NEWS WORTH NOTING: AQUAOSO™ Launches Free Digital Water Map for California; Shutdown Prompts Requests to Extend Comment Deadline for Proposed Changes to FOIA Regulations; Reps. Huffman & Napolitano Release GAO Report on the Benefits of Water Reuse Projects
AQUAOSO™ Launches Free Digital Water Map for California
AQUAOSO™ Technologies, PBC, a Public Benefit Corporation and a leader in water risk management with massive water data and expertise on California’s water supply, officially launched a free digital water map of California water districts, GSAs and groundwater basin priority levels.
The free digital water map is a joint effort between AQUAOSO and California Chapter, ASFMRA, whose members are active in appraisal and management of agricultural properties and who provide consulting for agribusiness.
“Much of this information is publicly available, but does not always exist in the same place, making it hard to identify the relationships between various geographical regions,” said Christopher Peacock, CEO/Founder of AQUAOSO. “After extensive discussions with leaders in the agricultural economy, and based on our existing research into California agricultural water risk, it was obvious we should launch a free version of this map.”
JoAnn Wall, ARA, President of California Chapter, ASFMRA added, “This free resource is a natural extension of the information we have been providing to the agribusiness community for years and is one of the many benefits we can bring to our members.”
Early sponsors of the digital water map includes AgriFinancial, Golden State Farm Credit, Hortau, Pearson Realty, Schuil and Associates, Terra West Group and WaterWrights. Mr. Peacock states, “We are fortunate to have such a great group of early supports in our efforts to deliver new resources to the broader community.”
AQUAOSO will be providing additional data to the free map in the coming months as they continue to assist the agricultural economy in identifying, understanding, monitoring and mitigating water related risks. They currently support some of the largest agricultural lenders, appraisers, brokers and agricultural investors in California to identify water risk at the parcel level. This is in addition to their broader loan and land portfolio tools they provide that includes extensive public and private datasets, including parcel level information, water district deliveries, crop types, soil, and more.
Earlier this month, AQUAOSO launched its innovative Programmatic Assistance with Water Data program to help smaller non-profits with their water data needs. “We are constantly looking for ways in which we can leverage our corporate footprint to have a positive social impact,” Mr. Peacock continued.
About AQUAOSO™ AQUAOSO Technologies, PBC is a Public Benefit Corporation with a mission to build a water resilient future. AQUAOSO provides advanced water risk management and mitigation tools for the agricultural economy. Farmers, brokers, appraisers, lenders, insurers and water managers use our tools daily to identify, understand and mitigate water related risks. www.AQUAOSO.com
Shutdown Prompts Requests to Extend Comment Deadline for Proposed Changes to FOIA Regulations
From Nossaman LLP:
On December 28, 2018, the Department of the Interior (DOI) published proposed changes to its rules governing how it processes requests for records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and provided a 30-day timeframe in which the public could submit comments to the DOI concerning those changes. The public review and comment period is currently scheduled to close on January 28, 2019. However, the partial government shutdown has caused several groups to question whether or not the public comment period should, in fact, close as scheduled. More than 1,200 comments have been received by the DOI, but due to the shutdown, none of those comments have been posted for public review on regulations.gov., as is the common practice. Earlier this week, citing the government shutdown, more than 150 organizations and individuals requested that the DOI extend the public comment period by no fewer than 120 days.
Reps. Huffman & Napolitano Release GAO Report on the Benefits of Water Reuse Projects
A new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released today by the expected Chair of the Water, Oceans, and Wildlife Subcommittee, Representative Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael), and the expected Chair of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, Representative Grace F. Napolitano (D-El Monte), shines a light on the importance of federal funding for water recycling projects in preparing the arid West for a changing climate and scarce water supplies.
The GAO report released by the two lawmakers, both longtime advocates for sustainable clean water infrastructure, showcases the broad benefits of the Title XVI program, which authorizes federal participation in recycled water projects across the West and studies covering various uses for reused water. The report identifies nearly a $1 billion backlog authorized water recycling projects, demonstrating a clear need to continue and expand Title XVI funding.
“The Federal government has an important role to play in working with local water managers to modernize America’s water infrastructure to meet the needs of a growing population and a changing climate,” said Rep. Huffman. “This new GAO report demonstrates the clear benefits of robust investments in water reuse projects that help our cities and rural communities continue to thrive in the face of water scarcity. In the 116th Congress, I look forward to working with Chair Napolitano to expand these proven water solutions that benefit all Americans.”
“This GAO report highlights the importance of water recycling to address water supply concerns in the arid West and particularly in my region of Southern California,” said Rep. Napolitano. “It further describes the overwhelming demand for the primary water recycling program of the federal government, the Bureau of Reclamation’s Title XVI program. Water recycling used to be thought of as an alternative supply option, but the growing reliance and acceptance of this technology has put recycling on par with traditional water sources, such as groundwater wells, aqueducts, and dams. I thank GAO for their comprehensive research and assessment of this technology, and I look forward to working in tandem with Chair Huffman to promote sustainability in addressing all of our water supply needs.”
As Congress discusses an infrastructure package, the Water, Oceans, & Wildlife Subcommittee will analyze existing authorized programs and how they are meeting public needs, and will work to expand water resilience through sustainable water investments. Huffman also serves on the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee with Chair Napolitano.
For 20 years in Congress, Rep. Napolitano has championed water recycling projects in the West and nationwide. She will soon reintroduce her bill, the Water Recycling Investment and Improvement Act, to reauthorize the Title XVI program and increase the funding level to $500 million to meet the needs of water agencies investing in this technology.
You can find a summary of the report’s findings here.
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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.