NEWS WORTH NOTING: Issue brief: Recharge net metering to enhance groundwater sustainability; California’s human right to water unrealized in many communities; Large-scale ‘floating solar’ pilot project for LA reservoirs; Water and climate update

Issue brief: Recharge Net Metering to Enhance Groundwater Sustainability

From UC Berkeley’s Center for Land, Energy, and the Environment:

Groundwater sustainability depends on balancing aquifer inflows and outflows. Extraction (pumping of groundwater, typically for human use) and recharge (inflow of water to an aquifer from the land surface and streams) are central components of this water balance.

Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) is a set of techniques used to improve groundwater conditions by routing more surface water into aquifers. MAR based on the distributed collection of stormwater (“distributed MAR”) can be accomplished at an intermediate scale, generating hundreds to thousands of acre-feet/year of infiltration benefit. A key challenge for developing distributed MAR projects lies in creating incentives that will motivate landowners, tenants, and other stakeholders to participate. Distributed MAR projects can be funded by a limited number of private participants, but public benefits may accrue more broadly. Developing and implementing policies to encourage the creation and operation of distributed MAR systems is a challenge at the frontier of groundwater management.

Click here to read this issue brief.

California’s Human Right to Water Unrealized in Many Communities

From the ACLU of Northern California:

The ACLU Foundation of Northern California and the Pacific Institute today released a report detailing the lack of access to sanitation faced by many communities in California, despite the state’s recognition of a right to water for sanitary purposes.

The report, titled “A Survey of Efforts to Achieve Universal Access to Water and Sanitation in California,” highlights the legislative efforts that set the foundation for the human right to water, enacted into state law in 2012, and outlines some of the challenges currently facing residents and nonprofit organizations working to secure this right. It also provides recommendations to tackle existing and ongoing sanitation needs.

Click here to continue reading at the ACLU of Northern California.

Councilmember Mitchell Englander Announces Large-Scale ‘Floating Solar’ Pilot Project for Los Angeles Reservoirs

From LA DWP:

With LADWP’s Los Angeles Reservoir serving as the backdrop, Councilman Mitchell Englander announces his plan to introduce a “Floating Solar” pilot project.

Today, Councilmember Mitchell Englander announced that he would introduce legislation calling for LADWP to establish “floating solar” panels on Los Angeles reservoirs. According to the State Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), retail sellers and publicly owned utilities are required to procure 50 percent of their electricity from renewable energy resources by 2030.

“Los Angeles is in a unique position to lead the country in the adoption of clean, renewable energy,” Councilmember Englander said. “With our geography, our climate, and our city-owned and operated utility, we have all the ingredients we need to push for the wide-use and adoption of solar energy. By co-locating these panels on city owned reservoirs, we eliminate the land-use cost and impacts of traditional solar panels.”

“LADWP is committed to renewable energy and a big part of putting us on the path to meeting the next milestone of 33 percent renewables by 2020 is investing in good, local projects that create clean energy in our own backyards,” said Martin Adams, LADWP’s Chief Operating Officer. “We want to thank Councilman Englander for introducing this motion that will help get the ball rolling here in the City on the innovative idea of floating solar,” said Martin Adams, LADWP’s Chief Operating Officer.

Los Angeles reservoirs provide hundreds of acres of local surface area that can be used as a platform for capturing solar energy. The legislation Councilmember Englander will introduce calls for a pilot program to test the feasibility of these projects.

Floating solar is an emerging and extremely efficient from of renewable clean energy. By covering the surface of reservoirs, floating solar conserves water by reducing evaporation and prevents harmful algae growth by blocking sunlight. Additionally, there is no land costs associated with the installation and there is greater efficiency of output due to the cooling effect of water.

The initial pilot calls for approximately 11.6 MegaWatts of solar installation on LADWP reservoirs. That is enough energy to power approximately 3,190 homes per year and to offset 15.9 million lbs. of CO2 emissions per year, or the equivalent of removing 1,567, cars from the road.

LADWP estimates that Los Angeles reservoirs have an achievable potential of 53 MW which translates to the electrical use of 21,000 homes annually or the equivalent of taking 10,320 cars off the road.

Water and climate update: Snowstorms continue in the Midwest; Wildfire potential increases in the Southwest

From the USDA:

The Natural Resources Conservation Service produces this weekly report using data and products from the National Water and Climate Center and other agencies. The report focuses on seasonal snowpack, precipitation, temperature, and drought conditions in the U.S.

This past week has seen severe weather affecting large areas of the country, and these conditions are continuing. Winter storm Xanto deposited record snowfalls in the Midwest and Great Lakes. Tornados touched down in Arkansas and North Carolina. And a large wildfire is burning in Oklahoma.  According to the National Weather Service, the outlook for the coming week includes more snow in the Midwest and continued fire danger in the southern Plains and into the Southwest.

Read the report here:  Water and climate update


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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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