NEWS WORTH NOTING: Meetings scheduled for public input on efforts to maximize CVP deliveries; CDFA now accepting applications for annual cannabis cultivation licenses; Yolo Flyway Farms Restoration Project is Consistent with Delta Plan; Owens Valley:  Low snowpack delays well testing

Meetings scheduled for public input on efforts to maximize Central Valley Project deliveries

From the Bureau of Reclamation:

The Bureau of Reclamation published a notice of intent Friday to prepare an environmental impact statement, “Revisions to the Coordinated Long-term Operation of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project, and Related Facilities” in the Federal Register https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/current#reclamation-bureau.  Reclamation is seeking comments by Feb. 1, 2018, that will be used to develop alternatives to the proposed action. Two public meetings have been scheduled to receive oral or written comments:

  • Tuesday, Jan. 16, from 6-8 p.m. at the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority, 842 Sixth St. in Los Banos
  • Tuesday, Jan. 23, from 2-4 p.m. at the Stanford Room, 650 Capitol Mall in Sacramento

The CVP is a major water source for agricultural, municipal and industrial, and fish and wildlife demands in California. State and federal regulatory actions and other agreements have significantly reduced the water available for delivery south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. This project will evaluate alternatives to restore water supply in consideration of all authorized purposes of the CVP.

Written comments are due by close of business, Feb. 1, 2018, by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to Katrina Harrison, project manager, Bureau of Reclamation, Bay-Delta Office, 801 I Street, Suite 140, Sacramento, CA 95814-2536; fax 916-414-2439; or email kharrison@usbr.gov. For additional information, please contact Harrison at 916-414-2425 (TTY 800-877-8339).

CDFA now accepting applications for annual cannabis cultivation licenses

From the California Department of Food and Ag:

The California Department of Food and Agriculture's CalCannabis program has begun accepting applications for annual commercial licenses for cultivators, nurseries and processors.

“After many months of preparation, California’s licensing system for cannabis cultivators is open,” said CDFA’s CalCannabis Director Richard Parrott. “The system allows applicants to begin the registration process now, even if they do not yet have all of their documentation ready.”

During this initial application period, the program is also accepting applications for temporary licenses that will allow firms to operate while the annual license applications are being processed. Temporary licenses issued by CDFA will be good for 120 days, with the possibility of extensions, if warranted.

The online licensing system can be accessed at: https://aca6.accela.com/calcannabis/Welcome.aspx. New users will be required to register for an account within the online licensing system prior to applying for a license.

Temporary licenses are only issued to applicants with a valid license, permit or other authorization from their local jurisdiction.

CDFA's emergency regulations are now in effect and the final text can be found at: https://static.cdfa.ca.gov/MCCP/document/Proposed%20Emergency%20Regulations%20Final_12.12.17.pdf

Reynier Fund, LLC, Finds Proposed Yolo Flyway Farms Restoration Project is Consistent with Delta Plan

The January 2 certification opens a 30-day public review period

From the Delta Stewardship Council:

The Reynier Fund, LLC, has submitted a certification of consistency for a proposed restoration project at Yolo Flyway Farms. The project consists of two parcels totaling 439 acres of agricultural land within the Yolo Bypass, adjacent to Prospect Slough. Approximately one-quarter of the site is above high tide (+6.5 feet) with the remaining three-quarters within the intertidal elevation range (+2 to +6.5 feet), and portions of both are flooded during periods of winter and spring in two-out of three years.

The project proposes to restore approximately 381 of the 439-acre site, including 278 acres of intertidal and associated subtidal marsh habitat restoration; enhancement of 3 acres of existing riparian habitat, 20 acres of existing open water habitat, and approximately 136 acres of farmed uplands; and improvements to irrigation and drainage on the site to protect water quality and minimize introduction of agricultural contaminants.

You will find the certification here and more about the Council’s Covered Actions process here.

Owens Valley:  Low snowpack delays well testing

From the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power:

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power water managers have elected to call off testing of well W385R due to the alarming lack of snowpack and possibility that the eastern Sierra may be slipping back into drought conditions.  LADWP had planned to conduct the two-month-long test now through February, but will hold off until conditions hopefully improve next year.

“Right now, we are looking at about a 50 percent of normal snowpack, which is causing us to reduce flows out of Lake Crowley and start refilling important storage there,” said Richard Harasick, Senior Assistant General Manager for the Water System.  “One of the critical control variables for the well test is to maintain a constant flow in the Owens River, which we just cannot afford to do without jeopardizing this year’s aqueduct operations.”

The California Department of Water Resources is forecasting below normal snowpack for the year, and calls for water conservation are already ramping up throughout the state.

In 2014, LADWP made significant changes to its old well W385 located in the Five Bridges area of the Owens Valley.  The new version, called well W385R, is distinctly different from its predecessor and will draw from deep areas of the aquifer that are hydrologically separate from water that is needed to protect plant growth on the valley floor.  Following a shorter pump test in 2014, LADWP set up this winter’s test to further evaluate the operating characteristics of the well and improve the accuracy of groundwater modeling in the region.

This time of year is typically ideal for gathering good test data, when water flow conditions can be kept fairly constant and robust safeguards can put in place to make to ensure that the environment is completely protected.  “While we are eager to get this testing underway, we are more committed to getting good, reliable test results and protecting the local environment. Confirming that this well can be operated without adverse impacts is core to what this testing is about,” said Harasick.

The potential operation of well W385R has raised concerns in the Owens Valley, and during the testing delay, LADWP will continue to work with Inyo County and local stakeholders through the processes agreed to in the Long Term Water Agreement.

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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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