will be provided of the final workshop date and agenda for the meeting. The State Water Board is also soliciting written comments on the proposed order by 12:00 noon on Friday, April 8, 2016.  Please indicated in the subject like, “Comments to A-2239(a)-(c)” and address to commentletters@waterboards.ca.gov. Additional information regarding comments can be found in the transmittal letter found at the link above.

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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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