ACWA’s eNews is a weekly roundup of California water news and events.
The $11.14 billion water bond slated for the 2014 ballot needs trimming, but the compromise reached in 2009 should remain the starting point for any legislative talks this year, several speakers said March 5 at ACWA’s Legislative Symposium in Sacramento.
The day-long legislative symposium featured panels on the water bond, reform of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and possible changes to AB8, the state’s property tax allocation system.
State Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) is expected to become the new chair of the California Senate Committee on Environmental Quality, which considers bills on water and air pollution, toxic materials and other environmental concerns.
Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) announced Tuesday that Hill is his choice to replace Sen. Michael Rubio, a Bakersfield Democrat who resigned Feb. 22 for family reasons and took a job with Chevron.
President Obama has nominated EPA assistant administrator Gina McCarthy to lead the agency.
Pending Senate confirmation, McCarthy, the top administrator of the EPA Office of Air and Radiation, would replace Lisa Jackson, who announced her departure at the end of 2012. Obama said during a news conference Monday that during her time at EPA, McCarthy “has focused on practical, cost-effective ways to keep our air clean and our economy growing.”
Southern California should adopt a diverse range of water conservation strategies and a regional groundwater plan to reduce its dependence on imported water, according to a newly-released report from the University of Southern California.
With daylight saving time set to begin March 10, ACWA’s Save Our Water program is reminding Californians to check their sprinklers when they reset their clocks next weekend.
Longer days and warmer temperatures make this the perfect time to check lawn sprinklers for leaks and make sure irrigation settings are in turn with local water agency recommendations.
ACWA members are encouraged to use Save Our Water’s “Change Your Clocks, Cehck Your Sprinklers” outreach materials to get the word out locally.
The March 1 issue of ACWA News is now available online, with stories on Central Valley Project water allocations and water legislation under consideration in Congress.
Other highlights this issue:
A lack of rain in January and February has decreased the water content in the Sierra snowpack – also known as California’s “frozen reservoir” —resulting in snowpack readings taken Feb. 28 that reveal water content only 66 % of average for this time of year.
“Clearly that is not what we want to see,” said Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Survey, following a snowpack reading at Phillips Station near Echo Summit Feb. 28.
The Environmental Working Group issued a report Feb. 27 focused on disinfection byproducts in drinking water.
The report, called “Water Treatment Contaminants: Toxic Trash in Drinking Water,” suggests that consumers are being exposed to disinfection byproducts, especially trihalomethanes (THMs), at greater concentrations than most people realize and questions the safety of current drinking water standards for THMs and other byproducts.
The California Water Commission (CWC) will hold a morning workshop March 20 in Sacramento titled Strategies for Future State Investments in the Public Benefits of Water Projects. The workshop is scheduled during the commission’s regular monthly meeting that starts at 9:30 a.m. It will focus on developing methods to evaluate the public benefits of water projects that might receive state funds. The commission will resume its regular meeting in the afternoon.
Registration deadlines are approaching for two ACWA region events set for March 15.
ACWA Region 3 and the Mountain Counties Water Resources Association are sponsoring a joint program on drought and climate change at the Ridge Golf Course & Events Center in Auburn.