ACWA e-News for Sept. 19, 2012
ACWA’s e-News is a weekly roundup of California water news and events.
Natural Resources Secretary John Laird highlighted the Bay Delta Conservation Plan and the 2014 water bond in remarks at a Northern California event Sept. 18.
Addressing a group of local water and community leaders, Laird said the state now has a path for meeting the coequal goals established by the 2009 comprehensive water package. That path, he said, is the BDCP. “I feel good about this direction. It is science based,” he said.
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has prepared a factual analysis of Proposition F, a local measure on the November ballot that would require the city to prepare a two-phase plan to evaluate how to drain the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and identify replacement water and power sources.
Prepared at the request of the San Francisco Department of Elections, the analysis describes what the measure would do and how it would affect water and power resources for 2.6 million residents and businesses served across four counties in the San Francisco Bay Area.
U.S. Rep. Mary Bono Mack (CA-45) is among lawmakers calling on state and federal agencies to take action on the Salton Sea, identified as the source of a rotten-egg odor reported last week across the Inland Empire and much of the Los Angeles area.
The State Water Resources Control Board’s authority to enforce and monitor water rights is relatively weak and laden with unnecessary process, the state’s Delta watermaster concludes in a new report.
ACWA submitted comments Sept. 13 on proposed requirements for aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) projects that recharge groundwater with treated drinking water.
The State Water Resources Control Board’s proposed general order is aimed at streamlining the permitting process and ensuring consistent requirements for ASR projects.
The Department of Homeland Security’s Chemical Facilities Anti-Terrorism Standards Program (CFATS) was the subject of another oversight hearing by the Environment and Economy Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Sept. 11.
Problems with the program came to light at end of last year when an internal memorandum detailing an array of management failures and implementation flaws was leaked to the press. This hearing was called to obtain a progress report on the status of the CFATS program.
ACWA submitted comments to the Federal Housing Finance Agency urging adoption of a rule that would allow residential property assessed clean energy programs to continue.
The House passed the six-month spending bill Sept. 13 to keep the government running until March 2013. The bill passed on a 329-91 vote.
For the most part, the continuing resolution (CR) maintains funding at 2012 levels, with an increase of $8 billion in spending. In addition, the same riders from the prior funding bill from 2012 carried over, including a prohibition on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers funding for new Principles and Guidelines for water projects. No new riders were added to the CR.
The Sierra Nevada Conservancy has approved $2.2 million in “Healthy Forest” grants for 24 projects designed to reduce the risk of forest fires and protect California’s watersheds in 14 Sierra counties.
The grants, funded by Proposition 84 of 2006, bring the total amount awarded by the conservancy for similar Sierra projects to $45 million over the past four years.
A new historical ecology study of the Delta provides a detailed look at the estuary and how it functioned before levees and water diversions began transforming it 150 years ago.
Using old maps, early photographs and the accounts of explorers, settlers and hunters from more than a century ago, the richly-illustrated study gives a never-before-seen picture of the ecosystem at the heart of California’s environmental and water debates.
Entries are due Oct. 1 for ACWA’s new Best in Blue Award, recognizing outstanding public affairs and communications programs by ACWA members.
The award, to be presented for the first time this fall, honors public water agencies for their efforts in communicating with customers, legislators, media, the public and others. The award focuses on innovation, transparency and use of available funds.
To better understand member needs and how best to meet them, ACWA is gearing up to conduct a web-based membership survey this fall.
Working with the professional research firm of Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates (FM3), ACWA staff is developing the survey to gain insight into members’ immediate and future needs, priority issues and the effectiveness of ACWA’s programs and services. The association’s overall strategic direction and policy agenda also will be a focus.
Nominations for ACWA’s 2012 Emissary Award are being accepted through Oct. 1.
Established in 2006, the annual Emissary recognizes individual ACWA member volunteers who have made outstanding contributions to the enhancement, protection or development of water resources in California by their participation and support of ACWA’s goals.
Individuals demonstrate leadership in the course of service on ACWA committees; advocacy / outreach at local, state and / or federal levels; and commitment of time and expertise for the benefit of an ACWA program or issue.
Wed, 09/19/2012 – Wed, 09/26/2012
ACWA Regional Briefings
In ACWA’s continued effort to keep members up to date and informed, we will be holding series of regional briefings for our members to update you on ACWA’s Reorganization and Revitalization, the Delta, 2014 Water Bond, and ACWA’s California Water Finance Task Force.
The following is the list of dates available for your region to attend the briefing:
Regions 6 & 7: September 14, 2012, Kern County WA
ACWA Region 4 is hosting a Tour of the Solano Project Thursday, October 11, 2012
WHAT:Presentations and Bus Tour of the Solano Project
WHERE:Start and End at Anheuser-Busch, 3101 Busch Dr., Fairfield, CA 94534
WHEN:Thursday, October 11, 2012, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Attendees are invited to stay for a complimentary brewery tour and beer tasting.