WEEKLY WATER NEWS DIGEST for June 2-7: Sites Reservoir clears court challenge; Judge weighs injunction for Delta Conveyance Project; Water in CA’s streams poorly monitored, impeding management; and more …

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

Note to readers: Sign up for weekly email service and you will receive notification of this post on Friday mornings.  Readers on daily email service can add weekly email service by updating their subscription preferences. Click here to sign up!

In California water news this week …

California’s largest reservoir project in decades clears environmental court challenge

Sites Reservoir Conceptual Graphic

“California is one step closer to building its largest water storage facility in nearly 50 years, after a court ruled in favor of the Sites Reservoir project following a challenge by environmental groups. The Yolo County Superior Court issued the 65 page ruling late last week, marking a possible end to the project’s environmental litigation. The relatively quick ruling stands in contrast to a typical, multi-year litigation period under the Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Gov. Gavin Newsom accelerated the project’s CEQA litigation period in November under an infrastructure streamlining package passed the previous summer. He celebrated the court’s ruling in a news release Tuesday. “California needs more water storage, and we have no time to waste — projects like the Sites Reservoir will capture rain and snow runoff to supply millions of homes with clean drinking water,” Newsom said. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee. | Read via AOL News.

SEE ALSO:  California governor welcomes judicial ruling in Sites Reservoir project, from the Courthouse News Service

PRESS RELEASE: Conservation groups undaunted by court ruling: Sites Reservoir is a bad deal for rivers, for fish, and for California

“This week, a coalition of conservation groups, including Friends of the River (FOR), California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA), Center for Biological Diversity, California Water Impact Network, and Save California Salmon (plaintiffs) received a ruling on their challenge to the proposed Sites Reservoir’s faulty environmental impact report (EIR). The court found the EIR to be legally adequate, however, conservation groups stand firm that the EIR has major legal deficiencies because it failed as an informational document, and doesn’t account for major environmental harms and liabilities. This is unsurprising, because the Sites Water Authority itself prepared and approved the EIR. … ” Continue reading this press release.

California judge weighs injunction for Delta Conveyance Project

“Petitioners battling over a massive and controversial California water infrastructure project drilled into the details on Friday over what actions require specific authorization before they can occur, with local governments and water districts asking a Sacramento County judge to stop the state water resources department from making any exploratory moves.  At issue are geotechnical actions, like initial drilling and installing monitoring equipment, that the Tulare Lake Basin Water Storage District — and many others — argued don’t have the required green light to proceed. The state Department of Water Resources has countered that a preliminary injunction halting the project’s first steps would do more harm than good.  Superior Court Judge Stephen Acquisto made no decision Friday on the preliminary injunction. … ”  Read more from the Courthouse News Service.

Water in California’s streams is poorly monitored, impeding effective management

A United States Geological Survey stream gauge measures and records the level of California’s Kings River near the Pine Flat Dam in the Central Valley.

“California relies on its rivers and streams for a plethora of services—water supply, flood control, biodiversity conservation, and hydropower generation, to name a few. As a result, understanding the flow of water through the state’s stream network is critical for supporting California’s economy and ecosystems. A new study published by UC Berkeley researchers in Nature Sustainability finds, however, that California’s rivers and streams are critically under-monitored, making it difficult to properly manage water supply and control floods, monitor changes in freshwater biodiversity, and understand how climate change is affecting water supplies. According to the authors’ analysis, only 8% of all rivers and streams in California are monitored by stream gauges, the technology used to measure the flow of water upstream or downstream from their installation site. “As climate change progresses and the demands on California’s water resources and water infrastructure grow, it is critical to have reliable, timely, and comprehensive information about water in rivers and streams,” said lead author Lucy Andrews, a PhD candidate in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management. “Our work highlights concerning gaps in California’s water monitoring capabilities and proposes tools for addressing those gaps.” … ”  Read more from UC Berkeley.

New scientific strategy helps make case for holistic management of California rivers

“Of California’s many tough water challenges, few are more intractable than regulating how much water must be kept in rivers and streams to protect the environment.  Attempts to require enough water at the right time and temperature to sustain fish and other aquatic life run smack against a water rights system developed more than 150 years ago for farmers, miners, industries and cities – but not wildlife.  Federal and state endangered species laws have been instrumental in establishing such “environmental flows” on some California streams, but those requirements are usually tailored for an endangered or threatened fish – a single-species approach that critics say has little progress to show for the resulting disruption of irrigation and urban water supplies serving nearly 40 million residents. … ”  Read more from Western Water.

California has underestimated the epic potential of future flooding, research shows

A drone view of flooded fields at the intersection of 56/County Road J22 and Central Valley Highway 43 east of Alpaugh in Tulare County, California. The floodwaters caused by the March storms are reforming Tulare Lake.  Photo taken March 23, 2023.  Josh Baar / DWR

“For well over a century, the Great Flood of 1862 has remained among California’s worst natural disasters — a megastorm that’s been used as a benchmark for state emergency planners and officials to better prepare for the future.  A dreaded repeat of the flood — which killed at least 4,000 people and turned the Central Valley into a 300-mile-long sea — would probably eclipse the devastation of a major California earthquake and cause up to $1 trillion in damage, some experts say.  Yet even as California scrambles to cope with the effects of climate whiplash and increasingly extreme weather, new research suggests the potential magnitude of such events could be far greater than that of the 1862 deluge.  After analyzing layers of sediment at Carrizo Plain National Monument, researchers at Cal State Fullerton say they have identified two massive, unrecorded Southern California flood events within the last 600 years. … ”  Read more from the LA Times. | Read via AOL News.

Replenishing groundwater in the San Joaquin Valley: 2024 update

Sara Nevis / DWR

“Strategies to replenish groundwater basins—long used in some areas of the San Joaquin Valley—have increasingly come into focus as the region seeks to bring its overdrafted groundwater basins into balance under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). In late 2023, following a very wet winter and spring, we conducted a repeat survey of local water agencies about their recharge activities and perspectives, building on a similar survey at the end of 2017, a year with similar levels of precipitation. We found signs of progress on recharge since 2017, as well as areas where more work is needed to take full advantage of this important water management tool. … ”  Read more from the PPIC.

SEE ALSO:  Groundwater in California, Fact sheet from the PPIC

Two Tulare County water agencies vote to take control of their own groundwater destiny

“Two water districts voted to break away from the Eastern Tule Groundwater Sustainability Agency Monday, June 3, clearing a path for them to form their own agencies and groundwater plans in the next six months.  The move allows the Tea Pot Dome and Vandalia water districts to distance themselves from Eastern Tule GSA, whose groundwater management practices and those of the other four GSAs in the Tule subbasin are coming under scrutiny and possible probation by the state Water Resources Control Board where a probationary hearing is set for Sept. 17.  Eastern Tule, in particular, has also been criticized for its groundwater accounting policies, which some have said allow overpumping to continue unabated. … ”  Read more from SJV Water.

Report: Cover crops benefits may outweigh water-use in California

“Cover crops are planted to protect and improve the soil between annual crops such as tomatoes or between rows of tree and vine crops, but growers may be concerned about the water use of these plants that don’t generate income.  “Cover crops are one of the most popular practices we see farmers employ through our Healthy Soils Program,” said Karen Ross, secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture. “Cover crops supply a host of benefits, such as helping to protect against soil erosion, improving soil health, crowding out weeds, controlling pests and diseases, and increasing biodiversity; and they can bring increased profitability as the number of other inputs are reduced. They also provide water benefits such as improved infiltration and reduced runoff.” … ”  Read more from Morning Ag Clips.

SGMA UPDATE: Groundwater trading, SGMA implementation, and the 2023 groundwater conditions report

“At the May meeting of the California Water Commission, the Commission was updated on the implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act or SGMA, including state activities related to the Commission’s May 2022 White Paper on groundwater trading, an update on SGMA implementation, and the semi-annual groundwater conditions update.  Tim Godwin, the advisor to DWR Deputy Director Gosselin, gave the update. … ”  Continue reading at Maven’s Notebook.

Does California wine use too much water?

“Making wine requires water. But how much? Water is a precious resource in drought-prone California, and its use in agriculture is rightfully a contentious topic. Recently, I’ve heard from readers — and from listeners who tuned in to a recent episode of KQED Forum where I was a guest — who are concerned about the sustainability of viticulture in this state. While a wine glut is compelling some grape growers to remove their vineyards, some readers are suggesting that this might be a good thing from a water use perspective. So I wanted to understand: Just how big of a water suck are California grapevines, really? … ”  Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle (gift article).

California’s heat wave sets daily records, with possibly more on the way

“The heat wave that continues to scorch California’s interior pushed temperatures across the state into the triple digits Wednesday, setting a few daily records.  The weather is particularly unusual for early June, creating increased concern about serious health effects given that people have had little time to acclimate to the extreme heat. Dozens of heat advisories in California’s inland deserts, mountains and valleys remain in effect through Friday, with the National Weather Service warning about a major heat risk across the majority of the state.  In some areas in the San Joaquin Valley and Mojave Desert, the weather service is predicting Thursday to be the hottest day so far, with several areas — including Death Valley National Park, Baker and Lone Pine — facing extreme heat risk, defined as “rare and/or long-duration extreme heat with little to no overnight relief.” Such heat affects not just sensitive groups but “anyone without effective cooling and/or adequate hydration,” according to the weather service. … ”  Read more from the LA Times. | Read via Yahoo News.

2025 Delta Science Plan update to focus on four “grand challenges” to Delta science

“California’s climate presents extreme challenges, from droughts, floods, wildfires, and mudslides.  These issues are exacerbated by climate change and are particularly pronounced in the Delta due to human-induced landscape modifications.  Managing these complex challenges in the Delta has been likened to a “wicked” problem – difficult but not impossible with the right knowledge and institutions.  Inspired by the National Research Council’s identification of grand challenges in environmental science, the Delta Science Program proposes to frame its next update of the Delta Science Plan around these significant tasks.  By focusing on specific grand challenges, the program aims to foster transdisciplinary research to tackle the wicked problem of the Delta more effectively and support long-term goals. … ”  Continue reading at Maven’s Notebook.

Trout Unlimited and AI

“Trout Unlimited is using AI, you know, artificial intelligence. No, it’s not to write this article (nor any others), and no, it’s not to enhance the photos of trout, nor salmon or steelhead (though that’s tempting). Instead, it’s for the benefit of science as well as curious anglers, which is our nature. … Imagine the knowledge we could demonstrate if we could identify each individual fish we caught with a simple photograph. We could know the species, get an estimate of the fish’s size, know whether the fish had been caught previously and when and where. (Though this might mean no more fish stories/lies.)  This could empower our entire community of fishers to not only have fun learning more about their fish, but it will also add data to help with science needs like estimating fish population abundance, measuring growth and movement and tracking use of different habitat types. … ”  Read the full story from Trout Unlimited.

Scientists find tire chemicals in leafy vegetables

“Scientists have found in leafy vegetables traces of several chemicals used to prevent the aging and corrosion of car tires.  Through normal wear and tear, tires cast off countless tiny bits of rubber, which linger in the atmosphere or are washed down sewage drains and into waterways. In the air, these particles can affect the formation of clouds. In the water, they leach compounds that have been shown to be toxic to wildlife.  Tire ingredients were found in 11 of 15 samples gathered from Swiss supermarkets and nine of 13 samples collected from Israeli fields. Among the chemicals discovered was 6PPD, an additive used to prevent cracking, which can transform into a compound that has proved deadly to coho salmon. The findings were published in Frontiers in Environmental Science. … ”  Read more from Yale e360.

Revisiting the first OpenET Applications Conference: how satellite-based data is transforming water, farm, and forest management

This spring, hundreds of scientists, engineers, water managers, farmers and ranchers gathered in New Mexico to share and learn about how OpenET data is being used to advance water resources management. OpenET has radically improved access to data on evapotranspiration (ET) — or how much water plants and other vegetation consume. The result has been a flood of new applications of ET data in land and water management.  This year’s convening in New Mexico was a first-ever chance to take stock of all the ways people are using OpenET. The conference cut across a wide range of geographies and sectors and revealed a quickly emerging, dynamic community of practice centered on the platform.  In keeping with the spirit of OpenET, all plenary sessions and speaker presentations are available on the OpenET YouTube channel. The conference agenda includes the full list of presentations and speakers.  Here are some key takeaways from the conference. … ”  Read more from EDF.

Return to top

In commentary this week …

Dan Walters: California seeks a more resilient water supply as familiar sides battle for access

“California is a semi-arid state in which the availability of water determines land use, and in turn shapes the economy.  That, in a nutshell, explains why Californians have been jousting over water for the state’s entire 174-year history.  The decades of what some have dubbed “water wars” may be approaching a climactic point as climate change, economic evolution, stagnant population growth and environmental consciousness compel decisions on California’s water future.  A new study, conducted by researchers at three University of California campuses, projects that a combination of factors will reduce California’s water supply by up to 9 million acre-feet a year – roughly the equivalent of all non-agricultural human use. They include effects of climate change, new regulations to stem the overdraft of underground water, reducing Colorado River diversions and increasing environmental flows, especially those through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. … ”  Read more from Cal Matters.

Nature designed California salmon to never go extinct. Why are they too close?

Opinion columnist Tom Philp writes, “Nature designed California’s Chinook salmon to be our forever fish. Why else would each spawning pair of adults produce about 5,000 fertilized eggs? If 99.96% of these eggs fail to produce adults that return from the ocean to spawn, that’s good news. That means all those eggs did their job, resulting in two adult salmon that returned to repeat the cycle. California and the life cycle of salmon have been linked for centuries, beginning when only indigenous people lived in the state. California’s rivers and streams benefit from the nutrients salmon bring with them from the ocean. Salmon create jobs. Salmon are our shared living heritage. Despite biological math so overwhelmingly favoring survival, our salmon are in trouble. A red flag of a species under stress: There are not enough salmon alive to allow fishing off the California coast or in its northern rivers this year for the second consecutive year. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee.

The San Joaquin Valley pumps too much water. But there are signs of progress

Caitlin Peterson and Ellen Hanak with the PPIC write, “When it comes to reducing the overuse of groundwater in the San Joaquin Valley, the recent news has not been great. In March of last year, state officials deemed that groundwater sustainability plans for six of the valley’s 15 groundwater basins were inadequate. At an April hearing, one basin was put on probation by regulators to reduce overpumping. The mood in other basins is understandably anxious as their futures remain unclear. Meanwhile, local agencies are suing groundwater pumpers in one basin for causing a major canal to sink. But is the situation beginning to turn around? Despite some discouraging headlines, we think so. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee.

A manager was accused of stealing a lot of California water. Prosecutors struck out

“It’s not every day that a former source gets indicted. So when a San Joaquin Valley water manager was charged by federal prosecutors two years ago with allegedly stealing millions of dollars worth of water for lavish personal gain, it stopped me cold. It simply did not square with the person that I thought I knew. Former general manager Dennis Falaschi of the Panoche Water District ended up agreeing to a plea deal last week, acknowledging that he stole some water and falsified some income on a tax return. But upon any objective examination, the deal is far more of a black eye to federal prosecutors than to Falaschi himself because the feds had accused him of stealing $25 million worth of water – more water than some California cities use annually. The government utterly failed to prove anything close to its original case. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee.

DWR’s Delta Conveyance Project analysis finds a 0.39 benefit-cost ratio for agricultural users. It won’t be long before even more agricultural agencies are dropping out or filing lawsuits against the project.

Dr. Jeff Michael, Professor of Public Policy in the public policy programs at University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law, writes, “A benefit-cost ratio specific to agricultural users is not reported anywhere in the report, but it is pretty easy to calculate from the reports Table 1 and projected water allocation from the reports Table 1 and projected water allocation.  According to Table 1, the water supply and water quality benefits to agricultural users has a present value of $2.36 billion.  Assuming, they receive a share of seismic benefits that is proportional to their share of total water supply and quality benefits (6.4%), they also receive an additional $60 million in seismic reliability benefits for a total of $2.42 billion in benefits.  The benefit-cost analysis also estimates that agricultural users will receive an average water yield of 148,500 af, which is 36.35% of the total projected water yield of 403,000 af. … ”  Continue reading from the Valley Economy blog.

Forest thinning adds millions of acre feet to California’s water supply

Edward Ring, director of water and energy policy for the California Policy Center, writes, “Practical solutions to California’s energy and water shortages will always have a better chance of being implemented if they adhere to the limitations placed upon them by the climate lobby. Thankfully there are numerous solutions, strategic in their impact, that would fulfill this criteria. Sadly, however, most of them remain controversial.  Examples of climate compliant yet controversial solutions include nuclear power, natural gas power generation with underground sequestration of the emissions, offstream reservoirs, and desalination. Another example, the subject for this week, is forest thinning.  On September 23, 2020, after another round of devastating super-fires immolated another 4.1 million acres of California’s forests, Governor Newsom announced via executive order a ban on sales of cars with internal combustion engines to take effect by 2035. Whether or not you believe automotive emissions constitute a mortal threat to the planet or not, Newsom’s edict did nothing to alleviate superfires. … ”  Read more from the California Globe.

Ocean desalination a promising solution

Michael McNutt, the public affairs and communications manager for the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District, writes, “Conservation as a California way of life, along with the state’s water usage efficiency standards is not water rationing or a scam. It’s a lifestyle that acknowledges the unpredictability of weather patterns due to climate change impacts and water scarcity potential, where all Californians’ relationship with water evolves to minimize usage and increase efficiency.  The new standard of daily indoor water usage will be 55 gallons per person per day beginning in 2025 and will ratchet down to 42 gallons per person per day in the coming years. State mandated outdoor watering standards are also scheduled to be adopted later this year.  Reservoirs, currently brimming full of water, constitute about two to three years worth of water usage needs. Lake Mead and Powell on the Colorado River that feeds much of Southern California are still less than half full. … ”  Read more from the Acorn.

Editorial: California is facing another record-breaking hot summer. We aren’t ready

The LA Times editorial board writes, “After a chilly spring it seems hard to believe that the gloom would ever leave Southern California. But skies are clearing as a “heat dome” brings midsummer-like temperatures to the state. It could be a preview of another record-breaking hot summer.  In what’s becoming a sadly familiar refrain, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says there’s a chance that 2024 will be even warmer than last year, which was the planet’s hottest year on record. As greenhouse gas pollution keeps pushing temperatures higher and making extreme heat more deadly and severe, can anyone really say we are ready for it? … ”  Read more from the LA Times.

California congressman says resource abandonment is destroying the U.S. economy

“U.S. Representative and Farmer John Duarte (CA-R) says resource abandonment is hurting the U.S. economy, and the practice is becoming a major problem for everyday Americans.  “If you look at what we’re doing with our farm water in California, what we’re doing with American energy policy, what we’re doing with minerals, what we’re doing with the Endangered Species Act enforcement with wolves and bears and delta smelt and salmon — it’s all causing a resource abandonment that’s coming back down very, very hard on the back of the American consumer,” said, Rep. Duarte, who represents California’s 13th District. … ”  Read more from RFD-TV.

Return to top

In regional water news this week …

OSU study details devastating effects of water shortages on Klamath Basin economy

“Seeking a sustainable balance among the competing demands for the Klamath Basin’s water, a recent Oregon State University (OSU) study sets out the detrimental economic effects that water shortages had on farms and ranches in the area.  Partially funded by Klamath County, the OSU Water Allocation in the Klamath Reclamation Project Study found that livestock and crops from the area are worth about $368 million annually. In addition, $176 million earned in income is paid to over 3,000 employees, making the water supply in the basin an important asset.  Federal restrictions on the water supply available from Upper Klamath Lake are driven by the directives of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Maine Fisheries Services and stem from USBR’s interpretation of the Endangered Species Act. The Klamath Project covers about  230,000 acres across Klamath, Siskiyou, and Modoc counties, and includes farmed lands within two national wildlife refuges. … ”  Read more from Daily Tidings.

PG&E asks for delay in Eel River Dam decommissioning

“PG&E announced on Friday, May 31 late last week that it will request a 7-month extension from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in decommissioning the Eel River dams. Stakeholders were expecting the utility to file its Draft Surrender Application plan with FERC this month, with a final version due in January 2025. PG&E now says it will file the draft plan in January 2025 and the final version in June 2025.  In announcing the delay, PG&E expresses support for the still vague proposal for the New Eel-Russian Facility. This proposal would see a dam-free diversion from the Eel River to the Russian River constructed and managed by the newly formed Eel Russian Joint Powers Authority. … ”  Read more from the Lost Coast Outpost.

As Los Angeles plans to take less water, environmentalists celebrate a win for Mono Lake

“City leaders in Los Angeles have announced plans to take a limited amount of water from creeks that feed Mono Lake this year, a step that environmentalists say will help build on a recent rise in the lake’s level over the last year.  The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power said it plans to export 4,500 acre-feet of water from the Mono Basin during the current runoff year, the same amount that was diverted the previous year, and enough to supply about 18,000 households for a year.  Under the current rules, the city could take much more — up to 16,000 acre-feet this year. But environmental advocates had recently urged Mayor Karen Bass not to increase water diversions to help preserve recent gains and begin to boost the long-depleted lake toward healthier levels. They praised the decision by city leaders as an important step. … ”  Read more from the LA Times. | Read via AOL News.

Tulare Lake Subbasin probation highlights need for collaborative groundwater management

“Following the State Water Board’s decision to place the Tulare Lake Subbasin on probation — and upcoming probationary hearings for five critically overdrafted basins in the Central Valley — local groundwater management has become increasingly critical.  Coming up on nearly a decade since the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act was signed into law by former Governor Jerry Brown, the future of the Central Valley’s water lay in the coalition of the willing. The face of that future is the San Joaquin Valley Water Blueprint.  The Water Blueprint — a volunteer-based coalition of community leaders, businesses, water agencies, local governments, and agricultural representatives — is leading the charge to advance water solutions for the region.  According to Geoffrey Vanden Heuvel, board vice chair of the Blueprint, when SGMA was instituted and required the organization of Groundwater Sustainability Agencies to produce sustainability plans, it became clear that individual farmers could not address the water shortage alone. … ”  Read moire from Valley Ag Voice.

Water Blueprint for the San Joaquin Valley builds momentum

Geoff Vanden Heuvel with the Milk Producers Council writes, “When the state of California began to implement and enforce the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act some nine years ago, it became clear that without change, there will not be enough sustainably available groundwater to support all of the irrigated acres that are currently in production. With that decline in agriculture, the businesses, communities and tax base that depends on those farms would be very negatively impacted as well. This reality prompted a wide variety of interests in the San Joaquin Valley to form a “coalition of the willing” that came to be known as the Water Blueprint for the San Joaquin Valley (Blueprint). The dairy industry was one of those interests. Over 90% of California milk production is located in the San Joaquin Valley, much of which is designated by the State as “critically overdrafted.” On behalf of Milk Producers Council, I have been involved with the Blueprint from the beginning. Here is an update on the progress of the Blueprint. … ”  Read more from the Milk Producers Council.

PRESS RELEASE: New Report: SoCal water experts identify wastewater recycling as essential to resilient water future for LA region

“A new report was released jointly today by the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation and the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources on the existing and potential opportunities related to wastewater recycling in Los Angeles. The report, Making the Most of Landmark Recycled Water Investments in Los Angeles: Technical Advisory Recommendations for the Region, was commissioned by Los Angeles Waterkeeper. The goal of the report is to support ongoing efforts to improve local water security and rely less on expensive, energy-intensive and increasingly unreliable water imports from faraway places, like the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and the Colorado River.  Experts involved in developing the report agree that expanding the use of recycled wastewater has emerged as a key, scalable water supply strategy that can offer certainty and reliability in the region in light of our new climate reality. … ”  Read more from the LA Waterkeeper.

Habitat concerns muddle Colorado River water plan

“Imperial Valley farmers preparing to participate this summer in programs to conserve Colorado River water have had to put their plans on hold due to concerns from wildlife agencies that reduced water use could result in habitat loss for three endangered species that live in the region.  After decades of drought and warnings that the river could run dry, California, Arizona and Nevada—the three states in the Colorado River’s Lower Basin—agreed last year to conserve 3 million acre-feet of water by the end of 2026.  The short-term conservation effort is the largest ever on the Colorado River. It relies on Imperial Valley farmers, whose century-old water rights entitle them to more of the river than other users, to come up with about a quarter of the overall water savings. … ”  Read more from Ag Alert.

“It’s not an ideal world”: States talk Colorado River future, hang-ups in negotiations at CU conference

“Colorado River talks are back in gear after stalling earlier this year, but little progress has been made on key sticking points, like how water cuts will be made and the role of Upper Basin reservoirs, state officials said Thursday.  More than 200 water watchers packed a conference room at the University of Colorado Law School in Boulder to hear updates from the officials, who represent the seven basin states deliberating over how the river will be managed after 2026. It was the negotiators’ first public meeting since basin states failed to reach a consensus in March and instead released two competing visions for the river’s future. … ”  Read more from the Colorado Sun.

Return to top

Announcements, notices, and funding opportunities …

NOW AVAILABLE: Final 2024 Sacramento River Temperature Management Plan

Return to top

Print Friendly, PDF & Email