NEWS WORTH NOTING: First-ever Water-Energy Nexus Registry in California launches; CDFW, Delta Science Program award funding for restoration and scientific studies; Newsom appoints Deputy Secretary & Special Counsel for Water

CalEPA and The Climate Registry Launch First-ever Water-Energy Nexus Registry in California

California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal EPA) and The Climate Registry today launched the first-ever Water-Energy Nexus Registry for organizations with operations in California. The Water-Energy Nexus Registry will help water agencies and utilities as well as large water consumers better understand the energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with each process in water management and use. In turn, this will help them become more energy efficient and reduce their carbon footprints.

The founders of the Water-Energy Nexus Registry, who will be measuring and tracking their emissions using newly developed standardized guidance and tools, are organizations that have long been at the forefront of environmental stewardship: the California Department of Water Resources, City of Sacramento Department of Utilities, East Bay Municipal Utility District, GEI Consultants, Irvine Ranch Water District, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Los Angeles Sanitation & Environment, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Sonoma Water, University of San Diego, and West Basin Municipal Water District.

Also launched today was the Water-Energy Leader™ recognition program, which will publicly acknowledge participating organizations for taking steps such as reporting their GHG emissions, submitting their emissions reports to a third-party verifier, and achieving GHG reduction goals.

“It takes a huge amount of California’s energy to pump, treat and heat water,” said Jared Blumenfeld, Secretary for Environmental Protection, CalEPA. “We can achieve significant greenhouse gas reductions and cost savings by better understanding the energy impacts of our water system.”

“The Climate Registry is delighted to be partnering once again with the State of California on a program that sets a new standard for GHG and energy reporting,” said Amy Holm, Programs and Operations Director at The Climate Registry. “We look forward to working with organizations from across the state to assess the relationships between water, energy and emissions.”

“The City of Sacramento is committed to meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs,” said Roshini Das, Sustainability Manager for the City of Sacramento Department of Utilities. “Managing the energy intensity of our water use is a core part of this commitment, and we’re delighted to be joining such an impressive group of founders who share the same vision.”

“As the largest municipal water and power utility in the nation, our priority is managing our resources wisely and continuing to reduce our emissions,” said Nancy Sutley, Chief Sustainability Officer for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. “Good information underpins informed decision making, and the Water-Energy Nexus Registry gives us the tools to deliver that information.”

“The goal of our work is to ensure the ability of natural ecosystems to meet the needs of future generations,” said John Andrew, Assistant Deputy Director of the California Department of Water Resources. “We are delighted to be part of a community that is looking to advance the stewardship of one of our most important resources, and hope others will be inspired to join us.”

The Climate Registry is administering the Water-Energy Nexus Registry on behalf of CalEPA. There is no cost to participate.

More information is available on the website: https://www.theclimateregistry.org/waterenergynexusregistry/.

RELATED CONTENT:
The Climate Registry presented at the March meeting of the California Water Commission: CA WATER COMMISSION: The Climate Registry: Water-Energy Nexus; Dam safety fee regulations; 2018 State Water Project Review

CDFW Awards $48.5 Million for Ecosystem and Watershed Restoration, Protection and Scientific Study Projects

From the Department of Fish and Wildlife:

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) today announced the selection of 38 projects to receive funding for multi-benefit ecosystem restoration and protection projects under its Proposition 1 and Proposition 68 grant programs.

The awards, totaling $48.5 million, were made under two separate solicitations for projects focused in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and watersheds statewide.

CDFW participated in a joint solicitation in 2018 with the Delta Science Program and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation for scientific studies projects in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Through this effort, CDFW awarded 11 projects a total of $7.3 million through its Fiscal Year 2019-2020 Proposition 1 Delta Water Quality and Ecosystem Restoration Grant Program.

CDFW conducted a second solicitation in 2018 with funding available from both Fiscal Year 2019-2020 Proposition 1 and Fiscal Year 2018-2019 Proposition 68 funding, resulting in the award of $41.2 million to 27 projects statewide, outside of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Of the $41.2 million, approximately $23.9 million was awarded through the Proposition 1 Watershed Restoration Grant Program. Approximately $17.3 million was awarded through the Proposition 68 grant program which includes three separate focuses: Rivers and Streams, Southern California Steelhead and Habitat Improvement Projects.

“This year represents new opportunities for important projects getting off the ground, including long-planned efforts to support recovery of critical species and respond to new ecological challenges,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. “We look forward to continuing statewide restoration and protection efforts of our state’s watersheds.”

The awarded projects represent priorities outlined in the two solicitations, as well as the California Water Action Plan, State Wildlife Action Plan, Sacramento Valley Salmon Resiliency Strategy, Delta Plan, California EcoRestore, Safeguarding California Plan, the California Biodiversity Initiative and the fulfillment of CDFW’s mission. This year marks CDFW’s first allocation of Proposition 68 funding and the fifth of 10 planned annual allocations of Proposition 1 funding.

Projects approved for funding through the Proposition 1 Watershed Restoration Grant Program and Proposition 68 grant programs include:

Click here to view list of funded projects and scientific studies.

Acquisition Projects:

  • Van Arken Community Forest Project ($1,861,312 to Sanctuary Forest)
  • Scott Ranch Acquisition, Napa County ($1,000,000 to Land Trust of Napa County)
  • Acquisition and Monitoring Program for Critical Fish and Wildlife Habitat in and Around the Angelo Coast Range Reserve, Upper South Fork Eel River ($806,022 to Angelo Coast Range Reserve, University of California, Berkeley)
  • Arcata Community Forest (Jacoby Creek Tract) Expansion – Swaner 114 acres ($760,300 to City of Arcata)
  • Sierra Valley Mountain Meadow Conservation Project ($648,077 to Feather River Land Trust)
  • Mendocino Pygmy Forest Protection Project ($347,843 to Mendocino Land Trust)

Implementation Projects:

  • Santa Ana Bridge Replacement – a Component of the Matilija Dam Ecosystem Restoration Project ($13,426,938 to Ventura County Watershed Protection District)
  • Rim Fire Watershed Health Improvement Project ($3,641,211 to Tuolumne River Trust)
  • Oroville Wildlife Area Flood Stage Reduction and Restoration Project ($3,139,136 to Sutter Butte Flood Control Agency)
  • Hotelling Gulch Aquatic Restoration ($2,038,942 to Salmon River Restoration Council)
  • Oroville Wildlife Area Flood Stage Reduction and Restoration Project – New Vegetation Plantings ($1,716,847 to Sutter Butte Flood Control Agency)
  • Jameson Creek Fish Passage Improvement and Restoration Project ($1,704,990 to City of Fortuna)
  • Big Canyon Habitat Restoration and Adaptation Project, Phase II ($1,196,444 to Newport Bay Conservancy)
  • Martin Slough Enhancement ($1,106,982 to California State Coastal Conservancy)
  • Post-Fire Restoration of Coast Range Headwaters for Multiple Benefits at Pepperwood Preserve ($838,135 to Pepperwood Foundation)
  • Lagunitas Creek Floodplain Restoration for Coho Recovery, Phase II ($593,040 to Salmon Protection and Watershed Network)

Planning Projects:

  • Bellota Fish Screen and Passage Improvement Project ($1,952,559 to Stockton East Water District)
  • Harvey Diversion Fish Passage Restoration 100% Designs ($1,019,271 to California Trout)
  • Cannibal Island Restoration Intermediate Designs ($802,886 to California Trout)
    Lower San Luis Obispo Creek Fish Passage Design and Habitat Improvement Project ($459,798 to Central Coast Salmon Enhancement)
  • Wildlife Corridor at Liberty Canyon ($400,000 to National Wildlife Federation)
  • Restoring the Deer Creek Headwaters at Childs Meadow ($374,588 to Point Blue Conservation Science)
  • Elk Creek Restoration Feasibility Study ($347,204 to Smith River Alliance)
    Rowdy Creek and Dominie Creek Fish Passage Improvement Planning Project ($273,146 to Tolowa Dee-ni Nation)
  • Advancing Restoration Strategies for Hydrologic Connectivity in Williams Creek ($268,862 to Humboldt County Resource Conservation District)
  • Scott Creek Lagoon and Marsh Restoration ($237,690 to Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission)
  • Restoration planning at the Sespe Cienega in Fillmore ($237,570 to Santa Clara River Conservancy)

Projects approved for funding through the Delta Water Quality and Ecosystem Restoration Grant Program include:

Scientific Studies:

  • Reconnecting Delta food webs: evaluating the influence of tidal marsh restoration on energy flow and prey availability for native fishes ($1,107,041 to State Water Contractors)
  • Quantifying genetic and epigenetic variation in Delta smelt that may enable adaptation to future environments ($934,616 to University of California, Davis)
  • Effects of Multiple Environmental Stressors on Ecological Performance of Early Life Stage Sturgeon ($957,427 to University of California, Davis)
  • Monitoring and Modeling Pathogen Exposure in Salmon Migrating to the Delta ($847,041 to University of California, Santa Cruz)
  • Delta Wetlands and Resilience: blue carbon and marsh accretion ($819,998 to San Francisco Estuary Institute)
  • Enhancing predictive capability for phytoplankton response to natural and operational induced variability of phytoplankton blooming in the Delta. ($784,970 to San Francisco State University)
  • Quantifying Biogeochemical Processes through Transport Modeling: Pilot Application in the Cache Slough Complex ($570,602 to University of California, Davis)
  • Developing an eDNA metabarcoding protocol to improve fish and mussel monitoring in the San Francisco Estuary ($419,742 to University of California, Davis)
  • The role of wetlands in pelagic food webs: metagenomics reveals how wetland plant detritus may promote zooplankton growth and survival ($399,171 to University of California, Davis)
  • Trade-offs and Co-benefits of Landscape Change Scenarios on Human and Bird Communities in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta ($248,077 to Point Blue Conservation Science)
  • Developing a new molecular isotopic tool to examine Delta food webs ($211,907 to University of California, Santa Cruz)

General information about CDFW’s Prop. 1 and Prop. 68 Restoration Grant Programs, as well as a schedule of locations and dates for workshops, once available, can be found at www.wildlife.ca.gov/grants.

Funding for these projects comes from Prop. 1 and Prop. 68 bond funds, a portion of which are allocated annually through the California State Budget Act. More information about Prop. 1 and Prop. 68 is on the California Natural Resources Agency website.

From Climate Change to Ecosystem Restoration: State, Federal Agencies Provide Critical Funding for New Delta Science Investigations

From the Delta Stewardship Council:

When the Delta Stewardship Council approved nearly $10 million for scientific research last month, it marked the first large, multi-agency, competitive Delta science research solicitation in close to a decade.

The Council, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation combined funds from each of their agencies last fall to issue a solicitation for new Delta science studies, attracting 62 proposals requesting a whopping $43 million in funding. After a rigorous, multi-step review process that included nationally recognized subject matter experts as well as leading scientists in the Delta, the Delta Science Program identified 15 projects that will receive a total of nearly $10 million in funding from the Council and Reclamation, with an additional $7 million in funding expected to be allocated by CDFW in the coming weeks.

Proposals were selected for funding based on their scientific merit, whether they address essential knowledge gaps in Delta science, and for their potential to inform critical management decisions in the Delta. The latter is especially significant because there is no pause button for resource managers to press while they make decisions about land, wildlife, and water resources in the Delta. Moreover, the suite of funded research projects will enhance the science available to managers and policy advisors for resource management.

To continue reading at the Delta Stewardship Council website, click here: From Climate Change to Ecosystem Restoration: State, Federal Agencies Provide Critical Funding for New Delta Science Investigations

Governor Newsom appoints Deputy Secretary and Special Counsel for Water

From the Office of the Governor:

Thomas Gibson, 51, of Sacramento, has been appointed deputy secretary and special counsel for water at the California Natural Resources Agency, where he has been undersecretary since 2016 and served as general counsel from 2014 to 2016. Gibson was general counsel at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife from 2008 to 2014. He was a partner at Best, Best, & Krieger from 2002 to 2008. Gibson was an associate at Hyman, Phelps & McNamara from 1999 to 2002 and at Kronick, Moskovitz, Tiedemann & Girard from 1997 to 1999. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $185,004. Gibson is registered without party preference.

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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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