NEWS WORTH NOTING: Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy awards $11 million in Prop 1 grants; Corps approves additional 10,000 acre-feet of water at Success Lake this summer; Public reminded to be aware of Harmful Algal Blooms and E Coli in state’s waterways

Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy awards $11 million in Prop 1 grants

From the Delta Conservancy:

We are proud to announce that the Delta Conservancy Board has approved seven grants, totaling $11 million, as part of the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 (Proposition 1) Grant Program.

Combined, these seven projects involve 51 entities partnering together to improve the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.  Click here to view the full list of projects.

These projects are part of the fourth cycle of Proposition 1 grants awarded by the Delta Conservancy. To date the program has funded $35.3 million for 26 grants, benefiting more than 8,065 acres of habitat in the Delta.

Corps approves additional 10,000 acre-feet of water at Success Lake this summer

From the US Army Corps of Engineers:

The amount of water that can be stored at Success Lake is going up this summer.

A temporary deviation to the water control manual of Success Dam was approved May 23 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to allow the Tule River Association to construct a sandbag barrier across the Success Dam spillway.

The temporary barrier will increase the reservoir’s gross elevation from 652.5 feet to 656.5 feet, plus two feet of freeboard, providing an additional 10,000 acre-feet of water storage following a wet winter.

The operational changes will be in effect for approximately 60 days and will begin immediately. For those who recreate at Success Lake, this deviation will have some impacts. Portions of the park will have restricted access, including the Rocky Hill recreation area which will be closed and inaccessible except by boat for the extent of the operational changes.

During high water years, the Tule River Association has periodically requested a water control manual deviation to better manage water releases during snow melt and avoid downstream flooding impacts. The last water control manual deviation was approved in 2017.

Success Dam is located on the Tule River, about five miles east and upstream of the town of Porterville. The dam and reservoir were authorized as part of the Tule River Project under the Flood Control Act of 1944 and construction was completed in 1961. The reservoir provides flood risk management, water storage and recreation benefits to the local area.

With Summer Season Beginning, State Water Board Says Make It a Habit and Be Mindful Of HABs – Harmful Algal Blooms

State Water Board Says Keep Pets, Children out of the Water if a Bloom is Spotted

With summer just around the corner, the warm weather will once again draw millions of Californians to waterways throughout the state for good times and relaxation. While there are all kinds of water safety issues to be aware of, the State Water Resources Control Board wants the public to know about one that may not be so obvious — freshwater harmful algal blooms, or HABs.

As California confronts the realities of climate change, HABs have become increasingly common in rivers, lakes and reservoirs, and they can be especially dangerous to children and pets.

Here’s why: Most freshwater HABs are formed by cyanobacteria (formerly called blue-green algae). They’re actually microbes that live in nearly every habitat on land and in the water, and they generally don’t become a problem until the right mix of higher water temperatures, slow-moving water and excessive nutrients causes cyanobacteria to rapidly multiply and form HABs.

Cyanobacteria are capable of producing toxins, which have the potential to harm people, pets, wildlife, or livestock. Dogs and children are most likely to be affected by HABs because of their smaller body size, increased potential to ingest water, and tendency to stay in the water for longer periods. Exposure to cyanobacteria and associated toxins can cause eye irritation, skin rash, mouth ulcers, vomiting, diarrhea and cold or flu-like symptoms.

The State Water Board and the nine Regional Water Boards (known as the Water Boards), in partnership with other programs and agencies, are actively supporting and coordinating a statewide HAB incident response with many publicly available resources. In 2018, the Water Boards received 190 voluntary reports of HABs from across the state. To learn how to stay safe around HABs, report a bloom and more, visit the CA HABs Portal: http://www.mywaterquality.ca.gov/habs/

Pets are most vulnerable to a HABs outbreak. They tend to drink while in the water and lick their fur afterward, increasing their exposure and risk of illness. Symptoms of animal illness include: vomiting and/or diarrhea, lethargy, abnormal liver function test results, difficulty breathing, foaming at the mouth, muscle twitching and sometimes death. More information about health impacts for domestic animals and livestock can be found on the HABs Portal Domestic Animals webpage, which includes a fact sheet for veterinarians, with technical information on assessing exposure history, evaluating clinical signs, pursuing diagnosis and confirmatory testing, patient management, and reporting to proper authorities.

The good news is that HABs can be quickly identified – and avoided – if you know what to look for and have algae in mind when recreating near waterways.

The crucial first step to staying safe during an outing on or near a waterway is to distinguish cyanobacteria from other algae and non-toxic water plants. HABs can be a variety of colors such as green, white, red or brown and may look like thick paint floating on the water. Not all HABs will appear on the water’s surface. Some form mats at the bottom of a waterbody (such as in wadeable rivers), and others float at various depths.

The California Water Boards recommend that people practice healthy water habits while enjoying the outdoors this summer at your local lake, river or stream:

  • Heed instructions on posted advisories if present
  • Avoid algae and scum in the water and on the shore
  • Keep an eye on children and pets (dogs)
  • If you think a HAB is present, do not let pets and other animals go into or drink the water, or eat scum/algal accumulations on the shore
  • Don’t drink the water or use it for cooking
  • Wash yourself, your family and your pets with clean water after water play
  • If you catch fish, throw away guts and clean fillets with tap water or bottled water before cooking
  • Avoid eating shellfish if you think a HAB is present

Get medical treatment immediately if you think that you, your pet, or livestock has gotten sick after going in the water. Be sure to alert the medical professional to the possible contact with cyanobacteria. Also, make sure to contact the local county public health department.

To report a bloom, do one of the following:

For more information about HABs, please visit:

Start of Outdoor Water Recreation Season Means Being Aware of E coli in Rivers and Lakes

Public Advised to Check Water Quality Website for Latest Results

From the Central Valley Regional Water Board:

With the Memorial Day long weekend marking the unofficial launch of water recreation throughout much of California, the Central Valley Water Regional Water Quality Control Board (Central Valley Water Board) is reminding the public to be aware of the risk of waterborne illnesses.

The Central Valley Water Board monitors and evaluates water quality data for many Central Valley lakes and rivers used for recreational activities. This summer, staffers will be collecting weekly E. coli water samples in selected watersheds and making the findings known to the public.

Sampling for E. coli provides a way to monitor the overall well-being of recreational waters.  E. coli is a type of bacteria that naturally occurs in the intestines of warm-blooded animals and is used as an indicator of fecal pollution in our waters. Pinpointing the sources of E. coli is particularly challenging because it is found in pets, livestock, wildlife, and human waste.  While most strains of E. coli are harmless, elevated levels may indicate an increased risk of illness to swimmers and others who recreate in and on the waterways.

To find out where the Central Valley Water Board is currently monitoring and to see the latest results visit, click here or follow the CA Water Boards on Twitter.

The Water Boards regularly assess California’s surface waters to determine if they support common beneficial uses, such as recreation.  Recreational uses are assessed using bacteria water quality objectives designed to protect recreational users from the effects of pathogens in California’s waters. Waterbodies that do not meet the protective water quality objectives are placed on a list of impaired waters. You can view a map of the waters listed as impaired for recreation at https://mywaterquality.ca.gov/safe_to_swim/impaired_waters/index.html. Once a waterbody is listed as impaired, additional studies are needed to understand and address the source(s) of contamination. If a waterbody does not meet water quality objectives, exposure may increase the risk of illness.

Healthy water habits are encouraged for everyone recreating in Central Valley waterbodies:

  • Do not drink river or lake water.
  • Do not cook or wash dishes with river or lake water.
  • Wash yourself and your family with clean water after swimming. Be sure to wash your hands before eating.
  • If you have concerns regarding your family’s health, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

You can make a difference to keep Central Valley Waterways safe and clean! Please use bathrooms and properly dispose of human and dog waste.

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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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