News Worth Noting: California Supreme Court requires state to fund local stormwater programs; Legislature passes bill to help California water users fight climate change; $824,764 contract fuels progress on Marysville Ring Levee

California Supreme Court requires state to fund local stormwater programs

From Best Best & Krieger:

BB&K logo“In a much anticipated decision with potentially far-reaching implications for cities and counties across California, the California Supreme Court determined that certain requirements in municipal stormwater permits are state mandates subject to reimbursement under the California Constitution. Under Article XIII B §6, if the Legislature or a state agency requires a local government to provide a new program or higher level of service, the local government is entitled to reimbursement from the State for the associated costs. Reimbursement is not available if the new program or increased service is mandated by a federal law. … ”

Read more from Best Best & Krieger here: California Supreme Court requires state to fund local stormwater programs

Legislature Passes Bill to Help California Water Users Fight Climate Change

From the Union of Concerned Scientists:

UCS LogoThe Legislature today passed and sent to the governor a bill (SB 1425, Pavley) that would create a voluntary registry to track the heat-trapping pollution of California water users—primarily water suppliers and wastewater treatment facilities. The bill, which is sponsored by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), is needed because the water sector consumes nearly 20 percent of California’s electricity, a number that is likely to grow as the extended drought further stresses water supplies and the electricity grid, according to UCS.

“We need to help ensure that water will be part of the solution to California’s clean energy transition,” said Juliet Christian-Smith, a UCS climate scientist. “If signed by Governor Brown, this bill would help provide the state’s water sector with reliable data to identify conservation and clean energy opportunities, especially as the state continues to grapple with the new norm of extended droughts and a changing climate.”

In California, energy is used to pump, treat, transport, deliver and heat water. The state already is seeing huge increases in energy-intensive groundwater pumping to make up for low precipitation during the drought. A recent study estimates that, during this year alone, groundwater pumping for irrigation will consume an additional 1.6 billion kilowatt-hours. Generating that amount of electricity emits air pollution equivalent to the annual tailpipe emissions of 238,000 cars or a third of the pollution from a coal-fired power plant. SB 1425 would help solve this problem by giving decision makers information needed to effectively manage these two scarce resources, which are inextricably linked and tied to climate change, according to UCS.

Investing in clean, renewable energy benefits water utilities, their customers and the state’s efforts to reduce global warming pollution, according to the 2015 UCS report, “Clean Energy Opportunities in California’s Water Sector,” by Christian-Smith and Laura Wisland, UCS senior energy analyst. The report notes, however, that a lack of data about electricity consumption is a key barrier to unlocking the sector’s potential to help the state achieve its climate pollution reduction goals.

$824,764 contract fuels progress on Marysville Ring Levee

From the Army Corps of Engineers:

Army Corps LogoAn $824,764 contract for the next phase of improvements for the ring levee surrounding the northern California town of Marysville was awarded to Patterson Taber General Engineering, Inc. of Marysville, California on Aug. 26, 2016.

Expected to begin later this year, the next phase of construction is located within the Union Pacific Railroad track diamond at Binney Junction on the north side of Marysville and involves construction of about 500 feet of stability berm. Two previous construction phases strengthened portions of the ring levee on the northeastern side of the city.

“This is a terrific step forward for the City of Marysville and all of its residents,” said Tib Belza, Yuba County Water Agency chairman of the board. Belza added, “YCWA is proud to support the Corps and DWR in their work to fortify these levees.”

Begun in August 2010, the goal of the multi-phase project is to reduce flood risk for the approximately 12,000 residents of Marysville through upgrades to the 7.6-mile ring level surrounding the city.

The ring levee project is a partnership between the Sacramento District, the Central Valley Flood Protection Board and the Marysville Levee District.

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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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