News Worth Noting: DWR Seeks proposals for Delta habitat restoration projects; Bill addresses excessive water use by some water purveyors; Request for proposals for Central Valley Disadvantaged Community Water Quality Grants Program

DWR Seeks Proposals for Habitat Restoration Projects in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

First-of-its-Kind Request for Proposal Invites Non-Governmental Participation

From the Department of Water Resources:

NEW_DWR_LOGO_14inchIn an effort to quicken the pace of habitat restoration in California’s biggest estuary, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) today invited private companies, non-profit groups and individuals to submit proposals to create wetlands in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Through a first-of-its-kind Request for Proposal (RFP), DWR seeks partners to help fulfill its obligations under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.  At the direction of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service, DWR must restore or create 8,000 acres of tidal habitat to benefit Delta smelt and another 800 acres for longfin smelt, plus 17,000 acres to 20,000 acres of seasonal floodplain to benefit juvenile winter-run chinook salmon, spring-run salmon and Central Valley steelhead.  Projects to fulfill these obligations also could help meet DWR’s restoration responsibilities under the California Endangered Species Act.

These projects will advance California EcoRestore, a program to fulfill Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s direction to State agencies to begin restoration of at least 30,000 acres in the Delta over the next five years.  In addition, the Brown Administration’s five-year Water Action Plan calls for restoration of important ecosystems.

DWR will weigh proposals received through the RFP process and enter into agreements with the proponents of acceptable projects.  These may be private companies, non-profit groups, individuals, or a combination of such.  Respondents to the RFP must demonstrate control of property desirable for habitat restoration. Proposals will be judged competitively based on factors that include location, cost, site quality, site design, property characteristics and project schedule and readiness.  Projects must be completed within five years.

“Our new Request for Proposal will help us harness the power of partnerships in a straightforward, transparent, efficient way,” said Dean Messer, Chief of the DWR Division of Environmental Services and the Fish Restoration Program.  “We want to maximize results and get large-scale tidal marsh wetland habitat restoration under way for the sake of native fishes.”

The department is prepared to award contracts worth a total of $42.5 million over the next five years for acceptable proposals.  Instructions for downloading the RFP are available here.  Proposals must be received by November 30, 2016.

Bill Addresses Excessive Water Use by Some California Urban Retail Water Purveyors

Tiered Water Rates and Surcharges Among Tools Agencies Can Use During Water Shortages

From Best Best & Krieger:

BB&K logoA new law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown requires that, when specified water shortage conditions are met, public and private urban retail water suppliers must establish a method to identify and discourage excessive water use by residential metered water customers. (This applies to water suppliers that provide potable municipal water to more than 3,000 end users, or more than 3,000 acre-feet of potable water annually.) Under Senate Bill 814, signed Aug. 29, the authorized methods for discouraging excessive water use include tiered block water rates, budget-based tiered water rates, and fines and penalties.

For any public urban retail water supplier, the adoption of any such tiered block or budget-based tiered water rates, however, must still comply with the procedural and substantive requirements of California Constitution article XIII D, section 6 (commonly referred to as Proposition 218) governing property-related water service fees and charges.

SB 814 requires retail urban water suppliers to put in place rules that define “excessive water use” and impose them during the following prescribed water shortage periods: … ”

Read more from Best Best & Krieger here: Bill Addresses Excessive Water Use by Some California Urban Retail Water Purveyors

Request for proposals: Central Valley Disadvantaged Community Water Quality Grants Program

From the Rose Foundation:

RoseLogo_vector_cmykIn partnership with the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (CVRWQCB), Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment has developed a grants program to support disadvantaged communities working on water quality issues throughout the Central Valley and Sacramento Valley areas. Grants awarded through this program are through Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) payments that may be used to satisfy part of administrative civil liabilities imposed by the Water Board. Since the program helps direct future SEP payments to community-based water quality project, the purpose of the application process is to develop an annual Project List. Organizations with projects that meet both the disadvantaged community and water quality criteria will then be placed on the 2017 Project List for potential funding.

Community-based watershed stewardship organizations in the Central Valley, Sacramento Valley, west slope of the Sierra Nevada or east slope of the coast Range wishing to submit applications for consideration for 2017 funding should carefully review the Eligibility Criteria, Application Instructions, and other information in this announcement.

Click here for more information from the Rose Foundation.

 

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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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