News Worth Noting: New fact sheet on California’s Water Market; Grant program seeks to fund water-saving devices of tomorrow; Michelle Banonis selected as Reclamation’s Bay Delta Office Manager; National water and climate update

New fact sheet on California’s Water Market

From the PPIC:

PPIC Water CenterCalifornia’s farmers, cities, and environment all benefit from water trading. This fact sheet describes how the state’s water market works, its important role in drought management, and reforms that could help strengthen it.

Click here to read the fact sheet.

US EPA, Bureau of Reclamation partner with Western water districts on grant program seeking water-saving devices of tomorrow

Next round of Innovative Conservation Program grants focuses on water/energy nexus projects

From the Metropolitan Water District:

MWD logoThree of the West’s largest municipal water agencies have partnered with federal agencies to kick off the latest round of an expanded competitive grant program aimed at discovering the next generation of water-saving devices and technologies.

For the first time, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is participating with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation as well as the Central Arizona Project, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and Southern Nevada Water Authority in the Innovative Conservation Program. The program, which includes Southern California Gas Co., seeks to advance water-saving efforts by finding new and innovative methods for using supplies more efficiently.
“As Western states brace for another year of drought, many are regarding dry conditions as the new normal,” said Tomás Torres, EPA’s water division director for the Pacific Southwest. “By supporting the ICP, we’re investing in innovative solutions to help communities meet the challenges of tomorrow—today.”

This year’s $500,000 ICP cycle focuses on water-saving devices, technologies and strategy proposals that address the water/energy nexus. Awards will be made in two funding categories: up to $30,000 and between $30,000 and $100,000. Proposals that address other aspects of water-use efficiency also will be considered. All proposals are due May 23.
A non-mandatory pre-proposal ICP webinar will be held March 22 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Registration information is available at http://bewaterwise.com/icp.html.

Since Metropolitan and Reclamation began the ICP in 2001, the program has awarded 57 grants totaling $1.85 million during the first five two-year funding cycles. Overall, the ICP has yielded 262 proposals totaling $27 million in funding requests from public agencies, community-based organizations, private companies, entrepreneurs, research institutes and equipment manufacturers.

“These kinds of successful programs with our partners are an important tool in Reclamation’s Colorado River water management responsibilities as we face the effects of years of drought and the influences of climate variability,” said Reclamation’s Lower Colorado Regional Director Terry Fulp.

Inventive approaches funded in previous cycles include the development of a pressurized water broom that replaces the need to use a hose to clean patios, driveways and other large surface areas, saving up to 250,000 gallons of water over its lifetime, and an X-ray film-processing unit that recycles more than 90 percent of the 1 million gallons a typical machine uses in a year in a hospital or medical center.

The last ICP round supported the investigation of plant-sensor based irrigation in vineyards for both wine quality and yield, and several projects on soil amendments that maintain the health of the grass while significantly minimizing the amount of water applied.

“Ongoing efforts to reduce Colorado River water demands have yielded water savings throughout the Colorado River Basin, and this program provides another tool to further those efforts through water-related innovations and public-private partnerships,” said John Entsminger, Southern Nevada’s general manager.

Proposals will be evaluated through a competitive review process based on project innovations; a water/energy saving and research plan; market impact potential; cost effectiveness; ICP focus and project preparedness.

Metropolitan General Manager Jeffrey Kightlinger said the ICP fosters fresh and innovative approaches and inspires creative ideas and strategies to reduce water use.

“As the Southland adapts in response to California’s record drought, it is essential that we continue to seek out new projects and methods that help make water conservation sustainable.”

Central Arizona Project’s General Manager Ted Cooke called the Innovative Conservation Program “another example of collaborative, proactive measures taken by municipal Colorado River water agencies to address the impacts of the persistent drought throughout the Colorado River Basin.

“It’s an important tool to address long-term imbalances in the system as well as near-term risks of shortage,” Cooke said. “CAP strongly supports this conservation program, which ultimately benefits the health of the river system.”

More information on the Innovative Conservation Program, including proposal submission instructions and a list of past projects is available at http://bewaterwise.com/icp.html

Michelle Banonis Selected as Bay Delta Office Manager for Bureau of Reclamation’s Mid-Pacific Region

From the Bureau of Reclamation:

Pablo Arroyave, Deputy Regional Director for the Bureau of Reclamation’s Mid-Pacific Region, announces the selection of Michelle Banonis as the Region’s Bay Delta Office Manager effective March 21. In this position, Banonis will be responsible for the Region’s Central Valley Project Endangered Species Act consultation efforts, Delta science and CVP fisheries biology programs, California WaterFix and numerous other CVP priorities.

“I am pleased to announce Michelle’s selection to lead the Bay Delta Office,” stated Arroyave. “She brings a breadth of knowledge to the position, spanning the areas of engineering, biology, program management, environmental compliance and law.”

Recently, Banonis was selected as the Mid-Pacific Region’s Special Assistant to the Regional Director, while simultaneously leading efforts on California WaterFix, which she has undertaken for the past two years. Previously, she was Restoration Goal Supervisor in the San Joaquin River Restoration Program and also a natural resources specialist in that office. Before coming to Reclamation, Banonis served 10 years with Pierce County, Washington Public Works and Utilities, working on a wide range of transportation projects and formulating the creation of the county’ permitting division as the Environmental Permitting Supervisor. She also previously held various positions as a biologist and engineering technician with Pierce County.

Banonis holds a Juris Doctor from Humphreys College Laurence Drivon School of Law and is a licensed attorney with the State Bar of California. She has a Bachelor of Science in environmental engineering from Michigan Technological University, where she is also an inducted member of the Presidential Council of Alumnae supporting the university’s mission to inspire and influence women in the fields of engineering and science.

Water and climate update: Heavy precipitation in the South leads to severe flooding

From the USDA:

Climate report graphicThe Natural Resources Conservation Service produces this weekly report using data and products from the National Water and Climate Center and other agencies. The report focuses on seasonal snowpack, precipitation, temperature, and drought conditions in the U.S.

Precipitation in the last two weeks in the southern Mississippi River Valley ranged from 4 to more than 22 inches and has caused severe to record flooding across the region.

The current snow water equivalent percent of median map shows that most of the West is near average. Warm weather has again reduced the snow water equivalent at stations in the Southwest, along the eastern edge of the Rockies, and in Oregon, which are now well below median. A very few stations in the West report values above median.

Click here to read the report.

 

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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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