News Worth Noting: Reclamation announces $3 million in agricultural water conservation and efficiency grants; Westlands Water District to hire General Counsel; 10 years of EPA’s WaterSense Program saves more than a trillion gallons of water and billions on utility bills

Reclamation Announces $3 Million in Agricultural Water Conservation and Efficiency Grants

ReclamationThe Bureau of Reclamation announces the selection of three California water districts to receive $3 million total in Agricultural Water Conservation and Efficiency grants for Fiscal Year 2016. The grants, combined with local cost share contributions, total more than $6 million slated for water management improvement projects to be implemented during the next two years.

The AWCE program is a joint effort with the Natural Resources Conservation Service to promote district level water conservation improvements that facilitate on-farm water use efficiency and conservation projects. With NRCS support, Reclamation selected three projects for funding. Once Reclamation and the water districts have signed agreements and developed working plans, NRCS will work with the districts to determine eligible conservation practices and provide complementary funding and technical assistance for eligible growers.

The following provides details of the selected districts and projects:

  • North Kern Water Storage District, $1 million: The North Kern Water Storage District Calloway Canal Lining Project will concrete line 1,600 linear feet of Calloway Canal and includes water delivery improvement components. This project is expected to save 1,135 acre-feet of water annually over the 35-year life of the project.
  • Rancho California Water District, $1 million: The Agricultural Crop Conversion Program will convert high water use agricultural crops to lower water use crops among 154 acres. Crops identified for conversion include avocado and citrus for conversion to lower use crops such as grapes. This project is expected to save 396 acre-feet of water annually over the 10-year life of the project.
  • Semitropic Water Storage District, $1 million: The Groundwater Well Operational Data Acquisition and Lateral Canal Lining Project includes concrete lining approximately 19,000 feet of Pond Poso Canal and installation of remote data acquisition system controls. The project is expected to save 16,630 acre-feet of water annually over the 17-year life of the project.

Westlands Water District to hire General Counsel

From the Westlands Water District:

Westlands-Water-DistrictThe Westlands Water District Board of Directors decided to separate the role of General Manager and General Counsel in order to improve the District’s decision-making processes and provide an additional layer of review for the District. The Legal Affairs Committee of the Board will immediately begin a search to hire a new General Counsel.

The Board concluded that the complexities involved in securing water supply, groundwater management, and other challenges facing the District require the full attention of the General Manager. The new General Counsel will have the responsibility of providing legal advice on proposed changes to existing policies, new policies, personnel matters, and any other matters requested by the Board.

The Board believes the new organizational structure will promote more transparency and good government practices, and represents the beginning of a process to improve the decision-making and operations of the District.

The new General Counsel will report directly to the Board, and will begin by reviewing current policies and working with the Board to implement changes directed by the Board.

10 Years of EPA’s WaterSense Program Results in Savings of More than a Trillion Gallons of Water and Billions on Utility Bills

From the Environmental Protection Agency:
epa-logoSince the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency launched the WaterSense program 10 years ago, Americans have saved $32.6 billion in water and energy costs. WaterSense has also helped save 1.5 trillion gallons of water, which is more than the amount needed to supply all of the homes in California with water for a year.

In the Pacific Southwest, more than 350 utilities, local governments, manufacturers, retailers, distributors, builders, and other organizations have partnered with EPA to produce and promote water-efficient products, programs, and homes.

“WaterSense partners are ambassadors spreading the water-efficiency message,” said Tomás Torres, EPA’s Water Division Director for the Pacific Southwest. “As we endure a fifth year of drought in the West, it’s more important than ever for consumers to choose and use water efficient products.”

WaterSense labeled products, which are independently certified to use at least 20 percent less water and perform as well or better than standard models, have been on the market since 2007. Toilets were the first products to be labeled. Since then, more than 16,000 items have been added to the program, including products for residential and commercial bathrooms, commercial kitchens, and outdoor irrigation.

In addition to saving water, WaterSense labeled products save the energy associated with treating, pumping, and heating water. Since 2006, WaterSense labeled products saved energy equal to the amount used to power 19.4 million homes for a year, while preventing 78 million metric tons of associated greenhouse gas emissions.

Learn more about WaterSense at

Daily emailsGet the Notebook blog by email and never miss a post!

Sign up for daily emails and get all the Notebook’s aggregated and original water news content delivered to your email box by 9AM. Breaking news alerts, too. Sign me up!


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.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: