ACWA eNews for Dec. 5, 2012


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

State Water Leaders Herald New Collaborative Era in Water Planning

Top state water leaders expressed optimism Dec. 5 about building consensus on traditionally controversial water issues, saying water officials need to “seize the moment” and work collectively to develop compromise.

“We are not going to get this chance more than once,” Chuck Bonham, director of the California Department of Fish and Game, said during a panel discussion at ACWA’s Fall Conference & Exhibition in San Diego. “There is an incredible alignment of stars…and we should seize the moment.”

ACWA Presents Sacramento Department of Utilities with 2012 Best in Blue Award

ACWA today presented its inaugural Best in Blue Award to the City of Sacramento, Department of Utilities for its eight-month public outreach campaign, “Your Utilities, Your Voice.”

ACWA Presents Emissary Award to Chet Anderson

ACWA today presented its seventh annual Emissary Award to Chet Anderson, a longtime leader in water quality issues whose involvement with the association spans more than 20 years. Presented at ACWA’s 2012 Fall Conference & Exhibition in San Diego, the award recognizes individuals for remarkable contributions to California water by supporting and advancing ACWA’s goals. 

Coastal Observatories to Watch Atmospheric Rivers

A partnership that includes the California Department of Water Resources is installing the first of four weather stations designed to study “atmospheric rivers,” a weather pattern that brings sustained heavy rainfall and the potential for flooding.

An atmospheric river dumped several inches of rain and snow in Northern California last weekend. This winter weather pattern is characterized by a narrow band of concentrated precipitation that can stretch for hundreds or thousands of miles.

Assembly Speaker Announces Committee Chairs for New Legislative Session

Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) announced his Assembly leadership team on Dec. 3 and appointed committee chairs for the 2013-’14 Regular Session.

The announcement came as lawmakers launched the new two-year session on Monday. Thirty-nine new members – the highest number of freshmen since 1966 – were sworn in at the Capitol.

Committee appointments, which took effect on Monday, include:

DSC Discusses Draft List of Near-Term Projects in Delta

The Delta Stewardship Council (DSC) is scheduled to discuss a draft list of projects that may be undertaken in the near-term in the Delta as longer-term solutions for the estuary are being studied.

At its regularly scheduled meeting on Dec. 13 in West Sacramento, the DSC will review a list of near-term projects and programs that are underway or could be undertaken to implement near-term stategies for the waterway. The list, prepared by staff at the request of council members last month, will be presented as an information item only.

Storms Boost Water Supplies in State’s Reservoirs

The rains that have pounded parts of California in recent days have boosted water levels in state reservoirs, raising water storage in Oroville Reservoir—the State Water Project’s primary reservoir – by more than 300,000 acre feet, according to a statement released Dec. 3 by the State Water Contractors.

Delta Stewardship Council Releases Final Draft Delta Plan

The Delta Stewardship Council (DSC) moved a key step closer to adopting an overarching plan for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta with its release Nov. 30 of the Final Draft Delta Plan and accompanying draft regulations and a draft environmental impact report.

Once it is completed and adopted, the Delta Plan seeks to create a single blueprint for local and state agencies’ actions to meet the coequal goals of providing a more reliable water supply for the state and restoring the Delta ecosystem.

Bay Delta Conservation Plan Still Being Refined, Draft Due Early 2013

The release of a draft of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) has been delayed to late January or early February to allow environmental consultants more time to address concerns raised by federal and state fish agencies and to further analyze the proposal to downsize the conveyance system from 15,000 cfs to 9,000 cfs, Jerry Meral, deputy secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency announced at a meeting on the BDCP in Sacramento Nov. 29.

Governor Appoints 14 to Regional Water Boards

Linda Ackerman, a member of Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s board and chair of ACWA’s Federal Affairs Committee, is among 14 individuals appointed to regional water quality control boards this week by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Groundwater Banking, Water Transfers Need Help in California, Study Says

Water transfers in California have stayed relatively flat the past 10 years despite the occurrence of several drought years, according to a new study unveiled Thursday, Nov. 29, by a nonpartisan think tank.

Meanwhile, groundwater banking appears to have made some progress during the same time span, according to the authors of a paper called California’s Water Market, By the Numbers: Update 2012. The study, authored by the Public Policy Institute of California, is available for download here.

San Diego County Water Authority Approves Desalinated Water Purchase Agreement

The San Diego County Water Authority board of directors on Thursday, Nov. 29, unanimously approved a 30-year water purchase agreement with a private developer of a proposed seawater desalination plant in Carlsbad.

DWR Announces Initial Water Delivery Estimate for 2013

The Department of Water Resources today announced an initial allocation of 30% of requested deliveries to State Water Project contractors in calendar year 2013.

The initial allocation – or water delivery estimate – is always conservative because it is made early in the storm cycle. The state normally receives more than 90% of its snow and rain from December through April, and today’s allocation is expected to increase as more storms roll in.

Long-Time Public Television Personality Huell Howser Retiring

Producer and long-time public television personality Huell Howser is retiring after nearly 20 years of bringing unique California stories to life.

Howser produced and hosted ACWA’s popular “California’s Water” series, a first-of-its kind public television series launched in 2006. A total of 26 segments of “California’s Water” have aired on public television outlets throughout California, covering a variety of topics ranging from climate change to water recycling to the value of tap water.

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