NEWS WORTH NOTING: Metropolitan posts first white paper on California Water Fix; Draft enviro docs for Los Vaqueros reservoir expansion; San Joaquin River Restoration Program releases draft fisheries framework for fish restoration

Metropolitan white paper: Modernizing the system: California Water Fix infrastructure

The first in a series of three policy papers prepared for the consideration of Metropolitan’s Board of Directors in advance of planned summer meetings and decisions in Fall 2017.

From the Metropolitan Water District:

Modernizing and improving California’s water system is essential for the reliable delivery of water supplies to much of the state. About 30 percent of the water that flows out of taps in Southern California homes and businesses comes from Northern California watersheds and flows through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. But the Delta’s declining ecosystem and 1,100 miles of levees are increasingly vulnerable to earthquakes, flooding, saltwater intrusion, climate change and further environmental degradation.

California WaterFix is the product of more than a decade of review, planning, and rigorous scientific and environmental analysis by water experts, engineers and conservationists, as well as unprecedented public comment. The proposed project will improve the security of our water system by fixing aging infrastructure and constructing new, state-of-the art facilities using innovative technologies and engineering practices. Significant planning work for the design and construction of the project has been performed by the state, water agencies, and construction and engineering firms, which have determined the project is buildable.

Details of the project features, actions to address public comment, risk management, schedule projection and cost estimates are addressed in a new white paper and summarized below.

Click here to read the white paper.

Reclamation Promotes New Water Storage: Releases Draft Environmental Documents for the Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion Project Phase 2; Public Hearings Announced

From the Bureau of Reclamation:

As part of a continuing effort to increase storage capability throughout California, the Bureau of Reclamation and the Contra Costa Water District (CCWD) have prepared the Draft Supplement to the Final Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR) for public review and comment on the Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion (LVE) Project Phase 2. The LVE Draft Supplement to the Final EIS/EIR evaluates expanding the existing Los Vaqueros Reservoir, increasing the capacity from 160,000 acre-feet up to 275,000 acre-feet and adding new conveyance facilities.

The LVE is a joint investigation between Reclamation and CCWD authorized by Congress in 2003. The objectives of the expansion are to develop water supplies for environmental water management, increase water supply reliability for water providers within the San Francisco Bay Area, and improve the quality of water deliveries to municipal and industrial customers.

Six public hearings have been scheduled to receive oral or written comments regarding environmental effects. Meeting details are as follows:

• Sacramento: Tuesday, July 11, 2017, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m., Tsakopoulos Library Galleria, 828 I Street

• San Jose: Wednesday, July 12, 2017, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., Santa Clara Valley Water District, 5750 Almaden Expressway

• Concord: Tuesday, July 18, 2017, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., Contra Costa Water District, 1331 Concord Avenue

• Oakland: Thursday, July 20, 2017, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. East Bay Municipal Utility District, 375 11th Street

• Brentwood: Tuesday, July 25, 2017, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., Brentwood Community Center, 35 Oak Street

• Los Banos: Thursday, July 27, 2017, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m., San Luis National Wildlife Refuge Complex Headquarters and Visitors Center, 7376 S. Wolfsen Road

The Draft Supplement to the Final EIS/EIR was prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and is available at http://www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_projdetails.cfm?Project_ID=903. If you encounter problems accessing the document, please call 916-978-5100 (TTY 800-877-8339) or email mppublicaffairs@usbr.gov.

Written comments on the Draft Supplement to the Final EIS/EIR may be submitted at the meetings or mailed by close of business Friday, September 1, 2017, to: Lisa Rainger, Bureau of Reclamation, 2800 Cottage Way, MP-700, Sacramento, CA 95825; faxed to 916-978-5094; or emailed to lrainger@usbr.gov. You may also email Rainger to request electronic CD copies of the Draft Supplement to the Final EIS/EIR.

For additional information on the Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion Project or to request special assistance at the public hearings, please contact Rainger, 916-978-5090, lrainger@usbr.gov or visit the project website at https://www.usbr.gov/mp/vaqueros/index.html.

San Joaquin River Restoration Program Requests Comment on Draft Fisheries Framework to Guide Fish Restoration

From the Bureau of Reclamation:

The Bureau of Reclamation, on behalf of the San Joaquin River Restoration Program, released the Draft Fisheries Framework: Spring-run and Fall-run Chinook Salmon for public review. The Fisheries Framework builds upon the program’s Revised Framework for Implementation, which was completed in July 2015, and establishes a realistic schedule and guidelines for implementation of fisheries management actions covered under the program based on the best science and information available.

To help meet the program’s Restoration Goal to restore and maintain self-sustaining fish populations in good condition in the main stem of the San Joaquin River, the Fisheries Framework outlines: (1) goals and objectives for establishing spring-run and fall-run Chinook salmon populations in the Restoration Area; (2) habitat and ecosystem conditions that will support naturally reproducing, self-sustaining salmon populations; (3) the scientific foundation for the planned management actions; and, (4) a proposed Adaptive Management process and implementation plan.

The San Joaquin River Restoration Program is the result of the Stipulation of Settlement in Natural Resources Defense Council, et al., v. Rodgers, et al., and the San Joaquin River Restoration Settlement Act (Title X of Public Law 111-11). The program is a comprehensive, long-term effort to restore flows to the San Joaquin River from Friant Dam to the confluence of the Merced River and restore self-sustaining Chinook salmon populations in the river while reducing or avoiding adverse water supply impacts from those flows. Program implementing agencies include Reclamation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, California Department of Water Resources and California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The Draft Fisheries Framework may be viewed at http://www.restoresjr.net/restoration-goal/fisheries-reintroduction/. If you encounter problems accessing the document online, please call 916-978-5100 (TTY 800-877-8339) or email mppublicaffairs@usbr.gov. Written comments are due by close of business Aug. 2, 2017, to Donald Portz, Bureau of Reclamation, 2800 Cottage Way, MP-170, Sacramento, CA 95825. Comments may be faxed to 916-978-5469 or emailed to dportz@usbr.gov. For additional information, please contact Portz at 916-978-5461.

For more information on the San Joaquin River Restoration Program, please visit www.restoresjr.net or contact Josh Newcom, Public Affairs Specialist, at 916-978-5508 or snewcom@usbr.gov.

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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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