News Worth Noting: Phil Isenberg leaves the Delta Stewardship Council; State Water Board public workshop and solicitation of comments regarding temp permits for groundwater recharge and storage; Warm, dry weather initiates snowmelt across the West
Phil Isenberg leaves the Delta Stewardship Council
From the Delta Stewardship Council:
After the passage of the 2009 Delta Reform Act establishing the Delta Stewardship Council, he was appointed to the Council by then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to a six year term at the Council’s inception in 2010, and initially elected to a four year term as Chair of the Council by his colleagues. In March of 2016, he retired from the Council and did not seek reappointment.
For more than 30 years Phil Isenberg has helped shape California public policy, serving as a member of the Sacramento City Council, the mayor of Sacramento, and as an Assemblymember. He was chair of the California Marine Life Protection Act Blue Ribbon Task Force from 2004 to 2006 and served as chairman of the Delta Vision Blue Ribbon Task Force from 2007 to 2008.
Phil Isenberg also helped shape Maven’s Notebook a little bit, too. He has always been one of my biggest fans, and his friendship and mentorship predates the establishment of this blog by several years. I can honestly say that I don’t think I’d still be here if it weren’t for the support and encouragement of Phil Isenberg.
To view a video compilation of his reflections during his time on the Council, please click here.
To view a video tribute from his colleagues during Mr. Isenberg’s final meeting, please click here.
State Water Board public workshop and solicitation of comments regarding fees and processing for temporary permits for groundwater recharge and storage
From the State Water Resources Control Board:
The staff of the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) will hold a public workshop regarding the appropriate fee structures for temporary water rights permits to allow underground storage such as groundwater recharge, and the State Water Board’s permitting process for those projects.
The ongoing statewide drought has triggered increased interest in capturing high surface water flows and storing the water in groundwater aquifers (i.e., groundwater recharge) for later use. In anticipation of possible high-precipitation events this past winter and spring, the State Water Board adopted a low fee (starting at $100) and expedited permitting for low-impact groundwater recharge projects using high flows, to encourage these projects.
These changes were intended to serve as temporary measures to allow the State Water Board to develop a more comprehensive program for permitting groundwater recharge of high flows. Information gathered at this staff workshop will inform ongoing development of an efficient and protective permitting program for temporary groundwater recharge projects.
The workshop will be split into two parts:
Part I will cover water rights fees in general and fees for temporary permits to capture high flows for groundwater recharge.
Part II will cover the permitting process for these projects.
For each part of the workshop, staff will begin with a brief presentation, then will open the floor for recommendations and concerns from the public on the given topic. Although a quorum of the State Water Board may be present, the State Water Board will not take any action during the staff workshop.
The workshop will be held on Tuesday, April 26, 2016 at 1:00 pm at the Cal/EPA Headquarters Building in Sacramento. Written comments are due by 5 pm on Friday, April 29.
Warm, dry weather initiates snowmelt across the West
From the USDA:
The 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.
The current snow water equivalent percent of median map shows that, overall, the West was near or below median. Last week, temperatures in parts of the Pacific Northwest were 12 degrees warmer than normal. This recent warm, dry weather has prompted a decline in percent of median across the West.
By contrast, cooler than normal temperatures were reported in a large area around the Great Lakes, including the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic states, and into the South.
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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.