NEWS WORTH NOTING: Reclamation moves forward on fish passage project in Yolo Bypass; Byron-Bethany Irrigation District makes donation to new California water web initiative; Public Review: Implementing the Open and Transparent Water Data Act (AB 1755)

Reclamation moves forward on fish passage project in Yolo Bypass

From the Bureau of Reclamation:

Construction is expected to begin this fall on a project aimed at improving fish passage through the Yolo Bypass. The Bureau of Reclamation today released the Final Initial Study/Environmental Assessment and signed a Finding of No Significant Impact for the Fremont Weir Adult Fish Passage Project.

The Fremont Weir Adult Fish Passage Modification Project is located in the northern portion of the Yolo Bypass, approximately 8 miles northeast of Woodland, California. The project will improve fish passage at the Fremont Weir and within the Tule Canal. It will modify an existing fish ladder at the Fremont Weir and improve fish passage within the channel both upstream and downstream of the weir. In addition, one downstream agricultural road crossing will be removed and another will be replaced with a structure that provides improved fish passage within the Tule Canal.

The Final IS/EA and FONSI were prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and are available at https://www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_projdetails.cfm?Project_ID=12670. If you encounter problems accessing the document, please call 916-978-5100 (TTY 800-877-8339) or email mppublicaffairs@usbr.gov.

The documents may be viewed at Reclamation’s Bay-Delta Office, 801 I Street, Suite 140, Sacramento, CA 95814. For additional information, please contact Ben Nelson, 916-414-2424 or bcnelson@usbr.gov.

Byron-Bethany Irrigation District Makes Donation to New California Water Web Initiative

From the Byron Bethany Irrigation District:

On Monday, the Byron-Bethany Irrigation District (BBID) announced it will present a charitable donation to help fund a new online initiative to bring California water together, the California Water Library. The new website will be a one-stop shop for the thousands of water industry reports, articles, research and much more. BBID’s $5,000 donation will help with the site’s development as it nears its launch. The project is the brainchild of Chris Austin, founder of Maven’s Notebook, the widely-read water industry blog.

“The California Water Library will provide easy, organized access to information about California water, including industry reports, journal articles, scientific research, legal rulings, maps, images, and more so that scientists, policy makers, and managers working in the California’s water industry can access the information needed to make informed decisions about the state’s most precious natural resource,” Austin said. “The California Water Library fills an unmet need within the California water community by consolidating a broad set of content in one, easy-to-use website.”

“It’s an honor to support such a worthwhile project that will change the way we talk about California water,” BBID GM Rick Gilmore said. “In today’s fast-paced water world, having one place to go for the latest reports and research will make an instantaneous impact in keeping us all better-informed. This is a game changer.” As part of winning the 2017 Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) Excellence in Water Leadership Award, BBID was honored to award a $5,000 charitable donation to a non-profit organization of the District’s choosing that works toward the enhancement and protection of California’s water resources. The donation is furnished by the Black & Veatch Corporation.

BBID was chosen for the award in recognition of its victorious, high-stakes stand to protect some of the oldest water rights in California. According to ACWA, the prestigious annual award recognizes those who make a “remarkable and visible contribution to the enhancement, protection or development of water resources in California.”

The California Water Library (www.cawaterlibrary.net) is expected to launch in the coming weeks.

Byron-Bethany Irrigation District (BBID) is a multi-county special district serving parts of Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Joaquin Counties across 47 square miles and 30,000 acres. The district serves 160 agricultural customers and approximately 12,000 residents of the Mountain House community. For additional media information, contact Nick Janes at 630.915.6493, or via email at n.janes@bbid.org.

PUBLIC REVIEW:  Implementing the Open and Transparent Water Data Act (AB 1755)

The Open and Transparent Water Data Act (AB 1755) presents an opportunity to improve data publication and decision-making in California water management. The open aspect means the provision of access to data using open-source and open-architecture protocols and methods.  Openness is a necessary but insufficient requirement for success, however.  For water data to be useful, it must be developed with decision-makers’ needs paramount as an organizing principle for both content and quality control.  At DWR, we have launched the Open Water Information Architecture (OWIA)  to inform the protocols, cyberinfrastructure, and staff expertise needed to address the mandates of AB 1755 and, more broadly, to provide a sustainable framework for California water resource management.

In partnership with members of the stakeholder community, we have developed an initial, extensible set of use cases to define and articulate stakeholders’ data and information needs in terms that are translatable into development requirements. Use cases describe who needs what data, in what form, to make what decisions.  The construction of use cases engages, as stakeholders, those decision-makers throughout the water resource community who are uniquely positioned to answer these questions.  The translation of use cases into objectives and requirements provides a sound, testable basis for system development.

A key step in implementing data systems is the articulation of the functions needed to meet the stakeholder objectives in engineering terms.  These are called functional requirements.  Functional requirements are design-independent and provide a baseline for controlling cost, schedule, and technical risk for both project managers and developers alike.

A draft of the functional requirements baseline intended to inform implementation of AB 1755 is now available for comment until September 1, 2017.  It is called the OWIA System Requirements Document (SRD).  The SRD provides a sound foundation for an open, sustainable, and community-wide effort, including the public and private sectors,  in both the operational and research domains related to California water resource management.  Additionally, stakeholders who are interested in contributing additional use cases are invited to do so until September 1, 2017.

Contacts:

For questions about the functional requirements document, please contact John Helly (hellyj@sdsc.edu) or Gary Darling (gary.darling@water.ca.gov).

For matters related to use case development, please contact Alida Cantor (acantor@berkeley.edu) and Mike Kiparsky (kiparsky@berkeley.edu).

For more information about the AB 1755 implementation effort, or to subscribe to AB 1755 project announcements, please contact Chris McCready (christina.mccready@water.ca.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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