ACWA eNews for Oct. 24, 2012


ACWA’s e-News is a weekly roundup of California water news and events.

ACWA Launches Survey on Member Needs, Priorities


A web-based survey aimed at assessing ACWA members’ immediate and future needs launched Oct. 23.

The ACWA Member Needs Assessment, conducted by the professional research firm of Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates (FM3), is designed to help the association better understand member needs and how best to meet them. Questions cover areas such as member priority issues, effectiveness of ACWA’s programs and service, and the association’s overall strategic direction and policy agenda.

McPeak, FBI Special Agent Set for ACWA Conference Keynotes


Sunne Wright McPeak, president of the Delta Vision Foundation and CEO of the California Emerging Technology Fund, is slated to provide keynote remarks at a luncheon program Dec. 5 at ACWA’s 2012 Fall Conference & Exhibition in San Diego.

A veteran of the water policy arena and a former secretary of the California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, McPeak will discuss emerging consensus on near-term Delta projects, the need for “BDCP Plus” and opportunities for breakthroughs on California water.

ACWA Provides Comments on Statewide Biological Objectives Policy


ACWA has submitted formal comments to the State Water Resources Control Board on a proposed policy aimed at providing tools for evaluating and monitoring aquatic life in some bodies of water.

Survey Launched to Compile Water Treatment Cost Information


ACWA is encouraging water system operators to complete an online survey to help determine annual costs associated with drinking water treatment.

Santa Ana Sucker Fish Habitat Expansion Upheld by Federal Court


A federal judge has upheld a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service final rule that doubles the critical habitat area of the Santa Ana sucker fish in San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

U.S. District Court Judge James V. Selna in Santa Ana ruled in favor of critical habitat designation for more than 9,300 acres of Southern California waterways, including stretches of the Santa Ana River. Local water agencies said they were disappointed by the ruling, which could pave the way for a habitat expansion that would jeopardize future water supply projects.

Kickoff Meeting Set for Assessment of Dischargers’ Compliance Costs


The State Water Resources Control Board is holding a kickoff meeting Oct. 24 to begin identifying ways to reduce compliance costs for dischargers while maintaining the state’s ability to protect water quality.

This first meeting will focus on the project’s background, goals, work plan and schedule; the roles of Water Board staff and stakeholders; preliminary ideas on the types of compliance costs that should be quantified and evaluated; and the identification of next steps.

EPA Debuts Quick-Reference Website for Water Pollution Data

Forty years ago, when the Clean Water Act was enacted on Oct. 18, 1972, the best way to get pollution data about a local stream or river was to call a scientist, do research at the library or submit an open records request.

Fortunately those steps aren’t always needed anymore, thanks to a big push by all levels of government to improve transparency.

California’s Water-Energy Nexus Studied in White Paper


A white paper on actions that can be undertaken by California’s water sector to help achieve the state’s energy efficiency and environmental goals is now available online. The paper, called California’s Water-Energy Nexus: Pathways to implementation, was written on behalf of the Water-Energy Team of the Governor’s Climate Action Team (WET-CAT). The report was prepared by GEI Consultants, Inc. and funded in part by ACWA.

Federal Forecasters Predict Warm, Dry Winter in Many Western States


People living in the western half of the continental U.S. can expect warmer -than -average temperatures this winter and in several western regions – including northern California – a dryer-than-average winter, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) forecast issued Oct. 18.

Forecasters with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center cautioned, however, that a “wavering” El Niño, expected to have developed by now, makes this year’s winter outlook less certain than in past years.

Feinstein Issues Wish List of Army Corps’ Water Projects


U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein is requesting $1.3 billion in federal funding for several projects that would improve California’s flood control, shoreline protection and water system infrastructure.

The funding requests include $921 million for levee improvements in the Sacramento area and $106 million for deepening of the Stockton Deep Water Channel that serves the ports of Stockton and Oakland. Among other projects, the senator also is asking for hundreds of millions of dollars for erosion control and coastline restoration in Solana Beach and San Clemente, Calif.

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