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Bureau Announces 100% Allocation for South-of-Delta Contractors


With statewide snowpack at record levels, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation today announced that South-of-Delta water contractors will receive 100% of their Central Valley Project contract supply for the first time since 2006. “Following the California Department of Water Resources exceptional March 30 snow survey results, Reclamation is pleased to announce this increase to a 100 percent allocation for our South-of-Delta water contractors,” said Pablo Arroyave, acting regional director for Reclamation. “However, as Governor Brown reminded us last week when lifting California’s drought state of emergency, the next drought could be around the corner. It is crucial that we remain vigilant in conserving our precious water resources.” Reclamation previously announced a 100% allocation for all CVP contractors with the exception of agricultural water service contractors South-of Delta. Those contractors – in the Delta Division, San Felipe Division, and the San Luis Unit – were initially allocated 65% of their contract...
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State Water Board Monthly Conservation Reporting Continues, Reports Due by April 15


On April 7, the California Department of Water Resources, State Water Resources Control Board and other agencies released the  final long-term conservation framework report , recommending that the state rescind the current “stress test” approach and mandatory conservation targets for urban water suppliers, but continue State Water Board requirements for monthly conservation reports as a “bridge” to permanent requirements that will be developed through implementation of the framework. The State Water Board is now reminding urban water suppliers that they must continue to submit monthly conservation reports through the State Water Board’s online tool  by the 15th of each month, as previously required. The next report is due on April 15. To read ACWA’s April 7 member advisory, which provides more information on the final long-term conservation framework report, please click here . For questions on monthly conservation reporting requirements, please review the State Water Board’s Q & A document or...
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Governor Declares Drought Emergency Over; Long-Term Conservation Framework Released


Gov. Jerry Brown today declared California’s drought emergency officially over in most parts of the state, while several state agencies jointly released a framework for long-term water conservation that seeks to make water savings a way of life. Record rains this water year and increased levels of water conservation were cited by the governor in his decision to lift the drought emergency. Water reporting requirements by local agencies and the prohibition of wasteful water practices such as watering lawns during or after a rainfall will remain in place. “This drought emergency is over, but the next drought could be around the corner,” Brown stated in a written release. “Conservation must remain a way of life.” ACWA Executive Director Timothy Quinn issued a statement praising the lifting of the drought emergency. “We are glad to see the governor’s action today to lift the drought emergency declaration for most of the state....
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Coalition Tackles Drinking Water Problems in Salinas Valley


A coalition of farmers, and state and local regulators has joined together to produce a replacement drinking water plan for Salinas Valley residents whose groundwater supplies are contaminated with unsafe levels of nitrate, the State Water Resources Control Board announced today. Under the terms of a settlement agreement reached March 29, the Salinas Basin Agricultural Stewardship Group, LLC – working in cooperation with the State Water Board and the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board – has agreed to supply drinking water to communities in the Salinas Valley whose drinking water is above the standard for nitrates. The temporary program will be organized and funded by the members of the stewardship group, a coalition of local agricultural owners and operators. It will run for up to two years while the parties work toward permanent solutions to respond to the challenges of nitrate accumulation in Salinas basin groundwater. “Ensuring that...
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Online Registration Deadline Approaches for ACWA Spring Conference


The online registration deadline for ACWA’s 2017 Spring Conference & Exhibition in Monterey closes April 14. Several key leaders in the water industry will speak at the conference providing perspectives on everything from energy storage to emergency management. The conference, themed “One Water, One Future,” runs May 9-12 and will explore California’s shared vision – and challenges – regarding the state’s water future. Top speakers include Susan Kennedy, chief executive officer & founder, Advanced Microgrid Solutions, Inc., who will open the conference with a keynote breakfast address Wednesday, May 10. Kennedy, who has served in high-level roles in two gubernatorial administrations and for Sen. Dianne Feinstein, will share insights into the energy storage field from her vantage point at Advanced Microgrid Solutions, Inc. She also will discuss pivotal moments in her public service career, including her role in the development and passage of the 2009 water package. William Croyle, acting...
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April ACWA Priority Issues Update Available to Members


The April ACWA Priority Issues Update is now available online to ACWA members. The monthly bulletin-style update provides an overview of the issues ACWA is actively engaged on. The April Priority Issues Update is here . ACWA membership is required for access. This month’s update looks at recent developments regarding the State Water Resources Control Board’s approach to setting new water quality objectives in the Bay-Delta watershed. The update also outlines recent developments in the Water Storage Investment Program, the state’s Long-Term Conservation Program, and details other ACWA efforts.  Original link Original author: Pamela Martineau
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Californians’ Water Savings Exceed 25% in February


The State Water Resources Control Board today announced that urban Californians statewide saved 25.1% more water in February than they used during the same month in 2013, and that figure is more than double the 11.9% savings in February 2016 when state-mandated conservation targets were in place. Cumulatively, Californians’ statewide savings from June 2015 through February 2017 remains at 22.5%, compared with the same months in 2013.  Since June 2015, 2.6 million acre-feet of water has been saved – enough water to supply more than 13 million people for a year.   “Even with a banner year for winter precipitation, Californians have continued to practice sensible conservation, with a significant drop in water use in the South Coast," said State Water Board Chair Felicia Marcus. "Though our water picture is significantly improved in most of California, we have to maintain our drought memory and shift to planning and action to...
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Yun is New Executive Officer of CWC


The California Water Commission today announced that Joe Yun is now the new executive officer of the CWC, replacing former Executive Officer Paula Landis who retired in June. Yun assumed the position today. Yun most recently served as interim program manager for the Water Storage Investment Program where he was instrumental in drafting the program’s regulations. Yun has over 28 years of experience working in water resource planning and management for the California Department of Water Resources and in private consulting. Prior to joining the CWC, Yun served as chief of the Planning Grant Section in the Financial Assistance Branch of DWR’s Division of Integrated Regional Water Management. In that position, Yun managed multidisciplinary teams to implement various water management grant programs funded by general obligation bonds.  Before joining DWR, Joe worked for 13 years in private environmental consulting assisting clients on surface water, groundwater, and storm water quality projects,...
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Water Agencies Pledge Cooperation on Temperance Flat Reservoir


Four agencies representing water users in the San Joaquin Valley today signed a joint letter to the California Water Commission pledging collaboration in developing the Temperance Flat Reservoir project with the goal of submitting an application for Proposition 1 storage funding for the project by Aug. 14. The joint letter was signed during a news conference at Fresno City Hall. Signatories included representatives from the Friant Water Authority, San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors Water Authority, San Joaquin Valley Water Infrastructure Authority, and San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority. “The limitations of California’s aging water infrastructure to meet present and future challenges have never been more apparent than today,” Jason Phillips, chief executive officer of the Friant Water Authority, said in a written statement.“Recent extremes we’ve experienced – back-to-back drought and flood years – demonstrate the challenges that new storage could help address. “The (Temperance Flat) project could provide a secure...
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ACWA/CESA Energy Storage Summit Explores Industry’s Successes and Challenges


Water and energy utility managers from throughout California attended an energy storage summit in Sacramento today that explored new technologies and management techniques in the emerging energy storage field. Jointly organized by ACWA and the California Energy Storage Alliance, the day-long summit explored issues ranging from pumped hydro storage to centralized battery storage to financing and siting. Many speakers at the summit discussed how energy storage is increasingly important to help address fluctuations in energy availability from the grid, particularly since wind and solar energies are highly susceptible to changes in weather. The abundance of solar energy on the electricity grid during daytime hours in particular has required a shift in timing for other types of energy production and transmittal. ACWA President Kathy Tiegs delivered opening remarks in which she described energy storage as “one of the changing issues affecting California water.”   Alex Morris, director of policy and regulatory...
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WaterFix Map Highlights the Value of Delta Water


The California Natural Resources Agency today released a Delta Dependency Map showing how millions of urban water customers use water imported through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The map highlights several water suppliers, ranging from the City of Livermore serving 28,800 customers to the City of Los Angeles serving nearly 4 million. Statistics show that Delta water serves: 80%+ of the water for Zone 7 Water Agency which serves Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin and more 40% of the water for Santa Clara County including San Jose, Sunnyvale, Milpitas and more About 30% of Metropolitan Water District’s demands from residents in Los Angeles, San Diego, Anaheim, Long Beach, Compton, Fullerton, Oxnard and more   California WaterFix is a proposed upgrade to 50-year-old infrastructure in the Delta and is intended to protect this major source of clean water for two thirds of the state.  Delta Dependency Map (pdf) More information is available at  www.californiawaterfix.com   ...
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House Passes Comprehensive Water Bill


The Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act, comprehensive legislation to address America’s water infrastructure needs, passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 360-61 today. ACWA supported passage of the bill, which includes the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2016 in addition to provisions to address lead in drinking water, California drought, and long-standing water settlement agreements with Native Americans. The legislation would authorize numerous projects in California, including restoration of the Los Angeles River, Lake Tahoe, and the Salton Sea. It would authorize projects to reduce flood risk and storm damage in San Diego, West Sacramento, along the American River, and the South San Francisco shoreline. Additionally, it would direct the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct feasibility studies for an additional seven projects in California. WIIN also would create policies that will help ACWA member agencies work with the Corps. It includes...
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WRDA Added to Compromise Bill; Action Possible This Week


The federal Water Resources Development Act of 2016 (WRDA) has been folded into a broader compromise bill on water infrastructure that could be taken up before Congress adjourns this week. S. 612, also known as the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN, contains ACWA-supported WRDA provisions that would authorize numerous projects in California, including restoration of the Los Angeles River, Lake Tahoe and the Salton Sea. It also would authorize $558 million for critical projects, including $515 million for water storage, recycling and reuse, and desalination projects. In addition, it will help local water agencies work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on stormwater capture projects and groundwater recharge projects, and provides direction to the Corps to engage in environmental infrastructure projects, including water recycling projects. Drought language included in the bill reflects a balanced compromise that will help provide improved water supplies without violating the Endangered...
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Urban Californians Continue to Conserve Water Robustly


Urban Californians continued to conserve water at a healthy clip in October, cutting their monthly water usage by 19.5% and bringing the state’s cumulative water savings to 22.8% since June 2015, according to data released by the State Water Resources Control Board today. State officials cautioned, however, that despite early rains in Northern California this fall, conservation must continue, since 73% of the state remains in drought conditions. “Californians’ continued commitment to conservation shows they don’t take water for granted anymore,” said State Water Board Chair Felicia Marcus. “With climate change playing an increasingly disruptive role, we need to save where we can, when we can. Coupled with recycling, stormwater recapture and other measures, it will extend our local water resilience.”  October’s number is a bit below the 22.3% savings in October 2015, but is up from the 18.3% savings in September of this year. Since June 2015, 2.26 million...
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State Water Board to Hold Workshop on Bay-Delta Plan Scientific Report


The State Water Resources Control Board is scheduled to hold a public workshop tomorrow – Dec. 7 – on the working draft of the scientific report on the Phase II update of the 2006 Water Quality Control Plan for the San Francisco Bay/Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Estuary, also known as the 2006 Bay-Delta Plan. The update will establish flow requirements for the Sacramento River and its tributaries, the east-side Delta tributaries, Delta in-flow and outflow requirements. Written comments on the draft scientific report are due by 12 noon Dec. 16. At the Dec. 7 workshop, the public will be provided an opportunity to present oral comments on the report. The hearing begins at 9:00 a.m.at the Joe Serna Jr. – CalEPA Headquarters Building, Coastal Hearing Room, 1001 I Street, Second Floor, Sacramento. The State Water Board is reviewing and updating the 2006 Bay-Delta Plan to ensure that Bay-Delta beneficial uses are...
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Ag Vision Report Discussed at Meeting


The California Board of Food and Agriculture discussed an update of  the California Agricultural Vision report  -- also known as Ag Vision --  during  a public meeting in Sacramento Dec. 6. The report, initially released in December 2010, is a strategic plan to support and advance agriculture in California in the face of rapidly changing challenges such as regulations, water issues, urbanization and climate change. More information about Ag Vision is available here . Original link Original author: Teresa McGaffic
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Governor Announces Appointments to Regional Water Quality Control Boards


Gov. Jerry Brown recently announced 13 appointments to regional water quality control boards across the state. Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board Brown appointed Raji Brar of Bakersfield and Daniel Marcum of Fall River Mills. Brar is the owner and operator at Countryside Market and Restaurants, and has served as a member of the Arvin City Council. Marcum is a farm advisor emeritus at the University of California Cooperative Extension since 2013, and previously served as a farm advisor for 37 years. Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board Brown reappointed Monica Samaniego Hunter of Los Osos, an incumbent since 2005. Hunter is director of research at PAST Foundation, was previously central coast watersheds program manager at the Planning and Conservation League Foundation, and has worked for several environmental and academic organizations. Colorado River Basin Regional Water Quality Control Board Brown reappointed Thomas Davis of Rancho Mirage, an incumbent...
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PPIC Water Policy Center Calls for “Grand Compromise” on the Delta


The Public Policy Institute of California’s Water Policy Center has called for a “grand compromise” on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta that would downsize Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed tunnel project and manage water in the Delta for ecosystem health, not just endangered species. The “grand compromise” was outlined in an op-ed in The Sacramento Bee on Dec. 4 and a blog on the PPIC website. The op-ed was penned by PPIC Water Policy Center Director and Senior Fellow Ellen Hanak, and PPIC Senior Fellows Jeffrey Mount and Brian Gray. The op-ed states that the proposal would meet the co-equal goals of water supply reliability and eco-system health as outlined in the 2009 water policy legislative package. Under the proposal, the California WaterFix tunnels project would be downsized from two tunnels to one. “Building one tunnel with roughly half the proposed capacity caps the amount of water that can be taken from...
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State Releases Draft Plan for Long-Term Conservation


A group of state agencies today released a draft plan that seeks to make water conservation a way of life by providing standards for achieving long-term efficient water use. The draft plan implements Gov. Jerry Brown’s Executive Order B-37-16, which is an order to move the state towards using water more wisely, eliminating water waste, strengthening local drought resilience, and improving agricultural water use efficiency and drought planning. “Californians rose to the challenge during this historic drought and recognized that conservation is critical in the face of an uncertain future. This plan is about harnessing the creativity and innovation that Californians have shown during the driest years in state history and making water conservation a way of life in the years ahead,” said California Department of Water Resources Director Mark W. Cowin. “This plan will help make permanent changes to water use so California is better prepared for whatever the...
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ACWA Presents Emissary Award to Kathy Cole


ANAHEIM – ACWA today presented its eleventh annual Emissary Award to Kathy Cole, a skillful advocate on California water issues. Presented at ACWA’s luncheon during its 2016 Fall Conference & Exhibition, the award recognizes individuals who have made remarkable contributions to California water through voluntary service to ACWA. “Kathy Cole has made extensive and lasting contributions to California water through her service to ACWA,” said ACWA President Kathleen Tiegs. “Through her leadership, she has helped to build consensus around some of the state’s most critical water challenges, helping to craft a sustainable water future.” Cole has a long record of service and leadership to ACWA through its State Legislative Committee where she served as vice chair since 2009. She will assume the role of chair of that committee in 2017 when the current chair Paul Bartkiewicz retires. During Cole’s tenure on the committee, she has helped to guide ACWA’s engagement...
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