WEEKLY WATER NEWS DIGEST for Feb 7-12: Can Newsom end the water wars?; California’s aging dams face new perils; Your water heater a secret weapon in climate change fight; Stormwater could become an important water source; and more …

A wrap-up of posts published on Maven’s Notebook this week …

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In California water news this week …

Newsom promised to end California’s water wars. Now that Trump is gone, can he do it?

Shortly after taking office two years ago, Gov. Gavin Newsom promised to deliver a massive compromise deal on the water rushing through California’s major rivers and the critically-important Delta — and bring lasting peace to the incessant water war between farmers, cities, anglers and environmentalists. To emphasize his point, Newsom announced at his first State of the State address that he was replacing a key regulator who hadn’t bowed to the peace process. Later, he vetoed a bill that would have obligated California to battle the Trump administration on practically any environmental issue, including Trump’s desire to pump more water from the Sacrament-San Joaquin Delta, the fragile hub of the state’s water delivery system. Since then? Not much. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here: Newsom promised to end California’s water wars. Now that Trump is gone, can he do it?

California’s aging dams face new perils, 50 years after Sylmar quake crisis

It was a harrowing vision of the vulnerability of aging California dams — crews laboring feverishly to sandbag and drain the lower San Fernando Reservoir, as billions of gallons of Los Angeles drinking water lapped at the edge of a crumbling, earthquake-damaged embankment that threatened catastrophe on the neighborhoods below.  Although the 1971 San Fernando earthquake and the near failure of the Lower Van Norman Dam have given rise to construction improvements — the much newer Los Angeles Dam survived an equivalent shaking in the 1994 Northridge quake — the overwhelming majority of California dams are decades past their design life span. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here: California’s aging dams face new perils, 50 years after Sylmar quake crisis

Diversifying water supplies includes aquifer recharge

Bracing for potentially a second consecutive year of dry conditions, California water officials, farmers and researchers participating in an irrigation conference discussed recharging aquifers with stormwater and increased water efficiency among ways to diversify the state’s water supply.  The 59th annual California Irrigation Institute conference was held virtually last week, in time for the year’s second manual snow survey by the California Department of Water Resources. … ”  Read more from the California Farm Bureau Federation here: Diversifying water supplies includes aquifer recharge

Water wars heat up in California

Water makes the world go ‘round, and a major player in California’s breadbasket doesn’t want to part with more than they have already.  The city of Bakersfield, and the Kern County Water Agency are suing nearby water districts over their plan to skim water from Kern County sources for transport to other parts of the state — water that county officials say they need for themselves.  The Kern Fan Groundwater Storage Project is a $246 million dollar water storage project planned for California’s south San Joaquin Valley. … ”  Read more from the Courthouse News Service here: Water wars heat up in California

The human right to water in poor communities of color: Southern Los Angeles County

Disadvantaged communities concentrated in southern Los Angeles County lack fair options when it comes to water supply. When served by public utilities, aging infrastructure, water quality problems, and other complications can translate into sacrifices in quality or reliability. When supplied by investor-owned utilities, they receive reliable water supply but pay more than affluent communities.  This report examines the case study of Sativa County Water District, a cautionary tale of a failed water system in southern LA County. It then analyzes the 29 existing disadvantaged water systems and makes recommendations regarding possibilities for consolidation and other solutions to bring more water equity to California’s water supply.”  Read more from UCLA Institute of Environment & Sustainability here:  The human right to water in poor communities of color: Southern Los Angeles County

How your water heater can be a secret weapon in the climate change fight

Nearly every home has a water heater, but people tend not to think about it until the shock of a cold shower signals its failure. To regulators, though, the ubiquitous household appliance is increasingly top of mind for the role it could play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and weaning the power grid from fossil fuels.  High-tech electric water heaters can double as thermal batteries, storing excess production from wind and solar generators. In California, officials aim to install them in place of millions of gas water heaters throughout the state. … ”  Read more from Bloomberg here: How your water heater can be a secret weapon in the climate change fight

Legal alert: Regulatory changes on the horizon for State Water Resources Control Board

On December 17, 2020, the Sacramento County Superior Court issued a ruling limiting the ability of the California State Water Resources Control Board (“State Board”) to implement its adopted statewide wetlands and Waters of the State (“WOTS”) regulations. The State Board enacted the WOTS regulations on a statewide basis as amendments to the State Board’s statewide water quality control plan. The court ruled that the State Board could not implement statewide regulations through a statewide water quality control plan for non-federal waters because the Porter Cologne Water Quality Act does not authorize the State Board to do so. This aspect of the decision potentially has broader implications for other regulations that the State Board has adopted as amendments to the statewide water quality control plan. Those broader implications are important to consider now because the State Board issued a Notice on February 3, 2021 stating that it will reconsider the WOTS regulations in response to the court’s ruling in a hearing scheduled for April 6, 2021. … ”  Read more from Nossaman LLP here: Regulatory changes on the horizon for State Water Resources Control Board

Stormwater could become an important water source — if we stopped ignoring it

Climate change and other environmental pressures are already putting the pinch on water resources in California, the Southwest and other arid parts of the world. Over-tapped groundwater, rivers and lakes are forcing water managers to find new supplies.  Some of these can be costly, like treating wastewater for drinking water. Or they can come with a hefty price tag and outsized environmental footprint, like desalination or new dams.  There’s another option on the table, though: stormwater. If we do the accounting right, runoff from precipitation is a cost-effective supplementary water resource, experts say. But it’s often overlooked because we don’t know how to fully assess the economics of its many benefits, finds a report by Sarah E. Diringer, Morgan Shimabuku and Heather Cooley of the global water think-tank the Pacific Institute. … ”  Read more from The Revelator here: Stormwater could become an important water source — if we stopped ignoring it

Distribution of landfalling atmospheric rivers over the U.S. West Coast during Water Year 2021: Quarter year summary

The 4 months of Water Year 2021 experienced a total of 35 landfalling ARs over the U.S. West Coast, 6 more than the first 4 months of Water Year 2020.  Read more from the Center for Western Water & Weather Extremes here:  Distribution of landfalling atmospheric rivers over the U.S. West Coast during Water Year 2021: Quarter year summary

Congressman Valadao wants to RENEW the WIIN Act

Water agencies in the San Joaquin Valley are lining up behind a bill in Congress that would extend certain provisions of the 2016 Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act meant to aid water deliveries to valley farmers.  The bill by Rep. David Valadao, R-Calif., would extend a requirement for consultation of coordinated operations of the federal Central Valley Project and California’s State Water Project. It would also keep in place the authorization of money for water storage projects approved by the Secretary of the Interior. … ”  Read more from the Western Farm Press here:  Congressman Valadao wants to RENEW the WIIN Act

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In regional water news this week …

California water users petition to end proposed Klamath River dam demolition

A Northern California water users’ association has filed a motion against a $450 million plan to tear down four dams on the Klamath River they claim irrevocably hurts local homeowners. The motion was filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) last Wednesday by the Murphy and Buchal Law firm on behalf of the Siskiyou County Water Users Association.  It claims the interstate agreement reached by Oregon and California last year to remove the dams has incurred “irreparable damage” to lakefront home values in the COPCO Lake area as water levels are feared to decline. … ”  Continue reading at the Blue Mountain Eagle here: California water users petition to end proposed Klamath River dam demolition

French Creek restoration: If you restore it, they will return

a stream with large logs placed in it.Imagine a serene setting in a lush river valley over 300 hundred years ago. Beavers maintained swaths of wetlands, their dams creating thickets of willows and cottonwoods attracting billions of beneficial native insects. In spring, the calls of birds and frogs filled the air. Western pond turtles basked above pools on fallen logs and schools of young salmon darted below. Salamanders lurked under rocks and ring-necked snakes patrolled for bite-sized morsels. Now picture this scene completely transformed, still and quiet, devoid of most plants and wildlife.  This is what happened in the Scott Valley of northern California when the fur trade arrived in the 1820s followed by the gold rush three decades later. … However, thanks to recent efforts by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Yreka Habitat Restoration branch and a willing private landowner, the landscape along a stretch of French Creek, a major tributary to the Scott River, has begun to heal. … ”  Read more from the US FWS here:  French Creek restoration: If you restore it, they will return

Commentary: Eel River Wildlife Area slated to be poisoned, burned and bulldozed

Uri Driscoll writes, “The Eel River Wildlife Area below Table Bluff in Loleta is one of the most pristine and spectacular wildlife areas we have in Humboldt County and perhaps the state. The Eel River slough on one side and sweeping dunes and wetlands on the other. The magnificent display of raptors, rabbits, and a multitude of other local inhabitants and migrating birds has been enjoyed by many of us over the years. The waving grasses, the blooming purple lupin, the dramatic vistas are awe inspiring to say the least. Fishermen and families, horseback riders and hunters, dog walkers and paragliders all drink in the beauty of this unique estuary and dune habitat. The local Native people continue to use this area for gathering food and firewood.  Believe it or not the California Department of Fish and Wildlife has decided it now wants to burn, bulldoze and poison the Eel River Wildlife Area. … ”  Read more from the Eureka Times-Standard here: Wildlife area slated to be poisoned, burned and bulldozed

Group claims DWR plan will cut off access to Liberty Island recreation

A $118.86 million habitat restoration and flood management project will breach an existing levee in nine places to create a 3,000-acre fish and wildlife tidal environment in the Cache Slough Complex.  A group, referred to as libertyislandaccess.org, has asked Solano County supervisors to stop the part of the plan that would call for the county to vacate a section of Liberty Island Road, and by doing so, the group claims, deny residents access to recreational activities such as kayaking, fishing and hiking.  “Our group is very concerned about DWR’s (the state Department of Water Resources) Lookout Slough project, which is effectively a project to restore tidal wetlands in Solano County as part of a mitigation agreement with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, etc., for Delta smelt preservation,” the leader of the group told the board Tuesday as part of a call into the teleconference meeting. … ”  Read more from the Daily Republic here: Group claims DWR plan will cut off access to Liberty Island recreation

Near coasts, rising seas could also push up long-buried toxic contamination

Marquita Price grew up spending lots of time at her grandmother’s one-story lavender house in Deep East Oakland. It’s a place she’s always considered home, and where her grandmother still lives. So Price, an urban planner, was upset to learn about a lesser-known aspect of climate change fueled by sea level rise: it could cause the groundwater beneath this formerly-industrial community to rise, and wreak slow-motion havoc in the process.  “How is that going to affect my family?” Price thought. “And my community and the assets that we worked so hard to hold?” … ”  Read more from Valley Public Radio here: Near coasts, rising seas could also push up long-buried toxic contamination

Why the pandemic may be causing a rising tide of abandoned boats in the San Francisco Bay

In early November, two boats washed ashore on the rocks just off the Safe Harbor Emeryville. Days of strong gales from the Pacific coast delivered the pair — one a white recreational sailboat with a sharp green stripe across its bow, the other an open-air fishing trawler with blotchy paint and fading block letters faintly spelling “AUDREY” across the hull — within 48 hours of each other. The mysterious appearance of captainless boats on the rocks has many baygoers intrigued.  The battered boats are not so mysterious, however, to Sejal Choksi-Chugh, executive director at SF Baykeeper, a nonprofit that patrols the bay monitoring for pollution and environmental threats. ... ”  Read more from SF Gate here: Why the pandemic may be causing a rising tide of abandoned boats in the San Francisco Bay

Chevron Richmond refinery spill: as crews mop up, investigators move in

Federal, state and local agencies are continuing to investigate a spill from a wharf at Chevron’s Richmond refinery that spread for several miles across San Francisco Bay, prompted a health advisory for nearby residents and led to the closure of a local beach.  A California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman said late Wednesday that up to 750 gallons of low sulfur diesel fuel mixed with water was released from a pipeline on the Chevron Long Wharf on Tuesday. The wharf extends 4,000 feet into the bay from the refinery complex. … ”  Read more from KQED here: Chevron Richmond refinery spill: as crews mop up, investigators move in

Tensions boil over in San Lorenzo Valley water merger meeting

In a tense, two-and-a-half-hour board meeting on Feb. 4 that included more than 100 attendees, San Lorenzo Valley Water District (SLVWD) broached the subject of a potential merger with Scotts Valley Water District (SVWD).  The reaction from those who attended the Zoom meeting was anything but subtle: the majority opposed the idea, and representatives of SLVWD found themselves back on their heels from the opening salvo. … ”  Read more from the Press Banner here: Tensions boil over in San Lorenzo Valley water merger meeting

Hetch Hetchy Water & Power plans five-year $140M Mountain Tunnel project

The City and County of San Francisco and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission are planning a five-year $140 million project beginning next year to repair, rehabilitate and upgrade the 19-mile-long Mountain Tunnel, a key component of the Hetch Hetchy Water System that takes water from Tuolumne County and sends it to San Francisco.  The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, which is a part of the City and County of San Francisco, owns and operates Hetch Hetchy Water and Power. The system is named for the former Hetch Hetchy Valley, which is now underwater in Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, held back by the O’Shaughnessy Dam that impounds the Tuolumne River inside Yosemite National Park. The system also includes the company town of Moccasin. ... ”  Read more from the Union Democrat here: Hetch Hetchy Water & Power plans five-year $140M Mountain Tunnel project

The Wild and Scenic Mokelumne River: The fight to save the Moke

Historically, the Mokelumne is a large fish producing river that once supported one of the most abundant runs of Chinook and coho salmon in the Sierra Nevada.  In turn, this fish population supports one of the largest networks of native people, the Miwok Nation that stretches from the Coast up the Delta and follows the Mokelumne all the way up to the headwaters at Ebbitts and Carson Passes.  The name Mokelumne means “people of the fishing nets” in Mewuk. They are the band of Mewuk peoples that dip netted salmon on the Mokelumne. ... ”  Read more from Cal Trout here:  The Wild and Scenic Mokelumne River: The fight to save the Moke

Monterey won’t protect water district from legal action by the state

A concern over a potential lawsuit by state water officials against the Monterey Peninsula water district could threaten an affordable housing project in Monterey.  In May, the board of directors of the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District reversed a staff recommendation and approved sending roughly 5 acre-feet of additional water — some 1.7 million gallons — for one section of a Garden Road project that will be built out by developer Brad Slama. That approval included a request to the city to indemnify the water district. … ”  Read more from the Monterey Herald here: Monterey won’t protect water district from legal action by the state

Central Coast water regulation raises concerns

Farm groups say a proposed regulatory permit known as the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program for Central Coast agriculture, which regulates waste discharge from irrigated lands throughout the Central Coast, would make it more difficult for farmers to achieve the desired results, while harming the region’s agricultural economy.  The Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board posted revisions to the draft program last week. Known informally as Ag Order 4.0, it expands monitoring and reporting requirements and also sets a limit on the amount of nitrogen farmers can apply to crops.  Agricultural groups expressed disappointment regarding the revisions to the draft Ag Order 4.0, because it no longer contains incentives for individual farmers who take a collective or third-party approach to meeting the regulations. … ”  Read more from Ag Alert here: Central Coast water regulation raises concerns

Ridgecrest: Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority may be closer to balancing basin

The Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority may be one step closer to balancing the Indian Wells Valley groundwater basin, with news that all of the qualified agricultural interests have signed onto the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority’s transient pool program, according to Keith Lemieux, general counsel for the groundwater authority.  “The transient pool agreement that we worked out is the first step toward resolving all the claims and moving forward,” Lemieux — who also serves as city attorney for Ridgecrest — said Tuesday. “I am optimistic we will continue to make progress.”  … ”  Continue reading at the Ridgecrest Independent here: Ridgecrest: Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority may be closer to balancing basin

Ag-backed study says potential water cutbacks in Paso Robles could cost thousands of local jobs

In the debate over how to bring the overpumped Paso Robles Groundwater Basin back into sustainability, two diverging paths have emerged.  There are locals and officials who’d like to see policies that force the North County wine and agricultural industries to reduce their groundwater pumping. And there are others who say those cutbacks would be economically disastrous and should only serve as a last resort, preferring solutions like securing supplemental water. … ”  Read more from New Times SLO here: Ag-backed study says potential water cutbacks in Paso Robles could cost thousands of local jobs

Ojai: State attorney general slams city of Ventura for water suit

The state of California is urging lawyers for the city of Ventura not to rush into litigation in the Santa Barbara Channelkeeper case that involves thousands of Ojai Valley and Ventura residents.  Writing Jan. 26 on behalf of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the State Water Resources Control Board, state Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s Office asked attorneys to wait on requesting a schedule for holding an evidentiary hearing in the case.  The hearing would decide whether Los Angeles County Superior Court should enter a proposed physical solution as a judgement in the case.  A negotiated settlement, rather than litigation, is in all parties’ best interest, the letter stated. … ”  Read more from the Ojai Valley News here: Ojai: State attorney general slams city of Ventura for water suit

Search for the Kern River rainbow

It’s a river to nowhere.  With a remote source in the backwater of California’s high Sierra, the Kern begins at an altitude of around 13,600 ft (4100m). Framed beneath a large glacial cirque, to the west, the Kaweah Peaks rise, dark and ragged. To the north rises the wall of the Kings-Kern Divide. To the east is the Sierra Crest itself, including Mt Whitney, the highest peak in the contiguous United States.  Below, the water carves into a granite Yosemite like gorge over 8,000 ft deep. … ”  Read more from Cal Trout here: Search for the Kern River rainbow

Commentary:  Till the well runs dry – Pasadena’s devastating water plan

Tim Brick, the Managing Director of the Arroyo Seco Foundation, and former Metropolitan Board member writes, ” … Eighty years ago, Pasadena officials identified a serious decline in the groundwater levels beneath our community that had occurred in the first four decades of the last century. Groundwater levels had fallen more than one hundred feet during that period. Pasadena brought together all the local water pumpers and developed a plan to stabilize water levels based on a “safe yield” that would match pumping with natural replenishment through rainfall and stream flow. In 1944 Judge Frank Collier approved the plan, the Raymond Basin adjudication.  That was a historic adjudication, the first of its kind in California, but since then groundwater levels have fallen an additional 250 feet on a consistent downslope. The Raymond Basin adjudication has failed to achieve its goal; the safe yield has not been recalibrated to adjust for actual conditions. ... ”  Read the full commentary at Pasadena Now here: Commentary:  Till the well runs dry – Pasadena’s devastating water plan

Salton Sea: Could ocean water import be long-term fix?

In many ways, California has stepped up in its commitments to the Salton Sea as tens of millions of dollars have flowed toward restoration efforts for smaller-scale projects planned over the next 10 years. Those projects will largely address potentially hazardous conditions to human and animal life brought on by exposed seabed and loss of bird habitat from ever-shrinking inflows of water.  Yet the reality is, these efforts are but baby steps and Band-Aids to the larger crisis of overall elevation of the sea and a lack of water to replenish a large landlocked lake that has no natural inlet or outside tributaries aside from a pair of agricultural drains in the New and Alamo rivers. … ”  Continue reading at the Holtville Tribune here: Salton Sea: Could ocean water import be long-term fix?

San Diego: The high cost of getting rid of water

If the cost of consuming water wasn’t high enough in San Diego, consider the cost of getting rid of it.  As Andy Keatts detailed in a story Monday, San Diego has a huge infrastructure backlog and half of the unfunded projects over the next five years involve fixing the stormwater system. To cover the estimated $1.27 billion bill, Council members are thinking about adding a new tax for voters to weigh in 2022, or charging every home about $1 a month as a fee, according to the Union-Tribune. … ”  Read more from the Voice of San Diego here: San Diego: The high cost of getting rid of water

Drowning in debt: Nearly 70,000 San Diego families are behind on water bills

A new report finds that nearly 70,000 San Diego families are behind on their water bills during the pandemic, with more than 11,000 owing over a thousand dollars.   That same study by the state’s Water Resources Control Board finds that one in eight California households are behind on their water bills: a a tsunami of debt adding up to more than a billion dollars. … ”  Read more from CBS 8 here:  Drowning in debt: Nearly 70,000 San Diego families are behind on water bills

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Along the Colorado River …

Hedge funds eye water markets that could net billions, as levels drop in Lake Powell

As the level in Lake Powell dwindles, many on the river worry the reservoir is headed towards ‘dead pool’.  ” … The question, and the point where consensus begins to fracture, is what to do.  Many see a need to continue what’s always been done in the river basin: the hashing out of differences in board meetings and conference halls, or, more likely for the near future, Zoom meetings. Others hear a death knell for Glen Canyon Dam.  But another controversial vision has roared back to life in recent months that would upend nearly a century and a half of precedent. Hedge funds and other Wall Street interests want to rewrite the “Law of the River” in the Colorado River Basin and use the free market to solve the problem of scarcity — while potentially raking in immense profits. … ”  Read the full story at the Salt Lake Tribune here: Hedge funds eye water markets that could net billions, as levels drop in Lake Powell

‘It’s just a free-for-all’: As water declines in rural Arizona, oversight faces resistance

On sunbaked farmlands where alfalfa and corn grow alongside pistachio orchards and grapevines, pumps hum as wells draw water from underground and send it flowing to fields.  The agriculture business around Willcox depends entirely on groundwater. And groundwater here, like most other rural areas across Arizona, remains entirely unregulated. Some state legislators want to take measures to change that, but as the law now stands, there are no rules in much of the state limiting how much water can be pumped or how many wells can be drilled. ... ”  Read more from Arizona Central here:  ‘It’s just a free-for-all’: As water declines in rural Arizona, oversight faces resistance

New study examines Colorado River flows, loss of beaches

A recent study looks at how Grand Canyon has changed since the construction of Glen Canyon Dam.  Before the dam was built, the Colorado flowed erratically, with high runoff in the spring and low flows the rest of the year. A research team led by Alan Kasprak, of Fort Lewis College in Colorado, has found that changes to the river have reduced the amount of sand by about half.  Although previous studies have shown the importance of high flows in the Colorado River ecosystem, Kasprak’s team found that low flows play an important role as well. … ”  Read more from KJZZ here: New study examines Colorado River flows, loss of beaches

The Colorado River crisis is a national crisis

” ... The Southwest is currently in the middle of a drought that began around 2000, which has resulted in weaker downriver flows in both the Colorado River and the Rio Grande. Reports on the issue over the past year from national outlets like The New York Times have focused on explaining the “why” of the problem—walking through how a warm spring in 2020 led to the snowpack in the Rockies melting more quickly and cementing dryer conditions for the coming year, or explaining how the long-term effects from the explosion of global emissions in the twentieth century affect modern-day soil moisture rates. These pieces are crucial, as they help explain how human actions collide with and exacerbate natural trends. But as with any article that ends with a natural resource shortage, on the other side of a scientific explainer story is one that is deeply, unavoidably political. … ”  Read more from New Republic here: The Colorado River crisis is a national crisis

In national water news this week …

Water plant cyberattack is wake up call, 20 years in the making

A cyberattack on a Florida water treatment plant underscores the need for strong security protections at the municipal level, attorneys and industry professionals say.  A hacker gained access to an Oldsmar, Fla. city computer on Feb. 5 and changed the level of sodium hydroxide, also known as lye, local authorities said. It isn’t yet known whether the breach originated from the U.S. or from outside the country. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is working with local authorities.  There’s been a “marked increase” in the last couple of years in cyber incidents against state and local government entities, said David Springer, a cybersecurity attorney at Bracewell LLP in Austin, Texas. … ”  Read more from Bloomberg here: Water plant cyberattack is wake up call, 20 years in the making

The conundrum of water affordability: What’s at stake?

The U.S. water industry has worked hard in recent years to remind people that potable water is not free. Procuring, treating, and distributing water is costly, and utilities need to cover their costs to make sure customers have safe drinking water, delivered at adequate pressure for on-demand needs at affordable prices. But what is “affordable?” The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged what we all view as normal and taken water planning and standard practices to new levels.  For water utilities, financial impacts depend on customer demographics (split of residential and non-residential customers), poverty level (whether affordability is a large problem), and delinquency rates (tied to customer affordability). The impact due to no-shutoff moratoriums depends on these problems. ... ”  Read more from Water Finance & Management here:  The Conundrum of Water Affordability: What’s at Stake?

Green groups threaten to sue Biden over Trump-era waterway permits

A coalition of environmental groups warned the Biden administration Monday it would sue if the Army Corps of Engineers fails to reconsider Trump-era permits for industry activity they fear will pollute waterways.  The notice of intent to sue from the Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council and others targets 16 so-called nationwide permits that allow discharges from oil and gas development, pipeline and transmission-line construction, and coal mining into waterways. … ”  Read more from The Hill here:  Green groups threaten to sue Biden over Trump-era waterway permits

Weekly features …

BLOG ROUND-UP: Whither habitat for the imperiled delta smelt?; The San Joaquin Valley Blueprint helps everyone; Preparing for a dry year: Safe drinking water; and more …

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SCIENCE NEWS: French Creek restoration: If you restore it, they will return; A beginner’s guide to PIT tags; Why indigenous knowledge matters to the future of fisheries; and more …

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Announcements, notices, and funding opportunities …

PUBLIC HEARING/OPPORTUNITY TO COMMENT: State Wetland Definition and Procedures

SAN JOAQUIN RIVER RESTORATION PGM: Updated 2021 Restoration Allocation & Default Flow Schedule Released and February Flow Schedule Revised

CA WATER COMMISSION increases potential funding amounts for projects in the Water Storage Investment Program

NOTICE: Public Workshop and CEQA Scoping Meeting – Delta Mercury Control Program and TMDL Review

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: Water SMART Applied Science Grants Funding Opportunity Available

WATER PLAN eNEWS: ~~ Flood-MAR Network~ Water Availability~ Federal Report~ Valley Water~ Government Guide~ Affordability Webinar~ Policies Examined ~~

DELTA eNEWS: ~~ Public Comments~ Meeting Cancelled~ Open House~ Restoration Project~ Smelt Replacement~ Volunteer Dockwalkers ~~

CDFW GRANTS: Cutting the Green Tape Workshops

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