On the calendar today …
- The State Water Resources Control Board will meet beginning at 9am. Agenda items include an update on monthly urban water production; Update on DWR & Reclamation’s TUCP for 2022; and an update on progress of the Watershed Management Program and Enhanced Watershed Management Program Groups in complying with State Board Order WQ 2020-0038. Click here for full agenda and remote access instructions.
- Water for Climate Action: Reducing GHG Emissions from 10am to 11am. This webinar from the US Water Alliance will feature international and local perspectives on advancing climate mitigation through water. Speakers will provide insights from the recent Water Pavilion at the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP-26) in Glasgow, Scotland. Utilities in California and New Jersey will also share how they are implementing water conservation strategies, green energy projects, system efficiencies, and even ecosystem protection to reduce direct and indirect emissions, ultimately reaching for carbon neutrality. Click here to register.
Maven’s Notebook doesn’t have paywalls or ads. We’re an independent reader-supported non-profit that covers California water news like none other.
You’re here because that matters to you.
Please consider supporting Maven’s Notebook in 2022.
Whatever amount is right for you will make a difference.
Sponsorship opportunities available!
In California water news today …
$63 million wetland restoration could be a blueprint for how California adapts to climate change. But it’s taking forever
“An ambitious project to restore tidal wetlands on almost 1,200 acres of delta farmland has just completed its first phase, and the hoped-for transformation already is flourishing: River otters, rare seabirds and a single black bear have all returned to once-drained-out pastureland called Dutch Slough — results that hold promise for similar efforts toward many California environmental goals, including storage of greenhouse gases. In the Contra Costa County town of Oakley, the restored Dutch Slough wetlands are bordered by housing developments and dairy farms, with Mount Diablo towering in the distance. When completed, the $63 million restoration will be the largest of its kind in California, creating habitat for endangered salmon and other wildlife in a blueprint for how the state can become more resilient to climate change. … ” Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: $63 million wetland restoration could be a blueprint for how California adapts to climate change. But it’s taking forever
California groundwater could get recharging help from alfalfa farms
“When California experiences drought due to a lack of rain and snow and the reservoirs don’t fill up, people pump water out of the ground to meet their needs. But that practice has its limits, as groundwater aquifers — underground layers of porous rock — get depleted, similar to how water squeezes from a sponge. Many of California’s groundwater aquifers, especially in the San Joaquin Valley, are critically overdrafted. They are being depleted faster than they are being recharged by water from the surface percolating through the soil to groundwater. Overdrafting is a concern because California relies on groundwater aquifers as a water storage and supply resource. They must be protected to ensure water security in the future. … ” Read more from UC Merced here: California groundwater could get recharging help from alfalfa farms
Report: SGMA Signals: Managing groundwater for nature
“The Nature Conservancy carefully reviewed all 30 GSPs available at the time, submitting comments to GSAs on their draft plans, as well as providing comments to final plans submitted to the Department of Water Resources (DWR) in 2020. TNC’s goal in reviewing the plans was to ensure that SGMA’s requirements to consider and address nature were fully realized. Of the Plans reviewed, TNC determined that only three sufficiently addressed nature. The remaining 27 were either incomplete or inadequate in their consideration of the environment. Understanding the complexity of groundwater management, SGMA is designed as an adaptive management process, through which management plans and actions should improve over time as data gaps are filled and uncertainty is reduced. The goal of this report is to help GSAs improve their GSPs as they respond to feedback from the state or in the process updating their plans every five years. This report summarizes the findings of TNC’s review using eight Sustainability Metrics to determine how well each GSP accounts for and proposes to manage groundwater for the needs of nature. These Sustainability Metrics are based on elements of SGMA that require nature be considered in GSPs. … ” Read the report from The Nature Conservancy here: SGMA Signals: Managing groundwater for nature
California’s water supplies are in trouble as climate change worsens natural dry spells, especially in the Sierra Nevada
“California is preparing for a third straight year of drought, and officials are tightening limits on water use to levels never seen so early in the water year. Most of the state’s water reservoirs are well below average, with several at less than a third of their capacity. The outlook for rain and snow this winter, when most of the state’s yearly precipitation arrives, isn’t promising. Especially worrying is the outlook for the Sierra Nevada, the long mountain chain that runs through the eastern part of the state. California’s cities and its farms – which grow over a third of the nation’s vegetables and two-thirds of its fruit and nuts – rely on runoff from the mountains’ snowpack for water. As an engineer, I have studied California’s water and climate for over 30 years. A closer look at California’s water resources shows the challenge ahead and how climate change is putting the state’s water supply and agriculture at greater risk. … ” Read more from The Conversation here: California’s water supplies are in trouble as climate change worsens natural dry spells, especially in the Sierra Nevada
California’s drought threatens food production in 2022 with water cuts
“California farmers who struggled to make it through record-breaking drought and heat in 2021 are bracing for another bad year, this time without any additional water from the state. The state said it won’t give any water from the State Water Project to farmers unless drought conditions improve. That could mean even higher food prices at a time when consumers are struggling with an ongoing pandemic and inflation across the board. … ” Read more from Bloomberg here: California’s drought threatens food production in 2022 with water cuts
Water bill debt has hit Valley families hard. Help could be coming for some – but not all
“More than 140 water districts in the central San Joaquin Valley have yet to apply for state water debt relief, leaving thousands of customers susceptible to water shutoffs after the state’s moratorium expires on Dec. 31. The deadline to apply is Monday at 5 p.m. California residents who fell behind on paying their water bills during the pandemic are protected from having their water shut off through the end of the year. … ” Read more from the Fresno Bee here: Water bill debt has hit Valley families hard. Help could be coming for some – but not all
New appointees bring diverse backgrounds and viewpoints to state’s drinking water advisory group
“The State Water Resources Control Board has appointed 10 members to its SAFER Advisory Group demonstrating its continued commitment to soliciting public input on spending priorities for the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund (SADW Fund). The fund is aimed at getting an estimated 1 million Californians reliable access to safe and affordable drinking water. The new and reappointed members of the advisory group will take the seats of members whose terms expire at the end of the year, plus one new seat that is being added for a tribal representative. Just as with those terming out, new members have diverse backgrounds and experience with drinking water issues, either as representatives of public water systems, local agencies or non–governmental organizations; as technical assistance providers; as residents served by water systems in disadvantaged communities; as members of Native American tribes or the general public. ... ” Continue reading from the State Water Board here: New appointees bring diverse backgrounds and viewpoints to state’s drinking water advisory group
Journal article: The California Environmental Flows Framework: Meeting the challenges of developing a large-scale environmental flows program
“Environmental flow programs aim to protect aquatic habitats and species while recognizing competing water demands. Often this is done at the local or watershed level because it is relatively easier to address technical and implementation challenges at these scales. However, a consequence of this approach is that ecological flow criteria are developed for only a few areas as dictated by funding and interest with many streams neglected. Here we discuss the collaborative development of the California Environmental Flows Framework (CEFF) as an example process for developing environmental flow recommendations at a statewide scale. CEFF uses a functional flows approach, which focuses on protecting a broad suite of ecological, geomorphic, and biogeochemical functions instead of specific species or habitats, and can be applied consistently across diverse stream types and spatial scales. CEFF adopts a tiered approach in which statewide models are used to estimate ecological flow needs based on natural functional flow ranges, i.e., metrics that quantify the required magnitude, timing, duration, frequency, and/or rate-of-change of functional flow components under reference hydrologic conditions, for every stream reach in the state. … ” Continue reading at Frontiers in Environmental Science here: Journal article: The California Environmental Flows Framework: Meeting the challenges of developing a large-scale environmental flows program
Melting glaciers could give Pacific salmon new waters to call home
“A study released Tuesday reveals glacier retreat across western North America could offer Pacific salmon entirely new habitats in the not-so-distant future. Pacific salmon, by most estimates, have not had it easy the past several decades. Overfishing, manmade habitat disruption and changes to their water availability as a result of warming temperatures and other climate change factors have put the stress on salmon populations. These realities have put a number of salmon species endangered species lists over the years and, in some cases, have even resulted in some groups going extinct. … ” Read more from the Courthouse News Service here: Melting glaciers could give Pacific salmon new waters to call home
Press release: Black & Veatch’s nutrient removal project stands up to record California wet-weather event
“When the combination of two weather phenomena – a bomb cyclone and atmospheric river – inundated Northern California with record-breaking rainfall in October, Sacramento’s recently completed biological nutrient removal (BNR) facility did more than just weather the storm: it flexed its muscle in keeping the Sacramento River, and subsequently the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, clean. … ” Read more from Argus Press here: Press release: Black & Veatch’s nutrient removal project stands up to record California wet-weather event
State Water Board creates world’s first standardized methods for testing microplastics in drinking water
“With concerns mounting over the potential impacts microplastics may have on the environment and human health, the State Water Resources Control Board, in partnership with the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project, has developed the first standardized analytical methods in the world for the testing and reporting of microplastics in drinking water. Senate Bill 1422 requires the State Water Board to adopt a definition of microplastics and then create a standard methodology for the testing of drinking water for microplastics. The bill also requires four years of testing and reporting of microplastics in drinking water, including public disclosure of those results. … ” Continue reading at the State Water Board here: State Water Board creates world’s first standardized methods for testing microplastics in drinking water
Reclamation initiates selection process for Basin Studies and Water Management Options Pilots
“The Bureau of Reclamation is requesting letters of interest from eligible non-federal entities for Basin Studies and Water Management Options Pilots. Letters of interest are due by February 11, 2022, to the nearest regional office. Through basin studies, Reclamation works with state and local partners to develop projections of future water supply and demand, including the impacts of climate change, and to identify collaborative strategies to ensure sustainable future water supplies in river basins across the Western United States. Since establishing the program in 2009, Reclamation has funded 27 basin studies. Reclamation is also requesting letters of interest for Water Management Options Pilots. These pilots allow Reclamation to work with state and local partners to evaluate solutions to water management challenges by building on completed basin studies. Pilots may include both additional analysis that further develop strategies identified in a basin study and/or efforts to update or expand analysis. … ” Read more from the Bureau of Reclamation here: Reclamation initiates selection process for Basin Studies and Water Management Options Pilots
DWR awards $26 million in drought support to small communities
“The Department of Water Resources (DWR) today announced $26 million in funding commitments to 11 communities through the Small Community Drought Relief program, created by the Budget Act of 2021. Identified for funding by DWR and the State Water Resources Control Board, all 11 communities will receive financial assistance to implement projects that invest in long-term solutions such as providing reliable water supply sources, improving water system storage, replacing aging infrastructure and arranging alternative power sources. The commitments represent the fifth round of funding in the $200 million Small Community Drought Relief program. Since August, 48 projects have been awarded a total of $92 million. ... ” Read more from DWR here: DWR awards $26 million in drought support to small communities
Californians could soon be fined for using too much water
“The California State Water Resources Control Board could begin imposing fines in the near future for California residents who fail to conserve water. The move comes in light of historically hot and dry weather in the months of November and December. The State Water Board released a draft on November 30 to propose fines of up to $500 for residents who waste water.The fines would reportedly incur daily for repeat offenders. Should the propositions be approved, they would begin in January 2022. They would however be up to the discretion of cities and local water agencies. … ” Read more from CBS LA here: Californians could soon be fined for using too much water
Federal intervention, conflict and drought in the American West
“The history of the American West is largely one of competition over its most abundant and most coveted resource: land. Access to land in the West means access to water, pasture, minerals and the many other natural resources that an array of interests have jostled over for millennia. It is also a driving source of conflict in the region, at times escalating into full-throttle violence. The U.S. federal government, as the supreme arbiter of the public lands of the West, has been the predominant player in that tumultuous history of conflict since the 18th century. … Now, intensifying climatic forces and the federal response they demand threaten to raise the potential for greater upheaval over western land management. The region is experiencing its most punishing drought of at least the past 1,200 years. As conditions continue to deteriorate, additional federal management measures will be needed to mitigate the immediate economic suffering while combating climate change to preempt even greater devastation in the future. Despite their necessity, these decisions and their effects on regional groups may reignite long-simmering enmity around land management. … ” Read more from Law Fare here: Federal intervention, conflict and drought in the American West
As West withers, corporations consolidate land and water rights
“Ghost cattle, 200,000 made-up heifers. A massive fraud rocking eastern Washington’s arid ranching communities, leading to criminal charges and bankruptcy. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a Bill Gates-owned company duking it out at the auction block, each willing to spend more than $200 million to buy 22,500 acres of ranchland and its associated water rights. These were just some of the headlines from this past summer when Cody Easterday of Mesa, Wash., pleaded guilty to defrauding Tyson Foods and another unnamed company of more than $244 million. He did so, according to court documents, by billing for the care of those imaginary animals. After he pleaded guilty, the bidding war started. In June, the Church’s agricultural holding company beat out Gates’ 100C LLC, cementing the Latter-day Saints as one of the largest commercial agricultural landowners in the western United States. … ” Continue reading at SJV Water here: As West withers, corporations consolidate land and water rights
In commentary today …
California Drought – Deja vu all over again
Kate Poole, Senior Director, Water Division, Nature Program at the NRDC writes, “California’s Department of Water Resources recently announced its plan for operating the massive State Water Project in 2022 if dry conditions persist. When rolling it out, DWR’s Director acknowledged that “[i]t is going to take a multi-pronged approach to successfully respond to these unprecedented drought conditions.” But DWR is not on track to successfully respond to drought; in fact, it is not doing much of anything different from the same old disastrous response to drought over the last decade. It’s time for the State Water Resources Control Board and other decisionmakers to take the reins of drought management away from DWR and put California on a track to successfully manage the new normal of intense and frequent droughts. … ” Read more from the NRDC here: California Drought – Deja Vu All Over Again
Column: Has Biden moved to finally kill California’s most farcical water project?
Columnist Michael Hiltzik writes, “Desperation over water scarcity has produced any number of schemes to relieve the crisis. But few are as chuckle-headed as a plan to pump groundwater from beneath the Mojave Desert and transport it 200 miles to urban Southern California. This is the Cadiz water project, which has been percolating along since the turn of the century. I’ve been following this scheme almost since its inception, starting with an investigative article in 2002 that made the case for the Metropolitan Water District to bail on a proposed partnership with its promoter, Cadiz Inc. The MWD did so, which should have killed the plan. … ” Read more from the LA Times here: Column: Has Biden moved to finally kill California’s most farcical water project?
Today’s featured articles …
ACWA CONFERENCE: Water Board Vice Chair Dorene D’Adamo on climate change, water supplies, conservation, safe and affordable drinking water
At the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) Fall Conference held last week, the keynote speaker at the luncheon was State Water Resources Control Board Vice Chair Dorene D’Adamo, who spoke of the Board’s efforts on water supplies, conservation, and safe and affordable drinking water.
Here’s what she had to say in her own words, edited only for clarity.
Click here to read this article.
BLOG ROUND-UP: More Water Now ballot initiative, Ecosystem restoration and Delta science, Drought deja vu all over again; and more …
Click here to read the blog round-up.
Return to top
In regional water news and commentary today …
Dahles, officials survey damage from Mud Creek debris threatening McCloud water supply
“A group of state and federal officials, including the Republican husband and wife team of Sen. Brian Dahle and Assemblywoman Megan Dahle, came to McCloud on Nov. 29 to see the damage from the Mud Creek mud flows that have been endangering the town’s water supply. The Dahles were joined by Siskiyou County Supervisor Brandon Criss, U.S. Forest Service Regional District Ranger Carolyn Napper, a representative from Hancock Forest Management and other dignitaries. “This situation is very concerning, and I hope to work with all stakeholders to ensure McCloud’s water reliability is maintained. The district is doing some creative short-term shoring-up and I applaud them for those efforts, but it needs a long-term solution,” Sen. Brian Dahle of Bieber said. ... ” Read more from Mt. Shasta News here: Read more from Mt. Shasta News here: Dahles, officials survey damage from Mud Creek debris threatening McCloud water supply
Court invalidates EIR for development of Lake Tahoe resort
“The EIR for development of a new resort at Squaw Valley failed to meaningfully address Lake Tahoe as part of the environmental setting and was deficient in its analysis of water quality, air quality, and noise impacts. In a separate opinion, the court held that the County violated the Brown Act by placing a copy of memorandum in the clerk’s office after hours. Sierra Watch v. Placer County, 69 Cal.App.5th 86 and 69 Cal.App.5th 1 (2021). Placer County prepared an EIR for development of the Village at Squaw Valley, a 94-acre resort near Lake Tahoe. Six days after publishing supplemental responses to comments on the EIR, the board of supervisors held a public hearing and voted to approve the project. Sierra Watch challenged the approval of the EIR under CEQA and the Ralph M. Brown Act. … ” Read more from the Califonria Land & Development Report here: Court invalidates EIR for development of Lake Tahoe resort
Increasing access to food assistance and locally-grown produce in the Sacramento region could be key to improving food system, new report says
“Actualizing Sacramento’s “Farm to Fork Capital” label means getting healthy food to more people, according to a new action plan from the Sacramento Region Community Foundation and Valley Vision. The groups announced the first phase of the 2021 Sacramento Region Food System Action Plan (Regional Action Plan) on Dec. 2, which outlines recommendations for making sure everyone in the Sacramento region has access to nutritious food. The plan says the Sacramento region is rich in some food systems, like its food banks, urban farms and food literacy programs. But it recommends more investment in climate-friendly farming practices, workforce development for agricultural workers, and places to get locally-grown produce. … ” Read more from Capital Public Radio here: Increasing access to food assistance and locally-grown produce in the Sacramento region could be key to improving food system, new report says
Big October storm’s deluge draining out of Lake Sonoma
“It is going to take more than sporadic rain showers to make any progress against the drought. It will take more storms, and a lot of them. In places like Lake Sonoma, the big October storm is running out of legs. “The rain is totally great to have,” says Chris Tito of Wilson Vinyards. “If you want the wine, you need the rain.” A little rain, with more in the forecast, is great news in Dry Creek Valley, just as it is welcome news over the other side of the dam. ... ” Read more from CBS San Francisco here: Big October storm’s deluge draining out of Lake Sonoma
Two storms to bring scattered showers to the Bay Area this week
“November got off to a wet start with the season’s second significant storm of the year, but dry weather and unseasonably warm temperatures ever since have left Bay Area residents wondering when the next drop of rain would come. The answer is this week: Two storms could bring not only rain but snow to the Sierra and the Bay Area’s highest peaks, and the National Weather Service is tracking a third storm that may hit early next week. None of the storms will be a water-rich atmospheric river, but they will be welcome in a state struggling with a worsening drought. … ” Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here: Two storms to bring scattered showers to the Bay Area this week
Sea level rise could flood toxic sites along the Bay Area’s shore. This city has 21 facilities at risk
“Richmond boasts the longest shoreline of any Bay Area city, 32 miles dotted with heavy industry such as chemical plants, factories and the Chevron oil refinery. It’s also vulnerable to rising seas predicted to increase regular flooding in the Bay Area by the end of the century. Researchers say that combination threatens to spread toxic materials from an industrial shoreline into mostly working-class neighborhoods, placing immigrants and people of color at greater risk of exposure to pollutants. That is true for Richmond, home to a combined majority of Black, Latino and Asian residents and with high rates of poverty in neighborhoods near its industrial shoreline. … ” Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: Sea level rise could flood toxic sites along the Bay Area’s shore. This city has 21 facilities at risk
How birds help keep the Pajaro River levees safe without poison
“The Pajaro River slithers between the towns of Pajaro and Watsonville, which lie directly within the river’s natural floodplain. Although the river created the fertile soils that birthed this agricultural community, its floodwaters can wreak havoc on the region: a 1995 flood killed two people and destroyed $95 million worth of agricultural crops. Levee managers fight a constant battle with gopher and ground squirrel burrows, which weaken the dirt embankments that line the river to protect the region from floodwaters. Most levee protection involves poisoning the animals, but the toxin-laden rodents become deadly treats for predators. The poison cripples or kills bobcats, coyotes, and birds of prey, causing widespread animal suffering and reducing the population of carnivores needed to naturally keep rodents in check. … ” Read more from Bay Nature here: How birds help keep the Pajaro River levees safe without poison
San Luis Obispo Valley Basin Groundwater declining; sustainability plan outlines path forward
“The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors and SLO City Council are set to approve the SLO Valley Basin Groundwater Sustainability Plan, or GSP. The sustainability plan details the conditions of the groundwater basin and how it is currently being used. The plan also outlines sustainable ways to manage the water in the future. The plan is necessary to comply with SGMA, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, which is a state law that requires local areas to form Groundwater Sustainability Agencies, or GSAs. … ” Read more from KCBX here: San Luis Obispo Valley Basin Groundwater declining; sustainability plan outlines path forward
SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY
Cost plunges for water treatment plant for Turlock and Ceres. Will it affect rates?
“The water treatment plant being built for Turlock and Ceres will cost nearly $100 million less than expected. A low-interest state loan made that possible, project General Manager Robert Granberg said during a site tour Wednesday for The Modesto Bee. The $237 million project remains on schedule to start delivering Tuolumne River water to the cities in June 2023. It will reduce their reliance on wells, which can run low during droughts and sometimes exceed pollution standards... ” Read more from the Modesto Bee here: Cost plunges for water treatment plant for Turlock and Ceres. Will it affect rates?
‘Snow drought’ causing concern among experts, businesses in Central California
“As we enter the winter months during yet another dry year, experts are seeing a slower than normal start to snowfall. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) this is the 15th driest year to date over the past 127 years. … This affects the state year-round. But it is still early and the National Weather Service (NWS) is hopeful for a good snow season. “We still have a lot of winter left to go but right now, everything is trending in that lower-than-normal snowpack year and precipitation in general,” explained Jerald Meadows, chief meteorologist at the National Weather Service. ... ” Read more from Channel 23 here: ‘Snow drought’ causing concern among experts, businesses in Central California
VIDEO: How some valley residents cope as their homes teeter on the brink of going dry
“SJV Water reporting trainee Jesse Vad traveled to rural Fairmeade and Toolville to talk to residents about what it’s like to live under the constant possibility of their homes going dry as groundwater tables dropped at the height of the 2021 drought.” Watch video from SJV Water here: VIDEO: How some valley residents cope as their homes teeter on the brink of going dry
Pico Water District receives $4.3 million grant to remove ‘forever chemicals’ from water
“Pico Water District has received a $4.3 million grant from Water Replenishment District for a system to remove contaminants, commonly known as “forever chemicals,” from its drinking water. The money will nearly cover all of the $4.8 million projected cost for equipment to add ion exchange treatment systems at three existing well sites to remove perfluorooctanoate and perfluorooctanesulfonate acid, more commonly referred to as PFOA and PFOS, from the groundwater, ensuring all water provided to customers is below state and federal notification levels. The new treatment facilities are expected to be operational in fall 2022. ... ” Read more from the San Gabriel Valley Times here: Pico Water District receives $4.3 million grant to remove ‘forever chemicals’ from water
Biden seeks reversal of Trump water pipeline approval
“The Biden administration is seeking to undo last-minute Trump-era approvals of a controversial water pipeline project in Southern California. In a court filing Friday, the Biden administration said its predecessors used a “rushed process” to grant rights of way to Cadiz Inc. for shipping water from the Mojave Desert to the Los Angeles area using a former natural gas pipeline and did not adequately follow the National Environmental Policy Act. “Due to the lack of analysis,” Justice Department lawyers wrote, “the agency does not know the source of the water that will be transported through the pipeline and therefore could not have analyzed the potential impacts on the environment or historic properties of drawing down the water at its source.” … ” Read more from E&E News here: Biden seeks reversal of Trump water pipeline approval
Along the Colorado River …
Historically excluded from Colorado River policy, tribes want a say in how the dwindling resource is used. Access to clean water is a start.
“Native American households are 19 times more likely to lack piped water services than white households, according to a report from the Water & Tribes Initiative. The data also show Native American households are more likely to lack piped water services than any other racial group. Leaders of tribes who depend on the Colorado River say the century-old agreement on managing a resource vital to 40 million people across the West is a major factor fueling these and other water inequalities. State water managers and the federal government say they will include tribes in upcoming Colorado River policymaking negotiations for the first time. Some tribal leaders view those promises as lip service and sent a letter to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland in November asking for legal changes to ensure tribes are included in the negotiations. … ” Read more from Colorado Public Radio here: Historically excluded from Colorado River policy, tribes want a say in how the dwindling resource is used. Access to clean water is a start.
Bill would allow Colorado River Indian tribes to lease water to other cities
“As water supply continues to raise alarm bells across the American West, Sen. Mark Kelly introduced a bill that would allow central Arizona’s Colorado River Indian tribes to give portions Colorado River shares to other parts of the state. The Colorado River Indian Tribes are a single tribal nation made up of more than 4000 Chemehuevi, Mojave, Hopi and Navajo members who live along the river in California and Arizona. The bill comes amid historic low levels in Lake Mead and as Arizona faces a harsh water future. The state is set to take mandatory cuts to its share of Colorado River water starting in January. … ” Read more from Arizona Public Media here: Bill would allow Colorado River Indian tribes to lease water to other cities
The final phase of restoration in Glenwood Canyon turns to debris-choked Colorado River
“Andrew Knapp leans over the railing of Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon and scowls at a jumble of rocks clogging the Colorado River. Those piercing piles of boulders — swept down the canyon walls in a cataclysmic rainstorm on July 29 — were rubbing against the retaining wall beneath the highway when flows were higher. “You could hear what sounded like thunder with all those rocks just rolling downstream. That really concerned us,” said the Colorado Department of Transportation engineer. Examination of that highway retaining wall in the Colorado River below Devil’s Hole Canyon shows it is undamaged. For now. … ” Read more from the Colorado Sun here: The final phase of restoration in Glenwood Canyon turns to debris-choked Colorado River
VIDEO: How climate change impacts indigenous communities
“Nikki Cooley, the manager of the Tribal Climate Change Program for the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals at Northern Arizona University, talked with Adam Del Rosso during a recent segment on AccuWeather Prime about how climate change is impacting Native American tribes in the United States. “Not enough attention [has been brought to the issue],” Cooley said, “because tribes were sovereign entities within states, and there’s a big misconception that we have all the resources that we want because we’re on our own land, when in fact we don’t have access to it.” During the segment, Cooley went on to explain the many resources indigenous communities are often lacking and how that can inhibit the capacity to address climate change on their own.” Watch video at AccuWeather here: How climate change impacts indigenous communities
In national water news today …
Infrastructure law gears $10 billion to fight PFAS in water
“The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act delivers more than $50 billion to the EPA to improve the nation’s drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure as well as rebuild bridges, roads, and tunnels. It includes $10 billion to address PFAS in drinking water, say Alston & Bird’s Jeffrey Dintzer and Gregory Berlin, who lay out the business implications. … ” Read more from Bloomberg Law here: Infrastructure law gears $10 billion to fight PFAS in water
Data center water sustainability and stewardship
“The data center industry has garnered increased attention as we begin to understand how our digital world is supported by this unseen physical infrastructure. With this attention, also come questions about the sustainability of the data center industry. Data centers use water to cool their servers, which can impact local water supplies. Water is increasingly being recognized as a risk to data center operation as a decreasing supply can potentially disrupt our continuous access to data. As such, industry leaders are adopting ambitious environmental, social and governance (ESG) targets with water at the forefront of the conversation. To date, most industries have focused their water stewardship strategies on reducing their water withdrawals. Water stewardship strategies are now going beyond water use minimization to incorporate actions aimed at replenishing water consumed and improving overall watershed health. … ” Read more from Water Technology Online here: Data center water sustainability and stewardship
Drought update …CA_Drought_Update_12-6-21