ACWA’s eNews is a weekly roundup of California water news and events.
Gov. Jerry Brown and leaders of the state Legislature introduced emergency legislation Wednesday that would provide $687 million to local communities for drought-related assistance and water projects.
The funding would support shovel-ready water projects that improve water supply through recycling, stormwater capture, groundwater recharge and other means; bring aid to communities and workers impacted by the drought; and help secure emergency drinking water supplies for communities that are severely impacted.
The California drought and its impact on the movement of goods was the subject of a presentation by ACWA President John Coleman this week to a state group focused on intermodal transportation.
Coleman’s Feb. 18 presentation to the California Marine and Intermodal Transportation System Advisory Council noted that the drought will have severe impacts on the state’s agricultural industry, which in turn will have negative effects on the ports and the economy.
An ACWA-opposed bill that would place a $6.8 billion water bond on the November ballot cleared its second policy committee today and is expected to be heard in a third Senate committee next week.
SB 848 by Sen. Lois Wolk (D-Davis) was approved by the Senate Environmental Quality Committee on a 6-2 vote. It will next be heard in the Senate Governance and Finance Committee, which is chaired by Wolk.Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee on a 6-0 vote Feb. 11 and by the
Assembly Member Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) and Sen. Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield) will discuss the outlook for a 2014 water bond at ACWA’s annual Legislative Symposium March 5 in Sacramento.
The two lawmakers will discuss potential changes to the existing $11.14 billion bond measure currently set for the November ballot and key issues guiding the debate. The two will speak as part of a panel moderated by ACWA Executive Director Timothy Quinn.
Local and state officials discussed the impact of California’s drought on vulnerable drinking water systems and explored ways to shore up threatened water supplies during an Assembly hearing Feb. 18.
The joint hearing of the Assembly Environmental Safety & Toxic Materials Committee and the Assembly Health Committee featured state and local officials who have been working to solve drinking water shortage problems caused by the drought.
President Barack Obama visited Fresno and nearby farms on Feb. 14 to get a first-hand look at the effects of California’s drought.
The president attended a roundtable discussion with Gov. Jerry Brown, federal officials, local agricultural leaders and water managers in Firebaugh before touring a farm in Los Banos owned by Joe and Maria Del Bosque.
Impacts of the 2014 drought and the need for broad coordination among agencies to respond to the emergency were explored at an ACWA-sponsored briefing Friday in Sacramento where state, federal and local officials outlined the unprecedented pressures placed on their agencies because of the record-breaking dry weather.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced new drought funding assistance on Friday ahead of President Obama’s visit to Fresno and parched Central Valley farms.
Through the 2014 Farm Bill, $100 million in livestock disaster assistance will be going to California producers. At the president’s direction, USDA plans to make the assistance program available within 60 days, beginning sign-ups in mid-April. Producers will be able to claim losses from 2012, 2013 and 2014.
The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the Bureau of Reclamation are seeking permission to exchange water within areas served by the State Water Project and the federally managed Central Valley Project.
Due to the ongoing drought, DWR and Reclamation have filed a “temporary change petition” with the State Water Resources Control Board. The one-year waiver would cover exchanges not exceeding 277,863 acre-feet.
The California water community this week is mourning the passing of Lois B. Krieger, 96, ACWA’s first female president and a former member of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Water District Board of Directors (MWD).
Krieger, who was elected to a two-year term as ACWA president in 1987, passed away Monday, Feb. 10 in Arizona. She served as former chair of MWD Board of Directors and as an MWD board member for 25 years. She replaced her father, Howard Boylan, on the MWD Board in 1976, representing Western Municipal Water District.
Mon, 02/24/2014 – Wed, 02/26/2014
Lake Natoma Inn, Folsom
The California Water and Environmental Modeling Forum will hold its 20th Annual Meeting at the Lake Natoma Inn in Folsom from February 24 to 26. Highlights of the Annual Meeting include many excellent technical sessions, a joint day with the Interagency Ecological Program (IEP) on February 26, keynote address by Gary Bardini, Deputy Director of the Department of Water Resources, the presentation of the Hugo B. Fischer and Life Membership awards, and an evening social at Sudwerk.
Tue, 02/25/2014 – Thu, 02/27/2014
The Liaison Capitol Hill, Washington, DC
ACWA’s 2014 Washington DC Conference is set for Feb. 25-27, 2014, at the Liaison Capitol Hill.
Groundwater Issues and Water Management – Strategies Addressing the Challenges of Sustainability in California
Tue, 03/04/2014 – Fri, 03/07/2014
Lions Gate Hotel at McClellan Park 3410 Westover Street, Sacramento, CA 95652
Groundwater Resources Association (GRA), in cooperation with the United States Committee on Irrigation and Drainage (USCID), are organizing two co-located USCID and GRA Conferences that provide a unique opportunity for attendees to access simultaneously the technical and policy challenges facing groundwater resources.
Sacramento Convention Center
The 2014 ACWA Legislative Symposium is set for March 5 at the Sacramento Convention Center.
Fri, 03/21/2014 – 8:00am – 4:30pm
Rancho Cucamonga and Rialto
ACWA is hosting a new workshop and tour this year on small hydropower. A half-day workshop at the Cucamonga Valley Water District Frontier Project will include programs on site selection, permitting, financing and small hydropower technologies. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. Attendees then will have the option in the afternoon of touring Fontana Water Company’s Sandhill Small Hydro Facility in Rialto.
This workshop may qualify toward the Certified Energy Manager (CEM) continuing education credit.
Sun, 03/23/2014 – Mon, 03/24/2014
Santa Cruz, CA
ACWA Region 5 Hosted Program
Working Together in Dry Times
How the Santa Cruz Water Community is Collaborating for Solutions
March 23 & 24, 2014
Wed, 03/26/2014 – Thu, 03/27/2014
University of California, Irvine
Presented by the Orange County Water District, Disneyland Resort, National Water Research Institute and the OCWD Groundwater Guardian Team, the Festival presents a unique opportunity to educate Orange County’s third, fourth and fifth grade students about water and the environment. More than 7,000 students are expected to attend. Volunteers, presenters and sponsors are needed to support this educational event. Learn more at www.childrenwaterfestival.com.
Thu, 04/03/2014 – Fri, 04/04/2014
The Roberts Environmental Center at Claremont McKenna College
The California Water Policy conference is set for April 3-4 at Claremont McKenna College.
UC Davis Conference Center (Davis, CA)
The 2nd Annual Climate Change Water and Society (CCWAS) IGERT State of the Science workshop is here! “Climate Change and the Future of Groundwater in California” aims to bring together scientists, water managers, policy and decision makers, engineers and other interested stakeholders to identify key challenges and solutions for a sustainable groundwater future.
Tue, 05/06/2014 – Fri, 05/09/2014
Portola and Marriott Hotels, Monterey
Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel, Anaheim
Presented by the Orange County Water District, the Municipal Water District of Orange County and Disneyland Resort, the Summit brings together more than 500 Southern California business professionals with international, national and state water industry stakeholders, elected officials, environmentalists, scientists and community leaders to discuss ongoing global water issues and how water supply challenges impact our economy and public safety. Prominent authors, world-renowned experts and distinguished speakers will also be a part of this critical dialogue.