News Worth Noting: State Water Board funding helps open the doors of new Woodland-Davis Water Treatment Plant; Draft enviro documents for proposed temp change in water quality req’mnts in DMC; SDCWA Board authorizes purchase of power from Hoover Dam; The Water Foundation names Wade Crowfoot as CEO

State Water Board Funding Helps Open the Doors of New Woodland-Davis Water Treatment Plant

From the State Water Resources Control Board:SWRCB logo water boards

Today the Woodland-Davis Clean Water Agency celebrated the grand opening of its $279-million surface water treatment plant, funded in large part by the State Water Resources Control Board’s Drinking and Clean Water state revolving funds. The new plant is designed to reduce Woodland, Davis and UC Davis reliance on groundwater, improve drinking water supplies and provide as much as 30 million gallons of treated water a day to the two communities.

“The State Water Board is happy to be a part of this joint effort that brought together two cities, and a university, to improve and bolster their water supplies,” State Water Board Vice Chair Frances Spivy-Weber said. “This project highlights the teamwork between our two funding arms — the Clean Water and Drinking Water funds — to help make this surface water treatment plant a reality. Projects such as these go a long way toward preserving and enhancing our water supplies in the face of drought, and the ever-changing conditions brought on by climate change.”

Of the total cost of the project, which will draw water from the Sacramento River, the State Water Board supplied $206 million, with $111 million going to Woodland’s share of the project from the Drinking Water Fund, and $95.5 million coming from the Clean Water Fund for Davis’ costs. The $111 million is provided through a 20-year loan with an interest rate of 1.7875 percent, and Davis’ $95 million is a 30-year loan with an interest rate of 1.7 percent. By going through the State Water Board’s funding programs, Woodland and Davis will save approximately $112,500,000 on the project.

The entire project includes a new Sacramento River intake to be shared by both communities; raw water pipelines and processing facilities; a 30-million-gallon-per-day (MGD) water treatment facility; and treated water pipelines to Woodland, Davis and UC Davis distribution systems. Up to 18 MGD can be delivered to Woodland, and 12 MGD to Davis.

With the completion of this project, which began in 2009 with the formation of a Joint Powers Authority between Woodland and Davis, these two cities will bring surface water to the region, thus reducing the need to pump groundwater and protect those important resources; improve drinking water quality; meet waste discharge requirements; and meet current and future drinking water needs.

For more information on the project, visit the Woodland-Davis Clean Water Agency’s webpage.

Reclamation Releases Draft Environmental Documents for Proposed Temporary Change in Water Quality Requirements for Groundwater Introduced into the Upper Portion of the Delta-Mendota Canal

From the Bureau of Reclamation:

ReclamationThe Bureau of Reclamation has released for public review the draft environmental documents assessing the proposed approval of a temporary change in the maximum acceptable concentration of selenium for groundwater pumped into the upper portion of the Delta-Mendota Canal.

The temporary change is in response to drought conditions and would allow an additional 11 wells to cumulatively pump up to 21 cubic feet per second of groundwater through September 30, 2016 (approximately 2,462 acre-feet in total).

A similar program was approved in 2014 and 2015 that allowed 14 and 13 wells, respectively to pump groundwater into the upper portion of the DMC that had between 2 and 5 ppb of selenium. As shown in the Environmental Assessment for this proposal, the addition of groundwater from the 2014 and 2015 actions did not cause a measurable increase in selenium in the DMC. In addition, the concentration of selenium at Check 13 (O’Neill Forebay) did not exceed 0.4 ppb while the 2014 and 2015 actions occurred, well below the water quality standard for human consumption of 50 ppb and wildlife of 2 ppb.

The draft EA was prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, and are available at http://www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_projdetails.cfm?Project_ID=26444. If you encounter problems accessing the documents, please call 916-978-5100 or email mppublicaffairs@usbr.gov.

Comments are due by close of business Friday, August 5, 2016, please email comments to remerson@usbr.gov or fax to 559-487-5397. Written comments may also be mailed to Rain Emerson, Bureau of Reclamation, 1243 N Street, Fresno, CA 93721

San Diego County Water Authority Board Authorizes Purchase of Power from Hoover Dam

Low-cost energy designed to benefit water ratepayers

From the San Diego County Water Authority:

san diego county water authority logoThe San Diego County Water Authority is seeking to reduce energy costs for water projects in the region following a decision today by the Board of Directors to pursue a contract with the Western Area Power Administration for buying power directly from Hoover Dam at wholesale rates.

Under the Water Authority’s allocation of power from Western, it could save up to $300,000 a year compared to retail energy prices, helping control costs for the region’s water ratepayers. Before that can happen, the Water Authority needs to secure a way for the power to be delivered to water facilities in the region.

San Diego County water ratepayers could benefit from the power purchase agreement another way, as well. As a Western customer, the Water Authority could generate even more savings by buying additional energy from the wholesale market using Western’s at-cost services for energy procurement. This would further offset current retail energy market purchases at Water Authority facilities, the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant, and member agency facilities.

While the Water Authority is best known as the San Diego region’s water wholesaler, the California Legislature in 2000 authorized the Water Authority to enter the energy market and engage in certain energy-related activities under section 5.1 of the County Water Authority Act (Senate Bill 552). The bill authorized the Water Authority to purchase federal power; to construct, own, and operate electric power generation facilities to service its or its member agencies’ needs; and to purchase and transport natural gas.

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The Water Foundation names Wade Crowfoot as CEO

Takes over leadership to advance sustainable water in California and the West

From the Water Foundation:

Water FoundationThe Water Foundation, a philanthropic organization, today announced Wade Crowfoot as its new chief executive officer (CEO). Crowfoot will guide the Foundation as it expands capacity to solve pressing water challenges and becomes an independent philanthropy in January 2017.

Crowfoot, 43, brings more than 20 years of public policy and environmental experience to his new role, with expertise in water, climate and sustainability issues. He will take over the reins from Water Foundation Director Lester Snow, who earlier this year announced his transition to an advisory role. Crowfoot comes to the Water Foundation from California Governor Jerry Brown’s Administration, where he has served since 2011. In his current role, as deputy cabinet secretary and senior advisor to Governor Brown, Wade has led the administration’s drought response efforts. Before joining the Brown Administration, Wade was west coast regional director for the Environmental Defense Fund and a senior environmental advisor to former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.

“Water is the critical issue for the next decade in the West. We are excited to find a dynamic leader like Wade to take the Water Foundation to its next stage,” said David Beckman, President of the Pisces Foundation and Chair of the Water Foundation Board of Directors. “Wade’s experience in the environmental nonprofit world, as well as in policy and government, uniquely prepares him to lead the foundation as it begins a new phase in 2017 as an independent organization.”

“The Water Foundation has demonstrated how strategic philanthropy can help safeguard water for people, farms and the environment,” Crowfoot said. “I am excited to work with its talented team, grantees and partners to develop and implement innovative solutions to protect water in California and the West.”

The Water Foundation was launched as an initiative of Resources Legacy Fund in 2011. It partners with funders including the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, James Irvine Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Pisces Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation. It makes grants to build the field and supports strategic policy solutions to improve water management.

In 2014, education and analysis by the Water Foundation supported the passage of California’s historic Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and it continues to work to ensure that the law is implemented effectively. In summer 2015—as drought gripped California—the Water Foundation launched the Drought Action Initiative, designed to advance policy reform to better manage water for people and nature. The Water Foundation has also developed strong partnerships in Los Angeles to help the region become a global leader in urban water management approaches that reduce water pollution and augment local water supplies, and is working towards solutions in the Colorado River basin and the West more broadly.

“I am proud of the Water Foundation’s work and confident in its future as I pass the baton to Wade,” said Snow. “California is in the fifth year of a historic drought that has exposed a wide range of water challenges. The Water Foundation has shown that it can help develop and fund creative, practical solutions to these pressing problems, and Wade has the experience to guide it in doing so.”

About the Water Foundation

The Water Foundation is a philanthropic organization dedicated to advancing sustainable water management. Launched in 2011 by Resources Legacy Fund in collaboration with several major funders—including the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, the Pisces Foundation, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation—it will become an independent nonprofit organization in January 2017. Since inception the Water Foundation has invested nearly $20 million to improve the long-term availability of clean, safe water resources for California. It has assembled a team of experts in water, mobilized partner organizations, and engaged diverse constituents. For more information, please visit WaterFoundation.net.

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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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