NEWS WORTH NOTING: LAO Brief: Overview of State’s water conservation efforts; CivicSpark is now recruiting for the 2017-18 service year; First water returns to Silver Lake Reservoir Complex in Los Angeles

LAO Brief:  Overview of State’s Water Conservation Efforts

The Legislative Analyst's Office has prepared a brief overview of the State's water conservation efforts for yesterday's Assembly Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee meeting.

Click here to read the report.

CivicSpark Is Now Recruiting for the 2017-18 Service Year

From the Local Government Commission:

CivicSpark is a Governor’s Initiative AmeriCorps program dedicated to building capacity for local governments to address climate change and water resource management issues. Each year, CivicSpark recruits 70 Climate and Water Fellows to provide support to local governments throughout California.

In the first two service years, Fellows provided over 130,000 hours of service, implementing targeted projects to support over 100 local government agencies. Past Fellows have supported the completion of 14 climate/energy action plans, 13 vulnerability assessments, 19 greenhouse has inventories, 150 energy reports and benchmarking assessments, and 47 community workshops.

Recent college graduates:

If you are interested in gaining experience in the climate change or water management fields while building professional skills, developing a strong network, and creating a lasting impact in local communities, apply now for the CivicSpark Fellowship! Learn more and apply at http://civicspark.lgc.org/join-civicspark/fellow/.

“CivicSpark has given me the tools and resources to begin breaking down the larger issue of climate change into projects that are meaningful to the communities I am a part of. I've had the pleasure of connecting with passionate local leaders which has served as a constant source of inspiration and motivation to keep moving forward.” –  Skylar Johnson, Climate Fellow, Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District

Local government agencies, state agencies, and non-governmental organizations:

CivicSpark matches motivated and talented young professionals with climate change and water management projects in need of support. Public agencies, state agencies, and non-governmental organizations can all host CivicSpark Fellows, as long as the project work has a connection and benefit to specific local public agencies. Learn more and apply to become a project partner at http://civicspark.lgc.org/join-civicspark/project/.

“The CivicSpark program has been an extremely worthwhile investment. Not only do you as a local government gain much needed help to meet your climate objectives for the year but CivicSpark does an amazing job selecting highly qualified and capable fellows.” – Lauren Faber-O’Connor, Deputy Chief Sustainability Officer, City of Los Angeles

Learn more and apply at  http://civicspark.lgc.org/

First Water Returns to Silver Lake Reservoir Complex

City Officials and Community Members Celebrate as Reservoir Complex Begins to Refill

From the LA DWP:

Councilmember David Ryu (CD 4) and Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell (CD 13) joined Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) Senior Assistant General Manager Richard Harasick today in cranking open the tower valves to begin refilling the Silver Lake Reservoir Complex ahead of schedule, using surplus water from this year’s above-average Eastern Sierra snowpack.

“I want to thank the Department of Water and Power for holding true to their promise to refill the Silver Lake Reservoir as soon as possible. This is a big win for the nearby residents and all Angelenos alike,” said Councilmember Ryu. “Over the coming months, we will continue to work with all stakeholders in a transparent and engaging community process as we discuss the long-term future of the reservoir.”

“After years of drought, we finally had above average precipitation across California. As a result, the Sierra snowpack is over 200 percent of normal. As the snow melts, the over-abundance of water will come our way via the aqueduct. For this reason, we have a unique opportunity to restore water to the reservoir sooner than anticipated,” said Councilmember O’Farrell. “I want to thank Silver Lake Reservoir area residents for the invaluable input we received over the last several months, and who are understandably passionate to bring the water back. But we must now take the long view and plan for a sustainable future for the reservoir complex that enhances the environment and the quality of life for all users, including families and wildlife.”

With the opening of the tower valves, water gushed into the smaller Ivanhoe Reservoir where it is expected to fill the space and then spill over into the larger, adjacent Silver Lake Reservoir within about two weeks. Thanks to an above-average year of snow in the Eastern Sierra—registering at more than double the snowpack of a typical year—LADWP has surplus Los Angeles Aqueduct water to fill Ivanhoe and Silver Lake Reservoirs ahead of the originally-planned May refill date.

“Today is about delivering on a promise we made to the community to restore these two reservoirs, which are so vital to the folks who live, work and recreate here, and we’re achieving it sooner than expected,” Harasick said.

Flowing at a rate of about 5,600 gallons per minute, water is expected to reach Silver Lake Reservoir’s historic level of 440 feet above sea level within approximately two months. Originally, LADWP estimated it would take a year to refill the reservoir to that level using water that would be piped from an existing groundwater well. LADWP still plans to connect the groundwater well to maintain the reservoir levels as water naturally evaporates.

The historic, 1908 Silver Lake Reservoir had been drained in late 2015 to allow for the construction of the Silver Lake Reservoir Complex (SLRC) Bypass Project, part of LADWP’s compliance efforts to address updated State and Federal drinking water quality regulations.

LADWP had continued operating Ivanhoe Reservoir with shade balls, deployed in 2009 to meet the water quality regulation, until it was drained and the shade balls removed earlier this month.

The SLRC Bypass Project, completed in February, allows treated drinking water to be conveyed from the newly-built Headworks Reservoir, bypassing the two open-air reservoirs and directly serving Silver Lake and Ivanhoe Reservoirs’ former service areas. While no longer used to store drinking water, LADWP has pledged to keep water in Silver Lake and Ivanhoe Reservoirs for the community and all Angelenos to enjoy.

To further beautify this space, LADWP has planted California-friendly plants and more than 40 trees at the reservoir complex. Once the reservoirs are filled, LADWP has agreed to fund a new masterplan for the Silver Lake complex that will be developed by the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering.

 

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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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