Costa, Denham, McClintock to California SWRCB: Lack of Public Hearing “Unacceptable”
From the office of Congressman Jim Costa:
Rep. Jim Costa (CA-16), Rep. Jeff Denham (CA-10), and Rep. Tom McClintock (CA-4) today submitted a letter to the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) in response to its revised Draft Substitute Environmental Document (SED) that supports of Phase 1 of the Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan.
Reps. Costa, Denham, and McClintock released the following statement:
“It is completely unacceptable that the State Water Resources Control Board failed to hold public hearings in the communities most affected by this proposal. The people, the farmers and communities in the San Joaquin Valley have borne the brunt of the impacts of five years of drought conditions and this proposal, if adopted, would only result in further harm to the economy of the region. The SWRCB must extend the comment period for at least 90 days because the people of San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Merced Counties deserve an open and transparent process where their voices can be heard. Furthermore, it is imperative that before any additional releases are ordered, the SWRCB must prove that the anticipated ecological benefits outlined in this proposal will be realized.”
A copy of the signed letter is available here.
Governor signs bill to improve irrigation equipment efficiency
From the Santa Clara Valley Water District:
On Tuesday, Sept. 13, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1928 into law. The bill, authored by Assemblymember Nora Campos and sponsored by Santa Clara Valley Water District, will ensure efficiency standards and labeling requirements for landscape irrigation equipment are established by Jan. 1, 2019 to help consumers continue to conserve water.
Chair Barbara Keegan stated, “The Santa Clara Valley Water District is proud to have sponsored legislation that will provide long-term permanent solutions to protecting not only Silicon Valley’s water supply, but the entire state of California. Thank you to the governor, Assemblymember Campos, and the state Legislature for recognizing how important it is to establish irrigation equipment standards for California.”
Assemblymember Campos said “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Energy Commission (CEC) have created and approved strict water efficiency standards for indoor water fixtures and appliances. However, there has been no standard or labeling requirements for landscape irrigation equipment, despite the fact that landscaper irrigation comprises about half of residential water use.”
As a state, we’ve become more water conscious and have made huge strides with indoor conservation efforts. However, 50 percent of residential water use takes place outdoors; having water efficient gardens and landscapes will translate into significant water savings. AB 1928 will help California take the next and long overdue steps in recommitting ourselves to improving outdoor water efficiency.
According to the State Assembly’s analysis of the bill, technology in landscape irrigation has advanced in recent years with numerous new efficient irrigation controls and moisture sensing devices coming to the market. Consumers appear to be responding to these conditions as it has been reported that one of the largest areas of sales growth at home improvement stores has been efficient landscape irrigation equipment.
Kings Subbasin is Ground Zero for the State’s Groundwater Sustainability
State Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) was pleased that his bill to safeguard groundwater was signed into law by Governor Brown today.
“Groundwater is a precious resource in California and this measure is a necessary part of the process to ensure our local agencies have the tools to manage it wisely,” said Cannella. “I’m grateful we had local and state support to make this a reality.”
Senate Bill 564 creates the North Fork Kings River Groundwater Sustainability Agency, an area encompassing 265 square miles within Fresno County, and adds this Agency to the list of agencies created by statute to manage groundwater that are deemed the exclusive local agencies to comply with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.
The Kings Sub-basin has been designated to be in a state of critical overdraft, which triggers the requirement for local districts to create Groundwater Sustainability Agencies by June 30th, 2017 and for those agencies to then develop Groundwater Sustainability Plans by January 2020 to soundly manage groundwater.
“The sustainability of our groundwater supply is of the utmost importance to California’s agricultural survival and our drinking water needs,” Cannella continued. “This measure is a small, but important step in addressing what could be called ground-zero for the State’s groundwater problem.”
SB 564 was supported by West Kings Groundwater Coalition, the Community Water Center, and the Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability, and will be enacted on January 1, 2017.
Sonoma County Board Members Call for Extended Public Comment Period and Additional Hearings on Fish Flow Project
From the Sonoma County Water Agency:
Sonoma County Water Agency (Water Agency) Chairman Efren Carrillo announced on Friday, September 16 that the Water Agency Board will consider adding additional hearings and extending the comment period for the Fish Habitat Flows and Water Rights Project (Fish Flow Project) Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR).
“We received a clear message at Tuesday’s public hearing: People want more time to review the Fish Flow Project and they want additional opportunities to share their thoughts,” said Carrillo. “Director Gore and I’ve asked Water Agency staff to develop a plan for extending the comment period and adding hearing dates.”
On October 4 at its regular board meeting, the full Board will consider the proposal to add more time to the current 60-day comment period and to schedule public hearings in lower and upper river locations.
“The Russian River is 110 miles long, and people raised concerns on Tuesday about the ability of folks throughout the watershed to participate in the process,” said Water Agency Director James Gore. “By meeting in locations closer to their homes, we hope to get additional, productive input. This is a complicated issue and we understand why people want more time to review the document.”
Pending Board approval, the new comment period and additional hearing dates will be posted on the Water Agency’s website, www.sonomacountywater.org/fish-flow on October 4.
For More Information
For more information, including a link to the September 13 public hearing, go to www.sonomacountywater.org/fish-flow. The DEIR is available at this link, at Sonoma and Mendocino county libraries and by purchase (flash drive or hard copy) from the Water Agency. All written comments can be sent to email@example.com or to Sonoma County Water Agency, Attn: Fish Flow DEIR., 404 Aviation Boulevard, Santa Rosa, CA 95403.
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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.