WEEKLY CA WATER NEWS DIGEST for May 24 – 29: 2019 State Water Project review; Friant Kern Canal Middle Reach Capacity Correction Project; Delta Plan Ecosystem Amendment

A list of posts published on Maven’s Notebook this week …

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This week’s featured articles …

CA WATER COMMISSION: The 2019 State Water Project Review

Pastoria Siphon, Twin 16 feet steel pipes, part of the California State Water Project which conveys water from north to south across the Tehachapi Mountains.  Photo by Ken James / DWR

Water Code section 165 requires the California Water Commission to conduct an annual review of the construction and operation of the State Water Project (SWP) and to report its findings and recommendations to the Director of the Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the State Legislature.  At the May meeting of the California Water Commission, Assistant Executive Officer Jennifer Ruffolo presented the draft of the 2019 Annual Review of the Construction and Operation of the State Water Project for the Commission’s consideration and possible approval. Once approved, Commission staff will distribute the review to DWR and the Legislature.

Ms. Ruffolo began by noting that this was the first year the Commission staff worked closely with the State Water Project to develop the report; there were eight presentations by staff throughout the year covering a wide range of issues that set the stage for this report.

Click here to read this article.

ENVIRO DOCS: A look at the Friant Kern Canal Middle Reach Capacity Correction Project

On May 8, the Bureau of Reclamation and Friant Water Authority released a draft environmental impact statement/environmental impact report for the project to repair a 33-mile stretch of the Friant-Kern Canal in the eastern San Joaquin Valley which has been damaged by subsidence. This has reduced capacity of the canal, resulting in a reduction of water deliveries of up to 300,000 acre-feet in certain water years. The Friant Kern Canal Middle Reach Capacity Correction Project would restore capacity from the current estimated 1,600 cfs to the original design capacity of 4,000 cfs.

The release of the documents starts a public comment period that will end at 5 p.m. on June 22. The Bureau of Reclamation and the Friant Water Authority will host an online public meeting on June 8 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. to collect public comments.

Read more by clicking here.

NOTICE OF PREPARATION: Delta Plan Ecosystem Amendment

Aerial view looking east at the S Bacon Island.  Photo by Ken James / DWR

On May 11, the Delta Stewardship Council issued a Notice of Preparation of a Program Environmental Impact Report for the proposed ecosystem amendment to the Chapter 4 of the Delta Plan.

The Delta Reform Act of 2009 defined the coequal goals of providing a more reliable water supply and protecting, restoring and enhancing the Delta ecosystem as overarching state policy; the legislation also specified that the coequal goals shall be achieved in a manner that protects and enhances the Delta as an evolving place.  In addition, the Act set a state policy of requiring reduced reliance on the Delta through a statewide strategy of improved regional supplies, conservation, and water use efficiency.

In order to facilitate coordination across multiple entities with responsibilities in the Delta, the Delta Reform Act created the Delta Stewardship Council as an independent state agency and directed it to develop, adopt and implement a Delta Plan that furthers the coequal goals.  The first iteration of the Delta Plan was adopted in May of 2013, and since adoption, the Delta Plan has been amended several times.  The proposed ecosystem amendment would be the sixth amendment to the Delta Plan.

Click here to read this article.

In water news this week from around the web …

WEEKEND/HOLIDAY DAILY DIGEST: Judge refuses to divert water for salmon on Klamath River; Orange County water districts consider lawsuit over PFAS contamination; Intense heatwave developing; Raining rice; Microplastics in drinking water; and more …  READ IT HERE:  Weekend/holiday Daily Digest

TUESDAY: Klamath Basin faces renewed conflict, as drought saps the water and farmers run out of time; Putah Creek Accord turns 20; An Introduction to State Water Project deliveries; and more … READ IT HERE: Tuesday’s Daily Digest

WEDNESDAY: Feds say Tule groundwater could continue to sink; Lean but still green; Controversial effort to address seawalls to be reconsidered; The give and take of enterprise offers hope in wildfire crisis; and more … READ IT HERE: Wednesday’s Daily Digest

THURSDAY: Delta outflow explained; Farmers must diversify in a post-pandemic world; What does CA’s budget crisis mean for water management; Researchers race to understand what drought means for the world’s trees; and more … READ IT HERE: Thursday’s Daily Digest

FRIDAY: Seasonal maps provide snapshot of state groundwater levels; Newsom’s environmental budget cuts escalate tensions with activists; Water utilities ramp up lobbying for relief, broader reforms; EPA science advisers evaluate agency’s coronavirus research agenda; and more … READ IT HERE: Friday’s Daily Digest


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