New PPIC Report: Priorities for California Water
From the Public Policy Institute of California:
This past year was a prime example of California’s highly variable climate—and a precursor of the types of extremes that are expected to become more common. After five years of drought exacerbated by record heat, 2017’s record rain and snow brought more challenges—stressing dams and levees, causing landslides, and adding fuel to fire-prone landscapes.
Across California, leaders have responded with a number of policy and management reforms, including some that will help the state adapt to droughts and floods of the future. But there’s more work to be done.
In this policy brief we outline issues that are front and center for managing California’s water supply and natural environment. We also suggest priorities for actions that would improve California’s water systems and better support the state’s residents, businesses, and ecosystems.
Reclamation Releases Environmental Documents for the California High Speed Train Project
From Bureau of Reclamation:
The Bureau of Reclamation has finalized an environmental analysis of a proposal to replace or relocate irrigation pipelines in the Central Valley to accommodate guideways for the Merced to Fresno section of California’s High Speed Rail Project.
Reclamation’s Environmental Assessment concluded that moving the irrigation laterals and other associated actions for the rail project will not have significant impacts to resources or people. The actual work of moving laterals would be completed during the non-irrigation season so water users would not be affected.
The California High-Speed Train Project is being constructed by the California High Speed Rail Authority through a series of design-build contracts. The first significant construction contract includes replacing and relocating irrigation facilities along a 32-mile stretch between Avenue 19 in Madera County to East American Avenue in Fresno County. The project was analyzed in the 2012 Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report: Merced to Fresno prepared by the High Speed Rail Authority and the Federal Railroad Administration. Construction of the project in Madera County began in 2016.
Reclamation’s EA and FONSI are tiered to the 2012 EIS/EIR. They are available at: https://www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_projdetails.cfm?Project_ID=30161.
Semitropic Water District to implement water conservation measures and reduce energy costs
From the Bureau of Reclamation:
The Groundwater Well Operational Data Acquisition Project will equip 390 existing groundwater wells with data systems to provide the District with real-time data on landowner water and power usage, improve on-farm management, and implement water conservation practices at the landowner level. The Solar Power Project will generate up to 5 megawatts of solar energy to supplement and augment the District’s energy supply. The Lateral Canal Lining Project will line conveyance ditches associated with the Pond-Poso Spreading Grounds, thereby reducing seepage losses of groundwater conveyed to the main distribution canal.
Federal funding comes from Reclamation’s water conservation programs that promote district level water conservation improvements that facilitate on-farm water use efficiency and conservation. Reclamation provided the District two grants for a total of $1,750,000 out of a total project cost of $3,574,962.
The EA was prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and may be viewed at https://www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_projdetails.cfm?Project_ID=30210.
Comments are due by close of business Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017. Written comments should be sent to Doug Kleinsmith, Bureau of Reclamation, 2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA 95825 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional information, please contact Kleinsmith at 916-978-5034 (TTY 800-877-8339).
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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.